• The Taj Mahal, Agra, with reflective pool

Princes & Palaces

Discover the wonderful delights of India’s famous Golden Triangle and beyond with our 13-day Princes and Palaces Tour. Starting in India’s capital Delhi, you’ll journey into Rajasthan to visit the famous cities of Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur. Rich in cultural heritage, phenomenal architecture, natural wonders and mouth-watering cuisine - this tour promises to be an amazing adventure.

On guided tours and with time to explore alone, you’ll discover these amazing cities, full of important landmarks. From seeing the awesome white marble domes of the Taj Mahal for the first time, the beautiful pink city of Jaipur, to the Palace of Winds’ 953 latticed windows, this tour is packed with awesome sights and stunning scenery.

Your local guides will take you on a journey to discover India’s fascinating history and way of life - from the royal residences of the opulent Mughal dynasty and the Shah Jehan’s monument of love to the traditional way of life of the Bishnoi tribe - there truly is no other place like India!

In every city, you’ll stay in stunning four and five-star luxury hotels that have been handpicked by our Destination Specialists. After a busy day of taking in the sights, these exceptional hotels promise to look after your every need. As you let the vibrant colourful memories of the day soak in, you can swap stories, share photos, relax and recharge for the next day’s adventure.

Duration
13 days
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
The Taj Mahal

Trip highlights

  • Soak in the cultural wonder of the Taj Mahal and see India’s most famous landmark at sunrise
  • Tour the beautiful pink city of Jaipur, stopping to see the formidable Amber Fort, the opulent Maharaja’s City Palace, as well as the royal observatory of Jantar Mantar
  • Visit the 450-year-old Bishnoi Village and learn about this ancient tribes’ ceremonies, religion and way of life
  • Take a serene boat ride on Lake Pichola to discover India’s most romantic city, Udaipur, by water

You’ll arrive in Delhi and upon arrival take a transfer to the Taj Palace Hotel. After check-in, you are free to spend the rest of the day exploring this dynamic city at your own leisure. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Taj Palace Hotel

After breakfast, you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi; this 300-year-old walled city is a treasure trove of ancient delights. First stop is the colossal Red Fort. Dating back to the 17th century, it was once home to the lavish emperors of the Mughal dynasty. Today, this historical building is still seen as a symbol of grandeur with the Prime Minister of India choosing to address the nation here on India’s Independence Day.

Next stop in Old Delhi is India’s most elegant mosque, the magnificent Jama Masjid.The architectural-loving Emperor Shah Jahan, who also commissioned the Taj Mahal, built the Jama Masjid in 1656. Its tall minaret towers and ornate domes demand attention, while its position makes it known as the ‘mosque that commands a view of the world’.

No holiday to India is complete without remembering one of its greatest politicians and spiritual leaders, Mahatma Gandhi. A short drive from Jama Masjid, you’ll stop to visit Raj Ghat, a simple but elegant marble shrine dedicated to Gandhi.

After taking in the ancient splendour of Old Delhi, the British-designed capital of New Delhi awaits. Taking a tour by road, you’ll enjoy visiting key points of interest from the President’s House and surrounding Secretariat buildings, India’s great memorial arch, India Gate, and the exquisite UNESCO World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb.

To end the day on a high, you’ll visit Delhi’s first 12th century mosque, Qutub Minar, in all its towering splendour. Followed by a stop to take in the city’s Hindu heritage at the Lakshmi Narayan Hindu temple.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Taj Palace Hotel

This morning, you’ll leave Delhi and head south to Agra. After a three to four hour drive taking in India’s landscape along the way, you’ll check in to your hotel (either the ITC Mughal or Taj Hotel). The rest of the day is free for you to explore this wondrous city and its stunningly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • ITC Mughal or Taj Hotel

Early morning, you’ll head to the Taj Mahal to visit India’s most famous landmark at sunrise. The reputation of this architectural masterpiece precedes itself and you won’t be disappointed. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his late wife, Mumtaz Mahal, in 1632. As India’s most recognised monument, the fairy tale ivory marble mausoleum on the south banks of Yamuna River is utterly breathtakingOnce you’ve taken in the Taj Mahal in all its glory at sunrise, you’ll return to the hotel for breakfast. After seeing one of the seven wonders of the world, you’ll spend the rest of the day sightseeing.

Agra was the capital city of Mughal Empire from 1526 to 1658. As one of the most powerful dynasties in the medieval world, the Mughals’ lavish extravagance and love of architecture has resulted in Agra being blessed with some exceptional UNESCO World Heritage sites.

You will also visit the impressive Agra Fort and discover behind its red sandstone battlements the palaces and stories of the Mughal Empire; see the Fort’s Dewan-e-Am, where the Emperor sat on his throne; and wander through the beautiful gardens of the Mehtab Bagh.

Suggested Accommodation

  • ITC Mughal or Taj Hotel
Jaipur

Today, you’ll head west to the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur, stopping en route to see the well-preserved ghost town, Fetehpur Sikri.

