Nov 15th: Arrive at Delhi
- most flights arrive either in the evening or at night. Our services begin here. You are greeted at the airport by an Easy Tours Travel Facilitator or your Tour Director, and ushered to a chauffeur driven vehicle. You are then driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check-in. The next day’s plans are briefly reviewed and you are presented with your welcome package. Among other things, this package includes a beautiful handcrafted journal for your explorations, travel documents such as your air tickets and hotel vouchers, as well as copies of documents (such as our General Travel Guide) that were sent to you earlier.
Nov 16th: Note: Red Fort / Bahai Temple / Akshardham / National Museums are closed on Monday
. Begin your exploration of India with a guided city tour of New Delhi. This excursion begins with the awe-inspiring Qutab Minar (1193 A.D.).
This 239-foot tall medieval tower is a symbol of victory and a beautiful example of Persian architecture from that period. There is a winding stairway inside the tower that goes up all the way to the balcony at the very top of the tower - unfortunately they are no longer accessible for visitors. The Qutab Minar and its Monuments are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Within the Qutab complex,
amidst the ruins of the Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque, stands one of the legendary Ashoka Pillars. This large iron pillar has withstood the ravages of Delhi’s weather (and recent pollution) and has not rusted in more than 1500 years. After the Qutab complex you will proceed on a drive through Lutyens’ New Delhi. This drive will include photo opportunities at the following attractions - the exterior of the massive and awe-inspiring Rashtrapati Bhawan (known as Viceroy’s House during the British era) and Delhi’s landmark structure India Gate. From here you will be driven to visit the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara.
This gold domed Sikh Temple
is the most prominent Gurudwara in Delhi and is associated with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan. It was first built as a small temple by Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783, who supervised the construction of nine Sikh shrines in Delhi during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam. The campus includes the temple, a kitchen, a school, an art gallery, and the holy pond (Sarovar), whose water is called Amrit (Holy Nectar). As with all Sikh Gurudwaras, the concept of langar (community meal) is practiced here and anyone may eat in the Gurudwaras Kitchen. Thousands of meals are prepared daily and served to all visitors, regardless of race, religion or other status. The food is prepared by the religious leaders who are assisted by scores of local volunteers. You will witness the fascinating processes of cooking, serving and cleanup for these countless meals. Only vegetarian food is served, so that no religion’s dietary restrictions are violated.
After the langar ceremony, you will drive through Connaught Place, which is New Delhi’s downtown.
There is a
break for lunch.
, you will be driven to visit the magnificent tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. Delhi has such an abundance of amazing monuments that this Tomb Complex (1562 A.D.) does not quite get the acclaim that it deserves. It is one of Delhi’s three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and its amazing architecture and the elaborate gardens will captivate you.
From the tomb
you will drive to the National Museum (if this day happens to be a Monday the museum visit will occur on the next day), the crown jewel of India’s Museums. It is charged in its mission statement with being “the epitome of national identity” which goal it undoubtedly achieves. The incredible artifacts and exhibits will both amaze you and will bring clarity to much of what you will experience during your tour of India.
Nov 17th: Delhi.
Continue your exploration of Delhi with a guided city tour of Old Delhi. One of your most vibrant and enduring memories of India will be your next experience as you drive,
walk and ride through the ancient city's streets and alleys for a couple of hours; enjoy a fascinating rickshaw ride, and extended walk with your guide through the crowded ancient alleys of Chandni Chowk. The cacophony of sounds both ancient and modern from the cries of hawkers and the animated bargaining that have echoed through the centuries, to the modern motor horns, the riot of colors from spices to saris, and the equally diverse smells emanating from the street food stalls and spice markets that form part of the bazaar, this is truly an assault on the senses at every level. Next is an exploration of the Jama Masjid (1650 A.D.), the largest mosque in India. The Masjid (Mosque) is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture and is constructed of red sandstone and white marble. It is an active place of worship and its courtyard can hold 25,000 worshippers. You continue on to the amazing Red Fort that was finished a decade before the mosque. Both structures were built by Shah Jahan, the emperor who created the Taj Mahal.
