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Tour India's exotic wonders
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Explore the teeming, colourful cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur on this superb-value Indian holiday. Step into a landscape said to have inspired Kipling as you spend two nights 'on safari' in Ranthambhore National Park, the home of the legendary Tigers of Ranthambhore, and see the Red Fort, the Palace of the Winds and the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal. It's the perfect introduction to one of the world's most fascinating and alluring destinations.
India - Tigers and the Taj Mahal Tour Itinerary
Your Indian holiday begins with an overnight flight from the UK to Delhi.
Day One: Overnight flight to India
Arrive in Delhi to be greeted by your Tour Manager, then transfer to your hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, a guided tour of the Old City will introduce you to Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat, Gandhi's famous cremation site close to the Yamuna River.
Day Two: Included Delhi city tour
You'll also see the legendary Red Fort, the residence of the Mughal emperor for nearly 200 years (until 1857), and take a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk. Before evening falls, you'll also see some of the city's Imperial highlights, including the India Gate war memorial, the vast boulevard of the Rajpath and Parliament House.
This morning, you'll have a chance to explore the ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque and the ornate Qutb Minar tower. Later, we'll travel to Agra, India's City of Love and site of the exquisite Taj Mahal. Built as a monument to undying love by grief-stricken Shah Jahan - after the death of his beloved wife - the Taj is seen in all its glory at sunset. Your guided tour of Agra will also take in the royal pavilions, palaces and courtyards of Agra Fort.
Day Three: Included Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque excursion and travel to Agra
Start your day with the unforgettable view of the the Taj Mahal at dawn, seen from across the Yamuna River. After breakfast, you'll visit Abhaneri, a small town famed for its amazing baoris (stepwells). See the mighty Harshat Mata Temple, and discover the architectural beauty of the Chand Baoli stepwell and its intricate carved panels. Descending 13 stories and approximately 30 m (100 ft) into the ground, this is one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India.
Day Four: Included excursions to the Taj Mahal, Abhaneri, Harshat Temple and the Chand Baori stepwell
Leaving Abhaneri, you'll travel to Ranthambhore National Park, stopping en route for lunch at the Umaid Lake Palace, a lovely heritage hotel set amid landscaped gardens. Ranthambhore is not only one of the largest national park in northern India, it's also one of the best examples of conservation in the whole country. Once the hunting ground of Indian princes, the park stands atop a 600-metre-high hill range and is home to a number of India's famous. elusive (and still endangered) tigers.
Relax for the afternoon, then enjoy an evening tiger talk with a local naturalist: the perfect preparation for tomorrow's adventure.
This morning, search for some of the park's most revered inhabitants: striped hyenas, sambar deer, sloth bears and, of course, tigers (and perhaps even a leopard) as you enjoy the first of two tours led by an expert naturalist guide. After lunch, your second guided tour will offer another opportunity to look out for tigers and many other extraordinary wild animals at close quarters in their natural environment.
Day Five: Guided wildlife safaris into Ranthambhore National Park
This morning, after the chance to climb up the 273 steps to Ranthambhore Fort on an optional excursion, we'll travel through Rajasthan to Jaipur, nicknamed India's pink city, where you'll stay for the next two nights. Settle into your heritage hotel in downtown Jaipur, and enjoy the on-site facilities, including a relaxing and cooling outdoor pool.
Day Six: From Ranthambhore to Jaipur
Visit Amber, the ancient capital of the Rajput Empire. Discover its magnificent palaces and temples dominated by the stronghold of the Amber Fort, and take the time to see the royal halls and the unrivalled views from the ramparts. After an included lunch, you'll tour Jaipur to see the City Palace Complex, with its museums, and Jantar Mantar, the ancient astronomical observatory. In the evening, you'll enjoy dinner with a local Rajasthani family in the city.
Day Seven: Included Amber Fort excursion
This morning you'll head north to Vanaashrya. En route you'll stop for tea or coffee at Bhangarh, a ruined fort dating from the 17th Century. After a relaxing afternoon, you can take a camel cart to visit the local village and enjoy a pre-dinner cookery demonstration. You'll spend the night in your private tent, a place designed to give you a sense of the India of the past with the little luxuries of the present day (like air conditioning).
Day Eight: From Amber to Vanaashrya
As we make our way back to Delhi, where you'll spend the final night of your holiday in India, we'll stop at the fascinating Heritage Transport Museum, which showcases the development of road, rail and air transport in India.
Day Nine: Included Heritage Transport Museum excursion
Transfer back to the airport and board your flight home after a holiday you'll never forget.
Day 10: Fly back to the UK