This ten-night trip is the perfect introduction to India for first-timers and families
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- A private guide accompanying you from arrival to departure
- Exclusive private tours
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Private transfers and domestic flights
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
Discover India’s most popular cities – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, otherwise known as the ‘Golden Triangle’ – along with Varanasi, the spiritual heart of India, and the beautiful city of lakes, Udaipur.
This is a wholesome cultural journey where you’ll not only see all the highlights with a private guide but also get a unique insight into life here, by meeting a warm and welcoming roster of locals with some exclusive experiences.
Begin by meeting your very own personal guide who will accompany you for the duration of your adventure, then spend two nights in India’s amiable capital, Delhi. You’ll explore both the jumbled old town and grand architecture of New Delhi, as well seeing the stunning medieval Qutb Minar and Humayun’s Tomb.
Next fly to Varanasi for two nights on the banks of the Ganges in this most holy of cities. Here, witness ancient religious ceremonies on the famous stepped ghats on serene boat trips, be shown the winding back alleys by a local, and visit nearby Sarnath, the site of Buddha’ first sermon.
Fly back west to Agra, home of the iconic Taj Mahal, seeing this perennial testament to love at its most picturesque times – sunrise and sunset. You’ll also visit the imposing Agra Fort, then drive via the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri to Jaipur.
Spend three nights in Rajasthan’s pink capital, Jaipur, a vibrant place home to a collection of India’s most majestic palaces and atmospheric relics. See the famous Amber Fort, the astronomical oddities of Jantar Mantar and learn all about intricate crafts from artisans at the bazaar.
Finally, end your trip with two nights in Udaipur, a scenic little city of palaces surrounded by the Aravalli Hills. As well as seeing Udaipur’s highlights, you’ll be shown around a food and spice market by a resident before a home cooking class.
Example Trip Itinerary
Airport assistance at Delhi Airport
Private transfer to your hotel in Delhi with guide
Accommodation in Delhi
- 190 rooms and 43 suites
- Four restaurants
- Two bars
- Tea lounge
- Outdoor swimming pool
A driveway lined with tall palm trees leads to the grand white facade of The Imperial, one of Delhi’s most iconic hotels. Harking back to the days of the Raj, The Imperial is filled with old-world charm, its fascinating history a permanent presence. The opulence of colonial India is felt from the moment you enter; the high ceilings, crystal chandeliers and artwork from the 18th and 19th centuries giving a sense of grandeur. Rooms are beautifully styled with antique furniture, marble floors covered in Indian rugs, and photographs of iconic Indian landmarks and events on the walls. When the hotel opened its doors in the 30s, it became a meeting point for figures including Nehru, Ghandi, Jinnah and Lord Mountbatton who came to discuss the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. Photographs of the various battalions during the British Raj adorn the walls and the 1911 Restaurant is a celebration of the year Delhi became the new capital of India. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating and drinking, with four restaurants offering south east Asian, gourmet Indian and European cuisine. There is also a pastry shop and a tea lounge with a glass domed ceiling and tinkling fountain and the hotel’s two bars are some of the city’s most popular. An outdoor swimming pool is set within the verdant gardens of the hotel and there is a spa offering Ayurvedic therapies for when you want to simply drift away. Once you’ve recharged your batteries, head out and explore Delhi – you’re ideally located on Janpath, just moments from the renowned shopping district of Connaught Place and a short rickshaw ride from India Gate.
