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Moghul India & Tigers

Moghul India & Tigers
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Duration: 9 Days

Trip Grade: two star

Moghul India & Tigers is a classic trip combining the world's iconic monument of enduring love and the spectacular opportunity of viewing tiger one of the world's most endangered wildlife species. The rich cultural legacy of the Mughal India era, successful conservation efforts of Ranthambore National Park, ancient Jaipur and beautiful Udaipur Lake will be visited on this trip.

 

Day 1: Flight arrival in Delhi

Arrive in Delhi. Welcome upon arrival in Delhi and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 2: Tours – Delhi

In the morning, visit Delhi, starting with the oldest part and the remains of the second city of nine that have existed here, of the Hindu rulers from the tenth century AD, and Qutab Minar, the victory tower of the first Muslim invaders who established the Slave Dynasty in the twelfth century and lived within the same premises. Continue by visiting New Delhi, built by the British during the Raj, with its beautiful avenues, Secretariat, Parliament (then called Assembly), President’s House (then called Viceroy’s House) and India Gate built to honour the Indian soldiers who died during the first world war and the Afghan wars. End the tour at Humayun’s Tomb, the first specimen of the Great Mughal architecture that flourished in the sixteenth and seventeenth century and culminated into the masterpiece called The Taj Mahal. Humayun’s Tomb is the only monument ever built by a lady in the memory of her beloved husband.

In the afternoon, visit Old Delhi. The walled city called Shahjahanabad was established by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1648. While Louis XIV in France was building his escape city of Versailles, Shah Jahan's city was being built and peopled. Traders built katras and kuchas (enclosed markets and lanes), the aristocrats their havelis and karkhanas (mansions and workshops), philanthropists built serais, shifakhanas, and madarsas (inns, hospitals and schools) and the pious built masjids (mosques). Shahjahanabad today is a thriving commercial and trading centre and more people work here than ever before.

Red Fort, built of red sandstone, it houses the famous Diwan-i-Khas, the beautiful audience chamber where the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan held court, seated on the Peacock Throne. There is a Sound and Light show every evening at the Fort.

Jama Masjid: Opposite the fort is the largest mosque in India – the Jama Masjid, and as you descend its steps, you walk into the teeming Chandni Chowk.

Chandni Chowk, the Moonlight Square, is the famous marketplace that started as a boulevard along a pool of water that reflected the moon. Historical accounts of this market are legion, of times when merchants came from Turkey, China, Holland, and other distant lands, with weapons, exotic birds, pearls, and tapestry. There was nothing that was not available here. Now the katras or wholesale markets are sandwiched between the shops, offices, churches, mosques, temples, and gurudwaras. The market has spread and is famous for silks, cotton, voiles, muslin, brocades, braids, and much, much more.

Overnight at hotel.

 

Day 3: Drive Delhi–Agra, tour Taj Mahal

Morning drive to Agra (205 km/4.5 hrs). Check in at hotel.

In the afternoon visit Agra. The glorious rise of Agra started with Mughal rule in India, during the golden period of the Mughal Empire during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Early next morning go for a sunrise view of the Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan for his beloved spouse who died in 1630. Visit Agra Fort, built by Akbar as his citadel over the years 1565–73 in the finest architectural style. (Please note that the Taj Mahal is closed every Friday. This is for your information.) Overnight at hotel.

Taj Mahal: Nothing, neither photographs nor descriptions, can prepare you for the experience of this monument; the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, where the cherished companion of Emperor Shah Jahan was laid to rest. Taj Mahal is an acclaimed architectural masterpiece and every individual sees in it many, and often different, wonders. The architectural masterpiece was built by Shahjahan, in memory of his favourite wife and adviser, Mumtaz Mahal (Crown of the Palace) and 20,000 workers and artists, some coming from Europe and Persia, spent years working on this monument of love wrought in marble, sandstone, and semi-precious jewels. The complex is said to have taken at least 18 years (1631–48) to build. The state of the Taj declined with the fortunes of the Mughal Empire, the garden becoming overgrown. It was restored in the late nineteenth century. 

