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:
Maidens Hotel (B)
Day 4 – New Delhi to Bandhavgarh
Today an English-speaking representative will meet you in your hotel lobby at a predetermined time. You will be transferred directly to the airport. You will fly from Delhi to Jabalpur and transfer by land to Bandhavgarh. The drive from Jabalpur to Bandhavgarh takes 5 hours. There will be a packed breakfast.
Once you arrive in Bandhavgarh the afternoon is at your leisure.Starting Accommodation:
King's Lodge (B, D)
Day 5 – Activities in Badhavgarh
Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the most popular national parks in India. It is located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968 within an area of 105 sq km. Bandhavgarh used to be the hunting ground of the Maharajas of Rewa and their old fort is still a prominent sight in the forest. The Park has a large breeding population of leopards, and various species of deer. Today you will enjoy a morning and afternoon jungle safari accompanied by a naturalist to guide you and provide information about the different wildlife and species you will come across.Starting Accommodation:
King's Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Bandhavgarh to Varanasi
Morning after early breakfast drive to Khajuraho. On arrival Khajuraho transfer with assistance to the Airport to board your flight for Varanasi. On arrival you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel.
In the evening visit the riverside to witness the Aarti Ceremony, the evening ritual performed on the steps of the Dasashwamedha Ghat.Starting Accommodation:
Day 7 – Activities in Varanasi
Rise early and head to the river to board your small boat at dawn. You will be in the perfect spot to watch the colorful Ghat slowly come to life, as pilgrims begin to bathe themselves in the holy river. Observe colorful sadhus meditating on the banks of the river and the elderly Hindu ladies bathing in their saris, this is an iconic experience of real India. Walk through the narrow lanes of Varanasi to see life around the riverside.
After breakfast visit Sarnath located on the outskirts of the city where The Buddha is said to have delivered his first sermon after achieving enlightenment. It is here that he preached his first five disciples on the four noble truths who then carried his message to the rest of the country.
Visit the Stupa, monasteries, temples and Archeological Museum exhibiting a superb collection of Buddhist artifacts depicting important events in the life of Buddha.
Afternoon visit to Benares Hindu University and Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum.Starting Accommodation:
Day 8 – Varanasi to Agra
Transfer with assistance to the airport to board your flight for Agra. On arrival in Agra you will be met and transferred to the hotel.Starting Accommodation:
Day 9 – Agra Touring
This morning explore the majestic Agra Fort. Built in 1565 by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar and developed later by his successors followed by shopping. This original red sandstone fort built by Moghul Emperor Akbar in 1565. The Forts maze of courtyards, its marble mosque and lavish private chambers reflect the grandeur of the Mughal Empire.Starting Accommodation:
The Gateway Hotel Fatehabad Road (B)
Day 10 – Agra to Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri
Meet your guide, who will take you to visit the Taj Mahal for sunrise. An extravagant marble monument of love, built by Shah Jehan in 1653 as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal. It took 22 years and 22,000 craftsmen to build. Poets have romanticized it, visitors have been held spellbound by the charm of this delicate vision in white marble. Such is the beauty of the Taj Mahal situated on the banks of river Yamuna.
Morning after breakfast drive to Bharatpur enroute visit Fatehpursikri, lunch at Bharatpur.
Continue drive to Jaipur and on arrival check into your hotel.Starting Accommodation:
Dera Mandawa (B, L)
Day 11 – Amer Fort Tour
Amer Fort Tour Morning, proceed for an excursion to Amer Fort, which is located 12 kms outside Jaipur. The original Palace was built by Raja Mansingh and later additions were made by Sawai Jai Singh. One of the finest example of Rajput architecture, it was the ancient capital of Kaisshawah rulers. Enjoy the ascent to the Palace on the back of a brightly caparisoned elephant. Visit the multiple chambers and hallways of the palace which are famous for their design and decorations. This unique capital of the erstwhile warrior kings of Rajasthan is a must on every tourist itinerary to the state. Elephant Safari It is a 15 minute ride from Jaipur city to enjoy a private elephant safari through the somnolent countryside. This would be followed by either lunch or dinner.
In the afternoon option to explore the colorful, chaotic bazaars of the city.Starting Accommodation:
Dera Mandawa (B, L)
Day 12 – City Palace and Jantar Mantar Tour
Proceed for a city tour to visit the unique Jantar Mantar, which is a magnificent stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728 and drive past the Hawa Mahal, an intriguing 'Palace of Winds'. This was really a facade built in 1799, to allow royal ladies to view the city from the windows. Later visit the opulent City Palace, the former royal residence built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal style which has grand museums displaying an excellent collection of miniature paintings, costumes and armory.Starting Accommodation:
Dera Mandawa (B)
Day 13 – Jaipur to USA (via New Delhi)
An English-speaking representative will meet you in your hotel lobby at a predetermined time. You will be transferred directly to the airport.Starting Accommodation:
The Gateway Hotel Fatehabad Road (B)