A rousing adventure, this private journey connects you intimately with what makes India so magnificent—its virtuosity and diversity of architecture, spirituality, and wonderfully charming people—all bridging modern India to antiquity. From touring the exotic bazaars of “Old Delhi,” to watching the sun rise and set upon the heavenly Taj Mahal, to exploring the “Pink City” of Jaipur with its glorious sandstone buildings, to experiencing the tranquil rustic beauty of rural India at the Dera Village eco-lodge, and visiting the forbidding yet lavishly decorated Red Fort in Agra—come let your heart be overcome by India’s resplendent cultural display.
Our Quick Escape series of short journeys are designed for the modern traveler who seeks to experience the majestic beauty and diverse cultures of exotic lands far far away, but has time constraints that only allow for a one-week break from the demands of the office, home, or family.
$3,845 Per Person
$945 Per Person
INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS + span>
LAND PRICE INCLUDES:
Ground transportation in Mongolia as described in the itinerary
Transfers upon arrival and departure
All accommodations based on double or twin occupancy (hotel rooms and gers)
All meals in Mongolia including a camp cook while tenting
Bottled/filtered water throughout the trip and soft drinks at meals
All excursions, entrance fees, and visits as described in itinerary
Extensive pre-departure Travel Guide, reading list, important information about your trip, and luggage tags
Bilingual Nomadic Expeditions guide throughout your stay.
LAND PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
International airfare; internal airfare is quoted separately and subject to change by airlines
Passport and visa fees
Comprehensive medical and trip insurance
Excess baggage charges
Photography and video fees
Tips to guides and drivers
Food and beverages not included in the group meals
Items of personal nature, including alcoholic beverages, laundry, and telephone calls
Other items not specifically mentioned as included
"We had an excellent experience with Nomadic Expeditions in India. The quality of the guides (most had PhDs or other advanced education and excellent English and local knowledge) was superb. The accommodations were great! The absolute highlight of the trip was our visit to the Dera Village Retreat where we had many activities and were able to interract with local villagers."
"One of the best holidays I have had! Everything was wonderful!"
"Everything was well-run once we were in India, and we felt 100% supported. India isn't the easiest country to visit, but Sanjay ensured we saw the highlights; everything was beautifully arranged and the trip was magical."
After negotiating Immigration and Customs, step into the receiving area, where you will be met by Nomadic Expedition staff and escorted to your hotel, located in the heart of New Delhi. Expect to reach the hotel approximately two to three hours after landing.
After an “orientation meeting” with our local staff, head out to visit two of India’s main religions with visits to a Hindu and a Sikh temple. Both of these temples are very active and hundreds of pilgrims come every day to pray and meditate in the halls and rooms. We will first visit Lakshmi Narayan Temple (photo on left), also known as the Birla Mandir. Built in 1938, this beautiful temple is dedicated to the goddess of prosperity and good fortune from the Hindu pantheon of Gods.
After exploring the temple and hearing stories from Hindu mythology, head off to experience one the most visible and vibrant of India’s religion – the Sikhs. The Sikh men stand out in any crowd with their colorful turbans and beards. We visit Bangla Sahib Gurudwara (a Sikh temple). At one time this was the bungalow of Raja Jai Amber from Jaipur. This is a very active temple and hundreds of pilgrims come every day to pray and meditate in the halls and rooms.
Sunset will find us at the famous India Gate with its vast lawns, where tens of local families come to enjoy sunset and picnic. We will mingle with the local families, play on the lawns before heading off to an Indian restaurant for our welcome dinner.
(Shangri-La Hotel; B, D)
Day 2 - EXPLORE “OLD DELHI”
Heading out after an early breakfast you explore “Old Delhi,” with its narrow dirt roads, its myriad people and inexpensive and colorful bazaars that keep alive the traditional workmanship for which Delhi has always been famous.
Driving past the Red Fort (you will visit the grander red fort in Agra), you trade your motor vehicle for a bicycle rickshaw, which will take you into the heart of Chandni Chowke (the silver square - so named because of the silver merchants). Negotiating alleyways, which seemingly get narrower and narrower you end up at the Jama Masjid, the largest Muslim mosque in India.
After exploring the Mosque and getting an insight on ‘Islamic India,’ we head to Raj Ghat – the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi, which has become a major pilgrimage site for India. On any day one can expect to see visitors from all parts of India spending time in the gardens. The evening is at your leisure to dine in one of Delhi fine restaurants.
(Shangri-La Hotel; B)
Day 3 - TO AGRA
After breakfast you depart by road (private car/driver) for Agra a three-hour drive on the new National Highway brings you to the Mughal City.
After checking-in, you head out on over the Yamuna River to explore the forerunner of the Taj Mahal - the elaborately ornate Itmad ud Daula. In memory of her father, this mausoleum was built by Queen Nur Jahan in 1622, and is a perfect example of the fine inlaid stonework and translucent marble screens that Agra is so famous for. Many historians believe that this monument was the inspiration for Shah Jahan to build the Taj, and it is often described as the “petite Taj.”
