Day 1 - Arrive Delhi, India
Welcome to Delhi. You are met on arrival at Delhi airport, and then transfer to your luxury hotel located in the heart of New Delhi.
Day 2 - Delhi Sightseeing
This morning is yours to relax at leisure.
This afternoon explore New Delhi, an area designed and built by the British in the 1920's. See the imposing India Gate, a war memorial dedicated to the 70,000 Indian soldiers killed in WWI, and the president’s palace. Visit the Mausoleum of Emperor Humayun, a forerunner of the Mughal style of architecture, and Qutab Minar, with its graceful 12th century hand carving, and its iron pillar that has not rusted after 1500 years. (B)
Day 3 - Delhi Sightseeing
This morning enjoy the fascinating sights of Old Delhi. See the magnificent Red Fort, built in 1648 on the banks of River Yamuna by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan; it is a marvel in red sandstone. Visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, and Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Explore Chandni Chowk (Silver Street), once the imperial avenue, and today, a bustling colorful market.
This afternoon is at leisure to relax or explore more of Delhi on your own. (B)
Day 4 - Delhi to Sarnath & Varanasi
This morning fly from Delhi to Varanasi, one of India’s most sacred cities and the Center of Hindu faith. Located on the banks of the sacred Ganges River, Varanasi has drawn Hindu pilgrims from all over India for centuries.
In the afternoon drive outside Varanasi to explore historic Sarnath, where Buddha delivered his first sermon. Explore the gardens to see the remains of the 3rd century BC monuments built by Emperor Ashoka. See Ashoka’s pillar, the Mulagandhakuti Vihara Temple, the magnificent Dharmekh Stupa and view some of the world’s greatest Indian Buddhist art at the Archaeological Museum.
This evening, take a boat ride on the Ganges River – an unforgettable look at a very sacred location. See the Manikarnika Ghat, one of the most sacred of the more than 100 bathing ghats (steps) along the Ganges. (B)
Day 5 - Varanasi to Khajuraho
This morning experience an early morning boat cruise on the Ganges and witness the rituals performed on the banks of this sacred river.
Midday, take a short flight from Varanasi to Khajuraho, called “The City of the Gods.” Built between 950 and 1050 A.D., is renowned for some of the most creative examples of Indian architecture.
This afternoon, visit the Western group of temples, a collection of large and small shrines surrounded by a compound wall. Among the most noteworthy is the Devi Jagdambi, a small and delicately proportioned temple, and the famous Lakshmana Temple, a grand edifice dedicated to Lord Vishnu – the preserver of the Hindu Trinity of Gods. Explore the Kandariya Mahadev Temple, built approximated 1025–1050 AD it is the largest and most handsome monument at Khajuraho. (B)
Day 6 - Khajuraho Sightseeing
Today explore Khajuraho’s Eastern group of temples, most belonging to the Jain faith. Visit the Parsvanath Temple, the largest, with intricate stone carvings. See the Adinath Temple, with beautiful delicate sculptures, and the Ghantai Temple, a Jain temple with remarkable frescos depicting the 16 dreams of the mother of Lord Mahavira at the time of his birth. You also visit the Hindu Brahma temple, Vamana Temple dedicated to the “Vamana” or dwarf incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and the Javari Temple, with an opulently carved doorway and ostentatious sculptures on its exterior walls. (B)
Day 7 - Khajuraho via Orcha to Agra
Travel by road to Orcha, a well-preserved medieval city with palaces and temples built by the Bundela Rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries. A highlight is the stop at Jahangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful Chhatris, which commands a spectacular view of soaring temple spires and cenotaphs. Later, board the ‘Shatabdi Express’ train to Agra.
Arrive in Agra and relax in your luxurious room at the famed Amarvilas. From your balcony, enjoy a direct view of the Taj Mahal. A poem in white marble, built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan (and 20,000 workers) to honor the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. Today India's most fascinating and beautiful masterpiece, this perfectly symmetrical edifice is set amidst landscaped gardens on the banks of the Yamuna River. Its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while it is dazzling white during the day. (B)
Day 8 - Agra Sightseeing
Arise early this morning to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise from your room, and then enjoy a morning tour of this incredible monument.
