This unique 11-day journey with roundtrip airfare from Vancouver is the ideal tour of exotic India for first timers. Explore the best Northern India has to offer as we visit 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the world's best known monument to love - the Taj Mahal. We start our adventure in vibrant Delhi, with its many monuments and exotic bazaars, then continue on to one of India’s cultural highlights, Agra. Here we find the majestic Taj Mahal, the ancient Agra Fort, and the nearby ruins of Fatehpur Sikri. After sampling the pink city of Jaipur and its splendid palaces, we enjoy two action-packed wildlife safaris in Ranthambore National Park, a renowned tiger sanctuary. Then, don’t miss our 6- day optional extension exploring Amritsar, the holiest city of the Sikh faith, Haridwar, one of the seven holiest places to Hindus, and Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world.
|Tour Duration||:||11 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||20 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||40 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: Apr 07, 2018: Depart Vancouver for New Delhi
Today we depart on this exciting tour as we fly over the Pacific Ocean and cross the International Date Line.
Day 02: Apr 08, 2018: Arrive New Delhi
Namaste! We are warmly welcomed at the airport in the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together and transferred to our 5-star hotel.
Overnight: Vivanta By Taj Dwarka, New Delhi (3 nights)
Day 03: Apr 09, 2018: Delhi
Morning is free to recover from jetlag.
The capital of India is a true reflection of the old and new of India. In the afternoon, we explore New Delhi and visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place and Humayun's Tomb*, built in 1570 as the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. We continue to Qutb Minar and its Monuments*. Built over the course of 300 years, the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 meters and five stories high. The surrounding archaeological area contains fascinating funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art, and two mosques. In the evening, we enjoy a welcome dinner. (B, D)
Day 04: Apr 10, 2018: Delhi
Today we explore Old Delhi and visit the Red Fort Complex*, named for its massive walls of red sandstone. The Red Fort and its sister construction, the 16th-century Salimgarh fort, are considered the zenith of Moghul creativity. After our visit, we embark on a captivating journey by rickshaw, passing through the narrow lanes of the famous Chandni Chowk Bazaar. Constructed by Moghul emperor Shah Jehan in the 17th century, this bazaar remains one of Old Delhi's oldest and busiest markets. We end our rickshaw ride at Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Our evening is free to enjoy the many cultural and culinary attractions of vibrant Delhi. (B)
Day 05: Apr 11, 2018: Delhi/Jaipur (Drive)
After breakfast, we drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. The rose-pink sandstone with which most of Jaipur’s buildings have been constructed have earned it the nickname of the Pink City. The balance of the day is free to admire Jaipur’s enthralling architecture or sample some of its cultural attractions.
Overnight: ITC Rajputana – A Starwood Luxury Collection, Jaipur (2 nights) (B)
Day 06: Apr 12, 2018: Jaipur
This morning, we are treated like the royalty of yesteryear with a visit to Amber Fort, located in a picturesque valley among the Kalikho Hills. Known as the gem of Jaipur, this imposing fort dating from the late 16th century was never attacked or invaded. Built from a combination of yellow and pink sandstone and white marble, the fort includes distinguished halls, intricate carvings and ornate gardens. Back in Jaipur, we see a demonstration of the fascinating arts of carpet weaving and block printing. Later we visit the majestic City Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art, and the beautiful Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind the intricately carved facade. We also visit the Jantar Mantar* a historic astronomical observation site boasting instruments used to star-gaze with the naked eye. (B)
Day 07: Apr 13, 2018: Jaipur/Ranthambore (Drive)
Our adventure continues as we set off for Ranthambore, the former hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Ranthambore National Park boasts one of the largest and most diverse collections of wildlife species in India. It’s rugged terrain and dense deciduous forests also offer stunning panoramas. After lunch at our lodge in Ranthambore, we take an exciting safari through the park, spotting tiger, nilgai, chausingha, chital, chinkara, wild boar, jungle cat, ratel, hyena, porcupine, rhesus macaque and the black-faced langur. About 150 bird species can also be found here, including migratory birds that arrive in winter.
Overnight: Ranthambore Regency, Ranthambore (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 08: Apr 14, 2018: Ranthambore/Fatehpur Sikri/Agra (Drive)
Ranthambore was established as a game sanctuary in 1955 and declared a Project Tiger reserve in 1973. Spotting Ranthambore’s famous Royal Bengal tigers in their natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience. Early morning, we take another safari through the park with our eye out for these majestic animals. Afterwards we drive to Agra, visiting Fatehpur Sikri* en route. Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, this stunning complex was once capital of the Moghul empire. After just 10 years, its temples, mosques and monuments were abandoned due to lack of water. The remains include one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid, and the artistically designed mausoleum of the revered Sufi saint, Salim Chisty.
Overnight: ITC Mughal – A Starwood Luxury Collection (2 nights) (B)
Day 09: Apr 15, 2018: Agra
We start our day with a sunrise visit to one of the most well-known wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal*. An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and a universally admired masterpiece of world heritage. Situated on the right bank of the Yamuna in a vast Moghul garden, this funerary monument combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture. After visiting the Taj Mahal, we return back to our hotel for breakfast.
