Combine the World's leading hotel brands with the beauty of Rajasthan and you create a 24 carat travel experience, the ultimate luxury tour for the first time traveller to India.
Experience the vibrancy and chaos of Mumbai from the moment you land, its slums juxtaposed with luxury life style & the glamour of Bollywood. In complete contrast savour the tranquillity of Udaipur, famed for its lakes and ‘floating palaces,’ before delving into a couple of outstanding wildlife destinations Jawai, famous for its leopard population and Ranthambhore National Park, renowned as one of the best places to spot the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger. Explore the deserts and fortress city of Jodhpur and see the delicate handprints of royal women embedded in the wall before they committed jauhar, before moving onto to experience an exclusive tour of the private access areas of the City Palace of Jaipur. The ultimate finale would be to wake up overlooking the Taj Mahal.
This itinerary is elegant, opulent, magnificent and India, at its very best. Simply contact us for your 24 carat experience.
‘At-a-Glance’ Illustrative Itinerary
DAY 1: On arrival you will be welcomed by one of our representatives and transferred to the Taj Mahal Hotel, the landmark hotel of India. Rest of the day at leisure. Bombay, now known as Mumbai, is an experience unto itself, with an intensity that hits you the moment you land. Bars, restaurants and shops are set side by side with bustling streets, towering skyscrapers, bright neon lights, and the renowned glamorous film industry of Bollywood.
Depending on your arrival time you may wish to take tea at 'Tea at Sea lounge, overlooking the Gateway of India. Alternatively, take a walk along Marina Drive or a horse drawn carriage in the evening. Overnight at the Taj Mahal Hotel.
DAY 2: Your day begins with a visit to 'Crawford Market', one of India's largest wholesale fruit and vegetable markets. Early morning it is at its peak and resemble something out of Victorian London. Continuing in vein of the Victorians you will then moved onto the 'Chhatrapati Shivaji' (formerly Victoria Terminus), one of the world's most spectacular railway stations from where you will witness the fascinating world of Mumbai's suburban railways first-hand and experience what moving 6.9 million commuters daily feels like!
Following lunch you will head to 'Chor Bazaar' or Thieves Market where alleyways of little antique shops selling anything from old ship parts to grandfather clocks; gramophones to crystal chandeliers and old English tea sets. At sunset, take a leisurely stroll by the Gateway of India, built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. Did you know that when the era of British Raj ended in 1947, this was the place from where the last British ship set sail for England. Overnight at the Taj Mahal Hotel.
DAY 3: This morning you will transfer to the airport for your flight to Udaipur and onto your The Oberoi Udai Vilas. Udaipur is considered by many to be the most romantic city in Rajasthan, set amongst rolling hills, with shimmering lakes and fairy-tale palaces. It has the atmosphere of a small town with winding alleyways and tree-lined streets, traffic-free leading to the impressive City Palace, overlooking the famous and legendary “floating” Lake Palace. This evening you can take a romantic evening boat excursion on the river to witness the sunset over the Aravali Hills. Overnight at the Oberoi Udai Vilas.
DAY 4: Today you will enjoy a full day exploring the City Palace, the Crystal Gallery close by and the delightful gardens constructed for forty-eight young ladies in waiting who were sent onto the royal palace as part of a lavish dowry.
The palace is adorned with magnificent paintings, mosaics, intricately carved ‘chhatries’ and of course the architecturally brilliant façade. Alongside the Crystal Gallery showcases a collection of crystals ordered by Maharana Sajjan Singh from F & C Osler in England.
Lunch will be taken with the Bedla family, who have had the distinction of serving their cuisine to Queen Elizabeth, Jacqueline Kennedy and Pandit Jawarlal Nehru the first prime minister of independent India. This is the perfect experience if you love food and want to learn more about how the local gentry live. Overnight at the Oberoi Udai Vilas.
DAY 5 : In the morning, transfer by road, through the beautiful rural countryside to Jawai arriving in time for a delicious lunch, overlooking the beautiful countryside. In the afternoon you will head out to explore this stunning countryside, an area of extraordinary natural beauty with a healthy leopard population and the Rabari tribes, distinctive by the vivid red turbans. Both have lived in harmony together here for centuries. Overnight at the Sujan Jawai.
DAY 6: This morning will be a fabulous game drive in search of the leopard. Other animals which can be sighted are wolf, jungle cat, mongoose and over 170 species of birds. After an early rise you will stop for breakfast served in true safari style on the bonnet of the jeep before continuing on. You will also meet with the Rabari tribesmen, traditionally dressed and herding their cattle. Return to the lodge for lunch. The afternoon can be spent on a guided walk or cycle ride of the region, enjoying a treatment in the spa, lazing by the pool or partaking in an exclusive yoga session, included as part of your stay.