There is a break
After lunch, your tour continues with the Red Fort. The great city
inside the massive sandstone walls of the Red Fort offers visitors a large number of architectural and historical attractions; it was once known as the 8th wonder of the world. The Red Fort was the seat of the Mughal Empire for more than two hundred and fifty years and is Delhi’s third UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an amazing example of a blend of Persian, Indian and European architecture.
After this a short drive will deliver you to an oasis of calm and serenity, which also happens to be your last destination in Old Delhi. The cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi (Raj Ghat) is a simple yet stirring memorial to the father of the nation. Lush lawns extend beyond the enclosure surrounding the black marble platform occupying the spot where the Mahatma was cremated. An eternal flame burns next to the platform.
Nov 18th: Note: Moonlight Taj Visits - Click to view Calendar
Delhi - Agra.
Check-out from your hotel in the morning after breakfast and join your chauffeur for the drive to Agra on North India’s newest highway.
Start your discovery
of Agra with a stop at the famous tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daulah. This memorial was built by the Mughal Emperor Jehangir’s queen as a memorial to her father.
The tomb’s sheer beauty will surprise you - the only reason it does not get more accolades is because it shares the stage with the incomparable Taj Mahal. Like the Taj it has amazingly intricate ‘Pietra Dura’ inlay and lattice marble screens. The mausoleum rests in a walled garden with a view of the river Yamuna. Constructed in the year 1628, most historians believe that its design provided the inspiration for the Taj Mahal.
After your tour you will be driven to your hotel, where you will be assisted with check-in.
There is a break
you will visit the first red sandstone fort of North India, the Agra Fort. It was built in 1565 by India’s greatest Mughal ruler, Emperor Akbar. Its royal audience halls, immense stone courtyards, marble mosque and the private royal chambers give us a glimpse of the grandeur of the Mughal Empire.
Enjoy a sunset visit to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the incomparable Taj Mahal. The world’s greatest monument dedicated to love is obviously a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Taj Mahal was completed by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 A.D. as a memorial to his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. This spectacular white marble mausoleum was created by about 22,000 skilled craftsmen and it took twenty two years to complete. When you experience the Taj Mahal with an Easy Tours Tour Director who shares unique insights into its innumerable facets, some of their passion for this masterpiece may rub off on you. Explore the amazing Taj and its surroundings until it is time to admire the sun’s rays setting on the facade of the world’s finest monument.
Agra’s artists are famous
for their inlaid marble creations.
Nov 19th: Agra - Jaipur.
We suggest you ask the hotel to provide you with a packed lunch for your journey, as the dining/rest stopover offers limited choices. Check-out from your hotel after breakfast and join your chauffeur for the drive to Fatehpur Sikri
. Enjoy a guided exploration of this beautiful uninhabited city. It was built by Emperor Akbar between 1570 and 1585 A.D. and is constructed primarily out of red sandstone. The Emperor moved his capital from Agra to this city and then, a few years later, abandoned it, returning back to Agra. Visit the tallest gateway in the world, the towering Bulund Darwaza (The Gate of Victory). In the northern part of the courtyard is the superb white marble tomb of Shaik Salim Chishti, built in 1570.
Continue on with
your journey to Jaipur. Check in to your hotel upon your arrival at Jaipur.
Jaipur is famous
for its carpets, jewelry and handicrafts.
Nov 20th: Jaipur.
Start your day with an excursion to the Amber Fort and Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), located a short distance from the walled city. Just like the Emperors of a few centuries ago,
enjoy the ascent up to the ramparts of the fort on top of a colorfully caparisoned elephant (jeeps are available instead of the elephants, if you so desire). The massive Fort complex was originally built by Raja Mansingh and is one of India’s finest examples of Rajput architecture. Explore the chambers and hallways, which are famous for their exquisite designs and handcrafted embellishments. Return to the valley beneath the Fort and you are driven to nearby Chomu Village for a unique Rajasthani experience. Tour the boutique Chomu Palace which is presently operating as a hotel.
The famous Rajasthani lunch
is included at the Palace.
