Discover the heritage of Royal Rajasthan on this Indian odyssey travelling across enthralling India, from Amritsar to Mumbai. Delve into the history of the Maharajas, and discover centuries of heritage and iconic architecture as you watch the sun set over the Taj Mahal.
We depart from London and fly to Amritsar, via Delhi, arriving on Day 2. After checking in to our hotel, we venture to the Golden Temple, where we witness a traditional Palki Ceremony. On Day 3, we enjoy a guided tour of Amritsar, including another visit to the Golden Temple - even more impressive as it glitters in the sunlight. We also visit the Jallianwala Bagh Gardens, an important memorial site. This evening, we venture to the Wagah Border, to witness the ceremonial lowering of the flags on the boarder of India and Pakistan. On Day 4, you may either enjoy a morning at leisure, or take an optional walk of Old Amritsar, before we fly from Amritsar to Delhi.
Please Note: For departure IOG1802 on Day 4 you will now stay in the Taj Mahal hotel in Delhi.
We take a guided tour of Delhi today, where we are introduced to Old and New Delhi with a guided tour. We begin at the Jama Masjid, Old Delhi's principle mosque, before continuing down the bustling, mile-long Chanpushkartdni Chowk, and taking an exciting rickshaw ride through the narrow streets and spice markets, soaking up the colourful atmosphere. Leaving behind these enticing aromas, we move on to New Delhi to visit Qutab Minar and the Persian influenced Humayun's Tomb - a memorial to the second Mughal Emperor.
This morning we say goodbye to the hustle and bustle of India's capital as we travel on the Shatabdi Express to Agra. Our first stop in this historic city is the massive red sandstone structure that is Agra Fort - the former Mughal stronghold. A highlight of our tour is a visit to the enthralling Taj Mahal. Taking over 22 years to complete, this stunning white marble monument is truly iconic.
You may like to begin today with a return visit to the Taj Mahal to experience this architectural masterpiece at sun rise. After breakfast we begin the drive to Jaipur; en-route, we visit Fatehpur Sikri, the short-lived capital of the Mughal Empire. This deserted red sandstone city has been superbly preserved for over 400 years, giving the area a mystical atmosphere. Later we continue to Bharatpur for lunch ahead of our afternoon excursion to Keoladeo National Park. We then take the train to Jaipur, where we spend two nights.
Our tour today begins on the outskirts of Jaipur with a visit to the Amber Fort. We have some free time here, and the Hall of Mirrors is not to be missed, as this glimmering room can be lit by the flame of just one candle, reflected throughout thanks to the glass mosaics that decorate the walls and ceilings. On our return to Jaipur, we pass by Hawa Mahal - the 'Palace of the Winds' - a facade built for the ladies of the Royal household in 1799 so they could look out over the streets below without being seen. In the famous 'Pink City', we embark on a tour that includes entrance to the City Palace and astronomical observatory.
We check out of our hotel early this morning and travel onwards to Pushkar, a Hindu pilgrimage site. Later we continue to Jodhpur, situated on the edge of the Thar Desert and birthplace of the last Maharaja of India, Gaj Singh II. On arrival we take a fascinating orientation tour which includes the city's clock tower and Jodhpur's famous blue-hued buildings.
Today we enjoy a visit to Mehrangarh Fort which stands proudly over Jodhpur. Known as the 'Citadel of the Sun', here we soak up the atmosphere of Indian court life as we stroll through the stately palace apartments. We visit the intoxicating spice market, and this afternoon, we travel to Bishnoi, an authentic Rajasthani village where we are welcomed with traditional folk singing and dancing and have the opportunity to sample some delicious regional cuisine. On certain departures, we also enjoy a talk from our guest speaker, Maharaj Chandrashekhar Singh, this evening.
This morning we visit the Jain temple of Ranakpur, a place of worship for Jainists. Inside we discover more about the history of this 15th century building whose detailed architecture clearly shows the devotion of the monks, as the 1444 pillars that support the 29 different halls, have all been hand carved, with no two the same. After time to explore, we continue to Deogarh for a night at the Deogarh Mahal, a former palace and now a superb heritage hotel. Tonight we enjoy an evening of traditional Rajasthani folk dancing. On Day 12 we take a trip on Deogarh's metre-gauge train, for a wonderful local journey into the alluring rural surroundings, passing waterfalls and lush greenery. Later we travel to Udaipur, the 'City of Lakes', for a two-night stay in the incredible Fateh Prakash Palace.
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Udaipur, set besides the shimmering waters of Lake Pichola, starting at the floating City Palace. This former hunting lodge of the Royal Family is made up of a number of different palaces, the most impressive of which is the Crystal Palace which features the largest private collection of crystal in the world. We continue to the Hindu Jagdish Temple, then end the day with an evening boat ride across Lake Pichola to Jag Mandir - the Indian Royal Family's summer resort.
We fly to Mumbai this morning where we take a sightseeing tour of the city by coach. Amongst the attractions of Mumbai we discover Dhobi Ghat, the historic Gateway of India and Mani Bhawan, the former home of Gandhi, before visiting the pleasant Hanging Gardens of Mumbai on Malabar Hill, which date back to 1880.
Today we visit the Prince of Wales Museum and enjoy included entrance to Mani Bhavan, Gandhi's headquarters in Mumbai. Later we make a visit to the Elephanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage site located on Elephanta Island. There are two systems at the top of the island - one Hindu, displaying delicate sculptures of Shiva, and one Buddhist. Both have been dated back to between the 5th and 8th centuries and celebrate the rich and varied cultures of the region. To commemorate the last night of our amazing Indian journey, this evening we are treated to a farewell dinner. On Day 16 we transfer to the airport for our flight to London.
Maharaj Singh comes from an extended family of Indian nobility whose ancestors once ruled over the independent state of Raoti. He has been instrumental in organising the Great Himalayan Desert Rally and various cricket tournaments across Rajasthan as well as being the President of Travel Agents Association of Jodhpur. He will talk about the life of a modern day Maharaja and the historical significance of the Rajput Dynasty in British India.
Disclaimer: Sometimes the Maharaja's duties will take him away from Jodhpur at very late notice. However, if for any reason he is unavailable, a suitable stand in will be provided.
Please note that while every departure of this tour features the same excursions, they may not necessarily be in the order listed above.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
30 meals including 14 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 14 dinners
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
An adventure featuring the delights of Bollywood