Following our morning meal, we visit Agra Fort*. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses the spectacular imperial city of the Moghul rulers. Explore fairy-tale palaces, audience halls and two very beautiful mosques. We end our tour with a visit to some of the local factories famous for inlay work on marbles and witness the complex art of inlaying precious and semiprecious stones on the world-renowned marbles from the mines of Makrana. Late evening, we enjoy our farewell feast. (B, D)
Day 10: Apr 16, 2018: Agra/Delhi (Drive)
After a leisurely breakfast, we are driven to Delhi. For those taking the optional extension to Amritsar, we are dropped at the railway station (see detailed of the extension itinerary below). For those not taking the extension we will be dropped at our hotel, which has special arrangements for a late check out at 8:30 PM. Free time here to shop or kick back our feet and relax. We are then driven to the airport for our flight home. We bid farewell to India after what will have been a memorable journey into history, culture, art and architecture, having made new friends and lots of memories. (B)
Day 11: Apr 17, 2018: Delhi/Home/Arrival (Same day)
After an interesting insight into India, we take off for Vancouver and arrive on the same day.
Optional extension to Amritsar & Rishikesh (April 16 – 22, 2018)
Day 10: Apr 16, 2018: Agra/Delhi (Drive) Delhi/Amritsar (Train)
After a leisurely breakfast, we are driven to Delhi. Here we are transferred to New Delhi railway station for our deluxe train to Amritsar. Enjoy the scenic countryside of the fertile Punjab region en route. Upon arrival in Amritsar, we are transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Holiday Inn, Amritsar (2 nights) (B)
Day 11: Apr 17, 2018: Amritsar
Amritsar is the holy city of the Sikhs. As the spiritual centre for the Sikh religion, Amritsar is best known for its Golden Temple, Sri Harimandir Sahib, one of the most breathtaking temples in all of India. This monument is Sikhism’s holiest shrine, and we will have the opportunity to experience it on our tour today. The temple was intended to be a place where men and women from all walks of life and all religions can come and worship God equally. Housed inside is the Guru Granth Sahib, the holiest text of Sikhism. This visit to the temple is a major highlight of tours to India. Next, we visit Jallianwala Bagh, the historic site where hundreds of innocent Indian men, women and children were massacred by British General Michael Dyer on April 13, 1919. A memorial and Garden have been created here as a national monument.
In the afternoon, we visit the border between India and Pakistan to watch the spectacular Retreat Ceremony, put on by India's Border Security Force and Pakistan's Sutlej Rangers. This border is the only land route open between India and Pakistan. Every day, when the border closes, border guards from both sides put on a spectacular display. Bugles are sounded, flags of the two nations are ceremoniously retrieved and lights are switched on, marking the end of the day amidst thunderous applause. (B)
Day 12: Apr 18, 2018: Amritsar/Rishikesh (Train & Drive)
Early morning, we are transferred to the railway station for our train to Haridwar. On arrival in Haridwar, we are driven to Rishikesh, enjoying beautiful scenery en route. A meeting point for the stunning Himalayan mountains and the Ganges River, Rishikesh is a scenic spot. The balance of the day is free to explore the banks of the Ganges, always bustling with activity, or enjoy some of Rishikesh’s other cultural attractions.
Overnight: Vasundhara Palace, Rishikesh (2 nights) (B)
Day 13: Apr 19, 2018: Rishikesh
Temples and ashrams (centers for spiritual studies) line the eastern bank around Swarg Ashram, a traffic-free, alcohol-free and vegetarian enclave upstream from Rishikesh town. Rishikesh is the yoga capital of India, and this morning, we enjoy a calming yoga session. After breakfast, we take a tour of Rishikesh. Our visit takes us to Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Geeta Bhawan and other temples and ashrams. Later we cross the Ganges to visit the site of what used to be the Maharishi Mahesh yogi’s ashram at Raja Ji National Park. This is where, some forty years back, the Beatles, along with celebrities like Mike Donovan and Mia Farrow, were taught by the Maharishi. We will stroll the area where history was made. The Beatles’ time at the ashram was their single most creative period—they wrote 48 songs in just a few short weeks. Evening, we attend the interesting Aarti Ceremony at the Ghats of Ganges. (B)
Day 14: Apr 20, 2018: Rishikesh/Haridwar (Drive)Haridwar/Delhi (Train)
Morning is free to enjoy Rishikesh. In the evening, we are transferred to Haridwar Railway Station for our train to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, we are met and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Vivanta By Taj Dwarka, New Delhi (1 night) (B)
Day 15: Apr 21, 2018: Delhi
After breakfast at the hotel, the day is free for personal activities and last-minute souvenir shopping for friends and family. Evening, we check out from our hotel at 18:00 hrs and are transferred to the airport for our flight home. (B)
Day 16: Apr 22, 2018: Depart Delhi for Vancouver
After a wonderful and enlightening tour of India, we return to Vancouver.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).
Tour PriceWe accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here
|Departure||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|April 07, 2018||CA$ 2895||CA$ 450|
|(Tour Deposit Amount is CA$ 1500 per person. Balance due January 15, 2018.)|
|Optional extension to Amritsar & Rishikesh|
|Departure||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|April 16-22, 2018||CA$ 795 (based on minimum of 10 & a maximum of 40 persons)||CA$ 195|
Optional Ext. Cost Includes:
Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is included in this tour)
The main tour operates on a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 40 participants.
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
You may e-mail us at email@example.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.