Description of Luxury Private Journeys in India - Rajasthan and Indore ULIN02
- A welcome dinner at a restaurant voted as one of the world’s top ten by Conde Nast Traveler
- An early morning visit with your private guide to watch the sun rise at the Taj Mahal
- Listening to the after dinner tales of tiger hunts in days gone by with the Rajadhiraj of Shahpura
- The view of the Udaipur pass from your cliff top suite at a converted castle fort
- Sharing an alfresco dinner with Prince Shivaji Holkar, author, gourmet, son of the last Maharajah of Indore and a direct descendant of India’s warrior queen.
Day 1 Depart USA
Today you depart on your overnight flight to Delhi the capital city of India and a charming blend of historic past and vibrant present so much so the that city is informally divided into Old Delhi and New Delhi.
Day 2 Welcome to India
You arrive late in the day and met by your guide who will assist you in getting to the car that will take you to The Imperial, where a good night's rest awaits
Day 3 Highlights of Delhi, Old and New
After breakfast, you will be met by your guide and taken on a full day guided visit to the highlights of old and new Delhi. You will be visiting the monuments of historical and architectural importance like the Humayuns Tomb, Qutab Minar, the Mahatma Gandhi memorial, the Jama Masjid and the opportunity to ride a three-wheeled 'rickshaw' through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk in old Delhi's walled city.Tonight, enjoy an intimate welcome dinner at the hotel's famed restaurant " The Spice Route" considered as one of the top ten restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Traveler.
Day 4 The Train to Agra and the Agra Fort
Early in the morning your guide will escort you to the New Delhi railway station where 1st Class seats have been reserved for the two hour ride to Agra. Upon arrival in Agra you will be met by your guide who will take you on a private tour of the Agra Fort. Designed and built by the Moghul Emperor Akbar, the fort is surrounded by a 70 foot high red sandstone wall with four large gates and a radius of over a mile. It houses the beautiful Pearl Mosque and numerous palaces including the Jahangiri Mahal, Diwan-I-khas and the Moti Masjid. One of the most significant is the Jahangiri Mahal built by Akbar for his wife, Jodha Bai. The mahal is reached through an impressive gateway and its inner courtyard consists of beautiful halls, impressive carvings on stone, exquisitely carved heavy brackets and cross beams. After a tour of the Mahal and other buildings along the waterfront built by Shah Jahan, you will be taken to your hotel for lunch. As you sit at lunch you will see the Taj Mahal less than 2,000 feet away glistening white in the midday sun.In the evening your guide will take you to the Taj Mahal where dusk turns it a soft pearly grey. If you are fortunate enough (or plan well enough ahead) and are there during a full moon, the silver light makes it float away against the star spangled sky.
Day 5 The Taj Mahal and Shopping in Agra
Rising early, you meet your guide who will take you the short distance to the Taj Mahal to see it at sunrise where the mortning light creates a pinkish glow.. After your visit you return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast you have free time to go shopping in Agra. A pleasant town with a languid pace of life, Agra is renowned for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes. This evening enjoy dinner with an illumiinatedTaj Mahal as backdrop.
Day 6 Fatehpur Sikri and Jaipur
You have the chance to view the Taj Mahal at dawn either from your room or in the restaurant over breakfast but then it will be time for your driver to pick you up for your next destination the "pink city" of Jaipur. On the way, however you stop to visit the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. Built in red sandstone in a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture, the city was built by Emperor Akbar to be a sister capital to Agra but was abandoned fourteen years after its creation supposedly because of a lack of water. Today it is a ghost city but its architecture is in perfect condition. After the visit you have lunch at the Laxmi Vilas Palace before arriving in Jaipur. Founded in 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, Jaipur is a labyrinth of fascinating bazaars and opulent palaces resplendent with tales of valour and bravery. You will be staying at the townhouse of the Samode family, a peaceful enclave in the old city and offering tranquility and excellent cuisine.
Day 7 The Amber Fort, Palace of the Winds and an Elephant Safari
Since it was color-washed in pink to celebrate a visit by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, Jaipur has been nicknamed the "pink city". Your exploration today will take you to the Amber Palace which you enter on an Elephant. Inside the fortress are amazing rooms inlaid with precious stones. You will then visit the Hawa Mahal or "Palace of the Winds", five stories of intricate carving from which former members of the royal household, particularly the veiled ladies of the harem, could observe the "common folk' at the nearby markets. After your visit you will head for Dera Amer located behind the hills of the Amber Fort and in the foothills of the Aravali Range. Here you will take an elephant safari through the wilderness of this reserved forest before having lunch. In the afternoon you will also visit the City Palace and its display of ancient weaponry and the 18th century observatory, the Jantar Mantar. some of the instruments at the observatory are still used today to forecast the weather.
Day 8 An Oasis in the Rajasthan Desert
This morning your guide will be waiting to take you to two hidden gems of Rajasthan. The town of Shahpura and your hotel, Shahpura Bagh. Shahpura lies at the heart of a network of 250 lakes which makes it a sanctuary for bird life and a lush sight for sore eyes accustomed to the Rajasthan desert.At lunchtime you arrive at your intimate hotel which was once the summer residence of the Rajadhiraj of Shahpura and has been beautifully restored and furnished in a wonderful mix of antique and modern. It may not be the grandest of palaces, but it is certainly one of the most exclusive; you will be treated as honored guests by the owners and their staff who have been serving them for generations. But the real stars are the Rajadhiraj and his two sisters, all in residence who will regale you with old tales of tiger hunts. Did we mention that the food is also great?
