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Destinations Offered > India > The Jewel in The Crown

For the better part of two centuries India was the centerpiece of the British Empire. Although there were other colonies and dependencies in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean, India was always seen as the Jewel in the Crown of England. In those days India was even larger than she is today since it also encompassed today’s Pakistan, Bangladesh and tangentially Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon. This program offers you the chance to revisit many of the key areas although for the sake of time many are excluded. You will however visit iconic names from the past including Delhi, Agra (and its Taj Mahal), Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur. Where appropriate we have included stays in hotels and palaces of the time including The Imperial in Delhi and the Umed Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. In other areas we have included the new palaces of a modern India. Different in style but still creating an aura of elegance and grandeur that will forever be India.

14 Days:$7,949 per person inclusive of superior rooms in deluxe hotels and palaces, most meals, personally guided sightseeing and private car and driver. International airfare is additional. Participation is limited to six guests

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Personal Highlights:

• Thrilling Rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of “Chandni Chawk”
• Visit to Taj Mahal at sunrise and from your balcony at sunset
• Elephant Ride with Lunch at Dera Amer, Jaipur
• A private boat cruise on Lake Pichola in Udaipur
• Visit to Ranakpur Jain Temple complex with lunch at Fatehbagh Palace

Day 1 Depart USA

Today you depart on your overnight flight to Delhi the capital city of India and a charming blend of historic past and vibrant present so much so the that city is informally divided into Old Delhi and New Delhi.



Day 2 Welcome to India

You arrive late in the day and are met by your guide who will assist you in getting to the car that will take you to The Imperial, where a good night's rest awaits


Day 3 Introduction to Delhi

Since you arrive in Delhi late in the previous day, we have left the entire morning free for you to catch up on your sleep. After lunch, your guide will pick you up for a personalized introduction to Delhi. You will visit Humayun's Tomb, the first major example of Mughal architecture in India and an inspiration for the Taj Mahal. You will also visit the site of the cremation of Gandhi, the non-violent leader of Indian independence. Tonight enjoy an intimate welcome dinner at the hotel's famed restaurant " The Spice Route" considered as one of the top ten restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Traveler.

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Day 4 Highlights of Imperial Delhi

After breakfast you will be taken on a guided tour of Jama Masjid followed by a thrilling Rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of heritage bazaar the " chandni Chawk" known as silver street.You will see the old fort built in 900 BC with walls close to a mile in length. you will also see the famous red fort named for the red stone from which it was built.You then explore the highlights of New Delhi noted for its wide avenues and mix of classical Mughal architecture and the design of the British Raj, particularly those buildings designed by Sir Edwin Luytens, the chief architect of Imperial India. During our trip we will view India Gate, Luytens' memorial to the over 70,000 Indian soldiers killed in World War I and also home to the eternal flame honoring Indian soldiers who died during the 1971 war with Pakistan. We will also see Rathtrapati Bhavan which was built in 1929 as the home of the British Viceroy. At its peak, it took 2,000 people to maintain it. After lunch you return to the hotel to relax or enjoy its many amenities


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Day 5 A Scenic Drive to Agra

After an early breakfast, your guide is waiting with your car for the drive through the Indian countryside to reach Agra, site of one of the most recognized monuments in the world, the Taj Mahal. Your lunch at the hotel offers you the  first chance to view this great edifice since your hotel is about 2,000 feet from the monument and all rooms overlook it. In the afternoon, your guide will take you on a privately guided tour of the Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort of Agra because of its sandstone facade. More than a fort, it was a combination of fortified palace and city. At one time it was made up of over five hundred buildings. Since this was the place from which the Mughal leaders ruled India, it is considered one of the most significant forts in India.

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Day 6 Enjoying Agra and the Taj Mahal

This morning you will rise early to join your guide for a tour of the Taj Mahal at sunrise when the sun's rays create ever changing colors in the marble. After your tour you return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, your guide will take you to visit Itmad-ud-Duala's Tomb, a Mughal mausoleum described as a " jewel box" and sometimes called the " Baby Taj" since the tomb is often regarded as the prototype for the Taj Mahal. In the afternoon you have some free time for shopping.  A pleasant town with a languid pace of life, Agra is renowned for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes. You will have dinner at the hotel this evening but prior to dinner you may want to consider taking a horse-drawn carriage to see the Taj Mahal at sunset. Because of its marble walls, its changes color based on the positioning of the sunB, D

Day 7 Journey to the “Pink City”

