Newsletter October 2015: An inspiring Journey through India’s History & colorful Culture

A personal note from Ales!

I always love sharing “real” itineraries which I created for my clients.

Vintage retro hipster style travel image of Rajasthan landmark -

In this month’s newsletter you’ll get to enjoy a trip to amazing India, a country I have vistied myself numerous times and which I consider one of the most fascinating places in the world.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to have your own itinerary created for an unforgettable journey.

– Ales

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Day 1: Arrival in Delhi

Welcome to India! Upon arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, you are greeted by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel where she will help you with your check-in and brief you about the following tours. Have some free time on your own to adjust to the new time zone.

Day 2: Delhi

After breakfast, start your tour today with the visit to Old Delhi to see Jama Masjid and then have a unique glance at local life by an exploration to the bustling local bazaar of Chandni Chowk on a rickshaw.

Red Fort In New Delhi, India

Pass by Red Fort before you drive to New Delhi to see Qutub Minar. Continue to Raj Ghat, drive along the city landmark of India Gate, President’s House, Parliament House & Government Secretariat Buildings, Laxmi Narayan Temple.

In the evening, visit Dilli Haat – a traditional village bazaar which will also offer an excellent photographic opportunity.

Day 3: Delhi – Agra (Drive 210 Kms – 05 Hours)

After breakfast drive to Agra. where you will be taken to your hotel for check-in.

AGRA: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire – giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favourite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously.

In the evening, attend a performance at Kalakriti, a stunning performance art based rendition of the history of the Taj.

Day 4: Agra

This morning experience a magical sunries at the Taj Mahal.

TAJ MAHAL – 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 its 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. Return to the hotel for breakfast.

India - Taj Mahal

Later – Proceed to have a sightseeing tour of the city. AGRA FORT – The red sandstone structure is surrounded by chahar-bagh, a four-square formal garden. Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction. It 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.

After Agra Fort we will visit BABY TAJ or the ITMAD-UD-ULLAH – The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj. One of the most beautiful Mughal tombs, Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb was built by Nur Jahan, the Empress of Jehangir for her father in 1628.

The tomb is a resting place of the powerful personality in Mughal Court, Itmad-Ud-Daulah, whose life is very interesting. Formerly a very poor Persian merchant then named Mirza Ghiyas or Ghiyas Beg he became a minister and a trusted treasure in Akbar’s court.

After Akbar’s death in 1605, his son Jahangir rose into power. Jahangir made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister and honoured him with the title of Itmad-Ud-Daulah, the Pillar of State.

Later, Jahangir met a beautiful daughter of Ghiyas Beg named Mehr-Un-Nissa and married her. Mehr-Un-Nissa soon played a significant role in the Jahangir’s court and was called Nur Mahal, the light of the Place. Owing to her influence, her father and brother were granted with privileges in the court. When Ghiyas beg (Itmad-Un-Daulah) died in 1622, Nur Mahal decided to build a mausoleum for him. Queen Mumtaz Mahal or the lady of the Taj was also from this prevailing family.

Romantic India luxury tourism wallpaper  - Udaipur City Palace a

The mausoleum is entirely made of white marble and graced with intricate decoration of inlay work, and marble-screen work belonging to the Islamic style. With its tranquil, small garden on the bank of Yamuna River, the tomb stands impressively elegant from a distance.

Evening at Mehtab Bagh to experience the Sunset. The Garden complex, situated on the opposite bank of the Taj Mahal, is known as Mehtab Bagh, or “The Moonlight Garden”. Recent excavations revealed a huge octagonal tank furnished with 25 fountains, a small central tank and a baradari on the east. The site is also associated with the myth of black Taj, but the excavations have provided ample evidence for a garden complex. This is also corroborated by a letter of Aurangzeb, addressed to Emperor Shah Jehan stating the condition of this garden after a flood in 1652 AD.

