Upon arrival at Delhi airport you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel. There are no activities planned for the rest of the day so you are free to explore this bustling capital city. India’s capital is an exciting, busy, and often chaotic city but certainly one of the most interesting. Delhi comprises of conspicuously contrasting Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of Muslim India between the 12th and 19th centuries and one can find mosques, monuments and forts related to this Muslim history. New Delhi is the imperial city created as India’s capital by the British, intricately planned and comprises of imposing buildings displaying various modern styles of architecture. For those arriving early, explore some of the many attractions on your own - explore the Janatar Mantar, wander the local markets, catch the metro anywhere, visit the Crafts Museum, Indira Gandhi Museum or Birla House (the site of Gandhi’s assassination) or relax in the magical Lodi Gardens.
Overnight: Hotel Royal Plaza.
This morning after breakfast we undertake a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi and New Delhi visiting the Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat (Gandhi Memorial), Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Birla Temple/Gurudwara and drive past Government Secretariat building, India Gate and the Red Fort (closed on Mondays). Designed by the builder of the Taj Mahal, Shah Jehan, the Red Fort is famous for its delicate carvings and Royal Chambers. The Raj Ghat is the cremation ground of the father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Humayun’s Tomb is believed to have been designed in 1565 AD by the widow of Mughal emperor Himayun. Its design and layout is based on the description of Islamic paradise gardens and is known to have inspired the Taj Mahal and many later Mughal tombs. The Qutab Minar has walls inscribed with intricately carved quotations from the Koran and is one of the most perfect towers of the Persian world. Overnight: Hotel Royal Plaza.
We have an early morning transfer to the railway station to board Train 12002 Bhopal Shatabdi Express (0600/0810 hours – daily) for Agra. We arrive in Agra and proceed for the breakfast at the hotel (venue to be advised). After breakfast we enjoy a walking tour of Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays) and Agra Fort. Built by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal the beauty of the Taj Mahal is unmatched. On the death of his beloved wife, in wild extravagance, Shah Jahan built her this memorial. 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this wealth of white marble and precious stone. We have time to walk the corridors and gardens before continuing on to the Agra Fort. With its grand courtyards, royal pavilions and palaces the Agra Fort is a fitting testimony to the Great Moghuls – Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan – during the era when Agra was the capital of the Moghul Empire. The most impressive part of the Fort is the Dewan-e-Am, where the Emperor sat on his throne to dispense to his subjects, and the Dewan-e-Khas where he received foreign dignitaries. We also visit Itimad-ud-Daulah, known as the ‘Baby Taj’; it was built before the Taj Mahal by Nur Jahan, queen of Jehangir, for her parents. The first Mughal building to be faced with white marble and where ‘pietra dura’, (precious stones inlaid into marble) was first used. Agra is a great place to try barbecue meats (kebabs) mixed with Indian spices. Petha, pieces of white pumpkin dipped in sugar syrup, and Gajak, a crumbly sweet made with sesame and jaggery, are delicious local sweets and sold everywhere - try them. From here we drive to Bharatpur, enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri (60 km – 1 ½ hours approximately + visiting time at Fatehpur Sikri). We arrive in Bharatpur and check in to our hotel. Overnight: Hotel Udai Villas Palace.
This morning we have breakfast at the hotel and a day visit to Keolado Ghana National Park after a short walk through the small town. The Keolado Ghana National Parka, a World Heritage Listed site, is a famous sanctuary that hosts thousands of birds and was a former duck-hunting reserve of the Maharajas. From here we will go on a bicycle ride to the inner periphery, followed by brisk walk within the park. We continue walking though the city to reach the Lohagarh Fort. The Lohagarh Fort (Iron fort) got its name from its invincibility where it withstood repeated attempts by the British to conquer it. Constructed by the Bharatpur Jat ruler King Suraj Mal in the early 18th century Lohagarh is considered to be one of the strongest fort ever built in Indian history. Overnight: Hotel Udai Villas Palace.
Walking Time: 8km, 5-6 hours in Bharatpur
After breakfast at the hotel this morning we will drive to Dholpur (90 kms – 2 hours approximately). We arrive in Dholpur and check in to the hotel (check in at 1400 hours). We have a brisk, late morning walk through the town visiting Damoye waterfall in Sarmathura, Machkund Temple (Fish Tank temple), Talab-E-Shahi, a picturesque lake situated alongside magnificent Mughal palace that was built for Shah Jahan, Shergarh fort, National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary and Van Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary, time permitting. Overnight: Hotel Raj Niwas Palace, Dholpur
Walking Time: 10km, 6-7 hours in Dholpur
This morning we have breakfast at the hotel and then drive to Karauli (200 km – 4 hours approximately). We arrive in Karauli and check in at the hotel. Later in the day we take a brisk walk through the historical town and its surroundings, visiting 600 year Karauli old city palace, Temple of Kaila Devi and local villages around the fort, right until dusk. In the evening return to the hotel. Overnight: Hotel Raj Niwas Palace.
Walking Time: 6km, 4-5 hours in Karauli
After breakfast at the hotel, this morning we will drive to Sawai Madhopur (110 km – 2 hours approximately). We arrive in Sawai Madhopur and check in to the hotel. Later in the day we take a quick walk around the periphery of the world famous tiger reserve visiting Ranthambore Fort, Amareshwar Mahadeo Temple, and the local villages. These villages are well known for their Bandhani and Lahariya block printed textiles, silver jewelry, antique furniture, wood, metal handicrafts, carpets as well as its exclusive toys, ethnic ornaments and costumes. Overnight: Pugmark Resort.
Walking Time: 6-7 km, 5-6 hrs in Sawai Madhopur
We have an early morning transfer to the Swaimadhopur railway station to board Train 12059 Kota Delhi Jan Shatabdi Express (0705/1230 hours – Daily and only AC Chair car class) for Delhi. We arrive in Delhi and are transfered to the hotel. We have the afternoon at leisure for independent activities – vehicle will not be at disposal for local run. Overnight: Hotel Royal Plaza.
In the morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we have time to pack our things and check out of the hotel (12 noon). We then have a transfer to the airport, where the trip concludes.