Delhi, India’s capital has seen great empires rise and fall around it for millennia, with each new batch of rulers building over the works of their predecessors. As a result, the city abounds in monuments and ruins of stunning diversity. The seat of the world’s largest democracy, it also boasts of magnificent symbols of government that pay architectural tribute to the ideals of self-rule and democracy. These co-exist side by side with wide multi-lane motorways, shopping malls, fast cars and ultramodern steel-glass office complexes that characterise any large 21st century metropolis.

New Delhi was built by the British in the 1930s as their imperial capital. Majestic government and administrative buildings line the wide, tree-lined avenues of what is also known as Lutyen’s Delhi after Sir Edwin Lutyens who was commissioned to design the city in 1911.

Built by Qutubuddin Aibak, a slave general in 1193, Qutab Minar is India’s tallest stone tower and marks the site of the country’s first Muslim kingdom. The iron tower in a square opposite is unique in that it never rusts, although it has been exposed to the elements for centuries.

India Gate, the red sandstone arch erected in memory of Indian and British soldiers who laid down their lives in World War I. Close by are the majestic Parliament House, the seat of the world’s largest democracy and the Rastrapati Bhawan, the Indian President’s official residence. Inside are the famed Mughal Gardens with its ornate fountains and manicured lawns. Mughal Gardens are open to the public during spring.

If time permits, we’ll visit the Lotus temple located in South Delhi. The lotus-shaped Bahai temple south of Delhi is also of interest. An ideal place for meditation, this Bahai House of worship is open to people of all faiths.

Overnight at Delhi.

Originally a part of the former Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim, the area around Darjeeling was given to the British East India Company on lease to build a sanatorium in 1835. Soon after disagreements broke out with the Chogyal King of Sikkim and after a minor war, Darjeeling was annexed permanently by the British by the 1860s. Commercial cultivation of tea had already begun by then, causing large numbers of British settlers to relocate to Darjeeling. Soon, it was the official summer capital of the Bengal Presidency and in no time, Darjeeling had transformed into the quaint colonial hill station we know today. Movie buffs may be interested to know that actress Vivien Leigh of Gone with the Wind fame was born in Darjeeling to British settler parents and spent much of her early childhood here.

Check in at Windermere Estate. Overnight at Darjeeling.

Leave before dawn to catch the sunrise on Tiger Hill, an 8500 foot high viewpoint that offers the finest view of the Khangchendzonga massif from the region. As you wait in the bitter cold for the haze to lift, your breath will mist over, your teeth will chatter but you will never forget the sight of the mountain in the morning sun.

The Padmaja Nehru Himalayan Zoological Park is famous for its Tibetan wolves, snow leopards, Red Pandas and Amur (Siberian) Tigers and is renowned worldwide as a highly successful snow leopard and Red Panda breeding centre.

Established in 1954, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) is one of the premier training centres in the world for mountaineers, counting as faculty a highly experienced team of multiple Everest summiteers. The legendary Tenzing Norgay was associated with the institute till the end of his days. The institute runs excellent courses at both beginner and advanced levels for Indian citizens and foreign nationals alike at highly subsidized rates, as well as the only mountaineering programme in India designed especially for the visually impaired. Located on a ridge, the institute commands a great view of the Khangchendzonga. The HMI museum has a wonderful collection of books, documents, photographs, paintings, route maps and historical artifacts like a 1920 letter from His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama granting permission to the first British expedition in Tibet, original equipment used by the fateful 1924 Mallory-Irvine Everest Expedition as well as the successful summit attempt in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary.

Observatory Hill overlooking the Chowrasta is known for its Mahakal Temple and Buddhist shrine. Located side by side, the two places of worship are yet another example of the intertwined nature of the two faiths all over the Himalayas.

Overnight at Darjeeling.

Proceed for sightseeing after breakfast.

In Darjeeling, all roads lead to the Mall, or as it is called locally, Chowrasta (crossroads). Ascend along a hilly road until you arrive at a relatively flat area. Quaint benches are placed all around the edges looking out at the surrounding hills. Do remember though that some of the benches are reserved beforehand by families of macaques who sometimes drop by to admire the view, which on clear days extends all the way to the magnificent Khangchendzonga (alt: Kangchenjunga or Kanchanjunga) massif, the third highest mountain peak in the world.

