We had the pleasure of experiencing Northern India with Abercrombie & Kent through their "Taj Mahal & Treasures of India" Tour. We visited Mumbai, Udaipur, Jaipur, Agra, Panna National Park, Khajuraho, Varanasi, and Delhi. We also added the Nepal & Kathmandu extension.
DAY 01: ARRIVE IN MUMBAI, INDIA
After a long 26 hour journey from San Diego, we were met and transferred to the iconic Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, where we were welcomed with open arms. This award-winning hotel first opened in 1903 and offers stunning views of the majestic gateway of India. Centrally located, the hotel allows guests to easily explore the city of Mumbai, and the hotel itself holds 10 of the city's most acclaimed restaurants and bars.
Virtuoso Amenities: When you book Taj Mahal Palace through me, you will receive daily buffet breakfast for 2, upgrade on arrival, early check-in / late check-out, and a $100 hotel or resort credit!
DAY 02: MUMBAI - THE GATEWAY OF INDIA
We explored Mumbai's sites, including the Gateway of India, local museums, the world's busiest train station, and the largest open-air laundry in the world.
DAY 03: MUMBAI/UDAIPUR - TEMPLES OF ELEPHANTA ISLAND
We visited the caves at Elephanta Island,a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Mumbai Harbor. The caves took 100 years and several generations to complete! The island consists of two groups of caves, the first is a group of five Hindu caves, the second is a group of two Buddhist caves.
We then flew to Udaipur to check into The Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur. A hotel is not just a place to sleep - a great hotel reflects the culture of the country you are visiting and is a part of your destination experience, and The Taj Lake Palace blew us away with their wonderful hospitality, their impeccable service, their amazing location, their unique suites and their great cuisine. We truly felt like royalty there. This floating hotel was originally a palace built in 1746 - what could be better than staying at a true Palace?
Virtuoso Amenities: When you book The Taj Lake Palace through me, you will receive daily continental breakfast for 2, upgrade on arrival, a complimentary lunch or dinner for 2, early check-in / late check-out, and free Wi-Fi!
DAY 04-05: UDAIPUR - CRUISE TO JAG MANDIR
We explored the city of Udaipur, my favorite spots were the City Palace, the stunning Garden of the Maids of Honor. We also enjoyed a private cruise to Jag Mandir, a stunning marble palace on an island in Lake Pichola.
DAY 06-07 JAIPUR - THE AMBER FORT
We flew to Jaipur and checked into Rambagh Palace, the former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur. Jaipur is a colorful city filled with palaces, pavilions, gardens and temples. It is also the location of Amber Fort, an opulent palace built from red sandstone and marble, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Virtuoso Amenities: When you book Rambagh Palace through me, you will receive daily buffet breakfast for 2, upgrade on arrival, early check-in / late check-out, a complimentary lunch or dinner for 2, and free Wi-Fi!
DAYS 08-09: AGRA - VISIONS OF THE TAJ MAHAL
Of course, no trip to India is complete without a visit to the iconic Taj Mahal! We drove to Agra, and checked into The Oberoi Amervilás - where our rooms offered views of the breathtaking mausoleum. We visited the Taj Mahal both at sunset and sunrise. Whether or not you are a morning person, visiting first thing in the morning allows you to avoid the crowds for better fotos!
Virtuoso Amenities: When you book The Oberoi Amervilás through me, you will receive daily continental breakfast for 2, upgrade on arrival, a complimentary lunch or dinner for 2, early check-in / late check-out, and free Wi-Fi!
DAY 10-11: JHANSI & PANNA NATIONAL PARK
We traveled by train to Jhansi, then continued on to Panna National Park, where we checked into Pashan Garh, a jungle safari lodge. We went for a game drive in search of the elusive Bengal Tiger, however, we were not able to spot any.
DAY 12-13: KHAJURAHO & VARANASI
We drove to Khajuraho, then flew to Varanasi, India's holiest city and home to over 1,000 temples and shrines. We also visited Varanasi, considered India's holiest of the seven sacred cities. At dusk, we witnessed the beautiful Aarti ceremony, also known as 'The Ceremony of Light'. Every Hindu strives to visit this sacred city at least once in their lifetime to take part in a cleansing bath ritual that includes collecting water from the Ganges River - what they consider "Holy Water". On day 13, we flew to Delhi.
DAY 13-14: DELHI - EXPLORING THE OLD & THE NEW
We visited the Jama Masjid, the most important mosque in India, as well as Chandi Chowk bazaar, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. We also toured New Delhi, including Humayun's Tomb, the last resting place of an esteemed 16th-centure Mughal emperor and an architectural precursor of the Taj Mahal. In Delhi, we stayed at The Oberoi Hotel.
Virtuoso Amenities: When you book The Oberoi through me, you will receive daily continental breakfast for 2, upgrade on arrival, a complimentary lunch or dinner for 2, early check-in / late check-out, and free Wi-Fi!
India is a very diverse and fascinating destination and a country of extremes. It is said that you can leave India but India never leaves you. The culture, the people and the history is absolutely amazing. Many people may be hesitant to visit, it took me many years to decide to travel there but now that I have experienced India, I will definitely be back.
DAY 15-18: KATHMANDU
Kathmandu is only a one hour flight from Delhi and an easy extension to a trip to India. We decided to end our trip to Asia with a 3 day stay in Nepal, staying at Dwarika's Resort.
After the devastating earthquake in 2015 which destroyed and badly damaged many temples and shrines, tourist dollars as well as contributions are badly needed to restore the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site. We visited Bhaktapur - the "City of Devotees, the Swayamghunath pagoda - one of the world's oldest Buddhist shrines, the Great Buddha Stupa (reconstruction only recently completed) and Durban Square. We also saw Mount Everest from the air, a very special experience!
For our extension, I worked with a company called Kathmandu Travels and Tours, and we were with a wonderful guide, named Prabin. He was very passionate about the country, and he even started a foundation to rebuild schools in more remote locations!
If you are interested in booking this Abercrombie and Kent package, or another trip of your own to India, please contact us for details!