Experience India’s sacred and religious heritage on our tour of the North's historic highlights. Spanning 2,500 years of monumental architecture, this loop from Delhi across the Gangetic Plains to Varanasi and southern Rajasthan weaves between India’s most iconic temples, palaces and forts, culminating with a stay in the dreamy lakeside city of Udaipur. In the course of a highly varied fortnight you’ll travel in the footsteps of the Buddha, experience the erotic intensity of Khajuraho’s tantric stone carvings and watch the sunrise over the Ganges, as well as seeing the Taj and many other fabulous medieval wonders of Agra, including a couple of rarely visited gems.
Day 1 Delhi
On arrival in Delhi, you’ll be met by your TransIndus team and transferred to the Taj Mahal hotel or similar, where you’ll be staying for two nights. Spend the remainder of the day recovering from your journey with a leisurely swim in the hotel pool, and perhaps a stroll around the local neighbourhood later. In the evening there will be a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2 Delhi
A full day’s sightseeing begins with a cycle-rickshaw ride through the lanes of Old Delhi, followed by a visit to the Jama Masjid mosque, Lutyen’s imperial capital, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutb Minar complex.
Day 3 Delhi, Varanasi
After breakfast you’ll be driven to the airport for your flight southwest across the Ganges Plains to Varanasi, the most revered Hindu pilgrimage location in the country. Stay at the Gateway Hotel or similar for two nights.
Day 4 Varanasi
Take a boat trip on the Ganges in the morning, then join a walking tour of the old city with a specialist local guide. In the afternoon, visit the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Sarnath before a spot of silk shopping in the bazaar.
Day 5 Varanasi, Khajuraho
After one final stroll at sunrise around Varanasi’s atmospheric waterfront, the group will transfer to the airport to catch the midday flight to Khajuraho for a one-night stay near the famous temple complex which you will visit later this evening. Stay overnight at Hotel Chandela or similar.
Day 6 Khajuraho, Agra
A busy day of memorable Indian travel lies in store today as you drive in to the historic village of Orchha in the morning, where the group will pause for lunch before continuing on to the rail hub of Jhansi and the afternoon express train to Agra. stay at The Gateway Hotel or similar for two nights.
Day 7 Agra
A full day’s sightseeing in Agra starts with a visit to the city’s imposing Mughal Fort, followed by the Itimad-ud Daulah tomb and Taj Mahal around sunset time, when its richly decorated marble stonework glows an unearthly crimson colour.
Day 8 Agra, Jaipur
Most of today is taken up with the drive to the Rajasthani capital, Jaipur, via the deserted red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri, former capital of Mughal emperor Akbar, and the 9th century Chand Boari stepwell. Stay at The Holiday Inn or similar for two nights.
Day 9 Jaipur
A full day’s sightseeing in Jaipur today takes up the sixth stage of your tour, beginning with a trip out to Amber Fort, followed by the Hawa Mahal, Janta Mantar Observatory and City Palace museum. Some of the afternoon will be free for shopping – or relaxing back at the hotel if you prefer.
Day 10 Jaipur, Jodhpur
A long day’s drive today takes you through the heart of Rajasthan to Jodhpur, former capital of the princely state of Marwar, and one of India’s most visually arresting cities. Stay at The Bal Samand Garden Retreat or similar for two nights.
Day 11 Jodhpur
In the morning, visit Mehrangarh Fort, pausing at the white marble Jaswant Thada cenotaph to admire the splendid view of the citadel and town. Later, your guide will lead you on of short tour of the old city. In the afternoon, you can either relax at your hotel or visit the imposing Umaid Bhavan Palace on the outskirts.
Day 12 Jodhpur, Udaipur
Today is mostly taken up with a drive through the Aravalli Mountains, via the intricately carved marble temples at Ranakpur. Stay at the Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace or similar for two nights.
Day 13 Udaipur
Tours of the city’s royal palaces, and nearby temples, ghats and royal gardens take up most of today.
Day 14 Udaipur
Transfer to the airport in the morning for your return flight to the UK, via Delhi.
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