- 40 rooms
- Two restaurants
- Cigar lounge
- Outdoor pool
- Tennis and squash courts
With its clean lines, crisp decor and modern take on Moghul architecture, The Lodhi is a cool and contemporary hotel in the heart of New Delhi. Despite being set within seven acres of grounds, the hotel has just 40 rooms giving it an intimate and exlusive feel. Rooms are elegantly styled in shades of dusky blue, grey and green and come with private balconies and plunge pools. Huge glass windows offer views out across Humayun’s Tomb and the Lodhi Gardens, from which the hotel takes its name. Sophisticated design touches prevail thoughout, from the light installations and sculptures to the gallery space in the foyer showcasing the work of contemporary Indian artists. The hotel’s restaurant, On the Waterfront, has a real buzz about it, with the ground floor overlooking a reflection pool and a glass pavillion for private parties. The Elan focuses on India’s diverse culinary traditions, and here you can same local delicacies from the north to the south. The library and cigar lounge are peaceful retreats in which to escape with a good book, while for those wanting to stretch their legs there is a 50m lap pool, three tennis courts, squash courts and a gym. Delhi Golf Club is also located opposite the hotel. After a day of sightseeing and exploring the city, relax in the tranquil spa which offers a range of traditional Indian treatments and therapies.
With a population of over 18 million, Delhi is an international metropolis. Perhaps daunting at first sight, a little exploring soon reveals a rich, diverse and fascinating culture. Throughout most of its history, it has served as the capital of various kingdoms and empires, captured and rebuilt time and time again. Every dynasty left its mark and as you start to explore, you’ll discover reminders and relics from this colossal game of pass the parcel.
As well as centuries worth of history to explore, Delhi is also one of the best places in India to shop, try the many different styles of food and experience the buzz of a city where its millions of inhabitants are going about their daily business. And if weaving your way in and out of the rickshaws and cyclists ever starts to get too much, turn the corner and you’ll find a tranquil garden or a quiet enclave in which to stop, gather your thoughts and recharge.
In complete contrast to the new city, the old city is a labyrinthine maze of lanes overhung by a tangled mass of electric wires. Within this chaos lies a semblance of order – each lane in this area is dedicated to a particular item, rather like a department store. There are lanes selling bangles, grocers, items used in weddings, silverware, clothes, spices and shoes. Sharing the same space are vendors with carts selling a variety of items, street side dentists, natural healers and cobblers. The old city has space for all professions. You will explore the old city in cycle rickshaws and will also walk along some of the more interesting alleys.
Explore New Delhi, an area within Delhi built as the seat of the British Indian government in the early twentieth century. Much of the design was by architect Edwins Lutyens, and thus it is referred to as Lutyens' Delhi, who invented his own order of classical architecture. There are grand buildings, such as Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly known as Viceroy’s House), as well as the Lutyens Bungalow Zone, a green area of residential buildings that has the most expensive real estate in India and possibly the world. You’ll also see Humayun's Tomb, built in 1570 as the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent.
Visit the immense Qutb Minar - at 72.5m (238 feet) in height, the tallest brick minaret in the world. The intricate tower was built in 1199AD to commemorate victory over the Rajput king, marking beginning of Muslim rule in India. Qutb Minar and the complex around it form the Qutb Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site the contains other structures in the complex include the Alai Gate, the Alai Minar, the Iron Pillar and the ruins of several earlier Jain temples.
You'll also see Humayun's Tomb, commissioned in 1569 by the Mugal Emperor's son Akbar as the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, starting a fashion that would culminate in the Taj Mahal.
Private transfer to Delhi airport with guide
Flight from Delhi to Varanasi
Private transfer to your hotel with guide
Accommodation in Varanasi
- Ten rooms and suites
- Lap pool
- Four-hole mini golf course
Set among beautiful gardens, mango orchards and marigold and jasmine fields is Nadesar Palace, a 19th-century colonial palace and once a guest house for the officials of the East India Company. With just ten rooms, the hotel is grand yet intimate and is a real oasis of calm. The hotel is dedicated to and named after the Goddess Nadesari, and there is a shrine to the deity in front of the building. Inside, the walls are adorned with works of art from the Maharaja’s personal collection while the rooms are filled with antique furniture and decorated in the same hues as the flowers that are offered to the holy Ganges. A lap pool is set within perfectly manicured gardens and for those looking for ultimate relaxation, the spa offers a range of treatments inspired by India’s ancient healing techniques. Once you’ve built your energy reserves back up, take to the mini four-hole golf course. One of the joys of travelling to India is sampling the food. The restaurant, which harks back to the bygone era of the Raj, serves traditional Indian cuisine alongside more international dishes. Private dining experiences are available to make your stay extra special, including a poolside Indian barbecue that is cooked in front of you while you enjoy the mesmerising music of sitar and tabla players.
