Departure Lounge’s Becca Hensley will lead a group to India in March 2016 (exact dates determined by the group). Micato Safaris will be the travel provider for this amazing adventure.
Itinerary in Brief:
Day 1: Arrive in Delhi, India
Day 2: Delhi
Day 3: Drive to Agra
Day 4: Agra
Day 5: Drive to Ranthambore
Day 6: Ranthambore
Day 7: Drive to Jaipur
Day 8: Jaipur
Day 9: Jaipur
Day 10: Udaipur
Day 11: Udaipur
Day 12: Udaipur
Day 13: Fly to Delhi; Depart or Proceed for Varanasi Extension

Day 1
Arrival Delhi
Late night arrival in Delhi
Overnight at The Leela Palace in Premier Rooms
Touch down India. It’s a different world—the smell of cardamom and curry, the sight of brilliant
silk saris, the sound of Bollywood hit songs and people speaking in a lilting tongue… just like that,
you’re swept away in Micato’s India.
Micato staff members are on hand to seamlessly whisk you to your awaiting car. As we drive
through Delhi, we’ll marvel at this cultural and historical centre of India’s past and future. Built
slowly of 450 years of empires—first the Hindu and Muslim dynasties, followed by the powerful
Mughal dynasty who ruled until the British took over—the city is an intriguing mix of old and new,
familiar and exotic… all of it fascinating!
India’s capital is liberally sprinkled with one-of-a-kind gems: gorgeous ancient monuments,
incredible performances, enthralling museums, and some of India’s best restaurants. An ancient and
legendary city, Delhi was prized first by a series of empire-building rulers—the imposing Moghuls,
with their fine Persian aesthetic, left the most striking visible legacy, while the British Raj left a
cultural imprint of high tea, polo and cricket—then by the modern elite, who have added to this
multi-layered city by creating bustling cafés, designer boutiques, and thrilling performance spaces.
We overnight at Leela Palace, an elegant bastion of world-class luxury.

Day 2
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning at leisure
Afternoon exploration of Old Delhi with a cycle rickshaw ride though Chandni Chowk
Followed by a Gurudwara experience
Overnight at The Leela Palace in Premier Rooms
The morning is at leisure as you slowly adjust to the change in time-zones. Meet your Micato Tour
Director for a briefing before embarking on an exploration of Old Delhi. Begin with a visit to
India’s largest mosque Jama Masjid, originally known as ‘Masjid-I-Jahan-Numa’, meaning ‘the
mosque with a commanding view of the world’. This mosque was commissioned by the Mughal
Emperor Shah Jahan and was completed in 1656. We transition from religious grandiosity to
everyday life in Delhi’s streets, taking a leisurely cycle rickshaw ride through famed Chandni Chowk.
Strolling through the buzzing jumble of bazaars brimming with everything from fresh vegetables to
wedding saris and golden garlands, we are absorbed by the colourful, fascinating frenzy of Delhi life.
Next, we visit a Gurudwara or Sikh Temple. There are three main functions which are carried out in
all public Gurudwaras – Kirtan (the singing of hymns), Katha (the reading of the holy book, Guru
Granth Sahib) and Langar (a free community kitchen for all visitors of all religions). Visit the
community kitchen where you will see how food is cooked and served daily for a thousand visitors.
Micato will arrange food supplies as a contribution for the day’s meal and you are welcome to lend a
helping hand – it’s an experience like none other.

