Mysteries of India

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Overview

India is a land of many nations, civilizations, and histories, where glimpses of empires past can be found at every corner. Immerse yourself in the country’s dazzling Mughal and Rajput heritage, exploring sprawling forts and enchanting palaces, and delve into traditional markets that burst with life and colour. Meet local villagers and learn about rural customs, observe craftspeople at work, and cook a delicious Rajasthani meal with a family in Udaipur.

Itinerary

Day 1: Delhi

Arrive at any time; your arrival transfer is included through Women With Wheels, a G Adventures–supported project.

There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel (check-in time is noon) and enjoy the city.

Day 2: DELHI/MANDAWA

Set out to discover New Delhi, a part of India’s capital that was built by the British in the early 20th century. Explore the lively Paharganj district with a youth guide from the G Adventures–supported City Walk project, and hear about how the program provides opportunities to disadvantaged street youth. Then get a glimpse of New Delhi’s wide boulevards and British colonial architecture. Drive to Mandawa in Rajasthan this afternoon.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 3: MANDAWA/BIKANER

Set out on a walking tour of Mandawa. This charming 18th-century town is known for its ornately decorated mansions, where wealthy local merchants used to live. Then drive to Bikaner, situated in the great Thar Desert, and settle into our heritage hotel. Stroll through the town's colourful markets, and opt to visit a camel breeding centre.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 4: BIKANER

Explore the vibrant oasis city of Bikaner, which lay on an important caravan route. Delve into traditional markets where tea and spices were once bartered, and learn from a local expert about how modern business practices have been shaped by the town’s trading history. Later, explore the stunning palaces and courtyards of the Junagarh Fort, built in the late 16th century of sandstone and marble; then head to the small town of Deshnoke to visit the intriguing Karni Mata Temple, popularly called the Rat Temple.

Don't have a liking for rats? (Really, it's ok if you don't) Opt to stay out and enjoy the beautifully carved doorway and the small market nearby.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 5: BIKANER/JODHPUR

Travel to enchanting Jodhpur, known as the “Blue City” for the blue-tinted exteriors of the town’s old quarter. Set out to explore Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur’s 15th-century citadel, admiring its mirrored rooms and lavish collection of miniature paintings, weapons, and ivory artifacts; and take a walk to the city’s iconic clock tower, set in the middle of a bustling market.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 6: Jodhpur/Chandelao

Today, we venture into the countryside on 4x4s to visit tribal villages and witness traditional crafts, such as weaving and ceramics. In the Bishnoi village, meet with members of the Bishnoi sect and learn about their spiritual commitment to the environment. Continue to our lodgings in Chandelao Garh—the ancestral home of the former rulers of Chandelao village—and gain a unique insight into the lifestyle of the region’s nobility.

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Chandelao

Enjoy a relaxing stay at Chandelao Garh, strolling through flower-filled gardens where peacocks strut and parrots flutter. Step into quaint Chandelao village and chat with local people as they go about their routine chores, admiring the women’s colourful dresses and the men’s bright turbans. Meet with village elders and teachers to discuss various aspects of daily life, and visit Chandelao Garh’s Sunder Rang project, which aims to preserve local crafts while empowering village women to become economically independent.

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Chandelao/Udaipur

Drive to Udaipur this morning, stopping en route at the Ranakpur Jain temple—a grand marble shrine devoted to Adinatha, the first of 24 teachers or “saviours” of the ancient Jain religion. This afternoon, take an orientation walk of Udaipur, known as the “City of Lakes.”

Includes: Breakfast

Day 9: Udaipur

Set out to explore romantic Udaipur. Visit the exquisite City Palace—the largest palace complex in Rajasthan—and step into Jagdish Temple, which pays homage to the Hindu god Vishnu. Hop on a boat tour of scenic Lake Pichola, and enjoy a cooking demonstration in the home of a local family, sitting down to share a delicious meal of Rajasthani curries.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Udaipur/Jojawar

Travel to the colourful village of Jojawar to get a taste of rural Rajasthani life. Settle into your heritage hotel, and embark on a train safari through the lush hills of the Aravalli Range.

Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Jojawar/Jaipur

After breakfast, drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, boasting beautiful palaces and temples and many atmospheric markets. Spend the evening at leisure.

Jaipur, known as the "Pink City," with many beautiful palaces, forts, gardens, temples, and unending market streets, is a city with lots to offer.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 12: Jaipur

Explore Jaipur, known as the “Pink City” for its rose-coloured buildings. Take a tour of the sprawling Amber Fort, the former residence of Jaipur’s Rajput rulers; and admire the exterior of Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds, a stunning five-story sandstone building with distinctive honeycombed windows. Discover the rich collections of the City Palace museum, and stop by the 18th-century royal observatory known as Jantar Mantar.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 13: JAIPUR/AGRA

Drive to historic Agra, which served as the capital of the Delhi sultanate and later of the Mughal Empire. Stop on the way at the magnificent fortified city of Fatehpur Sikri, where the Mughal Emperor Akbar built a short-lived capital in the 16th century. In Agra, take a tour of the Agra Fort, an impressive citadel of red sandstone which conceals palaces of white marble within.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 14: Āgra/Delhi

This morning, visit the breathtaking Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, this iconic mausoleum was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Later, return to Delhi for your last evening in India.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 15: Delhi

Depart at any time.

Includes: Breakfast

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