You have the chance to view the Taj Mahal at dawn either from your room or in the restaurant over breakfast but then it will be time for your driver to pick you up for your next destination the “pink city” of Jaipur. On the way, however you stop to visit the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. Built in red sandstone in a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture, the city was built by Emperor Akbar to be a sister capital to Agra but was abandoned fourteen years after its creation supposedly because of a lack of water. Today it is a ghost city but its architecture is in perfect condition. After the visit you have lunch at the Laxmi Vilas Palace before arriving in Jaipur. Founded in 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, Jaipur is a labyrinth of fascinating bazaars and opulent palaces resplendent with tales of valour and romance. After a chance to relax and freshen up, enjoy dinner at the hotel.         B, L, D

Day 8 The Amber Fort, Palace of the Winds and an Elephant Safari

Since it was color-washed in pink to celebrate a visit by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, Jaipur has been nicknamed the "pink city". Your exploration today will take you to the Amber Palace which you enter on an Elephant. Inside the fortress are amazing rooms inlaid with precious stones. You will  then visit the Hawa Mahal or "Palace of the Winds", five stories of intricate carving from which former members of the royal household, particularly the veiled ladies of the harem, could observe the "common folk' at the nearby markets. After your visit you will head to Dera Rawaster for  lunch. In the afternoon you  will also visit the City Palace and its display of ancient weaponry and the 18th century observatory, the Jantar Mantar. some of the instruments at the observatory are still used today to forecast the weather. Tonight you have the opportunity to try one of Jaipur's fine restaurants.

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Day 9 Chhatra Sagar and the Road to Jodhpur

In the morning, your driver will be at the ready to drive you to Jodhpur located strategically on the overland trade route. Along the way you will stop at an oasis called Chhatra Sagar which is anchored by a lake created by a dam built across a stream back in the late 19th Century. The area was used as a hunting lodge by the Maharajahs and they used luxury tents to maintain the atmosphere. The property is now run by the grandchildren of the original owners and they have created a luxury tented camp by the lake. After a refreshing break, you continue on to your luxury hotel built for a MaharajahB, D

Day 10 The Architecture and Markets of Jodhpur

This morning, your guide will be waiting to show you two of Jodhpur's most noted edifices. The first stop will be the Mehrangarh fort that towers over the city and many consider it to be the most majestic of Rajasthan's forts. As you will discover, the forbidding ramparts are in sharp contrast to the flamboyantly decorated palaces within. After a tour of the fort your guide will take you to Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. the memorial is an architectural landmark in Jodhpur, built out of carved sheets of marble. You return to your palatial hotel for lunch and then your guide on a walking tour of the local market area.B, L

Day 11 Udaipur and the Jain Temples of Ranakpur

After breakfast, your driver will be ready to take you to Udaipur via Devi Garh where you will take time to visit the famous Jain temples of Ranakpur.  These temples are entirely surrounded by a wall and are noted for their 1,444 columns, all intrcately carved and none the same. After visiting the temple you continue on to Fathebagh Palace where you stop for lunch. After lunch you continue your journey to the delightful city of Udaipur the historical capital of the former kingdom of Mewar.The city is dominated by the City Palace overlooking Lake Pichola, with the colorful bazaars of the old city stretching behind. Your hotel is located overlooking Lake Pichola and is ranked as the best leisure hotel in Asia by the readers of Conde Nast TravelerB, L, D

Day 12 Exploring Udaipur and Cruising on Lake Pichola

This morning your guide who will take you on an exploration of Udaipur starting with the City Palace, a fascinating combination of Rajput military architecture and Maghal style decorative techniques. It is a conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. After touring the palace you will next visit the walled city of Bagore ki Haveli. Built in the 18th Century it is now a museum and is characterized by the narrow lanes within whose colorful chaos stands in contrast to the serene beauty that lies outside the walls. After lunch you have the chance to relax and perhaps take a swim in the pool. In the early evening you will board your private boat for a cruise on Lake Pichola. Upon returning to land the rest of the evening is freeB, L

Day 13 Relaxing in Udaipur and Returning to Delhi

Your morning and afternoon are at leisure allowing you the opportunity  to enjoy the serenity of Udaipur. You can relax at your hotel enjoying the mountain and shore views or choose to go to the mainland for some last minute shopping. In mid-afternoon you will be driven to the airport for a flight to Delhi. Since your international flight will leave early in the following morning we have booked you a room at a hotel close to the airport where you can relax and have a quiet dinner.                   B, D

Day 14 Return to USA

You will be escorted to the airport and assisted with check-in for your flight back to the USA where you arrive back later that same day.
Days 2 - 4

