The Taj Mahal is the mother of all mausoleums and a big part of Agra’s allure. Capture your best selfie in front of this marble masterpiece on an included visit to this Indian icon.. With so much going on in the vibrant and chaotic capital of Delhi, a guide should almost be a requirement – let your expert leader navigate you through its busy, bustling and bold streets.. From survivors to Sheroes, hang out at a cafe run by female acid attack survivors that encourages Indian society to re-evaluate its norms about beauty and appearance.. Snap pics in front of a slew of ornate pink-hued buildings in the fabulously photogenic Jaipur and check yourself out in the pavilion of mirrors at Amber Fort.
From the honking horns of Delhi’s rickshaws, to the glistening beauty of the Taj Mahal and a whole heap of flavoursome food in between, immerse your senses in the colourful chaos on this mind blowing, one-week trip through India. Spot the majestic tiger in Ranthambhore National Park, dance to bhangra bangers at a Bollywood blockbuster, see pink in the fiercely flamboyant city of Jaipur, be mesmerised by the pavilion of mirrors in Amber Fort and tikka-bite out of Delhi’s food scene – from spicy samosas to tongue-tingling tandoori. With all the included highlights and plenty of optional extras, create your own adventure in a country that nowhere else on earth can prepare you for.
Breakfast Included: Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included: 1
Honk-honk! Beep-beep! Welcome to Delhi, a fabulously chaotic capital city that will warm your heart and overwhelm your senses. The air is thick with the smell of spices and the sound of mayhem as vendors whip up masala chai on the side-streets, locals barter at bazaars for the best bargain, bhangra music blasts from the alleyways and the honking horns of cycle-rickshaws resonate through vast crowds of colourful sari-clad women. With no activities planned until your welcome meeting at 6 pm, if you have time, why not go beyond the cliched curry and try some authentic Indian bites on a Delhi Food Walk with Urban Adventures. From homemade ice cream to fruit beer and dumplings, Delhi’s food scene is thriving and surprising, and what better way to tantalise your tastebuds than on a guided tour with a local expert – find out more at urbanadventures.com.
Escape the Delhi madness this morning and take the 3-hour train ride through rural India to the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, home to the mother of all mausoleums – the Taj Mahal. Considered to be the most beautiful building in the world, you won’t be disappointed! On arrival, join your leader on an included visit to this world-famous monument, and catch your breath as you step through the ornate gates, and set your eyes upon the marble masterpiece that rises above the surrounding landscaped gardens and basks in the hazy Indian sun. Take your time to explore the grounds of this World Heritage Site. Practise your best Princess Di pose with the Taj as your backdrop or ask one of your new travel buddies to take a smashing snap of you that will make your Instagram account explode. After walking away wondering if you’ve ever seen anything quite as epic, head to the one-of-a-kind cafe, Sheroes Hangout. ‘She + heroes = Sheroes’ is a project that promotes social integration, employment and empowerment for women who’ve survived acid attacks, as well as forcing society to re-evaluate its norms about beauty and appearance. Sit down and enjoy a hot cup of masala chai and a soulful snack as you learn the stories behind these strong-willed women.
Jump on a bus this morning and cross over into the colourful and charismatic state of Rajasthan on a journey that takes you through lush green countryside and on to its flamboyantly pink capital – Jaipur. On arrival, stop off for a quick picture at the city’s most distinctive landmark, the Hawa Mahal, an elaborate five-story palace of pink and red sandstone. Continue to your hotel and take the opportunity to freshen up before venturing out on a leader-led walking tour of the old city, stopping for a delicious lassi and some street food at the local market. The rest of the day to explore at your own pace. Perhaps take an optional tour of the City Palace in your spare time, an impressive complex of courtyards, gardens and structures that lies in the heart of Jaipur. This evening, why not try a movie experience like no other and check out the latest Bollywood blockbuster. No one will tell you to ‘shhh’ in this showing – laugh, dance, wolf-whistle – get involved!
Rise and shine for an optional hot air balloon experience above the oh-so-pretty pink landscape of Jaipur (available between September and June). Later in the morning, enjoy a guided tour of the medieval Amber Fort with a local expert. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013, this magnificent fort is a complex of courtyards, palaces, halls and gardens created from an elaborate blend of white marble with pale yellow and pink sandstone. Sitting high on a hill, this architectural fusion of Rajput (Hindu) and Mughal (Islamic) styles has one of the best views over the city and its ornate design detail and beautiful pavilion of mirrors, makes it one of the most well-known forts in India. After your guided visit of Amber Fort, the rest of your day is then free to explore Jaipur at your own pace.
Ranthambhore National Park
Leave the hustle and bustle of the pink city behind and take the 3-hour train ride to rural Rajasthan for your 2-night stay in the stunning Ranthambhore National Park. Once a famous hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur, the National Park is now one of the original Project Tiger reserves – a conservation programme launched by the Indian government. On arrival, check in to your hotel before an included visit to the ancient ruins of Ranthambhore’s 10th-century fort, where you can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding park. The rest of the day is at your leisure, perhaps find a peaceful spot to relax and enjoy Rajasthan’s juxtaposing quiet.
Ranthambhore National Park
Make sure your phones are fully charged this morning as you head out on an included 4WD drive safari in search of the perfect snap of the elusive tiger. Ranthambhore National Park is one of the best locations in India to see these majestic predators roaming around in their natural habitat, if you’re lucky, you might even spot some cute cubs! Keep your eyes peeled for other wildlife too –such as hyenas, jackals, deer, langurs, marsh crocodiles, wild boars and birds – this is a nature lovers paradise!
Watch the world whizz by from the window of your carriage as you roll through rural life and picturesque countryside on an early morning train back to Delhi. This afternoon, check out the sights and sounds of Old Delhi on a leader-led tour of this enchanting quarter of the capital. Take a ride on the city's modern metro system, get a taste of India's famed public transport with an optional cycle rickshaw ride through chaotic streets (such as the famous Chandni Chowk), make a visit to the Jama Masjid – Delhi's oldest mosque and one of its most impressive buildings – then visit the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion. This evening, indulge in all the curries and condiments you can and toast to your amazing Indian adventure with a farewell group dinner.
There are no planned activities today, so why not delve into Delhi’s past on an Urban Adventure that honours the enduring legacy of one of India’s most influential figures – Gandhi. Hear stories of his courageous life, pore over artefacts and documents at the museum and walk in the footsteps of this global icon. To find out more about Gandhi’s Delhi, visit urbanadventures.com