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Package : Karakuram Heights Tour (Code: KHT )   Book Now 
Nights : 5
Ideal for : General & Honeymoon
Destinations : Leh , Nubra Valley, Delhi
Arrival Port : Delhi Departure Port : Delhi
Description : This trip lets you discover the spiritual side of India. A multi-dimensional package offers you the best of Delhi to Leh, driving through the beautiful mountains and valleys that will capture your heart.

Duration : 05 Days / 04 Nights

Destination Covered : (Delhi - Leh - Nubra Valley - Leh Delhi)
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Best Time to Tour : The best time to visit Ladakh is in the summer months i.e. between the months of June and August.

   
Itinerary Details
 
Arrival Port : Delhi



Accommodation Destination: Leh

Nights :  2

Tour Description  

Day 01

Day 1 : Delhi Leh

Early morning flight to Leh 3500m. On arrival, transfer to the hotel and full day at rest for high altitude acclimatization. After lunch visit military Hall of Fame, 16th century Leh Palace & the Japanese built world peace pagoda called the Shanti Stupa. Evening free at Leh bazaar. Overnight at the hotel.


Day 02

Day 2 : Leh

Full day tour of some of the most fabulous monasteries and palaces in the Indus Valley belt of Ladakh which shall include visit to 1834 built Stok Palace, 16th century Shey Palace, Thiksey Monastery and Hemis Monastery. Overnight at the hotel.


Next Destination : Nubra Valley

Nights :  1

Tour Description  

Day 03

Day 3 : Leh Nubra Valley

Morning drive to Nubra Valley, crossing Khardongla Pass 18360 ft, the world's highest motorable pass. Afternoon visit Diskit & Hunder Monasteries and the white sand dunes with perhaps a Camel Safari. Overnight at the Deluxe Camp / Hotel.




Next Destination : Leh

Nights :  1

Tour Description  

Day 04

Day 4 : Nubra Valley Leh

Morning visit Samstanling monastery and then drive back to Leh via Khardongla pass. Evening free in Leh bazaars to shop for Leh items like pure Pashmina shawls, good pearls, Chinese cutleries and beautiful Ladakhi wooden handicrafts can be purchased. O/N at the hotel.




Departure Port : Delhi

Tour Description  

Day 05

Day 5 : Leh Delhi

Early morning transfer Bakula Airport to board flight for your onward destination.

Departure Port : Delhi

Destination Accomodation Types
Standard Deluxe Luxury
Leh 1 STAR

3 STAR

5 STAR

Nubra Valley 1 STAR

3 STAR

5 STAR

Leh 1 STAR

3 STAR

5 STAR

Delhi 1 STAR

3 STAR

5 STAR

Inclusions in Package : Highlights * Evening free at Leh bazaar * Fullday tour of some of the most fabulous monasteries * Morning drive to Nubra Valley * Hemis, Nubra Valley, Sand Dunes, Khardongla Pass, Leh Palace, Stok, Thiksey * Visit Samstanling Monastery
     
