Guest Reviews
Essence of North India
Day 1

Arrive Delhi, the capital city of India


Arrive in India, for your Essence of North India Tour

PM:

  • Arrive Delhi
  • Welcome at airport
  • Transfer to hotel
Day 2

Day in Delhi


Discover the first city of your Essence of North India Tour, pacing through Delhi, the city which is as historic as modern, like 2 sides of the same coin!

AM: Sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, includes a visit to

  • Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India
  • Chandani Chownk, ‘silver street’, one of the largest trading centres of India
  • Drive past Red Fort, the place that marked the announcement of India’s freedom from the British Raj
  • Raj Ghat, cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi

PM: Sightseeing tour of New Delhi, includes a visit to

  • Qutab Minar, a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture and the worlds tallest minaret
  • Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the largest Sikh temple of Delhi, with a gold tomb, still in active worship
  • Photo stop at India Gate, the war memorial arch built in honour of the soldiers who died in the second world war
  • Drive past President's House, Parliament House and other Government Secretariat Buildings, the most imposing features of Lutyen’s Delhi
Day 3

Fly to Varanasi, the oldest living city in the world


Proceed to the spiritual hub of your Essence of North India Tour, visiting Varanasi, the oldest living city of the world

AM:

  • Catch your flight to Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India (also known as Kashi and Benaras).

PM:

  • Arrive Varanasi, check in at your hotel and freshen up
  • Visit Sarnath, the place where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon. Sarnath was a renowned school of learning from 6th century BC to 12th century AD. The Ashoka pillar of Sarnath is the national emblem of India. Visit the ruins, stupa, Buddhist temple and the Sarnath Museum.
  • This evening, enjoy a rikshaw ride to the ghats to see the grand ‘Aarti’ ceremony conducted everyday at sunset by white-robed priests. The young priests sway in seemingly choreographed movements, worshiping the river goddess with incense, flowers and earthen lamps.
Day 4

Fly to Khajuraho, the birthplace of Kamasutra


Continue to the architectural splendours of your Essence of North India Tour, with a visit to Khajuraho, a UNESCO world heritage site in central India

AM:

  • Enjoy a boat cruise at dawn on the Holy River Ganges in Varanasi. See the ‘bathing ghats’ where thousands of pilgrims pay homage to the Sun God by immersing themselves in the holy water of River Ganges, and the ‘burning ghats’ where cremations are conducted.

PM:

  • Catch your flight to Khajuraho, the ancient city famous for its erotic sculptured temples
  • Visit the enchanting temples of Khajuraho, with sculptures that draw their inspiration from the ancient art of Kama sutra. Khajuraho Temples were built by the Chandela kings between 950 AD and 1050 AD.
  • This evening, enjoy the famous cultural dance show of Khajuraho
Day 5

Drive to Jhansi via Orchha; Train to Agra, land of the Taj Mahal


Continue to the highlight of your Essence of North India Tour, discovering the Mughal city of Agra, home to the beautiful wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal

AM:

  • Drive to Orchha, a medieval riverside town known for its palaces, temples, fascinating little shrines and memorials. Enjoy a short tour of Orchha town.

PM:

  • Drive to Jhansi and board an express train to Agra, home to the world famous Taj Mahal.
Day 6

Day in Agra


Enjoy the epitome of your Essence of North India Tour, with a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal

AM:

  • Rise early to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the eternal symbol of love, the Taj Mahal. Often referred to as a poem in white marble, Taj Mahal displays the saga of love between Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Visit Agra fort, which is built in red sandstone and has magnificent palaces, halls of public and private audience and beautiful gardens

PM:

  • Visit marble inlay workshops – watch artisans creating magical beauty with marble and indulge in exquisite shopping in this historic city of Agra
  • Optional: watch a fantastic show “Mohabbat the Taj – The saga of love”, staging the largest replica of the Taj Mahal, and presenting the Taj in its various shades and seasons.
Day 7

Drive to Jaipur, the pink capital city of Rajasthan


Proceed to the palatial beauty of your Essence of North India Tour, with a visit to Jaipur in Rajasthan

AM:

  • Drive to Jaipur, enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri, the crowning glory of Emperor Akbar's architectural legacy. Built in red sandstone, its numerous palaces, halls, and structures exemplify the creativity of erstwhile Mughal emperors.
  • Enjoy a spectacular view of 7th – 8th century Abhaneri Stepwells

PM:

  • Enjoy a heritage walk in the old city of Jaipur, seeing life along the small alleys and by-lanes. Interact with the local artisans enamelling jewels with local ‘meenakari’ work, along with goldsmiths and silversmiths of the region
  • Visit gems, jewels and carpet weaving factories – watch artisans creating unique masterpieces and enjoy haggling for souvenirs in colourful bazaars of Jaipur
Day 8

Day in Jaipur


Cherish the splendour of your Essence of North India Tour, with a tour of this princely city of Jaipur, which is built in 9 rectangular sectors symbolising 9 divisions of the universe, as per Indian cosmology

AM:

  • Visit the splendid Amber fort, which was built in the 16th century.  An elephant ride (subject to availability) will help you ascend to this hilltop fort. Alternatively, you could choose to walk or drive up to the fort.