Day 3
Delhi/ Agra
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning drive to Agra (approximately 3 – 4 hours driving time)
Arrive in Agra and transfer to the hotel
Sunset visit to the Taj Mahal or Mehtab Bagh
Dinner at Peshawri
Overnight at The Oberoi Amarvilas in Premier Balcony Rooms
Agra is our destination today. Beloved Agra was the capital of the Mughals in the 16th and 17th
centuries, and most of the Mughals’ most famous monuments are here: including the magical Taj
Mahal, Shah Jahan’s enduring monument to his love, a shining vision of pure white marble. The Taj
is breathtakingly incredible, and it is not the only wonder of Agra—the legacy of the Mughal Empire
has left a magnificent fort and a sprinkling of fascinating tombs and mausoleums, while the Yamuna
River provides a suitably sacred backdrop.
Terraced lawns…glittering fountains…intricately carved pavilions…rich interiors…gorgeous
stonework…antique furniture—Oberoi Amarvilas takes you back to an era of Emperors and
Princes. You’ll certainly feel like royalty in your gorgeous room, decorated in teak and sandstone, but
it all pales in comparison to your view: the Oberoi is right across the way from the Taj Mahal, and
your view of this glorious creation is unparalleled. It’s almost impossible to look away.
At sunset, we visit the Taj Mahal. Unique in the world, the Taj Mahal is a glorious monument that
wasn’t built to honour battle or conquest—it’s a monument to something simpler and more
beautiful: love. Emperor Shah Jahan, fifth of the great Mughals, was devoted to his wife Mumtaz
Mahal. She died at the age of 39, giving birth to her fourteenth child. The emperor resolved to build
his wife a memorial surpassing anything the world had ever seen in beauty and, it must be admitted,
wild extravagance. Twenty thousand labourers and skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France
and Italy were put into action to construct this Wonder of the World. Or you may visit Mehtab
Bagh, a site across the river which affords magnificent views of the Taj Mahal.
Tonight, we may dine at Peshawari – an authentic Indian dining experience.

Day 4
Sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal
Return to the hotel for breakfast
Morning visit to Agra Fort, a marble inlay unit and Kohinoor Jewellers
Afternoon private yoga session
Overnight at The Oberoi Amarvilas in Premier Balcony Rooms
We rise early to visit the majestic Taj Mahal and its grounds, the white marble tinged with the pink
of dawn, the gentle opalescent sunrise shining up from the reflecting pools. We stroll the grounds
and the vast interior, and are awestruck: the much-lauded Taj lives up to the hype, and beyond!
The Taj is not the only magnificent building here. Agra Fort, which lies on the bend of the River
Yamuna, was built by Emperor Akbar as his citadel in the 16th century. This impressive fort, with its
grand imposing gates, walls of red sandstone and moat, dominates the centre of the city.
Later, visit the widely acclaimed ‘Kohinoor Jewellers’ for a viewing of their priceless collection of
hand woven tapestries. This famed establishment also possesses some magnificent heirlooms,
amongst which a shimmering emerald and a ruby necklace is probably the most famous. It is
skillfully crafted with nine perfect emeralds, each the size of finger joints, and two glittering rubies.
The jewellers have crafted their treasures in the true Mughal style for over a hundred years.
This afternoon, relax the spirit while you revitalise your body with the ancient healing power of
Yoga. The Yoga instructor will take you on a journey of well-being with Yoga and meditation
sessions held in the tranquil environs of the lawns, or indoors, if you choose.

Day 5
Agra/ Ranthambore National Park
Breakfast at the hotel
Drive to Sawai Madhopur (approximately 4 – 5 hours driving time)
Afternoon game drive
Overnight at the Oberoi Vanyavilas in Luxury Tents
Following breakfast at the hotel, you will drive to Sawai Madhopur. Ranthambore National Park
originally was the hunting reserve for the Maharaja of Jaipur and was declared a game sanctuary in
1955. In 1972 this park came under Project Tiger and finally in 1980 it became a National Park.
Ranthambore is one of the best locations to get a close view of the tigers.
Numerous animals are found in the park, and it is common to spot antelope, and various species of
deer – nilgai, sambhar and chital. By the lake and at the water holes, other animals are sometimes
sighted – sloth bear, wild boar, porcupine, jackal, leopard, jungle cat and crocodile. A large number
of birds, including migratory, are also found within its borders, and over 300 different species have
been identified. Embark on your first game drive through the park this afternoon.

