Day 1: – DEPART US
Day 2: – ARRIVE IN DELHI
Traditional welcome at the International Airport. Transfer to the Hotel. India’s capital is the gateway into the country. Delhi is a bustling metropolis, an interesting mix of fast paced modernization and carefully preserved antiquity. Modern Delhi, divided as Old & New Delhi is a conglomerate of seven cities that has spread out and expanded beyond the river Yamuna.
Day 3: – DELHI
On our tour of Delhi we visit Qutab Minar and Humayun Tomb, and drive past India Gate and the President’s House.
Qutab Minar towers over this historic area where Qutab-ud-din Aibak laid the foundation of Delhi Sultanate in 1193. He built the Quwwatul Islam Mosque and the Qutab Minar to announce the advent of Muslim Sultans. Later Iltutmish, Alauddin Khilji and Ferozshah Tuglak added other buildings bringing in new architectural styles.
Humayun Tomb – the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun is buried in this tomb. Built in 1565 by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, it is a great example of a Mughal Garden tomb, and an inspiration for the incomparable Taj Mahal.
At the Eastern end of Rajpath, the 30ft wide India Gate was built to commemorate the Indian and British soldiers who died in World War 1 and those who fell in the battle in the North West Frontier Province and Third Afghan War.
Designed by Edwin Luyten to be the focal point of New Delhi during British rule, the President’s House was built for the Viceroy. Today it is the President of India’s official residence. The Parliament House was added to house the Legislative Assembly, following the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms of 1919. (B)
Day 4: – DELHI
In the morning, we visit Old Delhi. Old Delhi was an ancient walled city. In 1650 Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan switched the Mughal capital from Agra to Delhi. Shah Jahan, possessing an exquisite talent in architecture, created the seventh city and in the process brought about Dehli’s glorious renaissance. Visit to the Red Fort and Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shaj Jahan.
Chandi Chowk, another interesting attraction, is a densely populated wholesale market that has existed for more than three centuries. We enjoy a fun ride in a rickshaw, just like the locals use to get around. This is a great place to shop for spices.
Rest of the day at leisure. (B)
Day 5: – DELHI
Morning visit Lodhi Gardens, Lotus Temple and Dilli Haat Food & Craft Bazaar. The Lodhi Gardens are dotted with monuments from the Sayyid and Lodhi Periods. The tombs of Muhammad Shah and Sikander Lodhi are good examples of octagonal tombs. Shish and Bara Gumbad are suare tombs with imposing domes, turrets on corners and facades that give that false impression that they have two storeys.
The Lotus Temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower and is last of seven Major Bahai temples built around the world. Completed in 1986, it is set among lush green landscaped gardens. Its architect, Furiburz Sabha chose the lotus because it is the symbol common to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam.
The Dilli Haat provides the ambience of a traditional rural village market, but one suited more for contemporary needs. Here there is a synthesis of crafts, food and cultural activity. The food and craft bazaar, in the heart of the city, offers a unique mix of Indian culture, handicrafts and ethnic cuisine. (B)
Day 6: – DELHI / RANTHAMBHORE – FIRST CLASS TRAIN
Morning at leisure. Later transfer to H. Nizamuddin Railway Station for train to Sawai Madhopur. Depart Delhi 13:15 by Kota Jan Shatabdi Train. Arrive Sawai Madhopur 18:02.
Ranthambhore National Park is a vast wildlife reserve and an outstanding example of Project Tiger’s efforts at tiger conservation in India. The other permanent residents of the park include marsh crocodiles, hyenas, jungle cats, sloth bear, sambar deer, wild boar, and antelope. The bird population includes black storks, quail, spur fowl, crested serpent eagles, kingfisher, painted storks and wild peacock. (B, L, D)
Day 7: – RANTHAMBHORE
Early morning Jungle Safari. Then return to the hotel for breakfast. Morning visit to the local village and school. Lunch at the hotel. Afternoon Jungle Safari. Evening at leisure. Dinner with local music and dancers. (B, L, D)
Day 8: – RANTHAMBHORE
Early morning Jungle Safari. Then return to the hotel for breakfast. Morning at leisure. Lunch at the hotel.
