Essence of India - Insight Vacations

Essence of India with Ranthambore (Luxury Gold - Summer 2017)

Duration: 9 days Visiting: India

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The cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur showcase India's rich Mughal and Rajput heritage - imposing forts, sumptuous palaces and gleaming marble temples and tombs, such as the exquisite Taj Mahal. Further south, in Ranthambore, lies the sun-baked jungle realm of the tiger. To assist you on your journey, Insight's Travelling Concierge takes care of every detail, allowing you to fully appreciate the superior comfort and convenience of this Luxury Gold itinerary.

• Insight arranges a dawn visit to the illustrious Taj Mahal, when the palette of ethereal hues on the pearly dome peak

• Seek the elusive Bengal Tiger in their natural habitat

• Experience a sunset village walk past flame-lit temples before an Exquisite Highlight Dinner

Related Tours

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Spirit of North & South India
Cultural riches, historic gems, and breathtaking natural wonders beyond your wildest dreams are all captured in this itinerary.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Delhi, a Rich Melting Pot of Old and New

    Welcome to India! On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, you are greeted with a traditional floral garland and transferred to your modern five-star hotel. Tonight, join your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception with a delicious meal.

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    Delhi Sightseeing

    (Relaxed Start) Start the day with a cycle rickshaw ride through Old Delhi, including the bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk market. Stop for a photo at the impressive Red Fort, then visit the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat. You can also explore India's largest mosque, the magnificent Jama Masjid, built by Shah Jahan in 1650. Afterwards, tour the wide boulevards of New Delhi. Drive along the ceremonial Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House. See Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit the Tomb of Emperor Humayun, one of the best-preserved Mughal monuments in Delhi.

  4. Day 4

    An Agra Adventure

    On arrival to Agra, witness the hustle and bustle of everyday life 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, walk through a village in the shadow of the Taj Mahal with one of the villagers to discover the way of life as agriculturists next to India's most famous monument. Enjoy tea and pakoras on a rooftop with exceptional views.

  5. Day 5

    The Taj Mahal and The Princely Park of Ranthambore

    In the morning, admire the lustrous Taj Mahal, bathed by the first rays of dawn. Later journey to the historic city of Bharatpur and stop for lunch, before continuing to the station for the rail journey to Ranthambore. On arrival, transfer to your luxurious hotel, built in the style of a traditional Rajput hunting palace, nestled in the foot hills of the Aravalli Range, near the Ranthambore National Park.

  6. Day 6

    In Search of Tigers in Ranthambore

    Early morning journey into the former private hunting grounds of the Maharajahs of Jaipur, in search of the elusive tiger. More commonly seen in the dry, deciduous forest are the wild boars, monkeys, spotted deers and antelopes but if you are ever going to witness tigers in their natural habitat, this is the place. Return to your resort for breakfast and the day at leisure. At dusk, enjoy another foray into the national park with an expert naturalist. Besides the wildlife, there are also lake palaces, ‘chhatris', old fortifications and a majestic 1,000-year-old fort within the park.

  7. Day 7

    Jaipur, the 'Pink City'

    Embark on another exciting adventure game in the morning, into the territory of the majestic tiger— every wildlife enthusiast and photographer's dream. After lunch, drive through the rural countryside where flat, green fields are abundant with brightly coloured flowers. Your destination is the stunning Rajasthan capital of Jaipur. Later, join the Meena tribe and learn about their way of life and farming rituals before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant.

  8. Day 8

    Jaipur Sightseeing

    Experience a typical morning for most Hindus with a puja at one of the most important Krishna Temples in the country, Govind Dev Ji temple. Then, visit the vegetable market and try your hand at bargaining with the stall holders. Enjoy a unique excursion, as you ascend by jeep to the Amber Fort, a superb example of Rajput architecture, with its terraces and ramparts reflected in the Maota Lake below. Inside, the royal halls are decorated with intricate ivory, mirrors and glass, complemented by exquisite wall paintings. Back in Jaipur, see the famous ‘Hawa Mahal' (The Palace of Winds) and visit the City Palace, now a museum housing a fabulous collection of Rajasthani and Mughal Art. A final stop is made at the famous Jantar Mantar, the observatory, constructed between 1727 and 1734 by Maharajah Jai Singh II. Back at the hotel, you are at leisure. In the evening, enjoy a Celebration Dinner with drinks.

  9. Day 9

    Depart Delhi

    Your tour draws to a close after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Delhi Airport at 17:00. Please do not schedule flights before 21:00. For those taking an early morning flight home the following day, and needing to stay overnight at a hotel close to the airport, post-tour accommodation is available and the transfer will continue on to your chosen extra night hotel.

