1. Discovering the spice markets of Old Delhi
  2. Sampling traditional family food in a Punjabi kitchen
  3. Witnessing the ethereal beauty of the Taj Mahal
  4. Watching out for wild tigers in Ranthambore
  5. Riding an elephant to Jaipur’s hilltop Amber Fort

Day 1: Arrive in Delhi

Welcome to India’s spellbinding capital – a city of beautiful Mughal architecture, bustling bazaars and colonial-era houses. On arrival, either relax at your hotel or venture out at your own pace. Overnight at Thikana.

Day 2: Delhi

Take a guided walking tour of Old Delhi’s labyrinth-like streets before visiting the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. Next, explore imperial New Delhi by car, stopping off at Humayun’s Tomb and Qutb Minar en route. Overnight at Thikana.

Day 3: Delhi to Jarar

Travel to Jarar near Agra, your base for exploring the National Chambal Sanctuary – home to Ganges river dolphins, marsh crocodiles, 320 bird species and eight types of turtle. Overnight at Chambal Safari Lodge.

Day 4: Jarar to Agra

Embark on a day trip to Agra, beginning at the fairy-tale palaces of Agra Fort and culminating at the timeless Taj Mahal – described by Rudyard Kipling as “the embodiment of all things pure”. Overnight at Chambal Safari Lodge.

Day 5: Jarar to Bharatpur

Consider a morning safari on the Chambal River – one of India’s cleanest waterways – before travelling to Bharatpur via Fatehpur Sikri, the now-deserted 16th-century Mughal capital. Overnight at Laxmi Vilas Palace.

Day 6: Bharatpur to Ranthambore

Take a cycle rickshaw ride through Keoladeo National Park at sunrise before journeying to Ranthambore, Rajasthan’s best place for wild tiger sightings. The evening is spent at leisure. Overnight at Nahargarh Ranthambhore.

Day 7: Ranthambore National Park

Embark on a game drive through Ranthambore National Park, watching out for wild tigers, leopards, sloth bears, jungle cats and a variety of birdlife. Overnight at Nahargarh Ranthambhore.

Day 8: Ranthambore to Jaipur

Consider another morning visit to Ranthambore National Park before heading to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital. The afternoon is kept free for relaxation or independent activities. Overnight at Shahpura House.

Day 9: Jaipur

Visit the hilltop Amber Fort after breakfast – climbing to its summit on foot or the back of an elephant – before heading to the City Palace and the Rajput-era Jantar Mantar observatory. Overnight at Shahpura House.

Day 10: Jaipur to Delhi

Drive to Delhi before connecting to your international return flight.

Activities to consider

  • Walking tour of Delhi led by street children, courtesy of the Salaam Baalak Trust
  • Traditional Punjabi family meal and cooking lesson at Mrs Kidwai’s Kitchen
  • Guided tour of the Bateshwar temple complex
  • Philanthropic visit to an Agra orphanage
  • Safari on the River Chambal followed by a nature walk
  • Dinner with an Indian family in Jaipur

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