- Holiday Inspirations
- Fixed Departure
DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI
Arrive Delhi by International flight. You will be met on your arrival by the representative of Exotique Expeditions with fresh flower garlands. You will then be transferred to your hotel. Overnight at THE OBEROI, GURGAON
DAY 02: IN DELHI
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will be given the city tour of Old and New Delhi.
Old Delhi. Visit the former centre of Moghul Power, Old Delhi offers ancient monuments, narrow streets and bustling bazaars. Drive past the vast Red Fort, built in 1648, the Jama Masjid, the greatest mosque in India and completed in 1658 by Shah Jahan who also built the Taj Mahal, and the Raj Ghat, the simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. A unique experience of taking ‘rickshaw ride’ from the Red Fort, through “Chandni Chowk” or Silver Street, experiencing the sights and sounds of this very busy avenue heading west from the Fort. Chandni Chowk – literally means “moonlit crossroads” and an area which best represents the “super-Oriental” – the glory and the guile; the grandeur and the grime, with its crowded bazaars, twisting lanes, maze of small streets strange aromas, the pungent odour of Oriental spices, the cries of shopkeepers, coolies and “rickshaw-walas” and the clatter and whirr of furious industry.
New Delhi – drive past the stately government buildings of the British Era designed by Lutyens, including the India Gate & the Presidential Palace. Continue onto the beautiful Humayuns tomb of the Mughal era & predecessor of the world famous Taj Mahal. End the tour at the towering minaret of Qutab Minar. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 03: DELHI – AGRA BY ROAD
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning leave Delhi for Agra (205 km / approx 4 hrs drive). Agra has a rich historical background, which is amply evident from the numerous historical monuments in and around the city.
Though the heritage of Agra city is linked with the Mughal dynasty, numerous other rulers also contributed to the rich past of this city. Modern Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodhi (Lodhi dynasty; Delhi Sultanate) in the 16th century. Babar (founder of the Mughal dynasty) also stayed for sometime in Agra and introduced the concept of square Persian-styled gardens here. On arrival at Agra, check in at THE OBEROI AMARVILAS. Rest of the day free for independent activities. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 04: IN AGRA
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will be given the city tour of Agra.
Red Fort – lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat. Taj Mahal Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist’s visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from it’s stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.
Rest of the day free for other activities. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 05: AGRA – SAWAI MADHOPUR BY ROAD
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning leave Agra for Sawai Madhopur (265 km / approx 6 hrs drive). Enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri – Impressive sandstone fortress of Fatehpur Sikri. The fort was built in the 16th century and only occupied for a few years before being abandoned, leaving the buildings in virtually perfect conditions. Continue drive to Agra. Upon arrival in Agra – check-in at the hotel. Thereafter, visit the Red Fort, which was built by Akbar as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. Upon arrival at Sawai Madhopur, check in at THE OBEROI VANYAVILAS. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 06: IN SAWAI MADHOPUR
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning trip to Ranthambore National Park.
Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary – Rajasthan’s most renowned wildlife sanctuary, it is 400 sq kms of dry deciduous forest, perfect natural habitat for tigers, and is set in the Aravalli and Vindhya hills, dotted with pavillions and dominated by a hilltop fort. Ranthambore was one of the hunting preserves of the former rulers of Jaipur and because of this the Maharajas ensured the environment was preserved and the forest and their inhabitants well protected. It has a good population of tiger and their prey species, and has been declared a “Project Tiger” reserve. Wildlife includes blue bull, black buck, spotted deer or cheetal, wild boar, a large variety of bird species and, if very lucky, the rarely seen leopard. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 07: SAWAI MADHOPUR – JAIPUR BY ROAD
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning leave Sawai Madhopur for Jaipur (170 km / approx 3.5 hrs drive)
Jaipur, the pink city was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, a Kachhwaha Rajput, who ruled from 1699-1744. Initially his capital was Amber, which lies at a distance of 11kms from Jaipur. He felt the need of shifting his capital city with the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. Jaipur is the first planned city of India and the King took great interest while designing this city of victory. He consulted several books on architecture and architects before making the lay out of Jaipur
In 1853, when Prince of Wales visited Jaipur, the whole city was painted in Pink color to welcome him. Still, the neat and broadly laid-out avenues, painted in pink provide a magical charm to the city. Jaipur is rich in its cultural and architectural beauty, which can be traced in the various historical and aesthetic places that reside in the city. This city of victory really wins the hearts of the people with its splendid charisma.
Upon arrival at Jaipur, check-in at THE OBEROI RAJVILAS. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 08: IN JAIPUR
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will be given excursion to Amber Fort followed by city tour of Jaipur.
