(Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Mumbai)
Let your spirit soar as you watch the banks of the Ganges illuminated by a pilgrimage of candle light as huge crowds of the local faithful offer fire to their Hindu deities in a spectacular Aarti Ceremony.
You’ll view this very special event from aboard your evening cruise in a stirring introduction to the deep tide of spirituality that runs throughout this soulful country. Back on shore, you’ll visit the Buddhist ruins of Sarnath that date back to 200 B.C. and tour the colonial heritage and ancient Hindu legacy that fills Delhi with its unique character. In Agra, discover the Taj Mahal via an insightful private tour, and view the 16th-century remains of the Mughal Empire in the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. In Udaipur, walk among the grand gardens, fountains, pools and marble elephants built for 48 ladies-in-waiting and gaze upon the elaborate treasures of the Crystal Gallery at Fateh Prakash Palace. You’ll also visit Mehrangarh Fort constructed 400 feet above Jodhpur and gain entrance to the former Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi.
You’ll not only get an inside view of the grandeur of the many ancient palaces of India on this immersive tour, but you’ll also live like modern-day royalty at a collection of first rate hotels. From actual restored palaces on the banks of the Ganges and Lake Pichola, to seaside architectural masterpieces, all the opulence and grandeur of India’s old-world empires is reflected in these stunning world-class hotels. Of course, a team of experienced guides and a fleet of private chauffeurs will ensure you travel in style at all times.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Relax and enjoy an airport transfer in a private vehicle, with driver, and English-speaking assistant.
The Taj Mahal (City Centre) is nestled in six acres of lush greenery in the exclusive Diplomatic Enclave of the city. Ready to provide you the best in comfort, the hotel hosts 422 guestrooms and 40 suites that are elegantly decorated and come with a host of in-room amenities. From casual, all-day eateries to formal, fine dining, guests can look forward to a wide selection of delectable dishes and refreshing drinks at the on-site restaurant. Equipped with wireless broadband Internet access, the hotel offers conference services that include simultaneous translation in five languages.
Spend the day on a privately guided full day tour of Old & New Delhi which boasts spectacular monuments and holy sites.
The city of New Delhi was designed in the typically British colonial style, with tree-lined avenues and colonial bungalows. Whilst on this tour you will see the Laxminarayan Temple, a modern Hindu temple, and Gate of India which is a 42 m high War Memorial Arch. On route you will drive past the Parliament House, the Secretariat buildings and the Vice Regal Palace, which is now the official residence of the President of India. Visit the Red Fort which was the palace for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's new capital, Shahjahanabad, when he moved his capital from Agra to bring prestige to his reign. Its wall is 1.5 miles long, and varies in height from 60-110 ft. At 72.5 meters, the Qutab Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world. Surrounding the building are many fine examples of Indian artwork dating back to 1193. Humayun's tomb is a complex of buildings of Mughal architecture dating to the Slave Dynasty (1268-1287 AD). The complex is a World Heritage Site and the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. This style of mausoleum is similar to the Taj Mahal in Agra.
The Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi is a perfect embodiment of all qualities synonymous with the quality of Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces. Standing apart in service, its facilities and of course, in its distinguished patronage, this hotel has played host to Heads of State, corporate moguls and high profile businessmen from across the world. Located in the very heart of the Indian capital, the location and unrivalled service are quintessentially Taj. The hotel is only a few minutes drive from both the airport and the city center and is near to most of the embassies in New Delhi.
Enjoy your flight from Delhi to Varanasi. The flight duration is approximately 90 mins.
From your hotel, a private vehicle, with driver, and English speaking guide, will transfer you to the airport for your flight.
Private guided tour of Sarnath, located 5 miles from Varanasi, the site is a deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. Amongst the ruins is the Dharmekh Stupa is impressive at 128 feet high, and 93 in diameters. This dates back to 200 BC and is the sport where the Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon. Within the deer park complex is the large Dhamekha Stupa, constructed by the Emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE, and several other Buddhist structures that were added between the 3rd and the 11th century BC.
This evening Aarti Ceremony is an absolutely wonderful sight seen from the Ganges river. This tour includes a boat ride to experience the magic of the river during this spectacular event.
Nadesar Palace is situated in one of the oldest living cities of the world, on the banks of the river Ganges. Nadesar Palace has hosted royalty, statesmen and celebrities since 1835. The name Nadesar is derived from the Goddess Nadesari, whose shrine is located in the front of the Palace. Set amidst verdant gardens, mango orchards, marigold and jasmine fields, Nadesar Palace is a haven of peace and tranquility. Works of art from the Maharaja’s collection decorate the walls of the Palace’s 10 luxurious suites. Embellished with original pieces of furniture refurbished to recreate the atmosphere of a bygone era, the décor of the rooms is intended to evoke the colours of marigolds, jasmines, and pale pink lotuses that are offered to the holy Ganges.
