taj-mahal-agra

The Grand Palace Tour

Tour Duration: 16 Nights / 17 Days
The tour gives an insight to the grandeur historic palaces of North India, covering 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Experience the bustling bazars of Old Delhi and a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk. If you have not travelled on a train in India, you have not seen the real India. A short train ride to Gwalior will let you jell more with the Indian locals. Cherish the beauty of White Marble with a visit to the famous monument of love – “The Taj Mahal”. Endure the marble artistry in Agra, block printing and carpet weaving in Jaipur. Those interested can enjoy an elephant ride uphill to Amber Fort, Jaipur and get treated like the royalty of yesteryear. Hopping Hill Forts of Rajasthan is a constant throughout the journey. With a relaxing boat ride at Lake Pichola in the beautiful city of Udaipur also known as city of lakes and a fascinating camel ride at Sam sand dunes, Bikaner conclude your journey to the bewitching little town of Pushkar.

Tour Highlights

India is many times rightfully referred to as a subcontinent, featuring diverse geographical, demographical and cultural variations across its length and breadth. At Bestway Tours & Safaris we have crafted choicest of tours that highlight the multiplicity this country holds within. This is an ideal tour for any traveler wishing to experience northern India’s richness and vastness at a glance.

We travel from New Delhi, the capital city of India which has the charm of both British colonial period and the Mughal era. Followed by a tour to massive Gwalior palace- Man Mandir, the exploration of ‘Grand Palaces’ has just launched. One also gets to explore India’s amazing artistic legacy through the exquisite marvel of love - Taj Mahal in Agra along with a couple of other monuments.

The grand tour is summed up by indulging in amazing list of activities across various cities of India. The tourists gets a chance to enjoy an elephant ride at the Amber fort in Jaipur and discover other beautiful cities and palaces that amalgamate to become the state of Rajasthan. While they can swing on a camel’s back and cherish the beauty of dunes in the Thar, a relaxing boat ride at Lake Pichola definitely brings out the royalty.

World Heritage Sites

Tour Itinerary at Glance

Day 1: Arrive Delhi:
Day 2: Delhi
Day 3: Delhi/Gwalior by Train # Gatiman Express/12050: Dep 08:10 Hrs / Arr. 11:25 Hrs
Day 4: Gwalior/Agra (Drive 125 kms/ 03 Hrs)
Day 5: : Agra /Fatehpur Sikri/ Jaipur (Drive 245 km/ 05 Hrs)
Day 6: Jaipur
Day 7: Jaipur/Samode (Drive 60 km/ 01 Hr)
Day 8: : Samode/Bikaner (Drive 260 km/ 05 Hrs)
Day 9: Bikaner/ Jaisalmer (Drive 330 km/ 07 Hrs)
Day 10: Jaisalmer
Day 11: : Jaisalmer/Jodhpur: (Drive: 280 Km/ 6 Hours
Day 12: Jodhpur
Day 13: : Jodhpur/Udaipur (Drive: 280/ 06 Hrs)
Day 14: Udaipur / Devigarh (Drive 40 Kms / 1 Hour
Day 15: : Devigarh/ Pushkar (Drive 285 km/ 06 Hrs)
Day 16: : Pushkar/Ajmer/Delhi # Train 12016; Dep: 15:45 / Arr: 22:40 hrs
Day 17: Delhi / Onward Destination
  • - Breakfast
  • - Lunch
  • - Dinner

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance

The tour package booking terms and conditions

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By asking us to confirm your booking, you confirm that you have had the opportunity to read and have read these booking conditions, Essential trip information, Inclusions & Exclusions and cancellation & refund policy and agree to be bound by them.