The charming 50 acre Lloyd’s Botanical Garden is home to alpine plants both indigenous and imported. Of particular interest are over 50 rare species of orchid, numbering over 2500 specimens.

The tucked away Lover’s Road too has great views and is one of Darjeeling’s curiosities, as are the natural rock formations named after Tenzing Norgay and Nawang Gombu, the latter being the first mountaineer to summit Everest twice. The Tenzing and Gombu rocks are used by HMI trainees for climbing practice before they move on to more challenging stuff.

Other sights of interest are the Rock Garden and the Happy Valley Tea Plantation.

Later take the Toy Train to Ghum Monastery. The UNESCO World Heritage Toy Train (the Darjeeling leg of Mountain Railways of India) is a narrow gauge steam locomotive that provides an unbelievably scenic commute from Darjeeling to Ghum, providing a close up view of the scenery, local flora and village life. On steep inclines the train goes slowly enough for locals to be able to hop off and on. You’ll often find regular commuters stretching their legs by walking alongside the train on picturesque mountain trails.

Overnight at Darjeeling.

Breakfast will be served at the hotel. A Compass India Inc. representative will drop you to Bagdogra airport in time for your flight to Kolkata.

In 1690, three villages in the southern Bengal were combined and turned into a port and trading post by the British East India Company under license from the Nawab of Bengal. Urbanization continued for half a century until Nawab Siraj Ud Daula invaded and occupied the fledgeling city. The British won the resulting battle, paving the way for two centuries of colonial rule in India. The city of Calcutta was won back and remained the capital of the British Raj for over 150 years. During this period, the British administration built grand colonial buildings, wide tree-laned avenues, lush green parade grounds and bandstands, earning Calcutta the sobriquet “The City of palaces.” Egged on by a rapidly emerging progressive Indian middle class, the British undertook widespread social reform and built world class schools, colleges and universities. But with education, came ideas of nationalism and independence, and Calcutta became a hotbed of rebellion and unrest leading to the shifting of the commercial capital to Delhi in 1911.

After independence in 1947, Calcutta’s (now Kolkata) fortunes waned and decades of economic stagnation followed. Still, the city has remained a highly potent cultural force and continues to produce pioneers in the arts and sciences alike. Among the city’s famous denizens are philosopher-poet-novelist Rabindranath Tagore, Asia’s first Nobel Laureate, Academy Award winning filmmaker Satyajit Ray in whose work, according to Martin Scorcese, “the line between poetry and cinema dissolved,” Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and the modern day saint Mother Teresa among others.

Overnight at Kolkata.

Proceed for sightseeing after breakfast.

The cantilevered Howrah Bridge over the wide waters of the Hooghli River is perhaps Kolkata’s most iconic and oft photographed landmark. An engineering marvel, the 25000 tonnes of steel that make the Howrah Bridge are held together only by rivets, and its foundations sink to a depth of 31.41 and 26.53 meters below the ground on either side. On the other side of the bridge is the iconic red facade of Howrah Station, the world’s largest railway station and in its heydays, one of the most important ports of call of the British Empire.

The 19th Century Neo-Gothic Calcutta High Court with its distinctive arches, tall columns and high ceilings is India’s first high court and a highly recommended stopover for the Kolkata leg of your luxury holiday in the Indian subcontinent.

Built in the late 18th Century, the magnificent Raj Bhavan started off as Government House, the seat of British Imperial Power, its sprawling green lawns witness to decision-making that affected the destiny of much of the known world. Today it serves as official residence of the Governer of the state of West Bengal.

The extraordinary potters’ community of Kumartuli on the banks of the Hooghli is said to be older than the city itself. All through the year, artisans work in makeshift shelters, creating exquisite religious idols fashioned from the clay from the nearby riverbed. The idols and artisans of Kumartuli are the other highly photographed icon of Kolkata.

The magnificent Eden Gardens is among India’s premier sports stadia and can house over 100,000 screaming fans on match day. Tha adjacent garden has a beautiful Burmese pagoda and a lake.

Not to be missed is the Mother Teresa Mission where this modern day saint lived an extraordinary dedicated life alleviating the suffering of thousands of India’s underprivileged.

Overnight at Kolkata.

After breakfast, a Compass representative will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight to Varanasi where another Compass official will assist you with your hotel transfer and check in.

