Capital of India: New Delhi
Official Language: Hindi and English
Population: 1.1 Million as of 2013
Currency: Indian Rupee (1 USD = 54.00 Indian Rupee)
Time zone: GMT + 5:30
Calling Code: 91
Economy: India has the Twelfth largest economy in the world. India has the world's second largest labor force, with 516.3 million people. Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, tea, sugarcane, potatoes, etc. Major industries include textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software.
Climate: India's climate is defined by three seasons - the hot, the wet (monsoon) and the cool. The most pleasant time to visit most of the country is during the cooler period of November to around mid-February.
Religion: Major religion in India is Hindu and Muslim as a minority. Other religions such as Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Baha'I are also practiced but the followers are mostly less than 5% of the total population. India has the third highest Muslim population in the world and has the highest population of Muslims for a Non-Muslim majority country.
The Harmandir Sahib, better known as the Golden Temple is the main tourist attraction in Amritsar, and the most important religious place to the Sikhs. Construction of the temple was begun by Guru Ram Dast in the 16th century. In the 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh the upper floors of the temple were covered with gold. It’s a stunning temple, and always full of thousands of pilgrims from all over India, excited to be at a place that they usually only see on television.
Located in Rajasthan’s remote westernmost corner close to the border with Pakistan, Jaisalmer is the quintessential desert town. The yellow sandstone walls of the “Golden City” rise from the Thar desert like a scene from the Arabian Nights while the Jaisalmer Fort crowns the city. Uncontrolled commercialism has dampened the romantic vision of Jaisalmer, but even with all the touts and tour buses, it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in India.
The Ajanta Caves are rock-cut cave monuments dating from the 2th century BC. The magnificent Ajanta caves were abandoned around 650 AD and forgotten until 1819, when a British hunting party stumbled upon them. Their isolation contributed to the fine state of preservation in which some of their paintings remain to this day. The well preserved murals depict everything from battlefields to sailing ships, city streets and teeming animal-filled forests to snow-capped mountains. The city of Aurangabad is the gateway to the Ajanta Caves as well as the equally spectacular Ellora Caves.
Situated on the banks of the River Ganges, Varanasi is sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Jains and also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. In many ways Varanasi epitomizes the very best and worst aspects of India, and it can be a little overwhelming. The scene of pilgrims doing their devotions in the River Ganges at sunrise set against the backdrop of the centuries old temples is probably one of the most impressive sights in the world.
The Taj Mahal in Agra is an immense mausoleum of white marble, built between 1632 and 1653 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife. Called “a teardrop on the cheek of eternity” it is one of the masterpieces of Mughal architecture, and one of the great tourist attractions in India. Besides the white domed marble mausoleum the Taj Mahal includes several other beautiful buildings, reflecting pools, and extensive ornamental gardens with flowering trees and bushes.
Useful Tips: Standing with your hands on your hips will be interpreted as an angry, aggressive posture. Whistling and winking are considered as impolite. Never point your feet at a person. Feet are considered unclean. Hindus do not eat beef and Muslims do not eat pork. Upon meeting, normally people may say "Na mastay", which means "I bow to the divinity within you", striking an attitude of humility and respect for the person you are greeting.
Credit Cards: Credit cards are accepted at growing numbers of shops, up market restaurants, and midrange and top-end hotels, and you can also use them to pay for flights and train tickets. MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted cards; for details about whether you can access home accounts in India, inquire at your bank before leaving.
05DAYS 04NIGHTS - INDIA + GOLDEN TRIANGLE
Day 01: Arrival in Delhi (-)
Arrival in Delhi and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at Delhi hotel.
Day 02: Delhi – Jaipur (B/L/D)
After breakfast at hotel, check-out proceed with combined sightseeing tour Old & New Delhi. Visit to Jama Masjid the final architectural extravaganza of the Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan. This monument was built between 1644 and 1658 by five thousand artisans. Originally called the Masjid-i-Jahanuma, or "mosque commanding view of the world". Later Drive Past Red Fort. India Gate (memorial to the Indian army soldiers who died in the World War I) the Rastrapati Bhawan (formerly the viceroy's residence) and the Parliament House and visit to Qutab Minar. Qutab Minar in Delhi is the tallest brick minaret in the world, built in 1192. After lunch at local restaurant depart for Jaipur. Upon arrival in Jaipur, check-in at your Hotel. Dinner and overnight at Jaipur Hotel.
Day 03: In Jaipur (B/L/D)
After breakfast proceed with visit of Amer Fort situated atop the Amber Hill, enjoy the flawless beauty of the Fort royally with an elephant ride. Photo stop en route of the famous Hawa Mahal. After lunch proceed with the sightseeing tour of city, visiting the City Palace, the principal residence of the ruling family and is known for its stunning architecture. Part of it is now converted into a magnificent museum. Also visit Jantar Mantar, a stone observatory raised in the 18th century. Time permitting visit cottage industry specializing in hand-woven carpets & textiles. Witness how silk carpets are handmade. Dinner and overnight at Jaipur hotel.
Day 04: Jaipur – Agra (en-route visiting) Fatehpur Sikri (235 Kms / 06 hrs approx) (B/L/D)
After early breakfast at Hotel depart for Agra en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri (old deserted town of Mughal Dynasty). See the beautiful Jama Masjid / The Buland Darwaza, palace of Queen Jodha Bai, Continue your drive to Agra.
Upon arrival in Agra, check-in at your Hotel. After lunch proceed with the sightseeing tour of city, visiting TAJ MAHAL, one of the 7-wonders of the world. Taj Mahal built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjehan in 1630 for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. Also visit Agra Fort containing the Pearl Mosque, the Halls of Public and Private Audience. (TAJ MAHAL CLOSED ON FRIDAYS)
Dinner and overnight at Agra hotel.
Day 05: Agra – Delhi (205 Kms / 04 hrs approx) (B/L/D)
Morning at Leisure. After Lunch or enroute lunch, drive to Delhi If Time permitting proceed for last minute shopping. Dinner at local restaurant thereafter transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
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