Visit the 12th century Qutab Minar, gracefully hand-carved for its entire height of 234ft, and the iron pillar, which has withstood the ravages of time and not rusted even after 1500 years, the mausoleum of emperor Humayun, the imposing modern Lakshmi Narayan temple. Drive past India Gate (memorial to the Indian army soldiers who died in the World War I) the Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly the viceroy’s residence) and the Parliament House.
Deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri
Located 40 Km from Agra, the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, in honour of the great Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti who blessed Akbar and prophesized the birth of three sons to the heirless Emperor. Akbar used Fatehpur Sikri as his capital and the city was fully occupied for 14 years but slowly became deserted and ruined after Akbar left the city. Scarcity of water was the prime factor for the abandonment of this beautiful city. Visit the remarkably well-preserved, graceful buildings within the ‘Ghost City’ including the Jama Masjid, tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal Palace and other palaces that speak of the grandeur and splendour of the Mughal empire at the height of its power
stands on the bank of River Yamuna, which otherwise serves as a wide moat defending the Great Red Fort of Agra, the center of the Mughal emperors until they moved their capital to Delhi in 1637. It was built by the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1631 in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess. When Mumtaz Mahal was still alive, she extracted four promises from the emperor: first,that he build the Taj; second, that he should marry again; third, that he be kind to their children; and fourth, that he visit the tomb on her death anniversary. He kept the first and second promises. Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years. Twenty thousand people were deployed to work on it. The material was brought in from all over India and central Asia and it took a fleet of 1000 elephants to transport it to the site. It was designed by the Iranian architect Ustad Isa and it is best appreciated when the architecture and its adornments are linked to the passion that inspired it. It is a “symbol of eternal love”. (Taj Mahal is closed on Friday)
After Taj Mahal proceed for sightseeing of Agra Fort. It represents first major building project of Akbar, though remains of only a few buildings built by him now survive. Built on the site of an earlier castle in AD 1565-75, the fort, apart from other important units, contains Jahangiri Mahal, Khass Mahal, Diwani-Khass, Diwan-i-Aam, Machchhi Bhawan and Moti Masjid. Many extant buildings were erected by Shah Jahan (AD 1630-55). Irregularly triangular on plan, it is enclosed by a double battlemented massive wall of red sandstone which is about 2 km in perimeter and interrupted by graceful curves and lofty bastions. Of its four gates, the most impressive is the Delhi Gate on the west.
a small town has many Havelis and temples. The Havelis, mansions of the erstwhile rich Marwari traders were profusely frescoed inside and outside and some of these are still in good shape.
The city is bolstered by imposing walls and has a 16th century fort housing old palaces, temples and a mosque. Founded by Raja Rai Singh, the Fort is distinguished by its long range of 37 pavilions, a line of balconies and aerial windows of varying designs. An enormous arched doorway leads to the Joramal temple. The royal chapel is Har Mandir where royal weddings and births were once celebrated
visit the Temple on the banks of Pushkar Lake. It has five principal temples, many smaller temples and 52 ghats where pilgrims descend to the lake to bathe in the sacred waters. One of the primary temples is the 14th century temple dedicated to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. (Bramha Temple & Pushkar Lake visit is not possible during Pushkar festival in the month of November)
Later depart by surface for Jaipur en route visit community service –“ Ladli”. Ladli is a social enterprise owned by the street youth; adolescent girls and women groups belonging to the most deprived and disadvantaged communities. It aims at holistic development of the underprivileged population, mainly the street children, through interventions such as income generation, skill training, creative development, savings, health awareness and education, and self-reliance via a joint partnership with grass root organizations working with welfare of children, youth and women
Excursion to Amber fort by Elephant (subject to availability) failing by Jeep.
Amber is a classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace. The rugged, time ravaged walls of the Fort may not look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is a virtual paradise. Miniatures painted on the walls depict hunting and war scenes, apart from festivals. Precious stones and mirrors are embedded into the plaster. Inside the Fort visit the Jag Mandir or the Hall of Victory. Inside the Jag Mandir is the famed Sheesh Mahal – a room with all the four walls and ceiling completely embedded with glittering mirror pieces, which were specially imported from Belgium during that period. Enroute to Amber Fort, you will have a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds.
Maharaja’s City Palace
City tour begins with a visit to the Maharaja’s City Palace, the former Royal residence, part of it converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal Family of Jaipur. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the city. One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion known as Armory Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers. The royal families of Jaipur once used most of these weapons. Later visit the Jantar Mantar, which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world. Situated near the gate of the city palace, the observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition.