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Spotlight on India

12 days with Tauck   Rating: Deluxe

Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Arrive New Delhi
Tour begins: Leela Palace Hotel, New Delhi. A transfer is included from Indira Gandhi International Airport to your landmark hotel, Leela Palace Hotel in New Delhi, renowned for gracious service in the heart of the city. Due to flight schedules, you will probably arrive at the hotel after midnight local time. You may want to travel a day early to ease the effects of jet lag and relax a bit before Tauck's India tour begins - just mention this at the time of booking; Tauck can book your international flights for travel originating in the U.S. and can arrange an extra night at Leela Palace Hotel. ()

Day 2 Explore New Delhi, where old & new converge
Discover the contrasts of Delhi with a local guide on a drive through the Secretariat buildings, Parliament House, Presidential Palace and the iconic India Gate, a colossal monument inspired by the Arc d'Triomphe in Paris. See the ancient Qutb Minar Victory Tower - the tallest minaret in India, surrounded by medieval ruins - and Humayun's Tomb, modeled on the vision of a garden of paradise. At Gandhi Smriti, visit the home where Mahatma Gandhi was staying when his life was ended by an assassin; the house and its tranquil grounds are now a museum and Ghandi's room is preserved as it was in his lifetime. Join us this evening for a welcome reception and dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 3 Delving into the past in Old Delhi
Explore Old Delhi's labyrinthine streets for a compelling look at 17th-century mansions, mosques and temples. Visit the massive 16th-century Red Fort - once the residence of Mughal emperors, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and Raj Ghat, the memorial set on the site of Gandhi's cremation. The rest of the day is free to spend as you wish. (B)

Day 4 Rituals on the River Ganges in Varanasi
Your flight to Varanasi takes you to the city traversed by the River Ganges; considered the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi is home to numerous religious sites that have been welcoming pilgrims as far back as 6 BC. With a guide, visit the ruins, temple and museum at Sarnath, the site of Buddha's first sermon, and the National Museum. The River Ganges not only supports the highest density of humans in the world but is considered sacred by Hindus; witness the fascinating activity along the river's ghats (stairs that line the banks) - from purification rituals to laundry; it is a moving and memorable experience. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Sunrise Ganges cruise and off to Agra and the Taj Mahal
Rise early for a cruise on the River Ganges to view the Varanasi sunrise ceremonies, then fly to Agra for a two-night stay and tomorrow's visit to one of the world's most famous and recognizable buildings, the Taj Mahal. An incredible domed mausoleum complex of white marble, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to memorialize and house the tomb of his beloved third wife and completed in 1653, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture - and yes, you'll have a view of it from your room in your award-winning luxury hotel, The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra. (B, L, D)

Day 6 Wonders in Agra - the Taj Mahal & Agra Fort
You'll see it first from your hotel, enjoying a privileged location next to the mesmerizing Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture. Your guided visit to the Taj Mahal this morning reveals the love story behind the white marble wonder, as well as the unique design and relief work in marble and inlay with precious and semi precious stones that make it a monument apart. Sightseeing continues at the 16th-century Red Fort of Agra, near the gardens of the Taj Mahal. This red sandstone fortress encompasses the imperial city of the Mughal rulers, home to fairy-tale palaces and two very beautiful mosques made of pure marble. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this red sandstone city is remarkably preserved today. Dine at a choice of hotel restaurants tonight. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Enjoy the royal treatment in Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur for a two-night stay in a luxury Oberoi hotel, arriving in time for lunch. This afternoon, join us for a guided visit to the magnificent City Palace Museum; inside are exhibits of historic royal costumes that include exquisite Pashmina shawls and silk saris. At the Jantar Mantar Observatory, discover astronomical skills that impress with the accuracy of instruments dating to the early 18th century. A special Maharajah evening includes entertainment, music and dance. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Jaipur's glittering palaces & pavilions
The massive gateways, pavilions and palaces of Jaipur's Amber Fort are an interesting blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture, set against rugged hills. Inside forbidding walls meant to protect its 16th-century occupants, discover a palace whose walls are covered with paintings, carvings, precious stones and mirrors. Following a guided tour and lunch at the Raj Palace, you'll have the rest of the day to explore Jaipur as you wish. (B, L, D)

Day 9 Fly to Udaipur
A flight from Jaipur to Udaipur today is rewarded with a three-night stay at your luxury Oberoi hotel, nestled along the banks of Lake Pichola and spread over fifty acres, which includes a twenty-acre wildlife sanctuary with deer and wild boar. Consistently voted among the top luxury hotels in the world, The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur is a destination experience unrivaled anywhere - while Udaipur itself is a Rajasthan city of palaces and lakes, often called the "Venice of the East" and the "Most Romantic City in India." Dinner is at your leisure in your hotel, named India's best hotel by Condé Nast Traveler and 4th in the world's top 100 hotels. (B, L, D)