The ancient city of Varanasi on the west bank of the holy Ganga has been a spiritual centre for Hinduism since the dawn of time. Varanasi’s high ghats (steps leading to and from the river) are crowded with priests, wrestlers, astrologers, devotees, bathers, morning walkers and saffron clad mendicants or sadhus. The ringing of temple bells and the heady, heavy smell of incense permeate everywhere. In Varanasi, even a short walk or a simple boat-ride is an unforgettable adventure.

The cinematic nature of daily life in Varanasi is not lost on filmmakers and over the years, many have made Varanasi their backdrop, among them maestros like Roberto Rossellini, James Ivory and Satyajit Ray. Fittingly, the first moving picture ever shot on Indian soil was filmed here in 1899. Varanasi is one of the unforgettable highlights of your luxury holiday in the timeless Indian subcontinent.

Drive to Sarnath in the afternoon.

A short drive from Varanasi, lies Sarnath where, millennia ago, the Buddha delivered his first ever sermon. Today, thousands of travellers from all over the world pour in every year to pay homage to what is one of the holiest places in Asia. The 1600 year old Dhamekh stupa marks the spot where the Buddha sat as he delivered his first teachings. Interestingly, this ancient stupa is a stand in for an even earlier structure erected by Emperor Asoka in 249 BC to commemorate the teaching.

The highly recommended Sarnath museum houses antiquities dating back to the 3rd century BC. Don’t miss the gigantic red sandstone standing Bodhisattvas and the magnificent Ashokan pillar that is India’s state symbol.

Enjoy the evening aarti - ritual offering of light - at the Ghats of Varanasi. Your guide will be at hand to explain the nuances of the ritual.

Overnight at Varanasi.

Go for an early morning boat ride along the middle of the river to watch the spiritual life of Hindu India unfold before you along the banks. Visit Dashashwamedh and Manikarnika, the holiest of the Varanasi ghats. A section of Manikarnika serves as a cremation ground and it is said the funeral pyre never dies here.

After breakfast, proceed for the guided city tour of Varanasi starting with the Bharat Mata Temple, where the main deity is a big relief map of India, engraved in marble.

Later visit the 18th century Durga Temple. According to legend, the idol of the goddess simply appeared in the spot where the temple stands today.

The white marble Tulsi Manas Temple has scenes and stanzas from the Hindi epic Ram Charit Manas engraved upon its walls. The temple is in the traditional Shikhara style, its towers representing the great Himalayan summits or shikharas.

Up next, the 4000 acre Benaras Hindu University campus houses an art gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Proceed for a buggy ride in the evening through the ancient serpentine alleyways of Varanasi.

Overnight at Varanasi.

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Morning will be free to explore the city – Varanasi and later as per the flight timing our representative will transfer you to airport to board the flight for Khajuraho.

The Chandela dynasty of Central India is credited with the construction of the magnificent Khajuraho Complex between the 9th and 10 centuries AD. The name Khajuraho may be a corruption of the Sanskrit Kharjura Vahaka, the bearer of the scorpion and could be a reference to one of Khajuraho’s popular sculptures, depicting woman undressing to remove a scorpion from her body.

The sandstone walls of the Khajuraho temples are crowded with countless sculptures of gods, goddesses, dancers and beasts but it’s the sections containing erotic sculptures that the temple is most famous for. Some interpret them as an indicator of the liberal and enlightened outlook of medieval Indian society but according to some scholars, the figures are merely metaphoric and conceal a deeper symbolism.

Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most exotic high points of your luxury tour of the Indian subcontinent.

Later proceed for the sightseeing of Western Group of temples.

Kandariya Mahadev is the largest temple in the complex and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, with over 800 exquisitely sculpted figures of gods and celestial maidens adorning its walls.

Chausat Yogini Temple is the oldest in the complex. The only granite temple among the cluster, it’s a shrine to one of the aspects of the fearsome Hindu Mother Goddess Kali, or The Dark One.

The Lakshmana Temple stands at the southwest corner. Look out for a minor shrine where one of the ancient sculptors added his own likeness in a touching act of vanity.

