The World is Our Family

The World is Our Family

Indior Tours

 

 

INDIA | NEPAL |

The Grand Maharaja Tour

Group | Individual | Regular Tours |

21 Days / 19 Nights

€ 1672 onwards

 

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The Grand Maharaja Tour

● Delhi ● Shekhawati ● Bikaner ● Jaisalmer ● Jodhpur ● Rohetgarh ● Ranakpur ● Udaipur

● Deogarh ● Pushkar ● Jaipur ● Amer ● Fatehpur Sikri●  Agra ● Orchha ● Khajuraho

● Varanasi ● Sarnath ● Kathmandu ● Swayambhunath ● Patan

 

Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Hotels

Destination Info

More Info

Rajasthan is one of the most important destinations of India. It offer a visual delight of anything and everything any body in the west has dreamt of while thinking of India. Maharajas, with their opulent palaces, snake charmers, valiant men with exotic turbans and enchanting ladies with colourful dresses. Deserts, mountains and lakes, elephants, camels and holy cows, jewels and handicrafts and magic carpets, Rajasthan has it all. But this journey does not stop there it takes you thought Agra where we visit the magnificient Taj Mahal proceeding to the temple city of Khajuraho, famous for its erotic temples to finally end at the holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the holy Ganges. From there we visit the neighbouring Nepal, the land of the mighty Himalayas and visit its capital Kathmandu and the three ancient capitals of Patan and Bhagtapur.

 

Day 1: Arrival at Delhi

Arrival at Delhi International Airport. After the immigration formalities and collection of your luggage, as you cross the Customs our representative will receive you at the arrival lounge and accompany you to your hotel and assist you during check in. (Rooms from 14.00 hrs). Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 2: Delhi

Breakfast. This morning we start our sightseeing of Delhi with Lakshmi Narayan temple, the largest Hindu Temple in the city.  On reaching Old Delhi, we first visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India built during the Mughal period. Driving past the high walls of Red Fort we arrive at Raj Ghat, the mausoleum dedicated Mahatma Gandhi.

 

In the afternoon we visit New Delhi starting with Gurudwara Bangla Sahib: a Sikh temple famous for its miraculous well and the gold dome. This would be followed by a panoramic tour of the official buildings of the capital driving past Rashtrapati Bhawan, the palace of the President of the Republic, the Parliament House and India Gate - the war memorial arch. Finally we visit the Qutub complex where we see the 72 meters high iconic tower which is the symbol of Delhi. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 3: Delhi - Shekhawati

Breakfast. Today we will begin our tour of Rajasthan beginning with Alsisar, a village in Shekhawati region. Shekhawati is famous among travelers for its painted houses. In the afternoon we will enjoy a walking tour of the painted houses with beautiful frescos on their external wall along with getting to know the village life of India. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 4: Shekhawati - Bikaner

Breakfast. In the morning we depart by surface to Bikaner. Driving through the rustic desert terrains, we arrive at Bikaner, one of the great desert kingdoms. In the afternoon, would would take a guided tour of its spectacular Junagarh Fort. If time permits we shall also enjoy a ride on a horse cart through the bazaar of the old city. Overnight at hotel.

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Day 5: Bikaner - Jaisalmer

Breakfast. We are approaching the desert and today we shall visit the Golden City in the heart of Thar. Jaisalmer is an open air museum as the whole city is built in yellow sandstone and carved by hand with delicate filigree work. The impressive fort of Jaisalmer is still inhabited and has several palaces and exquisite temples which we will visit. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 6: Jaisalmer

Breakfast. This morning we shall visit the Golden City beginning with the Gadisar Lake, which was the only source of water of this city, further we shall walk up to the elegant Golden Fort and wandering through its narrow streets we shall visit its temples. Also walk through the lower town we shall visiting the famous palatial houses known as havalis; the most famous being Patwon ki Hawali and Nathmal ki Hawali. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 7: Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Rohetgarh

Breakfast. We leave by road to Rohetgarh, one of the most beautiful  forts in Rajasthan but first we would visit Jodhpur, the Capital of Marwar also known as the 'Blue City'. In the afternoon visit the impressive Mehrangarh Fort which has a wall of 10 km in perimeter. In the fort we visit its beautiful palaces and museum, and finally we visit Jaswant Thada, a memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.  To know the city a little better we shall also visit the bazaar. After the sightseeing of Jodhpur, we proceed to the feudal village of Rohetgarh. The evening is free to explore the palace and meet the village people on your own. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 8: Rohetgarh - Ranakpur - Udaipur

Breakfast. Again by surface we proceed to Udaipur, enroute visit the famous temples of Ranakpur which are considered a masterpiece of the Hindu Temple Art due to the minute of carving in marble. After the visit, we continue to Udaipur, which is the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Mewar, also known as the ‘Venice of the East' because in contrast to its desert neighbors, it is full of lakes and mountains. It definitely is the most romantic city in Rajasthan. In the afternoon we visit the tourist attractions of this charming city visiting it’s Maharaja’s Palace and taking a panoramic tour of its famous lakes arrived at Saheliyo ki Baadi or the Garden of the Maidens. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 9: Udaipur - Deogarh - Pushkar

Breakfast. By road, we leave for Pushkar enroute visiting Deogarh. Deogarh is situated on the borders of Marwar and Barmed about 145 km from Pushkar. It is situated at a height of 2011 feet, and is therefore cooler than other parts of Rajasthan. Once in Deogarh we shall visit the Deogarh Mahal which is its main attraction. We continue towards Pushkar which though a small village, is considered one of the most important places of pilgrimage in India. The sacred lake of Pushkar is located in the middle of the village with several ghats and temples built around the lake. Pushkar is also famous for the only existing temple dedicated to Brahma, the lord of creation and the now world famous cattle fair. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 10: Pushkar - Jaipur

Breakfast. Today we shall visit the holy lake and the only temple dedicated to Brahma, the creative aspect of the holy Hindu trinity. After the visit, departure by surface to Jaipur, also known as the ' Pink City ' due to the color of the buildings in the walled city, en route visiting Samode a small village where the time seems to have stopped. We shall have lunch at its spectacular palace which has now been converted into a hotel. After lunch we would visit its exquisite Private Audience Hall and the Hall of Mirrors. We shall continue to Jaipur where this evening we will enjoy a rickshaw ride (tricycle) to have a panoramic view of the city. To finish our tour for today we visit the Birla Temple constructed in white marble. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 11: Jaipur-Amer - Jaipur

Breakfast. Today we take an excursion to Amer, the former capital of Dhundar, climb its spectacular fort located on top of a hill on elephant back or a jeep and visit its spectacular halls and palaces. Later visit Gaitor, where the cenotaphs of the Maharajas of Dhundar are situated. On return to Jaipur, visit the Palace of the Maharaja, the iconic Hawa Mahal: the Palace of the Winds known for its spectacular facade and Jantar Mantar, the astrological observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in the XVIII century. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 12: Jaipur (Fatehpur Sikri) Agra

Breakfast. After breakfast we depart by road to Agra, enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri, the abandoned city. Sikri was the winter capital of the Rajputs of Sikarwar and was first occupied by the Lodhis and finally ended in the hands of the Mughals. Akbar, the fifth Mughal king made it his capital but soon to abandon it allegedly due to lack of water. Continue to Agra. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 13: Agra

Breakfast. This morning visit the Taj Mahal , one of the seven wonders of the world. Following the visit of the spectacular Taj we shall conclude the visit of Agra by visiting the imposing Badalgarh Fort. This fort made in red sandstone, originally belonged to the Rajputs of Sikarwar, and like Sikri changed various hands. The fifth Mughal king, Akbar, escaping an attempt on his life in Delhi seeked refuge here thus makes it his home and the capital of his Empire and Hindustan. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 14: Agra ... Jhansi - Orchha - Khajuraho

Breakfast. Early in the morning we reach the railway station to take a train to Jhansi. A train ride would take us to Jhansi from where by road we proceed to Khajuraho, en route visiting Orchha, which is located in a beautiful setting on the banks of river Betwa. Orchha was the capital of the Bundela dynasty that left for posterity an impressive architectural complex consisting of a fortress, temples and palaces. After the visit of Orchha we shall continue to Khajuraho by road.

