- Try traditional Rajasthani dishes on street food tours
- Visit the world-famous Taj Mahal at sunrise
- Take a cooking class with a Jaipur family
- Ride camels and visit Brahma Temple in Pushkar
- Tour the UNESCO-listed Amer and Agra Forts
|Arrive in Delhi, Explore the Local Sites
|Sightseeing & Street Food Tour, Visit the Hauz Khas Ruins
|Fly to Udaipur
|Udaipur Heritage & Food Walk, Lake Pichola Boat Ride & Vintage Car Museum
|Transfer to Pushkar, Sightseeing & Camel Ride
|Temple Sunrise Tour, Transfer to Jaipur, Sightseeing Tour & Cooking Class
|Visit Amer Palace Fort, Transfer to Agra & Food Walk
|Taj Mahal Sunrise Visit, Agra Fort & Countryside Bike Tour
|Transfer to Delhi, Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Delhi, Explore the Local Sites
Welcome to Delhi! You'll be met at the airport with a traditional swagat (welcome) and transferred to your hotel. Settle in before heading out to explore, starting with a visit to one of the city's main Sikh pilgrimage centers, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Discover the healing properties of the gurudwara (Sikh house of worship) as you stroll through its grounds. Admire the white-marble structure with its golden domes and sacred pond.
The 17th-century gurudwara premises include the main prayer hall, which contains the Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy book), a library, a museum, a hospital, a school, and an art gallery. As in all gurudwaras, a langar (communal meal) is served in the Bangla Sahib. Visit the kitchen to witness this mass meal being prepared. Next, peruse Delhi's popular shopping area Connaught Place before returning to your hotel.
This evening you can take an optional trip to Chor Bizarre, a beloved Delhi restaurant that serves everything from tandoori to Mughlai dishes. Try the wazwan, a multicourse Kashmiri specialty. While you dine, soak up the unique ambiance of Chor Bizarre, which features a blend of fine Indian furniture and fabrics, with antique tables, grandfather clocks, and auto parts that capture the eclectic spirit of India. As they say in this restaurant: "Nothing matches, yet everything gels."
Day 2: Sightseeing & Street Food Tour, Visit the Hauz Khas Ruins
Start today's tour in Old Delhi, the city's historic heart, which was influenced by the great Mughals who once ruled from the ramparts of the majestic Red Fort. You'll visit India's largest 17th-century mosque, the Jama Masjid, and take an exhilarating rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk. This bustling market was the center of the city in Mughal times.
Enjoy a street food tour in Old Delhi, beginning at Paranthe Wali Gali for mouth-watering paranthas (flatbreads) stuffed with spiced vegetable fillings, washed down with a creamy lassi. Follow your guide through the narrow alleys of Chandni Chowk, often referred to as the "food capital of India," tasting dishes such as paneer tikki (paneer cutlets), samosas, and chaat, a mix of potato, crispy fried bread, lentil fritters, and spices.
Next, continue to New Delhi, where you'll visit Mahatma Gandhi's memorial and drive past the Presidential Palace, Secretariat Buildings and along the impressive Rajpath to India Gate. If there's time, you'll also tour Humayun's Tomb, said to be the inspiration behind the Taj Mahal, and catch a glimpse of the 236-foot-tall (72 m) Qutub Minar (victory tower). End your day with a walk around the ruins of the Hauz Khas complex and Deer Park, where you'll find the elaborate madrassa and tomb built by Sultan Firoz Shah Tughluq. Deer Park is also home to some enormous buildings from the 14th century that lie scattered along the lake shore.
Day 3: Fly to Udaipur
This morning you'll board a flight south to Udaipur, which is known by various titles, including "The Pearl of Rajasthan" and "Venice of the East." After checking into your hotel, spend some free time exploring Udaipur independently. Discover the city's iconic clock tower and wander past colorful temples and markets. Take in the sunset views over Lake Pichola, which is surrounded by hills, palaces, temples, and sacred Ghats.
Tonight, you can enjoy an optional Dharohar (Rajasthani folk dance) performance at Bagore ki Haveli. This 18th-century haveli (mansion) sits on Gangori Ghat near shimmering Lake Pichola and is loved for its delicately-carved architecture and glasswork. The grand mansion hosts several museums as well as its nightly dance show in the illuminated courtyard, which is accompanied by traditional music.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Udaipur Heritage & Food Walk, Lake Pichola Boat Ride & Vintage Car Museum
Today starts with a heritage walk to learn about Udaipur's rich history and culture. Set off from Jagdish Temple, constructed in a typical Indo-Aryan architectural style in 1651. Continue to Gangaur Ghat on the shores of Lake Pichola, then explore the temples, art shops, and elegant havelis that line the old city. Make a stop at Udaipur's Vintage and Classic Car Museum and the Baghoreki Haveli Museum, a former palace with over a hundred rooms displaying costumes and modern art. Finish with coffee at the Jheel Ginger Café.