For sunset on the Taj we go to Mitab Bagh, across the river fromthe Taj. Legend has it that this garden was the site chosen by the Emperor Shah Jahan to build a mirror image of the Taj in black marble – a mausoleum for himself.
(ITC Mughal; B)
Day 4 - EXPLORE AGRA
You will rise early to watch the sunrise over the Taj Mahal—an unforgettable way to start off your day. Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in 1631 to enshrine the mortal remains of his Queen Mumtaz Mahal. It took seventeen years, 20,000 workers and a King’s treasury to build this wonder. You will wander with your guide into the inner chambers of this monument to love, the planet’s most famous and most entrancing exercise in Muslim architecture. Experience the Taj up close, and watch the light play on its magnificent lines from other parts of the city; sometimes the reflection of the Taj in the Yamuna River seems as spectacular as the monument itself.
After lunch, you visit Agra Fort, built by Akbar as his citadel over the years 1565-73 in the finest architectural style. It is an almost perfect fusion between military might and lavish beauty. The fort, approachable through its two lofty main portals on the west and south, was successively occupied by three great Mughals - Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan - each of whom made significant structural contributions to this complex. Shah Jahan died here, imprisoned by his son, gazing at the Taj Mahal he had built in memory of his wife.
This evening you have the option of returning to the Taj Mahal for sunset or simply relaxing at your hotel.
(ITC Mughal; B)
Day 5 - FATEPUR SIKRI – KALAKHO VILLAGE AREA
Departing Agra, you now delve deeper into rural India. An hour outside of Agra is your first stop of the day. Fatepur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1570 and 1586. Akbar built the city to celebrate the birth of an heir (the future Emperor Jehangir). After 16 years, there was not enough water to support the population, so the capital was moved back to the Red Fort in Agra. The dryness that plagued Akbar and forced him to abandon his dream city has perfectly preserved this moment of Mughal history and exquisite memorial to the genius of Akbar for our admiration today.
A four-hour drive from Fatepur brings you to the Clement Village Retreat in the Kalakho village area. Set on the banks of a monsoon lake, off the Agra to Jaipur highway, it is ideally located for exploring the traditional village life of rural India. Skillfully blending the exotic ambience of an authentic village with modern facilities, this air-conditioned retreat is a unique experience.
At the Clement Village Retreat, guests are treated to the ultimate in Indian hospitality with attentive personal service, in spacious and tastefully furnished tented accommodations offering private facilities and sumptuous dining. The range of activities in Kalakho includes wildlife viewing, camel trekking, horse riding and village safaris, which include home visits in the neighboring village communities.
(Clement Village Retreat; B, L, D)
Day 6 - DRIVE TO JAIPUR
After a leisurely breakfast, saying goodbye to your village hosts you drive 3-hours to the “Pink city.” Jaipur is popularly known as the “Pink City,” due to the pink-colored sandstone of the buildings in the old walled city. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan, home of the Rajputs - a group of warrior clans who ruled this part of India for a thousand years. Built in 1727 by the warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh-II, Jaipur is laid out as described in the ancient Hindu treatise on architecture, the “Shilpa- Shastra.” Battlement walls with seven gates encircle the old city, and broad avenues divide it into neat rectangles.
On arrival in Jaipur, we will check into the Prime Minister of Jaipur’s old residence, now an elegant hotel. The Jai Mahal Palace was built in 1745 and has been painstakingly restored by the Taj Group of Hotels. With classic Indo- Saracenic architecture set amidst 18 acres of landscaped Mughal gardens, the property is also ideally located to take advantage of Jaipur’s many sites.
(Jai Mahal Palace; B)
Day 7 - EXPLORE JAIPUR
In the morning, tour the Amber Fort and Palace. This is a beautiful and very well preserved 16th-Century structure, built on four levels and surrounded by ruins. This was the location backdrop for the Mira Nair movie “Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love.” Among the many splendors of the fort is a small room with a ceiling covered in tiny mirrors. Stepping into the darkened enclosure, a man lights two candles, moving them in circles to create a pattern that looks like an incredible star-filled sky. When this place was inhabited, a girl did this as part of her dance oflove for her Maharaja.
You’ll visit the Temple of Kali, the Hall of Victory, or Jai Mahal and Jagmandir. You will also have the unique experience of traveling on the back of an elephant as you ride to the top of the hill on which the fort is situated.
This afternoon, you will wander in the colorful bazaars of the old city and tour the interior of Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and the City Palace, where the present Maharaja resides. There is a Mughal art museum, housing a lovely collection of Rajasthani & Mughal miniature painting. Part of the complex is an outdoor 18th- Century astronomical and astrological observatory (Jantar Mantar) with several incredible sundials - accurate to 0.2 seconds - and very modern-looking astrological markers.
(Jai Mahal Palace; B)
Day 8 - DEPARTURE
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch your outbound flight to Delhi and onwards.