One of our fantastic journeys, particularly for first-time visitors to India. In 10 days, visit the the monuments of Old and New Delhi, the breathtaking Taj Mahal and the Agra fort. A visit to Ranthambore National Park including Jeep Safaris , with the chance of spotting a Tiger, is a real time treat, finally visit the beautiful pink city of Jaipur the Capital City of Rajasthan.
Pre-departure planning is important. Here are certain things you should watch for and plan for.
Check with the appropriate consulate or embassy in your country to find out if you will need a visa to visit the country of your destination, especially for an extended period of time. Some countries have extremely detailed and complicated entry/departure laws, and treat visits of a week or two very differently from longer stays.
If you’re traveling to one area, check the cost of living there. If it’s high you’ll probably want to budget more carefully and save some money before leaving. The lower the cost of living the less you’ll have to save, but be sure to have a back up reserve in emergency cases.
Talk to other people who have done a similar trip.
If you don’t know anyone personally, try any of the dozens of online travel web sites full of first-person travel stories covering every possible type of trip.
Plan big and loose. Read everything you can about the area.
There may be sights and attractions you didn’t know about. A rough outline of your trip might have three or four target points and a variety of ways to get between them.
Some trips will allow you more leeway than others. Travel plans in Asia can often be made day-by-day while summer travel in Europe should be organized at least a few weeks ahead, unless you’re prepared to hunt around for hotel rooms and train seats.
Set up a pre-trip time-line so you don’t end up with a full todo list your last week of work or school.
Things to consider are doctor’s visits for a check up, inoculations, and prescription refills; purchasing plane tickets; renewing passports and obtaining visas and other documents.
The longer the trip, the lighter you should pack. This might seem strange, but it’s true you can afford to lug a heavy bag around for a week or two, but do you want to have anything extra for a year?
Stick to the absolute basics and know what you can and cannot buy at your destination(s). There’s no point in bringing 6 months of toothpaste to Europe or buying a sarong at home to take to the tropics. If you are visiting several climates, try to arrange it so you visit the warmer places first and coldest last. That way you can purchase sweaters and long pants and not have to carry them any more than needed. Alternately, visit cold climates first and then ship unneeded layers home — or sell them off.
Make sure everything goes with everything else (if that’s important to you), and remember that layers are always best.
Be prepared for uncomfortable trips. You will often find yourself in a busy, cramped, economy class environment and it could be for many hours – especially long plane trips.
If you want to arrive at your destination refreshed and able to enjoy the sights, then try a good quality travel pillow to support your head, some ear plugs to block out the screaming babies, and an eye cover to block out the sun or cabin lights.
Make contact with the locals before you go.
Maybe you have a friend-of-a-friend or a foreign exchange student from high school you remember, or just found a friend through a travel web site; almost everyone is happy to welcome a foreign visitor to their home town. This might be as elaborate as a home-stay for a few weeks, or just coffee in their home town or dinner at a locals restaurant.
A perfect city for exploring on foot with a shop around every corner. Much of the inner city can be walked without trouble, however, in parts walking include crowds, uneven streets, heavy traffic, and skinny sidewalks. If that’s a problem, there are plenty of taxi’s to ride in and scooters to rent.
How to Travel
- Subway – The metro is the fastest transportation. Running 5am to 10pm every day.
- Bus & Train – Operated by an independent organization, busses and trains include wifi access for the public. You can take any bus or train marked with the (B Public) sign for free.
- Taxi – Available in all parts of the city. From a restaurant or hotel you can have them call the city taxi service.
- Car – Rental cars are easy to get and hotels have good parking prices. Once in the main city, you can often walk so we suggest returning the when you arrive.
- Bike – The best way to get around, other than walking, is by bike. If you don’t mind hills, you can bike anywhere. If that’s not for you, stick to the inner city with your bike.
Just a few miles away you can explore the history and legacy, drink wine and relax. You can wander the hills or be lulled by the fountains. If you have time, the attractions can fill 3 days. We’ve highlighted the best ones here.
Because of the number of sights to see, some first-time visitors should start with an organized tour. Some things can be covered in depth, other are just useful for getting your bearings.
The leading tour operators use local historians to lead their tours. Guides offer walking tours, including visits to monuments, museums, and historic locations, as well as eating tours. Tour prices can be high, but most participants consider them a trip highlight. In addition, there are many family related tours, sights and more appealing activites to children.
Walking tours, like the 3 hour ghost tour, is an exclusive in the early evening. A bus excursion ruins special tours like you’ve never seen. Also worth consideration, a group of art historians and architects do a theatrical retelling from dramatic scripts. Go on a tour, expect guides to break out into a rendition of “Singing in the Rain”, it’s a lot of fun.
- Visit the Old & New Delhi
- Perhaps see a tiger in Ranthambore
- See the world famous TajMahal at sunset or sunrise
- Take a Elephant Ride to the Amber Fort and Walk around City Palace of Jaipur.
- Banks – Open Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm. Some banks are closed for lunch.
- Emergencies – For police, dial a local phone number; for ambulance call a hospital.
- Internet Access – Wifi is standard in most hotels and free in many coffee shops.
- Mail – Buy stamps at the Post Office. Convenient post offices are located all cities. Most are open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
- Safety – Pickpocketing can be a common problem. It is suggested for men to keep wallets in their front pocket. Purse snatching also occurs at times.
This site contains information with a very personal and friendly structure. It also has great links to other related sites online.
Information, internet access, maps, and train passes are available at local Tourist Information terminals. These are located at various sites around the city. Expect a wait if you arrive late in the afternoon or during lunch time. Local travel agencies are also helpful for quick information and finding hotels. There is no service charge for these services. Hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 2pm.
