Day 1-2: Meet in Delhi
Tour architectural highlights including the 12th century Qutab Minar (the oldest Indian mosque), Safdarjang ka Maqbarah, (Garden tomb built as one of the last great examples of Mughal architecture), the Red Fort and Shah Jahan Jami Masjid (the biggest mosque in the world built in 1650). We also visit the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum (one of the largest in India) and Gandhi Museum.
Day 3-4: Varanasi
Dawn boat ride on the River Ganges to witness the religious ceremonies of the Hindus. Afterwards, a walking tour of temples and ghats (stairs built down into a holy body of water). This evening we witness an Aarti (fire ceremony performed by a Hindu priest) on the banks of River Ganges, from our private boat.
Day 5-6: Khajuraho - Gwailor
Visit the 9th-11th century Chandella Temples and quaint village of Khajuraho. Stop in Orchha, the capital of the kingdom of the Bundella Rajputs from 1531 to 1783, before continuing to Gwailor. Savor your stay at the 120-year-old Usha Kiran Palace Hotel.
Day 7: Agra
Introduction to the Indo-Persian architecture of the Timurid Dynasty and the famous marble inlay work of Agra. Tour thed Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
Day 8-9: Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur
En-route to Jaipur, we shall visit Fatehpur Sikri, the capital of the Great Mughul Empire from 1570 to 1586, a unique architectural concept.
A full exploration of Jaipur, built in the 1720s and popularly known as the Pink City, includes the City Palace complex, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) and Jal Mahal (Water Palace). We also visit 11th century Amber, the ancient kingdom of Jaipur.
Day 10-12: Pushkar - Jodhpur - Udaipur
Delve deeper into the colorful Rajasthani culture visiting Pushkar on the banks of the lovely holy Pushkar Lake en-route to the desert town of Jodhpur with its imposing fort and abundant traditional crafts.
We'll also tour the magnificent 1439 Ranakpur Jain Temples and serene Udaipur, the lovely lakeside capital of Mewar with its palace, art galleries and gardens. Sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola.
Day 13-14: Udaipur
Tour of Udaipur's City Palace, Crystal Gallery, artist studios, sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola.
Day 15: Udaipur-Delhi
Late afternoon flight to Delhi for departure home.
EXTENSION: Ellora and Ajanta Caves
Day 15: Fly Udaipur- Mumbai (Bombay)
Overnight at airport hotel.
Day 16-17: Ellora-Ajanta Caves
An extraordinary excursion for all history and archaeology buffs. The caves at Ajanta date from 200 BC to 650 AD and retain the remarkable quality of their murals, which relate the life story of Buddha. The Buddhist, Jain and Hindu caves at Ellora, noted for their sculptures, are considered to be the finest in India and date between 600 and 1100 AD.
Day 18: Evening flight to Bombay-Depart
Room at airport hotel for wash/change in Bombay