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The Best of India

DELHI, AGRA, JAIPUR & RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Price: from $1,799

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Save up to $1000 per couple!!!

For a limited time only save up to $1000 per couple on this tour to India. Reserve by October 1, 2018 to qualify for the early booking discount. Space is limited so please reserve early.

Itinerary at a glance Tour Highlights Your tour includes
  • International flight to India
  • 3 nights in Delhi
  • 2 nights in Agra
  • 2 nights in Ranthambore
  • 2 nights in Jaipur
  • International flight to USA
  • Cooking Demonstration at a Family Home
  • Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi (Delhi)
  • Red Fort (Delhi)
  • Parliament House & Presidential Palace (Delhi)
  • Akshardham (Delhi)
  • Taj Mahal (Agra)
  • Agra Fort
  • Fatehpur Sikri
  • Ranthambore National Park Safari Expedition
  • Amber Fort (Jaipur)
  • Round trip airfare from New York (JFK)
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • Intra-India ground transportation
  • Accommodations at deluxe and superior hotels
  • 16 Meals: 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 4 dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours including entrance fees
  • Experienced English-speaking Tour Director and local guides

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Guided Tour Pricing

Pricing includes land and airfare

(Land only pricing available upon request)

Depart Return

Best Value Pricing
Reserve by Oct 1 2018

Reserve after
Oct 1 2018

2019

 

w/check 
discount

Sale

 After Sale

Apr 10 Apr 21 $ 1799  $ 1899 $ 2299
May 1 May 12 $ 1799  $ 1899 $ 2299
May 15 May 26 $ 1899  $ 1999 $ 2399
Aug 28 Sep 8 $ 1899  $ 1999 $ 2399
Note: World Heritage Sites like the Taj Mahal routinely require some maintenance or restoration work.
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single supplement is $479.
India visa fee is not included
For more information on this tour, please contact us here or call us during business hours (Mon-Fri, 9:30-5:30 EST) at 800-337-7773.
Reservations and Payments 
Reservations can be made by phone (1-800-337-7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of $300 per person non-refundable, non-transferable deposit (by check) which must be received within 7 days of reservation. Full payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. For complete booking information and terms & conditions click here.
Comprehensive Travel Insurance
Trip cancellation and travel insurance are recommended. For complete insurance information, click here

Day 1
Depart USA.
Your exotic India tour begins this afternoon as you depart on a non-stop wide-body jet flight bound for Delhi.
Day 2
Arrive Delhi.
Afternoon arrival in India’s bustling capital. You’ll be greeted at the airport and escorted to your upscale city-center hotel. Later this evening, your tour director hosts a welcome briefing followed by a short orientation walk to explore lively Connaught Place, located near your hotel! Later, enjoy a traditional welcome dinner with a cooking demonstration at an Indian home. The Park Hotel (D)
Day 3
Delhi
After a good night’s rest and a sumptuous breakfast, embark on a guided tour to introduce you to Delhi’s major attractions.  In exotic  Old Delhi you will view the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque.  Visit the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi and drive by the magnificent Red Fort, built in 1648 as a symbol of Mughal’s power. Then, walk through Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi.  In New Delhi,  you will see the Birla Temple, the India Gate, the Parliament House and the Presidential Palace. Enjoy dinner on your own. (B) 
Day 4
Delhi
After breakfast, proceed to visit Akshardham, the main building at the center of the complex is a 141-foot high monument to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Designed according to ancient Vedic texts known as the Sthapatya-Shastra, it features a blend of architectural styles from across India. Within the monument, under the central dome, there is an 11-foot high, gilded image of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He is surrounded by the gurus of the sect. The building itself is constructed entirely from Rajasthani pink sandstone and Italian Carrara marble, and features no stell or concrete. It’s height and location ont he banks of the Yamuna mean its presence is felt from afar, and its carved details of flora, fauna, dancers, musicians, and deities covering its surfaces from top to bottom, leave most visitors in awe. Also enjoy an exhibitions show with cultural boat ride. Afterwards, enjo a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel. (B,L) 
Day 5
Delhi/Agra
After breakfast, depart for the fabled city of Agra, home of the legendary shrine built and dedicated to love – The Taj Mahal. After you arrive this afternoon, take a guided visit to Agra Fort, the original red stone fort built by Moghul Emperor Akbar in 1565. The fort’s maze of courtyards, it smarble mosque and lavish private chambers reflect the grandeur of the Mughal Empire. Also visit the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah “a jewel box in marble”. This mausoleum was built by the Empress Nur Jahan as a gesture of love for her father. The tomb is built of the finest Indian marble embellished with mosaics and beautiful inlay of work of semi previous stones. The central chamber contains the yellow marble tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah and his wife. The tomb is painted with floral decorations and fine marble screens of geometric latticework suffuce the interior in a soft light. Return to your hotel later this afternoon. Clarks Shiraz Hotel (B)