Ranthambore National Park

Day 5: Agra – Ranthambhore (260 Kms –07 Hours)

After breakfast head to Ranthambore, by private air conditioned car, en-route visit the former royal city of Fatehpur Sikri.

Fatehpur Sikri: Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. It is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height.

Day 6: Ranthambhore

In the morning, start the 1st Jeep safari at Ranthambhore National Park. You will get close to nature and meet tigers, sambar, chital, wild boar, water birds, etc. Make sure your camera is fully charged.

You will come back to your hotel for lunch and then proceed to the 2nd safari in the afternoon. Dinner will be at your hotel. Each safari takes around 3 hours.

bengal tiger

Day 7: Ranthambhore – Jaipur (Drive 190 Kms – 05 Hours)

Today you will continue to do your 3rd safari. In the afternoon, your driver will pick you up at hotel lobby and head west to Jaipur. Hotel check-in upon your arrival in Jaipur and then have some leisure time.

Jaipur was established by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743) and painted pink by Maharaja Man Singh II when Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited Jaipur in 1876. The Royal heritage of Jaipur lives in its architecture and culture. The city in pink is symbolic of the hospitality that reigned in the Rajput culture.

Day 8: Jaipur

After breakfast, visit hillside Amber Fort with unique elephant ride (or take a jeep ride), inside also visit the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors).

India, Amber Fort

Drive back to Jaipur and visit the famous Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds). Continue to the City Palace Museum & Jantar Mantar-the largest stone observatory in the world. Drive through the pink rose residential & business areas before you are escorted back to the hotel.

Amber Fort (with one way elephant ride): considered as one of the best hilltops fort in India which makes it a major tourist spot in India, this fort is a typical example for Rajput’s life style in Rajasthan and it has a unique artistic style which combines both Hindu and Muslim elements. A unique elephant ride (or Jeep ride) ascent to the fort and experience some amazing views.

Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace): It is the most famous and beautiful part of Amber Fort. The Walls and ceiling of this hall is carved with beautiful paintings and flowers and that too made with pure glass. The reason behind why this hall was made by glass is because in ancient days the queen was not allowed to sleep in open air but she loved to see the stars shining. So the king ordered his architects to make something which could solve the problem. The most stunning thing about this hall is that if someone burns two candles, then the reflection converts that small light into thousands of stars.

Hawa Mahal Palace, Jaipur

Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace): Also called “Palace of Winds”, it is an example of beautiful ancient architecture that is situated in Jaipur.

City Palace Museum: Built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in the early 18th century, the monolithic City Palace is an architectural feather in the delightful cap of Jaipur. A haunt where the Royal family had stayed for centuries, the palace today is a much visited tourist spot in the region.

Jantar Mantar: It is the largest stone observatory in world that still in service today. It is the most significant, most comprehensive, and the best preserved of India’s historic observatories. UNESCO transcribed the site to the World Heritage List in 2010.

Jodhpur, India - January 2, 2015: Portrait Of Indian Child In A

Day 9: Jaipur – Jodhpur (Drive 340 Kms – 05 Hours)

After breakfast, drive to Jodhpur. Upon arrival, visit the famous Meherangarh Fort, a massive complex standing at the hillside with fantastic views of the old city of Jodhpur and the imposing Jaswant Thada. After the sightseeing tour, you will enjoy the amazing views of the Fort by the zip line – Flying Fox.

Meherangarh Fort: Meherangarh Fort is situated on a 150 m high hill where can see the panoramic view of Jodhpur. In fact, it is the most magnificent fort in the whole Rajasthan. The fort is amongst the popular tourist places in India.

Jaswant Thada: Jaswant Thada is a royal cenotaph built in 1899 in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, who was the 33rd king of Jodhpur. Jaswant Thada is an architectural marvel, built with expertly carved sheets of white marble. The marbles are very thin and polished and carved in such a way that the outside surface emits a glow during day time.