Other temples include the Vishwanath Temple with exquisite stonework on its outer wall, the Matangeshwar Temple with its famed eight foot high phallic lingam, the Chitragupta Temple, inside which the radiant Sun God rides his seven-horse chariot, and the Varaha Temple that houses a 1.5 m high Varaha, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a giant boar, that attempts (and fails) to find the end of the universe.

Return to the hotel and relax. In the evening enjoy the Sound – n – Light Show.

Overnight at Khajuraho.

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Proceed to Khajuraho en route visit Orchha.

12 kms from Khajuraho, the medieval city of Orchha on was founded in 1501 by the Bundela rulers on the bank of the Betwa river. The town is famous for its cenotaphs, locally known as chhattris, built in the memory of long-dead kings.

Of interest, the Orchha Fort, the majestic high domes and spires of Chaturbhuj Temple and the Raj Mandir, both constructed in the later half of the 16th century.

The Mughal capital of Agra on the banks of the Yamuna River is a bustling town teeming with narrow, winding alleyways that hark back to an era gone by. Dotted by magnificent monuments including UNESCO World Heritage Site Taj Mahal, the city is a dazzling contrast of red sandstone and white marble structures.

Overnight at Agra.

Enjoy sunrise sightseeing of Taj Mahal.

Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal and designed by Persian architect Ustad, the magnificent Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world. A massive white marble structure so delicate that it appears to float in the air, the Taj is otherworldly in its beauty and is best viewed in moonlight or at dawn and dusk. The close-up view reveals breathtakingly intricate inlay work carved into the marble, and bears eloquent testimony to the triumph of Mughal art, culture and architecture at its peak. No holiday in India is complete without the Taj.

Later proceed for the sightseeing of Agra:

A beautifully maintained tree-lined monument at Sikandra marks the grave of the illustrious Akbar the Great. A great believer in harmony and equality of all religions, this visionary Mughal Emperor created Din-i Ilahi, a unique religion that combines the fundamentals of Islam, Hindusim, Buddhism and Christianity. His memorial imbibes architectural motifs of all the faiths that inspired him.

Standing across the river from the Taj, the majestic red sandstone structure of Agra Fort was erected in 1565 by Mughal Emperor Akbar the great. Little did he know that the same fort would later serve as prison for his grandson Emperor Shah Jahan in the end of his days. From his prison perch of Musamman Burj, an exquisite octagonal marble tower atop the fort, Shah Jahan would spend his last days looking out longingly at the Taj.

Itmad-ud-Daulah is perhaps the Mughal Empire’s best kept secret. Empress Nur Jehan, wife of Jahangir, son of Akbar, commissioned the structure as a memorial to her father. Mistakenly called Baby Taj, Itmad-ud-Daulah in fact is decades older than the Taj, and may have served as its design blueprint.

Enjoy the dance drama depicting the love story of Taj Mahal in the evening.

Overnight at Agra.

After breakfast drive to Jaipur visiting Fatehpur Sikri enroute.

Fatehpur Sikri, or the “City of Victory”, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 in honour of sufi saint Salim Chishti was the capital of the Mughals for 14 years. The white marble Tomb of the Salim Chisti with its intricately carved marble screens occupies pride of place in the central courtyard of the structure.

Attractions include the colossal Buland Darwaza, a victory gate built to mark the conquest of by Emperor Akbar, the Diwan-i-Aam where the emperor held his legendary hearings with the general public and the Diwan-i-Khas where he held private consultation with his nine ministers, or as he called them, his navaratna or nine gems.

Fatehpur Sikri also houses the palace of Jodhabai, Akbar’s Hindu wife, and the house of the legendary Birbal - Akbar’s Hindu minister and one of the navaratnas - the tales of whose extraordinary wit and wisdom are the stuff of popular culture in India, inspiring countless comic books and children’s animation TV shows.

Jaipur, also known as the ‘Pink City’ from the facelift it received in 1853 to celebrate a visit by Prince Albert, is dotted with havelis (traditional mansions), bazaars, opulent palaces and rugged majestic forts that showcase the glorious past of its rulers, the Rajputs.

The Rajput princes were fierce warriors some of whom declared loyalty to the invading Mughals and proved to be formidable allies of the empire. Among them was King Jai Singh II, whom the Mughals gave the title Sawai Maharaja, or “King and a quarter”. Jaipur gets its name from this valiant king.

