Trip Highlights :-Delhi | Jaipur | Ranthambore | Agra | Delhi
Tour duration : 08 Nights / 09 Days
Delhi - On the path of rapid growth and progress today, Delhi has evolved from the fabled "seven cities" established between the 13th and 17th centuries. The haunting Landmarks of yesteryears co-exist with the modern marvels of today. Ancient Forts, Mughal Architecture is juxtaposed with the state of the art architecture, modern residential projects, sky scrapers and commercial hubs of today. City boasts of some of the finest museums and centers of art and excellence. The shopping centers here offer rich heritage of traditional Indian craft as well as rich, fashionable and contemporary ensemble of products.
Jaipur - Capital of Rajasthan - the 'Pink City'. Jaipur means "the city of victory" & was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and designed by architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya in accordance with the principles of town planning set down in "Shilp Shastra" an epochal treatise on the Hindu architecture. This colorful city is enriched with royal tradition & culture, attractive monuments, Forts, Palaces like the Magnificent City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Amer, Nahargarh and Jaigarh fort which are some of the most exquisite blend of Hindu architecture. The whole city was painted pink to welcome the visit of Prince Albert in 1853. City today has a population of more than 5 million residents. Presently, Jaipur is a major business and tourist centre with all the requisites of a metropolitan city. The city covers an area of 200.4 sq. kms and lies at an altitude of 431 m above sea level.
Ranthambore - Ranthambore lies on the easternmost spur of the Aravalis, located near Sawai Madhopur which is 12 kms away. Ranthambore was a private Tiger reserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur. It is studded with Pavilions and Watch Towers. The main attractions here are the National Park and Ranthambore Fort. The Fort also houses the Temple of Lord Ganesha, where annual fair is held on the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi in September. The famous ruler of Ranthambore was Rao Hammir Deo Chauhan who fought against Allauddin Khilji in 1301 AD. Many battles were fought and many rulers won and lost. In the middle of 15th century, Rana Kumbha captured the fort and later handed over to his son. Thereafter, the Hada Chauhans of Bundi and the Mughal Emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb occupied this fort. When Aurangzeb died, the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam gifted it to Sawai Madho Singh I of Jaipur in 1754 and since then it was maintained as the private hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Among the more famous who were part of these hunting parties were Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. This national park is one of the finest Tiger reserve in the country under the project Tiger. Apart from Tiger this park is a haven to wild animals and birds. Some of the animal species found here are Leopards, Jungle Cats, Sloth Bears, Indian mole Rats, Indian Fox, Toddy Cats, Five striped Palm Squirrels, small Indian Mongoose and in Reptiles - Rat Snakes, Indian Chameleon, North Indian flap shelled Turtles, Indian Pythons and more.
Agra - Agra is a major tourist attraction as it contains one of the Seven Wonders of the World - Taj Mahal. Agra is an ancient city situated on the river Yamuna within the state of Uttar Pradesh. The city has been described as Agraba in the epic Mahabharata. The city was capital of Lodhi Kingdom and later on served the same for Mughals. During 16th and 17th century the city was developed as art, culture, commerce and learning center by Mughal Emperors like Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. Some wonderful buildings were erected in Agra City by the Mughal's. Agra city is famous for monuments and crafts. The monuments and crafts have preserved the cultural heritage for centuries.
Arrival in India (New Delhi) traditional welcome by our representative at airport, transfer assistance to hotel. Check-in at hotel, before you proceed to your room/s, our representative will hand-over the travel documents and brief you about the tour programme. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning explore India's capital city by touring its magnificent monuments, start your tour by visiting - Old Delhi: An ancient walled city earlier known as Shahjahanabad. Take a photo stop at Red Fort: the most opulent red sandstone fort and palace of the Mughal Empire (1639-1648 built by Shah Jahan the 5th Mughal Emperor of India and the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra), visit Jama Masjid, Largest mosque in India, the foundation of the historic Jama Masjid was laid on a hillock in Shahjahanabad by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1650 AD, this mosque was the result of the efforts of over 6,000 workers, over a period of six years (1650-1656 AD). The cost of the construction in those times was 1 million rupees. This Mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. About 25,000 people can pray here at a time. The mosque has a vast paved rectangular courtyard, which is nearly 75 m by 66 m. The whole of the western chamber is a big hall standing on 260 pillars.