Glide along the famous and holy Ganges waterway in a private boat accompanied by an expert guide. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi attract tourists and pilgrims of all ages for the opportunity to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one's sins. Pilgrims and tourists alike can be seen swimming and bathing immediately next to the funeral pyres of the riverside temples. This is a somewhat surreal experience and only for those with a strong constitution.
Enjoy your flight from Varanasi to Delhi today. The flight duration is approximately 90 minutes.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Agra. (205 Kms/5 Hrs)
At the Oberoi: Amarvilas, indulge with your own private view of the greatest monument of love, recognized as the leading luxury hotel in Agra. Wake up to the glorious sight of the Taj Mahal, bathed by the first rays of dawn. Watch her sparkle by day as the sun shines on her architectural perfection. Allow yourself to be swept away by her romance at dusk. Let the nights be filled with the magic of the Taj by moonlight. Rated amongst the leading resorts in the world, The Oberoi Amarvilas offers the best view of the Taj Mahal in Agra. The hotel is located 600 meters from the Taj Mahal and all rooms, suites, lobby, bar and lounge offer breathtaking views of the monument.
The Oberoi Amarvilas was awarded many, many awards but amongst those include:Top 15 Resorts in Asia (Ranked 3rd) - Condé Nast Traveler, USA, Readers’ Choice Awards 2012, Top 15 Resorts in Asia (Ranked 7th) - Travel + Leisure, World's Best Awards, Readers' Survey 2012, Top 100 Hotels in the World (Ranked 47th) - Travel + Leisure, World's Best Awards, Readers' Survey 2012.
Be amazed on a private guided tour of Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful monuments built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his dear wife and Queen, Mumtaz Mahal.
You'll also get to visit Agra Fort, built of red sandstone and marble. This great monument of red sandstone dominating a bend in the river Yamuna, 2km northwest of Taj Mahal was constructed by the Mughals during 1565-1571.
Enjoy a traditional ride on a Tonga (horse drawn carriage).
Transfer to Jaipur with private vehicle and driver. On the way, visit ancient ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, the "City of Victory" was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid.
From its creation in 1727, the royal families and nobles of Jaipur patronized the craftsmen and artisans of the city. These traditions continue to this day and as a result modern day Jaipur is considered by many as the craft capital of India. Traditional methods are still used to produce many valuable and highly prized items. Using skills passed down through generations, artisans and master craftsmen can be seen in the areas of Ghat Darwaza and Vishveshwar ji.
On this fascinating evening walk mingle and talk with the locals whilst sampling some of the region's culinary delights; try pakoras, aloo tiki, samosa and ladoo from some of the city’s most popular street food vendors. Observe local artisans in their workshops; jewelers and silversmiths, gold painters and tie dying experts. The iconic Hawa Mahal also called the Palace of the Winds is the meeting point at which this two and a half hour walk begins.
Rambagh Palace has been home to generations of royals. Built in 1835 Rambagh was converted into a palace in 1925 and became the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The ‘Jewel of Jaipur’ as it is fondly called, remained the home of the Jaipur royal family until 1957, when it was first converted into a luxury hotel by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. But it wasn’t until 1972 that Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces took over the reins. It is now the ‘jewel in the crown’ among the authentic palaces of the Taj in India. In the finest tradition of Rajput hospitality, the Rambagh Palace offers its guests a taste of royal living – a luxury and extravagance that was once the sole preserve of kings.The Rambagh Palace Hotel features on Conde Nast Traveller USA's Gold List 2012, as well as the 2012 T+L US Top 500 World's Best Hotels List, the Asia Category, with a score of 92.34, was the first runner up in the second edition of the T+L India's Best Awards 2013 in the category of Best Heritage Hotel, India and judged the #1 Luxury Hotel in India by Lonely Planet in 2012.
Spend the day today in the company of a knowledgeable English speaking guide as you tour the Amber Fort and City Palace of Jaipur, the iconic Observatory and the Hawa Mahal.
The magnificent Amber Fort was established in 1592, and remained the citadel of the Kachhawaha rulers right until they moved their capital to Jaipur in 1727. Maharaja Man Singh I created this imposing monument on the remains of an ancient 11th century fort. Since the first half of the 18th century, the City Palace has been the abode to the rulers of Jaipur. The sprawling expanse of the breathtaking palace is a superb harmony of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Part of the palace has been converted into a museum, open to the public, while a section - Chandra Mahal - still remains the home of today’s maharaja.The Observatory of Jaipur is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period". Within it, the Jantar Mantar is a collection of massive astronomical instruments, built of local stone and marble. Each instrument carries an astronomical scale marked on the marble inner lining, and bronze tablets were also employed.
