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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.
Today, we embark on a full day sightseeing tour of Delhi, taking in the impressive Red Fort (closed Monday's), Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat - the site of Gandhi’s cremation, Spice Markets and more. This evening enjoy dinner at Moti Mahal Restaurant famous for it's Butter Chicken.
We enjoy a free morning, with afternoon sightseeing of New Delhi including the India Gate, a drive past the parliamentary buildings and President's hour, a guided visit to the Humayun's tomb and concludes with sightseeing to UNESCO World Heritage Site Qutub Minar. Tonight, we enjoy a delicious dinner at a restaurant specialising in classic South Indian cuisine.
This morning 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. The state of Rajasthan emerged after Partition from a mosaic of 22 feudal kingdoms, known in the British era as Rajputana, ‘Land of Kings’. We enjoy a tour of the City Palace and Jantar Mantar - an old yet cleverly designed space observatory.
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 enjoy a stately elephant ride (subject to elephant availability and government regulations) to the fort proper and tour the fort’s well-preserved interior and grounds. Returning to Jaipur, this evening we enjoy an evening cuisine walk. Early-risers can opt for a morning hot air balloon ride over Jaipur, and sail over hilltop forts, regal palaces, sleepy villages, and stone carved temples - see enhance options.
Departing Jaipur driver to Bharatpur to check into our hotel with time to freshen up we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy evening bird watching.
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. We visit Agra Markets to buy ingredients for evening live cooking demo of Mughal cuisine followed by dinner.
Early this morning includies touring the legendary Taj Mahal (closed Friday's) to witness a glorious golden sunrise. 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. Afterwards, we travel by express train to Jhansi and drive onward to Orchha. Situated on the banks of the River Betwa, Orchha is set amongst a wonderful complex of well-preserved 16th century temples and palaces. Enjoy afternoon sightseeing.
Travelling south-east, we arrive in Khajuraho - home of the resplendent Hindu temples which were built during the Chandela dynasty over a 100 year burst of creative genius from 950-1050 AD. Immortalised in stone, the carved temples display exceedingly artistic aspects of Indian life a millennium ago. Famed above all for their delicate sensuality and forthright eroticism, how and why they were built still remains a mystery. We enjoy afternoon an sightseeing tour of the temples. This evening, we visit a local family home for a cooking demonstration and dinner.
This afternoon we bid farewell to Khajuraho and fly east to Varanasi, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. 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. We offer a jeep safari in Panna NP this morning, please see our enhance options.
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 independently for the evening pilgramage, remarkably different from the dawn ritual and highly recommended.
Today, take the opportunity to further explore this vibrant city. Early evening we return to Delhi by comfortable overnight train.
Breakfast upon arrival and hotel check in. This afternoon enjoy a cuisine walk of Old Delhi including lunch.
Hotel check out and included onward departure transfer to airport. Happy travels!
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...