Next, delve into Udaipur's cuisine with a food walk. Wander through snaking bazaars, stopping to try authentic Mewari street delicacies developed in the Mewar region of Rajasthan. Each treat is sourced from the most revered food joints, many of which have been serving locals for generations. Sample everything from mirchi vada (fried potato croquette) and onion samosas to Rajasthan's signature dish daal baati churma (daal with a baked wheat ball and sweetened cereal).
This evening, take a peaceful boat trip on the calm waters of Lake Pichola. Soak up views of the sun setting over the sparkling lake, passing stately palaces set on remote islands, and watch the light glisten off Udaipur's mansion-spotted skyline.
Day 5: Transfer to Pushkar, Sightseeing & Camel Ride
Make the five-hour journey north to Pushkar today. This small town lies on the edge of the desert near a tranquil lake surrounded by temple-topped hills, including the world-famous Brahma Temple. Get oriented with a tour around Pushkar Lake, where you'll visit the famous temple, which is named after Lord Brahma, the creator of the world in Hindu mythology.
Afterward, experience the local form of transport with a camel ride followed by a walk through India's stunning countryside, passing farmers and tiny villages along the way. You'll also get the chance to scale towering sand dunes and take in never-ending views of the desert. In the evening, attend a prayer ceremony at Varah Ghat, where bells ring out from surrounding temples. Listen to the haunting prayers as the sun sets over the lake.
Day 6: Temple Sunrise Tour, Transfer to Jaipur, Sightseeing Tour & Cooking Class
Rise early for a hike to Savitri Temple. Situated on the peak of Ratnagiri Hill, Savitri Temple is dedicated to Lord Brahma's consort Savitri and is a popular pilgrimage site. The temple houses the statue of Goddess Savitri and provides sweeping views of villages, dunes, and Pushkar Lake. Watch the sunrise here and then descend to Pushkar's lakeside markets, returning to your hotel for a late breakfast.
Drive north to India's Pink City, Jaipur. Designed by a young Bengali architect in 1727, the salmon-hued city is a rich blend of Hindu, Jain, and Mughal architecture. Tour its key sights, such as Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Wind," which is five stories tall and built from red and pink sandstone, with 953 windows decorated with intricate latticework. Other stops include the Jantar Mantar astronomy observatory, Jaipur City Palace, and the Jal Mahal Palace, set on an island in Man Sagar Lake.
Take a break from sightseeing to experience Jaipur's famed food culture. Browse stalls laden with produce and spices at the market, where your guide will explain the essential ingredients needed to create key Indian dishes. Then you'll visit a local family to learn the basics of Jaipur cuisine. There's also a fun henna demonstration for women, while men can participate in a safa (turban) tying class.
Take a Jaipur cooking class at the family home, learning to create a typical Rajasthani meal complete with chewy breads, two or three tasty vegetarian dishes, and a couple of desserts. Afterward, feast on your creations while chatting with the family about daily life in Jaipur.
Day 7: Visit Amer Palace Fort, Transfer to Agra & Food Walk
Start the day with a trip to the ancient capital Amer, home to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Amer Palace Fort. Also known as the Amer Palace Fort, this imposing hilltop fortress was built as a royal residence over a thousand years ago and features an Indian-Muslim design. Explore the Sheesh Mahal (mirrored palace) and the Jai Mandir (hall of glory) before finding a spot to people-watch and bask in the historical opulence.
Relax with a five-hour drive to Agra, the next stop on your Rajasthan trip. Agra grew in prominence under the rule of the Mughal Empire in 1526, reaching its zenith between 1556 and 1658 under the successive regimes of Akbar, Shah Jehan, and Jehangir. During Akbar's reign, the city became a leading center of art, science, commerce, and culture, drawing intellectuals and artists to its darbars and havelis.
Start exploring the timeless streets of Agra with a food tour. The guided walk leads to the centuries-old Agra bazaar, where you'll taste street food delicacies like petha (soft pumpkin candy) and bhallas (fried spiced potato cakes with chickpea curry).
Day 8: Taj Mahal Sunrise Visit, Agra Fort & Countryside Bike Tour
At sunrise, visit one of India's highlights: the Taj Mahal. Watch the sun hit the epic, 17th-century marble monument, bathing it in buttery shades of gold. You'll spend three hours touring the site, built by emperor Shah Jehan for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It's thought that the complex took over 20,000 artisans 22 years to complete, led by legendary architect Ustad Ahamad Lahori. Return to your hotel afterward for breakfast and a rest.
This afternoon you'll visit Agra Fort, whose mighty red sandstone walls encircle the Pearl Mosque and various ornate palaces, halls, and courtyards. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city featuring various styles of architecture from the Akbar, Jehangir, and Shah Jehan reigns. Don't miss the Diwan-i-Am, the Diwan-i-Khaas, and Jodhabai's Palace.
End the day with a 4-mile (6 km) cycle through the Agra countryside. Along the way, you'll pass through villages and stop to meet the locals, enjoying views of the Taj Mahal from spots rarely visited by tourists. Pass women washing and cooking, children returning from school, and farmers working the fields. The trip finishes with a boat ride on the Yamuna River for more incredible views of the Taj Mahal.