Taj Mahal & the Treasures of India (2014)
Luxury Small Group Journeys: The finest small-group travel experience
This itinerary is available as an independent journey led by local guides.
- Day 1: Arrive Mumbai, India | Settle Into Classic Elegance
Arrive in Mumbai, perhaps from your pre-tour extension to the Ajanta Caves. On arrival, an A&K representative meets and transfers you to your iconic hotel.The Taj Mahal Palace
- 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 and a sight to behold as hundreds of men and women hand-wash sheets and garments. 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 in to 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 D
- 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). Following an afternoon at leisure, enjoy a private cruise to Jag Mandir, a palace of splendidly carved marble on an island in Lake Pichola.Taj Lake Palace | Meals: B
- Day 5: Jaipur | The Pink City
After breakfast, travel overland to Jaipur, known as the “pink city” for the abundance of pink plastered stone used to build its massive forts, magnificent palaces and exquisite temples. Arrive at your hotel, the former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur. Tonight, join fellow guests for a candlelit performance of Indian folk dancing, followed by a Rajasthani dinner, a spicy and predominantly vegetarian cuisine.Rambagh Palace | Meals: B L D
- Day 6: Jaipur | Travelling by Elephant
This morning, explore the Amber Fort; its Mughal-style façade seems to grow out of the rugged hills. 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, such as the world’s largest sundial. View the nearby Palace of the Winds; its ornately screened windows allowed the women of the palace to gaze out onto the street unobserved.Rambagh Palace | Meals: B L
- Day 7: Jaipur/Agra | Palace of an Emperor
Travel to Fatehpur Sikri. Built by Emperor Akbar as his palace in the 16th century and then later abandoned, “ruined” Fatehpur Sikri is a fairy-tale ghost city of delicately carved red sandstone. Continue to Agra and your luxury hotel, catching your first glimpse of the Taj Mahal from your window.The Oberoi Amarvilás | Meals: B L D
- Day 8: Agra | The Taj Mahal
Today, visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Agra Fort and the immortal Taj Mahal. Flawless in its proportions and breathtaking in its beauty, the Taj Mahal looks as though it were painted onto the sky itself — a vision of unrivaled magnificence. Pay your first visit to the masterpiece this morning, when the rising sun lends a warm pink tint to its marble face. Continue to the impressive Agra Fort. Built of red sandstone and marble, Agra Fort presents a formidable exterior and a graceful interior. Return to the Taj Mahal in the late afternoon, as the setting sun bathes the monument in soft orange, for another view of this iconic site.The Oberoi Amarvilás | Meals: B
- Day 9: Jhansi/Panna National Park | Visit to Orchha
Today you depart from Agra, taking an early morning 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 in to 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 four- wheel-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
- Day 11: 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. Return to the hotel for dinner.The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi | Meals: B D
- Day 12: Varanasi | Ceremony Beside the Ganges
Today, you visit Varanasi’s highlights, including 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. Take in the sounds of chanted prayers and rhythmic drumming as you watch the Hindu priests — holding lanterns to keep the darkness at bay — bid the gods and goddesses a restful slumber.The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi | Meals: B
- 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 Taj Mahal Hotel | Meals: B D
- Day 14: 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 Chandni Chowk, inching your way through a maze of ox carts, cars and the occasional wandering cow. After lunch, tour New Delhi, including Humayun’s Tomb, a Mughal complex that prefigured the Taj Mahal.The Taj Mahal Hotel | Meals: B L
- Day 15: Depart Delhi
Board your homebound flight.Meals: B
- Ajanta & Ellora Caves Pre-Tour Extension
4 days, priced from $1,295; internal air priced from $350.
Available on the Jan 14, Jan 30, Feb 13, Feb 27, Mar 6, Mar 27, Oct 9, Oct 23, Oct 30, Nov 13, Nov 27, Dec 11 and Dec 18 departures.
DAY 1: Arrive in Mumbai and transfer to your hotel. The Taj Mahal Palace
DAY 2: Fly to Aurangabad. Visit the Ajanta Caves to view its monasteries and temples. Taj Residency | Meals: B
DAY 3: Explore the Ellora Caves, their 2,000-year-old temples and monasteries hewn from rock by Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monks and craftsmen. Taj Residency | Meals: B
DAY 4: Fly to Mumbai to begin Taj Mahal & the Treasures of India. Meals: B
- Kerala Pre-Tour Extension
5 days, priced from $1,965; internal air priced from $450.
Available on the Jan 23, Feb 20, Mar 18, Apr 3, Oct 16, Oct 28, Nov 20 and Dec 9 departures.
DAY 1: Arrive in Mumbai and transfer to your hotel. The Taj Mahal Palace
DAY 2: Fly to Kochi and transfer to your hotel. Explore one of the finest natural harbors on the Arabian Sea coast, visiting the oriental-style Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi, St. Francis Church and a local theater for an evening Kathakali dance performance. Vivanta by Taj Malabar | Meals: B
DAY 3: Travel by boat across Vembanad Lake to the Kerala village of Alleppey. Kumarakom Lake Resort | Meals: B L
DAY 4: Take a morning wildlife tour around Vembanad Lake and an afternoon tour of the Spice Plantation Farmhouse, followed by lunch with the owner and his family. Kumarakom Lake Resort | Meals: B L
DAY 5: Fly to Mumbai to begin Taj Mahal & the Treasures of India. Meals: B
- Nepal & Kathmandu Post-Tour Extension
4 days, priced from $1,295; internal air priced from $425.
Available on the Jan 14, Jan 23, Feb 6, Feb 13, Feb 20, Mar 6, Mar 18, Mar 20, Mar 27, Oct 9, Oct 14, Oct 16, Oct 28, Oct 30, Nov 6, Nov 13, Nov 20, Dec 9, Dec 11 and Dec 18 departures.
DAY 1: Fly from Delhi to Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel. Time permitting, explore the city. Dwarika’s Hotel
DAY 2-3: Enjoy a scenic Himalaya flight and tour key sites, including Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath Temple. Walk with Tibetan pilgrims at a stupa. Dwarika’s Hotel | Meals: B
DAY 4: Transfer to the airport to depart Kathmandu. Meals: B