Day 1 – USA to New Delhi
Today you will begin your Swain Destinations customized itinerary. Please note, international air has not been included in this package price.
Day 2 – Welcome to New Delhi, India
You will be met and assisted at the International airport by a representative upon arrival and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel.
If trees and streets could talk, the stories that would pour out of Delhi would keep listeners mesmerized for years. After all, this is one of the world’s oldest cities, inhabited continuously from as far back as 2 BC. It has been the capital of dozens of empires, the royal playground for hundreds of kings, the site of furious battles and devastation, and the center always of intrigues and power struggles that sought to control the rest of the country.
There are few ways to get a better introduction to the country than from a visit of its capital Delhi — no better insight into the diversity that is India. Immensely old and gleamingly modern; wide open spaces with bungalows and gardens at one end and narrow streets overflowing with shops and houses and people at the other; with a rich cultural heritage behind it and yet firmly placed in the 21st century when it comes to technology and business. Starting Accommodation:
Day 3 – New & Old Delhi City Tour
Start your day with a visit to Old Delhi to the 17th century Jama Masjid or Friday Mosque. This grand mosque with imposing marble domes and twin minarets was built in 1656. A magnificent flight of sand stone steps lead to the great arched entrance.
Enjoy an exhilarating rickshaw ride from Jama Masjid through the narrow lanes of the old city, Chandni Chowk, to the ramparts of the Red Fort. The Bazaars of Old Delhi are legendary with narrow streets lined with shops and goods spilling onto the pavements.
Late afternoon, proceed to Humayun’s Tomb, the 16th Century tomb of the second Mughal Emperor Humayun. Tucked away in the heart of Delhi, this treasure trove of history spreads over 100 acres of beautiful greens. This was the first garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent and is said to have inspired the design of the Taj Mahal. Ironically this first expression of the Mughal Empire grandeur in India is also associated with the empire’s tragic end with the capture of the last Mughal Emperor and his three sons in 1857.Starting Accommodation:
Day 4 – New Delhi to Agra
Agra is famous the world over as the home of the magnificent Taj Mahal which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The city is also laden with smaller architectural treasures. It is famous for marble carvings, semi-precious stones, and silk embroidery. This charming city never ceases to amaze with its heady mix of history and culture. The drive today is around 5 hours.
Agra Fort Tour
This afternoon visit Agra Fort, built in 1565 by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar and developed later by his successors. The fort was a military structure and later partially became a Palace during the reign of Emperor Shah Jehan.Starting Accommodation:
The Gateway Hotel Fatehabad Road
Day 5 – Taj Mahal Tour
Often considered the pinnacle of Mughal art in India, the Taj was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. When declaring it a world heritage site, UNESCO described it as “the jewel of Muslim art in India”. There are few words that can describe the magnificence of this monument. Its beauty is at its best if viewed at sunrise, sunset and on full moon nights.
This afternoon visit Itimad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb, described as a “Jewel Box in Marble”. The small yet elegant tomb of the Lord Treasurer of the Mughal Empire was built in 1622 by his daughter, Nur Jehan, who was Emperor Jehangir’s favorite wife.Starting Accommodation:
The Gateway Hotel Fatehabad Road
Day 6 – Agra to Ranthamnbore
Drive to Bharatpur with a stop en route to Fatehpur Sikri; the 16th century capital that the Mughal rulers abandoned due to water scarcity in the area. The great Mughal Emperor Akbar had a dream to build a beautiful capital city that the world would remember. The result was Fatehpur Sikri, built entirely of red sandstone about 25 miles from Agra. It was Akbar’s capital for 15 years, abandoned after his death in 1585.
In the afternoon transfer with assistance to Bharatpur Railway station to board your train for Ranthambore.
A prime example of India’s conservation efforts, Ranthambhore National Park covers 820 miles and is home to jackals, panthers, abundant bird life, and the world-renowned “friendly tigers”. Watch as a tiger languidly stretches in the midday sun unperturbed by visitors, or sit back and take in the wild beauty of verdant bush as it creeps towards dense forest on a jeep safari. For a slower pace, visit the park’s creeper-covered 10th century fort and make an offering to Ganesh, the elephant headed god of good fortune.
