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A Voyage Home: Trip to India (September 2016)

Day 01: Departure from Florida

Day 02: Arrive Mumbai

Welcome to India! Upon arrival at Mumbai International Airport, you are greeted by our representative. Transferred to hotel where our representative helps you check in and briefs you about the following tours. Afternoon tour of Mumbai visiting Kamla Nehru Park, Hanging Gardens situated on the slopes of Malabar Hill offering a panoramic view of Marine drive, Chowpatty Beach, Prince of Wales Museum, Mani Bhawan, Dhobi Ghat, Gateway of India & arrive through the Crawford Market, Marine Drive & Flora Fountain. Overnight Mumbai.

Day 03: Mumbai-Nasik-Mumbai by road

Morning drive to Nasik for full day excursion of Nashik. Trimabkeshwar is a holy town houses one of the Twelve Jyotirlingas in India. Its also is the origin of the river Godavari & situated 35 kilometers from Nasik. Today Explore the Kumbh Mela with a lot of activities going on like Bhaja, Kirtan, Temple visit & Escort will interact you with the Sadhus etc. Also visting Panchavat ( Lord Rama, sita and Laxman used live here) Later drive back to Mumbai and transfer to hotel. Overnight Mumbai

Day 04:Mumbai to Jaipur

Morning transfer to airport to board the flight for Jaipur. Arrive Jaipur, meet assistance and transfer to hotel Breakfast at hotel. Afternoon tour of Jaipur. Jaipur - the capital of Rajasthan was given a colour coat of pink a century ago in honour of a visiting Prince. Built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the notable astronomer, this city is 260 years old. Visit Maharaja's City Palace, the Observatory & Ram Niwas Gardens.  Drive past Hawa Mahal & through the pink rose residential & business areas. Overnight Jaipur. 

Day 05: Jaipur à Pushkar à Jaipur by road 

Morning drive to Pushkar for full day excursion to Pushkar. Pushkar, visit the holy Lake and also the famous Brahma Temple. Pushkar is one of the holiest places for Hindus. Maa Gayatri Mantra born here. Later drive back to Jaipur and transfer to hotel. Overnight Jaipur. 

Day 06: Jaipur à Fatehpur Sikri à Agra by road 

Morning drive to Agra visiting Fatehpur Sikri enroute. Fatehpur Sikri is 40 kms from Agra and built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. See the graceful buildings including the Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal and other Palaces. Later drive to Agra and transfer to hotel. Overnight Agra.  

Day 07: Agra à Mathura by road 

Morning visit the world famous Taj Mahal built by the Moghul Emperor Shahjehan in 1630 for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshirine her mortal remains. Later visit the Agra Fort containing the Halls of Public and Private Audience. Afternoon drive to Mathura and transfer to hotel. Evening visit temples. Overnight Mathur, 

Day 08: Mathura à Delhi by road

Morning visit Mathura Mathura (or Brajbhoomi) is famous as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, an important deity in the Hindu religious pantheon. It is an important pilgrim place of the Hindus and one of the seven sacred cities in India. The main pilgrim center in Mathura is the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple.Later drive to Vrindawan. As you pass the woods where Lord Krishna frolicked with the Gopis and tenderly wooed Radha, learn about this cow-herding community where he spent his childhood. In Vrindavan, continue the Holi celebration in full glory with a visit to the famous Banke-Bihari Temple. After the visits drive to Delhi and transfer to hotel. Overnight Delhi

Day 09: Delhi à Rishikesh by road

Morning drive to Rishikesh and transfer to hotel. Evening Visiting Paramatma Niketan Ashram to attend Ganga Arti. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Rishikesh

Day 10: Rishikesh 

Morning visit Rishikesh is an ancient pilgrimage centre nestling in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas on the banks of river Ganges. Millions of Hindus come here every year to absolve themselves of their sins by bathing in the Holy Ganges, which has supported the ancient civilizations of the North Indian plains since time immemorial. Overnight Rishikesh 

Day 11: Rishikesh à Haridwar à Delhi by road

Morning drive to Delhi and visit Haridwar enroute. Here you will meet pilgrims, Sadhus (holy men) coated in cow dung ash, barbers waiting to shave the nostrils, ears and heads of the pilgrims before their ritual bath. Hanging to the chains in the fast flowing river, the pilgrims, once shaved, blessed and anointed, caste gifts of flowers, sweets and milk into the Ganges. Later drive to Delhi and transfer to hotel. Overnight Delhi

Day 12: Delhi Q Varanasi by flight (AI 406 at 1030/1145 hrs) 

Morning transfer to airport to board the flight for Varanasi. Arrive Varanasi, meet assistance and transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit Varanasi visitingthe Bharat MataTemplewithabigrelief mapofIndiainmarble,   DurgaTemple, Tulsi Manas Mandir, Banaras Hindu University which hasanArt Gallery  andtheMosque ofMoghul Emperor Aurangazeb builtonthesite of an ancient Hindu Temple. In the evening, the grand ‘Aarti’ at Dasaashwamedh Ghat is conducted every sunset by five white-robed priests. These five young men sway in seemingly choreographed movements, worshiping the river goddess with incense, camphor, flowers and earthen lamps. Thousands of illuminated lamps are immersed in the waters of the holy Ganges and the floating lamps add a divine look to the river at dusk. Sit with some ‘sadhu’ and enjoy knowing their lifestyle from close proximity. You might even run into some one who is more than 100 years old! The Ghats also provide a good option for photography with serene temples and their bustling courtyards creating a perfect backdrop. Overnight Varanasi

Day 13: Varanasi à Allahabad by road

Morning drive to Allahabad and transfer to hotel. Later visit Allahabad also known as Prayag and The city's original name – Prayaga, or "place of offerings" – comes from its position at the union of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Sarasvati Rivers. It is the second-oldest city in India, and plays a central role in Hindu scriptures. Overnight Allahabad  

Day 14: Allahabad à Varanasi by road

Morning drive to Varanasi and transfer to hotel Later visit Sarnath. Visit the buried Buddhist city where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, Sarnath was a renowned school of learning from 6th century B.C. to 12th century AD. Visit the ruins, the stupa, the Buddhist temple and the Museum. Overnight Varanasi.

Day 15: Varanasi Q Delhi by flight (AI 406 at 1645/1805 hrs 

Early morning boat excursion on the river Ganges, a ferry pilgrimage from ghat to ghat. People bathe early in the morning to offer the prayers to the rising sun. The two cremation ghats are Manikarnika & Harishchandra where funeral pyre burns day and night. Every pious Hindu believes that to die in Kashi and to be cremated on banks of the Ganges is to attain release from the cycle of birth and death. Back to hotel for breakfast. Later transfer to airport to board the flight for Delhi. Arrive Delhi, meet assistance and transfer to hotel. Overnight Delhi

Day 16: Delhi

Morning tour of Delhi. Visit Raj Ghat - the cremation sites of Mahatma Gandhi , Jama Masjid and drive past Red Fort and Chandni Chowk. Afternoon visit Qutub Minar built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibek in 1199, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate (War Memorial Arch ), Lakshminarayan Temple - a modern Hindu Temple. Also drive past President's House, Parliament House, Government Secretariat Buildings & Connaught Place shopping centre. Overnight Drive to International airport for Departure.

Day 17: Departure from Delhi

In time transfer to airport to board the flight for onwards journey. No hotel in Delhi

Later Event: September 5
Krishna Janamashtami