Taj Mahal Express (A) (2 nights)

KOC 301-301
Highlights
  • An afternoon at the iconic Taj Mahal
  • Exploring temples from three religions present in India (Sikhism, Islam, Jainism)
  • Experiencing the sites of old and new Dehli
  • Live cultural show – Mohabbat the Taj
Program Overview
Country: India
Depart: 10/27/2017 0330
Return: 10/29/2017 2100
Duration: Overnight
Difficulty: Easy
Capacity: Min 25 / Max 35
Category: ILLUMINATE: History / Culture
Program Fee
$899 (early booking: $879)

Registration for overnight programs in India has closed. We are no longer accepting registration for this program.

Explore one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, while also having the opportunity to visit India’s capital, Delhi!

On the first morning, fly into Delhi. Perhaps there is no other capital city in the world so steeped in history and legend as the Indian capital of Delhi. It was the magnet, which drew the Mongols, Turks, Persians, Afghans, Mughals, and the British, all of whom contributed to its glorious but turbulent past. The fascination with Delhi was such that even though it was abandoned many times, its rulers returned to it again and again, rebuilding the city at least seven times. Today, Dehli is seamlessly divided in two parts: Old Delhi – designed by the Mughals, and New Delhi – designed during English rule and also known as “Lyutens” Delhi.

Here in Delhi, take a rickshaw ride through the busy Chandni Chowk market. Then check out Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, the most prominent Sikh house of worship in Delhi, the resplendent “Mosque of Friday” and largest mosque in India – Jama Masjid, and a view a Jain temple from the outside. In the afternoon, travel past the India Gate, designed by Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, and take in a UNESCO world heritage site – Humayun’s Tomb. Later on do a bit of shopping at the Delhi Haat market, a virtual ‘mini India’ where one can find kiosks of all of India’s states.

The following morning, travel to Agra. Once a small village on the banks of the Yamuna River, Agra was transformed by two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and his grandson Shah Jehan, into the second capital of the Mughal Empire, called Dar-ul-Khilafat, or ‘seat of the Emperor,’ in the 16th & 17th century.  A world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys, bustling streets, and small buggies, Agra retains the irresistible charm that made this the favorite city of the Mughals.

Here explore the impressive Agra Fort, a city within a city. This was the seat of Mughal rule and the present structure owes its origins to Akbar who erected the walls, gates, and its first buildings on the river’s eastern banks. Shah Jehan added the impressive quarters and the mosque while Aurangzeb added the outer ramparts. Participants will explore its Hall of Public Audience and its Royal Pavilions.

In the afternoon, finally experience the iconic monument of love – the Taj Mahal. Emperor Shah Jehan commissioned this world wonder to symbolize his love for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took 20,000 artisans 22 years to complete this poignant mausoleum, rife with superb inlay work in marble and soapstone. In the evening, enjoy dinner and culminate this the Taj Mahal Express with a showing of ‘Mohabbat-the-Taj’, a play depicting the true and immortal love of Shah Jehan for his beloved Mumtaz.

The following morning after breakfast, travel back to Delhi for the return flight to Cochin.

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Fly to Delhi (~3.5hrs) (breakfast on board)
  • Rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk market
  • Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Jama Masjid, and Jain Temple (from outside)
  • Lunch
  • India Gate
  • Humayun’s Tomb
  • Shopping at handicrafts market – Delhi Haat
  • Dinner & overnight at hotel

Day 2

  • Breakfast
  • Travel to Agra (~4hrs)
  • Agra Fort
  • Lunch
  • Taj Mahal
  • Mohabbat – The Taj Show
  • Dinner
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 3

  • Breakfast
  • Travel to Delhi (~4hrs)
  • Lunch
  • Fly to Kochi (~3hrs)

 * Please note activities and times are tentative and subject to change.

Meals Included

Day 1: breakfast (on plane), lunch, dinner
Day 2: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3: breakfast, lunch

Special Note

  • Program requires a very early departure on day 1

**The Taj Mahal has been undergoing restoration and will likely have scaffolding surrounding parts of the famous monument during the program. Though it won’t affect the itinerary, it may affect participants’ photos.**

  • Southern Facade, Southeast Minaret & Southwest minaret – expected completion AUG 2017
  • Northern Facade – expected completion OCT 2017
  • Western Facade – expected completion DEC 2017
  • Wall of Periphery, Sheesh Mahal – expected completion JAN 2018
  • Four Chhatris on the roof of the main mausoleum – expected completion APR 2018
  • Pinnacle and dome – expected completion NOV 2018