Khajuraho Dance Festival

Duration : 13 Days / 12 Nights
Destinatons : Delhi-Varanasi-Allahabad-Khajuraho-Orchha-Gwalior-Agra-Jaipur-Delhi

Once the capital of the great Chandela Kings, Khajuraho today is a quiet village of a few thousand people .It is also the setting of the Khajuraho Festival of Dances which draws the best classical dancers in the country every year, who perform against the spectacular backdrop of the floodlit temples. Most eminent artists of India participate in this annual event of Dance Festival and perform Classical Dances, the heritage of India. The main dances performed are Bharatanatyam, Mohniattam, Kathak, Odissi and Kuchipudi. The festival of Dances will be held during last week of January/First week of February.

Day 01 : Arrive Delhi
Meeting by our staff and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 02 : Delhi
After breakfast, proceed to visit Old and New Delhi.
Delhi, the capital of India, conceals within its bosom the remains of civilization that flourished over the last three thousand years. Since those legendary days, many dynasties and rulers have flourished on its regal soil. The legacy of that past survives in the many monuments left behind by the regents.

Old Delhi's landmarks are Red Fort built by Emperor Shahjehaan in 1638 AD, Jama Mosque largest mosque in India also built by Shahjehan. Raj Ghat and Shanti van -the cremation sites of Mahatma Gandhi and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Chandni Chowk - the main shopping hub of Old Delhi.

In New Delhi, visit Qutab Minar, one of the earliest remains of Imperial Delhi (13th century AD) Humayun's Tomb-the fine monument believed to be forerunner of Taj Mahal, India Gate, the 42 metre high arch that was raised as a memorial to soldiers, Parliament House, President's House, Secretariat and other Govt. Building and Connaught Place, the oldest city centre shopping hub.

Day 03 : Delhi-Varanasi flight
Varanasi is considered as one of the oldest living cities in the world, believed to be founded 3000 years ago. It is one of the 7 holiest cities of Hindus situated in north eastern part of India on the banks of river Ganga. It was a flourishing trading centre 500 BC when the Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his first sermon. A city of great wealth and religious importance when the Chinese traveller, Hiuen Tsang, visited it in the 7th century. The temples of Vishwanath, the abode of great God Shiva, Bharat MataTemple, Durga Temple, Tulsi Manas Mandir are the religious sites. The ancient Banaras Hindu University and mosque within are the prominent places of interest in the city.

Day 04 : Varanasi
Early morning boat cruise on river Ganges. Thousands of pilgrims throng the water's edge, bathing, worshipping, meditating. On stone platforms under palm leaf umbrellas, the Pandas-Brahmin priests preside over rites and rituals. The boat trip will cover various ghats including the cremation sites. Because every pious Hindu believes that to die in Kashi (Varanasi) and to be cremated on the banks of the Ganges is to attain release from the cycle of birth and death.
Afternoon tour to Sarnath.
Located 7 km from the city, the site has a great historical importance. Lord Buddha preached his first sermon more than 2500 years ago. The site is marked by the massive Dhamek stupa which is believed to date back to 500 AD. Nearby is a Museum where rare collection of manuscripts and other items related with Lord Buddha are preserved.

Day 05 : Varanasi-Allahabad
After breakfast, drive to Allahabad, check-in at the hotel.
Allahabad, one of the oldest cities in India and World, is sacred to Hindus. Formerly called Prayag, in commemoration of a sacrifice by Lord Brahma, Allahabad stands at the confluence of river Ganga and Yamuna, two of India's holiest rivers. The third mystical river Saraswati (invisible, believed to flow underground towards Sangam) joins the two river and gives the confluence its other name, Triveni. The places of interest include Fort, the massive Fort built by Akbar is presently used by the army and only a limited area is open to visitors. Hanuman Mandir near Sangam, Allahabad University and Museum.

Day 06 : Allahabad-Khajuraho
After breakfast, drive to Khajuraho, arriving late afternoon. Check-in at the hotel.
Evening Witness Khajuraho Dance Festival.