PM:

  • Photo stop at Hawa Mahal, the palace of winds. This palace consists of long corridors and a decorated facade with its innumerable windows and screened balconies, especially built for the royal women to view processions along the cities main street.
  • Visit the City Palace complex, reflecting the architectural exuberance of Jaipur. The complex consists of a variety of museums and a part of the palace is still the royal residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur
  • Visit Jantar Mantar, the ancient astronomical observatory
Day 9

Drive to Pushkar, home to India’s largest annual camel fair.

Feel the rustic charm of your Essence of North India Tour, with a visit to Pushkar, home to India’s largest annual camel fair

AM:

  • Drive to Pushkar, home to India’s largest annual camel fair held in November every year. Situated in the heart of Rajasthan, Pushkar is also one of the holiest cities of India.

PM:

  • Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Pushkar, mingling with saadhu’s (holy men in their orange attires), visiting the holy Pushkar Lake and the various temples in the region. The most famous is the Brahma Temple, said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma.
  • Enjoy a camel safari followed by dinner with Rajasthani folk performance
Day 10

Drive to Jodhpur, the blue hued city of Rajasthan


Experience the magnificence of your Essence of North India Tour, discovering Jodhpur, home to one of the largest forts of India, the Mehrangarh Fort

AM:

  • Drive to Jodhpur, the blue hued city of Rajasthan.

PM: Enjoy a city tour of Jodhpur, visiting

  • The majestic Mehrangarh Fort that has fine views over the city
  • Jaswant Thada, the white marble memorial of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II
  • The fascinating museum at Umaid Bhawan Palace
Day 11

Day in Jodhpur


Connect to the tribes in your Essence of North India Tour, with a jeep safari to local villages

AM:

  • Enjoy a jeep safari to Bishnoi villages, to get a feel for the local lifestyle of Rajasthani villagers. Bishnoi’s are a village community of Rajasthan who are famous for their cultural lifestyle and their love for nature and animals. You get an opportunity to observe the village lifestyle and interact with villagers, shepherds, farmers and weavers of the region.

PM:

  • At leisure in Jodhpur
Day 12

Drive to Udaipur, the serene lake city of Rajasthan


Feel the serenity of your Essence of North India Tour, with a visit to Udaipur, the lake city of Rajasthan

AM:

  • Drive to Udaipur, a romantic city nestled in the scenic valley of Aravali hills, surrounded by three lakes: Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar and Udai Sagar
  • En route, stop at Ranakpur, to visit the famous Jain temples, known for their grand structures and exquisite sculptures. The main temple in the complex, Chaumukha Temple (Four Faced Temple), has 29 halls supported by 1444 intricately carved pillars, no two alike!

PM:

  • Arrive Udaipur, check in at your hotel and freshen up
  • Enjoy a boat cruise at Lake Pichola (subject to water level), viewing the sparkling white marble Lake Palace
Day 13

Fly to Mumbai, the fast paced commercial and celluloid capital of India.


The final stop of your Essence of North India Tour, is Mumbai, the city that never sleeps

AM: Enjoy a city tour of Udaipur, visiting

  • the City Palace, one of the largest palace complex in Rajasthan, which is now a museum, royal residence and luxury hotel
  • Saheliyon-Ki-Bari, the beautiful garden of the maids of honour
  • Jagdish Temple, showcasing fine examples of sculpted images and ornamented interiors

PM:

  • Fly to Mumbai, one of the most cosmopolitan city of India
  • Enjoy an evening at leisure in Mumbai
Day 14

DEPARTURE


Bid goodbye to India, as you reach the finale of your Essence of North India Tour

AM: Discover Mumbai, visiting

  • Prince of Wales Museum, built in 1905 to commemorate King George V's first visit to India. The museum houses archaeological findings dating back to 2,000 BC from the Indus Valley civilisation and has a fine collection of Indian arts and artefacts
  • Gateway of India, the arch of triumph and Mumbai’s principal landmark
  • Mani Bhawan, the place where Mahatma Gandhi lived for more than a decade. Popularly called The Gandhi Museum, Mani Bhawan preserves a large collection of Mahatma Gandhi's books, photographs and personal belongings
  • Bustling Dhobi Ghats, where hundreds of men and their families are engaged in the family business of washing the dirties of Mumbai!

PM:

  • Transfer to airport, to catch your flight back home

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