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rural cross culture tour india
Day 1 : Delhi (Arrival)

Arrive in Delhi. Transfer to hotel.
The name Delhi, Dehali or Dilli is derived form Dhillika, the name of the first medieval township of Delhi, located on the southwestern border of the present Union Territory of Delhi, in Mehrauli. This was the first in the series of seven medieval cities, also known as Yoginipura, the fortress of the yoginis (female divinities).Overnight in Delhi.


 
 
Day 2 : Delhi – Ambala
Today we have a half-day tour of Delhi. We start with a drive north into Old Delhi, passing along the Rajpath (King's Way) stopping for photos at the India Gate, visiting Jamma Mosque. The imposing architectural monument, with it's three gateways and two minarets, took fourteen years to complete (1644-58).A cycle rickshaw tour of Chandni Chowk (Silver Street) gives a glimpse into an old world lifestyle slowly fading from Delhi. Our rickshaw ride takes us past the Red Fort (photo stop), and we disembark at the Raj Ghat, -where the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was cremated. After a stop for lunch we will continue driving towards Ambala 190 kms from Delhi,to experience true India by staying at Farm accommodation. The Farm Retreat is based on the concept of finding your roots with nature in the midst of a 50 acre farm blessed with a river bed running though it and having the crowning glory of the Shivaliks, just 20 kms from it. The farm is surrounded with lush green acres of organic agriculture, the beauty of social forestry and well manicured lawns, hedges and flowers.
 
 
Day 3 : Farm
A stay at a farm in mud and straw huts can give you the headiest taste of rustic life ever. The handmade sun-dried bricks, thatched roofs and jharokas provide natural air-conditioning. Rest assured, the huts have attached restrooms with modern comforts.
 
 
Taste tradition
Food takes a whole new flavour. The process starts right from organically grown grains, pulses, oils and vegetables to slowly cooking them in earthern vessels on mitti ka chulha. The spices we use to cook the chutney we serve are all painstakingly ground on sil-batta. The outcome is a taste you’ll never forget, not to speak of its nutrition value.
 
 
Indulge
If rejuvenation and relaxation are high on your agenda, there’s a herbal health massage to wake-up those lazy bones and muscles. This, we’re sure, will leave you charged enough to try some gol-putting, pottery, gilli-danda, kanche, pithu, teerandazi – all typical village sports or may be even milking a cow or riding a tractor. Of course, if you’re the kinds that looks forward to doing something out of the ordinary while relaxing there’s more. A variety of adventure sports, folk dances, puppet shows, pottery making tours an yoga and meditation sessions are yours for the asking
 
 
Day 4 : Ambala – Anandpur Sahib
North-west of Delhi, beyond the western edge of the Yamuna basin, lies the Land of the Five Rivers, universally known as the Punjab. Endowed with rich agricultural soil, plentiful irrigation and equable climatic conditions, the state is sometimes called the granary of India. Its villages, large and small, are key to the robust Punjabi attitude to life that has evolved through cross-cultural influences down the ages. The region is also home to the origin of the Sikh faith whose founder Guru Nanak preached here till his death 460 years ago in 1539.We drive today to this beautiful land of gaiety and color. Overnight
 
 
Day 5 : Anandpur Sahib – Pragpur
The ambience of the Heritage Zone of Garli -Pragpur is zealously protected by the local residents. In their endeavour that Garli -Pragpur retains its unique character, panchayats pre- serve their heritage buildings and advise on new construction. Several heritage structures are now being restored using original techniques but with modern facilities to facilitate tourism. Dating before 1868, the Taal or pond forms the core of Pragpur village and serves as a recreational space for young and aged alike. It was constructed by the village brotherhood known as the Nehar Committee, which has records of its meetings since 1864. This body continues to be responsible for the maintenance of this ancient water system. In this unique environment of cobbled streets , heritage building and local governmental bodies we enter the Heritage village of Pragpur. Overnight

