Explore India’s most popular itinerary with a different approach. Explore old and new Delhi, the stunning Taj Mahal and Agra, and the Pink City of Jaipur. Our exploration includes a specialist food-focused walking tour of Old Delhi, a visit supporting a wildlife rescue organisation, and a dinner with a local family in Jaipur, where you will also tour with a special community-based NGO.

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Pink City Rickshaw ride, Jaipur

Chef’s walk in Old Delhi

Sunrise at the Taj Mahal, Agra

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Day by day Itinerary

Authentic Golden Triangle

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Day 1

Delhi

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in downtown Delhi. (B)
 

Day 2

Delhi

This morning begin your exploration of the remarkable history of Delhi. The rich history of this city (or cities, depending on your historical gaze) makes it hard to select a day of highlights, but any visit has to include Old Delhi. This maze of cluttered trading lanes and bazaars holds so much of Delhi’s living history, from celebrated restaurants and food stalls dating back to Moghul rule, to the country’s finest spice vendors, silversmiths and more.
We explore this endlessly fascinating area via a local chef. Walking through crowded street markets in the old city, this is a unique chance to understand the city’s history through its food. We will visit 6-9 different food operations, each one of  in business for decades, some being as old as 120 years. We will walk through some landmark markets, lively markets, ride rickshaws, walk a bit and sample delicious street food of Old Delhi. Even if you choose not to try, the stories and sights and sounds will bring the city’s history to life and prepare you for the delicious cuisine ahead on your travels in India.  

Continue on towards British-built New Delhi, passing Connaught Place its former centre, for a visit to the Gurdwara Bangla Sahib. This beautiful Sikh place of worship is one of Delhi’s best known, and visitors are warmly welcomed by the Sikh community. You can also see the langar, the community kitchen which is a feature of Sikh gurdwaras - where the community feeds 10,000 people every day , the food cooked by volunteers in the hug kitchen.

In the afternoon, you will tour New Delhi.  Pass the iconic government buildings – including the President’s House, Parliament, India Gate and others – as you are driven towards one of the great monuments of Delhi’s past – the tomb of Emperor Humayun. Humayun’s Tomb is the first distinct example of the Mughal style strongly influenced by Persian architecture, and is famous as the precursor to the Taj Mahal. The grounds are extensive, beautifully laid out in the Mughal style, and offer a peaceful escape from the never-ending activity of the Delhi beyond its walls.
 
 

Day 3

Delhi to Agra

This morning you will be met and transferred to Agra, about 3 hours depending on traffic conditions.
On arrival, check in to your hotel before a tour of the Agra Fort. When the Mughal Emperor Akbar established his supremacy in Northern India, he began his first architectural venture, rebuilding the Agra Fort as a beautiful fort palace. The work was completed by his son and grandson, highlighting the Mughal’s ability to blend defensive and
decorative architecture.

Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, spent the last years of his life here, imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. Today this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of several on this itinerary. (B)

Day 4

Agra & Wildlife SOS

This morning rise early to experience the magic of the Taj Mahal, at sunrise. A symphony in white marble, a tribute to eternal love, it was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. 22 years of construction (1630-52 AD) and over 20,000 workers and craftsmen from across Asia, the Middle East and Europe were required for its completion.  The main structure is set amidst landscaped gardens, and on three sides it is surrounded by high walls, at the rear bound by the river Yamuna.  Though the Taj appears to be amazingly perfect from almost any angle, the close-up marble inlay work is equally astounding.

Return to your hotel for a late breakfast, and afterwards continue to Wildlife SOS. Wildlife SOS, on the outskirts of Agra was started in order to rescue the dancing bears which plied the roads and villages of this region. Thanks to the organisation’s efforts, the last dancing bear was rescued in 2009. There is also a separate centre dedicated to elephant rescue and rehabilitation, with most of the animals coming from temples and circuses. Tour the centre, take part where possible in some of the day to day activities such as food preparation, and learn and see more of this incredible animal welfare success story. (B)
 

Day 5

Agra to Jaipur

This morning depart for the drive to Jaipur, entering the famed desert state of Rajasthan. Stop to explore the ancient Indian system of water conservation at ­ Baori, Abhaneri, and see the beautiful stepwell and adjacent temple – Harshad Mata Mandir. This is one of the most spectacular and largest surviving stepwells, and dates back over 1200 years. After the visit, continue on by road to Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan and one of India’s most colourful and popular cities.

On arrival in Jaipur, check in in at your hotel. This evening, enjoy a delicious dinner with a local family in the old city, sampling delicious Rajasthani cuisine and learning about family life in Jaipur. (B, D)
 

Day 6

Jaipur

Jaipur - the vibrant capital of Rajasthan renowned for its forts and palaces is popularly known as the ‘Pink City’ because of the pink-colored buildings in its old city.

Jaipur’s incredibly rich history has produced hundreds of spectacular buildings = the City and Rambagh Palaces, Amber Fort and the landmark Hawa Mahal ‘Palace of the Winds’ are amongst its most spectacular. Browsing through the city’s renowned markets, where skilled craftsmen display jewellery, paintings, carvings and colourful textiles, is a highlight for keen shoppers.  

This morning visit the magnificent Amber Fort. We take a jeep to ascend to the fort’s rear entrance (we discourage elephant back riding at the fort as part of our animal welfare commitments).After exploring the fort, proceed to the Old City. Step into the Jantar Mantar, by the City palace, with its centuries old astronomical equipment.
Your guide will walk you around the City Palace, now a public museum, which lies in the heart of the old Jaipur city. Marvel at the magnificence of Rajasthani architecture and artistry that blends seamlessly with distinct Mughal influences. The palace, which was once the private royal museum of art and artefacts from world over is now open to public. You will also see the Hawa Mahal, the iconic Palace of the Winds, with its distinctive honeycomb design. Finish your city tour in unique fashion, with the Pink City Rickshaw Co - a unique initiative which aims to provide employment opportunities to women from low income households in Jaipur. Using custom designed, environmentally-friendly e-rickshaws, you will be proudly driven around the old city by your Pink City rickshaw owner. (B)

Day 7

Depart Jaipur

After breakfast, your tour ends with either a transfer to Jaipur Airport or the return drive to Delhi, which takes around 5-6 hours. (B)
 

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