15 Day Jewels of India

Home | Indian Subcontinent | India | 15 Day Jewels of India

Mughal India and Taj Mahal. Colonial cities. Palaces, fortresses and mausoleums. A luxury holiday covering myriad dazzling facets of India.



HIGHLIGHTS

Mughal India and Taj Mahal. Colonial cities. Palaces, fortresses and mausoleums. A luxury holiday covering myriad dazzling facets of India.

Day by Day plan

Close All Days -

Open All Days +

  • Day 1: Arrive at Mumbai

    A Wild Voyager representative will receive you on arrival at the International airport and transfer to your hotel.

     

    Originally an archipelago of seven islands on the Arabian Sea, Mumbai was named after Mumba Devi, patron goddess of the Koli  Fishermen indigenous to the area. In the 19th century, reclamation work joined up the islands in a long, narrow strip of land that is the Mumbai we know today. This bustling metropolis is India’s commercial capital and home of Bollywood, the world’s largest movie industry. A city of contrasts, Ferraris and Porsches stand shoulder to shoulder on Mumbai roads with strikingly retro Premier Padmini cabs, and glitzy malls stocking super luxury brands co-exist side by side with buzzing local markets.

     

    Overnight will be at Mumbai.

     

  • Day 2: Sightseeing in Mumbai

    Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

     

    The decidedly un-fortress-like business district to the North of Kolaba is popularly known as Fort and gets its name from a long-dismantled East India Company for that, soon after the Maratha Wars, gave way to the grand colonial buildings which give this part of Mumbai its distinctive architectural flavor. Of note is St. John’s Church, dedicated to British soldiers who laid down their lives in Afghanistan and Sind in the 19th century.

     

    To travelers flying into Mumbai, the city’s most recognizable feature is perhaps the Marine Drive, a long sea-facing promenade that runs from Nariman Point to Malabar Hill in a shallow arc, curving along the lapping waters of the Arabian Sea. In the evening, the Marine Drive glitters in a stunning crescent of light and is appropriately named “Queen’s Necklace.”

     

    What the Queen’s Necklace is to air travelers today, the Gateway of India was to the seafaring visitors of the early 20th century. Built in 1911 to welcome King George V and Queen Mary to the land of their subjects, this magnificent arch was ironically also the point from where the last British ship departed India after the latter gained independence in 1947. A flight of steps leads down to the sea where motor launches bob in the water, offering short cruises to tourists. After sundown and weather permitting, the excursion is well worth the fare as the view from the sea towards the dramatically illuminated Gateway is nothing short of splendid. Towards the east lies Apollo Bunder, abuzz with street vendors, fortune-tellers, evening walkers and tourists.

     

    Flora Fountain/ Hutama Chowk: This fountain situated in the heart of the city was erected in 1869 in honour of a British Governor of Bombay Sir Bartle Frere. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and known as the 'Piccadilly Circus 'of Mumbai, which is decorated at its four corners with mythological figures, the Fountain is a structure in dull stone with a figure the Roman Goddess of flowers, at the top.

     

    A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Victoria Terminus is one of India’s busiest railway stations and. a unique amalgamation of Indian and Gothic architectural styles. The centerpiece of the station is a 160-foot high dome and an ode to progress in the form of the statue of a woman carrying a torch. Movie buffs may be interested to know that Victoria Terminus featured prominently in the Academy Award-winning “Slumdog Millionaire.”

     

    The English Gothic Mumbai High Court Building was designed by Col. J. A. Fuller, a British engineer and dates back to 1878. On the western face of this majestic structure stand the statues of Justice and Mercy.

     

    Made of local Kurla stone, the 280-foot tall Rajabai Clock Tower is an amalgam of Venetian and Gothic styles of architecture and boasts of absolutely stunning stained glass windows. Presently, the tower houses the University of Mumbai library.

     

    Enjoy a walk around Colaba area and soak in the culture.

     

    Dinner could be an authentic local seafood restaurant or the hotel has some of the best restaurants in Mumbai.

     

    Overnight will be at Mumbai.

     

  • Day 3: Mumbai to Kolkata, by air

    Breakfast will be served on board.

