Tour route: Delhi - Mandawa - Pushkar - Jaipur - Agra
Welcome to India! Upon arrival at India Gandhi International Airport, you are greeted by our representative, who will escort you to the hotel, help you check in and brief you about the following tours. Have some free time on your own to adjust to the new time zone.
After having breakfast at hotel, meet your tour guide in the hotel lobby and head to Old Delhi to see the magnificent Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. By exploring the bustling local bazaar of Chandni Chowk on rickshaw, you will get a unique glance of the local life.
Pay a visit to Red Fort before driving to New Delhi for the tallest stone tower in India, the 800-year-old Qutub Minar surrounded by ancient Hindu and Muslim complex. Continue the tour to Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. After that, there will be a ride along the city landmarks of India Gate, President's House, Parliament House and Government Secretariat Buildings. Today’s tour ends with an insight into the local religion in a colorful Hindu temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple.
Tips: Female tourists are required to wear robes before entering Jama Masjid. If you don’t have one, rent one at 50 rupees from the temple.
After breakfast, you will proceed to Mandawa, the capital of Shekhawati region famous for its old merchant mansions and beautiful fresco art. On the way, stopovers for rest or photo taking would be at your request. After you are settled down at hotel, the rest of the day will be your own.
Breakfast is followed by a walking tour of Mandawa to discover many hidden havelis (mansions). The Shekhavati area is like an open art gallery in India, which will definitely leave you a deep impression, especially after listening to your private guide’s introduction to it. Later this afternoon, you will enjoy a camel ride into the surrounding sand dunes.
The destination for today is the oasis in the desert of Pushkar, a town that clings to the beautiful Pushkar Lake, which is considered by Hindus extremely holy. Hundreds of small temples are built by the lake, inside of which, wide stone steps or ‘ghats’ lead down to the lake where pilgrims and sadhus pay their respect.
Camel Fair is celebrated for five days since the full moon day (the 15th) of Kartik (October–November) in Hindu calendar. The Camel Fair takes place around the Pushkar Lake. Men buy and sell their livestock, which includes camels, cows, sheep and goats; while women go to the stalls, wearing many bracelets, clothes, textiles and fabrics. You will have a chance to enjoy a camel race, followed by folk music, songs and exhibitions.
Come to Pushkar between Oct. and Nov., you will have the chance to explore the famous and important Camel Fair. If you are not able to come during that time, a camel ride and an afternoon relaxing visit to local bazaars will be arranged for you.
After breakfast at hotel, you will head for the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur. On arrival, today’s tour starts with sightseeing of Amber Fort, the ancient capital of the State that overlooks the city from a spar of the Aravali Hills. Inside, you'll enjoy the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors).
The afternoon city tour of Jaipur includes a shortstop at the famous Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds). Then you will visit the City Palace Museum and Jantar Mantar, the largest stone observatory in the world that is still in service today. On the way back to the hotel, we will drive through the pink rose residential and business areas.
Tips: Be careful about the hard sell from hawkers all along the way.
This morning we will head east to Agra, en-route you can pay a short visit to the former royal city of Fatehpur Sikri (about 1.5 hrs), one of the finest illustrations of Mughal architectural splendor at its height, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned 15 years later for the scarcity of water. You will continue to proceed to Agra after lunch. Hotel check-in on arrival and rest of the day is at leisure.
Today’s tour starts with a visit to Taj Mahal (closed on Friday) in the early morning in order to avoid the crowds and the heat in daytime. This white-marble world wonder was built by a great emperor in memory of his beloved wife. Later you will visit the palatial Royal Pavilions at the red sandstone Agra Fort for a glimpse of the royal Mughal lifestyle. Tips: Strict security check is needed before entering Taj Mahal. Foods, plastic bags, chargers etc. are all prohibited.
Say goodbye to India today. After breakfast, you will be escorted to Delhi airport directly for your international flight.
