Grand India Tour - Luxury Gold by Insight Vacations

Grand Tour of India (Summer 2016)

Duration: 13 days Visiting India

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
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  • Dates & prices

On this exquisite Grand Tour of India, the colour soaked cities and dry desert landscapes of Rajasthan contrast with the palm-fringed waters of the sultry south. A princely procession of multihued cities, palaces, temples and forts give way to the lush Kerala Coast. They must seem a million miles away as you drift through the peaceful tropical backwaters on your deluxe houseboat. The final few days finds you in unfathomable Mumbai, a megacity in a class of its own, in so many ways. The one constant, however, is the exemplary service, opulent hotels and unrivalled care provided throughout on this Luxury Gold itinerary. • Explore the lost city of Fatehpur Sikri • Learn how to express the most vivid emotions with the raise of an eyebrow at a vibrant performance of traditional Kathakali dance • Home to fishermen, farmers, labourers, toddy tappers and coir spinners, visit the island village of Kumbalangi for a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals • Situated close to the Thar Desert, the magnificent luxury hotel Suryagarh is built in the opulent Mahal-style with every modern convenience

Tour Pace - Lively

  1. Day 1 Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight (not included).

  2. Day 2 Delhi, a Rich Melting Pot of Old and New

    Welcome to India! On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, you will be greeted with a traditional floral garland and transferred to your hotel. Join your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception with a delicious meal in the evening.

    Hotel: Trident Gurgaon, Delhi

    Welcome Reception and Dinner

  3. Day 3 Delhi Sightseeing

    Enjoy a ride by rickshaw through the lanes of Chandni Chowk bazaar in Old Delhi. See the Red Fort, visit the Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat and the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Later, drive along the broad Rajpath past the India Gate and Parliament House to visit the Tomb of Humayun.

    Hotel: Trident Gurgaon, Delhi

    Buffet Breakfast

  4. Day 4 Agra & the Taj Mahal

    On arrival in Agra, visit the lustrous Taj Mahal, a monument of love and flawless architectural creation, built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen. Afterwards, spend time exploring the famous market - Sadar Bazaar as you make your way through the city to Agra Fort, a powerful fortress of red sandstone. After your tour through the palatial Royal Pavilions and gardens there is free time to relax. Later, you could choose to attend an optional spectacular stage musical production which follows the ‘Saga of Love' that inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal.

    Hotel: Jaypee Palace, Agra

    Buffet Breakfast

  5. Day 5 Jaipur, the 'Pink City'

    In the morning, travel to the ancient Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri, a deserted city full of architectural wonder. Stop in the historic city of Bharatpur for lunch, before continuing to the ‘Pink City' of Jaipur.

    Hotel: Le Meridien, Jaipur (2 nights)

    Buffet Breakfast, Lunch

  6. Day 6 Jaipur Sightseeing

    Embark on an early morning walk through this stunning walled city. Meet with local residents to fully experience their culture, traditions and rich heritage in their homes and workshops. Ascend by jeep to the Amber Fort, with its royal halls decorated with intricate ivory, mirrors, glass and exquisite paintings. Back in Jaipur, see the 'Hawa Mahal' (The Palace of Winds) and visit the City Palace Museum and royal observatory.

    Hotel: Le Meridien, Jaipur

    Buffet Breakfast

  7. Day 7 Bikaner, Camel Country with a Royal Aura

    Journey northwest to the fort town of Mandawa for lunch. Afterwards, continue to the fortified desert city of Bikaner, known for its camel festival which is celebrated on a grand scale every January. Learn all about this indispensable ship of the desert at the Camel Research and Breeding Farm before reaching your hotel.

    Hotel: Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner

    Buffet Breakfast, Lunch

  8. Day 8 The Sun City, Jaisalmer

    Your tour of Bikaner includes the Junagarh Fort, an unassailable fortress comprising of various palaces, pavilions and a museum containing priceless art and antiques. This afternoon continue through the Great Thar Desert to the trade route town of Jaisalmer, crowned by its hilltop fortress.

    Hotel: Suryagarh, Jaisalmer (2 nights)

    Buffet Breakfast

  9. Day 9 Jaisalmer Sightseeing

    Embark on a city tour of Jaisalmer, visiting Garhi Sagar Lake and the Fort built in 1156 but still in use today. Pass by the local market where you can witness desert life at its best. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. No visit to Jaisalmer is complete without a trip into the rippling Kanoi Sand Dunes. Savour a dinner accompanied by the gentle melodies of a local musician.

    Hotel: Suryagarh, Jaisalmer

    Buffet Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

  10. Day 10 The 'Blue City' of Jodhpur

    Follow the ancient silk routes to the ‘Blue City' of Jodhpur and your beautiful hotel. Later, journey to Rohet and feel the very pulse of rural Rajasthan on your ‘village safari' where you are welcomed into the homes of the local Bishnoi people to share a slice of their life.

    Hotel: Welcomhotel, Jodhpur (2 nights)

    Buffet Breakfast

  11. Day 11 Explore Mehrangarh Fort

    Visit Mehrangarh Fort set on a cliff thirty meters above the city skyline and the white marble Jaswant Thada. Experience a tuk tuk ride through the ancient winding streets before returning to your hotel, where the rest of the day is free to relax.

