Your holiday begins in Delhi, a city known for as much for its colourful markets as it is the splendid Mughal-period architecture that hides between new city's leafy avenues and the bustling laneways of its Old Delhi cousin. Then, after guided tours of the capital, you'll head to Agra, home to the gleaming white marble of the beautiful Taj Mahal. In many ways it's the perfect precursor to your journey through Rajasthan. Here, in its cities – Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur – grand forts and majestic palaces look out to peaceful lakes and bazaars fragranced with incense and spice. Take in the region's regal highlights in the company of your expert guide, before contrasting their opulence with the rural traditions of a Bishnoi tribal village, where residents live at one with nature, and avidly protect the local flora and fauna as part of their religion.
Day 1: Depart UK
Board your overnight flight to Delhi, beginning your luxury holiday on day two.
Day 2: Arrive India (Delhi)
Arrive at Delhi's International Airport, where a representative in the arrival area of the airport will meet you. Depart for your hotel, where you will check in for your overnight stay.
Day 3: Delhi
After breakfast at your hotel, a full-day city tour will introduce you to the capital of modern India. Starting in Old Delhi, an ancient walled city that was made the capital of India in 1650, you'll visit the Red Fort with its twisting lanes and crowded bazaars. Then, head to Jama Masjid, India's most impressive mosque, before the market bustle of Chandni Chowk showcases India at its colourful and chaotic best. In the afternoon, after a visit to Raj Ghat – a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi – you'll swap Old Delhi's ancient treasures for the tree-lined avenues of its New-Delhi cousin. Here, amid palatial government buildings, you'll call into the 12th-century minaret of Qutub Minar, the grand mausoleum of Humayun's tomb and the Arc de Triomophe-esque India Gate.
Day 4: Delhi – Agra
After breakfast, drive to Agra and check in to your hotel. The city of Agra has a rich history, which was an epicentre for art, science, commerce and culture in the sixteenth century. In the evening, embark on a sunset visit to the iconic Taj Mahal. One of the wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal was built by an emperor in memory of his wife, as a monument to love. Construction began in 1631, and is believed to have taken 18 years to complete. Marked by its perfect proportions and distinct femininity, its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while its dazzling white during the day.
Day 5: Agra
After a sunrise trip to the Taj Mahal, return to your hotel for breakfast. Afterwards, explore the impressive Agra Fort, where you will explore the chambers of the royal residence. Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the most important fort in India. Otherwise known as the Red Fort, it used to contain the largest state treasury and mint, and was frequented by foreign ambassadors and dignitaries.
Day 6: Agra – Jaipur
After breakfast at your hotel, drive to Jaipur via the beautiful imperial city of Fatehpur Sikri which was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is architecturally magnificent. When you enter Fatehpur Sikri, first off you'll see the Diwan-I-Aam, or the Hall of Public Audience. The city is now a well-preserved ruin, which is in pristine condition.
In the afternoon, continue to Jaipur. Known as the Pink City, the capital of the state of Rajasthan is complete contrast the the peaceful countryside that surrounds it, and as you enter the city centre, you'll see it bloom into a kaleidoscope of colour and a cacophony of sound.
Day 7: Jaipur
After breakfast, explore Amber Fort, a marvellous example of Rajput architecture with its terraces and ramparts reflected in the Maota Lake below. Its interior is also magnificent, and is decorated with intricate ivory, mirror and glasswork complimented by exquisite wall paintings. Then, in the afternoon, enjoy an in-depth tour of the City Palace Complex. A showcase for Rajasthan and Mughal architecture founded by Jaipur Sawai Jai Singh, it remains the official residence of the royal family. Then, view the famous Jantar Mantar, the largest and best-preserved observatory in India before calling into Hawa Mahal – Palace of the Winds, built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Sing.
Day 8: Jaipur – Jodhpur
After breakfast, embark on the seven-hour drive to Jodhpur. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and relax. The city of Jodhpur is famous for its red sandstone fort, built five centuries ago, it contains the handsome Maharajah's palace, and Jaswant Thada, a royal memorial built in pure white marble.
Day 9: Jodhpur
After breakfast, enjoy a city tour of Jodhpur and explore Mehrangarh Fort (Majestic Fort), one of the largest forts in India; construction began in 1459, and was completed in 1678. Perched on a cragged hilltop overlooking the centre of the city, it's home to some of the most beautiful and historic palaces in Rajasthan. Pause to view the artefacts in the fort museum before heading to Jaswant Thada, an imposing white marble cenotaph built to commemorate the acts of bravery of the rulers in the nineteenth century. In the afternoon, take a jeep safari to a Bishnoi village. The Bishnois are an ecologically minded tribe that have protected the region's nature for more than 500 years, helping to maintain the survival of species such as the Black Buck antelope. On your excursion, you'll have the rare privilege of being welcomed into a family home.
Day 10: Jodhpur – Udaipur
Today you'll drive to Udaipur, stopping en route at Ranakpur where you'll view t...
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