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Home » Cultural Tours » Hansa Grand Cultural Tour

Hansa Grand Cultural Tour
Duration : 21 Nights/ 22 Days
Destinations : Delhi - Jaipur – Agra - Jhansi - Khajuraho – Varanasi - Mumbai - Cochin – Alleppey - Kumarakom – Periyar - Madurai – Trichy - Tanjore – Pondicherry - Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Chennai

Day 01: Arrival Delhi
Upon arrival in Delhi you will be met our Hansa Vacations representative and after a warm welcome proceed to the pre-booked hotel. Special welcome awaits you at hotel in traditional Indian style with aarti & tika. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Delhi
After breakfast proceed for a full day guided sightseeing tour of Old & New Delhi. Being the current metropolitan and the capital, Delhi is also one of the oldest inhabited cities of the world. Basically Delhi is divided into two parts, New Delhi & Old Delhi. You will start your day by visiting the Qutub Minar, the 72 meters high minaret. After admiring the huge minaret, go to India Gate which is also known as All India War Memorial. Then proceed to Birla Mandir and en-route see Rastrapati Bhawan, the president’s house. Now proceed to Old Delhi and see the Red Fort & Jama Masjid. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Delhi – Jaipur (262 Kms /5 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Jaipur, upon arrival in Jaipur check-in to the hotel.

Jaipur is a land of natural beauty and great history. It has a flourishing tourism industry. Also called pink City, it is the capital of Rajasthan. It is well connected to the other parts of the world, through its vast network of airways, railways and roads. The palaces of Jaipur are the favourite spots for tourists, both Indian and foreign. Many old and neglected palaces and forts in Jaipur have been converted into heritage hotels. The service sector of Jaipur boasts of its tourism, real estate, insurance and hotel industry. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 04: Jaipur
After breakfast start the day with an excursion to Amer Fort. Amer was the ancient capital of Jaipur. It is situated atop the Aravalli hills overlooking the city. Ascend the fort on elephant's back, like a king. Later visit Jaigarh fort where you can see the world's largest canon displayed. In the afternoon visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), Jantar Mantar Observatory and City Palace museum which covers a large area divided into a series of courtyards, gardens and buildings. A part of this palace is a now a museum, containing three wings of Armoury, Textiles and Artefacts. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 05: Jaipur – Agra (250 kms / 6 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Agra en-route visiting the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri located 27 miles from Agra, Akbar's Capital where phantoms of ancient pomp and splendour fill a deserted city, silent witnesses to a vanished dream. The capital had to be abandoned by Emperor Akbar due shortage of water. The marble tomb of the Saint 'Salim Chisti' and the Bulland Durwaza, the highest gateway in the world, are some of the highlights of the place. On arrival in Agra check-in to the hotel. Stay overnight in Agra.

Day 06: Agra
Early morning before breakfast visit the monument of Love to catch a glimpse of the Taj Mahal at sunrise. We are about to witness one of the greatest sights of one's lifetime - the Taj Mahal at sunrise, as we visit the fabled Taj Mahal to witness the magical effects caused by the reflections of the changing colours of the rising Sun or setting Sun on this brilliant white marble building.  “Monument of Love” - Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays) symbolizes eternal love frozen in white marble built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz.

Return to hotel for breakfast, after breakfast you will visit the Agra Fort. Agra Fort is located on the right bank of the river Yamuna in the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the most important and robustly built strongholds of the Mughals, embellished with number of richly decorated buildings encompassing the imposing Mughal style of art and architecture. It was constructed by the third Mughal emperor Akbar on the remains of an ancient site known as Badalgarh. Sikandar Lodi (1487-1517) was the first Sultan of Delhi to shift his capital from Delhi to Agra. Afternoon you are free to relax and enjoy the amenities at the hotel. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 07: Agra - Jhansi (By train) Jhansi - Khajuraho (By surface)
Morning a Hansa vacations representative will transfer you to the railway station to board the train to Jhansi. Arrive Jhansi and you will be met and assisted by our representative and drive to Khajuraho.  En-route visit the magnificent temples of Orchha. Some of the palaces were decorated with painted murals which represent the finest flowering of the Bundela school of painting.