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 memory of his beloved queen.
  • Agra: Walk through a village in the shadow of the Taj Mahal with one of the villagers to discover the way of life as agriculturists next to India's most famous monument. Enjoy tea and pakoras on a rooftop with exceptional views. Money generated from the tour is used for sanitation in the village and education for women.
  • Jaipur: Experience a typical morning for most Hindus with a puja at one of the most important Krishna Temples in the country, Govind Dev Ji temple. Then, visit the vegetable market and try your hand at bargaining with the stall holders. All food items purchased will be donated to a local orphanage.
  • Agra: Inside Agra's red sandstone fortress, witness the fairytale palaces, audience halls and mosques of the Mughal rulers.
  • Ranthambore: Venture inside this former royal hunting ground and enjoy three game safaris with a naturalist.
  • Amber Fort: Ascend by jeep to stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Enjoy the shimmering mirrored walls and ceilings, the airy rooms that housed queens and concubines, and the wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Delhi: Enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the lanes of the Chandni Chowk Bazaar. Stop for a photo of the Red Fort. Visit the Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat. See the Qutub Minar tower. Drive along the Rajpath to see the India Gate and Parliament House. Visit the Tomb of the Emperor Humayun.
  • Agra: Group picture taken at the Taj Mahal.
  • Jaipur: Enjoy a Jaipur city tour including a visit to the City Palace Museum housing traditional Rajasthani and Mughal Art. Visit the Jantar Mantar the Royal observatory built in 1726. See the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds).

EPICUREAN DINING

  • Delhi: Enjoy a taste of Jalebi, the favourite sweet and learn about its production from the one of the best candy wallahs in the old town.
  • Jaipur: Spend some time with the Meena tribe, before continuing on to Dera Amer where your Highlight Dinner awaits.
  • Jaipur: Savour a delicious Celebration Dinner with wine.
  • “7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 3 Lunches (L), 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), 2 Dinners (D) and 1 Highlight Dinner (HD); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) both with both with wine, beer or soft-drinks. 23 Dec: This departure has a Christmas Highlight Dinner included.”

OUTSTANDING HOTELS

  • Agra: The Trident by Oberoi is the perfect base to experience this city steeped in history. The hotel features tastefully appointed rooms which overlook the central courtyard and gardens and offers a superb range of facilities.
  • Ranthambore: The luxurious Nahargarh lies nestled at the foot hills of Aravalli Range neighbouring the Ranthambore National Park. The hotel boasts luxurious rooms, modern facilities and a superb restaurant offering global cuisine.
  • Jaipur: Located close to the famous Amber Fort, the Trident by Oberoi offers stunning views of the Mansagar lake and Jal Mahal. The rooms are tastefully appointed and offer all the modern amenities.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • 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 coach with on-board restroom. It's Business Class comfort, complete with complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy during your luxury coaching tour. (Alternate coaches and vehicles, without on-board facilities or 40 seats, may be used on occasion).
  • Personal radio headsets, gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert’s fascinating insights and commentaries (Available on groups for 8 or more).
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling with prompt delivery to inside your door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are 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 coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • With Insight Flourishes, from time to time, your Tour Director 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.

Accommodation

 

Hyatt Regency New Delhi

New Delhi (Central) - India

Trident by Oberoi Hotels Agra

Agra (Scenic) - India

Trident by Oberoi, Agra

Nahargarh Ranthambore

Ranthambore (Scenic) - India

Nahargarh, the most luxurious hotel lies nestled at the foot hills of 'Aravali ranges' neighbouring the Ranthambore National Park. Surrounded by a 16th century style fortress, Nahargarh is built like a traditional Rajput hunting palace complete with a vast "Char Bagh" or formal Mughal garden.

Trident by Oberoi Hotels Jaipur

Jaipur (Scenic) - India

Trident by Oberoi, Jaipur

  • India essence

    5 out of 5

    East Ardsley, United Kingdom

    The tour was absolutely brilliant,from start ( door to airport pickup)to finish(met at airport and taken home)the tour guide was very informative and very helpful checking us in at the various hotels before we even arrived,he used his own judgement when visiting the Taj Mahal as to when the best time to see it(lot of fog around)and fulfilled my dreams and helped to recreate a memory of my late mum.the hotels were superb and very luxiourious and I would certainly recommend this essence of India tour to anyone who wants to see india

    2 out of 2 people found this comment useful

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  • India - wow

    5 out of 5

    Reading, United Kingdom

    Our tour guide on our Essence of India tour was brilliant. His name was Devender and nothing was any trouble for him. We changed itinerary to accommodate the potential fog in Agra in the morning and went to Taj mid-morning and was everything we expected. At Ranthambore we saw tiger on first trip out and then we saw bears on the second outing. Our third trip ended up with a lie-in by the group!! If we hadn't seen the tiger we would have been out again. Thoroughly recommend this tour, loved the tour round Delhi and would have loved more time to explore Jaipur shops alone. Heading to Goa to sleep on a sun lounger at the end is thoroughly recommended. Goa I will go back to as need to see loads there as well. Loraine Day