 

Khajuraho was the religious capital of the Chandela dynasty which built several temples of singular beauty that are considered masterpiece of Hindu Religious Art. The grand richness of the temples of Khajuraho is the beauty of sculptures made on their walls. There are figures of gods, mythical beasts and celestial nymphs or apsaras of sublime eroticism and "mithunas" or explicit erotic scenes. We first visit the western group of temples including Lakshman, Kandariya Mahadeva and Devi Jagadambi temple. We then proceed to the eastern Group which includes Parsvanath and Adinath temples. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 15: Khajuraho > Varanasi

Breakfast. Departure by air to Varanasi, the city of thousand temples. Varanasi is one of the most important pilgrimage center of India. It is the city of Shiva, the god of regeneration. On our arrival at Varanasi, first we go to Sarnath, one of the most sacred places for the Buddhists; this is where Buddha gave the first sermon to his five principal disciples. After visiting Sarnat, we proceed to the hotel.

 

In the evening visit the ancient city to reach the banks of the Ganges to participate in  the ‘aarti’ ceremony where the adoration of sacred river takes place. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 16: Varanasi > Kathmandu

Breakfast. Before sunrise we return to the banks of the sacred river Ganges, from where we take a boat to take a ride through the holy waters to see devout Hindus perform their ablutions and morning prayers. After enjoying the boat ride we walk through the narrow streets around the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, also known as The Golden Temple. Thereafter we visit the major temples of the city and the Benaras Hindu University. Later in the day, departure by air to Kathmandu. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 17: Kathmandu - Swayambhunath - Patan - Kathmandu

Breakfast. We start our tour of Kathmandu valley with its famous Durbar Square where we visit the Temple of Kumari - the living goddess, Kasthamandap - the temple dedicated to Gorakhnath from where the city gets its name. Thereafter we visit the Swayambhunath Stupa situated on top of a hill from where we can have a spectacular views of the valley of Kathmandu.

 

In the afternoon excursion to the ancient city of Patan, famous for its artists.Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 18: Kathmandu - Bhaktapur - Boudhnath - Kathmandu

Breakfast. Today we take an excursión to Bhaktapur: an authentic open air museum of ancient architecture. We visit the Singha Pol and the Royal Palace with this Golden Gate and Natayapol, the five storied pagoda. Before returning to Kathmandu we also visit Boudhnath to see the world’s biggest stupa. Overnight at hotel.

 

Days 19: Kathmandu

Breakfast. Free days to explore Kathmandu at your leisure or take an optional excursion to Pashupatinath, Dhulikhel or Nagarkot. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 20: Kathmandu > Delhi

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport to take a flight that flies us to Delhi. On arrival at Delhi, we proceed to a hotel that will be our collection point when we go to the international airport tonight to take the flight back. Overnight on board.

 

On arrival at Delhi we will go to a hotel that will be our pick-up point to the international airport from where we take the flight back. Overnight on board.

 

Day 21: Departure from Delhi

Departure from Delhi to our country of origin.

DEPARTURE DATES (Every Monday)

 

2016 April

2016 May

2016 June

2016 July

3, 10, 17, 24, 31 (Diwali)

7, 14, 21, 28 (Pushkar)

5, 12, 19, 26

2, 9, 16, 23, 30

6, 13, 20, 27

6, 13, 20, 27 (Holi)

2016  October

2016  November

2016  December

2017  January

2017  February

2017  March

4, 11, 18, 25 (Holi Week)

2, 9, 16, 23, 30

6, 13, 20, 27

4, 11, 18, 25

1, 8, 15, 22, 29

5, 12, 19, 26*

2016 August

2016 September

*Dates in bold indicate important festival period. Departure in Red coincide with local festivals.

 

 

€ 253

€ 479

Economy

€ 2970

€ 1672

€ 545

€ 347

€ 611

Luxury

€ 3542

€ 1975

€ 836

€ 831

€ 303

€ 572

Elegant

€ 3080

€ 1733

€ 616

Additional Services Supplements

TOUR COST

Validity: From April 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016 |

* Indicative price subject to change at the time of issue.

Half board

Full board

01 pax traveling alone

Accompanying language speaking guide till Agra. (2 pax)

Nett per person cost

Airfare: Domestic : Economy Class: HJR-VNS-KTM-DEL

EUR 473*

Minimum 02 person

Single Supplement

TOUR COST INCLUDES

TOUR COST DOES NOT INCLUDE

●  Accommodation based on double/twin sharing room at the hotels mentioned or similar for 13 nights.

●  Accommodation will be on bed and breakfast basis.

●  Transportation in air-conditioned vehicle with driver for transfers, excursions and sightseeing.

●  The entrance to places of tourist interest mentioned in the itinerary. (Single visit per site).

●  Services of English or any other language speaking local guide throughout the trip.

●  International air fare.

●  Visa fee and service charges if service provided for issuance of visas.

●  Expense of personal nature like drinks, and also food drinks not forming part of the group menus, room service or mini-bar consumption, laundry, medical expenses, telephony and internet services, camera or video camera fee at monuments and tips.

●  Personal Insurance is not included in the cost, hence any cost involving health which may include any type of medical expense or medication and any

●  (Accommodation and meals in different hotels)

●  Rickshaw ride in Jaipur.

●  Use of non-polluting electric bus in Fatehpur Sikri.

●  Welcome and assistance on arrival and departure by our airport representative.

●  All road toll charges, parking fee, fuel cost, interstate taxes, and porter services at all hotels and  stations.

●  Currently applicable taxes.

 

cost derived due to illness would be charged extra. It is advised to take a personal travel insurance

●  Cost of Optional or add-on tours unless mentioned otherwise.

●  Airport taxes and airport departure tax normally included in the international tickets.

●  Meals other than those mentioned as included in the itinerary.

●  Services not mentioned in the 'The price includes' box.

 

VISA

●  Travellers should carry a valid tourist visa for

 

●  India

 

IMPORTANT NOTES

●  The price provided is based on the prices and taxes existing at the time of calculation. Any increase in the airfare, in routing due to withdrawal of existing flights, taxes change if any would be advised at the time of booking.

●  Any change in rate of exchange leading to an increase in the cost of the tour, which may come into effect prior to departure would be informed at the time of booking.

●  Minimum reporting time in India for International flights in India is three hours and for internal flights is hour and a half.

●  Child without bed - Is an individual under 12 years of age, sharing the room with 2 Full Paying adults and without a bed.

●  Triple rooms do not exist in India, most hotels use roll away beds which is placed once you arrive at the hotel. The room size is the same as a Double Room.

●  Once an air ticket is issued, any change of date or cancellation would attract a penalty charge levied by the airlines. Your sales officer will advise you the

amount at the time of making the date change.

●  The tour will be operated, subject to a minimum of 06 full paying adult passengers. In the event that the group size is less than 06 adult passengers, you will be given an option of travelling as an individual tourist with private services. Additional supplement might apply. The Tour will be conducted on a seat-in-coach basis for group strength of 20- 25 persons, with the assistance of a local representative.

●  Travel Insurance for the duration of the tour is not included in the tour price. However, any passengers who wish to take an insurance cover can request for it at an additional charges.

●  The right to vary, amend or withdraw any particular itinerary, departure or excursion rests entirely with the company. Due to demand in particular airline in/ out points may change. Service, will however remain unchanged. Hotels / Flights / Airlines / Itinerary / Route subject to change without notice

 

HOTEL SELECTION

City

Luxury

Nights

Elegant

Economy

Delhi

02

The Suryaa

Radisson Blu Dwarka

Hotel Vikram

Mandawa

01

Castle Mandawa

Castle Mandawa

Udai Vilas

Bikaner

01

Lakshmi Niwas Palace

Karni Bhawan

Bhanwar Vilas

Jaisalmer

02

Surya Garh

Gorbandh

Fort Rajwada

Rohet

01

Rohetgarh/Fort Chinwa

Rohetgarh/Fort Chinwa

Rohetgarh/Fort Chinwa

Udaipur

01

Radisson

Ramada

Inder Residency

Pushkar

01

Pushkar Palace

Pushkar Palace

Jagat Palace

Jaipur

02

The Lalit Jaipur

Radisson Blu

Holiday Inn

Agra

02

Double Tree by Hilton

Jaypee Palace

Clarks

Khajuraho

01

Radisson Jass

Ramada

Clarks

Varanasi

01

Radisson Varanasi

Ramada Plaza

Hindustan International

Kathmandu

03

Soaltee Crowne Plaza

Himalaya

Grand Hotel

  • LUXURY HOTELS  [+]

