GOLDEN TRIANGLE WITH RAJASTHAN - 09 DAYS

Destinations: Delhi – Ajmer - Jaipur - Agra and Delhi
DAY 01: ARRIVAL DELHI

On your arrival at Delhi International airport, the representative of our company will welcome you at the arrival gate outside the arrival lounge and escort you to your hotel.

DAY 02: DELHI

After brief refreshment; you will set for the visit of The Masjid-i-Jahan Numa,
commonly known as Jama Masjid of Delhi is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India.
The splendid mosque built by Shahjahan in 1656 in the typical Mughal style with two minarets and three domes, lies to the west of the Hussainabad Imambara and is entirely free from pseudo Italian art then in vogue in Lucknow.
Masjid-i-Jahan Numa means "the mosque commanding a view of the world", and the name Jama Masjid is a reference to the weekly congregation observed on Friday (the yaum al-jum`a) at the mosque.
The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers.
The mosque also houses several relics in a closet in the north gate, including a copy of the Qur'an written on deer skin. The cost incurred on the construction in those times was 10 lakh (1 million) Rupees.
Though Shah Jahan has the credit of building a number of mosques in Delhi, Agra,
Ajmer and Lahore, the Jama Masjid is by far the best and an outstanding symbol of Mughal architectural brilliance in India.


It is the country's largest mosque, where thousands of Muslims offer prayers.
It lies opposite the Red Fort and is surrounded by a large number of shops, which deal in a variety of goods. The great mosque of Old Delhi is both the largest in India and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees.

Tombs: Near the Eastern entrance stands the 'roja' or the tomb of the Sultan Ahmed Shah, which was homage to the Sultan by his son Mohammed Shah II. The tomb houses the graves of three great rulers of Gujarat - Ahmed Shah I, his son, Mohammed Shah and his grandson, Qutub-Ud-Din Ahmed Shah II.
After a passage of 100 years, a nobleman by the name - Farhatul Maluk repaired the tomb, who also got the walls of the mosque engraved. Today after centuries of heat and rough weather, the Masjid stands unchallenged serving as a prayer place for numerous Muslims residing in the city. Among the most popular sights of the city of Ahmedabad is the Jama Masjid, boasting of a well-proportioned architecture.
It took 13 years to complete this fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture of the Ahmed Shahi style.
A white marble paved courtyard, with a pool in the middle provides a perfect pause between the raucous streets outside, and the dignity of the main sanctuary within. Nearby the Masjid are Pols and the Teen Darwaza (The Three Gates) which were meant as the royal entrance to the Maidan Shah or Royal Square. From here the Sultans used to watch the processions from the palace to the Jama Masjid.

Main-Imam: The main imam of this Jama Masjid is the direct descendent of the original and first Imam appointed by Emperor Shahjahan and till now there is no break in its descendency.

Facts: The main entrance on the eastern side was probably used by the emperors.
It remains close on the weekdays. One can have the view of the Old Delhi, the Red Fort and the New Delhi from the southern minaret for a fee of Rupees 10. People of other religions are not allowed in between 12-30 and 2-00pm. One is allowed to enter the mosque bare-footed, head covered and wearing lungi, - these are the norms visitors have to follow and are available on payment. For taking photographs one has to buy tickets first.

Time to Visit: On all days from Sunrise to Sunset

Preferred Timings: Summer/ Winter: 7.00 am-12.15 pm & 1.45 pm till sunset/ 8.30 am-12.15 pm & 1.45 pm till sunset; Muslim ladies:
After Fazar Prayers (after dawn) till Maghrib Prayers (between sunset and twilight), all round the year except during Ramadan (Ramzan)
when they are allowed entry from Fazar Prayers to Maghrib Prayers
Admission: Free and open to all except during prayer timings.
Tourists should cover their knees as well their arms and remove their shoes before entering the mosque.
Cloth to be draped around your limbs or feet is available at the entrance and is provided on request. Overnight stay at hotel.