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  1. Day 1 - Arrive Delhi:
    Namaste! We are welcomed the traditional Maharaja way with rose Garlands. After immigration and custom formalities, we are escorted and driven through the city to our hotel. 
  2. Day 2 - Delhi
    humayun's-tomb We start our morning tour with New Delhi and visit Birla House, the Former Residence of Mahatma Gandhi before he was assassinated by Nathu Ram Godse on January 30, 1948. Later we visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place and Humayun's Tomb*, the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, built in 1570.  We continue to Qutub Minar and its Monuments* Built in the early 13th century the red sandstone tower of Qutub Minar is 72.5 m high. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art and two mosques. Our afternoon concentrates on Old Delhi, starting with the Red Fort Complex*. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement and each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. Next, we visit the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. We end our tour with a bazaar experience at Chandni Chowk, the street of silver and goldsmiths.
    Please Note: Red fort and Birla House are closed on Monday and Chandni Chowk is closed on Sunday
    Meals Included
  3. Day 3 - Delhi/Gwalior by Train # Gatiman Express/12050: Dep 08:10 Hrs / Arr. 11:25 Hrs
    gwalior-fort Day 03: Delhi/Gwalior by Train # Gatiman Express/12050: Dep 08:10 Hrs / Arr. 11:25 Hrs 
    Today we are transferred to railway station to board the fastest train of India. The train has airlines style seating and breakfast is served on the train. Gwalior - a one time princely state in central India. On arrival in Gwalior we are met and are transferred to our luxury Palace hotel – The Taj Usha Kiran Palace, Rich in history, this 120-year-old palace played host to the King of England and is now a heritage hotel. Set amidst 9 acres of beautifully landscaped lawns, this regal palace is outfitted with artistic stone carvings and delicate filigree work. We start our experience of Gwalior with a visit to the Man Mandir built between 1486 and 1517 by the famous Raja Man Singh. Vast chambers with fine stone screens were once the music halls, and behind these screens, the royal ladies would learn music from the great masters of the day. Below, circular dungeons housed the state prisoners of the Mughal. Emperor Aurangzeb had his brother Murad imprisoned here. At Jauhar Pond, in the Rajput tradition, the Ranis (queens) committed mass sati (widow immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre). At Man Mandir Palace, a poignant ambience of those days of chivalry and heroism still lingers in the silent chambers. Later we visit the 15th century Gujari Mahal - a monument dedicated to the love of Raja Mansingh Tomar for his intrepid Gujar Queen, we visit Mrignayani, (now an archaeological museum), fort, Temples of Sas-Bahu, Teli Ka Mandir, Jai Vilas Palace, Tomb of Gaus Mohammed and the Mausoleum of Tansen. Please Note: Jai Vilas Palace Museum & Gujari Mahal Museum remains closed on Monday for visitors
     
