Observe Delhi’s rich diversity of art, history and shopping bazaars. Visit the spectacular Golden Temple, the holiest shrine in Sikhism, in Amritsar. Cruise the Ganges River to witness the mystical aarti ceremony in Varanasi. Marvel at the exquisite Taj Mahal at both sunset and sunrise from your Taj-view room at Amarvilas.
In Udaipur enjoy an authentic Rajasthani dinner party with colorful dances and entertainment. Discover the architectural splendor of the rock temple caves of Ajanta and Ellora in Aurangabad and navigate the Kerala Backwaters on a traditional rice boat.
Explore Mumbai’s bustling metropolis on your choice of tour: art, architecture or Bollywood. Your Journey Begins… NEW DELHI, INDIA Mon. & Tue., Nov. 03 & 04 Taj Mahal New Delhi On arrival in New Delhi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your traveling companions at a welcome cocktail reception and dinner party. Delhi, the modern-day capital of India, is comprised of two cities, and you will experience both on your city tour. The older part was built by the Mughals with elegant palaces, mosques and forts, and New Delhi was conceived by the British with its stately avenues, homes and gardens. Drive past the magnificent Red Fort, a marvel in red sandstone, built on the banks of River Yamuna by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Continue on a panoramic drive through New Delhi, the creation of British architects Edwin Lutyen and Herbert Baker. Later visit Qutab Minar, a 15th Century minaret that stands as Delhi’s sentinel even today. The 237 foot hand-carved minaret is adorned with scriptures from the Koran. Enjoy a rickshaw ride through Delhi’s principal street, Chandni Chowk, a bustling jumble of shops, temples, mosques and craftsmen’s workshops of goldsmiths, silversmiths, and silk traders. Delhi Art Walk OPTION: For those who have previously visited Delhi, the following alternate excursion may peak your interest. Accompanied by an expert of Indian Contemporary Art, visit the Crafts Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art. The Crafts Museum, among its collection from all over India, includes a beautifully preserved 18th century mansion or haveli, and you can also see artisans at work in the museum courtyard.
The National Gallery, formerly the residential palace of the Maharajah of Jaipur, today exhibits 4,000 art pieces from the mid-19th century to the present day. AMRITSAR Wed., Nov. 05 Hyatt Amritsar Today board your Private Jet and fly to Amritsar in northern India. Literally translated as “holy pool of nectar”, Amritsar is the spiritual and cultural center of the Sikh religion, with the Golden Temple as its landmark and focal point. The Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib was initiated by the fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ramdas Jee and completed in 1601 by his successor Guru Arjan Dev Jee. This evening marvel at the sight of the temple illuminated at night, with its spectacular golden reflections.
AMRITSAR – UDAIPUR Thu., Nov. 06 Lake Palace Hotel After breakfast there will be another opportunity to visit the Golden Temple in daylight before transferring to the airport for your Private Jet flight to Udaipur. Udaipur was founded in 1568 as the capital of the old Mewar state; it was the only Rajput stronghold to uphold its Hindu allegiance in the face of Muslim invasion. From the late 16th century, peace brought about an era of renaissance in the arts and encouraged the building of beautiful palaces around the lake which culminated in the City Palace, one of the largest palace complexes in the world. Undoubtedly the most romantic city in Rajasthan, and perhaps the world, Udaipur is built around Lake Pichola and has inevitably been dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’.
UDAIPUR Fri., Nov. 07 Lake Palace Hotel Visit the City Palace, built in 1725, which houses the Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal – studded with its glittering Belgian Mirrors, Moti Mahal and the Palace of Lord Krishna, all of which are ornately decorated. Explore the Jagdish Temple, built in 1651 in dedication to Lord Vishnu. Later today enjoy an exclusive boat ride around Lake Pichola, a romantic setting surrounding the gleaming white Lake Palace and the Jag Mandir – a refuge of the rebel Mughal Prince, Shah Jahan, who later became the creator of the Taj Mahal in Agra. In the evening, enjoy an exclusive Rajasthani dinner party with royal cuisine and traditional entertainment.
AGRA Sat. & Sun., Nov. 08 & 09 Amarvilas Today your Private Jet brings you to Agra, renowned the world over for the fabulous Taj Mahal. Agra is a city with a glorious past and has the distinction of being the capital of various ruling dynasties. Just before sunset visit the Taj Mahal, the Seventh Wonder of the World, built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz Mahal by the banks of river Yamuna. After her untimely death, Shah Jahan had her mortal remains buried in this mausoleum. The great monument took almost 22 years to build and was completed in 1653. Around 20,000 workers from all over the country and central Asia were recruited to translate this dream into a reality. The Taj has been called the most extravagant monument ever built in the name of love. Early risers may opt to re-visit the Taj at sunrise to watch how this fantastic monument changes hues with the rising of the sun.
