An introduction to Northern India and Rajasthan - 12-day Private Tour, including air

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Detailed Itinerary, Trip Costs & Inclusions
Daily Departures
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Departure Date from USAHotel
Category
 2004 DeparturesSilverGold
3/1 - 4/30$2769$3099
5/1 - 6/05$2099$2369
6/6 - 8/20$2379$2649
8/21 - 9/20$2099$2369
9/21 - 12/5$2769$3099
12/6 - 12/12$3049$3389
12/13 - 12/24$3159$3499
12/25 - 12/31$3049$3389
Single Supplement$739$1099
Friday - Sunday Dep.$50$50

One child under 12, sharing parents' room, pays 75%; others pay adult rates.

Two accommodation categories are offered. Gold hotels are better located, offer more amenities and have superior standards of service. A higher category of accommodations, Deluxe, is available in New Delhi & Jaipur at an additional charge. The Gold category features overland touring by air-conditioned cars, while the Silver category includes non-air-conditioned vehicles.

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Normal traffic on a Jaipur street!

What’s Included:
Roundtrip air from New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles to Delhi, twin share accommodation, daily breakfast, transfers and tours by chauffeur-driven vehicles, entrance fees, and the services of local guides.

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The Amber Fort, near Jaipur

What’s Not:
All personal expenses and meals other than those indicated,
travel insurance,
Indian visa and photography fees.


 

Days 1 & 2
Leave the United States this evening for your flight to India. East Coast departures involve a transit stop in Europe and West Coast departures involve a transit stop in Asia.

Day 3
Early this morning after your arrival in New Delhi, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your downtown hotel. Later in the day, a half-day tour through the old city of Delhi has been arranged for you. Visit the Red Fort, an imposing red sandstone monument enclosed within walls reaching up to 100 feet. Inside, there are impressive halls used by Mughal emperors of the past for public and private audiences, a small mosque built of dazzling white marble, royal baths and other imperial buildings. Leaving the fort your next stop is at the Jumma Masjid – a great mosque built by the emperor Shah Jehan, who also built the Taj Mahal. This is the largest mosque in the Indian subcontinent and an impressive piece of architecture by any standards. Around the mosque are narrow lanes crammed with shops selling every conceivable item – undoubtedly a photographer’s delight! Later, visit Raj Ghat - a memorial for Mahatma Gandhi, where he was cremated on the banks of the river Jamuna. You will be brought back to your hotel after the tour and the rest of the evening is free.

Day 4
A sightseeing tour of New Delhi has been arranged for you this morning: Visit the Laxmi Narayan temple – a large modern temple in the heart of the city. Drive past India Gate – a 125’ stone "arch of triumph" erected in memory of the Indian soldiers who fell in WW1. Visit the tomb of Humayun, the second Mughal emperor. This is an early example of Mughal architecture, which was refined over the years to the magnificence of the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Later in the day, leave Delhi by chauffeur driven car for Agra. En route, visit Sikandra – which is the mausoleum of another great Mughal ruler, Akbar. Located in the middle of a lush garden, four identical red sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex.

After arrival in Agra, check in to your hotel. The rest of the evening is free.

Day 5
The striking beauty of the Taj Mahal can hardly be described in words. However, you will have ample time this morning for reflecting on the power of a man’s love for his wife as you visit the Taj Mahal. Stop by the Agra Fort, which was initially built as a military bastion but was later used as an imperial palace. Visit Itmad-ud-daulah, another impressive Moghul monument built by Queen Nur Jehan.

The afternoon is free – relax at the hotel pool, go shopping for marble and brassware (two regional specialties here) or go back to the Taj Mahal for a second look!

Day 6
Leaving Agra this morning, head towards Fatehpur Sikri, which was the capital of Mughal Empire during the reign of Akbar. Seventeen years after the city was built, it was suddenly and dramatically abandoned, since all the water wells had dried up. Today, this perfectly preserved Mughal city offers many a clue to the grandeur of times past.

During the winter months (approx. November through March) it is well worthwhile to stop at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, which is only a short detour away from the main road to Jaipur. More than 150 species of birds can be found here and the sanctuary is famous for the migratory birds, especially Siberian cranes.

Arrive in Jaipur in the late afternoon when the Pink City (named after the sandstone and whitewashed buildings which are the hallmark of the city) is at its best, glowing in the light of the setting sun. Check in to your hotel and enjoy a free evening.

Day 7
Visit the 16th century Amber Fort this morning. Located on the outskirts of the city, the fortress is a superb example of Rajput architecture, stunningly situated on top of a hill, overlooking a lake, which reflects its terraces and ramparts. You will be spared the normally arduous climb up to the Fort, since arrangements have been made to have you transported on elephant back – just as the Maharajas used to do!

Later, check out the City Palace, which is a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The former Maharaja still lives in a part of this Palace, and the remainder has been converted into a museum. It has an extensive collection of artwork, carpets, enamelware and weaponry. The paintings include miniatures from Rajasthani, Mughal and Persian schools. Just outside the Palace is the ancient "Jantar Manter" (or observatory). At first glance, this medieval observatory appears to be a just curious collection of strangely shaped buildings. In fact they are cleverly designed for specific purposes, such as measuring the position of stars, calculating eclipses etc. all without any of the modern instruments which we take for granted today.

Day 8
A free day for you to explore Jaipur on your own. Walk through the busy streets and bazaars, shop for fabrics, handicrafts and gems. Marvel at the impressive architecture and simply soak in the atmosphere of the place as pedestrians, bicycle riders, horse-drawn carts, camels and an occasional elephant (apart from the ubiquitous cow) all flow past on the street in front of you!

Day 9
Leave Jaipur by car and travel to Mandawa, which is the main town in the Shekhavati region, which was part of an important 19th century trading route. As business prospered, this new found money was spent on construction. The merchants’ houses (known as ‘havelis’) were decorated with beautiful painted murals. One-upmanship ensured a race to build bigger and better (i.e. more decorated) houses, as a result of which the whole region today has the appearance of a living museum.

After arriving in Mandawa this afternoon, you will have plenty of time to explore the town and even visit some of the impressive havelis. Overnight accommodation will be at Mandawa tonight.

Day 10
Leave Mandawa today and drive back to Delhi, where you should be arriving by early evening. Check in to your hotel.

Day 11
A free day in Delhi for some last minute shopping. This evening, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight out of India.

Day 12
Arrive back in the United States late this afternoon.

 

Sunset at the Red Fort, Delhi
Sunset at the Red Fort, Delhi

 

 

Wild Peacocks in Rajasthan
Wild Peacocks in Rajasthan

 

 

Traffic in downtown Jaipur!
Traffic in downtown Jaipur!

 

 

The Hawa Mahal Palace, Jaipur
The Hawa Mahal Palace, Jaipur

 

 

Inside a Rajasthani house
Inside a Rajasthani house

 

 

Sandstone castles near Mandawa, Rajasthan
Sandstone castles near MandawaSandstone castles near Mandawa, Rajasthan

 
 

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