Delve deeper into India’s fascinating culture and history, and tick off safaris in Ranthambore National Park.
- Day 1 UK/Delhi
- You'll depart on your scheduled flight to Delhi today.
- Day 2 Delhi
- On arrival in Delhi we will transfer you to your hotel. After time to settle in, we're off on a half-day sightseeing tour. You'll see UNESCO-listed highlights including the exquisite Humayun's Tomb and the ancient Qutub Minar, a soaring sandstone tower. We're then going to drive along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, and past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House two grand reminders of the city's colonial past.
- Day 3 Agra
- A great way to start your day is with a morning cycle rickshaw ride through the 17th century walled city of Old Delhi. As we go we'll delve into its maze of crowded streets and thronging markets, and see the spectacular exterior of the Red Fort. Next, we'll explore by foot as we take a stroll through the fabled street bazaar, Chandni Chowk, and admire the impressive marble domes of Jama Masjid Mosque. We'll also visit Gandhi Smriti Museum, the location where Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and the place of his assassination. Our day concludes with a drive to Agra.
- Day 4 Agra
- Get ready to experience one of the highlights of your holiday today a dawn visit to the incredible Taj Mahal. This magnificent mausoleum, built by the Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz, is one of the world's most glorious sights. We'll watch in awe as the sun rises over its white marble walls which are inlaid with semi-precious stones. We'll also head to nearby Mehtab Bagh, a centuries-old garden complex, for a fabulous view of this iconic masterpiece from the other side of the Yamuna River. Our next stop is at the red-sandstone Agra Fort, where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, then we'll see the Itmad ud Daulah tomb. This was the first monument in India to be built entirely from marble and is also known as the 'Baby Taj'. If you would like to enjoy an evening out, there's the option to watch a performance of Mohabbat the Taj, about Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife. Featuring colourful costumes, enchanting songs and energetic dancing, this is the perfect end to our day. Please note: The show is not available on May to July departures.
- Day 5 Ranthambore
- Today we're going to travel by train, quite an experience in India, but before we reach the station we'll visit the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. At the railway station, stop to take in the vibrant atmosphere as you join the throng of travellers. You'll see vendors selling spicy samosas and small boys serving chai from huge silver kettles as you board the train. Once on board, sit back and enjoy the ever-changing scenery with your fellow travellers as you are taken to Ranthambore.
- Day 6 Ranthambore
- A thrilling day lies ahead, with not just one but two safaris in Ranthambore National Park, said to be the best game reserve in India. On morning and afternoon game drives we'll make our way through thick forest, where pretty waterfalls provide the perfect habitat for more than 300 species of birds. Our knowledgeable Local Guide will help you to spot other residents of the park, including crocodile, hyena, jackal and more. Keep your fingers crossed for a sighting of the elusive tiger, or the even rarer leopard too.
- Day 7 Dausa
- Today we journey by road to our next hotel, which is the 200-year-old Talabgaon Castle, a beautifully restored fort offering us a truly unique experience. We'll have lunch on arrival and then you're free to relax and do just as you wish. Perhaps you'll sit in the lovely gardens with a cool drink, or maybe a dip in the swimming pool will prove too tempting to resist. Later, we're going to get together to enjoy a barbecue dinner, with entertainment in the shape of a traditional dance performance.
- Day 8 Jaipur
- Today we've the famous 'Pink City' of Jaipur in our sights, which we'll reach by road. Views of sandstone buildings tinged with pink and ochre set amongst barren hills will greet us on arrival in the capital of Rajasthan. We'll get our bearings with an afternoon guided tour, which includes the commanding City Palace and the Mughal treasures in its museum. We'll also see the elaborate facade of the Palace of the Winds, from where ladies of the court could watch unseen. Before we head to our hotel, there will be time to browse the colourful ceramics and textiles in the Old Town's bustling markets.
- Day 9 Delhi
- Your day begins with a short drive to the marvellous Amber Fort, a 17th century stronghold which sits on a hilltop overlooking the desert. We'll step inside to see the eerie Temple of Kali, the jewel-like Palace of Mirrors and the enchanting Hall of Pleasures. Later, we return to Delhi by road.
- Day 10 Delhi/UK
- This morning we'll transfer you to the airport for your return flight to the UK. As you are travelling westwards, you will arrive later the same day.
Please note that the itinerary for 2020 will differ slightly from that shown here. You will have the opportunity to sample a glass of Lassi whilst in Jaipur on day 8. A blend of water, yoghurt, spices and sometimes fruit. The drink, traditionally served in earthern pots to add a unique aroma, is topped with a thick layer of malai leaving you refreshed and surprisingly full!