India – Highlights of India
15 days from £1132 per person Saving you £153 per person*
This itinerary isn’t set in stone. Pick, mix, swap however you like – your trip will be totally tailor made for you.
Day 1 Arrival in Delhi
Evening arrival at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, where your guide will welcome you with a flower garland and take you to your hotel.
Day 2 Delhi
Start your day with a visit to charming Old Delhi, starting with the Jama Masjid. It’s the largest mosque in India and one of the last architectural works of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (whose best-known work is the Taj Mahal). Walk through the colourful Chandni Chowk shopping bazaar, drive past the Red Fort and pay a visit to Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi.
Move into contrasting New Delhi for your afternoon tour, which includes a drive along the ceremonial Rajpath, past the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan (presidential residence), the India Gate memorial and the Parliament House. You’ll also see Mughal Emperor Humayun’s Tomb before dinner.
Day 3 Delhi – Udaipur
Today you’ll fly to Udaipur, the City of Lakes, arriving at your next hotel in time for lunch. You’ve got the evening to explore or rest up for tomorrow’s tour.
Day 4 Udaipur
In the morning, visit Udaipur’s imposing City Palace, Rajasthan’s largest, with a facade 244m long and 30.4m high. You’ll also see the Jagdish Temple, with its carved main structure enshrining a black stone image of Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the Universe. If you like, take a tuk tuk ride back to your hotel.
In the afternoon, cruise around Lake Pichola and see the cool grey-blue mountains reflected in its surface.
Day 5 Udaipur – Jodhpur
After breakfast, discover Ranakpur, one of India’s biggest Jain temple complexes. Explore the grounds here, including the impressive white marble Chaumukha Mandir (Four-Faced Temple), before carrying on to your hotel in Jodhpur.
Day 6 Jodhpur
Enjoy a morning touring Mehrangarh Fort, set above Jodhpur city and enclosed by thick walls. The palaces and rooms of the fort have been converted into a museum housing a large collection of palanquins, elephant howdahs, weapons and more. You’ll also see the Jaswant Thada, a white marble memorial and traditional cremation place for Jodhpur rulers.
You could spend the afternoon on an optional village tour by jeep, taking in Bishnoi village, the pottery centre of Singhasni, the wildlife of Gudha village and the rug-weaving village of Salawas.
Day 7 Jodhpur – Jaipur
You’ll be driven to the city of Jaipur, stopping for lunch on the way, before being welcomed at your next hotel for the night.
Day 8 Jaipur
Time to see the magnificent Amber Fort. You’ll do most of the journey by car, then swap your mode of transport to elephant for the short ride to the fort gate. The Amber Fort was built in red sandstone and marble in 1592 by Raja Man Singh and contains examples of both Hindu and Muslim architecture.
You can choose to lunch in the opulent fort restaurant, or you could head back to your hotel for an Ayurvedic massage, a visit to a jewellery making factory or a simple stroll at your own pace.
Day 9 Jaipur
Tour the vibrant city of Jaipur, also known as the ‘Pink City’. Highlights include the beautiful City Palace complex, a delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture housing the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum. You can also visit Jantar Mantar, the Royal Astronomical Observatory.
There are plenty of activities to fill your afternoon, such as a city tuk tuk tour, a Bollywood film viewing, a textile factory visit or a henna session.
Day 10 Jaipur – Agra
Today you’re driving to Agra. After check in, visit Agra Fort, a complex packed with monuments and grand halls. This is where the ageing Emperor Shah Jahan, imprisoned by his son, watched from a distance as his life’s dream was fulfilled – the building of the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife.
At sunset you’ll get to visit this magnificent monument to love, wander the gardens and see the famous domes reflected in the pool. Later, visit the Red Fort overlooking the river Yamuna.
Day 11 Agra – Jhansi – Orcha – Khajuraho
Have an early breakfast before setting off for Agra railway station to board a train to Jhansi. You’ll then have a short trip to the Orcha Fort and its three palaces, the Jehangir Mahal, the Sheesh and Phool Bagh. You’ll continue to your next hotel in Khajuraho, where you can choose to see the Khajuraho temples lit up at night in a special light and sound show.
Day 12 Khajuraho – Varanasi
Spend the afternoon exploring the local Khajuraho temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll find a collection of Hindu and Jain temples here, as well as its famous erotic sculptures.
Next, board your flight to Varanasi. Check into your hotel before taking a peaceful evening rickshaw ride to the banks of the River Ganges to witness an enchanting prayer ceremony lit by brass lamps.
Day 13 Varanasi
Take an early morning boat ride along the Ganges, followed by a walk through the by-lanes of the old part of the city and a visit to the temple. Have breakfast back at your hotel then spend the morning however you choose.
Join an afternoon excursion to the deer park in Sarnath, 13 kilometres northeast of Varanasi. This is where Gautama Buddha came to teach his former five companions the Dharma, so it’s often regarded as the place where Buddhism found its roots.
Day 14 Varanasi – Delhi
Join an early morning yoga and meditation session with a local teacher before breakfast. It’s up to you what comes next: a shopping tour, a special lunch, whatever takes your fancy. In the afternoon, you’ll fly back to Delhi and check into your final hotel.
Day 15 Wave goodbye to Delhi
Bid a fond farewell to India – your driver will take you to the airport for your flight home.
*Prices are based on private arrangements (not lower priced escorted tours with set dates). Quality three star accommodation is quoted here (unless mentioned otherwise), with breakfast included and other meals where mentioned. Mostly private transfers with an English speaking driver/guide and all activities mentioned, with top guides, are included. Domestic flights and transport all included from Day 1 to end point. Can be tailored to your needs, so prices could be lower for budget arrangements or higher for luxury.
International flight is not included