Start and end in New Delhi! With the custom tour Tailor Made: Highlights of Northern India, you have a 9 day tour package taking you through New Delhi, India and 7 other destinations in India. Tailor Made: Highlights of Northern India includes accommodation in a hotel as well as meals, transport and more.
If you have arrived in Delhi this morning and have arranged a transfer you will be met by our representative at the airport and then drive to Jaipur. (5- 7 hour drive) If you arrived in Delhi a day or two earlier you will have been advised of the start time to be ready at your hotel for the drive to Jaipur. *Narain Niwas Palace Jaipur or similar*
Built in the late 18th century, Jaipur is a planned city of broad avenues built of sandstone and painted pink at a later stage. Visit the City Palace in the centre of Jaipur, formerly the residence of the Maharaja, now a fine museum containing rare manuscripts, paintings, royal garments and weapons. Close to the palace is one of the most intriguing sights of India, the observatory of Jai Singh. This is an assembly of immense astronomical instruments made of marble and brass set in a pleasant garden.? On route see Jaipurs impressive landmark, the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds. Then visit the impressive and splendid Amber Fort, a few miles from the main city, rising above a lake. Jaipur is a centre of many handicrafts, such as durries (woven rugs), carpets, printed cloth, semi-precious stones, leatherwear etc. It will be difficult to leave a workshop without buying anything! *Narain Niwas Palace or similar*
Travel through the villages of rural India to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (approx. 5 hr drive); staying in a hotel not far from the park entrance and make 2 game drives into the park, one in the late afternoon and one the following morning.? Ranthambore is one of Indias tiger reserves under Project Tiger. After initial success, poaching has drastically reduced the tiger population and the chance of spotting a tiger is small, but many Exodus travellers have seen tigers over the last few years. There is other wildlife to spot such as several species of deer, crocodiles and bird life including purple heron, kingfishers, cormorants, parakeets, jacanda, waders and partridges.* * *Ranthambore Regency or similar*
In the morning there is a? second game drive, trying to find that elusive tiger, before travelling on to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri is the Emperor Akbars deserted royal city. This impressive and well-preserved citadel became his capital in 1571, after the blessing of a local Moslem holy man correctly predicted the birth of a longed-for son, his successor the Emperor Jehangir. The mosque, designed to hold ten thousand worshippers, the palaces, residences and halls of audience are all made of decorative red sandstone. But this magnificence only lasted 14 years, as in 1584 Akbar left Fatehpur Sikri to secure his outlying territories, leaving this city much as we see it today?? in perfect condition. This is another very full but rewarding day. Total driving time approx. 7 hrs.* * *Clarks Shiraz Agra or similar*
Today is an early start to visit the beautiful white marble Taj Mahal at sunrise. This wonderful monument was built by the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. The Taj is serenely beautiful and never fails to amaze a first time visitor; the white marble exterior changes colour according to the position of the sun during the day and is matched by the rich interior detail. Within striking distance is the imposing Red Fort of Akbar, third of the Moghul Emperors, whose mighty sandstone walls enclose the beautiful white marble Pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It is here that the latter spent his last years, imprisoned by his own son Aurangzeb. Later in the day transfer to Agra train station and join the overnight sleeper train to Varanasi. *Sleeper Train*
Arrive in Varanasi during the morning and transfer to your hotel. Located on the river Ganges, Varanasi is one of the holiest cities in India and stands at the centre of the Hindu Universe. As such, the city lives and breathes Hinduism: there are thousands of pilgrims, wandering holy men (Sadhus), religious elders and casual visitors. It is a city to get immersed in by exploring its maze of narrow lanes and many temples and watching the Hindu ceremonies that take place around the clock.? If you would like to add in some activities during your stay in Varanasi our Tailor Made consultants can discuss options to include in your personalised itinerary.? *Palace on the Ganges Varanasi or similar*
Just before dawn, take a boat out on the Ganges to witness the extraordinary spectacle on the ghats, the steps leading down to the river. Every day thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to these three miles of riverbank to soak in the holy waters.? This afternoon fly back to Delhi.??* * *Metropolitan Nikko or similar*
Today you are free to relax or explore the sites of New and Old Delhi.? Recommended sites are the Red Fort, Humayuns Tomb, India Gate, Jama Masjid (Indias largest mosque), Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) and Raj Ghat. For?last minute shopping, we recommend the market area of Chandni Chowk or Karol Bagh.? If you would like to add in a guided sightseeing tour our Tailor Made consultants can discuss options with you.?* * *?Metropolitan Nikko or similar*
Trip ends after breakfast. If you have a transfer arranged you will drive to Delhi International airport for your homeward flight.