After sightseeing continue drive to Khajuraho. Khajuraho- the legendary temples of khajuraho are an incomparable experience. Acknowledged as one of the world’s artistic wonders, these temples dedicated to the Hindu pantheon of Gods are covered in carvings that are a paean to life and love. Built within a short span of a hundred years by the Chandela Rajputs, the 10th century temples lay forgotten until they were discovered in the present century. Khajuraho has achieved fame for the sensual appeal of its erotic sculptures. Upon arrival in Khajuraho check-in hotel. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 08: Khajuraho
After breakfast visit the fascinating temples of Khajuraho, India's unique gift of love to the world were built between 950 and 1050 A.D. The divine sculptures in these temples are a tribute to Life itself embodying everything that is sublime and spontaneous about it. The murals depict the life and times of the Chandelas, and celebrate the erotic state of being. They not only testify to the mastery of the craftsmanship, but also to the extraordinary breadth of vision of the Chandela Kings under whose rein these temples were planned and constructed. Afternoon will be at leisure, evening enjoy a live Kandharia dance show. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 09: Khajuraho - Varanasi (By Air)
After breakfast a Hansa Vacations representative will transfer you to the airport to board the flight for Varanasi. Varanasi also known as Benares is said to be one of India’s oldest and most sacred city situated on the western bank of the holy river Ganges. As a place for devotion and worship, with hundreds of temples dotting the city, sunrise on the river front as seen from a boat can be a spiritually uplifting sight. It has a fascination uniquely its own, a quality of sublime beauty, a timeless eternal appeal. It is the city which cannot be described, but can only be experienced. Arrive Varanasi and transfer to hotel. Later proceed for temple tour of Varanasi. Evening you will witness the “Aarti” ceremony on the banks of river Ganges. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 10: Varanasi - Mumbai (By Air)
Early morning enjoy a boat ride on river Ganges to view the Hindu cremation activity on the river banks and also get an insight into the cultural background of India. It provides an absorbing spectacle of thousands of Hindus engaged in their ritual bathing. Return to hotel for breakfast followed by an excursion to Sarnath. After attaining enlightenment, the Buddha came to Sarnath to give his first sermon.

Afternoon our representative will transfer you to the airport to board the flight to Mumbai. On arrival you will be met and assisted by our representative and transferred to the hotel. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 11: Mumbai
After breakfast proceed for half day tour of Mumbai covering Gateway of India – The stone archway designed by Wittett in the 16th century Gujarati style, Prince of Whales Museum, Chowpatty Beach, Dhobhi Ghat- a vast outdoor laundry & Marine Drive. Evening you are free to enjoy the night life in Mumbai. Stay overnight at hotel.

 

Day 12: Mumbai - Cochin (By Air)
Morning our representative will transfer you to airport to board the flight for Cochin. Arrive Cochin and transfer to hotel. Afternoon enjoy a short sightseeing tour of Cochin covering The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry is renowned for its wall murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana. The Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town. The St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. The Santa Cruz Basilica, originally built in 1557 by the Portuguese. The Chinese fishing nets are huge cantilevered fishing nets believed to have brought to Kochi by Chinese traders. Evening enjoy Kathakali dance show in Cochin. Stay overnight in Cochin.

Day 13: Cochin – Alleppey
After a leisurely breakfast drive to Alleppey the boarding point of House boat. The Houseboat will cruise at a leisurely pace along palm-fringed waterways, giving a panoramic view of Kerala Village Life. Lunch and dinner will be served on board the house boat. Stay overnight on board the houseboat.

Day 14: Arrive Kumarakom – Periyar (130 kms / 03 hours)
After breakfast disembark from houseboat and drive to Periyar. Periyar has one of the finest wildlife reserves in India. It is very popular among wildlife lovers for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, it’s the only sanctuary in India where you can view wildlife at close quarters at the same time enjoying a boat ride on lake Periyar. Its biggest attractions are the Herds of Elephants that come down to water and bath by the lakeside. Stay overnight in Periyar.