Day 7 – Game Viewing Safari
The dry deciduous valley of Ranthambhore, spanned by the Aravali and Vindhya ranges and traversed by the Chambal river, is home to mammals like Sambar deer, monkeys, leopard, Sloth bear, Spotted deer, blackbuck, blue bull, hyena, mongoose and tiger. The place abounds in the scenic beauty and is a refuge for both the carnivorous and herbivorous animals.
Enjoy a morning and evening Jeep Safari into the Ranthambore National Park with an English-speaking Naturalist guide.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Ranthambhore to Jaipur
Drive time today is around 4 hours.
A labyrinth of fascinating bazaars, opulent palaces and historic sights, Jaipur is often called the ‘Pink City’ because its prominent buildings are washed in this color. It is the first planned city of North India and designed in accordance with ‘Shilpa Shastra’, an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. The city is today a unique synthesis of the traditional and modern. The new city has spacious roads dotted with upscale luxury showrooms and the old city abounds with congested colorful bazaars. Providing a stunning backdrop to the city are the ancient forts and palaces which create a dramatic picture of a bygone era.
This evening is at leisure to wander through the bazaars of old Jaipur known for its arts and crafts – the bazaars are colorful, noisy and happily chaotic. Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Explore Jaipur
Visit the sprawling hilltop, Amber Fort with its royal apartments, halls and dramatic views. It is superbly located and protected by wild Aravali Hills on all sides. The citadel was established in 1592 by Raja Mansingh I on the remains of an old 11th century fort.
On your return visit the City Palace which was an integral part of Raja Sawai Jai Singh’s new city of Jaipur. Today it’s a museum that displays some of the finest collection of paintings, costumes, carpets and armory of that period.
Nearby is the ornate Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) – a delightfully idiosyncratic five-tier composition of arches and balconies and the Astronomical Observatory built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh II is amongst the most accurate and well kept.Starting Accommodation:
Day 10 – Jaipur to Udaipur
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Udaipur. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by private vehicle.
Udaipur, the fairly-tale city, with its marble palaces and lakes, surrounded by a ring of hills was founded in 1559. The city is dominated by the massive City Palace which overlooks Lake Pichola with its romantic island palaces. Picturesque havelis and temples line the lake front with the lively bazaars of the old walled city stretching behind them. The city’s inherent romance and beauty and its remarkable past continue to enthrall one and all.Starting Accommodation:
Day 11 – Udaipur City Tour
This morning explore the City Palace, a blend of stern Rajput military architecture on the outside and lavish Mughal inspired decorative art on the inside. This is the largest palace in Rajasthan covering an area of 5 acres and built between the 16th and 20th centuries.
The older section of the City Palace complex dates back to 1568 and has a maze of royal apartments and courtyards. They are linked to each other by narrow passages, a typical feature of Rajput Palaces of that period, designed to confuse invaders.Starting Accommodation:
Day 12 – Udaipur to Mumbai
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by private vehicle.
Mumbai revels in its reputation as one of India’s most dynamic and trendy cities. Crammed onto a narrow strip of land that curls from the coast into the Arabian Sea, Mumbai has metamorphosed from being a fishing settlement into a sprawling megalopolis of 16 million people. Mumbai has an enduring ability to create wealth. This is why; here you would find people from all backgrounds, all classes and all social strata coming together in search of economic prosperity and growth. Not to forget, the lure of fame and fortune that pulls one and all to this center of Bollywood entertainment.Starting Accommodation:
Hilton Towers Mumbai
Day 13 – Mumbai City Tour
Enjoy a city tour which includes the ‘Dhobi Ghat’ a huge open air laundry, Mahatama Gandhi’s House, the bustling bazaar around Crawford Market and the beautiful Jain Temple on Malabar Hill.
Today you will also witness the unusual site of Mumbai’s ‘Dhabawallas’ at work. Watch the lunch boxes being sorted for delivery from private homes to the work place. This 100 year old management system of collecting, sorting and delivery of over a million boxes is flawlessly executed on a daily basis.Starting Accommodation:
Hilton Towers Mumbai
Day 14 – Mumbai to USA
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.