TRIPS

Taj & Beyond

$ 875.00

8 Days Delhi ● Agra ● Ranthambore ● Jaipur ● Delhi

Description

Day 01: ARRIVE DELHI

Our representative will meet you in the arrival area of the airport after you clear all immigration and custom formalities. Depart for your hotel and check in for your stay.

Delhi is India’s capital and a major gateway to the country. Perhaps there is no other capital city in the world so steeped in history and legend as the Indian capital Delhi. It was the magnet, which drew the Mongols, Turks, Persians, Afghans, Mughals and the British, all of whom contributed to its glorious but turbulent past. The fascination with Delhi was such that even though it was abandoned many times, its rulers returned to it again and again rebuilding it at least seven times. Today, the twin cities of Old and New Delhi still intrigue Indians and tourists alike as the cultural and political capital of the largest democracy in the world.

Hotel in Delhi
Category A Property: The Suryaa (Deluxe Room)
Category B Property: Kempinski Ambiance (Deluxe Room)
Category C Property: The Taj Mahal (Deluxe Room)

Day 02: DELHI (B)
After a short briefing, set out on a tour of Old Delhi, the capital of Mughal dynasty between the 16th and 19th centuries. Visit Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in India built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. From here, board the cycle rickshaws for a tour of Chandni Chowk, known as The Moonlit Square of India. As you drive through the narrow lanes, witness the architectural marvels, the multi-coloured facades, beautifully decorated shops, ethnically dressed men and women and get bombarded by the cries of hawkers and fragrances emanating from the potpourri of eateries that line these historical alleys.

During the British regime, the street underwent major changes and since then this area has witnessed some of the most important events in Indian history. Today these splendid ruins and tales of valor are a testimony of the evolution of the times. Chandni Chowk truly reflects the national unity, secularism and diversity of India.

We then pass through the Red Fort, a mid 17th century fort complex that dominates the area and visit the Raj Ghat, a simple and stunning memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, one of the main architects of India’s Independence from the British.
Next drive through New Delhi, passing by Presidential Palace- the one-time imperial residence of the British viceroys; the India Gate – a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war, Parliament house and other government buildings built in the first quarter of the 20th century by two famous English architects, Sir Herbert Baker and Sir Edwin Lutyens. It was during this time period that the capital of the British Empire was shifted from Calcutta to Delhi.

The tour to Imperial Delhi will include a visit to the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower as well as one of the finest Islamic structures raised in India. Then visit Humayun’s tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, it is an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, a precursor of the Taj Mahal.

Day 03: DELHI – AGRA (205Kms./ 4 Hrs) (B)
After breakfast, drive to Agra via the Yamuna Expressway. On arrival, check in for your stay.
Agra – Once a small village on the banks of the Yamuna, it was transformed by two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and his grandson Shah Jehan into the second capital of the Mughal Empire – Dar-ul-Khilafat, or ‘seat of the Emperor’ in the 16th & 17th century. A world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys, bustling streets and small buggies, Agra retains the irresistible charm that made this the favorite city of the Mughals.

Afternoon, visit Agra Fort the seat and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. Approachable by two imposing gates and constructed of red sandstone, the citadel was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar between the years 1565 and 1573. Encircled by a moat, this dramatic city within a city was the palace of three emperors, Akbar, Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb, each of whom made significant contributions to the wonderful architecture of the inner buildings – a combination of Persian (Islamic) and local Hindu styles.

Note: Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday.

Hotel in Agra
Category A Property: Four Point by Sheraton (Superior City View)
Category B Property: Double Tree By Hilton Agra (DT Guest Room)
Category C Property: ITC Mugha (Mughal Room)

Cultural connection (Optional):
Walk down the Rustic Village of Kachpura: The Heritage Trail of Agra brings you some amazing behind the scenes of life and times throbbing in the shadows of the Taj Mahal. Best part being, the trail is a community based enterprise where a youth from the local community will show you around. Whatever is charged for this trail goes directly to funding various welfare works such as upgrading schools, building toilets etc. in the area and in creating sustainable livelihoods.

Walk by lesser-known, yet significant, Mughal-era monuments including Humayun Mosque and the historical wells of Baoli. Also see the ‘Gyarah Seedi’ carved from a single stone and situated at the edge of the River Yamuna, overlooking Agra Fort. Follow your guide on foot through rustic Kachhpura and experience an authentic side of rural India that you’ve probably never seen before, including a street play presented by the town’s youth. This will be an opportunity to learn about India’s rural lifestyle as we check out the traditional art form of Sanjhi – paper stencils drawn on the walls by young girls.

Beyond the Taj Mahal – Tales from Across the River: Cross the Yamuna river with us and there is more than what any book will tell you. Solitary corner turrets, ruined pavilions, Tombs, Mughal pleasure gardens and whole set of smiling people who call Agra their home. You will visit some of the lesser known river front monuments such as the Rambagh, a pleasure garden built by the first Mughal Babar, the Gyarah Sidi (11 Steps) that helped the early Mughals study star constellations and the Itimad-ud-Daulah, all rare remnants of pre-Taj Architecture.

