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Taj Mahal, Tigers and Forts


12 days 11 nights

Code NI-RJ2

Category North India Classic Tours

  • Difficulty Level 2
  • Rating Popular
  • Trip Starts From Delhi
  • Trip Ends At Delhi
  • Accommodation Hotels and Resorts
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Delhi Agra Jaipur Ranthambore National Park Bundi Chittorgarh Udaipur
Dates & Prices

Overview

An astounding 12 days journey through North India and Rajasthan that brings together the best of what the region has to offer: the forts, palaces, temples, traditional step wells, lakes, colorful markets, and the wildlife! Survey through the architectural wonders of Rajasthan: the massive fortifications, some of which are in a ruined state, overgrown and unfrequented, palaces of the Rajput kings and chieftains, beautiful temples with exquisite sculptures and colorful markets.

Visit the impressive Taj Mahal-that has become a synonym of India-the monument that no longer requires an introduction. Encounter the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger in game drives in Ranthambore National Park-India's one of the biggest national park. Explore the majestic forts of Agra, Jaipur, Bundi, and Chittorgarh; the latter two are in the rustic state and the series of lakes of Udaipur-the former capital of Mewar Kingdom.

We will have plentiful opportunity to browse through the vibrant markets,  where the locals buy their groceries and daily necessities, meet the locals in the rural areas and experience the Rajasthani lifestyle.

Trip Cost  (Land)

  • US$ 2425 Land cost per person on double occupancy basis
  • US$ 898 Private room Supplement (mandatory if no-one to share a room with)
  • US$ 100 Estimated in-tour airfare Udaipur-Delhi

Trip Dates

2019: 3 Apr, 22 Apr, 2 Oct, 14 Oct, 8 Nov, 18 Nov, 2 Dec, 30 Dec

2020:13 Jan, 27 Jan, 10 Feb, 26 Feb, 9 Mar, 24 Mar, 31 Mar, 12 Apr, 20 Oct, 28 Oct, 13 Nov, 23 Nov, 7 Dec

Guaranteed departure with minimum 2-participants!

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Delhi

Welcome to India! After clearing your immigration and customs formalities, meet our representative at the arrival gate, and then transfer to the hotel. The balance of the day is for rest.

Overnight: Hotel Park
Day 02~Tour of Old and New Delhi

Followed by a hearty breakfast, we’ll have an orientation meeting, and then we set out for the sightseeing of Delhi. Delhi is an ancient city, and its history goes back to 1400 BC.

Begin from Humayun’s Tomb-a massive octagonal edifice built by Haji Begun in honor of her husband, the second Mughal Emperor Humayun. Her design, which offers a superb example of early Mughal architecture, greatly influenced on Shah Jahan, who later designed and built the Taj Mahal. The entrance to the tomb is through a succession of formal gardens, which are in the process of being restored to the classic Persian style.

We will also visit Qutub Minar; an impressive red sandstone tower inscribed with Islamic writings. It was built to commemorate the defeat of local rulers of Delhi by the Muslim general Qutb-ud-din-Aibak, at the end of the twelfth century. We will then drive to Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque). It is the largest mosque in India and a notable example of Delhi’s distinctive Indo-Islamic architecture. Another highlight of our day will be a bicycle-rickshaw ride from this great mosque through the bustling and colorful market lanes of Chandni Chowk to the Red Fort.

We’ll explore other parts of Old Delhi as well as the formal government buildings of “new” Delhi, constructed by the British in the 1920s. Nearby, in the parkland of Raj Ghat, we’ll have time to visit the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi and look at some of the local bird life. We should find Hoopoe, Common Mynah, House Crow, and Rose-collared Parrot as well as egrets and other waders in ponds.

Overnight: Hotel Park
Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~Travel to Agra-the land of Taj Mahal

After breakfast, we drive to Agra (approx. 131miles/ 4 ½ hrs.). Upon arrival, check in the hotel and later proceed for sightseeing.

We first visit Agra Fort- the 16th-century Mughal citadel known as the Red Fort of Agra. It was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan who also built the Taj Mahal and Delhi's Red Fort. Recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site, Agra Fort is a citadel of the Mughal era that has witnessed centuries slip by but still stands gloriously on the bank of River Yamuna.

