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Incredible India - Golden Triangle + Goa
International flights quoted separately
Experience incredible India on this cultural holiday, travelling with your own private guide. See the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra, built as a monument to love & vast Amber Fort. Continue to the pink city of Jaipur with its palaces & interact with an Asian elephant, before relaxing in Goa. Accessibility is not to European standards, but your English speaking guide will assist you. Accessible hotels & transfers included.
You will be met at
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.
Please be aware that in India sometimes an accessible room (booked & paid for well in advance) may not be available at check-in e.g. because prior guest has extended their stay. In the unlikely event of this happening, we will move you to a similar category hotel that does have an accessible room available.
This morning enjoy a half day orientation tour of modern
, starting with a visit to the
, 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
, the beautiful mausoleum of the Mughul emperor Akbar, that inspired the Taj Mahal
(view from the garden area only, as tomb is not accessible).
We then drive along the Rajpath - the capital's broadest avenue - where you will see the imposing arch of the
presidential residence built for the Viceroy of India, and the government buildings on Raisina Hill.
We also drive past the
Lakshmi Naryan Temple
, also known as
(view from the outside only, as not accessible)
. Afterwards we return to your hotel, with balance of afternoon at leisure - although your driver will be on standby if you would like to do more exploring.
Note: These sights are not fully wheelchair accessible, but you will have sufficient access to appreciate them
This morning experience a half day orientation tour of the 17th century walled city of
, which came to prominence when Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra.
Drive past 300-year old
market, a maze of lanes crowded with noisy shops selling an extraordinary variety of items and foods, and the
(or Friday Mosque) the largest in India. We drive past the splendid
, once the most opulent palace in the Mughal Empire, and visit the
- the simple memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated.
We also visit the magnificent
Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple
showcasing 10,000 years of Indian culture (closed Mondays) before returning to your hotel, with afternoon at leisure - although your driver will be on standby if you would like to do more exploring.
Note: Both the Red Fort and the Temple are closed Mondays, when alternative sightseeing is offered. Also not all sites are fully wheelchair accessible, but you will have sufficient access to appreciate them.
This morning we drive 3.5-hours from
to the ancient city of
, 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
- that great symbol of love built by emperor Shah Jahan in the 16th century as a memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz 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.
We visit this magnificent mausoleum, before checking into our hotel.
Note: Taj Mahal is closed every Friday and you cannot take anything in with you except your camera, water and medicine. Please note it is wheelchair accessible only to the base of the mausoleum as there are steps up to the main platform, which is not accessible.
This morning we visit
, 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.
We also drive past the much quieter
mausoleum across the river - fondly known as the "Baby Taj", as it was a forerunner of the Taj Mahal that was built to honour the grandfather of Mumtaz.
Balance of afternoon is at leisure to relax.
Note: There is limited wheelchair access at both Agra Fort & Baby Taj, but sufficient to appreciate them.
This morning we travel 1-hour to the magnificent red sandstone royal city of
, 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
which is the capital of Rajasthan. Check into your hotel in this chaotic and colourful "Pink City" - home to over 3 million people.
Note: there is limited wheelchair access at Fatehpur Sikri, but sufficient for you to appreciate these magnificent structures.
This morning we visit
a magnificent royal palace built from pale yellow & pink sandstone and white marble. It is divided into four main sections, each with its own courtyard.
We enter through the Sun Gate (Suraj Pol), which leads to the main courtyard (Jaleb Chowk), where returning armies would display their war booty to the people. Women could view them from the veiled windows of the palace.
Afterwards you have the opportunity to enjoy an
, spending 2 to 3-hours up close and personal with Asian elephants cared for by a mahout family. You can touch and help feed them and learn about elephant decoration. Also learn about elephant medicines and treatments, before accompanying the elephants into the village.
Note: Wheelchair access is limited at Amber Fort. If you are travelling in a manual wheelchair, you will be transferred by jeep from the parking area to the top of the fort, with your wheelchair in the boot. From here you will have some access to the first part of this magnificent fort, but you will be unable to access the Palace of Mirrors. This excursion is not suitable for permanent power chair users who cannot transfer in this way.
Today enjoy a tour of
with its many vivid colours.
Our first stop is to view the magnificent
(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 then 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.
Our day ends with a visit to the
, 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.
Note: Wheelchair access is limited at all these sites, but you will have some access.
for your flight to
and onward connecting flight to
You will be met at
and dropped off at your hotel in this holiday city, which was once a Portuguese colony and is the smallest state in India.
Note: At some Indian airports, you may be manually lifted into the plane using an aisle chair.
Today we suggest an optional a half day tour of historic
(Panjim City) with its many inner streets, small hotels, restaurants and shops
(this must be booked in advance, to secure an accessible vehicle)
Founded by Adil Shah in the 16th century and later conquered by Alphonso De Albuquerque, you will visit the
Basilica of Bom Jesus
- a World Heritage site built in red stone, in three different architectural styles. This splendid marble and silver mausoleum is the final resting place for the relics of St. Francis Xavier. Also visit the impressive
of Santa Catarina, with its numerous chapels.
Afterwards visit a
Tropical Spice Plantation
, including a tour through the spicy world of black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and nutmeg, before returning to your hotel.
Days 11 To 12
At leisure to relax independently and enjoy the warm beaches of
, with their fantastic sunsets over the Arabian Sea.
Goa is a great destination for eating out, with delicious curries and other international cuisine. The shopping is also outstanding. Tailors will make you a fitted suit, tailored dress or whatever you fancy for a fraction of the cost back home, and prescription spectacles are very cheap. The locals markets are also fantasic and don’t forget to sample feni spirit, made from cashew apples or coconut palm sap.
Goa is also renowned for its holistic spas and new age treatments.
for your flight home.
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