The Taj & Beyond
Surely one of the most romantic monuments of the world, The Taj Mahal is must in the itinerary of every visitor to India. Designed and built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to the beauty of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. A single visit does not do justice to the Taj Mahal as it provides different facets at different times.
India is not only known for her culture and civilization but also for her range of natural habitat. The Royal Bengal Tiger waits in the shadow of another magnificent fort at Ranthambore.
Combining this with the pinnacle of Golden Triangle – Delhi, Agra, Jaipur – the itinerary strikes the perfect balance between the man made and the natural marvel.
Day 1 – Delhi
“I asked my soul what is Delhi? It replied, the world is the body, Delhi is its soul…is how a 19th century poet described this city that has ever been so many things to so many different people. To the weary travelers on the ancient silk route it was the first plain after having crossed the Himalayan Mountains with the promise of shelter, food and business opportunities. To the Afghan, Turk, Greek, Arab and Roman kings it was a vast and inexhaustible source of treasures of all kinds.
Day 1 - Delhi Contd.
Pick up and transfer from the Railway Station to your hotel. After freshen up and have breakfast, proceed for a full day of sightseeing. Discover the Qutub Minar, the tallest minaret in India with a height of 72.5m. Later visit Humayun’s Tomb and Jama Masjid (the largest and best-known mosque in India), commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who also built the Taj Mahal. Revisit Red Fort, a 17th century fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
Day 2 - Agra - Visit The Taj
Pick up from the hotel at 0900 hrs & drive to Agra (4½ hrs) – via the Express Way. Agra lies to the south east of Delhi & is home to the world-famous Taj Mahal. It also houses 3 world heritage sites & rose to its fame in the medieval period as the capital of the Mughal Empire. In modern times, the city has a thriving marble industry where some of the workers are direct descendants of craftsmen who had helped build the Taj Mahal. Visit the Taj Mahal, enjoy the sunset & later do some shopping.
Day 3 - Agra - City Tour
After breakfast, proceed for the Agra city tour. Visit the Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture and the seat & stronghold of the Mughal Empire. The present structure owes its origins to Akbar who erected the walls and gates and the first buildings. Later visit Sikandra the mausoleum of Akbar with a blend of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist & Jain themes. Post Lunch visit Itmad-ud-daula known as baby Taj. End the day by visiting Mehtab Bagh, view the Taj from behind.
Day 4 - Fatehpur Sikri & Bharatpur
Check-out after breakfast at 0900 hrs & drive to Fatehpur Sikri (1½ hrs). Akbar selected Fatehpur Sikri as his capital believing it to be auspicious for him. It remained his capital for 12 years. He experimented with both architecture & art and built a city expressing his ideals and vision. After the visit prpear to experience wildlife in the wilderness. First stop will be Bharatpur. Stay at Heritage hotel Laxmi Vilas Palace. Visit the bird sanctuary in the evening with a rickshaw ride.
Day 5 - Ranthambore National Park
Optional visit of Bird sanctuary by sunrise. Later check out after having breakfast. Drive from Bharatpur / Ranthambore. On arrival, check in at your hotel. Near the township of Sawai Madhopur, in the state of Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is an outstanding example of Project Tiger’s efforts at conservation in the country. The forests around the Ranthambore Fort were once, the private grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Tigers have become more and active during the day.
Day 6 - Morning game-viewing safari
Early in the morning, you will proceed to National Park for a game-viewing safari. Ranthambore is possibly the best place to see tiger in the wild and in the open. In the afternoon, you will be taken for the game drive at Ranthambore National Park. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7 - Visit Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur and Check in. Visit Hawa Mahal "Palace of Winds". The ornamental facade is a five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork & elaborate balconies. Later visit City Palace a blend of Mughal & traditional Rajasthani architecture, sprawls over one-seventh of the area of the walled city. Later, Jantar Mantar the largest & best preserved of five observatories built by Jai Singh II. Finally Johari Bazar (Gems & Jewellery market).
Day 8 - Visit 3 Forts around Jaipur
After breakfast, full day sightseeing of Nahargarh Fort followed by Jaigarh Fort, also called as the “Victory Fort". The fort was established between 15th & 18th century to reinforce the protection of Amer. Lastly visit Amber Fort & Palace with a short Elephant ride (subject to availability) on its way up. It is a classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace, construction started by Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by his descendent Jai Singh.
Day 9 - End of Itinerary
After breakfast, and hopefully a wonderful adventure, check out from the hotel and an Innova car will take you to the Airport for a connecting flight to Mumbai.