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Sacred India 14 Days 2017

Visits: Beijing - Delhi - Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra - Khajuraho - Varanasi

The following meals are included: B = Breakfast   L = Lunch   D = Dinner

Day 1: Canada – stops – Beijing
Depart from Canada by overnight international flight for destination to Beijing.

Day 2: Beijing
Arrive in Beijing, greet and meet with the local tour guide at the airport and transfer to hotel.
Hotel: Beijing Lijingwan Hotel (5 stars) or similar

Day 3: Beijing (B L D)
Breakfast at hotel, visit the Tiananmen Square, then enter the imperial–red walls of the ornate Forbidden City, the emperor's palace – off limits to commoners for centuries. You will also visit the Temple of Heaven. Think of the processions of incense–bearing priest at the Temple of Heaven, where the emperor went to humble himself in prayer to guarantee realm's good harvest.
Hotel: Beijing Lijingwan Hotel (5 stars) or similar

Day 4: Beijing – Delhi (Flight) (B L)
Breakfast at hotel, Enjoy your excursion to the ancient Great Wall, originally built as protection from the Huns and other Nomadic tribes and never completely fulfilling its purpose. Depart for Delhi by flight.
Hotel: Le Meridien Hotel New Delhi (5 stars) or similar

Day 5: Delhi (B L D)
Breakfast at hotel; spend the morning in the Old Delhi - visiting the Raj Ghat and Jama Masjid. At the Chandni Chowk board cycle rickshaws and see the sights & sounds of this busy area with its quaint shops & ancient gateways. Lunch at local Indian Restaurant. Afternoon tour in the NEW DELHI – drive pass the stately government buildings of the British Era designed by Lutyen's, including the Indian Gate & the Presidential Palace. Continue onto the beautiful Humayun's tomb of the Mughal era.

Day 6: Delhi – Jaipur (B L D)
After breakfast, drive to Jaipur, which is also named as Pink city. In the afternoon, we will arrive in Jaipur and refresh in the hotel.
Hotel: Hilton Hotel & Resorts Jaipur (5 stars) or similar

Day 7: Jaipur (B L D)
After breakfast, depart for Amber Fort - Visit the imposing Amber fort on the outskirts of the Pink City. Visit the imposing City Palace which now is a museum, the ancient observatory, the Hawa Mahal - Palace of Winds and the picturesque bazaars of the walled city.

Day 8: Jaipur – Fatephur Sikri – Agra (Coach) (B L D)
After breakfast drive to Agra by passing Fatehpur Sikri - the extraordinary city built by Akbar the Great, deserted 14 years later, but which, during its brief span, exceeded London in both grandeur and population. After lunch, we will visit the fortress there and continue to Agra.
Hotel: Jaypee Palace Hotel & International Convention Centre Agra (5 stars) or similar 

Day 9: Agra (B L D)
After breakfast visit Taj Mahal a monument of love built by Moguls, an incredible 20,000 workman's labored on it, day and night, for over 20 years. After lunch visit the Red Fort built by three generations of Mughal Emperors between 1565 and 1573. Visit Itimad-Ud-Daulah's tomb – sometimes called as baby Taj Mahal, built by Empress Nur Jahan, daughter-in-law of Emperor Akbar, in memory of her father Mirza Ghias Beg, grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal, between 1622-28 AD.

Day 10: Agra – Jhansi – Khajuraho (Train + Coach) (B L D)
After breakfast, transfer to railway station. Depart by Bhopal Shatabdi to Jhansi. Arrive at Jhansi, meet and drive to Khajuraho. Lunch at restaurant, depart for Khajuraho. Check in at hotel.
Hotel: Radisson Jass Hotel Khajuraho (5 stars) or similar

Day 11: Khajuraho – Varanasi (Benares) (Flight) (B L D)
After breakfast, visit the famous temples of Khajuraho - ancient Center of the Chandela Dynasty Khajuraho flourished from 950 to 1050 AD and is famous for these temples whose intricate sculptures and erotic carvings are one of the most outstanding achievements of Indian art. Then transfer to airport and depart to Varanasi. Arrive and transfer to hotel. Then visit the Ghats to see the Puja ceremony on River Ganges.
Hotel: Hindustan International Hotel Varanasi (5 stars) or similar