Getting in from the airport and other arrival locations. Travel planning is about more than just knowing where you’re going. Prepares to navigate, take control and be ready for anything. This section helps you steer clear of disaster and stay open enjoy the unexpected.
- Plane – Flights arrive at the main airport near city center. If flying from European cities, you might land at a connecting airport. There is a tourist information office at the Terminal E, international arrivals, open 8am to 6pm.
- Train – A train station is on the lower level of the airport. To get into the city, follow the marked signs.
- Taxi – From the airport there is a flat-rate for the 1-hour trip, depending on traffic. Hotels charge up to $80 for shuttle service.
- Train & Bus – Trains and buses arrive a city center. This is the transportation hub for the city and is surrounded hotels.
A perfect place for exploring on foot, with local shops around every corner. You will eventually walk somewhere, it’s just going to happen. If you don’t like crowds, uneven cobblestones, heavy traffic or narrow sidewalks, take a taxi or rent a scooter.
Arrive in Delhi, where you will be greeted by a Horizon Worldwide representative, transferred to your hotel and assisted with check in. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore Delhi on your own or relax at the hotel.
After Breakfast you will head off for a full day of sightseeing in Delhi, a special blend of old and new, Delhi is a bustling, energetic city of contrasts.
The old city was founded in 1639 by Shahjahan, and was known as Shahjahanabad, later known as Old Delhi. In the early part of the 20th Century the British arranged for leading architect, Edward Lutyens, to design a new city to be the Capital of India, known as New Delhi.
Your tour will start with Old Delhi where you will visit the Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of Old Delhi and possibly the finest in India. Afterwards, visit the Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated, enjoy a walk down Chandni Chowk, the original market area of Old Delhi. Finally drive past Delhi’s Red Forest, Emperor Shahjahan’s palace.
Spend the afternoon exploring New Delhi with your guide, pass India Gate, the Parliament building and Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President’s residence, all outstanding examples of Lutyens architecture. Head to south Delhi to visit QutabMinar, a tall stone tower of 72.5 metres high and 379 steps leading to the top. Finally visit Humayun’s Tomb, the precursor of the Taj Mahal, built by the widow of Emperor Humayun.
An early start today as you leave Delhi and travel to Agra, transfer to Delhi railway station for the Shatabdi Express train to Agra, which will take approximately 2 hours. On arrival you will be by a Western and Oriental representative and transferred to your hotel. Your guided tour today will explore some of the best architectural wonders of the Mughal’s period including: Sikandra, the mausoleum of the greatest Mughal Emperor, Akbar, the massive yet elegant Agra Fort and of course, the world famous Taj Mahal.
A morning or sunrise visit if you are an early riser, visit to the Taj Mahal and then checkout of the hotel to begin your journey to Ranthambore National Park. En routes (time permitting) visit the abandoned Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri, one of the best preserved collections of Mughal architecture in India.
Continue on to Bharatpur railway station where you will get the train to Sawai Madhopur. A new driver will meet you at Sawai Madhopur station as your luggage will be bought by your original driver leaving you free to enjoy the train journey with just hand luggage.
Near the township of Sawai Madhopur, in the state of Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is an outstanding example of Project Tiger’s efforts at conservation in India. The forests around the Ranthambore Fort were once, the private hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. As a result of the stringent efforts in conservation, tigers, the prime assets of the Park, have become more and more active during the day. More than in any other park or sanctuary in India, tigers are easily spotted here in daylight. It is very easy to chance upon a tiger lolling around lazily in the sun, or feverishly hunting down sambhar around the lakes. Apart from tigers, you may be lucky enough to see panthers as well. The other permanent residents of the park include marsh crocodiles, hyenas, jungle cats and sloth bears.
Today will be taken up with the excitement of game drives into the national park. The day starts with an early morning wake up, normally before dawn; you will then have coffee and snacks before heading out on the early morning game drive. Game drives in Ranthambore are conducted either on 16-20 seat canters or on jeeps which seat up to 6 visitors. All western and oriental clients will enjoy game drives by jeep, where possible by exclusive jeep.
The game drive will last several hours and hopefully you will see a verity of wildlife and if you are lucky the main attraction, a wild tiger. On returning to the hotel you will have a big breakfast and then the remaindered of the morning and early afternoon is free to relax. After a lazy lunch you will head out again for the evening game dive, you will arrive back at the hotel / lodge in the early evening in time for dinner and an early night to be up and ready for the early drive tomorrow!
This morning enjoy one final early morning wake up call and game drive before departing for Jaipur. Once you arrive in Jaipur and check into your hotel the rest of the day is free to unwind and enjoy the all the facilities and comforts available at the hotel.
Today enjoy a guided tour of Jaipur, India’s first planned city and the gateway to Rajasthan, often called the ‘Pink City’ because of the distinct colour of many of its buildings. You will travel outside of the city to Amber Fort, built by one of Emperor Akbar’s generals. This beautiful fort can be reached by elephant or jeep, walk around the complex of courtyards and halls, visiting in particular the Sheesh Mahal or Hall of Mirrors. Continue on to the City Palace, built in 1728, Jantar Mantar or Astronomical Observatory made by the Maharaja of Jaipur in 1726 and Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds, an intricately designed building from where the ladies of the royal court used to gaze down into the street.
After a leisurely breakfast check out from the hotel and drive back towards Delhi. After checking into the your hotel the rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy your hotel or to head out and explore some the shopping or dining options in Delhi.
Transfer to the airport for your international flight back Home.
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- Jewish Heritage Tour of India
- Churches of South India
- Christian Pilgrims Tour
- Jyotirlinga Darshan
- Ardh Kumbh Special at Allahabad
- Kathmandu and Chitwan
- Buddhist Tour in Nepal