    Crowne Plaza, DelhiCrowne Plaza, strive to offer everything their guests need to succeed. With premium accommodations and excellent service, are perfect for today's traveler. To maximize your productivity, they enable guests to stay "Always On" by providing dynamic spaces, reliable connectivity, easy access to power and a multitude of ways to relax and recharge. ...read more<>

    Radisson, Jaipur

    Positioned just south of the city centre, the Radisson Jaipur offers provides in each room and suite a welcoming oasis with modern amenities like 40-inch LED televisions and Free high-speed Internet. In addition, an on-site restaurant and bar make it easy to entertain clients and coworkers in India's famous Pink City...read more

    Jaypee Palace, Agra

    The regal Jaypee Palace Hotel and Convention Centre, a glorious structural blend of red sandstone and marble is spread over an unbounded 25 acres of elegantly landscaped luxuriant greenery. Sprinkled with enormous water bodies and endless walkways, this magical creation impeccably blends Mughal and. ...read more

  • ELEGANT HOTELS [+]

    Radisson Blu Dwarka, Delhi

    Radisson Blu Hotel New Delhi Dwarka provides rooms and suites, superior services and a wide range of on-site dining options. Stay connected in our business center and relax in the chic terrace pool and gym. It possesses exceptional dining outlets, including Spring, where you can enjoy quick bites and elaborate buffets, and The Atrium Tea Lounge, offering an array of teas and...read more

    Holiday Inn, JaipurHoliday Inn, Jaipur is ideally located close to the famous Jal Mahal on Amer Road. It offer accommodation which is a unique blend of traditional Rajasthani architecture with contemporary service and amenities. Their 72 rooms and suites offer comfort and serenity combined with modern amenities. Whether travelling with family, friends or for business take advantage of the WIFI,...read more<>

    Mansingh, Agra

    Providing heavenly comfort to guests, Mansingh Palace, Agra, provides an enthralling view of the magnanimous “Taj Mahal”. The 100 well furnished rooms are paradigms of exquisiteness and extravagance. The hotel offers a multi-cuisine restaurant, All day dining options, bar, health club, swimming pool, conference & banquet halls and an open area beside the pool for...read more

  • ECONOMY HOTELS [+]

    Hotel Vikram, Delhi

    Hotel Vikram is the only Four Star Hotel in South Delhi, within stone throw distance not only from the main commercial area like Nehru Place, Okhla Industrial Area, Jasola and Mohan Cooperative but also from the main Market places like Lajpat Nagar, Greater Kailash, South Extension,  Delhi Haat and the main Exhibition ...read more

    Clarks, Jaipur

    The Royal Plaza, is a deluxe medieval style 5 star property with Indo-European architecture. Famous for its world class hospitality and magnificent beauty, the hotel unfolds the most desirable lifestyle experiences to its guests. It has well crafted interiors, multi cuisine restaurants, night club and lounges making it ideal...read more

    Clarks, Agra

    Clarks Shiraz, Agra, is a five-star luxury hotel which combines business with pleasure, style with substance, form with function. Overlooking the Taj and Agra Fort, Hotel Clarks Shiraz has been synonymous with exceptional hospitality for the last four decades. The hotel has the honour of serving a number of...read more

 

Delhi

It is the capital of India since 1912 and the second most populous city in the country . Located in the center of the province of Delhi, is divided into two parts ( old and new ) and it can be admired forts, palaces , tombs and temples of the most varied styles with government buildings in colonial style, modern industries , trades and residential areas all with modern amenities . We recommend visiting the Red Fort, the Jama Masijd , Raj Ghat and the India Gate in the Old Town . In the new area we suggest the Qutab Minar, Birla Temple and the Sikh Temple.

 

Sikandra

Sikandra is the mausoleum of Akbar. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for constructing this beautiful monument. To construct a tomb in one's lifetime was a Tartary custom, which the Mughals followed religiously. This structure has a perfect blending of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain themes. Sikandra is named after Sikandar Lodi, the Delhi ruler who was in power from 1488 to 1517. A visit to Akbar's monument opens before one, the completeness of Akbar's personality as completely as the Taj Mahal does of Mumtaz Mahal's .

 

Agra

 It is a city that dominates a feminine touch in their structures and history. Created by Sultan Sikandar Lodi order , years later in her love of an emperor for his wife was reflected in eternity through the monument that identifies both the city and the whole country in the world : the Taj Mahal. The city was occupied for long periods by Muslims , inheriting architectural and urban structures of medieval character we can admire today and its winding streets

 

Fathepur Sikri

Located 35 kilometers from Agra , stands on a rocky platform imperial Fatehpur Sikri, the ruins of which was the ancient capital of the Mongol Empire in the sixteenth century . Surrounded by a wall of 6 km, the d is uninhabited and has been declared architectural heritage .

 

Jaipur

Known as the Pink City , formerly known as Rajputana, owes its nickname to the color of the sandstone with the buildings of the old city were built. Nice design of this villa is due to the Maharaja Jai Sigh II which began construction in 1728 and got his architect Vidyadhar Chakravarty mix with confidence styles as diverse as Hindu , Jain , Mongol and Persian.

 

Amer

Amber, was the capital of the state before Jaipur. Located 11 kilometers from Jaipur.  Amer is one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. This fort is also very popularly known as the Amer Palace. The Amer Fort was built in red sandstone and marble and the Maotha Lake adds a certain charm to the entire Fort. The Amer Fort has influences of both Hindu and Muslim architecture.

 

Shekhawati

Situated in north-eastern Rajasthan, Shekhawati is a semi-arid historical region rich in culture and history and has earned the sobriquet ‘open art gallery of Rajasthan‘ as the region has the largest concentration of frescoes in the world. Shekhawati derives its name from the Rajput Kachwaha chieftain Rao Shekha Ji. The descendants of Rao Shekha Ji, ruled the area and were called Shekhawats. Shekhawati was the largest Nizamat of the erstwhile princely state of Jaipur.

 

Though Shekhawati is limited to Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts of Rajashtan from the administrative and geographical point of view, some parts of Churu and Nagaur districts are also considered to be part of the region. Shekhawati, a dialect of Rajasthani language, is mainly spoken here.

 

A trip to Shekhawati can’t be complete without visiting the havelis to view the magnificent frescoes. Most havelis were constructed during 18th century to early 20th century. Influenced by Persian, Jaipur and Mughal schools of painting, the Shekhawati frescoes depict themes from mythology, hunting and everyday life.

 

There are two legends as to how the region got its name. According to one, Shekhawati was named after Rao Shekha Ji and literally means Garden of Shekha. According to another legend, Shekhawati is derived from Persian word ‘Sheekh’ which means ‘sand deposited on sea beach’.

 

Fossils found in the area confirm it was once covered by seawater. According to Hindu mythology, the present day Shekhawat was part of Virata kingdom, where the Pandavas spent a year of their exile. Shekhawati started flourishing in the late 18th century with the development of overland caravan trade route linking Pali and Bhiwani. Exorbitant taxes by states like Jaipur and Bikaner, resulted in Banias, the trading community, flocking to Shekhawati, where the taxes were low. Later, the British used the skills of local merchants to improve trade. While the traders ventured out to far outposts of colonial empire, they built havelis for their families back home.

 

Bikaner

Known for producing the best riding camels in the world, Bikaner, in the desert state of Rajasthan, is also known as the ‘Camel Country’. The Ship of the Desert is an indivisible part of life here. Be it pulling heavy carts to transport grains and goods or working on wells, camels are the prime helpers. From catering and fashion to travelling and entertainment, the camel is a day-to-day necessity.

 

The wells of Bikaner, an important resource of water for the locals, are another attraction of the city.

 

Bikaner’s history dates back to 1486 AD when Rao Jodhaji, the illustrious founder of Jodhpur challenged his son to establish his own kingdom. For Prince Rao Bikaji, one the five sons of Rao Jodhaji, the barren wilderness called Jangladesh became his focus point and he transformed it to an impressive city. He accomplished his task with 100 cavalry horses and 500 soldiers, and established his kingdom on 84 villages abandoned by the Shankhlas. When Bikaji died in 1504, his rule had extended to more than 3,000 villages.

 

Modern Bikaner is the result of the foresight of its most eminent ruler, Maharaja Ganga Singh (1887-1943), whose reformative zeal set the pace for Bikaner’s transformation from a principality to a premier princely state.

