Mar 13th. Delhi - Varanasi

Overnight –Taj Nadesar Palace

You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel and driven to the awe-inspiring 12th century Qutab Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Delhi has over 500 ancient structures strewn over its vast expanse, with many of them in various states of disrepair. For mankind’s achievements from about a millennium ago, the Qutab Minar is unmatched in its architectural brilliance and longevity. This 240 ft tall medieval tower is a symbol of victory and a spectacular example of Persian architecture, with intricate carvings and gorgeous inlaid calligraphy.

Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of the Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque, stands the legendary 2500-year-old Iron Pillar. The pillar stands 23 feet and 8 inches tall, weighs about 7000 pounds, and has inscriptions that are still legible to a great extent. This massive cast iron structure is said to have been moved from its distant cave shelter to Delhi around the 12th century.

From the Qutab Minar you are driven to the airport and assisted with boarding your early afternoon flight to Varanasi (Banaras). India’s holiest city is the oldest continuously inhabited city on our planet with a history that dates back five millennia. You will fly on India’s best full-service airline and a passable meal will be served.

Before heading to your lodging, you are driven to Sarnath, a major Buddhism pilgrimage site, as it is most easily accessed from the airport. Attractions in this holy rural area include the massive 2300-year-old Dhamekha Stupa located near where the Buddha preached his first sermons. This Stupa was constructed by Emperor Ashoka, who is credited with the spread of Buddhism in the world. Sarnath was also where the first Buddhist Sangha was formed and the area is home to a number of other ancient Buddhist monuments that you will drive by. A highlight of the visit to Sarnath is the very small Archaeological Museum with its impressive collection of artifacts, which include the spectacular 4 headed lion that is India’s national emblem – this stop is optional.

From Sarnath you will head towards the ancient city and your exquisite Palace Hotel. This is the only true luxury lodging in Varanasi and calling the small Nadesar Palace ‘boutique’ is a vast understatement. Built by the East India Company in the 18th century, it was taken over by the local Royal Family in the late 19th Century and served as a guest house for British and other Royalty during their visits to India. It is the centerpiece of a very large campus of gardens and organic farmland, and, time permitting, you can reserve an exploration on the Royal Family’s horse drawn carriage.

You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel and driven to the awe-inspiring 12th century Qutab Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Delhi has over 500 ancient structures strewn over its vast expanse, with many of them in various states of disrepair. For mankind’s achievements from about a millennium ago, the Qutab Minar is unmatched in its architectural brilliance and longevity. This 240 ft tall medieval tower is a symbol of victory and a spectacular example of Persian architecture, with intricate carvings and gorgeous inlaid calligraphy.

Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of the Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque, stands the legendary 2500-year-old Iron Pillar. The pillar stands 23 feet and 8 inches tall, weighs about 7000 pounds, and has inscriptions that are still legible to a great extent. This massive cast iron structure is said to have been moved from its distant cave shelter to Delhi around the 12th century.

From the Qutab Minar you are driven to the airport and assisted with boarding your early afternoon flight to Varanasi (Banaras). India’s holiest city is the oldest continuously inhabited city on our planet with a history that dates back five millennia. You will fly on India’s best full-service airline and a passable meal will be served.

Before heading to your lodging, you are driven to Sarnath, a major Buddhism pilgrimage site, as it is most easily accessed from the airport. Attractions in this holy rural area include the massive 2300-year-old Dhamekha Stupa located near where the Buddha preached his first sermons. This Stupa was constructed by Emperor Ashoka, who is credited with the spread of Buddhism in the world. Sarnath was also where the first Buddhist Sangha was formed and the area is home to a number of other ancient Buddhist monuments that you will drive by. A highlight of the visit to Sarnath is the very small Archaeological Museum with its impressive collection of artifacts, which include the spectacular 4 headed lion that is India’s national emblem – this stop is optional.

From Sarnath you will head towards the ancient city and your exquisite Palace Hotel. This is the only true luxury lodging in Varanasi and calling the small Nadesar Palace ‘boutique’ is a vast understatement. Built by the East India Company in the 18th century, it was taken over by the local Royal Family in the late 19th Century and served as a guest house for British and other Royalty during their visits to India. It is the centerpiece of a very large campus of gardens and organic farmland, and, time permitting, you can reserve an exploration on the Royal Family’s horse drawn carriage.

Days 

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