- 32 rooms
- Tea and coffee lounge
- Roof terrace
Set on the banks of the holy River Ganges on one of Varanasi’s 87 ghats is Brijrama Palace, an opulent hotel that is perfect for those that want to be close to the heart and soul of this deeply spiritual city. Built in the 18th century by the Royal House of Nagpur, the palace has been lovingly restored. Murals, hand-painted ceilings and beautiful carvings revealed during the restoration have brought it back to life, ensuring the building is in keeping with this most atmospheric of cities. The hotel is approached by boat, immediately giving you the sense you are entering somewhere special. The central courtyard is filled with plants and sculptures and surrounded by a series of ornate pillars and arches cut from sandstone. Barnasi silk and gold leaf is used throughout the hotel and rooms are furnished with wooden four poster beds and beautiful Indian fabrics. You’re ideally situated to explore the city, a stone’s throw from Dasashwamedh Ghat where the evening Ganga Aarti ceremony takes place. As people flock with their offerings, the river becomes a blanket of twinkling lights with oil lamps and flowers carried along the water. The restaurant serves delicious vegetarian cuisine while tea, freshly ground coffee and traditional thandai can be enjoyed outdoors. In the evening there is live classical music in the lounge. There are few places on earth quite like Varanasi, so make sure you set aside some time to head to the rooftop and soak up its incredible and unique atmosphere.
An ancient settlement on the banks of the Ganges, Varanasi is India’s spiritual capital and important among numerous faiths. Varanasi’s 84 ghats - stone embankments that step down into the river- are its most iconic sight. Most are crowded with pilgrims performing ritual ablutions in the river waters while a few are used solely for cremation. Sublime and sometimes shocking to visitors, the whole experience is utterly unforgettable.
The rest of city is home to some 23,000 temples, the sandstone Ramnagar Fort and numerous centres of education, philosophy, music and art. Small-scale industries and household production employ most of Varanasi’s residents and its winding alleyways are one of the best places to find fine silks, carpets and crafts.
In the evening, you will be taken for a boat ride on the River Ganges and experience the evening aarti prayer, one of the most important and popular ceremonies of the Hindu faith sometimes called the 'ceremony of light' that involves waving lighted wicks before the sacred images to infuse the flames with the deities’ love, energy and blessings. You will also float your own lamps down the river.
This morning you will be taken for a boat ride on the River Ganges. After the boat ride you will meet a local expert on the ghats who will lead you on a private walking tour in the old city. On this walk you will see the back alleys, old havelis, temples, labyrinth of streets, street vendors and pilgrims that line the banks of the Ganges.
Head out of Varanasi to visit the sacred site of Sarnath. It is here that Buddha is believed to have set in motion what Buddhists call the Wheel of Dharma by delivering his first sermon to the five companions with whom he had sought enlightenment. Together with him, they formed the first sangha, or company of Buddhist monks. You'll explore the ancient stupas and make a visit to the small but excellent museum at the site.
Private transfer to Varanasi airport with guide
Flight from Varanasi to Agra
Private transfer to your hotel in Agra with guide
Agra and the Taj Mahal
Accommodation in Agra and the Taj Mahal
- 102 rooms and suites
- Two restaurants
- Fitness centre
- Outdoor swimming pool
Just 600m from the magnificent Taj Mahal, The Oberoi Amarvilas allows guests to appreciate the beauty of this iconic monument at every moment. Enjoy watching the colours of the marble change throughout the day, from its rosy glow in the morning light to the golden tint as the sun begins to set. The hotel is approached via a driveway, lined with trees and lit with flaming torches at night. As you enter, step inside a Mughal-style quadrant with an arched passageway decorated with gold leaf frescoes, and cascading fountains. Hallways leading to the rooms and suites are lined with wooden blinds with hand-printed golf motifs, the walls adorned with Mughal coins and antique Indian fabrics. The rooms themselves are full of old-world charm with hand woven rugs and intricately decorated wooden furniture. Each one offers uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal with some of the suites featuring bathtubs that look out over the monument. The Esphahan restaurant specialises in Indian food with traditional curries and fluffy breads served on burnished metal plates. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee under the gold domed ceiling of the lounge or enjoy a drink and a game of backgammon in the bar. The spa is centred around a domed marble steam room and offers a range of treatments inspired by ancient Indian rituals. There is also a fully-equipped gym that looks out over the hotel’s pristine gardens and an outdoor pool, which is partly covered so you can take refuge in the shade.
