Inspiring India


India, with its diversity of colours, culture and heritage, is one of the world's most inspiring destinations. Explore the charms of Delhi, see the Taj Mahal at sunrise, search for tigers in Ranthambore and soak up the extravagance of Rajasthan on one extraordinary itinerary.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Delhi (2N) - Agra (1N) - Ranthambore (2N) - Bundi (1N) - Udaipur (2N) - Pushkar (1N) - Jaipur (2N) - Delhi (1N)

Day 1-2: New Zealand to Delhi
Fly overnight to Delhi for a two night stay. Depending on airlines schedules, you may depart and/or arrive on Day 2
Day 3: Discover Delhi
A city equally chaotic and charming, Delhi grabs hold of you and doesn't let go! Spend a full day exploring the sights of Old Delhi: pass the colossal Red Fort, browse the bustling bazaar of Chandni Chowk, visit India's largest mosque, Jama Masjid, and view the 1930s Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple. Crossover into New Delhi to make a brief stop at India Gate, and visit Humayun's Tomb and the Qutab Minar, before some time to browse in Connaught Markets.
Day 4: Agra
Drive to Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal. On arrival, visit the Itmad-ud-Daulah, nicknamed the Baby Taj, an exquisite marble tomb that predates the Taj Mahal and is thought to have inspired it. You’ll also explore the hulking mass of red sandstone that is Agra Fort, which sits on the banks of the Yamuna River. The Fort was established in the 16th century but has been much added to over time, making it an eclectic mix of architectural styles.
Day 5: Taj Mahal
Rise early to see the sun rise over India’s most iconic sight. At dawn, the Taj Mahal is swathed in mist and tinged pink by the rising sun – seeing it is a magical experience. Head to the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri, a spectacular, abandoned array of Mughal palaces and temples. Continue by road to Ranthambore National Park.
Day 6: Tigers of Ranthambore
Enjoy both morning and afternoon canter safaris through the national park, keeping your eyes peeled for tigers! There are around 50 majestic Bengal tigers that are living amongst Ranthambore’s undulating landscapes, as well as leopards, nilgai, sloth bears, wild boar, hyena and over 300 species of bird.
Day 7: Bundi's Stepwells
Travel to one of Rajasthan’s hidden gems, the captivating Bundi, a town that is dominated by its immense fort. Within the fort walls is a beautiful palace, Badal Mahal, famous for its painted murals. Stroll through the town to the unique step wells – a vital source of water in the past, and a breathtaking sight today.
Day 8: Chittor Fort
Depart Bundi and drive to Udaipur, with a stop en route at Chittor Fort. One of the largest forts in India, Chittor sprawls across a hilltop overlooking the town of Chittorgarh. Its precinct contains grand old palaces, gates, temples and towers – its magnificence has been inspiring travellers and artists alike for centuries. Continue to Udaipur where, later this afternoon, you’ll cruise on Lake Pichola, admiring the city’s palaces from the water, including the incredible Lake Palace.
Day 9: Discover Udaipur
Today you will explore the city, starting with a drive around Fateh Sagar Lake and stops at the Folk Museum, Mewar Art Gallery and Sahelion Ki Bari Garden. Later visit the ornate City Palace and take a stroll through the local shops.
Day 10: Travel to Pushkar
Travel by road to Pushkar. Sat on the banks of one of India’s most sacred lakes, there are 52 ghats built on the edge of the water, used for bathing by Hindu pilgrims, which are backed by hundreds of blue-washed temples. Take a walking tour of the vibrant market and admire the Brahma Temple, the city’s most important temple, and one of few in the world dedicated to the deity many Hindus believe is the creator of the universe.
Day 11: Jaipur
Travel to Jaipur, the ‘Pink City’ and Rajasthan’s capital. On arrival, visit two of the city’s top sights, the Maharaja’s City Palace, still the home of the city’s royal family, and Jantar Mantar Observatory, a fascinating collection of instruments designed to measure the heavens.
Day 12: Amer Fort
Begin the day with a brief photo stop at Hawa Mahal, the iconic ‘Palace of the Winds’, before travelling out of the city to admire the majestic Amer Fort, the colossal 16th century yellow and pink sandstone fort just 11 kilometres out of Jaipur. Back in the city, head to a craft centre to learn about traditional artistries such as block printing and carpet weaving before browsing the local bazaar at Choti Choper.
Day 13:Return to Delhi
Travel back to Delhi, where tonight you'll enjoy a farewell meal with you group.
Days 14-15: Depart Delhi for New Zealand
After breakfast, enjoy some leisure time before transferring to your flight to New Zealand, arriving home the following day

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 $750
Land Only (Delhi to Delhi), 13 days from $3,480 per person twin share
Additional charges: Tipping - US$90 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.
08 & 15 Mar 19 departures coincides with Holi Festival celebrations and sightseeing may be affected
28 Feb & 6 Mar 20 coincides with Pushkar Fair (subject to change)

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.


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