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PASSAGE TO NORTHERN INDIA

20 February – 6 March 2018

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ITINERARY
Thrill at the beauty of the Taj Mahal, walk in majestic Mughal gardens, search for tigers and stay in royal style.

 

DAY 1
Tuesday 20 February 2018
Home – New Delhi

Your Ross Garden Tour leader will meet you at Sydney International Airport for the Singapore Airlines flight to New Delhi.
India’s dynamic capital is a thrilling mix of old and new. It’s both a modern capital and an ancient city, continuously inhabited for more than 26 centuries. Fittingly we are staying in a hotel that combines fascinating history with contemporary appeal. The Imperial has won plenty of awards, including ‘Best Luxury Hotel in India’ in the World Luxury Hotel Awards. You’ll love the stories embedded in the walls here. This is where Mountbatten met Gandhi and Nehru to discuss the partition of India for instance, and the Nehru family kept a permanent suite in the hotel. We will be warmly welcomed on our arrival.

Accommodation: Hotel Imperial, New Delhi

DAY 2
Wednesday 21 February 2018
New Delhi (B/L)

After breakfast, we’ll visit the Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the Indian President. These superb gardens are open for only one month each year and are filled with a breathtaking mix of flowers, set in gardens designed in the style of the Islamic Mughal gardens. Later we will tour New Delhi, to view India Gate, which was built in memory of the Indian Soldiers who died in WW1, Rajpath and Parliament. Edwin Lutyens, the architect, best known to garden lovers for his collaborations with Gertrude Jekyll, designed this part of the city and its buildings. This afternoon, after our Welcome Lunch, we’re off to Birla House, where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and where he was assassinated on January 30, 1948.

Accommodation: Hotel Imperial, New Delhi

DAY 3
Thursday 22 February 2018
Old Delhi (B/L)

We start our day in Old Delhi, an area rich in cultural heritage. After a moment of reflection and serenity at the beautiful 17th C Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, we’ll immerse ourselves in the frenetic pace of Meena Bazaar and Chandni Chowk, a souk-like bazaar of narrow streets and crowded alleyways.
We can’t leave this part of the old city without a walk through the Paranthe Wali Gali – literally ‘The lane of fried bread’! Delicious traditional parathas are sold here, accompanied by chutneys and curries.
After an exhilarating rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of the old city to the exterior of the Red Fort, we’ll visit the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at Raj Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna River.
Later in the afternoon we’ll visit the beautiful Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple, to witness the devotees at prayer, and check out the temple’s amazing communal kitchen which serves food to thousands of people each day.

Accommodation: Hotel Imperial, Delhi

DAY 4
Friday 23 February 2018
Old Delhi (B/L)

This morning we’ll visit the astonishing, 70m-high Qutb Minar complex. The 12th-century monument marks the site of the first Muslim kingdom in northern India. Next, we’ll visit the beautiful and serene 16th-century tomb of the 2nd Mughal Emperor, Humayun, which is tucked away in 100 acres of glorious Mughal gardens. This is the building which is said to have inspired the design of the Taj Mahal!
Lunch is at The Lodi Gardens, a calm space amid the chaos and crowds of Delhi. After lunch, we’ll wander through the gardens, which are filled with water features, fountains and monuments. We’ll have a chance to get some great shots of the majestic Neem Trees that are a feature of Delhi, and we will probably have time for a visit to the nearby Khan market.

Accommodation: Hotel Imperial, Delhi

DAY 5
Saturday 24 February 2018
Delhi – Agra (B)

This morning we head for Agra, on the legendary Grand Trunk Road. This road has linked the east and west of the subcontinent for more than two thousand years. We’ll pause on the outskirts of Agra to visit the tomb of Emperor Akbar the Great. This patron of art and architecture was the 3rd Mughal Emperor, who could neither read nor write, but had great vision for his realm. His tomb is surrounded by formally laid out gardens that have a natural beauty and are inhabited by wildlife including many birds, and deer. We’ll also visit the stunning ‘Mini Taj’, the Itmad-ud-Daulah, a peaceful mausoleum set in formal Mughal gardens on the banks of the Yamuna River.
Agra was the seat of the Imperial Mughal Court during the 16th and 17th C and has many wonderful examples of Mughal architecture.