- 233 rooms and suites
- Three restaurants and two bars
- Huge Kaya Kalp spa
- Tennis courts
Just 3km (1.9 miles) from the centre of Agra and closer still to the iconic Taj Mahal, the ITC Mughal is an award-winning modern take on Mughal architecture set across 35 acres of lush gardens. 233 modern rooms and expansive suites overlook the landscaped lawns and sparkling lake waters. Guests at the ITC Mughal are spoilt for choice when it comes to cuisine with fine dining at Taj Bano, authentic northwest Indian food at Peshawri and the more informal setting of the Mughal Pavilion. A real highlight of the ITC Mughal is its Kaya Kalp spa, a vast complex dedicated to revitalising the mind, body and soul with luxuriously appointed spa suites, royal baths and a Mughal hammam. As well as exploring the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and other remnants from the Mughal Empire, there’s plenty to keep guests busy at the hotel with tennis, badminton, a nature trail and recreational lounge.
It has graced the pages of books for centuries but nothing quite prepares you for seeing the Taj Mahal for the very fist time. The ultimate symbol of eternal love, this is one of India's most memorable and emotive sights. The Taj Mahal sits on the banks of the holy Yamuna River within 42 acres of beautiful gardens. The domed mausoleum sits 52m above the river bank, surrounded by minarets on all four sides. It is flanked by a mosque and a guest house, both made from red sandstone and mirror images of each other. There is no denying that the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is one of the main reasons people visit Agra. However, it’s well worth lingering to explore the city’s magnificent fort that lies just 3km to the west.
Visiting the Taj Mahal at sunset is a truly magical experience, as the light plays on the marble of the tomb and its reflection shimmers in the water. Heartbroken after the death of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, during the birth of their 14th child, Shah Jahan set about building the world’s most beautiful monument in her honour. It took a workforce of more than 20,000 men 22 years to build, painstakingly making sure every slab of marble, precious stone and stroke of calligraphy was perfect. It is undoubtedly one of the most impressive sights on earth and the world's greatest symbol of love.
As the light changes, so too does the colour of the Taj Mahal. One of the best times to visit is in the early hours when it is bathed in the ethereal glow of the morning light.
Just a few kilometres from the Taj Mahal sits the impressive Agra Fort, where the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan was imprisoned by his son. Here you will see the art and crafting of the white marble that has made the area so famous, the Pearl Mosque and the Halls of Public and Private Audience.
En route to Jaipur, you may like to visit the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri which was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned after just 15 years due to scarcity of water. See the graceful buildings including the Jama Masjid, the Tomb of Salim Chishti, the Panch Mahal and other palaces.
Accommodation in Jaipur
- 71 rooms, villas and tents
- Two restaurants
- Library bar
- Oberoi Spa
- Tennis courts
Located well away from bustling Jaipur, The Oberoi Rajvilas is a sprawling fort-like retreat with some 32 acres of incredible gardens full of verdant trees, fragrant flowers and strutting peacocks. Revived local techniques were used to recreate vernacular pink lime walls, grand Mughal arches, gold leaf frescoes, high domed ceilings and magnificent crystal chandeliers, giving the whole place an unmistakably palatial feel. There are 71 rooms, luxury tents and private villas spread around the resort, many laid out in small clusters ideal for families or small groups wishing to stay near one another. A serene 18th-century Shiva temple hosts Hindu blessings, meditation and morning yoga classes and a mansion of similar vintage is now the indulgent Oberoi Spa. The resort also boasts a fully-equipped fitness suite, putting green, two floodlit tennis courts, a croquet lawn and an outdoor pool. Both restaurants have indoor and outdoor dining areas. The Surya Mahal is open throughout the year and has an extensive menu of world cuisine. Raj Mahal is open during the cooler months of October to April and serves rarely found Indian delicacies. Private dining can also be arranged.
