This journey offers a delightful panorama of India’s best, including the Taj Mahal, spiritual Varanasi and the Pushkar Fair, a vast open-air camel market and festival.
Day 1: Arrive Mumbai, India Arrive in Mumbai, where an A&K representative meets and transfers you to your iconic hotel. The Taj Mahal Palace
Day 2: Mumbai | Enter the Gateway to India Explore the city’s classic sights, including the Gateway of India, an 85-foot-high arch whose design reflects India’s Muslim and Hindu traditions. Visit the Prince of Wales Museum and Mani Bhawan, a small museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi. See the Dhobi Ghat, the largest open-air laundry in the world and a sight to behold as hundreds of men and women hand-wash sheets and garments. Enjoy a welcome dinner alongside fellow guests. The Taj Mahal Palace | Meals: B D
Day 3: Mumbai/Udaipur | Temples and Palaces This morning, privately cruise Mumbai Harbour to Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the island’s world renowned temples, which are carved directly out of the basalt rock and filled with ornamental statues, pillars and friezes dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Later this afternoon, fly to Udaipur and check in to your romantic hotel. After settling in, take in the magnificent views of the City and Jag Mandir palaces from the hotel’s many balconies, and stroll its interior courtyard gardens. Taj Lake Palace | Meals: B D
Day 4: Udaipur | Private Cruise to Jag Mandir Visit the City Palace, a marble complex of palaces and galleries that offers unforgettable views of the lake and its surroundings. Take a private tour of the Crystal Gallery in Fateh Prakesh Palace, and stroll through Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honor). Following an afternoon at leisure, enjoy a private cruise to Jag Mandir, a palace of splendidly carved marble on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola. Later, attend a candlelit performance of Indian folk dancing. Taj Lake Palace | Meals: B
Day 5: Pushkar | Alongside Traders and Pilgrims Drive to Pushkar, sharing the road with more and more camels, trucks, cattle, water buffalo and rickshaws the closer you get. Typically a quiet, secluded desert town, Pushkar transforms into a veritable extravaganza for one week a year as its camel and cattle-trading fair draws merchants, pilgrims and buyers from around the globe. The afternoon and the following days are yours to lose yourself in the vibrant sights and sounds of the fairgrounds. Ananta Spa & Resort | Meals: B L D
Day 6: Pushkar | A Day At the Fair Enjoy a full day at the Pushkar Fair grounds and at the tented camp. Witness livestock traders wearing brightly hued turbans and long mustaches buying and selling thousands of lavishly decorated steers, camels and horses. Mingle with tribal villagers dressed in their traditional best who roam the fairgrounds along with acrobats, fortune tellers, puppeteers, musicians and storytellers. It’s a true extravaganza that represents India at her most authentic. Ananta Spa & Resort | Meals: B L D
Day 7: Pushkar/Jaipur | The Pink City After breakfast, travel overland to Jaipur, known as the pink city, for the abundance of pink plastered stone used to build its massive forts, magnificent palaces and exquisite temples. Arrive at your hotel, the former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur. Tonight, join fellow guests for traditional entertainment on the lawn, followed by a Rajasthani dinner. Rambagh Palace | Meals: B L D
Day 8: Jaipur | Travelling by Elephant This morning, explore the Amber Fort; its Mughal-style facade seems to grow out of the rugged hills. Later, enjoy a pleasant elephant ride through the countryside with the help of a mahout (trainer). Visit Jantar Mantar, an open-air array of astronomical instruments that includes the world’s largest sundial. View the nearby Palace of the Winds, with its ornately screened windows that allowed the women of the palace to gaze out onto the street unobserved. Rambagh Palace | Meals: B L
Day 9: Jaipur/Agra | Palace of an Emperor Travel to Fatehpur Sikri. Built by Emperor Akbar as his palace in the 16th century and then later abandoned, “ruined” Fatehpur Sikri is a fairy-tale ghost city of delicately carved red sandstone. Continue to Agra and your luxury hotel, catching your first glimpse of the Taj Mahal from your window. The Oberoi Amarvilas | Meals: B L D
Day 10: Agra | The Taj Mahal Today, visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Agra Fort and the immortal Taj Mahal. Flawless in its proportions and breathtaking in its beauty, the Taj Mahal looks as though it were painted onto the sky itself a vision of unrivaled magnificence. Pay your first visit to the masterpiece this morning, when the rising sun lends a warm pink tint to its marble face. Continue to the impressive Agra Fort. Built of red sandstone and marble, Agra Fort presents a formidable exterior and a graceful interior. Return to the Taj Mahal in the late afternoon, as the setting sun bathes the monument in soft orange, for another view of this iconic site. The Oberoi Amarvilas | Meals: B
