Equinox : North and South Architecture Tour
Day 01 Arrive Delhi
Arrive at Delhi where you would be met and escorted to the Imperial hotel which is a legend built in 1932. Hotel is known for its contemporary colonial style. In the afternoon you will be taken to National Museum where you will see the finest collection of Indian antiquities and artifacts. Overnight at the Imperial. www.theimperialindia.com
Day 02 Delhi
Delhi with its Old and New parts - each with its specific charm and glory - makes a very interesting city for its sustenance to medieval and modern cultures at the same time and space. Today, you will explore the capital of India in a full-day tour - including buildings of early Turkish structure to Mughal buildings to Lutyen's Delhi. Overnight at the Imperial.
Day 03 Delhi - Khajuraho
This morning you will take a flight to Khajuraho. Khajuraho: In the afternoon you will explore the little town known the world-over for its Nagara style of temple architecture and erotic sculpture. Overnight will be at Khajuraho Taj Chandela. www.tajhotels.com
Day 04 Khajuraho – Orcha - Agra
Your day starts in the morning when you will be driven to Jhansi railway station for your train to Agra. En route to Khajuraho you will visit sleepy medieval town of Orcha, which is littered with medieval Bundelkhand buildings bearing fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture. Check In at Amar Vilas a luxurious contemporary hotel with views of the incomparable Taj Mahal. Overnight at the Amar villas. www.amarvilas.com
Day 05 Agra
Today you will do sightseeing tour of Agra. Visit to Taj Mahal by sunrise. Return back to hotel and later continue to visit Agra Fort. Later in the day again visit to Taj Mahal at sunset. Overnight at the Amar vilas.
Day 06 Agra - Jaipur
After a leisurely morning - drive to Jaipur en route visit Fatehpur Sikri, a perfectly preserved Mughal city built at the height of the empire's splendor. On arrival at Jaipur Check In at Hotel Rambagh Palace : Jaipur’s foremost royal palace residence located close to the walled ‘ Pink City’, with spectacular forts and all the unique shopping bazaars of Jaipur, Rambagh presents a fine blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Overnight at Rambagh Palace. www.tajhotels.com
Day 7 Jaipur
In the morning visit the Amber Fort - one of the most fascinating of Indian forts. You will reach the fort majestically atop an elephant; once inside the fort you visit the Palace of Mirrors, Hall of Public Audience and the beautifully manicured gardens. Afternoon you will spend exploring the Jantar Mantar (astrological observatory), the Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds), the City Palace and the museum. Overnight at Rambagh Palace.
Day 08 Jaipur - Jodhpur
Set at the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Once the capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama-the epic hero of the Ramayana. The massive 15th century AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a Rocky hill, soaring 125 metres above the plains. The city is encompassed by a high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions. Check into Umaid Bhawan one of the largest residences of the Royal family in the World
Built in yellow sand stone in an Art Deco style it is a blend of eastern and western blend of western and eastern influences. Overnight will be at Taj Umaid Bhavan. www.tajhotels.com
Day 09 Jodhpur
This morning you explore the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort-Museum, one of the largest in India, unsurpassed in beauty and grandeur - and a perfect example of desert variant of Rajput architecture. The tour of the fort will be followed by a visit to the old town where you walk through the market getting a feel of the town. Early in the evening you will be taken on a short safari to immaculately kept villages of Bishnoi tribals who are known for their belief in the sanctity of plant and animal life. A variety of deer roaming freely is the attraction of these villages. Overnight will be at Taj Umaid Bhavan.
