Greeted on arrival in Delhi and transfer to the Taj Mahal hotel or similar, for two nights. The remainder of the day is at leisure, with a welcome dinner at a restaurant in the evening.
Explore Delhi on a full day sightseeing tour. Enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride in the bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi followed by a visit to see Jama Masjid the largest mosque in India and the Raj Ghat, a memorial built for Mahatma Gandhi, a prominent figure in India’s struggle for freedom. In the afternoon, drive past Lutyens’ New Delhi. Visit the Humayun tomb , Lotus Temple and the lofty Qutub Minar, an early Mughal structure made of red sandstone and white marble. Optional excursion: Salaam Baalak Walk.
Take a short flight to Varanasi , one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and, for Hindus, one of the holiest places in India. Stay at The Gateway Hotel or similar for two nights. The afternoon is at leisure. Witness the spectacular Ganga Aarti (spiritual worship) this evening on the ghats of the Ganges river.
A peaceful early morning boat ride on the Ganges to see devotees at prayer at the waters’ edge. Visit Sarnath, the site of Buddha’s first public discourse and now home to many magnificent stupas and monasteries. Afternoon stop by at one of Varanasi’s famous silk workshops.
Take a midday flight to Khajuraho and transfer to the Hotel Chandela or similar for an overnight stay. Enjoy an afternoon tour of the legendary temples of Khajuraho renowned for their erotic art.
A morning drive (4 hours) to the unhurried settlement of Orchha for an excursion of the 16th-century temples and palaces. A short drive to Jhansi, after lunch, to board an express train to Agra, arriving in the evening. Stay at The Gateway Hotel or similar for two nights.
A half day sightseeing tour of Agra starts with a visit to the Taj Mahal , regarded as one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture. Followed by a visit to the impressive Agra Fort whose buildings, made of red sandstone and marble, are a mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture.
A full day drive to Jaipur (6-7 hours) with a stop at Fatehpur Sikri , the red sandstone city built by Emperor Akbar and abandoned after just 14 years. Closer to Jaipur, stop to see the impressive 9th century AD Chand Baori step well at Abhaneri. Stay at The Holiday Inn or similar for two nights
Visit the 17th century hilltop Amber Fort this morning and the sparkling Mirror Palace. In the afternoon visit the City Palace complex with its museum and the 18th century Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory. Drive through the busy bazaars for a photo stop at the recently restored Hawa Mahal, one of the most famous buildings in Jaipur.
A long drive (6-7 hours) through the heartland of this desert state to Jodhpur. Stay at The Ummed Jodhpur or similar for two nights.
Enjoy a half day sightseeing tour of Jodhpur focussed on the majestic Mehrangarh fort. Also visit the Jaswant Thada, a marble cenotaph and take a walk through the Sadar Bazar to see its Clock Tower that dates back to 1912. The afternoon is at leisure. In the evening, enjoy dinner at the residence of a local family.
Head to the scenic beauty of the Aravalli Hills and the town of Ranakpur (2 ½ hours) to visit the intricately carved Jain temples before continuing on to Udaipur (2 ½ hours). Stay at The Lalit – Laxmi Vilas Palace or similar for two nights.
A morning city tour takes in the City Palace, a complex of 11 palaces, all with intricate stone work and interiors featuring glass mirror and ornamental tile. Also visit the gardens of Sahelion Ki Bari, the old city and the Jagdish Temple. The afternoon is at leisure. Optional excursion: Sunset champagne hiking.
Transfer to the aiport by air flight for your onward flight.