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Maldives and Sri Lanka Holidays Safari Honeymoon Tours All Inclusive

Golden Triangle of India and Maldives


IPM14D
13 NIGHTS
FROM £2,295
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Our wonderful Maldives and India Holidays visit Delhi, the famous Taj Mahal in Agra, Ranthambore tigers reserve & the 'blue city' of Jaipur, before flying to the spectacular Maldives, with a choice of water villas or bungalows. Relax in a luxury hotel on a pristine atoll, surrounded by the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Private guide in India, all transfers & speedboat or sea plane in Maldives included.
Maldives and India Holidays Taj Mahal Tigers Water Villas Bungalows
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Maldives and India Holidays
• 
New & Old Delhi
• 
Taj Mahal
• 
Fatehpur Sikri
• 
Ranthambore Tiger Safari
• 
Jaipur
• 
Amber Fort
• 
Maldive Islands
• 
Snorkelling & Diving antar Mantar Observatory
• 
Indian Ocean Atolls
• 
Maldives and India Holidays
• 
New & Old Delhi
• 
Taj Mahal
• 
Fatehpur Sikri
• 
Ranthambore Tiger Safari
• 
Jaipur
• 
Amber Fort
• 
Maldive Islands
• 
Snorkelling & Diving antar Mantar Observatory
• 
Indian Ocean Atolls
Day 1
You will be met at Delhi Airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel in this ancient capital of kingdoms and empires that is now a sprawling metropolis.
 
Delhi's strategic location was one of the main reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power and today it is a conglomerate of seven cities. The division between the old walled city and New Delhi marks a division in lifestyles, with the old city retaining its past traditions whilst New Delhi strives to match the pace of the 21st century.
Day 2
Today enjoy a full day tour of modern New Delhi and the 17th century walled city of Old Delhi, which came to prominence when Shah Jahan moved his capital here from Agra.
 
In Old Delhi enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through 300-year old Chandni Chowk market, a maze of lanes crowded with noisy shops selling an extraordinary variety of items and foods, and past the Jamia Masjid (or Friday Mosque), the largest in India, and drive past the imposing walls & battlements of the Red Fort, once the most opulent palace in the Mughal Empire. We continue to the Raj Ghat - the simple but moving memorial on the site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated.
 
In the afternoon our tour of New Delhi starts with a visit the Qutub Minar, an ancient victory tower built of red sandstone and marble in 1199 and still the tallest minaret in India. With its imposing cylindrical towers and surrounding ruins, it is today a World Heritage site. Our next stop is Humayuns Tomb, the beautiful mausoleum of the Mughul emperor Akbar, that inspired the Taj Mahal.
 
We drive along the Rajpath - the capital's broadest avenue - where you will see the imposing arch of the India Gate war memorial, Parliament House, the Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential residence built for the Viceroy of India, and the government buildings on Raisina Hill.
Day 3
This morning we drive 3.5-hours from Delhi to the ancient city of Agra, set along the banks of the Yamuna River and originally the capital of the Mughal Empire.
 
Agra is world renowned as the home of the Taj Mahal - that great symbol of love built by emperor Shah Jahan in the 16th century as a memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal.
 
On arrival we visit Agra Fort, a massive structure with walls over 70-ft high and 1.5-miles long that encompasses an astounding collection of well preserved buildings, many of them completed during the reign of Shah Jahan. After he was deposed by his son, he was imprisoned in this fort where he remained until his death - spending the rest of his life looking out along the river to the final resting place of his beloved wife.
 
At the end of the day we visit the stunning Taj Mahal. This magnificent white marble mausoleum took 22 years to build and, apart from its stunning design and perfect symmetry, it is noted for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best marble inlay work ever done. Sunrise and sunset are particularly good times to visit and see the dome subtly change its colour.
 
Note: Taj Mahal is closed every Friday. You cannot take anything in with you except your camera, water and medicine.
Day 4
This morning your guide will take you across the river to view the Taj Mahal at sunrise.
 
After returning to your hotel for breakfast, we visit the much quieter Itmad-ud-Daulah - fondly known as the "Baby Taj" as this mausoleum, built to honour the grandfather of Mumtaz, was the forerunner of the Taj Mahal.
 
Afterwards we travel 1-hour to the magnificent red sandstone royal city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by the emperor Mohammad Akbar as the capital of the Mughal Empire. The city was abandoned due to water shortage, when the capital was moved north to Delhi, and in more recent years the fort has provided a dramatic backdrop to several famous films.
 
We then drive 3-hours to Jaipur which is the capital of Rajasthan. Check into your hotel in this chaotic and colourful "Pink City" - home to over 3 million people.
Day 5
Today enjoy a full day tour of the city of Jaipur.
 
Our first stop is to view the magnificent Hawa Mahal (the "Palace of the Winds") designed in the form of the crown of the Hindu god Krishna. This five-storey frontage looks like a bee's honeycomb with 953 small windows, each decorated with intricate latticework so that the court ladies living in secluded purdah could watch royal processions, without being seen themselves. Built of red and pink sandstone, it is particularly striking early in the morning when lit by the sunrise.
 
