Delhi and Agra Extension
If you’ve always wanted to visit the Taj Mahal and Delhi, but are short on time, this is the perfect extension to add to your Asia adventure.
You’ll begin in Old Delhi where you’ll visit some of the most important ancient sites, many of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You’ll visit New Delhi, which was built by the British and currently serves as the capital of India and seat of the Government. You’ll drive past some of its most interesting Colonial style structures, and you’ll make your way to the world famous Taj Mahal. This ‘world wonder’ was commissioned in 1632 by Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, as a tomb for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is entirely made of white marble and is perhaps the best example of Mughal architecture in India.
Day 1 Arrive Delhi
Upon arrival at the New Delhi Airport you will be met and transferred to your centrally-located hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore the city on your own.
Day 2 Delhi City Tour
You’ll spend the morning exploring the Old Delhi section, beginning with a visit to Jama Masjid Mosque, which was commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan and completed in 1656. On the way, drive past the Red Fort, a symbol of Shah Jehan’s Mughal power and thought to be the greatest wonder of all the cities of Delhi.
Afterwards, board a cycle rickshaw, the best way to navigate the narrow, bustling alleyways of this lively area. Your ride takes you through the fabled “Chandni Chowk”, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi. It was designed by Jahanara Begum, Sha Jehan’s favorite daughter in the 17th century. You then visit Raj Ghat, a simple square platform that marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated following his assassination in 1948.
In the afternoon you’ll head out to the New Delhi area, starting with a drive past government buildings such as the President’s House and Parliament House, all designed in the 1920’s by British architects Lutyens and Baker. At the end of the avenue is the India Gate, also known as Rajpath (King’s Way), which is a War Memorial Arch built to remember the 90,000 Indians who gave their lives in WWI. Continue your tour with a visit to Humayun’s Tomb, a magnificent monument built in red sandstone. Humayun’s first wife and mother of Emperor Akbar designed and supervised the entire construction. Wrap up your tour with a visit to Qutab Minar, India’s tallest stone tower. At a height of 234 feet, this “Tower of Victory” is the tallest minaret in India.
Return to your hotel where the evenin is free to relax.
Day 3 Agra
After breakfast at the hotel, make the estimated five-hour drive to Agra, where you will get settled in your charming palace hotel for the night. Agra, once the capital to the Mughals in the 16th and 17th centuries, is most famous for its impressive monuments, including the Taj Mahal. The rest of the day will be free to relax. This evening, consider attending the mesmerizing dance and light show of Mohabbat the Taj at the Kalakriti Theater (additional cost). This dance-drama tells the story of Shah Jahan and his love for Mumtaj Mahal, his wife and for whom the Taj Mahal was built. This spectacular 80 minute show features a replica of the Taj Mahal.
Day 4 Depart Delhi
You will be met early in the morning or a sunrise view of India’s most famous site, the majestic Taj Mahal. This legendary monument, dedicated to love, was built by Emperor Shah Jehan in 1630 to enshrine the remains of his Queen Mumtaj Mahal. This architectural marvel is a perfectly-proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble. It stands today as testimony to the skill of craftsmen brought in from Persia, Turkey, France, and Italy, as well as to 17 years of labor by 20,000 workers.
Next, visit the Agra Fort, home to three Mughal Emperors. Here you will see the transition from the military might of the stern citadel raised by Akbar to the lavish beauty of shimmering white marble palaces built by Shah Jehan. Within the fort are palaces and the Halls of Public and Private Audience.
Afterwards, return to Delhi where you are immediately transferred to the airport for your onward flight.
What to Expect
Duration 4 days
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.