Day 1: New Zealand– – Delhi, India
Today depart New Zealand for India! On arrival at Delhi airport meet & greet with our representative and transfer to your hotel.
Delhi ~ is India’s capital and a major gateway to the country. It is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds – the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast spiralling skyscrapers, the remnants of a bygone time in the form of its many monuments stand as silent reminders to the region’s ancient legacy.
Day 2: Delhi (B)
After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing tour of Delhi. The discovery of New Delhi starts with a visit to Humayun’s tomb ~ the magnificent structure in red sandstone and white marble, one of the finest examples of the garden tomb and a precursor to the Taj Mahal. Visit Qutab Minar which is Delhi’s Eiffel Tower, its Statue of Liberty and Nelson’s Column. Drive to the most colonial part of New Delhi called Raisina Hill. Drive past the Viceroy’s House, now the residence of the President of India and Lutyen’s magnum opus; the India Gate, a war memorial arch.
Explore Old Delhi with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; and drive past Red Fort (Closed on Monday) – the palace for Shahjahan’s new capital, Shahjahanabad, the seventh Muslim city in Delhi. Visit Jama Masjid – The mosque of Friday was built from 1644 to 1658 during the reign of Shahjahan. The mosque that measures 65m on 35m, and whose court forms a square of 100m on side is by its surface the greatest religious construction of Islam. Post visit of Jama Masjid, walk through the narrow busy lanes of the mile long Chandni Chowk, popularly called “The Silver Street”. If you are not a keen walker, you can wander through the lanes enjoying a rickshaw ride.
Day 3: Delhi – Agra, Taj Mahal (B)
After breakfast, we drive to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. Travel time approx. 5 hours.
Agra ~ at the time of the Mughals, in the 16th & 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of the grand Mughal Empire. During this period, the city became a leading centre of art, science, commerce and culture. It came into prominence when a lavish patronage of Mughal rulers created forts, tombs, and palaces in red sandstone and marble inlaid with semi-precious stones.
After check-in proceed for sightseeing tour of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays) was built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631, and is believed to have taken 18 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working around the clock. What makes the Taj Mahal unique is its perfect proportions, distinct femininity, medium of construction and ornamentation. Its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while it is dazzling white during the day. It is impossible to visualize the Taj Mahal in any surrounding others than its paradoxical garden. Paradise, in Islam, is visualized as a lush garden where running streams flow. When the Mughals brought this concept to India they elevated it to heights of incomparable artistry.
Enjoy a short Tonga Ride in the city.
Later proceed to visit the Agra Fort and the city. At the impressive Agra Fort you are taken through the chambers of this royal residence. As you drive through the city witness the local life and bazaars (markets) and the hustle bustle of everyday India.
Day 4: Agra – Jaipur (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Jaipur. Travel time approx. 5 hours. On the way, visit Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted red sandstone city, built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. It was abandoned soon after it was built when the local wells went dry and it remains today in much the same condition that it was over 300 years ago. It is complete with palaces and mosques and used to be a town larger than London when it was originally constructed. Now it is an extraordinary place to wander.
On arrival in Jaipur, check in to your hotel. Jaipur ~ presides over the fascinating desert state and its people: surrounded by rugged hills, each crowned by a formidable fort; and beautiful palaces, mansions and gardens dotted throughout its precincts. The palaces and forts of yesteryear that were witness to royal processions and splendour are now living monuments, accepted quite naturally into the lifestyles of the people of the “pink city”. Except for the busy traffic of bicycles, cars and buses, little seems to have changed. There is a timeless quality to Jaipur’s bazaars and its people. With its historical past, Jaipur revives legends of the ancient Rajputs. The dresses of the women and the turbans of the men add colour to this fascinating city.
Day 5: Jaipur (B)
After breakfast, visit Amber Fort. Maharaja Mansingh, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s most successful General, started the construction of Amber Fort in the 17th century. Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. With its honey-coloured fortress palace in the Aravalli Hills which can be mounted on elephant back, Amber has been described as the sleeping beauty of Rajasthan. Take a tour by Jeep. After the tour, return to the hotel.
We then take a city tour of Jaipur driving past the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), an elaborate building encrusted with delicate honeycomb screens and carved balconies from which the royal ladies, confined to their quarters, could view the world outside. Jai Singh’s Observatory built in the 17th century by the founder of Jaipur who, besides being a prince was also a soldier, astronomer and builder.
City Palace, a part is now a museum that contains fine Rajput and Moghul paintings, rare manuscripts and an armory, old carpets, and embroidered clothes of the Maharajas and the Maharanis.
Day 6: Jaipur – Delhi (B,D)
After breakfast, we make our way back to Delhi. Travel time approx. 6 hours. On arrival check into the hotel and relax beforign enjoying a farewell dinner with your group.
Day 7: Delhi – – Goa (B)
Today at the appropriate time, you will be transferred to Delhi airport for your flight to Goa. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Goa ~ variously known as “Pearl of the Orient” is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan. The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendours of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favourite with travellers around the world. Goa is much more than just beaches and sea. It has a soul, which goes deep into unique history, rich culture and some of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer
Day 8: Goa (B)
Today is yours to do as little or as much as you like.
Day 9: Goa (B)
Today is yours to do as little or as much as you like.
Day 10: Goa – – New Zealand (B)
Today at the appropriate time, you will be transferred to Goa airport for your homeward flight.
Day 11: New Zealand
Arrive home today.