India - Itinerary

Day 1-Arrive Delhi
Arrive in Delhi. You will be met by your English-speaking Escort-Guide who will be with you for the entire visit to India. Transfer to the magnificent Imperial Hotel in your chauffeur-driven limousine. Your Escort-Guide will leave you to rest, relax and acclimate to your new surroundings.

Day 2-Delhi
Over breakfast with your Escort-Guide, review the suggested itinerary and plan the pace and inclusions of your days. Today, as every day, your Escort-Guide and your chauffeur-driven limousine are at your disposal. We recommend strolling the lovely Lodi Gardens, a serene oasis in the old city, visiting the excellent National Museum or Crafts Museum. In the afternoon, your leisurely tour visits Old Delhi including the Red Fort, Raj Ghat Memorial and Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque.

Day 3-Delhi
A full day of flexible touring awaits you. Explore New Delhi, a city of airy boulevards, lush parks and gardens. Drive past the India Gate War Memorial, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Parliament House. Also included is a visit to the mausoleum of Emperor Humayun, the imposing 12th-century Qutab Minar, the Birla Temple, and the lotus shaped Baha'i Temple. Glimpse into India's cultural legacy and modern artistic expression at the Sanskriti Foundation, or, visit upscale village-like districts such as Haus Khaaz. Set amid medieval and contemporary structures, here you can visit renowned art galleries and boutiques with time to sojourn at lovely cafés.

Day 4-Delhi/Agra
Drive from Delhi to Agra to visit its elaborate medieval monuments. Your home in Agra is one of the world's most magnificent hotels, the Oberoi Amarvilas, where your room and private terrace overlook the Taj Mahal. Relax until your sunset visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the world's most admired architectural masterpieces. Take a carriage ride to this majestic marble-domed mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife to symbolize unending love. This evening, relax with a traditional "High Tea" at Taj Khema overlooking spectacular views of the Taj Mahal.

Day 5-Agra
Visit the Taj Mahal at dawn (except Friday) or, if you wish, begin your city tour at a later time. Agra's main highlights include the Agra Fort, with splendid remains of sandstone and marble palaces. On to Itmad ud Daulah, designed by one of the most powerful women in Indian history. Stop at Akbar's Tomb at Sikandra and at the opulent Dayal Bagh Temple. Still under construction, it is built by descendents of the original laborers of the Taj who pass traditional techniques only to their sons. This afternoon your driver and Escort-Guide guide are at your disposal for additional touring or shopping. This evening, we've planned a demonstration of traditional Indian bridal Henna makeup.

Day 6-Agra/Jaipur
This morning, drive to Bharatpur, visiting en route Fatehpur Sikri built by Emperor Akbar as his first capital. The remains of its red sandstone courtyards and palaces conjure up dreams of its mysterious past. Continue to Jaipur, where you will stay in a tent-fit-for-a-Maharajah at the ultra luxurious Oberoi Rajvilas Hotel. Later, you are invited to visit a local family for a glimpse of Rajasthani daily life.

Day 7-Jaipur
Morning exploration of Jaipur with its wealth of princely palaces and forts. Travel by elephant or jeep up the ramparts of Amber Fort, a stunning fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles, and explore its richly decorated rooms. Afternoon exploration of the City Palace, former royal residence converted to a museum, and the Jantar Mantar Observatory. Drive past Hawa Mahal - the Palace of Winds - renowned for its ornate facade. Tonight's adventure is an "Elephant Safari" on a rural village track. Ride your friendly pachyderm with your own private mahout (elephant trainer) through a forest scattered with ancient structures.

Day 8-Jaipur/Udaipur
Early flight to Udaipur, one of Rajasthan's most romantic cities, nestled in a valley surrounded by the lush Aravalli Mountains. Arrive at your hotel in time for breakfast. You'll stay in a luxury room with a semi-private pool at the Oberoi Udaivilas Hotel, voted in 2007 "World's Best Hotel" by the readers of Travel+ Leisure magazine. Morning tour to the City Palace, with its Crystal Gallery and Car Museum. Continue to the Jagdish Temple - Udaipur's most majestic - and to the splendid Sahelyion Ki Bari Gardens. An afternoon private Boat Cruise has been arranged on Pichola Lake, passing verdant hills, splendid palaces, temples and the bathing ghats. Time to visit the island palace of Jag Niwas.

Day 9-Udaipur
Today, we recommend an excursion to Ranakpur to see the splendid complex of Jain temples. The main temple alone has 29 halls and 1444 pillars, each richly carved in a unique design. Next, visit the ancient Sun Temple, an example of classic Nagara style featuring intricate sculptural work. After lunch at a lovely retreat, still favored by the Jodhpur royal family, return to Udaipur for touring, shopping or a free afternoon.

Day 10-Udaipur/Jodhpur
Morning at leisure. Afternoon flight to Jodhpur and transfer to the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, a former maharajah's palace.

Day 11-Jodhpur
Travel to Mehrangarh Fort, one of Rajasthan's most imposing structures, and the marble Jaswant Thada - a local landmark. Afternoon jeep excursion to a Bishnoi village. The Bishnoi people - arguably the world's first ecologists - traditionally have been protecting trees and animals living on their land and worship the black buck as an incarnation of Lord Krishna.

Day 12-Jodhpur/Delhi
Morning at leisure to enjoy your resort. Afternoon flight to Delhi and overnight at the magnificent Imperial Hotel.

Day 13-Depart Delhi
Today, time for last minute shopping or touring before departing to the airport for your return flight to the U.S., or extend your stay in India, Nepal or Bhutan.