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Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously. Proceed for day sightseeing of Agra.
5 miles out of Varanasi for a day excursion: One of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world, where Buddha preached his first Sermon in 590 BC. Witness the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist monastery and then visit a fine Museum which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures found at the site.
DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. Delhi is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land and a window to the kaleidoscope ? that is India.
Varanasi is the World's most ancient living city. Crowded with temples, and its labyrinth of streets, the city attracts the maximum number of tourists. The religious capital of Hinduism, Varanasi is the carpet-manufacturing place of India. It was previously known as Kashi - the city that illuminates. The present name is derived from the fact that the city is at the confluence of the rivers Varuna and ASI. It is also called CITY OF TEMPLES. The shimmering red and golden water of the Ganges when rays of dawn falls on them, the high banks, the temples, the Ashrams, the pavilions all are an experience in themselves.
Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.
Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction. It lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it 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.
Fatehpur Sikri is 37 km west of Agra. Jajal-ud-din-Muhammad Akbar, Humanyun's son, accessed the throne at the tender age of 14. While hunting around Sikri his curiosity was aroused by the songs of some minstrels about the celebrated Khwaja -Mu'inu'd-din Chisti, the founder of the Chisti order of SUFIS. Akbar, who was without a male heir heard about Saint Salim Chisti and visited him in the year 1568. The saint blessed him with 3 sons and in gratitude Akbar ordered the great mosque of Fatehpur Sikri built under his supervision. As a mark of respect to the saint, Akbar shifted his capital to Fatehpur Sikri and built various secular buildings like the Diwan -I-Am, Diwan-I-Khas, Jodhabai palace, Birbal's house, Marian's house and the Panchmahal.
The origins of the beautiful city of Jaipur can be traced back to the eighteenth century, during the reign of Jai Singh II who ascended the Amber throne in 1699. Jaipur today, epitomizes the spirit of Rajputana. In-spite of growing into a bustling metropolis, it still retains its character and history - A beautiful fusion of the yesteryears and modernity. It is popularly known as the Pink City because of the extensive use of the locally abundant pink plastered stone, painted so in honor of the visit of the royal consort of Queen Victoria. Jaipur thrills the soul with its massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and lush gardens.
Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression.
A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.
Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia?s largest mosques. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. Jama Masjid, one of Asia?s largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.
The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.
Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India.
14 kms from Leh. The Spituk Monastery has a collection of 21 gold staties of Goddess Tara and a number of scroll paintings. Also visit the temple of Kali which has an interesting collection of masks.
A relatively modern monastery. It is closely associated with the Spituk monastery and serves as the residence of the head priest ? Kushak Bakula. A number of gold icons are to be found here.
Situated on a hillock 15 km upstream from Leh. It was once the residence of the Royal family. According to tradition, it was the seat of power of the pre-Tibetan kings. A 7.5 metre high copper statue of Buddha, plated with gold, and the largest of its kind, is installed here.
19 Kms from Leh, spectacularly most impressive gompas. There are several temples in the gompa containing images, stupas and wall paintings of Buddha which are exquisite.
40 kms from Leh. It is the wealthiest, best known and biggest gompa of Ladakh Its popularity stems from the major annual festival held here in summer. The festival is also has the largest thanka in Ladakh which is unfirled once in 12 years. On these days hundreds of pilgrims will gather at hemis to pay their tribute and homage. Hemis was built in 1630 during the reign of Sengg Namgyal, an illustrious ruler of Ladakh. It flourished under th Namgyal dynasty for the royalty favored the Drukgpa Sect which managed the monastery. It is divided into tow, the assembly hall on the right and the main temple on the left. The hall, Dukhang, is also used as a ?green room? by the dancers during the festival. The temple is known as Tshogkhang. The verandahs have a surfeit of frescoes, among them the Buddhist ? Wheel of Life ? and the ?Lords of the Four Quarters? besides rows of prayer wheels.
70 Kms from Leh, on the banks of the Indus river, is the Alchi Gompa dating a thousand years back. One of its walls features thousands of miniature- sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attraction. No longer a active religions center, it is looked after by monks from Likir.
Founded in the 11th century AD and rededicated to a different monastic order in the 15th century AD, its earlier gompa was destroyed in a fire. The present Gompa dates back to the18th century. Skilled craftsmen producing excellent thankas, earthern pots and carved folding wooden stools, liver here in the village. Majestically situated, Likir commands a spectacular view.
