Best of North India

Duration : 17 Nights / 18 Days
Places to see : Delhi - Srinagar - Gulmarg - Kargil - Leh - Alchi - Jammu - Amritsar - Delhi - Jaipur - Delhi

Day 01: Home - Delhi
On arrival in Delhi, you will be welcomed by our executive and transferred to your hotel (Rooms will be booked from 1200 hrs to facilitate immediate check in).

New Delhi, the capital and the third largest city of India is a fusion of the ancient and the modern. Standing along the West End of Gangetic Plain, the capital city, Delhi, unwinds a picture rich with culture, architecture and human diversity, deep in history, monuments, museums, galleries, gardens and exotic shows. Comprising of two contrasting yet harmonious parts, the Old Delhi and New Delhi, the city is a travel hub of Northern India. Narrating the city's Mughal past, Old Delhi, takes you through the labyrinthine streets passing through formidable mosques, monuments and forts. The imperial city of New Delhi displays the finely curved architecture of British Raj.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 02: Delhi - Srinagar
After breakfast transfer to airport for flight to Srinagar - is located in the heart of the Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1,730 m above sea level, spread on both sides of the river Jhelum. The Dal and Nagin lakes enhance its picturesque setting.

Kashmir often referred to as a paradise and Oriental Switzerland, has a magnetic charm. The very air of this miraculous vale leaves the viewers dumb founded in the verdant valley of rice fields, surrounded by rigid avenues of tall poplar, dotted with neatly painted orchards of apple, plum, almond trees and myriads of waterfalls and streams interlinking themselves.

On arrival transfer to Deluxe Houseboat. Overnight stay on House Boat.

Day 03: Srinagar
In the morning visit the temple of Shankaracharya that was build by Jaluka, the son of emperor Ashoka, in the 3rd century BC. You can City View from this Temple.

Visit Nishat Bagh, the garden of spring, the largest of the Mughal gardens. It lies right on the edge of the Dal Lake and has numerous terraces, beautiful lawns, beautiful flowers and fountains. The splendid chinar trees and the central water channel flowing down complement the natural beauty of the site, looks like the garden is floating on the lake.

The Chashma Shahi (Royal Spring) a smaller garden built by Shah Jahan around a renowned spring. Originally the water bubbled into a marble lotus basin in a central pavilion. Experience the Mughal romance as you walk through beautiful flowers, fountains and green trees in these lovely gardens lay out by the Mughal Rulers.

Also visit the Shalimar Bagh built by Jahangir for his wife, Nur Jahan in 1616. The gardens are straight out of a fairy tale. The top most of the four terraces called the "Abode of Love" was reserved for the emperor and the ladies of court. The uppermost pavilion has black marble pillars and niches in the walls for flowers during the day and candles at night. There is a huge tank, and around 150 fountains dazzle with their display. Electric lights add charm to the beautiful atmosphere.

In the evening enjoy a Shikara Ride (a small boat with an awning and cushions) on the Dal Lake. The small islands on the backwaters are willow covered. Sail past the shops, houses and lake restaurants, lotus flowers, experiencing the life of the Kashmiris.

Overnight stay on House Boat.

Day 04: Srinagar - Gulmarg - Srinagar
Full day tour of Gulmarg which is one of the most beautiful summer resorts in the valley. Enjoy the splendor of nature and Snowy Mountain. One can have gondola ride (cable car) from Gulmarg to Kangdori.
In the evening return to Srinagar, overnight stay at houseboat.

Day 05: Srinagar - Kargil
In the early morning start for a drive to Kargil along with packed lunch.

En route stop at Sonemarg (meadow of gold) and Baltal Hamlets.

Past Baltal cross over Zoji-La Pass at the altitude of 3800 meters or 12500 feet above sea level. Zoji-La marks the boundary between Kashmir and Ladakh. The Vegetation begins to change, you find yourself in the middle of moon like mountains covered with snow and deep valleys with green oasis. This pass is sometimes blocked by snow each year. On Zoji La pas there is one way traffic, so we have to wait for traffic controller announcement for crossing Zoji La.

After Zoji-La, you will reach Drass which is the second coldest inhabited place in the world after Siberia. At Drass, we will stop for tea and passport check. Drass valley has strikingly different landscape dotted with remote mud huts giving an impression that you really have traveled back in time.

Another two and half hours drive will take us Kargil.

On arrival in Kargil, check in at the hotel.

In Kargil, about 85 % are Muslims, mainly of the Shia sect, Islam having been introduced to the original Buddhist population around the middle of the 16th century by missionaries from Kashmir and Central Asia. Their descendants, locally titled Agha, are mostly religious scholars who continue to hold sway over the population, even as the age-old traditions of Buddhist and animistic origin are discernible in the culture.

