Saturday, February 9, 2019

Depart Home

Depart the U.S. on your overnight flight/s to India

Sunday, February 10

Arrive New Delhi, India

Arrival in Delhi. You will be met by an Open Sky representative and transferred to your hotel.  For those arriving by evening, meet with your fellow travelers over cocktails.


Monday, February 11


After a morning relaxing and recovering from your flight, we will begin our journey with an afternoon exploration of Delhi. Our sightseeing will feature the Colonial Heritage of New Delhi (India Gate, Parliament, President House etc.), followed by a visit to Gandhi Smriti, the place where Mahatama Gandhi spent the last days of his life and was assassinated on 30 January 1948. End the day with visit to Humayun’s Tomb, the 16th Century tomb of the 2nd Mughal Emperor Humayun.  (B, L, D) | THE CLARIDGES

Tuesday, February 12


Spend the morning exploring the Old city. Begin with a visit to the 17th century Jama Masjid, followed by an exhilarating rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of the old city passing by colorful markets, and a walk through the spice and dry fruits market. Continue to the Bangla Saheb Gurudwara and witness the community kitchen where thousands of worshippers are fed round the clock. End the day with a visit to one of the most striking monuments, the 70m high Qutab Minar, looming majestically across the wide plains of Delhi. (B, L) | THE CLARIDGES

Wednesday, February 13


Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Varanasi. On arrival, we’ll transfer to the hotel for check-in. This afternoon you will be taken to the riverside. Walk through the busy lanes full of colorful shops leading up to the river followed by a boat ride on the river Ganges. Just after sunset witness the Grand Aarti Ceremony, the evening ritual performed on the steps of the Dasashwamedha Ghat. (B) | TAJ GATEWAY HOTEL

Thursday, February 14


Rise early and head to the river to board your small boat at dawn.  You will be in the perfect spot to watch the colorful Ghat slowly come to life, as pilgrims begin to bathe themselves in the holy river. Observe colorful sadhus meditating on the banks of the river and the elderly Hindu ladies bathing in their saris; an iconic experience of real India.  Following breakfast, return to the Ghat to visit a weavers colony, or enjoy the Bharat Kala Bhavan, an art and archaeological museum. This afternoon visit the Gola Dinanath Market, which is believed to be the biggest grocery market of Asia. (B) | TAJ GATEWAY HOTEL

Friday, February 15


Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Agra. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in.  This afternoon you will visit Taj Mahal, photographing the monument through sunset. Considered the pinnacle of Mughal art in India, the Taj was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. When declaring it a world heritage site, UNESCO described it as “the jewel of Muslim art in India”. (B) | ITC MUGHDAL

Saturday, February 16


Rise early to photograph Taj Mahal at sunrise. Return to the hotel for breakfast and a morning to relax or work on photos. Following a leisurely lunch, we will explore Agra Fort (more appropriately called a walled city) and the Old Quarters of Agra.  (B) | ITC MUGHDAL

Sunday, February 17


We will begin our transfer to Jaipur after breakfast, stopping to visit the picturesque site of Fatehpur Sikri—a complex of temples and monuments built in the late 17th-century by the Mughal Emperor Akbar— before the late morning light becomes too harsh.  We will continue on to the Chand Baori step well, built in the early 19th-century and consisting of over 3,500 steps.  Arrive in Jaipur in the late afternoon and check into our hotel.   (B, L)  | TRIDENT JAIPUR

Monday, February 18


Begin your day with a visit to the sprawling hilltop Amber Fort, with its royal apartments, halls and dramatic views. It is superbly located and protected on all sides by the wild Aravali Hills. Raja Mansingh established the citadel in 1592 on the remains of an old 11th century fort.  The, spend the afternoon exploring the colorful and happily chaotic bazaars of the old city. Jaipur is a city of vibrant colors and the colorful bazaars offer great opportunity for shopping.  It is known for its handicrafts, textiles, leather ware, antiques, gems and jewelry.  Jaipur is one of the largest ornament making centers in India and its ‘enamel’ and ‘inlay’ work with gems are the two traditional techniques for which it is most famous. (B) | TRIDENT JAIPUR

Tuesday, February 19


Over the morning, tour the City Palace Complex; an integral part of Raja Sawai Jai Singh’s new city of Jaipur. Today it’s a museum that displays some of the finest collection of paintings, costumes, carpets and armory of that period. Adjacent to it is the Astronomical Observatory; built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh II, amongst the most accurate and well kept in Asia.  Following lunch, enjoy a heritage walking tour of Jaipur. (B) | TRIDENT JAIPUR

Wednesday, February 20


After a leisurely breakfast, drive to Lakshman Sagara traditional Rajasthani camp—and check in on arrival.  Originally built in the 19th-century as a hunting retreat for Rajput and English aristocracy, Lakshman Sagar Camp features twelve mud and brick cottages divided in two clusters around the lake. This property gives us a chance to revel in the beauty and serenity of the Rajasthan countryside, while enjoying all the modern comforts in a stylish setting.  Today and tomorrow’s schedule will be in flux as you choose whether to work on photos, relax on the grounds, or participate in any group activities. (B, L, D) | LAKSHMAN SAGAR LUXURY CAMP

Thursday, February 21


Enjoy your second day in the Rajasthani countryside, relaxing and/or catching up on work. Any group activities will be decided on site, but opportunities involve photographing local villages, wildlife, and landscapes of the countryside.  (B, L, D) | LAKSHMAN SAGAR LUXURY CAMP

Friday, February 22

Lakshman | RANAKPUR | Udaipur

Following breakfast, commence your drive to Udaipur. Enroute, we will stop at Ranakpur to see the beautiful 16th century Jain temples. Ranakpur Temple complex is one of the five great holy places of the Jain faith. The grand scale and the sheer architectural complexity of the white marble temple along with its exquisite sculptural ornamentation makes it the single most impressive example of Indian temple architecture. Each of the temple’s 1444 pillars is carved with different patterns of floral motifs and the play of light and shadow on the pillars as the sun moves is one of the glories of this monument.  Continue driving to Udaipur and check-in to our hotel upon arrival. (B, L) | UDAI KOTHI

Saturday, February 23


Begin your day with visit to City Palace, a blend of stern Rajput military architecture on the outside and lavish Mughal inspired decorative art on the inside. This is the largest palace in Rajasthan covering an area of 5 acres and built between the 16th and 20th centuries. Walk through the old city to discover the various facets of markets and artists and artisans at work. During sunset, board a cruise on Lake Pichola enjoying fabulous vistas of the City Palace and Old City on the one side and the setting sun behind the Aravalis on the other. (B, D) | UDAI KOTHI

Sunday, February 24

UDAIPUR | Delhi | onwards

Following breakfast, visit the Eklingi and Nagda Temples located in countryside about 35 minute drive from Udaipur. This complex of temples and shrines is dedicated to Lord Shiva.  The 16th century main temple is built of marble and granite and includes an impressive pillared hall and four faced image of Shiva crafted in black marble.  Later in the afternoon transfer to the airport for the return flight to Delhi, for our connecting flights to home.  (B)

Monday, February 25

Arrive home


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