The Magic of India: A Sample Incentive Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival in Delhi, India
Touch down India. It’s a different world—the smell of cardamom and curry, the sight of brilliant silk saris, the sound of Bollywood hit songs and people speaking in a lilting tongue… just like that, you’re swept away in Micato’s India.
Upon arrival, a Micato representative will whisk you to your awaiting rooms. As we drive through Delhi, we’ll marvel at this cultural and historical centre of India’s past and future. Built slowly of 900 years of empires, the city is an intriguing mix of old and new, familiar and exotic.
Overnight: The Imperial Hotel
Manicured lawns, sweeping staircases, exquisitely carved stone-work, and rows of stately palms await here, and the style and grace are not limited to the décor, but apply to the staff as well, who somehow manage to be instantaneously responsive and inconspicuous at the same time. Truly extraordinary.
Optional Enhancement: Traditional Indian Welcome
Upon arrival at the Imperial, Micato India can arrange for Indian ladies dressed in elegant traditional saris to perform an aarti welcome ceremony, rotating an oil lamp and applying the holy mark of vermilion on the forehead of each participant. Guests also will be garlanded with fresh, brilliantly hued, fragrant flowers and served a cool welcome drink.
Day 2 Delhi
After breakfast we’ll explore New Delhi, whose spacious, tree-lined avenues yield the India Gate, a triumphal war memorial arch commemorating 90,000 Indian soldiers killed fighting for the British in the wars of the early 20th century; and Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India. We’ll also visit Humayun’s Tomb. Emperor Humayun lies buried in this magnificent monument, designed by Haji Begum, Humayun’s first wife. The construction was the basis for the design of the Taj Mahal, built almost a hundred years later.
Special Enhancement: Volunteering at the Gurudwara
Travellers will visit a public Gurudwara (Sikh Temple), a feature of which is a free community kitchen for visitors of all religions. Micato will arrange food supplies as a contribution for the day’s meal and there will be opportunity to lend a helping hand while food is being cooked and served.
After a hearty lunch, we’ll ply the bustling alleyways of Old Delhi by rickshaw, surveying commodities ranging from brightly coloured bangles and brilliantly dyed fabrics to sumptuous food cooked to order.
The day will also include a visit to India’s largest mosque, Jama Masjid, and will end with a private cocktail reception and later a dinner of Southeast Asian cuisine at Spice Route, named one of the top restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.
Overnight is at The Imperial Hotel
Day 3 Delhi to Agra
Agra is our destination today, where we’ll feast our eyes on the magical Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan’s enduring monument to his love, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their fourteenth child. Twenty thousand labourers and skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy were put into action to construct this masterpiece. . The Taj Mahal is not Agra’s only wonder. The city also has a magnificent fort and a sprinkling of fascinating tombs and mausoleums.
Overnight: Oberoi Amarvillas
With its terraced lawns, intricately carved pavilions, and gorgeous stonework, Oberoi Amarvilas takes you back to an era of Emperors and Princes. You’ll also feel like royalty in rooms decorated in teak and sandstone and with breathtaking views of the Taj Mahal across the way.
Special Enhancement: Poolside Dinner
At the Oberoi’s Pool Terrace, Micato India guests will dine on a medley of Indian and Western fare or will enjoy a traditional Mughal feast from the royal kitchens of the Mughal Emperors. Entertainment might include a Kathak performance: a classical dance-form characterized by its intricate and delicate footwork, accompanied by live Indian classical music.
Day 4 Agra to Jaipur
We rise early to return to the Taj Mahal and its grounds, this time to view the white marble tinged with the pink of dawn, the gentle opalescent sunrise shining up from the reflecting pools. As we stroll the grounds and vast interior, we’re awestruck.
After breakfast, we continue our journey and drive to Jaipur. India’s famous ‘Pink City’ is so called because its walls were painted pink to honour visiting royalty, the Prince of Wales in the 1800’s. Opulent buildings and colourful bazaars await. This afternoon, embark on a visit to the observatory Jantar Mantar for a hands-on lesson in ancient Indian astrology.
Special Enhancement: An Indian Odyssey
Relive the golden era of the Rajput princes and their desert kingdoms while dining on a lavish buffet of Rajasthani delicacies. Your guests are granted the privilege of dining at the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur – the City Palace. And of course everyone will want to dress with the appropriate flair. For this occasion a wonderful selection of Indian outfits can be arranged for your guests. The palace, situated in the heart of the old city, occupies a large area divided into several courtyards and gardens, surrounded by buildings of various sizes and styles. The seven-story Chandra Mahal, in the heart of the complex will be the evening’s venue. While dinner is being served guests will be entertained by exuberant performances of traditional Rajasthani folk dances and music.