    Hotel: Welcomhotel, Jodphur

    Buffet Breakfast

  12. Day 12 Udaipur, Venice of the East

    Drive to Ranakpur, the temple town of Rajasthan. Explore the elaborate carvings and classic architecture of the sprawling Jain temples, which are regarded as perhaps the best in the country. After lunch, continue through the undulating countryside to Udaipur, the beautiful ‘City of Lakes'.

    Hotel: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur (2 nights)

    Buffet Breakfast, Lunch

  13. Day 13 Udaipur Sightseeing

    In the morning, sightseeing includes the City Palace complex, the private residence of the ‘King of Kings'. Wander through the markets and bazaars to visit the Jagdish Temple and Garden of the Maids of the Honour. In the evening, enjoy a boat cruise on the serene waters of Lake Pichola followed by a special dinner.

    Hotel: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

    Celebration Dinner, Three-course Dinner with wine, plus tea or coffee

Highlights

 

EXCLUSIVE INSIGHTS

  • Delhi: Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the bustling streets.
  • Agra: Visit the Taj Mahal, a monument of love, built by a king in everlasting memory of his beloved queen.
  • Agra: Admire the fairy-tale palaces of the Agra Fort.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: Visit this deserted imperial city.
  • Jaipur: Ascend by jeep to the Amber Fort and stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls.
  • Jaipur: Embark on an early morning walk and meet the locals to fully experience their culture, traditions and rich heritage.
  • Bikaner: Learn about all things dromedary at the Camel Research and Breeding Farm.
  • Bikaner: Enjoy a visit to the Junagarh Fort.
  • Jaisalmer: Visit Garhi Sagar Lake and Fort.
  • Bishnoi: Experience rural village life with a 'jeep safari'.
  • Jodhpur: Visit Mehrangarh Fort.
  • Ranakpur: Visit the fortified Jain temple complex.
  • Udaipur: Visit the City Palace complex, a testimony to the Rajput passion for art and architecture.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED SIGHTSEEING

  • Delhi: Take a rickshaw ride through the Chandni Chowk Bazaar. See the Red Fort. Visit Raj Ghat. See Qutub Minar. Drive along the Rajpath. See India Gate and Parliament House. Visit the Humayun Tomb.
  • Agra: Group picture taken at the Taj Mahal.
  • Jaipur: See the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) and visit the City Palace Museum and Jantar Mantar.
  • Udaipur: Visit the Jagdish Temple and Garden of the Maids of the Honour.
  • Kochi: City sightseeing.
  • Kumarakom: City sightseeing.
  • Mumbai: City sightseeing.
  • Alleppey: cruise the backwaters.

EPICUREAN DINING

  • Delhi: Join your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception and dinner.
  • Jaisalmer: As the sun sets over the Kanoi Sand Dunes, be entranced by the traditional musicians welcoming you to this magical evening. Under the stars, a traditional feast is prepared for you in a truly unique environment.
  • Udaipur: Showcasing the best of Indian cuisine, our mouth-watering dinner with drinks is the perfect environment to celebrate your time in India.

OUTSTANDING HOTELS

  • Delhi: Set in the heart of bustling Gurgaon, the beautiful gardens, courtyards and reflection pools of the Trident fill you with a sense of calm, before retreating to your luxurious and stylish room.
  • Jaisalmer: Situated close to the Thar Desert, the magnificent Suryagarh is testimony to the pomp and panoply of Rajputana, juxtaposed with every modern convenience.
  • Udaipur: Stay at the Taj Lake Palace hotel, a floating vision in marble emerging from Lake Pichola.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • You will be escorted by the crème de la crème of Insight Travelling Concierges - handpicked for every departure. This skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 39 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel. Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary hotel WiFi.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers between the airport and your Insight tour hotels.

Optional experiences

Most Insight tours already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Tour Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your tour. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Jaypee Palace Agra - 0 star

Agra (Central) - India

Complimentary WifiThe regal Jaypee Palace Hotel and Convention Centre, a glorious structural blend of red sandstone and marble is spread over an unbounded 25 acres of elegantly landscaped luxuriant greenery. Sprinkled with enormous water bodies and endless walkways, this magical creation impeccably blends Mughal and contemporary architecture with modern amenities.

Le Meridien Hotel Jaipur - 0 star

Jaipur (Scenic) - India

Complimentary Wifi

Le Meridien, Jaipur, five star deluxe hotel, located just 3.5 miles from Amber Fort, Le Méridien Jaipur promises a memorable stay characterized by an unrivalled assortment of services.

Laxmi Niwas Palace Bikaner - 0 star

Bikaner (Scenic) - India

Complimentary WifiLaxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner
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  • 5 out of 5

    awesome tour of India

    12/4/2016 Gwendolyn Greer, Cleveland (TN), United States

    I had wanted a trip to India for over 20 years. Insights iteniary seemed to cover most of the places I wanted to see. Our Tour Director-Devander-was very accompolished in making sure we covered a lot of territory in the alloted time and his knowledge of Indian history and politics enhanced my experience. Our motor coach team-Asouck and Rattan were very capable and encouraged our group to see as much as possible. Our sand dune sunset experience with the" super moon" dinner was outstanding. The crisis of the rupee and ATM machines affected our shopping locally-but did not hinder my AWESOME experience of India. The selection of hotels and our food choices were a pleasant surprise. The people of India are smiling,cheerful and helpful. My complaint-we needed more time for Mumbai;maybe that will be for another time.

    6 out of 6 people found this comment useful

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*Tour prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Red Hot Deal). All tour information is correct at time of tours going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.