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GARDENS OF NORTH INDIA
PALACES, FORTS AND MUGHAL GARDENS OF ROYAL RAJASTHAN

21 February – 7 March 2017

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DAY SIX
Taj Mahal at sunrise
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DAY 10
The Amber Fort in Jaipur
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Discover traditional Indian spices in a local market
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Colourful displays of cut flowers in a local market
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DAY 12
An old man stands alongside the Pink Fort
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DAY 10
The Amber Fort In Jaipur
ITINERARY
The opulent palaces, towering forts, beautiful gardens, vibrant colours and incredible bazaars of India have cast their spell on Libby Cameron. She invites you to join her on a wonderfully luxurious adventure to Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Udaipur and Jaipur.

DAY 1
Tuesday 21 February 2017
Home – Delhi

Your Ross Garden Tour leader Libby Cameron 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 Ghandi and Nehru to discuss the partition of India for instance, and the Nehru family kept a permanent suite in the hotel.

We’ll explore a little of what the Imperial has always offered its guests.

Accommodation: Hotel Imperial, Delhi

DAY 2
Wednesday 22 February 2017
Delhi (B/L)

We’ll visit the astonishing, 70m-high Qutb Minar complex. This 12th century monument marks the site of the first Muslim kingdom in northern India.

Then a visit to the 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 such a feature of Delhi.

Tonight we are free to relax and enjoy the luxury of the Imperial, or to head out and explore some of Delhi’s delights.

Accommodation: Hotel Imperial, Delhi

DAY 3
Thursday 23 February 2017
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 we’ll immerse ourselves in the frenetic pace of Meena Bazaar and Chandni Chowk, a souk-like bazaar of narrow streets and crowded alleyways. Having had a glimpse into daily life in Old Delhi we’ll meet up with a food expert for a visit to Asia’s largest wholesale spice market, Khari Baoli. This is total sensory overload as spices, pickles and chutneys scent the air and the place teems with rickshaws, spice dealers and shoppers. It looks like chaos but has a logic all of its own. After all, it’s worked for hundreds of years!

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.

The rest of the afternoon is yours to relax by the pool, try out the Imperial’s award-winning spa or consult the in-house Vedic astrologer. Later in the afternoon you might like to join us in a visit to the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple, to witness the devotees at prayer, and check out the temple’s amazing communal kitchen.

Accommodation: Hotel Imperial, Delhi

DAY 4
Friday 24 February 2017
Delhi (B/L)

We’ll tour New Delhi this morning, with a stop at India Gate, which was built in memory of the Indian Soldiers who died in WW1, Rajpath and Parliament. Edward Lutyens, the architect best known to garden lovers for his collaborations with Gertrude Jekyll, designed these buildings and this part of the city.

This afternoon 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. Nearby is Birla Temple, built in 1938 and dedicated to Laxmi, the goddess of prosperity, and to Narayana, the preserver. As Gandhi decreed, this is a temple for all castes.

We’ll end the day with a stroll through lively Connaught Place, a business HQ that was developed as a showpiece of Lutyens’ Delhi. Today, CP’s buildings house the world’s fifth most expensive office space.

Accommodation: Hotel Imperial, Delhi

DAY 5
Saturday 25 February 2017
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 and his tomb is surrounded by magnificent formal gardens decorated by palms and neem trees, as well as by birds and deer.

Agra was the seat of the Imperial Mughal court during the 16th and 17th centuries and has many wonderful examples of Mughal architecture. Our hotel, ITC Mughal is the only Indian hotel to have won the prestigious Aga Khan award for its excellent representation of Mughal architecture. It’s set in 35 acres of gardens and is close to the Taj Mahal.

In the late afternoon we’ll visit what’s called the ‘Mini Taj’, the Itmad-ud-Daulah, a peaceful mausoleum surrounded by formal Mughal gardens on the banks of the Yamuna River.

Accommodation: ITC Mughal Hotel, Agra

DAY 6
Sunday 26 February 2017
Agra (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 Jehan 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 your tour.

We’ll head back to the hotel for a late breakfast, then visit Agra Fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. The great Mughal Emperor Akbar built the fort in 1565 and it is the site of Emperor Shah Jehans’ imprisonment. The site offers a different view of the Taj Mahal.

A short drive away is the Mehtab Bagh gardens. This ancient garden has been partially restored with plants of the Mughal era but that’s not the real reason we’re here. The gardens are across the 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 sunset’s golden light wash over it.
Accommodation: ITC Mughal Hotel, Agra

DAY 7
Monday 27 February 2017
Agra – Ranthambore (B/L/D)

Today we’ll head to Fatehpur Sikri, the 16th century capital of the Mughal rulers, which was ultimately abandoned due to lack of water. This magnificent series of buildings is built entirely from red sandstone and seems to glow.

We’ll lunch at Chandra Mahal Haveli and take the afternoon train Bharatpur Railway to Ranthambore.