Recommended Accommodation for Your Journey
Good accommodation choice will in no doubt enhance your tour experience. Our well-established partnership network with key hotel chains in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri-Lanka will bring you the benefits of competitive hotel rate and guaranteed room availability.
We pick hotels for you based on:Location: geographically convenience values for your precious holiday time. So properties we use are either in downtown area close to main city attractions and amenities, or convenient for sightseeing or transportation.
Hotel Criteria for Each Tour Class
Note: Bhutan is less developed with fewer hotels criteria for choice, and most of the hotels there aren't as high standard as those in Western society.
Hotel Arrangement for Standard Tour ClassUsually conveniently located and meet the basic requirements of a comfortable stay: decorative lobbies and nice guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants may be average in size but offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. In most cases, staffs have basic command of English. Usually 3 star hotels are adopted.
Hotel Arrangement for Comfortable Tour Class
Normally you'll stay at formal and large hotels conveniently located with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby. Quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, room service, fitness center and swimming pool (in some cases there is no pool) all together offer an above-average accommodation experience.
Usually good 4-star hotels are adopted or boutique hotels at request. Hotels best available will be arranged if no qualified choice, e.g. in remote area.
Hotel Arrangement for Superior Tour Class
Usually properties are conveniently located with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities nearby and offer a better service and hotel facility than that in hotels of Comfortable Tour Class. Usually 4-4.5 star hotels or boutique hotels are adopted.
Hotel Arrangement for First Tour Class
Deluxe hotels with high-end service and an extensive range of facilities for an excellent accommodation experience. Multiple restaurants on site with extensive menus for choice, room service available 24/7, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience. Usually 5 star hotels are adopted.
Hotel Arrangement for Deluxe Tour Class
The most luxury hotels are used and only available in some particular cities. These properties have top-notch service and unique location, such as a lake or a historic site, and usually incorporate some of the country’s most exquisite architecture traditions. Usually top 5 star or the best available hotels are adopted.
Normally, India Odyssey Tours put breakfast in your itinerary except for in Bhutan (all meals included). Lunch won’t be included for the sake of tour convenience, while dinner is also excluded as some travelers might want a little culinary adventure themselves. But surely your tour guide/driver is always glad to offer their advice.
It is normally served at the hotel where you stay. Depending on the hotel, the breakfast would be in western style, local style, or a combination.
Usually lunch won’t be included considering the fact that sometimes travelers may want to stay somewhere longer/shorter or need other minor changes during daily sightseeing, and it’s better to decide the lunch site then rather than pre-arranging it. For sure our tour guides/drivers will be happy to advice good places to you, and we strongly suggest qualified local restaurant or hotels around the scenic spots for the sake of your health.
Dinners will not be included in your meal plan unless you have that requirement. Enjoying the local food could be one of your best experiences in the incredible India & South Asia. This is why we offer you this flexibility of food choice, and you can always get advice from your tour guides/drivers.
If you have certain food allergies or special requirements such as vegetarian food, let us know. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Private Guide & Transfer
You will have a private tour guide, private driver, and an air-conditioned vehicle escorting you at every destination you travel across South Asia. This will provide you with maximized personal care, security, and flexibility.
All tour guides of India Odyssey Tours are qualified professionals and registered English Speaking Tourist Guides who are reassessed annually. All of our tour vehicles are clean and in excellent condition, manned with licensed & experienced drivers.
You will always be greeted punctually on arrival at each destination airport. At every departure, you’ll be escorted & assisted until you have checked in and passed through the security checkpoint.
All of our tour guides in every destination are locals. Knowing the area well, they are good at guiding you around and telling background stories of the tour sites, as well as showing you the secret spots for best photos.
If any change of itinerary is needed for unexpected reasons, your private tour guides will be more than accommodating in suggesting alternatives to ensure that you always have a wonderful experience.
With our comfortable and safe private transportation, your tour will be more relaxing and less tiresome, keeping you in the best spirits to make the most out of your journey across South Asia.
Your vehicle in each destination is air conditioned, insured, clean, and regularly maintained. Your private driver is licensed and always put your safety first.
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