Morning visit to Old Delhi - an ancient walled city, Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 1650 switched the Mughal capital from Agra to Delhi; we take rickshaw ride through the narrow streets of Delhi's bazaar - which gives us an incredible and authentic insight into the real, everyday lives of the millions of people who live in the city. As your rickshaw travels towards Chandni Chowk, you will be immersed in real India - surrounded by people, sounds and smells as we squeeze past vegetable carts and impromptu market stalls, avoiding delivery men carrying boxes on their heads. We duck underneath Sari displays and ride through the fragrant steam of street-side food stands and restaurants.
Here you will see Red Fort, (Lal Qila) the most opulent Fort and Palace of the Mughal Empire. The fort is Shah Jehan's symbol of power and elegance, built behind red sandstone walls. Its main gate (Lahore Gate) faces Chandni Chowk, the perpetually congested avenue heading west from the Red Fort, is filled with twisting lanes, small streets and crowded bazaars. If you peer through a portico you may see a man getting shaved, silver being weighed, or any other conceivable form of intense commerce. We visit the Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India. Overnight stay at hotel [B, D]
Afternoon on a tour of New Delhi was designed and built by the British in the 1920's - it's a city of wide boulevards impressive Government buildings, green parks and gardens. In 1911 King George V announced the transfer of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. The King's architects, Lutyens and Baker, set in motion the Design and construction of Delhi's eight cities - New Delhi. Lutyens designed an "Imperial City" having palatial-sized buildings set amid broad tree-lined avenues punctuated by Mughal style gardens, complete with fountains and shallow pools. It took 20 years to complete this immense undertaking only to have the British pack up and relinquish the subcontinent in 1947.
You will visit the monuments from Delhi's past & known as two of the 26 World Heritage sites of India - Humayun’s Tomb Persian influenced Humayun's Tomb - a memorial to the second Mughal Emperor, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage siteand Qutub Minar. Your drive takes you along the ceremonial avenue, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House and Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the Indian president. Overnight stay at hotel.[B, D]