Arrive Delhi, India
On arrival in Delhi, you are met by an Abercrombie & Kent representative and transferred to your hotel.
This morning, set off on an exciting rickshaw ride through the carts and stalls of Chandni Chowk bazaar, one the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. After lunch, tour New Delhi, including Humayun’s Tomb, the last resting place of an esteemed 16th-century Mughal emperor and an architectural precursor of the Taj Mahal. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner alongside fellow guests.
Fly to Varanasi this morning, a city sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike. Enjoy a city tour and check into your hotel. At dusk, head to the banks of the sacred Ganges River to witness the Aarti ceremony. Chanted prayers and rhythmic drumming fill the air as you watch lantern-bearing priests bid the gods and goddesses a restful slumber.
Rise early for a private sunrise cruise on the Ganges River to observe activity along the ghats (stone steps leading down to the river), where locals and pilgrims cleanse themselves, literally and spiritually. Spend the rest of the morning relaxing at your hotel. Then, fly to Khajuraho and transfer to your hotel.
Khajuraho / Panna National Park
This morning, explore the magnificent Hindu and Jain temples of Khajuraho, adorned with intricate stone carvings depicting all aspects of life. In the afternoon, travel to remote Panna National Park, a haven for India’s wildlife. Enjoy a game drive in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, spotting crocodiles or perhaps the elusive Bengal tiger.
Today, travel through the countryside to Jhansi, where you board your express train to Agra. Check into your luxury hotel and catch your first glimpse of the Taj Mahal through your window.
Few sights in the world are as breathtaking as the Taj Mahal. This elaborate mausoleum, created by the emperor Shah Jahan in memory of the most beloved of his wives, is the apex of Mughal architecture, its gem-encrusted marble skin giving it a shimmering, intangible quality. Pay a visit to the masterpiece this morning, when the rising sun lends a warm pink tint to its marble face. Proceed to Agra Fort, a 16th-century Mughal monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site where Sha Jahan was once held prisoner. Following afternoon leisure time, see the incomparable Taj Mahal at sunset, when it is awash in different hues.
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and drive to Jaipur, pausing at the abandoned fairy-tale ghost town of Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch continue on to Jaipur and check into your hotel, the former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur.
See the Palace of the Winds — built for the women of the royal household to observe street life without being seen. Proceed to explore the beautiful Mughal-style Amber Fort. This red sandstone and marble palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch, discover the city of Jaipur, including the City Palace, as well as the Jantar Mantar Observatory with its precise astronomical instruments.
Early this morning, drive to the otherwise quiet, secluded desert town of Pushkar, sharing the road with camels, trucks, cattle, water buffalo and rickshaws as you approach. Spend the next two days experiencing the bustling Pushkar Fair, a colorful whirl of activity drawing people from all around the globe.
Experience Pushkar Fair in all its vibrant wonder. See painted and adorned camels, as well as cattle, as they are traded; peruse stalls selling camel tassels and ancient woven gypsy dowry bags; and witness Hindu devotees as they throng the ghats around Pushkar Lake in order to bathe, cleanse their sins and attain a place in heaven.
Drive to Udaipur, stopping for lunch en route. Continue to Udaipur and check in to your romantic hotel. After settling in, take in the magnificent views of the City Palace and Jag Mandir Palace from your hotel, and stroll its tranquil interior courtyard gardens — an idyllic place to pass a relaxing evening.
Visit the City Palace, a marble complex of palaces and galleries overlooking the lake. Take a private tour of the Crystal Gallery in Fateh Prakesh Palace, and stroll through Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honor). Stop at a local miniature painting workshop as well as the Mayur Arts store. Later, take a private cruise to Jag Mandir, a palace on an island in placidly beautiful Lake Pichola. Enjoy dinner at your hotel.
After breakfast, set out on an excursion to Eklingji and Nagda temples. Break for lunch a nearby Lebua Devi Garh Fort Palace. Return to Udaipur to spend the rest of your day at leisure, enjoying the superb amenities of your accommodations, a former residence of royalty.
Fly this morning to the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, India’s bustling, vibrant commercial capital. After checking into your hotel, you may see the city at leisure or simply relax. Tonight, join fellow guests for a farewell dinner.
This morning, cruise Mumbai Harbour to Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see its renowned temples, carved directly out of the basalt rock. Explore the city’s classic sights this afternoon, including the Gateway of India, an 85-foot-high arch whose design reflects India’s Muslim and Hindu traditions. Visit the Prince of Wales Museum and Mani Bhawan, a museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi. Next, see the Dhobi Ghat, the largest open-air laundry in the world before returning to your hotel.
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.