Towards dusk, we visit the Mehtab Bagh (also called Moonlight Garden) which is a little known place for viewing Taj Mahal during the sunset time. The garden lies opposite of Taj Mahal on the northern shores of Yamuna River whereas Taj Mahal stands in the southern side. Most travelers visit Taj Mahal from the main gate at the south side. Enjoy the views of Taj Mahal in tranquil surroundings with no rush.

Overnight: Grand Imperial
Meals : Breakfast
Day 04~Drive to Jaipur-the capital of Rajasthan

After breakfast, we leave for Jaipur (approx. 153 miles / 5 ½ hrs. drive) en-route stopping to visit Fatehpur Sikri.

We get up before dawn for a sunrise tour of Taj Mahal from the southern side of the monument. It's a fantastic experience to see the iconic monument bathed in the morning sunshine! Taj Mahal, built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, is a spectacular monument, built to represent eternal love.

We return to our hotel for breakfast, and soon we head out to Jaipur. About 25 miles from Agra, we stop to visit the Fatehpur Sikri- a UNESCO recognized world heritage site. Fatehpur Sikri, the abandoned capital of Emperor Akbar, illustrates the fusion of Hindu and Muslim architectures.

About 56 miles before Jaipur, we take 12 miles detour of Chand Baori, which is an ancient step well, built in between 800 and 900 A.D. It's an ornate architecture designed and structured as a water reservoir to supply water to the citizens of dry and arid Rajasthan.

On arrival, check in hotel and take rest for the day.

Overnight: Alsisar Haveli
Meals : Breakfast
Day 05~Visit the fort, palaces and market of Jaipur

After breakfast, we set out to explore the attractions of Jaipur- the capital of Rajasthan State. Jaipur is also called the Pink City. Do you know why? The king of Rajasthan, in a short notice, ordered a fresh coat of paint for Jaipur to welcome the Prince of Wales visiting India in 1905-6, but the contractor did not have any other color in stock enough but pink. So, the entire city got its pink paint which has been Jaipur's tradition till today!

We first drive 7 miles on Jaipur- Delhi highway outside the city to visit Amer Fort that lies atop Aravali Hills. From the parking, we take an elephant ride up the hill (subject to availability and alternatively by Jeep). On the return, we will take the local shared jeep.

Amber Fort, also called Amer Fort was built in the 16th century and is one of the most excellent examples of the combination of Hindu Rajput and Mughal Muslim architectures. The fort, made in red sandstone and white marble tells the glory of the fierce Kachawaha Dynasty that ruled over the region from 12th to the 18th century. The interior wall of the palace exhibits vivid painting scenes with carvings, precious stones, and mirror settings. The fort has heavily structured high walls to protect the residents from the warring enemies.

Now, we retrace our drive to the Jaipur city and visit Hawa Mahal- one of the most photographed architectures of Jaipur. The peculiarity of the palace is the high screen wall facing to the street from where the women of the royal family could observe the street activities without being seen from the outsiders!

Next, we move on to the City Palace, which is another blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. The royal family still occupies part of the palace, and we have access only to the role that now has a museum. The museum has an extensive collection of costumes, woodwork, brassware, jewelry, and pottery. Nearby is the Jantar Mantar observatory,built in the 18th century, is  a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments,

The afternoon is free for your interests. Jaipur is shopper's paradise and has the world famous traditional jewelry designed stylishly.

Overnight: Alsisar Haveli
Meals : Breakfast
Day 06~Drive from Jaipur to Ranthambore. Join afternoon safari

(190 km, 3.5 hrs.)

After an early breakfast, we bid farewell to the Pink City of Jaipur and head out to Ranthambore- a renowned habitat of Royal Bengal Tiger. The road goes through the semi-arid countryside giving us a first-hand experience of India beyond the cities. We can see people watering the semi-desert land and transforming it into the farmland, and camels pull their rickety loads along the highway unconcerned with the honking truck traffic. The colorful turbans and costumes change from region to region and from village to village, and the brightly colored saris stand out against the barren landscape.

We arrive at our accommodation at Sawai Madhopur around noon. We will have time to take a shower and a sumptuous lunch before we embark on an afternoon safari which starts at 3 PM during winter and 4 PM in Spring and Summer. Ranthambore, on the fringes of the Vindhya Hills in Eastern Rajasthan, protects 400 square kilometers of rocky hill and plateau country in the dry deciduous jungle. A formidable fortress high above the plains provides a dramatic backdrop for viewing the game and a glimpse into Rajasthan’s valorous past.

