Day 1: New Zealand – – Delhi, India
Today depart New Zealand for India! On arrival at Delhi airport meet and greet with our representative and transfer to your hotel.
Please note – some flights may depart one day earlier.
Day 2: Delhi – Old & New Delhi City Tour (B)
After breakfast, we will embark on a full day sightseeing tour of Delhi. Visit the Red Fort, Delhi’ s most famous monument, and a powerful reminder of the Mughal emperors who ruled India. See Jamia Masjid, the largest mosque in India and a marvellous treasure of the Old City. Take a steep climb to the top of its southern tower, and be rewarded with a stunning view across the rooftops of Delhi. We will then make our way to ChandniChowk (Moonlight Square), one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. Visit Qutab Minar, the tallest brick minaret in the world and a place that is an incredible example of early Indo–Islamic architecture, before touring Humayun’s Tomb, a place used as inspiration for the Taj Mahal’s creation. Admire Bahai Temple, commonly referred to as the Lotus Temple, India Gate and the war memorial.
Day 3: Delhi – Jaipur (B)
After breakfast, proceed to Jaipur. Travel time is approx. 6 hours. On arrival in Jaipur, we will visit some of its iconic sights. See the impressive City Palace, situated in the heart of the old City. Occupying about one seventh of the old city area, it is a stunning blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Next, stop by Jantar Mantar, a place that was built in 18th century, and a place that holds a collection of architectural astronomical instruments. We will also visit Albert Hall Museum, which is situated in the Ram Niwas Garden. This graceful building was founded in 1876 by Prince Albert (also known as Albert Hall) and is home to a collection of archaeological and handicraft pieces.
Day 4: Jaipur (B)
An early morning start is on the cards this morning, as we wake to witness the sunlight bounce red and pink colours upon the sandstone of HawaMahal. This 5 storied stunning semi-octagonal monument has 152 windows with over hanging latticed balconies and is a fine piece of Rajput architecture. Originally designed for the royal ladies to watch and enjoy the processions and other activities on the street below, it now it houses a well laid out museum.
Later we’ll drive to Amer Fort to experience a Jeep Ride or Elephant ride from the old town to the Courtyard of Amer Fort. In earlier days the King’s army used the same route. Amer Fort is the old capital of the Kachhwahas and stands atop a range of craggy hills. The fort is remarkable as much for the majestic grandeur of its surroundings, as for its sturdy battlements and beautiful palaces. It is a fine blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. The solemn dignity of its red sandstone and white marble pavilions, when reflected in the lake at the foot hill, is truly a sight to behold.
On the way back from Amber Fort we’ll stop at JalMahal, a smaller palace that is set in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. We also take the opportunity to visit a block-printing workshop, an ancient art of Jaipur.
Day 5: Jaipur – Pushkar (B)
After breakfast, proceed to Pushkar. Travel time is approx. 3 hours. On arrival, check into the hotel before taking a sightseeing tour around the city. Visit the Pushkar Bazaar, a place which offers a variety of traditional items that you may like to purchase. We will then make our way to Pushkar Lake, considered by Hindus all across India to be one of the most sacred lakes of India. The lake is surrounded by 52 palaces, 400 temples and 52 bathing ‘ghats’, which are a series of steps leading to the lake. Every year in November, pilgrims take a holy dip in this lake. It is believed that the water of the lake is capable of cleansing sins and curing skin diseases. Brahma Temple is the lone Hindu temple in India where Lord Brahma, the Creator of the World is worshipped. This major attraction of Pushkar is situated on the banks of the Pushkar Lake and is considered to have a special position in the Hindu Pantheons. Built in the 14th century, the temple comprises a raised platform, red spire, stone slabs, marble floors and an image of ‘hans’ or swan, Lord Brahma’s vehicle.
Day 6: Pushkar – Ranthambore (B)
After breakfast, enjoy a camel ride around the Rajasthan desert before making our way to Ranthambore. Travel time is approx. 6 hours. Upon arrival in Ranthambore, check-in to the hotel and the Wildlife safari manager will meet you and provide a brief of the safari timings for the next day.
Day 7: Ranthambore National Park Jeep Safari (B)
Take an early morning drive to the Ranthambore Jungle with the naturalist on a Jeep Safari to spot tigers and wildlife. The safari lasts for 2-3 hours. We then return to the hotel for breakfast and enjoy some leisure time before heading back into the Jungle for an afternoon safari.
Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest and most renowned national parks in Northern India and most famous for its diurnal tigers, but is also home to leopards, striped hyenas, sambar deer, Chital, Nilgai, crocodiles, birdlife and more. Ranthambore is also categorised as a heritage site because of the picturesque ruins of the fort that dot the park.
Day 8: Ranthambore – Agra (B)
After breakfast proceed to Agra. Travel time approx 5 1/2 hours. On the way, we visit the fortified ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri – built using red sandstone it’s a perfect blend of Indian, Islamic and Persian architecture.
Day 9: Agra, Taj Mahal – Delhi (B,D)
You can’t think of India without thinking of the Taj Mahal. You may not have even known about Agra, were it not for this extraordinary monument of love. We have an early morning start this morning to witness the sun coming up over the white marble beauty of the majestic Taj Mahal! Constructed by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the monument stands proof of the brilliance of Mughal architecture. Named as one of the wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal truly does stands the test of time and is now a declared World Heritage Site. (*Taj Mahal Closed on every Friday). We will then return to the hotel for breakfast and check out.
Next we’ll visit Agra Fort – the 16th century monument is yet another proof of the architectural brilliance of Mughals. Called the Red Fort of Agra, you will be awe inspired by the powerful fortress. The entire fortress is a symbol of Mughal’s grandeur. It was in Agra Fort that Shah Jahan was held prisoner by Aurangazeb, his son. Shah Jahan, the emperor, spent his last days here viewing the monument of love he had built for his wife.
Visit Itmad-ud-Daulah – India’s first tomb to be made completely out of marble before the drive back to Delhi (approx. 5 hours).
Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers and receive a group photo as a memento of your trip to India.
Day 10: Delhi – – New Zealand (B)
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.
Day 11: New Zealand
Arrive home today.