    Meals Included
  4. Day 4 - Gwalior/Agra (Drive 125 kms/ 03 Hrs)
    taj-mahal-agra This morning we pass interesting Indian scenery as we drive to Agra. Agra - the city that is Home to the most well-known wonders of the world - the Taj Mahal. On arrival in Agra, we check in our hotel. Later we visit world famous historic monument Taj Mahal, best described as 'poetry in marble' because of its beauty, grace and exquisite workmanship, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 1630 as a memorial to his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Surely it is the greatest monument of love, and truly one of the wonders of the world. Later we visit Agra Fort, built by Emperor Akbar, standing opposite the Taj on the banks of the Yamuna River, which contains a wealth of palaces and monuments that recall the days of Mughal splendors. Agra is famous for it’s inlay work on marble, later we visit some of the local factories in Agra to see, how the inlay work on marble in done. Please Note: Taj Mahal remains closed on every Friday’s 
    Meals Included
  5. Day 5 - : Agra /Fatehpur Sikri/ Jaipur (Drive 245 km/ 05 Hrs)
    fatehpur-sikri A short drive gets us to Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful capital built in 1640 by the Mughal King, Akbar the Great. The city was later abandoned for lack of water. A superb example of Mughal architecture, it stands perfectly preserved in the desert. We also visit the artistically designed mausoleum of Salim Chisty who is reputed to have prayed for a son for Akbar leading to the birth of Salim Jehangir, the builder of the Taj. From here we continue on a countryside drive to Jaipur, the rose pink capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur, filled with frenetic crowds, Rajasthan's chaotic, dusky - pink capital is a place of wild contrasts, bombarding the senses at every turn. The city owes its name, foundation and careful planning to the great warrior -astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693 - 1743). On arrival in Jaipur, we check into our Hotel, called the Taj Rambagh Palace, A destination palace resort spread over 47 acres of tranquil, landscaped gardens, Rambagh Palace is Jaipur’s foremost Royal Palace residence. Located close to the walled ‘Pink City’, spectacular forts, and all the unique shopping bazaars of Jaipur, the Palace unveils the rich culture and history of the erstwhile rulers of Rajasthan. Built in 1835 as a hunting lodge, converted to a palace in 1925 as the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur and finally converted as India’s first palace hotel in 1957. An architectural masterpiece, Rambagh presents a fine blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Sensitively restored to its former glory with refurbished rooms overlooking courtyards with fountains or verdant gardens, airy verandahs, idyllic front lawns and a warm intimate lobby, guests relive the royal lifestyle at Rambagh. Later in the evening we visit the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu the creator of Universe. The temple is the latest addition to the list of monuments in Jaipur and is a all marble temple with beautiful carvings. 
    Meals Included
  6. Day 6 - Jaipur
    hawa-mahal-jaipur A royal experience awaits us as we take a Jeep ride uphill to the intriguing Amber Palace, a distinguished example of 17th Century Rajput architecture. After the tour and enjoying a panoramic view, we return to Jaipur to visit the old astronomical observatory built by Jai Singh the founder of the city. We also visit the majestic Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art and the colorful bazaar. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. Most of the buildings in the old city are made of pink sandstone and one of the most beautiful is Hawa Mahal, Palace of Winds, where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind the intricately carved facade. Evening is free to enjoy both shopping and a cultural experience in the bazaars of Jaipur.
    Meals Included
  7. Day 7 - Jaipur/Samode (Drive 60 km/ 01 Hr)
    amber-fort-jaipur After breakfast we leave for Samode. Samode is situated in the royal Indian state of Rajasthan around 60 kms from Jaipur, the capital city. Located on way to Shekhawati, this small village is famous for its haveli and fort. Samode is an ideal desert getaway. On arrival in Samode we check in our The Samode Palace, now a heritage hotel is built in the characteristic pattern of an open courtyard with rooms leading off the arched corridor that runs along all the four sides of the building. The Sultan Mahal is on the first floor-an exquisite room with a marble pillared verandah. It has the famous Jaipur blue tile decorations. Every inch of the ceiling and the walls are covered with floral, paisley and geometric motifs painted in vegetable colors. It is called Sultan Mahal after the craftsman, who painstakingly created it. Old and heavy carved silver furniture brought from Nepal by the grandmother of the present Rawal gleam dully in sunlight even today. To the left of the main haveli is the Durbar Hall, which was built about a hundred years ago. Again it is painted with ornate floral motifs and colored delicately with vegetable pigments, which still have a special glow of their own. Later in the day we visit the Samode Fort and Samode Bagh as well as explore the nearby surroundings.
    Meals Included
  8. Day 8 - : Samode/Bikaner (Drive 260 km/ 05 Hrs)