Day 12: Varanasi (B L D)
Boat ride on the Ganges River at dawn to see the Hindu pilgrims flock to the ghats and see a ritual morning bath, practice yoga and perform 'puja' to the rising sun....all rituals evolved and derived from thousands of years of worship and traditions. Walk through the myriad of narrow lanes in the Old city, past the many ancient temples, shrines and little shops crammed with customers looking for the famous silver and gold brocades for weddings or ever for cremation cloth. The most famous temple is the Kashi Vishvanath or "Golden" temple, which though off-limits to non-Hindus, can be seen from the top floor of the old house opposite it. Visit Sarnath – it is one of the holies Buddhist sites in world, where Buddha preached his first Sermon in 590 B.C. Sarnath has a fine Museum filled with sculptures found at the site.

Day 13: Varanasi – Delhi(Flight)(B L D)
Breakfast at hotel, then take flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, take a city tour. Transfer to the airport.

Day 14: Delhi – stops – Canada
Fly back to your sweet home.











* Guaranteed departure from at least 15 people in a group.
* Please note that infant (under age 2 at the return date of trip) does not have his/her own seat on the plane.
* Full payment required at booking to benefit from this tour (Final Sale, non refundable).
* No Chinese visa required according to 72-hour visa-free transit policy for travelers from the 51 countries .
* The above prices are for Montreal/ Ottawa/ Quebec/ Toronto/ Vancouver departures only. The prices will be $300/ $500 more for departures from other major North America cities.
* Please note that most travellers need a valid entry document such as visa to visit destination countries. Sinorama holds no liability for the customs delay or rejection.

Price valid until April 03 2017

 
Price includes:
* International and domestic flights, including the taxes and fuel surcharges;
* Domestic transportation (train, coach);
* 5-star hotel accommodation (based on double occupancy);
* Meals mentioned in the itinerary and featuring regional specialties;
* All visits and admission fees including entertainment shows listed unless otherwise stated;
* Service charge for all guides, bus drivers and hotel porter fees;
* English speaking guide;
* Taxes and fuel surcharges;
Price does not include:
* India Visa Application fee;
* Postal fees;
* Travel insurance.
Arts and crafts in China:
Beijing: Jade & Freshwater Pearl

Beijing Lijingwan International Hotel

Lijingwan International Hotel features numerous recreation options include hot tub, indoor pool and massage treatments. It has free parking and classy, European-style rooms with free wired internet. Sihui subway station is a 10-minute drive away.

Lijingwan Hotel is 3 miles from Beijing International Trade Center and a 5-minute drive from Honglingjin Park. The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in the center of the city is a 30-minute drive away.

Refreshing workouts await at the well-equipped fitness center. After a day of activity, enjoy soothing massages and the use of sauna facilities. Guests can also play pool and ping-pong on site. Car rentals, day trips and ticket services can be arranged at the tour desk.

Decorated in pleasant neutral shades, all rooms have modern interiors, a minibar and ironing facilities. The spacious bathrooms have both a bathtub and shower facilities.

A fine selection of Chinese, Western and Japanese cuisine can be enjoyed at the hotel's 3 restaurants.

Chaoyang is a great choice for travelers interested in history, shopping andfood.

 

Jaypee Palace Hotel & International Convention Centre

Located on the popular Fatehabad Road, Jaypee Palace Hotel & International Convention Centre lives up to its title, providing luxurious accommodation close to the Taj Mahal. Located just three kilometers from the Taj Mahal and a short jaunt by car or rickshaw to the main shopping precinct, guests staying here are in an ideal position to get to Agra’s many attractions. A large, upmarket establishment, this property sits on 25 acres of landscaped gardens and includes a luxurious pool area and spa. Jaypee Palace Hotel & International Convention Centre includes a round-the-clock multi-cuisine Coffee Shop and a buffet restaurant that is open until midnight. Leisure and recreation facilities at the hotel are endless from Turkish baths to a nightclub to a gaming arcade. Marble columns, red sandstone, and the odd fountain create an ambience one associates with diplomats and royalty, while lavish interiors and hyper-vigilant service give guests the impression they really are staying in a palace.

