1. Following the footsteps of Mughal emperors in Delhi
  2. Marvelling at Jaisalmer’s golden havelis
  3. Looking down at Jodhpur's Brahmin-blue houses
  4. An evening boat ride on Lake Pichola
  5. Witnessing a Taj Mahal sunrise

Day 1: Arrive in Delhi

Welcome to India’s thrilling capital – a city of stunning Mughal architecture, bustling bazaars and colonial-era boulevards. On arrival, either relax at your hotel or venture out independently. Overnight at Thikana.

Day 2: Delhi

Explore Old Delhi’s labyrinth-like streets on foot before arriving at the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. After exploring New Delhi by car, the day culminates at Humayun’s Tomb and Qutb Minar. Overnight at Thikana.

Day 3: Delhi to Mandawa

Travel to Mandawa, northern Rajasthan’s must-see destination. Referred to as ‘an open art gallery’, an evening walking tour will bring to life its intricately painted havelis. Overnight at Castle Mandawa.

Day 4: Mandawa to Bikaner

Journey west to the desert town Bikaner, home of the 16th century Junagarh Fort. Before discovering the sandstone structure, visit a local camel research and breeding centre. Overnight at Laxmi Niwas Palace.

Day 5: Bikaner to Jaisalmer

Visit Deshnok’s Karni Mata Temple – also known as the Temple of Rats – en route to Rajasthan’s western frontier and the ‘Golden City’ of Jaisalmer. Overnight at Fort Rajwada.

Day 6: Jaisalmer

Immerse yourself in Jaisalmer’s myriad attractions, from the imposing mirage-like fort to the enchanting Patwon Ki Haveli. End the day with an evening camel ride across the sand dunes. Overnight at Fort Rajwada.

Day 7: Jaisalmer to Jodhpur

Head east to the ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur, whose Brahmin-blue townhouses are best observed from the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, Rajasthan’s most spectacular citadel. Overnight at Ratan Vilas.

Day 8: Jodhpur to Udaipur

Ranakpur’s 15th century Jain temple – one of the faith’s main pilgrimage sites – makes the perfect stop off en route to Udaipur, arguably India’s most romantic city. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at Udai Kothi.

Day 9: Udaipur

Take in Udaipur’s City Palace – perched beautifully on Lake Pichola’s eastern shore – on a morning tour. After visiting the Garden of Maids and Jagdish Temple, the day ends perfectly with an evening boat ride. Overnight at Udai Kothi.

Day 10: Udaipur to Sardargarh

Venture north to Sardargarh, where you’ll spend the night in a wonderfully restored 18th century fort. In the afternoon, you can take a local train through the Aravalli Range. Overnight at Sardargarh Heritage.

Day 11: Sardargarh to Jaipur

Continue north to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital, via Pushkar – a spellbinding Hindu pilgrimage town set around a holy lake, and one of the few places with a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma. Overnight at Shahpura House.

Day 12: 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 13: Jaipur to Agra

Stop off at Fatehpur Sikri, the now-deserted 16th century Mughal capital, en route to Agra. After arriving at the home of the Taj Mahal, the rest of the day is kept at leisure. Overnight at Trident.

Day 14: Agra

Witness the unrivalled beauty of the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Return to your hotel for breakfast before heading across town to Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb – better known as the Baby Taj – and the fairy-tale palaces of Agra Fort. Overnight at Trident.

Day 15: Agra 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
  • Evening tea at Fateh Sagar Lake to watch the sunset
  • Excursion to a remote Rajasthani tribal village
  • Watching out for panthers on a night-time safari
  • Local train ride through the Aravalli Range
  • Ayurvedic massages, cooking classes, yoga and camel rides at Sardargarh Fort
  • Walking tour of Kachhpura village as part of a community development programme
  • Philanthropic visit to an Agra orphanage
  • Dinner with an Indian family in Jaipur

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