GOLF & CULTURAL TOUR
15 Nights/ 16 Days
Delhi - Agra - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Calcutta - Kathmandu
01 : New Delhi
Arrive on the international flight. You will be met on arrival and transferred
to the hotel.
Day 02 : New Delhi
Morning : At leisure to relax after the international flight.
Afternoon: Guided tour of New Delhi, a planned city of imperial splendour and
once the grandest outpost of the greatest empire the world has seen. Today,
it is the capital of India, and a bustling commercial centre. Very few cities
in the world, if any at all, are so closely tied to history as the city of Delhi.
The metropolis seen today was designed and built by the British in the 1220s;
it is a city of wide boulevards, impressive government buildings, and green
parks and gardens. You will visit Humayan's Tomb, a forerunner of the ornate
Moghul style of architecture later perfected in the Taj Mahal; and the Qutub
Minar, a 234 foot high fluted minaret of the 13th century. Then your drive takes
you along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament
House to the President's Residence, which was formerly the British Viceroy's
palace. End your tour with a drive through Delhi's Diplomatic Enclave.
Day 03 : New Delhi : FULL DAY OF GOLF AT THE DELHI GOLF CLUB.
Founded in 1950, the course has over a hundred trees, and thousands of flowering
shrubs and bushes, providing greenness, as well as sanctuary to over 300 species
of birds, the monkey, mongoose and squirrel. Part of the Asian Gold circuit,
and venue for the Indian Opens and national amateur championships, the course
offers both challenge to a good golfer and pleasure to the casual
by its unique amnience. On the par four, 442 yards, sixth, one can ponder the
placing of a drive from the peaceful shade of an arched lantern-covered family
tomb. Near the sixth green, monkeys can be seen in the distance, while along
Lodhi Road pass turbaned peasants who will perhaps stop their bullock-carts
and camel-carts to watch. The sandy loam has produced a rich turf, good for
the most exacting fairway wood shot, and greens are true. On the hillock behind
the seventh green is a landmark of the 12 Pillars, a splendid ruined mausoleum
of the Afghan lodi dynasty. Delhi's outstanding character is its four strong
finishing holes, from the par-four, fifteenth, par-three, sixteenth, the long
par-five, seventeenth, and tricky par-four, eighteenth, the latter two both
dog-legs, placing premiums on accurate driving, the crux of golf technique at
Delhi. At sunset the light is caught strongly on the red sandstone, miniature
Taj-like mausoleum next to the Clubhouse, tomb of the presumed favourite concubine
of Emperor Jahandar Shah. Yet another unique setting for golf : in modern New
Delhi amidst the ruins of the past !
Day 04 : NEW DELHI
Morning : Guided tour of Old Delhi. The city's history goes back 5000 years,
to an ancient city on the same site, mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata
which tells of a mighty fought on the city's outskirts. History stands still
in Delhi's many forts, monuments and ruins, in the shadow of the massive Red
Fort which encloses the city, the Street of Silver, Chandni Chowk, still flourishes.
Afternoon: At leisure to relax or explore Delhi on your own or to venture
into the city's "bazaars".
Evening: Cocktail reception at the hotel to meet with the city's golf enthusiasts
and exchange notes on courses and techniques.
Day 05 - DELHI / AGRA :
Agra and transfer to the hotel.
Afternoon: Guided tour of the city of the Taj Mahal. Under the Mughals, Agra
shared honours with Delhi as capital of the Empire. Today it is best known
as the city of the Taj Mahal, that exquisite poem to immortal love, executed
in white marble, at the command of an emperor bereaved. No matter how many
times you have seen a picture of the monument, it is still more beautiful
than you had imagined. Close by is the Agra Fort, where the emperor was imprisoned
by the son who dethroned him. The tour ends with a return visit to the precincts
of the Taj Mahal complex to enable you to wander through its gardens at sunset
and photograph the monument by the rays of the setting sun.
Day 06 : AGRA / KHAJURAHO
Morning: Half day excursion to Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted capital of Emperor
Afternoon: Transfer to the airport 1416 hrs. Arrive Khajuraho and proceed directly
to visit the Eastern Group of temple. At this time of day, the sunlight will
be conducive for photography at the Eastern Group of temples
Day 07 : KHAJURAHO / VARANASI
Morning: Visit the Western Group of temples.
Khajuraho is the site of a complex of temples, quite remote from any other township,
constructed in the 10th & 11th century by the Chandela kings. The sculptures
on the temple walls are exquisite in their grace and details, and range from
the sublime to the erotic.
Afternoon: Leave for Varanasi. Arrive Varanasi and transfer to the hotel.
Day 8 : VARANASI / CALCUTTA
morning; Rise early this morning and take a boatride on the Ganges as the sun's
first rays light up the three-mile long stretch of ghasts (steps) leading into
the sacred waters of the river Ganges. As you glide along you will witness a
scene that is one of the pulsebeats of India, a scene that is as ancient as
time itself. Thousands of Hindus come daily to the ghasts to immerse themselves
in the river, thereby releasing their souls from the cycle of reincarnation.
Further downstream you will see the "burning ghats" where white shrouded
bodies await their final release --- cremation on the banks of the Ganges so
that their ashes can be dispersed into the river. The entire spectacle is unique,
colorful, and often moving.
