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India - From The Mughals To The Raj


Below is a sample itinerary of a past Goway Group. It is provided to give you an idea of what we have already done & what you might also consider doing.

However, because of timing, your own group's special interests and budget, we expect to custom make a program just for you. Contact your favorite travel agent click on "Inquire about this Trip" to fill out request for a group quotation.

Where will you find a more colorful land? The sights and sounds will excite you; the palaces, forts and old walled cities will fascinate you; the varied and exotic scenery will captivate you and the warm and smiling people will charm you. GroupsOnly's cultural/historical tour, "From the Mughals to the Raj," immerses you in to the very heart of India with its many mysteries and stories which are waiting to be unfolded.

Day 1

Fly From Your Hometown to Delhi

Day 2

Arrive In Delhi

Namaste & welcome to India! You will arrive at New Delhi's International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, a Goway representative will meet you as you exit the arrivals terminal building after which you will be transferred to your hotel.

New Delhi, the capital and the third largest city of India is a fusion of the ancient and the modern. Standing along the West End of Gangetic Plain, the capital city, Delhi, unwinds a picture rich with culture, architecture and human diversity, deep in history, monuments, museums, galleries, gardens and exotic shows. Comprising of two contrasting yet harmonious parts, the Old Delhi and New Delhi, the city is a travel hub of Northern India.

Narrating the city's Mughal past, Old Delhi, takes you through the labyrinthine streets passing through formidable mosques, monuments and forts. You will also discover lively and colorful bazaars that boast to cater all sorts of good and items at mind-blowing prices amidst a barely controlled chaotic ambience. The imperial city of New Delhi displays the finely curved architecture of British Raj. It generates a mesmerizing charm reflecting well-composed and spacious streets under the shade of beautifully lined avenues of trees and tall and imposing government buildings.

Located in New Delhi, India's capital city, The Oberoi, New Delhi reflects the city's spirit in a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary sophistication. Located close to the city center near business, commercial and shopping districts, the luxury hotel overlooks Delhi's prestigious Golf Club on one side and the heritage site of Humayun's Tomb on the other. Exquisite interiors, impeccable service and fine cuisine combine to make this the Capital's most graceful and elegant hotel. The award winning hotel is ideal for business travel or holidays to explore the cultural wonders of Delhi.

Accommodation

The Oberoi New Delhi

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    The Oberoi New Delhi



    Located in New Delhi, India's capital city, The Oberoi, New Delhi reflects the city's spirit in a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary sophistication. Located close to the city centre near business, commercial and shopping districts, the luxury hotel overlooks Delhi's prestigious Golf Club on ...

    Located in New Delhi, India's capital city, The Oberoi, New Delhi reflects the city's spirit in a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary sophistication. Located close to the city centre near business, commercial and shopping districts, the luxury hotel overlooks Delhi's prestigious Golf Club on one side and the heritage site of Humayun's Tomb on the other. Exquisite interiors, impeccable service and fine cuisine combine to make this the Capital's most graceful and elegant hotel.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Massage Treatments
    • Medical Services
    • Parking (Valet)
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Spa
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 3

Delhi Sightseeing

The tour to Imperial Delhi will include a visit to the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Qutub-ud-din Aibak started it in 1199. Pulling down 27 Hindu and Jain temples and using their columns erected the attached Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque also built by him. Then visit Humayun's tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, it is an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, a precursor of the Taj Mahal. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence.

In the afternoon visit Old Delhi, and Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, both built by emperor Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame.

This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at the famous Colours & Spice Restaurant.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4

Day at leisure in Delhi

A Day at leisure in Delhi.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Delhi to Varanasi

After breakfast at hotel, transfer to the airport for a flight to India's Holiest City, Varanasi, also known as Banaras or Kashi, the "City of Light". On arrival in Varanasi, transfer to your hotel.

Varanasi (formerly known as Banaras) is where for centuries, pilgrims have made their way - the holy city of Hindus. Thousands of visitors customarily line the "ghats" or steps that lead down to the banks of the sacred Ganges River, thereby creating a most amazing spectacle.

At dusk, we witness the 'aarti' (hymns and prayers) and the sight of hundreds of lighted lamps flowing on the waters, sights one cannot forget.

A veritable haven of peace and tranquility in the bustling temple city, Taj Ganges offers the perfect combination of five-star elegance and timeless hospitality. Set amidst 40 verdant acres, just 21 Km from the airport, Taj Ganges offers calm and relaxation in the heart of this crowded, ancient temple city.

Accommodation: Taj Ganges or similar

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Varanasi Sightseeing, Fly to Khaluraho

We start our Day with an early morning boat ride on the sacred River Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and important religions. At sunrise the sight unfolds before us, thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge. After the boat ride visit the Golden Temple and walk through the narrow lanes of Varanasi. These narrow cobbled lanes have stories to tell.

In the afternoon, transfer to the airport for a flight to Khajuraho. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Situated in the heart of Central India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is a fascinating village with a quaint rural ambience and a rich cultural heritage. The fascinating temples of Khajuraho, India's unique gift of love to the world, represent the expression of a highly matured civilization.

