A colorful journey around Rajasthan, this trip also reveals India's most cultural, and dynamic cities from the inside, from mega-metropolises like Mumbai to historic hubs like Old Delhi.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like… experiencing India's contrasts first hand, feeling the gritty reality of life in Old Delhi as you ride a rickshaw through the district; then staying in the former hunting lodge of Jodhpur's Royal Family.
Board your overnight flight to Asia (not included).
This morning begin your City Tour with a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi for a Cultural Insight. View the Red Fort, the most opulent fort and palace of the Mughal Empire. Its main gate faces Chandni Chowk, the bustling and colorful market of the old city with twisting lanes and crowded bazaars. See it come alive in the morning as the days trading begins. Take a peek through a portico and you may see a man getting shaved, silver being weighed, or bolts of cloth being measured. Visit Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656 at a cost of one million rupees. Return to your hotel and enjoy some free time this afternoon to relax or explore further.
After a late start this morning take a walk through the city and learn about the Salaam Baalak Trust, a non-profit, non-governmental organization that aims to provide a caring environment for street and working children in Delhi. Learn about the daily lives of these children, one of whom will be your guide as they take you through their shelters and tell their life-stories, a Cultural Insight. Later walk through the bazaar of Paharganj and a vegetable market where the locals do their daily shopping. After lunch in a local restaurant, continue your City Tour with a visit to New Delhi which was designed and built by the British starting in the 1920's. It is a city of wide boulevards impressive government buildings, green parks and gardens. Visit two monuments from Delhi's past: Humayun's Tomb and Qutub Minar, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Later drive along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House.
This morning travel to Agra, the 16th and 17th century capital of the grand Mughal Empire. In the afternoon visit the impressive Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and walk through the chambers of this royal residence. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city, which housed the state treasury and mint during Mughal times. On the drive through the city, witness the local life and the hustle and bustle of everyday India. Return to your hotel for dinner and your overnight stay.
Get an early start this morning to visit the spectacular Taj Mahal at sunrise, when its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints. It was built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen and is believed to have taken 18 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working around the clock. Return to the hotel for breakfast and then depart for Jaipur, stopping for lunch en-route. Jaipur is known as the “Pink City” and is the capital of the colorful state of Rajasthan.
This morning's City Tour begins with a visit to the City Palace which opened as a museum in 1959 and is a blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. Next visit the impressive Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Make a brief stop at the Palace of Winds, a spectacular five storied palace constructed to enable the ladies of the royal household to watch the life and processions of the city unseen from the outside. This afternoon your choice of activities offers the opportunity to learn about ancient customs and pastimes in a Cultural Insight. Choose between Turban Tying or Kite Flying. This evening visit the Birla Temple and witness an Aarti Ceremony.
Depart this morning for a trip to the Amber Fort, a marvelous example of Rajput architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The interior of the fort has various royal halls decorated with intricate ivory, mirror and glass work, and exquisite wall paintings. Later learn about the tradition of hand block printing from a Local Specialist. The block-printed cottons of Jaipur have been renowned for their exquisite patterns, and natural coloring for at least 250 years. The traditional prints and designs differ from area to area and can determine village, profession or even marital status. Blue Pottery is synonymous with Jaipur, and its vibrant colors of blues and greens set it apart from other pottery in the country. Visit a workshop where a Local Specialist demonstrates how the pottery is made. This evening enjoy a Be My Guest experience with a local family in their home.
This morning depart for Narlai, a picturesque village on a country back road of Ranakpur which is an ideal base for exploring the local countryside. Stop for lunch along the way and on arrival in Narlai check-in to your Authentic Accommodations, the Rawla Narlai, a beautifully maintained heritage resort. Meet one of the family members for some fascinating stories and history about the hotel and the locals, a Cultural Insight. At dinner this evening taste the flavor of true Rajasthani royal hospitality at the 16th century old Stepwell of the Rawla Narlai.