Day 6
Ranthambore National Park
Morning game drive
Return to the lodge for breakfast
Morning visit to local craft conservation project or visit Ranthambore Fort
Afternoon game drive
Overnight at the Oberoi Vanyavilas in Luxury Tents
Awake just before dawn to hot coffee or pot of tea, accompanied by a few pieces of shortbread to
fortify you for the morning’s adventure—a sunrise game-drive. The rolling landscape is simply
crawling with wildlife, and stunning photographs are ours for the taking. The wild peacocks with
their compelling cries and iridescent plumage add a constant note of glamour and exoticism. But of
course it is the tigers that everyone comes to see. And seeing these magnificent animals in the wild is
a fantastic experience. Ranthambore is one of the best locations to get a close view. They are sighted
almost daily somewhere in the park – especially early in the morning. The luckiest visitors may catch
a glimpse of tigers hunting, and the females taking care of their cubs. Game drives aplenty call us
here, but if we prefer we can also embark on bush walks with a local guide.
We also visit Dastkar – a craft conservation project aimed at sustaining local artisans and their trade.
Visit the workshop where you will see and even try your hand at different crafts like block printing,
patchwork, rug-weaving and shoe-making.
Adding to the magic is the Ranthambore Fort, balanced on a hilltop and often shrouded in mist at
the time of early morning game drives. A visit to its thousand-year-old ramparts provides a
magnificent view of the surrounding area.

Day 7
Ranthambore/ Jaipur
Early morning game drive
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning drive to Jaipur (approximately 3 – 4 hours driving time)
Arrive in Jaipur
Afternoon at leisure
Evening visit to Birla Temple
Overnight at the Rambagh Palace in Palace Rooms
Our journey through this magical land continues as we drive to Jaipur. India’s famous ‘Pink City’ is
so called because its walls were painted pink to honour visiting guests Prince Albert and Queen
Victoria in the 1800’s. It remains a majestic city, steeped in history and vibrant with life. Opulent
buildings and colourful bazaars… Cavorting camels and painted elephants… Few cities offer so
much variety, excitement, and cultural immersion—not to mention comfort. The former residence
of the Maharajah of Jaipur, the breathtaking Rambagh Palace is as comfortable as it is exquisite. An
ornate and architectural masterpiece, every piece of the property is a work of art: from the terraced
lawns to the ornate pavilions. Your rooms are a cocoon of luxury, with four-poster beds, walk-in
wardrobes, and ornate fabrics…this opulence, combined with the incredibly intuitive service of the
staff, will make you wonder if perhaps you are royalty, after all.
The evening brings a singular experience: an aarti, or prayer ceremony at Birla Temple. Seemingly
both a fiery celebration and solemn entreaty, the aarti is said to have a connection to fire rituals
referenced in the ancient Hindu Vedas and is a striking sensory experience.

Day 8
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning visit to Amber Fort
Followed by elephant experience and lunch at a private forest location
Evening walk through local bazaar
Overnight at the Rambagh Palace in Palace Rooms
This morning, you will visit the majestic Amber Fort which towers over the crest of a rugged hilltop
and overlooks Lake Moata. Constructed in white and red sandstone, the fort lends a majestic
strength that evokes thoughts of legends and fairy tales.
The Fort is unique in that its outside, an imposing and rugged defensive structure, is markedly
different from its inside, an ornate, lavish interior influenced by both Hindu and Muslim styles of
ornamentation. The walls of the interior of the fort are covered with murals, frescoes, and paintings
depicting various scenes from daily life. Other walls are covered with intricate carvings, mosaic, and
minute mirror work.
The favourite activity of the day will no doubt be making friends with an elephant! Get up close and
personal with the Asian elephants by painting them with traditional Indian designs. The elephants
love the attention, and luxuriate in being pampered! Once the elephant is clean and painted, jump
aboard. Your ride takes you through a private forest area, past a medieval fortress and culminates
with a delectable al-fresco lunch.
This afternoon, experience the colourful mosaic of an Indian shopping spree. Jaipur is a shopper’s
paradise, renowned for gems and jewellery: precious and semi-precious stones set in gold,
‘meenakari’ (enamel work) and antique and chunky silver jewellery. Textiles, like brocades, tie-anddye,
block printed, and the famous ‘mirror work’ embroidery, are used in table linen, cushion covers
and readymade garments. Large terracotta urns, bells, statues, and oil lamps are made by traditional
craftsmen in the pottery shops.
A special tour of the regional crafts is also on the agenda. Observe and learn about integral parts of
the local culture in small workshops creating ‘Pechwai’ and miniature paintings on silk and paper; a
unique and traditional type of blue pottery; and the age-old craft of Jaipur’s puppet art.
You will stop by the bustling alleyways of the old world flower and spice markets. Walking the
streets of the bazaar area is an unforgettable experience in itself. To counteract the drab hues of
their desert surroundings, you will see that the inhabitants of Rajasthan have adopted a flamboyant
style of dress – men in bright turbans and extravagant moustaches and women in saris of day-glo
colours. The streets are bustling with pedestrians, cars, lorries, motorcycles, bullock and camel carts,
meandering cows and yes – even the odd elephant or two!

