Arrive in Mumbai, where you’ll be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your accommodation – tonight, the iconic Taj Mahal Palace.
Explore the city’s classic sights, including the Gateway of India, a 26-metre-high arch whose design reflects India’s Muslim and Hindu traditions. Visit the Prince of Wales Museum and Mani Bhawan, a museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi. Next, see the Dhobi Ghat, the largest open-air laundry in the world and a wonderfully colourful spectacle to behold. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner alongside fellow guests.
Take a private boat from Mumbai Harbour to Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the island’s cave temples which are filled with ornamental statues, pillars and friezes. Later this afternoon, fly by private charter to Udaipur and check in to your romantic hotel. Flying privately gives you extra time to relax and enjoy the magnificent views from your hotel of both the City Palace and Jag Mandir Palace and to explore its interior courtyard gardens.
Visit the marble complex of the City Palace with unforgettable views of Lake Pichola, before a ‘Scenic Sundowner’ on the lake’s edge. Take a private tour of the Crystal Gallery in Fateh Prakash Palace, stroll through Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honour) and enjoy a private cruise to island palace, Jag Mandir. Next morning, head to two Dilwara temple complexes – Eklingji, dedicated to Shiva, and Nagda, dedicated to Lord Vishnu – before lunch in an 18th-century fort.
Fly by privately chartered air to Jaipur and arrive at your hotel, the former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur. This afternoon, encounter Jantar Mantar, an open-air array of astronomical instruments. The next day, explore the Mughal-style Amber Fort. This red sandstone and marble palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At your Agra hotel, the Taj Mahal is visible from your room. Visit India’s contribution to the New Seven Wonders of the World in the late afternoon, when the setting sun bathes it in soft orange. Return next morning, when the rising sun lends a warm pink tint to its marble face. Also visit the Agra Fort, once the prison of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal after the death of his beloved wife.
Travel by private plane to exotic Khajuraho, home of another UNESCO World Heritage Site. See every aspect of life depicted in detail on every inch of its 85 Hindu and Jain temples. Then continue overland to remote Panna National Park, a haven for India’s wildlife, and settle into your wilderness lodge.
Spend a full day in Panna, alternating between relaxing time in this colourful atmosphere and thrilling game drives by 4x4 vehicle. Look out for crocodile, sloth bear and even the elusive Bengal tiger, not to mention the incredibly abundant birdlife. Tonight, enjoy an Indian cooking demonstration as the chef prepares local delicacies.
This morning, fly on a private plane to Varanasi, a city of more than a thousand temples and shrines, sacred to Hindus and Buddhists. At dusk, beside the Ganges River, witness the Aarti ceremony. Chanted prayers and rhythmic drumming fill the air as you watch lantern-bearing priests bid the gods and goddesses a restful slumber.
Rise early for a private sunrise cruise on the Ganges River to observe activity along the ghats (stone steps leading down to the river), where locals and pilgrims cleanse themselves, literally and spiritually. Later, board a privately chartered plane to Delhi, where you enjoy your farewell dinner.
Embark on a sightseeing tour to explore Delhi, both old and new. Visit Jama Masjid, the most important mosque in India. Go by rickshaw to explore the Chandni Chowk bazaar and to discover Humayun’s tomb, an architectural precursor to the Taj Mahal.
Take in your final sensations of India before transferring to the airport for your early morning flight home.