After lunch you will experience a camel back (camel-drawn cart is an option) safari through surrounding rural area, which is also dotted with historic monuments. A village walk will take place, when you can observe how the locals go about their daily lives and work.
Please bear in mind that this is a semi-arid locale and there are no large sand dunes.
You are driven back to your hotel in Jaipur after the camel safari.
Nov 21st: Jaipur.
Continue your exploration of the walled city of Jaipur, including the magnificent City Palace. You will visit Jantar Mantar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), which is the fascinating stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728. Among other instruments, it includes a giant sun dial that is accurate to within 2 seconds. After the observatory comes a photo opportunity of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind). This intriguing facade was built in 1799 so that the ladies of the court could use its unique windows and observe the bustling bazaar without being visible to the people on the streets. Continue the tour with an exploration of the City Palace, the former royal residence (a part of which is still occupied by the Royal family and is not accessible to the public), built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. This immense complex also houses a number of museums that offer a large and impressive collection of costumes, armory and miniature paintings.
There is a
break for lunch.
During the afternoon you will take a stroll with your guide through the “pink” bazaar in the heart of the old town, and watch the locals as they bargain for their everyday necessities.
You will also enjoy a brief stop for a tour of a collection of Rajput turbans. A turban tying demonstration is included, as are turban and Sari tying lessons.
You are now driven to a very scenic location in Jaipur adjacent to a public park, for a guided exploration of The Albert Hall Museum, which was completed in 1887 by the architect Samuel Swinton Jacob. Its origins lie in the suggestion to open a museum of the Industrial Arts, which would acquaint local craftsmen with the best examples of art work and handicrafts of India. It was hoped that this would inspire them to improve their own skills, thereby protecting and preserving traditional arts, while providing greater employment for artisans. It was also the intention that the display would help to educate youth in a wide variety of fields, entertain and inform the people of Jaipur. Rudyard Kipling (himself the son of a curator) on a visit was so impressed by the architecture, woodwork, display, exhibits, cleanliness, and not least the curators office that he wrote "it is now a rebuke to all other museums in India from Calcutta downwards".
After your tour, you will be driven back to your hotel.
Nov 22nd: Jaipur - Pushkar. Drive to Pushkar
in the morning. Arrive at Pushkar in the mid-morning and check in to your Luxury Tent or Cottage. All meals in Pushkar will be at your lodging. Participate in Pushkar Camel Fair festivities (Cattle Fair).
Easy Tours’ Tour Directors
will guide you to various activities and events around the Fair, and are available to assist you with your i8ndividual needs should any arise.
Tour the Fair camp grounds to view the cattle. Experience the trading activity with the cattle, which is at its peak.
Nov 23rd: Pushkar - Jaipur.
Participate in Pushkar Camel Fair festivities (Cattle Fair), including the camel race which is currently scheduled for this morning (subject to change).
Easy Tours’ Tour Directors
will guide you to various activities and events around the Fair, and are available to assist you with your individual needs should any arise.
Tour the Fair camp grounds to view the cattle, and this is a good day to explore the small town of Pushkar and its monuments.
Late afternoon -
you are driven back to Jaipur and assisted with your check-in at your hotel.
Nov 24th: Jaipur - Delhi - International Flight.
You are at leisure this morning to enjoy the facilities of your hotel. You are assisted with your check out from your hotel by noon and driven to Delhi airport. A packed lunch is provided from your hotel for this journey. Most international flights depart from Delhi very late at night or in the very early hours of the morning. Upon your arrival at Delhi airport you will be met by a representative of Eaton Smart Hotel. The representative will assist you with your check in to the hotel located inside the international terminal. Please note that you will only be able to take your carry-on baggage into your room - your checked baggage will have to stay in the hotel’s storage facilities. Your room has been reserved for a stay up to 6 hours; extensions can be arranged (corresponding surcharge will apply) with prior request based on your flight departure timing. At the appropriate time for your international flight check-in an Eaton Smart representative will assist with your check out and escort you to your check-in counter for your international flight.
Our services end at Delhi airport.