[DelhI- 02 – Agra- 01 – Ranthambhore- 02 – Jaipur- 02]
DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI
Arrive Delhi. You will be met on arrival at the airport and chauffeured to your hotel.
Delhi is the India’s capital and the best place to experience – culture, history, architecture,religion, spirituality, cosmopolitan flavor. Spend a day in Delhi and you will experience amalgamation of different cultures. Enjoy old Delhi’s Mughul splendour, Central Delhi’s European glory, South Delhi’s modern society, boutiques – waiting to be discovered.
DAY 02: EXPLORE DELHI
In the morning proceed for a full day city tour of Old & New Delhi. In Old Delhi, Chandini Chowk -originally meaning moonlit square or market. Jama Masjid – completed in the year 1656 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India.
Enjoy a Rickshaw ride which will go through the narrow lanes of Chandini Chowk.
Drive past the magnificent Red Fort, – built on the banks of River Yamuna by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Visit the Raj Ghat (Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial) before continuing to New Delhi.
Drive through Lutyen’s Delhi, driving past Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate and the Old Secretariat buildings.
Later after lunch you will visit the Humayun’s Tomb – Recently restored in 2013, built in the middle of the 16th century by the widow of the Mughal emperor Humayun, It was also the first structure to use red sandstone. The complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
Visit the Qutab Minar, Named for the Muslim sultan Qutab-ud-din Aibak who started construction in 1193, this striking tower is 238 feet high. It is notable for being one of the earliest and most prominent examples of Indo-Islamic architecture with terra-cotta frills and balconies. Famous iron pillar, of the 5th century, stands in the courtyard; it has remained rust-free for 1500 years. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (B)
DAY 03: DRIVE 235kms, 04 hrs TO AGRA
Drive to Agra, for an overnight stay. The city was a seat of the Mughals’ power, and their legacy remains. Upon arriving into Agra, you’ll be assisted with checking in to your hotel.
Agra is synonymous with that monument of love: the stunning Taj Mahal. It is situated on the right bank of the river Yamuna. Agra is a city with a glorious past and has the distinction of being the capital of various ruling dynasties. Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into the prominent capital of the Mughal Empire.
Later this afternoon, you will have guided tour of Taj Mahal. Built by Emperor Shah Jehan in memory to his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal, this is the ultimate tribute to love ever transcribed in architecture. It took 20,000 labourers 17 years (starting in 1632) to complete the vast tomb of white marble, making it the most spectacular example of the elaborate aesthetic world that the Mughals created in India.
Continue your visit to Agra Fort. This high red stone monument from the 16th Century stretches for around 02½ kms. The palace is a notable for its smooth blending of Hindu and central Asian architectural styles.
DAY 04: Agra to Ranthambhore via Fatehpur Sikri
After breakfast, you will continue to Ranthambhore, through a combination of car and train (TRAIN -OPTIONAL) – we recommend this due to poor condition of road and also you will have small experience of Indian Railways.
Enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri. Situated about 33kms from Agra, this was the erstwhile capital of the great Mughal ruler – Emperor Akbar. This magnificent fort palace had to be abandoned after just 15 years of occupation due to lack of potable water. A UNESCO World Heritage site. Later after visit you will drive to Bharatpur to board your train to Ranthambhore. You may like to leave your luggage with your chauffeur, as he will be heading down to Ranthambhore too so you can freely board your train.
DAY 05: ENJOY THE MORNING AND AFTERNOON SAFARI.
Today you will enjoy the morning and afternoon Jeep Safari in the Ranthambhore National Park.
Ranthambhore National Park is one of the best National Park in India to spot a tiger in the wild, and covers over 500 square miles. Initially this was private property of The Maharaja of Jaipur and was used as private hunting reserve until it became a national park in 1972. Though tiger sightings unfortunately cannot be guaranteed; however, you will see host of peacocks, wild boars, sambar dear (large Asian deer), spotted axis deer, chinkara (gazelles), crocodiles and sloth bear to name a few.
DAY 06: DRIVE 3 ½ hrs TO JAIPUR
Today you will have the third safari to the National Park. Later drive to Jaipur to arrive in the afternoon. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Jaipur, popularly known as the Pink City, was founded in 1727 AD by one of the greatest rulers of the Kachhawaha Dynasty – the astronomer King Sawai Jai Singh-II. Jaipur today epitomizes the spirit of Rajputana, Flanked on three sides by the rugged Aravali Hills and part of the city is still enclosed in 20-foot-high fortified walls, which have eight gates. Inspite of growing into bustling metropolis, it still retains its character and history & culture…. a beautiful fusion of yesteryears and modernity
Jaipur thrills the soul with its massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and lush gardens, a jumble of colorful locals attired in customary clothes – ghagharas (Indian skirts, traditional turbans and jutis (shoes) – street shops selling handicrafts, pottery and streets packed with cycle-rickshaws, camel carts, auto-rickshaws (tuk-tuk) and wandering cows.
DAY 07: EXPLORE HIGHLIGHTS OF JAIPUR
After breakfast, proceed to Amber Fort which is a classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace – Amber was the ancient capital of Kachhwaha Rajput’s, from 1037 until Sawai Jai Singh II moved to a newly created Jaipur. The architecture shows Mughal inspiration. The building of the fort was begun by Raja Man Singh a noted Rajput general of Akbar’s army in 1600 and was later added to by successive rulers. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
City Palace: as described by some writers “spectacular synthesis of Rajput and Mughal architecture”. Maharaja’s Palace, the former residence of the royal family, a part of which is converted into a museum. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the old city. One of the major attractions in the museum is the Armory Museum housing an impressive array of weaponry.
Jantar Mantar: The largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world, it was built between 1728 and 1734 houses precise instruments for measuring “the harmony of heavens” each instrument serves a particular function and gives an accurate reading. Important instruments worth visiting are the Samrat Yantra (sun dial), Dhruva Yantra (locates the position of the Pole star and the twelve Zodiac sings), Nari Valya Yantra (Sun dial for Southern hemisphere), Raj Yantra (used once a year to calculate the Hindu calendar) and observers seat. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hawa Mahal (Photo stop only): perhaps Jaipur’s most famous building, the Hawa Mahal is the pink sandstone façade of a palace built for the ladies of the harem by Sawai Pratap Singh. The building facade has a delicate honeycomb design with close to 1,000 windows, and is fashioned from pink sandstone. The windows enable cool air (Hawa) to circulate so that the women of the court (the zenana) could discreetly take some air and watch the activity on the street below.
DAY 08: DRIVE 265 kms, 4 ½ hrs TO DELHI
After breakfast depart for Delhi On arrival in Delhi, you will be transferred to the airport / hotel for onward arrangements. (B)
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