Day 04: AGRA – RANTHAMBORE (B)

Rise early and visit Taj Mahal (closed on Friday). It is fitting to see this extraordinary monument by the first ligh of day as its exemplary beauty is awe-inspiring and will create an unforgettable memory. Said to be one of the most elegant and a harmonious building in the world, Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in 1630 AD to enshrine the mortal remains of his beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal manifests the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in architecture and garden design, painting, and calligraphy. The 144 foot double dome of the Taj is capped with a finial and the four minarets each 131 ft high and crowned by an open octagonal pavilion highlight the perfect symmetry of the tomb.

Return to the hotel, and after leisurely breakfast commence your drive to Jaipur. You will stop enroute at Fatehpur Sikri – the deserted red sandstone city, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century and abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. It was a veritable fairy tale city and its ‘ruins’ are still in a pristine condition.

Continue on your drive to Ranthambore. On arrival, check-in to the hotel.
The Ranthambore National Park was once the hunting ground of Maharaja of Jaipur. In 1955, it was declared a game sanctuary; in 1980, it became a national park. But with the commissioning of Project Tiger in 1972, it was included in the project. With the addition of neighboring Keladevi and Mansingh sanctuaries, the total area of the national park stands at 1,334 sq. km.

The tigers of Ranthambhore are among the best documented and most photographed and filmed of any in India. It is also the park where a successful series of projects undertaken by the wildlife conservationists have benefited the surrounding villages through health projects, agricultural assistance and reforestation – all to deflect pressure from this isolated park.

Hotel in Ranthanbore
Category A Property: Ranthambhore Kothi (Deluxe Room)
Category B Property: Khem Vilas (Standard Room)
Category C Property: Sherbagh (Tent)

Note: Ranthambore national park remains closed from 01 July to 30 September

Day 05: RANTHAMBORE
Today you have the full day to explore the park by taking one morning and one afternoon game drive.
Ranthambore is considered by many to be one of India’s most beautiful national parks. Encircled by a series of high escarpments, the forests, lakes and dry scrub that make up the park are dotted with old forts and temples, creating a wonderful atmosphere for both bird and mammal viewing amongst a landscape oozing with ancient Rajput history and Rajasthani culture.

This park is perhaps most famous for being one of the original ‘Project Tiger’ reserves and it still affords one of the best opportunities anywhere in India of seeing a Tiger. With the recent escalation in poaching right across the sub-continent, there has been a worrying decline in both numbers and sightings of this magnificent animal.

Today Tiger sightings in the park are on the increase and you will have a good chance of finding one. Whether or not you see Tiger on this holiday, you cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer variety and number of other mammals and birds that make the park their home. Common Langurs are abundant, as are both Spotted (Chital) and Sambar Deer; the latter often feed so far out into the lakes that only their heads show above the water. Nilgai (the largest of India’s antelopes) are also fairly common and Barking Deer do occur, although are somewhat harder to find.

Day 06: RANTHAMBORE – JAIPUR By surface: 160 KM /+/- 04 hour
Post breakfast drive to Jaipur and on arrival, check- into the hotel.
Jaipur – also known as the ‘Pink City’, for the abundance of pink plastered stone used to build its massive forts, magnificent palaces and exquisite temples. The city built in 1727 A.D by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II followed a grid system, which made it the only planned city of its time. A young Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya designed the city in accordance with Shilp Shastra – an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. There is far more to the city than just its famous monuments and to get a complete experience of Jaipur, uncover the mysteries of the bazaars and visit silversmiths, turban sellers and traditional markets.

Hotel in Jaipur
Category A Property: Holiday Inn City Centre (Superior Room)
Category B Property: Hilton Jaipur (Hilton Guest Room)
Category C Property: Fairmont Jaipur (Fairmont Room)

Cultural connection (Optional):
 Home hosted meal with a local family and a cooking demonstration: Evening drive to the city for a special culinary session and meal with a local family. After a short introduction, get into an informal chat talking on diverse topics ranging from History, Craft and Culture of this fabled city. You will be given an introduction to common Indian spices and herbs, a cooking demonstration and a delicious dinner of local specialties with the family.

Day 07: JAIPUR

After breakfast, visit the sprawling Amer Fort. Jaipur’s Maharaja Man Singh, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s most successful General, started constructing Amer Fort in the 17th century. Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amer was the seat of power. The Fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moat Lake. Once you are on top, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings, with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Most fascinating, perhaps, is the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the room.

Return to the city, with a photo-stop at Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds). Five stories in height, and built of red and pink sandstone highlighted with white quicklime, it is thought that the women of the royal harem used the many casements to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen.

