Masterpieces of the Moghuls
Arriving in Delhi, we first make a tour of India’s capital, New Delhi. Here we find long tree-lined boulevards,
spacious parks and fountains. We then head on the newly opened metro to the chaotic huddle of streets in Old
Delhi. Here we see Jami Masjid, India’s most beautiful mosque, and explore the bustling Chandni Chowk by cycle
rickshaw. In Agra we visit the Fort and the breathtakingly beautiful Taj Mahal. We then drive to Akbar’s red
sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri (AD 1574) where he played human chess with dancing girls as pieces.
Rural Karauli & Jaipur
Our next stop is the Keoladeo Ghana National Park at Bharatpur. A world heritage site, the park was once a royal
duck-shooting preserve and is now a birdwatcher’s paradise. We then travel off the beaten track to the delightful
rural setting of Karauli, where camel carts abound and we experience typical rural Rajasthani life and stay in the
Maharajah’s mansion. In Jaipur we see the Observatory, graceful Palace of the Winds and the City Palace – and
perhaps browse through the exotic jewellery market. At the nearby brooding hilltop fortress of Amber we enjoy
commanding views over the deserts beyond.
Day 1: Join tour in Delhi. Explore New Delhi’s wide boulevards
After checking in to our hotel and meeting the rest of the group, a local guide will accompany us on a tour of New
The Indian capital has long been a phoenix rising again and again out of its own ruins. New Delhi was the creation
of the British Raj of the 1930s. On our tour, we will view the Lok Sabha (Parliament), India Gate, and the Rajpath
buildings. We will also explore the Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb, set in peaceful gardens away from the often
chaotic Delhi traffic.
Day 2: Explore Old Delhi’s narrow lanes. Drive to Agra
Compared to New Delhi, the Old City is much closer to the image conjured up by Rudyard Kipling. This morning, a
local guide will show us around Old Delhi by metro and on foot, culminating with a jamboree of deafening barter at
Chandni Chowk Bazaar. A short cycle rickshaw ride then takes us to the Jama Masjid mosque.
There will be an opportunity for some free time in Old Delhi before our afternoon drive to Agra, which will take
about four hours.
Day 3: Watch the sun rise over the magnificent Taj Mahal
This morning’s early start is rewarded with the spectacular sight of the sun rising over the Taj Mahal during our
visit. Over 300 years have elapsed since the construction of what is arguably the world’s most perfect and poetic
building, yet its beauty and symmetry seem unscarred by age. Created by Shah Jahan as a funerary monument to
his favourite wife, Mumtaz, it took 22 years to build and cost a fortune. The Great Moghul lies beside his beloved
under the white marble dome. After our visit, we will continue to Agra Fort. Built by Akbar the Great, it contains the
incomparable Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque).
The rest of the day has been left free to explore Agra at your own pace. You may choose to visit the Baby Taj on
the east bank of the river or re-visit the Taj Mahal.
Day 4: Spot birds in Keoladeo National Park. Drive to Karauli
This morning, we continue our journey west and soon reach the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. Founded in 1569
and abandoned scarcely 16 years later, it is a perfectly intact example of Akbar’s imperial court. Among the many
noteworthy buildings is the five-storied Panch Mahal, probably a pleasure pavilion for the ladies of the harem. In
the centre of the courtyard is the Pachisi Board, where the emperor played a game like chess, with dancing slave
girls as pieces. Perhaps the finest structure of all though is the lotus-shaped carved central pillar of the Diwan-iKhas
(Hall of Private Audience).
Later in the morning we reach the Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur. Formerly a royal duck-shooting
reserve and now a World Heritage Site and ornithologist’s paradise, the park is best visited at dawn or dusk. We
will explore its 12 square miles of lakes and marshlands by cycle rickshaw. Offering a safe habitat for large
numbers of breeding waterbirds and migrants, over 300 species have been sighted. We hope to see herons,
storks, geese and maybe even the huge and rare Siberian crane.
After leaving the park we continue to Karauli, via Mahuwa and Hindaun. Our drive will take approximately four
hours, but is broken up with plenty of stops in local villages en route.
Day 5: Join the daily arti ceremony at Karauli’s Royal Palace
Founded in 1348, Karauli is a holy town which has been strongly fortified by its rulers throughout history and is
famous for the pale red sandstone wall which surrounds it. Legend has it that the ruling family were descendants of
Lord Krishna, one of the most loved gods of Hindu mythology.
We hope to be able to ride on camel-drawn carts from our hotel to the 600-year-old palace which forms the
imposing highlight of this town. Used as a residence by the royal family until 1950, the palace has now been
abandoned by them. These days it is mostly occupied by monkeys and geese. It is said that geese have been here
since the days when they were used as a warning system against any intruders. After visiting the palace, we may
also be able to explore other points of interest in the town, such as the Madan Mohanji Temple.
Day 6: Take a game drive in Ranthambore National Park
After a relaxing start this morning, our drive to Ranthambore will take about two hours. On arrival, we check in to
our accommodation before setting off for an afternoon game drive, where we have an opportunity to view tigers in
Ranthambore National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957, although it was still used as a hunting
reserve until the early 1970s. It became part of the Project Tiger scheme in 1974 and, today, is home to over 40 of
the remarkable beasts. We hope to see tigers roaming among the woodlands and cooling off in the lakes. We may
even be lucky enough to see them hunt.
Aside from its more famous residents, the park is also home to sloth bear, langur, striped hyenas, marsh
crocodiles, pythons and Ganga soft-shelled turtles. There is also the chance to spot a myriad of bird species,
including crested hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, jacana, parakeet and white-breasted kingfishers. Aside from
its rich wildlife, the park’s beauty is also noteworthy. Once part of the magnificent jungles of Central India, it
comprises of rivers, lakes and forests that nestle among a surrounding girdle of steep cliffs and rocky outcrops.
Day 7: Visit Jaipur’s Palace of the Wind’s and Amber Fort
Today we will visit the Palace of the Winds, a five-storied facade built around 1760, which features on many an
India postcard. Afterwards, we will drive to the Amber Fort. This impressive hilltop fortress possesses what must be
the world’s finest Chamber of Mirrors and affords glorious views of the surrounding plains.
This afternoon has been left free to explore more of Jaipur in your own time. You may choose to visit one of the
famous bazaars which are bursting with delights, from marble statues to antique textiles; traditional print blocks to
local musical instruments.
Day 8: After breakfast, drive to Delhi and fly back to Home.
Holiday Price Includes
- Accommodation in the hotels listed or similar hotels.
- Transportation – Entire round trip Ex- Delhi by an air-conditioned vehicles for all categories as per the itinerary. Vehicle is as per the itinerary and not on disposal basis.
- Breakfast included in all packages and Dinner is included in all non-Economy Package.
- Travel insurance.
- All currently applicable taxes i.e. Hotel tax and Transportation tax.
- Wifi Internet provided in vehicles during transportation in all non-Economy packages.
Holiday Price Excludes
- Air, Train or Bus fare from / to your originating city of stay, unless specified.
- Any meals / en route meals unless specified.
- Any rides, safaris, boating charges, other than the mentioned in the inclusions.
- Entrance fees and guide charges, unless specified in the inclusions.