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Ismaili Senior Citizens’ Tour To India - 20 Nights / 21 Days


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Duration :20 Nights / 21 Days
Places :Delhi->Fatehpur Sikari->Jaipur->Ahemadabad->Lothal->Bhavnagar->Gundol->Junagarh->Rajkot->Jamnagar->Mumbai->Banglore->Mumbai
Travel Itinerary


Day 1: Arrive DELHI


Arrive Delhi. You are met outside the International Arrivals Hall and transferred to Hotel Connaught. The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL CONNAUGHT.

Day 2: IN DELHI


Breakfast at the hotel. Morning sightseeing of New Delhi includes a visit to India Gate, built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War.
Rashtrapati Bhawan, built in the early 20th century as the Imperial residence of the Viceroy is today the official residence of the President of India and Parliament House, an unique circular building with huge colonnades, houses the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament. Connaught Circus is the commercial hub of New Delhi. Humayun's Tomb is the first Mughal garden tomb.

Visitors are immediately struck by the tomb's resemblance to its more famous cousin - the Taj Mahal - with its four grand gateways, octagonal base-plan, soaring niche-shaped arches, lofty double domes and the symmetrical garden with its central canal. One of Delhi’s most striking monuments is the 70-meter high Qutb Minar, which looms majestically across the wide plains of Delhi.

The afternoon is at leisure for shopping and individual activities. In the evening attend evening prayers at the Jamatkhana. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL CONNAUGHT.

Day 3: DELHI-AGRA


Breakfast at the hotel. Morning sightseeing of Old Delhi includes a visit to the Red Fort, built in 1648 during the reign of Shah Jehan in red sandstone, which gave the fort its name.

Jama Masjid is India's largest mosque, built of red sandstone and white marble in the middle of the 17th century. Chandni Chowk (Silver Street), once the imperial avenue down which Shah Jehan rode at the head of lavish cavalcades, is today bustling with shops, stalls and silversmiths' ateliers. Also visit Raj Ghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated.
In the afternoon depart on the 4 1/2-hour drive to Agra. On arrival check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL HOWARD PARK PLAZA.

Day 4: AGRA-FATEHPUR SIKRI-JAIPUR


Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning visit the red sandstone Agra Fort, which stands like a crescent on the banks of the Jamuna river, enclosed by forbidding 20-meter high walls, with a 12- meter moat between them. Three successive Mughal emperors - Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jehan - helped create this massive structure which contains Hindu and Muslim architecture.

The highlight of your trip will probably be a visit to the Taj Mahal, the greatest monument to love and one of the wonders of the modern world. Completed in 1652, skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and some 20,000 labourers worked for 17 years to build this edifice, constructed by emperor Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Marble was brought from Makrana, near Jodhpur and precious stones of onyx, amethyst, malachite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, jade, crystal and mother of pearl were carried to Agra from Persia, Russia, Afghanistan, Tibet, China and the Indian Ocean.

In the afternoon depart on the 7-hour drive to Jaipur. En route stop at Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted sandstone city, which was the glorious but short-lived imperial capital of Akbar, the greatest of Mughal emperors. Lying on a rocky ridge, it is today a haunting complex of empty palaces, forts and mosques. A variety of architectural styles are found, since craftsmen representing many schools were employed. On arrival in Jaipur check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL HOLIDAY INN.

Day 5: JAIPUR-AHMEDABAD


Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning visit Amber, the capital for 6 centuries before Jaipur was built, which lies 11 km north of Jaipur. Rising majestically on the slopes of a hill, this 11th century fort and palace complex is a blend of Hindu and Muslim styles - the earlier constructions in the inner apartments designed by the Hindu founder are austere, while later constructions abound in the rich flourishes characteristic of Muslim influence.

The Diwani-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience) affords a view of the strategic location of Amber. The Jai Mandir (Hall of Victory) is the finest example of the artistic exuberance of the day - panels of alabaster, fine inlay work, a shimmering Hall of Mirrors, renowned for its fine mirrorwork. The Sukh Nivas (Hall of Pleasure) has 17th century air conditioning. Experience the thrill of riding up to the fort on gaily-decorated elephants, in the manner the Rajputs of old made their royal ascent centuries ago.

