- Go on a Jeep safari to spot tigers in Ranthambore National Park
- Visit the world-famous Taj Mahal
- Explore Jaipur, the Pink City
- Ride a rickshaw through Chandni Chowk
|Day 1||Arrive in New Delhi||Delhi|
|Day 2||Old Delhi and New Delhi Sightseeing Tour||Delhi|
|Day 3||Drive from Delhi to Agra and Visit Mughal Heritage Kachhpura Village||Agra|
|Day 4||Visit the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort||Agra|
|Day 5||Drive from Agra to Ranthambore National Park||Ranthambore|
|Day 6||Ranthambore National Park||Ranthambore|
|Day 7||Drive from Ranthambore to Jaipur||Jaipur|
|Day 8||Sightseeing in Jaipur||Jaipur|
|Day 9||Spiritual Walking Tour of Jaipur||Jaipur|
|Day 10||Drive Back to Delhi and Departure|
Day 1: Arrive in New Delhi
Arrive in New Delhi, meet your guide, and transfer to your hotel. New Delhi, the capital of India, has a long and rich history and over the centuries, has drawn to it the Mongols, Turks, Persians, Afghans, Mughals, and the British, all of whom contributed to its storied but turbulent past.
Once you arrive at your hotel, you can relax and enjoy a free evening.
Day 2: Old Delhi and New Delhi Sightseeing Tour
After breakfast, your guide will pick you up for a full-day sightseeing tour of Delhi. You'll start at the Red Fort (closed on Mondays), a red sandstone marvel. In 1638, the Mughal king Shah Jahan decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi, and he began constructing the Red Fort on the bank of Old Delhi's Yamuna River.
Then, you'll drive past Raj Ghat. The Ghat is essentially a black marble platform that marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated on January 31, 1948, a day after he was assassinated. An eternal flame burns at one end of the open-air memorial, and the road it is located on is officially called Mahatma Gandhi Road. Next, you'll visit Jama Masjid, which was Old Delhi's central mosque in Shah Jahan's time. The Shah completed the mosque in 1656, and it is still one of the largest mosques in India today. The mosque's capacity is about 25,000 people, and around 5,000 laborers worked to build it.
Afterward, you'll go to Chandni Chowk, the city's most famous market. Old Delhi was once the city of Shahjahanabad, a fortified city under the Mughal rule. Even today, the remains of this past can be seen at the Kashmiri Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Turkman Gate, Delhi Gate, and Feroz Shah Kotla. In those days, Chandni Chowk was the city's central market. Today, it's a massive area packed with stalls and people. You'll take a rickshaw ride in the market to get a different view of the hustle and bustle.
After the market, you'll visit New Delhi. You'll pass by the India Gate (a memorial to the Indian soldiers who died in WWI), the Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly the viceroy's residence), and the Parliament House. Then, you'll visit the imposing Lakshmi Naryan Temple, one of the famous Birla Temples in India, built in 1938 and dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.
Finally, you'll visit the 12th century Qutab Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Minar of Delhi is surrounded by a lush green garden, which is pleasant to walk through. You'll also see the Ashoka Iron Pillar of Delhi—which has withstood the ravages of time and not rusted in 1500 years—and the mausoleum of Emperor Humayun.
Day 3: Drive from Delhi to Agra and Visit Mughal Heritage Kachhpura Village
Agra is a city built by the Mughals. It is known for its many beautiful monuments, including the Taj Mahal, its most famous. But Agra is also home to the massive but elegant Agra Fort, the delicate Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, and Akbar’s deserted capital, Fatehpur Sikri. Once you arrive, check-in at your hotel.
In the later afternoon, you'll go for a tour of the Mughal Heritage Kachhpura Village that includes high tea. A narrow path through the fields near Mehtab Bagh will take you to the ancient village of Kachhpura, as well as Humayun’s Mosque. You'll walk through the village to see the Sanji art that has been painted on the walls by girls in the community youth program. Then, you'll continue to Humayun’s Mosque, an unusual mosque built by the Mughals.
Next, you'll see the village's central courtyard, where activities like street theater and henna tattooing take place. The walk ends in Mehtab Bagh, from where you'll be able to watch the sunset on the Taj Mahal.
