On this 9-day adventure, trace the riveting history, culture and religion of India through its incredible architecture. The archaic and cosmopolitan elements tug and pull at each other, casting a brilliant shimmer over the cities of Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan. From imposing fortresses, sacred temples to flamboyant palaces, each architectural feat tells its own exciting story.
Day 1: Arrival in Delhi
Upon arriving in Delhi, you will be met and privately transferred to your hotel.
Tagged a World Heritage City by UNESCO, Delhi is one of the oldest existing cities in the world. A rising metropolis unconventionally draped in intense poverty, India’s capital city is a myriad of medieval fortifications, spectacular temples, Mughal mausoleums and bustling bazaars.
Spend two nights at one of Delhi’s most iconic hotels. Built in 1952, the luscious lawns of The Claridges were once India’s first Prime Minister Nehru’s favourite spot for evening tea. Located in the heart of Lutyen’s Delhi, you will not be far from the buzz of the capital city. Featuring a combination of old-world charm and modern décor, the hotel is a perfect blend of grandeur and opulence.
Stay: The Claridges
Day 2: Delhi
This morning, you will be taken to visit Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India. This will be followed by a walking or rickshaw tour of the traditional businesses of Old Delhi. Visit an old-fashioned attar (Indian perfume) shop, where you will have the opportunity to test attar from minuscule cut-glass bottles. Wander through Kinari Bazaar, surrounded by a dazzling array of embroidered silk wedding sarees, exquisite bangles and ornate turbans in the main bridal street of Old Delhi.
The sea of colour along the streets of Khari Baoli will take your breath away. The biggest spice market in Asia, the tapestry of vibrant hues and rich aromas will pique your senses and tickle your taste buds.
In the afternoon, take a tour around New Delhi – including Humayun’s Tomb, Qutab Minar and Lutyens’ Delhi. Humayun’s Tomb, a resplendent mausoleum decked in red sandstone, set a precedent for subsequent Mughal architectural feats. Enclosed in a square Charbagh garden, the tomb was the symbol of progression in Mughal architecture.
Dominating the ruins of the earliest existing settlement of Delhi is the city’s famous landmark – the Qutab Minar. The world’s tallest brick minaret, this imposing victory tower paints a rich history of Muslim rule. At the centre of the courtyard is the fascinating Iron Pillar. The India Gate, the Rashtrapati Bhawan (President’s House) and Parliament House are worth a look at Lutyens’ Delhi.
Stay: The Claridges
Day 3: Delhi to Agra
After breakfast, you will be privately transferred to Agra.
Start with a guided tour of the globally renowned city of the Taj Mahal. This royal Mughal city boasts a multitude of monuments that epitomises the peak of Mughal architecture. The capital of India during the Mughal period, this was where the father of the dynasty laid the first formal Persian garden on the banks of River Yamuna. Here, his grandson, Akbar, raised the massive walls of the imperial Red Fort. Within its walls, Jahangir brought the ramparts to life with crimson palaces, courts and gardens. Shah Jahan buttressed the legacy of Mughal architecture by embellishing it with marble mosques and pavilions of gem-inlaid white marble.
Spend the night at The Oberoi Amarvilas just 600 metres from the Taj Mahal. This is the only hotel where you can fall asleep with a view of the fantastic structur from your window.
Stay: The Oberoi Amarvilas
Day 4: Agra to Ramathra
Travel to to Ramathra after breakfast. En-route, visit the city of Fatehpur Sikri which is approximately 5 hours away. A citadel of opulent courts, palaces, mosques and gardens that rivals the splendours of Delhi and Agra, the city served as the capital of the vast 16th Century empire belonging to the great Mughal emperor Akbar.
Enjoy a lovely respite at the tranquil Ramathra Fort. Part of a green farming belt in the Kalisil River valley, the impressive hill fort is tucked between two internationally renowned wildlife reserves. Each suite has picturesque views of the landscape and stunning sunsets on the private terrace. The use of Karauli stone and traditional construction practices cleverly preserves the traditional authenticity of the battle fort without compromising on luxury and comfort.
Stay: Ramathra Fort
Day 5: Ramathra Fort
Feel free to enjoy the activities offered by Ramathra Fort on your leisure day.
Make yourself comfortable atop Ramathra Fort’s outer wall overlooking the nearby Kalisil Lake. Apart from being a rich feeding ground for ducks, storks and cormorants every winter, Kalisil Lake is home to a number of native waterfowl. Birdwatchers easily whittle away their time spotting kingfishers and herons. Cruising through the lake aboard your boat, look out for crocodiles and watch the suns set as herds trudge back from the jungle at dusk.
