A Splash of colour in Rajasthan

A Splash of Colour in Rajasthan Experience the iconic destinations of Delhi, Agra, Ranthambhore National Park and Udaipur

Your journey at a glance

Travel to five of India’s most iconic destinations on this incredible 12-day journey that offers the spectacular opportunity to delve into the country’s rich cultural and natural heritage. Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, embark on a jungle exploration to the tiger haven

of Ranthambhore National Park, stand in awe of the Taj Mahal, visit the temples and city palaces of Udaipur, and immerse yourself in the colourful celebrations of the Holi Festival in Jaipur

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What to expect …

Transfer to Hotel Day 1

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Upon your arrival in bustling Delhi, you will be warmly welcomed by a representative from &Beyond who will assist you through the customs / immigration and baggage collection process. Afterwards, you will be chauffeured to your hotel, the Oberoi Gurgaon.

Overnight in Delhi Day 1

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This award-winning hotel is conveniently located just fifteen minutes from Delhi’s international and domestic airports, and thirty minutes from central Delhi, in Gurgaon – the business and commercial centre of Delhi’s National Capital Region.

Spread over nine acres, the Oberoi Gurgaon is an urban sanctuary defined by bespoke design features. Its high ceilings and open spaces, filled with natural light, afford refreshing views of the hotel’s vast, azure reflection pool and verdant green wall. The hotel also offers an art gallery, salon and a luxury retail arcade.

Spend two nights at the Oberoi Gurgaon. Accommodation is in a Deluxe Room. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Plunge deep into the beating heart of Delhi Day 2

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Today, after a wholesome breakfast, you will kick-start your adventure in India with a guided tour of Old and New Delhi, which includes:

  • The Chandni Chowk: Take a rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk – once the grandest of markets in India. Even though today Chandni Chowk appears choked with congestion, it retains its historical character.
  • Spice Market: Khari Baoli is a street in Old Delhi known for its wholesale grocery and Asia’s largest wholesale spice market selling all kinds of spices, nuts, herbs and food products like rice and tea. The market has been in operation since the 17th century.
  • End your tour of Old Delhi with a visit to the Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of the region. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, and completed in the year 1656 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India. It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk.After your tour of Old Delhi, you will embark on an excursion to New Delhi, which includes a stop at:
    • Agrasen ki Baoli, an ancient stepwell and protected monument. This unique structure has three levels that feature arched areas, which were used as a resting place or an area for meetings. At the centre of the building lies a well.

    You will also have the opportunity to drive past the following sites:

  • India Gate: This 42metre stone arch stands at the eastern end of the Rajpath. It bears the names of 85 000 Indian soldiers who died in the campaigns of WW I, the North West frontier operations of the same time, and the 1919 Afghan fiasco.
  • Rajpath: The Kings Way is another focus of Lutyens New Delhi. It is immensely broad and is flanked on either side of ornamental ponds. The Republic Day parade is held here every year on 26 January.
  • Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidential House): The official residence of the President of India stands at the opposite end of the Rajpath. Completed in 1929, the palatial building boasts an interesting blend of Mughal and western architectural styles, the most obvious Indian feature being the huge copper dome. To the west of the building is a massive Mughal garden, which is only open to the public in February. Prior to independence this was the viceroy’s residence.

Journey to Agra Day 3

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Today, after a delicious breakfast you will be collected for your journey to Agra. Upon arrival, you will be assisted with your check in at the Oberoi Amarvilas.

 

Overnight in Agra Day 3

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The city of Agra flourished under the patronage of the emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan and attracted artisans from Persia and central Asia. Agra is where Emperor Shah Jahan engraved his immortal love for his Empress in marble, the Taj Mahal. The city is still famous for its spectacular handicrafts such as inlay work on marble, carpets, jewellery, zari and embroidery work.

The Oberoi Amarvilas is located just 600 meters from the Taj Mahal. All of its rooms, suites, and main guest areas offer breathtaking views of the monument. Built in a style inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture, the hotel will take you back to an era of Emperors and Princes. An interlude at The Oberoi Amarvilas is truly unforgettable.

The city of Agra flourished under the patronage of the emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan and attracted artisans from Persia and central Asia. Agra is where Emperor Shah Jahan engraved his immortal love for his Empress in marble, the Taj Mahal. The city is still famous for its spectacular handicrafts such as inlay work on marble, carpets, jewellery, zari and embroidery work.

