A tour of North India exclusively created for families! Stay in a historic palace, engage with elephants at a rescue sanctuary, and view wildlife in Ranthambore National Park. For the junior chefs, prepare meals with local families; for the artists, make pottery with traditional artisans.
This family program is best suited for children ages 4 - 17. All travelers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Welcome to India! Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Delhi is a bustling metropolis that incorporates the ancient with the modern. Amidst the skyscrapers, the monuments stand as a silent reminder to India’s legacy. Driving from the airport, you will be impressed with Delhi’s spacious, tree-lined streets and garden parks. Overnight.
If time allows, plan a day or two without activities after arrival. Jet lag will take its toll and the new surroundings may be overwhelming. Being well rested is very important for adaptability in a foreign land!
Morning at leisure to rest after your journey.
Later, join a friend of Sodha Travel for a rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk. Witness the architectural marvels, the multicolored facades, beautifully decorated shops, ethnically dressed locals and the fragrances emanating from the potpourri of eateries that line the historical alleys.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) built the walled city of Delhi on the banks of holy River Yamuna. It had a magnificent palace known as Red Fort, impressive mansions, enchanting bazaars, elegant shrines, royal gardens and fountains at every corner to romance ones' senses. The Emperor’s beloved daughter Jahanara designed a major street called Chandni Chowk in front of Red Fort, with a canal running down the center and pools at major intersections reflecting the moonlight.
During the British regime, the street underwent major changes and since then this area has witnessed some of the most important events in Indian history. Today these splendid ruins and tales of valor are a testimony of the evolution of the times. Chandni Chowk truly reflects the national unity, secularism and diversity of India. The tour covers 20 main sites including palaces, mansions, elegant shrines and colorful bazaars.
Continue to the Sikh Temple (Gurudwara Bangla Sahib). In addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of langar expresses the ethics of sharing, inclusiveness, and oneness. It is probably the largest attended community kitchen in the world. The food is freshly prepared and comprises of parshaada (roti), cooked vegetables, daal, kheer, and karaha prashad.
The service is performed by the volunteers called Sewadars. This practice of selfless service goes beyond the bound of religion and serves to nourish the soul, creating a sense of unity and oneness. The experience of the Gurudwara Walk will empower you to be one of the sewadars at the Gurudwara. In the role of a sewadar, experience the ultimate joy of giving.
Evening at leisure or you can enjoy a light and sound show at the Red Fort, a marvel of red sandstone in Old Delhi. Overnight.
In the morning, transfer to the rail station for your express train to Agra. The 90-minute journey allows you to view rural villages and agricultural landscapes.
Upon arrival, enjoy an authentic Indian lunch at the home of a local family. This is a wonderful opportunity to observe the traditional ways of life and engage in cultural exchange.
Spend time at leisure and then visit the majestic Taj Mahal at sunset. Built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj took over 22 years and 20,000 men to build. The monument is truly a wonder of the world. Overnight in Agra.
In the morning, we recommend a visit to Sheroes Cafe. Away from the marble majesty of the Taj Mahal, the café is run entirely by victims of acid attacks so they can be self-sufficient and raise their families.
Later, drive to Ranthambore (5 hours). Ranthambore is one of the most filmed wildlife reserves in the world. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and became a part of Project Tiger in 1973. As the park is relatively small, guests often view leopards, tigers, and jungle cats. Overnight in Ranthambore.
Morning and afternoon jeep safari in Ranthambore. Overnight.
After breakfast, drive to Jaipur (5.5 hours). Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, owes its name, foundation, and planning to the great astronomer and warrior Maharaja Jai Singh II. The city is fondly called the “Pink City” due to the pink colored buildings and avenues.
In the evening, visit Elefantastic. Spend quality time with the elephants at this renowned sanctuary that provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of elephant tourism. Guests can spend time feeding, bathing, painting, and walking the rescued and rehabilitated elephants, but rides are not permitted. The founder, Rahul, also supports the welfare and education of the caretakers and their families through the human-elephant interaction program. Return to your hotel and overnight.
After breakfast, visit the Amber Fort. The final ascent can be made by jeep or elephant. In the fort, you will see magnificent palaces and halls covered with mirrored mosaics. Perfectly picturesque, this 16th century hillside residence is well preserved, boasting grand pavilions and mirrored halls that open onto flourishing gardens and courtyards. Although the palace’s main construction started in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh, it was added to over the years by successive rulers and continued to be occupied by them until Jaipur was built.