 
 
Day 6 : Pragpur
Around Pragpur, River Beas with its unspoilt beaches (6 kms). offers a possibility of boating, swimming and angling during season. SERI and Naleti (4 kms) are epitome of pastoral tranquility. Natural underground seepage feeds both Garli and Pragpur. Lovely country walks radiate from Garli and Pragpur. These include meandering countrypaths through rolling hills and valleys with gurgling brooks and a meadow where mint grows wild. The beautiful landscape of Pragpur region offers ample opportunities for cycling, trekking, nature walks, bird watching, fishing or simple relaxation. Visits to weavers, silver- smiths, tailors, shoemakers and the Village market can be enchanting.

 
 
Day 7 : Pragpur – Amritsar
Amritsar, as the name suggests, is rightfully a pool of nectar. Located in the state of Punjab, Amritsar is one of the most important pilgrimage centers especially for the Sikhs in the country. The city is characterized by some of the must visit religious, historical as well as contemporary sites of importance. The Golden Temple, where Sikhs from all over the world come to pay their reverence to Guru Granth Sahib and take a dip in the Amrit Saras Kund (Pool of Immortality) for spiritual purification is the major landmark of the place. Amritsar is also characterized by the hard working and warm-hearted people. One of the many nearby places to visit from Amritsar is the Wagah Border. Located on the Indo-Pakistan border, Wagah is 28 kilometres from the Amritsar main town. A good number of visitors come to this place to see the change of guards ceremony and the flag hoisting and lowering activities which are done with great skill and precision by the border security forces of both the countries
 
 
Day 8 : Amritsar
Today we take a excursion to Rajasansi. Rajasansi has everything that is quintessentially Punjabi. Full of colour and gaiety the village derives its name from the Raja of the Sansi tribe, who founded it in.1570 AD. This village is famous for hand-woven carpets by weavers who trace their ancestery to Persian craftsmen accompanying Babur's Moghul army!
 
 
Day 9 : Amritsar – Delhi
This day we transfer to railway station for train to Delhi.Arrive Delhi and transfer to Neemrana for overnight.Built since 1464 AD, Neemrana Fort-Palace is among India's oldest heritage resorts. The property covers 25 acres/10 hectares and the stepped palaces of this architectural jewel cut into the hillside to sprawl over 3 acres/1.2 hectares and rises to 10 levels commanding the most splendid views. Including a vista pool to the horizon. From 1986, the ruins of this Fort-Palace have been sensitively restored and reconstructed. The rooms are furnished with an eclectic mix of traditional Indian and colonial furniture, antiques and objets d'art. Most rooms have private balconies or terraces and the loos are designed to have views!
 
 
Day 10 : Delhi – Mandawa
In the heart of Rajasthan , the colourful land of the Rajputs is the region of Shekhawati, taking its name from the powerful Shekhawat clan. The legends of this historic land have been captured in the murals and frescoes of its Havelis, Forts, Temples, and cenotaphs. Set against this exotic backdrop is The Desert Resort , Mandawa. The mystery and romance of the desert are captured in the unusual architecture of the resort. Recreated in the style of a typical Rajasthani village, The Desert Resort is a verdant oasis in the midst of a stark desert landscape. Visitors to this haven peopled by camels, peacocks, birds and khejri trees, can experience a whole new world - the aesthetic charm of the rural without compromising on comfort.The Desert Resort reflects the traditional harmony between man and nature in the region.
 
 
Day 11 : Mandawa
Morning after a leisure breakfast we set out in the Shekhawati region an important town of the years gone by, to see number of remarkable Havelies and Castles in the nearby towns of Dundlod, Nawalgarh and Laxmangarh. These havelies are museums in themselves, you will be delighted at the sight of the numerous havelis built by the rich merchants as their residence in 18th and 19th century. Notice the village life, simple colorful people in typical Rajasthani dress particularly females adorned with heavy silver jewelry.

