- Diwali celebrations – witnessing prayers and aarti preparations at a local temple in Jaipur, fireworks and special evening meal afterwards.
- Agra and the Taj Mahal – Admire India’s most famous monument and visit nearby Agra Fort.
- Karauli – A former princely state. Stay in the Maharaja’s Palace and see the fine restoration work taking place at Karauli City Palace.
- Delhi – Take in the sights of old and new Delhi on a guided tour of India’s capital city including Humayun’s Tomb, Jama Masjid and Gandhi’s crematorium Raj Ghat. Take a Rickshaw ride through Delhi’s backstreets.
- Fatehpur Sikri – Uncover an abandoned Mughal city.
- Jaipur – Discover the City Palace & Jantar Mantar, Amber Fort and a visit to cotton trader/tailor.
Please see a detailed itinerary below:
- Saturday 03 Nov 2018 – Delhi. Upon arrival into Delhi, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or explore this bustling capital city. Overnight in Delhi.
- Sunday 04 Nov 2018 – Old and New Delhi. This morning, our Welcome Meeting takes place. We then enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi, taking in Humayun’s Tomb, Jama Masjid – India’s oldest and largest mosque and Raj Ghat – the site of Gandhi’s cremation in Old Delhi, and in New Delhi Rajpath and India Gate. Tonight, we enjoy a group Namaste dinner at our hotel. Overnight in Delhi. Breakfast and Dinner included.
- Monday 05 Nov 2018 – Delhi to Agra. Departing Delhi, we make our way to Agra, the erstwhile capital of the Mughal empire. Our first stop here is the impressive Agra Fort, which boasts some of India’s finest Mughal buildings behind its fortified walls. Later we travel on to the legendary Taj Mahal. Built by the order of Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century in affectionate memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal is perhaps one of the most extravagant monuments to love ever built and has no peers. Overnight in Agra. Breakfast included.
- Tuesday 06 Nov 2018 – Princely state of Karauli. Bright and early this morning we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, which has been deserted for over four centuries after it was allegedly abandoned due to a lack of water. Thanks to the very durable red sandstone from which it was built, Fatehpur Sikri still remains well-preserved and is a fascinating place to explore. We drive on to Bharatpur where we’ll enjoy lunch before continuing our journey to Karauli, which was a princely state of India from 1348 until 1949. We spend the night at the beautiful Palace Bhanwar Vilas, which is the home of the current Maharaja and Maharani of Karauli. During our stay we can explore the palace and grounds at leisure. The sovereigns, continue to reside at the palace and the young princess often gives guided tours of the palace, which we will take part in, if the opportunity arises. The family is also lovingly restoring the Karauli City Palace, which we visit later this afternoon. Tonight, opt to attend the evening Aaarti (prayer) taking place nearby. Overnight in Karauli. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.
- Wednesday 07 Nov 2018 – Diwali, the Festival of Light. Karauli – Jaipur. This morning we drive from Karauli to Jaipur. Note a visit to our Change for Children Project is not possible today as all schools are closed for the occasion. Upon arrival to Jaipur the remainder of the afternoon offers free time before we head out this evening to celebrate Diwali. Our first stop this evening is the highly regarded Birla temple. Located at the foot of Moti Doongri fortress, this beautiful temple is made up of three marble domes representing the three major religions of the country and adorned with intricate marble carvings of historic and religious figures. While the main idols of the temple are Lord Vishnu and his consort Goddess Lakshmi, it does house many other small shrines devoted to various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. During Diwali the gardens surrounding the temple are lit up and decorated in garlands and flowers, and locals flock to the temple to give their offerings to the deities. While the temple does get very crowded during the festivities, this is all part of experiencing a truly authentic Diwali celebration with the locals. Leaving the temple grounds we’ll make our way to a restaurant in the city that specialises in classic Indian cuisine for a special Diwali Dinner. As firecrackers light the balmy, autumn night sky we’ll continue to celebrate Diwali alongside the locals. Overnight in Jaipur. Breakfast and Dinner included.
- Thursday 08 Nov 2018 – Pink City of Jaipur. Very early this morning there is the opportunity to sail over the lofty hilltop forts and regal palaces of Jaipur in a hot air balloon. We then travel beyond Jaipur to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort, reaching its summit by jeep, where we enjoy a tour of the fort’s well-preserved interior and grounds. Later we visit a cotton weaving house to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing before touring the City Palace and Jantar Mantar – an old yet cleverly designed space observatory. Overnight in Jaipur. Breakfast included.
- Friday 09 Nov 2018 – Return to Delhi. This morning we drive back to Delhi. The afternoon is free for you to further discover the city. Opt for a meal in the heart of the city or simply relax and chat with group members at the hotel. Overnight in Delhi. Breakfast included.
- Saturday 10 Nov 2018 – Delhi. Touring arrangements come to an end after breakfast. Hotel check-out and included onward departure transfer to airport. Breakfast included.