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If you are looking for vacation that gives you a rich culture and heritage experience, look no further than the sweeping plains of the Indo-Gangetic region. You could spend a lifetime exploring the magical cities of Delhi, Agra, and Varanasi. Just a little further south are the timeless treasures of Khajuraho. Tracking the history of this blessed land is like taking a walk through the annals of time – when royal dynasties built the foundations of great empires. Today, we are privileged to glimpse a bit of the life that erstwhile generations left behind, in the form of forts, palaces, temples, and mausoleums. A rich legacy indeed.
Delhi never ceases to surprise! You will be amazed at the buzz and bustle of the old city. You can take a rickshaw ride through Chandi Chowk, and savour the sights and smells. Equally riveting is Edwin Lutyen’s layout of modern New Delhi, with wide boulevards, low-rise government buildings, and formal gardens. A must on your itinerary are iconic monuments like the Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, and Humayun’s Tomb, all precious relics of a rich history. Stroll through Mehrauli Park and enjoy tales of The Fall and Rise of Delhi - a fascinating insight into its past glory.
But of course, it’s not about history alone. India’s clout as a modern-day republic is showcased in the imposing edifice of India Gate, the President House, and Rajghat, the spot where Mahatma Gandhi’s samadhi is erected.
Agra is the magical city that conjures up romantic images… like Princess Diana sitting against the backdrop of the Taj Mahal. The city’s strategic location on the banks of the Yamuna has allowed the city to expand into one of India’s largest tourist hubs. It is very well connected by road and rail. In Agra, you will find history popping out of every nook and cranny, so make sure you take the time to look around in a leisurely way. Also remember, your trip remains incomplete without the Agra Culture Walk – a golden opportunity to check out the markets, understand local customs, and truly appreciate the nuances of Agra’s unique identity.
Agra to Jhansi by train
Who has not heard of the world-famous erotic sculptures of Khajuraho! You might be surprised to know that the erotic art is actually just a small fraction of the vast, intricate images that adorn the beautiful temple exteriors. The Khajuraho Temple Complex, built by the Chandela kings, is dedicated to Hindu and Jain deities. It’s a validation of the religious tolerance of the era. En route to Khajuraho, another cluster of temples are also found in the little hamlet of Orchha. The awe-inspiring display of art and workmanship makes it an exceptional experience you simply should not miss.
The old city of Prayagraj, formerly Allahabad, is considered the ultimate place of pilgrimage place for all Hindus. This is the point where the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers come together in confluence, the Triveni Sangam. And every 12 years, this is the destination of the largest gathering on earth, the Kumbh Mela. In 2019, over 150 million visitors are recorded to have made the sacred trip. Another important stop on your to-do itinerary is a visit to the Bade Hanuman Temple. Here, a huge statue of Lord Hanuman is a big attraction. What is also interesting is the great military strategist Emperor Akbar also saw the potential of this land. He built the famous Akbar Fort along the banks of the Ganga.
The soul capital of India, Vanarasi, is a destination that defies description. With an unbroken record of continuous habitation, it is one of the world’s most ancient cities. The beautiful river banks of the Ganga– the ghats - draw pilgrims from all over India, all hoping that a dip in the holy river will ensure their salvation. As Varanasi modernizes, the infrastructure and services are improving rapidly. You’ll find the revitalized ghats perfect for a river cruise. Take a Boat Ride On the Ganga River and enjoy the uplifting experience. Also check out the century-old Benaras Hindu University, one of India’s oldest centres of learning. And the soul-searching doesn’t end there! A trip to the City of Sarnath is a must –it’s here that Buddha preached his first sermon after attaining nirvana.
Internal flight from Varanasi to New Delhi
Transit stay in New Delhi for your connecting flight back home.