This amazing adventure combines history, culture and wildlife as we pay homage to the icons of northern India. Starting in the bustling Indian capital, New Delhi, we visit Agra to experience the incomparable Taj Mahal before travelling to the beautiful 'pink city' of Jaipur, where we explore the magnificent Amber Fort and the Palace of the Winds. Next stop is Ranthambore National Park, where we search for the elusive and beautiful Bengal Tiger.
The Taj & Wildlife
We are escorted by our Indian tour leader for the duration of our journey, as we explore beneath the veneer of exotic land.
Today is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so you may arrive at any time. If you are arriving early, please check the noticeboard in the foyer of the hotel for suggestions of things to see and do in Delhi. A pre-departure meeting takes place this evening at the hotel. Please also check the noticeboard for details of this meeting and for any other messages from your tour leader. Please also bring your passport and travel insurance documents to the meeting. Afterwards we have the opportunity to go out for an optional group dinner.
We catch the early morning express train to Agra, home to India’s most famous icon - the majestic Taj Mahal. Here we include a visit to this amazing 17th century marble mausoleum, which Emperor Shah Jahan built as a monument to the memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died whilst giving birth. The emperor himself was subsequently overthrown and imprisoned by his son and oversaw the construction of this magnificent monument whilst incarcerated in Agra Fort. Upon his death, Shah Jehan was also entombed in the Taj Mahal next to his beloved wife. Our tour leader will also give us the option of visiting Agra Fort (please see refer to 'Optional Excursion' section below for approximate cost).
Our journey takes us to Jaipur, the vibrant and colourful capital of Rajasthan, where we meet our new city guide. There we see traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches making their way through crowded streets, packed with cars, camel carts, rickshaws, trucks and bicycles. We include a visit to the stunning medieval Amber Fort, located some 11 kilometres from Jaipur. This fortification was built in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh and is a superb example of Rajput architecture. Several hours are needed to explore the huge area that it covers. Our tour leader will also take us to the Old Bazaar and the Hawa Mahal, better known as the Palace of the Winds. This five-storey façade with pink, honeycombed sandstone windows is one of Jaipur's best-known landmarks.
Ranthambore National Park
We leave the bustle of the cities and head to some of the last remnants of wilderness in India. We travel by train to Sawai Madhopur and transfer to the park. Ranthambore National Park is one of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in India. It was a former hunting ground for the maharajas and the park is still contains ruins of temples and mosques, as well as an impressive 10th-century fort that dominates the surroundings from the top of a large hill. The park is a favourite amongst bird watchers, but many people come here to spot some of India's exotic large animals. Antelopes such as nilgai and blackbuck can be commonly seen, as well as axis deer and sambar deer. There are large families of active monkeys known as langur, often seen playing around at the park entrance, but our main aim here is to try and spot the magnificent and elusive Royal Bengal tiger. It is not always easy to spot a tiger in the wild and doing so will certainly be an experience of a lifetime. One morning safari is included, but there may be a chance for you to book additional safaris in our afternoons here (depending on availability).
We travel to Sawai Madhopur and catch a morning train back to Delhi, arriving about 12.30pm. Upon arrival we are transferred to our hotel. It is our last evening and we have the opportunity to head out for a final dinner (optional) before saying our goodbyes to India.
Our trip ends today around breakfast time. If you wish to stay on in Delhi, please pre-book your post-tour accommodation before you commence your travels. Delhi has many interesting museums and monuments. If you are interested in historical and cultural matters, it is recommended that you to extend your stay and visit some of these places. Red Fort and the impressive Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) are two of the city's most notable landmarks, whilst Raj Ghat is a monument that marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. Humayun's Tomb and Safdarjang's Tomb are other great examples of Mughal architecture and design. Hauz Khas Village is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown - a chic artistic enclave set right next to the remnants of a historical site.
While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.
Key: (B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner