A&K Essential India - True Luxury at an Incredible Price
Stunningly beautiful and spiritually diverse, India entices with its vivid sounds, smells, and colours.
Tailored for travellers with limited time, this private journey weaves its way through the famed cities of India’s Golden Triangle.Contrast the grand avenues of New Delhi with the chaotic lanes of bustling Old Delhi. Savour traditional chai and tasty street foods and marvel at Agra’s iconic Taj Mahal bathed in a soft glow at sunrise and sunset. In Jaipur, discover India’s handmade traditional treasures and try your hand at block printing.
DATES AND PRICES
from only $2,220 per person
Season 1: 1/10/2019 -14/4/2020* Twin Share: $2,745 - Single Supplement: $1,875 - Only departs on Friday
Season 2: 15/4/2020 - 30/9/2020 Twin Share: $2,220 - Single Supplement: $1,350 - Only departs on Friday
Season 3: 1/10/2020 -20/12/2020 Twin Share: $2,910 - Single Supplement: $1,990 - Only departs on Friday
*Not available 20 Dec 2019 – 09 Jan 2020.
Discover the secrets of Old Delhi by foot and cycle rickshaw ● Stroll through Delhi's open-air art district with a design graduate ● Capture the Taj Mahal and witness sunrise before the crowds ● Admire the rich handicrafts of Jaipur and sample the city's famous street food ● Visit a Jaipur community school being supported by A&K philanthropy
ESSENTIAL INDIA: RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK POST-TOUR EXTENSION
For those in search of tigers, Ranthambore National Park offers some of the best opportunities in India to see this elusive creature in the wild. Stay in a former Maharajah's hunting lodge and enjoy early morning and afternoon game drives.
3 days, from AU$850
ESSENTIAL INDIA: UDAIPUR POST-TOUR EXTENSION
Udaipur is one of Rajasthan's most beautiful cities, built around shimmering, clear blue water lakes which reflect the green hills of the Aravali ranges. 3 days, from AU$1,100.
ESSENTIAL INDIA: VARANASI POST-TOUR EXTENSION
Discover one of the world's oldest cities and the heart of spiritual India steeped in legend and traditions. Varanasi is intoxicating and is sure to awaken all of your senses. 3 days, from AU$1,110
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
Namaste and welcome to Delhi, India's northern gateway. On arrival enjoy a warm A&K welcome and private transfer to your luxury accommodation in the heart of New Delhi.
Contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis and showcase of 21st century India, yet it still wears its history well in the form of the monuments, ruins and remains of the seven cities built here by successive dynasties between the 11th and 17th centuries before the British declared New Delhi – Edward Lutyens’ monument to the late Empire – the capital of India in 1911.
Taj Mahal, New Delhi (Deluxe Room)
Day 2: Delhi
Begin your Indian adventure with a morning drive through the majestic boulevards of New Delhi to Humayun’s Tomb, the first Persian-style garden-tomb to be built in India and considered a marvel of Mughal architecture.
Continue down Raj Path (the royal path) to India Gate, a majestic arched monument commemorating the Indian soldiers who laid down their lives fighting in World War I. At the far end, located on Raisina Hill, sits the spectacular residence of India’s President.
Art aficionados will rejoice with a stroll around India’s first open air public Art District. Join a design graduate on a walk around the open-air Lodhi Art District absorbing their creative insight on the eye-catching murals. Savour traditional North India and Kashmiri cuisine over lunch at Chor Bazaar before handcrafting your afternoon in this surprising city with optional experiences (additional charge). Take a spiritual journey with a visit to the Lotus and ISKON Temples for an understanding of the Bahia faith and the Hare Krishna. Or, join a passionate home cook at a spice-filled local market before seeing the ingredients transformed into delicacies in her home.
Taj Mahal, New Delhi (Deluxe Room) | Meals: BL
Day 3: Delhi
Start your day in Old Delhi, with a visit to the Jama Masjid, commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal. Stand in the courtyard, soak in the atmosphere of India’s largest mosque which can accommodate 25,000 people and has stood proudly for more than 350 years.
