Mumbai - Ahmedabad - Udaipur - Jaipur - Delhi 12 days/11 nights
Inspired by the Dame Judy Dench's movie and BBC’s hit third series, The Real Marigold Hotel: An Indian Experience, this luxury private journey invites you to experience the colour and culture of northern India first-hand rather than just observe it on the screen. Begin in buzzing Mumbai, a dazzling seaside city, where culture, fashion and history meet. Then fly to Gujarat's major city Ahmedabad, where narrow streets hide excitement around every twisting corner. Next, visit the splendid Sun Temple at Modhera before heading to Patan to watch the last few traditional Patola weavers at work. Continue to the fairy-tale city of Udaipur, where you’ll stay in one of the world’s best hotel on sparkling Lake Pichola. Immerse in a cultural Rajasthani experience in Jaipur amongst the bustling bazaars and heritage havelis. Finish your luxury private journey in India’s cosmopolitan capital Delhi where you will enjoy the contrasts of the city, from the souk-like bazaars of Old Delhi to the tree-lined colonial avenues of New Delhi.
Your luxury private journey of India begins on arrival in Mumbai, where you will be met by a member of our team at the airport and chauffeured to the Oberoi, located on exclusive Marine Drive, with unparalleled views of the ocean. The rest of the day can be spent relaxing – there’s a fabulous pool – before enjoying one of the three restaurants, including Ziya, which boasts an Indian menu designed by Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia. You could spend the evenong walking along the seashore or visiting the Gateway of India by the night.
Experience the magic of Bollywood this morning as you go backstage and see sets from some of India’s biggest blockbusters. You will also watch up-close how artists and technicians work together to create another pop spectacle. In the afternoon, do a guided tour of Asia’s largest slum Dharavi, where potters from Gujarat live in one area, Muslim tanners in another; embroidery workers from Uttar Pradesh work alongside metalsmiths.
Today, get up early for a dawn tour and watch the local markets unfold. Then, after a feast of a breakfast, discover the city’s stunning colonial heritage and magnificent architecture, including Flora Fountain, Gateway of India and Elphinstone Circle. Drive by the dhobi ghats to see the biggest open air laundrette and end up in Chowpatty beach.There’s plenty of great shopping to be enjoyed, too, as well as a fantastic food scene for which we can give recommendations.
This morning, board a short flight to Ahmedabad, where you’ll check into Divan’s Bungalow, a charming heritage hotel with eight rooms. In the afternoon, visit Sabarmati Ashram, Gandhi’s headquarters from 1917 to 1930 during the long struggle for Indian independence. The museum provides a fascinating insight into Gandhi’s lifestyle as well as his philosophy that inspired many powerful figures including Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.
Set off this morning to the Calico museum, an exorbitant textile collectionas well as bronze statues and Indian paintings. Then visit the splendid Sun Temple at Modhera. Built in 1027, this is one of the greatest monuments of the Solanki dynasty, whose rulers were believed to be descended from the sun. The temple was designed so that the dawn sun shone on the image of Surya during the equinox. Continue to the striking Rani-Ki-Vav stepwell at Patan, then proceed to Patan village, where you can watch the last few traditional Patola weavers at work.
Rise early today for a walking tour of Old Ahmedabad, which will take you through narrow alleyways dotted with richly ornamented homesteads as well as faded havelis. Other highlights include: the exquisite 600-year-old Jama Majid and the bustling Manek Chowk, a vegetable market and jewellery hub during the day, before being transformed into a street food market after sunset. Also visit the Swaminarayan temple and Adalaj stepwell.
This morning’s drive through thriving small towns will bring you to the exquisite Jain Tempe at Mt Abu. Then, continue to the fairytale city of lakes Udaipur. Upon arrival, you’ll take a short boat ride to the Oberoi Udaivilas. Located on the banks of sparkling Lake Pichola, this luxury hotel is set among 50 acres of former royal hunting grounds with beautiful bedrooms and suites. Spend the rest of your day at leisure – there’s a fabulous spa.
Begin your day with a rejuvenating yoga session, where you will learn the secrets of Pranayama (breathing technique) and laughter yoga. After breakfast and a tour of the kitchen garden, enjoy a cooking lesson with the chef ¬– who is trained in palace cuisine – and learn how to cook local Rajasthani cuisine. Later, enjoy a short boat ride on Lake Pichola, which includes a stop at Jagmandir Island, once the summer retreat of the royal family.
Spend the morning with a local expert, exploring the magnificent City Palace, an impressive complex on the banks of Lake Pichola. In the afternoon, continue your private luxury tour through the narrow streets of the old city to the ancient bazaar, which buzzes with shops selling colourful clothing, silver jewellery, vibrant art and leather-bound journals. After lunch visit the Crystal gallery and the Saheliyon ki Badi gardens. End your day on a magical note with a private, sunset boat ride along the lake or a romantic dinner on the rooftop of the Lake Palace.
Today you will be flown from Udaipur to Jaipur and on arrival you will be taken to Narain Niwas. Narain Niwas is a wonderful heritage property in the heart of Jaipur. Close to the pink city it is a destination in itself. Enjoy the day at leisure to relax or visit the Rambagh Palace for dinner. Bar Palladio at Narain Niwas was a big feature of the Marigold hotel and has delicious food and a lively ambience in the evenings.
Today, you’ll be discovering the best of Jaipur. Led by a local expert, begin by exploring the Amber Fort on elephant back followed by the Jantar mantar Observatory and the City Palace and its private rooms. After a lunch stop, continue on for a photo-stop at the stunning Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) and explore the bazaars of Jaipur. Spend the evening with elephants at Dera Amer or at leisure on the scenic Rambagh lawns.
Spend the morning at leisure – relax at the hotel (there’s a fabulous spa), alternatively head out into Udaipur for some last-minute shopping – we can organise a guide should you wish. In the afternoon, take a direct flight to Delhi, where you’ll check into the Oberoi New Delhi in the heart of the city. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, perhaps going for a stroll through verdant Lodi Gardens or exploring the enticing boutiques of Khan Market.
Discover the myriad of sights in Old and New Delhi including the 17th- century Jama Masjid, Qutb Minar and Humayun’s Tomb which is thought to have inspired the Taj Mahal. Finish the day with an exciting cycle-rickshaw ride through the bustling alleyways of Chandni Chowk’s souk-like bazaars, including Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest spice market. Other highlights include: India Gate, Connaught Place and the Lotus Temple.
Today, your luxury private journey ends. Transfer to Delhi airport in time for your onward flight.
This tour is purely a suggested itinerary for what your trip to India could include. Treat our Real Marigold Experience tour as inspiration. Each trip designed by Rajasthan Tours is created uniquely for you, working to your budget and interests with an absolute commitment to quality.
The price shown includes hotels on double or twin sharing basis, breakfast, sightseeing, transfers, internal flights or trains, private guides, monument entrances, activities and excursions and chauffeur-driven car. On request, we can include international flights, too. In other words, we take the work off you to allow you to enjoy the most memorable holiday experience. The price is a guide and subject to change based on hotels, dates of travel and number of people travelling. During the low season (April to September), the costs are significantly less yet this season remains a great time to travel with smaller crowds and more affordable rates. During the high season, particularly over Christmas and New Year, prices are higher however there are lots of great festivals and the weather is excellent.