Day 10 Jodhpur – Ranakpur - Udaipur
Today, you drive to Udaipur. En route you will visit Ranakpur - the largest and most beautifully preserved Jain Temples in India. After visiting Ranakpur you will proceed to Udaipur. Arrive in Udaipur late in the afternoon. The rest of the day will be at leisure. Overnight at the Udai Vilas a contemporary luxury hotel or Taj Lake Palace which was the former summer palace of the Maharana of Udaipur. www.tajhotels.com, www.udaivilas.com
Day 11 Udaipur
The day begins with a visit to the City Palace, which is largest in Rajasthan. You will also see lovely medieval Jagdish Temple and Sahelion-Ki-Bari or the "Gardens of the Maids of Honour". The tour of Udaipur will end with a lunch at the beautiful Gallery Restaurant at Fateh Prakash Palace. The day will end with a relaxing boat ride on Lake Pichola. From the lake you will get unmatched views of the gardens surrounding the fascinating Lake Palace Hotel and the two islands in the lake. Overnight at the Udai Vilas or Taj Lake Palace.
Day 12 Udaipur – Aurangabad
Morning at leisure. Today you will be escorted to the airport for flight to Aurangabad. Arrive Aurangabad in the evening and check into the hotel to retire for the day. Overnight at the Taj Residency. www.tajhotels.com
Day 13 Aurangabad
Today you will explore the caves of Ajanta which offer a rich tapestry of images that speak of palaces, royalty, cultures and tales of everyday life of ancient India. Long buried in the debris of time, these 30 caves were built to offer seclusion to the Buddhist monks, who lived, taught and performed rituals. Overnight at the Taj Residency.
Day 14 Aurangabad - Bombay
This morning you will be taken to explore Ellora caves. Carved between fourth and fifth century, the rock temples and monasteries of Ellora represent the three major faiths of India - Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Like Ajanta, Ellora caves too are a fine example of cave temples with almost 34 caves with intricate interiors and ornamental facades. Later in the evening take a flight for Bombay where you spend the night before starting your tour of South India. Overnight at the Taj Mahal. www.tajhotels.com
Day 15 Bombay - Madurai Continuing your tour to South India you will fly in the morning to Madurai where you arrive before noon. All activity in Madurai is centred round Sri Meenakshi Temple in the heart of the told town. A riotously baroque example of Dravidian architecture, you visit the temple in the afternoon. Overnight at the Taj Garden Retreat. www.tajhotels.com
Day 16 Madurai
After a leisurely start today you drive to Chettinad, which is known for its artistic houses. Spend the afternoon exploring the palace and around for its unique architecture. Overnight will be at Madurai.
The traditional Chettinad houses are made on an area of 2500 sq ft having around 60 to 70 rooms. They were built almost 100 years back. They were made of lime, sand and egg yolk especially imported from Rangoon. The construction material decor items and furnishings were mostly imported from East Asia Europe. The chandeliers and teak came from Burma, crockery From Indonesia, marble from Italy, wall-to-wall mirrors from Belgium and crystals from Europe. The woodwork and stone work were inspired by French and other European destinations. Overnight at the Taj Garden Retreat. www.tajhotels.com
Day 17 Tanjore & Trichy
This morning you will drive to Tanjore also called a city of temples, Tanjore is dotted with no fewer than 74 temples - the most famous of which is the Brihadeshwara temple. You visit this fascinating temple and the Thanjavur Palace before continuing your drive to Trichy. The town of Trichy is another small place of South India, which is littered with innumerable evidence of the region's excellence in art and architecture. In the evening you explore the city including spectacular Rock Fort Temple. Overnight at the Sangam. www.hotelsangam.com
Day 18 Tanjore – Chennai - Covelong
This morning you take a train / Flight to Chennai - your last destination of the tour. Chennai is a fascinating city with its ancient temples and unique culture, golden sandy beaches and a marvelous tradition of music and dance. You explore this lovely city in the afternoon, immediately after arriving at the station. After the short city tour you will check into your hotel, which is a beach hotel outside the city. Overnight at the Taj Fishermans Cove. www.tajhotels.com
Day 19 Covelong
Today will be spent in visiting two of the finest examples of ancient South Indian architecture - Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram. Overnight at the Taj Fishermans Cove.
Day 20 Covelong – Chennai - Departure
The day will be spent in leisure. In the evening you will be hosted a farewell dinner before being escorted to the International terminal for flight back home.
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