Day 1 Delhi
You are greeted at the airport in Delhi and escorted to your hotel. The day includes a sightseeing tour of Sir Edward Lutyens’ New Delhi, the garden city built in 1911 by the British. We also visit the Birla Mandir (Lakshminarayan Temple), the President’s House, Humayun’s Tomb (the forerunner of the Taj Mahal), and India Gate.
Day 2 Jaipur
A journey by road takes us to princely Jaipur. Known as the ‘Pink City’, Jaipur was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743) and is the capital of Rajasthan. It is a city of contrasts where camels and elephants wait at traffic lights along with cars and scooters. The whole city was painted Pink when the Prince of Wales, Edward VII, visited Jaipur in 1876. Today, every home in the old city is obliged by law to maintain this façade. While in Jaipur we visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal family of Jaipur, taking an elephant ride to the top. Another highlight is the City Palace, the former royal residence built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal styles. The palace houses a museum with a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes and Mughal and Rajput weapons. We also visit the Jantar Mantar observatory and the Hawa Mahal.
Days 3 - 4 Ranthambore
Ranthambore is a wonderful game reserve, dominated by the ruined battlements of Ranthambore Fort. This is one of the most dramatic and mysterious forts in Rajasthan – it is one of the finest examples of the Hindu concept of a “vana-durg” or a fort protected by a jungle. The Fort was built in AD 944. The interiors of the fort now lie in splendid ruin. As well as visiting the fort we of course visit the Game Park. The park has a core area of 158 square miles and is part of the project Tiger conservation project. We go in the early morning and evening for game viewing by jeep safari. The Ranthambore tigers are famous as they are not only nocturnal but often stalk their prey in full view of visitors. This has made Ranthambore a favorite place for wildlife fans and photographers.
Days 5 - 6 Agra
The Mughal splendor of Agra’s Taj Mahal and Red Fort. Some would say that the Taj Mahal is the wonder of the modern world. It was built in 1652 by Emperor Shah Jahan. It took 22 years and 20,000 skilled artisans to complete. Agra Fort lies across the river Jamuna. It was here that Aurangzeb, the third son of Shah Jahan, kept his father under house arrest. One can get a fantastic view of the Taj from the little octagonal tower in the Fort.
Day 7 Delhi
We return to Delhi by road. Back in Delhi we visit the old city built by Emperor Shah Jahan. We visit the Red Fort, and then take a bicycle rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes to the Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in India.