Day 6
Taj Mahal Excursion.
Agra is an ancient city that came into prominence in Medieval times under the Mughal rulers and was once the capital of a sprawling Mughal kingdom that covered much of southeast Asia. The highlight of this morning’s included tour is a guided visit to the fabled, perfectly proportioned, Taj Mahal considered the finest example of Mughal architecture. This 17th century, white marble mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jehan to enshrine the mortal remains of his Queen Mumtaz Mahal who died in childbirth. Building began around 1632 and took over twenty years to complete, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. As you get closer, you’ll see that the white marble surface is covered with floral patterns and beautiful calligraphy made of inlaid jasper. Even today the Taj Mahal remains one of the most breathtaking structures ever built. The balance of the day is free to explore on your own, shop or relax at your luxury hotel’s pool. (B)
Day 7
Agra/Fatehphur Sikri/Ranthambore
After breakfast depart Agra for Ranthambore, stopping en route to visit Fatehpur Sikri, once a glittering capital, later abandoned due to scarcity of water. Marvel at the well-preserved buildings and red sandstone palaces. Later, voyage by road to Jaipur, the “Pink City”, famous for its exquisite buildings built of rose-colored terracotta. Afterwards continue to Bharatpur railway station, stopping along the way for lunch, and then board the train for Ranthambore. Upon arrival in Ranthambore, one of the largest and most renowned national parks in Northern India, travel to your hotel. Enjoy some free time to explore the beautiful new surroundings and former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur before dinner at the hotel. Jungle Vilas (B,L,D)
Day 8
Ranthambore
Set out today on an early morning drive to the wildlife sanctuary at Ranthambore National Park. A local naturalist guide joins you in your vehicle as you begin your search for elusive tigers as well as hyenas, jackals, and foxes. The park is dotted with structures, including a huge hilltop fort that reminds visitors of a bygone era. Ranthambore National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1957 and in 1974 it gained the protection of “Project Tiger”. The park is truly a wildlife enthusiasts and photographer’s dream, most famous for its tigers and one of the best locations in India to see these majestic predators in their natural habitat.

Later, visit the Dhonk Village, which aims to provide a sustainable livelihood to people living near Ranthambore. Dhonk’s objective is to promote raw local talent and bring out the colors of Rajasthan for the consumer. Dhonk is a blend of ethnic and modern fashion giving the best of both worlds to the buyer. It is focused on achieving perfection steadily to bring maximum joy for its patrons. Enjoy lunch at the hotel, with time to relax before the evening safari which is sure to thrill all. Return to the lodge in time for dinner together.  (B,L,D)

Day 9
Ranthambore/Jaipur
After breakfast, drive to Jaipur, the “Pink City”, famous for its exquisite buildings built of rose-colored terracotta. After you check into your upscale, conveniently-located hotel, join your guide for a walk to explore the colorful local bazaar. The balance of the day is at your leisure to continue exploring. You might consider watching Bollywood movie at a local theater! Park Regis Jaipur (B)
Day 10
Jaipur/Amber Fort/Jaipur
This morning venture out of the city to nearby Amber Fort, ancient capital of Rajasthan. You’ll ride up to the imposing hill where the fort is perched. A local expert will guide you through its magnificent ramparts & watchtowers commanding spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and the lake below. Visit the ornate chambers and hallways of the palace which are famous for their unique architecture and decoration. Return to Jaipur where the balance of the day is at leisure to explore as you wish. You may enjoy a rickshaw ride through the picturesque old town or join an optional visit to some of the city’s renowned pink sandstone buildings including the Palace of Winds and the City Palace Museum, housing a magnificent art collection of the Maharajas. Your guide can also arrange for you to attend a unique prayer ritual at a local Hindu temple. (B)
Day 11
Jaipur/Delhi
This morning, attend a yoga session with a professional teacher. Later, enjoy free time for any last minute pursuits. Explore the markets and lanes of Jaipur where you can buy spices, unique local souvenirs or bargain for beautiful, hand-woven carpets. Later, return to Delhi where you’ll join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Following dinner, transfer to the airport for your late night flight. (B,D)
Day 12
Delhi/USA.
Bid farewell to your incredible India tour. As you arrive the USA this morning,  your memorable travel to India ends .

Optional Tours

To enhance and make your India tour packages more complete and memorable, you tour director will offer optional tours. All rates are in US Dollars. Payment should be made in cash (US dollars). Optional tours are subject to a minimum number of participants and may be cancelled if the minimum is not met. Additional optional tours may be added for your enjoyment, and the optional tours listed below may not be available on all departure dates. Note that optional tours are non-refundable.

Day 9
Jaipur Afternoon City Tour ($35 per person)
This afternoon, proceed for a fascinating guided city tour to visit the unique Jantar Mantar, which is a magnificent stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728 and drive past the Hawa Mahal, an intriguing “Palace of Winds”. This was really a façade built in 1799, to allow royal ladies to view the city from the windows. Later visit the opulent City Palace, the former royal residence built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal style that has grand museums displaying an excellent collection of miniature paintings, costumes and armory. Later, retun to your hotel.