 

The strategic location of Bikaner on the ancient caravan routes headed to Central Asia made it a prime trade center in medieval times.

 

Bikaner stands on a slightly raised ground and is circumscribed by a seven km long embattled wall with five gates.

 

The magnificent forts and palaces, created with delicacy in reddish-pink sandstone, bear testimony to its rich historical and architectural legacy. Surging lanes and colorful bazaars with bright and cheerful folks make Bikaner an interesting destination to explore.

 

Bikaner is famous for its savory Bikaneri Bhujia as it is for its sweets. It is also known for its handicrafts, leather articles and for having the biggest camel farm of Asia. The city is known for its intricately carved jharokas. These stone screens are found on the windows of forts and havelis. Traditionally, women would use the screens to watch the world while remaining hidden. The red sandstone for these stone window screens is supplied by the nearby village of Dulmera.

 

Bikaner is also a center for Usta art. The work for the prosperity of Usta art is being done in Bikaner for centuries. Usta art is characterized by miniature paintings and gold embossing done on ceilings, pillars, walls, marble, wooden and glass wares and ivory. But its real beauty and charm can be seen on the pieces of camel hide. The products of Usta art have been the acquaintance of Bikaner for centuries.

 

Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer literally means ‘the Hill Fort of Jaisal’. It is also called the ‘Golden City’ because of the yellow it receives from the yellow sandstone that was used for construction as well as the yellow sand of the Thar desert. Fascinating sand dunes of the Thar desert, magnificent havelis, bewitching palaces and stunning Jain temples make Jaisalmer one of the bustling cities of Rajasthan.

 

The city is blessed with art, architecture, culture and traditions, all colorful. Jaisalmer has a number of handicrafts and antique markets. When here, take a camel safari, visit the Desert National Park and experience boating at the Gadsisar Lake which is popular for bird watching. Don’t miss visiting the Jaisalmer Fort, the Patwon Ki Haveli and the Bada Bagh.

 

Jodhpur

One of the largest cities in Rajasthan, Jodhpur is best-known for the majestic Mehrangarh Fort. Jodhpur is also known as the ‘Sun City’ thanks to the bright and sunny weather all year round and the ‘Blue City’ because of the large cluster of houses painted in blue around the fort. Jodhpur, which was previously known as Marwar, was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput chief of the Rathore clan.

 

The city was located on the planned road linking Delhi to Gujarat which enabled it to profit from a prosperous trade in opium, copper, silk, sandals, dates and coffee. Under the rule of Maharaja Umed Singh, Jodhpur grew into an excellent modern city. During the rule of the British, Jodhpur was went on to become the largest city in Rajputana. It thrived under the British; its merchants, the Marwaris, prospered and came to occupy a leading position in trade all over India.

 

In 1947, India became independent and the state merged into the union of India. The people of Jodhpur are warm and welcoming. The elegant palaces and  temples around the city carry the remarkable splendor of this city. Adding to the glamour of Jodhpur, are its stunning handicrafts, folk dances, folk songs and also the brightly dressed people. The enthusiasm during the famous Marwar festival is infectious.

 

The bazaars of Jodhpur are a treasure trove of tie-and-dye textiles, embroidered leather shoes, lacquer-ware, antiques, carpets and puppets to the attractive Rajasthani textiles, clay figurines and classic silver jewelry.

 

India Tailors, along the High Court Road (just a few paces off Nai Sadak) is one of the best places in the city to get yourself an immaculately tailored Jodhpur jacket (If your stay isn’t very long, they will be happy to courier it to you.)

 

Rohet Garh

This 375-year-old fortified desert home of the descendants of the Rathores lies on the banks of a small lake teeming with birdlife, just south of Jodhpur. The Singh family still reside here and run the hotel, restored in traditional Rajput style and filled with historic trophies and delightful details. You enter through painted gates into a rambling, low rise building which has various wings surrounding grassy courtyards and a pretty landscaped garden, as well as plenty of breezy verandas and private retreats. The welcoming central courtyard with its garden and bougainvillea has been completely restored, with marble floors, a traditional arched veranda and a small marble fountain in the lawn.

 

Surrounded by the scrublands of the Great Thar Desert, this is a quiet place of great charm and character, steeped in family history. But there is also plenty to do - the Jeep, camel or horse safaris into the desert and tribal areas are highly recommended. With Jodhpur just 45 minutes away, Rohet Garh also makes the perfect rural retreat from which to explore this historic city.

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Just 45 minutes’ drive to the south of Jodhpur and situated on the edge of the Thar desert, it’s easy to forget where you are once you enter the peaceful flower filled gardens of Rohet Garh.

 

Built in the 17th century this little fort still belongs to the same family who turned it into a relaxed and friendly place to stay in the 1990s. Full of charm and character, Bruce Chatwin and William Dalrymple found inspiration for their writing while staying at Rohet Garh. 34 rooms and suites, of varying shapes and sizes, are decorated with traditional Rajasthani printed fabrics and face the garden, courtyard or lake and might have a high old wooden framed bed, wall painting or cosy window seat. There is also a swimming pool, cookery demonstrations and camel safaris with the lovely staff.

 

Although the royal family now lives in another nearby property, they are still very much hands on and enjoy meeting and chatting with guests as well as running a highly acclaimed stable of Marwari horses.

 

Riding is available for a variety of abilities, as well as bicycles and jeeps with drivers for excursions into the surrounding villages. Here you can meet Bishnoi people, conservationists of the countryside for centuries whose beliefs prevent them from killing animals or felling green trees.

 

 

 

 

Jaisalmer

India

 

Jaisalmer

India

 

Ranakpur

Extremely popular among tourists, Ranakpur is a quaint town in Rajasthan and one of the five most important pilgrimage places of Jainism. Despite being cut off from other tourist destinations in Rajasthan, Ranakpur receives several visitors because of its status as a major pilgrim destination in the state. It is tucked away in a remote valley in the Aravali mountain range and is situated around 96 km north of Udaipur in the Pali district.This beautiful, serene place is renowned for some amazingly carved Jain temples constructed in amber stone around the year 1439 AD.

 

Ranakpur is named after Rana Kumbha, the ruler of Mewar who offered his land for the construction of a temple. Inspired by a dream of a celestial vehicle, a Jain businessman Dharna Shah, started its construction under the patronage of Rana Kumbha. The construction is well documented in a 1437 CE copper-plate record, inscriptions in the temple and a Sanskrit text Soma-Saubhagya Kavya. When the ground floor was completed, Acharya Soma Sundar Suri of Tapa Gachha supervised the ceremonies, which too are described in Soma-Saubhagya Kavya. The construction continued until 1458 AD.

 

Udaipur

Udaipur is situated in south west Rajasthan. Located at the base of the Aravali mountain range, it has several nicknames – City of Lakes and Venice of the East being the most popular. Udaipur was the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar in Rajputana. Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar in this city are some of the beautiful lakes.

 

The City Palace of Udaipur is one of the major tourist attractions and Udaipur is one of the most sought-after cities for destination weddings given its palaces and lakes. There is also the Sajjan Garh Palace, named after Maharana Sajjan Singh of the Mewar Dynasty. The palace was built atop a hill in the city, to gaze at the monsoon clouds, giving it a nickname of the Monsoon Palace.

 

Lake Pichola has four islands: Jag Niwas, Jag Mandir, Mohan Mandir and Arsi Vilas. Among these, Jag Niwas is home to the Lake Palace which is now converted into a heritage hotel. Mohan Mandir was the place from where the king would watch the Gangur festival. Jag Mandir island has a palace of the same name and Arsi Vilas is a sanctuary, home to various species of bird. A boat trip from the City Palace to these islands is a must.

 

Visit the Eklingji Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and take a trip to  Nathdwara to pay your respects to Lord Krishna.

 

If you are staying here for an extended period, do take some time to visit Kumbhalgarh, Mount Abu, Chittorgarh and Jalore Wildlife Sactuary.

 

Deogarh

Devgarh is a city and a municipality in Rajsamand district in the state of Rajasthan, India. It was estate of Chundawat rajputs.

 

 

Devgarh is located at 25.53°N 73.9°E.[1] It has an average elevation of 638 metres (2093 feet), and is situated in the eastern side of the Aravali Ranges on top of a small hill. A small pond rests at its base. The town is bordered by rocks on the east, Kali Ghati (Aravali Range) on the west, Nathdwara Ghats on the south, and Ajmer on the north. It has spectacular animal and bird sanctuaries. There are many stone and granite mines and polish factories near it.