A haven of peace and tranquility, Hotel Chandela offers easy access to the world famous Khajuraho temples, Panna National Park Tiger Reserve, and more. Tucked snugly amidst 11 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, this hotel offers an array of modern comforts.

Accommodation: Taj Chandela or similar

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Khajuraho sightseeing, travel to Agra

This morning, we visit the temples famous for its superb sculptures depicting aspects of Indian life over the centuries. Khajuraho temples were constructed between 950 and 1050 A.D. during the reign of Chandel Empire. The murals depict the life and times of the Chandelas, and celebrate the erotic state of being.

Early afternoon depart by road to Jhnasi railway station- (4 hrs drive). Board the Shatabadi express train departing at 6 pm. On arrival in Agra at 8:20 PM, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Enjoy the luxury of your own private view of the greatest monument to love. The Oberoi Amarvilas is located 600 meters from the Taj Mahal, all our rooms, suites, lobby, bar and lounge offer breathtaking views of the monument. Built in a style inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture, the resort is a splendid display of terraced lawns, fountains, reflection pools and pavilions with rich interiors that take you back to an era of Emperors and Princes. An interlude at The Oberoi Amarvilas is truly unforgettable.

Accommodation: Oberoi Amar Villas or similar

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Visit Taj Mahal, Travel to Jaipur

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy an early morning city tour of Agra starting with a visit to the World famous Taj Mahal and the Red Fort.

Agra has long been renowned as the city of the Taj Mahal. This has often overshadowed the fact that this royal Mughal has, in addition to the legendary Taj, many magnificent monuments that epitomise the high point of the Mughal architectural achievement. Not even Delhi the seat of kings and emperors for over a thousand years, can boast such a heritage of architectural and cultural splendour from the golden age of the Great Mughals. Agra was the chosen city of the Mughal emperors during the early years. It was here that the founder of the dynasty, Babur, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of the River Yamuna. Here, Akbar, his grandson, raised the towering ramparts of the great Red Fort. Within its walls, Jehangir built rose-red palaces, courts and gardens. Shahjehan embellished it with marbled mosques, palaces and pavilions of gem-inlaid white marble.

In the afternoon, we drive to Jaipur enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri. Popularly known as the "Ghost city", Fatehpur Sikri situated 26 miles west of Agra, was built at the orders of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. While Akbar himself was illiterate, he took a keen interest in literature, architecture, and the arts. He is also reputed to be a very tolerant ruler, and the buildings at Fatehpur Sikri blended both Islamic and Hindu elements in their architectural style. One of the buildings even reflects the new syncretistic faith founded by Akbar, Din-e-ilahi, which though very short-lived remains a matter of controversy.

Continue to Jaipur. Jaipur is the capital city and the natural gateway to the exotic Rajasthan. It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trapping of modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller. The old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. Stunning backdrop of ancient forts Nahargarh, Amer, Jagarh and Moti Dungri are dramatic testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance.

For nearly two centuries, the Rambagh Palace has been home to generations of royals. Built in 1835 on a modest scale for the queen's favourite handmaiden Kesar Badaran, it was later refurbished as a royal guesthouse and hunting lodge. In 1925, Rambagh was converted into a palace, and became the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur. In the finest tradition of Rajput hospitality, the Rambagh Palace offers its guests a taste of royal living - a luxury and extravagance that was once the sole preserve of kings. Its elegantly appointed rooms, marbled corridors and majestic gardens echo with history, and every corner has a story to tell.

Accommodation: Rambagh Palace or similar

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 9

Sights of Jaipur

Tonight we transfer to our exclusive dinner venue at the historic Sankotra Haveli in the heart of old Jaipur.

Once we enter the inner courtyard, we have stepped back to a time when the Majarahas ruled in India.

The colourful chaos of Jaipur is left behind as we meet our hosts for the evening. The Haveli was built in the 18th century when Jaipur was founded. 8 generations of the same family have lived and maintained the house and continue on to this day. The house has 7 terraces and 3 open courtyards with 25 rooms and is known for the ‘kach mahal’ room which is painted with real gold with a wall of double glass making the whole room sound proof. After a tour of the house, we join the family for a beautiful Jaipurian inspired dinner on one of the outdoor terraces.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 10

Jaipur to Udaipur

Early morning transfer to airport to connect onward flight to Udaipur - if flight very early morning breakfast on board or carry "cold breakfast" from the hotel itself Udaipur is known as the Venice of the east. It is also called the city of lakes. The Lake Palace on Jag Niwas Island in the Middle of Pichola Lakes is the finest example of its architectural and cultural explosion. The grand City Palace on the banks of the lake compliments the palace along with the Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh) on the hill above. Udaipur is also the centre for performing arts, craft and its famed miniature paintings. The Shilp Gram festival is a center of attraction during the season.

On arrival, proceed for the city tour including visit to City Palace. Later check-in at the hotel. The balance of your Day at leisure with transport at the group's disposal (max 4 hrs/ 40 km within the city limit).

