Start and end in New Delhi! With the in-depth cultural tour Mysteries of India (22 destinations), you have a 14 day tour package taking you through New Delhi, India and 9 other destinations in India. Mysteries of India (22 destinations) includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Delhi is the City of Djinns ? place of the spirits. It is a frenetic paradise of contradiction, vitality, vibrancy and color. Experience everything this dynamic metropolis has to offer, from modern New Delhi to historic Old Delhi.
Cut through Old Delhi?s buzzing streets on a rickshaw ? your mode of transportation for an exhilarating food tour. Down narrow streets and corridors, see plates bursting with color as you meet local vendors and taste some of the best food India has to offer. You?ll also pay a visit to a sacred Sikh temple that features a communal kitchen. Continue to Humayun?s Tomb, one of the best preserved Mughal monuments, and round out your tour at the India Gate war memorial, Parliament, and the President?s sprawling, palatial residence, Rashtrapati Bhawan. Gather with your fellow travelers for a memorable dinner featuring Indian specialties and local favorites.
The gateway to Rajasthan, Udaipur?s regal forts and palaces evoke fairy tale stories and exotic prose. On an evening cruise of Lake Pichola, views of City Palace dominate and the sight of the southern island reveals the glittering, three-storied palace of Jag Mandir. Your hotel, a restored historic palace, is perched on a hilltop overlooking the lake.
As the dawn meets the day, it?s your choice! Join a local expert to learn the basic practices of yoga -OR- embark on a leisurely walking tour as the streets of Udaipur come to life. This afternoon, explore the City Palace and marvel at its windowless walls, domes, and tiered balconies. Follow the steps of royal ladies in the enchanting Sahelion-ki-Bari ? Garden of the Maids of Honor. The remainder of the day is yours.
A scenic drive through the countryside delivers you to Jaipur, the Pink City. Our first stop is at the 953-windowed fa?ade of Hawa Mahal, the former home of a maharaja. Immerse yourself in the architectural glories of Jaipur as you stroll the heart of the Old City. Walk the perfumed aisles of a flower market where garlands are created for traditional Indian ceremonies. Not far away, marvel at the impeccable masonry at Jantar Mantar. In the evening, get to know a local family as you join them for a hosted dinner.
Ascend to the top of the extensive palace complex of Amber Fort aboard a vintage jeep. This is India?s former seat of power, and a prelude to an incredible cultural experience in Jaipur. Visit a local school* where children are thriving in a midday program supported by the Collette Foundation.
The tiger is a creature of unending fascination in India. Seek them out in their natural habitat at Ranthambore National Park. Learn about Project Tiger?s conservation efforts and the impact the organization has had on the Ranthambore sanctuary. You?ll also meet a naturalist who?ll introduce you to India?s extensive wildlife.
The barking deer and the Indian gazelles come out to play in the early hours of the morning. Under the cover of exotic birdlife, follow the path of the desert cats as you go in search of the wildlife this sanctuary is known for. Then, it?s your choice! Return to your hotel to simply relax -OR- visit Dastkar, a foundation that empowers local women by training and selling their handicrafts. In the afternoon, return to the wild for another opportunity to watch for marsh crocodiles, sloth bears, hyenas, and of course, tigers.
The sound of your train?s engine is the only thing that cuts the still of the early morning. Through tunnels and around bends, follow the rails to Agra, a city rich with the splendors of the past.
The Taj Mahal, a stunning vision in white marble and sandstone, was constructed as an expression of love by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Experience the romantic spirit of the Taj Mahal at sunrise, when the colors of the sky dance on the white marble fa?ade and shimmer in its reflective pool. Later, visit Agra Fort, the seat of the Mughal Empire. Then enjoy lunch at Sheroes Hangout ? a caf? that empowers female survivors of shattering acid attacks, so that they may reclaim their lives, and livelihoods, through employment and sisterhood.
In and around KhajurahoAboard a public train this morning, head to Khajuraho. In the shadow of the Vindhya mountain range lies a city of stone ? a place where India?s near-mythic aesthetic is forged into the stonework of dozens of temples.
Behold the Chandel Temple complex, where some of the finest examples of temple architecture in northern India reside. Make your way to Varanasi ? India?s holiest city built with a palpable mystique. In Varanasi, spiritual energy radiates from the ground up. Sail along the River Ganges on a journey along the ghats, or banks, of the river. From the Dashashwamedh Ghat, experience the Ganga Aarti ceremony as it illuminates the night sky.
Today, take advantage of a morning boat ride for an opportunity to see the sunrise on the River Ganges. Travel to Sarnath, where Siddhartha Gautama, later known as Buddha, gave his first sermon in the 6th century B.C. Celebrate your passage through India alongside new friends at a farewell dinner.
Enjoy a morning at leisure before flying back to Delhi, where a day room has been reserved for you to freshen up before your return flight home.