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TRIP DURATION: 13 Days / 12 Nights

DAY 1 – March 4th, 2023: Arrive Delhi by international flight

As you arrive in Delhi, you will be greeted by your tour team and transferred in a private vehicle to the Claridges Hotel.  Check-in and spend the rest of the day exploring the bustling national capital.

Delhi offers a harmonious blend of architecture and history.  From remnants of the Mughal empire and British Raj to contemporary India, you can experience it all in the capital.  The city is sure to charm you with its eclectic mix of the old and new – from magnificent monuments to bustling Old Delhi markets and stunning high rises.

DAY 2 – March 5th, 2023: Tour of Delhi and Transport to Agra

After a wonderful breakfast, you will visit the Old and New Delhi, exploring the medieval and pre-modern faces of the historic capital of India personified by the Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk.  Take a food walk in the Chandni Chowk market and later visit the Qutub Minar.

Jama Masjid is a mosque in Old Delhi, constructed from 1650 through 56 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahān, a noted patron of Islamic architecture whose most famous work is the Taj Mahal, in Agra.

This vibrant market came to existence when the fifth Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, shifted his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad, now Old Delhi, in the mid 17th century. While Chandni Chowk or the moonlit square no longer bears the magnificence of the bygone era, it’s importance in the annals of Delhi will never be lost.

The food walk in Old Delhi is a great experience too, and the best way to see and taste Old Delhi. The dishes one can savor in Old Delhi Food Walk are large, thick and juicy jalebis, glistening with ghee; Aloo chaat crisp fried potato cutlets dunked in a melange of chutneys and smattered with onions and spices, varieties of stuffed paranthas potato, onion, cottage cheese, cauliflower, radish, dry fruits and many more….

Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 meter high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct stories, each marked by a projecting balcony.

Known to exist since prehistoric times, Agra came into full flower during the 16th and 17th centuries as one of the four capitals of Mughal dynasty.  It was in Agra that the artistic excellence of the Mughals reached its zenith at a time that coincided with the political high water mark of their vast and expanding empire.

After this amazing tour, you will depart in your air conditioned coach for the 4.5 hour trip to Agra, where you can check in to the luxurious ITC Mughal hotel for the night.

DAY 3 – March 6th,  2023: Tour the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Agra and depart for Jaipur with a stop at Abhaneri

This day we will begin with a magical early morning sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal and a return to the hotel for breakfast. Later in the day you will visit the magnificent Red Fort.

Agra Fort was begun by Akbar between 1565 and 1573. It is situated on the west bank of the Yamuna River, about 2 Km upstream from the Taj Mahal. Akbar built the fort of sandstone; his grandson Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal, constructed palaces of white marble within the fort itself. The Taj Mahal is an enormous mausoleum complex commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the remains of his beloved wife. Constructed over a 20 year period on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, the famed complex is one of the most outstanding examples of Mughal architecture, which combined Indian, Persian and Islamic influences.

Chand Baori is one of Rajasthan’s most spectacular baori (step-wells). It is believed to have been built by King Chand, a local Rajput ruler, in the 10th century.

After your tour of Agra, you will leave for Jaipur by surface, stopping midway at Abhaneri Stepwell.  This 6.5 hour journey will deliver you to the Trident hotel in Jaipur for your overnight stay.

An erstwhile princely state and now the capital of modern Rajasthan. Jaipur is popularly known as the “Pink City” because of the rose colored wash that adorns most buildings in the old quarter and it is the first planned city in the country.

DAY 4 – March 7th, 2023: A day in Jaipur

After breakfast you will proceed to visit the Amber Fort and then enjoy afternoon sightseeing of the City Palace and Observatory.  There will be photo opportunities across the road from the Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds.  In the evening, you will have the opportunity to attend aarti or a prayer ceremony at Birla Mandir before settling in to your hotel for the night.

