Asia | Destination Guides

From Rajasthan to Mumbai: An Introduction to India

Recently updated on August 13th, 2023 at 11:26 am

It’s often said India’s vibrant cities overwhelm the senses with their myriad of sights, aromas and sounds, but truly understanding the enchanting nature of this nation can only be achieved in person. From the colourful bazaars to ancient stone forts, each city’s astonishing fusion of heritage and culture will leave a lasting impression. With the launch of our new trip to Rajasthan and Mumbai, we’ve created an introduction to India that explores the extraordinary cities this journey takes in and the cultural insights that enable each guest to truly experience the country at its most authentic.

Introduction to India

The Journey


Once named Hathinapur – or Elephant City – in Sanskrit, Delhi is celebrated for its long and fascinating history, with the legacy of lost empires reflected in the diversity of palaces and forts. Exhilarating markets, bazaars and atmospheric alleys bubble over with local life, and it’s here, at the heart of the city, that the street vendors cook-up aromatic spiced chaat and paratha, and tandoor-cooked mutton kebabs, and where small shops display their array of hand-made sweets.

Introduction to India

Lying in stark contrast to these bustling alleyways and lively markets are Delhi’s tranquil ancient monuments, from the Red Fort, which originates from the Mughal Empire, to Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India. The key to really understanding the city, though, is through its people, which Trafalgar guests can truly feel as they visit the local non-governmental organization Salaam Baalak Trust, which provides support for Delhi’s street children.


On the banks of the the river Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh lies the ancient city of Agra, which from the 16th to 17th century was capital of the Mughal Empire, leading to the wealth of historic sites now there. The site that’s made the greatest impression worldwide is undoubtedly the iconic Taj Mahal, which built in memory of the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan’s wife, is said to have taken 18 years to complete. The mausoleum is especially captivating at sunrise.

Introduction to India

Of course, this isn’t Agra’s only draw. The city is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage royal residence Agra Fort, an impressive red sandstone monument displaying the intricately decorated interiors that were so typical of the Mughal era. Finally, to see how Agra has developed since ancient times, simply take a stroll through the city’s atmospheric streets and bazaars.


Owing to its distinctive rose-hued architecture, Jaipur is often referred to as the Pink City. And as the capital of Rajasthan, it abounds with opulent palaces and ancient forts, from the City Palace, which opened as a museum in 1959 displaying both Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, to the UNESCO World Heritage Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observation site built in the 18th century. Not to forget the Palace of Winds, which once enabled the women of the royal household to watch the life and processions of the city without being seen.

Introduction to India

Amidst this enthralling architecture, it’s the culture of the people that brings this city alive, so with this in mind Trafalgar guests are given a whirlwind tour of insider experiences, from lessons in turban tying, and the popular pastime of kite flying, to witnessing an Aarti Ceremony after sundown. And to gain an understanding of the printed patterns so prevalent across India, guests can join a hand block-printing workshop in which the symbolism behind each motif is explained.


Founded in the 16th-century, it’s Udaipur’s lavishly decorated palaces, as well as its setting amid rolling hills and shimmering lakes, that’s given the city its reputation for being the most romantic in Rajasthan. Here, visitors can take in the beauty of their surroundings while strolling along the quiet alleys and tree-lined streets, taking a scenic boat ride on Lake Pichola, and wandering through the city’s colourful markets and bazaars.

Introduction to India


While Mumbai is India’s economic hub, it continues to reflect its roots through historic monuments and memorials, with a culture that embraces both its heritage and the present day. Visitors can hop from sites such as the Gateway of India, which was built to commemorate a royal visit in 1911, and seeing the rock-cut temples of UNESCO Gharapuri, better known as Elephanta Island, to more contemporary additions to the cultural scene, such as a working Bollywood studio.

Be one of the first to join Trafalgar on the new Leisurely Rajasthan with Mumbai trip to India.

Image credits: Cover photo of women in Jaipur © iStock / Bartosz Hadyniak. A family in Mumbai © iStock / Predrag Vuckovic. Red Fort in Delhi © iStock / powerofforever. Taj Mahal in Agra © iStock / urbancow. A street vendor in Jaipur © iStock / Bartosz Hadyniak. Local food in a market © iStock / mariusz_prusaczyk.

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