Built in 1799, the whimsical Hawa Mahal - Palace of Winds - which adjoins the Palace has become quite the city icon, with its ornate facade in pale pink, tiered baroque like build, projecting ‘jharokha’ windows and balconies with perforated screens. These were designed so that the mysterious veiled ladies of the harem could look down upon the colourful and bustling bazaars below, remaining hidden themselves. Overlooking busy streets, it offers great views of the city. We feel the Amber Fort is best reached by car, but an optional elephant ride is available should you prefer (cost not included).
Drive today from Jaipur to Udaipur. (410 Kms/ 6.5 Hrs)
The Taj Lake Palace, located in the middle of Lake Pichola is a dream of white marble and mosaic glistening in the moonlight, very reminiscent of the Taj Mahal. Conceived in romance, the palace was built in 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh II, 62nd successor to the royal dynasty of Mewar – believed to be descendants of the Sun God. Set against the backdrop of the majestic Aravalli Mountains on one side of the lake, and lofty palaces on the other, the Taj Lake Palace spreads across a four-acre island – an almost surreal vision in marble. From casual, all-day dining to formal, fine dining, guests can look forward to a wide array of delectable culinary delights and refreshing beverages.Guests can treat themselves to a wide range of relaxing and rejuvenating activities.Awards and accolades include being featured in Platinum Circle (list of hotels that have made it to the Gold List for 5 consecutive years) of the CNT USA Gold List 2013 with an overall score of 94.2 as well as being featured on the list of Travel+Leisure 2013 Top 500 Best Hotels in the world with an overall score of 92.92.
Private guided tour of the majestic white City Palace built in granite and marble. This largest palace complex in Rajasthan is surrounded by crenellated fort walls, and overlooks Pichola Lake. The Garden of the Maids of Honor is well laid out with extensive lawns and shady walks. Constructed for forty eight young ladies-in-waiting sent to the royal house as part of the dowry, the garden has many fountains in its four delightful pools, chiseled kiosks and marble elephants. Crystal Gallery in the Fateh Prakash Palace features a breath taking collection of crystals including tables, sofa sets, dining table, dressers, fountains, beds, and an exquisite jewel studded carpet, which is beyond description.
Lunch at a local restaurant with your guide.
Private guided tour of Eklingji, located about twelve miles north of Udaipur, featuring a complex of 108 ancient temples, carved from sandstone and marble. The main temple was built in AD 734 to propagate the blessings of Lord Shiva. At Nagda there are some 10th century temples. The Jain temple of Adbudji is essentially ruined, but its architecture is interesting. About 500m away, the Sas Bahu temple has fine intricate carvings. There are also some small temples submerged in the nearby lake.
This morning you will be driven to Jodhpur covering distance of 270kms. Enroute you'll visit Ranakpur Jain temple. Ranakpur boasts some of the most exquisite Jain temples in the country famous for their intricate friezes and sculptures. It is one of the holiest Jain sites of India. Nestled on the banks of the river Maghai and sequestered by mountains, Ranakpur's beauty is accentuated by its seclusion. The main Chaumukha (four faced) temple was built in 1439 and is dedicated to the first Enlightened One, Adinatha Rishabdeva. An inscription in it traces its origin to the reign of Rana Kumbha. Erected on a raised platform, it is surrounded by 66 subsidiary shrines. It has 1444 beautifully carved pillars, of which no two are alike.
Continue your drive to Jodhpur. Jodhpur, also called the ‘Blue City’ was once the capital of the former princely state of Marwar. It was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha and is now the second largest city of Rajasthan. Flanked on its western side by the Mehrangarh Fort and on the eastern side by the stately sandstone Palace of Umaid Bhawan, the monuments temples and gardens of Jodhpur depict a multi-faceted grandeur. It is still a marvelously medieval city. While the graceful palaces, forts and temples bring alive the historic grandeur, exquisite handicrafts, folk dances, music and the brightly attired people lend a romantic aura to the city.
This landmark Art Deco-style palace is five km (3 miles) from Jodhpur International Airport and 10 km (6.5 miles) from Mehrangarh Fort. Umaid Bhawan Palace offers an indoor pool, full-service spa, and steam room, and serves a complimentary Continental breakfast daily. In addition to available wireless Internet access, guestrooms feature balconies, CD and DVD players, and in-room safes.