 

Meridien Hotel New Delhi (5 Stars)

New Delhi is a city of history and legend. Not far from Agra – the site of the world’s most beautiful tribute to love, the Taj Mahal – and surrounded by forests with 5,000-year-old stone temples still intact, the city is home to the famed Red Fort Palace and the Yamuna, one of the most revered rivers in Hinduism. Le Méridien New Delhi is situated two kilometers from Rashtrapati Bhawan – the home of the President of India, the Presidential Palace, Parliament House, and Connaught Place. Our city center hotel is set amidst the most alluring shopping and entertainment districts in New Delhi.

Features
Meridien New Delhi’s spa, Three Graces by Amatrra, is a unique concept facility that combines the time-tested ancient Indian science of Ayurveda and Astroscience (“Astroveda”) with global 21st-century technology and equipment to create, harmonise, and balance individual energy in a spa experience.

Three Graces by Amatrra offers a unique, prescriptive approach of spa regimens and therapies. The goal is to provide preventive and curative methods of healing and well-being through diagnosis by our expert panel, including an Astroscience expert proficient in body element analysis, Ayurveda expert, fitness training expert, and yoga expert.

Facilities include two Ayurveda Therapy Rooms, three International Therapy Rooms, one Chakra Therapy room with Vichy Shower, one International Therapy Suite for couples, a private Meditation Room, Lifestyle Room for consultation, and separate wet areas for men and women with steam room and Jacuzzi. The spa also includes a gymnasium and outdoor swimming pool.

Rooms
Le Méridien offers a truly unique experience in every one of its stylish guest rooms and suites. Warm earth tones in addition to the luxurious sitting and work areas create an inviting ambiance for you to experience and enjoy.

 

Trident Hotel Jaipur (5 Stars)

Breathtaking views of the serene Mansagar Lake and the striking Aravalli range welcome guests at the 134 room Trident Hotel, Jaipur. Situated en route to Jaipur’s famous Amber Fort, the Trident, Jaipur offers gracefully furnished rooms that are well-equipped. There are exclusive non-smoking rooms and rooms designed for the disabled too. The hotel’s multi–cuisine restaurant serves an elaborate a ’la carte menu and extensive buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are excellent facilities for conferences and business events.

 

Radisson Hotel Khajuraho (4.5 Stars)

Make your escape to the 5-star Radisson Hotel Khajuraho, a luxury property offering everything you need for an exceptional stay. The 86 guest rooms and 4 suites at our hotel are surrounded by lush gardens and beautiful scenery and provide unparalleled comfort and style. The Radisson Khajuraho hotel also features a multi-cuisine restaurant, a full bar and two conference halls. The airport, railway station, marketplace and world heritage temple complex are all just four kilometers away.

 


Indian Cuisine
Indian cuisine encompasses a wide variety of regional cuisines native to India. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, meat, vegetables, and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religious and cultural choices.

The development of these cuisines has been shaped by Hindu and Jain beliefs, and in particular by vegetarianism, which is a growing dietary trend in Indian society. There has also been Persian influence on North Indian cuisine from the years of Mughal and Delhi Sultanate rule. Indian cuisine has been and is still evolving, as a result of the nation's cultural interactions with other societies.

Historical incidents such as foreign invasions, trade relations and colonialism have also played a role in introducing certain foods to the country. For instance, potato, a staple of North Indian diet was brought to India by the Portuguese, who also introduced chilies and breadfruit. Indian cuisine has also shaped the history of international relations; the spice trade between India and Europe is often cited by historians as the primary catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. Spices were bought from India and traded around Europe and Asia. It has also influenced other cuisines across the world, especially those from Southeast Asia, the British Isles and the Caribbean.

 

Ingredients:
Staple foods of Indian cuisine include pearl millet (bajra), rice, whole-wheat flour (atta), and a variety of lentils, especially masoor (most often red lentils), toor (pigeon pea), urad (black gram), and moong (mung bean). Lentils may be used whole, dehusked—for example, dhuli moong or dhuli urad—or split. Split lentils, or dal, are used extensively. Some pulses, such as channa (chickpea), Rajma or kidney beans, lobiya are very common, especially in the northern regions. Channa and mung, are also processed into flour (besan).

