Journey of the unfathomble Ganges
Arrive Mumbai today where accommodation is held today from 12 noon.
The unmistakeably brooding and melancholic signs of a lost era linger in Muslim Lucknow, dotted with palaces, mosques, mausoleums, gardens and the overcrowded and decaying old quarter. Complementing the mood is the hauntingly evocative British Residency, its regal elegance overcome by the tragedies that engulfed it during the great Indian Mutiny of 1857.
Drive south this morning along the old imperial way to Agra (192 km/ 4 hours plus stops). Afternoon tour of the exquisite Tomb of Itimad-ud-daulah, and Mahtab Bagh, a classic Mughal garden gradually being restored to its original glory.
Drive to Varanasi (155 km/3.5 hours), pausing at the landmark Chunar Fort along the Ganges, strategically important to the Mughals, Sher Shah Suri and the British. Late in the day, visit the ghats along the Ganges to view the evening prayer ceremonies and stroll through the traditional markets.
The City of Shiva is Hinduism’s holiest and among the world’s most ancient. The dawn boat trip to view the morning prayer provides an unforgettable spectacle of devotion. At Banaras Hindu University, a deeply venerated centre of learning, visit the Bharat Kala Bhawan (closed Sundays/university holidays), which exhibits a precious collection of ancient sculptures and medieval paintings. Adjacent to Varanasi is quite another world – Sarnath – where the Buddha preached his first sermon in 528 BC after attaining Enlightenment.
Hotel Ganges View
Day excursion north to Zaffarabad and Jaunpur (156 km roundtrip/2.5 hours drive each way), two provincial Islamic settlements that bear the distinctive stamp of Delhi Sultanate, Sharqi and Mughal influences in the form of the Old Shahi Fort, Atala Masjid, Jami Masjid and the Akbari Bridge. Somewhat cocooned and time warped, nothing much seems to have changed here.
At leisure till the late morning flight to Khajuraho. Afternoon tour of the celebrated 10th century Chandela temples and the Tribal Museum.
Drive on to Orchha (176 km/4 hours), a 17th century Bundela Rajput walled city set along the banks of the Betwa River. Visit the evocative fortresses and palaces, and the forlorn cenotaphs by the riverside. Continue to Jhansi (19 km) to board the evening train to Gwalior.
Morning tour of the gigantic Gwalior Fort, consistently built from ancient to late medieval times, and view the palaces and temples within. In the afternoon, drive east to Datia (138 km/1.5 hours roundtrip), site of the beautiful seven storied Bundela Rajput palace, greatly admired by Edwin Lutyens. Early evening visit to Gwalior’s old quarter, full of offbeat delights.
Drive to Rajkot, 3 hours away, stopping by at Ajrarakhpur where the Khatri family has successfully revived a traditional block printing technique.
Visit Gandhi’s old home, now converted to a simple museum, and his old school (subject to permission).
Day excursion north to Mathura (125 km roundtrip/1.5 hours drive each way) – birthplace of Lord Krishna – and Brindavan, two ancient towns situated along the Yamuna River. The constant ebb and flow of pilgrims at the ghats, and numerous temples of varying antiquity, are timeless sights and the narrow, twisting lanes are abuzz with neverending activity.
A day to explore the Mughal dynasty’s architectural wonders – the Taj Mahal (closed Fridays), Agra Fort, Mehtab Bagh and the Tomb of Itimad-ud-daulah.
Depart Agra for your onward destination.
The Hotels we recommend are handpicked and the best the destination can offer, as per your preference
The activities, sights and experiences are original and offer you the spirit of the land
Flavours of local and global cuisine matched with your preferred drinks at selected restaurants offering unique F&B experiences
We endeavour to make your journey smooth and memorable. Our drivers are trained at driving on Indian Roads and are also knowledgeable guides