|Purpose:||Culture, History, Spirituality|
|No. of days:||12 days - 11 nights|
|First & Last Cities:||Delhi, Mumbai|
|Other cities:||Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur|
Day 1: Delhi
Arrive in Delhi International airport by your international flight. After immigration, you will be met and transfer to hotel for your stay. Delhi is India’s capital and a major gateway to the country. Perhaps there is no other capital city in the world so steeped in history and legend as the Indian capital. It was the magnet, which drew the Mongols, Turks, Persians, Afghans, Mughals and the British, all of whom contributed to its glorious but turbulent past. The fascination with Delhi was such that even though it was abandoned many times, its rulers returned to it again and again rebuilt it at least seven times. Today, the twin cities of Old and New Delhi still intrigue Indians and tourists alike as the cultural and political capital of the largest democracy in the world.
Day 2: Delhi
Your tour begins in Delhi, India’s capital city that sports a rich history spanning over 2,000 years. After a short briefing, head out on a tour of Old Delhi, the capital of the Mughal dynasty between the 16th and 19th centuries. In Old Delhi visit Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in year 165 AD and completed in the year 1656 AD. From here you will board cycle rickshaws for a tour of Chandni Chowk (Silver Street) and get a glimpse into an old world lifestyle slowly fading from Delhi. The hustle and bustle of everyday life can be felt in the Chandi Chowk's narrow lanes. After the rickshaw ride board the bus to continue the tour stopping at the Red Fort for a photo-op) and continue to the Raj Ghat – a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, set within a beautiful park. As a complete contrast to Old Delhi, New Delhi was designed and built by the British in the 1920's as a city of wide boulevards, impressive government buildings, green parks and gardens. In 1911 King George V announced the transfer of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi and the King's architects, Lutyens and Baker, set in motion the design and construction of Delhi's eight city: New Delhi. Then, continue to the World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb, the first garden tomb on the Indian sub-continent, built in the mid-16th century under the governance of the Mughal Emperor Akbar in honor of his father, Humayun. It is known as a predecessor of the Taj Mahal for its similarities in form and shape. End the tour with a visit to the Qutab Complex – a World Heritage Site - a soaring minaret erected in the 13th-century by the Afghan dynasties that ruled India from 1210 to 1526. The surrounding complex displays a visual history of India’s earliest political history—decorative Hindu panels, Islamic domes and early Afghan architecture converge to create a stunning effect. A walk through the complex provides an excellent overview of the varied architectural styles and cultural elements prevalent throughout India. [B]
Day 3: Delhi, Agra
This morning starts with a comfortable drive to Agra on a newly built expressway, passing by India’s only world class Grand Prix track. Comfort stops will be made en route. On arrival, check in at the hotel for your stay. Agra, once a small village on the banks of the Yamuna, was transformed by two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and his grandson Shah Jehan into the second capital of the Mughal Empire – Dar-ul-Khilafat, or ‘seat of the Emperor’ in the 16th & 17th centuries. A world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys, bustling streets and small buggies, Agra retains the irresistible charm that made this the favorite city of the Mughals. In the afternoon follow your guide for a tour of the Agra Fort - the seat and stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. Approachable by two imposing gates and constructed of red sandstone, the citadel was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar between the years 1565 and 1573. Encircled by a moat, this dramatic city within a city was the palace of three emperors, Akbar, Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb, each of whom made significant contributions to the wonderful architecture of the inner buildings – a combination of Persian (Islamic) and local Hindu styles. [B]
Day 4: Agra, Jaipur
Early morning, visit the Taj Mahal (closed on Friday). It is fitting to see this extraordinary monument by the first light of day as its exemplary beauty is awe-inspiring and will create an unforgettable memory. Said to be one of the most elegant and harmonious buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in 1630 AD to enshrine the remains of his beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal. The monument manifests the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in the architecture, garden design, painting, and calligraphy. The 144-foot double dome of the Taj is capped with a finial and the four minarets, each 131 ft. high, and crowned by an open octagonal pavilion highlight the perfect symmetry of the tomb. Return to the hotel for breakfast and get ready for your drive to Jaipur visiting Fatehpur Sikri en route. Fatehpur Sikri is a fort palace that was the onetime capital of the Mughal Empire and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. The deserted red sandstone city is an outstanding example of Mughal architecture built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century and abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. Continue to Jaipur and on arrival, check-in at your hotel. Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is known for its arts and crafts, jewelry, hand-painted fabrics and stone sculptures. It’s one of North India’s finest examples of a planned city embodying the best of Rajput and Mughal architectures. [B]
Day 5: Jaipur
