14 Nights / 15 Days
15 days, 26 meals.
The Taj Mahal, temples and tigers – experience all the spice of India on this comprehensive tour. Explore Old Delhi’s historic streets by rickshaw. See the Taj Mahal bathed in the light of sunrise. Embark on an evening cruise across Lake Pichola. Enjoy magnificent views of the Jag Mandir Palace. Participate in a cooking demonstration, try your hand at sari tying, even get a henna tattoo! See the City Palace in Jaipur. Experience two game drives in Ranthambore National Park. Visit the site of Buddha’s first sermon. Take an early morning ride on the holy River Ganges. Discover the many ways in which this mysterious land dazzles the senses.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Day 2: Delhi, India - Tour Begins
Welcome to Delhi, India’s capital city that sports a rich history spanning over 2,000 years.
Day 3: New Delhi
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi. Visit Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. Explore Old Delhi’s narrow streets by rickshaw, the traditional mode of transportation. Next you’ll tour New Delhi, visiting Qutub Minar, the tallest brick minaret in the world. Behold the India Gate war memorial, the Parliament and the palatial Rashtrapati Bhawan – the President's residence.
Day 4: Delhi - Udaipur
Fly to Udaipur, your gateway to Rajasthan, where chivalrous tales come to life at forts and palaces. Settle into your hotel, a carefully restored palace perched on a hill and overlooking the lake.
Day 5: Udaipur
It’s your choice! Participate in a relaxing yoga class and learn basic exercises and breathing techniques from a local expert. Or, enjoy a morning walking tour of Udaipur just as the city is waking up. Later, we visit the exquisite City Palace – its main entrance, Tripolia, was built in 1725. Stop at Sahelion-ki-Bari, the Garden of the Maids of Honour, and learn about the lifestyle of the royal ladies who once strolled through these gardens. This evening, cruise along Lake Pichola and take in views of the Jag Mandir Palace and the City Palace.
Day 6: Udaipur - Jaipur
Depart for a scenic drive through the countryside to the “Pink City” of Jaipur. After having lunch and checking into your hotel, head out for a brief stop at Hawa Mahal, home to a former Maharaja, with its façade of 953 windows. Visit the City Palace and find gardens, courtyards, intricate decorative art and carved doorways. Marvel at Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory built in 1726 by Sawai Jai Singh.
Day 7: Jaipur
Board a vintage jeep and ascend to the top of the majestic Amber Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site and India’s former seat of power. Visit a local school* where the children are part of a midday program supported by the efforts of the Collette Foundation. Tap into local customs during lunch as you learn about turban and sari tying. Stroll through a flower market for a glimpse into the art of making garlands used in traditional Indian ceremonies. Delve deeper into Indian culture during a henna tattoo and bindi demonstration. Tonight, sit down for a home-hosted dinner and observe daily life inside the old city.
Day 8: Jaipur - Ranthambore National Park
Travel to Ranthambore National Park to learn about Project Tiger's efforts at conservation in India. Meet a naturalist who will discuss the wildlife of the country with you during a slideshow presentation. Embark on a game drive by canter (an open air vehicle). Watch for marsh crocodiles, hyenas, sloth bears and even tigers.
Day 9: Ranthambore
Rise and shine early this morning for a game drive. Afterward, enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Visit the Ranthambore School of Art which recruits students from neighbouring villages and trains them to be self-sufficient artists. Next, visit Dastkar Ranthambore Project, founded in 1981 by six women united to protect India’s traditional artisans. Dive into the local cuisine with an interactive cooking demonstration followed by dinner.
Day 10: Ranthambore - Bharatpur - Agra
An early morning train brings you to Bharatpur. Disembark and continue your journey to Agra, a city rich with the splendours of the past, where you will enjoy a relaxing lunch.
Day 11: Agra
Visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise, witnessing the first rays of sun glistening on the white marble — a truly memorable moment. The Taj Mahal took 22 years and 20,000 men to build. Built in the 17th century by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Later, visit Agra Fort, the seat of the Mughal Empire.
Day 12: Agra - Jhansi - Orchha - Khajuraho
Board your train for Jhansi and continue to Orchha for a relaxing lunch. Arrive in Khajuraho, your home for the evening.
Day 13: Khajuraho - Varanasi
Visit the Chandel Temple complex and behold some of the finest examples of temple architecture in northern India. Fly to Varanasi, a simplistic and charming city with a universal mystique. Tonight, visit the Ghats – the banks of the river – witnessing the illuminated Ganga Aarti ceremony.
Day 14: Varanasi
Cruise along the River Ganges past various Ghats where people ritually cleanse themselves of their sins, hoping for salvation. A city tour of Varanasi includes the Benaras Hindu University and Bharat Mata Temple. Continue to Sarnath where Siddarth Gautama, later known as Buddha, gave his first sermon on a quiet grove in the 6th century B.C. A Hindu scholar discusses the philosophy of Hinduism with you. Join your fellow travellers for a farewell dinner this evening.
Day 15: Varanasi - Delhi - Tour Ends
Enjoy a morning at leisure before flying back to Delhi, where a day room** has been reserved for you to freshen up prior to the departure of your return flight home.