Classic North India - Mumbai
Classic North India + Mumbai -15days/14nights
From the heart of modern India at New Delhi to the sweeping ghats of the holy city of Varanasi; from the urban jungle that is Bombay to the dense natural wilderness of Ranthambore: The magnificent sweep of this itinerary covers the classic cities of North India - Varanasi (Benaras) and Khajuraho, besides giving you a glimpse of Rajasthan, the Taj Mahal and one of the country's leading wildlife sanctuaries.
Start with an introduction to the capital city of New Delhi, much of her whose heritage from the British Raj is now symbolic of the world's largest democracy. See the Qutab Minar, the 12th century tower of victory and Humayun's tomb, a precursor to the Taj Mahal, Old Delhi, the former Mughal Capital.
Situated on the west banks of the Ganges River, Varanasi is also known as Kashi or ‘City of Light” With a legacy that goes back more than 3000 years, it has the distinction of being the oldest living city on earth. The sculptural beauty of the temples at Khajuraho have made them a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by the Chandela rulers in 9th and 10th century, the temples are widely regarded as being the pinnacle of north Indian temple architecture. Row upon row of gods and goddesses, dancers and maidens, warriors and beasts rise up to the sky, perfectly proportioned, to be viewed from ground level. Once the capital of Bundela kings, the town of Orchha is today the site of some magnificent ruins and three outstanding temples. Located on an island created by the looping of the slow moving Betwa River, the town remains one of the most beautiful of the country's ancient settlements.
Come back to Delhi after a wild break at Ranthambore, completing the ‘golden triangle' with visits to Agra, to view the majestic beauty of the Taj and other exquisite monuments, and the pink city of Jaipur.
price on application
Cost Includes: Accommodation for 14 nights with breakfast (full board in Ranthambore), transfers, excursions and sightseeing with English speaking guide in an air-conditioned chauffeur driven car, monument entrance fee, porterage, mineral water in car, 2 visits to the Taj, boat rides on the Ganges in Varanasi and Lake Pichola, Udaipur, 3 game drives in Ranthambore, elephant ride at Amber, train travel in air-conditioned first class. Domestic air travel is not included and at an extra cost.
Hotels Superior : Oberoi Maidens (superior) Delhi, Radisson (standard) Varanasi, Ramada (deluxe) Khajuraho, Mansingh Palace (standard) Agra, Ranthambore Regency (standard), Ranthambore, Narain Niwas (standard) Jaipur, Devigarh Palace (garden suite), Udaipur, Fariyas (standard) Mumbai Deluxe (upgrade to): Intercontinental (deluxe) Delhi, Taj Ganges (superior) Varanasi, Taj Chandela (garden view) Khajuraho, Taj View (deluxe Taj facing) Agra, Dev Vilas (standard) Ranthambore, Rajputana Sheraton (Chamber of Emperors) Jaipur, Hyatt Regency Mumbai. Luxury (upgrade to): Imperial (heritage) Delhi, Taj Ganges (executive suite) Varanasi, Taj Chandela (superior pool view) Khajuraho, Amarvilas (premium balcony) Agra, Vanya Vilas (luxury tent) Ranthambore, Leela Kempinski (royal club) Mumbai
Day 01 Arrival
Reception and welcome at Delhi airport followed by transfer to hotel.
Day 02 Delhi
Rest and unwind in the morning before setting out to see New Delhi in the afternoon.
Day 03 - Delhi
Visit the old busy lanes of the Mughal capital of Shahjahanabad..
Day 04 Delhi - Varanasi
Take the morning flight to Varanasi and visit Sarnath in the afternoon.
Day 05 Varanasi - Khajuraho
Take a boat to view the ghats from the river. The flight to Khajuraho is at noon so you can visit the temples in the afternoon.
Day 06 Khajuraho - Orcha - Jhansi - Agra
Drive to Orcha to see the temples, enjoy lunch before driving on to Jhansi to catch the train to Agra the same day.
Day 07 Agra
The day is dedicated to discovering Agra and the moods of the Taj at different times of the day.
Day 08 Agra - Ranthambore
Get to Ranthambore in the morning by train; you can enjoy a jeep safari through the park.
Day 09 Ranthambore
Early morning is the best time to spot animals so you go out with the first game drives.
Day 10 Ranthambore - Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur in the morning. Rest of the day at leisure.
Day 11 Jaipur
Explore Amber Fort in the cool of the morning; tour Jaipur city in the afternoon.
Day 12 Jaipur - Devigarh
Fly to Udaipur in the morning but spend the day at leisure enjoying Devigarh.
Day 13 Devigarh
A full day excursion to Udaipur city and Ranakpur temples.
Day 14 Devigarh - Udaipur - Mumbai
Fly to Mumbai early in the morning. You then have the day to tour the city.
Day 15 Departure
Transfer to the airport in time for your flight out.
I had attempted to obtain tickets for the Palace on Wheels (POW) from a specialist rail tour company in the United States, only to be informed that the ticket allocation has been exhausted on the date we wanted to travel. I incidentally mentioned this to Andre as part of a broaderPeter Bermingham