Accommodations in centrally-located three-star or four-star hotels. Rooming on a double basis.
Round-trip transportation on scheduled airline.
All breakfasts. Seven lunches. Six dinners. Dinner on own on Day 1-2.
English-speaking tour escort throughout. Special arrangements as noted.
Entrances and activities as noted on itinerary.
passports provides and pays for a Post Departure Travel Protection Plan that includes coverage for Trip Interruption, Trip Delay, Baggage Loss or Delay, Medical Expense and Evacuation and more.
Full-day city sightseeing: Local Guide
Tomb of Akbar, Faridabad SOS Village
Half-day city sightseeing: Local Guide, Taj Mahal, Agra Fort
Fatehpur Sikri, Keoladeo National Park, Rickshaw ride
Excursion to Amber: Elephant ride, Amber Fort Complex
Half-day city sightseeing in Jaipur: City Palace Museum, Jantar Mantar astronomical monuments, Local guide
A dream comes true as your wide-bodied jet thunders off the airstrip, bound for the exotic subcontinent of India, which contains one-sixth of the world's population. Rich in culture, and a product of a fascinating history that created the world's largest democracy, India is a feast for the sights and senses.
Arrive in Delhi late in the evening (past dinnertime), Settle in your hotel. Let the scent of spices and the sounds of the city fill your head, as you drift off to sleep in this strange new land.
Today's city sightseeing tour introduces Old Delhi, where landmarks include the great mosque of Jama Masjid and the Red Fort, which dates back to the Mogul Empire. Its main entrance, the Lahore Gate, is symbolic of modern India's freedom from colonialism, with crowds gathering there on Independence Day.
A drive along the magnificent Rajpath (the Kingsway) takes you past the India Gate (memorial to the unknown soldiers), the President's House, and the House of Parliament.
You will be introduced to Emperor Humayun's Tomb, an important example of early Mughal architecture.
See Qutab Minar, a complex built during the end of the twelfth century at the onset of Muslim rule in India.
A full-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Delhi, will accompany you today.
Today, board your coach and travel to Agra.
Stop for a visit to the Tomb of Akbar in Sikandra. This design is of red sandstone with decorative inlay work in yellow, white and black marble. There are panels of fine calligraphy of the Koran as well as wonderful floral and geometric designs form the decoration.
You will visit the Faridabad SOS Village, a community designed to provide children in need with an alternative family-style setting.
Set out on a tour of the city.
A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Agra, will accompany you today.
Visit the magnificent Taj Mahal, a white marble mausoleum begun in 1632 by the Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The most famous site in all of India, this exquisite architectural feat took twenty-two years to complete.
You will visit the Agra Fort, a red sandstone fortress that contains a miniature city within its colossal double walls.
En route visit Fatehpur Sikri, which was the capital of the Mogul Empire for ten years during the second half of the 16th century, before being mysteriously abandoned. The ruins of this virtual ghost town, however, are in near pristine condition.
You will travel to Bharatpur, home to the World Heritage site of Keoladeo National Park.
With a naturalist guide, enjoy a visit to Keoladeo National Park, a wildlife sanctuary with over 380 resident and migrant species of birds, including the Common, Demoiselle and the rare Siberian Cranes.
Enjoy a rickshaw ride along the narrow road to the open wetlands.
Board your coach and travel on to the capital city of Rajasthan. Jaipur is known as the "Pink City" because of the color of its crenellated walls and historic buildings.
Today's excursion takes you to the former capital, Amber, a fortress perched on a hill overlooking Maotha Lake and the desert plains of Rajasthan.
Enjoy a ride on the back of a brightly caparisoned elephant, just like the Maharajas of the past. This fantasy ride also gets you acquainted with the huge, intelligent animals, which move gracefully and nearly silently. India is home to 50% of Asia's wild elephants and 20% of the domesticated elephants, who play an important role in its cultural and religious customs. The country's 3,600 domestic elephants, along with their mahouts (drivers), are all employees of the State Government of India in an effort to prevent mistreatments.
Inside the Amber Fort complex, which contains gardens, temples and pillared pavilions, you will visit Amber Palace. This marvel was built over the course of two centuries and is a fusion of Mughal and Hindu influences.
A city tour will introduce a unique Indian city, laid on a grid pattern in 1727 by the prince, soldier and astronomer Sawai Jai Singh II, in accordance with the Vastu Shastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on town-planning and architecture.
You will visit the City Palace Museum to see traditional Rajasthani royal costumes and miniature paintings.
Marvel at the set of observatories built near the City Palace in the 1730s by Maharajah Jai Singh II. Each one of the seventeen monumental instruments at Jantar Mantar was designed for a specific scientific purpose. Together, they form a strangely modern, surrealistic sculpture park that provides unique insights on early scientific research.
A half-day local guide, well-educated and specially-trained on the history and culture of Jaipur, will accompany your group.
The remainder of the day is free to plan as you wish.
Don't miss the Johari Bazaar, famous as a jewelers' market.
Enjoy some shopping in this city known for its precious stones, block-printing and tie-dye production.
Continue to Delhi.
Most good things must come to an end. Your suitcase full of memorabilia and of photos ready to be processed, you'll arrive home later today, eager to share your discoveries with family and friends.
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