Best of India

November 12 - 23, 2013

A Passage to India.  Treat yourself to an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience.  This short, but exciting tour is Yamato’s easy and comfortable way to discover India.  We understand that many of our travelers are hesitant to embark on a journey to the other side of the planet. Long flights and a fear of the unknown are reasons enough for many to hold off. For many, the fear of being uncomfortable with experiencing poverty first-hand is another powerful motivator for staying home. However, India is one of the world’s greatest nations. It has an incredibly rich culture and it is wondrous and beautiful. We've designed a once-in-a-lifetime tour to India - a rich and rewarding experience which you will never forget. It’s quick, convenient and it is also deluxe. You may only ever travel to India once but you will have experienced India like few others have done before. Join us on a small and intimate group tour to a life-changing destination: Incredible India!

Day one: Tuesday, November 12th - flight to Europe 
Today we will board an overnight flight to Europe.

Day two: Wednesday, November 13th - flight to Delhi, India 
We continue our route to India, arriving in Delhi, India’s capital, this evening. You’ll be transferred to your hotel in the heart of the city and will be given plenty of time to rest from your travels. An informal welcome dinner will be held at the hotel. (D)

Day three: Thursday, November 14th - visiting Delhi 
An amazing day of sightseeing and adventure begins today with a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, the incredible market in the heart of Old Delhi.  Afterwards, we’ll visit the Jama Masjid, the largest Mosque in India and the last architectural extravagance of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Our day of sightseeing includes all of Delhi’s main highlights: the Red Fort, India Gate, Parliament House, and Rashtrapati Bhawan (the official resident of the president of India). This afternoon we’ll visit two more World Heritage sites: Humayun’s Tomb (the predecessor of the Taj Mahal), and the Qutab Minar, one of the highest stone towers in India. (B, L, D)

Day four: Friday, November 15th - travel to Jaipur
An amazing adventure today as we drive to Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. Our route by private car will take about 6 hours and will be your first introduction to rural India which is fascinating. We’ll stop for lunch along the way. Jaipur is known as the “Pink City” it gained its colorful name after many of its buildings were painted pink for the visit of Prince Albert in 1876. Upon arrival we’ll be able to rest at our hotel prior to enjoying dinner together. (B, L, D)

Day five: Saturday, November 16th In Jaipur – Sightseeing
This morning we’ll take an excursion to the hilltop fortress of Amber, which was the Royal Family’s residence and is one of the most enchanting forts of India. A complex of palaces, temples, public halls and beautifully manicured gardens, the fortress is an exquisite example of Rajput architecture. One of the fun highlights of our trip to India (it’s always a great photographic opportunity) is a ride atop elephants to reach the gateway the fort. In the afternoon, you will embark on a sightseeing tour of Jaipur City. You will see the Hawa Mahal
(the Palace of Winds), one of the major landmarks of Jaipur, is a five-storey building whose façade overlooks
the main street 
of the old city. It is a stunning example of Rajput artistry with its pink, semi octagonal and honey combed sandstone windows. Our tour will also include the City Palace and the fascinating Jantar Mantar an ancient astronomical observatory built by Raja Jai Singh. (B, L, D)

Day six: Sunday, November 17th -  Drive Jaipur / Fatehpur Sikri /Agra
Rise and shine!  Today we travel to Fatehpur Sikri, once a glittering imperial capital, later mysteriously abandoned. The monuments at Fatehpur Sikri can best be described as a melting pot of different cultures which not only made Indian culture rich but also reflected the broadminded nature of Mughal Emperor Akbar and his prosperous reign. Today you’ll see the remarkably well preserved building and red sandstone palaces; notable amongst them are Buland Darwaza (Grand Gateway), Jama Masjid (Mosque) and Panch Mahal (5-tiered palace). Later today we’ll continue our drive to Agra, the erstwhile Capital of Mughal reign in India, before it was shifted
to Delhi. We’ll stay at one of the nicest hotels in the world for the next two nights where you’ll enjoy a view of the Taj Mahal from your room! It’s an amazing experience. (B, L, D)

Day seven: Monday, November 18th - In Agra 
An unforgettable experience today begins with an early morning visit of the Taj Mahal during Sunrise. The Taj Mahal is one of the seven manmade wonders of the world. It was built by a grief-stricken Mughal Emperor as a tomb for his favorite wife who died during childbirth.  Made entirely out of white marble, it took thousands of
the world’s greatest craftsmen 22 years to build. It is simply a breathtaking monument.  We’ll visit the grounds of the Taj Mahal – where you’ll enjoy time to take photographs and marvel at the beauty of this legendary site. You’ll also have an opportunity to visit the interior of the monument before returning to our hotel for lunch. This afternoon you will be free to enjoy your impressive hotel. You can do as little or as much as you like. You may wish to partake in Indian spa treatments or simply relax in the hotel’s impressive gardens with a good book. This evening we’ll venture out to visit Agra Fort. You’ll see India come to life in the nighttime. It’s a wonderful experience. (B, L, D)