Continue on to explore Jaipur, one of the best planned cities in India, built of rose-pink sandstone by the great astronomer-king Jai Singh II in 1727. The City Palace stands in the centre of the city. Part of it is still the Maharaja's residence, while most of the complex has been developed into a museum containing rare manuscripts, fine specimens of Rajput and Mughal paintings, royal apparel and an armoury. Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) is the landmark of Jaipur. It stands on one of the main streets, a curious building, elaborate and fanciful, built of pink sandstone with a delicate honeycomb design. Rising five storeys high, it is composed of semi-octagonal overhanging windows, each with its perforated screen, which allowed the ladies of the court to look onto the main street without being seen.

Jantar Mantar observatory built by the founder of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. The huge stone instruments were devised to study the movements of the sun, moon and planets and are incredibly accurate. There is time to wander through the colourful bazaars, a veritable collector's paradise where you can watch ancient craft forms.

Late afternoon transfer to the airport to board flight CD 7269 (currently operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), departing Jaipur at 1750 hours and arriving Ahmedabad at 1850 hours.

You are met on arrival and, depending on Du’a time, transferred either directly to the Jamatkhana for evening prayers, or to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL PRESIDENT.

Day 6: In AHMEDABAD


Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning visit the Calico Museum, with a rich collection of fabrics and garments from all over India. Ahmedabad, founded in 1411 by Ahmed Shah I on the site if the ancient city of Karavati, is today the great textile and commercial city of western India.

In the afternoon take a tour of the city, where Indo-Saracen architecture blends beautifully Hindu and Muslim styles. Sidi Saiyad's Mosque near Relief Road is one of the most eloquent examples of the finest such work in sandstone.

The shaking minarets of Rajpur Bibi's Mosque at Gomtipur and Sidi Bashir's Mosque at Kalipur are interesting - pressure exerted on the inner walls of the minarets sets them vibrating. Also visit Hridey Kunj, Mahatma Gandhi's austere Ashram set amongst mango trees where he experimented in non-violent methods of political struggle. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL PRESIDENT

Day 7: AHMEDABAD-LOTHAL-BHAVNAGAR


After an early breakfast at the hotel, depart on the 7-hour drive to Bhavnagar.
En route visit Lothal, the excavated Harappan site dating as far back as the 2nd millennium BC. Archaeologists have discovered a well-planned city here, 1.75 km long and 400 meters wide, sub-divided into blocks with rows of houses. Each house had its own bathroom and the water outlet from the baths was connected to the city's channel of underground drainage system. Lothal was discovered in 1954 and till today it is the largest and the only full-fledged Harappan town in India, though a few other minor sites have also been excavated.

A unique discovery of Lothal is a dockyard - 216 m long and 35 m wide, with a 5-meter high wall. Lothal it appears was a prosperous city and seaport. Goods like beads, stone blades and other products manufactured here were exported. There is evidence to prove that the people of Lothal had commercial links with Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Egypt.

On arrival at Bhavnagar check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at DIL BAHAR HERITAGE HOTEL.

Day 8: BHAVNAGAR-GONDOL


Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning explore the city. Founded as a port in 1723, Bhavnagar is an important trading post for the cotton goods manufactured in Gujarat.
It has a beautiful old bazaar area with overhanding wooden balconies, thousands of little shops and ateliers. The Takhteshwar temple sits on the highest hillock, offering panoramic views of the city and out into the Gulf of Cambay. In the afternoon depart for Gondol.

On arrival check in at the hotel. Gondol was the capital of one of the most progressive, affluent and efficient princely states during the British period. The impressive 17th century Naulakha Palace with a sculpted façade, pretty jharokha windows and carved stone pillars has an impressive Durbar Hall and a museum of paintings, brass and silver. Overnight at ORCHARD PALACE HOTEL.

Day 9: GONDOL-JUNAGARH-RAJKOT


After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Jungagarh, which lies at the foot of the Girnar Hill, the second most sacred mount of the Jains. Junagarh evoking memories of romance, triumph and tragedy, literally meaning 'old fort' is today a picturesque city, an extension of the walled city of Uparkot.