Late afternoon visit to the 10-century Kumbhalgarh Fort. Ranthambhore‘s royal past manifests itself in the well-preserved, majestic Fort, built in 994 A.D, atop a steep high creek 200 meters above sea level. Guarded by several gates, with winding walls wide enough for eight horses to march abreast, the fortress contains temples, shrines and a striking palace at the top. (B, L, D)
Day 9: – RANTHAMBHORE/JAIPUR
After breakfast depart for Jaipur by road. Arrive Jaipur in the afternoon. Transfer to hotel. Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, is popularly known as the Pink City. It is a visitor’s delight, with massive forts, magnificent palaces and exquisite temples. Rest of the day at leisure for shopping or relaxing at the hotel. (B)
Day 10: – JAIPUR
Just 11 kms from Jaipur is the magnificent Amber Fort. It is known for its artistic style, blending both Hindu and Rajput elements. With its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks the Maota Lake. The palaces and courtyards of the fort ascend in successive levels up a hill. We will ride an elephant all the way to the top. The Sheesh Mahal, or pavilion of mirrors, the finest of its kind, is studded with small mirrors.
In the afternoon we tour the Pink City. Jaisingh, after whom the city of Jaipur is named, was a notable Astronomer. He built for himself the curious Jantar Mantar, an observatory of immense brick and mortar instruments of astonishing accuracy. The complex instruments, whose setting and shapes are scientifically designed, represent the high points of medieval Indian astronomy. The most striking of these are the Ram Yantras used for gauging altitudes.
Built in 1799 A.D., the Hawa Mahal or palace of winds is a major Rajput landmark. The queens of Jaipur and royal ladies once used this decorative façade to watch, unobserved, the festive processions winding through the city streets.
A blend of Munhall and Rajasthan architecture City Palace, now a museum, contains all the paraphernalia of Jaipur’s princely past. Delicate miniatures, painted with pigments that used ground rubies, lapis Lazuli and gold, glow on the walls. The museum also has what are possibly the largest silver jars in the world. (B)
Day 11: –JAIPUR
On this day, join in India’s custom to celebrate life, love, and the arrival of spring at the HOLI Festival, a fun-loving, lively, colorful holiday. There will be music and dance and lots of color — everyone loves this day! (B)
Day 12: – JAIPUR/AGRA
Depart Jaipur in the morning by road. Enroute to Agra we visit Abhaneri and Fatehpur Sikri. Abhaneri is a small village of the Dausa district in northern Rajasthan, located 95km from Jaipur, towards the Jaipur-Agra highway. The present name of the village Abhaneri, is believed to be a mispronunciation of ‘Abha Nagri’ or the city of brightness. This ancient village in Rajasthan is renowned for its post Gupta or early medieval monuments, Chand Baori and Harshat Mata temple. It is also famous for local dances Ghoomar, Kalbelia and Bhawai. Though the village is in ruins now, tourists throng there to see Chand Baori, a huge step well, which is fortified on all sides. The Harshat Mata temple epitomizes 10th century architecture. Fatehpur Sikri is a deserted red sandstone city, built by Emperor Akbar as his capital. Ponder the mysterious desertion of this dramatic city, which was abandoned only a few years after it was built. It was a fairy tale city and its ‘ruins’ are still in a pristine condition. Imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Here, the beautiful tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisthi attracts thousands of people who seek the blessing of the reverend saint. (B)
Day 13: – AGRA
Agra reached its zenith during the great Mughal Sultanate and became the center of art, culture, commerce and learning. It is the home of the most famous monument to love. We visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise. It is futile to try to describe in words, the vision in white marble that is the Taj Mahal. Its layout follows a distinctly Islamic theme, representing Paradise, with extraordinarily fine detailing of relief carving, highlighted by floral patterns inlaid with precious stones. It took twenty-two years to build. Rest of the day free for shopping and leisure. (B)
Day 14: – AGRA/DELHI
Morning visit to Agra Fort. Perhaps the most moving view of the Taj Mahal is from a little octagonal tower at the Agra Fort overlooking the River Yamuna. It was here that Shah Jehan spent his last days in imprisonment, gazing at the tomb of his wife. At the Agra Fort are the beautiful Pearl Mosque, and some lovely palaces and pavilions.
