Combining a visit to the mysterious, expansive and culturally-rich Golden Circle of India with modern, upscale Dubai may just be one of the most exciting, value-packed vacations you can consider for 2017.
With a price tag starting at just $1399 per person plus airfare for this 11-day vacation, I can't think of another way I'd rather spend my hard-earned cash! From visiting the Taj Mahal at sunrise to volunteering at the Mission of Charity to spending free leisure time eating and shopping (and maybe ziplining over the city) in Dubai, you simply must take a closer look at this phenomenal itinerary!
Day 1 - Delhi
Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be met for a private transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is open at leisure. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 2 - Delhi
Following breakfast, you will go on a combined sightseeing tour of Delhi. The tour will commence in Old Delhi before driving to a photo stop at Red Fort, a huge settlement that contains within it some very beautiful palaces and public buildings. You will visit Jamma Masjid, one of the largest mosques that are still a house of worship for devout Muslims. The tour continues onto Raj Ghat, Shanti Vana – the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru our first prime Minister of India.
You will proceed with a New Delhi tour riding past the India Gate, a memorial raised in honor of the Indian soldiers who were martyred during the Afghan War. Rashtrapati Bhawan, once the imperial residence of the British Viceroys, it is now the official residence of the President of India Parliament House, a circular building that is a symbol of Indian democracy. You will also visit Qutub Minar, the 11th century victory tower, which is the tallest stone tower in India. Overnight in Delhi. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Delhi – Jaipur
Following breakfast, you will head to Jaipur. The rest of your evening is open at leisure.
Optional activity: Visit the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, a small textile museum dedicated to the ancient craft of hand block printing, housed in a recently restored 400 year old haveli. (Cost: USD 35 per person) Overnight in Jaipur. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Jaipur
After breakfast, you will depart for an excursion tour to the fabulous Amber Fort; Maharaja Mansingh started the construction of Amber Fort in the 17th century. Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. The fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moat Lake. Ruins and remains are spread over the Aravalli Hills and sprawling crenulated walls lattice the surrounding area. Enjoy a Jeep Ride at Amber Fort; it will spare you the trouble of reaching up to the fortress. Once on top, you will stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls, many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings, with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Most fascinating, perhaps, is the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the room.
Later, you will visit the City Palace, which is an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art, and carved doorways. The palace museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armory, costumes, carpets, and miniature paintings. Nearby is the most famous of five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh in India, Jantar Mantar.
Jai Singh was a great admirer of progresses and research made in the fields of science and technology, but he was passionate about astronomy. There is a very interesting story behind the construction of this observatory, considered as the largest stone observatory in the world. Sawai Jai Singh sent his emissaries to all parts of the world before commencing the construction of this observatory. The emissaries returned with many manuals on astronomy containing cutting-edge technological information. One of these manuals was a copy of La Hire's "Tables". Your evening is free for shopping. Overnight in Jaipur. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Jaipur – Agra
Following breakfast, you will head to Agra (approximately 5 hours). En route, you will visit the small ancient village of Abhaneri in northern Rajasthan. Begin at Chand Baori, one of the largest step wells in India, fortified on all sides. The unique idea was conceived by the early natives to work as a water reservoir, located adjacent to the temple dedicated to Harshat Mata, goddess of joy and happiness - an architectural jewel.
Continue your journey to Agra. When you arrive, you will go to Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture. Agra Fort - the seat and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. Visit its Hall of Public Audience and its Royal Pavilions.
Optional activity: Witness Mohabbat e Taj - The Kalakriti Theater is the venue for this vibrant dance drama depicting a 16th century Mughal era love story that defines the Taj Mahal. Watch and listen (in a choice of languages by headset) as Shah Jahan and Queen Mumtaz Mahal profess their love for one another, and he creates the Taj Mahal in her memory. You will see the most realistic replica of the monument existing today. Animated action, brilliant costumes and powerfully resonant vocal performances.Cost : USD 45 per person Overnight in Agra. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Agra
Early in the morning, you will go on a sunrise tour of the most opulent wonder of the modern world, the Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays). The Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1,000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, in mid-17th century, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Though the Tajappears to be amazingly perfect from almost any angle, it is the close-up marble inlay work which is really astounding. You will have sufficient time to view and be mesmerized by this outstanding piece of architecture.
When you return to hotel for breakfast, the rest of your morning is at leisure. In the afternoon, you will visit the Roman Catholic Cemetery - re-living a cross cultural mix that has never made it into history books and traveler's itineraries. Later, walk through the civil lines area and explore the old part of Agra and its hidden alleys. Later, volunteer your time at Mission of Charity. Amidst the busyness, it is heart-warming to see great love and care in this place. There are around 45 children in their care, some are very young and some with disabilities. There is also over 100 adults that are unable to care for themselves. In the evening, you can explore the local markets for souvenirs. Overnight in Agra. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Agra – Delhi
Following breakfast, you will check-out and head to Delhi. Upon arrival, you will have time to freshen up and bid farewell to your new friends at a farewell dinner at your hotel. Overnight in Delhi. Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Delhi - Dubai
Have breakfast at your hotel on your final day in India. You will check out of your hotel and be transferred to Delhi International Airport to take your departing flight to Dubai (flight not included, to be booked by your Groupit Travel agent). Upon arrival in Dubai, you will be met by a representative that will transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Dubai. Overnight in Dubai. Meals : Breakfast
Day 9 - Dubai
Have breakfast at your hotel before departure for a half day guided tour. You will have the opportunity to discover the spectacular and lively metropolis of Dubai. The city, developed from a small fishing village at the Dubai Creek, nowadays presents itself as a glamorous metropolis at the Arabian Gulf. The distinctive skyscrapers and gigantic shopping malls are sure to impress every visitor. You will start your tour with Bastakyia, the old town district of Dubai. Learn everything about the local history and geography of the city when visiting the Dubai Museum, located in the ancient fortress of Al-Fahidi.
Following the museum, you will use the local water taxis, called “Abras”, to cross the Dubai Creek. Enjoy the spectacular view of the city while heading towards the district of Deira. Here you will be enchanted by the large variety of exotic spices in the famous Spice Souk. Take the chance to get a unique and affordable souvenir when you visit the adjacent Gold Souk. Your tour then proceeds to the Jumeirah area, where you will have a photo stop to capture the awe-inspiring Grand Mosque of Jumeirah. The mosque was built in medieval Fatimid tradition, the stone structure is a tribute to modern Islamic architecture. Following that, you will take another photo stop of Burj Al Arab Hotel and continue to the Atlantis Hotel located at crescent of Palm Jumeirah. After your tour, you can enjoy the rest of the day on your own. Overnight in Dubai. Meals : Breakfast
Day 10 - Dubai
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Dubai. Meals : Breakfast
Day 11 - Dubai - USA
Begin your day with breakfast at your hotel. Hotel check-out is at noon. Depending on your departure time, you will be transferred to the airport at the appropriate time.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-578-9028, ext. 101 for more information. Multiple dates are available in 2017!
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