Day 9
Early morning hot air balloon ride
Breakfast at the hotel
Rest of the morning at leisure
Lunch and cooking demonstration at the hotel
Afternoon visit to City Palace and Observatory
Overnight at the Rambagh Palace in Palace Rooms
Early this morning you have the opportunity to enjoy a novel experience – a balloon adventure over
Jaipur! There’s no feeling quite like it, nothing on earth that can match the magic of floating on air,
the sense of being at one with the sky and looking down at a world that is looking up at you! Before
you know it, this exhilarating experience is over, as you return to the hotel for breakfast and some
free time. Alternately, proceed to the hotel’s excellent spa for an indulgent massage.
For lunch, we enjoy a demonstration on Rajasthani cuisine, a splendid array of colorful, spicy and
unique dishes. The Rajasthani platter is a gastronomic delight. The culinary style of this glorious
desert state of India has been affected by the natural topography and indigenously available
ingredients like most other civilizations of the world. A lack of leafy green vegetables, a pronounced
use of lentils, pulses, legumes and the use of milk, curd and buttermilk in place of the water in the
gravy marks the essentials of Rajasthani cuisine.
This afternoon, proceed for a visit to the City Palace complex stopping en-route to view and
photograph the Palace of Winds. Completed in 1799, the Palace was originally built to allow the
sequestered ladies of the court to view the bustling life of the city. It is popularly known as Hawa
Mahal, because of the perforated screen façade which catches the welcome breeze or ‘hawa’.
The City Palace complex continues to evoke the splendour of a bygone era. In an unending series of
delights, from its grand aged entrance to the play of ornamental fountains, the City Palace is a
dazzling showplace of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Here you take the insider’s tour—your guide
knows all the legends that make the Palace such a memorable place to visit—and discover hidden
and dazzling treasures along the way. You will also enjoy a special high tea at a private venue.
You also have the opportunity for a hands-on lesson in ancient Indian astrology. The Jantar Mantar,
literally translated as ‘calculation instrument,’ is an extravagant observatory, built in the 18th century
by Maharaja Jai Singh, on a grand scale that was way before its time. Learn to use the observatory as
it was meant to be used—to view and calculate the movements of the planets and stars.

Day 10
Jaipur/ Udaipur
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning drive to Udaipur (approximately 7 hours driving time)
Arrive in Udaipur and transfer to the hotel
Boxed lunch for journey
Arrive in Udaipur and transfer to the hotel
Overnight at the Lake Palace in Palace Rooms
With its picturesque setting and long royal heritage, Udaipur offers much that delights the eye. Also
known as the City of Sunrise, this beautiful romantic city provides a sharp contrast to its desert
neighbours. With shimmering blue lakes, green hills and impressive white marble palaces, it provides
a kaleidoscope of colour against its stark surrounding areas.
Set in the middle of Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace Hotel is a dazzling white marble vision floating
on the still turquoise water. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh I in the 17th century as Jag Niwas.
Built on a foundation of 4 acres of rock, in a unique blend of Mughal and Rajput styles, this palace
will be your home for the next three nights.

