After a late breakfast, panoramic sightseeing tour of the Indian capital, with highlights such as the Raj Ghat, where the "Father of the nation", Mahatma Gandhi, was cremated; the 72 meter- high Qutab Minar; the 1500 year-old Iron Pillar; the Humayun' Tomb; Jama Mosque; the famous Red Fort of the Moghul Emperors; and the most important government buildings, such as President's House, the Parliament Building, India Gate, and Connaught Place.
After breakfast we leave Delhi and motor to Mandawa, an important ancient trading post in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, where we will stay in a heritage hotel, a converted ancient palace. Afternoon city tour, including the historical fortress and the bazaar with its painted houses, known as "havelis" (mansions), with their famous frescoes, a local specialty since the early 19th century.
This morning we continue to the city of Bikaner, where we stay in another heritage hotel. Sightseeing tour of Bikaner, with as absolute highlight our visit to the 16th-century fort, a byzantine complex of palaces, pavilions, and temples connected by paved courtyards, narrow staircases, and terraces.
A day of relaxed sightseeing in Jaisalmar, with visits to the 12th-century "Golden Fort", the beautiful Jain Temples, narrow lanes lined with exotic havelis, and Gadisar Lake, which used to be the only source of water for the entire city and is surrounded by a number of shrines. Also ampla time to take advantage of the excellent shopping available in the city's exotic markets and bazaars!
After breakfast we motor to Jodhpur, one of the most fascinating cities in India, where we stay in a 4-star hotel. Afternoon city tour, with the famous red sandstone fort, built five centuries ago and containing the handsome Maharajah's palace, and Jaswant Thada, a royal memorial built in pure white marble, Umaid Bhavvan Palace, and Mandore Gardens. Also opportunity to shop in local markets.
After breakfast we resume our Odyssey through Rajasthan. We visit Ranakpur in the lovely Aravali Valley, famous for its Jain Temples, then continue to Udaipur, an enchanting city situated on the banks of shimmering Lake Pichola. Dinner and overnight in a 4-star hotel.
Today we continue via Nagda and Eklingji with their temples and prehistoric shrines to the city of Ajmer, an important centre of pilgrimage sometimes described as a perfect fusion of Sufi (Muslim) and Hindu culture. Accommodation in a 3/4-star hotel, not quite a fuIl 4-star, but the best available in this town!
Morning sightseeing tour of Ajmer, where the major tourist attractions are the marble Dargah (tomb) of a popular Sufi saint who had come here from Persia in the 13th century, as well as a number of monuments from the Mughal era, such as the former royal palace, now a museum, and the pavilions and gardens surrounding Ana Sagar Lake. Also sidetrip to Ajmer's sister city, Pushkar, considered by Hindus to be one of the most sacred places in India and featuring a lake suffounded by bathing ghats, and to Mangliyawas, a town famous for two 800-year old trees of a rare species and considered sacred. In the afternoon we drive to Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, and known as the "Pink City" on account of the colour of its many palaces and temples. Overnight in a 4-Star hotel.
A full day of sightseeing in Jaipur, one of India's premier holiday destinations! Highlights include visits to the Amber Fori, the City paiace and museums, the medieval observatory of Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal, the "Palace on Winds". A ride on the back of an elephant is also something one should not miss.
After breakfast we motor to Agra, with a visit en route to the ghost town of Fatehpur-Sikri, originally built by Moghul Emperor Akbar but deserted due to lack of water. Arrival in the medieval city of Agra, situated on the banks of the Yomuna River, and visit to the magnificent Agra Fort, also built by Akbar, in the late 16th century. We stay in a 5-star hotel.
The very best is kept for the last day! After breakfast, we visit the Taj Mahal, unquestionably one of the most beautiful buildings in the entire world, and built in the mid - 17th century by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Afterwards, we also take a look at other local attractions, such as the sandstone Agra Fort, the palace of Akbar, the Pearl Mosque, and the Ram Bagh Garden. In the aftertoon, transfer to Delhi International Airport in time for your flight to your next destination.