We continue to the Amber Fort  This magnificent royal palace was built from pale yellow & pink sandstone and white marble and is divided into four main sections, each with its own courtyard. You will enter via the main courtyard (Jaleb Chowk) where returning armies would display their war booty and women could view them from the veiled windows of the palace. Once inside explore the amazing Palace of Mirrors and Hall of Public Audience.
 
Afterwards enjoy an Elephant Interaction, spending 2-hours up close and personal with an Asian elephant cared for by a mahout family. You can touch and feed him, and learn about elephant decoration, medicines and treatment. During the summer you can also see him being bathed.
 
After lunch (own account) we visit the City Palace, the former Royal Residence, part of which is now a museum. One of the major attractions here is the armoury with its impressive array of pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers used by the Maharajas of Jaipur. The Textile and Costume museum on the first floor is another fine display, with items from all over India.
 
We also visit the Jantar Mantar Observatory, the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world and a World Heritage site. It is the best preserved of five observatories built by Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur. It has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition.
Day 6
Rise early this morning for a jeep safari in Jhalana Wildlife Sanctuary, a small 6.6 square mile (17 sq km) wildlife sanctuary situated in the Aravali foothills in the heart of the city. Home to over 20 leopards, sightings of these magnificent big cats are good in this protected forest. You can also hope to see jackal, sambar, spotted deer and gray langur monkeys. Birds you may see include the Spotted owlet, Bay backed shrike, White throated kingfisher, Red collared dove, sandpiper, dunlin and flamingo.
 
Afterwards we visit the town of Sanganer, a busy suburban hub of craft workshops where local artisans sell traditional Bagru textile prints and handmade paper. Here you can see textiles being produced using traditional 'Tie & Dye' techniques. You can also hear Rajasthani music and dance, with restaurants serving classic northern Indian cuisine.
 
In the evening enjoy the unique experience of dining with a local family, where you will taste spicy Rajasthan food and gain insight into their Hindu lifestyle, with different generations living under the same roof.
 
Note: You may wish to take a small token gift for your hosts, but this is not essential.
Day 7
Today we travel 4-hours from Jaipur to Sawai Madhopur in southeast Rajasthan.
 
On arrival in Sawai Madhopur, check into your hotel situated near Ranthambore National Park. Originally the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Jaipur, this famous tiger sanctuary is the largest wildlife reserve in northern India and covers an area of over 250 sq miles (400 sq km).
Day 8
This morning enjoy a shared game drive in Ranthambore National Park.
 
Early morning is the best time to see tigers, but be aware that it is extremely difficult to find them in the jungle and sightings are never guaranteed. Best viewings are generally at the end of the dry season (March to May, although it is extremely hot from April onwards), when the tigers search out the waterholes - but you need to take at least 4 game drives for a good chance of a sighting.
 
Other animals you can hope to see include leopard, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, caracal, civet, desert cat, mongoose, ratel, sloth bear, langur & macaque monkeys, wild boar, palm squirrel, flying fox, porcupine, long-eared hedgehog, marsh crocodile, tortoise and soft shelled turtle. Also antelope such as sambar deer, chital, nilgai, chinkara and black buck.
 
In the afternoon return to the park for another game drive. In addition to the many mammals and reptiles, there are over 270 bird species - including eagles, falcons, owls, graylag geese, flamingos, parakeets, fly catchers, bee eaters, grebe, terns, woodpeckers, hornbills and kingfishers.
 
Note: Zones 1 to 5 of this tiger reserve are closed during the monsoon season (July to early October), but Zones 6 to 10 remain open.
 
Please note we always try to book jeep safaris, but these can only be reserved 90 days in advance and cannot be guaranteed - in which case your game drive will be in a 20-seater canter. In the winter months, morning safaris require warm clothes including woolly hats and gloves to protect you from the wind chill in your open vehicle.
Day 9
After a final early morning shared jeep safari in Ranthambore National Park, return to your hotel for breakfast.
 
In the afternoon transfer to Sawai Madhopur Station to board the express train (air-conditioned chair car) for your 4.45-hour journey to Delhi Station, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel situated near the airport.
 
Note: Because of the very short (2-minute) stops at each station, train travel in India is not recommended for the elderly or those travelling with children, where a road transfer will be substituted. Likewise during December & January when heavy fog can causes long delays on the railways.
Day 10
Transfer to Delhi Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Male Airport and transferred by speedboat to your resort in the magnificent Maldives Islands.
 
Kick off your shoes and relax on the dazzling white powder-soft sands of your secluded paradise island, backed by swaying palm trees and lapped by turquoise waters.
Days 11 To 13
At leisure to relax on your small atoll in the beautiful Maldives Islands.
 
With its warm crystal clear turquoise waters, these paradise Indian Ocean islands offer some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving in the world - as well as the opportunity to completely unwind and escape the pressures of modern life.
 
The underwater world is a kaleidiscope of colour, where you can have close encounters with gentle giants like whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins & turtles. Watersports such as kayaking, kite surfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding and deep sea fishing are also on offer.
 
Enjoy relaxing spa treatments or picnic on a private shell-strewn beach. Then take a sunset cruise on a wooden dhoni before dining feet-in-the-sand under the stars. Seafood is a speciality, but you will find a wide variety of delectable cuisine on offer.
Day 14
Transfer by speedboat to Male Airport for your flight home.
 
Note: You will have access to the airport lounge.
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