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Departing Delhi, we journey to Agra, once India’s Mughal capital. Here, we visit the impressive Agra Fort, which boasts some of India's finest Mughal buildings behind it's fortified walls. Later on we take a motorised buggy to the legendary Taj Mahal and witness a magical sunset. Built by Shah Jahan in the 16th century as an enduring memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz.
En route to Jaipur, we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri. As we get closer to Jaipur we stop for a tasty lunch and visit Chandra Haveli, a charming haveli (mansion house) with small courtyard, lawned gardens and rustic appeal carefully being restored to the splendour of better farming years. Once in Jaipur, we visit a cotton trading/tailor shop where you can get clothing tailored.
Maybe opt for an early morning balloon flight over the pink city of Jaipur. Look out for the snake charmers that dot our route, as we travel to the 16th century Amber Fort. Later in the afternoon we tour the City Palace, which boasts an interesting museum of regal attire and Jantar Mantar, an ancient astronomical observatory.
This morning we transfer you back to Delhi for your onward flight to Varanasi
Perhaps the holiest city in India; Varanasi, also known as Benares or the city of Shiva, is also one of the oldest cities on earth. Sitting on the banks of the holy River Ganges, it has been a centre of learning and civilisation for more than 2000 years and is a place of Hindu pilgrimage.
This morning, we enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges where we’ll view the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps). Later, we embark on a tour of the city. At sunset consider re-visiting the ghats for the evening pilgramage, remarkably different from the dawn ritual.
This morning we fly back to Delhi for our onward travel to Chandigarh.
This is where we leave you for a week and you make your own arrangements with your friends.
Today we will pick you up from the train station in Jaipur. Upon arrival we will transfer you to your hotel.
Today, we drive to the semi-desert Shekhawati region. The small towns in this region became important trading posts, a lasting legacy of which are the beautiful painted havelis (mansions) constructed by wealthy merchants in the 18th and 19th centuries. Enjoy an afternoon village walk.
Travelling west, our next stop is the 14th century desert town of Bikaner. Once an important staging post on the great caravan routes, much of the atmospheric old town which we will explore is still encircled by massive fortified walls. Within these walls are havelis, artisan shops and people going about their daily lives. We also visit the spectacular Junagarh Fort & museum.
Driving through the Rajasthani Thar desert we arrive at the medieval caravan outpost of Jaisalmer, one of the jewels in India’s crown. Exquisite wood and sandstone buildings dot the town and within Jaisalmer Fort are homes, hotels and shops hidden in ancient lane ways. During our stay in this stunning Rajasthani fortress town we’ll enjoy some touring plus a desert camel safari on the rolling sand dunes.
An interesting drive through increasingly varied scenery takes us to Jodhpur, a town at the edge of the mighty Thar Desert. Dominated by Meherangarh Fort which sits majestically atop a hill, Jodhpur is known as the Blue City. This is because of the coloured houses in the old town, painted indigo. We’ll enjoy some touring in this colourful Rajasthani city, taking in the mighty fort and bazaars of the old city.
Today is a free day for you to relax and explore the local town or just sit back and use the hotel facilities.
Leaving Jodhpur, we drive to Ranakpur, a small town tucked away in a remote valley and famed for its beautiful 14th century Jain temples. We’ll enjoy some exploration here and time to relax at our hotel.
Continuing south, we arrive at Udaipur. An oasis of cool, with its massive lake and Venetian-like appearance, Udaipur is one of the most romantic towns in Rajasthan. A favourite amongst travellers, Udaipur is crammed full of palaces and temples. During our stay we’ll enjoy a cruise on Lake Pichola, plus touring of the imposing City Palace, not to mention free time to explore.
Departure transfer to the airport to board a morning flight to Mumbai upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel.
While in Mumbai you are free of touring and are able to explore on your own.
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