Accommodation: ITC Mughal Hotel, Agra

DAY 6
Sunday 25 February 2018
Taj Mahal (B/D)

We’ll rise early for the unforgettable sight of the glorious Taj Mahal at sunrise. This magnificent ‘monument to love’ was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It has been described by UNESCO as ‘The Jewel of Muslim art in India’ and it’s bound to be a highlight of the tour.
We’ll head back to the hotel for a late breakfast, then visit Agra Fort. The great Mughal Emperor Akbar built the fort in 1565, and it is the site of Emperor Shah Jahans’ imprisonment. The site offers a different view of the Taj Mahal.
This afternoon we’ll partake of local hospitality when we visit a private garden, filled with flowers and beautiful birds, then a visit to the Mehtab Bagh, an ancient garden across the Yamuna River and perfectly aligned with the Taj Mahal. Having started the day with a view of the Taj painted in dawn pink, we’ll finish it relaxing as we watch the late afternoon’s golden light wash over it.

Accommodation: ITC Mughal Hotel, Agra

DAY 7
Monday 26 February 2018
Agra – Ranthambore (B/L/D)

Leaving Agra, we’ll drive to Fatehpur Sikri, the 16th-century capital of the Mughal rulers which was abandoned, some say, due to lack of water. This magnificent series of buildings is built entirely from red sandstone and seems to glow. After lunch, a train journey in an air conditioned carriage to Ranthambore, close to the National Park.

Accommodation: Fort Nahargarth, Ranthambore

DAY 8
Tuesday 27 February 2018
Ranthambore National Park (B/D)

It’s an early start this morning for a safari. Ranthambore National Park in the rolling Aravalli Hills is home to sambar deer, monkeys, spotted deer, black buck, nilgai, and many species of bird. If we’re lucky, we might spot a tiger or even a leopard!
After a late breakfast, you can swim, snooze, shop or simply relax in the hotel for the rest of the day, before a late afternoon safari, following a different route through the park.

Accommodation: Nahargarth Fort, Ranthambore

DAY 9
Wednesday 28 February 2018
Ranthambore – Jaipur (B/D)

Leaving the tranquillity of Ranthambore, we will pay a visit to a very special school for handicapped children, then make our way by road to Jaipur. This ancient city is often called ‘The Pink City’ in reference to the lovely terracotta-pink shades that wash the old buildings.
We’ll check into our hotel, the magnificent Taj Rambagh Palace. The Rambagh was the home of Jaipur’s royalty until 1957, and you’ll feel like a royal in its elegant rooms, marbled corridors and majestic gardens. The grand verandah, with its glossy marble floors, imposing columns and magnificent views over the gardens is just the spot for a late afternoon glass of champagne, accompanied by the sound of myriad fountains and the sight of strutting peacocks. You may even enjoy a game of croquet! A special meal this evening with a cooking demonstration followed by dinner at the home of a local family.

Accommodation: Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

DAY 10
Thursday 1 March 2018
Jaipur (B/L)

A short distance from our hotel is the magnificent hilltop Amber Fort, and it’s our first stop this morning. We’ll get a glimpse of Mughal luxury, circa 1592, in its royal apartments, mirrored halls, intricate marble inlays and fascinating courtyard gardens.
On our return to Jaipur, we’ll visit the ancient City Palace, which houses a museum of outstanding historical artefacts. Nearby is the ornate Hawa Mahal, ‘The Palace of the Winds’ which is surrounded by a labyrinth of bazaars.
Then visit the outdoor Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory, which was built in the early 1700s. The massive complex is perfectly preserved, and its huge devices are astoundingly accurate. The massive stone sundial tells the time to an accuracy of 2 seconds!

Accommodation: Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

DAY 11
Friday 2 March 2018
Jaipur (B/D)

We’ll see two exquisite Mughal Gardens today, starting off with Ram Niwas Gardens. Here the lawns, pools, fountains and flower beds are seen in the context of a wonderful backdrop of heritage buildings. Our second call is to the Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh Gardens, constructed in 1728 as a multi-tiered garden of pavilions, fountains and rills.
The afternoon will be free for shopping or relaxing at our beautiful hotel.
In the late afternoon drive to Dera Amer for a private elephant safari through the somnolent countryside. After optional elephant rides, we’ll dine at a country farm owned by a renowned Rajasthani family.