Although it is one of the smallest reserves in India, Ranthambore is famous as the most prominent tiger sanctuary in the country. In addition to the Bengal Tiger, we hope to see an impressive array of wildlife including Langur, Sambar, Nilgai, Chital, Wild Boar, Jackal, Fox and Sloth Bear. We will also be looking for local avian specialties, among the 300 species of birds in the park. Our lodging for the night is a former hunting lodge set in extensive grounds. In the evening, we will take a stroll in the local village and the neighborhood.

Overnight: Tigress Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 07~Game drives in Ranthambhore National Park

Following an early morning cup of tea or coffee, we embark in the morning adventure in an open vehicle, for our game drive in the nearby National Park. Here, where maharajahs formerly had their hunting preserves, we’ll watch for tigers in addition to their plentiful prey. Small lakes with stone pavilions and gazebos provide habitat for waders, ducks, storks, and crocodiles. The morning safari will be from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (during summer) and 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (during winter). After returning to our lodge, we will have our breakfast. Between now and lunch, we will have time to rest, write journal or postcards or chitchat with our guide and naturalists or take a walk in the neighborhood.

After lunch, again we embark on our safari adventure. We will go to a different zone of the park now. Each safari will be in different zones so that you have an opportunity to explore the diverse flora and fauna of the park. In the evening, sit around the bonfire and chitchat with other guests and naturalists and tell your stories of the day and listen to others who had been in different zones.

Overnight: Tigress Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 08~Bundi and Chittorgarh

281 miles, 5 or 6 hours by car

 After breakfast, leave for Chittorgarh-the home of Chittor Fort-which is probably the most massive fort of India.

About 90 miles (2.5 hours) from Ranthambhore, we stop in a rural town of Bundi-not so much frequented by foreign tour groups. Bundi has notable palaces, fort, step wells, and water tanks. If you wish, you can climb the Taragarh Fort, which is a steep climb but worth the effort. The fort is overgrown and less visited than other forts of India. Other attractions are Bundi Palace, Sukhmahal Palace, Ranjit ki baori step well, Nawal Sagar Lake and Sadar Bazaar market; we may not have time to visit all, though.

Late afternoon, we leave for Chittorgarh (191 miles, 3.5 hours). Check into your room and balance of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: Castle Bijapur
Meals : Breakfast
Day 09~Udaipur-the city of lakes

After breakfast, visit the Chittor Fort-a 7th-century, a vast hilltop complex with the remains of uncountable temples and monuments. Spread over an area of 692 acres of land and sprawled over the hill above the plains of  Berach River valley, Chittor Fort is the most massive fort of India and an independent UNESCO heritage site. The fort complex consists of several historical palaces, gates, temples, and two prominent commemorative towers. 

Expect to allow about three hours to see all the attractions: The victory tomb, Jain temple, Mirabai and Padmini's palaces, and Kumbh palace are the most prominent ones. The history of Mewar kingdom's courage and the story of the sacrifice of Rani Padmini gives everyone goosebumps as you go around the ruins of the palaces and the temples.

Afternoon, leave for Udaipur (75 miles, 2.5 hours). Check in hotel and leisurely exploration of the town.

The city of Udaipur is in the Aravalli ranges of Rajasthan, and since it was the capital of Mewar rulers, it's called the jewel of Mewar. It's set on the shores of three lakes and surrounded by scenic mountains and is true to its title-the City of Dawn. It is a beautiful old city with narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces, and temples meandering through it.

Overnight: Jagat Nivas Palace
Meals : Breakfast
Day 10~Explore Udaipur

After breakfast, we set out to explore the attractions of Udaipur. We begin from Udaipur City Palace which is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan. Rested peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola, the palace is the most-visited tourist attraction in Udaipur. It claims to be the largest palace complex in Rajasthan.

We take a boat ride from the jetty of the palace and go around the lake. We can see the other side of the castle and some life in the lakeshore, including the laundrymen, who are called dhobis, washing clothes and some people bathing. We stop at the Palace of Jagmandir Island. We can see an array of enormous stone elephants and has a chhatri carved from grey-blue stone surrounding the palace.

