Delhi - AgraDetails
|Destination||Number of Days||Highlights|
Red Fort, Old Markets at Chandni Chowk,
Jama Masjid, Old Delhi Walking Tour, Raj Ghat,
Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Lotus Temple
| Delhi to Varanasi
Flight Time (1.5 hrs)
|Varnasi||1||Morning and Evening Ganga Aarti, Walking Tour of Ancient City,
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Durga Temple, Bharat Mata Temple
| Varanasi to Khajuraho
Flight Time (1 hr)
| Khajuraho to Jhansi
Drive Time (4 hrs)
Jhansi to Agra
Train Time (2 hrs)
|Agra||2||Taj Mahal, Agra Fort,
Mehtab Bagh, Fatehpur Sikri
| Agra to Ranthambore
Drive Time (6 hrs)
|Ranthambore||2||Wildlife Safari, Ranthambore Fort|
| Ranthambore to Jaipur
Drive Time (4 hrs)
|Jaipur||2||Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, City Palace,
Jantar Mantar, Local Bazaars
| Jaipur to Delhi
Drive Time (5 hrs)
Namaste! Welcome to your unique experience of India.
You will be greeted by your personal tour director at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. A chauffeured vehicle will escort you to your hotel as soon as you have gathered your belongings. Please make sure to relax, and take this opportunity to soak in your first sights, sounds and smells of India. Your tour director will be happy to answer any questions and will bring your attention to points of interest along the way.
Once at the hotel, we encourage you to take a comfortable seat, or to explore the lobby while your tour director checks you in. He will then provide the details of your customized itinerary. This is a good time to agree on your next meeting time, confirm your itinerary for the following day, discuss your preferences, and address any other questions or concerns you may have!
Morning: Begin your adventure in India with a guided tour of Old Delhi.
Your tour will begin with a visit to Delhi's most famous monument, the Red Fort (closed on Monday). Here you will explore the chambers of this seventeenth-century fort, which was named after the red sandstone used to build its massive walls. The fort, which originally stood at the epicenter of Emperor Shah Jahan’s then-new city of Shahjahanabad, exudes the grandeur and military prowess of the Mughal Empire, the mightiest empire in medieval India.
After your visit to the Red Fort, you will tour another treasure of the old city. Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India and Shah Jahan’s final architectural feat. The structure is a prominent feature of the Old Delhi skyline. You will also have the opportunity to view a collection of the Prophet Muhammad’s relics – including the Koran written on deerskin, a strand of the prophet’s red beard, his sandals and his foot prints implanted in a marble block.
Next, you will enjoy a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk, the main street of Old Delhi. As one of the oldest and busiest markets in India, Chandni Chowk’s narrow winding lanes are full of inexpensive jewelry, fabrics, and electronics.
Your tour of Old Delhi will conclude with a visit to Gandhi Smriti, the house where Mahatma Gandhi, the man affectionately referred to as the “Father of the Nation,” was assassinated on January 30, 1948. His room remains exactly as he left it, and the prayer ground where he held his daily evening congregation is now open to the public. Plenty of photos, sculptures, paintings, and inscriptions are on display as well. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Raj Ghat, Gandhi’s cremation site. Based on your tastes and preferences, your director will plan a meal at a lunch spot featuring local and/or continental flavors.
Afternoon: After lunch, you will go on a guided city tour of New Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Qutub Minar - the tallest brick minaret in the world, it stands at 238 feet. So, prepare to crane your neck to get a good look!
Built in the year 1206 AD, the original function of Qutub Minar remains a mystery. Some believe it was built to signify victory and the beginning of Muslim rule in India, while others say it was used to call believers to prayer.
The Ashoka Pillar, one of just nineteen surviving pillars that bear the inscription of Ashoka’s edicts, is located inside the Qutab complex as well. Ashoka the Great, as he is known in India, was an emperor who ruled much of the Indian subcontinent during the third century B.C.E. He is the first known Indian emperor to have embraced Buddhism, and his edicts were a proud proclamation of his Buddhist beliefs. They were meant to serve as guidelines for his citizens.
After the Qutab complex, you will visit Humayun's Tomb, which served as a source of inspiration for the magnificent Taj Mahal. You will have the option to walk around or relax in the lovely gardens, or both.
Late Afternoon / Early Evening: To complete your New Delhi city tour, you will have the option to visit sights such as India Gate, Rasthrapati Bhavan (the President’s House), and Lodhi Garden. You can also spend the evening at any one – or several – of the fantastic restaurants and pubs in Connaught Place, the vibrant city center.
Special Note: We strongly recommend that you spend an extra day at Delhi if you have the time to do so. Consider touring the Akshardham Temple, the Lotus Temple, the markets of Old Delhi, and a sampling of additional restaurants and shops. Spending an extra day at Delhi will also give you the opportunity to recuperate from your international flight and adjust to the local time.
At the end of your last evening in Delhi, your tour director will give you your itinerary for the following day.
Morning: You will be assisted with your check out from your hotel and driven to the airport where you will be assisted with boarding the morning flight to Varanasi.