Private guided tour of the most magnificent building in Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort, constructed in 1459. The fort is situated on a lofty height, 400 feet above the city, and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Inside its territorial boundaries, there are several palaces, which are known for their intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards. Jaswant Thada lies to the left of the Mehrangarh fort complex. It is a royal cenotaph made up of white marble. It was built to commemorate Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Umaid Bhawan Palace is built of marble and pink sandstone. An excursion to Bishnoi Village, gives you a glimpse of village life in Rajasthan.
Experience an enchanting desert oasis during your tours to Osian in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India; see the rich architectural heritage of Jodhpur and feel the rustic cultural fiesta of Osian with Rajasthan Holiday. Visit the Sun Temple, Sachia Mata Temple, Harihara I Temple, Kali Temple and the grand Jain temples that add to the historic flavor of your Osian tour with Rajasthan Holiday. The Harihara I Temple enchants you with its exquisite sculptures and frescoes depicting Lord Krishna frolicking with Radha.
Airport transfer with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking assistant.
Enjoy your flight from Jodphur to Mumbai. The flight duration is approximately two hours.
You'll be met at the Mumbai airport and transferred to your accommodation by private vehicle and driver.
Private guided tour of Mumbai. The Prince of Wales Museum is a magnificent structure, built in a confluence of Gothic and Moorish styles, and crowned by a sparkling white dome. It boasts a good collection of ancient Indus Valley artifacts dating back to 2000 BC, plus some priceless Tibetan and Nepali Art. Dhobi Ghat is where hundreds of Mumbai's traditional washer folk collect dirty laundry, wash it, and return it neatly pressed, all for a very small fee. Mani Bhavan is the old Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi. It's a pretty, two-storied structure that now houses a reference library with over 2000 books, a photo exhibition of the Mahatma's life, and well preserved memorabilia.
Built in 1903, The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower is an architectural marvel that brings together Moorish, Oriental and Florentine styles. Offering panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India, the hotel is a landmark of Mumbai, showcasing contemporary Indian influences. The Palace offers generously appointed suites and rooms, each adorned with original paintings and period furniture that exude an aura of old-world charm and elegance. Taj offers a distinctive dining experience, one that explores the nuances of the finest Indian and international cuisines, serving traditional and contemporary favorites. Blending ancient Indian wisdom with contemporary therapies, Taj Spa offers the best in Indian rejuvenation therapies.
Awards and accolades include being featured in the Travel+Leisure US Top 500 World's Best Hotels List, the Asia Category, with a score of 92.42 - Jan 2012 and Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2012 Awarded to The Zodiac Grill, Wasabi by Morimoto and Souk - Jan 2012.
This full day tour of Mumabi is the best way to experience the city at your own pace! The tour covers all the must-see places on any traveller's itinerary including visits to the Gateway of India, St. Thomas Cathedral, Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay University and the Oval Maidan, Town Hall, Victoria Terminus, Crawford Market, Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach, Mani Bhavan the home of Gandhi, Malabar Hill and the Hanging Gardens and finally Dhobi Ghat.
A cruise through Mumbai Harbor brings you to the rock-cut cave temples on Elephanta Island. In 1987, the caves were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rock-cut temple complex covers an area of 60,000 sq ft consisting of a main chamber, two lateral ones, courtyards and subsidiary shrines. The site of these magnificent caves contains beautiful reliefs, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu god Shiva.
Khyber is Mumbai's famous restaurant for Mughlai cuisine. Khyber has been going strong for decades and its tender kebabs remain outstanding (Frommers). The opulent decor includes original paintings by some of India's most famous artists. (No alcoholic or non alcoholic drinks included in this package)
India & Area
Alton J Hundley ,
March 14, 2011
"Our trip to India was a wonderful and magical event! We owe our gratitude to Kensington Tours for making the trip run so smoothly. The guides were exceptionally friendly and caring towards our four year old son and our driver was absolutely amazing!"