Many Indian dishes are cooked in vegetable oil, but peanut oil is popular in northern and western India, mustard oil in eastern India, and coconut oil along the western coast, especially in Kerala. Gingelly (sesame) oil is common in the south since it imparts a fragrant nutty aroma. In recent decades, sunflower and soybean oils have become popular across India. Hydrogenated vegetable oil, known as Vanaspati ghee, is another popular cooking medium. Butter-based ghee, or desi ghee, is used frequently, though less than in the past.

 

Lentils are a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine
The most important and frequently used spices and flavourings in Indian cuisine are whole or powdered chilli pepper (mirch) (introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century), black mustard seed (sarso), cardamom (elaichi), cumin (jeera), turmeric (haldi), asafoetida (hing), ginger (adrak), coriander (dhania), and garlic (lehsun).[19] One popular spice mix is garam masala, a powder that typically includes five or more dried spices, especially cardamom, cinnamon (dalchini), and clove.Each culinary region has a distinctive garam masala blend—individual chefs may also have their own. Goda masala is a comparable, though sweet, spice mix popular in Maharashtra. Some leaves commonly used for flavouring include bay (tejpat), coriander, fenugreek, and mint leaves. The use of curry leaves and roots for flavouring is typical of Gujarati and South Indian cuisine. Sweet dishes are often seasoned with cardamom, saffron, nutmeg, and rose petal essences.

 
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Indian carpets

Carpet weaving may have been introduced into the area as far back as the eleventh century with the coming of the first Muslim conquerors, the Ghaznavids and the Ghauris, from the West. It can with more certainty be traced to the beginning of the Mughal Dynasty in the early fifteenth century, when the last successor of Timur, Babar, extended his rule from Kabul to India to found the Mughal Empire. Under the patronage of the Mughals, Indian craftsmen adopted Persian techniques and designs. Carpets woven in the Punjab made use of motifs and decorative styles found in Mughal architecture.

Akbar, a Mogul emperor, is accredited to introducing the art of carpet weaving to India in 1500 A.D. during his reign. The Mughal emperors patronized Persian carpets for their royal courts and palaces. During this period, he brought Persian craftsmen from their homeland and established them in India. Initially, the carpets woven showed the classic Persian style of fine knotting. Gradually it blended with Indian art. Thus the carpets produced became typical of the Indian origin and gradually the industry began to diversify and spread all over the subcontinent.

CarpetVista - carpets and rugs

During the Mughal period, the carpets made on the Indian subcontinent became so famous that demand for them spread abroad. These carpets had distinctive designs and boasted a high density of knots. Carpets made for the Mughal emperors, including Jahangir and Shah Jahan, were of the finest quality. Under Shah Jahan's reign, Mughal carpet weaving took on a new aesthetic and entered its classical phase.

The Indian carpets are well known for their designs with attention to detail and presentation of realistic attributes. The carpet industry in India flourished more in its northern part with major centers found in Kashmir, Jaipur, Agra and Bhadohi.

Indian carpets are known for their high density of knotting. Hand-knotted carpets are a specialty and widely in demand in the West. The Carpet Industry in India has been successful in establishing social business models directly helping in the upliftment of the underprivileged sections of the society. Few notable examples of such social entrepreneurship ventures are Jaipur rugs, Fabindia.

Amritsar ville du Pendjab au nord de l'Inde

Another category of Indian rugs which, though quite popular in most of the western countries, have not received much press is hand-woven rugs of Khairabad (Citapore rugs). Khairabad small town in Citapore (now spelled as "Sitapur") district of India had been ruled by Raja Mehmoodabad. Khairabad (Mehmoodabad Estate) was part of Oudh province which had been ruled by shi'i Muslims having Persian linkages. Citapore rugs made in Khairabad and neighbouring areas are all hand-woven and distinct from tufted and knotted rugs. Flat weave is the basic weaving technique of Citapore rugs and generally cotton is the main weaving material here but jute, rayon and chenille are also popular. Ikea and Agocha have been major buyers of rugs from this area.