Continue to meet with artists of Blue Pottery. Blue Pottery is widely recognized as a traditional craft of Jaipur, though it is Turko-Persian in origin. The name 'blue pottery' comes from the eye-catching cobalt blue dye used to color the pottery. It is one of many Eurasian types of blue and white pottery, and related in the shapes and decoration to Islamic pottery and, more distantly, Chinese pottery. It is relatively unusual as a type of quality or luxury Indian pottery, most Indian types being functional and though often highly decorated, relatively low prestige wares.
Jaipur blue pottery, made out of a similar frit material to Egyptian faience, is glazed and low-fired. No clay is used: the 'dough' for the pottery is prepared by mixing quartz stone powder, powdered glass, Multani Mitti (Fuller's Earth), borax, gum and water.
Evening at leisure or you can enjoy a local cooking demonstration with a Rajasthani family. Overnight.
In the morning, drive to Rajsamand (5 hours) for your stay at Deogarh Mahal, a restored Mewar Palace that is still partially occupied by the Royal Family. In the afternoon, hop on your open 4x4 jeep for a ride through the countryside. Enjoy Rajasthani dancing and moonlit dining on the rooftop terrace. Overnight.
Less crowds and local immersion are just two reasons to step off the popular tourist circuit. Home stays and heritage hotels in more remote destinations offer personalized and authentic experiences.
Morning at leisure to explore the town and visit the local markets.
Later, drive to Udaipur (2 hours). With a wealth of enchanting lakes, Udaipur is a true oasis in Rajasthan. Dotted with marble palaces, hibiscus gardens, and fountain pavilions, Udaipur appeals to the imagination of poets, painters, and writers. The city's inherent romance, beauty, and remarkable past redolent with episodes of heroism and splendor continue to enthrall travelers. Udaipur, the City of Dawn, looms up like a vision in white.
In the evening, enjoy a private boat ride in Lake Pichola. Overnight.
After breakfast, visit the 17th century Jagdish temple, drive around the Fatehsagar Lake, and visit the Sahelion ki Bari, an ornamental pleasure garden with fountains and marble kiosks.
In the afternoon, meet with patrons of the traditional tie and dye art. For centuries artisans of Udaipur have created woven, printed dyed and embroidered textiles. These artists have practiced for generations preserving the identity of each art form. Variations in color, print, texture and finish of these textiles are inherent to the handmade process that have changed little over the years and reflect the individuality of the artist. It is a rare opportunity to experience the vibrant and diverse world of textiles up close, and at your own pace.
Evening at leisure and overnight.
After breakfast, drive to Jodhpur (6 hours). En-route, stop at Ranakpur, a pilgrimage destination famous for its exquisitely carved Jain temples. Surrounded by tangled forests with monkeys abounding in the courtyard, Ranakpur is one of the five important pilgrim centers for the Jain community. The temple, including the extraordinary array of 1144 pillars, is distinct in design with carved ceilings and arches decorated with friezes depicting scenes from the lives of the Jain saints.
Arrive in Jodhpur and transfer to your hotel. Jodhpur is affectionately termed the “Blue City” and is the second largest city in Rajasthan, located at the edge of the Thar Desert. It was founded in 1459 A.D. by Rao Jodha, chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs. In Jodhpur, the genius of its sculptors comes to life in its exquisite palaces, forts, temples, and Havelis, which stand as a testimony to the imperial grandeur. Overnight.
Don't overschedule. An itinerary on paper rarely translates to real time and you will appreciate the extra buffer for unexpected delays.
After breakfast, visit Bishnoi Village for time in a traditional Rajasthani environment. The village offers a glimpse to rural tribal life. The villagers are worshippers of nature in all forms, especially the sanctity of plant and animal life. Return to Jodhpur and overnight.
Today, enjoy a thrilling zipline ride for an aerial tour of Mehrangarh Fort. * Ages 9+ can participate. With seven gates, the fort is one of the largest in India. Inside its boundaries there are several palaces known for intricate carvings and expansive courtyards.
After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, connect to your onward flight. Bon Voyage!