 

Devgarh is a popular tourist destination, boasting a complex of luxurious heritage resorts managed by the erstwhile royal family of the Deogarh thikana.

 

Apart from palace there is also Meter gauge train from Devgarh to Marwar Jn. Which goes through sanctuary and hills of Kali Ghati, where there are many bridges and tunnels left by the British. There are many wild animals in the region, and the plains of Marwar are visible from atop the mountains. You will also get a chance to meet locals and feel the local culture of the Mewad region.

 

In the heart of the town is the Kunjbihari Mandir (Lord Krishna Temple), which is famous for the many bats who live inside the roof of the building. There is one clock tower in the main central chowk (cross) of town on top of Charbhuja Temple.

 

Anjaneshwar Mahadev temple is also nearby (around 4–5 km), which is famous for its Sivalinga which naturally formed due to rain water dissolving calcium in rocks. It was formed similarly to the Ice sivalinga of Amarnath. The temple is in a cave of a rocky mountain, with a small water body on top of it. The area is a common destination for picnics, and due to the elevation of the rock, the town of Devgarh is visible from there. Situated on Devgarh–Bhilwara route it is easily accessible throughout the year.

 

Other places like Nathdwara, famous for the Srinathji Temple, is just 45 km from here on the road to Udaipur. The holy place of Ajmer is also just 150 km on Jaipur–Delhi Route.

 

 

 

 

Pushkar

Located in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan, Pushkar is one of the most ancient cities in India. Pushkar is home to one of the few Brahma temples in the world. It is also one of the five sacred dhaams or revered pilgrimage centers and is often referred to as tirth- raj, literally translates as ‘the king of pilgrim sites’. Over the years, Pushkar has emerged as one of the most popular destinations among tourists not just from India, but also from abroad.

 

Pushkar is also known as ‘the rose garden of Rajasthan’ because the flower is grown extensively in and around the town and exported worldwide. It isn’t difficult to fall in love with Pushkar’s tranquility, its spiritual ambiance, its winding lanes and its colorful fairs.

 

 

 

 

Jaipur

Also known as the Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and the home of the Jaipur Literature Festival that is held in January every year. The ‘pink’ of the Pink City however Gerua (or ochre) in which the city was coated during the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1905-06. Known for its fascinating monuments and colorful markets, gorgeous handloom garments and wonderfully laid-out gardens, it is not difficult to fall in love with Jaipur the moment you land here.

 

 

Modernity and tradition jostle for space in this quaint city that is dotted with forts on its peripheries and palaces at its heart. Visit the City Palace or the Hawa Mahal located within the city limits or the Amber Fort (pronounced Amer) that stands majestically on its outskirts. Along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur forms the Golden Triangle of Indian tourism.

 

While it isn’t advisable to travel there in the summers, ensure you carry a sunscreen lotion (SPF-20 or more) and dark sunglasses, and wear cotton clothes. Winters can be brutal, so be prepared.

 

 

 

Amer

Amer (or Amber) (IPA: [ameɾ]; Hindi: आमेर, amer ?), now a part of the Jaipur Municipal Corporation, was a city of the Rajasthan state, India. Founded by Meena Raja Alan Singh (from Chanda clan of Meenas), Amer was a flourishing settlement dating as far back as 967 AD.

 

The picturesque situation of Amer at the mouth of a rocky mountain gorge, in which nestles a lovely lake, has attracted the admiration of travellers, including Victor Jacquemont and Reginald Heber. It is seen to be a remarkable example for its combined Rajput-Mughal architecture.The Amer Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the top tourist attraction in the Jaipur area.

 

The first Rajput structure was started by Raja Kakil Dev when Amer became his capital in 1036, on the site of present-day Jaigarh Fort. Around 1037 AD, Amer was conquered by the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs.[1] Much of the present structure known as Amer Fort is actually the palace built by the great conqueror Raja Man Singh who ruled from 1590 to 1614 AD. The palace contains several spectacular buildings, such as the Diwan-i-Khas, and the elaborately painted Ganesh Pole built by the renowned warlord Mirza Raja Jai Singh I (Man Singh I's grandson). The old and original fort of Amer, dating from earlier Rajas or the Meena period, is what is known in the present day as Jaigarh Fort, which was actually the main defensive structure rather than the palace itself. The two structures are interconnected by a series of encompassing fortifications.

 

Amer was capital of the Kachwaha] until 1727 when the ruler of Amer, Sawai Jai Singh II founded a capital Jainagara (Jaipur), named after him, about nine kilometers south of Amer. After the founding of this new town, the royal palace and houses of prominent persons were shifted to Jaipur. The priests of Shila Devi temple, who were Bengali Brahmins, continued to live in the fort (to this date), while the Jaigarh fort above the palace also remained heavily garrisoned. The capital of Kachwaha was supplanted by the modern city of Jaipur, which is the capital of the Rajasthan state in India.

 

 

 

 

Fatehpur Sikri

Constructed by Emperor Akbar as part of his plans to build a grand capital for his empire, the World Heritage Site of Fatehpur Sikri is 39 km away from Agra in Uttar Pradesh. Fatehpur Sikri served as the Mughal capital from 1571 to 1585. Spread across eight sq km, the city is about three miles long and one mile wide. Built with red Sikri sandstone, the city’s architecture is a blend of Islamic and Hindu styles. The sandstone throughout the city has exquisite ornamental carvings and interlaced decorative designs.

 

Akbar, who longed for an heir, was assured of sons by the Sufi mystic Salim Chishti. When the son was born, Akbar named him Salim in honor of the Sufi saint. Salim later came to be known as Jahangir after he ascended the throne. Following his military victories in Rajasthan, Akbar decided to build a new capital and chose Sikri village, where the Sufi saint used to live. The city was christened Fatehabad, Fateh meaning victory. It later came to be known as Fatehpur Sikri.

 

The planning and construction of the walled city took 15 years. Akbar took great interest in its planning and building. Planned on Persian principles, Akbar tried to revive the glory of old Persian courts. The architecture is a mix of Indian architectural styles especially Gujarati and Bengali styles as skilled craftsmen from different regions were employed for the construction of the city.

 

Fatehpur Sikri had royal palaces, halls for public and private audience, the zenana or the quarters for women, courtyards and grand avenues. Jama Masjid or the grand mosque was the first structure to be constructed with the rest of the city built around it. The aristocrats had residences on a higher plane than the commoners. Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal, Diwan-I-Aam, Diwan-I-Khaas, Sheikh Salim Chishti tomb and Birbal Bhavan are some of the must visited buildings in Fatehpur Sikri.

 

Besides its historical and architectural importance, Fatehpur Sikri was the place where the legends about Akbar’s Navratnas (or nine jewels, a reference to his nine ministers) took shape. The city remained Akbar’s capital for 14 years. It was abandoned in 1585 due to acute shortage of water in the region. Today, the city lies uninhabited but mostly intact.

 

 

 

Agra

Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, one of the seven Wonders of the World and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Needless to say, it features on the itinerary of not just domestic tourists but also foreign travelers. Agra is situated in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and along with Jaipur and Delhi forms the Golden Triangle of Indian tourism.

 

 

Believed to have been built in 1475, Agra even finds a mention in the epic Mahabharatha where it is called Agraban (meaning paradise). The renowned second century geographer Ptolemy had also spotted this place as Agra in his world map. The present Agra city was established by Sikandar Lodi of the Lodi Dynasty in the 16th century and was the capital of the Lodi and Mughal dynasties.

 

The examples of art and culture in this historic city are not only breathtaking, but are also mirrors of the artistic talents of the Indian population during the grand past. The city houses many ancient temples, mosques, forts, mausoleums, tombs and historical monuments. The city has its unique style of traditional paintings, folk dances, folk music and embroideries.

 

Aside from the Taj Mahal, Agra has two other UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Taj Mahal in the night is a sight to behold but entry is restricted. More details here!

 

 

 

 

Orchha

Orchha literally means ‘hidden place’ and it stays true to its name! Located in Madhya Pradesh, Orchha isn’t on most tourist maps and several travelers club their visit to Orchha with a trip to Jhansi (16 km away) or Khajuraho (170 km away). But with beautiful monuments, both big and small, revealing tales of battles between kings and emperors, Orchha deserves a trip of its own.

