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Taj Mahal with Leh Ladakh Tours
No. of Days : 11 Nights / 12 Days
Destinations Covered : Delhi - Ladakh - Lamayuru - Alchi - Agra

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Day 01 ARRIVE DELHI

Arrive Delhi by International flight.
A history which encompasses all the various kings and emperors who fixed their royal citadels here - Indraprastha, Lal Kot, Quila Rai Pithora, Siri, Jahanpanah, Tughlakabad, Ferozabad, Dinpanah, Delhi Sher Shahi or then Shahjahanabad. but, combined and integrated into one, these 'new cities' have always been called Delhi and howsoever many names it may have acquired, Delhi has always been intrinsically identified with power and imperial sway.
You will be met on your arrival by the tour guide of company with fresh flower garlands. You will then be transferred to your hotel.
In the afternoon you will be given the city tour of Old & New Delhi.
Old Delhi - Visit the former centre of Moghul Power, Old Delhi offers ancient monuments, narrow streets and bustling bazaars. Drive past the vast Red Fort, built in 1648, the Jama Masjid, the greatest mosque in India and completed in 1658 by Shah Jahan who also built the Taj Mahal, and the Raj Ghat, the simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. A unique experience of taking 'rickshaw ride' from the Red Fort, through "Chandni Chowk" or Silver Street, experiencing the sights and sounds of this very busy avenue heading west from the Fort. Chandni Chowk - literally means "moonlit crossroads" and an area which best represents the "super-Oriental" - the glory and the guile; the grandeur and the grime, with its crowded bazaars, twisting lanes, maze of small streets strange aromas, the pungent odour of Oriental spices, the cries of shopkeepers, coolies and "rickshaw-walas" and the clatter and whirr of furious industry.
New Delhi - drive past the stately government buildings of the British Era designed by Lutyens, including the India Gate & the Presidential Palace. Continue onto the beautiful Humayuns tomb of the Mughal era & predecessor of the world famous Taj Mahal. End the tour at the towering minaret of Qutab Minar.
Overnight at the hotel.


Day 02 DELHI-LADAKH (LEH) BY AIR
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to the airport in time to connect flight for Ladakh.
Ladakh, the land of jagged peaks and barren landscape is alluring and awe-inspiring. Hidden behind this harsh and forbidding façade is an ancient civilization and captivating people. Beyond the old frontiers lies the land of wilderness with its unaltered character and overwhelming natural beauty beckoning the more intense and adventurous of travelers. This awesome wildness and magic belongs to that great land of towering mountains and Buddhist simplicity-Ladakh.
The largest of the 10 provinces of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh is bordered by the Karakoram chain of mountains in the north and the Himalayas in the south. With the great Indus flowing right through Ladakh, the province is divided into Leh, the capital, Nubra, Zanskar, lower Ladakh and Rupshu. The many distinctive features of Ladakh are its uplands, craggy, barren cliffs and plateaus. Governed by a climate that provides about 50mm of rainfall each year, Ladakh is cold and dry. One, therefore, will be faced with a long and bitter winter of frozen landscape but yet very beautiful, and a short, hot summer when the precious glaciers melt.



Leh

In Ladakh, you will be met on arrival and transfered to the hotel.
Rest of the day free for acclimatisation.
Overnight at the hotel.


Day 03 IN LADAKH
Breakfast at the hotel.
Full day free for acclimatisation you will be given a little walking tour of the city to get acclimatize.
Overnight at the hotel.


Day 04 IN LADAKH
Breakfast at the hotel. Fullday sightseeing with guide and pack lunch to HEMIS / THIKSEY and SHEY monasteries.
SHEY : - Situated on a hillock 15 km. upstream from Leh was once the residence of the royal family. According to tradition, it was the seat of power of the pre-Tidetan kings. A 7.5 meter high copper status of Buddha, plated with gold and the largest of its kind is installed here.
THIKSE : - Spectacularly sighted, Thikse is one of the largest and architecturally most impressive gompa. There are several temples in this gompa, containing images stupas and wall painting of Buddhas which are exquisite.
HEMIS : - It is the wealthiest, best known and biggest gompa in Ladakh. Its popularity stems from the major annual festival held here in summer. The festival is in honour of Guru Padma Sambhav's birth anniversary. It also has the largest Thanka, which is unfurled once in 12 years (next in 2004). Hemis was built in 1630 during the reign of Sengge Namgyal, an illustrious rulers in Ladakh. It flourished under the Namgyal dynasty for the royalty favoured for Drugkpa Sect, which managed the monastery.
It is divided into two, the Assembly Hall on the right and the main temple on the left. The hall, Dukhang, is also used as a 'Green Room' by the dancer during the festival. The temple is known as Tshogkhang. The verandahs have a surfeit of frescoes among them the Buddhist Wheel of Life (Kalachakra) and the Lord of the four quarters, besides rows of the prayer wheels.