    exterior-of-junagarh-fort-bikaner Today we leave for Bikaner. Bikaner city is bolstered by imposing walls and has a 16th century fort housing old palaces, temples and a mosque. En-route we visit the Deshnok Temple or the Karni Mata Temple is about 40 Kms far from Bikaner. At the temple we pay visit to the KARNI MATA, presiding Deity of the Royal House of Bikaner. An interesting feature “RATS” are the worshipers of KARNI MATA in the form of Bards and are present in large numbers with in the precincts of the temple. Later we continue our countryside drive to Bikaner. On arrival in Bikaner, we check in our Palace Hotel The Gajner Palace. This sprawling desert town has a fort with some of the finest interiors in India, and a bustling old walled city encompassing darkred sandstone havelis and exquisitely painted Jain temples. The area is famous for the intricate rich gold painting work by Muslim Usta artisans. Later in the noon we tour Bikaner by visiting the Junagadh Fort, constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh-A general in the army of the Mughal emperor, Akbar. The fort is distinguished by its long range of 37 pavilions, a line of balconies and windows of varying designs. An enormous arched doorway leads to the Jaramal Temple. The royal chapel is Har Mandir where royal weddings and births were once celebrated. 
    Meals Included
  9. Day 9 - Bikaner/ Jaisalmer (Drive 330 km/ 07 Hrs)
    jaisalmer-gadsisar-jaisalmer After the Bikaner experience we get a different feel of Rajasthan as we drive to Jaisalmer, the ancient capital of the Yadav as in the heart of the Thar Desert. What could have induced Jaisal, a Bhatti prince, to settle right in the heart of a desolate desert, that too in the 12th century? In the narrow, cobbled alleys of Jaisalmer - no wider than a stretched arm - cluster the havelis or the mansions of the rich, with stone carving and latticed work of breathtaking intricacy. On arrival in Jaisalmer we check in our hotel. Later in the evening we take a small excursion to village SAM, which has a cluster of Sand Dunes. These Dunes are large extent of Shifting Sands, the wind heaps the sand into hills or deep hollow scopes vary from Size 3 to 15 Km. We enjoy a camel ride in the evening and enjoy the Sun Set with Changing Colors in the desert. 
    Meals Included
  10. Day 10 - Jaisalmer
    jaisalmer-fort-jaisalmer After breakfast we leave for city tour of Jaisalmer visiting the fort built by Maharawal (Maharaja) Jaisal in 1156 AD- One of the 2nd oldest in Rajasthan situated on triangular Mound 76 meters above ground level. Like a giant sandcastle, the golden fort thrusts skywards out of the surrounding barren landscape. Dubbed the “Golden City” because of its honey color, it is the place that should exist only in the imagination. For years Jaisalmer remained untouched by the outside influences. The rise of shipping trade and the port of Mumbai saw the decline of Jaisalmer. But the desert fortress, that seems to be straight out of the ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’ still enchants. The life within the citadel conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palace, havelis, temples and of course skilled artisans and ubiquitous camels. The setting sun turning Jaisalmer into a beautiful golden brown is a spectacular sight. We also visit the Jain temple of the 11th century BC, Gadisar Tank - A scenic rainwater lake with numerous beautiful shrines around and a spectacular avian variety. The lake is an idyllic spot for outings. Folk Museum- Jaisalmer is the museum-city of India and one of the last princely bastions, Patwan ki Haveli - The most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It has exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers. One of the apartments of this five storey high haveli is painted with beautiful murals, Badal Vilas Palace. 
    Meals Included
  11. Day 11 - : Jaisalmer/Jodhpur: (Drive: 280 Km/ 6 Hours
    blue-city-jodhpur Today we leave for Jodhpur. The blue city, a crazed mass of indigo angles, spreads, along the edge of the Great Thar Desert. Jodhpur’s fort, Mehrangarh, towers over the city, perched on a sheer rocky ridge from where the view over the sea of blue buildings in mesmerizing. Traditionally, blue signified the Home of a Brahmin, but these days, non-Brahmins have taken on the practice too. Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rajput clan known as the Rathores. On a vital trade route, the city was built on the profits of opium, sandalwood, dates and copper. On arrival in Jodhpur we check in our Grand Palace hotel “The UMMED BHAWAN PALACE”. Umaid Bhawan palace is a classic example of indo-colonial art deco style of the 1930’s. The only palace to be constructed in the 20th century, it was a monumental task performed by three thousand artisans 14 years to create this heritage wonder. A unique feature of this palace is how the hand-chiseled sandstone blocks have been put together in an interlocking pattern without any mortar binding. This even more amazing because the palace is large - 195 meters long and 103 meters wide. Rest of the day is free for relaxation. 
    Meals Included
  12. Day 12 - Jodhpur
    mehrangarh-fort-jodhpur Our experience of Jodhpur starts with a visit to Mehrangarh fort, built in 1459 A.D by Rao Jodha, rises steeply from a rocky scrap winds Up to the massive gateway with immense portals and enter through the Gate of victory – Jai Pole and Loha Pole Marked with palm prints of ‘Sati’ (Rajput Ladies immolated themselves on funeral fire of their Husband). Inside the fort there is a series of courtyards and palaces, a deep –terracotta latticed network. They house a museum, with a splendid collection of the trappings of Indian royalty, including some amazing elephant’s howdahs (essential for glittering processions), miniature paintings and the inevitable Rajput armory and ephemera from ivory inlaid ladies dumbbells to camel bone carpet weights. Later we visit Jaswant Thada This milky – white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II is a peaceful array of whimsical domes, about 1 km from the fort. The royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs that stand nearby followed the Cenotaph, built in 1899. We will also visit the beautifully landscaped Mandore Gardens. Later in the noon we take a Village Safari tour of Bishnoi village with Packed Lunches. A memorable day outing in Jeeps, we visit various traditional villages , seeing local Handicrafts, viz shoe makers , pottery hand weaving and also men in their traditional attire, women clad with ancestral silver jewellery.
