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Upon arrival into Delhi, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or independently explore this bustling capital.
This morning, our welcome meeting takes place. We’ll then enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Delhi (Red Fort closed Monday's). Tonight, we enjoy a Namaste Dinner at an Indian restaurant.
Today, we drive to Jaipur. Affectionately known as the Pink City as Maharaja Ram Singh had all of the Old City painted a welcoming pink in 1876 to herald a visit by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), it is also the bustling capital of the state of Rajasthan. We enjoy a tour of the City Palace, (watch out for snake charmers that dot our route) and Jantar Mantar - an old yet cleverly designed space observatory.
Very early this morning there is the opportunity to sail over the lofy hilltop forts and regal palaces of Jaipur in a hot air balloon, on our Balloon Over Jaipur Bolt-on. Then we travel beyond Jaipur to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort - a sprawling Rajput concoction which hugs the hill on which it was built and overlooks the hot plains below. We’ll ascend the road leading to the palace, arriving at the top we'll tour the fort’s well-preserved interior and grounds. Back in Jaipur, enjoy the remains of the day your way.
Departing Jaipur we stop in the village of Abhaneri to see Chand Baori, which is the largest and deepest step well in the world. This incredible well has a staggering 3500 steps and is 13 stories deep. Next, we drive on to the rural village of Perharsar, where we walk the backstreets discovering local life, traditions and (if open) visit the village school where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme. Here, we visit Chandra Mahal, a charming haveli (mansion house) with small courtyard, lawned gardens and rustic appeal carefully being restored to the splendour of better farming years (if open, currently under renovation till Dec 2012). After hotel check in at Bharatpur and time to freshen up we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park.
En route to Agra, we visit Fatehpur Sikri, former imperial capital of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Built between 1569 and 1585, it has been deserted for more than four centuries, by all accounts abandoned in 1600 due to a meagre supply of water. In Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort before touring the legendary Taj Mahal (closed Friday's) and witnessing a glorious golden sunset. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, who tragically died in childbirth in 1631, the Taj Mahal in Agra is described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love and remains one of India’s most enduring symbols.
After breakfast we return to Delhi, the latter part of the afternoon is free for you to relax or independently explore more of Delhi.
Our tour concludes after breakfast. Goodbye India! Included departure transfer to Claridges Hotel.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...