Continue to Jantar Mantar, an observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh ll in the 18th century. The Maharajah, a scientist as well as an astronomer, had the principles of Euclid translated into Sanskrit. One of the most remarkable sites in Jaipur, the Jantar Mantar has fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses and tracking stars and planets. Just next to the observatory is the City Palace. Built within the fortified area of the original city, it has one of the finest monumental entrances in India. The Palace is now principally a museum housing a collection of great treasures, including miniature paintings, carpets, royal garments and other interesting objects from Jaipur’s intriguing past. The former royal family retains a part of the palace for their personal use.

You will have some leisure time at the hotel or opt to visit the colorful local market. Walk through the old city of Jaipur past the Palace of Winds and market stalls before heading back to the hotel. Please be aware that these are very old market places in Jaipur used almost entirely by local people, hence you should be prepared for the hustle and bustle in the streets.
Cultural connection

Cultural connection (Optional):
 Walk by Amber – Beyond the Fort: Amba, consecrated to the Mother Goddess, known as Gatta Rani (Queen of the Pass) was originally occupied by the Meena, a caste who claim their descent from the Matsya Avatar or the fish incarnation of Vishnu. Older than the famous fort and palace complex the now sleepy town of Amber is rarely visited by foreigners. Dotted with numerous historic temples, Havelis and a fascinating step well this two hour walk is a perfect accompaniment and anecdote to any visit to the busy Fort and Palace complex.

DAY 08: JAIPUR – DELHI By surface: 260 Km /+/- 05 hour
Morning is at your leisure (check out 12 noon).

Afternoon, drive to Delhi in time to connect flight for onward destination
Cultural connection (Optional):
 Hot Air Balloon Experience in Jaipur: The ‘Pink City’ is favored equally for its vibrancy as well as its arresting monuments. Be mesmerized by the city as you fly over and absorb its riotous cocktail of Colors, Forts & Palaces. Best time: From mid-September till mid-April, best have the flight in morning before breakfast.

Seasonally
Low Season: 16 Apr – 30 Sep
High Season: 01 Oct- 15 Apr 2017

Surcharges applicable for travelling during the Christmas and New Year period (from 21 Dec- 10 January 2017)



Based on Category A
$875
Land only per person based on sharing

For 4 – 6 passengers:
Low: $875 | High: $ 995
For 2 – 3 passengers:
Low: $995 | High: $ 1125
Single supplement:
Low: $330 | High: $ 450

Based on Category B
$1050
Land only per person based on sharing

For 4 – 6 passengers:
Low: $1050 | High: $ 1195
For 2 – 3 passengers:
Low: $1185 | High: $ 1325
Single supplement:
Low: $475 | High: $ 595

Based on Category C
$1595
Land only per person based on sharing

For 4 – 6 passengers:
Low: $1595 | High: $ 1950
For 2 – 3 passengers:
Low: $1725 | High: $ 2050
Single supplement:
Low: $1075 | High: $ 1395

Additional information

OVERVIEW

This journey travels through the classic sights of India's most populist circuit – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. This tour has been put together to represent the kaleidoscopic colours that can be witnessed whilst travelling through the princely state. Start by exploring the Mughal and Imperial monuments of Delhi from here travel to Agra, home of the impressive Taj Mahal, Make your way through one of the India’s finest tiger reserves – Ranthambore national park on a game drive and end your stay discovering the pink city of Jaipur.

DEPARTURE

Guaranteed departure for minimum 2 travelers.

HOTELS

Delhi: The Taj Mahal / Kempinski Ambiance /The Suryaa
Agra: ITC Mughal / Double Tree By Hilton Agra / Four Point by Sheraton
Ranthambore: Sherbagh / Khem Vilas / Ranthambhore Kothi
Jaipur: Fairmont Jaipur / Hilton Jaipur / Holiday Inn City Centre

INCLUSIONS

 Accommodation of 07 nights on TWIN/ DOUBLE share basis at hotels mentioned above or similar.
 Daily buffet breakfast. Ranthambore stay will include daily lunch & dinner.
 Transportation by vehicles as per the itinerary.
 2 – 3 pax: Air-conditioned Innova
 4 – 6 pax: Air-conditioned Tempo Traveller
 Services of English speaking local guides during sightseeing tours.
 Entrance fees to the places of visit as per the itinerary.
 Rickshaw ride in Delhi
 Elephant ride in Jaipur
 Market walk in Jaipur
 02 park safari in shared jeep with naturalist in Ranthambore.
 Packaged drinking water in the vehicle throughout
 Currently applicable taxes
 Elephant ride at Amber Fort, Jaipur.
 All presently applicable taxes.

EXCLUSIONS

◾International Airfare/train ticket, Call 1-888-887-1688 to get a quote from your home city
◾Travel insurance. visa fees, gratuities, drinks, personal spending and optional activities.
◾Camera or Video permits
 Any airfare or Optional activity
 Expenses of personal nature like drinks, personal insurance, tips and telephone calls.
 Any additional expenses due to unforeseen problems like natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or misconnection of flight or last minute change of timings etc.
 Any other service, which has not been specified as "included".

QUESTIONS

Should you have any further questions, please call 1888-887-1688 for assistance or chat online with us.

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