After an early breakfast, start an excursion to Amber Fort. Jaipur’s Maharaja Man Singh, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s most successful general, started constructing Amber Fort in the 17th century. Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. The Fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moat Lake. Once you are on top, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Most fascinating, perhaps, is the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the room. Later, visit Jantar Mantar, an observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh ll in the 18th century. The Maharajah, a scientist as well as an astronomer, had the principles of Euclid translated into Sanskrit. One of the most remarkable sites in Jaipur, the Jantar Mantar has fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses and tracking stars and planets. Continue to the City Palace built within the fortified area of the original city, with one of the finest monumental entrances in India. The Palace is now principally a museum housing a collection of great treasures, including miniature paintings, carpets, royal garments and other interesting objects from Jaipur's intriguing past. The former royal family retains a part of the palace for their personal use. [B]
Day 6: Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer
Early in the morning you’ll be transferred to Jaipur’s railway station to board the Jaipur Jodhpur Super fast express train leaving Jaipur at 6:00 am and arriving in Jodhpur at 10:40 am. On arrival, drive for the desert town of Jaisalmer reaching your hotel late in afternoon. The fascinating desert scape of Jaisalmer is well known for the desert and the oldest living forest in the world. Standing at a height of 330 ft. over the city, the fort houses a citadel within its huge ramparts. About a quarter of the city’s population lives within the fort’s walls. Built entirely of yellow sandstone, it turns to a magical honey-gold color at the sunset. The environs of Jaisalmer are dotted with beautiful temples, haunting ruins of the old capital, rolling sand dunes and the habitat of a rare desert bird known as the Great Indian Bustard. [B]
Day 7: Jaisalmer
Spend the day touring the desert city. Walk through the narrow streets of the fort to see the Nathmalji-ki-Haveli with its beautiful arched roof and carved brackets in the form of peacocks; Patwon-ki-Haveli, the most elaborate and magnificent haveli (traditional townhouse), best known for its latticed façade, and Salim Singh ki Haveli. Outside the walls of the fortified town is the small oasis of Gadi Sagar, a man made reservoir built in 1156 AD. Enjoy some free time to wander around the lanes and alleys of this old city. In the afternoon, drive to “Sam”, known for its enormous sand dunes and enjoy a camel ride. Afterwards watch the sun set on this golden desert city. [B]
Day 8: Jaisalmer, Jodhpur
This morning, drive back to Jodhpur arriving early afternoon and check-in at your hotel. Jodhpur looks out to the West over the desert and the massive fort, topping a sheer rocky hill, which rises right in the middle of the town, totally dominating the city. A wall almost 3,300 ft. long built about a century after the city was founded surrounds he old city of Jodhpur. From the fort you can clearly see where the old city ends and the new one begins. The old city is a fascinating jungle of winding streets of great interest to wander around. Eight gates lead out from the walled city. This is one of the more interesting cities in India giving the name to those baggy-tight horse-riding trousers, the jodhpurs! In the afternoon, visit the Mehrangarh Fort, the most impressive fortress in Rajasthan. Built by Rao Jodha, this 3-mile long fort stands on a 5-foot high hill and contains some magnificent palaces with marvelously carved panels and latticed windows. The Fort Museum houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs (elephant saddles), royal cradles, miniature paintings, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. Later, walk through the "Blue City" of Jodhpur, so called because many of the houses are painted in blue, as well as through it's medieval market. [B]
Day 9: Jodhpur, Udaipur
After breakfast drive across the Aravalli Hills, the oldest mountain range in the world, to Udaipur. The scenery along the way is superb and you will see many vignettes of Rajasthani rural life. Among the sights you see are colorful villages, farms where an ancient system of irrigation using bullocks and a Persian wheel are still in practice, outdoor schools and the sartorially vibrant people who add a splash of color to the countryside. There are endless opportunities for photography. On the way stop at Ranakpur, one of the five important pilgrim centers for the Jain community. The whole complex, including the extraordinary array of 1144 pillars each with a distinct in design, carved ceilings, and arches decorated with friezes depicting scenes from the lives of the Jain saints, is fascinating. Continue to Udaipur and on arrival, check-in at your hotel. Set on the shores of Lake Pichola and surrounded by hills, Udaipur grew in complete contrast to the harsh deserts of the rest of Rajasthan. From the late 16th century, peace brought about an era of renaissance in the arts and encouraged the building of beautiful palaces around the lake, culminating in the City Palace, one of the largest palace complexes in the world. The lake itself is a romantic setting surrounding the gleaming white Lake Palace and the Jag Mandir, a refuge of the rebel Mughal prince, Shah Jahan, soon to be the creator of the incomparable Taj Mahal. [B]
Day 10: Udaipur
This morning, take a tour of the city visiting the City Palace, which stands on the crest of a ridge overlooking Lake Pichola. The largest palace in Rajasthan, it was built at various periods but still preserves the harmony of design, enhanced by massive octagonal towers surmounted by cupolas. Now a museum, it is a labyrinth of courtyards richly decorated with inlaid mirror-work, galleries covered with frescos, temples and roof gardens, which afford a wide panorama below. Later, visit mid-17th century built Jagdish Temple in the old town, famous for the remarkable bronze statue of Garuda, the mythical bird, facing his revered master Lord Vishnu.