Visit the Neminath Temple (12th century) among the 5 magnificent Jain Temples on Girnar Hill, shrine of Ambaji auspicious for newly weds, Gorakhnath and Guru Dattaraya further up, and there is also a Shiva Temple and the tomb of a Muslim Saint. All these attract followers of Jain, Hindu and Muslim faiths.

On the way to Girnar is the rock with Ashoka's edicts and inscriptions of Rudraman (150 AD) and Skandagupta (454 AD). Nearby is the sacred pond, Damodar Kund. An old Rajput palace, two stepwells and Buddhist caves are of special interest in this historic Uparkot fort. In the afternoon depart on the 3-hour drive to Rajkot. Once the capital of the princely state of Saurasthra, Rajkot has been witness to many a historic event. It is best known as the town where Gandhi spent his early years. On arrival in Rajkot check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL GIRNAR.

Day 10: RAJKOT-JAMNAGAR


Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning visit Rajkot. The Rajkumar College dates back to the second half of the last century and is regarded as one of the best private schools in the country. It was originally one of five schools set up by the British for the education of the sons of the princely state rulers.

The Alfred High School (now Mahatma Gandhi High School) is where Gandhi was educated. The Jubilee Gardens, in the old civil station of the town, house the Memorial Insitute, which has the Lang Library and the Connaught Hall. The Gandhi family home has been turned into a memorial museum containing photographs and a few personal effects.

In the afternoon depart on the 2-hour drive to Jamnagar. On arrival check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL PRESIDENT.

Day 11: JAMNAGAR


Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning visit Jamnagar. The district headquarters, Jamnagar is a walled city with several gateways, typical of traditional towns. The older parts are bursting at the seams but many areas were scientifically planned and have a systematic layout of facades, squares, circles and broad streets.

Textile mill and tie-dyed fabrics both roll out of Jamnagar. Master craftsmen spend months tying intricate traditional designs on saris before dying them on a variety of brilliant colours. The Kotho Bastion of Lakhota Palace is located in the middle of a tank and is approached over a stone bridge.

It could accommodate a thousand soldiers and now houses a fine museum. Jamnagar has a solarium, which was built in 1933. With the destruction of two similar solaria in France during the Second World War this is probably now the only one of its kind in the world, and certainly in Asia. The afternoon is at leisure.

Evening prayers and meeting with local citizens at the Jamatkhana. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL PRESIDENT.

Day 12: JAMNAGAR/MUMBAI/BANGALORE


Breakfast at the hotel. Late morning transfer to the airport to board flight CD 7147, departing Jamnagar at 1200 hours and arriving Mumbai at 1415 hours. Connect with flight IC 107, departing Mumbai at 1730 hours and arriving Bangalore at 1900 hours. You are met on arrival and transferred to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at Hotel COMFORT INN.

Day 13: BANGALORE-MYSORE


After an early breakfast at the hotel, depart for Mysore, a 5 1/2-hour journey. En route, visit Srirangapatnam, the capital of Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan till 1799, when the British captured it.

It was here that the Tiger of Mysore, as Tipu was called, fought and died. Outside the ruins of the old fort is Daria Daulat (Splendour of the sea), Tipu's summer palace, set in an exquisite garden. The palace has been converted into a museum and houses some of Tipu Sultan's belongings. The tomb of Tipu Sultan and his parents marks the end of the glorious history of this town. On arrival in Mysore check in at the hotel.

In the afternoon explore Mysore. The capital of the erstwhile princely state of that name, Mysore is famous for its silk and sandalwood, as well as its numerous palaces, well laid out boulevards and beautiful parks. Visit the Maharaja's Palace, the most impressive of Mysore's ochre-coloured buildings - a modern edifice built in 1897, where the oriental decorative imagination runs wild. One of the largest palaces in India, it is a sort of gigantic synthesis of Hindu and Muslim styles.

Entrance gateways, domes, arches, turrets, colonnades, sculptures can be seen here in magnificent profusion. The royal family's private chambers, including the impressive Durbar Hall, are open to the public. The Marriage Hall has life-like paintings of the Dassera procession and in the museum is the ruler's golden elephant throne, used during these festivities. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL RAMANSHREE INN.

