21 January 2017
India's Golden Triangle is the highlight on any trip to the sub-continent and on this 10 day Incredible Palace Escapes tour you will see all the stunning highlights in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur as well as making visits to Jodhpur and Udaipur. After seeing all the iconic sights in the capital city, you travel to one of the wonders of the world - the stunning Taj Mahal. Then it's on through the deserted red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri to experience the delights of Rajasthan where you stay in some magnificent palaces.
On arrival at Delhi international airport you will be met by one of our tour representatives and driven to the Taj Mahal Hotel, which is located in the heart of New Delhi. India's capital and a major gateway to the country, Delhi is contemporary and a bustling metropolis which successfully combines the ancient and the modern. Its strategic location was one of the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. New Delhi also reflects the legacy the British left behind. Overnight in Delhi.
After breakfast you are taken on a full-day tour of Old and New Delhi. Visit Jama Masjid, which is the largest mosque in India. Enjoy a rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk, the busiest market in Old Delhi and stop at the Red Fort, which once was the home of the Mughal royal family. Later, drive past India Gate, President House and several other government buildings in Edwin Lutyen’s Delhi before stopping at Rajghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Later in the evening visit the Qutab Minar, which is the tallest brick minaret in the world.
Leave Delhi today for the four hour drive to Agra. On arrival check-in to the Gateway Hotel from where you have a magnificent view of the iconic Taj Mahal. Later you are taken on a half day city tour of Agra, visiting the Red Fort, a beautiful yet forbidding structure and a handsome example of Mughal architecture. Later, visit the fabulous Taj Mahal itself, a mausoleum built as a symbol of Emperor Shah Jehan’s devotion to his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Overnight in Agra.
Today you are driven the five hours to Jaipur stopping on the way to visit Fatehpur Sikri, which was built by Emperor Akbar and boasts many historical buildings. Akbar wanted to make Fatehpur Sikri his headquarters, but had to abandon it due to shortage of water. Today, Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO World heritage site. At Jaipur you stay at the magnificent Rambagh Palace. Jaipur is the gateway to the colourful and vibrant state of Rajasthan. Tonight take a stroll in the markets and see the traditional dresses, curio shops and blue pottery.
Enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Jaipur, also known as the Pink City. It is famous for its colourful culture, forts, palaces and lakes. The old city is painted pink, which gives it a magical glow. Ride up to the Amber Fort on the back of an elephant and then stop to photograph the beautiful Hawa Mahal, known as the Palace of the Winds. This beautiful façade with ornately carved latticework windows is made of pink sandstone. Later, visit the Jantar Mantar Observatory and the Albert Hall, modeled on London's Victoria and Albert Museum.
After breakfast today see some more of the colourful city of Jaipur as you begin a six and a half hour drive to Jodhpur. On arrival in the city check-in to the beautiful Umaid Bhawan Palace - a magnificent piece of Rajasthan’s heritage, and a symbol of new Jodhpur. It is the home of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family and currently the world’s sixth-largest private residence. The rest of the evening is free for you to go out and explore on your own in Jodhpur.
After breakfast there's a half-day sightseeing tour of Jodhpur, which is the second largest city in Rajasthan and also called the Sun City. Visit the spectacular Mehrangarh Fort, made from red sandstone and standing on a sheer cliff. Also visit Jaswant Thada, a marble cenotaph and a monument built out of intricately carved sheets of marble. Later, drive past the Mandore garden, which showcases cenotaphs of Jodhpur's former rulers. The rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own. Overnight in Jodhpur.
Another six hour drive after breakfast today when you head for Udaipur, visiting the Ranakpur Temples on the way. These temples have been acclaimed worldwide for their intricate and superb architectural style. On arrival at Udaipur check in to the Taj Lake Palace, one of the most romantic hotels in the world, which was built in 1746 as a pleasure palace. You are greeted by a shower of rose petals and platter of refreshments as you get off the boat at Sadar Ghat before you are escorted under a sequinned umbrella for a traditional welcome.
Enjoy a full-day tour of Udaipur. Visit the City Palace, standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola where you have panoramic views of the Lake Palace Hotel and Jag Mandir on one side, and the city on the other. The paintings, mosaics, intricately carved 'chhatris' and the architecturally brilliant facade all contribute to making your visit a truly memorable experience. Later visit a picturesque garden and temple and in the evening you have a boat ride on Lake Pichola.
Today your wonderful tour around India's Golden Triangle and through colourful Rajasthan comes to an end. Possibly time for some more sightseeing or last minute shopping for souvenirs in Udaipur before you are picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home having experienced so many of the highlights of this fascinating country.
Taj Palace Escapes fr £3744pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated