This program offers the visitor an opportunity to taste the tremendous cultural and historical diversity of this vast nation. Begin in Delhi, where a full day tour will introduce you to both the old and new sections of the city. From Delhi, fly to Jaipur for touring of the famed Pink City and visit the famous Birla Temple for an evening aarti ceremony. The next day, tour Amber Fort and spend the afternoon poking through the bustling bazaars, where spices, fabric, and everything else imaginable are on offer. Visit the abandoned temples of Fatehpur Sikri en route to Agra, exploring the exquisite Taj Mahal, with time to see it at sunset by decorated horse carriage. From the Taj, hop onto the Shatabadi Express train to Jhansi and then drive to Orcha and then Khajuraho. Tour the Chandela Dynasty temples and then fly to Varanasi, the most sacred city in India for Hindus. Enjoy a day trip to Sarnath, a deer park where the Buddha gave his first sermon before participating in a Deepmala ceremony on the Ganges River. Enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges, which allows for an intimate look at how vital this river is to pilgrims and locals alike. Spend the remainder of the day touring the city’s temples and Benares University. From there, spend a single night in Delhi on the way to the northern hill stations of Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Once known for its tea plantations, these higher-altitude regions have traditionally offered a respite from the heat and intensity in the rest of India, with a cool climate and a relaxed pace. Spend three days in Darjeeling and Kalimpong before heading back to Delhi for a final night.
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