Accommodation: Nahargarth Fort, Ranthambore

DAY 8
Tuesday 28 February 2017
Ranthambore (B/L/D)

We’ll be up early this morning for a safari! Ranthambore National Park, in the rolling Aravali Hills, is home to sambar deer, monkeys, spotted deer, black buck, nilgai, and many species of birds. If we’re lucky we might even spot a tiger!

You can snooze or enjoy yourself 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 1 March 2017
Ranthambore – Jaipur (B/L)

Travel to Jaipur and check in to our hotel, the magnificent Taj Rambagh Palace set amongst 47 acres of gardens, fountains and strutting peacocks.

Out option this evening is to dine in traditional surroundings under the hospitality of a noble family of the Jairpur state. Located in a heritage home surrounded with frescos and scalloped architecture, Libby will help you on a step-by-step discovery, dining on a colourful array of local delicacies particular to the Rajasthani culture.
Accommodation: Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

DAY 10
Thursday 2 March 2017
Jaipur (B/L)

Jaipur is affectionately referred to as the Pink City because of the pink walls and buildings of the old city, lures visitors with its stunning remnants of a bygone era. We’ll visit the most popular Jaipur attractions today: ancient palaces and forts, with elaborate architecture that serves as a resplendent reminder of their royal heritage.

A short distance from our hotel is the fairytale hilltop Amber Fort, overlooking Maota Lake, and it’s our first stop this morning. The fort entrance is reached by walking up the hill, going in a jeep, or taking a lurching elephant ride. We’ll get a glimpse of Mughal luxury, circa 1592, in its royal apartments, mirrored halls, intricate marble inlays and fascinating courtyard gardens. Lunch is at Spice.

On our return to Jaipur we’ll visit the ancient City Palace, a huge complex of courtyards, gardens, and buildings blend both Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Inside the City Palace complex is a museum, art gallery, and interesting displays of royal costumes and old Indian weapons.

Nearby is the ornate Hawa Mahal, ‘The Palace of the Winds’ which is surrounded by a labyrinth of bazaars – and great shopping opportunities! Legend has it that the palace, which overlooks the main street of Jaipur’s lively Old City, was built so that the women of the royal household could watch the streets below without being observed. A panoramic view can be had from the top of the building.

We’ll load the shopping bags on the coach and then visit the outdoor Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory, which was built in the early 1700s. The massive complex is perfectly preserved, and you’ll be amazed at how accurate its huge devices are.

There are more shopping opportunities tonight when we wander the shopping streets of old Jaipur. Some of the most popular items are precious gemstones, silver jewellery, bangles, clothes, blue pottery, and textiles.

Accommodation: Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

DAY 11
Friday 3 March 2017
Jaipur (B/L/D)

We’ll see two exquisite gardens today. We head to the outskirts of Jaipur to visit Kanak Ghati, a sacred hindi temple surrounded by flowers and alluring waterfalls. Next up the Royal Palace Garden.

We’ll lunch at Dera Mandawa, then drive to Dera Amber for a private elephant safari through the somnolent countryside. We’ll clamber off the elephants and dine at a country farm owned by a renowned Jaipur family.

Accommodation: Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

DAY 12
Saturday 4 March 2017
Jaipur – Ranakpur – Udaipur (B/L)

Travel further into Rajastan to Udaipur with a lunch stop at Ranakpur to visit intricately carved Ranakpur Jain Temples.
Late afternoon continue to Udaipur.
Our luxurious hotel for the next two nights is Taj Lake Palace on the shore of 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.
Palaces, temples and havelis (traditional houses) and 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.

Accommodation: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

DAY 13
Sunday 5 March 2017
Udaipur (B/L)

A city tour this morning of Udaipur includes the City Palace and Museum. The largest palace complex in India, it’s a blend of
Mughal and Rajput influences. We will see the 17th century Jagdish temple. We’ll drive around the Fatehsagar Lake
and visit the Sahelion ki Bari (the Garden for the Maids of Honour), an ornamental pleasure garden with fountains and
marble kiosks.
The day will end with a cruise on Lake Pichola to see Udaipur’s illuminated skyline.
We will see stately palaces on the islands in this lake and learn their history. Then we’ll all get together for our
Farewell Dinner in our hotel.

Accommodation: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

DAY 14
Monday 6 March 2017
Udaipur – Dehli – Singapore – Sydney (B)

A relaxed breakfast this morning before we travel back to Udaipur to the airport for our flight to Dehli, then onward home.

DAY 15
Tuesday 7 March 2017
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 Humayuns Tomb Garden, Lodi Gardens, India Gate, Raj Ghat, Raj Path, Mahtab Bagh, Itimad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb Garden, Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Kanak Ghati Gardens, Royal Palace Gardens, Udaipur City Palace, Amber Palace, Hauz Khas Village
  • Fully escorted by Libby Cameron
  • Ross Tours travel wallet & bag
TOUR PRICE

Twin Share per person land only $9,495
Twin Share per person including air $10,995
Single Supplement $3,295

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 14/10/16 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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