Itinerary: (09 Nights / 10 Days)
1 Arrival Delhi Meeting & assistance upon arrival Delhi & transfer to Hotel.
2 Delhi This morning drive past the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the administrative North and South Blocks, the circular House of Parliament and the Memorial Arch of the First World War called India Gate. Drive past the Jami Masjid, built on a natural elevation by Shah Jahan in 1651-56 AD. It is one of the largest mosques in India and most impressive structurally. With its black and white striped onion domes and minarets, it is one of the largest and most elegant mosques in India. Continue on to the Red Fort, built as the royal residential and official complex of Shah Jahan. It is an irregular oblong. The palaces mostly in marble are along the river front. Drive on to the Raj Ghat, and visit the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Also visit the Birla temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu & Laxmi. Overnight at Hotel.
3 Delhi-Jaipur (250kms / 6 hrs) Morning visit the 72.5-meter tall Qutab Minar built by Qutbuddin Aibak (1192-98) founder of the Slave Dynasty. Adjoining it is the Quwwatu’l-Islam mosque that is built from materials plundered from Hindu Temples of Qila Rai Pithora. In the courtyard stands a rust free iron pillar – the dhvaja stanbha (flag-pole), raised originally as a standard to Vishnu in the 4th century AD by Chandra Gupta. Cast in a process that is lost to the world, the 7.2 meter pillar has not rusted through the centuries. Afternoon drive to Jaipur & upon arrival check in at Hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
4 Jaipur This morning the sight-seeing tour through the city includes the City Palace and its Museum, a treat of textiles, arms, carpets, paintings, manuscripts and elegant architecture. Outside the City Palace is the Royal Astronomical Observatory, whose precision of instruments is a unique achievement for the 18th century.
Overnight at Hotel.
5 Jaipur The morning begins with a ride on a caparisoned elephant up to the Amber Fort. On the way we shall see is stunning artistry of the five - storey facade of the Hawa Mahal, one of the most photographed land-marks of Jaipur. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singhji II, whose royal linage had previously ruled from Amber 11 kms away, established the “pink city” of Jaipur in 1728. The fort of Amber is built on the rugged hills that surround Jaipur. Within the Amber Fort are ornate palaces, massive gateways, courts, stairways and pillared pavilions that recall the glory and wealth of the Jaipur royal family. Afternoon free at leisure. Overnight at Hotel.
6 Jaipur-Fatehpur Sikri-Agra (238kms/ 5hours) Morning drive to Agra enroute visiting the imperial ruins of Fatehpur Sikri, chiseled of red-sandstone, with its many halls, gates and palaces. Their design combines several regional elements of regional architecture with that of Central Asia and Iran. It has many fine monuments. Fatehpur Sikri was raised by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar as a city expressing his ideals and vision, where he carried out experiments in art and architecture. Continue onto Agra & upon arrival check –in at Hotel. Afternoon visit the Agra Fort, which lies on the bend of the river Yamuna. Built by Akbar over 1565-73 AD, it was successively occupied and added to by Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. The prominent edifices inside are Jahangiri Mahal, Khas Mahal, the vineyard Anguri Bagh, the ornamental bath Shish Mahal and Masumman Burj where Shah Jahan died a captive of his son Aurangzeb, passing his last days gazing at the Taj Mahal. Overnight at Hotel.
7 Agra This morning visit the Taj Mahal, mausoleum of Empress Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved spouse of Shah Jahan and described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love. The vastness of geometric perfection and balance with design, together with the finesse of the rich inlay work with semi precious stones in white marble is executed with great skill. It marks the most developed stage of Mughal architecture. The designer is believed to be Ustad Ahmad Lahori (closed on Friday). Also visit the mother Terasa ashram & Orphanage. Overnight at Hotel.
8 Agra-Sikandra-Delhi (203 Kms/ 4 hrs) Morning drive to Delhi enroute visit the mighty tomb of the Emperor Akbar, located at Sikandra. It lies within a spacious garden enclosed by high walls. On its southern side is a high gate with four towering minars, and false gates placed for the sake of symmetry. The gate is embellished with thick bold patterns. The mausoleum was begun by Akbar himself, but completed in 1613 by his son the Emperor Jahangir, who modified the original design and added a marble cloister on the top containing the false grave of the Emperor. The real grave lies in a simple crypt like sepulchral chamber. Drive to Delhi & upon arrival check in at Hotel Clark International / Surya Shelter. Overnight at Hotel.
9 Arrival Delhi Day free at leisure (no transport).
You may wish to visit the local market of Karol Bagh (closed Monday). This is an extensive shopping area with shops selling all kinds of items from brocade sarees, gold, toys, electronic items, textiles, house-hold items and frankly more items than can be conveniently accommodated in this description. Connaught Circus (closed Sunday), another excellent shopping center is also close by. You could visit the Emporiums of various Indian States at Connaught Place and shop for artifacts from all over India. Wander around window shopping and perhaps lunch in one of the many excellent restaurants here. Other good local markets (closed on Monday) are Lajpat Nagar Central Market and Sarojni Nagar Market. Overnight at Hotel.
10 Delhi-Departure Day free at leisure. Check out 1200 hrs. Later in time transfer to airport to connect onward flight(*** Our services end here ***)