ARRIVE MUMBAI, INDIA
Arrive in Mumbai, where an A&K representative meets and transfers you to your iconic hotel.
MUMBAI | BUSTLING ENVIRONS
After a morning at leisure, explore the city’s classic sites, including the Gateway of India, an 85-foot-high arch with a design that 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.
UDAIPUR | CRUISE TO JAG MANDIR
Fly to Udaipur and visit the stunning City Palace, a marble complex that offers unforgettable views of the lake and its surroundings. Continue to the Crystal Gallery in Fateh Prakash Palace, before arriving at your romantic hotel, set in the middle of Lake Pichola. 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. After lunch, return to Udaipur and stroll through Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honor) before returning to your hotel. Later, embark on a private cruise past Jag Mandir, a stunning palace on an island in Lake Pichola.
PUSHKAR | A VIBRANT FAIR
Early this morning, drive to the otherwise quiet, secluded desert town of Pushkar, sharing the road with camels, trucks, cattle, water buffalo and rickshaws as you approach. Spend the next two days experiencing the bustling Pushkar Fair, a colorful whirl of activity drawing people from all around the globe. See painted and adorned camels and cattle being traded; peruse stalls selling camel tassels and woven gypsy dowry bags; and witness Hindu devotees as they throng the ghats around Pushkar Lake in order to bathe, cleanse their sins and attain a place in heaven.
JAIPUR | THE PINK CITY
Travel overland to Jaipur and check in to your hotel, the former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur. Later, explore the City Palace, a unique and arresting complex of several palaces, pavilions, gardens and temples. Located within the palace’s gates is the Mubarak Mahal, or “Auspicious Palace,” which contains textiles including the royal formal costumes, sanganeri block prints, Kashmiri pashminas and silk saris. Then, visit Jantar Mantar, an open-air array of astronomical instruments. The next day, view the Palace of the Winds — built for the women of the royal household to observe street life without being seen. Proceed to explore the beautiful Mughal-style Amber Fort. This red sandstone and marble palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
AGRA | MONUMENTS OF EMPERORS
Drive to Agra, observing the colorful rural life of Rajasthan on your journey. Upon arrival, catch your first glimpse of the breathtaking Taj Mahal from your luxurious room. 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, once the prison of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal after the death of his beloved wife.
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.
PANNA NATIONAL PARK | TIGER TRACKING
Rise early this morning for a game drive in Panna National Park aboard a four-wheel-drive vehicle, spotting crocodiles or perhaps the elusive Bengal tiger. Learn how a successful conservation program has grown the park’s tiger population, increasing the odds of a sighting. Return to the lodge to enjoy an Indian cooking demonstration, as a chef prepares local delicacies for lunch. Enjoy an afternoon game drive before returning to your lodge for dinner.
KHAJURAHO & VARANASI | INDIA’S HOLIEST CITY
Drive to Khajuraho to see all of life — joy, love, divinity, war — depicted in detail on every inch of its 85 Hindu and Jain temples. Then, 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.
VARANASI & DELHI | SUNRISE CRUISE ON THE GANGES
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. Later, fly to Delhi and settle into your hotel, where you later gather for a farewell cocktail and dinner.
DELHI | EXPLORING THE OLD & THE NEW
Visit the great Jama Masjid, the most important mosque in India. Completed in 1656, its two minarets, made from red sandstone and white marble, each stand 131 feet tall. Then, set off on an exciting rickshaw ride through the carts and stalls of Chandni Chowk bazaar, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. Like Jama Masjid, it dates to the era of Shah Jahan, and today is a vital part of everyday life here — frequented by locals and a must-see destination for visitors. After lunch, tour New Delhi, including Humayun’s Tomb, the last resting place of an esteemed 16th-century Mughal emperor and an architectural precursor of the Taj Mahal.
Transfer to the airport early this morning for your flight home, or begin your post-tour extension to Kathmandu.