DAY 03: DELHI / AJMER BY TRAIN NO: 12015 AT 06:05 / 12:45 HRS

After breakfast you will be transferred to Delhi railway station to board in train for Ajmer; upon arrival transfer to hotel for 02 nights. Afternoon will be at your leisure.

Ajmer: The most important of all Muslim pilgrimage centers in India, the dargah of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti at Ajmer Sharif is revered by people of all faiths. It is situated 135 km from Jaipur and is renowned for fulfilling the wishes of the followers. Apart from the devout Muslims, people of other religions throng the holy dargah and pray for the fulfillment of their desires.
The devotees also offer flowers, velvet cloth, perfume (non-alcoholic) and sandalwood at the shrine.

Hazrat Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisti was the founder of Islam in India. He was one of the greatest preachers in the world.
The revered prophet undertook to propagate Islam in India by the most peaceful means and with great forbearance.
When Khwaja arrived, the Muslim community in India was not as large as it is now.
The Khwaja, by his noble teaching, touched the hearts of everyone who came his way.The dargah is the tomb of the sublime Sufi saint who came to Ajmer from Persia and died in 1236. It was built by emperor Humayun. Later, rulers like Shahjahan, Jahangir and Akbar also constructed mosques here. Overnight stay at hotel.


DAY 04 AJMER:

Morning after breakfast visit Mosque of Khwaja sahib. Rituals and Ceremonies:
Upon arriving at the shrine, one has to make the entry from the Dargah Bazaar.
This would lead to the first courtyard. There is a mosque built by Emperor Akbar in this courtyard.
There are also present two cauldrons or degs, where donations could be made.
All these donations would later go to the needy. Khwaja's tomb is in the second courtyard. Positioned in the center, it is situated in the second court. The tomb is a domed marble chamber, surrounded by silver railings.

Devotees visit Ajmer Sharif to be blessed by the Khwaja. When their prayers are answered, their wishes fulfilled, they come again to offer the promised gilaf (velvet cloth), ittar (perfume), etc. Besides these offerings, they also recite the holy Qur'an, nafal namaz, milad and aayat-e-karima and khatam khawajgan.


A typical day at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah would comprise of the following rituals:

Khidmat:  Khidmat is the cleaning of the mazar and offering fresh flowers to it.
The ceremony is performed twice a day. In the early morning at 4.00 a.m.,
the main entrance of the tomb is opened with the call of azan. It is performed for about half an hour before the fajar prayer. Only khadims are allowed to perform the khidmat. The same ritual is performed at 3 p.m., though somewhat differently.

At this auspicious time, all the pilgrims are allowed inside except the ladies. Along with the offering of flowers, the khadims recite fateha and offer sandalwood, which is later distributed among the pilgrims.

Lighting (Roshni):- As the name suggests, this rite takes place in the evening.
The khadim brings candles inside the tomb accompanied by the beating of drums.
Then he places the candles in lamps and recites some sacred verses. Finally,
the lamps that are placed in the four corners of the tomb are lighted.

Karka:- The closing ceremony of the tomb is known as karka. It takes place an hour after the isha prayer. The custom is that 20 minutes before closing the door, as the fifth part of the night passes, a person calls to ring five and the clock sounds five times. The devotees present inside the tomb are asked to leave and three khadims clean and sweep the tomb. When the bell rings six times, the qawwals sing a special karka song. The doorways of the tomb are closed after the ceremony

Langar:- The dargah has a special daily ceremony called the langar in which devotees are served wheat porridge cooked in a special grass.
It is said that the same porridge was eaten by the Khwaja himself. Even emperor Akbar used to stand in queue to take the langar along with other commoners. Devotees can go for the langar after commencing the isha prayer.

Sama (Qawwali):- Qawwali is an integral part of the rituals here.
A qawwali is a song in the praise of Allah. They are sung by the qawwals (devotional singer) at the Mehfil-e-Sama in front of the mazar after the fajar namaz, magrib namaz, and isha namaz are over Qur'an Recital. The Qur'an recital takes place every day at Jama Masjid and Alamgir Masjid.


