Delhi - Agra - Samode - Nimaj - Narlai - Udaipur - Mumbai
Duration:11 days / 10 Nights
Arrive Delhi, after clearing Immigration & Customs formalities; you will reach the arrival hall. Here you will meet your local guide from Banyan Tours. You will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight: The Claridges, Deluxe Room.
FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING TOUR OF OLD AND NEW DELHI
Old Delhi pulses with energy and colour, the hustle and bustle of thronged bazaars and is laced by a maze of narrow lanes which twist and turn between tall, leaning houses. It is full of the sights, sounds and aromas indicative of the Indian sub-continent. In Old Delhi you will see the famous Red Fort surrounded by shops, and bazaars, the Jama Masjid with its tapering minarets and wonderful marble domes and Chandni Chowk. In Old Delhi you will also have an opportunity to experience a rickshaw ride.
As a complete contrast to the medieval Old Delhi, New Delhi stands in formal splendour. It is a city of wide boulevards which offers ever-changing perspectives of Lutyen's landscaped city. It is a city known for its formal parks, magnificent Parliament Building, the Rashtrapati Bhawan (the official residence of the President of India in the 330 acres of land and designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens) and India Gate. In New Delhi you will also visit Qutab Minar, the 72.5 metre high tower dating back to the 13th century, and Humanyun's Tomb which was built in the 16th century and architecturally considered the fore runner of the Taj Mahal. Overnight: The Claridges, Deluxe Room. B
DELHI - AGRA (TRAIN)
Early this morning you will be driven to New Delhi railway station for your train to Agra (Bhopal Shatabdi departs Delhi at 0615hrs and arrives Agra at 0812 hrs). On arrival in Agra you will be received at the station and assisted to your hotel. Later this afternoon you will be taken to visit the incomparable Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, where you stay until sunset.
The Taj Mahal is at its best at sunrise and sunset - just when the light, playing on the marble of the tomb and the reflections in the stillness of the waters, presents this incredible building in all its beauty, majesty and splendour. It is a monument of love built by Shah Jehan in 1630 for his Queen, Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. For twenty-two years 20,000 men laboured day and night to build this masterpiece, which has held the world awe struck ever since. The Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world.
The Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan was imprisoned by his son in Agra's magnificent Fort. Here you will see the art and crafting of the white marble that has made the area so famous, the Pearl Mosque and the Halls of Public and Private Audience. After visiting Agra Fort you will visit the Tomb of Itimad ud Daulah. Before the Taj Mahal was built, its design was already standing in the form of Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, hence it is affectionately known as the 'Baby Taj'. Built to represent a silver jewel box in marble, this mausoleum houses the body of Mirza Ghiyas Beg, the father of the Mughal Empress Noor Jahan. Overnight: The Taj Gateway, Superior - Taj View Room. B
AGRA - SAMODE
After breakfast, you will be driven to Samode (approx 6 hours) - en route visiting the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri is an exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, famous for its red sandstone construction of forts, palaces and mosques. Explore the magnificent palaces, public and private buildings, courtyards and gardens which are emblematic of a perfect synthesis of Hindu, Muslim and Persian architectural styles, and redolent of the majesty and romance of that era. You will arrive at Samode in the afternoon and would be at leisure for the rest of the day. Overnight: Samode Palace, Deluxe Room. B
SAMODE - JAIPUR SIGHTSEEING - SAMODE
Today you can enjoy a full day tour of Jaipur. In the morning you will be taken to the magnificent Amber Fort where you ride up to the imposing hilltop location on elephant back.