 

Once the capital of the Bundela Rajput kings, Orchha was established by Maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh in 1501. The medieval city has since seemingly frozen in time. Its several monuments continue to retain their original grandeur even as the city itself seems quite content to be hidden away from the throngs of tourists that descend upon Madhya Pradesh year after year.

 

The closest railhead to Orchha is Jhansi (about 16 km) and the best way to reach your destination is the ever-reliable auto rickshaw. If the narrow winding roads with fields on either side that lead you to this little town don’t transport you back to a more peaceful time, the several monuments that dot the Orchha landscape most certainly will.

 

The Orchha fort complex is the biggest tourist draw of this small town. You can buy a ticket here that will grant you access to all the sights in the town. The fort complex itself is divided into three parts:

 

The Raj Mahal was constructed by Madhukar Shah in the 17th century. His deeply religious beliefs are reflected in the design: the stunning murals are bold and colorful and revolve around religious themes. A well-tipped guide will be thrilled to open the doors of various chambers for you.

 

Also constructed in the 17th century, but by Madhukar Shah’s successor Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo to commemorate the visit of his friend, the Mughal emperor Jahangir, the eponymous Jahangir Mahal is another stunning piece of architecture in this hidden gem of a place.

 

Rai Parveen Mahal is dedicated to the musician-poetess, Rai Parveen, Raja Indramani’s (1672- 76) paramour. Emperor Akbar who was taken in by her beauty and had summoned her to Delhi sent her back to Orchha impressed with her dedication and love for Indramani.

 

The center of Orchha is the Ram Raja temple whose presiding deity is Lord Rama whose idol was supposed to be installed in the magnificent Chaturbhuj temple. Legend has it that the idols refused to move after being installed here and so a temple was built around them!

 

Chaturbhuj temple is yet another impressive piece of architecture and was built to house the idols that are now inside the Ram Raja temple. Today, it houses the image of Radha-Krishna. Tip the security guard who will unlock a hidden staircase that leads to the roof and offers panoramic views of the surroundings.

 

Home to some of the most exquisite wall paintings in Orchha, the Laxminarayan temple is yet another must-visit place. The murals are well-preserved and the colors of the murals retain most of their vibrancy.

 

The smallest palace in Orchha (and one that is in ruins) is the Sunder Mahal that was constructed by Prince Dhurjban who embraced Islam after marrying a Muslim girl and devoted his life to prayer and meditation. Dhurjban eventually came to be revered as a saint and Sunder Mahal became a pilgrimage site for Muslims.

 

Orchha also has 14 cenotaphs or chhatris that serve as memorials to Orchha rulers and the well laid-out garden, aptly called Phool Bagh.

 

 

 

 

Khajuraho

Khajuraho is most famous for its erotic wall carvings — from voluptuous nymphs to men having their way with horses and orgies, it is all here! These carvings on temples — only 20 of 85 remain — are pretty much the beginning and end of all things touristy in Khajuraho. Situated some 400 km from Kanpur, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is one of the most popular tourist destinations of India.

 

Standing against the backdrop of Vindhyas, Khajuraho presents a magnificent view to the beholder. The sacred temples of Khajuraho are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Because of the sculptures, the temples are also referred as Kamasutra temples. However, unlike popular belief, the temples neither have any connection nor were inspired by Vatsyayana’s famous book. In fact just 10 per cent of the art is erotic or sexual in nature.

 

 

There are several theories about these sculptures — some suggest that these are tantric sexual practices, others believe them to be part of the Hindu tradition of accepting sex or kama as part of everyday life.

 

The temple complex hosts a very good sound-and-light show every evening and an annual dance festival in February. Some of the famous temples in the complex are the Lakshmana Temple, the Vishwanath Temple and the Kandariya Mahadev Temple.

 

 

 

 

Varanasi

Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Banaras, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth. Situated in Uttar Pradesh on the banks of river Ganga, Varanasi is among the most revered religious destinations in India.

 

The city gets its name from two rivers  – Varuna and Assi — which meet here. The word Kashi is derived from the word ‘Kas’ which means to shine. Varanasi is famous for the bathing ghats along the banks of river Ganga. Pilgrims throng these ghats to take a holy dip to wash themselves of their sins. Varanasi has been synonymous with the majestic river Ganga and its numerous rivulets. The Ganga Aarti held every evening at Dasashwamedha Ghat is a sight to behold.

 

The Kashi Vishwanath temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, the holiest of the pilgrimages dedicated to Lord Shiva.

 

 

Varanasi is an important destination among Hindus as they believe those who die in Varanasi attain salvation. Many people like to spend their old-age in this holy city and prefer to die here. Varanasi is also a preferred site for immersing ashes of the dead in river Ganga. Performing funeral rites and cremation in the pyres are common sights here.

 

 

 

 

Sarnath

Sarnath is a small village in Uttar Pradesh, situated about 13 km north-east of the holy city of Varanasi. Formerly known as Isipatana, it is famous as the site where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, or where Buddha preached his first sermon. It is also the place where the original Sangha was formed. Hence, it is one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage destinations.

 

Sarnath has been developed as a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from India and abroad. A number of countries in which Buddhism is a major or dominant religion, like Thailand, Japan, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, have established their temples and monasteries in Sarnath in architectural styles of their respective countries. The impressive Dhamek stupa is extremely popular among tourists.

 

 

Kathmandu

Kathmandu(/ˌkɑːtmɑːnˈduː/;[4] Nepali pronunciation: [kɑʈʰmɑɳɖu]) is the capital and largest municipality of Nepal. It also hosts the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It is the only city of Nepal with the administrative status of Mahanagar (Metropolitan City), as compared to Upa-Mahanagar (Sub-Metropolitan City) or Nagar (City). Kathmandu is the core of Nepal's largest urban agglomeration located in the Kathmandu Valley consisting of Lalitpur, Kirtipur, Madhyapur Thimi, Bhaktapur and a number of smaller communities. Kathmandu is also known informally as "KTM" or the "tri-city". According to the 2011 census, Kathmandu Metropolitan City has a population of 975,453 and measures 49.45 km2 (19.09 sq mi).

 

The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal.[5] It is surrounded by four major hills: Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. Kathmandu Valley is part of three districts (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur), has the highest population density in the country, and is home to about a twelfth of Nepal's population.

 

Historically, the Kathmandu Valley and adjoining areas were known as Nepal Mandala. Until the 15th century, Bhaktapur was its capital when two other capitals, Kathmandu and Lalitpur, were established.[6] During the Rana and Shah eras, British historians called the valley itself "Nepal Proper". Today, Kathmandu is not only the capital of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, but also the headquarters of the Bagmati Zone and the Central Development Region of Nepal.[7]

 

Kathmandu is the gateway to tourism in Nepal. It is also the hub of the country's economy. It has the most advanced infrastructure of any urban area in Nepal, and its economy is focused on tourism, which accounted for 3.8% of Nepal's GDP in 1995/96. Tourism in Kathmandu declined thereafter during a period of political unrest, but since then has improved. In 2013, Kathmandu was ranked third among the top 10 travel destinations on the rise in the world by TripAdvisor, and ranked first in Asia.[8]

 

The city has a rich history, spanning nearly 2000 years, as inferred from inscriptions found in the valley. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu. Most of Kathmandu's people follow Hinduism and many others follow Buddhism. There are people of other religious beliefs as well, giving Kathmandu a cosmopolitan culture. Nepali is the most commonly spoken language in the city. English is understood by Kathmandu's educated residents. Historic areas of Kathmandu were devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015.

 

 

 

 

Swayambhunath

Swayambhunath (Devanagari: स्वयम्भूनाथ स्तुप; Newar: स्वयंभू; sometimes romanized Swoyambhunath) is an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. The Tibetan name for the site means 'Sublime Trees' (Wylie:Phags.pa Shing.kun), for the many varieties of trees found on the hill. However, Shing.kun may be a corruption of the local Nepal Bhasa name for the complex, Singgu, meaning 'self-sprung'.[1] For the Buddhist Newars in whose mythological history and origin myth as well as day-to-day religious practice, Swayambhunath occupies a central position, it is probably the most sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites. For Tibetans and followers of Tibetan Buddhism, it is second only to Boudhanath.

