Back
Essential India
SAVE UP TO $150 on this tour

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 River Ganges 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.


Duration: 15 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, History Physical rating: 2 - Light
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 126355
Starts: Delhi, India Finishes: Delhi, India
You will visit
  • Delhi
  • Delhi

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Delhi

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Transport:
Women on Wheels Transfer

02

Day 2: Delhi

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.

Included Activities:
Guided Walking Tour with New Delhi Streetkids Project
Jama Masjid Visit
Gurdwara Sis Ganj Visit
Delhi Spice Market
Connaught Place Visit
Chandni Chowk Visit

03

Day 3: Delhi/Jaipur

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.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 260km)

04

Day 4: Jaipur

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.

Included Activities:
Amber Fort Visit

05

Day 5: Jaipur/Tordi Sāgar (1L, 1D)

Travel to the rural village of Tordi Sagar. Walk with a local resident through the markets, potters, iron smiths, temples, and farms and get a taste of the complexity of rural India.

Go on a camel cart ride to the dunes or opt to take a jeep safari in the surrounding region. Visit hamlets around the village, ancient stepwells, or watch a stunning sunset on the reservoir.

Included Activities:
Tordi Sagar Local Village Tour
Tordi Sagar Camel Cart Ride

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours, 100km)

06

Day 6: Tordi/Āgra (1B)

Opt for an early morning hike to the old fortress before continuing on towards Agra. Visit Abhaneri, known for its beautiful baoris (stepwells) and the famous Harshat Mata temple.

Arrive to Agra, a city that is best known as the site of India's most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal.



Included Activities:
Abhaneri Stepwell Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours, 250km)

07

Day 7: Āgra

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.

Included Activities:
Taj Mahal Visit
Agra Fort Visit
Baby Taj Visit

Transport:
Visit the Agra Fort by human-powered cycle-rickshaw.
Cycle rickshaw

08

Day 8: Āgra/Alīpura

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.

Transport:
Train (2.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))

09

Day 9: Alīpura

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), watch an evening dance performance, or see a sound and light show within the temple complex itself.

Included Activities:
Khajuraho Temples Guided Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 96km)
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 96km)

10

Day 10: Alīpura/Orchha

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.

Included Activities:
Tarragram Visit
Puja Ceremony

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.50-3.00 hours, 96km)

11

Day 11: Orchha/Varanasi

Visit the Orchha Palace complex and enjoy free time before the overnight train to Varanasi. Opt for a local cooking class with a family.

Included Activities:
Orchha Palace Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 20km)
Overnight train (beds) (13.00 hour(s))

12

Day 12: Varanasi

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.

Included Activities:
Evening Ganges Boat Tour

13

Day 13: Varanasi

Watch the sunrise from a boat along the Ganges. Enjoy free time in this holy city.

Included Activities:
Morning Ganges Boat Tour

14

Day 14: Varanasi/Delhi

Cut out the travel time with an afternoon flight back to Delhi.

Transport:
Flight

15

Day 15: Delhi

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project
    • Walking tour with a guide from the G Adventures-supported New Delhi Streetkids Project
    • Old Delhi walk with stops at the Jama Masjid, Gurduwara, Chandni Chowk, spice markets, and Connaught Place
    • Amber Fort tour (Jaipur)
    • Rajasthani rural village stay
    • Camel cart ride (Tordi)
    • Abhaneri stepwells visit
    • Taj Mahal and I’timad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj) entrance
    • Agra Fort entrance and guided tour
    • Orchha Palace complex visit
    • Western Temple complex entrance and guided visit (Khajuraho)
    • River Ganges boat trip at sunrise and sunset, including candle flower ceremony (Varanasi)
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (13 nts), sleeper train (1 nt)
    Meals Included
    • 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
    Transport
    • Train, local bus, private vehicle, auto-ricksaw, camel cart, small riverboat, plane
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
Why book with us?

Trusted by travellers since 1979

We guarantee to beat any price

Low deposits, Book now. Pay later.

24/7/365 Help on the road



Tour Highlights:
  • Explore India's vibrant cities
  • Discover ancient forts and temples
  • Revel in the beauty of Agra's Taj Mahal
  • Witness the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho and Orchha
  • Sail the Ganges in venerable Varanasi


Reviews (10)
Rehana R Posted on: 

I felt as though I got the full experience of India by travelling with G Adventures tours.

Overall Rating
  •   80%
    Guide
    Rating
  •   80%
    Value
    Rating
  •   90%
    Itinerary
    Rating
  •   70%
    Accommodation
    Rating
  •   80%
    Overall
    Rating
Mandi A Posted on: 

The entire trip was beyond my expectations!

Overall Rating
  •   80%
    Guide
    Rating
  •   90%
    Value
    Rating
  •   100%
    Itinerary
    Rating
  •   70%
    Accommodation
    Rating
  •   90%
    Overall
    Rating
Ashley P Posted on: 

This was an really interesting trip to take you through both touristy areas of India and the hidden places as well.

Overall Rating
  •   70%
    Guide
    Rating
  •   90%
    Value
    Rating
  •   90%
    Itinerary
    Rating
  •   80%
    Accommodation
    Rating
  •   80%
    Overall
    Rating
Christopher A Posted on: 

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
  •   90%
    Guide
    Rating
  •   80%
    Value
    Rating
  •   80%
    Itinerary
    Rating
  •   70%
    Accommodation
    Rating
  •   80%
    Overall
    Rating
Claudia B Posted on: 

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 wonderfully

Overall Rating
  •   100%
    Guide
    Rating
  •   80%
    Value
    Rating
  •   80%
    Itinerary
    Rating
  •   70%
    Accommodation
    Rating
  •   90%
    Overall
    Rating
Lois C Posted on: 

a very good introduction to this very diverse and interesting country.

Overall Rating
  •   90%
    Guide
    Rating
  •   80%
    Value
    Rating
  •   70%
    Itinerary
    Rating
  •   60%
    Accommodation
    Rating
  •   80%
    Overall
    Rating
Eric B Posted on: 

Really nice itinerary and leader. Surprised by the high level of accommodation. I will return to India with G Adventures.

Overall Rating
  •   90%
    Guide
    Rating
  •   80%
    Value
    Rating
  •   70%
    Itinerary
    Rating
  •   80%
    Accommodation
    Rating
  •   90%
    Overall
    Rating
Anthony J Posted on: 

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
  •   80%
    Guide
    Rating
  •   80%
    Value
    Rating
  •   90%
    Itinerary
    Rating
  •   70%
    Accommodation
    Rating
  •   80%
    Overall
    Rating
Michael R Posted on: 

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
  •   80%
    Guide
    Rating
  •   90%
    Value
    Rating
  •   90%
    Itinerary
    Rating
  •   70%
    Accommodation
    Rating
  •   80%
    Overall
    Rating
Andrew L Posted on: 

Overall, my tour experience was very good. The design plan of the tour was well-thought out and efficient.

Overall Rating
  •   80%
    Guide
    Rating
  •   100%
    Value
    Rating
  •   90%
    Itinerary
    Rating
  •   70%
    Accommodation
    Rating
  •   90%
    Overall
    Rating