Explore India’s treasures, from the splendidly beautiful Taj Mahal to the palaces of Jaipur. Witness a sacred ceremony on the banks of the Ganges River in Varanasi, all while staying in some of the country’s most iconic and luxurious hotels.
Aircraft: Dassault Falcon 2000 or comparable
Aircraft and seating configuration subject to change.
Flight Details: Delhi-Jaipur (30 min) | Jaipur-Agra (30 min) | Agra-Varanasi (1 hour) | Varanasi-Delhi (1 hour 30 min)
Day 1 - Arrive Delhi, India
Arrive in Delhi, the illustrious capital of India, where you are met and privately transferred to your iconic hotel.
Day 2 - Delhi
Today, explore Old Delhi, as you travel by rickshaw through Chandni Chowk bazaar, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. It dates to the era of Shah Jahan, and today is a fixture of everyday life here, frequented by locals and a must-see destination for visitors. Then, visit Jama Masjid, the most important mosque in India. After lunch, encounter Humayun’s Tomb, an architectural precursor to the Taj Mahal. Return to your hotel where, tonight, you gather for a welcome cocktail and dinner.
Day 3 - Jaipur
Fly by private charter to Jaipur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nicknamed “The Pink City” for the unique color of stone used in many of its buildings, Jaipur’s architecture dazzles. Start at the City Palace complex, where you explore the Mubarak Mahal, or “Auspicious Palace,” which contains textiles, including the royal formal costumes, Sanganeri block prints and silk saris. Also privately enter a hall usually closed to the public, for an exceptional insider-access moment. Next, admire Jantar Mantar, an open-air array of astronomical instruments, before viewing the Palace of the Winds, with its delicate façade screened with latticework, built to allow women of the royal household to observe street life without being seen. Continue to your luxurious hotel and check in.
Day 4 - Jaipur
Explore the beautiful, UNESCO-listed Amber Fort, a Mughal-style palace of red sandstone and marble. Then, head out by 4x4 vehicle into the countryside, for an authentic taste of rural Rajasthan. As you venture through a photogenic setting that offers a calm and colorful contrast to the high energy of the city, you may view women in saris at work in the fields and pass villagers walking along the roadside. Arrive at a small village where you meet with local residents, savoring a unique opportunity to interact with them, as your expert guide provides details of everyday life here. Return to your hotel. Tonight, join a Chef ’s Table experience, learning the secrets of Rajasthani cuisine, followed by dinner.
Day 5 - Jaipur
This morning, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities.
Walk the Old City to marvel at the extraordinary architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visit the Gyan Museum, exploring its private collection of antiques and art.
Relax at the Hotel and indulge in a massage or other treatment with a spa credit.
In the afternoon, make an optional visit to the bazaars of Jaipur, taking in the vibe of local life and shopping for keepsakes from your journey. Gather this evening for a special Scenic Sundowner at private Naila Fort, followed by dinner.
Day 6 - Jaipur & Agra
Today, visit Digantar Vidyalay, an AKP-supported school for underprivileged children, to meet the students and teachers. Then, fly to Agra via private charter. Catch your first glimpse of the breathtaking Taj Mahal from your luxurious room. This afternoon, relax at your hotel or opt to visit Agra Fort, former home of the early Mughal emperors. Then, in the late afternoon, behold the Taj Mahal firsthand to appreciate is peerless symmetry and proportion, and watch its surface subtly shift in color, as the setting sun bathes it in a soft orange glow. Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Day 7 - Agra & Varanasi
Rise early to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise, its glowing surface suffused in a gentle morning mist. Afterward, fly to the spiritual heart of India: Varanasi. Also known as Benares or Kashi, ancient Varanasi is considered the most sacred city in Hinduism, as well as Jainism. Settle into your tranquil hotel surrounded by gardens, and then transfer to the Ganges River to witness the deeply spiritual aarti ceremony, when chanted prayers and rhythmic drumming fill the air as lantern-bearing priests bid the gods and goddesses a restful slumber.
Day 8 - Varanasi
Embark on a private sunrise cruise on the Ganges River to observe life along the ghats (stone steps leading down to the river), as locals and pilgrims come to cleanse themselves, literally and spiritually, in waters they consider sacred. Rest and relax, apart from the bustle, on this peaceful river idyll. Later, visit Sarnath, where Siddhartha Gautama, who became known as the Buddha, delivered his first sermon after having achieved enlightenment, more than 3,000 years ago.
Day 9 - Delhi
Fly to Delhi, India’s vibrant capital. This evening, gather with your Resident Tour Director for a farewell dinner.
Day 10 - Delhi
Start your day visiting Laxmi Narayan Temple. Built of marble in the Orissian style, the temple is a wonderful example of modern Indian architecture and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the god of preservation and destruction, and his female consort Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. One of the most popular Hindu temples in India, it was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, with the stipulation that it was to be open to all castes and
all faiths — a symbol of peace, love and prosperity. In nearby Connaught Place, see Sri Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, a historical Sikh temple dedicated to the memory of Guru Hari Krishan, who once stayed in the gold-domed building when it was still the palace of Raja Jai Singh. Guru Hari Krishan distributed sanctified water from a tank in the palace to cure the sick, believing it had miraculous healing powers, and worshippers still come to collect water from these pools. The temple’s massive kitchens prepare free meals for thousands of residents and visitors of all faiths, every day. This afternoon, enjoy time at leisure to take advantage of the luxurious amenities of your hotel or to simply relax.
Day 11 - Depart Delhi
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.