 

The Swayambhunath complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period. A Tibetan monastery, museum and library are more recent additions. The stupa has Buddha's eyes and eyebrows painted on. Between them, the number one (in Devanagari script) is painted in the fashion of a nose. There are also shops, restaurants and hostels. The site has two access points: a long stairway with 365 steps, leading directly to the main platform of the temple, which is from the top of the hill to the east; and a car road around the hill from the south leading to the southwest entrance. The first sight on reaching the top of the stairway is the Vajra. Tsultrim Allione describes the experience:

 

We were breathless and sweating as we stumbled up the last steep steps and practically fell upon the biggest vajra (thunder-bolt scepter) that I have ever seen. Behind this vajra was the vast, round, white dome of the stupa, like a full solid skirt, at the top of which were two giant Buddha eyes wisely looking out over the peaceful valley which was just beginning to come alive.[2]

 

Much of Swayambhunath's iconography comes from the Vajrayana tradition of Newar Buddhism. However, the complex is also an important site for Buddhists of many schools, and is also revered by Hindus.

 

Patan

Patan (Sanskrit: पाटन Pātan, Newar: यल Yala), officially Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City, is the third largest city of Nepal after Kathmandu and Pokhara and it is located in the south-central part of Kathmandu Valley. Patan is also known as Manigal. It is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. It is called city of festival and feast, fine ancient art, making of metallic and stone carving statue. At the time of the 2011 Nepal census it had a population of 226,728 in 54,748 individual households.[1] The city received extensive damage from an earthquake on 25 April 2015.

 

Patan is on the elevated tract of land in Kathmandu Valley on the south side of the Bagmati River, which separates it from the city of Kathmandu on the northern and western side. The Nakkhu Khola acts as the boundary on the southern side. It was developed on relatively thin layers of deposited clay and gravel in the central part of a dried ancient lake known as the Nagdaha.

 

It is the third largest city of the country, after Kathmandu, and Pokhara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTES

 

  • Bookings would only be made once we receive your request through the booking form.
  • At  the  time  of  booking,  if  any  service  proposed  is  not  available,  be  it  accommodation at  a  hotel  or  any  other  service,  we  shall  propose  an  alternative  along  with  any  reduction  or supplementary cost for the change at the time of confirmation.

 

 

  • HOTELS ...

    • At most hotels in India the  check-in time is 1400 hours and the  check-out time is 1200 hours.  Early  Check  In  or  Late  Check  Out  is  subject  to  availability  at  the  sole  discretion  of  the hotels.
    • In the case you are arriving at a hotel before 14:00 you should consider booking an extra night, because immediate occupancy of rooms at hotel is subject to availability at the goodwill of hotels.
    • Triple: Triple rooms are inexistent in India; normally it is a double room in which a folding extra bed is placed. This reduces the space and comfortable movement in the room. There is no standard extra bed and its size varies from hotel to hotel and may be more or less comfortable. Extra bed is not recommended for children over 10 years of age.
    • Smoking in public areas of a hotel is prohibited in India. Public areas include  reception, restaurants,  hotels,  pubs,  discotheques,  banquet  halls,  and  even  open  lawns  etc.  Though demarcated  spaces  exist  for  smokers,  no  service  is  allowed  in  these  enclosures;  the  only exception being smoking rooms at hotels.
  • MEALS ...

    • If any meal is included in the cost, it normally refers to a fixed menu or a free buffet laid in the Coffee Shop or a place designed for it. We advise you to consult the hotel reception for more details.
    • The cost does not include meals at any specialty or gourmet restaurants the hotel might have. The hotel may allow you to have meals at these restaurants at a supplement at their sole discretion.
    • Meals cannot be taken away from the restaurants to the rooms or in other public places such as pool, garden etc.
  • TRAVEL BY ROAD ...

    • Road condition in India and the subcontinent can run full range from six lane pay ways, normal highways to very poor un-surfaced roads.
    • Driving here also follows different practices as all types of vehicles, animals and people use the roads.
    • Road conditions may also change due to climatic conditions such as rains, landslides and the commuting times can vary due to this. And this is obviously beyond our control.
    • Road journeys in the Indian Subcontinent can seem quite startling at first sight; however, our  drivers  are  well  trained  and  have  a  special  permission  given  to  transport  foreign  tourists. They  might  have  some  knowledge  of  English  but  normally  they  do  not  speak  other  foreign languages.
    • The driver is not allowed to carry the services of a guide in India.  It is advisable not to speak to the  driver  while  he  is  driving. We  suggest that  you  relax  and  enjoy the  extraordinary sights en route.
    • During the visit to Taj Mahal, from the parking, you would have to take a battery operated non-polluting,  non-air-conditioned  microbuses.  These  cannot  be  booked  in  advance  and  you would have to wait in queue for your turn.
  • AIRFARES AND TRAVELLING BY AIR ...

    • The proposal indicates the best existing price. Bookings are made once you accept the proposal  and  send  your  names  and  other  details  required.  Your  booking  form  should  include the Name and Surname as they appear in the passport along with the age of the passengers. This is very important as change of names due to   error is not allowed and the booking must be cancelled to issue new tickets and new rates might be applicable. Holding tickets without the day of travel and correct names is now allowed by the airlines.
    • Airlines may also modify airfares at any time till the time of issuance of the tickets. If such a case does happen, we shall inform you of the new rates applicable and these shall apply.
    • Airlines  may  decide  to  change  or  cancel  flights,  without  prior  notice  and  Indior  Tours cannot be held liable for this. We shall, however do our best to maintain the original program and would inform you of any discounts or supplement rising from a situation beyond our control.
    • Baggage  trolleys  are  available  at  the  airports.  Should  you  require  extra  services  of  a porter to move your luggage from the carousel to the vehicle or from the vehicle to the check-in counter please let us know in anticipation so that we can check with the airport authority or the airlines if such service is availability and arrange it.
    • Our representative will meet and assist you on your arrival and departure within the area permissible to them under security regulations of the Airport Authority.
  • BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ...

    • Checked Baggage: Baggage exceeding in size, the sum of the 3 dimensions (length + breadth + height) in excess of 45 inches or 115 centimeters, cannot be treated as hand baggage and will have to be checked in. The following are the permitted allowance:

     

             First Class                                                                         40 Kgs.

             Executive Class                                                                 35 Kgs.

             Economy Class (Y,B,M & H)                                              20 Kgs.

             Economy Class (K,Q,V,W,G,L,U,S,T,X, N & E)               15 Kgs.

             Infants not entitled to a seat (All economy classes)          Nil

     

    • Infants will be entitled to 1 collapsible stroller/carrycot/infant car seat.
    • The maximum  weight  permissible for  a  single  piece  of  baggage  is  32  kgs.  This  rule  is applicable on the entire Air India network
    • Cabin Baggage:  The  Government  of  India  regulations  permit  only  one  piece  of  cabin baggage  on  board.  The  dimensions  of  which  should  not  exceed  115  linear  cms  and weight  should not exceed 7 kgs. The  dimensions  of  the  hand  baggage  should  not exceed 55 cm X 35 cm X 25 cm totaling not more than 115 linear cms for Boeing as well as  Airbus.  The  hand  baggage  dimensions for  ATR  should  not  exceed  50  cm  X  45  cm X  20  cm  totaling  not  more  than  115  linear  cms.  Trolley  bags  with  the  above  specified dimensions will be allowed.
    • An infant carrying basket is allowed per infant traveling within India.
    • Guests travelling on flights originating from Jammu, Srinagar and Leh stations will not be
    • Contours  are  available  at  all  airports  to  check  the  dimensions.  If  it  exceeds  these
    • Gels,  alcohol,  liquids,  creams,  lotions,  and  sharp  articles,  etc.  are  not  permitted  in  the
    • If you are arriving at Delhi and Mumbai from an international flight and then in transit to
    • Please note that you can carry electronic items like camera etc. but without the batteries. allowed to carry any hand baggage. specifications,  you  will  be  requested  to  check  your  bag  into  the  baggage  hold.  Hand baggage is accepted in the  cabin  subject to availability of  space in the Over Head Bin. Restricted stowage space is also available under the front seat. In the event of no space being available in the aircraft to stow hand baggage, it will be necessary to remove and load the same in the baggage hold as per safety regulations. hand baggage. another flight (international or within India) you may not be permitted to carry liquids more than 100 ml in their cabin baggage when going through security at these airports. Batteries  should  be  taken  out  and  placed  in  the  check-  in  baggage.  Otherwise  the security personnel at the airport shall remove the batteries and throw them away.
      • Indior Tours suggests the following:
        • Take small toiletries in your cabin luggage so that you are not left without supplies in case your checked luggage is lost by the airline.
        • In  case  of  special  medical  prescription  -  pacemaker  :  please  carry  the English translation for the prescription with you in the cabin baggage.
        • Remember to take more medication than necessary for your stay in case you get stuck in place.
        • Also take all your medicines in the cabin luggage.
        • Take your chargers, phones, cameras etc. in the cabin luggage.
  • INSURANCE ...

