Day 1- Delhi
Welcome to India! On arrival, you will be transferred from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport to Claridges Hotel. The balance of day is at leisure.
Day 2- Delhi
Start your exploration in Old Delhi with a visit to Jama Masjid, the royal mosque built in 1656. Next enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride as you wind your way through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, the spice market, Wedding Street and Jeweller’s Lane – there will be some great photo opportunities! Afternoon at leisure. This evening, join Fellow Travellers for a Welcome Dinner.
Day 3- Delhi
This morning experience a Religion and Philosophy tour as you visit the Lakshmi Narayan Temple. Through various parables, begin to understand the social, moral and spiritual aspects of Hinduism. Continue on to the magnificent Sikh Temple – Bangla Sahib, a place of pilgrimage for both Sikhs and Hindus. Before departing, visit the local Community Kitchen where lunch is still served free!
This afternoon, drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidential Palace) and India Gate War Memorial. Visit Qutab Minar before returning to the hotel via Deepalya, a special school for underprivileged Children.
Enjoy high-tea with these dedicated teachers, no doubt while the children look on. (Take some small gifts with you and watch the excitement unfold.)
Day 4- Agra
A long but interesting drive this morning as we wind our way through the countryside to Agra. This afternoon, enjoy an orientation tour of Agra as you travel by horse drawn carriages to Agra Fort. Visit a local workshop producing cotton durries dyed naturally using vegetable dyes and witness the fine art of marble inlay.
The Mughal dynasty knew how to enjoy life! Tonight, experience their lifestyle through the grandeur of a traditional Mughal themed dinner, complete with Indian classical music, exotic food and Kathak dancing (a classical discipline known for its grace and evocative steps). Overnight at ICT Mughal Hotel
Day 5- Ranthambore
Up early this morning to view the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Late morning transfer to Bharatpur Railway Station for the train to Ranthambore; en-route, visit Fatehpur Sikri (the deserted red sandstone city built by Emperor Akbar) and Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world.
After lunch at Bharatpur, depart by Jan Shatabdi Express for Sawai Madhopur. Transfer to Sherbagh Jungle Camp. Pre dinner, spend time with a well-known naturalist who will tell you about the Royal Bengal tigers and the Park’s conservation projects. Once decimated by poaching, the tiger is making a comeback! Overnight at Sherbagh Camp.
Day 6- Ranthambore
Enjoy a morning game drive through the National Park in search of the illusive tiger. Ranthambore was once the private hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur; it is now India’s finest tiger reserve and home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Its residents include sambar, chital, nilgai, gazelle, boars and monitor lizards and more than 250 varieties of birds.
Dinner will be served back at camp.
Day 7- Ranthambore
Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives accompanied by an expert Naturalist.
After lunch, visit the Ranthambore School of Art. This school was formed for one purpose—to save the tigers. Students are recruited from local villages and trained to be self sufficient artists. The concept is not only to raise funds but to also raise the awareness in local people about the importance of saving this magnificent animal from extinction. You will see over 100 artists at work, tutored by five master painters in the traditional way. Continue on to Dastakari Kendra, a local co-operative providing employment to village women and keeping their local skills alive. A post-lunch game drive completes your day.
Day 8- Alwar
Another long drive today as you head to Alwar but the reward at the end is the beautiful Aman Resort of Amanbagh. Your afternoon is free so why not enjoy a relaxing spa. This evening, a candle light, jungle dinner awaits you. Stay overnight at Amanbagh hotel.
Day 9- Alwar
Later this morning, learn to master the intricacies of Indian spices and using your new knowledge, work through a recipe with the Hotel’s Master Chef. Listen well; you are preparing your own lunch!
Remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 10- Jaipur
A two hour drive takes you to Jaipur and the magnificent Amber Fort. Enjoy an elephant ride to the top. After your tour, continue to your hotel in time for lunch.
In the afternoon, witness the famous Elephant Festival at Chogan Stadium. Groomed flawlessly, the elephants parade past almost like world famous fashion models. The arena comes to life with musicians and dancers; camels, chariots, cannons, lancers on horses and palaquins; the atmosphere is electric!
Accommodation at Jai Mahal Palace.
Day 11- Jaipur
Today experience one of the most lively of all Hindu Festivals – ‘Holi’, the Festival of Colours. Special arrangements have been made for you to participate in the festival with a local family.
After the celebrations, return to your hotel.
Enjoy traditional Indian hospitality with dinner at a local home.
Day 12- Jaipur
Begin your exploration of the pink city or City of Victory with a visit to the Jantar Mantar Observatory, which houses an unique collection of instruments. Continue to the City Palace to witness the Maharaja’s private collection of textiles and armory.
Culminate with a photo stop at Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), designed so the ladies of the palace could look out onto the streets unobserved. Lastly stroll through the lively vegetable market in the old city.
Visit Johari Bazaar famous for jewellery and gems and later return by cycle rickshaw to your bus.
Venture into the countryside this afternoon with a visit to Neerja International, home to Jaipur’s fine blue pottery and Bagru Village to witness the traditional printing on cloth which has existed for over three centuries.
This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner in your hotel.
Day 13- Delhi
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi, where your tour ends and you depart home.
Optional- tour to the Himalayas
Why not extend your holiday with a visit to the Himalayas and a three night stay at the stunning Ananda Retreat.
This allows you to go to Dehradun, Narendra Nagar and back to Delhi. The tour allows you to relax and days are at leisure.
- Accommodation with private facilities
- All sightseeing (with entrance fees)
- Meals as stated in Itinerary
- Transportation in private coaches
- Services of a local guide