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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
(click for larger version)
Itinerary map of Land of the Maharajahs

Day 1 - Welcome to Delhi!

On arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the 5-star Leela Palace, ideally situated in the prestigious city-center diplomatic enclave.

Day 2 - Explore Delhi... Old + New

After a lavish buffet breakfast, you’ll join our engaging native-born guide for a full-day tour of India’s vibrant and endlessly fascinating capital. Focusing this morning on the sights and sounds of Old Delhi, you’ll begin with Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. Then hop aboard a traditional pedicab - a delightful way to immerse in the colors and rhythms of the city. Hop off at the bustling and fragrant Spice Market and explore among the many vendors as our expert guide offers insight into India’s enduring cultural and culinary traditions. Visit the 19th-century home of the beloved Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib before learning about India’s cultural diversity at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the largest Sikh temple in the city.
 
In the afternoon, your sightseeing continues with the landmarks of New Delhi. Marvel at the India Gate – built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War – and then drive along the elegant Rajpath past Rashtrapati Bhawan, built in the early 20th century as the Viceroy’s residence and now the official home of the President of India. See the imposing House of Parliament, and then explore much earlier chapters of history at two UNESCO World Heritage Sites beginning with Humayun’s Tomb; built in the 16th century, its elegant design shows Persian influences and inspired several architectural innovations that culminated in the Taj Mahal. At Qutab Minar, you’ll discover the tallest brick minaret in the world – a graceful, fluted, tapering tower completed in the 14th century with beautiful terra cotta embellishments and balconies. This evening, we’ll take you to Lodi, a stylish restaurant set amidst verdant gardens. Enjoy congenial conversation with your fellow travelers and fine fusion cuisine accompanied by beer and wine. Meals B+D

Day 3 - Agra + The Taj Mahal

After breakfast, you’ll embark on a scenic southward journey to Agra, the venerated 16th-century capital of the Lodhi Dynasty. On arrival, check in to the deluxe ITC Mughal Hotel where you’ll have time to refresh and relax. Late this afternoon, as the sun’s bright light begins to soften toward evening, we’ll take you across the Yamuna River to Mehtab Bagh. Most visitors don’t know to come here, but this lovely Mughal garden located on the river banks across from the iconic Taj Mahal offers some of the most captivating views of this monument – especially in the late afternoon and early evening. Tonight, you’ll dine in a charming restaurant that specializes in fine Mughlai cuisine. Meals B+D

Day 4 - Agra to Ranthambore

Arise early this morning for a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal. You of course did already see this renowned “Monument to Love” yesterday evening, but the strikingly iridescent and translucent façade of the Taj Mahal offers a different but equally enchanting experience in the sharper light of early morning.
 
Return to your hotel for breakfast end then tour the palatial Agra Fort. Behind the impressive 1.5-mile long fortress walls that surround the complex, you’ll discover lovely grounds, mosques, audience halls and fairytale palaces. Dating back to the 16th century and reflecting elements of both Hindu and Islamic architectural styles, this fort is more aptly described as a magnificent, walled palatial city.
 
Then transfer to the station to board the Kota Jan Shatabdi Express Train for a scenic rail journey through the mesmerizing Rajasthani countryside. Upon arrival in Sawai Madhopur, a historic town founded in 1765, you’ll be escorted to the outstanding Vivanta by Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge, set in a landmark 80-year-old hunting lodge and surrounded by 12 acres of lushly landscaped gardens.  Meals B+D

Day 5 - In Search of the Bengal Tiger

Most travelers visit this world-famous reserve in a traditional Indian canter, an open-air bus that seats 25 people. But our exclusive safari drives find you in special open-air jeeps that seat only 4 to 6 guests. There’s an experienced naturalist guide in each jeep and these vehicles are faster and much more maneuverable than the canter! They can even take you off-road for more rewarding up-close wildlife encounters. Today, you’ll venture deep into the wild beauty of the reserve on early morning and late afternoon safari excursions - when the animals are most active. Ranthambore’s residents include sloths, bears and hyenas, and with luck and sharp eyes, you might even encounter the elusive Bengal tiger!
 
In between our game-viewing expeditions, you can relax at the Lodge and take advantage of its evocative ambience and romantic setting. Under the direction of Executive Chef Ashok Vimal, the Vivanta’s kitchen is known for its fine presentation of traditional Indian and international dishes, all prepared with the finest ingredients including farm-to-table produce from the Lodge’s own organic gardens.  Meals B+L+D

Day 6 - Onward to Jaipur

This morning, we’ve arranged a special visit to Dastkar; meet the members of this pioneering community project that is empowering local village women to produce, market and sell their traditional handicrafts. It’s a wonderful place to learn about and shop for textiles, finely woven bedding and even genuine Indian Saris.
 
