Grand Rajasthan and the Taj Mahal
This program includes India's most-visited places, plus the Rajasthan that is usually seen only by people who want to experience the most "authentic" parts of India. This program assumes you will first spend two days or more in Delhi at the beginning or the end. You could easily add Ranthambore National Park or Surajgarh, or combine this trip with our Path to the Ganges program to Khajuraho and Varanasi to make a truly fabulous adventure. Even more time? Why not add a trip to colorful Southern India, to enjoy Madurai, Kerala and some of the continent's nicest beaches.
Day One: Pilgrimage to the Taj
We begin at your hotel in Delhi this morning it's off on a scenic trip to Agra. Afternoon sightseeing at Agra Fort after you check into your hotel.
Day Two: India's Pink City
Begin the day (except Fridays) with an early morning visit to the Taj Mahal to enjoy her in the splendid early light, then it's back to your hotel for breakfast. Later drive to Jaipur via the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. Sightseeing in Jaipur will include Palace of the Winds, and Amber Fort. If time permits you will also visit the Maharajah's Palace and one of the world's oldest observatories, with colossal instruments built of stone that are amazingly accurate today.
Day Three: A Day in a Hilltop Palace
Most of your day in Jaipur will be spent visiting the Ambur Palace, on the outskirts of the city. Because of its strategic hilltop location, the rulers living in this city-fort were able to command the region as far as the eye could see.
Day Four:To Bikaner by Road
Drive Jaipur to Bikaner. Sightseeing in Bikaner includes the Old City, Junagarh Fort and Lalgarh Palace. If time permits you may ride a camel, shop for local carpets or visit the Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum.
Day Five: Through the Deser to to Jaisalmer
Drive Bikaner to Jaisalmer in the heart of the Thar Desert. For many, Jaisalmer is the most iconic of fortified Moghul cities. Its dramatic fort and palace is surrounded by a city made in the colors of the desert. It is easy to imagine a caravan of 100 camels bearing silks, spices and other treasures destined for Europe arriving at one of the city's gates.
Day Six: An Exquisite Villa
Drive Jaisalmer to Jodhpur, visiting Bishnoi village and Rawla Narlai, a 17th Century Villa filled with magnificently decorated rooms. (You can spend the night there if you plan in advance. Mick Jagger loved the place.) Rocky hills in the immediate vicinity are dotted with caves and temples.
Day Seven: Climb Mount Abu
Drive Jodhpur to Mount Abu. At about 1200 meters above sea level it is the highest peak in the Aravalli Mountain Range. After a long trip through the desert Mount Abu is a welcome oasis surrounded by lush green forest. After a visit to the main market and a leisurely dinner, take a stroll to nearby Nakki Lake
Day Eight: Udaipur, City of Lakes
Drive Mount Abu to Udaipur via Ranakpur, where you stop to the magnificent Jain temple, with its gallery of carved stone columns.
Day Nine: Get a Taste of Udaipur
Udaipur sightseeing includes the expansive City Palace and some time to enjoy the picturesque lake.
Day Ten: On to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, or Cleveland
Fly Udaipur to Mumbai or Delhi, then on to your next destination. How about Mumbai or Kerala?