India & Area
Fred and Sharon Tooley ,
November 11, 2010
"We've just returned from our second "once in a lifetime" trip with Kensington Tours. A year ago we went to Kenya and Tanzania and felt that no future trips could match that incredible benchmark. We were wrong! When we had the wonderful opportunity to travel to India and Nepal this year, we once again called Kensington. What an amazing, amazing adventure we had! The fact that we have had two "once in a lifetime" trips with Kensington, tells us that we may not know where our next adventure will take us but we do know that Kensington Tours will take us there. We send huge thanks to Brad Crockett who coordinated a trip that was like no other. We thank he and Karishma Kaul both for walking us through our concerns, dealt with via email, while in country regarding a tight flight/luggage transfer and to both of them for arranging the marvelous hotels, lodges and incomparable guides and drivers for us in both India and Nepal. We want to especially thank them for Ghanshyam, our driver for our entire stay in India. Without him, and our trusty "Tempo Traveller" we simply wouldn't have survived the traffic and hours of travel--he was not only a great driver, but a terrific guide during those long drives between cities. We will never forget the thrill of seeing Machali, the magnificent tiger known as "Lady of the Lake" at Ranthambore National Park in India. We will never forget the speechless first sight of the Taj Mahal--nor, we doubt, will we ever have an experience that will ever compare with seeing a tiger in Chitwan National Park, Nepal while on a late afternoon elephant back safari in dense jungle cover--the sights, the sounds of the elephants...words may fail, but the memories will never fade. Thank you, Kensington.
Fred & Sharon Tooley 2011"
India & Area
Glenn Dorfman ,
March 10, 2010
"Our two weeks in India and Nepal doing the Golden Triangle, Varanasi and the Ganges, and Kathmandu went precisely as planned. Airport greetings and transfers, the drivers and especially the guides were all just great; highly qualified, interesting and dedicated to see that you have an interesting and safe experience. I have many examples to share of this. The itinerary was perfect. We have no complaints at all. Would be glad to share more details with prospective travelers."
India & Area
Mohmud Kassam ,
February 24, 2010
"Very helpful from the beginning and helped us change our itinerary so many times until we got it right. We really appreciate your effort. All guides were somewhat knowledgeable. We found that they were not as forthcoming as we would have liked and therefore we had to ask many questions to get more out of them. They were however very pleasant and patient. Vehicles were excellent! We chose Kensington Tours because you gave us the option of a “private guided trip” which is exactly what we were looking for. We have been on many tours and did not want a tour package where we had to go with a big group. Overall our experience was very good. The trip was exactly what we were looking for. The accommodation, cars and guides and agent reps were all very good and helpful. India was incredible!"
India & Area
Claudia Pedreira ,
February 09, 2010
"Sorry for the late response, I've been meaning to write to you since we came back to thank you so much for your assistance with coordinating our trip. India was such an amazing experience and truly a fascinating country. We appreciate the upgrades and the travel by private car as it made a difference in our trip. All three hotels were excellent and we found the local tour service to be prompt and very accommodating. I will certainly be using Kensington Tours again for any future travel. Thanks again!"
India & Area
Joan and Sam Hubball ,
February 09, 2010
I am thinking about you and your wonderful plan and our amazing trip to India. I think the flexibility within the tour, the number of rich experiences due to the private nature of the trip, the mind,body, spirit connections of the country made this a true life experience, not a trip. I will write you a long letter with more specifics this week as I believe there are so many places and people who deserve acknowledgment and recognition for some of the most gracious and experienced tourism service. For now,Bindu, everyone should stay at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur and everyone must see Varanasi. We are so glad we chose the more aggressive approach...I cannot imagine our trip without any of the places we've seen!
Warmest regards, heartfelt thanks for the plan, and will be in touch soon, Joan Hubball
India & Area
Helmut and Helga Igel ,
December 14, 2009
"Hi Bindu. Everything worked out great. The hotels all where very good. What made the trip a real pleasure was our driver, Manohar Lal Thakur. He always went out his way to take care of any requests we had. The Indian people are the friendlest we have ever met! We will use Kensington again on one of our next trips.
India & Area
Illa Gandhi ,
January 07, 2010
"We had a great time in India. Karishma Kaul from Kensington tours did a tremendous job putting our trip together. The company did second to none job making us feel at home. It was because of them, it felt like a holiday. Thank you Karishma for a wonderful experience."
India & Area
Cheryl Smith ,
September 28, 2009
"My trip to India was incredible, and I want to thank you for organizing the tours. They took very good care of us. The hotels were nice, and we felt very safe. The guides and the driver were fantastic. The guides were very knowledgeable and patient in answering all of our questions and waiting for us when I know we extended our slotted time in some places (like shopping). For instance, I went to the airport to depart and expected only a driver. I was very surprised and grateful to have another person with the driver who helped me enter the airport, obtain my boarding pass, and showed me where to get to security. "
India & Area
Frank Walchak ,
September 28, 2009
"We just arrived this morning from Delhi. The hotels, tour and driver were all excellent. We certainly got our monies worth. Thank you again for setting up this great trip. Prior to the golden triangle, we operated on 93 children with burns, cleft lip and palate at a medical school outside of Bangalore. Frank and Carolyn Walchak
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