After lunch back at our historic Lodge, you’ll continue your travels through the countryside to Jaipur. Founded in 1727 and popularly known as India’s Pink City, this is the vibrant and colorful capital of the state of Rajasthan. Upon arrival, you’ll check in to the ITC Rajputana Hotel, a 5-star resort that blends regally-inspired décor with modern amenities.  Meals B+L+D

Day 7 - Sightseeing in Jaipur

An unforgettable experience awaits you this morning as you ascend to the Amber Palace by jeep! Upon reaching the hilltop, you’ll join your guide for a tour of this grand monument, an impressive legacy of the never-conquered Rajput Kingdom. Admire its lavish courtyards, beautifully decorated halls and the lovely Chamber of Mirrors. Back in the city, enjoy lunch at Samode Haveli; set in a lovely 200-year-old manor house, this wonderful restaurant is one of our favorites in Jaipur!
 
In the afternoon, your exploration of the Pink City continues with a guided tour through the Palace Museum, highly regarded for its extensive collection of miniature paintings, weapons and traditional Rajasthani royal costumes. Then marvel at the lovely Palace of Winds; this unique, oft-photographed landmark was built at the end of the 18th century so that women of royal families could conceal themselves behind its latticed façade as they watched the hustle and bustle of the street activity below. You’ll also visit Jantar Mantar, an observatory built in 1726. You’ll be astounded by these architectural instruments - ingeniously designed and meticulously constructed of stone to measure time, predict eclipses and track the movements of the stars and planets. The largest instrument stands 90 feet tall and all are amazingly accurate! As the afternoon wanes, you’ll have time to stroll through the vibrant and colorful bazaars of Old Jaipur as the come alive with the setting sun. The city is famed for its skilled artisans and you’ll find wonderful ateliers and shops specializing in textiles, metalwork, jewelry, wood carvings and the famous blue pottery of Jaipur.  Meals B + L

Day 8 - Journey to Jodhpur

This morning’s scenic drive brings you to Jodhpur, an historic city settled more than 500 years ago. Dominated by the imposing silhouette of Mehrangarh Fort and home to broad streets lined with the town’s signature blue and white homes, Jodhpur captures the ambience and spirit of a bygone era. On arrival, check in to the deluxe and stylish ITC WelcomHotel where you’ll have time to refresh.
 
Later this afternoon, you’ll tour the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, which stands atop a 400-foot hill overlooking the city. Behind these massive walls which soar up to 120 feet is an extraordinary complex of ornate places decorated with carved panels, delicate lattice windows and beautiful stained glass. First established in 1459, many of the fort’s current structures were built in the 17th century and today Mehrangarh is one of the largest forts in all of India. It is also home to a fabulous collection of memorabilia from Jodhpur’s royal families – ornate palanquins, elephant howdahs, miniature paintings, priceless antiques and glittering costumes.  Meals B+D

Day 9 - Nature + Villages of the Thar Desert

Despite its seemingly barren stretches of remote scenery and foreboding semi-arid terrain, the rural and desert landscapes outside of Jodhpur are home to thriving communities, unique flora, and a surprising diversity of wildlife - including nearly 200 species of birds like the Himalayan griffin, tawny eagle, and grey-headed cannery flycatcher.
 
Setting out with an experienced driver in a comfortable 4x4, you’ll venture across the rugged terrain, even going off road for a true desert adventure. More than just an adrenaline-rushing expedition however, today’s excursion offers a wonderful way to learn about the centuries-old history of Rajasthan as well as its culture, flora and fauna. Indeed, with our experienced guide, you’ll also spend time with members of the Bishnoi community, an indigenous tribe known for their deep reverence for the sacredness of all life.
 
Back in the city, you’ll have time to relax or explore on your own before rejoining our guide for an evening tour including the colorful Sardar Market. Here along the bustling streets in the shadow of the historic Clock Tower, you’ll discover a colorful bazaar selling exotic produce, fragrant spices, tempting sweets, silver jewelry and a variety of handicrafts. This evening, we’ve arranged for you to dine at Hanwant Mahal, an atmospheric restaurant overlooking the beautiful Umaid Bhawan Palace.  Meals B+L+D

Day 10 - Onward to Udaipur

Check out from your hotel after breakfast and journey southward to visit Ranakpur Temple, one of the largest and most important Jain temples in all of India. Established in the 15th century in a remote and tranquil valley of the Aravalli Hills, this immense and breathtaking complex covers more than 45,000 square feet. Within, there are four shrines and 24 pillared halls of exquisitely carved sandstone domes and columns. Each of the 1,444 columns is unique; with intricate designs and ornamentation, now two are exactly alike.
 
Continue your journey to Udaipur and check in to the Taj Lake Palace for an unforgettable 2-night stay. Originally built as the pleasure palace of a young prince, our fabulous luxury hotel is set on a private island surrounded by the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola. Late this afternoon, we’ll take you on a sightseeing cruise to experience the setting sun as it casts is golden rays across the hills and waters that cradle Udaipur, regarded by many as India’s most romantic city.  Meals B+L

Day 11 - The City of Dreams

Udaipur has been called India’s “City of Dreams” and you’ll understand why as you explore the immense City Palace - set magnificently on a ridge overlooking Lake Pichola. With its courtyards and grand halls, all wonderfully ornamented with pillars, balconies, towers and cupolas, this architectural masterpiece was built over several dynasties, but the harmony of its design makes it one of the finest palaces in all of Rajasthan. Now a museum, the richly decorated Palace is famed for its superb collection of cultural treasures including Mughal paintings and carvings.
 