Classical India Dance

Classical dance in India has developed a type of dance-drama that is a form of a total theater. The dancer acts out a story almost exclusively through gestures. Most of the classical dances enact stories from Hindu mythology. Each form represents the culture and ethos of a particular region or a group of people.

The criteria for being considered as classical is the style's adherence to the guidelines laid down in Natyashastra, which explains the Indian art of acting. The Sangeet Natak Akademi currently confers classical status on eight Indian classical dance styles: Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu), Kathak (North India), Kathakali (Kerala), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh), Manipuri (Manipur), Mohiniyattam (Kerala), Odissi (Odisha), and Sattriya (Assam).

The tradition of dance has been codified in the Natyashastra and a performance is considered accomplished if it manages to evoke a rasa by invoking a particular bhava (emotion). Classical dance is distinguished from folk dance because it has been regulated by the rules of the Natyashastra and all classical dances are performed only in accordance with them.

Bharatanatyam

Dating back to 1000 BCE, Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, practiced predominantly in modern times by women. The dance is usually accompanied by classical Carnatic music. Its inspirations come from the sculptures of the ancient temple of Chidambaram. It was codified and documented as a performing art in the 19th century by four brothers known as the Thanjavur Quartet whose musical compositions for dance form the bulk of the Bharatanatya repertoire even today.

Kathakali

Kathakali (katha, “story”; kali, “performance”) is a highly stylized classical dance-drama form which originated from Kerala in the 17th century. This classical dance form is particularly noticed for dancer's elaborate costume, towering head gear, billowing skirts, and long silver nails. Recent developments in Kathakali over the years include improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing and precise drumming. Kathakali is performed regularly at festivals in temples, at cultural shows for connoisseurs and also at international events, occasionally in fusion dance experiments.

Kathak
Originating from north Indian states, in ancient Indian temples brahmin priests (pandits) used to narrate the stories of gods and goddesses through dance, they were known as ((kathakar)) and the dance came to be known as "kathak". Kathak traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or storytellers. Its form today contains traces of temple and ritual dances, and the influence of the bhakti movement.[24] From the 16th century onwards it absorbed certain features of Persian dance and Central Asian dance which were imported by the royal courts of the Mughal era. There are three major schools or gharanas of Kathak from which performers today generally draw their lineage: the gharanas of Benares, Jaipur and kathak.

Odissi
Odissi, also known as Orissi, is one of the eight classical dance forms of India. It originates from the state of Odisha, in eastern India. It is the oldest surviving dance form of India on the basis of archaeological evidences. There are mainly three books of Odissi. The classic treatise of Indian dance, Natya Shastra, refers to it as Odra-Magadhi. 1st century BCE bas-reliefs in the hills of Udaygiri (near Bhubaneshwar) testify to its antiquity. It was suppressed under the British Raj, but has been reconstructed since India gained independence. It is particularly distinguished from other classical Indian dance forms by the importance it places upon the Tribhangi (literally: three parts break), the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis and upon the basic square stance known as Chauka or Chouka that symbolizes Lord Jagannath. This dance is characterized by various Bhangas (Stance), which involves stamping of the foot and striking various postures as seen in Indian sculptures. The common Bhangas are Bhanga, Abhanga, Atibhanga and Tribhanga.

Sattriya
Sattriya, or Sattriya Nritya, is one among eight principal classical Indian dance traditions. Whereas some of the other traditions have been revived in the recent past, Sattriya has remained a living tradition since its creation by the founder of Vaishnavism in Assam, the great saint Srimanta Sankardeva, in 15th century Assam. Satriya dance performance at Guwahati Rabindra Bhawan.Sankardeva created Sattriya Nritya as an accompaniment to the Ankia Naat (a form of Assamese one-act plays devised by him), which were usually performed in the sattras, as Assam's monasteries are called. As the tradition developed and grew within the sattras, the dance form came to be called Sattriya Nritya. Today, although Sattriya Nritya has emerged from within the confines of the sattras to a much wider recognition, the sattras continue to use the dance form for ritualistic and other purposes for which it was originally created circa 500 years ago. It also has recently become one of the Indian Classical Dances.


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