Upon your arrival at Varanasi, you will be greeted by your guide and chauffeur at the airport. You will then be driven to your hotel, we encourage you to freshen up and relax before you proceed to explore this holy city.
Afternoon: Explore one of the oldest living cities in the world with a guided city tour of Varanasi. This tour includes walking down the town’s narrow streets. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time as you wander in these ancient streets; most streets and structures here are around a thousand years old!
During the city tour, you will visit several ancient temples: the renowned Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva, has a “lingam” – the phallic icon of Shiva – that goes back to the time of the epics. The eighth-century Durga Temple, where hundreds of monkeys reside in the trees, and Varanasi’s Bharat Mata Temple, which we believe is the only temple in India that is dedicated to the “Mother India”.
Evening: Enjoy a sunset cruise on the holy river. The evening Ganga Aarti is a must-see, a daily ritual of the city that is as old as time itself. You will have a spectacular view of this ceremony from your boat on the river.
Special Note: We strongly recommend that you spend an extra day in Varanasi for an insider’s view of the holy city. This will also give you an opportunity to visit Sarnath, an important Buddhist site located approximately twenty minutes from Varanasi. Sarnath is where the Buddha gave his first discourse after he attained enlightenment. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of hectic Varanasi, the site is a peaceful place where you can explore the grassy gardens and ruins of Buddhist stupas, some of which were built in the third century B.C.E!
Note that Sarnath is closed on Friday.
Early Morning: Begin your day with a sunrise cruise on the holy river. Most Hindu rituals are performed on the banks of the Ganga, and on this cruise, you will see everything from bathing to ritual cremation ceremonies. Prepare to observe people practicing yoga, Hindu priests praying and giving blessings, flower sellers going about their business, and residents playing games of cricket.
Following the cruise, you will return to your hotel to freshen up and pack your belongings.
Late Morning: Our staff will help you check out from the hotel and drive you to the airport, where you will be assisted with boarding the afternoon flight to Khajuraho. Your guide and chauffeur will greet you upon your arrival. You will then be driven to your hotel and assisted with the check-in process.
Afternoon: After lunch, you will tour the temples of Khajuraho, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you want to verify that the Kama Sutra truly originated in India, this is the place to do so. Built in the tenth century by the Chandela kings, the temple complex, which is a mixture of Hindu and Jain temples, features a combination of erotic carvings and carvings that depict other aspects of life, such as music, dancing, animals, war, meditation, and royalty.
Originally a group of eighty-five, twenty-five of these temples remain today.
Early Morning: You have the option to either relax at your hotel or return to the Khajuraho Temples for an extended visit.
Late Morning: You will be assisted with your checkout from the hotel and proceed on a four-hour drive to Orchha. Upon your arrival, you will meet your local guide for a brief tour of the ancient ruins at Orchha. With palaces and temples that still exude their original grandeur, you will feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. After this visit, you will take a short drive to Jhansi, where you will board the two-hour express train to Agra (from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm). Your guide will meet you at your seat on the train at the Agra station. He will help you with your bags, escort you to the vehicle, and drive you to your hotel.
Early Morning: Start your day with a guided sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal (closed on Friday). This iconic white shrine comes with a story as dramatic as its beauty. Your guide will narrate the fascinating history of the Taj Mahal while you walk the premises and embark on yet another journey back in time.
Following your tour of the Taj Mahal, you will return to your hotel for breakfast.
Late Morning: You will proceed on a guided visit of the Agra fort. This tour will begin with the famous tomb of Itmad Ud Daulah. Often referred to as “Baby Taj,” this monument has a special place in the chronicles of both Indian history and architecture. It is the very first tomb in India to be made entirely out of marble.
After a brief lunch break, you are at leisure to rest for a few hours.
Late Afternoon: Continue your city tour with a guided visit of the Agra Fort, which was commissioned by Akbar, literally translated as “The Great,” the most famous Mughal emperor. This is a grand and powerful fortress made of red sandstone. You will walk through palaces, audience halls, and two very beautiful mosques that appear to have been taken straight from a fairytale. From the Agra Fort, you will be driven to the five hundred-year-old Mughal garden Mehtab Bagh, which offers stunning views of the Taj Mahal.
Evening: Before you return to your hotel, prepare for a sunset visit to the Taj Mahal.
Early Morning: You can either sleep in or enjoy a guided sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal. If you choose to take the sunrise tour, you will have the opportunity to return to your hotel and freshen up for breakfast.
Late Morning: You will be assisted with your checkout from the hotel and will be driven to Fatehpur Sikri. We recommend taking a packed lunch from your hotel. Fatehpur Sikri, an abandoned city that served as the Mughal capital for a mere fifteen years in the sixteenth century. Take a walk through the large courtyards and grand rooms. Make sure to pay attention to the stories behind the grand chessboard and the elephant justice – they are enthralling!
Afternoon: The drive to Sawai Madhopur will take you through rural India. It is not uncommon to see camels on the road, women going to the farms, and road side fruit sellers. This is an opportunity to observe village life.