     

    Reach and check in at hotel.

     

    In 1690, three villages in the southern Bengal were combined and turned into a port and trading post by the British East India Company under license from the Nawab of Bengal. Urbanization continued for half a century until Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah invaded and occupied the fledgling city. The British won the resulting battle, paving the way for two centuries of colonial rule in India. The city of Calcutta was won back and remained the capital of the British Raj for over 150 years. During this period, the British administration built grand colonial buildings, wide tree-lined avenues, lush green parade grounds and bandstands, earning Calcutta the sobriquet “The City of palaces.” Egged on by a rapidly emerging progressive Indian middle class, the British undertook widespread social reform and built world-class schools, colleges and universities. But with education, came ideas of nationalism and independence, and Calcutta became a hotbed of rebellion and unrest leading to the shifting of the commercial capital to Delhi in 1911.

     

    After independence in 1947, Calcutta’s (now Kolkata) fortunes waned and decades of economic stagnation followed. Still, the city has remained a highly potent cultural force and continues to produce pioneers in the arts and sciences alike. Among the city’s famous denizens are philosopher-poet-novelist Rabindranath Tagore, Asia’s first Nobel Laureate, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray in whose work, according to Martin Scorcese, “the line between poetry and cinema dissolved,” Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and the modern day saint Mother Teresa among others.

     

    Overnight will be in Kolkata.

     
     
  • Day 4: Sightseeing in Kolkata

    Proceed for the sightseeing tour of the city after breakfast.

     

    Designed in Indo-Saracenic style in the early 20th Century, the white dome of Victoria Memorial bears a suspicious resemblance to that of the much larger grander Taj Mahal and is a tribute to the memory of Queen Victoria. The building houses a museum with oil paintings depicting scenes from the empress’s life as well as a rich and diverse visual and documentary record of the British in India as well as the history of Kolkata. The outside lawns are 64 acres of lush manicured greens that look out into the maidan, the expansive rolling green tree-lined British-era parade ground that serves as the lungs of Kolkata.

     

    The cantilevered Howrah Bridge over the wide waters of the Hooghly River is perhaps Kolkata’s most iconic and oft-photographed landmark. An engineering marvel, the 25000 tonnes of steel that make the Howrah Bridge is held together only by rivets and its foundations sink to a depth of 31.41 and 26.53 meters below the ground on either side. On the other side of the bridge is the iconic red facade of Howrah Station, the world’s largest railway station and in its heydays, one of the most important ports of call of the British Empire.    

     

    Birla Planetarium is only the second of its kind in the. Regular astronomical shows are presented here with commentaries in different languages. Shows are held on all days excluding Mondays.

     

    In the evening enjoy a sunset cruise of the River Ganges with a view over the waters as the city lights up at night.

     

    Overnight will be in Kolkata.

     

  • Day 5: Kolkata to Hyderabad, by air

    Transfer in time to the airport for flight to Hyderabad.

     

    Breakfast will be served on board.

     

    Reach and check in at the palace.

     

    The 400-year old city of Hyderabad, once the Nizam’s Capital, is today the capital city of Andhra Pradesh and is the fifth largest metropolis in India. This cosmopolitan city is endowed with rich culture and heritage and presents an amalgam of old world charm together with the ebullience of growth and enterprise.  It is often called the ‘Gateway to the South’ offering a fascinating panorama of the past. It is truly a blend of fairy tale and the earthy, a potpourri of the old and the new. 

     

    Overnight will be in Hyderabad.

     

  • Day 6: Sightseeing in Hyderabad

    Proceed for the day sightseeing of the city after breakfast.

     

    Charminar, the epitome of Hyderabad was constructed in 1591 by Quli Qutub Shahi. Located in the heart of the old city Charminar has been the most popular historical monument. All around this magnificent edifice is a bustling bazaar of pearl and jewellery shops, perfume and attar dealers. The famous Laad bazaar selling glittering bangles is also located close by.