Return to the hotel for breakfast, then proceed on a tour of Sarnath.
Visit the buried Buddhist City of Sarnath just outside Varanasi; it is as
holy to the Buddhists as Varanasi is to the Hindus. Here you will witness
the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist monastery and then visit a fine museum
which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculpture.
Late afternoon : Leave for Calcutta. Arrive Calcutta and transfer to the hotel.
Day 9 : CALCUTTA
: Guided tour of Calcutta. Seat of Bengali intellectual culture, Calcutta was
the capital of British India until the building of New Delhi. A major attraction
is the Victoria Memorial, repository of relics and memorabilia of the British
Raj. In fact Calcutta is virtually an open-air museum of old British India.
Though much-maligned it is a city of distinction. Sightseeing tour of Calcutta,
a city which took shape with the British Empire in India and its public buildings
reflect that style. The Victoria Memorial is the best introduction to that era.
St. Paul's Cathedral, Fort William, Raj Bhavan, the High Court all the strongly
British in character. The Indian Museum has some priceless relics of ancient
Afternoon: In today's world, Calcutta's claim to international repute stems
from a fact far removed from its history. It is the city of Mother Teresa.
She has embraced the city which in turn claims her as one of its own. Recognised
world over as a living saint, she and her fellow sisters have toiled for decades
to uplift the living conditions of the poorest of the poor in areas of Calcutta
which are reminiscent of a western industrial metropolis in the days of the
Industrial Revolution. This afternoon's tour will be to the Ashram of Mother
Teresa, where, in simple surroundings, there takes place every day, pure and
simple actions of faith and compassion --- humanitarian acts of dimensions
encompassing the sick and the suffering, anywhere in the world.
Day 10 & Day 11 : CALCUTTA
FULL DAYS FOR GOLFING AT THE ROYAL CALCUTTA GOLF CLUB. Founded in 1829, the
club was conferred in 1911 the sobriquet "Royal" by King George V
at the time of the fabled Delhi Durbar. The countryside over which the course
was laid was originally paddy fields; consequently it is flat. Over more than
100 years, successive committees have built mounds and planted thousands of
trees, but the Royal's conspicuous features are its numerous lotus filled tanks,
natural water hazards, strategically located. The most significant are the two
large tanks across the 10th fairway, a 457 yard, par 4. From the tee, the tiger
line is over the first tank and must carry all of 230 yards; the safer route
to the right leaves a very long second shot over the second tank, a good 100
yards wide, to a small undulating green wickedly trapped all round. The out-of-bounds
boundary wall dangerously hugs the entire left flank of this hole. Greens are
small by modern standards but undulations make them tricky, and there is a little
nap. But its strength lies in its par fours, and to score requires good long
and medium irons. Second shot irons pay off at Royal Calcutta.
Day 12 : CALCUTTA / KATHMANDU
Morning : At leisure to relax at the hotel's swimming pool or explore Calcutta
on your own or to catch up on shopping. A visit to the National Museum in Calcutta
can be a very rewarding experience.
Late afternoon : Arrive kathmandu and transfer to the hotel.
Day 13 : KATHMANDU
Morning : OPTIIONAL MOUNT EVEREST FLIGHT.
morning weather permitting, take what promises to be one of the most thrilling
flights of your life --- the Himalayan Mountain Flight. During a one hour flight
the plane flies at close range along the Himalayas - the world's highest and
most majestic peaks, and your view from the plane window is spectacular, especially
when you finally see Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth.
Afternoon : Sightseeing tour of this unique and fascinating capital of the Himalayan
Kingdom of Nepal. First visit the imposing 2,000 year old stupa at Swayambhunath,
majestically set high on a hill overlooking the valley. Then drive to the Central
Durbar Square where you will see fine examples of Nepalese architecture in Kathmandu's
palaces and pagodas. Also visit Ason Tole, a typical Nepalese marketplace.
Day 14 : KATHMANDU
Morning : Yet another opportunity to experience the Mountain Flight over the
Himalayas, just in case the weather-gods were not in your favour yesterday.
Afternoon : Visit Bhadgaon, an ancient capital of Nepal. Here you will witness
such treasures as the palace of 55 windows, the Golden Gate, the 5-storeyed
Nyatapola Temple (a marvelous example of the pervasive pagoda architecture),
and the small but excellent museum. Visit Bodhnath, the largest stupa in all
of Nepal, and Pashupatinath, the large gilded-roofed temple dedicated to Lord
Shiva, which is an important pilgrimage center.
Day 15 : KATHMANDU / DELHI
Morning: An OPTIONAL game of Golf in the capital's course located near the Kathmandu
airport. Though small, this course has its unusual location in the shadows of
the Himalayan peaks, in the heart of the Kathmandu valley.
Afternoon: At leisure. You may wish to take it easy or visit some more of Kathmandu's
unique monuments or stock up from the veritable treasure trove of souvenirs
in the city's side-walks and stores. Evening: Transfer to the airport. Leave
by a flight of Royal Nepal Airlines or Indian Airlines. Arrive Delhi and transfer
to the hotel .
Day 16 : DELHI
DEPART Early morning: Transfer to the airport to board the international flight.
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