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Rajasthan with Pushkar
Duration: 07 nights / 08 days
Destinations Covered:Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Pushkar - Ajmer - Delhi


Pushkar Fair Dates till 2010
Year        Dates
2008: November 21 - 24, 2008.
2008: November 10 - 13, 2008.
2009: October 30 - November 02, 2009.
2010: November 18 - 21, 2010.

Daywise Tour Details
------------------------
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
Arrive at Delhi International airport. On arrival in Delhi, the guest will be met by our representative and transferred to hotel.
Overnight at hotel.

Day 2: Delhi
This morning you will be taken to visit Old Delhi - Former centre of Mughul Power, Old Delhi offers ancient monuments, narrow streets and bustling bazaars. Drive past the Red Fort, built in 1648 and board the 'rickshaw ride' for a unique experience from the Red Fort, through "Chandni Chowk" or Silver Street, experiencing the sights and sounds of this very busy avenue heading west from the Fort. Later visit theJama Masjid, the greatest mosque in India and completed in 1658 by Shah Jahan who also built the Taj Mahal, and the Raj Ghat, the simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. This afternoon you will be taken to visit New Delhi - drive past the stately government buildings of the British Era designed by Lutyens, including the India Gate & the Presidential Palace. Continue onto the beautiful Humayuns tomb of the Mughal era & predecessor of the world famous Taj Mahal. End the tour at the towering minaret of Qutab Minar. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3: Delhi - Agra
Morning drive to Agra (203 km). Upon arrival in Agra - check into the hotel. Afternoon visit Red Fort and famous Taj Mahal. Red Fort lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. It was built by Akbar as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat. Taj Mahal, this most famous Mughul monument was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal "the lady of the Taj". It has been described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love, for the emperor was heartbroken when Mumtaz died after 17 years of marriage, during the birth of her 14th child.The central structure has four small domes surrounding the huge, central dome. Above the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan are false tombs, a common practice in Indian mausoleums. (Taj Mahal is closed on Friday).

Stay at pristine Taj Mahal for sunset, to see this true Wonder of the world in gentle late afternoon light. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4: Agra - Jaipur
Morning drive to Jaipur (221 km), en route visit Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri the deserted, red sandstone city that was built by Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the 16th century. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza the largest gateway in the world. Thereafter continue drive to Jaipur and check into the hotel. Afternoon at leisure to explore the city. Overnight at hotel.

Day 5: Jaipur
Morning tour of the impressive Amber Fort, situated on a ridge just outside Jaipur City. At the foot of the hill you will mount your caparisoned elephant for the slow but steady climb up to the main gate, making your entrance in the time honoured fashion. The Fort, completed in the early 18th century, took over 100 years to build and now, although deserted, offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the Mughul ruling families.

Afternoon tour of the City - "The Pink City" is spectacularly set within surrounding rugged hills, dotted with ancient ruined fortresses. Your tour will include the imposing City Palace, still home to the Maharaja although several of the rooms are now open to the public. Many antiques and artefacts belonging to the ruling family are housed here, including a collection of weaponry. You will also visit the Hawa Mahal "Palace of the Winds", and the open-air Jantar Mantar Observatory to see the vast astronomical instruments. Enjoy a stroll through the colourful bazaar before returning to your hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 6: Jaipur - Pushkar
Late morning drive to Pushkar (130 km). Pushkar is famous for its colourful annual fair during Kartik Poornima (full moon) in the November each year. At this time, this otherwise peaceful and gentle village on the banks of holy Pushkar take is thrown into colourful confusion when the desert tribes and camel caravans meet to trade cattle, camels, goat, sheep, clothes, jewellery and spices. Upto 2,00,000 traders and 50,000 cattle pour into town, along with numerous festooned camels and colourful pilgrims. After 10 hectic days of livestock dealing, camel racing and colourful festivities, everybody goes for a big holy dip in the lake on the night of the full moon (Kartik Purnima) and perform rituals in its waters to the accompaniment of temple & folk music.

Upon arrival in Pushkar - check into the Royal Camp which captures the luxurious nostalgia of a bygone age of the Maharaja's Safari and Shikar camps, combined with innovative design demonstrating many of the skills and crafts of Marwar. The camp consists of tents, each with verandah, bedroom and bathroom. There is a large dining tent serving the best of Rajasthani cuisine and a large open reception tent with seating areas. The campfire is the focal point for the evening entertainment programme with cocktails & rhythms of the Thar-music, dancing, magicians, puppet shows, jugglers, flaming torches & camel parades.

Afternoon city tour of Pushkar - Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site, since many were deserted by Aurangzeb and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous is the Brahma Temple, said to be one of the few temples in the world dedicated to this deity. It's marked by red spire, and over the entrance gateway is the hans, or goose symbol, of Brahma, who is said to have personally chosen Pushkar as its site. Overnight at Camp

Day 7: Pushkar
It is worth getting up early to see the camels and tribes rousing themselves in the pink of the dawn desert light. Full day at the fair. Built as 'an explosion of fun, frolic, games and laughter', the fair provides some wonderful photographic opportunities and is a great chance to see Rajasthani women decked up in all their traditional jewellery, dress and finery. Temple music wafts through the night, as the fires die down and the Rajasthani melodies played on the stringed ek-tara come to a close. On the night of the full moon, the pilgrims bathe in the moonlight, then send marigold and rose petals floating across the lake on green plate-like leaves. Overnight at Royal Tent.

Day 8: Pushkar - Ajmer - Delhi
Morning drive to Ajmer (15 Km). Upon arrival in Ajmer, proceed straight for city tour - Ajmer, located 135 km southwest is the most sacred of all Muslim places of pilgrimage in India. Ajmer is a green oasis on the shore of Ana Sagar Lake, hemmed in by barren hills. Historically, Ajmer has always had great strategic importance. It was founded in 7th century by Ajaipal Chauhan. He named it Ajaimeru the 'invincible hill', because here he raised Taragarh, India's first hill fort. The city's Muslim history began when Prithviraj Chauhan lost Ajmer to Sultan Muhammad Ghori in 1193 A.D. The Persian saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti who came with Muhammad Ghori from Persia in 1192 settled here. Thus the place where he was buried is today known as the Dargah Sharif. Construction of the shrine was completed by Humayun and the gates were added by the Nizam of Hyderabad. Later Shah Jahan constructed a mosque of white marble, it has 11 arches and a Persian inscription running the full length of the building. Beyond the Dar gah is the Adhai din ka Jhonpra an ancient Sanskrit college, which was converted into mosque in 1198 and remains one of the finest monuments of medieval India.

Afternoon drive to Delhi airport for departure to onward journey.







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