Amber, the ancient capital of the region, still recalls its heyday in the majestic ramparts rising steeply along the contoured hillsides. Here, elephants still carry visitors in stately splendour to the main Palace, through unusually high gateways obviously designed to accommodate this archaic mode of transport. Explore the maze of passages, corridors, pavilions, ornamental gardens and ramparts. Later you will be taken to explore Jaipur, capital of the modern state of Rajasthan. Its centrepiece is the City Palace, home of the royal family and known for its clutch of excellent private museums that display royal memorabilia, particularly armaments, art, books, costumes and textiles. Lying adjacent to the City Palace is the medieval Jantar Mantar observatory. End the day with a walk through Jaipur's traditional markets, set amidst the memorable backdrop of Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob's vernacular architecture. Jaipur is a city of pink, and the light playing upon the buildings, creating shadows and highlighting every nuance of the architecture, will enchant you. After your exploration of the city you will be driven back to Samode. Overnight: Samode Palace, Deluxe Room. B
SAMODE - NIMAJ
This morning you will be driven to Nimaj (approx 5-6 hours) where you spend one night in your private tent in a magical rural haven. It is a truly unique place run by the Nimaj family. Chhatra Sagar - this idyllic haven comprises 11 tents pitched on a dam, overlooking a lake teeming with birds. The Nimaj family is personally involved in looking after guests and the tents are amongst the finest to be found in India. Each is pitched to ensure privacy and all face directly onto the lake. The food served here is some of the finest Rajasthani home cooking in the state and the charming family ensures you want for nothing. Due to its location, surrounded by farmland and small villages, a stay here allows you to experience rural Rajasthan in a way that few other properties allow you to. The afternoon may be spent at leisure. Overnight: Chhatra Sagar, Tents. BLD
Spend the day here walking round the lake, bird watching, exploring the surrounding lands, visiting the temple or chatting with the family. There will be evening 'sundowners' on the hill overlooking the lake, prior to dinner under the stars. Overnight: Chhatra Sagar, Tents. BLD
NIMAJ - RANAKPUR - NARLAI
This morning you will be driven to Narlai (approx 4 hours) - en route visiting the Ranakpur Jain Temples. Ranakpur has one of the most important Jain temples in India. It lies in a remote and peaceful valley of the Aravali range. The main temple is the Chamukha temple, or Four Faced temple, dedicated to Adinath. Built in 1439, this huge, beautifully crafted and well-kept marble temple is supported by 1444 pillars, no two of which are alike. Within the complex there are two other Jain temples, Neminath and Parsvanatha. You will arrive at Narlai this afternoon and check into your hotel. Later you will be taken to explore the lovely village of Narlai. Overnight: Rawla Narlai, Deluxe Room. B
NARLAI - UDAIPUR
This morning you will be driven to Udaipur, en route visiting the Fort of Kumbhalgarh.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is one of the most impressive fortresses in the ancient kingdom of Mewar. The size of this building needs to be seen to be believed- the perimeter walls are over 36 kms in length and 6 metres. thick. The complex of buildings, temples and palaces within these walls need time to be explored. Kumbhalgarh Fort and its adjoining areas have been declared a wildlife sanctuary, intended to protect the local wildlife including wolves, leopards and flying squirrels. The steep climb up to the fort is well worth the effort, giving a fantastic view over the surrounding area. After exploring the fort you will continue on to Udaipur where you will arrive early in the evening. Overnight: Jagat Niwas Palace, Heritage Lake Facing. B
Udaipur, the enchanting City of Dawn, looms up like a vision in white. The sightseeing tour takes you to City Palace, built in 1725, which has various palaces inside such as Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal, and the Palace of Krishna, all ornately decorated. Saheliyon Ki Bari - the 'Garden of Maids of Honour' - is a small ornamental pleasure garden containing an elegant lotus pool, gushing fountains, beautiful black marble kiosks on the corners of the pool and stunning bougainvilleas covering the wall of the enclosures. Also visit Jagdish Temple. This morning you will explore Udaipur city in a half-day tour. After a leisurely afternoon, early this evening you can enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola as the sun sets over the city. Overnight: Jagat Niwas Palace, Heritage Lake Facing. B
UDAIPUR - MUMBAI - ONWARD DESTINATION
Your morning is at leisure. In the late afternoon you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to the international airport for your onward flight. B