Visiting India can be an overwhelming experience, a stimulating infusion of sights, sounds and smells. This six day post cruise tour, in conjunction with Adonias Hong Kong to Mumbai cruise, gives you the chance to really discover this evocative and sensual country, and to witness some of the most spectacular and breathtaking architecture in the world.
Once your ship arrives in Mumbai you can disembark to enjoy lunch and a brief city tour including the promenade of Marine Drive that runs along the shoreline to Back Bay, Colasa and the Gateway to India. And then its time for your flight to Jaipur. Once you have checked-in at your hotel, enjoy dinner and the rest of the evening at your leisure.
The morning of day two brings Jaipur and the spectacular sights of Hawa Mahal the Palace of the Winds (brief photo stop) and the impressive Amber Fort, where you'll make the grandest of entrances as you travel through the main entrance on elephant back. The construction of the fort was started by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and, once inside, you'll find a beautiful fusion of architecture and art, much of which is in the form of expressive paintings covering the interior walls. Lunch will be served at your hotel before you continue your sightseeing tour of the Pink City, including Jai Singhs Observatory and City Palace. The evening can be spent at your leisure.
Today you're bound for Agra, a city where the Mughal love of architecture is expressed in beautiful monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and Sikandra all of which you will see on this incredible tour. Starting with a visit to the Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar. It's made up of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, including the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. Once you have checked in and enjoyed lunch in your hotel, youll then take a tour of Agra when you will see one of the most breathtaking sights you'll ever witness: the sun setting over one of the seven wonders of the world - the Taj Mahal. Its white marble facade seems to emit an ethereal glow when the sun begins to dip beyond the horizon. The monument was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife and queen Mumtaz Mahal and took over 22 years and 20,000 workers to construct. You'll soon understand why, when you see the exquisite carved detailing in the pure white marble and the inset precious gemstones.
Having witnessed the Taj Mahal by sunset, there's time before breakfast to experience it at sunrise too. Bathed in the light of the morning sun you'll experience a very different vista thats definitely worth waking early for, especially if it's shrouded in early morning mist, which gives the impression that the building is floating. After breakfast you travel to see another testament to the love affair the Mughals had with architecture: the Agra Fort. This powerful fortress of red sandstone protects fairy-tale palaces, audience halls and two very beautiful mosques. Several of the buildings are made from pure marble with beautiful carvings and, it is said that Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal, died in one of the forts towers having been imprisoned there by his son, Aurangzeb.
On your drive to Delhi you stop briefly at Sikandara: the tomb of Akbar the Great and, after checking in at Taj Palace Hotel, you have the evening to explore at your leisure.
After a spot of breakfast you spend the morning enjoying an orientation tour of the city which includes a visit to the impressive circular Parliament House,
commonly known as the Sansad Bhawan, and a photo stop at India Gate and Presidents Estate before travelling into Old Delhi where you'll visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. The Jama Masjid stands across the road in front of the Red Fort (which you see a little later in the day when you drive by) and is one of the last architectural works of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Its facia is covered with intricate carvings and has verses inscribed from the holy Koran. Later you'll have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional rickshaw ride around the city, followed by a visit to the Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Ghandi and site of his cremation in 1948. The memorial has the words He Ram, which translates as O, God, said to be the last words spoken by Ghandi after his assassination. Raj Ghat loosely translates as Kings Bank and Ghandi's memorial is not the only one here. There are also many others to Indias Prime Ministers since independence, including Indira Ghandi, similarly assassinated, and Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. After lunch you'll visit the 72.5 metre high red sandstone tower of Qutub Minar, which was built in the early 13th century, a few kilometres south of Delhi. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311), and two mosques, including the Quwwatul-Islam, the oldest in northern India. Before returning to your hotel for the evening, having seen some of India's finest historic architecture you have the chance to witness one of its most modern in the form of the Lotus Temple. The temple building built as a place of worship for the Baháí Faith - the youngest of the world's independent religions is ingeniously constructed in the shape of a giant lotus flower. It consists of twenty seven petals, which are arranged into three rows and provides a stunning finale to your Golden Triangle Tour. The evening will be spent back at your hotel with a buffet dinner.
Early morning your transport arrives to take you to Delhi International Airport.