- 45 rooms and 33 suites
- Two restaurants, a cafe and two bars
- Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
- Jiva Grande Spa
- Croquet lawn
- Fitness centre
A royal residence dating back to 1835, the splendid Rambagh Palace, within its 47 acres of grounds at the heart of the city, is one of Rajasthan’s finest heritage hotels. Grand and intricate examples of Jaipur’s craftsmanship abound with hand-carved stone and marble latticework, fine antiques and elaborate Mughal gardens, all adding up to a thoroughly regal feel. This carries on into the 45 spacious rooms, with their period décor and modern amenities, and is amplified by an order of magnitude in the 23 grand suites. Enjoy an aptly royal India feast in the French-style ballroom of Suvarna Mahal, or opt for something a little more informal at the Rajput Room or with tea on the lawn. Drink among hard-won trophies at the sophisticated Polo Bar, or beside a restored locomotive at Steam. After a day exploring Jaipur, head back to the Jiva Grande Spa for traditional and signature treatments, lounge by the pool, try your hand at croquet or perhaps learn about the Rambagh Palace’s own fascinating history with a guided tour of the grounds.
- 14 rooms and suites
- Swimming pool
- Three restaurants and a bar
Built in 1729 as a private rural retreat for the Maharaja of Jaipur’s wife, the Rajmahal Palace has remained an opulent oasis even as the city has grown around it. Still owned by the royal family of Jaipur, in the halcyon days of the British Raj it embodied the glamour of ‘Jaipur Life’. As the preferred private residence of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II, the dashing polo player, the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, The Duke of Edinburgh, Jackie Kennedy and the Shah of Iran were entertained within its great walled gardens. Today, it has been meticulously and daringly restored by designer Adil Ahmad, with grand chandeliered rooms embellished with intricate thematic wallpapers and luxurious fabrics. With an initial 14 royal apartments, suites and palace rooms, ranging from palatial to genuinely royal – one room built specifically for Queen Elizabeth II’s state visit in 1961 – service is both personal and accomplished. Down the marble staircase, choose to lounge around the art deco pool or treat yourself at the spa. There are three dining options; the relaxed Colonnade, vibrant 51 Shades of Pink, and formal traditional dining at The Orient Occident. The Polo Bar celebrates the talents of Jaipur’s sporting tradition and afternoon tea on the lawn is a must. If you can bring yourself to venture outside the Rajmahal’s walls, you’ll find Jaipur’s famed forts, palaces and local markets just minutes away, and tailor made culinary, historical and photographic walking tours can be arranged.
- 39 rooms and suites
- Verandah lounge
- Outdoor pool
- Kids' wading pool
- Fitness centre
Once the city house for the rulers of Samode, 40km north of Jaipur, Samode Haveli has been converted into a luxury hotel that still has all the lavish touches of a royal residence. Rooms and suites are scattered around a series of courtyards and gardens, each individually designed and reflecting the rich history and culture of the region. Tiled floors, antique furniture and furnishings upholstered in beautiful Indian fabric give them plenty of character. Some of the suites come with elegant arches, alcoves and pillars and the elaborate Sheesh Mahal suite is covered in floor-to-ceiling mosaics. The wonderfully elaborate dining room is covered in hand-painted murals and lit by huge crystal chandeliers. Guests can also indulge in a decadent afternoon tea in the verandah lounge or enjoy a cocktail under the shade of the poolside cabanas. Choose to relax in the Jacuzzi, steam room and spa or simply relax take a seat in the verdant gardens. You’re also ideally situated to explore the vibrant city of Jaipur with its myriad of architectural wonders and bustling markets.
