After breakfast drive on Yamuna Expressway in about 2.5 hours to Agra and visit the beautiful white marble tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah, designed by the Mughal queen Nur Jahan as a mausoleum for her parents, Mirza Ghiaz Beg and Begum Asmat. This was the first large mausoleum of Mughal period made in white marble and used the art of inlay of semi-precious stones in marble. Unlike the later built Taj Mahal, this building used only the various shades of Jasper stone and black marble for inlay where as in the Taj Mahal, Emperor Shahjahan used a large variety of semi-precious stones. After lunch in Curry Centre Restaurant of Marina Hotel in Agra, visit the Mausoleum of 3rd. Mughal Emperor Akbar and the Dayalbagh Temple that has been under construction for almost 100 years. Later enjoy a demonstration of the art of inlay of semi-precious stones in marble by descendents of artisans who built the Taj Mahal. Overnight in Hotel.
Early morning be amazed by the unforgettable view of the world famous Taj Mahal in the morning glow of sunrise. It is a mausoleum to commemorate Emperor Shahjahan’s love for his favorite queen, the Shia Persian, Arjumand Bano Begum. She received the title of Mumtaj Mahal. She died delivering her 14th. child outside a battlefield at Burhanpur in central India in 1630. The construction started in 1631 and was completed in 1648 according an inscription on the main gate of the building. The white marble mausoleum was decorated with Pietra Dure motifs – inlay of semi-precious stones like Jasper, Malachite, Lapiz Lazuli, Jade and various shades of Agate etc. After breakfast visit a marble factory to see the traditional craftsmen working on inlay of semi-precious stones in marble.
After lunch at a local restaurant, sightseeing the Red Fort built by the third Mughal Emperor Akbar, who was just a teenager when he was placed on the throne of a precarious kingdom. With his liberal and humane policies, he gained the trust of the majority Hindus and founded the richest empire in the contemporary world covering a vast territory from present day Afghanistan to Assam to the Deccan in the south, and from Gujarat on Arabian Sea to Assam and Bengal (present day state of Bengal in India & Bangladesh) on the Bay of Bengal. His grandson renovated many palaces on the eastern side of the fort, building the luxurious, white marble edifices, where he was confined as a prisoner of his own son, Aurangzeb, during the last eight years of his life. During the reign of Mughal Emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan, many historians, travelers and emissaries from Europe visited India and were amazed by the culture and affluence of the vast empire. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 05: Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Abhineri Village – Jaipur
After breakfast drive to the capital of Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri, that was inhabited only for 14 years and then deserted for more than 400 years. Sightseeing of the red sandstone palaces and the white marble mausoleum of a Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chistie, who prophesied that Emperor Akbar would have three sons.Later drive to Umed Lake Palace in Dausa for lunch. After lunch visit the Chand Baori in Abhineri village, the world’s deepest Step-well and drive further to Jaipur. On arrival check-in the historical Taj Jai Mahal Palace. Late afternoon enjoy the demonstration of cutting and polishing of colored precious stones, wood block textile printing, woolen carpet weaving etc. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 06 : Amber Fort – City Palace – Astronomical Observatory
After breakfast drive to the walled “Pink City” to visit the Hawa Mahal palace that
Was built as a parade viewing gallery for the ladies of the royal family. Drive further to the Amber Fort. At the foot of the hill ascend on beautifully decorated elephants for a ride to the hilltop palaces of Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Maharaja Man Singh, who was a close confidant of Emperor Akbar and the commander of Mughal armies for many expeditions. Enjoy a demonstration of Rajasthani Turban wrapping in the Turban Museum of Surabhi Restaurant. After lunch at Surabhi Restaurant visit the City Palace of Jaipur famous for its fine collection of Mughal & Rajasthani miniature paintings. Visit the astronomical observatory built by Sawai Raja Jai Singh in 1734. All except one of its 17 astronomical instruments are still functional. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 07: Jaipur – Deogarh
After breakfast drive to Deogarh Mahal, built in 1670 by a powerful clan related to the Sisodia Maharanas of Chittorgarh and Udaipur. The palace is tastefully renovated with period furniture and interior decorations. Each room has a different decor. Relax and explore the palace. After lunch enjoy a walk in the alleys of the village surrounding the palace. Dinner and overnight in Deogarh Mahal.
Day 08 : Deogarh
Full day to relax and enjoy the palace and its surroundings. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight in Deogarh Mahal.
Day 09 Deogarh – Udaipur
After breakfast drive to Udaipur. Check-in Hotel overlooking Pichola Lake, City
Palace & Jag Mandir Lake Palace.
After lunch at Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel, relax on a boat ride and sightseeing of Jag Mandir Lake Palace on an island in Pichola Lake. Begun in 1743 and inaugurated in 1746, the new palace was named Jag Niwas after his highness Maharana Jagat Singh II, 62nd successor to the royal dynasty of Mewar. Maharana Bhagat Singhji of Mewar Dynasty converted this palace in to a hotel in 1963. In 1971 the Taj Group of Hotels took over its management and since then it has been one of the world’s most luxurious, heritage hotels. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 10 : Udaipur
After breakfast sightseeing of Maharanas’ City Palace and demonstration of the art of miniature painting in the original medieval style in the Maharana’s Art School in the City Palace. The Maharanas of Mewar had their original capital in the present day pilgrimage town of Nagda, 30 kilometers or 19 miles north of Udaipur. It was established by the 1st. Maharana, Guhil, in 568 CE. In the 8th. century CE the capital was moved to Chittor, where the successive Maharanas built the largest Fort and city in contemporary India over remains of a Mauryan, older fort. Already before the sacking of Chittorgarh by Mughal Emperor Akbar, in February 1568 after a long siege that began in October 1567, the plans for a new capital were under way. The construction of the Mewar Dynasty’s City Palace in Udaipur started in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh and continued by his successors over a period of about 300 years. Today the visitor’s see the Mardana (male section) and Zanana (female section) of the museum part of the palace. Apart from this two other sections of the palace are converted in to hotels: “The Shiv Niwas Palace” and “The Fateh Prakash Palace”. The descendents of the Maharanas of Mewar still reside in one section of the palace.
After lunch in a city restaurant, sightseeing of Jagdish Temple that was constructed by Maharana Jagat Singhji in 1651. Overnight in Hotel.
After breakfast drive to Ranakpur for lunch in a local restaurant and sightseeing of the Chowmukha Jain Temple that was built between 1437 and 1458. This Jain temple is one of the finest in India in its design and sculptures. Drive further to Jodhpur. Check-in the Ajit Bhawan Palace Hotel. Sightseeing of the Mehrengarh Fort in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 11 : Jodhpur – Pushkar
After breakfast explore the Umaid Bhawan Palace before the drive to Pushkar and check-in to Pushkar Bagh Resort Hotel. Sightseeing of Brahma Temple & temples on lake side. Pushkar is a popular pilgrimage center for Hindus living in nearby region. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 12 : Pushkar – Nawalgarh
After breakfast drive about 6 hours to Nawalgarh for sightseeing of the fort and Havelis (Anandilal Poddar, Bansidhar, Murarka and Chowkhani Havelis) in Nawalgarh and the Roop Vilas Palace Hotel. Lunch, dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 13 : Nawalgarh – New Delhi
In the morning visit the Havelis (that could not be covered in Day 14). After early lunch drive to New Delhi for farewell dinner in Gurgaon – the new information technology city south of Indira Gandhi international airport. Later transfer to airport to board for International Destination.
Note : There would be a farewell dinner at a plush Hotel near the Airport.