This afternoon journey outside the city to visit the Agra Fort, a massive red sandstone Mughal Fort built on the banks of the Yamuna River in 1565 by Emperor Akbar. The fort is surrounded by a 70-foot high wall, and houses a beautiful Pearl Mosque. (B)
Day 9 - Agra to Ranthambhore
From your balcony, there is another opportunity to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise before you depart by private car for Ranthambhore.
En route stop to visit Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful and deserted medieval city built by Akbar the Great in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire. The complex consists of religious, residential and administrative buildings. Continue driving to Ranthambhore National Park, hailed as one of India’s finest wildlife destinations.
Ranthambhore National Park derives its name from an 11th century fort, of which the remnants of summer palaces and temples still stand. It is famous for its elusive tigers and is a favorite with photographers. Tigers may be spotted during the day while stalking, hunting, or taking care of their young. (B)
Day 10 - Ranthambhore
Today enjoy both morning and afternoon game drives.
Ranthambhore National Park has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. In addition to the tiger, other predators found in the park include leopards, striped hyenas, jackals, caracals, jungle cats and more. Many bird species, including the crested serpent eagle and paradise fly-catcher also populate the park. (B)
Day 11 - Ranthambhore to Jaipur
This morning enjoy another morning safari through the park before departing by private car for Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, and India’s first planned city. Designed by the 18th century warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II, Jaipur is a walled city with rectangular blocks. Most of the buildings in the city were made from pink sandstone and hence Jaipur also came to be called the “Pink City.”
Arrive in Jaipur by early afternoon, with the remainder of the day to relax or explore the city at your leisure. (B)
Day 12 - Jaipur Sightseeing
Today enjoy a full day excursion to Jaipur, starting with a visit to the Jantar Mantar, the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world, with 17 large instruments. Next, stop at Hawa Mahal - the Palace of the Winds. Built in 1799, this five-story building is a pink sandstone masterpiece with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows.
At the City Palace, the royal residence of the King of Jaipur, examine a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes and an armory of Rajput and Mughal weaponry, much of it inlaid with enamel and embellished with jewels.
This afternoon journey outside Jaipur to visit the ancient Amber Fort. This is a classic Rajasthani fort palace, with time-ravaged exterior walls hiding lavish courtyards and beautiful interior plaster walls embedded with precious stones and mirrors. (B)
Day 13 - Jaipur to Udaipur
This morning, transfer to the Jaipur airport for your flight to Udaipur, known as the “Venice of the East.”
Upon arrival, visit the City Palace, built on the bank of Pichola Lake in 1570 by Maharana Udai Singh. The palace has been preserved as a museum with a large and diverse collection of artifacts.
Continue to the famed Taj Lake Palace built on the banks of Lake Pichola, a complex of palatial splendor that blends Rajput and Mughal influences. Stroll around Sahelion-ki Bari, an ornamental pleasure garden designed for the ladies of the palace in the 18th century, with beautiful fountains, trees and flowers.
Enjoy a private evening cruise on the lake. (B)
Day 14 - Udaipur Sightseeing
This morning, visit the Jagdish Temple; built by Maharana Jagat Singh I in 1651. The temple enshrines a black stone image of Lard Vishnu, and a brass image of Garuda the Lord bird carrier. The exterior and the plinth are covered with base relief of alligators; elephants, and horsemen while celestial musicians rise in tiers.
The afternoon and evening are at your leisure. (B)
Day 15 - Udaipur to Mumbai
After breakfast, enjoy a morning at leisure.
This afternoon you are transferred to the airport for your flight from Udaipur to Mumbai (Bombay). Once a sultry archipelago of seven islands, Mumbai today is an exciting metropolis that blends the old with the new.
Upon arrival in Mumbai, you will be transferred to hotel where you will be met by our representative who will assist you for check in process. Enjoy the rest of your evening at leisure. (B)
Day 16 - Mumbai Sightseeing
This morning walk through the Kala Ghoda (Black Horse), a cultural heritage center housing a collection of art galleries, museums and architectural example from various periods of India’s past. Explore the exhibits along with the unique shops and restaurants. Then visit the Prince of Wales Museum housing rare artwork and archaeological finds.
The afternoon and evening are at your leisure. (B)
Day 17 - Mumbai and depart
Today you are taken to the airport in Mumbai for your departing flight home or on to your next destination. (B)