Other-Attractions:

Shahjahan's Mosque:- The splendid mosque is present in the corner of the inner court of the dargah. It is a resplendent building in white marble with a long and narrow court. It has a low arcade and delicate carvings with trelliswork. Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra Just beyond the dargah is located the Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra, a wonderful masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture. As the name suggests, it was built within two and a half days

Taragarh Fort:- The legendary Taragarh Fort is reached after a one-and-a-half-hour climb beyond the Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra.
The fort offers a scenic view of the entire city.

The Museum:- The museum was once the royal residence of Akbar. It houses an exquisite store of Mughal and Rajput armor and fine sculptures.


Best Time to Visit

The dargah becomes a hub of activity in the seventh month of the lunar calendar when the Urs is held to mark the death anniversary of the divine saint. The six-day Urs commemorates the death anniversary of the prophet Moin-ud-din Chisti. It is held in the Islamic month of Rajab, the time when the Khwaja became one with Allah. Muslims from all over India and even abroad throng Ajmer during the festival. The Urs begins with flag hoisting at the Buland Darwaza.
The main entrance to the holy tomb remains open throughout the day and night, and the entire place is decked up with the special shops, lights and festoons.

Apart from its religious significance, a colorful fair is also held as part of the anniversary celebrations. One of the biggest to be held in India, the Ajmer fair is a time to witness sessions of qawwali singing.
The highlight of the festival is, however, the assembly of poets—the mushairas—where the best of Urdu poets share a common platform. Another interesting thing is the distribution of the festival kheer (pudding of rice and milk), cooked in two 16th-century cauldrons.


The Urs culminates with the Qul ceremony, which takes place on the last day. It is an extremely important day. The day commences with prayer in the morning, followed by the gathering of people at the holy tomb. A series of activities like the recital of the Qur'an, Darood, Shijra-e-Chishtia and other verses follows this. Afterwards, people tie small turbans on each other's head and pray for welfare of the entire community. Overnight stay at hotel.


DAY 05: AJMER / JAIPUR (145 KM / 03 HRS)

Morning after breakfast drive to Jaipur and check in at hotel for 02 nights.
Jaipur - the first planned city of India, located in the desert lands of Rajasthan.
The city that once had been the capital of the royalty, now serves as the capital city of Rajasthan. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal family. In the present date, Jaipur is the major business centre for the natives of Rajasthan with all requisites of a metropolitan city.
The city of Jaipur, painted in pink, grasp the appreciation of every visitor. One can see that hoary charm still alive in the avenues of Jaipur.

Evening you will set out to enjoy a flavored dinning at Chokhi Dhani - An ethnic resort, the only one of its kind in the country. With quaint mud & thatch dwellings set in sprawling acreage of land. Enjoy the live dance and folk music, the magic show, the puppet show, acrobatics on a bamboo without the protection of a safety net beneath, the astrologer, the fortune teller parrot all made the visitors spellbound. Overnight stay in hotel.

DAY 06: JAIPUR

Today morning after breakfast at hotel, take an excursion tour of Amber Fort, which is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. An elephant will spare you the trouble of reaching up to the fortress. Once on top, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls.Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings, with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Most fascinating, perhaps, is the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the room. Also visit Jal Mahal.

In the afternoon visit City Palace –a delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, Jantar Mantar, is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country.
This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use; visit to Hawa Mahal, the ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. Their five-storey structures of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine Trelliswork and elaborate balconies.

