India offers a truly authentic adventure for those from the western world. It is a stimulating, absorbing, daunting, and sometimes moving and shocking experience.... The country is home to one of the world’s great dramas, an ancient, vast, and crowded land committed to the most formidably challenging exercise in mass democracy.
This spectacle is conducted on the whole, and to India’s credit, in the open. The lasting memories of the land are hospitality, kindness, good humor, and generosity. India is a society of over 1000 million people, growing by a million a month, divided and united by language, caste, religion, and regional loyalties. It has often been described as functioning anarchy, and it is in many ways an amiable one, of marvelous fluidity and tolerance.
The true Indian motif is not the Taj Mahal, the elephant, or the patient peasant behind the ox-drawn plough. It is the crowd, the ocean of faces in the land of multitudes, endlessly stirring, pushing, and moving. It is in this human circulation that one sees India’s color, variety, busyness, and senses also its power, vitality, and grandeur.
This five day, four night tour of the “Golden Triangle” cities of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur offers a great introduction to North India. These cities are collectively home to many of the region’s most important monuments, including the Taj Mahal.
With this tour, you will get to experience the best of what the region has to offer while staying in five-star hotels. A private guide will be with you throughout the tour, and all monument entrance fees are prepaid. You will travel in your own chauffeured airconditioned vehicle, and four nights lodging, breakfast, and lunch are included.
Day 1: Delhi
Today, we shall embark on an exploration of Delhi. Commence your day with a guided tour of the Old City of ‘Shahjahanabad’. Your introduction to the city shall commence with a visit to Raj Ghat – the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi, followed by a drive past the Red Fort – a magnificent monument constructed with red sandstone, which stands as a testament to the zenith of the Mughal Empire. Subsequently, proceed to the bustling streets to Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in Asia, built by Shahjahan, on a bicycle rickshaw.
Thereafter, continue with a guided tour of New Delhi, which reflects the legacy that the British left behind. You shall visit Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India, built to establish the might of Islam and the onset of Muslim rule in India. Following this, we shall visit Humayun’s Tomb, the first great example of a new distinctive style, which developed to become the hallmark of the Mughal Dynasty.
We shall also drive past the imposing India Gate (War Memorial Arch), the Parliament Buildings, and the Rashtrapati Bhawan (the President’s residence).
Later, you shall be transferred to Agra via India’s finest “Yamuna Express Way”. Upon arrival, you shall check-in to the hotel and rest for the day.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Agra.
Day – 2 Agra
This is the Taj Mahal, a celebrated architectural masterpiece renowned for its aesthetic beauty. Today, we embark on a spectacular sunrise tour of this exquisite white marble mausoleum, commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1631 as a tribute to his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal. The monument took 22 years to complete, with the efforts of 20,000 skilled artisans. As the sun rises, witness the dramatic interplay of light as it casts its golden rays over the pearl white tomb, recreating the magic of the Taj.
Following this, there will be ample time to explore the Taj and capture some memorable photographs before returning to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, we will visit the Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture and a stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. Shah Jahan, the creator of the Taj, spent his last years of life imprisoned here by his son Aurangzeb. The fort was built in the late 1560s by Akbar, with later embellishments by Jahangir and Shah Jahan.
We will then enjoy an exquisite Indian 5 star lunch at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.
Before proceeding to Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb, also known as the ‘Baby Taj’. This marble mausoleum was built by Nur Jahan, the wife of Emperor Jahangir, in memory of her father, Ghiyas Beg. It is beautifully conceived in white marble, mosaic, and lattice.
Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur
After breakfast, we will embark on a journey to the city of Jaipur, also known as the pink city, which is approximately 237 km away and will take approximately 6 hours to reach.
En route, we will visit Fatehpur Sikri, the abandoned capital of Akbar, located 37 km from Agra. This city was built in 1571 by the Mughal emperor in honor of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti. It served as the Mughal capital for 14 years before being abandoned due to a shortage of water. The city is constructed of red sandstone and features a blend of Hindu and Mughal architectural styles. The entrance to the fort is through the road built by Akbar, which leads to the Buland Darwaza, a massive 54-meter gateway. Other notable monuments in Fatehpur Sikri include the Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, Birbal
House, and the Diwan-i-Khas.
Upon arrival in Jaipur, we will proceed to check-in at the hotel. Jaipur is a captivating destination nestled between imposing forts and the rugged Aravalli Hills. The city is renowned for its pink-coloured buildings and is a bustling capital and business centre with all the amenities of a modern metropolis, yet it retains an old-world charm that never ceases to amaze travellers. The remainder of the evening is at your leisure.
Your overnight stay will be at a hotel in Jaipur.
Day – 4 Jaipur
Today promises to be an exhilarating day, as you embark on a photographic excursion to the Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of Winds. This five-storey architectural marvel boasts a stunning pyramidal facade, adorned with overhanging windows
featuring latticed screens, domes, and spires.
Following this, your tour will take you to the ancient capital of Amer, where you will marvel at the magnificent Amber Fort, situated on a ridge just outside Jaipur city. The fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks Moata Lake, with ruins and remains of the fort spread over the Aravalli hills and sprawling crenellated walls lattice the surrounding area. You will have the opportunity to ascend to the main gate via a jeep or a decorative elephant ride, and explore the palace’s chambers and hallways, renowned for their exceptional design and decoration. The complex also features the Ganesh Pol, an imposing gateway adorned with images of the Elephant Headed God – Ganesh, and the Sukh Niwas, Jas Mandir Apartments, and Charbagh garden, which showcase the merging of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles.
The Sheesh Mahal is adorned with shimmering mirrors encrusting its walls, while pierced screen windows offer views from different vantage points. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a tour of the Pink City, known as the “abode of rajahs”.
The tour will include a visit to the City Palace Museum, which houses a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes, Mughal and Rajput armoury, including swords of different shapes and sizes with chiselled handles, and a collection of antiques and artefacts belonging to the ruling family. The museum also features an art gallery with an excellent collection of miniature paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia, and rare astronomical works in Arabic, Persian, Latin, and Sanskrit.
The tour will conclude with a visit to the awe-inspiring Jantar Mantar Observatory, a stone astrological and astronomical observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 18th
Your overnight stay will be at a hotel in Jaipur.
Day – 5 Jaipur – Delhi
Following breakfast, we shall commence our return journey to Delhi, which spans a distance of approximately 260 kilometers and takes approximately five hours. Upon arrival, the remainder of the day shall be at your leisure. In the late evening, your driver shall transport you to the airport for your onward flight to your homeland.
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