The first leg to India - mini-holiday in Chicago
Trip Start Feb 28, 2012
11Trip End Mar 15, 2012
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I'm a month late for my birthday but we will be in India for Andy's 45th birthday so it worked out for him!. Our friends, John and Dale are also traveling with us so we'll always be in good company. They also wanted to experience India after already traveling to Vietnam
Why India now, you ask? Because I wanted to go while I was still strong and healthy enough to recover from a life threatening illness!:-)
We did buy Dukoral which is a vaccine against cholera & traveler's diarrhea caused by E.coli. It was $100 each but we thought it would be worth it if it stopped us from getting sick. Andy also bought some pro-biotic pills that some people suggested may help maintain our stomach equilibrium.
We are flying thru Chicago because one of the tour flight options was out of Chicago (the other was New York). And since this is February, we thought we'd go a couple days early in case of a blizzard hitting Regina or Chicago. And there are some sights in Chicago, even in winter. Andy
wants to view a Frank Lloyd Wright House, I'd like to go up the tallest building in the Americas - the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower). There's also an Art Institute museum that John & Dale would like to visit.
We are taking the 'scenic' route to Chicago - via Winnipeg with a 6 hr layover
For lack of anything exciting to write about, here's our 15 day Kaleidoscope of India & Nepal tour itinerary:
March 1 - DAY 1, Thursday - Depart the USA
Depart the USA for India. Your flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for your journey
DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in Delhi
Arrive in Delhi and transfer to your hotel. Balance of the day at leisure.
DAY 3, Saturday - Old & New Delhi City Tour
This morning, enjoy a tour of Old Delhi, an ancient historical city with more than 60,000 identifiable monuments. Visit the Memorial of Mahatma Gandhi and the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque, and view the famous Red Fort. This afternoon, tour New Delhi. Pass by the UNESCO World Heritage Qutab Minar, the world's tallest brick minaret. Continue for a visit to the Mausoleum of Humayun and the 17th-century Birla Temple. Drive past India Gate, the former Viceroy's Palace, and the Indian Parliament House.
DAY 4, Sunday - Travel to Jaipur
This morning, transfer to your hotel in Jaipur, the famed Pink City of India
DAY 5, Monday - Elephant Ride to Amber Fort & Jaipur City Tour
This morning's excursion takes you to the 16th-century Amber Fort. Ascend the hill to the fort on the back of an elephant and admire views of Jaipur's original city walls and the Maotha Lake below. In the afternoon, tour Jaipur, including visits to the observatory of Maharaja Jaisingh and the museum at the Maharaja City Palace. Drive past the 18th-century Hawa Mahal ("Palace of Winds"), which has a streetside facade of 953 small windows designed to circulate wind throughout the palace, thus giving the palace its name.
DAY 6, Tuesday - Travel to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri
Travel to the medieval city of Agra via the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri
DAY 7, Wednesday - Taj Mahal & Agra Fort
This morning, visit the Taj Mahal, built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved Queen Mumtaj Mahal. This monumental construction, which took 22 years to complete (1631-53), is most famous for its imposing white-marble dome, and is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture in the world. Continue to the Taj's nearby sister monument, the Agra Fort, begun by Emperor Akbar the Great in the 16th-century. View the palaces, mosques, and Halls of Public and Private Audiences of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
DAY 8, Thursday - Sightseeing En Route to Khajuraho
This morning, board the Shatabdi Express train for Jhansi. Continue via motorcoach to Khajuraho, stopping at Orchha on the River Detwa to view some of the most noteworthy Hindu architecture in India.
DAY 9, Friday - Chandela Dynasty Temples of Khajuraho & Flight to Varanasi
Enjoy an exciting morning tour of the Chandela Dynasty Temples. First visit the Western Temples including the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple to Lord Shiva and the Chaunsath Yogini Temple, dedicated to the 64 Yoginis of the Goddess Kali. Among the Western Temples you will view the Bharatji Temple, with its 11-headed sculpture of Vishnu. Next visit the Eastern Temples including the Ghantai Temple, Javari Temple, and the Vamana Temple, dedicated to the dwarf incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
DAY 10, Saturday - Ganges Boat Ride, Hindu Temples Visit & Sarnath Sightseeing
This morning, witness dawn on the Ganges, a time when the Ghats along the riverbanks hum with activity, as Hindu devotees perform their ablutions in the river or offer prayers to the rising sun. A boat ride through this serene setting offers you the perfect panoramic vantage for this
extraordinary experience. Visit the Bharat Mata Temple, with its marble relief map of an undivided India, the Durga Temple, and the golden-spire temple of Vishwanath. Drive to the city of Sarnath, the ancient deer park where Guatama Buddha gave his first divine sermon of Dharma, and view the ruins, the stupa, and the Buddhist Temple. Enjoy time at leisure to shop for authentic silks and brocades in the city's bustling bazaars.
DAY 11, Sunday - Flight to Kathmandu
Late this morning, you will head to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
DAY 12, Monday - Kathmandu City Tour
Drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Durbar Square, showcasing some of the finest architecture in Central Asia with more than 50 palaces, pagodas, and temples. The square is home to two important temples, the Kastha Mandap (House of Wood), considered one of the oldest wooden structures in the world, and the 16th-century Taleju Temple, which honors a form of the Goddess Durga. Visit the temple of Machhendranath and the great stupa of Swayambhunath, with the eyes of Buddha painted on all four sides. See the Royal Palace complex with its gilded doorway and the shrine of Teleju. Enjoy the afternoon exploring the city on your own.
DAY 13, Tuesday - Rural Nepal Excursion
Venture into rural Nepal this morning and enjoy visits to Pashupatinath, Bodhnath, Bhadgaon and Nagarkot. Located on the banks of the Baghamai River, the Pashupatinath Temple is believed to mark the site where Shiva worshipped in the form of Lingam (only Hindus are permitted entrance). Continue to visit Bodhnath, an important Buddhist pilgrimage center and home to one of the world's largest Buddhist stupas. Also visit Bhadgaon, a Newar city founded in the 9th-century. Here you will see the royal residential quarter of King Bhupendra Malla and the Nytapole Temple. The tour concludes with a stop at Nagarkot, where you will see a spectacular view of the Himalayan Mountains and Mt. Everest when the weather is clear.
DAY 14, Wednesday - Flight to Delhi
This afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel to freshen up. Late evening transfer to the airport for all flights departing at or just after midnight.
Day use: Delhi
DAY 15, Thursday - Arrive USA and then back to Regina, SK