    • All arrangements made by Indior Tours are in the capacity of an agent only. Indior Tours will not be liable for  claims or expenses arising from  circumstances beyond its  control  such as accidents, injuries, delayed or cancellation of flights & acts by forces of nature.
    • Force  Majeure:  Indior  Tours  shall  not  be  liable  to  pay  any  compensation  where  the performance  or  prompt  performance  of  our  contractual  obligations  is  prevented  or  affected  by or  you  otherwise  suffer  any  damage  or  loss  as  a  result  of  “force  majeure”.  In  these  Booking Conditions, “force majeure” means any event which Indior Tours or the supplier of the service(s) in  question  could  not,  even  with  all  due  care,  foresee  or  avoid.  Such  events  may  include  war or threat of war,  riot,  civil  strife, actual or threatened terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or  nuclear  disaster,  adverse  weather  conditions, fire  and  all  similar  events  outside  our  control. Indior  Tours  and  its  associates  are  not  liable  for  any  compensation  for  damage  caused  by  a force  majeure  or  other  unforeseen  events  that  Indior  Tours  or  its  associates  could  not  have prevented even through utmost care. Indior Tours would notify our clients/agents timely of such force  majeure  events  as  and  when  feasible  and  will  aim  to  limit  the  damage  and  supplement cost  befalling the  clients/agents for making  alternate  arrangements  deviating from the  planned program.
    • We  suggests that apart from  regular travel insurance,  you  should also take extra  cover for cancellation, natural and man-made disasters, technical hazard that can cause any significant or non-significant physical damage and destruction or loss of time, life and property.
  • FESTIVALS ...

    Local  festivals  may  fall  on  the  date  of  travel  and  it  is  possible  that  the  visits  to  places of  interest  are  modified  by  the  local  government  or  authorities  for  which  we  cannot  be  held responsible. The program would be amended accordingly so that none of the visits included are missed on an alternative provided.

  • ACTIVITIES ...

    (Wildlife Safari/ Boat ride/ Desert & Rural Safari/ Bicycle & Rickshaw Ride/ Animal Rides)

    • Please  be  aware that  local  laws  governing transportation  safety  in Indian Subcontinent may differ from those in your country. As per your itinerary, you may indulge in an activity that includes  alternate  mode  of  transport  including  canters  and  jeeps,  bicycle  and  auto-rickshaws, camels,  elephants  and  horses  and  a  variety  of  All  passengers  participating  in  village/desert safaris  should  be  ready  for  a  rustic  experience  as  local  jeeps  may  have  side  facing  seats (seats placed along the length of the vehicle). Also, please be informed that most of the Wildlife Safari  vehicles are open and as  such  vehicles like jeeps/canters used for  safaris and for other sightseeing tours / excursions may or may not have seat belts. All guests must acknowledge that they are aware of the risks involved depending on the type of tour taken.

     

    Boats: To take part in any boat ride, you need to be of average mobility to be able to climb on and  off  all  these  boats  unaided;  able  to  disembark  onto  makeshift  docks  without  handrails,  or onto muddy and slippery riverbanks.

    Canters: These are large, open trucks with wooden bench seats in the back and used for safaris on sharing basis in the national parks.

    Elephant ride at Amber Fort (Jaipur): Elephant rides can either be taken to the fort or from the fort based on the directives  received from the Rajasthan State Tourism Board and are booked on first come-first serve basis. As such for Elephant ride at Amber Fort, an early departure from the hotel is recommended. Also note Elephant ride to or from the Fort is subject to same being operational and may be stopped due to various reasons by Rajasthan State Tourism Board

    Important: At all times, our Tour Managers, Local Guides, and Representatives will assist and brief  guests  about these  activities  but  cannot  guarantee the  uninterrupted  services  during their stay in Indian Subcontinent. All guests must bear full responsibilities for such activities releasing Indior Tours, its associates, its directors, its agents of any claim. It would be in your interest to buy a suitable insurance to cover all risks associated with such travel.

  • SUGGESTED CLOTHING ...

    • To  respect local traditions, we  suggest that  you  should avoid to wearing dresses which are short, tight fitting, sleeveless or with deep necklines. This is particularly recommended during visit to places worship and meetings with families etc.).  Visitors going to a religious place on the tour should be modestly dressed. Admission may be denied (depending on the code of conduct followed  at  the  religious  place  being  visited)  to  anyone  wearing  shorts  pants/skirts,  sleeveless t-shirts/blouses.  Bare  shoulders  and  mid-riffs  are  not  permitted  and  should  be  covered  with shawls. Visitors are required to take their shoes off and cover their heads (with scarves/ stoles) before entering a  religious  complex. Please try and avoid  very  revealing  swimsuits even at the hotel swimming pool.
  • POPULATION ...

    In  order  not  to  encourage  begging,  we  suggest  that  you  should  not  distribute  anything  during your visits  (candy, money, toys, pens etc.).Should you wish to made donations in cash or kind, please consult your guide who would provide you with the best advice.

    We suggest that you spend your money to buy locally produced things made my local craftsmen and take them to the  country of  your origin and  contribute to the local economy thus providing work to those in need.

  • PRICE AND OTHER CONDITION OF SALE ...

    • Prices are subject to change in case any supplier decides to increase the rates at short notice or any change in tax structure is proposed by the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India regulations pertaining to taxes. Similarly in case of any hike in the hotel rates, transport and fuel charges, entrances to the monuments, fluctuation in the rate of exchange, or a change caused  by  an  unforeseen  political  activity  or  force  majeure  situation,  we  reserves  the  right  to adjust the tour price accordingly.
    • The  rates provided in this quotation are  confidential exclusively for the person or agent to  which they  are  being  sent.  These  cannot  be  disclosed to  any third  party  without the  written consent of Indior Tours.
    • The  costs indicated are based on  rates  contracted for leisure business. No  conference/business/corporate activity is envisaged in this tour cost. Including any such activity may result in the above group being treated as a business delegation and the hotels may like to charge rates applicable for Business delegations.
    • For  package  deals,  Indior  Tours  may  not  be  in  a  position  to  provide  supporting  bills. Supporting bills may be provided only where available and only if it was agreed in writing before confirmation of any tour, conference or event.
    • In case of any refunds / adjustments, if applicable, the same will be processed between Indior Tours and the Foreign Tour Operator. No refund will be given directly to the clients in India.
    • Any dispute will be settled within the guidelines framed by Indior Tours and at courts and forums at Delhi shall have exclusive jurisdiction in this regard.
  • RECOMMENDED TIPS ...

    (Indicative only because it is at the discretion of each / not to spare but only tickets ) :

    • 10% of the total amount of the invoice/meals in restaurants, hotels
    • ` 20 (Indian Rupees) / porterage at hotels
    • PP 03 € per day for guide escort (to be submitted in an envelope at the end of the stay)
    • PP 02 € per day for the driver (to be submitted in an envelope at the end of the stay)
    • PP 01 € 01 per day for the assistant driver  (to be submitted in an envelope at the end of the stay
  • CANCELLATION FEES ...

    • Cancellation fee per person:
    • 31 days prior to arrival: no cancellation fee.
    • 30 - 15 days prior to arrival date: 50 % of the total billing amount.
    • 14 - 07 prior to arrival date - 75% of the total billing amount.
    • 07 - No show: 100 % of the total billed amount.
    • In  case  of  reservation  of  luxury  hotels  like the Villas, Palace Hotels,  Luxury Trains  and Cruises etc. the  cancellation fees  can be  severe. Same is also applicable for the high demand periods of Christmas and New Year's or during periods when International or local Fairs or major Sports events are being organized. Please contact us for details.
    • In case of cancellation or change of flights once the tickets have been issued, a standard deduction of 25 per person per sector would be levied. In case of no show, the deduction will be that of 100 %.

 

 

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