Day 1: 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 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.
Day 2: Delhi
. Start 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 also 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 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 Delhi’s third UNESCO World Heritage Site and its amazing architecture and the elaborate gardens will captivate you.
From the tomb
you will proceed on a drive to Lutyens’ New Delhi. This drive will include photo opportunities at some of the following attractions - the exterior of the massive and awe-inspiring Rashtrapati Bhawan (known as Viceroy’s House during the British era), Delhi’s landmark structure India Gate, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara
(a gold domed Sikh Temple), and the Birla Temple. The last part of this excursion is a drive through Connaught Place, which is New Delhi’s downtown.
There is a break
Afternoon - enjoy a city tour
of Old Delhi. Drive, walk and ride through the ancient city’s streets and alleys; explore crowded and colorful bazaars. This excursion includes 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. 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 a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an amazing example of a blend of Persian, Indian and European architecture. You will also experience a fascinating rickshaw ride in the ancient alleys of the crowded and colorful bazaar at Chandni Chowk, followed by a walk through the ancient spice and street food market that is part of the bazaar. After these experiences 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.
An optional cultural excursion
is available this evening. You can ask to be escorted to a dance and musical performance at the Kingdom of Dreams theatre in nearby Gurgaon (entry fee surcharge). This needs to be selected when you reserve your tour.
Day 3: Delhi - Agra.
Checkout 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 exploration
of Agra with a visit to 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 tombs 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 exploring the tomb you are driven to your hotel and assisted with your 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.
After the fort you will visit 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 AD 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 Guide and have them provide 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.
Day 4: Agra - Ranthambore.
You can either sleep in or choose to enjoy either of these optional sunrise visits (no charge) - the Taj Mahal to experience the rising sun's rays as they gleam on the inlaid stones of the monument, or a visit to Mehtab Bagh, which is a 500-year-old Mughal garden located across from the Taj Mahal on the other side of the Yamuna River. If you select either of these options, you will return to your hotel to freshen up after the excursion. We recommend that you consider getting a packed lunch from the hotel for your upcoming journey. The dining/rest stopover during the journey offers limited choices.
You are assisted
with your checkout from your hotel and then you are driven 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 Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore National Park). The second half of this drive is through rural Rajasthan and there are multiple photo opportunities of the colorful villagers as they go about their daily activities. You will also encounter many camels and other livestock on this drive.
You are greeted on arrival at your jungle lodge and assisted with your check-in.
Since 2006, Easy Tours of India
has tracked the percentage of tiger sightings for our guests in Ranthambore National Park. More than 85% of our guests have had tiger sightings during this period, with many of them getting multiple sightings.
Day 5: Ranthambore.
Covering an area of 410 square kilometers, Ranthambore National Park runs along the eastern spur of the Aravali mountain range until it meets with the Vindhya
ranges. Ranthambore was once the Jaipur rulers’ private hunting ground. In 1972 it was declared a Sanctuary and was brought under the Project Tiger Conservation platform. Dry deciduous forest covers most of the park, and the vegetation is lush around the many small lakes and ponds. The open grasslands that are the tiger’s favorite terrain account for much of the land on the higher slopes. This varied flora supports a large number of animals including a variety of deer, the sloth bear, the shy caracal, leopards and of course, the tiger.
Enjoy wildlife safaris
into the park in the morning and evening.
In between safaris, you have the option of a guided visit to the Ranthambore Fort.
This excursion does have a fairly steep climb - approximately 700 feet of stairs. The massive Fort is one of the finest examples of the ancient Hindu concept of Vana-Durg, or a fort protected by a jungle. The history of this Fort (originally built in 944 A.D.) is a chronicle full of tales of blood and valor. Successively occupied by the Muslims, Rajputs and Mughals, the insides of the fort today lie partly in ruin. There are superb views of the park to be had from the ramparts. There is an ancient temple located in the fort and it attracts a continuous stream of pilgrims from the surrounding villages. A little note of caution - a large number of aggressive langur’s (South Asian monkeys) have made the Fort area their home and it is not advisable to have shiny objects and food visible in your hands as you tour the fort as it will be snatched away.
Day 6: Ranthambore - Jaipur.
Enjoy your last safari into Ranthambore in the morning. Return to your hotel after the safari to freshen up and have breakfast. Checkout from your hotel and then there is a break for lunch.
After lunch, you are driven to Jaipur. The first half of this drive is also through rural Rajasthan and there are multiple photo opportunities. Sawai Madhopur itself (the community located next to Ranthambore) is a rural small town, and you will drive through it to get a glimpse of life here before you head for Jaipur. Check in at your hotel upon your arrival at Jaipur.
You can either choose to enjoy your hotel this evening, or you can be escorted to the home of a Rajasthani Nobleman, where you will enjoy a traditional dinner with members of the family. This option needs to be selected before your arrival in India.
Jaipur is famous
for its carpets, jewelry and handicrafts.
Day 7: Jaipur.
Start your day with an excursion to the Amber Fort and Palace, 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 on your elephant or jeep and proceed back to the Pink City.
There is a break for lunch
Enjoy a city tour of the walled city of Jaipur, including the magnificent City Palace. Visit Jantar Mantar (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the magnificent stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728. 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 it 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. During this afternoon you will 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.
Day 8: Jaipur - Delhi - International Flight.
Check-out from your hotel at your choice of time in the morning (any time before noon, depending on the time of your international flight) and then you are driven to the Delhi airport where you are assisted with boarding your international flight.
If your flight departs late in the evening or the very early morning, your vehicle and chauffeur
are available to you until your assisted check-in at the airport. This is a good time to do some last minute dining and/or sightseeing if you are so inclined. If your flight departs early the next morning, you may want us to arrange a room for you so you can rest.
Our services end at Delhi airport.