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Delhi Agra Jaipur in Four Days

 

It's going to be whirlwind tour. Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Delhi in four days, is not the easiest thing to do, but it is possible. Doing this tour by train is going to be tough, as you'll have to arrange a local transport in each city. So, the best option is to either ask a tour company to arrange everything for you or hire a car with driver and explore on your own. The latter is painful, but pocket-friendly option. In this case you can either pre-arrange a guide or hire one at the popular monuments.

 

Day 1 : Delhi

 

Dedicate this day to Delhi and start early in the morning. Don't try to cover everything, you just can't do it, Delhi is a big and widely spread city. Start you day with Jama Masjid if possible at sun rise.

 

Ask your driver to drop you there and pick you up from the Red Fort entrance. Make sure you have the driver's mobile number handy, in case you lose track of each other. This is the largest mosque in India and the southern minaret of the masjid offers a splendid view of the Meena bazaar, Red Fort, Chandni Chowk even as far as the Rashtrapati Bhawan in Central Delhi.

 

After Jama Masjid, take a man-ridden cycle rickshaw to Red Fort. Right opposite the fort entrance, you'll find a brick red color temple i.e. Jain Temple, if you wish to visit it, try after Red Fort. Red Fort is going to take a good 1.5 to 2 hours.

 

Hopefully by now it would be 11 am. So ask your driver to take you to Haldiram's Connaught Place (opp. Shankar Market) if you want to try Indian Brunch. If you're scared of Delhi Belly, visit nearby Pizza Hut for a slice or two.

 

Now ask your driver to take you to India Gate through Parliament House and Rashtrapati Bhawan (President House). Stop over at India Gate for a photo shoot and a small stroll. Try some ice-cream at one of the mobile kiosks.

 

Hope into the car and head straight to Humayun Tomb. It's one of the three UN Heritage Sites and presumed to be the first blueprint of the Taj Mahal.

 

The complex encompasses the main tomb of the Emperor Humayun, which houses the graves of his wife, Hamida Begum, and also Dara Shikoh, son of the later Emperor Shah Jahan. It represented a leap in Mughal architecture, and together with its accomplished Char Bagh garden, typical of Persian gardens, but never seen before in India, it set a precedent for subsequent Mughal architecture.

 

Enough of history. Time to head for divinity. A 30 minute drive will take you to Swami Narayan Akshardham Temple. More than a religious spot, it's an architectural masterpiece. The temple, which attracts approximately 70 percent of all tourists who visit Delhi. The complex features a large central monument crafted entirely of stone, exhibitions on incidents from the life of Swaminarayan and the history of India, an IMAX feature, a musical fountain, and large landscaped gardens.

 

Will easily absorb 1.5 to 2 hours. The food court is a good place to refuel with vegetarian snacks and drinks.

 

After Akshardham head to the breathtaking lotus shaped Bahai Temple, which has won numerous architectural awards and been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. Be ready for a piece of solitude, since you’ll be asked to silently remember your God in the Inner chamber. (If the sun has already set, straightaway go to Dilli Haat skipping Qutab Minar).

 

It’s finally time to visit Qutub Minar, the world's tallest brick minaret with a height of 72.5 meters (237.8 ft). The Qutub Minar comprises several superposed flanged and cylindrical shafts, separated by balconies carried on Mugarnas corbels. The minaret is made of fluted red sandstone covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur'an.

 

You must visit, the nearby Iron Pillar is one of the world's foremost metallurgical curiosities, standing in the famous Qutub complex. According to the traditional belief, anyone who can encircle the entire column with their arms, with their back towards the pillar, can have their wish granted. Because of the corrosive qualities of sweat the government has built a fence around it for safety.

 

If you still have some energy left, head to Dilli Haat. It's open till 10 pm and gives you great opportunity to taste some Indian fares and buy authentic handicrafts. There are as many as 62 stalls located within the complex. Craftsmen from different corners of India come over here to showcase their products. The products are reasonably priced, though you can still bargain. The shops and stalls are allotted to the sellers for 15 days and is then rotated so that other sellers get an opportunity to exhibit and sell their products.

 

Enough! This hectic day will definitely guarantee a sound sleep. Time to rush to your hotel.

 

Day 2 : Jaipur

 

Start your drive to Jaipur early in the morning to avoid Business hour traffic. Alternatively, you can also catch a train to Jaipur. If you opt for car, ask the driver to take you for a round trip to Gurgaon, so that you have a glimpse of shining India. Gurgaon houses hundreds of glass and steel building where call centers operate. It's also home of some of the best malls in the region, among them the biggest is Ambiance mall.

 

On the way, stop over at Samod Palace for lunch and sightseeing. www.samode.com/palace/intro.html The palace, built by the noblemen of the court of the royal family, is located near the Samode village on the way to Jaipur. It is built of sandstone at the foot of the Aravalli range of hills with a fortress like setting. After a leisurely lunch, head to Jaipur.

 

After checking in to your hotel, explore the colorful bazaars. Make a walking visit to Johri Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and Tipolia Bazaar in Old city. Bargain hard if you plan to buy anything. After a few hectic hours in bazaars, it's perfect time for a traditional dinner at Chokhi Dhani. www.chokhidhani.com Rush to your hotel for a well deserved sleep.

 

Day 3 : Jaipur

 

Start your day with Amber fort. high on a hill. Located high on the hill, this is an ancient citadel, which was the capital of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber from 1037 to 1727 AD. Amber Fort is known for its artistic style, blending both Hindu and Mughal elements. The fort with its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths, overlooks the Maota Lake at its forefront.

 

On the way back to the city, visit Hawal Mahal. It's a unique five-storey exterior is also akin to the honeycomb of the beehive with its 953 small windows called jharokhas that are decorated with intricate lattice work.The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, since they had to observe strict 'purdah.'

 

Now, head to City Palace. The palace complex, which is located northeast of the centre of the grid patterned Jaipur city, incorporates an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Palace,_Jaipur

 

Day 4 : Agra

 

Get ready with your camera and rush to the magnificent Taj at dawn. Spend relaxing two hours inside and do not miss any photo shoot opportunity. The monument is open from sunrise to sunset except Fridays. Official web site: http://www.tajmahal.gov.in/home.html

 

Visit a local restaurant or hotel for breakfast. Alternatively, have some snack and plan a brunch after the visit of Agra fort. Now make a visit to Agra Fort, which too is a world heritage site. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agra_Fort

 

If you have missed breakfast, then this is time for a king-size brunch before heading to Fatehpur Sikri. The fort at Fatehpur Sikri was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar beginning in 1570, in honour of Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chisti, who lived in a cavern on the ridge at Sikri. It was the first planned city of the Mughals and also first one in Mughal architecture, an amalgamation of Indian architecture, Persian and Islamic architecture, and served as the Mughal Empire's capital from 1571 until 1585. Though the court took 15 years to build, it was abandoned after only 14 years because the water supply was unable to sustain the growing population.

 

After the visit to Fatehpur Sikri, the third world heritage site in Agra, come back to your hotel or rush back to Delhi. Agra is very well connected by train, and this is the best option if you want to save time.

 

Alternatively, you can go back to Delhi by car. On the way, make a visit to Sikandara, which is known for Akbar's tomb.