Day 1: Delhi. Arrive Delhi (Evening or Late Night). After a warm welcome at the New Delhi airport, you will be transferred to The Taj Mahal Hotel for a 2 night stay. Delhi, the capital city of India is a bustling metropolis that successfully combines in its folds - the ancient with the modern. In essence, Delhi encompasses two distinct cities covering the vibrant and colourful bazaars and Mughal architecture of Old Delhi in complete contrast with the formal splendour of New Delhi.
Day 2: Delhi - Agra (204 kms/4 hrs). After breakfast enjoy a city tour of Old and New Delhi. In Old Delhi visit the Jama Masjid and take a photo stop at Red Fort. In New Delhi visit the Qutab Minar complex, Humayun’s Tomb and drive past the India Gate (World War I memorial) to see the President’s House, Parliament House and other en-route local sights. Alternative tour options in Delhi, you may wish to visit Lotus temple (Monday closed) or Akshardham temple complex, Bangla Sahib – Sikh gurudwara or Indian craft museum or National Museum (Monday closed). In the aftrenoon you will go to Agra, the ancient city which was once the seat of Mughal rulers. Arrive Agra and check in at hotel Taj View. Nestled amidst 6 acres of landscape gardens, Hotel Taj View offers a view of the Taj Mahal from most of its rooms. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 3: Agra - Jaipur (232 kms/5 hrs). This morning experience the aweinspiring beauty of the eternal symbol of love, the Taj Mahal. This masterpiece in marble on a sandstone base is a monument of love and beauty. It was built by Shah Jahan as a symbol of love for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Often referred to as a poem in white marble, Taj Mahal is a fine example of fusion of many architectural styles. Later in the morning enjoy a visit to the Agra fort, which is built in red sandstone and has magnificent palaces, halls of public and private audience and beautiful gardens. This is where Emperor Shahjahan was kept under house arrest by his third son Aurangzeb and spent the last year of his life viewing the Taj Mahal from the little octagonal tower in the Fort. In Jaipur visit Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri was built in honour of Saint Salim Chisti, who foretold the birth of three sons to Emperor Akbar, this city is an example of robust stability combined with originality. Upon arrival in Jaipur, check in to Rambagh Palace for a 2 night stay. Rambagh Palace, the former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, spreads across 47 acres of gardens dotted with peacocks in the heart of the city. With its beautiful architecture and interior, the palace-hotel evokes the splendour of royal India at its best. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Jaipur. This morning you will visit the Amber fort, which was built in the 16th century. An elephant ride will help you ascend to this hilltop fort. Alternatively, you could choose to walk or drive up to the fort. Then visit the Hawa Mahal (Place of the Winds), built in the 18th century. This palace with its innumerable windows and screened balconies was especially built for the royal women to view the city and processions from behind their purdahs. Later in the afternoon, explore Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Visit the City Palace complex with its museums and Jantar Mantar, the ancient astronomical observatory, before returning back to Rambagh Palace for an overnight stay.
Day 5: Jaipur - Jodhpur (310 kms/6 hrs). After an early breakfast, embark on a drive to Jodhpur, the blue hued city of Indian Rajputs. Packed with history, art and culture, this princely state is a treasure of exquisite palaces, forts, temples and havelis. On arrival, check in at hotel Umaid Bhawan Palace. Set amidst 26 acres of lush garden this historic palace was the last of India’s great palaces and one of the largest private residences in the world.
Day 6: Jodhpur - Udaipur (259 kms/5 hrs). After breakfast, drive to Udaipur en route visit Ranakpur. Ranakpur has inherited its grand structures and beautiful sculptures from the 15th century monarch, Rana Kumbha. Visit the famous Jain temple (bestowed with 1444 intricately carved pillars, no two being alike) and the Temple of the Sun God (famed for its erotic sculpture). Udaipur is referred to as a romantic, serene and enchanting city. It is the city of lakes (built around three lakes – Pichola, Fateh Sagar and Udai Sagar) nestled in a scenic valley, ringed by the green Aravali hills. On arrival, check in at hotel Taj Lake Palace. This extraordinary beautiful palace hotel appears like a jewelled lotus seemingly afloat on the shimmering waters of Lake Pichola. The Palace hotel preserves heritage and tradition of the erstwhile rulers of Udaipur and offer guest a glimpse of a privileged royal lifestyle. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 7: Udaipur. After breakfast enjoy a city tour visiting City Palace and Museums. The huge City Palace, towering over the lake, is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Also visit the Jadish Temple (150 meters north of the entrance to the City Palace this Indo-Aryan temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651) and an 18th century house, Bagore Ki Haveli, on the lake shore below the Jagdish temple. Enjoy an afternoon boat ride at Lake Pichola to view the beautiful Udaipur sunset. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 8: Depart Udaipur. This morning you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight back home. Alternatively, you could consider extension tours to other parts of the Indian sub continent.
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