Day 1 UK - Delhi
Today, you fly to Delhi, arriving on day 2.
Day 2 Delhi
Today has been left free for you to explore your new destination. This evening you will join your travelling companions and get to know them over a welcome dinner.
Day 3 DelhiToday we'll discover New Delhi. Our drive takes us through elegant boulevards and lush green parks where the iconic India Gate and imposing Parliament House are both reminders of a colonial past. We'll also visit the ancient Qutub Minar - a UNESCO-listed site.We'll then visit the 17th century walled city of Old Delhi. Temples and mosques fill every available space and tempting food stalls flood the narrow streets with colour and heady aromas. As we explore we'll pass by the spectacular Red Fort, the impressive marble domes of Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.
We will also visit Gali Paranthe Wali, the 'lane of parantha-makers', which is located in Chandni Chowk. Once known for its silverware shops before the parantha makers moved in during the 1970s, the lane is now world famous and some shops are being run by the sixth generation of the same family. Parantha can be enjoyed plain or served with sweet tamarind chutney, mint chutney, mixed vegetable pickle, and are often made with other ingredients cooked into the dough such as kaju (cashews), badam (almonds), matar (Green chic peas) and gobhi (cauliflower). They can also be enjoyed with a filling of paneer and potato curry, potato and fenugreek curry or a sauteed mash of sweet pumpkin.
This afternoon has been left free for you to explore at your own pace, in the company of your fellow travellers. If you wish, you could join our optional excursion which will introduce you to India's array of different religions. We'll visit Birla Mandir, the Hindu temple inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, and the Catholic Sacred Heart Cathedral before arriving at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. Hundreds of devotees are fed every day at this Sikh place of worship, and we'll have a chance to volunteer in the kitchens before our tour continues to Nizamuddin Dargah, the shrine to Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya.
Meals included: B,D
Day 4 Delhi - Agra
Today we'll travel south to Agra, where we'll stay overnight. After checking in to our hotel we'll visit the UNESCO-listed Agra Fort. Once the imperial city of the Mogul rulers, this mighty red-sandstone fortress is where the Emperor Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son.Meals included: B,D
Day 5 Taj Mahal - Ranthambore
We have an early start this morning for what is sure to be a memorable highlight of the holiday – a dawn visit to the spectacular Taj Mahal. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a symbol of his love for his wife, nothing will prepare you for the breathtaking sight of this magnificent mausoleum, whose white marble walls are inlaid with semiprecious stones. Close by is Mehtab Bagh, a centuries-old garden complex, which sits on the other side of the river. You'll get to see the Taj Mahal from here too, for equally wonderful views.Later we will travel to Ranthambore National Park, said to be the best game reserve in India, where we will stay for two nights. Meals included: B,L,D
Day 6 RanthamboreA thrilling day lies ahead with not just one but two safaris. On morning and afternoon game drives we'll make our way through thick forest, where pretty waterfalls provide the perfect habitat for more than 300 species of birds. Our knowledgeable local guide will help you to spot other residents of the park, including crocodile, hyena, jackal and more. Keep your fingers crossed for a sighting of the elusive tiger or the even rarer leopard. Meals included: B,L,D
Day 7 Ranthambore - JaipurThis morning you could take a moment to relax or join our optional excursion to Ranthambore Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later we’ll travel to Jaipur, affectionately known as the ‘pink city’ because all of the buildings are painted in a distinctive shade of pink. Meals included: B,L,D
Day 8 Jaipur
This morning we'll drive to the marvellous Amber Fort, a 17th century stronghold set on top of a hill. It's a wonderful blend of Hindu and Muslim elements and we'll step inside to explore the palace, courtyards and gardens. Then we'll head to the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory built in the early 18th century, and then take a stroll through Chaandpol Bazaar, where pungent aromas emanate from the shops which grind and sell all manner of brightly coloured spices.
Whilst in Jaipur you will also be served a glass of Lassi, a blend of water, yoghurt, spices and sometimes fruit. The drink, traditionally served in earthen pots to add an unique aroma, is topped with a thick layer of malai leaving you refreshed and surprisingly full! This evening we include a cookery demonstration with dinner in a local family home.
Day 9 Jaipur - Delhi
We have left this morning free for you to explore Jaipur at your own pace. Alternatively, you could join our optional walking tour, which is one of the best ways to appreciate the rich heritage of the walled city. We take a break for tea at The Real Marigold Hotel, this family owned guesthouse starred in the BBC’s reality TV show of the same name in 2016 and is a popular place to visit. Later we will drive to Delhi.Meals included: B,D
Day 10 Delhi - UK
After breakfast we'll transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK.Meals included: B