This evening, visit the Birla Temple. A stunning white marble structure, the three towers of the Birla Temple stand for three different approaches to religion. Carvings on the ornate pillars celebrate Hindu gods and goddesses along with Christ, Virgin Mary and St. Francis of Assisi. Don’t miss the hypnotic evening Aarti, the ritual lighting of oil lamps.

Overnight at Jaipur.

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for a morning excursion will be taken to the Amber Fort. Enjoy the fort ascent on elephant back in a royal manner. (It is optional and you could even take the jeep to the fort)

Situated on the top of a hill, the magnificent Amber Fort Palace offers a panoramic view of the old city. Established in 1592, its rugged exteriors believe the delicate architecture inside, a rare fusion of traditional Rajasthani and Islamic styles. Reach the fort the old fashioned way, atop a ceremonial elephant along a cobbled path up that opens into several havelis, step wells, courtyards and temples. Visit Sheesh Mahal or chamber of mirrors, Jas Mandir with its ornate ceilings and latticework and the stunning Shila Devi temple with its intricately carved silver door.

Afternoon sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting...

The sprawling City Palace has been home to the rulers of Jaipur since the 18th century. The architecture of the palace is a blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal styles. The City palace Museum is located here and houses various items from Jaipur’s princely and warrior past.

The scientific-minded King Jai Singh II, an astronomy enthusiast, commissioned five observatories named Jantar Mantar around West Central India in the early 1700s. The one in Jaipur is the largest and the best preserved. The massive architectural instruments are constructed out of local stone and marble some of which are still in use. We shall walk through and explore this surreal maze of giant geometric objects.

The exquisite outer facade of Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Winds," resembles a manmade honeycomb and is one of Jaipur’s most iconic and oft photographed sights. Designed to facilitate maximum air circulation and cross ventilation, the five-storied Hawa Mahal is made of lime and mortar, and decorated with impossible intricate trelliswork. From the privacy of its ornate jharokhas (traditional Rajasthani windows), the ladies of the court could gaze out at life in the streets below.

Jaipur is famous for its shopping, particularly gold and silver jewellery, blue pottery, tie-dye materials, silk, saris, wooden handicrafts and carpets.

Overnight at Jaipur.

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Rao Jodha, chief of the Rathore clan, founded the city of Jodhpur in 1459. Situated on the edge of Thar Desert, Jodhpur embodies the romance and feudal splendor of Rajasthan. Jodhpur is also called the ‘Blue City’ from the blue houses that surround its most famous landmark, the majestic Mehrangarh Fort that sits on the top of a hill 125 meters above the city. The city itself is surrounded by high walls 10 kilometers long.

Dinner will be served at Mehrangarh Fort.

Overnight at Jodhpur.

Proceed for sightseeing of Jodhpur in the morning.

Hewn out of solid rock atop the red sandstone cliff overlooking Jodhpur 400 feet above the city, the awesome 15th Century Mehrangarh fort spreads out over 5 kilometers and in the words of Rudyard Kipling, is the “work of angels and giants”. The fort’s defenses are impressive, with seven highly fortified gates to reach the fort, and massive, ornate cannons perched on the bastion walls. The view of the Blue City from the ramparts of the fort is breathtaking. In spite of the forbidding exteriors, the fort’s exquisitely latticed windows, carved panels, and ceiling with radiant glass tiles reveal another more artistic side to its warrior inhabitants. Batman fans might remember Mehrangarh Fort from an iconic scene in Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.

Jaswant Thada, the white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II is known for its highly intricate lattice-work. The marble used in the structure is translucent and in the day time, the interior walls glow from the sunshine outside. Jaswant Singh II was known for his innovative irrigation projects and to this day, locals throng to Jaswant Thada to pay their respects to the benevolent king whose touch once healed their arid land.

Walk through the old town.

You could drive to the BAL SAMAND PALACE for a late lunch by the lake.

In the evening visit Umaid Bhawan Palace museum.

Designed by the British Royal Institute of Architects, the Umaid Bhawan is one of world’s largest private residences with over 300 rooms, lavish theaters, banquet halls and a ballroom. A part of the palace has been converted to a museum with an impressive collection of royal memorabilia and weaponry.

Overnight at Jodhpur.