Days 9
Evening Prayer Ceremony at Birla Temple ($25 per person)
Built by the Birlas, one of the India’s wealthiest families, the Birla Temple is known for its exquisite architecture and is indeed a sight to marvel at. A wonderful example of Indian architecture, the Birla Temple is defined by many exquisitely carved pillars, stained glass paintings that depict many gods and goddesses and a divine spiritual aura. There are three domes that represent three different faiths. The Birla TempleICI  is an idol of Lord Shiva carved in white marble. Inside, the beautiful idols of Sita Ram are sure to enthrall many. Come evening, visitors can be a part of the Aarti ceremony when the idols of Ram Sita are dressed up in beautiful costumes. The way the entire temple lights up is quite magical! Transportation to and from your hotel is included.

Day 9
Evening Rickshaw Ride ($25 for 2 persons)
The beautifully decorated rickshaw awaits you with his rickshaw to take you on a wonderful adventure through the lanes of Jaipur. The rickshaw puller takes you on a ride through various routes, offering you a different view of the colorful town experience all together. The ride gives you a chance to glance at the colorful streets of Jaipur. You’ll ride through the Old Town and brings you face to face with wonderfully laid out shops and bazaars.

Day 9
Bollywood Film ($8 per person)
Hindi cinema, often metonymously referred to as Bollywood, is the Indian Hindi-language film industry, based in the city of Mumbai. It’s the world’s largest film industry in terms of film production, with an annual output of 1,986 feature films as of 2017, and Bollywood is its largest film producer, with 364 Hindi films produced annually as of 2017. Bollywood represents 43% of Indian net box office revenue, Bollywood is thus one of the largest centers of film production in the world.

Trip Preparation

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Your flights from the New York (JFK) to India and back are on Air India. Your flight is scheduled to depart New York at 2:30pm. We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure. Your return flight is scheduled to arrive back in New York at 7:30am. Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs if you are planning a connecting fight.  We recommend at least 3 ½ hours.  Please note that flight schedules are subject to change without prior notice.

ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT

Air India does not assign seats in advance. Seat assignments can only be arranged at the airport upon check in. If you have a preferred seating choice, please make sure you check in for your flight as early as possible. Air India does not offer any frequent flyer miles for passengers traveling on a group fare.

LAND ONLY TRAVELERS

International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land only travelers are responsible for arranging the entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.

Main Tour: Land only services start upon independent check in at Delhi hotel on Day 2 of the itinerary listed on the tour page. Land Only services end after farewell dinner in Delhi on Day 11 of the itinerary listed on the tour page.

PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION

You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. American passport holders must be in possession of a valid visa for India.  To obtain a visa for India, you can contact the Indian Consulate visa processing agency “Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS)” directly by visiting their website at http://www.in.ckgs.us or by calling them at 1-516-206-1483 or 1-646-589-0088. Alternatively, we arranged an alternate visa processing service “CIBT” to facilitate this for you for an additional handling fee. Please use the following link to download instructions and forms at http://www.cibt.com/home.aspx?Login=50002. You may also contact CIBT at 1-800-406-1523 to have a form mailed to you.  If you have any questions regarding obtaining your visa, you may call CIBT directly. Also, please note that visa procedures may change at any time.  You should check directly with CKGS (http://www.in.ckgs.us), or if using CIBT online at www.cibt.com, for the most up to date instructions before submitting your paperwork. We strongly suggest that you immediately familiarize yourself with the visa requirements and that you have all the necessary documentation as soon as possible.  When asked for Reference Name, Address & Phone, please use the following:  Park Hotel, 15 Parliament Street, Connaught Place, New Delhi, DL 110001, India, Phone:  91 1800 102 7275.  However, it is still recommended that you apply for the India visa at least 60 days before departure. Non U.S Citizens should check directly with the India consulates as to the most current visa requirements. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.

TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS

Your airline tickets along with final instruction and additional travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour.  Please make sure to advise us in case your address changes.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Immunizations are NOT currently required; however, you should consult your personal physician, local public health authorities or the Center of Disease Control (CDC) as to their suggestions.

CLIMATE

India daytime temperatures average in the 80’s in March and April, in the 90’s from May through September and in the 70’s and 80’s from November through February.  Overnight temperatures are somewhat cooler.

NON-INCLUDED MEALS

The hotels used on this tour have several dining choices from coffee shop to specialty restaurants.  Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in the coffee shop is about $20 – $25 per meal per person. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals.

CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY

Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards.  However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. Dollars.  Your hotel will be able to exchange for you cash to local currency.   It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.

BAGGAGE

Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (maximum 44 pounds) and one carry-on piece not to exceed 18”x10”x8”.  As India is not a formal country, we recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of casual separates with climate and comfort in mind.

 

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