Full day guided tour of Old & New Delhi.
Delhi - the capital of India, is a fascinating city with complexities and contradictions, beauty and dynamism, where the past co-exists with the present. Many dynasties ruled from here and the city is rich in the architecture of its monuments. Delhi is not only the present metropolis of India but also a Necropolis. Because of its location, being on the banks of the river Yamuna, many cities have risen and fallen over the last five millenniums.
Morning: Sightseeing tour of New Delhi. visit the Qutab Minar, a Tower of victory that was built in the 12th century by Qutbuddin Aibak. Within its spacious courtyard stands the Iron Pillar, which dates back to the 4th century AD and bears a Sanskrit inscription in the Gupta style. The pillar has puzzled scientists, as its iron has not rusted in all these centuries. The tomb of Humayun - the magnificent structure in red sandstone and white marble is one of the finest examples of the garden tomb, and a precursor to the Taj Mahal. Its proportionate spaces, double dome and refined elegance are characteristic of Mughal architecture. Also visit India Gate, the memorial of the First World War and the road that leads from there to Rashtrapathi Bhawan - the residence of the President of India which is flanked by the houses of Parliament and the Government Secretariat buildings.
Afternoon: Sightseeing tour of Old Delhi. visit the historic Red Fort - Shah Jehan's elegant citadel in red sandstone, which was built as an octagon measuring 900m by 550m and surrounded by a 9 meter deep moat which was at its inception fed by the waters of the Yamuna River. The fort is entered from the Lahori Gate and leads to a roofed passage called Chatta Chowk. The Naqqar Khana (drum house) at the end of this passage marks the entrance to the royal enclosure. A spacious lawn leads to the Diwan-i-Am - the Pillared Hall of Public Audience, Diwan-i-Khas - the Hall of Private Audience where the emperor met select visitors and the Pearl Mosque built by Shah Jahan's son, Aurangazeb, the last of the "Great Mughals". very near the Fort is the Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), India's largest mosque, also built by Shah Jahan. Take an interesting rickshaw ride through the famous bazaars of Chandni Chowk, which is adjacent to both the Fort and the Mosque. Time permitting also visit Raj Ghat - the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.
Overnight in Delhi.
Morning after breakfast drive to Nawalgarh (280 Kms 07 Hrs) and on arrival check in at hotel. Rest of the day at leisure (optional - horse safari).
Thakur Nawal Singh Ji Bahadur (Shekhawat) founded Nawalgarh in 1737 AD at the village site of Rohili. Before abolition of Jagirs in Rajasthan Nawalgarh was a tazimi thikana of Bhojraj Ji Ka of Shekhawati in Shekhawati. Nawalgarh was encircled all around by the high Parkota (walls) comprising of four Pols (gates) in different directions, namely Agoona Darwaja, Bawadi Darwaja (in north), Mandi Darwaja and Nansa Darwaja, each gate has iron doors. Bala Kila Fort situated in the center of the Thikana and Fatehgarh Fort situated out side of the Parkota as an Out Post. The market place of the town and layout of the havelis indicates that the city was well planned before construction. Nawalgarh was considered to be the most modern towns of Shekhawati.The Rulers of Nawalgarh belongs to Shekhawati sub-clan (Bhojraj Ji Ka sept) of Kachwaha Dynasty of Jaipur Princely State.
Overnight in Nawalgarh.
Morning: Drive to Khimsar (240 Kms 06 Hrs) and check in at hotel. Late afternoon enjoy a camel safari in the desert.
Khimsar Fort - The Fort is now converted into a Hotel..very special. The village of Khimser has the true fragrance of rural India that remains unspoilt which is a unique experience. A Jeep Safari to photograph the herds of the famous Indian Gazelle (Chinkara) and the highly protected rare Black Buck leaping into the thin desert air which abound in this region can be arranged.
Overnight in Khimsar.
After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Jaipur (280 Kms 07 Hrs) and on arrival check in at hotel. Rest of the day free.
Overnight in Jaipur.
Morning: Guided excursion to Amer fort with elephant ride. Afternoon: Guided tour of Jaipur.
Jaipur - the capital of Rajasthan, is colour washed pink - the colour associated with hospitality in Rajput culture. This Pink City of fairy tale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barren hills and broad avenues is picturesque. The first planned city of its time, Jaipur is encircled by a formidable wall.