    Meals Included
  13. Day 13 - : Jodhpur/Udaipur (Drive: 280/ 06 Hrs)
    lake-palace-udaipur Today we leave for Lake City – Udaipur. No city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic as Udaipur. The City of Dawn, surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains and set on the edge of three lakes, is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples. Eight marble porticos mark the spot where the Mewar sovereigns were weighed in gold, the equivalent value of which was then distributed to the poor. The most memorable parts of Udaipur are its lake palaces, shimmering like jewels on Lake Pichola. Jag Mandir, the other island palace with a marble dome, is a marvel in red sandstone. It was a refuge for the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan when he was in exile following a quarrel with his father, Emperor Jehangir. On arrival in Udaipur we check in our hotel, The Taj Lake Palace, where Visitors feel like honored guests of the Maharana at this exquisite white marble palace that seems to float majestically on the still waters of Lake Pichola. Originally built as a summer palace, Taj Lake Palace has recently been transformed to its former glory whose sole purpose is the pursuit of leisure. Set amid awe-inspiring fairytale gardens, this 250-year old palace may be the most romantic hotel in the world. As a testimony to courtly love, the palace brims with princely details including marble pillars, ornate glasswork, intricate paintings, and much, much more. Evening enjoy leisurely boat ride at Lake Pichola. Rest of the day is at Leisure at the Taj Lake Palace. 
    Meals Included
  14. Day 14 - Udaipur / Devigarh (Drive 40 Kms / 1 Hour
    city-palace-udaipur After breakfast we start our experience of Udaipur by visiting the City Palace. The palace has several architectural and artistic highlights such as the Mor Chowk, known for its stunning peacock mosaics and the Bhim Vilas Palace with its series of lovely wall paintings. From the City Palace we can see the Lake Place, shimmering like a jewel in Lake Pichola. Later we visit the Jagdish Temple, Fateh Sagar Lake and Saheliyon Ki Bari, the Garden of Maids. Later, we leave for Devigarh, Nestled in the Aravali hills of Rajasthan, the 18th century Devi Garh Fort Palace, in the village of Delwara commands one the three main passes into the valley of Udaipur. Sajja Singh, who hailed from the neighboring state of Gujarat, was awarded this strategically significant principality, in recognition of his bravery and loyalty to Maharana Pratap against the Mughal emperor Akbar, at the battle of Haldighati (1576). The actual construction of the fort palace started only in the 1760s, under Raghudev Singh II, with further additions being made to the structure by the rulers who followed. The palace was absorbed into the state of Rajasthan in the 1960s, and was subsequently abandoned. Devi Garh is ready for visitors after years of restoration and rebuilding. The Fort Palace was conceived as a place where the past meets the future. This all suite luxury hotel comprising of 39 suites takes on the look of modern India, with an emphasis on design and detail, using local marbles and semi-precious stones. The contemporary design showcased within this spectacular heritage property, complemented by personalized and intimate service, creates a new image for India for the 21st century.
    Meals Included
  15. Day 15 - : Devigarh/ Pushkar (Drive 285 km/ 06 Hrs)
    ghat-pushkar After breakfast we leave for Pushkar. The Pulsating beats of vivid images of the Sacred Brahma land, Pushkar brings alive the rich tradition of Rajasthan enhancing the glory of the golden sand. On arrival in Pushkar we check in our hotel. Later we take city tour of Pushkar - Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site, since many were deserted by Aurangzeb and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous is the Brahma Temple, said to be one of the few temples in the world dedicated to this deity. It's marked by red spire, and over the entrance gateway is the Hans, or goose symbol, of Brahma, who is said to have personally chosen Pushkar as its site. Later we tour Ajmer situated in the green oasis wrapped in the barren hills has been a witness to an interesting past. The city was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D. and continued to be a major center of the Chauhan power till 1193 A.D. Today, Ajmer is a popular pilgrimage center for the Hindus as well as Muslims. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khawaja Muin-ud-din Chisti, which is equally revered by the Hindus and Muslims. The Dargah at the foot of a barren hill is situated India’s most important pilgrimage center for people from all faiths. The mausoleum has a gigantic gate, which was built by the Nizam of Hyderabad. 
    Meals Included
  16. Day 16 - : Pushkar/Ajmer/Delhi # Train 12016; Dep: 15:45 / Arr: 22:40 hrs
    ajmer-sharif Today we are transferred to Ajmer railway station for our train to Delhi. Upon arrival we are transferred to our hotel.
    Meals Included
  17. Day 17 - Delhi / Onward Destination
    Today you are transferred to airport for your flight to onward destination. 
    Meals Included
  • - Breakfast
  • - Lunch
  • - Dinner

* DENOTES UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES INCLUDED

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Overall Rating 5/5
Amazing Tous
Reviewed by on Apr, 2018
5/5
I had a great time in India
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