Day 11
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning visit to City Palace followed by a stroll through local market. Also visit school of miniature
Sunset boat ride at Lake Pichola
Overnight at the Lake Palace in Palace Rooms
The day begins with a visit to the City Palace, the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Maharana
Udai Singh II inherited the kingdom of Mewar in 1537, at which time Chittor was the capital and
under threat by the Mughals. After being defeated, the Maharana moved his capital to a new location
and the city of Udaipur was thus established at the site where the palace now stands. Today the City
Palace complex is a series of palaces built in grand style, in a combination of Mughal and Rajasthani
architecture. It stands majestically by the lake, and exhibits strength as well as finery in the delicate
work done in its balconies, towers and cupolas. Following your visit, take a stroll through the local
streets. We also stop by a school of miniature painting to see the experts at work as they create their
And what better activity in Udaipur, the city of water and light, than a boat ride on the mystical Lake
Pichola? Float around the islands that dot the lake, see the sites from the cool comfort of a boat
deck, and return home to an opalescent sunset.

Day 12
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning visit to Nagda and Eklingji
Lunch at Devigarh Fort Palace
Thereafter stroll through neighbouring village of Delwara
Overnight at the Lake Palace in Palace Rooms
The nearby temples of Eklingji—one hundred ancient temples enclosed within the protective arms
of the mammoth Great Wall—date back to the 10th century. The main temple enshrines an
enormous four-faced Shiva, many stories high, under a huge pyramidal roof. Your guides share with
you the mythologies of that time. As you touch the wall you will feel the shiver of touching history.
You also visit Nagda, the site of two fourth-century temples, both embellished with intricately
carved royal edits, recalling the harsh rulers of centuries past. This temple complex has some
intricate and beautiful carvings on the pillars, ceilings, and the walls depicting stories from the
mythologies of Mahabharat and Ramayana. After the visit, continue on for lunch to the 18th century
Devigarh Fort Palace. After lunch, if you wish, take a walk through the nearby village for a peep
into Indian rural life. Apart from local shops, a school, a small farm and step well, you may meet a
group of smiling school children or a village elder basking in the sun smoking a hookah (a traditional

Day 13
Udaipur/ Delhi
Breakfast at the hotel
Morning transfer to the airport
Fly Udaipur/ Delhi by SG 2634 (1255/1430) (No Business Class)
Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the hotel
Overnight at the Oberoi Gurgaon in Deluxe Rooms
Late night/ early morning departures
This afternoon, we fly back to Delhi. Upon arrival, we proceed to the Leela Gurgaon where rooms
have been reserved for us. Enjoy some free time unwinding at the hotel as your journey through this
magical land comes to an end. Later tonight, you proceed to the International Airport for your flight
home. As you leave, you’re already reminiscing about your journey through India, and your close
encounters with entrancing palaces and fascinating cultures. The forts and palaces, villages and
cities—you’ve seen it all, accompanied by a few guides who knew your preferences and desires by
heart. It has been the journey of a lifetime… even before you land, you’ll find yourself missing
Micato’s India.

Your Bespoke India programme includes all of the following services and amenities:
Services of a Micato Tour Director to escort you throughout your journey. Private Micato
Concierge Service available 24 hours a day.
Accommodations in the finest hotels and lodges:
Premier Rooms at the Leela Palace, Delhi 2 nights
Premier Balcony Rooms at the Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra 2 nights
Palace Rooms at the Rambagh Palace, Jaipur 3 nights
Palace Rooms at the Lake Palace, Udaipur 3 nights
Deluxe Rooms at the Oberoi, Gurgaon 1 night
All meals beginning with breakfast on February 14 until dinner on February 25 including
hotels and local city restaurants, with mineral water and soft drinks included.
Scheduled flight in economy between:
Udaipur to Delhi
Extensive sightseeing in an air-conditioned vehicle as described as well as special
enhancements and educational experiences.
Every gratuity included, including the trip-end gratuities to guides, drivers, as well as daily
tips to waiters, porters, concierges at hotels, airports and meals.
All permits, entrance fees to monuments, still camera fees when necessary, government
taxes, VAT and service charges relating to accommodations and included meals.
Complete porterage throughout the tour.

For pricing and date options, please email [email protected] or call 512.322.9399.