Essence of India    *alt*

8 days, from £2195
Insight Vacations
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Description

The cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur showcase India's rich Mughal and Rajput heritage - imposing forts, sumptuous palaces and gleaming marble temples and tombs, such as the exquisite Taj Mahal. Further south, in Ranthambore, lies the sun-baked jungle realm of the tiger. To assist you on your journey, Insight's Travelling Concierge takes care of every detail, allowing you to fully appreciate the superior comfort and convenience of this Luxury Gold itinerary. ' Insight arranges a dawn visit to the illustrious Taj Mahal, when the palette of ethereal hues on the pearly dome peak ' Seek the elusive Bengal Tiger in their natural habitat ' Experience a sunset village walk past ?ame-lit temples before an Exquisite Highlight Dinner Related Tours Spirit of North & South India Cultural riches, historic gems, and breathtaking natural wonders beyond your wildest dreams are all captured in this itinerary.

Tourtype: South Asia Gold

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS
Delhi: Enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the lanes of the Chandni Chowk Bazaar. Stop for a photo of the Red Fort. Visit the Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat. See the Qutub Minar tower. Drive along the Rajpath to see the India Gate and Parliament House. Visit the Tomb of the Emperor Humayun.

Agra: Group picture taken at the Taj Mahal.

Jaipur: Enjoy a Jaipur city tour including a visit to the City Palace Museum housing traditional Rajasthani and Mughal Art. Visit the Jantar Mantar the Royal observatory built in 1726. See the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds).

EPICUREAN DINING
Delhi: Enjoy a taste of Jalebi, the favourite sweet and learn about its production from the one of the best candy wallahs in the old town.

Jaipur: Spend some time with the Meena tribe, before continuing on to Dera Amer where your Highlight Dinner awaits.

Jaipur: Savour a delicious Celebration Dinner with wine.

7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 3 Lunches (L), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), 2 Dinners (D) and 1 Highlight Dinner (HD); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) both with both with wine, beer or soft-drinks. 23 Dec: This departure has a Christmas Highlight Dinner included.

EXCLUSIVE INSIGHTS
Delhi: Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the bustling streets.

Agra: Visit the Taj Mahal, a monument of love, built by a king in memory of his beloved queen.

Agra: Walk through a village in the shadow of the Taj Mahal with one of the villagers to discover the way of life as agriculturists next to India's most famous monument. Enjoy tea and pakoras on a rooftop with exceptional views. Money generated from the tour is used for sanitation in the village and education for women.

Jaipur: Experience a typical morning for most Hindus with a puja at one of the most important Krishna Temples in the country, Govind Dev Ji temple. Then, visit the vegetable market and try your hand at bargaining with the stall holders. All food items purchased will be donated to a local orphanage.

Agra: Inside Agra's red sandstone fortress, witness the fairytale palaces, audience halls and mosques of the Mughal rulers.

Ranthambore: Venture inside this former royal hunting ground and enjoy three game safaris with a naturalist.

Amber Fort: Ascend by jeep to stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Enjoy the shimmering mirrored walls and ceilings, the airy rooms that housed queens and concubines, and the wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.

OUTSTANDING HOTELS
Agra: The Trident by Oberoi is the perfect base to experience this city steeped in history. The hotel features tastefully appointed rooms which overlook the central courtyard and gardens and offers a superb range of facilities.

Ranthambore: The luxurious Nahargarh lies nestled at the foot hills of Aravalli Range neighbouring the Ranthambore National Park. The hotel boasts luxurious rooms, modern facilities and a superb restaurant offering global cuisine.

Jaipur: Located close to the famous Amber Fort, the Trident by Oberoi offers stunning views of the Mansagar lake and Jal Mahal. The rooms are tastefully appointed and offer all the modern amenities.

What's included:
INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES
* Be escorted by the cr'me de la cr'me of Insight Travelling Concierges - handpicked for every departure. This skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
* Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned coach with on-board restroom. It's Business Class comfort, complete with complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy during your luxury coaching tour. (Alternate coaches and vehicles, without on-board facilities or 40 seats, may be used on occasion).
* Personal radio headsets, gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert's fascinating insights and commentaries (Available on groups for 8 or more).
* At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling with prompt delivery to inside your door.
* Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
* Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
* With Insight Flourishes, from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
* Included airport transfers between the airport and your Insight tour hotels.