Depart Agra in the afternoon by road. Arrive Delhi in the Evening. Transfer to Hotel. In the evening we are invited to a Reception at the home of our local guide. (B)
Day 15: – DELHI / DEPART FOR US
Morning visit to the Mahatma Gandhi Museum & Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Temple.
The Mahatma Gandhi Museum displays paintings and photos about Mahatma’s life and deeds, and also includes some of Gandhi’s personal possessions. Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is one of the most prominent Sikh houses of worship, known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan.
Hotel checkout time is 12 p.m. Depart hotel for transfer to International airport for flights to U.S. (B)
Day 16: – ARRIVE IN US
All 4/5 Star Hotels
Hotel Ashok - Delhi
Ranthambore Regency - Ranthambhore
(3 nights)- Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner
Jai Mahal Palace - Jaipur
ITC Mughal - Agra
Hotel Ashok - Delhi
Experience the Incredible Variety of India on Biotrek’s Small Group Tour and Jungle Safari
Biotrek explores one of the world’s most exotic locations, the fabled country of India. We experience the sights, sounds, tastes and feel of India as few have. Travel in comfort and stay in first-class accommodations, while learning first-hand about the people and their rich culture. Visits are arranged to such memorable locations as the Taj Mahal at sunrise, the Amber Fort and City Palace in Jaipur, the President’s House and the Qutab Minar in Delhi, and other impressive sights like the Old Delhi Spice Market and the Red Fort. Our custom tour also includes Jungle Safaris in breathtaking Ranthambhore National Park. India is a delightful and surprising destination, that will cause you to see the world with fresh eyes, knowing you've experienced something unparalleled elsewhere.
- Taj Mahal – Built in white marble by a grief stricken Emperor Shah Jehan, the Taj Mahal was a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It took twenty-two years to build. The finest of skilled artisans inlaid the white marble edifice with precious stones and carved lacy stone screens around the cenotaphs of the emperor and his beloved wife.
- Red Fort – Perhaps the most moving view of the Taj Mahal is from a little octagonal tower in the Agra Fort. It was here that Shah Jehan spent his last days in imprisonment, gazing at the tomb of his wife.
- Ride an elephant to the top of the Amber Fort. The palaces and courtyards of the fort ascend in successive levels up the hill.
- The Sheesh Mahal, or pavilion of mirrors, the finest of its kind, is studded with small mirrors.
- Jantar Mantra: An observatory of immense brick and mortar instruments of astonishing accuracy.
- Hawa Mahal: Tall and pink, faced with delicate pierced stone screens, is not really a palace. The queens of Jaipur and royal ladies once used this decorative façade to watch, unobserved, the festive procession winding through the streets of their city.
- City Palace: A blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, this palace museum contains all the paraphernalia of Jaipur’s princely past.
- Tour of Old Delhi including Spice Market.
- President’s House in New Delhi designed by Edwin Luyten to be the the focal point of New Delhi during British rule.
- Humayun's Tomb: Humayun, the second Mughal Emperor is buried in this tomb, the first great example of Mughal Garden tomb, and inspiration to the incomparable wonder of the world the Taj Mahal
- The Qutab Minar towers over this historic area where Qutabuddin Aibak laid the foundation of Delhi Sultanat in 1193 and is one of the oldest monuments in Delhi.
- Jungle Safari in Ranthambhore National Park. Ranthambhore is an outstanding example of Project Tiger's efforts at tiger conservation in India. Other permanent residents of the park include marsh crocodiles, hyenas, jungle cats, sloth bear, sambar deer, wild boar, and antelope. The bird population includes black storks, quail, crested serpent eagles, kingfisher and wild peacocks.
This video about the Holi Festival comes from one of our magnificent local guides. It’s a fantastic time to go to India.
*Bhutan & Kerala extension available.
- All Excellent Accommodations
- Ground Transportation
- International Air Travel Booked Separately; Call for Quote
Travel with tour guide Sunny Reynolds, who has been showing the world to travelers since 1992. While this is not exclusively a photo tour, Sunny Reynolds as a professional photographer is happy to help all levels of photographers take better photos of their adventures.
- Rates Based on Double Occupancy
- Single Supplement Applies
- Subject to Availability
- All Prices Subject to Change