Days 1 & 2 Delhi
Make your own way to Delhi where you can meet us for the scheduled group transfers to your hotel. Today has been left free for you to explore your new destination. This evening you will meet your travelling companions over a welcome dinnerMeals included: D
Day 3 Delhi
Today we’ll discover New Delhi. Our drive takes us through elegant boulevards and lush green parks where the iconic India Gate and imposing Parliament House are both reminders of a colonial past. We’ll also visit the ancient Qutub Minar - a UNESCO-listed site.
We’ll then visit the 17th century walled city of Old Delhi. Temples and mosques fill every available space and tempting food stalls flood the narrow streets with colour and heady aromas. As we explore we’ll pass by the spectacular Red Fort, the impressive marble domes of Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. We will also visit Gali Paranthe Wali, the ‘lane of parantha-makers’, which is located in Chandni Chowk. Parantha can be enjoyed plain or served with sweet tamarind chutney, mint chutney and mixed vegetable pickle, and can also be enjoyed with a filling of paneer and potato curry, potato and fenugreek curry or a sauteed mashof sweetpumpkin.
This afternoon has been left free for you to explore at your own pace, in the company of your fellow travellers. If you wish, you could join our optional excursion which will introduce you to India’s array of different religions. We’ll visit Birla Mandir, the Hindu temple inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, and the Catholic Sacred Heart Cathedral before arriving at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. Hundreds of devotees are fed every day at this Sikh place of worship,and we’ll have a chance to volunteer in the kitchens before our tour continues to Nizamuddin Dargah, the shrine to Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya.Meals included: B,D
Day 4 Delhi - Agra
Today we’ll travel south to Agra, where we’ll stay overnight. After checking in to our hotel we’ll visit the UNESCO-listed Agra Fort. Once the imperial city of the Mogul rulers, this mighty red-sandstone fortress is where the Emperor Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son.Meals included: B,D
Day 5 Taj Mahal - Jaipur
We have an early start this morning for what is sure to be a memorable highlight of your tour – a dawn visit to the spectacular Taj Mahal. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a symbol of his love for his wife, nothing will prepare you for the breathtaking sight of this magnificent mausoleum, whose white marble walls are inlaid with semiprecious stones. Close by is Mehtab Bagh, a centuries-old garden complex, which sits on the other side of the river. You’ll get to see the Taj Mahal from here too, for equally wonderful views. Later we’ll travel to Jaipur, affectionately known as the ‘Pink City’ because all of the buildings are painted in a distinctive shade of pink. Enjoy an evening at leisure or perhaps join us for an optional cookery demonstration in a local family home, with dinner included.Meals included: B
Day 6 Jaipur
This morning we’ll drive to the marvellous Amber Fort, a 17th century stronghold set on top of a hill. It’s a wonderful blend of Hindu and Muslim elements and we’ll step inside to explore the palace, courtyards and gardens. Back in Jaipur, we’ll learn how to carefully drape a colourful saree and to put on a turban.
Our expert guides will share the secrets of these traditional items of clothing with us to help give us even more insight into the Indian culture. You can pose for pictures with your hosts in your beautiful saree or majestic turban, and you’ll be gifted the clothing you wear so you can take a piece of India back home as a souvenir.
Then we’ll head to the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory built in the early 18th century, and then take a stroll through Chaandpol Bazaar, where pungent aromas emanate from the shops which grind and sell all manner of brightly coloured spices. Whilst in Jaipur you will also enjoy a glass of Lassi, a blend of water, yoghurt, spices and sometimes fruit. The drink, traditionally served in earthern pots to add an unique aroma, is topped with a thick layer of malai. This evening we’ll visit the City Palace and see rare personal items of the Maharajas of Jaipur. During our visit we’ll watch a state-of-the-art light show narrated by a Bollywood star, and enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the palace.Meals included: B,D
Day 7 Delhi
We have left this morning free for you to explore Jaipur at your own pace. Alternatively, you could join our optional walking tour, which is one of the best ways to appreciate the rich heritage of the walled city.
As we wander around the houses and workshops, local people will be delighted to tell you more about life in the bustling capital of Rajasthan. Later we will drive to Delhi.Meals included: B
Days 8 - 7 Delhi - DepartureYour tour comes to an end today. Scheduled group transfers are available to the airport, please see www.justyou.com/transfers Meals included: B
Diwali 8 days from £1999
Join our special departure and celebrate Diwali, the festival lights, in Delhi. This famous Hindu fesitval is an important event in Indian culture, it lasts for five days and sees people decorating their homes with colourful candles and lights, as they celebrate the triumph of light over dark and good over evil.
This holiday follows the same itinerary as An Invitation to India and includes drinks and dinner with a local family with guests receiving Diwali sweets and a Diya lamp.