     

    Hyderabad's most popular promenade, it dams the Hussain Sagar Lake with the monolithic statue of Buddha right in the middle. There is the necklace road on one side and the Tank Bund road on the other side which separates the twin cities. The Tank Bund road is lined with 33 statues of famous personalities of the state and the lake is the venue of many a water sporting event. There are boat rides available on two cruises - the Baghmati and Bhagirathi besides the speedboats. There is also a Lumbini park on one side for recreation. It's a sight to watch especially in the evenings when the reflection of the lights along the lake and the Birla Mandir can be seen in the dark waters of the lake.

     

    Visit Golkonda Fort, a ruined city of south-central India and capital of ancient Kingdom of Golkonda (1518–1687), is situated 11 km west of Hyderabad. It was constructed in by Quli Qutub Shahi, the fourth Qutub king of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty.

     

    Overnight will be in Hyderabad.

     

  • Day 7: Sightseeing in Hyderabad

    Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

     

    Proceed for sightseeing. Start with a visit to the famous Salar Jung Museum

     

    The Salar Jung Museum is the third largest museum in India housing the biggest collections of antiques in the world. It is well known throughout India for its prized collections belonging to different civilizations.

     

    Qutub Shahi Tombs top the list of the architectural beauty of the monuments like Jama Masjid, Mecca Masjid, and Toli Masjid. Left of Mecca Masjid and near the Golconda Fort is the tombs of Asaf Jahi rulers. The tomb of the child king, Mehboob Ali has become a shrine as he was believed to having the power of curing people of poisonous bites. These tombs are quite popular as tourist spots.

     

    The NIZAM’S MUSEUM is also a nice place to get a peep into history and the royal past of Hyderabad. It is in Purana Haveli behind Princess Durru Shehvar Children Hospital.

     

    Overnight will be in Hyderabad.

     

  • Day 8: Hyderabad to Jaipur, by air

    Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

     

    Jaipur, also known as the ‘Pink City’ from the facelift it received in 1853 to celebrate a visit by Prince Albert, is dotted with havelis (traditional mansions), bazaars, opulent palaces and rugged majestic forts that showcase the glorious past of its rulers, the Rajputs.

     

    The Rajput princes were fierce warriors some of whom declared loyalty to the invading Mughals and proved to be formidable allies of the empire.  Among them was King Jai Singh II, whom the Mughals gave the title Sawai Maharaja, or “King and a quarter”. Jaipur gets its name from this valiant king.

     

    In the evening, your exotic resort will arrange an exuberant Rajasthani Folk Dance Performance and puppet show, performed by a local tribe, followed by a sumptuous Indian dinner.

     

    Enjoy the experience and spend the night at Jaipur.

     

  • Day 9: Sightseeing in Jaipur

    Proceed for a morning excursion to Amber Fort after breakfast. Elephant ride ascent to the fort.

     

    Situated on the top of a hill, the magnificent Amber Fort Palace offers a panoramic view of the old city. Established in 1592, its rugged exteriors believe the delicate architecture inside, a rare fusion of traditional Rajasthani and Islamic styles. Reach the fort the old fashioned way, atop a ceremonial elephant along a cobbled path up that opens into several havelis, step wells, courtyards and temples. Visit Sheesh Mahal or chamber of mirrors, Jas Mandir with its ornate ceilings and latticework and the stunning Shila Devi temple with its intricately carved silver door.

     

    The sprawling City Palace has been home to the rulers of Jaipur since the 18th century. The architecture of the palace is a blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal styles. The City Palace Museum is located here and houses various items from Jaipur’s princely and warrior past.

     

    The scientific-minded King Jai Singh II, an astronomy enthusiast, commissioned five observatories named Jantar Mantar around West Central India in the early 1700s.  The one in Jaipur is the largest and the best preserved. The massive architectural instruments are constructed out of local stone and marble some of which are still in use. We shall walk through and explore this surreal maze of giant geometric objects.

     

    The exquisite outer facade of Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Winds," resembles a manmade honeycomb and is one of Jaipur’s most iconic and oft-photographed sights. Designed to facilitate maximum air circulation and cross ventilation, the five-storied Hawa Mahal is made of lime and mortar and decorated with impossible intricate trelliswork. From the privacy of its ornate jharokhas (traditional Rajasthani windows), the ladies of the court could gaze out at life in the streets below.

