Over 10 days you will be guided through a historic journey like no other you have experienced. You will awe at the beauty of the world’s most famous mausoleum- the Taj Mahal, marvel at the exquisitely marble-carved Jain Temples at Ranakpur, savour the serenity of Gandhi’s memorial and the regal splendour of the City Palaces in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur.
Day 1 - Delhi
Arrive in the Indian capital by international flight. Overnight in Delhi.
Day 2 - Delhi
Delhi - the capital of India is a fascinating city with complexities and contradictions, beauty and dynamism whether the past co-exists with the present. Many dynasties ruled from here and the city is rich in architecture and monuments. Delhi is not only the present metropolis but also a necropolis. Because of its location, on the banks of the river Yamuna, many cities have risen and fallen over the last five milleniums.
Morning: After breakfast visit Birla House - where Mahatma Gandhi the 'Father of the Nation' lived until his assassination. It now houses many personal memorabilia and photographs from the life of Ghandiji. Also visit Raj Ghat - Mahatma Gandhi's Memorial and a scenic drive past the historic Red Fort.
Afternoon: Visit the beautiful Humayuns Tomb from the Mughal era and predecessor of the world famous Taj Mahal. Continue on the stately government buildings of the British era designed by Sir Edward Lutyens, including the Parliament House, India Gate and Presidential Palace - Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Overnight in Delhi.
Day 3 - Delhi to Agra
After breakfast, depart by surface to Agra (approximately 128 miles, 4-5 hrs drive).
Agra - famous as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World - Taj Mahal. The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the forts and the palaces are a vivid reminder of the opulence of the Mughal Empire. Agra is known for its inlay work on marble and soapstone by artisans who have inherited their craft skills from their ancestors. The city is also famous for its carpet and gold thread embroidery.
After leisurely lunch (not included), visit the Red Fort built by three generations of Mughal Emperors starting from Akbar the Great in 1565 CE which is a masterpiece of design and construction. It housed both the residential palaces of the royal family and the military quarters.
Next, visit the Taj Mahal - the intimate poem in white marble, built over a period of 22 years by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630 for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. Visit a marble-in-lay factory to see the "Pietra Dura" work made famous by the Taj Mahal.
Overnight in Agra.
Day 4 - Agra to Fatehpur Sikri to Jaipur
After breakfast, drive to Fatehpur Sikri (40 kms.) - this exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, in red sandstone, with its forts, palaces and mosques was abandoned 14 years after its creation due to political reasons.
Drive to Jaipur (195 kms.) stopping enroute at a midway hotel for lunch (not included).
Arrive Jaipur. Rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner not included. Overnight in Jaipur.
Day 5 - Jaipur
After breakfast, visit Amber Fort - the capital of the erstwhile state of Jaipur until 1728 CE. Perched on a hill, it has halls for public and private audience, a Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) and various marble palaces which are fine examples of ancient Rajput architecture. Ride an elephant to ascend the hill on which the fort is situated.
After lunch (not included), visit the City Palace - the former royal residence built in a blend of the Rajasthani and Mughal styles which now houses a museum with a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes and armoury. Also visit the ancient observatory - Jantar Mantar.
Enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the bustling bazaars. Free time for souvenir shopping. Jaipur is renowned for textile block printing, blue pottery, carpet weaving, semi-precious stones and local crafts.
Overnight in Jaipur.
Day 6 - Jaipur to Jodhpur
After an early breakfast, transfer to Jaipur Railway Station. Board the Intercity Express train to Jodhpur (06 to 10.35 hrs.).
Set at the south eastern edge of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur emerged in the 15th century as capital of the kingdom of Marwar. Its strategic location along the old trade route that connected the Orient to the Middle East and Europe made it an important trading centre. As the gateway to the Thar Desert, it became a military bastion and first line of defence against overland invasion. Both these traits are much in evidence today although, recently, Jodhpur has acquired an international reputation as a venue for cultural, musical and sporting events.
Check into a heritage hotel in the city or the legendary Umaid Bhawan Palace.
Afternoon: Guided tour of the Old City of Jodhpur ending at the museum of the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The Umaid Bhawan Palace is a magnificent piece of Rajasthan's heritage and a symbol of new Jodhpur. Currently, the world's sixth-largest private residence, it was built between 1928 and 1943, and continues to be the home for Jodhpur's royalty.