Day 10 Lake Pichola cruise & Udaipur's temples & palaces
A leisurely cruise on Lake Pichola sets the stage for an Udaipur sightseeing tour with our local guide. Visit the 18th-century fountain gardens of Saheliyon Ki Bari, and the Jagdish Mandir Temple. View the City Palace, a labyrinth of richly decorated courtyards, frescoed galleries, and marble temples that was once home to the Maharajah of Udaipur. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, then join us for a demonstration in the art of donning a sari and a turban before dinner at Royal Repast, a restaurant owned by descendants of the Bedla clan who have played a significant role in the affairs of the Udaipur State. Such was the faith of the Maharana of Udaipur that the Bedlas served as Prime Ministers, valued advisors, commander in chief of armed forces and hosted all the dignitaries visiting Udaipur as state guests. (B, L, D)

Day 11 Udaipur's markets & the city at leisure
Today's sightseeing begins in Udaipur with an auto-rickshaw ride around the city's bustling spice and vegetable markets, for an insightful glimpse into everyday life in Udaipur. In the vegetable markets, women in brightly colored saris sit amongst the stalls, surrounded by baskets brimming with their fresh and equally colorful produce, while burlap bags or metal pans entice with a kaleidoscopic array of curries and spices. The rest of the day and evening are free to explore more of this "City of Lakes" as you wish. Due to its many picturesque locations, Udaipur has supplied scenic backdrops to many a film or television show over the years; portions of movies including Darjeeling Limited, Opening Night, Heat and Dust, Octopussy and Gandhi, plus the TV miniseries The Jewel in the Crown, were filmed here. Enjoy dinner at the hotel tonight. (B, D)

Day 12 Fly to Dehli for your journey home
Fly to Delhi; transfer to the Trident, Gurgaon, close to the Indira Gandhi International Airport, where rooms are reserved for your comfort. Tour ends: Delhi. Most international flights depart early the next day. (B, D)
All This Included
Timeless cities... thousands of years of compelling history. Breathtaking architecture, like the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. Dramatic, sun-drenched landscapes... a rich mix of local cultures and cuisines... and age-old spiritual traditions on the ghats along the River Ganges. From bustling Delhi to mystical Varanasi and the "Pink City" of Jaipur, to Udaipur, the "City of Lakes," northern India invites you to discover these treasures on a 12-day trip perfect for the traveler with less time to spend. Experience contrasting images of the capital, Delhi, old and new. Sail on the Ganges in Varanasi to witness holy men "putting the river to sleep." Travel to Agra to visit the famous Taj Mahal... which you can see from your hotel room! Celebrate India's culture and cuisine among Jaipur's pavilions and palaces at a special Maharajah evening in Jaipur. Spend three nights at The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, voted Travel + Leisure's "World's Best Hotel." Throughout, you'll enjoy accommodations in some of the world's top-rated hotels... dine on local specialties... and discover the heart and soul of India in a way you never dreamed possible!
  • Multiple-night stays at three hotels ranked among the 15 "World's Best" hotels by the readers of Travel + Leisure - The Oberoi Udaivilas, The Oberoi Rajvilas and The Oberoi Amarvilas (offering unparalleled views of the Taj Mahal)
  • Three nights in the "City of Lakes," Udaipur, including a sari & turban demonstration and an auto-rickshaw tour of the city's spice and vegetable markets
  • Two nights in Jaipur, highlighted by a visit to the Amber Fort and a Maharajah evening featuring dinner and entertainment
  • Boat ride on the River Ganges, providing an opportunity to experience revered, centuries-old traditions in Varanasi
  • A visit to walled Old Delhi, brimming with 17th-century havelis (mansions), temples, mosques and rickshaws
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • 29 meals (11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners); gratuities to local guides, service charges, admission fees, taxes and porterage
  • Multiple-night stays at hotels consistently on "world's best" lists including The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra (with Taj Mahal views from your guest room) and The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur
  • A boat ride on the Ganges in Varanasi to witness spiritual traditions
  • Special Maharaja evening in Jaipur
  • Sari and turban demonstration in Udaipur
New Delhi: The Leela Palace New Delhi
Varanasi: The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi
Agra: The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra
Jaipur: The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur
Udaipur: The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
  • On tour airfare of $560 is not included.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.