Agra Varanasi Photography tour of 5 days is designed to offer a tourist maximum time and best suited locations to capture various aspects of cultural and archaeological heritage of India. The erstwhile Mughal capital Agra attracts one with lot of fine monuments whereas Varanasi, known as spiritual and religious capital of India, with numerous exotic traditional Indian practices- religious and social, beckons a culture-explorer to get submersed in ethreal ambience eternal bliss. Mostly the destination specific tour guide on photography tour acts as a knowledgeable input to throw light on significance of the monuments, locations, practices and rituals. It, in a way, helps you to entwine significance with beauty.

04 Night / 05 Days Delhi - Agra - Varanasi

Day 01:Delhi arrival-Agra (by car-200 kms/ 04 hrs)

Highlights: Baby Taj (Tomb of It-Mad-ud-Daula); Taj View from Mehtab Bag in the evening.

On your arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, you will be received by our representative and introduced with the tour driver. You will be directly driven to Agra. Delhi to Agra drive takes about 4 hours.

Indraprastha of the Pandavas, during the Mahabharata, is now heart of India where the past and the present blend so smoothly on the threshold of an exciting future. Old Delhi (Shah Jahanabad, 7th city) was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan during 17th century. New Delhi, a British-built capital, is now a national capital fulfilling a destiny that determined history would always be written in this. Today, across the capital, this remnant presents a mute testimony to t9l.he rise and fall of scores of kingdoms. Visit led Fort, Jama Masjid, 400 years old Chandni Chowk, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb, Lotus Temple and Sansad Bhavan.

Agra: Though Agra has tremendous prominence in India history due to its antiquity and rich lineage of tumultuous past but the city of Agra, now- a- days, hogs the realm of Indian tourism with Taj Mahal studded in its crown. The earliest reference to Agra is in the ancient epic, the Mahabharata, while Ptolemy was the first person to call it by its modern name. Merely 200 kms from New Delhi, the capital of Indian republic, Agra is home to many monuments and still prevalent medieval aspects of Muslim culture and cuisines. Taj Mahal and Agra Fort are two UNESCO World Heritage sites. Baby Taj (Tomb of It-Mad-ud Daula), Chini ka Rauza, Sikandara (Tomb of Akbar), Aram Bag, Mehtab Bag and Jama Masjid are few famous monuments of bygone era. Only 35 kms from Agra is the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by Akbar. Any tour to India is incomplete without visiting Agra. On arrival at Agra, our representative will meet you and ensure your check in at the Agra hotel. Refresh and rest for some time. In the afternoon, move for viewing Baby Taj (Tomb of It-Mad-ud Daula).

Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula: Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula which houses the magnificent mausoleum of Ghias Beg, father of the Mughal Empress Noor Jehan. The main tomb is made of pure white marble, with each façade composed of three arches with beautiful trellis screens, so delicately carved that they appear to be made of ivory. Having visited Baby Taj, you will be taken to Mehtab Bag to view Taj Mahal at the time of sunset as it offers a different pleasant view.

Taj View from Mehtab Bagis a unique experience. Mehtab Bag is located across River Yamuna and opposite Taj Mahal. The octagonal tank of water in Mehtab Bag reflects Taj Mahal. The picturesque 'Charbag' style garden provide perfect setting to view Taj Mahal in moon light, away from uproarious hustle bustle of the city of Agra. After visiting Mehtab Bag, have dinner. Thereafter you will be transferred to Agra railway station to board train for Varanasi.

Day 02: Agra sightseeing tour- Varanasi (by train-overnight journey)

Highlights:Taj Mahal (morning view) & Agra Fort

Taj Mahal keeps changing its shades as the intensity of sun rays vary. Taj Mahal looks stunningly beautiful at the time of sun-rise and sun-set. As you have travelled so long to view the beauty of Taj Mahal, our will ensure that you happen to see the Taj Mahal at both the times.

At the time of dawn, Agra tour guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel and take you to the 'epitome of love'- Taj Mahal. The ride from hotel to Taj Mahal will be on 'tonga'- a medieval transport mode- to add a lifetime experience. Enjoy the beauty of enchanting Taj Mahal and come to know about various facts and stories related to Taj Mahal. Spend the time leisurely at Taj Mahal while soaking in its unparalleled charm.

Taj Mahal: The construction of Taj Mahal started in the year 1631 and it took approximately 22 years to build it. An epitome of love, it made use of the services of 22,000 laborers and 1,000 elephants. It was built entirely out of white marble, which was brought in from all over India and central Asia. After an expenditure of approximately 32 million rupees (approx US $68000), Taj Mahal was finally completed in the year 1653.Built By: Shah Jahan; Dedicated to: Mumtaz Mahal (Arjumand Bano Begum), the wife of Shah Jahan; Location: Agra (Uttar Pradesh); Building Type: Islamic tomb; Architecture: Islamic; Highlights: One of the Seven Wonders of the World; A UNESCO World Heritage site.

After watching Taj Mahal, return to Agra hotel for getting refreshed and relaxed. As you would have taken breakfast somewhere outside, check out from Agra hotel and proceed for visiting Agra Fort.

Agra Fort: The fort is built alongside the Yamuna river and stretches almost 2.5 km. It consists of a wall built in red sandstone and several buildings inside. The wall has 2 gates, the Delhi Gate and the Amar Singh Gate.

