Day 1: Delhi – Jaipur (L, D)
After pickup in Delhi by your guide, drive four hours (approx.) to Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, also known as India’s ‘Pink City’ because of its buildings painted a terra-cotta pink color. First, see Jal Mahal, an architectural beauty located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. Admire how the red-sandstone palace seems to be floating in the middle of the lake, a testimony to the ambitious nature of early Indian architecture.
Transfer back to the hotel and enjoy lunch here. Spend the rest of the afternoon either relaxing and taking advantage of the facilities in the hotel or see the interesting pink buildings of Jaipur on your own.
In the evening, meet your guide at your hotel at a predetermined time and drive to Birla Temple (Lakshmi Narayan Temple), a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu (Narayan) and the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Walk around the temple with your guide and admire the white marble exterior brightly illuminated against the night sky. Inside, see shrines of Hindu gods and goddesses and panels decorated with paintings of mythological events.
Return to your hotel to dine at its elegant restaurant and spend the night.
Overnight: 3- to 4-star hotel in Jaipur (see below for list of possible hotels)
Day 2: Jaipur – Delhi (B)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and relax on the drive to the Amber Fort, a Rajput-style fortress situated atop a hill overlooking Maota Lake. The palatial complex was built with red sandstone and marble and is divided into four main sections, which you will tour with your guide. You will find it hard to take your eyes off of the ornate decorations consisting of paintings, carvings and murals.
Then, drive to Hawa Mahal, a palace built in the form of the crown of the Hindu god Krishna. See the careful intermingling of Hindu-Rajput architecture on its domed canopies and Islamic-Mughal architecture on its arches featuring delicate metalwork patterns.
You will then be taken to the heart of Jaipur to visit City Palace, a palace complex with impressive gardens and historical buildings, including the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal. See the fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture with European detail. Visit the museum in Chandra Mahal with your guide to see its rich collection of royal costumes and Rajput weapons.
After, relax on your journey back to Delhi and arrive around nighttime.