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Taj Mahal & the Treasures of India (2016)
Limited to 18 guests
Days: 15 | From: $8,695
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. Next, see the Dhobi Ghat, the largest open-air laundry in the world and a wonderfully colorful spectacle to behold. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner alongside fellow guests.
The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai | Meals: B D
Day 3: Mumbai/Udaipur | Temples of Elephanta Island
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 in to your romantic hotel. After settling in, take in the magnificent views of the City and Jag Mandir palaces from your hotel and stroll its interior courtyard gardens.
Taj Lake Palace | Meals: B
Days 4-5: 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 Prakash Palace, and stroll through Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honor). Pay a visit to a local painting school; later, embark on a private cruise to Jag Mandir, a marble palace on an island in Lake Pichola, followed by a Scenic Sundowner. The next morning, journey out of town for an excursion to Delwara and visit two important temple complexes: Eklingji, dedicated to Shiva, and deserted Nagda, built to honor Lord Vishnu. Afterward, proceed to a nearby palace, housed in an 18th-century fort in the village of Delwara, for lunch. Then, return to Udaipur to enjoy the remainder of your afternoon at leisure.
Taj Lake Palace | Meals: B D (Day 4); B L (Day 5)
Days 6-7: Jaipur | The Amber Fort
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. Visit Jantar Mantar, an open-air array of astronomical instruments, and view the nearby Palace of the Winds.
Rambagh Palace | Meals: B L D (Day 6); B L (Day 7)
Days 8-9: Agra | Visions of the Taj Mahal
Today, arrive in Agra, catching your first glimpse of the breathtaking Taj Mahal from the window of your luxury hotel room. Then, visit the Taj Mahal in the late afternoon, as the setting sun bathes it in a soft orange glow. Return the next morning, when the rising sun lends a warm pink tint to its marble face. Visit the Agra Fort before driving to Fatehpur Sikri. Built in the 16th century and later abandoned, “ruined” Fatehpur Sikri is a fairy-tale ghost city of delicately carved red sandstone.
The Oberoi Amarvilás | Meals: B L D (Day 8); B (Day 9)
Day 10: Jhansi/Panna National Park | Into the Wild
Depart by express train to Jhansi. After lunch, continue to remote Panna National Park, a haven for India’s wildlife, and check in to your wilderness lodge.
Pashan Garh | Meals: B L D
Day 11: Panna | Tracking Tigers
After a morning at leisure, drive to Panna for a game drive in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, spotting crocodiles or perhaps the elusive Bengal tiger. Tonight, enjoy an Indian cooking demonstration, as a chef prepares local delicacies for dinner.
Pashan Garh | Meals: B D
Day 12: Khajuraho/Varanasi | India’s Holiest City
Drive to Khajuraho to see the full spectrum of life -- joy, love, divinity, war -- depicted in detailed carvings on every inch of its 85 Hindu and Jain temples. After lunch, fly to Varanasi, a city of more than a thousand temples and shrines, sacred to Hindus and Buddhists. At dusk, beside the Ganges River, witness the Aarti ceremony. Chanted prayers and rhythmic drumming fill the air as you watch lantern-bearing priests bid the gods and goddesses a restful slumber.
The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi | Meals: B L D
Day 13: Varanasi/Delhi | Sunrise River Cruise
Rise early for a private sunrise cruise on the Ganges River to observe activity along the ghats (stone steps leading down to the river), where locals and pilgrims cleanse themselves, literally and spiritually. After breakfast, visit the 18th-century Durga Temple, devoted to the Hindu deity Durga, and Bharat Mata Temple, dedicated by Mahatma Gandhi to Mother India. Later, fly to Delhi for a farewell dinner.
The Oberoi, Gurgaon | 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. Depart Delhi early the next morning.
The Oberoi, Gurgaon | Meals: B L (Day 14); B (Day 15)
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 2016
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