Discover a kaleidoscope of colors on this journey to India’s most famous sites. Marvel at the stark contrast of the white Taj Mahal surrounded by its lush green gardens and blue reflecting pool, gaze upon the Pink City of Jaipur so named for its uniquely painted pink buildings, and explore the Amber Fort and its opulent halls made of red sandstone and marble. India’s striking colors extends from the man-made world to the natural at Ranthambhore National Park, where the visually arresting orange and black striped tiger can be best seen stalking through the underbrush of the park. After this trip to India you will feel like you are seeing the world in color for the very first time!
Slightly Active. May involve some walking and climbing.
India is best visited during winter – October through March. During this time, there’s hardly ever any rain, and the days are warm – not hot – while the evenings are cool. During summer, it can be very hot, which is also the time of the monsoons, with a substantial amount of rainfall. It can be foggy in Delhi during the winter months. For our South India program, for best viewing of wildlife at Nagarahole, April/May is recommended, when the elephants congregate at the banks of the lake and can be seen in massive herds. It is warm, but the wildlife viewing warrants it. For our Wild India program, the parks close between June and mid-October when temperatures can soar to 120 degrees. For our Little Tibet program, this part of India is best visited June through September. Because of the high elevation and winding mountain roads, driving the rest of the year could be treacherous and it will be quite cold. June through September, the average temperature ranges from the low 60’s at night, to the high 80’s during the day. Delhi at this time of year will be quite hot and possibly rainy – temperature could be around 100 degrees.
Your journey begins as you board your overnight flight to Delhi, India’s capital and political hub. Settled seven times over the centuries, this ancient city has something for everyone: history, architecture, religion, shopping and cosmopolitan culture. Next day, discover Old Delhi, a labyrinth of streets crowded with rickshaws; the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; the Red Fort; and Raj Ghat, a memorial for Mahatma Gandhi. In New Delhi, view Qutab Minar built in the 12th century, Emperor Humayun’s tomb, India Gate, the Presidential Palace, Parliament and the Secretariat buildings, an interesting blend of Victorian and 20th century architecture. Standing tall in the heart of the business and commercial district is the Lalit New Delhi, one of the finest luxury hotels in the city located just minutes away from New Delhi and offering outstanding service, delicious food, and impeccable amenities. LALIT HOTEL NEW DELHI. (Meals Aloft; B,D)
After breakfast, drive to Agra. Once the capital for several ruling dynasties, Agra is known for its glorious past and eclectic architecture. Perhaps no other monument has evoked as much awe and admiration as the Taj Mahal – the ultimate requiem of love, it was built by Emperor Shah Jehan in memory of his favorite wife. The stunning marble and perfect symmetry are particularly stunning at sunset, when the mausoleum reflects a kaleidoscope of hues. Throughout Agra you’ll find a world of discovery, with monuments, majestic buildings and exquisite arts and crafts, priceless legacies of a resplendent history. Gloriously stretching over 35 acres of vibrant courtyards and situated in the heart of the city, the Mughal Sheraton offers 285 luxuriously furnished rooms and suites decorated with a touch of Old World splendor, and many offer a view of the Taj Mahal, located just over a mile away. You can dine in any of the on-site restaurants, serving authentic flavors of the Northwest Frontier, American or gourmet dishes. ITC MUGHAL. (B)
The chaotic scenery of rural India offers fascinating cultural insight along a drive to the 16th century, red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri. Continue to Bharatpur to board the Jan Shatabdi Express for Ranthambhore National Park, one of the best places in the world to see tigers in the wild. The remarkable scenery encompasses crumbling monuments and living temples within the wild beauty of deciduous forest. On twice daily safari expeditions, look for tigers, jackal, mongoose, sloth bear, leopard, Sambar, spotted deer and marsh crocodile. Home to 272 bird species, the Indian Gray Hornbill is commonly sighted in pairs. Your hotel is the only heritage hotel in Ranthambhore, built over 80 years ago, and was a hunting stop where the royal family used to camp out. Today the tents have been transformed into 24 luxurious rooms and 12 suites, while the lodge itself still houses the original dining hall, bar and lounge. After your busy day, you can splash in the pool, exercise in the fitness center or relax in The Taj Spa. VIVANTA BY TAJ SAWAI MADHOPUR LODGE. (B,D; B,L,D)
Your drive now takes you to the “Pink City” of Jaipur, with its imperial history and tales of grand Mughals, British dignitaries and even U.S. Presidents. Undoubtedly a city of royals, Jaipur draws thousands of travelers enchanted by its fabled past, timeless architecture and thriving traditional crafts, many from the 18th century. Attractions include the Amber Fort with its rugged walls, elegant palaces and gardens; the City Palace complex, the former residence of the royal family; the Palace of Winds with its intricate carved trelliswork; and Jantar Mantar, the largest observatory of its kind in the world. Your home is one of the best hotels in the Pink City and is built on seven acres of land, offering beautiful views of the city. The 216 rooms, exterior design, and gardens all reflect the spirit of Rajasthan and its royalty. The four on-site restaurants serve international and exotic cuisine for you to enjoy. Offering beautiful views of the swimming pool, the Sheeshmahal Bar is an ideal place to unwind with a fine drink. ITC RAJPUTANA. (B,L; B,D)
Board your flight to Delhi and check into your dayroom at the CROWNE PLAZA GURGAON. Later tonight, return to the airport for your return flight home, bringing with you memories of this timeless land. (B; Meals Aloft)
Extend your journey and discover the riches of Rajputana. Begin in Pushkar, a tiny town with 400 temples along the picturesque and sacred Pushkar Lake. Experience a camel ride through the local bazaar and dip your fingers into the mystical waters. Tour Jodhpur’s powerful Mehranghar Fort and learn about the region’s unique local cultures. End your journey in Udaipur, with is spectacular temples and palaces filled with art, exceptional architecture and resplendent history.
Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.
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