Arrive in Delhi, India
Arrive in Delhi, India’s historic capital city, where you are met and transferred to your luxurious and recently refurbished hotel.
Begin your exploration of Delhi with a visit to the great Jama Masjid, the largest and most important mosque in India. Move among locals engaged in daily prayer, taking in the Mosque’s two minarets, each over 130 feet tall. Then, set off on an exciting rickshaw ride through the narrow alleys of Chandni Chowk bazaar — one of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi, frequented by locals and visitors alike. After lunch, tour New Delhi, including Humayun’s Tomb, an architectural precursor of the Taj Mahal. Also view the India Gate, a triumphal arch more than 130 feet tall; drive along the Rajpath, or King’s Way, a broad ceremonial boulevard; and see the presidential residence of Rashtrapati Bhawan. Tonight, gather for a welcome dinner and cocktails at your hotel.
Fly to Jodhpur and transfer to your hotel, a spectacular Art Deco retreat built in the 1930s. Begin the day’s explorations at Mehrangarh Fort, which stands atop a rocky cliff 400 feet above the city. Enter one of its seven fortified gateways, touring its museum and palaces. Descending toward town, stop at Jaswant Thada, a marble cenotaph remembering the former maharajas and maharanis of Jodhpur. This evening, join your fellow guests for dinner at your hotel.
Set out to explore a Bishnoi village and experience rural Rajasthan’s legendary history and customs. Witness a traditional medicinal ceremony; visit with a family of potters as they demonstrate their craft; and see the phenomenal pattern work created by local weavers of traditional rugs. Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Tonight, Ride Like a Local by auto rickshaw to the old town of Jodhpur, stroll its bazaars and visit the local markets.
Drive across the Aravalli Hills, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, passing age-old farms and vibrantly clothed locals, en route to Udaipur. Stop in Ranakpur to visit one of the most sacred sites of the Jain faith — a 15th-century temple carved from marble slabs that were transported long distances and hidden from invaders among the forested hillsides. View this grand temple, known as Chaumukhu, with its more than 1,400 marble pillars and intricately carved interior domes, and take in the wealth of detail in its soaring architecture. Next, enjoy lunch under a banyan tree at Mountbatten Lodge, a luxurious oasis set among the rolling hills. This evening, arrive in Udaipur and check in to your multi-award-winning hotel set on the 200-year-old hunting ground of the Maharana of Mewar, on sparkling Lake Pichola.
Explore Udaipur, starting at the sprawling City Palace, extravagantly decorated in mosaic, mirror and tile work. See how its four interconnecting palaces showcase diverse architectural styles. Proceed to the Crystal Gallery located in Fateh Prakash Palace to browse an exquisite collection of priceless Rajput miniature paintings, crystal objets d’art and fine furniture. Finally, visit the Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honor) to stroll its extensive lawns and shady walks, followed by an afternoon at leisure. This evening, embark on a sunset cruise on Lake Pichola, sailing past its picturesque ghats and palaces, and stopping at the 17th-century water palace of Jag Mandir. View this magnificent monument with its domes, marble pillars and fountains as well as its special approach from the water — a row of marble elephants that seem to be guarding the island. Cap off your boat cruise with a Scenic Sundowner. Later, enjoy dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast, take a short drive outside of the city to Delwara and the temple complex of Eklingji and Nagda, to explore its more than 100 temples dedicated to Shiva and Lord Vishnu, and savor the tranquil atmosphere of prayer time. Return to Udaipur for lunch and a spice demonstration at a family-owned local restaurant before returning to the hotel to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
This morning, fly to Jaipur. Later in the afternoon, set out to explore the “Pink City,” named for its use of local pink plastered stone. Tour the City Palace, a complex including the ornate Mubarak Mahal palace. Next, visit the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. This evening, gather for dinner at your tranquil hotel that is set amid beautiful gardens.
Today, begin with a photo stop at what is perhaps Jaipur’s most famous building, Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds, which was built expressly to allow ladies of the palace to view the street from behind artfully designed screens without being seen. Then proceed to explore Amber Fort, one of the finest examples of a fort palace, built similar in style to the surrounding, richly decorated Mughal courts. Enjoy lunch at a distinctive local restaurant, and then enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Journey to Agra, a one-time Mughal capital, arriving in time for lunch at leisure at the hotel. Later, visit the iconic Taj Mahal to marvel at its perfect symmetry and proportions, and watch how the light from the setting sun plays across its detailed marble surfaces. Return to the hotel for your farewell cocktail and dinner.
Start your day by returning to the Taj Mahal to see how the sunrise colors its delicately carved façade. Return to the hotel for breakfast before setting out on a tour of Agra, visiting Agra Fort, an imposing sandstone citadel that lies on the bend of the River Yamuna, almost in the heart of the city. Later, drive to Delhi and, upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Transfer to the airport early this morning for your flight home or begin your post-tour extension to Mumbai.