Situated at the altitude of 3800 meters between Fotu-la and Khalsi. As per the legend, in ancient times a lake covered this site. One day a Hermit predicted that there will be a monastery one day and he throws the grainof rice on the earth which automatically forms the shape of Swastika (Yundrung) from where the name comes (Yundrung Tharpaling Gompa), constructed by Rinchen Zangpo one of his 108 constructions. Monastery noted for the sect drigungpa. In the gallery see 35 Buddha painted on the wall. Chapel of Avlokiteshvara ? the 2 mtrs high image of him with 11 heads and 1000 heads.
The last king died in 1974 but his widow continues to live here, their son continues the royal line and ascended the throne in July 1993. The palace is a rumbling building where only a dozen of the 80 rooms are used. The small palace museum is worth visiting. It is a showpiece for the royal Thangkas (many 400 years old), the crown, jewels, dresses, coins, pearls encrusted with turcoise and lapis lazulli as well as religious objects.
Spituk Monastery : 14 kms from Leh. The Spituk Monastery has a collection of 21 gold staties of Goddess Tara and a number of scroll paintings. Also visit the temple of Kali which has an interesting collection of masks.
Sankar : A relatively modern monastery. It is closely associated with the Spituk monastery and serves as the residence of the head priest ? Kushak Bakula. A number of gold icons are to be found here.
Shey : Situated on a hillock 15 km upstream from Leh. It was once the residence of the Royal family. According to tradition, it was the seat of power of the pre-Tibetan kings. A 7.5 metre high copper statue of Buddha, plated with gold, and the largest of its kind, is installed here.
Thikshey : 19 Kms from Leh, spectacularly most impressive gompas. There are several temples in the gompa containing images, stupas and wall paintings of Buddha which are exquisite. Hemis : 40 kms from Leh. It is the wealthiest, best known and biggest gompa of Ladakh Its popularity stems from the major annual festival held here in summer. The festival is also has the largest thanka in Ladakh which is unfirled once in 12 years. On these days hundreds of pilgrims will gather at hemis to pay their tribute and homage. Hemis was built in 1630 during the reign of Sengg Namgyal, an illustrious ruler of Ladakh. It flourished under th Namgyal dynasty for the royalty favored the Drukgpa Sect which managed the monastery. It is divided into tow, the assembly hall on the right and the main temple on the left. The hall, Dukhang, is also used as a ?green room? by the dancers during the festival. The temple is known as Tshogkhang. The verandahs have a surfeit of frescoes, among them the Buddhist ? Wheel of Life ? and the ?Lords of the Four Quarters? besides rows of prayer wheels. Overnight at the hotel.
Alchi : 70 Kms from Leh, on the banks of the Indus river, is the Alchi Gompa dating a thousand years back. One of its walls features thousands of miniature- sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made of clay and painted brightly are its focal attraction. No longer a active religions center, it is looked after by monks from Likir.
Likir : Founded in the 11th century AD and rededicated to a different monastic order in the 15th century AD, its earlier gompa was destroyed in a fire. The present Gompa dates back to the18th century. Skilled craftsmen producing excellent thankas, earthern pots and carved folding wooden stools, liver here in the village. Majestically situated, Likir commands a spectacular view.
Lamayuru Monastery : Situated at the altitude of 3800 meters between Fotu-la and Khalsi. As per the legend, in ancient times a lake covered this site. One day a Hermit predicted that there will be a monastery one day and he throws the grainof rice on the earth which automatically forms the shape of Swastika (Yundrung) from where the name comes (Yundrung Tharpaling Gompa), constructed by Rinchen Zangpo one of his 108 constructions. Monastery noted for the sect drigungpa. In the gallery see 35 Buddha painted on the wall. Chapel of Avlokiteshvara ? the 2 mtrs high image of him with 11 heads and 1000 heads. In the principal building the traditional paintings of four Lokpals and wheel of life. The statue of Apchi Ihakhang, the goddess of drigungpa sect, the sculpture of Mahakala (Gonpo), Apuchi and Kubera the god of wealth and the interesting foom of gokhang. Overnight at the hotel.
Stock Palace : The last king died in 1974 but his widow continues to live here, their son continues the royal line and ascended the throne in July 1993. The palace is a rumbling building where only a dozen of the 80 rooms are used. The small palace museum is worth visiting. It is a showpiece for the royal Thangkas (many 400 years old), the crown, jewels, dresses, coins, pearls encrusted with turcoise and lapis lazulli as well as religious objects.
Enroute stop for photography and admire the natural beauty.
Situated at the northern end of Kullu valley, Manali has spectacular views of snow capped peaks and wooded slopes. Manali offers marvellous walks through dappled orchards and fairy tale forests of Deodar. You will visit the Hidimbha Temple, standing tall among the stately Deodars. This ancient temple with its three level roofs looks like a pagoda and its lintel and door frame are of intricately carved wood. The market is crowded with interesting shops selling Tibetan carpets and crafts. The village of Manali is 2 kms away across scented meadows and a quaint bridge over the sparking stream.