Day 15: Periyar – Madurai (139 Kms / 5 hours)
After breakfast drive to Madurai. On arrival in Madurai you will check-in to the hotel. Later visit the world famous temple of Meenakshi, a structure in the Dravidian style of architecture. The history of the city dates back over 2,000 years when it was the capital of the Pandya dynasty. The most interesting feature of the temple is its Hall of a thousand pillars. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 16: Madurai – Trichy (320 Kms / 07 hours)
After breakfast depart for Trichy. Arrive Trichy and check-in to the hotel. Evening proceed for a temple tour of Trichy which is one of the very ancient towns of Tamil Nadu with many interesting relics of Pallava art from 7th century A.D. Only 6 miles away is the great temple of Srirangam. This is a massive temple with a 100 pillar hall highly decorated with carvings. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 17: Trichy – Tanjore (56 Kms / 02 hours)
After breakfast drive to Tanjore and check-in to the hotel on arrival. Afternoon you will enjoy a temple tour of Tanjore. Also called a city of temples, Tanjore is dotted with no fewer than 74 temples, the most famous of which is the Brihadeshwara temple. Visit this fascinating temple and the Thanjavur Palace. Tanjore was once the capital of the Chola dynasty, a powerful dynasty of the kings who ruled from the 10th to the 14th century A.D. Later visit the Saraswathi Mahal Library containing rare collections of ancient books and manuscripts in various languages on multiple subjects. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 18: Tanjore – Pondicherry (177 Kms / 06 hours)
After breakfast we depart for Pondicherry and check-in to hotel on arrival. Afternoon sightseeing of Pondicherry also known as Puducherry means a "New Hamlet" is located on the Coromandal Coast. It's main attraction is actually outside of town: the ashram at Auroville, built by followers of Sri Aurobindo, a philosopher and prophet born in 1870. This is an International town where people of different countries reside. Later visit Matrimandir a famous temple constructed by the Auroville Society and represents the flower Lotus. Also visit the 400 years old Manakula Vinayagar Temple which has several fresco paintings on the walls telling the life story of a half human and half animal lord. You shall also visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram named after Sri Aurobindo, who was a National Leader, famous for his integral Yoga and philosophical literary works. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 19: Pondicherry – Mahabalipuram (100 Kms / 03 hours)
After breakfast drive to Mahabalipuram and check-in to the hotel on arrival. The shore temples of Mahabalipuram are some of the very ancient temples to be constructed in this area. The "Five Rathas", a group of monolithic monuments and animal figures carved out of solid rock are almost like an artist's experiment in variety of form. Rest of the day you are free for relaxation. Stay overnight at hotel.

Day 20: Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Chennai
after breakfast proceed for a full day excursion to Kanchipuram & Mahabalipuram. Kanchipuram known as the Golden City of a Thousand Temples, is one of the oldest towns in India. It is famous for both its temples, many of them remarkably well preserved and for its hand-woven silks. Kanchipuram is one of the seven sacred cities of India and it is the only one associated with both Shiva and Vishnu. Visit Ekambareshwar Temple, Kailashnath Temple, Kamakshi Temple, the Vaikunthaperumal Temple, all built in the 7th and 8th centuries. With a weaving tradition dating back to the Pallava dynasty, Kanchipuram is justly famous for its particularly fine silk products, embellished with stunning patterns. You will get an opportunity to visit the local homes of the weavers and watch them create magic out of silk thread.

Mahabalipuram is a small, quiet seaside resort with a unique 7th century Shore Temple, a lovely beach and some of the most beautiful rock cut temples in the world. Situated on the shore of the Bay of Bengal Mahabalipuram was already a famous seaport in the 1st century AD. This, town was a workshop for temple building. Visit the seven pagoda style shore temples and the 7 rathas or temple chariots, a group of monolithic monuments and animal figures carved out of solid rock, the earliest known examples of Dravidian architecture. They were constructed in a single century long burst of creative enthusiasm, starting in the reign of Narasimhavarman 1 (AD 63068). Stay overnight at the hotel.

Day 21: Chennai
After breakfast drive to Chennai and proceed for a city tour of Chennai - the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and the cultural Gateway to South India. Chennai is in some respects unlike other Indian cities. The National Art Gallery, the Museum with some beautiful temple prizes and the finest collection of South Indian bronzes are quite interesting. St. Mary's Church, Peoples Park and the beautiful Marina Beach which is the second longest beach in the world as well as the clock towers are worth visiting. Stay overnight at hotel in Chennai.

Day 22: Departure
In time a Hansa Vacations representative will transfer you to airport to board your flight back home.