Overnight in Jodhpur.
Day 7 - Jodhpur
After breakfast, guided tour of the monumental Mehrangarh Fort which rises vertically from a rocky hill that looks over Jodhpur. Its gargantuan size, breathtakingly high walls and cannon festooned ramparts are straight out of a Kipling fable. A painstaking and recently completed restoration makes Mehrangarh Fort one of the finest examples of conservation architecture. Near the fort complex lies Jaswant Thada memorial, a group of royal cenotaphs made of white marble which will be your next stop.
Afternoon: Guided walking tour of the Blue City of Jodhpur and an option to have lunch (not included) at a Haveli (old mansion) in the old city looking out at the imposing Mehrangarh Fort.
Evening: In case your tour coincides with the sacred Sufi Music Festival (February) or with the International Folk Music Festival (October) you can enjoy an amazing experience of this once in a lifetime cultural extravaganza. (Write to us for more details).
Overnight in Jodhpur.
Day 8 - Jodhpur to Desert Camp
A visit to Jodhpur is not complete without an experience of the desert. This morning, after leisurely breakfast, drive 2 hours to the desert for a stay at a luxury camp. The camp site is fully crewed, with all facilities such as an attached bathroom and running hot and cold water.
At sunset, take a camel ride out to the dunes for the beautiful views of the surroundings.
Return to your camp to enjoy an evening of folk music, dance and dinner by candle-light. Overnight at Desert Camp.
Day 9 - Desert Camp to Jodhpur
After breakfast at the camp, set out on a jeep excursion to the nearby villages to view desert life and the communities of cultivators, potters, weavers and herders. Visit the homes of Bishnoi tribes and partake in an opium ceremony.
Drive back to Jodphur and check into your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Jodhpur.
Day 10 - Jodhpur to Ranakpur to Udaipur
This morning, after early breakfast, checkout and drive to Udaipur, stopping en-route to visit Ranakpur - the sight of the magnificent 15th century white marble Jain temples situated in the deep secluded valley of the Aravalli Hills. Though over 500 years old, the temples are superbly preserved. The most distinctive features are 29 halls supported by 1,444 pillars of which no two are alike.
After a quick lunch at a heritage hotel nearby the temple complex, continue to drive through the winding roads to Udaipur - the City of Lakes.
Check into a heritage hotel in the old city or into one of the luxury hotels or the Lake Palace. Overnight in Udaipur.
Day 11 - Udaipur
After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of Udaipur, visiting the magnificent City Palace - an assemblage of not one but four separate palaces, covering some four acres and exceeding all other palaces in colossal grandeur.
In the afternoon, enjoy a romantic boat cruise on Lake Pichola, seeing the bathing ghats on the shore and visiting Island Palaces in the lake of which the biggest is Jagmandir Island, which commands a grand view of the City Palace, Lake Palace and Sajjangarh Fort.
Overnight in Udaipur.
Day 12 - Udaipur
Day at leisure in Udaipur to enjoy the serene surroundings of your hotel, or to explore the bustling old city for souvenirs. Overnight in Udaipur.
Day 13 - Udaipur to Delhi
Today fly back to Delhi to connect to your onward international flight home. In case your departure flight is late at night or early the next morning, we will provide you a day-use room near the airport and a car and private chauffeur at disposal for any last minute shopping or visits of the metropolis.
From 1st April to 30th September for Land Arrangements.
- Luxury 5 Star Hotels: from Euro 2990 per person on sharing
- First Class Boutique Hotels: from Euro 1800 per person on sharing
From 1st October to 31st March for Land Arrangements.
- Luxury 5 Star Hotels: from Euro 4100 per person on sharing
- First Class Boutique Hotels: from Euro 2200 per person on sharing
The above prices include:
- Hotel accommodation on B&B basis with twin sharing
- Transport by private car and chauffeur with complimentary supply of bottled water
- English speaking local guides at each city
- Entrance fees to monuments
- Train ride from Delhi to Agra
- Elephant-back ride in Jaipur
- Meet and greet services of our local representatives
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance
- Lunches and dinners (unless specified otherwise in the itinerary)
International Airfare: from Euro 750 per person (subject to availability at time of travel)