Day 11: Jhansi/Panna National Park | Visit to Orchha Today you depart from Agra, taking an early morning express train to Jhansi. Then, continue overland by road to Orchha, visiting its 17th-century abandoned palace. After lunch, continue to remote Panna National Park, checking in to your wilderness lodge. Pashan Garh | Meals: B L D
Day 12: Panna/Khajuraho/Panna | Incredible Carvings Head overland to the medieval temples of Khajuraho. Here, life in all its aspects joy, love, divinity, war is depicted in exquisite detail on every inch of the 85 sandstone Hindu and Jain temples. After lunch, continue exploring and then return to Panna to relax at the lodge or take a dip in the infinity swimming pool overlooking a tranquil stream. Tonight, gather for an Indian cooking demonstration, as a chef prepares local delicacies using native spices, and enjoy the results for dinner. Pashan Garh | Meals: B L D
Day 13: Panna/Varanasi | India,™s Holiest City Take an early morning game drive on a four-wheel-drive vehicle over rocky terrain and through lush teak forests, perhaps spotting crocodiles along the Ken River or even the elusive Bengal tiger. After breakfast, fly to Varanasi, a city of more than a thousand Hindu and Buddhist temples and shrines, sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike. At dusk, head to the banks of the sacred Ganges River to witness the Aarti ceremony. Take in the sounds of chanted prayers and rhythmic drumming as you watch the Hindu priests holding lanterns to keep the darkness at bay bid the gods and goddesses a restful slumber. Return to the hotel for a farewell dinner. The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi | Meals: B D
Day 14: Varanasi | Unforgettable Highlights Today, visit Varanasi’s highlights, including Banaras Hindu University; the 18th-century Durga Temple, devoted to the Hindu deity, Durga; and Bharat Mata Temple, dedicated by Mahatma Gandhi to Mother India. In the afternoon, explore nearby Sarnath, a park where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first sermon 25 centuries ago. The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi | Meals: B
Day 15: Varanasi/Delhi | Private Ganges Cruise Wake up early for a private sunrise cruise on the Ganges River for a view of the activity along the ghats, the embankments of stone steps leading down to the river and where the locals and pilgrims alike cleanse themselves, literally and spiritually. In the afternoon, fly to Delhi, India’s capital. Gather tonight for a farewell dinner. The Taj Mahal Hotel | Meals: B D
Day 16: Delhi | The Best of Old and New Wind down your journey by discovering the best of Old and New Delhi. Visit the great Jama Masjid, the most important mosque in India. Then, Ride Like a Local as you set off on an exciting rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk, the bustling main street of Old Delhi, inching your way through a maze of ox carts filled with fresh produce, cars and the occasional wandering cow. Pause for lunch, and then visit New Delhi, including Humayun’s Tomb, a Mughal complex whose symmetrical designs prefigured the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal Hotel | Meals: B L
Day 17: Depart Delhi Board your homebound flight. Meals: B
Ajanta & Ellora Caves Pre-Tour Extension 4 days, priced from $1,295; internal air priced from $350. Available on the Oct 30th departure.
DAY 1: Arrive in Mumbai and transfer to your hotel. The Taj Mahal Palace
DAY 2: Fly to Aurangabad. Visit the Ajanta Caves to view its monasteries and temples. Taj Residency | Meals: B
DAY 3: Explore the Ellora Caves, their 2,000-year-old temples and monasteries hewn from rock by Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monks and craftsmen. Taj Residency | Meals: B
DAY 4: Fly to Mumbai to begin Taj Mahal & the Treasures of India. Meals: B Kerala Pre-Tour Extension 5 days, priced from $1,965; internal air priced from $450.
Available on the Oct 28th departure. DAY 1: Arrive in Mumbai and transfer to your hotel. The Taj Mahal Palace
DAY 2: Fly to Kochi and transfer to your hotel. Explore one of the finest natural harbors on the Arabian Sea coast, visiting the oriental-style Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi, St. Francis Church and a local theater for an evening Kathakali dance performance. Vivanta by Taj Malabar | Meals: B
DAY 3: Travel by boat across Vembanadr Lake to the Kerala village of Alleppey. Kumarakom Lake Resort | Meals: B L
DAY 4: Take a morning wildlife tour around Vembanad Lake and an afternoon tou of the Spice Plantation Farmhouse, followed by lunch with the owner and his family. Kumarakom Lake Resort | Meals: B L
DAY 5: Fly to Mumbai to begin Taj Mahal & the Treasures of India. Meals: B Nepal & Kathmandu Post-Tour Extension 4 days, priced from $1,295; internal air priced from $425. Available on the Oct 28th & Oct 30th departures.
DAY 1: Fly from Delhi to Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel. Time permitting, explore the city. Dwarika’s Hotel
DAY 2-3: Enjoy a scenic Himalaya flight and tour key sites, including Swayambhunath and Pashupatinath Temple. Walk with Tibetan pilgrims at a stupa. Dwarika’s Hotel | Meals: B DAY 4: Transfer to the airport to depart Kathmandu. Meals: B