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.
You are at leisure this morning to recuperate from your international flight.
Afternoon – start your exploration
of India with a tour of New Delhi. This excursion begins with the awe-inspiring Qutab Minar (1193 A.D.). This 239 ft 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 over 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. Time permitting (you will have time available on the next day for completing this exploration), 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, a golden domed Sikh Temple (Bangla Sahib Gurudwara), & the Birla Temple. The last part of this excursion is a drive through Connaught Place, which is New Delhi’s downtown.
Day 3: Delhi.
Enjoy a guided 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 a tour of the Charity Bird Hospital inside the Jain Digambra Tempe. The hospital is free of charge but not meant for pet birds as Jain philosophy dictates that any birds brought in here are released in the open after they recover. Next comes an exploration of the Jama Masjid (1650 AD), 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 that 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. 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 that surrounds the black marble platform occupying the spot where the Mahatma was cremated. An eternal flame burns next to the platform.
There is a break
Enjoy a guided visit to the National Museum of Natural History. This is India’s finest museum and has a vast selection of fascinating exhibits spanning many millennia of India’s history. The second museum experience is an exploration of the National Rail Museum (closed on Mondays), with its collection of steam powered locomotives. This includes the Fairy Queen, the world’s oldest running locomotive, built in 1885. There are a number of other fascinating exhibits, including one of the two remaining Morris-Belsize Fire Engine’s in the world today, various Saloon’s that were built for Indian and British Royalty, and a toy train takes you around (available on most days) the 10 acre museum.
Day 4: Delhi.
You are at leisure on this day. The only service provided by Easy Tours is your Hotel Room, including breakfast and taxes. A chauffeur driven vehicle as well as a guide can be arranged for half a day or the full day. Delhi has a lot of experiences and activities that you can indulge in, including great dining and souvenir shopping. There are interactive experiences that families can enjoy, such as the shows at the impressive Akshardham Temple Complex. Our staff can make suggestions based on your preferences.
Day 5: Delhi – Agra.
You are assisted with your checkout from your hotel and driven to Delhi’s railway station where you are assisted with boarding the early morning Express train to Agra for a two hour journey. This is an opportunity to experience an Indian Railway Station, something that you will find nowhere else on this planet. Your Easy Tours Facilitator assists you in getting seated in your assigned seats and gets your luggage ported to the appropriate location above your seats. The facilitator stays with you until the train departs. Your Travel Facilitator provides you with a detailed itinerary of the trains schedule so as to make you comfortable with every step of the journey. Refreshments are served by Indian Railways during this journey – we recommend that you refrain from consuming these (except for the bottled water) as you will have been provided with a bagged breakfast. You are greeted by an Easy Tours Facilitator on your arrival at Agra. If an early check-in is available, you are driven to your hotel and assisted with your check-in. If it is not available, you can either commence your guided exploration directly or opt to visit your hotel and use the facilities there before you start your sightseeing.
You now start your exploration
of Agra with a half day city tour of the magnificent monuments of this city. The exploration of Agra includes 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 your exploration of the tomb 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.
There is a break
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 façade of the world’s finest monument.
Day 6: Agra – Jaipur.
You can either sleep in or chose to enjoy either of these two optional excursions - a sunrise visit to Mehtab Bagh (no charge), which is a 500 year old Mughal garden located across from the Taj Mahal on the other side of the Yamuna River; or a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal (entry fee surcharge applies). If you select either of the latter options, you will return to your hotel to freshen up after the excursion. An optional experience where you can learn how to tie a Sari or a Turban is available this midmorning. You can choose to enjoy the facilities at your hotel until just before noon. If you do not start out for Ranthambore fairly early in the morning (enabling you to have a late lunch on arrival), we recommend that you consider getting a packed lunch from the hotel for your journey. The dining/rest stopover during the journey offers limited choices.
You are assisted
with your check-out 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 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. You are assisted with your check in at your hotel at Jaipur.
Join your Easy Tours Facilitator and drive to a local restaurant where you will enjoy a dinner and Rajasthani cultural show that includes regional dance, music and acrobatic performances.
Jaipur is famous
for its carpets, jewelry & handicrafts.
Day 7: Jaipur.
Join your chauffeur and guide for the short drive to Amer Fort. 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 to your Jaipur Hotel, where you are assisted with your check-in.
There is a break
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 miniature paintings, costumes, and armory.
Day 8: Jaipur.