     

    Visit the Birla Temple. A stunning white marble structure, the three towers of the Birla Temple stand for three different approaches to religion. Carvings on the ornate pillars celebrate Hindu gods and goddesses along with Christ, Virgin Mary and St. Francis of Assisi. Don’t miss the hypnotic evening Aarti, the ritual lighting of oil lamps.

     

    Overnight will be at Jaipur.

     

  • Day 10: Sightseeing in Jaipur

    Proceed for sightseeing of the village of Samode after breakfast.

     

    Samode according to the Rajputana Gazetteer of 1879 was a large and flourishing town. The Zamindars (landlords) of Samode - the principal thakurs of the state of Amber were the Nathawat clan from Chomu, a branch of the house of Amber, tracing their relation to the Jaipur Maharaja the fabled Prithviraj Singhji the 17th prince of the house of Kachwahas Rajputs. Gopal Singhji one of his 12 sons was awarded Samode, a noble feudatory of the Amber & Jaipur principality. It was among the wealthiest territories in the Amber kingdom. The Zamindari eventually passed within the clan to the hands of Behari Das, a Rajput warrior in Mughal Service. After 6 generations in the hands of his descendants, Samode was relinquished to the Raj.

     

    The 400-year-old SAMODE PALACE has a wealth of frescoes, many of them depicting religious subjects. The highlight is a vast DURBAR HALL.

     

    Take a walk of the Rajasthani village or take a camel cart ride. Have lunch at SAMODE PALACE.

     

    Jaipur is famous for its shopping, particularly gold and silver jewellery, blue pottery, tie-dye materials, silk, saris, wooden handicrafts and carpets.

     

    Overnight will be at Jaipur.

     

  • Day 11: Jaipur to Agra, by road, enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri

    Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

     

    Proceed to Agra by road. Visit Fatehpur Sikri en route.

     

    Fatehpur Sikri or the “City of Victory”, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 in honour of Sufi saint Salim Chishti was the capital of the Mughals for 14 years. The white marble Tomb of the Salim Chisti with its intricately carved marble screens occupies pride of place in the central courtyard of the structure.

     

    Attractions include the colossal Buland Darwaza, a victory gate built to mark the conquest of Gujarat by Emperor Akbar, the Diwan-i-Aam where the emperor held his legendary hearings with the general public and the Diwan-i-Khas where he held private consultation with his nine ministers, or as he called them, his navaratna or nine gems.

     

    Fatehpur Sikri also houses the palace of Jodhabai, Akbar’s Hindu wife, and the house of the legendary Birbal - Akbar’s Hindu minister and one of the navaratnas - the tales of whose extraordinary wit and wisdom are the stuff of popular culture in India, inspiring countless comic books and children’s animation TV shows.

     

    Continue your drive to Agra. Reach and transfer to hotel.

     

    The Mughal capital of Agra on the banks of the Yamuna River is a bustling town teeming with narrow, winding alleyways that hark back to an era gone by. Dotted by magnificent monuments including UNESCO World Heritage Site Taj Mahal, the city is a dazzling contrast of red sandstone and white marble structures.

     

    Overnight will be in Agra.

     

  • Day 12: Sightseeing in Agra, visit Taj Mahal

    Proceed to the Taj Mahal at sunrise for the best view and exploration.

     

    Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal and designed by Persian architect Ustad, the magnificent Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world. A massive white marble structure so delicate that it appears to float in the air, the Taj is otherworldly in its beauty and is best viewed in moonlight or at dawn and dusk. The close-up view reveals breathtakingly intricate inlay work carved into the marble and bears eloquent testimony to the triumph of Mughal art, culture and architecture at its peak. No holiday in India is complete without the Taj.

     

    Return to the hotel for breakfast and freshening up.

     

    Proceed for sightseeing of Agra.

     

    A beautifully maintained tree-lined monument at Sikandra marks the grave of the illustrious Akbar the Great. A great believer in harmony and equality of all religions,  this visionary Mughal Emperor created Din-i Ilahi, a unique religion that combines the fundamentals of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. His memorial imbibes architectural motifs of all the faiths that inspired him.

