12 Day Magical Gardens of India

Summary

Focussing on some of the most amazing gardens in India, this fantastic tour is an absolute must for garden enthusiasts.  As well as ticking off the iconic sights synonymous with India such as the Taj Mahal, you get to explore the Mughal gardens and Garden of the Five Senses in Delhi, The Ram Bagh Garden in Agra, the exquisite gardens of the City Palace and the Vidyadhar Gardens in Jaipur.  The tour ends with a visit to the Sahelion ki Bari (Garden for the Maids of Honour) and a boat ride on the magnificent Lake Pichola.

Price

From £2,799 per person based on two people sharing

Best time to go

India is a vast country with distinct weather patterns in each region. October to March is the best time to plan your visit, particularly for festivals. October and November is Diwali, March is Holi, and November is Pushka.

Departure Date

Selected dates February to March

Day 1: UK departure

Depart UK on your overnight flight to Delhi.

Day 2:  The Leela Palace, Delhi (BB)

Upon arrival at Delhi airport, you will be met and transferred to The Leela Palace where you spend the next three nights.  The rest of the day is at leisure.

Delhi has an amazing history with influences from the Mongols, Turks, Persians, Afghans, Mughals and the British, all of whom contributed to its glorious but turbulent past.  Today, the twin cities of Old and New Delhi still intrigue Indians and tourists alike as the cultural and political capital of the largest democracy in the world.

Day 3:  The Leela Palace, Delhi (BB)

Today you enjoy a tour of Old Delhi, including a visit to the 17th century Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, and Chandni Chowk which is the shopping centre of old Delhi. A quick stop for a photo at the Red Fort before you visit Raj Ghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. 

Just before lunch, you enjoy a visit to the Lodhi Garden. After lunch visit the Mughal Gardens with a quick drive past the India Gate, a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war and a drive along the Rajpath past the Parliament House and secretarial buildings.

Day 4:  The Leela Palace, Delhi (BB)

After breakfast this morning you visit the 16th century Humayun’s tomb, a precursor to the Taj Mahal followed by Qutab Minar, the 12th-century tower of victory built by a slave king and prototype of all minars (towers) in India.

You enjoy a lunch (own expense) at a local restaurant before proceeding to the spectacular, 20-acre Garden of Five Senses. Majestic rocks stand silhouetted against the sky, others lie strewn upon the ground in a casual yet alluring display of nature's sculptural genius. This garden was created to realise the concept of a public leisure space that would awaken a sensory response and thereby a sensitivity to the environment.

Day 5:  The Oberoi Amarvilas (BB)

Today after breakfast you take a 4 ½ hour drive to Agra and to The Oberoi Amarvilas where you get the chance to freshen up before your tour. 

Today after breakfast you take a 4 ½ hour drive to Agra and to The Oberoi Amarvilas where you get the chance to freshen up before your tour. 

You start off with a visit to the remains of Afzal Khan and The Ram Bagh garden.  The layout of the Ram Bagh garden complex is not on the formal Char Bagh pattern, but conforms rather to the pattern of Bagh - Hasht-Behisht. There are three levels in the garden, one for flowers and vegetables, one for flower beds, with fine stone paved terraces and kiosk and the third one has structures, terraces and tanks.

Continue on to visit the iconic Taj Mahal.  

Day 6:  The Oberoi Rajvilas (BB)

After breakfast you drive through to Jaipur, a journey time of approximately 5 hours, stopping to visit Fatehpur Sikri and Deeg en-route.

Fatehpur Sikri, is the deserted red sandstone city, built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. It was abandoned soon after it was built when the local wells went dry and it remains today in much the same condition that it was over 300 years ago. It is complete with palaces and mosques and used to be a town larger than London when it was originally constructed. Now it is an extraordinary place to wander around with its buildings in near perfect condition.

On arrival in Jaipur, check in to The Oberoi Rajvilas and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 7:  The Oberoi Rajvilas (BB)

Enjoy a relaxing morning today.  In the afternoon, visit the City Palace, an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways. The palace museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armoury, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings. After the Palace, you visit the most famous of the five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh, the Jantar Mantar. 