The capital of Rajasthan and its largest city, Jaipur is at once the state’s commercial hub and one of its most fascinating cultural destinations. The pace of life here is fast, but take your time and in this somewhat frantic city you'll find some of India’s most majestic palaces and atmospheric relics.
Visit the sprawling City Palace which is painted pink in keeping with the color theme of the old city. The impressive facade and interiors are a blend of predominately Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture. Within the palace complex are several museums including a textile gallery exhibiting a fine selection of textiles and costumes from the royal collection. You'll also enjoy a tour also of the ceremonial rooms and private quarters which are usually off limits to the public.
Maharaja Jai Singh II, the founder of the pink city, was an avid astrologer and built five observatories around northern India. The Jantar Mantar is the
largest of the five and houses what is believed to be the world's largest sun dial. The observatory consists of 14 geometric devices for measuring time, tracking constellations and observing the orbits around the sun.
Explore the Badi Chaupad and Johari bazaars in Jaipur's old city. Wandering through the maze of stalls and studios, you'll see craftspeople working on all sorts of forms of local art including zardozi embroidery, gota work, kinary, silver ornament work and precious and semi-precious stonework.
Amber, the ancient capital of the region, still recalls its heydays in the majestic ramparts rising steeply along the contoured hillsides. It is an extremely well preserved building and during your guided tour you'll visit the Jagmandir, or Hall of Victory, with its glittering mirrors, the Jai Mahal and Temple of Kali.
Visit the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, a gem of a museum tucked away in a beautiful building among the cobbled streets of Amber. Here you can see the incredible work that goes into this traditional form of block printing on cotton and silk.
Private transfer to Jaipur airport with guide
Flight from Jaipur to Udaipur
Private transfer to Udaipur with guide
Accommodation in Udaipur
- 86 rooms and suites
- Two restaurants and a bar
On the banks of Lake Pichola across the waters from Udaipur, The Oberoi Udaivilas stands surrounded by lush gardens and the forests of what were once royal hunting grounds. The hotel itself is a sprawling palace of ornate domes, breezy courtyards and sunlit corridors – an architectural reflection of Udaipur’s lakes and canals – with glimpses out to Pichola and verdant grounds. There are 86 rooms and suites, many of which open out onto azure private and semi-private swimming pools with views across the lake to Udaipur’s City Palace, while others look into the estate’s gardens and wildlife sanctuary – home to deer and wild boar. The style is a blend of ornate Mewar with subtle modern amenities. In addition to private pools, the suites feature their own outdoor dining pavilions. During your time here, explore Udaipur and beyond on private boat and walking tours, venture out into the Aravalli Hills to visit remote tribes and hidden temples, or relax with indulgent spa therapies and yoga sessions. Suryamahal and Chandni are all-day indoor and outdoor dining venues for multicultural cuisine, with Udaimahal the place for fine Indian dining. Unique dining experiences, such as learning to cook with the chef, lunching while cruising on the lake and intimate private dinners can also be arranged. And naturally the bar is an elegant venue for classic cocktails.
- 66 rooms and 17 suites
- Three restaurants and a bar
- Jiva Spa Boat
- Large outdoor pool
- Classic car hire
Serenely sat in the middle of Lake Pichola, the gorgeous Taj Lake Palace is among the most iconic and romantic hotels in India. Built as a pleasure palace by a young prince in 1746, it has since been tactfully restored to its former glory, its fine white marble walls glowing orange at sunrise and purple at dusk 66 rooms and 17 suites are designed to capture a different mood and period from the palace’s long history, each with stunning views across the lake to the surrounding hills and Udaipur or into the lush courtyard gardens. This spectacular setting is best enjoyed in its panoramic glory from the rooftop Bhairo restaurant. Neel Kamal is the place for authentic Indian specialities, or Jarokha if you’re after a more informal spot to eat throughout the day. Unforgettable private dining experiences – such as out on the lake aboard a 150-year-old boat – can also be arranged. During the day, find secluded spots around the palace to relax, bathe in the swimming pool, treat yourself on the Jiva Spa Boat or spend some time at handsome Amrit Sagar bar. Across the lake’s waters, explore Udaipur on city tours, heritage walks and even hire a vintage car for the day.