Visit Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colorful market of the old city, designed by Emperor Shah Jahan's daughter Jahanara Begum. Jahanara laid the foundation of Chandni Chowk, which is the largest trading center of Delhi as well as India. At present the street is a busy thoroughfare and is really congested. This area is renowned for 'Kuchas and Katras' also known as Alleys. These alleys house traditional Havelis, places of worship: Temples, Mosques, Church and Gurudwara, popular specialised markets and century-old eating joints. Enjoy a cycle-rickshaw ride.
Visit the Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi - Father of Nation.
Later visit New Delhi designed and built by the British in the 1920's it's a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. First drive past Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital, then drive to Rajpath (King's Way), India Gate - the 42mt high stone 'Arch of Triumph', erected in the memory of Indian soldiers who died in First World War. Drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan (President Palace) and Parliament House.
Visit the Qutab Minar 12th century minaret built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty - this building complex dates back to the onset of Muslim rule in India and is fine example of Afghan architecture which is graceful and well sculptured and stands 75 mt. Also visit the Baha'i Temple (Lotus Temple) Lotus being a symbol of peace and prosperity all around the world, the shape of the temple personifies the purpose for which the foundation of this marvelous man-made architectural was laid. Lotus temple is made of pristine marble blocks, cement, dolomite and sand and the entire ascetic value is coddled by the group of nine pools filled with crystal clear water. In accord with the mores of Baha'i religion, the temple is open to everyone from anywhere in the world who is looking for inner peace & tranquility.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at hotel and later check-out and drive to Jaipur in the morning. On the way to Jaipur deviate from the main-highway to visit Samode Palace located in Samode at a distance of 42 Kms before Jaipur city, to have your lunch at this heritage hotel, which was earlier a palace of one the noblemen of Royal Jaipur state.
After the lunch, continue your drive to Jaipur. Arrive and check-in at hotel, relax for sometime in your room/s.
During the day time visit the Albert Hall Museum - supposed to be the oldest museum in Rajasthan. It was designed by Colonel Swinton Jacob in 1876 to welcome King Edward VII as Prince of Wales on his visit to Jaipur. It was brought to life by Thomas Holbein Hendley. The collection that he put together is a valuable inheritance today: Arms and Armour, Sculptures, International Art, Pottery, Stone work, Wood work, Ivory, Jewellery, Clay models, Musical Instruments, Coins and Seals, Carpets, colourful Crystal work and Miniature Paintings. It is also home to the rare Persian Garden Carpet and also an Egyptian Mummy. Initially Maharaja Ram Singh II wanted this building to be a town hall, but his successor, Sawai Madho Singh II, decided it should be a museum for the art of Jaipur and included as part of the new Ram Nivas Garden.
In the evening visit the Birla Temple, to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. Built recently in 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Witness the Aarti Ceremony (Prayer ceremony) which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity.
Return to hotel for overnight stay
After your breakfast at hotel, embark for an excursion to Amber Fort in the morning, situated outside the city, it is perhaps the most beautiful example of Rajput forts, this complex stands amidst wooded hills, with its threatening battlements reflected in the motionless waters of the Maota Lake below. You can have the unique experience of riding on a decorated elephant to the top of the hill. One of the premium examples of Rajput architecture, it was the ancient capital of the Kachhawaha rulers. The original palace was built by Raja Man Singh and additions were made later by Sawai Jai Singh. Here are the personal chambers of the Queens with windows having latticed screens so that the ladies could look at the events of the Royal court in privacy. There is also the Jai Mandir or the "Temple of Victory", with its well-known Sheesh Mahal, the sparkling "Hall of Mirrors". Within the Palace are the Diwan-e-Aam or the "Hall of Public Audience", the Diwan-e-Khas or the "Hall of Private Audience" and the Sukh Niwas where a cool breeze blows across channels of water for the purpose of air-conditioning.
Return to city and visit City Palace complex, located in the heart of Jaipur known for its blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, the museum houses the rare and rich collection of Ornaments, 15th century Arms & Weapons, Royal Costumes, Carpets, Sanganeri block prints, Kashmiri Pashmina Shawls, folk embroideries and Decorative Art objects of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal art and architecture. Complex has several palatial structures like the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Badal Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Ji Temple and the City Palace Museum and is divided into two parts- One part Sawai Man Singh Museum and other is still the Residential Palace of the former Maharaja.
Next we visit the Jantar Mantar, a solar observatory - It is the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh-I, the founder ruler of Jaipur. It is an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till date, it is classified as a world heritage site.