Flying Fox: Flying Fox Jodhpur is a zip line tour located inside the property of Mehrangarh Fort. The tour comprises 6 separate zip lines which fly you around the fort, providing extraordinary and unique views. The tour crosses battlements, lakes and valleys. Expert guides accompany every tour and tours depart hourly throughout the day.

India - Palace Jal Mahal

Day 10: Jodhpur – Udaipur

After breakfast drive to Udaipur. Stop en-route to visit Ranakpur. You finish the day in Udaipur where you check into your hotel.

Ranakpur Jain Temple: It is one of India’s biggest and most important Jain temple complexes. The main Temple, the Chaumukhamandir (Four-Faced Temple), is dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain tirthankar (depicted in the many Buddha-like images in the temple), and was built in the 15th CE in milk white marble. An incredible feat of Jain devotion, this is a complicated series of 29 halls, 80 domes and 1444 individually engraved pillars.

Also exquisitely carved and well worth inspecting are two other Jain temples, dedicated to Neminath (22nd Tirthankara) and Parasnath (23rd Tirthankara), both within the complex, and a nearby Sun Temple. About 1km from the main complex is the Amba Mata Temple.

Color Powder

Day 11: Udaipur

This morning, you first wander through the markets and bazaars to visit the Jagdish Temple. Followed by a visit to the City Palace. Then relax on a one hour long shared motor boat ride on Lake Pichola. Afterwards you will head to Garden of the Maids of Honour and Folk Art Museum. You finish your tour by driving past Fatehsagar Lake.

City Palace: Udaipur City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Initially, Maharana Udai Singh built this superb wonder, but the present form of the Palace is the result of subsequent additions by his successors.

Lake Pichola And City Palace In India

Lake Pichola: Limpid and large, the lake reflects the cool grey-blue mountains on its rippling mirror-like surface. It was enlarged by Maharana Udai Singh II, following his foundation of the city, by flooding Picholi village, which gave the lake its name. It is a perfect place to immerse in the amazing view of the Palace against sunset sunlight.

Garden of the Maids of Honour: Also called “Saheliyon Ki Bari”. This small, quaint ornamental garden was laid out for the enjoyment of 48 women attendants who came as part of a princess’ dowry and has beautiful, well-maintained fountains, kiosks, marble elephants and a delightful lotus pool.

Folk Art Museum: The highlight of a visit to this small but charming museum is a brief demonstration of puppetry, an ancient tradition of storytelling in this area of Rajasthan. Puppets in vibrantly coloured clothing are skilfully manipulated by expert puppeteers to act out the rich mythology of the region. The rest of the museum is devoted to folk art from the region. Folk dance performances and puppet shows are performed daily around 6pm in the evening.

Goa beach panorama, Palolem, India

Day 12: Udaipur – Mumbai – Goa (Flight)

Morning transfer to airport to board your flight to Mumbai where you will connect to Goa. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and taken to your beach hotel for a few relaxing days by the sea.

Day 13: Goa

Day at your own leisure.

Day 14: Goa

Day at your own leisure.

Day 15: Goa

Day at your own leisure.

White Temple

Day 16: Goa – Delhi – US

This morning is free at your own leisure. Today it is time to say Good-bye from this amazing country and you’ll be traveling home with many unforgettable experiences and memories. In the afternoon you will be taken by private car to the airport to board flight for Delhi where you will connect to your homeward bound flight.

About Ales

I’ve been passionate about travel ever since I can remember. Having had the opportunity to travel all around the world for many years it’s my greatest desire to enrich peoples lives in a profound way by creating unforgettable journeys, and give each of my clients the amazing experiences I’ve had throughout my travels.

By allowing me to design your journeys, you can be assured that you will be taken care of from the moment we start planning your vacation until the moment you return. Contact me and let me know where you would like to go or let me help you find the destination that will give you the experience you are looking for.

May all your travels stir your soul and change your life forever – Ales.


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