- Thursday 22 March 2018
This tour includes flights, accommodation, transfers and local English-speaking guides. The Classical India Tour is a group tour, but it operates with a minimum of two people. This means you and a travelling companion can get the experience and benefits of a fantastic guided tour on a private basis. Click here to view the the webpage for this tour. Click here to visit our India homepage.
Our India expert, Lisa, has over 19 years experience in the travel industry. She's travelled all over India many times and is here to share her knowledge with you. Read on for her description of the Classical India Tour.
Shandon Travel's Classical India Group Tour is the ideal way to introduce yourself to the wonders of the incredible subcontinent of India. Due to its large size, India is an incredibly diverse country in terms of weather, culture and architecture. This fantastic tour offers travellers the chance to explore India's north with visits to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
On your first day you'll arrive in Delhi. A local representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel for a two night stay. All accommodation on this tour is in five-star hotels which we can personally recommend. India's capital city is in the north of the country. A sprawling metropolis, the Delhi urban area's population is over 26 million people. There is evidence of continuous human habitation in the region since at least the 6th century BC- leading to an ancient and rich cultural history.
On day two you'll enjoy a combined full-day guided sightseeing tour of both Old and New Delhi. Our exploration of Old Delhi includes a drive past the Red Fort. Constructed in 1639 by Emperor Shah Jahan (also kown for constructing the Tāj Mahal), this historic fortification was home to the Mughal emperors and served as the political centre of the state for nearly two centuries.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Red Fort is enclosed by one and a half miles of defensive sandstone walls, the red colour of which give the fortification its name. These walls are punctuated by a number of turrets which provide views over both the city and the river. Visitors can walk and browse through the vaulted Chatta Chowk bazaar to reach the Fort's entrance.
You'll also enjoy a visit to the Jama Masjid- the largest mosque in Asia. Also constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan, the courtyard can hold up to 25,000 worshippers at a time. Visitors will admire the mosque's gates, towers and minarets in red sandstone and white marble. This mosque is also home to a collection of relics of the prophet Muhammad.
Next on your tour itinerary in Delhi will be a visit to the Raj Ghat- the simple but moving memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Located on the banks of the Yamuna River, this memorial features a black marble platform which boasts an eternal flame.
This afternoon, your tour of New Delhi includes the Qutab Minar- the astonishing victory tower built in the early 13th century. You'll visit the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in 1569-70 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
Extensive restoration work included the replanting of the surrounding gardens, re-enabling the flow of water through channels and fountains and removal of a layer of concrete which had been applied in the 1920s. Visitors today can appreciate the splendour of Humayun's Tomb as it was meant to be seen.
Today you'll drive past the imposing India Gate war memorial, constructed to honour the 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in World War One. Also today, you'll visit the Indian parliament buildings and the Rashtrapathi Bhawan (the President’s residence).
On day three you will drive to the Mughal capital of Agra. Upon arrival you will check into your hotel and then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Agra is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh and is home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites- the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī.
Enjoy a guided tour of Agra on day four. This tour includes a visit to the Itmad-ud-Daula, the beautiful tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg, an important Persian official in the Mughal empire. Often referred to as the 'Baby Taj', this mausoleum is constructed from white marble and encrusted with semi-precious stones.
Explore the massive red sandstone Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture and the seat and stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. Often overshadowed by its sister monument, the nearby Tāj Mahal, building on this fort began in 1565. The massive walls measure over two and a half kilometres in circumference and access to this city within a city is gained through the Amar Singh Gate.
Continue about three kilometres southeast to the Tāj Mahal, built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. This masterpiece in marble is one of the world’s most famous landmarks and is considered one of the New Seven Wonders Of The World. It's important to note that the Tāj Mahal is closed to the public for prayers on Fridays, but we'll take this into account when planning your itinerary.
After breakfast on day five you will depart Agra for the Pink City of Jaipur. Enroute you will visit Fatehpūr Sikrī- the beautiful deserted capital of Emperor Akbar. Explore the environs of this historic monument that was built by Akbar to commemorate the birth of his son, only to be abandoned after 14 years due to a lack of water in the area.
Upon arrival into Jaipur, check into your hotel for a two night stay. The following morning, enjoy a guided tour of the fabulous Amber Fort, located in the town of Amer, approximately seven miles from Jaipur.
Enroute, make a photo-stop at Hawa Mahal- a five-storied wonder with a spectacular pyramidal façade and overhanging windows with latticed screens, domes and spires. The building's unique design allowed the royal woman to observe life outside the city palace complex without being observed.
At the top of the Amber Fort, visitors can soak in the spectacular views of the old town below. This opulant palace is built over four levels, each with its own courtyard. Constructed of red sandstone and marble, Amber Fort sits on a forested hill and is decorated with incredible marble relief panels, multi-mirrored ceilings, carvings and piped waterways.
In the afternoon explore Jaipur's City Palace Museum which full of Rajasthani costumes, paintings, ornaments and Mughal armoury. Proceed to the awe-inspiring Jantar Mantar observatory, a stone astrological and astronomical observatory built by Maharaja Ja Singh in the 18th century. Visitors can see the world's largest stone sundial, as well as eighteen other instruments for tracking stars, measuring time and predicting or reporting on other celestial phenomena.
On the final day of this Classical India Tour, you can travel from Jaipur back to Delhi to board your homeward flight. However, we would highly recommend extending your holiday with a beach stay in Goa. Enjoy fabulous beaches, natural beauty and the warm and welcoming nature of the Goan people.
Alternatively, travellers could follow up this exploration of northern India with a tour which takes them through the tropical southern state of Kerala, or head further north to explore Kathmandu in Nepal. Please ask us for more suggestions!
Travellers can fly from Dublin, Cork or Shannon and the tour as outlined here departs weekly until March 2019. This tour includes flights, accommodation, transfers and local English-speaking guides. Click here to view the the webpage for this tour.
Click here to visit our India homepage.
Questions or queries? We'd be happy to help. Please contact us for more information by calling 0818 300 204 or 021 427 7094, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or requesting a call back using the red button.