Later, stroll through the mosaic of lanes and by-lanes of Old Delhi, observing the old havelis (private courtyard mansions), and stop to refuel on masala chai and jalebi (traditional India sweet sugar syrup coated fritter). Hop aboard a cycle rickshaw and venture into the markets of Chandni Chowk, before exploring Asia’s largest spice market, Khari Baoli. Wander among the aromatic stalls and discover the importance of spices in Indian cuisine, culture, and even in its healing traditions.
Drive past the Red Fort, the impressive residence of the Mughal Emperors until 1857, whose imposing ramparts have borne witness to some of the most important cultural and political events in India’s long history. Arrive at Bangla Sahib, one of the most significant Sikh temples in the country with its majestic golden dome. Join devotees in the community kitchen (langar) that serves free meals to thousands of visitors each day.
Spend the afternoon at leisure, taking an opportunity to explore the city on your own or simply relax and enjoy the legendary service and hospitality in your luxury accommodation.
Taj Mahal, New Delhi (Deluxe Room) | Meals: B
Day 4: Delhi - Agra
Bid farewell to India's resplendent capital and travel overland to Agra, home to the Taj Mahal. Check in to your hotel before heading out to explore the busy streets, hidden lanes, bustling spice markets, mosques and temples of old Agra, learning about the architecture, history and age-old traditions of this iconic city. Continue to the former imperial city of the Mughal rulers, the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Venture within its red sandstone walls to discover a labyrinth of highly decorated palaces and ornate marble mosques built by the great Mughal emperor Akbar I.
Explore the gardens and architecture of the Baby Taj (the Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah) a perfect jewel box of a mausoleum built in the decade before the Taj Mahal was commissioned, and finish your day on a high, visiting Mehtab Bagh (Moonlight Garden) where you are treated to a view of the Taj Mahal across the Yamuna River.
Taj Hotel & Convention Centre, Agra (Deluxe Room) | Meals: B
Day 5: Agra - Jaipur
Rise early to visit the Taj Mahal as the morning light bathes the marble dome and minarets in a soft glow. Commissioned in 1632 by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz this magnificent white marble symbol of love is an architectural marvel. Return to your hotel for breakfast, before travelling by road to Jaipur. En route take a photo-stop at the majestic Chand Baori stepwell in the village of Abhaneri, one of the largest and oldest in the world.
Enjoy a late afternoon walking tour of the Pink City, starting at Hawa Mahal, to witness how the locals live. A city of treasures, Jaipur offers a dazzling immersion into the riches of traditional Indian handicrafts. Observe silversmiths and bangle makers at work, visit artisan outlets, craft shops, and street vendors and sample some of the region’s culinary delicacies. Later, you are welcomed into a local home to experience traditional Indian hospitality.
Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur (Luxury Room) | Meals: B
Day 6: Jaipur
Start your day by taking to the skies above the Pink City in a hot air balloon. Float gently over surrounding mountain ranges, colourful fields and traditional villages (additional charge).
After breakfast, explore the impressive Amber Fort, begun in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh, a noted Rajput general and added to by successive rulers. Discover richly decorated and designed palace complexes built from yellow and pink sandstone, white marble and covered with inlaid panels and mirrored ceilings. Stroll through courtyards and enjoy the views from the palace ramparts.
Seek out the fascinating Anokhi Museum located in a restored haveli and learn about the traditional art of block printing, popular in Rajasthan and neighbouring states. Various methods of block printing are showcased, which you may also try your hand with the help of an expert.
Afternoon at leisure to relax or choose an optional activity (additional charge). Wander through the 18th century Jantar Mantar and discover its collection of architectural astronomical instruments then enjoy insider access to the City Palace of Jaipur; or take part in a Rajasthani craft workshop. Be it blue pottery, puppet making or meenkari jewellery you will be taught by the finest artisans and traditional craftsmen in a bespoke workshop.
Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur (Luxury Room) | Meals: B
Day 7: Jaipur - Depart Delhi
Enjoy the morning as your own before a visit to Digantar, a local school supported by A&K Philanthropy. Digantar aims to provide equitable opportunities for people in the area, and its skills development program empowers youth to become entrepreneurs, offering training in sewing, plumbing, carpentry and other useful trade skills.
Later receive a private transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi to connect with your international flight or continue onward to your post-journey extension.