We return to the dock and probably, it's time for the lunch break (pay on your own). After lunch, there is more to see. We visit the Jagdish temple of the mid-17th century. An Indo-Aryan style of architecture, this temple claims to be the largest in Udaipur. A notable image he is a black stone image of Lord Vishnu and a brass image of Garuda.

If time allows, we visit Saheliyon-ki-Bari, also known as the Princess Garden, or the Garden of the Maids of Honor. It is a small, disheveled garden which was laid out for 48 women attendants who came as part of a princess’s dowry. It has fountains, kiosks, marble elephants and a lotus pool.

Overnight: Jajat Nivas Palace
Meals : Breakfast
Day 11~By flight to Delhi

A leisurely morning breakfast. You may even have time to take some relaxed stroll in the city before you leave for the airport for flight to Delhi.

Upon arrival in Delhi, meet our representative who will transfer you to the hotel. The balance of the time is free for you to pursue your interests.

Overnight: Hotel Park
Meals : Breakfast
Day 12~Depart Delhi

Transfer to the airport for your flight to your next destination.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Accommodation on double occupancy basis
  • Daily breakfast at your hotel. Full board while in Ranthambore National Park
  • Sightseeing admission tickets
  • All transfers and sightseeing by private vehicle
  • Service of English speaking local guides.
  • Three game drives in Ranthambore National Park including the park admission ticket.
  • Service of intra-flight reservation (fare paid separately)

Trip Does Not Include

  • International and in-tour airfare. Estimated internal airfare $100 ( Udaipur-Delhi)
  • India visa (You need to obtain it on your own before the travel begins.
  • Drinks, tipping, laundry and other personal expenses
  • Extra expenses or loss due to unforeseen events such as flight delays, cancellation, civil unrest, accident, illness, inclement weather or any event beyond the control of the management.
  • Other activities.
  • Camera fees if any.

Guaranteed departure with a minimum of two signups

We guarantee departures with sign-up of a minimum of two persons. Group of family and friends booking and traveling together are entitled the right amount of saving. Sometimes, there are early bird booking discounts, and other offers are also available. Please, give us a call to find out if there are any discounts available.

Trip Difficulty Level

This trip is suitable for all travelers with an average health condition. There are no extreme adventures on this trip but visiting some forts and temples require climbing of stairs, particularly Taragarh Fort in Bundi which is a steep climb uphill. If you don't want to hike, you can stay behind with your driver. There are a couple of long day drive, such as Agra to Jaipur, minimum 6-hours plus stop time and likewise, from Ranthambhore to Chittorgarh takes about 5 hours but we will have occasional stops on the way to visit the sights.

There are three jeep safaris in Ranthambore National Park and boat trip in Lake Fewa Lake. You will also experience rickshaw ride in Old Delhi. 

Life on the Trip

A cultural sightseeing day, depending on the season starts between 8.30 am to 9 am. We are picked up at our hotel by our guide and driver. We visit the sights and monuments or participate in activities, and we will have a lunch break around noon to 1 pm. After lunch, we again embark on the tour for 2 to 3 hours, and we are brought back to our hotel late afternoon, and our guide will generally leave us free. We will have time to take rest, write diaries or wander about ourselves.

When we are driving from one city to another, we usually spend 4-5 hours on the road with occasional stops for photography and drinks and snacks. Some days can be longer.

A jungle safari trip begins very early morning, sometime before dawn depending on the season. Chances of game viewing are higher very early morning or late afternoon. Usually, the morning safari begins around 6 a.m. following a cup of tea or coffee. We take safari style open jeep and ride for 3-4 hours. The parks are divided into different zones, and we will visit different zones on each safari. We will be back to our lodge or tent by 9:30 to 10:00 am, and then we will have a sumptuous breakfast. Then we will have time to rest, write diaries or chat with the lodge staff and naturalists. We will have a light lunch around 1 p.m., and we will embark on another safari around 2:30 pm or 3 p.m. Depending on the area we are visiting, we will be back to our lodge around 6:30 pm. We will have dinner around 8 p.m., and then we will sit around the bonfire and chat with other fellow travelers or naturalists about the sightings of the day.

Some forts require climbing of stairs, and you need to walk unless you want to stay behind with the driver.

