Days One to Three – Delhi
Your classical India journey begins with a flight to its bustling capital, Delhi, arriving in the morning on day two. After some time to freshen up, you'll dive into this hectic and fascinating city with an afternoon of city sightseeing in Old Delhi, including an exhilarating cycle rickshaw ride to the Jama Masjid, a vast and impressive mosque with capacity for 25,000 people, through the bustling alleyways and narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, a vibrant bazaar that was once the centre of the city in the Mughal times. Your sightseeing finishes at the Raj Ghat, the site of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation, before you'll return to your hotel for an overnight stay at Hotel Maidens. Having explored Old Delhi, you'll discover New Delhi on day three with a morning of sightseeing, including the impressive Humayun's Tomb - the first garden tomb on the Indian sub-continent - Qutab Minar, and the India Gate. In the afternoon, it's time to say farewell to Delhi as you hop aboard an overnight train to the sacred city of Varanasi in the 1st class air-conditioned sleeper compartment.
Days Four and Five – Varanasi
This morning you'll arrive in Varanasi, widely regarded as India's spiritual capital, drawing in millions of Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges River and perform funeral rites. Dating back to the 11th Century B.C., Varanasi is an ancient city, home to winding streets lined with some 2,000 temples, including the 'Golden Temple' - Kashi Vishwanath - dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu God. In the afternoon, you'll head out for sightseeing, taking in the numerous Stupas and temples, and the Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath, the site where Buddha preached his first discourse. It's an early start on day five as you head out for a boat ride on the Ganges, watching the devout perform their timeless rituals in the holy waters as the mist slowly rises. Following breakfast, you'll visit important sites including the Vishwanath Temple, Durge Temple, and Banaras Hindu University. In the evening, you'll experience a cycle rickshaw ride to the ghats.
Day Six - Khajuraho
Leaving Varanasi behind, today you'll take an early afternoon flight to Khajuraho, where you'll enjoy an overnight stay at Taj Chandela and a delightful evening Light and Sound Show in the Gardens of the Temple.
Day Seven - Orchha
This morning you'll discover the famous Khajuraho Temples, built by the Chandela Rajput rulers between 950 and 1050 AD and dedicated to Hinduism and Jainism. These temples have been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and erotic sculptures, particularly the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple. Although 85 temples were originally built, only 22 remain today. Your journey continues in the afternoon as you drive to Orchha, for an overnight stay at Amar Mahal.
Days Eight and Nine - Agra
Founded in the early 16th century by Rudra Pratap Singh, Orchha is a timeless medieval city, as you'll discover during your morning sightseeing, which includes the exquisite Jehangir Mahal, Raj Mahal, and Laxminarayan Temple, which boasts world-renowned murals from the Bundela School of painting. Afterwards, you'll transfer to Jhansi for the evening Shatabdi express train to Agra, for a two-night stay at Hotel Trident. Agra is synonymous with the iconic Taj Mahal, and you'll rise early on day nine to witness sun rise at the Taj Mahal, watching as the sun slowly caresses the white marble. After breakfast, you'll discover the many varied architectural styles of Agra Fort, built by successive Mughal rulers, and overlooking the Taj Mahal. Afterwards, you'll also visit the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah; sometimes called 'Baby Taj,' this tomb is often considered to be a 'draft' of the better known Taj Mahal.
Days Ten and Eleven - Jaipur
Today you'll leave Agra as you drive to the famous 'Pink City' of Jaipur. Along with Delhi, Agra and Jaipur are widely considered to be India's 'Golden Triangle', offering some of the country's must-see highlights that no introductory visit should miss! En route to Jaipur, you'll visit the fascinating Fatehpur Sikri, a magnificent deserted city built by Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century, and the Abhaneri Stepwell, built in 800 AD. Upon arrival in Jaipur, you'll enjoy a two night stay at the Samode Haveli. Day eleven begins with a visit to the outstanding Amber Fort, which overlooks the city from atop a hill. Here, you'll be treated to a delicious lunch at the historic (and exclusive) 1135AD restaurant, tucked secretly away at Amber Fort, before enjoying a city tour including the City Palace complex, the fascinating Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory, and the red and pink sandstone Hawa Mahal (also known as Palace of Winds).
Days Twelve and Thirteen - Jodhpur
Leaving Jaipur behind, you'll drive to Jodhpur, set in the vast Thar Desert, for a two-night stay at Ajit Bhawan Palace. You'll explore the city on day thirteen, starting with a morning visit to the 15th century Mehrangarh Fort, which soars above the city on a rocky outcrop. Whilst Jaipur is known as the 'Pink City', from the Fort's vantage position over Jodhpur below, you can admire the many buildings painted in the city's iconic shade of blue. During your visit, you'll gain an insight into the life and times of the ruling family, before visiting the quiet Jaswant Thada, a marble memorial commemorating Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. You'll spend the rest of the day at leisure, although you can choose an optional jeep safari to nearby Bishnoi tribal villages (additional cost).
Days Fourteen and Fifteen - Udaipur
Today, you'll make your way to your final destination, the historic city of Udaipur, once the capital of the Mewar Kingdom, today it's a city in Rajasthan. Udaipur dates back to 1559 when it was founded by Maharana Udai Singh II, and is famous for its series of manmade lakes and lavish royal residences. En route to Udaipur, you'll enjoy a stop at Ranakpur where you'll admire the intricately carved Jain temples. Day fifteen begins with a morning of sightseeing, taking in Udaipur's ornate City Palace, which is a particularly impressive complex consisting of 11 palaces, courtyards and gardens, renowned for its elaborate peacock mosaics, and overlooking Lake Pichola. Your sightseeing will also include the Museum which offers a fascinating insight into the life of the Maharajas, before enjoying a stroll in the delightful Garden of the Maids of Honour. The rest of your day is at leisure.
Day Sixteen - To UK
Today you'll make your way back to the UK, flying via Mumbai for your return flight with British Airways to London Heathrow.
Choose your own departure date.
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