This 18 day holiday takes you through some of the most well-known sights of Northern India. It is an ideal trip for a first-time traveller to India with interest in India’s rich cultural heritage. The trip starts in Delhi, then takes you to the holy city of Varanasi set next to the Ganges, then moving on to the erotic temples of Khajuraho before making the turn westward back to Agra. The trip then takes you through the wildlife treasure of Northern India – Ranthambore and then forward to Jaipur and other magnificent cities of the desert state of Rajasthan namely Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur. You finally conclude your tour in Mumbai for your onward journey back home.
Late evening: On arrival by your international flight, meet and greet at the airport by our representative and transfer to The Oberoi hotel for immediate check-in.
After a relaxed breakfast enjoys a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi visiting the Red Fort, Jama Masjid mosque and the bazaars of Chandni Chowk on a cycle rickshaw. This afternoon, enjoy a tour of New Delhi, designed by the eminent Sir Edward Lutyens. Drive past the India Gate, Rajpath, and bustling Connaught Place. A visit is also made to Qutab Minar, essentially a massive tower built to proclaim the arrival of Islam in the 11th century, Humayun’s tomb which is considered to be the precursor to Taj Mahal and a carpet emporium.
Today morning you will be transferred to the airport to connect your flight to the oldest living holy city of Varanasi. On arrival, you will be met at the airport by our representative and transferred to hotel. Rest of the day is free for you to absorb this legendary Hindu city. In the evening your guide will meet you and take you on an evening boat cruise on river Ganges to witness the evening ceremony on the banks of Ganges. This offering of prayers to Mother Ganges is a captivating ritual. Return to hotel for the next day’s early morning boat ride.
Today early morning you will be taken on a boat ride. You will be cruising down many bathing ghats, where you will see seekers immersing themselves in the waters of Ganges to purify themselves and offering their prayers. You will also pass through the burning ghats here the dead bodies are burnt as per Hindu traditions. Once on the banks, the guide will lead you through the narrow by-lanes of the old city giving you the history of the many bathing ghats and the importance of Varanasi in the lives of every Hindu. Return back to the hotel for breakfast and later proceed for the city tour of Varanasi covering temples including Bharat Mata temple, dedicated to Mother India and Benaras Hindu University founded in 1916 and its museum. In the afternoon visit Sarnath, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment and the museum.
This morning you are free to explore the city on your own before the representative transfers you to the airport to fly to Khajuraho – renowned world over for its erotic temples from the early 10th century. On arrival in Khajuraho, you will be met by our representative and transferred to hotel. Rest of the afternoon is at leisure. (you have the option of making a side trip to Raneh waterfalls situated just 20kms from Khajuraho town. The popular Raneh Drops has some remarkable stone structures that are extremely fascinating. The significant interest is an excellent 100 ft strong and 5kms extensive gorge established out of crystalline marble)
Full day visit to the world-famous temples of Khajuraho begins with the Western group of temples followed by the Eastern and Southern group. These renowned Khajuraho sacred temples are one of the seven amazing things of India, second only to the amazing Taj Mahal. The amazing work of art on these temples are to be seen to be believed. The rest is on your imagination…
Today after an early breakfast you will be driving to Jhansi railway station (5 hrs) to board the train to Agra. On the way visit Orchha. Jehangir Mahal built by Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo for the Mughal Emperor Jehangir is also worth visiting. Also, visit Chaturbhuj Temple dedicated to Lord Rama. Rai Parveen Mahal built for poetess and musician Rai Praveen and the various Chhatris (Cenotaphs). In the meantime, you will be transferred to Jhansi train station to board the train to Agra. On arrival, you will be met by our representative and transferred to hotel for an early bed to behold the sight which awaits you tomorrow.
Early in the morning, your guide will pick you up for the most awaited visit to the world famous and one of the seven wonders of the world – TAJ MAHAL. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder! Probably for Taj Mahal, the axiom is just the other way round. The Taj is the beauty personified! The Taj displays its different moods through its varied shades. The Taj has as many shades as any kind of beauty can ever have! It is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening, golden when the moon shines and the intermediary variants during different hours of the day and during different seasons in a year. Return back to the hotel for breakfast. Later visit the Agra Fort built by four generation of Mughal Emperors who occupied this fort as their capital city. Visit the Diwan-E-Aam (public audience) and Diwan-E-Khas(private audience) along with the residential quarters and Musamman Burj where Emperor Shah Jehan was held captive during his last days by his son Aurangazeb. Afternoon free to visit an emporium to check out some marble artefacts
After an early breakfast drive South West towards Ranthambhore (5 hrs), one of the national parks. On the way visit the deserted city also called the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. Worth visiting is the tomb of Saint Salimuddin Chisti. On arrival in Ranthambhore, check in at a jungle resort. Rest of the day is at leisure (you have the option of visiting Tribal women help centre)
Today you will be enjoying two-game rides in the park. Under the Project Tiger, this park remains the last refuge of the Royal Bengal tiger. Catch a glimpse of the king of the jungle. This natural habitat is also home to other predators, gazelles, antelopes, wild dogs, wild boars, reptiles, birds and wide varieties of trees and plants.
Today morning after a relaxed breakfast drive to Jaipur (4 hrs) and on arrival you will be assisted for your check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day is for your independent activities. However, if you want to be on the move we recommend a walking tour of the city OR watching a Bollywood movie at the famous Raj Mandir theatre both of which are great experiences.
Today morning your appointed guide will meet you at the hotel. You will visit the Amer Fort, the 17th-century capital city of Jaipur ruler. Ascending the fort on an elephant back will be an experience. Also, visit the City Palace and the Observatory. The evening is at leisure to let the exhilarating experience of today to seep in.
After an early breakfast drive to Jodhpur (7 hrs). You will be passing by many interesting villages and rural countryside of Rajasthan on the way. On arrival in Jodhpur, you will be assisted by our representative at the time of check-in. Rest of the day is at leisure.
In the morning, your appointed guide will take you on a city tour of Jodhpur encompassing Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada. At the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. The Mehrangarh fort is one of the most impressive and formidable structures. Invincible from the outside, the fort has four gates approached by a winding road. The cenotaphs of Jaswant Thada, the burial ground of Jodhpur Royalty is worth a visit. This afternoon you will undertake a jeep safari to the Bishnoi village. The Bishnoi’s are an eco-friendly sect of Hindu religion and they worship the black buck, which roams around the village. The “high” point of the trip is the opium ceremony with the village elders to get their blessings.
Accommodation at the Hotels mentioned in the program | Daily Breakfast at the hotels, except Jungle resorts where all your meals are included | Train Tickets wherever applicable | English speaking Local guide for sightseeing tours as mentioned in program | All transfers, sightseeing & excursions by private AC Toyota Fortuner SUV | Jungle safari in the National Park as per program | Entrance fees for all monuments during sightseeing tours | Mineral water bottles in your vehicle [02 bottles each day] | Wet tissues in your vehicle | Meet and Greet assist at all arrival and departure transfers | Local India mobile phone with chip during the journey | WiFi available in your vehicle during the journey | Flower bouquet and garlands on arrival in India | Picnic Hamper available in the car [ Juice, Coke cans, Chips, Biscuits etc] | Indian National daily newspaper during the journey | DVD player with movie titles in your vehicle on select journeys | All currently applicable taxes | Road taxes, parking fee, Fuel charges and interstate taxes at all airports
Expenses of personal nature like Laundry, Telephone, Alcoholic, Camera, Medical, Airport departure Fees etc | Meals other than those specified above | Insurance, Visa fees | International or Domestic Airfare | Any Tips / Porter charges