After completing the sightseeing of famous monuments of Agra, explore local market, have dinner and board train for Varanasi.

Day 03:Varanasi Sarnath tour

Highlights:Sarnath Buddhist monastery, Museum, Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Ganga Aarti.

Your train will reach Varanasi in the morning. You will be received by our representative and transferred to Varanasi hotel to freshen up and relax. After breakfast in the hotel, you will be met by Varanasi tour guide in the hotel lobby.

Varanasi or Benares is India's cultural capital, which has been the major pilgrimage destination for Hindus since ages. It is world's oldest living city and its origins are still not well known. The city of Varanasi is visited by thousands of visitors every year because of its excellent offerings in the form of Hinduism, spiritualism, mysticism and Indian philosophy. This holy place is filled with numerous Ashrams, Ghats, temples, Stupas and sects. Varanasi is famous for silk weaving and it is famous for silk sarees. Apart from sarees, Mirzapur carpets, musical instruments, mangoes and especially sweet betel leaves are very popular attractions in Varanasi City.

After getting freshened up, along with Varanasi tour guide, proceed to visit Sarnath. Sarnath is the testimony to ancient Indian

Sarnath,located just 12 km from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, is the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. Most of the ancient structures of Buddhist monastery at Sarnath were damaged by the Muslims out of religious intolerance. Famous monuments are the Dhamekh Stupa (built in 200 BC,128 feet high, 93 feet in diameters), the Dharmarajika Stupa, decaying ruins of the Mulagandhakuti Vihara, the Ashoka Pillar and the Sarnath Archaeological Museum.

Be a witness to ancient India and then move for watching splendid and magnanimous GANGES WORSHIP CEREMONY at the ghat of river Ganges. After enjoying the surge of religiosity at ghats during Ganga Aarti, return to Varanasi hotel for overnight stay.

Day 04:Varanasi sightseeing tour

Highlights:Subah-e – Banares, Temples Tour (Sankat Mochan, Tulsi Manas Temple, Durga Temple) & B.H.U.

Get up early in the morning and move to Assi Ghat of Varanasi to watch out a newly conceived and implemented concept of Subah-e-Banares.

The penultimate day of Agra Varanasi tour will bring forth an altogether different aspect of Varanasi which will encompass traditional session of Yoga, followed by two hours long music festival in which the various vocalists and instrumentalists play traditional Indian morning 'ragas', Vedic 'yajnas' and morning 'Ganga Aarti'. This programme is being held since last three months at Assi Ghat of Varanasi. This cultural extravaganza is known as Subah-e-Banares. The programme 'Subah-e-Banaras' begins with one-hour yoga session at 5 am followed by two-hour music recital from 6 to 8 am. The programme has been named so as it offers a view to sunrise from the ghats that is popular world over. Besides yoga and music, ancient practices like yajna are also performed. The programme begins with morning Ganga Aarti with 'Shehnai' and 'Mangalacharan' in morning ragas. Girls recite hymns of Vedas on the river-front in the morning to display the ancient tradition of Kashi.

After viewing Subah-e-Banares, move to visit BHU. After visiting BHU, proceed to visit some famous temples of Varanasi including Sankat Mochan Temple, Tulsi Manas Temple, Durga Temple and Bharat Mata Temple.

The temples of Varanasi evoke a huge sense of spirituality. There is a special aura of mystery around these temples and their deities which can be felt only by firsthand experience. The holy temples of Varanasi are amongst the most visited temples in India. Situated on the banks of holy river Ganges, Varanasi temples add to the religious value to Ganges.

Now spend full day exploring Varanasi and too on your own (without any guide) will help you explore Varanasi in your own way and get indulged in photography opportunities. Later in the evening return to Varanasi hotel of your stay.

Day 05:Varanasi sightseeing tour- departure

Highlights:Ghats tour, Vishwanath Temple Tour, Heritage Walk in the narrow alleys of Varanasi.

The morning in Varanasi will unfold numerous exotic aspects of India and more particularly Varanasi. To acquaint you with the traditional and perennial Varanasi, you will be taken to the Varanasi ghat in the dawn-hours and a long boat-ride alongside the various ghats of the Ganges will be carried out. Early in the morning, proceed for viewing the panoramic view of ghats on boat.

None can imagine Varanasi sans its numerous Ghats that dot the nearly 7 km arc line of the Ganges riverfront between the confluence of the River Asi in the south and the Varuna in the north. Ghats are a very special type of embankments that are actually long flights of wide stone steps leading down to the river where people can take a holy dip. Viewing the Ghats from a boat on the Ganges, especially at sunrise, is an unforgettable experience! It's also a pleasure to walk down the entire stretch of the Ghats along the Ganges.

Since last day your flight to Kathmandu is at 12:30 and you need to reach at Varanasi airport to board flight 3 hours prior. Hence you will be required to reach airport by 9:30/10:00. Keeping in view this time frame, Boat –ride and 'heritage walk' has been scheduled on the last day because it can get completed in 4-5 hours and thus you can be able to watch every single aspect of the culture of Varanasi and at the same time reach airport as per your schedule. Hereinafter, directly depart for Varanasi airport to board flight for Kathmandu.

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