Day 02: Day in Delhi
Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, which includes a visit to Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; a rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk, ‘silver street’, one of the largest trading centres of India; drive past Red Fort, the place that marked the announcement of India’s freedom from the British Raj; visit Raj Ghat, cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. Later in the afternoon, discover the modern city of New Delhi, which includes a visit to Qutab Minar, a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture and the world’s tallest minaret; Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the largest Sikh temple of Delhi, with a gold tomb, still in active worship; Photo stop at India Gate, the war memorial arch built in honour of the soldiers who died in the second world war; drive past President's House, Parliament House and other Government Secretariat Buildings, the most imposing features of Lutyen’s Delhi. Overnight at Country Inn or similar.
Day 03: Delhi - Jaipur (260 kms / 05 hrs)
After breakfast, embark on a leisure drive to Jaipur, the land of the Rajputs. Jaipur is an exuberance of colour, dance and traditional arts and crafts. Known, as the 'Pink City', Jaipur is home to ancient forts and palaces and is one of India's most well-planned cities. Over night at Country Inn or similar.
Day 04: Day in Jaipur
This morning, visit Amber fort, a fine amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim architecture and ornamentation, built in the 16th century. To ascend up the fort, you may choose to walk, drive or take an elephant ride. This afternoon, visit the City Palace complex with its various museums where you can see a beautiful collection of Mughal costumes, weapons and miniature paintings. Then visit the fascinating Jantar Mantar, the ancient astronomical observatory built by the Maharaja of Jaipur, which is the largest stone observatory in the world. Also drive past Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a remarkable five storied building along the main street of the old city with semi-octagonal and delicate honeycombed sandstone windows. Overnight at Country Inn or similar.
Day 06: Jaipur - Ranthambore (190 Kms / 04 hrs)
This morning, you will depart Agra for your journey to Ranthambhore, acclaimed as one of the best places in the world to photograph tigers in the wild. Upon arrival in Ranthambore, check into your hotel for 2-Night stay at Radisson or similar.
Day 07: Day in Ranthambore
Today, enjoy an early morning and afternoon Canter safari (accompanied by a trained naturalist) into the national park. The Ranthambore National Park is one of the prime examples of India’s conservation program, Project Tiger. Once the hunting ground of Indian princes, this national park stands atop a 600 m high hill range, and is covered with thorn trees, scrub and grasslands. Dotted with beautiful ponds, streams, lakes and old ruins, it is the home of the tigers of Ranthambhore that have often been photographed by visitors from all over the world. Over night at Radisson or similar.
Day 08: Ranthambore - Agra
After breakfast, embark on your drive to Agra, city of the world famous Taj Mahal. En-route to Agra, you will make a brief stop to visit Fatehpur Sikri, the capital city of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. Upon arrival in Agra, check in at your hotel for night stay at Radisson or similar.
Day 09: Day in Agra
After breakfast, experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the eternal symbol of love, the Taj Mahal. Often referred to as a poem in white marble, Taj Mahal displays the saga of love between Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
Day 10: Agra – Khajuraho, via Orccha
This morning board an express train to Jhansi. Then, embark on a short drive to Orchha, a medieval riverside town known for its palaces and temples. The word Orchha literally means 'hidden place'. Today, we visit ruins of old palaces such as the tiered Jahangir Mahal, the erstwhile palace of Emperor Jahangir, a fine example of medieval IndoIslamic architecture decorated with paintings and frescoes built in 17th century and the Raj Mahal, which features colorful murals and frescoes from the life of Lord Rama and Krishna and incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Also visit popular temples of the region such as Ram Raja temple, Chaturbhuj temple and Lakshmi Narayan temple. You will also see a spread of Bundela Chhatris (Royal Tombs) of erstwhile rulers of Orchha. Continue drive to Khajuraho – a UNESCO world heritage site in central India, famous for its erotic sculptures temples. Upon arrival in Khajuraho, check-in to your hotel for night stay at Radisson or similar.
Day 11: Day in Khajuraho
This morning, visit to the enchanting temples of Khajuraho with sculptures that draw their inspiration from the ancient art of Kama sutra. Khajuraho Temples were built by the Chandela kings between 950 AD and 1050 AD. Evening at leisure to relax at the hotel or your own activities. Night stay at Radisson or similar.
Day 12: Khajuraho - Varanasi
Today, you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India (also known as Kashi and Banaras). Upon arrival in Varanasi, transfer to your hotel. This evening, experience a rickshaw ride to the Ghats to enjoy the grand ‘Aarti’ ceremony at Dasaswamedh Ghats, conducted every day at sunset by white-robed priests. The young priests sway in seemingly choreographed movements, worshiping the river goddess with incense, flowers and earthen lamps. Night stay at Radisson or similar.
Day 13: Day in Varanasi
Enjoy an early morning boat ride on the Holy River Ganges. See the ‘bathing Ghats’ where thousands of pilgrims pay homage to the Sun God by immersing themselves in the holy water of River Ganges, and the ‘burning Ghats’ where cremations are conducted. Return to hotel for breakfast. Later, visit Sarnath, the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Sarnath was a renowned school of learning from 6th century BC to 12th century AD. The Ashoka pillar of Sarnath is the national emblem of India. Visit the ruins, stupa, Buddhist temple and the Sarnath Museum. Night stay at Radisson or similar.