Day 14: MYSORE-BANGALORE


After an early breakfast at the hotel, depart on the return drive to Bangalore. En route visit Somnathpur, the site of the Prasanna Chennakasava temple, with the star-shaped base characteristic of Hoysala temple architecture. Built in 1268 AD, the temple is situated in a somnolent village about 35 km from Mysore.

The exterior walls are frescoed with narrative passages from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bagavatha, laid out so exactly, that each segment ends at a door. Vivid with details, no two frescoes are alike. On arrival in Bangalore check in at the hotel.

In the afternoon take a short tour of Bangalore. The capital of the state of Karnataka offers the graceful charms of a well-laid out garden city with parks and beautiful buildings. Its lack of ancient monuments is compensated for by first rate modern city planning.

The 'Garden City' has several fine parks; Lal Bagh, the botanical gardens laid out by Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan in the 18th century, is the loveliest spot in Bangalore. Extending in terraces for over 240 acres, the garden has centuries-old trees, lakes, lotus pools, rose gardens, a deer park and an assortment of tropical and subtropical herbs and plants.
The pretty glass house in the centre is the venue of the bi-annual Horticultural Exhibition. Cubbon Park is an extensive stretch of green sprawling over an area of 300 acres. The imposing red gothic structure within the park is now the public library. Vidhan Soudha is an imposing granite structure built in the neo-Dravidian style and houses the Secretariat and the State Legislature. Its cabinet room has a massive door made from pure sandalwood. There is time to explore Bangalore’s chic boutiques and shops.

In the evening, depending on Du’a time, attend prayers at the Jamatkhana, where you will also have an opportunity of meeting local senior citizens. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL COMFORT INN.

Day 15: BANGALORE/MUMBAI


Breakfast at the hotel. Late morning transfer to the airport to board flight IC 110, departing Bangalore at 1220 hours and arriving Mumbai at 1350 hours. You are met on arrival and transferred to the hotel. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL SAHIL.

Day 16: IN MUMBAI


Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning take a tour of the city. From humble obscure beginnings as a set of seven small islands, Bombay (now called Mumbai) has today risen to the eminence of India's most important commercial and industrial centre. The Gateway of India was conceived as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary for the Delhi Durbar in 1911. The Prince of Wales Museum, built of blue-grey basalt and yellow sandstone, contains some excellent examples of Indian miniature paintings of the Mughal and Rajasthan Schools, as well as collections of jade and chinaware artefacts.

Flora Fountain, now called Hutatma Chowk (Martyr's Square) is a major landmark in the heart of the city's Fort area. Also visit the Hanging Gardens on Malabar Hill, from where you get a magnificent panoramic view of the metropolis and the Arabian Sea.

The city has several fine examples of colonial architecture including the Clock Tower - now called Rajabai Tower, the University Hall and Elphiston College with canopied balconies, the School of Art, built in the late 1800s, where Rudyard Kipling was born; Crawford Market which has bas-reliefs designed by Kipling's father; the massive Victoria Terminus, built of yellow sandstone and granite combined with polychromatic stones and blue-grey basalt and the Municipal Corporation building.

The afternoon is at leisure for independent activities/shopping. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL SAHIL

Day 17: IN MUMBAI


Breakfast at the hotel. The full day is at leisure for independent activities.
Dinner and overnight at HOTEL SAHIL.

Day 18: IN MUMBAI


Breakfast at the hotel. The full day is at leisure for independent activities. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL SAHIL.

Day 19: MUMBAI/DUBAI


Breakfast at the hotel. Morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Dubai. You are met on arrival at Dubai airport and transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities and shopping. Dinner and overnight at HOTEL IMPERIAL SUITES

Day 20: IN DUBAI


Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning tour of Dubai city
The afternoon is at leisure for shopping
Dinner and overnight at HOTEL IMPERIAL SUITES


Day 21: DEPART DUBAI


Breakfast at the hotel.
Departure transfer to the airport for your onward flight home.

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