Tour of the impressive Amber Fort, situated on a ridge just outside Jaipur City. At the foot of the hill you will mount your caparisoned elephant for the slow but steady climb up to the main gate, making your entrance in the time honoured fashion. The Fort, completed in the early 18th century, took over 100 years to build and now, although deserted, offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the Moghul ruling families.
Tour of the Pink City – Your tour will include the imposing City Palace, still home to the Maharaja although several of the rooms are now open to the public. Many antiques and artefacts belonging to the ruling family are housed here, including a collection of weaponry. You will also visit the Hawa Mahal, “Palace of the Winds”, and the open-air Jantar Mantar Observatory to see the vast astronomical instruments. Enjoy a stroll through the colourful bazaar before returning to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 09: JAIPUR – UDAIPUR (BY AIR)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will be transferred to the airport in time to board the flight for Udaipur.
Udaipur, once known as Mewar, is the land that produced a galaxy of patriots and heroes in quick succession, people who etched the name of Rajasthan in every corner of the world. The Mewar dynasty traces its roots to the Sun God. Its history has been a continuous struggle for freedom of religion, thought and land against other Rajput groups as well as the overbearing Mughals and Muslims of bygone eras. Its act of patriotism, heroism, magnanimous behaviour and love for independence can never find any match in the annals of any country.
Udaipur remained untouched from Mughal religious and aesthetics influences and remained so till the coming of the Europeans. Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur was the only royalty who did not attend the Delhi Durbar for King George V in 1911. This fierce sense of independence earned them the highest gun salute in Rajasthan, 19 against the 17 each of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bundi, Bikaner, Kota and Karauli. Udaipur retained its romantic quality and Rosita Forbes, who passed this land of bravery during the decline of the British Raj, described it as “like no other place on earth. Upon arrival at the airport, you wil be transferred to THE OBEROI UDAIVILAS. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 10: IN UDAIPUR
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will be given the city tour followed by boat ride.
City tour of Udaipur – The tour will cover the magnificent City Palace, the Jagdish temple, the pleasure gardens and a drive around the other nearby lakes.
Later Enjoy a cruise by private boat on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the lake you have a wonderful view of the City Palace stretching along the east bank, while the south bank has pleasant gardens running down to the waterside. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 11: UDAIPUR – MUMBAI (BY AIR)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will be transferred to the airport in time to board the flight for Mumbai.
Bombay was originally a cluster of seven Koli islands inhabited by fishermen. These islands were a part of Gujarat. When the Muslim ruler Sultan Muhamed Begada captured the islands, Bombay was till then inhabited by the Hindus. Vasco da Gama a Portuguese was the first man to discover the sea route to Bombay
After repeated attacks, the Sultan of Gujarat handed over the islands to the Portuguese in 1534
The Portuguese could not find any use for them and in1661 the island of Bombay was given to Charles 11 of England as part of the dowry when he got married to Catherine of Braganza., sister of the Portuguese king
A few years later Charles 11 took possession of the remaining islands. In 1668,the East India Company a trading company based in Surat (Gujarat), took over on lease the island of Bombay due to its strategic location and port advantage, Bombay soon became an important trading port. Development and reclamation started and the then Governor Gerald Aungier (1672-1677) encouraged business men from all over to come and settle. Historians have given him the title of “Father of Bombay” because it was in this period Bombay boomed. to become a prime commercial centre
Arrive Mumbai you will be met by the representative of Exotique Expeditions and transferred to hotel THE OBEROI.
Overnight at the hotel
DAY 12: IN MUMBAI
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning excursion to the Elephanta Island – one hour boat ride across Mumbai Harbour brings you to the lush green Elephanta Island. Here, visit some of the huge and intricately carved Elephanta Caves that date back to the 8th century. For rows of massive columns cut into solid rock from three magnificent avenues, lead to the outstanding three-headed sculpture representing Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. Dedicated to Shiva, the beauty and power of these phenomenal sculptures depicting the various manifestations of Shiva is overpowering.
Afternoon city tour of Bombay – the great port city with its Victorian Gothic buildings from the British Raj Era mingling with the modern. The tour includes ‘Gateway of India’ overlooking the Harbour, the ‘Towers of Silence’, ‘Marine Drive’, the ‘Colaba Causeway’ – the commercial heart of Bombay and the Dhobi Ghat, the unique and colourful outdoor ‘laundry’. Drive upto the Malabar Hill to the lovely ‘Hanging Gardens’ and the Kamla Nehru Park from where you will get a wonderful view of Mumbai and the Arabian Sea, spread out before you. Also visit Mani Bhawan, a small museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi, and the bustling Crawford Market..
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 13: LEAVE MUMBAI
You will be met by the representative of Exotique Expeditions at the hotel and transferred to the airport, in time to connect your onward flight.