    2 out of 2 people found this comment useful

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  • India golden triangle

    5 out of 5

    East Ardsley, United Kingdom

    The tour was very well executed from start( picked up to go to airport) to finish(dropped off again)the tour guide stayed throughout the tour and even had us booked in our new hotels before we arrived.he was very knowledgeable and very happy to pass this on to our group .the whole experience was amazing and certainly recreated a journey my mum had made 10 years earlier of which we doing in her memory.it has been a great pleasure to have used your services

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  • Essence of India Jan 2017

    5 out of 5

    Hamilton, Australia

    We really enjoyed our trip. It was our second time with Insight and this trip was fabulous. It was an amazing country and we saw some impressive sights. We really enjoyed the Taj Mahal, the train trip and searching for tigers. Our tour guide, Devender Singh Rathore was amazing; he was very knowledgable and very accommodating. The driver was very good and navigated us through very difficult traffic conditions safely. Thank you Lawrie & Mary-Ann Doheny

    2 out of 3 people found this comment useful

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  • Essence of India

    5 out of 5

    Wheaton (IL), United States

    Great tour and great guide, Taj. Just the right pace, and fabulous sites od Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Appreciated being provided with bottled water and being lodged in nice hotels. Samode Bagh was very interesting as a hotel experience. The length of tour was perfect too.

    9 out of 10 people found this comment useful

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  • Excellent

    5 out of 5

    RIDGEHAVEN, Australia

    Had a great time on the two Insight trips we did . Would advise anyone considering trip to go when a bit cooler forGolden Triangle . Shimla was lovely. Perfect weather . Absolutely everything was taken care of with our trip with Insight . Even a guide on the train trip to Shimla . There were only 2 of us doing the trip. Would definitely recommend doing Golden Triangle with Shimla as add on Will be using Insight again as there is nothing left to organise and every detail is looked after. Hassle free travel . Well done Insight

    6 out of 8 people found this comment useful

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  • Exceeded out expectations

    5 out of 5

    Dieppe, Canada

    How to describe such an incredible trip! We were treated like Maharajas the entire vacations. Insight vacations went above and beyond at every turn. Our guide Rajeev was friendly, knowledgeable, and passionate about showing us his country. The hotels were simply perfect, especially the stay in a real palace converted to a hotel. Although we were told to keep an open mind, and expect the unexpected, the tour was easy and accessible. The sights, tastes, and experiences can not be beat. The trip was also a great value. We would never have been able to organize such an incredible visit on our own. An Insight Vacation escorted tour of India is the most amazing way to experience this fascinating country!

    5 out of 7 people found this comment useful

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  • Incredible Insight Experience

    5 out of 5

    Toronto, Canada

    Thanks Insight for an incredible trip to India. Our Tour Director, Rajeev, was extraordinary. We had an excellent group. The itinerary was perfect. Each day got better and better and on the final night we stayed in a palace. We definitely want to go back to India, with Insight!

    5 out of 7 people found this comment useful

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  • Essence of India 2015

    5 out of 5

    Durban, South Africa

    My family and I had a wonderful time on the trip. I never imagined the positive energy, vibrancy and history that the country had to offer. It also gave us a new appreciation for our religion. Munish, our tour director, shared with us his wealth of knowledge regarding the country and its inhabitants.

    7 out of 9 people found this comment useful

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  • GREAT INDIA VISIT!

    5 out of 5

    Tampa, United States

    I met my son Brian in India to celebrate his 40th Birthday and it was a wonderful trip from start to finish! The Hyatt in Delhi started our trip with a nice welcome dinner. The guided tour through Delhi was great which included a rickshaw ride through old Delhi! The train to Agra was fun- interesting sites along with fields of mustard in bloom! Seeing the Taj Mahal on such a clear day was awesome!What an experience to walk through the gate and see this impressive structure! Jaipur was wonderful- seeing goat herders, camels, sheep and elephants along the way. Since cows are sacred in India- they roamed freely everywhere!The last night in Samode was great- along with the final farewell dinner at the palace with a blessing and flower wreath to end this great trip! Felt like a magical mystical experience!Kudos to Insight Vacations for their planning and selection of sites along with a great guide to safely escort us the entire way!

    21 out of 25 people found this comment useful

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  • Essence of India

    5 out of 5

    Moana, Australia

    Had an amazing experience, the tour guide did an awesome job, we asked for experiences and we got them. I forgot to purchase green tea next thing he had arranged some for me, I asked for a beer one warm day, later had cold beer in my hand! Fellow travellers were great company and singers.....the accommodation was a welcome relief at the end of a busy day. So many highlights, well programed, paced just right. Felt safe on the tour while experiencing everyday India. If this is the calibre of Insight Vacation Tours I'm in!!!Can't recommend this tour or company enough.

    27 out of 30 people found this comment useful

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