India enthralls, mystifies and intoxicates its visitors. Through our deep connections with the country (several of Worldwide Quest's Toronto team hail from the subcontinent and several more have enjoyed outstanding travel experiences there) we’ve created what we think is an ideal introduction to some of the most compelling sights in the north of the country.
We begin with a good look at dynamic Delhi and then set off to Amritsar to see the spectacular Golden Temple and the fascinating medieval city. Then it’s onward by comfortable private coach to explore the locus of the country’s most glamorous past in the finest forts, palaces, gardens and cities of Punjabi, Mughal, and Rajput culture. The Shekhawati region is most famous for its extraordinary painted residences found in remote villages. Jodhpur is a jumble of blue cubism presided over the mighty Mehrangarh Fort; Jaipur, an enthralling chaos with the fairy-tale grandeur of Amber Fort. A highlight of our trip is the two days we spend at the Pushkar Camel Fair, a spectacle on an epic scale, amidst mystics and musicians against a soundtrack of pujas (prayers) and devotional songs. A recent traveller of ours couldn’t resist naming the whole spectacle ‘Camelot’.
And what better place to conclude than the Taj Mahal, an iconic site that will take your breath away. Rajasthan is so photogenic it’s hard to know where to look. Our drives take us past yellow fields of mustard, meandering cows, camel-drawn carts and painted elephants, bangled women in lime, saffron and scarlet carrying silver urns of water on their heads and pink-turbaned gents leading bullock carts.
On this trip we’ve staying in some of our favourite heritage properties as well as some of India’s most interesting contemporary hotels.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Meet in Delhi
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Day 2: Old Delhi; Humayun’s Tomb; QutabMinar
Day 3: By express train to Amritsar
Day 4: The Golden Temple; the Palki Sahib night ceremony
Day 5: Overland through the Punjab; Qila Mubarak Fort
Day 6: Into the Shekhawati region; a two-night castle stay
Day 7: Colourful painted mansions and village life
Day 8: The Pushkar Camel Fair
Day 9: Mystics, musicians, temples, and camels
Day 10: Hindu and Jain temples at Osian
Day 11: Jodhpur’s Meherangarh Fort and the blue city
Day 12: The medieval labyrinth of Jaipur’s historic centre
Day 13: The Amber Fort and Jantar Mantar observatory
Day 14: Drive to Agra via the ruins of Fatehpur Sikri
Day 15: The Taj Mahal at dawn; to Delhi and depart
Optional Extension: Khajuraho and sacred Varanasi
A keen Rajasthani horse polo player, Shiv Pratap Singh is involved in the preservation and curation of the region’s art and architecture including his family’s holdings. His extensive personal connections to people and places ensure very special insider moments for our travellers.