- See mosques, forts, and markets in the walled city of Old Delhi
- Marvel at the staggering beauty of Agra's Taj Mahal
- Take a safari ride to see wild tigers in Ranthambore National Park
- Feed, bathe, and decorate elephants at a sanctuary in Jaipur
- Climb the hills outside of Pushkar for vistas of the sacred city
|Day 1||Arrive in Delhi, Explore the City||Delhi|
|Day 2||Delhi to Agra||Delhi|
|Day 3||Sunrise Taj Mahal Visit, Transfer to Bharatpur via Fatehpur Sikri||Agra|
|Day 4||Spot wildlife at the Keoladeo National Park, Transfer to Ranthambore||Ranthambore|
|Day 5||Morning and Afternoon Game Drive in Ranthambore||Ranthambore|
|Day 6||Ranthambore to Jaipur, Visit an Ethical Elephant Sanctuary||Jaipur|
|Day 7||Explore Jaipur||Jaipur|
|Day 8||Jaipur to Pushkar||Pushkar|
|Day 9||Train from Pushkar to Delhi||Delhi|
|Day 10||Depart Delhi||Delhi|
Day 1: Arrive in Delhi, Explore the City
Welcome to India! Upon arrival at the Delhi airport and after a traditional welcome, you'll transfer to your hotel for check-in and to unwind before it's time to gather the kids and head out to explore the walled city of Old Delhi. Bustling with colorful activity, even the youngest family member will delight in the sights and sounds of the Mughal-influenced city. You'll make your way to Jama Masjid (the Great Mosque), discover exotic wares at several bustling markets in Chandni Chowk, and visit Raj Ghat, a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi.
Next, you'll wander the ramparts of the Red Fort before driving by the impressive Presidential Palace and Secretariat buildings as you follow the ceremonial Rajpath to the India Gate, a World War I monument. And in the late afternoon, you'll have the opportunity to visit the ornate 17th-century Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a prominent house of worship for the Sikh community.
Day 2: Delhi to Agra
Getting an early start to the day, you'll venture south to make your way to Agra, a bustling city situated on the banks of the Yamuna River. The city achieved prominence as the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1526 and 1628 and today remains a major tourist destination due to the number of splendid Mughal-era monuments, most notably the gleaming Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and the nearby Fatehpur Sikri, all three having the distinction of being UNESCO World Heritage sites.
After checking into your accommodation, you'll set out to visit the Agra Fort, a former military fortress and current home to the famous and finely carved Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque). Though it can more accurately be described as a walled palatial city, the Agra Fort was built from red sandstone and marble, embellished with marble-inlay work and intricate decorations.
Driving distance: 143 miles (230 km)
Driving time: 4-5 hours
Day 3: Sunrise Taj Mahal Visit, Transfer to Bharatpur via Fatehpur Sikri
Rise before the sun and make your way to the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, to catch the sunrise over this tomb that was was built in memory of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's deceased queen, Mumtaz Mahal, an enduring monument to love. Later on, you'll continue your Indian adventure west toward Bharatpur, stopping first to explore the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. Formerly the Mughal Empire's capital, the children will love to roam amid the red sandstone buildings and structures that cluster at its core.
When the kids are sufficiently tuckered out, you'll carry on to Bharatpur where you'll have the rest of the evening to relax with your family.
Driving distance: 47 miles (75 km)
Driving time: 4 hours
Day 4: Spot wildlife at the Keoladeo National Park, Transfer to Ranthambore
This morning you'll gather the kids and head a short distance south to the Keoladeo National Park, a former royal game reserve that now acts as an impressive bird sanctuary protecting over 350 species of migratory and resident birds. Besides the plethora of feathered creatures, you'll enjoy pointing out the variety of wildlife that make up the Bharatpur sanctuary, including hyenas, sambar deer, gazelle-like chinkara, Indian antelope or "blackbuck," wild boar, wildcats, and nilgai (blue bull) antelopes.
When you're ready, you'll leave Bharatpur behind to head to Ranthambore National Park, one of northern India's largest national parks.
