Travel from Delhi to Varanasi on this 13-day tour that explores some of India’s top highlights. The crown of this journey is the chance to attend Pushkar’s Camel Fair, a vibrant festival that will immerse us in India’s culture and history. More than 30,000 camels, as well as artisans, pilgrims and attendees from across north-west India are all a part of this experience of a lifetime. We will also explore India’s vast artistic legacy, from the ancient monuments of Khajuraho to the medieval Moghul marvels of Agra and Delhi. Discover regal Jaipur, watch thousands of pilgrims in Varanasi as they congregate on the banks of the Ganges River and more. Combine this journey with one of our other India holiday tour packages to gain in-depth knowledge of the vast subcontinent of India.
|UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour|
|1.||Agra Fort||2.||Khajuraho Temples|
|3.||Hill Forts of Rajasthan||4.||Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi|
|5.||Fatehpur Sikri||6.||Red Fort Complex, Delhi|
|7.||Humayun's Tomb, Delhi||8.||Taj Mahal, Agra|
|9.||The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur|
|Includes international air|
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Namaste – Welcome to India! Upon arrival we are greeted in the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. We are then transferred to our hotel with the balance of the day free to relax or enjoy some of the attractions of vibrant Delhi.
Overnight: Hyatt Regency, New Delhi (2 nights)
Day 02: Delhi
Our introduction to India begins with a tour of bustling New Delhi. First stop is Birla House, the last residence of Mahatma Gandhi, which is now a museum depicting his illustrious life. We then 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. The tomb inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal. Next we visit Qutb Minar and its Monuments*. Built in the early 13th century, the magnificent red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 meters high. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art and two mosques.
Our afternoon explores Old Delhi, starting with the Red Fort Complex*. Named for its massive walls of red sandstone, this fort represents the zenith of Moghul creativity. It sits next to the Salimgarh Fort, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. Afterwards enjoy an exciting journey by traditional rickshaw, passing through the narrow lanes of the Chandni Chowk Bazaar. Built by Moghul emperor Shah Jehan in the 17th century, this bazaar remains one of Delhi’s oldest and busiest markets. Our ride ends at India’s largest mosque, the 350-year-old Jama Masjid. We end our tour at Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. In the evening, we enjoy a welcome dinner at a well-known local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 03: Delhi/Varanasi (Flight)
Take a short flight to Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world, where we are transferred to our hotel. In the afternoon, we explore Sarnath, one of Buddhism’s holiest sites. Here Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Varanasi is also famous for its silk sarees and we will have the unique opportunity to visit some of the houses where the sarees are woven. Evening travel to the banks of the Ganges to witness the fascinating Aarti ceremony, a Hindu religious ritual of worship in which light from wicks soaked in ghee or camphor is offered to one or more deities after sunset.
Overnight: The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi (1 night) (B, D)
Day 04: Varanasi/Khajuraho (Flight)
In the early morning, we take a serene sunrise cruise on the River Ganges, soaking in the unique scenes along the river bank. One of the cardinal principles of Hinduism is the belief in the holiness of the Ganges. Every morning, scores of pilgrims and priests bathe in the river’s holy waters and performing various other rituals. This unique experience will make us feel as if we’re looking through a window to another world. After our boat ride, we explore old Varanasi, visiting the Bharat Mata Temple, which houses a huge marble relief map of India. We then explore the Durga Temple, the Tulsi Manas Mandir beside the Banaras Hindu University and the Mosque of Moghul Emperor Aurangazeb. After the tour, we return to the hotel for breakfast.
Later we take a short flight to Khajuraho. On arrival in Khajuraho, we are transferred to our hotel. In the afternoon, we explore the Khajuraho Group of Monuments*, a collection of temples that are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Considered as some as the finest temple art in the world, the temples were built between 950 and 1050 A.D. Today only 20 temples are left, but the remaining structures are known worldwide for their intricate sculptures.
Overnight: Clarks, Khajuraho (1 night) (B, D)
Day 05: Khajuraho/Jhansi (Drive) /Agra (Train)
A scenic morning drive to Orchha to visit this amazing medieval fortress-city, located on the shores of the Betwa River. The fort features regal palaces and imposing temples, and the fortress itself is surrounded by rolling green pastoral lands. We then enjoy a uniquely Indian experience as we embark on the Shatabdi Express train to Agra. This train is fully air-conditioned and we get to enjoy complimentary meals. It also provides a great opportunity to meet local folks on board the train and get to know them. As we get closer to Agra, we see the Taj Mahal at a distance. Arrival at Agra Railway Station, where we are welcomed and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: ITC Mughal, Agra – A Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel (1 night) (B, D)
Day 06: 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.
