This 12-day tour of Northern India takes you to the holy city of Varanasi located on the banks of the Ganges River, the pink city of Jaipur, rural Rajasthan and Agra - the home of the Taj Mahal mausoleum.
We’ll kick things off in Delhi, exploring both the old and new sides of this busy city before we make our way south to Rajasthan, famous for its towering forts and palaces and rich cultural history.
When in Jaipur, we’ll make our way to the Amber Fort, the City Palace and explore the strange Jantar Mantar Observatory, before visiting some of its renown craft and produce markets. Our next stop is a visit to the ancient village of Tordi, where we’ll reside in a redesigned palace and explore the remote village and its surroundings, giving you an authentic feel of rural Indian life.
We’ll also head to the massive Chand Baori stepwell at Abanheri - the largest of its kind in the world before exploring the variety of birdlife on show in the Keoladeo National Park via a guided cycle rickshaw ride.
As we make our way to Agra, we’ll visit the well-preserved, deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri. Once we reach Agra - we’ll get our first glimpse of the Taj Mahal - one of the world’s most iconic monuments. We’ll then head off the beaten track a bit, exploring the Mughal Heritage Walk led by a local villager, as you gain unique insight into the life of the villagers on the banks of the Yamuna River and spectacular views of the Taj.
We’ll view the spectacular Taj Mahal once more at sunrise - watching how its colour changes with the morning light before visiting the Agra Fort and some of the less visited regions of the city. We then board an overnight sleeper train to Varanasi - one of the world’s oldest and holiest cities. We’ll enjoy an early morning boat ride on the serene waters of the Ganges before joining in on an evening Aarti ceremony giving candlelit offerings to the river, enjoy a home-cooked meal with a muslim family, explore a weavers village famous for making some of the best saris in the whole of India, and visit Sarnath, where the Lord Buddha preached his first sermon.
We’ll board one more sleeper train back to Delhi (flight upgrades are available if preferred). On this India Tour, we’ll stay in a mix of comfortable mid-range modern-style hotels and heritage hotels converted from Havelis and Palaces. An extended version of this tour is also available which heads north from Varanasi into Nepal (check our Delhi to Kathmandu tour for details).