Taj Mahal & the Treasures of India (2015)
Limited to 18 guests
Days: 15 | From: $7,995
Day 1: Arrive Mumbai, India
Arrive in Mumbai, perhaps from your pre-tour extension. On arrival, an A&K representative meets and transfers you to your iconic hotel.
Day 2: Mumbai | Enter the Gateway to India
Explore the city’s classic sights, including the Gateway of India, an 85-foot-high arch whose design reflects India’s Muslim and Hindu traditions. Visit the Prince of Wales Museum and Mani Bhawan, a museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi. See the Dhobi Ghat, the largest open-air laundry in the world. Enjoy a welcome dinner alongside fellow guests.
The Taj Mahal Palace | Meals: B D
Day 3: Mumbai/Udaipur | Temples and Palaces
This morning, privately cruise Mumbai Harbour to Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the island’s world-renowned temples, which are carved directly out of the basalt rock and filled with ornamental statues, pillars and friezes. Later this afternoon, fly to Udaipur and check into your romantic hotel. After settling in, take in the magnificent views of the City and Jag Mandir palaces and stroll its interior courtyard gardens.
Taj Lake Palace | Meals: B
Day 4: Udaipur | Cruise to Jag Mandir
Visit the City Palace, a marble complex of palaces and galleries that offers unforgettable views of the lake and its surroundings. Take a private tour of the Crystal Gallery in Fateh Prakesh Palace, and stroll through Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honor). Pay a visit to a local painting school; later, enjoy a private cruise to marble Jag Mandir, a palace on an island in Lake Pichola.
Taj Lake Palace | Meals: B D
Days 5-6: Jaipur | The Pink City
Travel overland to Jaipur and check into your hotel, the former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur. The next day, explore the Mughal-style Amber Fort. Later, enjoy a pleasant elephant ride through the countryside with the help of a mahout (trainer). Visit Jantar Mantar, an open-air array of astronomical instruments, and view the nearby Palace of the Winds.
Meals: B L D (Day 5); B L (Day 6)
Days 7-8: Agra | Monuments of Emperors
Travel to Fatehpur Sikri. Built in the 16th century and then later abandoned, “ruined” Fatehpur Sikri is a fairy-tale ghost city made of delicately carved red sandstone. Continue to Agra and your luxury hotel, catching your first glimpse of the breathtaking Taj Mahal from your window. Pay your first visit to the masterpiece the next morning, when the rising sun lends a warm pink tint to its marble face. Continue to the Agra Fort. Return to the Taj Mahal in the late afternoon, as the setting sun bathes it in soft orange.
The Oberoi Amarvilás | Meals: B L D (Day 7); B (Day 8)
Day 9: Jhansi/Panna National Park | Visit to Orchha
Depart by express train to Jhansi; then continue overland by road to Orchha, visiting its 17th-century abandoned palace. After lunch, continue to remote Panna National Park, checking into your wilderness lodge.
Pashan Garh | Meals: B L D
Day 10: Khajuraho/Panna | Incredible Carvings
Drive to Khajuraho where all of life — joy, love, divinity, war — is depicted in fine detail on every inch of its 85 Hindu and Jain temples. After lunch, return to Panna for a game drive in a fourwheel- drive vehicle, spotting crocodiles or perhaps the elusive tiger. Tonight, gather for an Indian cooking demonstration, as a chef prepares local delicacies using native spices, and enjoy the results for dinner.
Pashan Garh | Meals: B L D
Days 11-12: Varanasi | India’s Holiest City
After a morning at leisure, fly to Varanasi, a city of more than a thousand temples and shrines, sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike. In the afternoon, explore nearby Sarnath, a park where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first sermon 25 centuries ago. The next day, visit the 18th-century Durga Temple, devoted to the Hindu deity Durga, and Bharat Mata Temple, dedicated by Mahatma Gandhi to Mother India. At dusk, head to the banks of the sacred Ganges River to witness the Aarti ceremony. Chanted prayers and rhythmic drumming fill the air as you watch lanternbearing priests bid the gods and goddesses a restful slumber.
The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi | Meals: B D (Day 11); B (Day 12)
Day 13: Varanasi/Delhi | Sunrise River Cruise
Rise early for a private sunrise cruise on the Ganges River for a view of the activity along the ghats (stone steps) leading down to the river, where the locals and pilgrims alike cleanse themselves, literally and spiritually. Later, fly to Delhi and join fellow guests for a farewell dinner.
The Oberoi, New Delhi | Meals: B D
Days 14-15: Delhi | Exploring the Old and the New
Visit the great Jama Masjid, the most important mosque in India. Then set off on an exciting rickshaw ride through the carts and stalls of Chandni Chowk bazaar. After lunch, tour New Delhi, including Humayun’s Tomb, which prefigures the Taj Mahal. Depart Delhi the next day.
The Oberoi, New Delhi | Meals: B L (Day 14); B (Day 15)
Kerala & Cochin Pre-Tour Extension
5 days, priced from $2,195; internal air priced from $500
Available on the Jan 15, Jan 22, Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12, Feb 19, Mar 12, Mar 19, Oct 8, Oct 20, Oct 27, Nov 15, Nov 26, and Dec 22 departures.
Day 1: Arrive in Mumbai, where you are transferred to your hotel. Taj Mahal Palace
Day 2: Fly to Cochin (Kochi). See the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue and Fort Kochi. Tonight, see a Kathakali dance performance at a theater. Vivanta by Taj Malabar | Meals: B D
Days 3-4: Take a private boat to Alleppey. The following day, witness the prolific bird population along Vembanad Lake, and take a short cruise to the Spice Plantation Farmhouse for lunch with its owner. Kumarakom Lake Resort | Meals: B L
Day 5: Drive to the Cochin airport, fly to Mumbai. Meals: B
Nepal & Kathmandu Post-Tour Extension
4 days, priced from $1,395; internal air priced from $525
Available on the Jan 15, Jan 20, Feb 3, Feb 12, Feb 24, Mar 10, Mar 12, Mar 17, Mar 19, Oct 8, Oct 13, Oct 20, Oct 27, Nov 3, Nov 15, Nov 17, Nov 26, Dec 3, Dec 8, and Dec 22 departures.
Day 1: Fly from Delhi to Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel. If time allows, explore the city. Dwarika’s Hotel | Meals: B
Day 2-3: Early this morning, enjoy a scenic flight over the Himalaya (weather permitting). Later, set out to see Kathmandu City, including Durbar Square and Teleju. Continue to Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), the world’s oldest shrine. The following day, see Pashupatinath Temple, the most sacred of all Hindu temples in Nepal. Walk with Tibetan pilgrims at a stupa. Then, explore Bhaktapur, the “City of Devotees,” and see Mount Everest by air. Dwarika’s Hotel | Meals: B L; B L D
Day 4: Transfer to the airport to depart Kathmandu. Meals: B
Special Note | Combine the Feb 24 or Oct 27 departure with the Feb 9 or Oct 12 of the Marco Polo Club Journey Sri Lanka and the South of India. Call A&K for details.
Family Departure | This itinerary is also available as a family adventure, with child pricing and child-friendly programming and activities.
Take This Journey Private | This itinerary is also available as an independent journey, Signature India & the Taj Mahal, with A&K local guides.
Luxury Small Group Journeys 2015
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