The principal township of Kangra is a fascinating place. It is spread over a height difference of over 450 metres. Here you can see the Mcleod Ganj and Forsythe Ganj which retain the British flavour so peculiar to the towns of Himachal Pradesh. Here is also the residence of H.H. THE DALAI LAMA next to the monastery. The library at the school of Tibetan studies is treasure trove of manuscripts and texts on Tibet and its culture. There are several picuresque picnic spots here.
The city was founded by the fourth Sikh Guru ? Ram Das. While excavating the holy tank called the ?Pool of Immortality?. This city is famous for the GOLDEN TEMPLE. The most sacred shrine of the Sikhs. Guru Arjun Dev built the temple and RanjitSingh, the Sikh ruler, enshrined the shrine and covered the doms with copper, overlaid with gold foil. The exterior walls are inlaid with precious stones and inside contains fine fillgree and gold inlay works. Also visit the Jalianwalan Bagh, Rambagh Gardens, Khalsa College, The Durgiana temple and Kashmir Emporium.
An ancient walled city. Here you will see Red Fort, the most opulent Fort and Palace of the Mughal Empire, Raj Ghat, the memorial site of the Mahatma Gandhi; Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; and Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colourful market of the old city.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is the most sacred shrine in Varanasi. The original temple was destroyed by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb which was later restored by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore in the 18th century. The Gold plating of the dome was done during the 19th century by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab. Foreigner's entry restricted.
Founded by Pundit Madan Mohan Malviya it is considered to be the largest residential university in Asia. Within the university campus, Vishwanath Temple and Bharat Kala Kendra (Museum) are well worth a visit.
Situated in the northernmost part of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is famous for its enchanting temples and its legendary Khajuraho dance festival. The name Khajuraho is derived from the Khajur tree (the date palm tree) which is grown abundantly in the region. The Khajuraho Temples are dedicated to a celebration of womanhood, her myriad moods and facets. Famous for its erotic architecture, the carvings include, women writing a letter, applying eye makeup, combing her tresses, dancing & playing with her child. Her innocent, blushed, charming, seductive, ardent beauty, all depicted in exquisitely sculptured details. These temples have been designed and carved to lead the eyes from ground level upward till you seem to be looking at heaven.
Orchha is a medieval city founded by the BUNDELA rulers with palaces and temples of the 16th & 17th century - which has remarkably withstood the onslaught of time. The town is known for its CHATTRIS which were built in the memory of the kings and the place is flanked by the river BETWA.
The fort of Nimaj was built in 1733 by the valiant ruler- Thakur Jagram Singh. Situated in the heart of the town, it is a massive structure built in traditional Rajput style with courtyards and separate wings for men & women. The little township is surrounded by places of historical interest, like the 9th century temple Magar Mandi, 3 kms away. Visit nearby villages to see local craftsmen at work & a little further see blackbucks, blue bulls etc.
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 Mts. Above the plains. The city is encompassed by a high wall -10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions.
Osiyan was a religious and trading center between the 8th and 12th centuries. Sixteen Hindu and Jain temples dating from this period are located here. Dominated by the Jains during this period, the town has special significance for Jains because it is associated with the origin of the Oswal Jain community of merchants who became very wealthy through trade. This wealth enabled them to build the beautiful temples. Built from local sandstone, the buildings have withstood time and are in excellent condition.
The Ranakpur Temples, dating back to the 15th century have 200 pillars, none of which are alike, support its 29 halls. The Temple abounds with intricate friezes and sculptures. Includes visits to two more Jain temples and the Temple of the Sun God with its erotic sculptures.
The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.
Derived from the Sanskrit word for peace "AMAN" , and "BAGH" or garden in Hindi, AMANBAGH is a verdant oasis of mature palm, fruit and eucalyptus trees lying within a walled compound once the staging area for royal units. Evoking the palatial grandeur of the MOGHUL era, the 24 suites and 16 pool pavilions provide a tranquil garden from which to access the rich heritage of Rajasthan's dramatic frontier region.
A little southward of Agra is the ancient city of Gwalior. Centuries of history can be witnessed even today in its monuments, temples, museums and cultural traditions. The magnificent Gwalior Fort, with its reflections of art, religion and military might, is an enduring symbol of this glorious past. The colorful history of this city dates back to the eight century and is a mosaic of Rajput clans of the Pratihasas, Kachwahas and Tomars, each leaving their marks on the city's magnificent monuments. Gwalior's history is traced back to a legend in 8th century AD when a chief tain known as Suraj Sen was struck by a deadly disease and cured by a hermit-saint Gwalipa. As a gratitude for that incidence, he founded this city by his name. The new city of Gwalior became existence over the centuries. The cradle of great dynasties ruled the city Gwalior. With different Dynasty, the city gained a new dimension from the warrior kings, poets, musicians, and saints who contributed to making it renowned throughout the country. The city is also the setting for the memorials of freedom fighters such as Tatya Tope and the indomitable Rani of Jhansi. Today the old settings stand side by side with the trappings of modernity.