Day 9 Village Life in Shahpura
After a charming and colorful breakfast, you will be taken into the town where the old city palace reveals the integration of Rajput and Mughal traditions in architecture while the geometrical symmetry of the baoli (stepwell) is an insight into the times that were.Spend time with the friendly people and enjoy the town's rich multi-cultural vibrancy and its fascinating arts and crafts tradition.. Sit with the Joshi's and watch a traditional phad, a painting depicting mythology and history, come to life. Get a leather mojadri (the local footwear) made to order or explore the myriad goods on sale in the marketplace. In the afternoon you can get a cooking class on a wood fire from the chef who has served the family for three generations. Tonight an al fresco dinner with Champagne completes the day.
Day 10 The Journey to Delwara
Your hosts have a saying, " arrive as a guest, leave as a friend" and you will find this to be the case as you take your leave of the family. Today you are headed for India's newest luxury boutique hotel nestled inside an 18th century palace high atop a pass into Udaipur. The village of Delwara, which houses the Devigarh Fort takes pride in housing four 14th Century Jain temples. It is a 450 year old village and consists of Muslims, Jains, Rajput and tribal people. You arrive at you hotel where you have a chance to relax and enjoy the spectaculat views.
Day 11 Exploring Udaipur and Cruising on Lake Pichola
This morning you will meet your guide who will take you on an exploration of Udaipur starting with the City Palace, a fascinating combination of Rajput military architecture and Maghal style decorative techniques. It is a conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. After touring the palace you will next visit the walled city of Bagore ki Haveli. Built in the 18th Century it is now a museum and is characterized by the narrow lanes within whose colorful chaos stands in contrast to the serene beauty that lies outside the walls. After lunch you will board your private boat for a cruise on Lake Pichola stopping at Jamandir Palace for afternoon tea.
Day 12 Maheshwar and Ahilya Fort
After an early breakfast, you are escorted to the airport for the flight to Indore. Upon arrival in Indore you will be met by your guide who who will drive you through the countryside to the town of Maheshwar and your home for the next three nights, Ahilya Fort. Situated high above the banks of the sacred Narmada River, Ahilya Fort was the capital of one of India's celebrated women rulers-Ahilya Bai Holkar. Who ruled Indore State from 1760 until 1795. Her Wada palace is simple and elegant; built in 1766, it is a typical example of the Maratha architecture of the period. The rooms retain the feeling of the epoch, while bringing guests modern conveniences, which ensure a comfortable stay. Your host at Ahilya Fort is Prince Shivaji Rao Holkar, son of the last Maharajah of Indore. The Prince ensures that the pace of life at Ahilya Fort is leisurely, in keeping with his wish to offer his guests an oasis of calm and repose. He is a reputed chef and gourmet; author of a book of recipes from the Maharajah's palaces, he personally oversees the kitchen. Upon arrival you will have lunch before taking time to relax during the heat of the day. In the evening enjoy cocktails and dinner overlooking the river.
Days 13- 14 Life as a Maharajah
You have two days to join the beauty and serenity of the fort and the surrounding area. How you spend the days is up to you but we have some suggestions.Breakfast buffet is served on the ramparts of the fort which commands a spectacular view of the Narmada River, a view unchanged from that which Ahilya herself looked out over more than two hundred years ago.The tea you drink is from an exclusive tea garden in Darjeeling and coffee from Coorg is specially roasted for Ahilya Fort's guests.The ramparts of the fort were built in the 16th Century, by the renowned Mughal emperor Akbar and Maheshwar itself has been continually inhabited for some 4,000 years. Guests who wish to explore the fort and its many temples walk down to the riverside and stroll along India's most beautiful ghats, a word which in India suggests the French " quai". You will find temples dedicated to various avatars of Lord Shiva, as well as crematory cenotaphs of the rulers of Indore. Although Maheshwar is a site revered by followers of Lord Shiva, all people who respect religion are welcome to enter any of the temples. Lunch is served in a cool, covered courtyard, often a cold soup followed by pasta or light vegetarian food from Central India. Much of the food is organically grown on the Prince's nearby farm.You are encouraged to have a rest after the meal is over. The midday sun is hot in the Narmada Valley, and the air-cooled rooms, fragrant with the scent of khas, provides a welcome respite. a boat trip in the afternoon takes you to Baneshwar Temple in the middle of the river, and a swim in the Namada's cool and unpolluted waters. A cup of tea as the sun sets leads you into the magical evenings of Maheshwar.Refreshments on the ramparts overlooking the river, which reflects the star studded sky. Dinner is served in the garden and can be lightly spiced Indian cuisine or a more substantial royal 'thali' dinner based on reciopes from the Prince's book "The Cooking of the Maharajahs". It is your choice.
Day 15 Return to Delhi
You have an early departure to the airport for the flight to Delhi. Upon arrival you are transferred to a hotel near the airport where a dayroom has been reserved for your use. The driver is at your dispoal if you want to do some shopping in town or in nearby Gurgaon or you may want to relax by the hotel's pool. After dinner, your guide will escort you to the airport and assist you in checking in for your US bound flight.
Day 16 Arrive in the USA
Your return flight leaves early in the morning arriving in the USA the same day.
Additional Pricing Information
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest informationregarding passports and visa requirements)