Signature Journeys: North IndiaOur exclusive 10 day & 9 night itinerary through North India
Discover North India
India can be described as incredible, but once you’ve taken in the beauty of its culture, people, cuisine, and architecture, you’ll find that it goes far beyond this term.
Ignite Your Senses
A land of remarkable diversity – from ancient traditions and artistic heritage to magnificent landscapes and culinary creations – India will ignite your curiosity, shake your senses and warm your soul. To embrace India’s unpredictability is to embrace her spirit.
Culture, Traditions & Heritage
India is the world’s largest democratic and secular country, gaining independence from British rule in 1947. The civilization of Harappa and Indus Valley in India is believed to be more than 4000 years old and civilizations have left mark on culture, art, architecture, religion and language ever since.
A Multitude of Diversity
There are 29 states mainly on the basis of linguistic lines, and a wide variety of languages and that of culture, festivals, dress and mode of living is even greater. The culture of India is a perfect blend of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism, and a wide variety of regional cultures.
Delhi: Welcome to India
Arrival at New Delhi International Airport. After clearing customs and retrieving your luggage, greeting at the airport and private transfer to your hotel. The capital of India in the third largest city in the country. New Delhi served as the capital for many great empires that ruled India over the centuries. Many of these empires built significant monuments, of which the Mughal and British are the most prominent. On your transfer to your hotel, you will see ruins from previous empires, the earliest dating back to the 12th century.
Afternoon at leisure to recuperate from your journey. We recommend a re-energizing massage at the hotel Spa. Alternatively, explore the massive Akshardham Temple (approx. 30 mins away). Arrive in time for a boat ride around the temple. Akshardham means the “eternal abode of God”. This stunning temple complex was built of pink sandstone and white marble. It has 234 ornately carved pillars, 9 domes, and an extraordinary number of stone elephants.
Tonight we recommend dinner at Varq (approx. 10 mins away), one of Delhi’s fine dining restaurants with contemporary décor and the menu created by the master Chef - Hemant Oberoi. Private transfer back to your hotel after dinner.
Old & New Delhi: Old & New Delhi
This morning, explore the Old City and its famous markets. You will pass by shops selling bangles, dazzling items used at weddings, silverware, clothes, spices and even shoes. Sharing the same space are vendors with carts selling a variety of items, street side dentists, natural healers and cobblers. The Old City has space for all professions.
Ride cycle rickshaws through the narrow alleys, disembarking at the fascinating spice market before ending at the Jamaa Masjid, the Friday Mosque which dominates the skyline. Recommended lunch at Chor Bizarre located in the historic Bikaner House. Visit Humayun’s Tomb, one of the earliest examples of a Mughal Garden Tomb. This mausoleum was designed by a Persian architect and provided the prototype for future tombs, including the Taj Mahal.
From Humayun’s Tomb, you will be driven along the tree-lined avenues of the New City built by the British. The drive takes you past the houses of Parliaments, the India Gate and the jewel of this architectural collection – the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential Palace. Later, explore the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a magnificent Sikh temple.
In the evening, private transfer to Indian Accent where we recommend dinner. Indian Accent showcases inventive Indian cuisine by complementing the flavours and traditions of India with global ingredients and techniques. It is the only restaurant in India to be featured in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017. Private transfer back to your hotel after dinner.
Agra: Agra & the Taj Mahal
Greeting by your expert guide and private transfer to the train station where you will board your executive class cabin for Agra. On this train ride, you will get a glimpse of rural India and the impressive size of the city of New Delhi. Arrive at Agra and visit the Red Fort with your expert guide. This UNESCO site and walled city was the main residence of emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi.
Enjoy a recommended lunch at the Oberoi Hotel’s restaurant. Later, visit the world-famous Taj Mahal. This monument was built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It took 12 years to build this sublime garden tomb, an image of the Islamic garden of paradise. Your guide will take you around the site to view the amazing structure from different angles.
Later, private transfer to the train station to return to New Delhi. Once at New Delhi, private transfer to your hotel where we recommend dinner and an evening at leisure.
Jaipur: Explore the Pink City
Greeting by your guide and private transfer to the airport for your flight to Jaipur. Upon arrival, visit the Hawa Mahal, the ornate pink façade an icon of the city. This five story high “screen” composed of projected windows and balconies protected by fine latticed screens was destined to enable the ladies of the harem to observe the lively street scenes of the city from a position of privacy.
