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From the moment you hop aboard a traditional pedicab for a thrill-filled ride through the streets of Old Delhi, your exploration of India will leave you exhilarated. Every stop is just a single color in a wider palette that creates the magical fabric of this ancient land. This vacation adventure will give you a memorable glimpse into India's most wondrous cities, famous forts, breathtaking architecture and evocative landscapes.
India is home to decadent displays of architecture, reflecting the glory and wonderful craftsmanship of long-forgotten empires. View the palatial complex of Amber Fort in Rajasthan, with its magical Chamber of Mirrors You’ll ascend to the Amber Fort atop a mighty elephant as royalty would have done centuries ago! Visit Jantar Mantar, an extraordinary observatory built in 1726, and the fabled Fatehpur Sikri, a fairy tale city built in the 16th century. And of course, no trip to India would be complete without a visit to the famed Taj Mahal. Stroll the grounds of the Taj Mahal as your guide tells the love story behind its creation. The next morning, see this magnificent monument at sunrise. Few know to cross the river, but from the garden of Mehtab Bagh you’ll catch a breathtaking early-morning view of the Taj Mahal. Watch as the morning light turns the white marble of this magnificent memorial a rosy hue.
India is also a country rich in spirituality, and your tour will include a chance to witness two of India’s most powerful rituals. In Varanasi, observe the Aarti Ceremony, an evocative candle-lit Hindu ritual of light and praise which unfolds along the sacred River Ganges. The following morning, in the golden light of dawn, witness thousands of devotees descending to the river’s holy waters for purification — a powerful and evocative sight. Also visit Sarnath, the spot where Buddha is thought to have given his first sermon. Add in plenty of time to shop and explore on your own, and you're sure to return home with travel memories that are truly unforgettable.
• 10 nights in superior first class and deluxe hotels: 3 nights in Delhi, 2 nights in Jaipur, 2 nights in Agra, 1 night in Khajuraho and 2 nights in Varanasi
• Daily breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner
• All on-tour transportation plus 2 internal flights
• Comprehensive escorted sightseeing with no more than 16 guests; includes all entry fees
• Luggage handling, and all hotel taxes and service charges
Day 1 - Welcome to Delhi, India
Check into your stylish hotel in the heart of the city.
Accommodation: Le Meridien Hotel - 2 nights
Day 2 - Discover Delhi, Old & New
Delight in Delhi from a variety of fascinating perspectives. In the morning, board a traditional cycle rickshaw for a Begin extensive sightseeing this morning as you drive along the elegant Rajpath past some of the city’s grandest monuments including the India Gate and Presidential Palace. Visit Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, and marvel at the imposing façade of the monumental Red Fort. Then step aboard a traditional pedicab to explore the bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk, marveling at the exotic sights and intriguing smells of Asia’s largest spice market. In the Kinari Bazaar, you’ll see numerous merchants specializing in wedding and festival decorations, everything from glittering gold and silver ornaments to lavish turbans.
Finish your sightseeing with two of the city’s most impressive architectural landmarks and both UNESCO World Heritage sites: Humayun’s Tomb and Qutab Minar with its graceful 12th-century minaret. Tonight, gather for a festive Welcome Dinner with traditional Indian dishes.
Day 3 - Jaipur Sightseeing
After breakfast, journey through the colorful Rajasthani countryside to Jaipur, India’s fabled “Pink City.” Check in to your deluxe hotel and enjoy some time to refresh and relax. This afternoon, join your guide for a fascinating walking tour through the busy streets of Old Jaipur. Mingle with city residents from all walks of life including the skilled artisans who make this city so famous for its exquisite jewelry, textiles and stone work. With insight from your engaging guide, this special excursion provides a contrasting look into India’s ancient ways and vibrant modern culture.
Accommodation: Marriott Hotel - 2 nights
Day 4 - Highlights of the Pink City
After breakfast, ascend into the Amber Fort atop a mighty elephant as royalty would have done centuries ago! A tour of its lavish courtyards, opulent royal halls and the magical Chamber of Mirrors reveal the grandeur of a kingdom never conquered.
