India is many times rightfully referred to as a subcontinent, featuring diverse geographical and cultural regions, where ancient civilizations and religions flourished. At Bestway Tours & Safaris we have developed a number of tours that focus on India’s varied regions and its attractions. On this journey we travel from Delhi to Varanasi, where we explore India’s vast artistic legacy from the ancient monuments of Khajuraho to the medieval Mughal marvels of Agra and Delhi. Ride on an elephant in Jaipur and discover Rajasthan’s beautiful cities. Watch thousands of Hindu pilgrims in Varanasi, as they congregate on the banks of the Ganges River.
|Tour Duration||:||10 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||02 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||15 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: Arrive Delhi (Flight)
Namaste – Welcome to India! Upon arrival we are greeted the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. We are then transferred to our hotel and have the balance of the day free.
Overnight: Hyatt Regency, New Delhi (2 nights)
Day 02: Delhi
An introduction of India with a tour of New Delhi. We visit 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*. This tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal. We continue to Qutb Minar and its Monuments* Built in the early 13th century the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m 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 concentrates on Old Delhi, starting with the Red Fort Complex*. Named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, it is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, with which it forms the Red Fort Complex. The Red Fort is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which, under the Shah Jahan, was brought to a new level of refinement and each pavilion reveals architectural elements typical of Mughal building, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions. After visiting the Red fort, we embark on a captivating journey on a Rickshaw passing through the narrow lanes of the famous Chandni Chowk Bazaar, it was originally built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan for his daughter Jahan Ara in 17th Century since then many changes have taken place however it still remains Old Delhi's one of the Oldest and busiest markets in Delhi. Finally end our rickshaw ride at Jama Masjid, Mughal majesty and India's largest mosque. After visiting the mosque we proceed to 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)
A short flight gets us to Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world. On arrival we are transferred to our hotel. In the afternoon we explore Sarnath, the site where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Varanasi is also famous for its silk sarees and we visit some of the houses where the beautiful silk sarees are actually woven. In the evening we get to the banks of the Ganges to witness the Aarti ceremony, a Hindu religious ritual of worship, a part of puja, 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 sunrise boat ride on the River Ganges. One of the cardinal principles of Hinduism is the belief in the holiness of the Ganges. Every morning scores of pilgrims and priests fill the riverbanks bathing in the holy waters and perform various rituals. This unique experience literally transports you to another world. After boat ride we explore old Varanasi, visiting the Bharat Mata Temple, which houses a huge marble relief map of India; the Durga Temple, the Tulsi Manas Mandir beside the Banaras Hindu University and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. After the tour we come back to 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* The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its apogee between 950 and 1050. Today only 20 temples remain and they fall into three distinct groups and belonging to the religions of Hinduism and Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Temples are decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.
Overnight: Hotel Chandela, Khajuraho (1 night) (B, D)
Day 05: Khajuraho/Jhansi/Agra (Drive & Train)
A scenic morning drive to Orchha to visit this amazing medieval fortress-city located on the shores of the Betwa River. The fort consists of several connected buildings erected at different times, the most noteworthy of which are the Raja Mahal and the Jahangir Mahal. A unique experience as we embark on the Shatabdi Express train to Agra. Train travel in India is a not to be missed opportunity. This train is fully air-conditioned and we get to enjoy complimentary meals. 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 and are welcomed and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: ITC Mughal, Agra – A Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel (1 night) (B, D)
Day 06: Agra
To many today is the most awaited day. We begin our day before sunrise with a visit to one of the most beautiful monuments in the world, the Taj Mahal*. An immense mausoleum of white marble, built between 1631 and 1648 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the crown jewel of Muslim art in India and across the world. Set in a vast Mogul garden located on the right bank of the Yamuna River, this funerary monument combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture. After our sunrise experience at this artistic masterpiece, we return to our hotel for breakfast. Later we visit Agra Fort*. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, audience halls and two very beautiful mosques. In the afternoon we visit Fatehpur Sikri*. Built in 1640 by the by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great, it was the capital of the Mughal Empire for about ten years before it was abandoned. The complex of monuments and temples features a uniform architectural style and includes one of India’s largest mosques and the beautiful Mausoleum of Salim Chisty, a revered Sufi saint. Evening is free to loiter around this small town housing 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 and is open to visitors. Bestway Tours & Safaris can arrange an optional tour to enjoy this very special occasion.
Day 07: Agra/Ranthambore (Drive)
A countryside drive takes us to Ranthambore, the former hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Ranthambore National Park lies at the edge of a plateau, and is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. There are several lakes in the park. It is named for the historic Ranthambhore Fort*, which lies within the national park. The rugged terrain and the dense deciduous forests are major features of this national park, which has among the largest and most diverse collection of wildlife species in India. In the afternoon we take a safari through the National Park, where we encounter a variety of mammals, including tigers. About 150 bird species have their habitat here and in winter a variety of migratory birds can be seen.
Overnight: Ranthambore Regency, Ranthambore (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 08: Ranthambore/Jaipur (Drive)
An early morning safari in time when animals are looking out for their prey. We try and spot nilgai, chausingha, chital, chinkara, wild boar, muntjac, jungle cat, ratel, hyena, porcupine, rhesus macaque and black-faced langur. Ranthambhore was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973 and spotting the big cat in its natural habitat is an unforgettable experience. After our morning safari, we drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan called the Pink City, since most of the buildings in the old city are made of pink sandstone. In the evening we enjoy our dinner followed by Rajasthani Cultural dance show.
Overnight: ITC Rajputana, Jaipur - A Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 09: Jaipur
Today we will be treated like the royalty of yesteryear with an elephant ride to the majestic Amber Fort*. Perched on a hillside on the outskirts of town, the palace was constructed by Maharaja Man Singh. The fort which started construction in 1592 comprises a number of gardens, courtyards and palatial spaces derived from Mughal architecture and are a distinguished example of 17th Century Rajput architecture. We return to Jaipur to see the beautiful the Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, where the ladies of the royal court used to watch the city from behind its intricately carved facade. We then visit the majestic City Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art and the Jantar Mantar*, an astronomical observatory built in the early 18th century that includes a set of some 20 main fixed instruments designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye. It is an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period. The evening is free to rest or perhaps enjoy both shopping and get a cultural experience of the bazaar. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. (B, D)
Day 10: Jaipur/Delhi (Drive)
After an incredible tour of the Splendors of North India, we are driven to Delhi where we check in at hotel Vivanta By Taj Dwarka New Delhi for day rooms until 8:30 PM. After a farewell dinner we are transferred to the international terminal for our flight home. We bid farewell to India after what will have been a memorable journey into history, culture, art, architecture, making new friends and lots of memories. (B, D)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).
Jan 18; Feb 05; Mar 05; Apr 16; May 04; Jun 01; Jul 03; Aug 07; Sep 04
|Departure(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|Jan 18; Feb 05; Mar 05||US$ 1999 CA$ 2599||US$ 635 CA$ 826|
|Apr 16; May 04; Jun 01||US$ 1755 CA$ 2282||US$ 455 CA$ 592|
|Jul 03; Aug 07; Sep 04||US$ 1644 CA$ 2138||US$ 455 CA$ 592|
Ranthambore National Park remains closed from July 01 to September 30. Departures during this period an additional night will be provided in New Delhi instead of Ranthambore.
Estimated International Airfare
(International airfare is NOT included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 15 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.