Wonders of the World
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Last updated: 02/19/2009
Experience Bharatpur and Fatehpur Sikri - World Heritage sites ranking as some of the most amazing places on earth. Witness the breathtaking Taj Mahal and stay in an authentic indian homestay in Agra.
Jaipur - Galta - Bharatpur - Fatehpur Sikri - AgraThis morning, you'll leave Jaipur and head east towards Galta, a secluded mystical spot that will leave a lasting impression on you. The Monkey Temple here is a pilgrimage site that attracts flocks of brightly-robed devotees every day. The stream that trickles out of the rocks here is reputed to be water from the holy River Ganges, although this is geographically impossible. People bathe and sing on the steps (ghats) that lead down into the pools. Their voices echo through the rocky gorge, which opens into a wider valley dotted with temples that have been overrun with monkeys. This is an exhilarating sight.After Galta, you'll drive for another three hours before arriving in Bharatpur. This is a fascinating waterworld, criss-crossed by all sorts of dykes. Maharajas of the historic Singh family used this region as their hunting grounds, and the scenery is breathtaking. If you like, you can pedal through Bharatpur on a âsturdy' Indian bike (cycle hire costs arouond Â£1.50). There are hundreds of rare birds in the Bharatpur wetlands, such as the rare Siberian crane. Currently, there are several tigers here, originally from Ranthambore National Park, which pounce on the waterfowl as they doze. It's unlikely that you'll see this in action, but keep your eyes peeled all the same.A few kilometres further on, you'll come to stunning Fatehpur Sikri. The great ruler Akbar set up his capital here, and built a grand city, but after only 40 years the water supply became too difficult to maintain in this dry area, so all of the inhabitants packed up and moved on. They left behind a phenomenal collection of grand temples and palaces, with the ruins of old houses standing between them. Now it is an atmospheric ghost city, full of green parrots and monkeys.We'll arrange for a guide to lead you through the forgotten city, and tell you the stories behind the monuments.
After visiting Fatehpur Sikri, you'll drive on to Agra, where you'll arrive at the Lamba family home. Here, you can experience the warmth of a true Indian family, who will go out their way to make you feel at home. Mr Lamba is a retired army officer with plenty of incredible tales to tell. Of course, if you would prefer to stay in a hotel rather than a family home, we can book a hotel for a small extra charge.
Agra - Taj Mahal You'll have breakfast this morning in the garden at the Lamba family home. Afterwards, you'll set off to visit another two breathtaking sites. First, you'll be taken to the Taj Mahal, a highlight of any trip to India. Standing serenely in the first light of the morning, we are sure that this stunning building will surpass all your expectations. It is one of the few buildings in the world that has the ability to move people. It was built by Shah Jahan as a token of his love for his deceased wife, and is undoubtedly the most romantic burial site in the world. After visiting the Taj Mahal, you'll head for Agra Fort. This huge but restrained structure seems to be immersed in a dreamy atmosphere when it's bathed in the golden light of late afternoon, which slants through the pillars and galleries. From its majestic walls and through its arches, you can see the Taj Mahal, just as Shah Jahan would have done centuries ago, when he was imprisoned here by his son.
Agra Today, the module ends and you'll leave Agra after breakfast for your next destination. From Agra you could, for instance, travel Overland to Varanasi or journey back to Delhi.
- Inclusions -
- 2 nights of accommodation with breakfast, private transport and local guides
- Exclusions -
- International flights
- Extras -
- Tour runs every day except Thursday (the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays. Upgraded hotel is also available on request.
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