Accommodation: Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

DAY 12
Saturday 3 March 2018
Jaipur – Ranakpur – Udaipur (B/L)

Today we travel into the hills of Rajasthan to Ranakpur and visit the intricately carved Jain Temple, passing villages and countryside typical of the region. In the late afternoon, we’ll arrive in Udaipur. Beside shimmering Lake Pichola, with the ochre and purple ridges of the wooded Aravalli Hills stretching away in every direction, Udaipur has a romance of setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India. Fantastical palaces, temples, Havelis and countless narrow, crooked, colourful streets add the human counterpoint to the city’s natural charms. Udaipur’s tag of ‘the most romantic spot on the continent of India’ was first applied in 1829 by Colonel James Tod, the East India Company’s first Political Agent in the region. A boat will take us to our magnificent hotel, the Taj Lake Palace.

Accommodation: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

DAY 13
Sunday 4 March 2018
Udaipur (B/D)

Begin your half-day sightseeing tour of Udaipur with the City Palace and Museum. The largest palace complex in India, it is a blend of Mughal and Rajput influences. Also, see the 17th century Jagdish Temple, drive around the Fateh Sagar Lake, and visit the Sahelion ki Bari (the Garden of the Maids of Honour), an ornamental pleasure garden with fountains and marble kiosks.
This evening, enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola. What better way to end your day in Udaipur than a picturesque boat cruise along Lake Pichola? Watch the lake glimmer during a beautiful sunset as you pass Udaipur’s illuminated skyline dotted with mansions, and admire stately palaces on the lake’s islands. We will learn about Udaipur’s culture and history from our knowledgeable guide, then return and dress for our special Farewell Dinner tonight.

Accommodation: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

DAY 14
Monday 5 March 2018
Udaipur – Dehli – Singapore – Sydney (B)

Morning is at leisure.
Afternoon transfer to Udaipur domestic airport to board our flight back to Delhi. Return flight to Australia with Singapore Airlines.

DAY 15
Tuesday 6 March 2018
Home (inflight)

Arrive home today.

HOW TO BOOK

To secure your booking and make your deposit, please complete our online booking form. You will be contacted by a Ross Tours Travel Manager to confirm your details and preferred method of payment.

CANCELLATIONS

Cancellations received 180-120 days prior to departure will incur loss of deposit.
Cancellations received between 119-60 days prior to departure will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Cancellations received between 59-30 days prior to departure will incur a 75% cancellation fee plus any non-recoverable costs incurred.
Cancellations received within 30 days prior to departure will incur 100% cancellation fee.

Cancellations must be sent in writing.
Cancellation fee is based upon the total amounts paid including tours, airfares and all other travel arrangements.
Please refer to the Ross Garden Tours standard terms and conditions

TOUR INCLUSIONS
TOUR ESCORTED BY
LIBBY CAMERON
  • Return group economy airfare & taxes Sydney / Delhi / Sydney with Singapore Airlines
  • Air-conditioned mini coach for 10-14 passengers, motorcoach for 15+ passengers
  • Deluxe accommodation for 13 nights
  • Breakfast daily, 8 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Guided tours of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park
  • Entrance fees to all gardens and sightseeing including Rashtrapati Bhavan Mughal Gardens, India Gate, Raj Ghat, Jama Masjid, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Lodi Gardens, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Itmad-ud-Daulah, Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Mehtab Bagh Gardens, Fatehpur Sikri, Ranthambore National Park, Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Dera Amer, Jain Temples Ranakpur, Udaipur City Palace.
  • Fully escorted by Libby Cameron
  • Ross Tours travel wallet & bag
TOUR PRICE

Twin Share per person land only $9,895
Twin Share per person including air $11,295
Single Supplement $3,595

All prices in Australian Dollars
Prices based on minimum 15 passengers
Price is based on departure ex Sydney

DISCOUNTS

Book and pay in full by 14/10/17 to receive the Early Bird Discount of $300.00 per person off the final instalment.
Previous Traveller Discount $100.00
Garden Clinic Member Discount $50.00

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POSTCARDS

Read what our tour leaders have written about India here.

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