Photo-stop at Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds, a four storied façade of pink sandstone and one of the most picturesque landmarks with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could see the royal processions through its 593 stone screens without being seen by the outsiders.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at hotel and later check-out. This morning leave Jaipur and head towards Ranthambhore. Upon arrival check in at hotel. PM - Enjoy a safari in the park and see the majestic Tiger in the dense scrub jungle of Ranthambhore. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. This morning proceed for the game drive to explore the unexplored parts of the region and enjoy the wildlife. Also visit Ranthambhore Fort overlooking the lush Park and Ganesha Temple. Thereafter return to the hotel and relax. Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast and check-out from hotel in the morning, later drive to Agra. En-route visit Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri is an ancient city in Agra district, this city was built by Akbar, the Mughal emperor in the year 1571. It was constructed mainly as a tribute to the great Sufi Saint Shaikh Salim Chisti who had blessed Akbar with a son. His son was named after the Saint as Salim and he succeeded the Emperor Akbar and was known as Emperor Jehangir. Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of Mughal empire for a short period as the city was abandoned in the year 1585 due to insufficient supply of water. Although this city was deserted, but the city has still preserved the old structures with the help of the archaeological unit. Fatehpur Sikri is a blend of both Muslim and Hindu architecture. Some of the prime attractions here are the Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Panch Mahal, Palace of Jodha Bai, Tomb of Shaikh Salim Chisti, Birbal Bhawan, Karawan Serai, Hiran Minar etc.
After the visit continue your drive to Agra, upon arrival proceed to hotel for check-in.
In the evening visit Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. Tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg - A Wazir (Chief Minister) in the court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. Ghiyas Beg was honored with the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah or the Pillar of the State. Emperor Jehangir married her beautiful widowed daughter Mehr-un-Nissa, she was later christened Noor Jahan and went down in the history as one of the most beautiful and artistically gifted women in the world. After the death of Mirza Ghiyas Beg in 1622, Noor Jahan undertook the project to build his mausoleum, which took six years to get complete. It is entirely made of white marble. This tomb represents the transition between the first phase of monumental Mughal architecture - primarily built from red sandstone with marble decorations with mosaic and lattice.
Return to hotel for overnight stay.
Visit the Taj Mahal early in the morning at the time of Sunrise, Taj Mahal - One of the Seven Wonders of the World, a pristine monument of undying love, built by Emperor Shah Jahan to enshrine the body of his beloved wife Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal) after she died in 1631 at Burhanpur. The Taj has continued to be a mark of love since ever. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. The construction started in 1632 and was completed in 1653. The workforce of some 20,000 and 1,000 elephants, included Masons, Stonecutters, Inlayers, Carvers, Calligraphers, Dome-builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the empire and also from Italy, Central Asia and Persia. In accordance with Islamic tradition, verses from the Quran were inscribed in calligraphy on the arched entrances to the mausoleum, in addition to numerous other sections of the complex. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. Witness the white marble reflect the nuances of the changing light from the Sun. Taj Mahal symbolize the richness of art and architecture of the Mughal period.
Return to hotel for breakfast.
Afterwards, visit Agra Fort which retains the irregular outline of the demolished mud-wall fort of the Lodhis. It is a World Heritage Site, located near to the Taj Mahal gardens on the banks of River Yamuna. The real specimen of architectural marvel, this fortress was constructed in the 15th century. The construction of this mammoth structure started during 1565 during the reign of Emperor Akbar and continued the developments up to the period of Emperor Shah Jahan. The fort, in a length of 2.5 km marvelous enclosure walls, was built in red sandstones and encloses many monuments which are real architectural wonders. Many exquisite palaces such as the Jehangiri Mahal, Shah Jahani Mahal, the Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam - which was used as a communications ground between the public and the aristocracy and once housed the Peacock Throne, Diwan-i-Khas - a hall of private audience, it was used to welcome Kings and dignitaries and Mussaman Burj - a large, octagonal tower with a balcony facing the Taj Mahal are enclosed in the Fortress. Other monuments include the Fish Pavilion, the Nagina Masjid, Garden of Grapes and the Pearl Mosque. Views of the Taj Mahal from the Fort are amazing.
Return to hotel, remaining day at leisure for independent activities.
Overnight stay at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel, check-out from hotel by noon 1200 hrs. Drive to Delhi, upon arrival, transfer to international airport to board return journey flight.
Departure early in the morning by an international flight.