Welcome to India. On arrival, you are received and transferred to your hotel. Hotel check-in time is 12 noon. Delhi is the capital of modern India. Many dynasties and rulers have flourished on its regal soil over the last 3000 years. The legacy still survives in many monuments varying from the 13th century mausoleum of the Lodi Kings to the buildings of British India's imperial past like the Parliament House and the Presidential Estate. The rest of the day is free you to relax. Overnight in Delhi.
Morning is at leisure. In the afternoon embark on a sightseeing tour Old Delhi. Begin with a visit to Jama Mosque, the largest mosque in India, built in 1650 AD. This is followed by a drive past the Red Fort (Closed on Mondays) (1639 - 48), built by Emperor Shah Jahan, creator of The Taj Mahal. Later proceed to Raj Ghat - the site of the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Overnight in Delhi.
Morning sightseeing tour of New Delhi. Begin with a drive past Safdarjang's Tomb (1753 AD) while we are on the way to the Qutab Minar (1193 A.D.). This striking medieval tower of victory, built by the slave dynasty, is 73 m high. Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of Quwat-ul-Islam mosque, stands the Iron pillar which has stood the vagaries of weather and has not rusted for over 1500 years. Continue your tour to visit the Humayun's Tomb.
Reception upon arrival at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Varanasi is amongst the oldest living cities in the world, is also the holiest of Hindu Pilgrimages. Varanasi is to Hindus what the Vatican is to Catholics. In the afternoon, visit the buried city of Sarnath, north east of Varanasi - it is as holy to Buddhists as Varanasi is to Hindus. Having achieved enlightenment at Bodhgaya, Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his message of the way to Nirvana. Later, Ashoka, the great Buddhist, emperor erected magnificent Stupas and monasteries at Sarnath. What is visible today are the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist monastery and a fine museum which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures. Overnight in Varanasi.
Early morning boat ride on the river Ganges. The best time to visit the Ghats is dawn when pilgrims take their morning dip. The most famous Ghat is the Dasaswamedh Ghat from where we begin this tour. Enjoy the boat ride while looking out for people on the ghats - the women bathing discreetly in their sarees, the young men displaying prowess in yogic postures and the Brahmin priests offering prayers for one and all. Amidst all this you may also come across the burning ghats which are cremation sites for the dead. Return to your hotel for breakfast. Later proceed for a city tour of Varanasi including visits to the numerous temples, which dot the banks of the river. During the tour you will be able to walk through the narrow lanes and stop by at the bazaars to have a look at, among other things, the world famous Banaras silks. The afternoon is at leisure. Overnight in Varanasi.
The morning is at leisure. In the afternoon, you are transferred from hotel to the airport in time for your flight capital of the Mughal empire in the 16th and 17th century, depicts a gorgeous panorama of majestic architectural creations and a rich tradition of art and culture. It houses one of seven wonders of the world, the marble symphony of Emperor Shah Jahan - The Taj Mahal. Discover the dazzling creations of their craftsmen in other architectural marvels in Agra, the quintessential Mughal City. Overnight in Agra.
Proceed for a city tour where you will experience the Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays). An extravagant marble monument of love, built by Shah Jahan in 1653 as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal. This beautiful mausoleum in pure white marble took 22 years and 22000 craftsmen to build. Continue your tour to the Agra Fort, the original red sandstone fort built by Moghul Emperor Akbar in 1565. The Forts maze of courtyards, its marble mosque and lavish private chambers reflect the grandeur of the Mughal Empire.
This morning you drive from Agra to Ranthambore (302 kms/7 hours) en route visiting Fatehpur Sikri. This deserted, red sandstone city, built by Emperor Akbar, between 1570 and 1585, now glows in its magnificent past. This was once the capital of the Moghul Empire for a short period but later abandoned due to scarcity of water. Here you will visit the Bulund Darwaza (The Gate of Victory), which is said to be the tallest gateway in the world. In the northern part of the courtyard is the superb white marble tomb of the famous Sufi saint - Shaik Salim Chishti.
Early morning and afternoon game viewing in the park. Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary extends over an area of 392 sq. kms of thick forests. The place abounds in the scenic beauty and is a refuge for both the carnivorous and herbivorous animals. The numerous valleys and flat hill tops form picturesque surroundings of the 10th century historical Ranthambore Fort. One can spot predators like the Tiger and Leopard and other carnivorous animals like the Hyena, Jackal and Sloth Beer. The sanctuary also abounds in Wild Boar and various varieties of Deer like spotted Deer, Sambhar, Chinkara and Nilgai (blue bull). The common Langaur (monkeys) abound in the trees. Overnight in Ranthambore.
This morning you proceed for an excursion to Amer Fort, which is located 12 kms outside Jaipur. The original Palace was built by Raja Mansingh and later additions were made by Sawai Jai Singh. One of the finest example of Rajput architecture, it was the ancient capital of Kaisshawah rulers. Enjoy the ascent to the Palace on the back of a brightly caparisoned elephant. Visit the multiple chambers and hallways of the palace which are famous for their design and decorations. This unique capital of the erstwhile warrior kings of Rajasthan is a must on every tourist itinerary to the state. In the afternoon, proceed for a city tour to visit the unique Jantar Mantar, which is a magnificent stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728 and drive past the Hawa Mahal, an intriguing Palace of Winds.
This morning you drive from Jaipur to Udaipur, reaching Udaipur late evening. Reception upon arrival at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Udaipur is Rajasthan's most congenial and romantic city situated in the lap of the thickly wooded Aravali Hills. Founded in 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh following the final sacking of Chittorgarh by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, Udaipur rivals any of the world famous creations of the Mughals with its Rajput love of the whimsical and its superbly crafted elegance. Udaipur has been called the Venice of the East. In the evening, enjoy a motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. The beautiful Lake Pichola was enlarged by Maharana Udai Singh after he founded the city. Overnight in Udaipur.
Proceed for a sightseeing tour of Udaipur. Begin your tour with a visit to the City Palace. At this Palace complex, one will marvel at the rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, windows with colored glass, inlaid marble balconies and the peacock courtyard. Also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-Bari gardens, the Jagdish temple and the local Museum. The afternoon is at leisure. Overnight in Udaipur.
Upon arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Mumbai is India's western gateway and the capital of Maharashtra. Set off on an afternoon sightseeing tour of Mumbai. The tour begins at The Gateway of India, Mumbai's foremost landmark overlooking the harbour, was conceived following the visit of King George V in 1911 and officially opened in 1924. A drive up to the Malabar Hill, to the hanging gardens, gives a panoramic view of the city and the Queens Necklace - the Marine Drive. The tour concludes with a drive through the Flora Fountain and Fort area and view the Gothic and Victorian style buildings.