We try our best to adhere to the itinerary, but it should be taken as a general guideline or scope of activities rather than an inflexible series of events and depending on the local conditions or time factor; it can change from the exact sight to see to the precise city to stop.

Passport and visa

Remaining validity of your passport must be a minimum of six months when you return from the trip. Make sure you have a minimum of two blank visa pages left on the passport for visa seals, arrival and departure stamps. You need to obtain an Indian visa beforehand. Cox and King Global Services handle all the India visa requests in the United States as a private contractor to the Indian embassy and consulates. 

You are also able to apply Indian eVisa online. You need to apply for a visa between 4 and 120 days before your arrival in India. You will receive an electronic visa in pdf by email within three or four business days. The visa is valid for two entries.

Besides the Indian visa, there will be permits required for national parks and monuments visits, and we will take care of that for you.

Accommodation

Accommodation in this trip is superior class hotels, four-star by local standard and heritage properties which are former castle or palaces. The hotels provide the most modern amenities that include a private bathroom with a hot and cold shower, central air-conditioning, phone, mini refrigerator, on-site restaurant, etc. 

Accommodations listed are our preferred properties and are subject to availability at the time reservation is processed. If the listed hotels are not available for any reason, we will book your accommodation in a similar property. Rooms are twin or double sharing basis. If you are looking for a private room, we can arrange it for you on an additional charge.

Meals:

The trip includes daily buffet breakfasts at your hotel. While in Ranthambore National Park, you have three meals a day provided by your hotel. Most of your hotels have on-site restaurants that cater to traditional Indian and western style dishes. Traditional Indian cuisines are often spicy with the use of hot peppers, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, etc. but they will ask for your preferred spiced level when they take the order.

If you have a special dietary requirement, they will try to cater with advance notice.

Tour Guide

For the sightseeing and excursions, we hire the local guides who know the area the best and has the first-hand information. The guides are college educated professionals, trained and certified by Indian tourism authorities. So as for National Park visits, our lodges or national parks provide certified naturalists and guides for the game drive. They are knowledgeable, friendly and flexible. They will show you the wonders of the areas that you would never discover on your own and share their knowledge on Indian history, culture and religion. For travels between the cities, you will be with driver only. Your guide or driver brings necessary vouchers for the hotels and buys admission tickets where appropriate. If you are a group of 10 people or more, we can afford to send a tour director, accompanying you throughout the trip.

Transportation

Depending on the group size, we use air-conditioned Sedan Cars, SUVs, Mini Van or coaches for all transfers and tour in the cities. All transportation and game drives in the National Park will be by open-topped safari style jeeps with theater-style seating or sideway benches. The roads inside the park are a dirt road and are bumpy and dusty. You can wear pollution masks to protect your nose from the dust.

Health and Personal Fitness

While there are no specific physical requirements, all participants of the trip are required to be in good health condition, have a positive attitude, team spirit, and spirit of adventure. Please, be prepared for some long days on the road, safari rides on a bumpy and dusty dirt road and some amount of walking and even climbing stairs.

Travelers are recommended to start mild exercises like jogging, walking, cycling or swimming several months ahead of the trip to keep you fit.

Traveling during late spring and summer, it can be hot and make sure that you can bear it when you visit during this period. Travelers are advised to bring their medical kit and prescription drugs.

International and Internal Airfares

You can purchase your international airfare to India and return on your own. If you need any help on this, certainly feel free to contact us. We will take care of the internal airfares for you. The airfares may or may not include the local airport taxes.

Booking

We request an initial deposit of US$ 300 along with a completed trip application form and passport copies.

Balance payment is due 90 days before your departure. Depending on the number of applicants, we may set an early payment date. Credit card payment attracts an additional fee.

Cancellation fee

  • Ninety days before departure: Administrative fee US$ 50 per person.
  • 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Forty-five days to 59 days before departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Thirty days to 44 days before departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days: 100%.

Travel Protection Plan

While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage, etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It's also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High's Tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses, and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.

Accomodation

the park delhi
The Park Hotel Delhi, 5*
alsisar haveli
Alsisar Haveli, Heritage
grand imperial agra
Grand Imperial Agra, 4*
jagat niwas palace udaipur
Jagat Nivas Palace, Udaipur
the tigress resort ranthambore
The Tigress Resort & Spa, 4*
Ranthambore
castle bijaipur
Casle Bijaipur, Chittorgarh

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