Day eight: Tuesday, November 19th - Agra – Jhansi – Khajuraho
This morning w’e’ll board one of India’s legendary trains for a morning ride (2 and a half hours) to Jhansi where we will board a private car for a drive to Khajuraho. En route, we’ll sightsee at Orchha which was founded in the 16th century and is known for its fine architecture which is a unique blending of Rajput and Mughal style of architecture. You’ll see palaces along with a number of impressive temples and memorials. We’ll continue our drive to Khajuraho, where a comfortable hotel and a nice meal await.  (B, L, D)

Day nine: Wednesday, November 20th - Khajuraho - Varanasi
Today we’ll visit several of Khajuraho’s famous temples. The architectural style of the Khajuraho temples is quite astonishing. The temples are divided into three geographical groups: Western, Eastern and Southern. You’ll discover a veritable Hindu and Jain Pantheon while we visit the site. Aside from depicting India’s rich
history and illustrating several of it’s religions in stone, Khajuraho’s temples are also known for depicting rather
provocative erotica (India is an endlessly fascinating country). This afternoon we’ll transfer to Khajuraho airport to board a short flight to Varanasi. Visiting Varanasi is an epic experience. Located on the shore of the River Ganges it is one of the holiest cities in Hinduism. It is also one of the oldest inhabited places in the world. In our opinion, experiencing Varanasi is a lifetime achievement such as seeing the Great Pyramids or walking
on the Great Wall of 
China. Varanasi will astound you. We’ll check into our hotel and have dinner. Afterward, 
on the shores of the sacred River Ganges we will witness the evening arti – when the pujas are given and the candles lit and floated on the river (an unforgettable experience). (B, L, D)

Day ten: Thursday, November 21st - Varanasi You’ll never forget this day, as we rise early to take a boat ride on the Ganges to see the morning prayers. This is a wonderful time – particularly loved by photographers – as the mellow dawn light washes over the worshipers taking their morning dip. You’ll also witness the conclusion of life at the riverbank holy cremation grounds. Later today we’ll take a rickshaw ride and enjoy a walk through some of ancient Varanasi’s narrow alleys to view the ghats (communal steps leading to the Ganges for bathers). This evening, we’ll visit Dasashwamedh Ghat where aarti is performed every evening to the chant of Sanskrit mantras and the clash of cymbals and drums. The river is worshipped with flowers, incense, sandalwood, milk and vermilion. First the blazing camphor lamps and then the many-flamed aarti lamps are raised high and then arched back to the water, the dark river reflecting the golden flames. It is a very beautiful and quintessentially Indian experience that is not to be missed! (B, L, D)

Day eleven: Friday, November 22nd - Visit Sarnath - flight to Delhi - preparing for our return home
This morning after breakfast we’ll 
travel to Sarnath, located just 12 km from Varanasi, the site of the deer
park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma (or in religious language, set in motion the wheel of Law) after his enlightenment. On the day before his death Buddha included Sarnath along with Lumbini, Bodh Gaya and Kushinagar as the four places he thought to be sacred to his followers. We’ll transfer to Varanasi’s airport for a short flight to Delhi where a comfortable hotel awaits. We’ll enjoy a farewell-to-India meal together before preparing ourselves for our return flights home tomorrow. (B, L, D)

Day twelve: Saturday, November 23rd - return flights home 
Today, we’ll transfer to Indira Gandhi International Airport for our return flights home. (B)

Itinerary is subject to change

POSH Service to India!
A bit of history: A hundred years ago, India was a British possession – part of an enormous empire on which “the sun never set”. Those wealthy enough to travel to India, wanted to do so in the utmost comfort. Of course, at that time, this meant enduring as much as a month at sea – rounding all of Africa and crossing the breadth of the Indian Ocean. Air conditioning did not yet exist and it seemed that no matter what time of year one undertook travel to India - it would be hot. The acronym POSH dates from those times. It stood for “Port Outward, Starboard Home”. In other words, if you were wealthy enough to pay for it, you could book the more expensive cabins which were on the shadiest (and coolest) sides of the ship in each direction to India (Port side of your ship outward to India and Starboard side home). Today of course, travel to India is a much simpler affair. You board a flight and within hours, you’re on the other side of the world! This efficiency does come at a price, however. Two long-haul flights in a row can leave even the most seasoned traveller daunted. Most travelers happily make do.  The thrill of experiencing such a distant and exotic land as India makes up for these minor inconveniences in comfort.  However, Yamato has it’s own modern-day version of POSH service to India. If this is a once-in-a-lifetime (you’ve promised yourself you would see India one day) tour for you, why not treat yourself to a stop on the way to India? Cut your long flights in two, rest on the way. Arrive in India more fresh, more rested - and get the most out of your time there. Our POSH service means that you’ll be greeted in Europe by our Yamato staff and you’ll transfer together to a convenient local hotel where comfortable accommodations, a warm meal and a nice night’s sleep await. The next day, we’ll fly to India together.

Rate includes:
- all your hotel accommodations (in 4 & 5*)
- all transportation while in India by car, rail and air as described in the itinerary.
- breakfast, lunch and dinner each day
- entrance fees to all of the activities in the itinerary / and much more! Call us for details!
- kindly note that these rates are “India only” and do not include airfare to and from India.

Cost: $4900 double occupancy
Single occupancy supplement: $ 1250.00

Yamato Travel Bureau ®
250 East First Street, Suite 1112
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone: (213) 680-0333
(CST # 1019309-10)