Day 05 IN LADAKH
Breakfast at the hotel.
Full day free to explore the city on your own.
Overnight at the hotel.


Day 06 LADAKH – LAMAYURU - ALCHI
Breakfast at the hotel.
Drive to Lamayuru monastery, after visiting the monastery drive to Alchi for overnight stay.
LAMAYURU : - The oldest holy site in Ladakh, it was a Bon shrine prior to the advent of Buddhism. Also known as Yun Drung (Swastika) it is sighted on a high promontory overlooking the village and valley. For sheer spectacle value no other gompa can match.
ALCHI : - On the banks of the Indus is the Alchi gompa, dating a thousand years back. One of its walls feature thousands of miniature-sized pictures of the Buddha. Three large sized images made on clay and painted brightly are its focal attraction.


Day 07 LADAKH - ALCHI
Breakfast at the hotel
Visit Alchi monastery and drive back to Leh, enroute visit Likir monastery.
LIKIR : - Founded in the 11th century and rededicated to a different monastic order in the 15th century, its earlier gompa was destroyed in a fire. The present gompa dates back to the 18th century. Skilled craftsmen producing excellent Thankas, earthen pots and carved folding wooden tables. Majestically situated, Likir commands a spectacular view. A magnificent giant juniper tree, one of the few survivors of its species stands in the courtyard.
Arrive Ladakh and check in at the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.


Day 08 IN LADAKH
Breakfast at the hotel.
Afternoon visit LEH PALACE/ ZAMSKAR monastery and SHANTI STUPA. Overnight stay in hotel.
STOK : - Visible in the distance, at the top of a huge moraine of pebbles swept down from the mountains, the elegant four - story STOK Palace stands above barley terraces studded with threshing circles and whitewashed farmhouses. Built early in the nineteenth century by the last ruler of the independent Ladakh.
LEH PALACE : - Looking for all the world like a miniature version of the Potala in Lhasa, Tibet, the palace was built in the 16th century.
SANKAR : - A relatively modern monastery, it is closely associated with the Spituk monastery and serves as the residence of the head priest - Kushak Bakula. A number of gold icons are to be found here.
Overnight at the hotel.


Day 09 LADAKH - DELHI
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to the airport in time to connect flight for Delhi.
In Delhi, you will be met on arrival and transfer to the hotel.
Rest of the day free for shopping or to explore the city on your own.
Overnight at the hotel.


Day 10 DELHI - AGRA
Breakfast at the hotel.
Leave Delhi for Agra by road.
Agra has a rich historical background, which is amply evident from the numerous historical monuments in and around the city.
Though the heritage of Agra city is linked with the Mughal dynasty, numerous other rulers also contributed to the rich past of this city. Modern Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodhi (Lodhi dynasty; Delhi Sultanate) in the 16th century. Babar (founder of the Mughal dynasty) also stayed for sometime in Agra and introduced the concept of square Persian-styled gardens here.
Agra came to its own when Shahjahan ascended to the throne of Mughal Empire. He marked the zenith of Mughal architecture, when he built the Taj in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Arrive Agra and check in at the hotel.
This afternoon you will be given the city tour of Agra.
Visit TAJ MAHAL (Closed on Fridays) - located on the bank of Yamuna River, the most extravagant monument ever built for love. Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from it's stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.
Red Fort - lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat.
Overnight at the hotel.


Day 11 AGRA - DELHI
Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning you will visit Fatehpur SIkri. - historic city (1991 pop. 25,446), Uttar Pradesh state, N India. It was founded (1569) by the Mughal emperor Akbar to honor the Muslim saint Shaikh Salim Chishti, who had foretold the birth of Akbar's son and heir, Jahangir. The city was Akbar's capital until 1584. By 1605 it was largely deserted because of the inadequate water supply. A masterpiece of Muslim architecture, the city is unique in India as a nearly intact Mughal city.
Fatehpur Sikri - drive to the impressive sandstone fortress of Fatehpur Sikri. The fort was built in the 16th century and only occupied for a few years before being abandoned, leaving the buildings in virtually perfect conditions.
Later leave for Delhi by road.
Arrive Delhi and check in at the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.


Day 12 AGRA - DELHI
Breakfast at the hotel.
later transfer to the airport in time to connect your onward flight.


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