The Oberoi Amarvilas is located just 600 meters from the Taj Mahal. All of its rooms, suites, and main guest areas offer breathtaking views of the monument. Built in a style inspired by Moorish and Mughal architecture, the hotel will take you back to an era of Emperors and Princes. An interlude at The Oberoi Amarvilas is truly unforgettable.

After settling in at the hotel and freshening up, you will be collected for an interpretive tour of the city, where you will have the opportunity to discover the red sandstone Agra Fort and marvel at the Taj Mahal at sunset.

  • Agra Fort: The red sandstone Agra Fort was renovated and converted into a palace during Shah Jahan’s time, and reworked extensively with marble and pietra dura inlay. Notable buildings in the fort include the Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-e-Am and Diwan-e-Khas (halls of public and private audience), Jehangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal (mirrored palace), and Musamman Burj.
  • Taj Mahal. Said to be one of the most elegant and a harmonious building in the world, Taj Mahal is the manifestation of the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in its architecture, garden design, painting, and calligraphy.

Spend one night at the Oberoi Amarvilas. Accommodation is in a Premier Room. Your stay is on bed and breakfast Basis.

Revisit the Taj Mahal by sunrise Day 4

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It’s an early start today as you revisit the Taj Mahal by sunrise – you will feel like you have the monument all to yourself. Afterwards, return to the hotel for breakfast before you board a train to Ranthambhore. Upon arrival in Ranthambhore, you will be collected and driven to the Oberoi Vanyavilas.

Overnight in Ranthambhore Day 4

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Nestled on the edge of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, the spectacular Oberoi Vanyavilas boasts luxury tents with finely embroidered canopies, luxurious bathrooms and private walled gardens. The resort setting is picture-perfect with a dramatic watercourse and sun-kissed private decks.

One of India’s most popular nature reserves, Ranthambhore National Park is known for its small population of friendly tigers, who do not seem to shy away from the approach of humans. Tucked between the rugged Aravalli and Vindhya hills, the reserve also boasts a spectacular landscape filled with border-strewn highland plateaus, lakes and rivers.

After settling in at the hotel, you will have the opportunity to embark on a jungle drive within the park.

Spend three nights at Oberoi Vanyavilas. Accommodation is in a Luxury Tent with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Discover the ruins of a mighty fort Day 5 - 6

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Spend the next few days exploring the national park on morning and afternoon game drives. At the centre of the park lie the ruins of the 10th century Ranthambore Fort, which overlooks the leafy forests from its perch atop a dramatic rocky outcrop. Apart from its tigers, Ranthambore boasts a healthy population of spotted chital deer, nilgai, jackal, jungle cats, sambar, chinkara gazelle and wild pigs, as well as the slightly rarer sloth bear.

Drive to Jaipur Day 7

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Today, after your morning jungle drive, you will be collected for your drive to Jaipur, where you will be staying at the elegant Oberoi Rajvilas.

Overnight in Jaipur Day 7

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Recreating the magnificence of princely Rajasthan, in a beautiful fort setting, with Jaipur as its backdrop; the Oberoi Rajvilas is set in 32 acres of landscaped gardens with pavilions and reflection pools that create the romance and grandeur of Rajasthan. All rooms have large four poster beds and sunken marble baths overlooking private walled gardens. Air-conditioned luxury tents have embroidered interior canopies, old style baths and outdoor decks.

Founded in 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, Jaipur is where modernity and tradition exist side by side. The walled city, vibrant with colours, houses the City Palace, an astronomical observatory and a bustling bazaar where artisans fashion puppets, silver jewellery, lac bangles and other handicrafts in their workshops. At a short distance is the Amber Fort Palace at Amber.

Spend three nights at the Oberoi Rajvilas. Accommodation is in a Premier Room. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Walk in the footsteps of royalty Day 8

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Gain a glimpse into the bygone lives of royals at the magnificent Amer Fort and marvel at the ancient art of hand printing at the Anokhi Museum.

The historical Amer Fort enjoy a beautiful setting high on a hill, looking out onto Maota Lake with its garden island. Just 11 kilometres (7 miles) from the pink city of Jaipur, the fort is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begun in 1593 but fully completed in the 18th century, the Fort boast four quarters, each of which has a private courtyard. True to the style of its time, the Fort features a sandstone and marble design, with massive bulwarks and gates that open up onto charming cobbled pathways. An architectural masterpiece, the Fort makes the most of the breeze from the nearby lake by channelling it into the palace and using it as a natural cooling system. The palace and the Fort are linked by a concealed passageway, meant as an escape route in case of war that would allow the royal family and others in the Amer Fort to seek refuge in the formidable Jaigarh Fort located deeper in the same mountain range.

