We fly from London Heathrow to Delhi today.
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2021 Tour code: GUC21
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We fly from London Heathrow to Delhi today.
Arriving on Day 2. We transfer to the Maidens Hotel for 2 nights, a colonial heritage hotel surrounded by elegant gardens.
On Day 3, we embark on a sightseeing tour of Delhi, a city which perfectly illustrates the charms of both old and new India. Our first visit is to historic Old Delhi, where we enjoy a rickshaw ride through the vibrant, narrow streets to Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and liveliest bazaars in Delhi. We continue to Jama Masjid and enjoy a drive past Delhi's impressive Red Fort. We then visit the Raj Ghat Gandhi memorial before seeing Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, Qutab Minar, and the UNESCO-listed Humayun's Tomb.
This morning, we join India's first semi-high speed train, the Gatimaan Express, for our journey to Agra. A former capital of the Mughal Empire, the city is famous for its incredible Mughal era architecture including the imposing UNESCO listed Agra Fort, which we visit today, enjoying a guided tour around its vast courtyards. This afternoon, we take a tour of colonial Agra, finishing with a delightful high tea experience at a local tea house.
Early on Day 5, we take in one of the highlights of any trip to India, a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal. Built in 1653 by the Mughal Emperor Shan Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, the white marble structure is lavishly decorated with precious stones and intricate calligraphy carvings. We leave Agra after breakfast and visit the 9thcentury Chand Baori Stepwell, a unique pond where the water can be reached by 3,500 geometrical stone steps. We continue to Jaipur for 2 nights at the Alsisar Haveli heritage hotel.
We explore India's 'Pink City' with a sightseeing tour today, travelling past the resplendent Jal Mahal water palace on our way to the Amber Fort. We travel by Jeep to reach the magnificent palace complex overlooking the tranquil Maota Lake. After some time to explore, we continue our tour. We visit the ornate City Palace, home to the royal family of Jaipur, the 18th-century Astronomical Observatory, and the opulent Palace of the Winds, known for its intricately latticed windows.
This morning we journey to the desert village of Khimsar where our base is Khimsar Fort, an incredible heritage hotel set in 11 acres of lush gardens amidst endlessly rolling sand dunes. We enjoy a guided tour of the village and a Jeep safari through the golden sands. This evening we are treated to a special dinner accompanied by a traditional Kalbelia dance performance, a sensuous folk dance that incorporates serpentine movements, an ode to the fascinating snake charming history of the community.
On Day 8, we transfer to Rohet, where we embark on a birdwatching tour in the nearby grasslands, home to different bird species such as the Indian roller and baya weaver. Our hotel for the next 2 nights is Rohet Garh, a renowned heritage hotel.
Our excursion on Day 9 takes us to Jodhpur, known as the 'Blue City' due to the colour of the houses within its old walls. We take in the splendour of Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada, an exquisite marble cenotaph. We return to Rohet for a Bishnoi village safari, during which we learn about the local Bishnoi community, a religious Hindu sect founded on the principle of conserving nature.
Today, we travel to Deogarh for a guided village tour before checking into Deogarh Mahal, an impressive 17th-century heritage palace that epitomises the decadence of Rajasthan. This evening we visit the kitchens for a spectacular cooking demonstration in a traditional tandoor oven.
On Day 11, we transfer to Khamlighat station for a rail journey through lush green landscapes, a rare sight in this desert region. We disembark in Phulad and transfer to Udaipur, stopping en route to visit Ranakpur Jain Temple. In Udaipur, we check into the final heritage hotel of our trip, the Fateh Prakash Palace beside Lake Pichola.
We make a short trip to the charming Ravla Khempur Hotel today, best known as the filming location for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. After a guided tour of the hotel and surrounding village, we enjoy lunch in the hotel. Later, we return to Udaipur, where we take a boat ride on Lake Pichola. This evening we are treated to a farewell dinner at the hotel's sprawling rooftop with views of the tranquil Pichola Lake.
On Day 13, we discover Udaipur on a guided tour. We explore the majestic City Palace complex and spend time in Saheliyon-ki-Bari, a beautiful garden. We also take in the expansive classic and vintage car collection of the Maharajas of Mewar, which includes rare Rolls Royce and Cadillac models. This evening we fly to Mumbai where we stay overnight.
We board our flight to London Heathrow in the afternoon of Day 14, arriving on the same day.