Standing on a steep mass of sandstone, Gwalior Fort dominates the city and is its most significant monument. It has been the scene of momentous events, imprisonment, battles and jauhars. A steep road winds upwards to the fort, flanked by statues of the Jain tirthankaras, carved into the rock face. The magnificent outer walls of the fort still stand, two miles in length and 35 feet high, bearing witness to its reputation for being one of the most invincible forts of India. This imposing structure inspired Emperor Babur to describe it as "the pearl amongst the fortresses of Hind ".
Built between 1486 and 1517 by Raja Mansingh.The tiles that once adorned its exterior have not survived, but at the entrance, traces of these still remain. Vast chambers with fine stone screens were once the music halls, and behind these screens, the royal ladies would learn music from the great masters of the day. Below, circular dungeons housed the state prisoners of the Mughals. Emperor Aurangzeb had his brother, Murad imprisoned, and later executed here. Close by is Jauhar Pond, where in the Rajput tradition, the Ranis committed mass sati after their consorts had been defeated in battle. At Man Mandir Palace, a poignant ambience of those days of chivalry and heroism still lingers in the silent chambers.
Within the fort are some marvels of medieval architecture. The 15th century Gujari Mahal is a monument to the love of Raja Mansingh Tomar for his intrepid Gujar Queen, Mrignayani. The outer structure of Gujari Mahal has survived in an almost total state of preservation; the interior has been converted into Archaeological Museum housing rare antiquities, some of them dating back to the 1st century A.D. Even though many of these have been defaced by the iconoclastic Mughals, their perfection of form has survived the ravages of time. Particularly worth seeing is the statue of Shalbhanjika from Gyraspur, the tree goddess, the epitome of perfection in miniature. The statue is kept in the custody of the museum's curator, and can be seen on request.
Two architecturally beautiful 11th century temples.
A splendor of a different kind exists in the Jai Vilas Palace, current residence of the Scindia family. Some 25 rooms have been turned into the Jivaji Rao Scindia Museum, and in these rooms, so evocative of a regal lifestyle, the past comes alive. Jai Vilas is an Italianate structure which combines the Tuscan and Corinthian architectural modes. The imposing Darbar Hall has two central chandeliers weighing a couple of tonnes, and hung only after ten elephants had tested the strength of the roof. Ceilings picked out in gilt, heavy draperies and tapestries, fine Persian carpets and antique furniture from France and Italy are the features of these spacious rooms. Eye catching treasures include: a silver train with cut glass wagons which served guests as it chugged around the table on miniature rails; a glass cradle from Italy used for the baby Krishna each Janmashtami, silver dinner services and swords that were once worn by Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan. These are, besides, personal mementoes of past members of the Scindia family: the jeweled slippers that belonged to Chinkoo Rani, four-poster beds and gifts from practically every country in the world, hunting trophies and portraits. The Scindia Museum offers an unparalled glimpse into the rich culture and lifestyle of princely India.
Located near the Residency at Morar, the newly constructed Sun Temple takes its inspiration from the famous Konark Sun Temple in Orissa.
The sandstone mausoleum of the Afghan prince, Ghaus Mohammed, is also designed on early Mughal lines. Particularly exquisite are the screens which use the pierced stone technique as delicate as lace.
This Museum of Music has been set up in the old ancestral house of the legendary Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan. It houses ancient instruments of the great Indian Masters of yesteryears. It also houses an impressive collection of photographs and documents. Sarod Ghar is a unique institution devoted to promoting Indian classical music, heritage and culture. Through this 'window' to the past, music lovers can gain a better understanding of the evolution and history of our classical music and a deeper perspective and insight into the context of the art as it exists today.
It is a medieval city founded by the BUNDELA rulers with palaces and temples of the 16th & 17th century - which has remarkably withstood the onslaught of time. The town is known for its CHATTRIS which were built in the memory of the kings and the place is flanked by the river BETWA.
The Katmandu Valley, the political, commercial and cultural hub of Nepal, is the first for the majority of visitors to Nepal. Once a separate kingdom in itself, it contains three fabled cities - Katmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. Each is an artistic exposition of graceful temples, elegant palaces, brick paved courtyards and quaint streets. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in the valley.