The 15th century Ranakpur Temples are situated in the middle of dense woods and are an important pilgrimage for the Jain community. The temples’ exterior is majestic yet somber, while the interiors are richly embellished with highly intricate carvings covering every inch of the solid marble walls. This reflects the Jain belief in the importance of a rich inner life within a simple exterior. The huge domed marble central ceiling of the temple is so adorned with dazzling filigree work that it looks almost translucent. The hushed silence inside the temple and the subtle smell of incense will put even the most gregarious traveller in a contemplative mood.

Continue drive to Udaipur.

Founded by Maharana Uday Singh, beautiful Udaipur on the banks of Lake Pichola is a fairyland with beautiful palaces in the middle of lakes, islands, opulent havelis and temples. Surrounded by the ancient Aravalli hills, Udaipur shimmers in dazzling white and is also called the City of Dawn.

Overnight at Udaipur.

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace.

The massive City Palace overlooking the Lake Pichola is a glittering example of Rajput architecture. A part of the city palace is now a museum. Behind the fortified walls of the palace, dark, steep and narrow staircases connect a maze of royal chambers and courtyards. Dazzling intricate miniatures, antiques and paintings are on display everywhere. Of note are gorgeous mosaics of peacocks in More Mahal and a courtyard full of shady trees on the terrace of Amar Vilas.

Maharana Sangram Singh built Saheliyon Ki Bari or “Garden of the Maidens” in the mid 18th century on the shores of Fateh Sagar Lake. The lush green lawns of the garden are replete with fountains whose spouts are placed inside the trunks of large stone elephants. The water flow is controlled solely by water pressure. No pumps are used. Of particular note is an interesting medieval experiment in sound design. In a secluded corner of the garden, carefully selected large leafed plants damp the sound of flowing water on stones to create the auditory effect of being in a large tropical forest in the pouring rain.

The magnificent 17th century Jagdish Temple is located in the center of the city and is a fine example of Indo-Aryan architecture. The main deity at the center is a giant black stone image of Lord Vishnu. The outer walls of the temple and the tower feature highly detailed carvings depicting Vishnu and scenes from the life of Krishna.

Later, take in a breath-taking view of the city from the Monsoon Palace over high tea. Drive into the palace like a Maharaja in an exotic royal vintage car.

Overnight at Udaipur.

Delhi, India’s capital has seen great empires rise and fall around it for millennia, with each new batch of rulers building over the works of their predecessors. As a result, the city abounds in monuments and ruins of stunning diversity. The seat of the world’s largest democracy, it also boasts of magnificent symbols of government that pay architectural tribute to the ideals of self-rule and democracy. These co-exist side by side with wide multi-lane motorways, shopping malls, fast cars and ultramodern steel-glass office complexes that characterise any large 21st century metropolis.

Raj Ghat is the famous memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. The shrine bears testimony to the simplicity of the man who changed the world with the power of ideas. A simple black stone structure with an eternal flame burning at one end.

The majestic Red Fort was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1639, and remained seat of the empire for the next two centuries. Today, the Prime Minister of the India delivers his Independence Day speech to the nation from the ramparts of this red sandstone structure.

Continue your tour to Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws Jama Masjid is one of Asia’s largest mosques. We shall view this magnificent structure from outside, its lofty and highly ornate domes and minarets reminiscent of a scene from the Arabian Nights.

A short distance away lie the bustling markets of Chandni Chowk, “Moonlit Square,” the celebrated 17th century market complex, where sweetshops from the 1790s still do roaring business .

The stately Humayun’s Tomb is perhaps the first example of the Mughal style of architecture, inspired by Persian styles, more examples of which may be seen in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.

The structure was erected in memory of Emperor Humayun, father of the illustrious Emperor Akbar, by his widow Hamida Banu Begum. An avid scholar who died an untimely death after falling down the steps of his library, Humayun himself was an architecture enthusiast and well-versed in the Persian style of building. It is said that he himself drew up the blueprint of his tomb in his lifetime, but there is no documented evidence to that effect.

Late afternoon we will transfer you to airport in time for your flight for Amritsar.

Located on the ancient trade route that connected India to Central Asia, Amritsar is one of South Asia’s oldest cities, steeped in history, with a rich tradition of culture and commerce. Amritsar is also the spiritual center of Sikhism and is home to numerous religious sites, most importantly the stupendous Golden Temple. The old part of the city is walled, with a system of narrow alleyways that lead into residential units called katras which, in the old days, provided the city with a line of defence against invaders.