Continue the visit to the Sahelion-ki-Bari (Garden of the Handmaidens), a good example of the Hindu art of landscape gardening on a princely scale. Ornamental pools with finely sculptured cenotaphs of soft black stone are surrounded by a profusion of fountains. In the afternoon, experience the hustle bustle of the old market at Udaipur. Walk past the spice shops, jewelry shops, utensil shops, jiggery shops, silver market and local meat and food shops. Towards the evening, enjoy a boat cruise on the placid waters of beautiful Lake Pichola that Maharana Udai Singh enlarged after he founded the city. The city palace extends a considerable distance along the east bank of the lake. From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert and get an interesting view of the Dhobi ghats (laundry stairs). Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - a lovely island palace in the middle of the lake. [B]
Day 11: Udaipur, Mumbai
Breakfast at the hotel before your assisted transfer to the airport to board a flight for Mumbai. Mumbai is a city of dreams, the glamor of the movie world from the razor’s edge of the skyscrapers to the mainland of the harbor. People here come from diverse ethnic backgrounds yet nurture the dream of success. Their undying spirit adds color and flavor to this multicultural city. A throbbing, cosmopolitan metropolis, it still retains the glory of the past. The colonial legacy coexists with the Maratha influence. Still considered as the heart of business India, Mumbai houses the country's vibrant Stock Exchange. The Gateway of India is almost literally a symbol of entry into the country by sea or air. Upon arrival at Mumbai, you will be met and transferred to the hotel. In the afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city where you drive past Marine Drive, Mumbai’s most popular seaside promenade, and see the Kamla Nehru Park and Hanging Gardens on the slopes of the Malabar hills, offering a nice view of the marine lines and the Chowpatty beach. Visit Mani Bhawan where Mahatma Gandhi used to stay, and the Dhobi Ghat. Also, drive past the Flora Fountain, the colorful Crawford Market and Victoria Terminus train station. [B]
Day 12: Mumbai, USA
Free time to relax or take book our signature option and return to the hotel to rest a couple of hours. At the appointed time you’ll be picked-up for your assisted transfer to the airport to board the flight back home.
Signature option: Mumbai by Dawn is a unique offering where you see the bustling city of Mumbai wake up. You get to peek into the underbelly of the city and gain insights into what makes this magnificent city tick. From seeing hundreds of newspaper vendors sort out newspapers of 7 different languages, experiencing one of its kind fish auction of 20 tons of fish, to seeing an ‘only green’ herb market sprawled across a popular bridge, from watching the milkmen drive past with canisters, the melee of color at the flower markets, to experiencing the clamor and chaos of the arrival of over 100 tons of vegetables, fruits and meat, Mumbai by Dawn truly defines the mercurial character of Mumbai like none other. What’s interesting is that when you walk the same lanes a few hours later, you will not find any evidence of the morning’s hustle bustle. It comes at a price though: you must wake-up at 5:15 am! Return to the hotel for breakfast.
[B] = Breakfast
- Transfers where required by the itinerary
- Representative for assistance at Airports/Railroad stations transfers
- 11 nights’ accommodation:
- Delhi - 2 nights
- Agra - 1 night
- Jaipur - 2 nights
- Jaisalmer - 2 nights
- Jodhpur - 1 night
- Udaipur - 2 nights
- Mumbai - 1 night
- Daily buffet breakfast.
- Rickshaw ride in Delhi
- Tonga ride in Agra
- Elephant ride in Jaipur
- Camel ride in Jaisalmer
- Blue city walk in Jodhpur
- Bazar walk in Jaipur and Udaipur
- Boat ride on Lake Pichola, Udaipur
- Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle as per the itinerary.
- Train fare for Jaipur – Jodhpur sector in air-conditioned chair car class
- English speaking local guide for sightseeing tours at all places.
- Entrance fees to the places of visit as per the itinerary.
- 2 bottles of mineral water daily per person
- All local tax and service tax, as applicable at present.
Not included in tour
- International or Domestic airfares
- Any taxes and surcharges relating to airfares
- Travel insurance
- Wi-Fi at hotels
- Camera fees at the monuments (if applicable)
- All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
- Other meals not mentioned in the itinerary
- Extras and gratuities
- Early check-in, late check-out
- Expenses of personal nature
Hotels in your Tour
|Category||Hotel Name||Room Type||Tripadvisor|
|Delhi||The Royal Plaza||Standard||4.5|
|Agra||Crystal Sarovar Premier||Deluxe city view||4.5|
|Agra||Double Tree By Hilton||Double Tree Guest||4.5|
|Jodhpur||Welcome Hotel Jodhpur||Deluxe||4.5|
|Mumbai||Trident Nariman Point||Superior||4.5|
Hotels will be confirmed at time of booking
|Season||2-3 Pax||4-6 Pax||7-9 Pax|
Prices are per person and may change without notice.
Tour Code: IN06DEL18TC
|Mumbai by Dawn||$75|
Price is per person