Day 07 : Khajuraho
Khajuraho, once the great capital of Chandela, now a quiet town, Khajuraho temples here were built during the Chandela period from 950 to 1050 AD. Almost intriguing as the sheet beauty and the size of the temples is the question of why and how they were built here as Khajuraho is isolated, 1000 years ago as it is even today. The temples are superb examples of Indo-Aryan architecture and depict images of gods and goddesses, warriors and musicians, real and mythological animals and in great detail – women and sex. In between are the mithuna, erotic figures running through a whole Kamasutra of positions and possibilities.
Evening witness Khajuraho Dance Festival.

Day 08 : Khajuraho-Orchha
Morning proceed to Orchha and on arrival, check-in at your hotel.
Orchha had the distinction of being the capital of one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of central India. Situated on the river Betwa, the medieval city was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela Chieftain Rudra pratap.The successive rulers built imposing buildings which are some of the finest examples of Bundela architecture seen at Orchha today. The Jehangir Mahal, Raj Mahal, Raj Praveen Mahal, Ram Raj Temple, Chaturbhuj Temple, Sunder Mahal are to list a few.

Day 09 : Orchha-Agra
Gwalior famous for its large fort whose history goes back over 1000 years. The fort saw many battles fought for power between various dynasties which ruled Gawalior. The fort which is on a hill 3 km long is encircled by 10 metre high wall. Inside the fort there are many places worth visiting which include Jain sculptures, Teli Ka Mandir, Sas Bahu Temple, Man Singh Palace. Other than the fort, Gujari Mahal, a palace built by Mansingh for his consort, now a Museum housing the finest collection of medieval sculptures, tomb of Tansen – one of the greatest singers of the earlier times of Akbar's empire, Jai Vilas, the palace of the Scindia dynasty are worth visiting.
Arrive Agra, check-in at the hotel.

Day 10 : Agra
Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this immortal monument, the inimitable poem in white marble is the true expression of love of Emperor Shahjehan for his queen Mumtaz Mahal. The monument was completed in 1653 AD and thousands of workers and artisans were employed. It took little over 20 years for its completion. Agra Fort's importance can be judged with the great names of Mughal dynasties Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shahjehan and Aurangzeb who lived here. The imposing structure on the banks of the river Yamuna is replete with priceless examples of craftsmanship in the Mughal period. The beautiful pearl Mosque, Diwan-e-Am, Diwan-e-Khas, Jehangir palace, Moti Masjid are to name a few that form the part of this great fort.

Day 11 : Agra-Jaipur
Morning proceed to Jaipur, stopping en-route to visit Fatehpur Sikri.
The beautiful city was planned and erected by Emperor Akbar in 1569. The story behind the city relates to birth of his Son Salim who was named after a Muslim Saint – Sheikh Salim Chishti. Emperor Akbar hearing his renown, had visited the Saint, asked of the blessings of a child. When a son was born, he decided to built a city near the place where the Saint lived. The city was abandoned after 14 years due to shortage of water and growing population. The imposing pavilions, Mosque, massive Buland Darwaza (Gate), Panch Mahal and other buildings are worth a visit.

Day 12 : Jaipur
Morning excursion to Amber Fort, set in a picturesque location. Amer is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Built in the 16th century by Raja Mansingh in red sandstone and white marble, the palace complex has some very interesting sections. Jai Mandir, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas, Ganesh Pol andTemple of Kali are some of the prominent areas of interest. Elephants are provided to ascend the fort.

Afternoon city sightseeing tour.
The city was planned and built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the notable astronomer 260 years ago. The City Palace, the home of the erstwhile royal family, the Observatory, Ram Niwas Gardens, Hawa Mahal or the Palace of winds built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh and Birla Temple are the most important tourist sites.

Day 13 : Jaipur-Delhi
Drive to Delhi and on arrival, transfer to international airport for onward flight.

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