The Amber fort was built with red sandstone and white sandstone.  The fort still stands as a grand example of ancient Indian architecture.  It is known for its blend of Rajput and Hindu style of architecture and mixture of Hindu and Muslim style of ornamentation.  The carvings on the ceiling and the walls are extraordinary features of this fort.  There are many paintings of ancient hunting styles, portrait of important Rajput rulers and others. There are a series of gates in the fort and each one has a unique structure and architectural element to enjoy.  You can find many buildings inside the fort including Diwan-e-Aam, SukhMandir, Sheesh Mahal and others.

The City Palace reflects Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles.  The Palace has been designed according to a ‘grid style’ and houses various structures such as, ‘Chandra Mahal’, ‘Mubarak Mahal’, ‘Diwan-IKhas’ and the ‘Govind Dev Ji Temple.  The walls and gates are ornately designed to Mughal style, with various murals, lattice and mirrors adorning them from sides.

The Jaipur observatory is by far the most elaborate and complete of Jai Singh’s observatories.  The observatory occupies a plot of land just outside the City Palace.

Jaipur’s most photographed landmark, the Hawa Mahal is an extraordinary pink-painted delicately honeycombed hive that rises a dizzying five stories. It was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to enable ladies of the royal household to watch the life and processions of the city.

The Birla Temple, of Jaipur is built of pure white marble.  It’s interiors contain beautifully sculpted idols of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, as well as other Hindu Gods. Commonly considered a true work of art, this temple forms a wonderful backdrop to witness a traditional ceremony.  An Aarti represents the elements of fire, earth, water and air as well as the senses, the priest has a tray with a diya (lamp), offerings of food, water, flowers, incense and a small bell.

DAY 5 – Mar 8th, 2023: The Holi Festival of Color in Jaipur

After breakfast, spend time exploring the Festivals of Color – Holi.  This holiday has been celebrated in the Indian subcontinent for centuries, with poems documenting celebrations dating back to the 4th century CE.  It marks the beginning of spring after a long winter, symbolic of the triumph of good over evil.  It is celebrated in March, corresponding to the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna.

In the late afternoon, visit the Galtaji Temple.  There will be an overnight stay in the hotel.  Squeezed between cliffs in a rocky valley, Galta is a desolate, if evocative, place.  The temple houses a number of sacred tanks, into which some daring souls jump from the adjacent cliffs.  The water is claimed to be several elephants deep and fed from a spring that falls through the mouth of a sculpted cow.  The City Palace reflects Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles.  The Palace has been designed according to a ‘grid style’ and houses various structures such as, ‘Chandra Mahal’, ‘Mubarak Mahal’, ‘Diwan-I-Khas’ and the ‘Govind Dev Ji Temple.  The walls and gates are ornately designed to Mughal style, with various murals, lattice and mirrors adorning them from sides.

DAY 6 – March 9th, 2023: Flight to Trivandrum via Bangalore 

On this day, you will enjoy breakfast at the hotel and later be met and transferred to the Airport for flight 6E 498 departing at 12:15 PM and arriving at 2:50 PM in Bangalore.  Connecting flight 6E 6502 departing at 4:05 PM and arriving in Trivandrum at 5:30 PM. Upon arrival you will be met by your waiting chauffer and transferred to the Somatheeram Resort for check-in. 

DAYS 7 to 12 – March 10th to 15th, 2023: Ayurvedic Resort Seaside in Somatheeram

As you settle into your time of relaxation and pampering at the resort, each day you will be treated with ayurvedic vegetarian meals, daily sessions of yoga and meditation, counsel with an Ayurvedic physician and daily Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Therapy treatments.  This is truly the time to relax, restore and be cared for.   

DAY 13 – March 16th, 2023: Domestic Flight to Delhi and tour of Humayun’s Tomb

After breakfast at the resort, you will be transferred to the Trivandrum Airport for flight to Delhi. Board flight 6E 5009 departing at 8:50 AM and arriving in Delhi at 12:15 PM.  You will be met and transferred to your hotel, the Pride Aerocity.  Time permitting we will visit the Humayun’s Tomb, which was built in 1565 A.D., nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam.  Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome.

DAY 14 – March 17th, 2023: Depart from Delhi by international flight

After a final morning meal in India with your travel companions, you will be transferred to the Trivandrum Airport for your flight back home.