Morning: Excursion to Amber Fort. Drive past by Hawa Mahal, known popularly as the Palace of Winds, is a facade built for the Ladies of the Royal household in the 19th century. The Amber Fort, the capital of the erstwhile State of Jaipur until 1728 is perched on a hill. It has halls of Public and Private audience, a Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) various marble palaces which are marvelous examples of ancient Rajput architecture. The Temple of Amba (Mother Goddess), the patron deity of the Royal family is at the entrance to the palace. Ride an elephant to ascend the hill on which the Fort is situated.
Afternoon: City tour of Jaipur. visit the City Palace - the former royal residence built in a blend of the Rajasthani and Mughal styles which houses a museum with a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes and armoury of the Mughals and Rajputs, including swords of different shapes and sizes with ornate handles. It has an art gallery with an excellent collection of miniature paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia and rare astronomical works in Arabic, Persian, Latin and Sanskrit. Also visit the Jantar Mantar - an astrological and astronomical Observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in 18th century which is remarkable for its accuracy even at the present times.
Overnight in Jaipur.
After al leisurely breakfast drive to Ranthambhore (180 Kms 04 Hrs). On arrival check in hotel. Rest of the day free for independent activities.
Overnight in Ranthambhore.
Early Morning and late afternoon safari in the park to track the exclusive tiger and other animals.
Ranthambore National Park: It is in Sawai Madhopur District of Rajasthan state, located at the junction of the Aravalli and vindhya hill range, this is one of the finest places to view animals, especially as they are used to being stared at here. The park covers an area of Approximately 400 sq Km and if combined it with the area of sawai man singh sanctuary area,it is around 500 Sq km. Ranthambore national park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 and in 1974 it gained the protection of "Project Tiger". It got it's status of a National Park in 1981.
Ranthambore National Park is dotted with structures that remind you of bygone eras. There are many water bodies located all over the park, which provide perfect relief during the extremely hot summer months for the forest inhabitants. A huge fort, after which the park is named, towers over the park atop a hill. There are many ruins of bygone eras scattered all over the jungle, which give it a unique, wonderful and mixed flavour of nature, history and wildlife. Tigers at Ranthambore National park have been known to even hunt in full view of human visitors. These tigers are famous for being seen in the daytime too, due to their lack of fear of human presence in vehicles. This lack of fear of humans is excellent for tourists, as they get to see the tigers often.
This National park is a wildlife enthusiast and photographer's dream. It offers excellent accommodation and internal transportation facilities. The park remains open every year from October to May. Famous for the exciting and frequent tiger sightings captured dramatically in several books, this park is today affected by ecological pressures and poaching.
Overnight in Ranthambhore.
After an early breakfast drive to Agra (230 kms 05 Hrs), enroute guided visit to the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri.
FatehPur Sikri - This exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, in red sandstone, with its forts, palaces and mosques was abandoned 14 years after its creation due to political reasons. The Diwan-i-am - a vast courtyard in which the emperor gave daily public audience; Diwan-i-khas - a large quadrangle which contained all the major functions of the Palace, Pachisi court, the Emperors private living quarter, Jodha Bhai's Palace, Mariam's Palace, Birbal's Palace, Hawa Mahal and Panch Mahal are some of the important buildings of this residential complex. The Friday Mosque and the exquisite tomb of Sheik Salim Chisti are in the religious grounds set aside in a separate enclosure adjacent to the secular buildings.
On arrival in Agra, check in at hotel. Later guided visit to Agra Fort.
Agra is famous as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Taj Mahal. The architectural splendor of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces in Agra is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire. Agra was their capital for nearly a hundred years from 1564. A pleasant town, with a comparatively easy pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by artisans who are hereditary craft persons. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes.
Overnight in Agra.
Early Morning: Guided visit to Taj Mahal at sunrise.
The Taj Mahal - the inimitable poem in white marble. Built over a period of 22 years, by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630, for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains, it is one of the seven modern wonders of the World. (The Taj is closed on Fridays). Later drive back to Delhi 205 Kms 05 Hrs) and check in hotel.
Overnight in Delhi.
In time transfer to airport to connect flight to London or onward destination.