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.
Enjoy a youth-led morning walk through Delhi by G Adventures-supported City Walk project. Later, visit Old Delhi, explore the markets, and visit Jama Masjid and Connaught Place.
Enjoy a youth-led walking tour of Delhi with G Adventures-supported project, City Walk. This tour offers a unique perspective of Delhi while supporting at-risk youth.
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 market before finishing at the Victorian Connaught Place, one of the most prominent architectural remnants of British rule.
Arrive in Jaipur and explore this gorgeous 'pink city'.
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.
Stop and take a photo of the 'Palace of the Winds' and wander the organized streets of the 'Pink City'. Later, enjoy a visit to the Amber Fort, famous for its mixture of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Opt to see the city by bicycle by pre-booking the Jaipur Cycle Tour extra.
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.
Travel to Dhula Village and get a closer look at rural life in Rajasthan during a cycling excursion. Tonight opt to relax by the fire and take in the starry night sky.
Tonight's accommodation is in spacious and comfortable tents outfitted with beds, lamps, and simple en suite bathrooms.
Stop by the impressive Abhaneri stepwell en route to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
Visit the famous Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort.
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.
Travel to Alipura and stay in a heritage property in the village.
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.
Enjoy a day trip to Khajuraho to visit the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, India's largest group of medieval temples, known for their kama sutra statues.
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.
Visit Orchha, a quiet rural town along the banks of the Betwa River and enjoy a puja ceremony. Visit a unique paper-making plant en route, set up to assist tribal women from the area.
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.
Visit the Orchha Palace complex and enjoy free time before the overnight train to Varanasi. Opt for a local cooking class with a family.
Take an orientation walk through the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. Marvel at the ghats from the River Ganges as you enjoy boat trips at sunrise and sunset.
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.
Watch the sunrise from a boat along the Ganges. Enjoy free time in this holy city.
Soak up some free time this morning and explore the city. Later, cut out the travel time with a flight back to Delhi.
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Essential India
Duration: 15 Days
From Price: $1,159
Supplier Tour ID: AHEH/126355
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