DAY 7: Transfer by road on the short journey to Mihirgarh, located in the desert on the outskirts of Jodhpur for a day of rest and leisure. Overnight at the Mihirgarh
DAY 8: This morning you have the option to take a leisurely morning at the hotel or do one of the excursions on offer such as a jeep safari to see the Black Buck and the Bishnoi Tribes who protect them.
After lunch, proceed to Jodhpur and visit Jaswant Thanda and the Clock Tower Market before your exclusive evening at the Meherangarh Fort, regarded as the most impressive of all the forts of Rajasthan. Not only the best preserved, but the stories that have been woven into its history, Karni Jasol, the curator of the museum will bring those stories to life whilst you enjoy a glass of champagne.The tour ends at Chokelao Restaurant, where, you will be served a traditional Rajasthan Thali dinner on the roof top, overlooked by the floodlit fort.
DAY 9: Today offers you a day to explore, enjoy and experience the beauty of Mihirgarh and its surroundings. You may choose from a royal picnic; riding some of the finest Marwari horses; taking a safari out to a local village. The evening offers an exclusive Shikar Dinner in the dunes, under a star-studded sky. A once in a life time experience. Overnight at the Mihirgarh.
DAY 10: After breakfast, transfer by road to Jaipur, one of the most enticing places in India. Age old forts and majestic palaces overshadow timeless bazaars full of vibrant artisans, textiles, fruit and vegetables, hidden temples and jewellery all of which form an integral part of the city centre. Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, and was meticulously planned with the street width, pavements, building height and the division of blocks are all based on ancient geometric harmony and sound environmental and climatic considerations.
Overnight at the Sujan Rajmahal Palace.
DAY 11: This morning a visit to the Amber Fort will be arranged, via the important Krishna Temple where upon you may see many devotees who meet and chant in unison and pray to their god who only shows for a few minutes at certain times of the day. It is worth spending time at the fort, exploring all of its courtyards and chambers, thereafter we recommend heading up to Jaigarh Fort, offering you a spectacular view down over Jaipur, and the Amber Fort. This location is great for photos and also a sense of perspective and strategy during wars between Hindu Rajput kingdoms and the Muslim armies. In the afternoon, you will be taken on an exclusive tour of the City Palace, with access to normally restricted areas. Overnight at the Sujan Rajmahal Palace.
DAY 12: This morning you will transfer by road to the former hunting grounds of the Maharaja, and the now protected, Ranthambhore National Park. Ranthambore National Park covers approximately 400sq km of rolling hills, grassland, scrub, forest, rivers and lakes and was at the forefront of Project Tiger. Th park has large numbers of various types of deer including Sambar and Chital, and Nilgai as well as lizards however it is the larger predators that are so inviting - Leopards, Hyenas, Jackals, Sloth Bear, Marsh Crocodile and of course the Tiger, for which the park is famous. Once you have checked you will be given a private cookery lesson in the finer points of Rajasthani Cuisine by the executive chef of the hotel. Overnight at the Sujan Shergarh
DAY 13 & 14 : You are now invited to enjoy two full days of morning and evening jeep safaris with excellent naturalists who will take you in search of the elusive tiger, whilst also pointing out the other flora, fauna and bird life of the forest. Overnight at the Sujan Shergarh.
DAY 15 : - And onto the finale of your 24 carat India exploration - Agra and the Taj Mahal the mausoleum built by emperor Shah Jahan for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. During your private tour you will learn that Agra, as a city, was nurtured by three successive Mughal emperors – Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan, during the most glorious era of the Mughal Empire and therefore offers other extraordinary monuments to explore, notably Sikandra, Itmad ud Daula and the impressive Agra Fort.
You hotel for the evening is the outstanding, award winning and sumptuous Oberoi Amarvilas where every room has a direct view over the Taj Mahal.
DAY 16 : Enjoy an early start to visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise, regarded as one of the Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is beautiful for many reasons. One of the delights is that the pure white marble changes colour throughout the day, the sun transforms the mausoleum from a pale pink, pearl grey colour at sunrise through to a bronzed orange at sunset.
After breakfast you will check out of the hotel and continue your travels to Delhi, from where you experience the melting pot of all the traditions and cultures of India. An afternoon tour of Lutyen’s Delhi followed by a visit to Humayun’s tomb will be arranged . Overnight at the Oberoi.
DAY 17 : Today you will depart India having explored the its contrasts from the luxurious palaces to daily street life; from busy cities to enchanting landscapes and cherish memories that will bring a smile long after you have departed her shores.
A private transfer to Delhi International airport for your flight home.