Once you arrive at your lodge, you will be assisted with the check-in process. Your dinner for the evening will be included at the lodge.
Special Note: Due to the monsoons, Ranthambore National Park is closed from July 1- September 30.
Early Morning: Prepare for a jeep safari through the national park!
What sets the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve apart from other wilderness reserves is the fact that it is truly committed to conservation. The tigers here are well-protected by the dedicated local community, and tourism is highly controlled. Allow yourself to indulge in the adventure of this guilt-free safari!
A small number of jeeps and canters enter this tiger reserve every morning and make their way towards the three water bodies, to watch animals quench their thirst. At these water holes, you may spot sloth bears, leopards, hyenas, jackals, and even tigers. Keep your eyes peeled for the hundreds of rare birds that live here, including the crested serpent eagle, the great Indian horned owl, the Asian paradise flycatcher, the painted stork, and the white-rumped vulture. See if you can spot a white-throated kingfisher swooping in to catch a wriggly fish, or engage in conversation with the welcoming langur monkeys that love to chat with visitors.
Ranthambore National Park is home to a number of wild tigers as well. Even if these big cats manage to stay away from human visitors, you won’t have any trouble sensing their presence. Telltale signs that there may be tigers nearby include tree bark scratches and pugmarks. You will definitely know a tiger is near when the herds of deer grow jumpy and the monkeys on lookout duty scream their alarm calls. Keep your binoculars with you, and enjoy this rare chance to view the king of Ranthambore National Park.
Late Morning: Following the safari, you will return to your hotel for breakfast and a few hours of rest.
Late Afternoon: Prepare for your afternoon safari. In between safaris, you will have the opportunity to visit the Ranthambore Fort. The structure stands majestically atop a hill overlooking the entire park. The walkup is both refreshing and exciting, as even the big cats have been spotted up there! The view of the surrounding area is bound to take your breath away, and it only improves as you climb the hill. We urge you to bring a pair of binoculars, and if possible, a camera with a very powerful lens.
Evening: Following your afternoon safari, you will return to the lodge for dinner.
Early Morning: Enjoy another morning safari through the park. You will then return to your hotel to freshen up and eat breakfast.
Late Morning: After breakfast, you will be assisted with your checkout from the hotel and drive to Jaipur. The hotel will provide a packed lunch for you this afternoon.
Afternoon: As you drive into Jaipur, you will notice that most houses are painted pink. For this very reason, this city is also known as the “Pink City.”
Upon your arrival in Jaipur, you will be assisted with your check-in at the hotel.
Morning: Put on your royal robes and start exploring Jaipur. After breakfast, you will visit Amber Fort, which is approximately thirty minutes from the city center. Enjoy a lurching elephant ride to the fort entrance,
or choose to walk or take a Jeep instead. Set on a hilltop overlooking the Maota Lake, the site was the original home of Rajput royalty until the city of Jaipur was constructed. The fort contains a number of breathtaking palaces, halls, gardens, and temples. After your visit, you will return to the Pink City for lunch.
Afternoon: Enjoy a visit to the City Palace, the current residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The huge complex of courtyards, gardens, and buildings blend both Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The Peacock Gate is exquisite, and it contains a captivating display of detailed workmanship featuring bright peacocks. Today, the royal family lives in the graceful Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) bordering the courtyard. Also inside the City Palace complex are a museum, an art gallery, and several interesting displays of royal costumes and old Indian weapons. Once you’ve toured these attractions, continue on to the intricate and fascinating facade of the Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal), which is arguably the most recognized building in all of Jaipur. Legend has it that the Hawa Mahal palace, which overlooks the main street of Jaipur’s lively Old City, was built so that the women in the royal household could watch the streets below without being observed. The top of the structure, behind the façade of the Hawa Mahal, is a panoramic view point of the city.
Following your tour of the City Palace, you will explore Jantar Mantar, a fascinating complex filled with astronomical instruments. There are fourteen simple but brilliant geometric devices here that can measure time, predict an eclipse, and track stars.
strong>Evening: Local bazaars are an explosion of color and culture. A slow walk through these busy streets will take you through collections of handmade textiles, bright bangles, mirrored wall hangings, and Jaipur’s famous cozy quilts. Spend some time here to splurge on a cultural souvenir.
You can sleep in and enjoy the facilities at your hotel this morning.
Afternoon: After lunch, you are assisted with your check out from the hotel and you proceed on your drive back to Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi, you are driven to the airport and assisted with boarding your International flight. If you have an early morning flight then a room can be booked inside the international airport at additional cost.
You will be assisted with your check out from the hotel and driven to the Jaipur airport where you will be assisted with boarding the early morning flight to Delhi. Spend the day in Delhi to finish some last minute sightseeing or shopping. A full day vehicle, chauffeur and guide will be provided at Delhi until your late evening assisted check in at the International airport. A day use room can be booked at additional cost.
**Please inquire about associated costs pertaining to this option
We hope you enjoyed your stay in India, and we wish you a safe flight home!
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