Today enjoy a Jeep safari to see the wildlife in their natural habitat. Later continue on to Udaipur, considered by many to be the most beautiful and romantic city in Rajasthan. It has the atmosphere of a small town and it is surprisingly pedestrian with winding alleyways and tree-lined streets. This evening enjoy a scenic boat ride on the placid waters of Lake Pichola, with a wonderful view of the City Palace stretching along the east bank.
Start this morning's City Tour with a visit to the City Palace complex , an impressive facade half a mile in length overlooking Lake Pichola. The City Palace is the oldest part of the complex, dating back to the 16th century and has been converted into a museum. Later wander through the markets and bazaars to get a feel for the city and perhaps take the opportunity to purchase a sari. Visit the Jagdish Temple built in 1651, ornamented with excellent carvings and a bronze figure of the Garuda. Proceed to the Garden of the Maids of the Honor constructed in the early 18th century which was used as a venue for royal parties. After lunch in a local restaurant, enjoy some free time or take part in an Optional Experience.
In the morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. On arrival begin your City Tour with an orientation drive around the city. Visit Dhobi Ghat, a unique feature of Mumbai and a Cultural Insight, the ‘dhobi' is a traditional laundryman, who will collect dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed. Travel along Marine Drive and Nariman Point before arriving at Mani Bhawan, a memorial dedicated to the legendary freedom fighter of India. See the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, a historic railway station listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the busiest railway stations in India. Check in to your hotel and later this afternoon continue with your City Tour. See Mumbai's principal landmark, the Gateway of India, a huge archway on the water's edge. This famous monument was built to commemorate the first visit of a sitting British monarch, King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Visit the Prince of Wales Museum, which showcases ancient artworks, sculptures and artifacts in its galleries. Later enjoy a walk through the famous Crawford Market, named after Bombay's first municipal commissioner, Arthur Crawford.
This morning take a boat trip across Mumbai Harbor to see the rock-cut temples on Gharapuri, better known as Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island was renamed Elephanta by the Portuguese because of the huge carved elephant they found near the shore when they landed there. The labyrinth of cave temples represents some of India's most impressive temple carvings. The main Shiva-dedicated temple is an intriguing latticework of courtyards, halls, pillars and shrines. This afternoon return to your hotel and have some free time for last minute shopping or take part in an Optional Experience. This evening join your fellow guests and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.
12 nights' accommodations, 12 buffet breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|19 Aug 17||1 Sep 17||$3,575pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|16 Sep 17||29 Sep 17||$3,575pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|14 Oct 17||27 Oct 17||$3,975pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|25 Nov 17||8 Dec 17||$3,975pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|16 Dec 17||29 Dec 17||$4,075pp||Request Quote Book Now|
Solo Travelers: These dates offer a discounted single supplement rate.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $660.
Room Share: Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.
All inter-trip air related charges in economy class for Udaipur to Mumbai are included in the Land Only price shown based on accurate airfare as of June 14, 2016. At the time you purchase your trip the inter-trip air prices may be higher.
Visas are generally required for India, please call for details.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
U.S. citizens traveling to India must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. U.S. passport holders traveling to India will also need an entry visa. We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.
The currency in India is the Rupee. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in India. We recommend bringing a combination of credit and debit cards; it is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as fraudulent charges.
One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. On your trip you’ll discover an abundance of regional dishes and local traditions. Consumption of beef is considered taboo in India. Staples include lentils, rice, potatoes and flatbread served with spiced vegetables, sauces, and chutneys.
We suggest bringing breathable, loose-fitting clothing that can be layered to stay comfortable throughout your trip. Sturdy walking shoes are important for sightseeing excursions; a hat, lightweight jacket, and shawl or scarf could also come in handy. Keep in mind that your shoulders and legs should be covered at religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
It is appropriate to leave 5-10 percent gratuity at restaurants in India. Restaurants in Dehli and Mumbai will sometimes include a service charge in the bill, in which case there is no need to leave an additional tip.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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