- 72 rooms and 8 suites
- Two restaurants
- Swimming pool
- Wine cellar and library bar
The Leela Palace Udaipur is a spectacular modern incarnation of a Mewari palace, reached by an ever-so-romantic boat cruise. But, as grand as the building is, it is the views over the waters of Lake Pichola to the City Palace and the Aravalli mountains beyond that steal the show. All 72 rooms and 8 suites make the most of the lakeward vista. Each are embellished with traditional elements of Rajasthan design and a roster of contemporary luxuries. Around the grounds you’ll find a huge lakeside swimming pool, ornate courtyards and a fabulous spa. Dining in the city has been taken up a notch by the fine Indian fare on offer at Sheesh Mahal and intricate international cuisine at The Dining Room. There’s also a well-stocked wine cellar and bar. Activities on offer from The Leela Palace include heritage walks of nearby architectural gems, lake cruises, horse and camel rides, tours to rural villages outside Udaipur, antique shopping and more.
- 39 suites
- Swimming pool
Situated in the heart of the countryside, a little way north of Udaipur, RAAS Devigarh is a romantic hill-top palace that has been sensitively transformed into a luxurious boutique retreat. The dramatic rural setting and ornate 250-year-old architecture have been allowed to take centre stage as interiors were renovated in a minimalist style, a unique blend of traditional Indian craftsmanship and subtle modern touches. There are 39 suites, all large and light with mother-of-pearl headboards and marble-based beds. Some have balconies and window seats – perfect nooks to spend a little time with a book from the library – and others with particularly impressive bathrooms and private sun decks. Start your days here with a rooftop yoga session as the sun rises over the Aravalli Hills before a day out exploring the surrounding countryside by horse, mountain bike or on foot. There are also excursions to nearby villages and ancient Jain temples as well as into Udaipur itself. Return to the pampering spa, then enjoy a sunset from the bar, ending the day with wonderfully fresh Indian and international cuisine at the restaurant.
The scenic city of Udaipur sits surrounded on all sides by the wooded Aravalli Hills, its grand palaces reflected in serene lakes. The old city is a bustling jumble of alleys and side streets, but tranquility is never far away, be it boating on one of the lakes or a panoramic view from the hilltop Monsoon Temple. For shoppers, Udaipur’s ancient bazaars and a vibrant arts scene make it a great place to find intricate Mughal inspired miniature paintings, marble and silver craft. For those seeking some adventure, the rolling countryside outside the city can be explored on foot or horseback.
Meet your hosts for this morning, Minakshi and Mahipal Singh, at their home. First you will make a visit to the local market to learn about vegetables and spices, before a cooking lesson in the kitchen of their home. Minakshi Singh, will take you on a culinary journey, teaching you all about Indian spices and how to use them when cooking Indian dishes at home. This will be hands on session with you cooking along with her. At the end, enjoy your creations for lunch.
The City Palace, sat on the banks of Lake Pichola, is one of the architectural wonders of Rajasthan, its detailed art and workmanship a tribute to the skills of local craftspeople. A collection of towers, domes and arches, the Palace illustrates several architectural styles including Moghal and Rajput. The royal family claim to be 'surya vansh', descendents of the sun, and so the whole structure faces east and there is a stunning bejewelled image of the sun at the entrance. Inside the Palace there is an interesting collection of Rajput miniature paintings and the Crystal Gallery which houses an eccentric collection of art and furniture.
Enjoy wandering the old city with your guide, winding your way through lanes that teem with cows, elephants and people. You'll pass shops, folk art hung on the walls of houses and pretty latticed haveli windows.
Jal Sanjhvi is the art of drawing on water, a popular ritual performed at temples dedicated to Krishna where coloured powders are used to draw iconic images onto water. A full canvas takes about five hours to create, and you'll arrive in time to see the picture completed.
Private transfer to Udaipur airport with guide
Flight from Udaipur to Delhi
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