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Highlights
  • Breathtaking Sites: Stand in awe as the afternoon sun bathes the ethereal beauty of Agra’s Taj Mahal, plus visit spectacular Agra Fort. Discover silent Fatehpur Sikri, a perfectly preserved Mughal city dating from the 16th century. 
  • Princely Capitals: Admire regal cities built by maharajas. In the “pink city” of Jaipur, visit the Amber Fort, City Palace Museum, and Jantar Mantar, an 18th-century royal observatory. In the “blue city” of Jodhpur, explore Mehrangarh Fort, home to royal palaces with priceless decorative arts. And in magical Udaipur, the “city of lakes,” discover the vast riches of the City Palace and enjoy its panoramic views over the scenic lake setting.
  • Wildlife: Accompanied by expert naturalists, visit two renowned wildlife refuges. In Ranthambore National Park, take game drives in search of monkey, wild boar, jackals, and the elusive Bengal tiger, and in Keoladeo Ghana National Park discover some of the 400 species of exotic birds at home in this World Heritage-listed bird sanctuary.
  • The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels: To better experience these imperial capitals and remote but fascinating places, travel for five nights in comfort aboard our luxury train, designed to re-create the splendor of the royal maharajas.

Join us for an exceptional new journey to India and visit seven World Heritage sites, discover diverse cultural traditions, and treat all of your senses to a succession of stimulating experiences that only this fascinating country can deliver. You’ll stand in awe at the ethereal beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra, Delhi’s massive Red Fort, and silent, deserted Fatehpur Sikri, a perfectly preserved example of a Mughal city. Explore the impressive princely capitals built by maharajas, with their breathtaking regal palaces, fascinating museums, forts, and even an astronomical observatory, in the “pink city” of Jaipur, “blue city” of Jodhpur, and Udaipur, the “city of lakes.” And to better experience the very best of these imperial capitals and remote but fascinating places, you’ll travel in comfort for five nights aboard the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, a luxury train designed to recreate the splendor of the royal maharajas.

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  • Internal airfare and ground transport

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Northern India’s Royal Rajasthan

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Itinerary

Day 1 & 2: Depart for Delhi, India

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Oberoi Hotel

Depart home on an overnight flight to Delhi.  Arrive on January 23 and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner this evening.

Day 3: Delhi

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Oberoi Hotel

Old Delhi, the capital of Muslim India for seven centuries, consists of eight different cities built by a succession of empires. New Delhi was created as the capital of India by the British in 1911, and is the   epicenter of contemporary Indian political activity. In Old Delhi, visit Red Fort, surrounded by shops and bazaars; Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, with its tapering minarets and marble domes; Chandni Chowk, the city’s bustling and colorful market dating back to the Mughal period; and Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial site.  In New Delhi, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens during the period of British colonialism, see the India Gate, a memorial to Indian soldiers killed during World War I; the red sandstone and marble Qutub Minar, the tallest minaret in India and a UNESCO World Heritage site; and Humayun’s Tomb, the architectural forerunner of the Taj Mahal.

Day 4: Jodhpur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Taj Hari Mahal

After a morning at leisure in Delhi, fly to the “blue city” of Jodhpur, famed for its indigo-washed buildings (traditionally homes of the Brahmins) cascading over the hills, its sunny climate, and its beautiful architecture. In the evening visit the maze of narrow medieval streets and bazaars with its tea and spice shops, beautiful bolts of fabric, and a variety of Rajasthani handicrafts.

Day 5: Jodhpur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Taj Hari Mahal

Venture into the countryside to learn about village life. Watch craftsmen, including weavers and potters, practice their trades and visit the Bishnois community, where all animal life is considered sacred and wildlife protection is part of daily life. See how Blackburn antelope, gazelles, and numerous species of birds live in harmony with the local inhabitants.

Day 6: Jodhpur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

In Jodhpur visit Jaswant Thada, an architectural landmark constructed entirely of carved sheets of marble. A traditional cremation site of Jodhpur rulers. It was built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh in 1899. The grounds include beautifully carved gazebos, a multi-tiered garden, and a small lake.  Massive Mehrangarh Fort, built on a hilltop in 1459, is comprised of a variety of royal palaces with collections of priceless jewels and armor. Located on Chittar Hill, the highest point in Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Palace is part royal residence, part museum, and part hotel. In mid-afternoon board the Royal Rajasthan and depart for Udaipur. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels.

