This comprehensive tour takes in some of the most spectacular sights across northern India, from Jaipur in the west to Varanasi in the east. We’ll see some of the world’s greatest architecture in the form of imposing forts (Amer, Gwalior), temples (Khajuraho), palaces (Orchha), an abandoned city (Fatehpur Sikri) plus, of course, the apogee of Mughal art - the Taj Mahal.
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Beginning with Delhi, Jaipur and Agra - the so-called Golden Triangle of India - our tour provides a great introduction to the rich culture and heritage of northern India. This great triumvirate of cities presents a matchless array of sights, famous and not-so-famous, grand and intimate. You’ll see the Taj Mahal in the delicate early morning light, the vivid palaces of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s “Pink City”, and the equally impressive monuments of Delhi.
The route then swings south to Gwalior, with its magnificent hilltop fort, and Orchha, home to 16th-century temples and bejewelled 17th-century palaces. In contrast to Jaipur and Agra, Gwalior and Orchha are somewhat removed from the tourist trail, and provide a compelling insight into the ‘real’ India. It’s just a short hop to the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Khajuraho, with its temples crammed full of erotic sculptures: an amazing, unforgettable sight.
Finally we journey east to the city of Varanasi - the holiest place in the country for Hindus (and the centre of the Earth in Hindu cosmology). Every Hindu is expected to achieve a pilgrimage here at least once, and if possible pour the remains (ashes) of cremated ancestors here into the sacred river Ganges. It makes for a remarkable scene, and we’ll spend two nights here before returning to Delhi on the overnight train. A leisurely final day in the capital completes the tour.
Please note: You can use this itinerary as a guide to fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have.
DAY 01 - Delhi
Arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel for check-in, afternoon and evening free
Arrive at the international airport of Delhi. After a traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) our KVT’s representative would assist you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is free to relax and explore the nearby area.
DAY 02 - Delhi
Half day sightseeing of Delhi and evening free
Today we proceed for the half day sightseeing tour of Delhi; we start with visit Jama Masjid, is the largest mosque of Old Delhi and it was built between 1644 - 1658 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal and Red Fort. Then we visit Rajghat which is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi located on the bank of Yamuna River. Afterwards we drive pass through Colonial buildings such as the President's House, the official residence of the President of India, built in the year 1931 and India Gate is a war memorial, also known as ‘All India War Memorial’. India Gate is 42m high located at the centre of New Delhi across Rajpath. Evening we have free time to explore the surrounding area or can relax at the hotel.
DAY 03 - Jaipur
Morning drive to Jaipur, reach and check-in to the hotel; evening free
This day after breakfast we drive to Jaipur (Distance: 280km approx.); Jaipur is popularly known as the Pink City and is the colorful capital of Indian state Rajasthan with its rich cultural heritage and colorful past. It is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. Jaipur was established in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II the ruler of Amber and it is also known as 'The City of Victory'. Reach Jaipur and check-in to the hotel; evening we can explore the colorful bazaars (market) of Jaipur.
DAY 04 - Jaipur
Full day sightseeing of Jaipur
After breakfast we drive to the ancient capital of Amber, 11 km away from Jaipur. Famous for its massive Amber Fort, Amber was the ancient capital of Kachhawaha dynasty for 6 centuries. We take an Elephant ride to reach the Fort situated on the hill, an overwhelming experience. Later, we proceed to the City Palace, a perfect blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Further we visit Jantar Mantar (Solar Observatory), an astronomical treasure house, with solar devices that give accurate predictions till date. We also visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a five-storied structure of pink sandstone. It was specially built as a high screen wall so that the women of royal household could observe the street festivities while nobody can see them from outside.
DAY 05 - Agra
Drive to Agra en-route visit Fatehpur Sikri
Today we drive to Agra (Distance: 240km) en-route we visit Fatehpur Sikri. It was formally the capital of the Mughal Empire; this wonderfully preserved ‘ghost town’ was constructed by Emperor Akbar and it reflects his ideals in art, religion and architecture. The mosque is designed to hold ten thousand worshippers. But this magnificence only lasted 14 years, as in 1585 Akbar left Fatehpur Sikri due to lack of water, leaving this city much as we see it today. Reach Agra and check-in to the hotel and relax.