After a quick stop at the `Palace of Winds’ (Hawa Mahal), an elaborate façade, extremely intricate in its pink sandstone carving you return to the hotel. 

Day 8:  The Oberoi Rajvilas (BB)

Following a buffet breakfast you visit the fabulous Amber Fort.  Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power and the fort is surrounded by fortified battlements overlooking the Moat Lake.  A short elephant or jeep ride takes you to the fortress where you can stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls.  Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings, with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Most fascinating, perhaps, is the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the room.

Take a quick stop at Jal Mahal before lunch (own expense).  After lunch you visit the Vidyadhar Gardens and the Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh.  Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1728 for his second queen, a princess from Udaipur to symbolise his love for her. The garden is filled with various plant species, lush green shrubs and scented flowers and the walls decorated with murals of Radha-Krishna. 

The Vidyadhar Garden is one of the best-preserved gardens in Jaipur and is also the pride of the city. The garden was built in the memory of Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the architect of the 'Pink City' of Jaipur.  As a chief architect to Maharaja Sawai Man Singh, the architect was known for his designs, elaborate architecture and the dexterity with which he could create visual wonders. The garden, built in 1988, was designed according to the ancient texts of the 'Shilpa Shastra', the ancient Indian line of architecture which Vidyadhar used while planning the city of Jaipur. The garden was believed to have been a vineyard, situated in the vicinity of the Sisodia gardens.

Day 9:  The Leela Palace, Udaipur (BB)

A 7-hour drive today will take you Udaipur, stopping enroute for lunch at Deogarh Mahal.  Deogarh Mahal – Luxury Heritage Hotel in Rajasthan was converted into a Hotel by the Deogarh family members. A part of the Mahal is still occupied by them. The family is closely associated with the hotel and personally supervise and manage it. The care is reflected in the minutest details which have made Deogarh a benchmark of Heritage Hospitality in Rajasthan. Every guest here is special and is treated with the customary Mewari hospitality.

Set amidst the Aravalli hills of south Rajasthan, Udaipur (City of Sunrise) is a beautiful city regarded as one of the most romantic in India. Presenting an enchanting image of marble palaces, placid lakes, attractive gardens and green hills, it has been called “the Venice of the East”. It was founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1568 as a traditionally planned, fortified city full of palaces, temples and havelis. The city also became a centre for the performing arts, painting and crafts.

Day 10: The Leela, Udaipur (BB)

Today begin with a half-day sightseeing tour of Udaipur visiting the City Palace and Museum. This is the largest palace complex in India and is a blend of Mughal and Rajput influences.  

You then visit the Sahelion ki Bari (the Garden for the Maids of Honour), an ornamental pleasure garden with fountains and marble kiosks built by Sangram Singh II in 1710. This small, quaint ornamental garden was laid out for the enjoyment of 48 women attendants who came as part of a princess’s dowry and has beautiful, well-maintained fountains (water shortages permitting), kiosks, marble elephants and a delightful lotus pool.

In the afternoon take a boat ride on the 4 km long and 3 km wide Lake Pichola, which is fringed with hills, palaces, havelis, ghats, embankments and temples and offers spectacular views of the city. Visit the Jag Mandir Island with its exquisite Gul Mahal Pavilion.

Day 11:  The Leela, Udaipur (BB)

Full day is at leisure to relax.

Day 12:  Departure

Its an early start this morning with your transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi.  Connect with your onward flight to UK.

 

Inclusions:

All flights, transfers, meals as stated, accommodation and activities as specified, local English speaking guides throughout

Exclusions:

Transfers, meals and activities not specified, visas, insurance, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

 

Cleveland Collection tailor makes all itineraries to include highlights of your choice. Speak to one of our travel experts to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements

 

*We try to keep our 'from prices' as accurate as possible, but please do be aware that when travelling in peak times such as Christmas and school holidays, prices shown will vary considerably.


Would you like to know more? Enquire