Continue sightseeing at the oft-photographed Palace of Winds, beloved for its magnificent latticed façade. You’ll also visit the Palace Museum to admire its fabulous displays of miniature paintings, ancient weapons and traditional Rajasthani royal costumes. Then tour Jantar Mantar, an unusual observatory built in 1726. Here you will see architectural stone instruments that were ingeniously designed and meticulously constructed to accurately measure time, predict eclipses and track the movements of the stars and planets.
Day 5 - Fatehpur Kikri & the Amazing Taj Mahal
Explore the magnificent “ghost town” of Fatehpur Sikri, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Built and mysteriously abandoned in the 16h century, its pristine condition makes it easy to imagine the opulence of Indian court life long ago.
Continue on to Agra and check in to your hotel. A special early evening visit to the Taj Mahal reveals the magic of this monument. Stand in awe as the setting sun seems to magically shift the hues of its glowing, pearly white façade of this magnificent monument, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the mid-1600s as a memorial to his beloved wife, a work force nearly 22,000 strong spent more than 20 years on its construction. At a local workshop, observe the artistry behind the region’s exquisite marble inlay work, a tradition that stretches back for centuries.
Accommodation: Radisson Hotel, Agra - 2 nights
Day 6 - Taj Mahal at Sunrise
Rise early this morning for a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal, an unforgettable spectacle as the sun casts its first golden light upon the iridescent marble of this inspiring monument. Return to your hotel for breakfast and then tour the impressive Agra Fort, built in 1565 by the great Emperor Akbar. After sightseeing, the balance of your day is free to explore and shop on your own.
Day 7 - Orchha & Khajuraho
After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the rail station to board the Shatabdi Express Train bound for Jhansi. Upon arrival, you’ll be met and driven to Orchha for a sightseeing tour of this celebrated medieval city, the site of several magnificent temples and palaces of the Bundela Dynasty. After lunch, continue to Khajuraho and check in to your hotel.
Accommodation: Radission Hotel, Khajuraho - 1 night
Day 8 - Khajuraho & Varanasi
This morning’s sightseeing shows you the most significant of the Khajuraho’s spectacular 10thcentury temples. Many are adorned with erotic carvings and are notable for the near-perfect balance they strike between architecture and sculpture.
Then transfer to the airport for your included flight to Varanasi, one of the most ancient cities in the world and the center of the Hindu faith. You’ll be met and driven to your hotel. After time to refresh, visit Sarnath, revered as the place where Buddha gave his first sermon. This evening’s specially-arranged excursion brings you to the banks of the River Ganges to witness the Aarti Ceremony, an evocative Hindu ritual of light and devotion.
Accommodation: Radission Hotel, Varanasi - 2 nights
Day 9 - Varanasi Sightseeing
Set out at dawn for a boat ride on the Ganges as thousands of devotees descend to the holy waters for purification. It’s a daily ritual which has unfolded here for thousands of years, and one of the most powerful scenes you will ever witness.
Continue on to the most important shore temples of the Ganges and visit Sarnath. The museum here is one of the most important in India, with spectacular collection of ancient Buddhist carvings and artifacts that span more than a millennium, from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D. Before returning to your hotel, visit a workshop where beautiful silks are hand woven. The celebrated saris of the region are known for their intricate designs and use of pure-gold thread.
Day 10 - Back to Delhi
After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your flight back to Delhi and then be transferred to your hotel. With the rest of your afternoon and evening free, take advantage of your hotel’s terrific location and step out to enjoy some of the city’s most popular shopping and dining venues.
Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Gurgaon Hotel - 1 night
Day 11 - Farewell to India
Your tour ends this morning after breakfast.
Limitations & Restrictions
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
**Restrictions apply to the AAA Vacations® Best Price Guarantee and 24/7 Member Care. Should you find a valid better rate for the exact same itinerary within 24 hours of booking, AAA will match the lower rate. Ask your AAA Travel Counselor for details.
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