Delhi – Varanasi on the Ganges River – Agra and the Taj Mahal – Fatehpur Sikri – Keoladeo Ghana National Park – Jaipur – Deogarh – Kumbhalgarh Fort – Ranakpur Jain Temple – Thar Desert Luxury Retreat – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Delhi
Visit the great sites of New Delhi and explore Old Delhi on foot and by cycle rickshaw. See the Taj Mahal at dawn and explore the other great architectural masterpieces of the Mughals – Fatehpur Sikri and the Agra Fort – all UNESCO World Heritage sites. Bird watch in Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a World Heritage site too.
In Varanasi, India’s most sacred city on the Ganges River, go boating at dawn and at sunset, walk along its magical ghats lining the riverside, witness ancient rituals and explore the city’s bazaars and winding lanes. Learn to wear traditional clothing, saris for women, dhotis for men. Visit Sarnath, evocative site of the Buddha’s first sermon.
In Rajasthan, fairytale land of Maharajas and Maharanis, ornate palaces and heroic forts, stay in a magnificent palace and take a magical rural train ride in the mountains, visit traditional villages and tribal peoples, stay at a remote luxury desert resort perched atop a massive fortified sand dune, visit remote tribal settlements of the many different tribes of the area, surreal salt pans, a potters village where the potters’ homes are works of art, and have the opportunity to ride camels at sunset. Visit Kumbhalgarh Fort likened to the Great Wall of China, and Ranakpur Jain Temple, a carved miracle in marble. Explore the fascinating bazaars and markets of the Pink City of Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Deogarh and Jodhpur, and Jodhpur’s gigantic Mehrangarh Fort – “Built by Titans,” remarked Mark Twain – set on a massive rocky escarpment looking over the “Blue City.”
The different cuisines of Delhi, Rajasthan and Varanasi are a delight to the taste buds. The tribal music and dance of Rajasthan has ancient roots, and we will have a Rajasthani/Bollywood dance lesson.
We tour in an a/c mini-bus and/or a/c SUVs and take three short flights.
I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to India. Martin has a PhD in philosophy, and was a philosophy teacher until he fell under the spell of India. Carol is as knowledgeable as he. They know Indian religions and history inside out and backwards. Information was delivered with charm and humor. We were a small group and with the two Novals, it was like being personally guided through India. A truly memorable experience.
The price of our 24-day tour, Rajasthan’s Citadels, Deserts and People, with the Taj Mahal, is $8400 per person in double occupancy (add $1950 for single supplement).
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