Tour style: Luxury Gold

Itinerary


 Day 1 Delhi, a Rich Melting Pot of Old and New

Welcome to India! On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, you are greeted with a traditional floral garland and transferred to your modern five-star hotel. Tonight, join your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception with a delicious meal.(WD)
Hyatt Regency, Delhi


 Day 2 Delhi Sightseeing

(Relaxed Start) Start the day with a cycle rickshaw ride through Old Delhi, including the bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk market. Stop for a photo at the impressive Red Fort, then visit the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat. You can also explore India's largest mosque, the magnificent Jama Masjid, built by Shah Jahan in 1650. Afterwards, tour the wide boulevards of New Delhi. Drive along the ceremonial Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House. See Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit the Tomb of Emperor Humayun, one of the best-preserved Mughal monuments in Delhi.(BB)
Hyatt Regency, Delhi


 Day 3 An Agra Adventure

On arrival to Agra, witness the hustle and bustle of everyday life as you make your way through the city to Agra Fort, a powerful fortress of red sandstone. After your tour through the palatial Royal Pavilions and gardens, there is free time to relax. Later, walk through a village in the shadow of the Taj Mahal with one of the villagers to discover the way of life as agriculturists next to India's most famous monument. Enjoy tea and pakoras on a rooftop with exceptional views.(BB / AT)
Trident by Oberoi, Agra


 Day 4 The Taj Mahal and The Princely Park of Ranthambore

In the morning, admire the lustrous Taj Mahal, bathed by the first rays of dawn. Later journey to the historic city of Bharatpur and stop for lunch, before continuing to the station for the rail journey to Ranthambore. On arrival, transfer to your luxurious hotel, built in the style of a traditional Rajput hunting palace, nestled in the foot hills of the Aravalli Range, near the Ranthambore National Park.(BB / L / D)
Nahargarh, Ranthambore


 Day 5 In Search of Tigers in Ranthambore

Early morning journey into the former private hunting grounds of the Maharajahs of Jaipur, in search of the elusive tiger. More commonly seen in the dry, deciduous forest are the wild boars, monkeys, spotted deers and antelopes but if you are ever going to witness tigers in their natural habitat, this is the place. Return to your resort for breakfast and the day at leisure. At dusk, enjoy another foray into the national park with an expert naturalist. Besides the wildlife, there are also lake palaces, 'chhatris', old fortifications and a majestic 1,000-year-old fort within the park.(BB / L / D)
Nahargarh, Ranthambore


 Day 6 Jaipur, the 'Pink City'

Embark on another exciting adventure game in the morning, into the territory of the majestic tiger' every wildlife enthusiast and photographer's dream. After lunch, drive through the rural countryside where flat, green fields are abundant with brightly coloured flowers. Your destination is the stunning Rajasthan capital of Jaipur. Later, join the Meena tribe and learn about their way of life and farming rituals before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant.(BB / L / RD)
Trident by Oberoi, Jaipur


 Day 7 Jaipur Sightseeing

Experience a typical morning for most Hindus with a puja at one of the most important Krishna Temples in the country, Govind Dev Ji temple. Then, visit the vegetable market and try your hand at bargaining with the stall holders. Enjoy a unique excursion, as you ascend by jeep to the Amber Fort, a superb example of Rajput architecture, with its terraces and ramparts reflected in the Maota Lake below. Inside, the royal halls are decorated with intricate ivory, mirrors and glass, complemented by exquisite wall paintings. Back in Jaipur, see the famous 'Hawa Mahal' (The Palace of Winds) and visit the City Palace, now a museum housing a fabulous collection of Rajasthani and Mughal Art. A final stop is made at the famous Jantar Mantar, the observatory, constructed between 1727 and 1734 by Maharajah Jai Singh II. Back at the hotel, you are at leisure. In the evening, enjoy a Celebration Dinner with drinks.(BB / CD)
Trident by Oberoi, Jaipur


 Day 8 Depart Delhi

Your tour draws to a close after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Delhi Airport at 17:00. Please do not schedule flights before 21:00. For those taking an early morning flight home the following day, and needing to stay overnight at a hotel close to the airport, post-tour accommodation is available and the transfer will continue on to your chosen extra night hotel.(BB)


Tour Map