Jeep safaris from the fort take you across the Daang plateau through its craggy badlands towards incredible sights such as the historic Utgir Fort, ancient cave temples of Ghanteshvar and Kurka and the cavernous Chuaki Gorge. Meandering through deep gorges once roamed by tigers and bandits, you may catch a glimpse of varieties of deer, blue bulls, wolves, hyenas and maybe a wild boar.
You may prefer a walking tour of the Ramathra village. Stowed far away from commercialisation, meet the small hamlet of farmers and herders as they tend to their self-sufficient plots in the valley or herd cattle on the Daang scrub. Check out the shrines of Ganesh Mandir and Shiva Mandir for a flavour of local religious life.
Stay: Ramathra Fort
Day 6: Ramathra to Jaipur
This morning you’ll be driven to Jaipur. On arrival, check-in to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Spend 3 nights at the urban oasis of Samode Haveli, an Indo-Saracenic mansion set in dewy fresh gardens, the old residence of Samode rulers is an opulent fusion of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. Stay in one of the former royal apartments, each with its own distinctive tint of the rich Samode heritage.
The Pink City of India is one of the cornerstones of the Golden Triangle along with Delhi and Agra. India’s first planned city, Jaipur’s streets are unusually regular among pre-modern Indian cities. Savour some authentic Rajasthani delights such as Bikaneri Bhujia – spiced moth bean crisps, and Mirchi Bada – fried pastry with a spicy onion filling.
Stay: Samode Haveli
Day 7: Jaipur
Start your tour of Jaipur at the City Palace. The arresting complex of splendid palaces, gorgeous pavilions, lush gardens and temples are closely tied to the history of the city and its rulers. Laid out in a mix of Rajput, Mughal and European architecture, pass through lavish doorways towards Chandra Mahal, Maharani’s Palace and Sri Govind Dev Temple.
Home to the world’s largest stone sundial, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II’s passion for astronomy led him to construct five Jantar Mantar observatories in India, the largest and best preserved being the one in Jaipur. With a collection of 19 astronomical instruments, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a medley of architectural innovations that reflects the relentless study and synthesis of a variety of religious and social beliefs in 18th Century India
Drive past Hawa Mahal, a monumental pink honeycomb of 953 small portholes featuring tiny windows adorned with intricate latticework. Essentially high-walled screen for the ladies of the royal harem to peek at the hustle and bustle of the outside world without being seen, the architectural masterpiece was Maharaja Jai Singh‘s most treasured resort.
End the day with a walking tour of Old Jaipur. See some of the best sights and sounds of the city in busy bazaars nestled between Badi Chaupar and Chhoti Chaupar. Wander through a labyrinth of colourful alleys to find a hub of artisans and jewellers making traditional puppets, bangles and other local handicrafts. Shop at the jewellery market or Johari Bazaar for ravishing rajasthani ghagra choli, furniture and artwork. Take a look at ancient havelis of the merchant class before stopping by bangle stores in Maniharonka Rasta and flower shops near Choti Chaupar.
Stay: Samode Haveli
Day 8: Jaipur
After breakfast, make your way to Amber Fort. Set on a hill by River Maota, the palace radiates in brilliant red sandstone and marble. The famous Palace of Mirrors within the fort is a breathtaking work of art – white marble walls and ceilings are adorned with paintings and flowers of pure glass and pieta dura. Another highlight is the Hall of Public Audience. Complete your tour of the Amber Fort with a stroll through the palatial gardens.
Drive to Dera Amer Camp, just behind the hills of Amber Fort. A 160-acre Aravali forestland proudly protected by a local Rajput family, the camp is a natural paradise for its elephants, camels and cows. Enjoy a safari experience and lunch at the camp.
Stay: Samode Haveli
Day 9: Departure
After checking out of your hotel, you will be privately transferred to the airport for your international flight home.
|Day 1:||Arrival in Delhi||The Claridges|
|Day 2:||Delhi||The Claridges|
|Day 3:||Delhi to Agra||The Oberoi Amarvilas|
|Day 4:||Agra to Ramathra||Ramathra Fort|
|Day 5:||Ramathra Fort||Ramathra Fort|
|Day 6:||Ramathra to Jaipur||Samode Haveli|
|Day 7:||Jaipur||Samode Haveli|
|Day 8:||Jaipur||Samode Haveli|
- Accommodation on twin share basis in the mentioned hotels or similar
- Daily Breakfast
- Transport in air-conditioned Vehicle
- All meet and greet services
- Services of English Speaking Station Guide
- Domestic Flights
- Entry fee to monuments
- All currently applicable taxes
- Items of personal nature like tips, laundry, telephone calls, drinks, etc
- Lunch and Dinner, uncles otherwise specified
- International airfare
- Airport or VISA fee
- Camera charges at monuments
- Any other item not specifically mentioned above as INCLUDED