This evening take an optional dinner cruise on Lake Pichola (cost quoted separately)

The Lake Palace hotel is in fact a white marble palace that seems to float miraculously on the still waters of Lake Pichola. Probably the most romantic hotel in the world, this 250-year old palace offers guests a unique blend of serenity and opulence Lake Palace houses 84 rooms including 17 beautiful suites and 53 Deluxe rooms. The rooms and the suites of the hotel are beautifully designed; each having a particular theme & decorated with textiles and handicrafts of the region.

Accommodation: The Lake Palace or similar

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Udaipur to Goa

Transfer to the airport for a flight to Goa, via Mumbai. On arrival in Goa, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The former Portuguese colony of Goa is one of India's favourite destinations for tourists. Most important are the wide expanse of beaches. In old Goa, once a thriving and prosperous city, some of the finest churches in the country exist.

The Se Cathedral built in the sixteenth century; the convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi with its gilded, carved woodwork and old murals, dates back to the early 1500's; the Basilica of Bom Jesus contains the tomb and mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. Goan food, way of life and festivals are other major attractions. The people are friendly and the atmosphere is easy-going.

Located on the southwest coast of Goa, overlooking the Arabian sea, this Mediterranean-style 5 star resort is one of the best five star hotels in Goa and has a way of slowing down time to a tranquil tempo. Set amidst fifty-six acres of lush gardens, Taj Exotica is a showcase for relaxation with tropical-inspired design touches, grand architecture, a sun-drenched atrium, wide shady corridors, and flower lined patios for a memorable stay.

Accommodation: Taj Exotica or similar

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 12

Goa Sightseeing

Breakfast at hotel. Morning visit Old Goa and Panjim. Visit Panjim Goa's capital, a small town endowed with the quaint charm which characterizes Goa. Old villas, a profusion of squares, wide tree lined avenues, and narrow cobbled alleys weaving through the older parts of the town with their tiled roofs and balconies reminiscent of the Iberian settlers who built them. A winding road climbs the long wooded ridge of Altinho where you will find the ancestral houses of some of the wealthy Goan families.

Dona Paula, a landmark and picnic spot from where one can have a wonderful view of Marmagoa Harbour, pass by Gaspar Dias Beach and proceed to Old Goa to visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus which houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier kept in a rich casket, and the Se Cathedral, (1510) a towering white structure with a grand baroque interior, 14 gold embossed altars and Doric arches which create an atmosphere of great dignity and splendour.

Your afternoon is at leisure to explore the beach or resort facilities. B

Day 13

Day At Leisure in Goa

Relax or explore the sights of Goa.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 14

Goa to Mumbai

Fly to Mumbai, India's most Cosmopolitan City and most important commercial centre. Balance of the Day at leisure.

Welcome to the city that never sleeps! Pulsating, alive, on the move, vibrant, and fun – this is Mumbai or as it is still frequently referred to – Bombay. The most modern city in India, it captures the spirit of the changing pace set by liberalization and modernization. Once a cluster of seven islands, Mumbai was presented to King Charles II in 1661 as part of the dowry when he married Princess Catherine de Braganza of Portugal.

Over the years, as colonialism gave way to independence, Mumbai has transformed itself into an entity with thriving markets, business houses and many different communities reflecting a cosmopolitan and trendy atmosphere rarely seen elsewhere. On the surface, it represents the ever-changing face of today's India – the old coupled with the dynamic new, and yet at its very core, the heart of the city is steeped in Indian customs and values.

Since it opened in 1903, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai has created its own unique history. From Maharajas and Princes to various Kings, Presidents, CEOs and entertainers, the Taj has played the perfect host, supportive of their every need. Built in 1903, the hotel is an architectural marvel and brings together Moorish, Oriental and Florentine styles. Offering panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India, the hotel is a gracious landmark of the city of Mumbai, showcasing contemporary Indian influences along with beautiful vaulted alabaster ceilings, onyx columns, graceful archways, hand-woven silk carpets, crystal chandeliers, a magnificent art collection, an eclectic collection of furniture, and a dramatic cantilever stairway. Over the past century, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai has amassed a diverse collection of paintings and works of art and is a veritable showcase of artifacts and art of the era.

Accommodation: Taj Tower Wing Hotel or similar

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 15

Bombay Sightseeing

After breakfast, your morning city tour of Mumbai begins with a visit to the Gateway of India, Mumbai's principal landmark. This arch of yellow basalt 0was erected on the waterfront in 1924 to commemorate King George V's visit to this colony in 1911. Drive past the Bombay High Court built in Gothic style and the Old secretariat. The ornamental university building with its 280 ft. high Rajabhai Clock Tower, the ornate Victoria Terminus, the colourful Crawford Market, the Flora Fountain in the large bustling square at the heart of the city, Afghan Church built in memory of those who fell in the First Afghan War.

Drive along the Marine Drive which is known as the Queen's Necklace. View the memorial to Haji Ali, a Muslim Saint. This unusual shrine stands on an island 500m out at sea and is linked by a causeway to the mainland. Malabar Hill with the Kamla Nehru Park Visit the Hanging Gardens which offer a splendid view of the city, and drive past the Malaxmi Temple. Stop at the Jain Temple and also visit Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his visits to Bombay. Drive past the Taraporewalla Aquarium.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 16

Fly Mumbai To Hometown


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