JIM CORBETT National Park ? One of the greatest National Parks of Asia. Corbett is five hundred and twenty acres of forests, hills and grasslands, fed by a frisky river ? A bio-diversity that is rich, rare and precious. This Park is the perfect habitat for the tiger, elephant, hog deer, birds and other wildlife species that is fast vanishing from the earth.
The road is uphill and the scenery spectacular. Nainital lies beside a glacial lake and is backed by a crater like ridge with snowcapped peaks beyond rising to over 2600 m. The area is a mixture of pinewoods, open country and small lakes, and the views from some of the hills behind the town are simply fantastic.
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park is one of the finest water-bird sanctuaries in the world. The Maharaja of Bharatpur artificially created the lake and wetland in the 19th century. By building small dykes and dams and diverting water from an irrigation canal, he converted this low-lying area into a fine wild fowl shooting preserve. In a few years, the new wetland surrounded by marginal forests was able to support thousands of water birds. Commonly referred to as Bharatpur, the Park is a delight for bird watchers. Over 375 species of birds are found here and raised paths, camouflaged by babul trees and undergrowth make viewing easy. A quiet ride by boat in the early hours of the morning is also unforgettable experience. The cacophony is unbelievable as painted storks, open bills, spoonbills, egrets, cormorants, white ibis and multitudes of others, tend their young. Jacanas with their iridescent colors and elegant tail feathers and purple moorhen can be seen delicately treading over the floating vegetation.
Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, at the junction of the Aravalis and the Vindhyas, is a unique example of natural and historical richness, standing out conspicuously in the vast, arid and denuded tract of eastern Rajasthan, barely 14 kilometers from Sawai Madhopur. Get in tune with nature for a luxury holiday in the heart of the jungle. Most of the resorts are close to the National Park Gate, Tiger Den being the closest.
Spend the day seeing birds and there are more than 250 species available here. The famous ones are Bonelli's Hawk-Eagle, Blackthroated Weaver Bird, Crested Bunting, Franklin's Nightjar, Green Sandpiper, Indian Moorhen, Large Whiterumped Swift and yellow Throated Sparrow.
This is the place that has been described by RUDYARD KIPLING in his great book "The Jungle Book". Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park is a tiger reserve that extends over an area of over 940 square km. A horseshoe shaped valley bounded by the spurs of the Mekal presents an interesting topography. Steep rocky escarpments along the edges offer breathtaking views of the valley. Realizing the danger on the Tiger population in the country, the Government started the "Project Tiger" at Kanha and in 1974 the area was declared a Tiger reserve. The park is also the habitat of the high ground Barasingha.
Mahabodhi Temple - depicting the various phases of Buddha's journey towards enlightenment, showing different aspects of his life; Bodhgaya Archaeological Museum - houses a small collection of Buddhist sculpture from the 1st century B.C, to the 11th century A.D; Jagannath Temple close by has a four armed statue of Shiva in black stone.
Lumbini is the place where Buddha was born 2500 years ago.
In the heart of the Thar Desert lies Jaisalmer, founded by Rawal Jaisal, in 1156A.D. Here the yellow sandstone fort is an imposing sight, towering magnificently over the city. Discover the painstakingly latticed havelis or mansions with their grand facades. The Nathmalji-ki-haveli, Patwon-ki-haveli and Salim Singh-ki-haveli are fine examples of the stone carver?s skill.
One can almost sense a life of the wilderness, as the Palace on Wheels arrives in Sawai Madhopur, a city named after its founder Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. After breakfast a visit is arranged to the Ranthambhor National Park, wherein are located the ruins of a 10th century fort. This wildlife sanctuary is considered to be the country?s best for observing and photographing the activities of the tiger. The park, covering an area of 392 sq.kms. is home to more than 300 species of birds. The tiger, hyena, ratel, jackal and fox are among those constituting the carnivorous population here. Sawai Madhopur is known for its exclusive toys, ethnic ornaments and costumes. Upon return to the Palace on Wheels, you leave for Chittaurgarh, when one gets an opportunity to watch the colourful countryside passing by in the daylight.
The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include imagesof the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Francis of Assisi.
Jama Masjid, one of Asia?s largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.
Samode according to the Rajputana Gazetteer of 1879 was a large and flourishing town. The Zamidars (landlords) of Samode - the principal thakurs of the state of Amber were the Nathawat clan from Chomu, a branch of the house of Amber, tracing their relation to the Jaipur Maharaja the fabled Prithviraj Singhji the 17th prince of the house of Kacchwaha Rajputs. Gopal Singhji one of his 12 sons was awarded Samode, a noble feudatory of the Amber & Jaipur principality. It was among the wealthiest territories in the Amber kingdom. The Zamidari eventually passed within the clan to the hands of Behari Das, a Rajput warrior in Mughal Service. After 6 generations in the hands of his descendants Samode was relinquished to the Raj.