The Imperial
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Considered to be amongst Asia’s finest hotels, The Imperial is a legend that offers a unique experience embracing facets of India’s history. The 24 king palms, that lead up to the porch, stand a witness to the creation of New Delhi. Conceptualized in 1934 by Blomfield and inaugurated by Lord Wiilingdon in 1936, it was in Lutyen's scheme of things to build the most luxurious hotel in New Delhi. As New Delhi’s landmark Hotel, it is located on Janpath, the erstwhile Queensway. It is steps away from the renowned shopping district and major city attractions and a half-hour drive from the international airport.
Days 5 - 6

Oberoi Amarvilas
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Enjoy the luxury of your own private view of the greatest monument to love. The Oberoi Amarvilas is located 600 meters from the Taj Mahal, all our rooms, suites, lobby, bar and lounge offer breathtaking views of the monument. Built in a style inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture, the resort is a splendid display of terraced lawns, fountains, reflection pools and pavilions with rich interiors that take you back to an era of Emperors and Princes. An interlude at The Oberoi Amarvilas is truly unforgettable.
Days 7 - 8

Oberoi Raj Vilas
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Rated amongst the leading resorts in the world, The Oberoi Rajvilas is a unique way to experience Jaipur, one of India’s most vibrant and exotic destinations. Located in 32 acres of beautiful gardens, pools and fountains, in the peaceful Rajasthani countryside, the hotel is an oasis of elegance and luxury. All rooms have large four poster beds and sunken marble baths overlooking private walled gardens. Air-conditioned luxury tents have embroidered interior canopies, old style baths and outdoor decks. The hotel offers a range of activities to relax and recharge. Rejuvenate yourself with a holistic treatment at the Oberoi Spa or get in touch with your inner self with a yoga session. A unique way of life awaits discovery in this magical region of Rajasthan. The Oberoi Rajvilas is the perfect hotel in Jaipur to begin and end your experience of this city.
Days 9 - 10

Umaid Bhawan Palace
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Perched high above the desert capital of Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Palace is the last of the great palaces of India and one of the largest residences in the world – set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens. Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, grandfather of the present Maharaja of Jodhpur, this golden-yellow sandstone monument was conceived on the grandest possible scale, in the fashionable Art Deco style of that time. After 15 years in construction, the 347-room palace was finally completed in 1943 – and has served as the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family since. Designed by renowned Edwardian architect Henry Lanchester, the palace is a blend of eastern and western architectural influences. Its majestic 105-foot high cupola is influenced by the Renaissance, while the towers draw inspiration from Rajput tradition. The lavish interiors with gilt furniture and elegant artwork follow the Art Deco style, complemented by the exotic murals of the self-exiled Polish artist Stefan Norblin.
Days 11 - 12

Oberoi Udaivilas
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Udaipur, in the heart of Rajasthan, is a city of majestic palaces and beautiful lakes. Here, adorning the banks of Lake Pichola and standing witness to the historic City Palace, The Oberoi Udaivilas captures all the romance and splendor of a royal era. Conceived as a traditional Indian palace, The Oberoi Udaivilas showcases the rich heritage of the Mewar region of Rajasthan with its rambling courtyards, gentle rippling fountains, reflection pools and verdant gardens. An enchanting boat ride across Lake Pichola transports you to the ceremonial welcome that awaits you at the resort. Rooms with terraces that open on to semi-private swimming pools present exquisite views and are a unique feature of Udaivilas. Fine international cuisine, authentic flavors of Rajasthan or a quiet drink are all presented with views of the City Palace and Lake Pichola. The luxurious spa with its own swimming pool overlooks the lake and is a haven of serenity. Trained therapists pamper body and soul with rejuvenating treatments. The resort also offers the opportunity to undertake private Yoga, meditations and Pranayam sessions with the resident Yoga teacher or explore the city steeped in the romance of the oldest living dynasty in the world. At The Oberoi Udaivilas, the magnificent setting combines with royal service to make your holiday a journey into the romance and grandeur of another century. This resort offers an experience created exclusively for those who know there is nothing like too much luxury
Day 13
Gurgaon, Delhi

The Trident (Dayroom)
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The award winning Trident, Gurgaon, is set amongst 7 acres of landscaped gardens, walkways, courtyards, reflection pools and fountains. Its resort like ambience includes 129 rooms, 6 executive suites and a presidential suite. The Trident, Gurgaon has been voted “India’s Leading Hotel” at the coveted World Travel Awards 2007.