 
 
Day 12 : Mandawa – Jaipur
Today we drive to Jaipur .Jaipur has been dubbed the "Pink City" because of the many buildings inside the old city walls that are painted pink. Scattered throughout the north-east section of the town are palaces and temples designed in a variety of styles; the city lies snugly on a bed of a long-dry lake.Overnight in Jaipur.
 
 
Day 13 : Jaipur
Today our tour takes us to Amber, once the ancient state capital but now deserted. Located on the crest of a rocky hill behind Maota Lake, 11 km (7 miles) north of Jaipur, the Rajput stronghold was the capital of the Kuchhawa Rajputs from 1037 until 1728. Rising on the slopes of a steep hill is the Amber fortress with its imposing facade. The interior presents a galaxy of art including the world's best Chamber of Mirrors. In the afternoon take a tour of Jaipur, one of the best-planned cities in India, built of rose-pink sandstone by the great astronomer-king Jai Singh II in 1727. The City Palace stands in the centre of the city, part of which is still the Maharaja's residence. The complex has been developed into a museum containing rare manuscripts, fine specimens of Rajput and Mughal paintings, royal apparel, and an armoury. Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) is the landmark of Jaipur, a curious building, elaborate and fanciful, built of pink sandstone with a delicate honeycomb design. Rising five storeys high, it is composed of semi-octagonal overhanging windows, each with its perforated screen, which allowed the ladies of the court to look onto the main street without being seen. We visit the Observatory, the City Palace which now houses a museum, and the Palace of the Winds.Overnight in Jaipur.  
 
 
Day 14 : Jaipur – Bharatpur
We continue from Jaipur to the world famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, also known as Keoladeo Ghana, spread over 29 square km of shallow lakes, scrub and woodland. It was initially developed in the late 19th century as a wildfowl hunting preserve by the royal family of Bharatpur. Today it is one of the most spectacular waterfowl sanctuaries in the world.

 
 
Day 15 : Bharatpur – Agra
Today we drive to Agra and tour the city and visit its main attraction : The Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most beautiful buildings. Called "A dream in marble," the Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jehan as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jehan built the Taj to enshrine the body of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal (elect of the palace), who died shortly after giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. Construction by a work force of 20,000 men from all over Asia commenced in 1632 and the tomb was completed in 1653. Marble was brought from Makrana, near Jodhpur, and precious stones of onyx, amethyst, malachite, lapis lazula, turquoise, jade, crystal and mother of pearl were carried to Agra from Persia, Russia, Afganistan, Tibet, China and the Indian Ocean. The Taj is remarkable for its perfect proportions and rich pietra dura, with minute details executed with great skill. The building marks the most developed stage of Mughal architecture. The designer of this grand sepulchre is believed to be Ustad Ahmad Lahori, a master architect of the age. The calligraphic ornamentation on the Taj was authored by Amanat Khan Shirazi, a great writer of the 17th century. Agra also offers several other remarkable monuments such as the Agra Fort, as rugged as the Taj Mahal is ethereal; the perfectly proportioned Moti Masjid (Pearl mosque), the Jami Masjid mosque, the Itimad-ud-daulah Mausoleum, and the Ram Bagh Garden. Agra continues to be medieval in structure: narrow, crowded streets and lanes, full of colourful shops sell that all kind of goods, especially local handicrafts, including gold and silver embroidery, imitation Mughal inlay on marble, and fine leather goods. Agra Fort lies on the bend of the River Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. It was built by Akbar as his citadel over the years 1565 to 1573 in the finest architectural style . It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat. The fort was successively occupied by three great Mughals--Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jehan, each of whom made significant structural contributions to this complex.Overnight Agra

 
 
Day 16 : Agra – Delhi (departure)
We drive this afternoon to the cosmopolitan metro city of Delhi to return back home with freshness of air and sweetness of memory of India at its best.
 
 
 
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