From the intricate saris of Rajasthan to the beautiful symmetry of the Taj Mahal, this compact journey is a photographer's delight and the perfect introduction to India. You'll float past the ghats on the Ganges River to encounter the spiritual heart of Hinduism in Varanasi and get off the beaten path exploring carved stepwells and quaint temples in rural villages. With the perfect combination of included activities and free time to explore the nation's rich heritage, you're sure to be caught up in India's incredible tapestry of life.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project.
Women on Wheels Transfer
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
In the morning enjoy a city tour by local streetkids, a G Adventures-supported project.
Later, visit Delhi's famous Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) and climb the minaret for a bird's eye view of the Old City. Walk through Chandni Chowk, one of India's oldest and busiest markets, and learn the history of the Sikh religion at the important Gurdwara, (Sikh place of worship) Gurdwara SisGanj. Stop for photos at the colourful spice market before finishing at the Victorian Connaught Place, one of the most prominent architectural remnants of British rule.
Guided Walking Tour with New Delhi Streetkids Project
Jama Masjid Visit
Gurdwara Sis Ganj Visit
Delhi Spice Market
Connaught Place Visit
Chandni Chowk Visit
Drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and start exploring. Opt to visit the Jantar Mantar, or Royal Observatory. Don't miss the opprtunity to see a Bollywood film at the famous Art Deco Raj Mandir cinema.
Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 260km)
Head out to visit the ruined city of Amber, the former capital of Jaipur state. Stop and take a photo of the Hawa Mahal palace complex, elaborate formal gardens, and a small lake.
Amber Fort Visit
Tonight's accommodation is in spacious and comfortable tents outfitted with beds, lamps, and simple en suite bathrooms.
Village Cycling Excursion
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 50km)
Opt for an early morning hike to a ruined fortress. Later, stop by the impressive Abhaneri stepwell en route to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
Abhaneri Stepwell Visit
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
Visit the sparkling Taj Mahal for sunrise then stick around to explore (if the light is better around sunset, we may visit later in the day instead). Later, visit the walled city of Agra Fort by cycle-rickshaw and the I'timad-ud-Daulah, or the Baby Taj.
Taj Mahal Visit
Agra Fort Visit
Baby Taj Visit
Visit the Agra Fort by human-powered cycle-rickshaw.
Leave early and travel along typically rough Indian roads to Alipura, a friendly village which will be our base for two days.
Here, stay in a heritage property with time to wander the town and interact with locals.
Train (2.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))
Travel 1.5 hrs to Khajuraho, one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Learn the history of these world-famous temples on a guided tour and enjoy a taste of a little erotica from the Middle Ages.
After, opt to visit a nearby waterfall (seasonal) or watch an evening dance performance.
Khajuraho Temples Guided Tour
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 96km)
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 96km)
En route to Orchha, visit a unique paper making plant, set up to assist tribal women from the area. All the paper is made from recycled clothing and wood pulp. Continue on to Orchha and enjoy an orientation tour of this small town. Set on the banks of the Betwa River, it is the perfect antidote to the chaos of India's cities. Later, attend an evening puja ceremony at the Ram Raja Temple.
Private Vehicle (2.50-3.00 hours, 96km)
Visit the Orchha Palace complex and enjoy free time before the overnight train to Varanasi. Opt for a local cooking class with a family.
Orchha Palace Visit
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 20km)
Basic overnight train (beds) (13.00 hour(s))
Disembark the train in legendary Varanasi, the quintessential Indian holy city where millions of Hindus visit for pilgrimage, to worship, to mourn, or to die.
There is time here to shop, wander, and absorb the atmosphere of this unique city, while optional activities include the monasteries and ruins of nearby Sarnath, the site of the Buddha's first sermon.
Evening Ganges Boat Tour
Watch the sunrise from a boat along the Ganges. Enjoy free time in this holy city.
Morning Ganges Boat Tour
Cut out the travel time with an afternoon flight back to Delhi.
Depart at any time.
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I felt as though I got the full experience of India by travelling with G Adventures tours.Overall Rating
The entire trip was beyond my expectations!Overall Rating
This was an really interesting trip to take you through both touristy areas of India and the hidden places as well.Overall Rating
Well organised. Used different forms of travel. Stayed in good but not too high class hotels. Saw a good cross section of the country. Tour guide was excellent.Overall Rating
NP was a great tour guide. He answered all of my numerouse questions and added a memorable visit to a rural village school and pottery Our whole group gelled wonderfullyOverall Rating
a very good introduction to this very diverse and interesting country.Overall Rating
Really nice itinerary and leader. Surprised by the high level of accommodation. I will return to India with G Adventures.Overall Rating
More an adventure than a holiday. Each day was an effort but the effort paid off. India certainly follows it's own rules and is as frustrating as it is exciting.Overall Rating
The tour was basically very good. We saw much more than I ever would have managed on my own. India is clearly a difficult place to travel, but Aparna was hard-working and dedicated to our needs.Overall Rating
Overall, my tour experience was very good. The design plan of the tour was well-thought out and efficient.Overall Rating
Trip Name: Essential India
Duration: 15 Days
From Price: 1789
Trip Code: 126355
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