Within walking distance of the Amer Fort, the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing is situated in a beautifully restored mansion, or haveli. Dedicated to the history of hand printing, it features displays such as block printed textiles, old photographs, antiquated wood and brass tools, and other objects that provide a window into this ancient craft. The art of block textile printing can be traced back centuries and is by far the oldest form of textile printing. It was practised across the East by imprinting various patterns onto textiles by means of chiselled wooden blocks. Today, India is one of the largest producers and exporters of block printed fabrics in the world. The museum also houses contemporary textile works, featuring pioneering designs fashioned by talented artisans. The structure in which the museum is housed was carefully restored by expert craftsmen using traditional materials and designs, earning a well deserved UNESCO award for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

Celebrate the festival of Holi Day 9

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Today, you will have the unforgettable opportunity to celebrate the festival of Holi, with an Indian Family in Jaipur. While learning about the stories associated with this age old Hindu festival, and dancing to the beats of Indian music, revel amidst the festival goers as they splash each other with organic colours. Afterwards, spend some time engaging with your host family over a delicious, authentic meal.

Holi: The festival of fun, frolic and colours is celebrated every year in the month of March. On Holi, Hindus gather together with family and friends to splash coloured powder and water on each other. Traditional food specialities such as gujiya and mathri, as well as various beverages, are served on the day.

Transfer to Udaipur Day 10

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Today, you will be collected for your flight to Udaipur. Upon arrival, you will be chauffeured to the beautiful Oberoi Udaivilas.

Overnight in Udaipur Day 10

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Adorning the banks of Lake Pichola and standing witness to the historic City Palace, The Oberoi Udaivilas captures all the romance and splendour of a royal era. Magnificently decorated suites with private swimming pools and outdoor dining pavilions ensure an exclusive and memorable stay.

Udaipur is known by many names – City of Sunrise, Jewel of Mewar and City of Lakes. Undoubtedly one of India’s most romantic cities, it nestles between the glassy waters of its famous lakes and the ancient Aravalli Hills. Although it is one of Rajasthan’s largest cities, modern Udaipur manages to retain a charming small town vibe.

After settling in, embark on an afternoon boat excursion on the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. An unforgettable sight on Lake Pichola is the island of Jag Mandir, where Maharana Karan Singhji built a palace in 1622 AD, for royal parties and functions. This magnificent monument with its domes, marble pillars and fountains; also features a row of marble elephants that seem to be guarding the island.

Spend two nights at Oberoi Udaivilas. Accommodation is in a Premier Room. Your stay is on bed and breakfast basis.

Venture through the City of Lakes Day 11

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Udaipur lies in the Indian state of Rajasthan and was established nearly half a century ago, in the Rajput era. The city is positioned alongside the blue waters of Pichola Lake, and against the backdrop of the wooded Aravalli Hills. Referred to as The City of Lakes, Udaipur is renowned for its artificial bodies of water, as well as the royal City Palace, which stretches gloriously over a vast compound of palaces, landscaped gardens and courtyards decorated with sophisticated mosaics.

Embark on a city walk in the midst of these architectural wonders and meet the city’s enchanting residents, listening to tales of Udaipur’s rich, artistic legacy.

Begin the tour at the Gadiya Devra temple before heading off to the steps of the Gangaur Ghat, traditionally used for Hindu ceremonies. Make your way to a 150-year-old heritage art house, decorated in intricate mural paintings, and savour the decadent tastes of Indian tea and sumptuous samosas. Stroll through the mystical Sai Mandir and Jagdish temples, heading towards the ancient stepped wall of Maje-ki-Baoli, walking among traders, weavers and pottery makers, who offer you the opportunity to try your hand at the time-honoured art.

Explore Udaipur’s bustling bazaars, set in hidden enclaves, and offering traditional jewellery made of silver and camel bone, elaborate brocades and embellished fabrics, as well as minute paintings laboriously created using rare tinctures to tell tales of Udaipur’s history and way of life.

Flight to Delhi Day 12

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Today, you will have the morning to enjoy at your leisure before being collected for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, you will be driven to the JW Marriott Hotel (close to the airport), where you can freshen up before your homeward flight later this evening.

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