     

    Standing across the river from the Taj, the majestic red sandstone structure of Agra Fort was erected in 1565 by Mughal Emperor Akbar the great. Little did he know that the same fort would later serve as the prison for his grandson Emperor Shah Jahan at the end of his days. From his prison perch of Musamman Burj, an exquisite octagonal marble tower atop the fort, Shah Jahan would spend his last days looking out longingly at the Taj.

     

    Itmad-Ud-Daulah is perhaps the Mughal Empire’s best kept secret. Empress Nur Jehan, the wife of Jehangir, son of Akbar, commissioned the structure as a memorial to her father. Mistakenly called Baby Taj, Itmad-Ud-Daulah, in fact, is decades older than the Taj and may have served as its design blueprint.

     

    Overnight will be at Agra.

     

  • Day 13: Agra to Delhi, by Road

    Proceed to Delhi after breakfast.

     

    Delhi, India’s capital has seen great empires rise and fall around it for millennia, with each new batch of rulers building over the works of their predecessors. As a result, the city abounds in monuments and ruins of stunning diversity. The seat of the world’s largest democracy, it also boasts of magnificent symbols of government that pay architectural tribute to the ideals of self-rule and democracy. These co-exist side by side with wide multi-lane motorways, shopping malls, fast cars and ultramodern steel-glass office complexes that characterize any large 21st-century metropolis.

     

    In the evening visit Kingdom of Dreams for a great cultural experience. Enjoy delicacies of India beneath the beautiful Venetian sky. WILD VOYAGER would host you to a beautiful Bollywood musical.

     

    Overnight will be at Delhi.

     

  • Day 14: Sightseeing in Delhi

    Enjoy a guided tour of Old Delhi after breakfast.

     

    Raj Ghat is the famous memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. The shrine bears testimony to the simplicity of the man who changed the world with the power of ideas.  A simple black stone structure with an eternal flame burning at one end.

     

    The majestic Red Fort was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639 and remained the seat of the empire for the next two centuries. Today, the Prime Minister of India delivers his Independence Day speech to the nation from the ramparts of this red sandstone structure.

     

    Continue your tour to Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia’s largest mosques. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.

     

    A short distance away lie the bustling markets of Chandni Chowk, “Moonlit Square,” the celebrated 17th-century market complex, where sweatshops from the 1790s still do roaring business.

     

    After lunch proceed for a sightseeing tour of New Delhi was built by the British in the 1930s as their imperial capital. Majestic government and administrative buildings line the wide, tree-lined avenues of what is also known as Lutyens
    Delhi after Sir Edwin Lutyens who was commissioned to design the city in 1911.

     

    Further south lies the Qutub Minar. Built by Qutubuddin Aibak, a slave general in 1193, it is India’s tallest stone tower and marks the site of the country’s first Muslim kingdom. The iron tower in a square opposite is unique in that it never rusts, although it has been exposed to the elements for centuries.

     

    The stately Humayun’s Tomb is perhaps the first example of the Mughal style of architecture, inspired by Persian styles, more examples of which may be seen in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. 

     

    The structure was erected in memory of Emperor Humayun, father of the illustrious Emperor Akbar, by his widow Hamida Banu Begum. An avid scholar who died an untimely death after falling down the steps of his library, Humayun himself was an architecture enthusiast and well-versed in the Persian style of building. It is said that he himself drew up the blueprint of his tomb in his lifetime, but there is no documented evidence to that effect.

     

    Proceed to India Gate, the red sandstone arch erected in memory of Indian and British soldiers who laid down their lives in World War I. Close by are the majestic Parliament House, the seat of the world’s largest democracy and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the Indian President’s official residence. Inside are the famed Mughal Gardens with its ornate fountains and manicured lawns. Mughal Gardens are open to the public during spring.

     

    Overnight will be in Delhi.

     

     
  • Day 15: Tour Ends

    Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

     

    Transfer in time to the airport to take the flight back home.

     

     

PLAN YOUR TRIP TODAY