Driving distance: 137 miles (220 km)
Driving time: 4-5 hours
Day 5: Morning and Afternoon Game Drive in Ranthambore
Formerly a hunting reserve, the Ranthambore National Park is now a part of Project Tiger and home to a number of wild tigers making it one of the best places in the world to see and photograph the striped cat. With kids in tow, you'll enjoy a day of seeking out tigers snapping unobstructed views of the animals and other abundant wildlife. Your first game drive starts in the early morning before breakfast and the second and final game drive is in the late afternoon following lunch.
Day 6: Ranthambore to Jaipur, Visit an Ethical Elephant Sanctuary
Today you'll make your way north to Jaipur, the "Pink City" and capital of Rajasthan, making a brief stop to visit the children at a local school on your way to your hotel. After settling in, you'll want to get ready for a fun afternoon of interacting with Jaipur's working elephants at a nearby elephant sanctuary. Here you'll have the chance to meet and feed the gentle giants, wash and paint them, as well as learn about their daily habits from their personal mahout or caregiver—fun for the whole family.
The rest of the evening is yours to spend as you like. One great option is to immerse yourself in the colorful bustle of Jaipur's bazaars and complete a little gift and souvenir shopping. You'll find block-printed textiles, glazed enamel meenakari jewelry, leather products including mojari (made-from-camel) footwear, pottery, and more.
Driving distance: 106 miles (170 km)
Driving time: 4 hours
Day 7: Explore Jaipur
Meet your guide this morning for a tour of Jaipur. Begin with a visit to the Amer Fort (often referred to as the "Amber" Fort)—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Roam the maze of ancient temples, palaces, and gardens built over a thousand years ago. The Amer Fort is considered a jewel of Jaipur for its attractive opulence of Indian-Muslim design and architecture. Enter the fort and admire the multi-mirrored ceilings of Jai Mandir (Hall of Glory) and Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), walk through the silver doors of the Siva Devi Temple before exploring the exterior of the marble and sandstone fort.
Next, stop to visit Jantar Mantar, a solar observatory built in the 18th century and home to the early 18th century stone sundial, the largest of its kind in the world. Return to Jaipur proper, stopping for a photo op of the iconic Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind). A five-storied façade of pink sandstone built for the women of royal families to watch the activities happening in the bazaar below, hidden from view behind the 953 jharokas (small windows). Cap off the day with a visit to a local family, where you'll have the pleasure of helping prepare, and eat, a homecooked, deliciously spiced meal with your hosts.
Day 8: Jaipur to Pushkar
Leave early this morning and journey west to the holy city of Pushkar. A major Hindu pilgrimage site, Pushkar borders the Thar Desert and rests at the edge of its namesake lake where many Sadhus and travelers from all over the world look for spirituality, and to worship the Hindu god Brahma, gather.
After checking into your hotel, spend a little time alongside the sacred Pushkar Lake. Among the most famous pilgrimage sites in India, you can sit on the ghats of the lake and watch the pilgrims, priests, and spiritual travelers bathe and purify themselves. Then head to Brahma Temple, the country's only temple dedicated to the worship of God Brahma and one of a few in the world. If the kids have the energy to burn, there are a couple of hills outside the city that are perfect for an easy climb as well as offer panoramic views of the desert and lake.
There's also the option to join a camel safari, an immersive experience fun for the whole family, and a great way to explore the desert landscape.
Driving distance: (180 km)
Driving time: 4 hours
Day 9: Train from Pushkar to Delhi
You'll have the morning to spend as you like. If the kids have the energy to burn, there are a couple of hills outside the city that are perfect for an easy climb as well as offering panoramic views of the desert and lake. No matter how you decide to spend the morning, you'll transfer in the late afternoon to the local railway station to board your train to Delhi.
Day 10: Depart Delhi
Say farewell to Rajasthan as you make your way to the airport. If there's time before your international flight home, you might like to complete any last-minute gift and souvenir shopping or pick up some traditional sweets for the flight.