 

Day 4: Drive Agra–Ranthambore

Drive to Ranthambore, en route visit Fatehpur Sikri (40 km/1 hr), arrive and transfer to resort. 

If time permits, wildlife viewing by jeep safari.

Visit Fatehpur Sikri, the imperial ruins of the dream capital city of great Mughal emperor, Akbar. The emperor experimented both with the architecture and art to build a city expressing his ideals and vision. Agra and Fatehpur Sikri are not merely rich legacies of Mughal history; they are the finest examples of architecture, which combine Hindu and Muslim elements.

Ranthambore is one of the finest examples of a well managed and sustainable effort to keep the wildlife and people living in harmony. It has a growing population of the endangered Royal Bengal tiger and other species of wildlife and birdlife. You will enjoy game-viewing wildlife activities through the various circuits of this national park which is the one of the best for spotting the Asiatic tiger, mugger crocodile, wild boar, several species of deer. Wildlife viewing is on vehicles.

Overnight at wildlife resort.  

 

Day 5: Ranthambore–Jaipur

In the morning, go for game viewing by vehicle; then drive to Jaipur, transfer to hotel.  In the afternoon go for a short city tour. 

Overnight at hotel. 

Jaipur (City of Victory) was founded in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II, the Maharaja of the Kachhwaha clan of Rajputs, who ruled from 1699 to 1744. The city is a highly distinctive city, though built with ancient Hindu building styles that suggest a decline in architectural power and originality. The characteristic pink, a traditional colour of welcome, was paint added in 1853 in honour of the visit by Prince Albert, and the tradition has survived to this day.

Overnight at hotel. 

Jantar Mantar (Observatory): Literally “Instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens’, the Jantar Mantar was built between 1728 and 1734.  Not content with brass, Jai Singh wanted things on a grand scale and chose stone, with a marble facing on the important planes. Each of the instruments serves a particular function and each gives an accurate reading. The observatory is a fascinating and attractive site to walk around.

Overnight at hotel. 

 

Day 6: Jaipur tour

In the morning proceed to Amber, stopping on the way at Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) built for the royal ladies to watch the activities on the market street below without being observed themselves. 

On the rugged hills that surround Jaipur stand wondrous forts: Amber (Amer), Jaigarh, and Nahargarh. Amber was once the capital of the old state of Dhundhar. Visit Amber Fort housing the massive gateways, courts, stairways and pillared pavilions and palaces that recall the glory and wealth of Amber’s association with the Mughals. 

Continue with a visit to the City Palace, part museum and part home of the erstwhile royal family, and Jantar Mantar, the Royal Observatory built by the Maharaja Jai Singh.

Overnight at hotel. 

 

Day 7: Flight Jaipur–Udaipur & tour

Early morning transfer to airport for flight to Udaipur. Upon arrival transfer from airport to hotel.

Udaipur was the last capital of Mewar state, which remained independent and fought the greatest Mughal armies that controlled most of the Indian subcontinent in those times. One of the most romantic cities in all of Rajasthan, Udaipur is better known as the city of lakes. The marble palaces, the beautiful gardens, and the placid blue lakes enhance the beauty of this city. 

In the evening take a boat ride on Lake Pichola, one of the many lakes in Udaipur, housing the summer residence of the ruler on an island in the middle, called Jag Niwas. Jag Niwas palace is now converted to a five star deluxe hotel called Lake Palace. Another island in the Pichola Lake has Jag Mandir Palace, built in 1622 as a pleasure palace for royal parties and functions.

Afternoon free.

Overnight at hotel. 

 

Day 8: Flight Udaipur–Delhi

Arrive and transfer to hotel. 

Overnight at hotel. 

 

Day 9: Depart from Delhi

Transfer to airport for flight departure.

 

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