Day 7: Udaipur, Chittaurgarh

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

One of the most enchanting cities in Rajasthan, Udaipur, known as the “Venice of the East,” enjoys a fairy-tale setting of palaces, temples, lakes, and gardens. Tour the City Palace, a labyrinth of courtyards richly decorated with inlaid mirror-work and frescoes. Also visit Saheliyon-Ki-Bari (Garden of the Maids), a beautiful garden with lotus pools, marble pavilions, and elephant-shaped fountains. Continue to Chittaurgarh for tea at the impressive stone fort, once the center of Rajput resistance against Mughal rule, followed by a Light & Sound show. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

Day 8: Sawai Madhopur, Jaipur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Arrive at the town of Sawai Madhopur, home of the wildlife sanctuary at Ranthambhore National Park.  The park is 248 square miles of gently undulating forested hills, forming a unique reserve dominated by an imposing 11th-century fortress. Take a morning game drive in comfortable four-wheel-drive vehicles in search of the elusive tiger as well as hyenas, jackals, spotted deer, sambar, foxes, and more than 300 species of birds. Reboard the train for lunch and return to Jaipur to explore majestic Amber Fort, a 17th-century fortress-palace perched high on a mountain. The honey-colored palace, reflected in Maota Lake, is a distinguished specimen of Rajput architecture. Also visit the City Palace complex, which houses a museum featuring rare manuscripts, paintings, and an armory; and Jantar Mantar, an 18th-century royal observatory with large-scale astronomic instruments built by Maharajah Jai Singh. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

Day 9: Khajuraho

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Spend a full day exploring the monuments at Khajuraho, the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples in India and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The temples are constructed of sandstone without the use of mortar, and the individual stones are held in place by gravity. Grouped into three geographical divisions—western, eastern, and southern—these temples are renowned for their erotic sculptures. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

Day 10: Varanasi

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Arrive in Varanasi, the holiest town for Hindus, in the early morning. Enjoy a boat ride on the Ganga (Ganges) River and a tour of the city, including the Bharat Mata Mandir, a temple that houses a marble sculpture of Bharat Mata, the national personification of India as a mother goddess. Stop at the riverside bathing steps known as ghats to witness the religious ritual aarti, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (butter) is offered to one or more deities. Also visit Sarnath, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. The Archaeological Museum of Sarnath contains a large collection of sculptures that bear testimony to the fervent artistic and religious activity that went on here for more than a thousand years. Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

Day 11: Agra

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Trident Hotel

Disembark the train and visit Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back to at least 1080 A.D. This spectacular walled city contains a maze of courtyards, mosques, and private chambers built by Emperor Akbar. In the afternoon, visit the Taj Mahal, the magnificent expression of Emperor Shah Jahan’s love for his wife, Mumtaz.

Day 12: Fatehpur Sikri, Bharatpur, Agra

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Trident Hotel

En route to Bharatpur, stop at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Fatehpur Sikri, the   deserted imperial capital built by Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century and a perfectly preserved example of a Mughal city. Fatehpur Sikri was abandoned after only 14 years due to the lack of an adequate water supply, and its audience halls, palaces, courtyards, pools, and enormous mosque remain nearly untouched by time. Continue to Bharatpur for a visit to Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage-designated bird sanctuary renowned for massive flocks of egrets, Siberian cranes, migratory water fowl, and many other species of birds. Originally a private hunting reserve of the Maharajas of Bharatpur, the marshes were protected and developed in the late 19th century to attract waterfowl, and now more than 230 species of birds make this park their home.

Day 13 & 14: Agra, Delhi, Home

Meals: Breakfast

Drive to Delhi and check in to day rooms at an airport hotel to relax and freshen up before boarding late-night or early-morning flights, arriving home on March 1.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 9,850

Price Per Day:

$ 704 per person
 
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Manager, and local guides throughout the tour.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy).
  • Meals, including special Welcome and Farewell Receptions, as noted in the itinerary.
  • Complimentary house wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner while aboard ship.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Baggage handling and transfers abroad on the designated program departure and arrival dates.
  • Gratuities to guides and drivers.
  • Port fees and embarkation taxes.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
Trip Excludes
  • Airfare and air and departure taxes.
  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Gratuities to ship’s crew.
  • Transfers and baggage handling abroad for those not traveling on the designated program departure and arrival dates.
  • Personal items such as room service; email, telephone, and fax charges; laundry; gratuities for non-group services; and other items of a personal nature.
Flights & Transport
Internal airfare and ground transport
Start City
Delhi
End City
Delhi

Trip ID#: norindsmi

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