CHOOSE YOUR LEISURE DAY ACTIVITIES Agra Fort Agra Fort is an excellent example of Indo-Persian architecture and is quite large, stretching for about 1.5 miles. The fort gives you a good idea of the life style of the Mughals, and the opulence of their court. The Missionaries of Charity Established in 1950 by Mother Teresa, MOC is active in 133 countries. These Missionaries care for sick and abandoned children, as well as the aged and convalescents. You will have an opportunity to feed the children or read a story book to them. Shopping in Agra With an expert guide, visit the reputable shops that cater to high-end arts and crafts from marble inlay tables and jewelry to woodwork carvings and Indian carpets.
VARANASI Mon. & Tue., Nov. 10 & 11 Nadesar Palace Board your Private Jet flight to Varanasi. Situated on the north bank of Ganges, Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benares, is one of the oldest living cities of the world with its history dating back to about 3500 hundred years. For Hindus, the city has always had a special significance. At sunset, enjoy a private boat cruise on the Ganges and witness the mystical aarti ceremony, a prayer ceremony in reverence of all the deities. This is a spectacular sight, and will be a lasting impression you will carry away with you from India. Early Tuesday morning set out on another private boat cruise on the Ganges to view the various ceremonies being performed by pilgrims on its banks, as has been done for thousands of years. For those who would prefer to putt or chip on the hotel’s golf green, merely call your butler. Return to the hotel for breakfast, and if you wish, partake in a yoga session on the lawns of your hotel. Later explore nearby Sarnath, where Buddha chose to deliver his first sermon. There are many Buddhist monuments and edifices in Sarnath, including a beautiful sculpture of the Buddha from the fifth century.
AURANGABAD Wed. & Thu., Nov. 12 & 13 Vivanta by Taj – Aurangabad Re-board your Private Jet bound for Aurangabad, best known for the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora. These caves are masterpieces and also house incredibly ornate temples carved out of hard rock. This afternoon visit Ellora caves where the Kailash Temple is the most magnificent rock-carved structure, a rendition of Siva’s celestial abode, Kailash. The Jain caves which were created between the 9th and 12th centuries have an aura of peace and simplicity; the carvings here depict Mahavir and various animals. Thursday explore the Ajanta caves, consisting of 30 caves cut from volcanic lava, dating from 200 BC to 250 AD.
KOCHI – KUMARAKOM Fri., Sat., & Sun., Nov. 14, 15 & 16 Kumarakom Lake Resort Upon arrival, drive to Kumarakom. Saturday embark a typical houseboat and enjoy a day cruise on the Kerala backwaters, through a network of canals with a backdrop of villages and coconut trees on the shores. A traditional Kerala lunch will be prepared for you before returning to your hotel. Enjoy a performance of Kathakali dance and music. A striking feature of Kathakali is the use of elaborate make-up, masks and colorful costumes. Sunday enjoy a day trip to Kochi, visiting the Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church and the Jewish Synagogue. The mechanism of the Chinese fishing nets, which dot the harbor as you drive along the coastline. Visit Fort Kochi to discover the historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Some parts of this nearly 500-year-old Fort are still amazingly well preserved. Also visit Jew Street which is famous for antiques.
MUMBAI Mon. & Tue., Nov. 17 & 18 Taj Mahal Palace & Towers Board your final Private Jet flight to Mumbai, the financial capital of India. Mumbai has a history of incredible transformation from its foundation to the present day, where small islands were strung together and land between them reclaimed to form the bustling metropolis it is today. This afternoon take a panoramic drive through the city, visiting the Prince of Wales Museum and the amazing Hanging Gardens. In the evening, attend a farewell reception and dinner party, recounting your experiences in this fascinating country. CHOOSE YOUR LEISURE DAY ACTIVITIY Heritage Walking Tour Explore on foot the downtown Fort District with an expert in history and architecture. From the Gateway of India to the elegant buildings of the Bombay High Court, discover an array of historic landmarks and buildings constructed in different architecture styles. You will be introduced to the history that was created around these monuments and will hear fascinating stories about the people who envisioned, built, and lived in these buildings. Bollywood Bollywood has come a long way since 1896. Acclaimed amongst the biggest film industries of the world, Bollywood produces over 1000 films every year. Get an inside view into the sets, locations and studios where Bollywood has created some of the greatest Indian epics. Also watch a live shoot. Sets which are built to resemble reality are enthralling, with minute detailing to showcase different cultures in India. Your Journey Ends Depart Mumbai Wed., Nov. 19 Today bid farewell to your fellow travellers. You will be escorted to the international airport to board your independent flight home.