After a short drive from Agra, you’ll arrive in the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. Built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 in honour of Sheik Salim, this magnificent city was abandoned 14 years later due to insufficient water supply. Discover its well-preserved red sandstone wonders, from the towering Buland Darwaza (Gate of Magnificence) and the tomb of Sheikh Salim to the five-storied Panch Mahal palace. After immersing yourself in the grandeur and splendour of the Mughal empire’s lost city, you’ll continue your journey to Jaipur, checking in at the ITC Rajputana hotel on arrival.  

Suggested Accommodation

  • ITC Rajputana hotel
Amber Fort in Jaipur India

This morning, you’ll enjoy a breakfast excursion to Amber Fort. En route, you’ll make a photo stop at Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds). The Palace of Winds is one of India’s most distinctive monuments and its pink evocative facade with its series of little windows (953 in total) has been likened to honeycomb from a beehive. Its design is a blend of Hindu Rajput and Islamic Mughal style and at five floors high, it’s a sight to be seen. You’ll get the chance to marvel at its great beauty and take a treasured photograph of this captivating palace.

Arriving at Amber Fort, its time-ravaged exterior walls stand in stark contrast to its elaborate and intricate interior. Consisting of four courtyards, palaces, halls and gardens, this earthly paradise drips with exquisite and ornate design. Look out for the miniatures painted on the walls depicting the hunting and war scenes; the Jag Mandir’s (Hall of Victory) ceiling with its embedded glittering mirror pieces; or the stunning silver doors of the Shila Devi Temple. 

After discovering Amber Fort, you’ll head to Maharaja’s City Palace, right in the centre of the Old City. As a former royal residence, this complex of courtyards, gardens, buildings mixes a striking blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture spanning across different eras. Today, small areas of the palace are still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. 

For the final stop of the day, you’ll visit Jantar Mantar, which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world. There are 17 large instruments, many still in working condition - including the world’s largest sundial.

Suggested Accommodation

  • ITC Rajputana hotel
An Elephant at the Amber Palace, Jaipur

Today, there is a pause in the Hayes & Jarvis organised itinerary and you are free to explore the wonders of Jaipur at your own leisure

Suggested Accommodation

  • ITC Rajputana hotel
Jodphur

Today, you will journey west to Jodhpur. After a six-hour drive, you will arrive in Jodhpur and check in at The Ummed Hotel.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Ummed Hotel

After breakfast, you’ll set off on a sightseeing tour of Jodhpur. Famous for its sea of blue-painted buildings, you’ll take in the many sights of this beautiful city, including the Jaswant Thada, a collection of royal cenotaphs, and the formidable Mehrangarh Fort. 

In the afternoon, you can take an excursion to the Bishnoi Village. Here, you’ll get to learn about the 450-year-old Bishnoi tribe. Considered India’s first environmentalists, this nature-loving tribe’s reverence for protecting the environment is seen in their centuries-old way of life. You will get to witness the ceremonies, and watch the Bishnoi men and women go about their daily lives.    

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Ummed Hotel

Leaving Jodhpur behind, today you’ll journey to what is considered one of the most romantic cities in India, Udaipur.

The six-hour drive is broken up by a stop at the Jain temples of Ranakpur in the Aravalli valley. Known to be one of the most elaborate Jain temple complexes in India, it took more than 50 years to build. You will discover the impressive craftsmanship here, with its 80 domes, 29 halls and exquisite marble pillars, that are each carved with unique designs. With intricate detail at every corner, the Jain temples of Ranakpur are truly astonishing.  

Later on, as you arrive in Udaipur, you’ll check in to the Trident hotel. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Trident hotel
Udaipur

The morning will start with a tour of the city. With its expansive lakes and old palaces, it’s not hard to see why Udaipur is considered India’s most romantic city. Dominating the city is the City Palace Complex, which stretches along the eastern shore of Lake Pichola. The royal family still resides in part of the palace and often holds traditional ceremonies that the public can attend. 

The rest of the day will be spent discovering some of Udaipur’s finest attractions, including the Jagdish Temple and Sahelion Ki Bari gardens and fountains. 

To finish the day in style and to see the city from a different angle, you will get the chance to take a serene boat ride on Lake Pichola.  

Suggested Accommodation

  • Trident hotel

Today, a transfer will take you to Udaipur airport to catch your flight to Delhi. On arrival at Delhi airport, you’ll be met and taken to the Taj Palace Hotel. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Taj Palace Hotel

After a sumptuous night’s sleep at Delhi’s Taj Palace Hotel, a transfer will take you to Delhi airport. Bidding farewell to India, you’ll board your flight home.

Included

  • Accommodation - On Twin sharing basis for a total of 12 nights
  • Meals - Room with daily breakfast
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day
  • Jeep ride at Amer fort in Jaipur
  • Transport - Services using Air-conditioned transport throughout
  • Assistance & Porterages - Meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports, hotels by le passage to india representative and porterages at airport for 1 standard baggage per person included
  • Guide - English-speaking local guide for sightseeing of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur & Udaipur
  • Bishnoi village visit at Jodhpur
  • Boat ride at Lake Pichola Udaipur
  • Service tax of 5 % which is currently applicable on all package tours
  • International Airfare

Not included

  • Expenses of personal nature such as table drinks, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, tips to drivers, local guides, and hotel staff
  • Visa costs