Evening Walk at Nahargarh Fort: - You may enjoy a high tea at   Nahargarh Fort by sun set: - Nahargarh Fort is located on the rugged ridge of Aravali Hills and it forms an impressive northern backdrop of Jaipur.
It looks most classy when floodlit at night. The fort overlooks the city and presents a glittering view of the city lights.  You may walk by big public water tanks (well known after shooting of Rang de Basanti) at the fort.
Enjoy sun set by high tea at “Padaro Restaurant” on the west side of fort by sun set.Evening set for a dining at Mohammedi restaurant at Chandpole; famous for Muslim / mughlai cuisine. Pakistan cricket team use to go for the dinner at same restaurant during their all visits. Overnight stay at hotel.

DAY 07: JAIPUR / AGRA VIA FATEHPUR SIKRI (265 KM / 06 HRS)

Morning drive to Agra enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri (40 Km before from Agra) Emperor Akbar built it as his capital city in the late 16th century. Built of red sandstone, the fort looks like poetry on stone, a magnificent new city rose on the craggy hills. Upon arrival check in to hotel Oberoi Amarvilas for 02 nighs. Evening by sunset guided visit of Mahtab Bagh; where you will get the best view of Taj Mahal with Yamuna River.

DAY 08: AGRA

Early morning sightseeing of Taj Mahal, blushing in the rosy glow of dawn. Taj Mahal:(Taj remains closed on Friday) renowned for its spectacular architecture, seven wonders of the world and built by Shah Jahan for his lady love Queen Mumtaz Mahal in 1632. Later breakfast at hotel and then guided sightseeing of Agra Fort, Built by the great Emperor Akbar in 1565 A.D, is a master piece of design with beautiful mosques and palaces. Rest of the day is free on own.

Afternoon set for the visit Jami Masjid, built in 1648, is situated opposite to Delhi Gate in the heart of the city. The red sandstone mosque is very simple and has just a little use of white marble. It was built by Jahanara Begum, daughter of Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan, at a cost of five lakh rupees. Set on a high plinth, it has well-balanced proportions and a courtyard surrounded by cloisters on three of its sides and the prayer chamber on its western side.
The cloisters have engrailed arches supported on pillars. The main entrance is through the eastern side. The prayer chamber has a façade with a broad arched iwan in its centre and is adorned with slender turrets alternated with kiosks.
Its dome is the largest and highest of the three domes crowning the sanctuary.

All the bulbous domes have inverted lotus and kalash finials on the top and have narrow zigzag courses of white marble alternated by broad bands of red stone. There is a fountain with four kiosks in its corners in the centre of the courtyard. The interiors of the western wall have a beautiful mihrab and pulpit in white marble. The Persian inscription in white marble inlaid with black stone on the archway of the central portal is in praise of Jahanara and Shah Jehan.
The pristine beauty of the mosque must have been awesome as indicated by its comparison with Baitul-Mamur, the fabulous mosque of rubies and pearls situated in the fourth sky. It is said that once surrounded by a market place
called Tripolia set in an octagonal (Muthamman) Chowk that was built between the Delhi Gate and the Jami Masjid. But, it was later destroyed in 1871-73 to acquire space for laying down the railway tracks for the city. Overnight at Hotel.


DAY 09: AGRA / DELHI (204 KM / 04 HRS)

Today in time you will transfer to Delhi IGI airport to take flight for your onward journey.

****Tour ends

PACKAGE INCLUDES

Ø  Room on double sharing basis.
Ø  Daily breakfast, Lunch and dinner.
Ø  English speaking local guides as per Itinerary.
Ø  All monument Entrance fees as per Itinerary. (For Sri Lankan Nationals Only)
Ø  Elephant ride at Amber fort in Jaipur.
Ø  Assistance upon arrival and departure.
Ø  High tea at Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur.
Ø  A/c vehicle with driver for all transfers and sightseeing as per Itinerary.
Ø  All current applicable taxes.


PACKAGE DOES NOT INCLUDES

Ø  Any personal expenses.
Ø  Abroad flights.
Ø  Video / Camera fees.
Ø  Anything not included in above inclusions.
Ø  Any air fare.


Note: Above Rate validity 01st April’ 2014 till 30th September’ 2014.