You'll also have the option to go on an additional outing to the famous Mohabbat the Taj show presented by the Sanskritik Natyashala, a saga depicting the love the Mughal Emperor Shajahan had for Mumtaj Mahal, his wife. The show is a great way to learn more about the Taj Mahal, which Shajahan built as a memorial for Mumtaj Mahal after she died in childbirth.
Day 4: Visit the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
Today, you'll return to the Taj Mahal as the sun rises and explore its grounds. On this tour, you'll learn about its construction and architectural details, like the fact that it took 22 years and 20,000 men to build, while its white marble was quarried 200 miles away and carried by a fleet of 1,000 elephants. The monument was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
In the afternoon, you'll visit the Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture on the Yamuna River, which was the seat and stronghold of the Mughal Empire for multiple generations.
Finally, you'll visit Itmad-ud-Daula, a tomb often referred to as the "Baby Taj Mahal." It's the tomb of Mir Gheyas Beg, who was a minister in the court of Shah Jahan, and is the oldest tomb in India made entirely of marble. If you take a bird's eye view of the monument, it looks like a jewel box set in a garden.
Day 5: Drive from Agra to Ranthambore National Park
After breakfast, check out from your hotel and drive to Ranthambore National Park, with a stop at Fatehpur Sikri on the way. Fatehpur Sikri is a deserted fortified city outside Agra that was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 as his capital and abandoned 15 years later, allegedly due to the severe scarcity of water.
Then, continue on towards Ranthambore. The drive takes approximately five to six hours. Ranthambore was once the private tiger reserve of the Maharaja of Jaipur and became a protected tiger sanctuary in 1972. Once you arrive, check in to your hotel and enjoy a free evening.
Day 6: Ranthambore National Park
The mornings and evenings are the best times of day to see animals in the Ranthambore National Park, so you'll be taken out for morning and evening game drives.
You'll be taken out in a shared Jeep (max. six people) and escorted by a naturalist. There will be many opportunities to take pictures of animals and birds.
Wake up early for your first safari, and return to the hotel for lunch. In the later afternoon, head out for a second foray into the jungle to catch glimpses of some more animal and bird species. Spend the night at your hotel in Ranthambore.
Day 7: Drive from Ranthambore to Jaipur
After breakfast, you'll check out of your hotel and drive to Jaipur, a city founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727. Jaipur is uniquely organized according to the nine divisions of the universe through nine different sectors, and the architecture combines Mughal and Jain influences. As much of the city was painted pink in 1853, it is known as the "Pink City." The drive from Ranthambore to Jaipur takes approximately three to four hours by car. Once you arrive, you can check into your hotel and relax.
Day 8: Sightseeing in Jaipur
Today, a driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the ancient Rajput capital of Amer, 7 miles (11 km) outside of the city. Here, you'll see the Amber Fort—a fortified palace that was constructed by Raja Man Singh. During your tour, you'll visit Diwan-i-Am (the hall of public audience), Shila Devi Temple, Jai Mandir (the hall of victory) with its inlaid panels and a mirrored ceiling, and Sukh Niwas. After you explore, you can also take an elephant ride on the grounds of the fort.
In the afternoon, you'll return to Jaipur to see the City Palace of Jaipur, which occupies a seventh of the city's total area, the Jantar Mantar astronomy instruments and observatory, and the famous pink Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds). You'll also be able to visit Galtaji Temple, which is also known as the monkey temple.
Day 9: Spiritual Walking Tour of Jaipur
After breakfast, you'll go on a Spiritual Walking Tour around Jaipur to experience the spiritual side of the city. You'll visit colorful temples and see some of the city's best-kept secrets.
In the afternoon, you'll be able to choose between several optional tours, including a hot air balloon ride; an elephant outing that includes feeding, riding, painting, feeding, and bathing the elephant; or a bicycle tour. You can also go on a food/heritage tour, take a cooking class with a local family, or visit nearby villages.
Day 10: Drive Back to Delhi and Departure
In the morning, check out of your hotel and drive back to New Delhi International Airport to board your flight home. You'll need to be at the airport at least three hours before your international flight, and the drive takes five to six hours.