Splendours of India
- 18 Days
Starting in Mumbai, you will immediately be immersed in the real India. This metropolis with its teeming masses has much to offer the visitor – Gandhi’s house, now a museum, majestic Marine Drive, Dobhi Ghats (an amazing outdoor laundry) plus a visit to a working neighbourhood.
Fly to, arguably, India’s most beautiful city, Udaipur with its lake setting and magnificent palaces and gardens where you stay in a converted Maharajas’ palace. From here fly to Jaipur, home of the Renowned Amber fort reached on the back of an elephant. You will see the old observatory and visit the city palace and museum, once home to a local Maharaja.
Next up is a stay at an ex-hunting lodge at the Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary with time for a couple of safari drives. En route to Agra, stop at the “Ghost City” of Fatehpur Sikri. The Taj Mahal in Agra will exceed expectations with its architectural brilliance. Also it is here that you will visit an orphanage originally founded by Mother Teresa. In Khajuraho, you will be amazed at the artwork on the temples – erotic yet tasteful.
NOTE - for departures from March 2014, you will visit Jodhpur instead of Khajuraho, with its magnificent and imposing Meherangarh Fort and also have a jeep ride into the desert to view the local wildlife..
The holy city of the Hindus, Varanasi, is probably the most atmospheric of all Indian cities. Here the early morning cruise on the River Ganges will give you an understanding of the Indian way of life you never had before.
Finally, the last stop is India’s capital city with its fascinating mixture of the old and the new. If you come back a totally different person, don’t blame it on us. Blame it on India!
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- 18 Days
Itinerary View Trip Map
Depart Your Hometown
Depart to our recommended departure cities of New York, Los Angeles or Toronto. F
fter arriving in, Mumbai, the capital of Maharastra, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by a Goway Representative where you will meet up with your fellow group members. Mumbai is the fastest moving, most affluent and industrialized city in India. It is part of India's beautiful west coast, that runs down from Gujarat, through Mumbai to Goa, Karnataka and Kerala.
Trident Hotel Nariman Point, Mumbai (2 nights)
After a late breakfast, depart for an excellent sightseeing tour of Mumbai's most iconic sites. Visit the Gateway of India, The principal landmark of Mumbai, which was the principal port when the visitors came to India by ship. The gateway was conceived following the visit of King George V to India in 1911, and was officially opened in 1924. The Prince of Wales Museum, built to commemorate King George's V visit to India, was opened in 1923. It has sections for art and paintings, archaeology, and natural history. The next stop will be Mani Bhavan, the house where Mahatma Gandhi used to stay during his visits to Mumbai. It has now been turned into a small museum. Also drive along Marine Drive and visit the Hanging Gardens. Time for shopping? Stop off at Colaba Causeway. Return to your hotel. This evening enjoy a Welcome to India special dinner. BD
Mumbai to Udaipur
After breakfast, today's sightseeing tour starts with a visit to the Old City to visit Banganga to see locals at work such as the local barber, blacksmith, cobbler and other residents going about their daily life. Also visit Kotachiwadi to have tea and refreshments at a local home. After that, head to the Dhobi Ghat, one of the highlights of Mumbai. The dhobi is a traditional laundryman who collects dirty linen, washes them and returns it neatly pressed to doorsteps of the people. The "laundries" are called "Ghats" The clothes are soaked in sudsy water, thrashed on the flogging stones, then tossed into huge vats of boiling starch and hung out to dry. Next they are ironed and piled into neat bundles.
Later, transfer to the airport and catch the flight to Udaipur. The lake city of Udaipur is a cool oasis in the heart of the colorful state of Rajasthan. Udaipur is famous for its Lake Palace, a magnificent palace now converted into a luxury hotel and the City Palace, which is converted into a museum. The beautiful Pichola Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake and Jagdish Mandir, an Indo-Aryan temple, are among the other places of interest. Udaipur is well-known for its local crafts, particularly paintings in the Rajput Mughal style. Upon arrival into Udaipur you will be transferred to your hotel. BD
Fateh Garh Hotel, Udaipur (2 nights)
Enjoy a morning tour visiting The City Palace and Museum. The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum displaying a large and diverse array of artifacts. Afterwards, enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola. Lake Pichola is the famous lake almost synonymous with Udaipur. The beauty of the lake is enhanced by the surrounding hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and embankments. The Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir, the two island palaces on the lake look like pearls over the lake. After the cruise, visit the beautiful Sahelion Ki Bara Garden. This evening, enjoy a typical Rajhastani dinner. BD
Udaipur to Jaipur
Morning buffet breakfast at the hotel. Check out and drive overland to Jaipur, known as the "Pink City" due to the colour of the stone used in its buildings. Upon arrival into Jaipur in the late afternoon you will transfer to your hotel.This evening you will have dinner at a local home hosted by a distinguished Indian family. BD
Trident Hotel, Jaipur (2 nights)
This morning, visit the Amber Fort with its honey coloured fortress palace. You will climb up to the fort by an elephant ride. The fort has been described as "the sleeping beauty of Rajasthan". The exterior opens on to striking views of a nearby gorge and India's answer to China's Great Wall. In the afternoon, you'll enjoy a city tour which includes a photo stop at the "Hawa Mahal", (Palace of Winds).