Overnight at Amritsar.

After breakfast enjoy the sightseeing of Amritsar.

Shri Harmandir Sahib or Shri Durbar Sahib, colloquially referred to as the Golden Temple, is Sikhism’s holiest shrine. Constructed in the16th century, the dazzling gurdwara rests on a rectangular platform over the waters of Amrit Sarovar (lake of ambrosia) that gives Amritsar its name. The architecture of the temple is a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles and decorated with intricately carved wooden panels with elaborate gold and silver inlays. There are entrance gates in all four directions, symbolic of the Sikh faith’s openness, bidding welcome to followers of all faiths.

The Summer Palace of Ranjit Singh stands inside a garden behind high walls. The valiant king represented India’s last stand against the British, and today a museum to his memory stands in the palace compounds, displaying a comprehensive collection of paintings, manuscripts and weaponry.

On 13th April, 1919, a British military officer ordered his troops to open fire upon a peaceful gathering of Indian protestors in Jallianwala Bagh, injuring over a thousand people, and killing, according to official figures, 379. Today, a poignant flame-shaped monument marks the site of the killings, “hallowed by the mingled blood of two thousand innocent Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims,” according to the memorial plaque. Preserved on the site are walls with bullet holes and a well into which people dived to escape bullets and drowned.

Proceed to the India-Pakistan border at Wagah in the evening. Large, vocal crowds from both countries gather in large numbers to watch soldiers bedecked in ceremonial uniform conduct elaborately choreographed “Beating the Retreat” and “Change of Guard” maneuvers within handshaking distance of each other, accompanied with many theatrical glares and hostile gestures. In spite of the apparent belligerence (which the crowds love) between the two parties, the maneuvers are more often than not co-choreographed by officers from both sides over an amiable cup of tea.

Overnight at Amritsar.

Today as per the flight timing we will transfer you to airport to board the flight for Mumbai. Arrive at Mumbai and transfer you to the hotel.

Originally an archipelago of seven islands on the Arabian Sea, Mumbai was named after Mumba Devi, patron goddess of the Koli fishermen indigenous to the area. In the 19th century, reclamation work joined up the islands in a long, narrow strip of land that is the Mumbai we know today. This bustling metropolis is India’s commercial capital and home of Bollywood, the world’s largest movie industry. A city of contrasts, Ferraris and Porsches stand shoulder to shoulder on Mumbai roads with strikingly retro Premier Padmini cabs, and glitzy malls stocking super luxury brands co-exist side by side with buzzing local markets.

The nearby Gandhi Museum is located in a house where Gandhi would live during his visits to Mumbai. On display are the great man’s personal belongings and books.

The decidedly un-fortress-like business district to the North of Kolaba is popularly known as Fort and gets its name from a long-dismantled East India Company fort that, soon after the Maratha Wars, gave way to the grand colonial buildings which give this part of Mumbai its distinctive architectural flavour. Of note is St. John’s Church, dedicated to British soldiers who laid down their lives in Afghanistan and Sind in the 19th century.

Flora Fountain/ Hutama Chowk: This fountain situated in the heart of the city was erected in 1869 in honour of a British Governor of Bombay. Sir Brtle Frere. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and known as the 'Piccadilly Circus 'of Mumbai, which is decorated at its four corners with mythological figures, the Fountain is a structure in dull stone with a figure the Roman Goddess of flowers, at the top.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Victoria Terminus is one of India’s busiest railway stations and. a unique amalgamation of Indian and Gothic architectural styles. The centerpiece of the station is a 160 foot high dome and an ode to progress in the form of the statue of a woman carrying a torch. Movie buffs may be interested to know that Victoria Terminus featured prominently in the Academy Award winning “Slumdog Millionaire.”

To travellers flying into Mumbai, the city’s most recognizable feature is perhaps the Marine Drive, a long sea-facing promenade that runs from Nariman Point to Malabar Hill in a shallow arc, curving along the lapping waters of the Arabian Sea. In the evening, the Marine Drive glitters in a stunning crescent of light and is appropriately named “Queen’s Necklace.”

Overnight at Mumbai.

You are free today to spend the day as you please. A Compass representative will drop you to the airport in time for your flight home.

Request for Information


Signup newsletter