Continue to the extraordinary “Jantar Mantar,” the astronomical observatory built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1827. The instruments resembling massive futuristic structures are highly sophisticated which are accurate even to this day. After lunch in town, explore the City Palace which, painted pink in keeping with the color theme of the old city, is a blend of predominately Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture. Within the palace complex are several museums including an interesting textile gallery exhibiting a fine selection of textiles and costumes from the royal collection.
Later in the afternoon, enjoy a curated tour of the Old City. The walk takes you past 200 year-old temples, shrines, and highlights the many professions that exist within the walled city. Markets in India are always a burst of color, activity, and photographic moments. Discover the astonishing depth and breadth of crafts and culture in this Rajasthani city. Rickshaws, cows, bejewelled women, and men with shocking-pink turbans pass by as you soak up spice aromas and vibrant street life. In the early evening, stop by Bar Palladio for drinks and a dinner.
Jaipur: Jaipur from Above & Within
With a specialist guide, enjoy a textile tour of Jaipur. Begin with a visit to the Anokhi Museum, where you will learn about all the different kinds of textile types and designs known to this region of Rajasthan. Visit a traditional block maker to witness the impressive handmade craft. You will have the opportunity to design your own block and print your sari with the assistance of the master!
Later, your guide will take you to the different sustainable boutiques of Jaipur to shop for the best textiles. These purchases will help keep this lost art alive. At sunset, take a hot air balloon ride, drifting over the Aravalli hills and the historic Amber Fort and its surroundings.
Rathambore: Former Royal Hunting Grounds
In the afternoon, enjoy a nature walk with an expert guide. The camp is surrounded by nearly 12 acres of forest with water bodies, grasslands and thick forests that cover all of the property. There are several trails of nearly 3 kms. A local guide will lead you on a trail to show you the various birds and even jackals, desert foxes and hares within the jungle. Enjoy dinner on the property.
Rathambore: Chambal & Tiger Safari
This morning, a local guide will take you on a jungle safari for a chance to see wild tigers of Rajasthan. Have lunch at Khem Villas. In the afternoon, go on an exciting Chambal River Safari. About an hour away from Ranthambhore is one of India’s most beautiful rivers called the Chambal, famous for the dacoits in the early 1970’s. The government has declared it as a National Park to save the rare crocodile known as the Ghariyal.
Cruising along this river, you will see the Ghariyal crocodile as well as many rare birds and other aquatic species like the Skimmer, Osprey, and Turtles. You will also have the opportunity to see rural life along the river with small farming communities tilling their lands, grazing cattle just like they have been doing for hundreds of years. In the late afternoon, visit the Dastkar Rathambore NGO that provides a space where local arts and crafts are made by disadvantaged women of the village. Enjoy dinner on the property.
Udaipur: A Fairytale City
Greeting by your guide in the early morning and private transfer to the Jaipur airport (Approx. 3.5 hours) for your flight to Udaipur. Flight arrival at Udaipur. After claiming your luggage, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel. We recommend lunch and an afternoon at leisure.
The city is dominated by the massive City Palace which overlooks the lovely Lake Pichola with its romantic island palaces. In the evening, take a walk in the old city with your guide. Sharing space with cows, elephants, people, and the walk through the winding lanes offers interesting insight into lifestyles in what is referred to as “small town India”. Shops selling a variety of items, unexpected folk art decorating the walls of houses and small architectural gems like a latticed work Haveli window.
Udaipur: Ancient Temples & Lake Pichola
Today, visit the City Palace of Udaipur. The detailed art and workmanship is a tribute to the skills of local artisans and craftspeople. In keeping with the claim of the royal family that they are “Surya vansh” – descendants of the Sun, the whole structure faces east, and a stunning bejewelled image of the sun greets you at the entrance.
The palace boasts a remarkable collection of Rajput miniature paintings and a Sliver Gallery with its collection of the family silver including a wedding pavilion. Later, explore the small but beautiful complex at Nagda. These elaborately carved 10th century temples are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. You can also stop at the 9th century Eklinji Temple, still patronized by the Udaipur royal family.
This evening, take a boat ride on Lake Pichola. Sail past Jag Mandir, the island that served as the refuge for Prince Khurram (later known as Shah Jahan) when he was exiled by his father, as well as for several British families who fled from nearby Neemuch during the uprising of 1857. Private transfer back to your hotel later in the evening.
Departure: Bid North India Farewell
After breakfast, greeting by your host and private transfer to the Udaipur airport for your flight home via New Delhi.
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