Places Covered: New Delhi (1night) – Bhubaneswar – Puri (2nights) – Konark – Raghurajpur – Bhitarkanika (2nights) – Bhubaneswar (1night) – Bishnupur (1night) – Kolkata (2nights) – New Delhi
No. of Days: 9nights/10days
Day 1: New Delhi: Arrive in New Delhi and check into a hotel. Have some acclimatization and relaxation. Go out and visit some prominent places in New Delhi. Start with Qutab Minar and other ancient and medieval period monuments surrounding it. Together they have also been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Qutab Minar is some 73m high and a symbol of the Delhi Sultanate period. Other famous monuments in the Qutab Minar complex include the Iron Pillar of Delhi, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Alai Darwaza, the Tomb of Iltutmish, Alai Minar, and Ala-ud-din’s Madrasa and tomb.
Afterwards, go and visit India Gate, a war memorial dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives during First World War and Third Anglo-Afghan War. Take a visit to Rajpath, a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi. Afterwards, visit Jama Masjid, a mosque built by Shah Jahan in the mid 17th century. Take a paddle rickshaw ride in the old city. See the narrow lanes where business is still carried out in big volumes. Get a fair idea of how things were during the Mughal and later during British period. There are Sikh temples and Jainese temples as well in Old city. Explore them
Go for a sightseeing of Red Fort after a delicious lunch at one of the restaurants in Old City. Red Fort was the place from where Shah Jahan ruled. This was the place where Nadir Shah invaded and killed so many people. Have a look at the different monuments within the Fort. Towards the evening, enjoy the light and sound show.
Return to the hotel, have dinner. Overnight in New Delhi.
Day 2: New Delhi – Bhubaneswar – Puri: Have an early breakfast and drive to the airport. Catch the flight to Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha, an eastern province of India. On arrival drive to Puri, a 1.5 hours drive from Bhubaneswar. Check into a hotel on arrival in Puri. After some relaxation, start exploring Puri. Visit Jagannath Temple, and have a look at the architectural beauty of the monument. Foreigners are not allowed inside the temple complex though. Take a walk on the streets of Puri. Go to the beach and enjoy a nice walk along it. You can have fun and frolic at the beach, and watch people enjoying. Feel free to taste some snacks from the many snack selling vendors.
Return to the hotel, have dinner and retire to your room. Overnight in Puri.
Day 3: Puri – Chilka lake – Puri: After a sumptuous breakfast go to Satpada to explore the beauty of Chilka Lake, largest lagoon in India. Stapada is a drive of a little more than an hour from Puri. Take a boat and go and see dolphins, birds and also the beach. You are free to taste some delicious sea food. Return to Puri. Go and visit a few temples in Puri. Enjoy the evening at the beach. Have dinner at one of the restaurants. Overnight in Puri.
Day 4: Puri – Konark – Bhitarkanika: Check out early in the morning and drive to Konark – a drive of nearly an hour or so. Konark is famous for its Sun Temple. The temple is partially ruined but one can easily see the grandeur of it. It is one the list of UNESCO World Heritage. The temple has several intricate carvings done all over the exterior wall. After a guided tour of the Temple, drive to Bhitarkanika, a drive of more than five hours. Check into Estuarine Village Resort, located at Nalitapatia Village of Bhitarkanika area.
Have dinner. Overnight at Estuarine Village Resort, Bhitarkanika.
Day 5: Bhitarkanika: After an early breakfast set out to explore Bhitarkanika National Park and Bhitarkanika Wild life Sanctuary. Safari is done on the boat. Keep looking for the large estuarine crocodiles on the banks of the river channels. You can see a large number of birds. Of particular interest are different varieties of kingfisher birds, darters, cormorants, mangrove petta, parakeets, lapwings, godwits, and a number of stork birds. Take a walk of a few kilometers inside the forest. Here there are chances of sighting wild boars and deer. There are outside chances of even sighting pythons and some snake varieties like king cobra and banded viper.
Have lunch in the afternoon and set out to visit Interpretation-cum-Museum at Dangamal. Afterwards, visit different villages and look at how people live in these rural areas. Look at the village temples, schools and markets. Visit some rural houses and understand how village economies are managed in the interior villages of Odisha.
Have a nice relaxing dinner. Overnight at Estuarine Village Resort, Bhitarkanika.
Day 6: Bhitarkanika – Bhubaneswar: Check out after breakfast and drive to Bhubaneswar. Check into a hotel on arrival in Bhubaneswar. Afterwards, go to Khandgiri and check out the caves built over a period of time, some dating back to even 2nd century BC. After a guided tour of the caves at Khandgiri, go and visit Lingeswara Temple, a temple built in the 11th century. Foreigners are not allowed inside the temple’s precincts though. The temple complex is huge with several temples within the complex. Take a walk around the temple area and look at Bindusar, the lake which precedes even Lingaraj temple.
You can take a look at the markets in Bhubaneswar. Have dinner at one of the city restaurant. Overnight in Bhubaneswar.
Day 7: Bhubaneswar – Bishnupur: Check out very early in the morning and catch a train. Get down at Kharagpur railway station. Drive from Kharagpur railway station to Bishnupur, which is located in Bankura district. This is around two hours drive.
Check into a hotel on arrival in Bishnupur. Bishnupur is famous for the terracotta temples and balucheri sarees. Go out to explore the terracotta temples. These temples were built by the Malla rulers of Bengal during 17th and 18th century. Look at how these temples from close quarters. Most noticeable of the temples are Jorebangla Temple, Shyamrai Temple, and Radha Govinda Temple. Dalmadal Kaman Canon is also quite noticeable.
Bishnupur is also famous for its terracotta craft and Baluchari sarees which are made of tussar silk. The Malla rulers also gave patronage to musicians and consequently Bishnupur Gharana (school) of Hindustani classical music flourished in the latter half of the 18th century. Bishnupur School of painting also flourished in the same period.
Have dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Bishnupur.
Day 8: Bishnupur – Kolkata: Check out after breakfast. Drive to Kolkata – a drive of more than 4.5 hours. Check into a hotel on arrival in Kolkata. Have lunch and set out to explore Kolkata. Visit Victoria Memorial, a museum built for preservation memories of Queen Victoria. At present it has a good collection of art and history from India. Afterwards, drive to Princep Ghat and enjoy walking along the Ganges. You can go for boating in non-mechanized boat and watch sunset from the river. Return and o and explore Esplanade area, an area with a lot of colonial buildings.
Have dinner and drinks at one of the restaurants in the Esplanade area. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Kolkata.
Day 9: Kolkata: Have an early breakfast and then embark on a full day exploration of the city. Start with the Flower Market. This is a unique place, supposed to be the largest flower market in Asia. You can feel amazed o see the vivid kinds of flowers coming to the market every morning. Afterwards, go and visit a Jain Temple, built by a business person. This temple is known for its rich use of gems and jewelries. If interested, you can go and visit potters’ colony to see potters at work on making idols for different festivals. After lunch go and visit Dakshineswar Temple. This temple, much revered by Hindus in Kolkata, is the place where the famous saint Ramkrishna Paramhans used to worship. After spending some time here go and visit Belur Math, headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. This organization was founded by Swami Vivekananda, a famous modern thinker and disciple of Ramkrishna.
Have a nice dinner at one of the many restaurants near your hotel. Return to the hotel and retire to your room after a hectic day out. Overnight in Kolkata.
Day 10: Kolkata – Onward Destination: After breakfast check out and drive to the airport. Fly to the place from where you have your international flight, be it New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore or some other place.