Venture into India, and introduce your family to the rich history and traditions plus the hustle and bustle of this fascinating and colourful country. It is a country of contrasts, where you might see elephants waiting for traffic lights with auto rickshaws and Ambassador cars. Turbaned men and women look resplendent in iridescent limes, greens and pink coloured dresses look stunning against a backdrop of ancient forts that are rooted in a bygone era. There is the chance of glimpsing an illusive tiger, all the fun of the train journeys and the majestic Taj Mahal.
Direct Jet Airways flight from Heathrow to Delhi.
On arrival you will be met and transferred to The Residence Hotel for 2 nights.
Begin your sightseeing in Old Delhi, visiting the Red Fort. To really see the heart of Old Delhi, take a bicycle rickshaw ride through the narrow and fascinating streets of Chandni Chowk to the great Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques, which is viewed from the outside. Drive into imperial New Delhi passing India Gate and government buildings and then onto the Laxmi Narayan Temple, a modern Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The afternoon is at leisure or you can take a very special optional excursion to a puppeteer maker. In the evening you can take an optional excursion to the Sound & Light Show at the Red Fort. (B)
Leave Delhi early today to catch the express train to Agra. This afternoon visit the immense Agra Fort, with its high red-sandstone ramparts dominating a bend in the Yamuna River. After exploring its nooks and crannies gaze out from its battlements to the Taj Mahal. Built by Shah Jahan to honour the memory of his wife, it effortlessly transcends all the commercialism that surrounds it and you won’t fail to be impressed by its beauty, marble expanses and semi-precious inlay work. You will be transferred to the entrance by Tongas (traditional horse-drawn carriages) and this evening there will be the option of returning again to enjoy the magical sight of the Taj at sunset. Overnight at Clarks Shiraz Hotel. (B)
This morning drive to Bharatpur via the deserted 16th-century city of Fatehpur Sikri, which was used for scarcely 20 years as the court of the Emperor Akbar before being abandoned in the 16th Century to the elements. Take an express train to Sawai Madhopur and proceed by road to Ranthambore National Park. Stay 2 nights at the Ranthambore Regency. (B/D).
Up early today for a full day of game drives, through Ranthambore National Park. The park is rich in diverse wildlife and offers the chance to see many species of bird, together with deer, wild boar, sloth bears, crocodiles, leopards, monkeys and – with luck – the elusive and endangered Royal Bengal tiger. After a thrilling safari adventure full of animal encounters. Game drives will be taken by jeep in the early morning and late afternoon. (B/L/D)
Game drive early this morning, before continuing by road to Jaipur. Jaipur is known as the ‘Pink City’ on account of the distinctive colour of its buildings. Your afternoon is at leisure, so why not stroll through the winding streets and explore the hectic bazaars, where camels and bullock carts jostle with trucks. In the evening visit the Chokhi Dhani – an ethnic Rajasthani Village Resort, where you may see a snake charmer, a puppet show and folk dances. Stay 2 nights at the Fortune Metropolitan. (B)
This is the home of stunning forts and glorious palaces, this morning visit the classic romantic Rajasthani palace complex of the Amber Fort. From here you have a magnificent view of Jaipur and the tranquil waters of the Maotha Lake and the fort itself is a feast of interesting buildings. Take an auto-rickshaw to explore the city in greater depth. Discover the ornate pink-hued Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a 5-storey structure of sandstone with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies – a true photographic highlight. See the magnificent City Palace, a delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, which sprawls over 1⁄7 of the area in the walled city. After the city tour, we will visit either a local pottery or painter and the kids get to try their hands in creating their own masterpiece. There is also the option of visiting Dera Amer where elephant, horse and camel safaris take place in a beautiful jungle location setting. (B/L)
This morning transfer to Jaipur airport for your flight to Delhi. Connect to your onward international flight to London Heathrow with Jet Airways, where you will be arriving later the same evening. (B)
Group departure dates during UK school holidays, except for the summer months when Ranthambore National Park is closed.
2012: 01 Apr, 21 Oct, 20 Dec
2013: 15 Feb, 28 Mar
The tour is subject to minimum numbers.
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