In the afternoon we visit Fatehpur Sikri*. 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. Evening is free to explore this small town home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (B, D)
Note: On nights with a full moon, the Taj Mahal's pure white marble shimmers silver in the moonlight. Bestway Tours & Safaris can arrange an optional tour to enjoy this very special occasion.
Day 07: Ranthambore/Jaipur (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: Ranthambore/Jaipur (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. After our morning safari, we drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur is also called the Pink City, since most of the buildings in the old city are made of pink sandstone. In the evening, we enjoy dinner followed by a unique Rajasthani cultural dance show.
Overnight: ITC Rajputana, Jaipur - A Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 09: Jaipur
This morning, we are treated like the royalty of yesteryear with a journey 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. Next we return to Jaipur to visit the majestic City Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art. We also stop at the stunning Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, where the ladies of the royal harem used to watch the city from behind the intricately carved façade, and the Jantar Mantar*, a historic astronomical observation site boasting instruments used to star-gaze with the naked eye. The evening is free to enjoy the one-of-a-kind shopping of the bazaars. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. (B, D)
Day 10: Jaipur/Pushkar (Drive)
An interesting drive to Pushkar, a bewitching little town on the edge of the desert known for its temples, bathing Ghats, onion domes and chalk-coloured buildings, clustering around the holy lake which is said to have appeared when Brahma dropped a lotus flower. Pushkar is renowned for its annual camel fair, where residents from surrounding villages and towns make their way across the desert with more than 30,000 camels in hopes of turning their livestock into the much-needed cash. It’s also a pilgrimage centre and many Sadhu holy men can be found here. Upon arrival we check in at our camp. Later we visit the famous Lord Brahma Temple, said to be one of the few temples in the world dedicated to this deity. Balance of the day is spent exploring the colour and culture of the vibrant Pushkar Camel Fair. One of the nation’s biggest livestock fairs, the Camel Fair draws people from all over north-west India to participate in the buying and selling of prized animals. With dancers in the street and skilled artisans selling their goods, the Camel Fair is a jamboree of colour and excitement. Take the opportunity to meet and interact with local Rajputs on this very special occasion.
Overnight: Royal Desert Camp (Non A.C. Tented Camp), Pushkar (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 11: Pushkar
Experience an exciting day exploring the exotic Pushkar Camel Fair, with breakfast, lunch and dinner at our camp. (B, L, D)
Day 12: Pushkar/Udaipur (Drive)
Enjoy superb countryside views as we journey through Rajasthan to Udaipur. Rajasthan literally means “the land of the Rajas” and the region’s royal heritage is still readily apparent. Udaipur was the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar and no other city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic. Centred around shimmering Lake Pichhola, the city offers beautifully intricate buildings set amid misty, rolling hills. On arrival, we check in to our hotel.
In the evening, we enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichhola, sailing past the picturesque Ghats and palaces to visit Jag Mandir, a 17th century palace built on an island in the middle of the glistening lake, used by the royal family as a summer resort.
Overnight: Trident, Udaipur (1 night) (B, D)
Day 13: Udaipur/Delhi (Flight)/Depart Delhi
Morning we explore Fateh Sagar Lake and Saheliyon Ki Bari, the beautiful Garden of Maids. We then visit the Jagdish Temple to view some remarkable friezes dating back to 1651. Next explore the enchanting City Palace and get great views of the famous Lake Palace, scenically located in the blue waters of Lake Pichhola. City Palace features several architectural and artistic treasures, such as the stunning peacock mosaics in the Mor Chowk and the murals of the Bhim Vilas Palace.
After an incredible tour of India, we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Delhi. Upon arrival, we are transferred to our hotel, Vivanta By Taj Dwarka New Delhi for day rooms until 8:30 PM. After a delicious farewell dinner, we are transferred to the international terminal for our flight home. We bid farewell after a memorable journey into the history, culture, art and architecture of incredible India. Or extend our adventure with India holiday tour packages to other regions of the country. (B, D)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 16 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.
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