Dinner & overnight in the hotel.

Day 06: Kargil - Leh
After breakfast drive to Leh - The palace is distinguished monument and a historical building. The nine-storeyed palace was built by the 17th century illustrious ruler of Ladakh, Sengge Namgyal. It is an imposing structure, though in ruins now, situated on a hill and commands a grand view of the Leh town. The building in grand Tibetan architecture is said to have inspired the famous potala of Lahasa, built half a century later. Namgyal Tsemo, the peak overlooking the town, are the ruins of the fortbuilt, by the king Tashi namgyal in the 16th century, as a royal residence.

Day 07: Leh
Day at leisure, so you could get used to altitude, evening - visit to Market and Leh Palace.

Day 08: Around Leh
Sightseeing tour of surrounding areas. Overnight at hotel in Leh.

Day 09: Leh - Alchi
Morning drive to Alchi - The village is famous for the existence of one of the oldest monasteries in Ladakh (a national heritage), mainly known for its magnificent, and well-preserved 11th or 12th century wall paintings, all in an Indian style.

On arrival check in at hotel. Afternoon - Sightseeing tour of Alchi and surrounding areas.

Day 10: Alchi - Leh
Morning free - afternoon drive to Leh. On arrival check in at hotel.

Day 11: Leh- Jammu
After breakfast drive to Jammu - Jammu district derives its name from the city of Jammu which besides being the winter capital of J & K, is known as the city of temples. It is believed that the city was originally founded by Raja Jamboo Lochan who lived in fourteenth century B.C. The Raja had gone out one day for hunting when he happened to witness a tiger and a goat drinking water from one and the same pond.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 12: Jammu - Amritsar
After breakfast drive to Amritsar - is the holiest of the holy shrines of Sikhism, visit the Golden temple. It's Harmandir complex and the Sarovar will leave you spell-bound. Also visit the shrine for the bed-chamber ceremony.

Overnight at hotel.

Day 13: Amritsar - Delhi
AM - transfer to railway station for train for Delhi.

On arrival check in at hotel. Rest of the day free. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 14: Delhi - Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur - Jaipur was established by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743) and painted pink by Maharaja Man Singh II when Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited Jaipur in 1876. The Royal heritage of Jaipur lives in its architecture and culture. The city in pink is symbolic of the hospitality that reigned in the Rajput culture.

Upon arrival, check-in at Hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 15: Jaipur
After breakfast, have excursion trip to Amber Fort with Jeep / elephant ride.

En route, make a photo stop at the Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal). Hawa Mahal is a sample of the perfection of the architecture. Hawa Mahal was built with the pink & red sandstone, beautifully carved and outlined with white border and motif

Amber Fort is situated on the crest of a hill seven miles north of Jaipur is Amber, capital of the Kuchwaha Rajputs from 1037 to 1728. Man Singh I built it in a style to rival Mughal grandeur and opulence.

In afternoon visit City Palace, a combination of conventional Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. City Palace complex has more than a few palatial structures. City Palace is a huge complex, which houses many courtyards, gardens and buildings.

Also visit Jantar Mantar, built between 1716. It is located within the city palace. Jantar Mantar contains a collection of instruments for observing the movements of sun, moon, planets and stars. It was built to develop the interest of the people in Astronomy.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 16: Jaipur - Agra
Morning drive to Agra - The city of Mughals offers you an opportunity to explore the massive monuments, majestic buildings, and the popular arts and crafts. The architectural splendor of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid remainder of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid reminder of the capital in the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries.

On the way visit Fatehpur Sikri. It is a beautiful and deserted medieval city built by Akbar the Great in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire. The Mughals later abandoned this city for lack of water. Fatehpur Sikri had a short life of splendor. Once Akbar left it in 1585, it never regained its lost importance and has remained the most magnificent and well-preserved ghost city of India.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 17: Agra
Visit Taj Mahal (Taj Mahal remains closed on Friday), a poem in white marble, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. It took twenty-two years and hard toil of more than twenty thousand workers to construct Taj Mahal. The beauty of the Taj Mahal is enchanting and it reflects the marvelous beauty of architecture. Taj Mahal symbolize the richness of art and architecture of the Mughal period.

After Taj Mahal visit Agra Fort; built by Emperor Akbar on the west bank of the river Yamuna and beautified with palaces and gardens by Jehangir, Agra Fort today dominates the centre of the city. The crescent-shaped fort with its 20-metre high, 2.4-km outer walls contains a maze of buildings that form a small city within a city.

Overnight will be at hotel in Agra.

Day 18: Delhi
After breakfast drive to Delhi. En-route you will visit the Sikandra - Mughal Emperor Akbar's Mausoleum.

Evening transfer to International airport for flight to onwards journey.

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