Venturing into the heart of the city, you’ll enjoy a guided stroll through the bustling local market before sitting down to a congenial luncheon. We’ve left this afternoon free so you can enjoy the idyllic lake-setting of your luxury resort. Of course, you might also return to town for a bit of shopping and exploring at your own pace. This evening, you’ll gather with your fellow travelers for a congenial farewell dinner here at the hotel.  Meals B+L+D

Day 12 - To Delhi

You’ll be escorted to the airport today for your included flight to Delhi. On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the deluxe Pullman AeroCity Hotel, ideally located near the airport.  Meals B+D

Day 13 - Depart Delhi

We’ll take you to the airport today for your onward flight. Meals B

Day 1 - Welcome to Delhi!

On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the 5-star Leela Palace.

Day 2 - Explore Delhi... Old + New

Your day begins along the Rajpath, one of the city’s grandest boulevards. Visit Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, and venture by pedicab along the lively streets of Old Delhi to the spice market. Visit the 19th-century home of Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib and learn about India’s cultural diversity at Bangla Sahib, the city’s largest Sikh Temple. Drive past Parliament and the India Gate before visiting two World Heritage Sites, Qutab Minar and Humayun’s Tomb. Enjoy dinner and wine

Day 3 - Agra + The Taj Mahal

Travel to Agra and check in to the deluxe ITC Mughal Hotel. Few know to go, but this evening we take you across the river to a garden that promises magical views of the Taj Mahal at sunset. meals b+d

Day 4 - Agra to Ranthambore

You did see this landmark yesterday evening, but the iridescent and translucent facade of the Taj Mahal offers a decidedly different, but equally enchanting experience in the sharp light of early morning. Return to your hotel for breakfast and then tour the palatial Agra Fort behind its imposing 65-foot walls. Board the afternoon Kota Jan Shatabdi Express Train to Ranthambore and transfer to the evocative Vivanta by Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge. meals b+l+d

Day 5 - In search of the Bengal Tiger

Most travelers visit the reserve in a canter, a bus that seats 20 people. But our morning and afternoon safari drives find you in open-air jeeps that seat only 6 guests with an expert naturalist guide in each. Our vehicles are faster and more maneuverable than the canter, and promise a better chance of encountering the magnificent but elusive Bengal Tiger as well as other Ranthambore residents like sloths, bears and hyena. meals b+l+d

Day 6 - Onward to Jaipur

This morning, we’ve arranged a special visit to Dastkar; meet the members of this unique community project that is empowering village women to produce, market and sell their traditional handicrafts. Then journey through the colorful Rajasthani countryside to Jaipur where you’ll check in to the ITC Rajputana Hotel. meals b+l+d

Day 7 - Sightseeing in Jaipur

Ascend to the Amber Fort, home to palaces, gardens, pavilions and the magnificent Chamber of Mirrors. Back in the city, enjoy lunch at Samode Haveli, set in a 200-year-old manor house. Then visit the City Palace Museum to see royal costumes, armory and miniature paintings. At the Palace of Winds, you’ll admire its delicately latticed facade. Your tour ends at Jantar Mantar, an 18th-century observatory with accurate stone instruments. meals b+l

Day 8 - Journey to Jodhpur

This morning’s scenic drive brings you to Jodhpur, settled centuries ago with broad streets lined by blue and white houses. Check in to the enchanting Taj Hari Mahal Hotel and then visit Mehrangarh Fort, set on a 400-foot hill overlooking the city. Behind its massive walls and 7 imposing gates is an amazing complex of palaces, pavilions and courtyards. meals b+d

Day 9 - Nature + Villages of the Thar Desert

Our exclusive excursion today takes you off-road in 4x4 jeeps to observe and learn about the flora and fauna that thrive in the arid yet hauntingly beautiful Thar Desert. You’ll also visit various villages including the home of the Bishnoi tribe, known for their traditional ways and deep reverence for the sacredness of all life. Dine this evening at Hanwant Mahal overlooking the beautiful Umaid Bhawan Palace. meals b+l+d

Day 10 - Onward to Udaipur

Journey into the Aravalli Hills to visit Ranakpur. With four shrines and 24 pillared halls of exquisitely carved sandstone, this is India’s largest and most important Jain temple. Continue to Udaipur and check in to the fabulous Taj Lake Palace. This evening’s sunset cruise on Lake Pichola is a delightful way to experience India’s most romantic city. meals b+l

Day 11 - The City of Dreams

Explore the lovely City Palace, the largest in Rajasthan with its richly decorated courtyards, soaring towers topped with cupolas, and lavish halls filled with Mughal art. Browse in the market before lunch and enjoy a free afternoon to soak up the idyllic setting of your privateisland lake resort. meals b+l+d

Day 12 - To Delhi

Fly to Delhi for a night at the deluxe Pullman AeroCity Hotel, ideally located near the airport. meals b+d

Day 13 - Depart Delhi

We’ll take you to the airport today for your onward flight. meals b


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
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