Join your chauffeur and guide at 10 am and proceed to a nearby village to experience rural culture. You will watch the farmers go about their daily activities, and get to observe how the vast majority of Indians contently live simple and hard working lives.
you are at leisure with your chauffeur and guide, who are available to you until 7 pm. An optional stop this afternoon allows the ladies to get Mehndi (Henna) designs applied to their hands and/or feet. There are various other experiences and activities that you can indulge in. Jaipur is India’s shopping capital for tourists and this is a good time to shop for Rajasthani specialties if you are so inclined. Or you can choose to enjoy the facilities at your hotel.
Day 9: Jaipur - Jodhpur.
You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel in the morning and then you proceed on the drive to Jodhpur. Arrive at Jodhpur and you are assisted with your check-in to your hotel.
There is a break for lunch.
Proceed on a half day city tour of Jodhpur. The tour begins from the fifteenth century Mehrangarh Fort. This formidable hilltop fort is arguably the most awe inspiring in Rajasthan, a land of impressive hilltop forts and palaces. Entry to the massive fort is through a series of seven great gates, with the main entrance being the huge Lohapol, which literally means Iron Gate. Next to this gate there are 15 hand prints in the wall, the Sati Marks of Maharaja Man Singh’s widows. These hand prints were etched into the wall by the queens just prior to them throwing themselves upon his funeral pyre in 1843, as the besieged fort was about to be conquered. Inside the fort is a collection of some of the finest palaces and galleries, including, Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Sukh Mahal (Pleasure Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Elephant Howdah Gallery, Palanquin Gallery, the Armory, the Turban Gallery, and the Folk Music Gallery. The Daulat Khana houses one of the world’s finest collections of Mughal Art. On your way back to your hotel you will stop for a tour of Jaswant Thada, a marble cenotaph built in 1899 as a memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.
Day 10: Jodhpur.
You are at leisure
this morning. A chauffeur driven vehicle as well as a guide can be arranged for half a day for you toexplore the Blue City. There is an exhilarating option for a Zip Line experience above the Mehrangarh Fort and surrounding areas.
Enjoy an excursion (by jeep) to a rural community on the outskirts of Jodhpur. The village you will visit is inhabited by the Bishnoi tribe. Among other activities, you will spend some time at the home of a potter and his extended family, and even try your hand at the potter’s wheel. You also have the option to witness a ceremony that is unique to this part of Rajasthan. A fairly well off local tribe has a ritual in which the adults, upon returning from working their fields at the end of the day, are greeted by the youth with water pipes laden with opium. You are invited to observe as the adults indulge in this recreational activity.
Day 11: Jodhpur – Kumbhalgarh.
You are assisted with your check out in the mid-morning and you proceed on the drive to Ranakpur. Arrive at Ranakpur around noon and enjoy a guided excursion to the awe-inspiring Jain Temple Complex. Tour the famous 15th Century marble temple that is still an active place of worship. The main temples 29 halls are supported by 1444 massive yet intricately carved marble pillars, and no two are of the same design. There is an abundance of exquisite sculptures and friezes and the enormous scale of the monument and the exquisite details of its design have to be experienced to be believed.
Lunch is included
at Ranakpur this afternoon. Proceed on the drive to Kumbhalgarh. This short drive is one of the most picturesque drives in all of India and offers great photo opportunities in rural communities that dot the countryside. The Aravali mountain range is densely wooded for most of this drive and sighting wildlife is not unusual. The elevation here ranges between 2000 and 3000 feet and the evenings can get chilly in winter.
Head out to the Fort with your chauffeur to experience the impressive sound and light show (the show is pre-empted on certain nights but even the lighting ceremony itself is worth this short excursion). Stop at the hillside vantage point a few hundred yards before the Fort and watch as different parts of the fort complex light up progressively. Continue on to the Fort after it is lit up and get a unique experience - a true Rajasthani Fort at night.
Day 12: Kumbhalgarh - Udaipur.
Check out of your hotel in the morning and head out for a guided exploration of the Fort. The Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Rana Kumbha in the fifteenth century; this fort is one of the best examples of defensive architecture in Rajasthan and boasts of the second longest contiguous wall on the planet. A number of palaces, temples and monuments were added within the fort walls after its construction. The Fort complex is incredibly picturesque and offers various photo opportunities. There are temples in many parts of the Fort Complex and a hike can even take you to Jain Temples that are purported to be almost 2000 years old.
join your chauffeur for the two and a half hour drive to Udaipur. This is a picturesque drive through the Aravali hills with multiple photo opportunities of village life and local livestock, including many camels. Arrive at Udaipur in the early afternoon and you are assisted with your check-in to your hotel. You are at leisure for the rest of the day.
Udaipur is famous
for its artists and paintings, including exquisite miniatures.
Day 13: Udaipur.
