Rajasthan, the Taj Mahal & Amritsar’s Golden Temple
India is steeped in history, mystery and magnificence. It’s a heady cocktail of extraordinary contrasts, sumptuous palaces, splendid forts, lush countryside, haunting deserts and vibrant cities. Our extraordinary tour takes you to some of the most colourful and amazing places on the entire planet – from Amritsar’s Golden Temple to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, the gleaming white of the Taj Mahal, and the 'Blue City' of Jodhpur. Then there are the parched ochre dunes of the desert sands and the array of reds and yellows exploding from a classic Indian sunset across a city’s jumbled rooftops. India is all this and much more. It’s not just a country; it’s an entire continent crying out to be discovered and explored.
You’ll visit some of this wonderful destination’s finest jewels; many world famous, while others are less well-known but equally enthralling. In this religious melting pot, you’ll experience some of the world’s most spiritual sites - including the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, and the revered Hindu town of Pushkar with its unique Brahma temple, sacred lake and historic bathing ghats. Jaipur’s City Palace and the Palace of the Winds will amaze you with their grandeur, yet none compare with the Taj Mahal, that supremely beautiful and romantic masterpiece, truly one of the few wonders of the world.
Another great and unmissable wonder is Agra’s 16th century awe-inspiring Red Fort. Once at the heart of the Moghul Empire, it’s a fitting overture to the many other magnificent citadels for which Rajasthan is rightly famous – especially the imposing and vast Mehrangarh Fort with its enchanting panoramic view over the 'Blue City’ of Jodhpur. Finally it’s on to Udaipur, nestling serenely in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful settings. Surrounded by a series of scenic hills and lakes, almost silhouetted against the clear blue sky, its multitude of intricately turreted and balconied palaces surround the lakeside - a perfect blend of man and nature in complete harmony and quintessential India at its most mysterious, romantic and thought-provoking.
Spectacular though India’s cities, palaces and monuments are, a country is nothing without its people and you can travel the whole world before you find a welcome as warm and genuine as that in India. Increasingly aware of their unique sophisticated culture, Indians are eager to share their knowledge with you – and to practice their English, which is almost universally spoken. You really sense that this is a country ‘on the move’.
Of course, India also possesses one of the world’s greatest cuisines, which for many will be one of the highlights of your holiday. Universally but incorrectly described as curry, there is a huge variety on offer making use of gorgeously fresh vegetables, pulses, meat and fish all expertly blended with an almost infinite array of herbs and exotic spices. With some dishes cooked quickly and some more slowly, it’s a real gourmet’s delight, so totally different and tastier than the majority of Indian restaurants we are used to at home. All this combined with the legendary Indian passion for service, ensures you will get the very best out of your visit to this fascinating and enchanting part of the world, returning home with some truly enchanting memories.
- Visit the extraordinary Golden Temple of Amritsar, a Sikh holy shrine and one of India's most awe-inspiring sights, plus see the poignant site of the Amritsar Massacre
- Experience the breathtaking Taj Mahal in the early morning, the simple purity of its white marble and exquisite workmanship of its inlay work
- Stay in Jaipur, the ‘Pink City’, and explore its teeming markets, amazing City Palace, remarkable 18th-century Astronomical Observatory and iconic Palace of the Winds
- Tour Agra and its stunning 16th-century fort with a guide
- Enjoy a guided tour of the Amber Fort in Jaipur, including the area reserved for the Maharaja’s wives and concubines and the amazing hall of mirrors
- Explore Pushkar and see the rare Brahma temple, the local market, the sacred lake and bathing ghats
- Take a city tour of Delhi seeing all the famous landmarks such as the Humayun’s Tomb and the Qutub Minaret
- Visit UNESCO-listed Nagaur Fort, displaying a unique merging of Rajput and Moghul architecture.
- Discover Jodhpur, the ‘Blue City’, with its vast and imposing fortress and walk through the open-air Clocktower Market
- See Udaipur, India's most romantic city of lakes and palaces
- Stay at the Khimsar Fort, one of Rajasthan's best-known Heritage Hotels
- Experience the fascinating 'Beating the Retreat' ceremony on the Indo-Pakistani border
- Return direct scheduled flights with premium economy upgrades available at a supplement
- Stay in hand-picked three-star to five-star accommodation, with daily breakfast and four dinners
- The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout
- Selected departures from January to November 2019
- The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms available at the relevant supplement. Thirteen nights’ accommodation in three, four and five-star hotels; daily breakfast and four dinners, scheduled flights to/from Delhi, domestic flights to/ from Amritsar and from Udaipur; all transfers; all local accommodation taxes, all local transport as described; hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager.
- Included excursions are: guided tours of Amritsar, Agra and the Taj Mahal, Jaipur city tour, visit to Amber Fort, city tour of Pushkar, Jodhpur and Mehrangarh Forts, visit to Nagaur Fort, Ranakpur temple, Udaipur city tour Delhi city tour;
- Not included: Indian visa
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