Come, seek and discover the magic of India as you experience the history of Delhi, visit the Taj Mahal and the “Pink City” of Jaipur, and search for tigers on safaris in Ranthambore National Park. Marvel at the relics and architectural treasures of Sri Lanka as you further explore ancient cities and World Heritage sites.
Day 1 Depart the USA
Depart the USA on an overnight flight to New Delhi, India, a city that bridges two different worlds.
Day 2 New Delhi, India
Upon arrival, late evening, a representative of Mayflower Cruises & Tours will meet you and assist with the transfer to your hotel. Please note, some flights may not arrive until early morning on Day Three.
Day 3 Delhi – Old and New
Old Delhi - a labyrinth of narrow lanes overflowing with major attractions and World Heritage Sites. Visit the Red Fort, the largest monument of the city and the most opulent fort and palace of the Mughal Empire. The memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi, Raj Ghat, sits serenely on the banks of the Yamuna River. Jama Masjid, another architectural treasure and the largest mosque in India, is also visited. Experience life like a local on a rickshaw cycle ride through the bustling and colorful street market. In contrast, you’ll see the wide boulevards, impressive government buildings, green parks and gardens of New Delhi. Travel along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the Parliament House. See India’s counterpart to France’s Arc de Triomphe as a photo stop is made at India Gate – a commemoration to fallen soldiers. See the magnificent garden tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun before returning to the hotel for a welcome dinner. Meals: B, D
Day 4 Delhi to Agra
After breakfast, journey to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan, it’s considered one of the Wonders of the World and its beauty has never been surpassed. This afternoon, enjoy a life enriching experience with a sunset visit to Mehtab Bagh, a recently excavated Mughal garden, with a breathtaking view of the Taj Mahal from across the River Yamuna. What a perfect end to the day as you see this magnificent monument, as the sun sets, gradually turning the white marble to a soft rosy pink. Meals: B, D
Day 5 Agra
Sunsets aren’t the only way to experience the beauty of the Taj Mahal. The day begins with yet another awe-inspiring experience with a return to the Taj Mahal for a sunrise visit. The rays of the sun cast a golden sheen upon this architectural masterpiece and provide yet another unbelievably amazing sight. While visiting the Red Fort of Agra, discover the inner paradise hidden by its forbidding exteriors. Emperor Shah Jahan was imprisoned in this fortress and walled city, yet he could still see his exquisite Taj Mahal every day. The final afternoon in Agra is at leisure. Meals: B, D
Day 6 Fatehpur Sikri, Bharatpur and Ranthambore
Departing Agra, journey by coach to Bharatpur. En-route, visit a real-life ghost town: the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fatehpur Sikri, built by Emperor Akbar as his capital. Dramatically abandoned a few years after it was built, its ‘ruins’ are still in pristine condition. After an included lunch, board the train and enjoy a scenic rail journey to Sawai Madhopur. Gateway to Ranthambore, and one of the largest and most renowned national parks in Northern India, it’s a blend of history and nature, supporting a diverse range of flora and fauna. Meals: B, L, D
Day 7 Ranthambore National Park
Explore Ranthambore on morning and afternoon safari adventures. As you drive through the sanctuary, observe majestic predators in their natural habitat and set your sights on tigers, leopards, deer and other animals your naturalist guide helps you spot in the forest. Keep your camera ready to snap those once-in-a-lifetime photos! Meals: B, L, D
Day 8 Jaipur, Think Pink!
Travel to the walled city of Jaipur, known as the “Pink City” due to the color of its buildings. Visit the City Palace and see some of the most imposing architecture of the city. Inside the palace is a resplendent collection of robes of royal princes, carpets, an armory of weapons, and miniature paintings portraying historic events. At the awe-inspiring Jantar Mantar, an observatory built in 1726 AD, see curiously shaped and oversized instruments that are still astonishingly accurate today. Meals: B, D
Day 9 Amber Fort
On a hill high above the city, in a rugged and picturesque setting, the towers and domes of the Amber Fort are reminiscent of scenes from a fairytale. Discover the opulent palace complex as your guide takes you through the halls, gardens, pavilions and temples of this fascinating site. On the return, stop at the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) – the most well-known landmark and icon of Jaipur. This five-story architectural wonder, has a spectacular pyramidal façade whose delicately honeycombed pink sandstone windows allowed the women of the palace to observe daily life without being seen. Tonight, immerse in culture as you dine with a local family. From the traditional greeting upon arrival to interesting conversation and dinner, it’s truly a life enriching experience and wonderful way to spend the final evening in India. Meals: B, D
Day 10 Jaipur / Delhi / Colombo, Sri Lanka
After breakfast, journey to Delhi and board the flight to Colombo. Upon arrival at the Bandaranayake International Airport, you will receive your first taste of warm Sri Lankan hospitality as you are met by a local representative and transferred to the hotel in nearby Negombo. Meals: B, D
Day 11 Negombo / Dambulla / Habarana
Begin the day with a tour of this charming fishing village, known for its trawling industry of olden days. Busy fish markets are still a sight to see, along with the Dutch Fort, Angurukaramulla Temple, Fisherman’s Bay, St. Mary’s Church and the Dutch Canal. Continue on to Dambulla and visit the Rock Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most impressive cave temple of the country with its painted walls and ceilings. The day ends in Habarana for dinner and overnight. Meals: B, D
Day 12 Polonnaruwa / Sigiriya
History abounds as UNESCO World Heritage Sites are explored. While visiting Polonnaruwa, you’ll find amazing remains of the royal ancient city of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa and untouched archeological sites. Arriving in Sigiriya, you’ll be at the site of the most treasured historical monument of Sri Lanka - the fortress complex of a ruined palace. From its famous frescoes to the details of its mirror wall, every step to the top of the ruin is a marvel of its own. Meals: B, D
Day 13 Matale / Kandy
Departing Harbarana, enjoy a stop at Matale Spice Garden. Learn about Sri Lanka’s history in the spice industry and how different spices – from cooking to medicinal purposes - are grown and processed. Travel through the scenic landscape to Kandy, another UNESCO heritage city. Visit the Temple of the Tooth, housing Sri Lanka’s most prized possession, the Buddha’s Tooth. This evening, attend a cultural show of music and dance. Meals: B, D
Day 14 Kandy / Colombo
Relax on the coach as you return to Colombo. After time for lunch, you’ll have one more excursion as you are exposed to the beauty of this city with modern high-rise buildings amidst those from colonial times. The serenity of Viharamaha Devi Park, the Indian Ocean, beautiful buildings, famous Pettah Market, it’s all here in this picturesque locale. This evening, join your Tour Manager and fellow travelers for a farewell dinner. Meals: B, D
Day 15 Colombo / USA
Having discovered the sights, culture and history of these two amazing countries, it’s time to depart for the airport for your flight home. Meal: B