DAY 06 - Gwalior
Sightseeing of Agra and later drive towards Gwalior
Early morning we wake-up and visit the beautiful white marble Taj Mahal (remains closed on every Friday) during sunrise. Taj Mahal is a symbol of eternal love which stands on the banks of River Yamuna; it was built by the 5th Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. The Taj Mahal is serenely beautiful and never fails to amaze a first time visitor. We also visit the imposing Red Fort of Akbar, third of the Mughal Emperors, whose mighty red sandstone walls enclose the beautiful white marble Pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Afterwards we drive to Gwalior (Distance: 130km approx.). Gwalior is a historical and a major city of India that is located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Gwalior has been ruled by many dynasties and its history is being so colorful. Reach there and check-in to the hotel and relax.
DAY 07 - Orchha
Morning visit Gwalior Fort and afterwards transfer to Orchha
This morning we visit Gwalior Fort, the fort was built in the 8th century by the ruler of Tomar dynasty. The Fort is perched on a hilltop overlooking the city; it consists of defensive structure and the two main palaces, Gurjari Mahal and Man Mandir, built by Man Singh Tomar. The Fort has been controlled by a number of different rulers over time. After the visit we drive to Orchha (Distance: 125km); Orchha is a town which was established by Maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh in 1501. It is located on the banks of Betwa River. We reach Orchha and check-in to the hotel.
DAY 08 - Khajuraho
Sightseeing of Orchha and later drive to Khajuraho
Today we proceed for the sightseeing tour of Orchha; the small town of Orchha was once used to be the capital of Bundela Rajput Kingdom and now known as a tourist hub and one of the best places to visit in Madhya Pradesh. Orchha means 'hidden' in the local Bundelkhandi language. Afterwards we visit Ram Raja Temple also known as Orchha Temple and it is only temple where Lord Rama is worshipped as a King. Afterwards we drive to Khajuraho (Distance: 180km approx.); Khajuraho is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region and popular for group of Hindu and Jain Temples. Reach Khajuraho and check-in to the hotel and relax.
DAY 09 - Varanasi
Visit Khajuraho Group of Monuments and later fly to Varanasi
This day we visit Khajuraho Group of Monuments, is a famous group of Hindu and Jain Temples. These monuments are popular for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures and these groups of monuments are also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. The temples were built between 950 – 1050AD by the Chandela dynasty. Later we will be transferred to the airport to board the flight for Varanasi. Varanasi is the oldest living cities in the world, it is also known as Banaras or Kashi situated on the bank of River Ganges, it is considered to be the 7th holiest city of Hinduism. Pilgrims from all-over India come here to take a holy dip into the sacred river to wash away their sins. There are thousands of pilgrims, wandering holy men (Sadhus), religious elders and casual visitors. Arrive Varanasi airport and transfer to the hotel for check-in and relax.
DAY 10 - Varanasi
Morning boat ride, afternoon visit Sarnath and evening attend puja ceremony on Ghats
This morning just before dawn, we take a boat ride on the Ganges River to witness the extraordinary spectacle on the Ghats, the steps leading down to the river. The boat ride takes us past the various Ghats of Varanasi. Every day thousands of Hindu pilgrims and devotees visit this city to make holy prayers, to meditate and to purify themselves through taking a bath in the holy river Ganges. Then in the afternoon we will visit Sarnath, it is 10km away from Varanasi and located near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers, it is the place where Gautama Buddha delivered his 1st sermon after he attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya. It is one of the four Buddhist pilgrimage sites. We return back from Sarnath and in the evening we visit the Ghat to witness the puja ceremony.
DAY 11 - Varanasi
Day free and evening overnight train to Delhi
Today we have a day free in Varanasi to explore and visit the local market to experience the ethnic culture. In the evening we will be transferred to the railway station to catch the overnight train to Delhi.
DAY 12 - Delhi
Arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel for check-in; evening free
Morning we reach Delhi and will be transferred to the hotel for check-in and relax. Rest of the day is free to explore the surrounding area or can relax at the hotel.
DAY 13 - Delhi
Departure transfer to international airport
Morning you will be transferred to the Indira Gandhi International airport, Delhi to board the flight for back home.
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Flexibility Guaranteed! Using the above itinerary as a guide you can fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have. On receiving your enquiry we will respond with prices and work with you to create a truly personalised holiday experience that is in your budget and personal style.