Proceed for a city tour, including a tour of the fabled City Palace. At this Palace complex, explore the beautifully decorated rooms with thousands of exquisite, handcrafted mirrors that cover the walls, the ancient ivory doors that are a dark reminder of royalty’s passion for hunting, the brightly colored glass windows, expansive inlaid marble balconies and the unique peacock courtyard. Enjoy a private tour of the amazing Crystal Gallery which houses the world’s largest collection of priceless crystal. Marvel at pieces like the complete bedroom furniture set in crystal, discovered recently in a store room in the palace. There are amazing views to be had from this structure, especially of Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace hotel and Jag Mandir.
After your tour of the City Palace you will visit the historical Sahelion-ki-bari gardens and the local Museum.
Late afternoon/Early evening:
Enjoy a cruise on Lake Pichola and visit the historical and beautiful monuments at Jag Mandir Island (if available – the royal family at Udaipur will occasionally rent out the island for large celebrations and on those occasions the island cannot be visited by tourists).
Day 14: Udaipur.
You are at leisure on this day. A chauffeur driven vehicle as well as a guide can be arranged for half a day or the full day. Udaipur is one of North India’s prettiest cities and there are areas that are great to explore on foot. There are other options that our staff can offer you.
Day 15: Udaipur - Mumbai.
You are assisted with your check-out of your hotel and driven to the airport to board the flight to Mumbai. The pricing on this itinerary is based on this day being Friday or Saturday. On the other days of the week, there will be an extra charge for the second room at the Mumbai hotel.
You are greeted at the Mumbai airport by an Easy Tours Facilitator & your personal chauffeur. You are driven to your ocean front hotel and assisted with your check-in. You are at leisure for the balance of the day to both relax and enjoy the hotels facilities, or to explore the colorful area around your hotel.
Day 16: Mumbai.
Join your guide in the morning and proceed for a five to six hour excursion to the Elephanta Island Caves. Please note that no agency is able to select a local guide at Mumbai. The guides there are unionized and work on a rotation basis. Their quality is often nowhere near the quality of Easy Tours Guide’s in other destinations. Depending on your arrival at the jetty, you will stop for photo opportunities at the city’s signature landmark, The Gateway of India, either before you depart or when you return from this excursion. Located overlooking Mumbai’s harbor this structure was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai. It is also the ceremonial gateway that the last British Viceroy departed from when India gained Independence. You are assisted in boarding the boat for the one hour journey. Elephanta is Mumbai’s most significant tourist attraction and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are five Hindu Caves dedicated to Lord Shiva and two Buddhist caves. Your tour will focus on the Hindu Caves. Carved out of hard basalt between 450 A.D. and 750 A.D., the main cave was an active place of worship till the Portuguese conquered the area and inflicted severe damage to the caves in the early 16th century. In its heyday the island was known as Gharapuri (the Fortress city) and there is still a village on the island with the same name. The island was renamed Elephanta by the Portuguese. Although the caves have many massive sculptures of Lord Shiva and other divinities, the most impressive creation at Elephanta is the Trimurthi sculpture. This 20 foot tall three headed figure portrays the three manifestations of Lord Shiva – The Creator of all life, The Preserver of humanity and The Destroyer of the world. You will be escorted back to your Hotel after your excursion to Elephanta.
Day 17: Mumbai - International Flight.
You are assisted with your check-out at noon and proceed for a guided tour of Mumbai. Please note that no agency is able to select a local guide at Mumbai. The guides there are unionized and work on a rotation basis. Their quality is frequently very poor. The tour begins at the Prince of Wales Museum, built to commemorate King George V’s first visit to India in 1905. Designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, the museum has sections of art, paintings, archeological exhibits and natural history. After the museum tour you will visit the famous ‘Dhobi Ghat’ & observe the age old tradition of the Dhobi’s doing Mumbai’s laundry!
There is a break for lunch.
Continue the tour
with a drive up to Malabar Hill, where the hanging gardens give a panoramic view of the city and the "Queen’s Necklace" (Marine Drive). The tour then takes a drive through the Flora Fountain and Fort area, where you can view the impressive Gothic and Victorian buildings that were constructed during the British ‘Raj’. Visit the Victoria Terminus (now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus). It is India’s finest example of a Gothic architecture and one of the world’s busiest railway stations. Drive around Horniman Circle and visit the Town Hall, right besides the docks of Mumbai. Visit the city’s signature landmark, “The Gateway of India", situated overlooking Mumbai’s harbor. This structure was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai.
Your vehicle and chauffeur
will stay with you until your assisted check in at the international terminal. This is a good time to do some last minute shopping 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 Mumbai airport.