Exquisite India


Exquisite India offers a sensory journey through regal Rajasthan, the lush wilds of Ranthambhore, the magnificent monuments of Agra, Orchha and Khajuraho, and holy Varanasi – all in deluxe style, with a hint of adventure.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Delhi (2N) - Udaipur (2N) – Rarla Narlai (1N) -Jodhpur (2N) - Jaipur (2N) - Ranthambore (2N) - Agra (2N) - Khajuraho (1N) - Varanasi (2N) - Delhi (1N) - New Zealand

Days 1-2: New Zealand to Delhi
Fly to Delhi for a two-night stay. On arrival you will be accompanied by one of our experienced guides to your hotel. Depending on airlines schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2.
Days 1-2: New Zealand to Delhi
Day 3: Discover Delhi
Take a stroll along Chandni Chowk and the maze of old alleyways to admire the magnificent Jama Masjid followed by Lakshmi Narayan Temple. Cross into New Delhi and take the Rajpath past India Gate to see Rashtrapati Bhavan and Qutub Minar. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Discover Delhi
Days 4-5: Romantic Udaipur
Transfer to the airport to fly to Udaipur. The city is set on the shores of Lake Pichola and is considered India’s most romantic. (B,L). The following day drive around Fateh Sagar Lake before visiting the Folk Museum, Mewar Art Gallery and the city and lake palaces and Sahelion Ki Bari garden. Dinner will be on the Sunset Terrace at the Fateh Prakash Palace, which has perfect views across Lake Pichola. (B,L,D)
Days 4-5: Romantic Udaipur
Day 6: Rawla Narlai
Transfer by road to Rawla Narlai. A small settlement off the regular tourist trail, walk through the village with a guide from the local shepherd community to visit houses and drink tea with the villagers. A beautiful candlelit dinner will be served by the village stepwell. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Rawla Narlai
Day 7: Mehrangarh Fort
Transfer to Jodhpur. The city is dominated by the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, which perches on a sandstone plinth in the centre of the old town. This evening you will visit for a private walking tour followed by a glass of champagne and dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Mehrangarh Fort
Day 8: Jodhpur
The day begins at Jaswant Thada, a cluster of cenotaphs built in 1899, before heading up in to the hills to Umaid Bhawan Palace. Back in the city take a rickshaw ride then wander amongst the stalls of a local vegetable and spice market. Take dinner in Hanwant Mahal, a former royal residence. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Jodhpur
Days 9-10: Jaipur, The Pink City
Drive to Jaipur. The ‘Pink City’ is a place of extravagant architecture and frenetic street life. Head into the old town to browse the local market, before a cooking demonstration and dinner at Ikaki Niwas. (B,L,D) The next day, sightseeing will include Hawa Mahal – the Palace of the Winds, the Maharaja’s Palace and Jantar Mantar Observatory, as well as the formidable Amer Fort. Return there this evening for a night tour before dining at the 1135 AD restaurant, inside the highest ramparts. (B,L,D)
Days 9-10: Jaipur, The Pink City
Days 11-12: Ranthambore
Drive to Ranthambore National Park home to many animals such as leopards, hyenas, bears and tigers; and enjoy a canter safari this afternoon. (B,L,D) The next day, you will have both morning and afternoon safaris, meaning more opportunities to spot wildlife. (B,L,D)
Days 11-12: Ranthambore
Day 13: Fatehpur Sikri
Depart Ranthambore and transfer to Agra via the ghost city, Fatehpur Sikri. Continue to Agra and enjoy dinner and the show ‘Mohabbat the Taj’ this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 13: Fatehpur Sikri
Day 14: The Taj Majal
Today view India’s most iconic sight, the Taj Mahal. Witness the shifting colours of the white marble at sunrise and discover the story of Shah Jahan and his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. Visit a marble inlay workshop before heading to UNESCO-listed Agra Fort, a Mughal monument built in the 16th century. Take a rickshaw ride and browse the exotic spices of a local market. (B,L)
Day 14: The Taj Majal
Day 15: Medieval Orchha
Rise early to board the Shatabdi Express train to Jhansi. Continue to Khajuraho with a stop in Orchha, a medieval city, famous for its palaces and temples built by the Bundela rulers of the 16th century. Continue to Khajuraho and view a cultural dance performance. (B,L)
Day 15: Medieval Orchha
Day 16: Khajuraho Temples
The intricately carved temples of Khajuraho, built between the 10th and 12th centuries, display some of the finest temple art in the world. Next. fly to the sacred city of Varanasi, and take an atmospheric evening rickshaw ride through the narrow streets and witness a Puja ceremony. (B,L)
Day 17: Varanasi
An early morning cruise on the Ganges reveals the buzz of activity on the ghats at sunrise. Visit the Buddhist sights of Sarnath, a series of magnificent stupas, temples and ruins to explore dating from the 3rd century BC. Return to Varanasi to discover some of the cities many temples and learn about the art of silk weaving. (B,L)
Day 17: Varanasi
Day 18: Travel to Delhi
This morning is at leisure, before your flight back to Delhi for a farewell meal. (B,D)
Day 18: Travel to Delhi
Days 19-20: Fly Delhi to New Zealand
This morning is at your leisure until your transfer to Delhi airport to board your flight to New Zealand, arriving the following day. (B)
Days 19-20: Fly Delhi to New Zealand

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Single Hotel room Option from $3,540
Land Only (Delhi to Delhi), 18 days from $11,080 per person twin share
Additional charges: Tipping - US$125 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in India and you will find high quality coverage. India has active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and India is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over India where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
 
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
 
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades from Varanasi in the north or Kanchipuram in the south, tie-dyed cottons from all over Rajasthan, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets from Darjeeling or Dharamshala, or the woollen shawls pashminas of Kashmir and Ladakh.
 
There is also the heavy and elaborate silverwork of Rajasthan, “spring picked” tea from the hill stations, and the spices, wooden carvings or facemasks of Kerala.
 
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in India. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes a combination of western and local dishes. As traditional in this region, lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group.
 
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big. In tourist centres, some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars and tea/coffee from home.
 
Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.
 
Tea is very popular and Indians simply love visiting the many street stalls which brew chai (also known as masala), a sweet, spiced tea brewed with boiling milk. Hotels will usually serve tea and instant coffee at breakfast or other meals – you can usually request the chai or masala style tea as well.
Packed meals: On some days, your National Escort/Guide may arrange for a simple, packed meal for your group. It may be a matter of schedule (on long driving days), hygiene (on train journeys), or your location (in remote areas) and we ask you to bear this in mind. Although this is not a full meal, most of our passengers seem to enjoy this change from the large portions and more elaborate banquets enjoyed most days.


Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable for those with a reasonable amount of time available to travel and who are looking to tour the most iconic and popular destinations and cities in India. This tour is a luxury tour and is suitable for the more discerning traveller.

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