Overnight: The Rambagh Palace
The former residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur, the Rambagh Palace is an ornate and architectural masterpiece, the rooms cocoons of luxury, with walk-in wardrobes and four-poster beds.
Special Enhancement: A Maharaja’s Welcome
While in Jaipur guests may arrive at the hotel in a richly decorated royal carriage or on elephant back, escorted by caparisoned camels. The elephants raise their trunks in salute as fragrant rose petals are showered on the arriving guests. Mounted lancers lead the procession, and musicians herald their entry by serenading them with Indian tunes.
Day 5 Jaipur
Early this morning you have the opportunity to enjoy a balloon adventure over Jaipur There’s no feeling quite like it, nothing on earth that can match the magic of floating on air, the sense of being at one with the sky and looking down at a world that is looking up at you! The balloon can be branded with your company logo and we will organize special branded give-aways for the villagers when the balloon lands.
Breakfast and the morning hours that follow are at leisure. Unwind at the hotel or perhaps experience the colourful mosaic of a Jaipur shopping spree, perusing all manner of jewelry, crafts, fabrics , and spices. After lunch, we can visit the majestic Amber Fort, its interior walls covered with murals, frescoes, and paintings depicting various scenes from daily life.
But our favourite activity today, no doubt, will be making friends with an elephant! You’ll paint these Asian elephants (who love the attention!) with traditional Indian designs and if you so choose afterwards, you can hop on the elephant’s back for a ride through a private forest area that passes a medieval fortress. The escapade ends with a delectable dinner in an exclusive location, under the open sky.
Overnight is at The Rambagh Palace.
Day 6 Jaipur to Udaipur
We wing our way to Udaipur, known as both the City of Sunrise and the City of Lakes. Awash in romance, the city is a serene picture of shimmering blue lakes, green hills and impressive white marble palaces that provide a sharp contrast to its desert neighbours. Upon arrival, we visit the City Palace, the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. It stands majestically by the lake, and exhibits strength as well as finery in the delicate work done in its balconies, towers and cupolas. Following your visit, take a stroll through the local town.
Overnight: Oberoi Udaivilas
Afterwards we stop for lunch at what will be our base for exploration and elegant home away from home, the Oberoi Udaivilas. The rooms with their rich, traditional furnishings and vibrant art-work are a perfect reflection of the grandeur and opulence of princely Rajasthan.
Special Enhancement: Sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola
Few activities in Udaipur compare to a boat ride on the mystical Lake Pichola. We’ll float around the islands that dot the lake, see the sites from the cool comfort of a boat deck, and enjoy the incomparable views of an opalescent Indian sunset.
Day 7 Udaipur
The nearby temples of Eklingji—one hundred ancient temples enclosed within the protective arms of the mammoth Great Wall—date back to the 10th century. The main temple enshrines an enormous four-faced Shiva, many stories high, under a huge pyramidal roof. Your guides share with you the mythologies of that time. As you touch the wall you will feel the shiver of touching history.
You also visit Nagda, the site of two fourth-century temples, both embellished with intricately carved royal edits, recalling the harsh rulers of centuries past. This temple complex has some intricate and beautiful carvings on the pillars, ceilings, and the walls depicting stories from the mythologies of Mahabharat and Ramayana.
Special Enhancement: A Special Lunch and Giving Back to India
A lavish multi-cuisine lunch awaits our group at the beautiful 18th century Devigarh Fort Palace. After lunch, if you wish, you may explore the nearby village by foot, bicycle, or camel cart, encountering locals along the way. Our favourite stop no doubt will be a little village school supported by Micato’s travelers. For this visit we will be pleased to organize some branded give-aways for the children. Visits such as this are often considered by our guests to be the highlight of their trip.
Special Enhancement: Farewell Dinner
Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner at a private venue with stunning views of the City Palace on one side, and the elegantly lit domes of the hotel on the other. The ambience is magical – decorated with hundreds of candles and fresh flowers while the soothing melodies played by live musicians float on the breeze – this is an unparalleled setting for an unforgettable night.
Day 8 Udaipur to Delhi; Depart
Special Enhancement: Morning Yoga Session
This morning, relax the spirit while you revitalise your body with the ancient healing power of yoga. The yoga instructor will take you on a journey of well-being with a yoga session held in the serene surroundings of the gardens. Truly a blissful experience!
Board a flight back to Delhi later today. Upon arrival, we proceed to a hotel near the airport where rooms have been booked for the group, until departure.
Later tonight, your journey through this magical land comes to an end as you proceed to the International Airport for your onward flight. As you leave, you’re already reminiscing about your journey through India, and your close encounters with entrancing palaces and fascinating cultures. It has been the journey of a lifetime. Even before they land, your group will be longing to return to Micato’s India.