Then you will depart for a visit to the City Palace & Museum. Situated in the heart of the old City, it occupies about one seventh of the old city area. The Palace is a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. It houses a seven storied Chandra Mahal in the centre which affords a fine view of the gardens and the city. Proceed to The Jantar Mantar Observatory. Built in 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the huge masonry instruments were used to study the movement of constellations and stars in the sky. An enormous sun-dial still provides accurate time which is subject to daily corrections. This evening, enjoy a typical South Indian dinner at a local restaurant. BD
Jaipur to Ranthambore
This morning depart by road to Ranthambore National Park. Ranthambore National Park is a fascinating blend of history and nature. It supports a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the majestic tiger. BLD
Nahargarh Fort, Ranthambore (2 Nights)
Ranthambore National Park
An early wake up call this morning to enjoy a Jungle Safari with a professional Naturalist. Ride in a canter for safe tiger tracking and bird watching. Also indulge in wildlife photography. The jungle visits last approximately three hours. Return back to the hotel for lunch and the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. This evening enjoy one more safari. BLD
Ranthambore to Agra
This morning you will transfer to the railway station to catch the amazing Shatabdi Express to Bharatpur. Upon arrival in Bharatpur, embark on a scenic drive to Agra. En-route you will visit the deserted capital Fatehpur Sikri. The city is built predominantly in Red Sandstone by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. He had planned this city as his capital but shortage of water compelled him to abandon the city. One of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height, the sunset over the ruins is a sight to cherish. Later, arrive in Agra and check into your hotel. BD
ITC Mughal Luxury Collection, Agra (2 nights).
For your enjoyment, the hotel offers free Yoga. After breakfast, visit the Taj Mahal, the greatest love story ever told. Shah Jahan built this memorial as a tomb for his favourite wife. After the Taj, drive to Agra Fort which lies on the west bank of Jamuna River. Akbar chose Agra as his capital as he laid the foundation of the Fort of Agra. After Taj this was one of the most important groups of buildings. The construction was started in 1565 and was completed in about eight years. Later visit Mother Teresa's orphanage. The evening is at leisure. BD
Agra to Khajuraho
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the railway station to catch the Shatabdi Express Train to Jhansi. From Jhansi, drive to Khajuraho and check in at the hotel. Khajuraho has become world renowned for its Temples. They are the most graphic, erotic and sensuous sculptures in India. Khajuraho has finally received the attention it deserves for its significant contribution to the religious art of India. BD
Radisson Jass Hotel, Khajuraho.
Khajuraho to Varanasi
This morning, tour the famous Western group of temples designated as a World Heritage Site enclosed within a beautifully laid out park. The Kandriya Mahadev, Jagadami and Chitragupta Temples display the best craftsmanship of Khajuraho. This afternoon you will fly to India's Holiest City, Varanasi also known as Benares or Kashi, the "City of Light" or the "Eternal City"' is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India for the Hindus. Varanasi has been a centre of learning and civilization for over 2000 years. This evening enjoy a special kebab dinner at our hotel. BD
Radisson Hotel, Varanasi (2 nights)
This morning embark on an excursion tour of Sarnath. Sarnath, where Buddha preached his first sermon, contains the most impressive remains of temples. The Dharmarajika, Chaukhandi and Dharnek stupas are outstanding. There are also the remains of a monastery, and the beautifully polished Lion Capital of Ashoka. The Sarnath Museum, not far from the site, contains some of the finest specimens of Buddhist sculpture. This evening is at leisure to walk through the narrow lanes of Varanasi. Take some time to shop for Varanasi's famous silk brocades and beautiful Banaras saris. This evening enjoy the spectacular Aarti Ceremony on the Ganges, which will be reached by a rickshaw ride. BD
Varanasi to Delhi
Start the day with an early morning boat ride on the sacred River Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest religions. At sunrise the sight unfolds before you as thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge. Proceed back to hotel for breakfast. The remainder of the morning is at leisure to further explore the city before our afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be meet and transferred to your hotel. BD
Shangri La (3 nights)
Depart for a half day sightseeing tour of Old Delhi visiting the Red Fort, known by that name because of the red stone with which it is built. It is one of the most magnificent palaces in the world. It is also known that the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, announced to the nation that India was free from colonial rule. Also visit the Jama Masjid Mosque, renowned as the most elegant mosque in India. The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers. Next visit the Raj Ghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. This evening, enjoy a wonderful “Farewell to India” dinner. BD
This morning depart for New Delhi sightseeing visiting Qutub Minar. The Qutub Minar made of red sandstone rising to the height of 72.5 metres is an architectural marvel of the 13th century and constructed by Qutb-ud-din Aibak in the 12th century to celebrate the victory of Mohammed Ghori over the Rajputs.
Continue on to Humayun’s Tomb; built in 1565 AD by his grieving widow Haji Begum, Humayun's tomb is a complex of buildings of Mughal architecture. The complex is the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. This style of mausoleum was the same as was created for the Taj Mahal in Agra. The India Gate, a war memorial, is a majestic high arch built as a memorial to the Indian soldiers killed in the World War II. Drive past the magnificent Presidential palace and Government buildings before returning to your hotel for the evening. BD
Delhi to North America
Depart today from Delhi flying back to North America arriving the same day in time to connect to your home city. BF
You can choose to extend your itinerary with a stopover in Dubai at an additional charge if travelling with Emirate Airlines.