Grand Tour of North India

Grand Tour of North India

This tour encompasses holy cities like Amritsar and Varansi. the resplendent Taj Mahal, Desert of Thar and golden city of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur’s bluewashed houses, and the beautiful lakes and palaces of Udaipur and great temples of Khajuraho.

Grand Tour of North India

This tour will leave you with a strong sense of the history, culture, and geography of this diverse country.

Tour Highlight

  1. Discover architectural masterpieces in Delhi, Old and New
  2. Watch a spectacular sunrise over the Taj Mahal
  3. Explore the golden architecture of Jaisalmer, located in the Thar Desert
  4. Varanasi’s hidden alleys & markets
  5. Take a cruise on India’s holiest river, the Ganges

Itinerary

Delhi – Amritsar – Bikaner – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Shahpura – Jaipur –   Agra – Orchha – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Delhi

Day 01 : Delhi arrival
Airport welcome and check in at the hotel in the center of Delhi. Night in hotel.
Day 02 : Delhi
Breakfast at hotel. Then, go down to Old Delhi to visit the 17th century Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. You will be visiting streets of old Delhi on cycle rickshaw, See Chandni Chowk, the shopping center of old Delhi and drive past the Red Fort for a photo stop. Visit Raj Ghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. Visit of New Delhi is built in a typically British colonial style with tree-lined avenues and colonial bungalows. Drive past the Parliament House, the Secretariat buildings and the Vice Regal Palace, now the official residence of the President of India. We next visit the wonderful complex of Humayun’s Tomb (c.1565). Commissioned by the Emperor’s widow, this was the first of the great Mughal tombs. We continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Qutub Minar and its Monuments*. Built over the course of 300 years, the red sandstone tower of Qutub Minar is 72.5 meters and five stories high. The surrounding archaeological area also includes the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art.
Day 03: Delhi – Amritsar (train)
Early morning breakfast at hotel or packed breakfast. Transfer to railway station and onboard train to Amritsar, upon arrival transfer to Hotel. This evening, head to the Golden Temple to see the impressive ceremony which puts the Holy Book to bed.
Day 04: Amritsar
This morning visit to sacred Golden Temple. A harmonious synthesis of Islamic and Hindu styles of architecture, it is a breathtaking sight. During afternoon a walking tour through the colorful City of Amritsar, popularly known as Hall Bazaar. Its narrow streets and lanes, with their colorful and vibrant street hawkers, shopkeepers, traders, rickshaws and wayside eateries. Late this afternoon a one-hour drive to Wagah, an army outpost on the India-Pakistan border between Amritsar and Lahore, where you can witness the border closing display – ‘Beating the Retreat’.
Day 05: Amritsar ( 60 kms) Makhu (train) Bikaner
Morning breakfast and a bit of time to relax. Transfer to Makhu which is on the outskirt of Amritsar to board the train to Bikaner. Bikaner was one of the three great desert kingdoms of Rajasthan and prospered because of its strategic location on the overland caravan trade route to Central Asia and China. The city is known for its intricately carved Jharokas, sweets and handicrafts as well as the multitude of fairs and festivals that take place here.
Day 06: Bikaner
Breakfast at hotel Former princely capital known for its camel farms considered to be among the best in the world, Bikaner is an imposing citadel with its narrow streets and red sandstone havelis. We shall visit Junagarh Fort was built between 1589 and 1594 by Raja Rai Singh. It has a 986 m long rampart fortified by 37 bastions. Unlike most Rajput fortresses, the Junagarh was not built on a hill but on the plain. It is embellished with Rajput paintings, mirrors, sculpted marble panels distributed in the many palaces. After visiting fort, you will transfer by tuk tuk to the old town to visits  it’s rich and colorful bazaars and old mansions. While visiting old town you will get chance to taste local sweets for which Bikaner is famous.
Day 07: Bikaner (225 kms – 04 hrs) Pokhran (110 kms – 02 hrs) Jaisalmer
Early morning breakfast at hotel We drive to Jaisalmer, visiting the fort of Pokhran along the way. small 16th century citadel. Arrival in Jaisaimer at the end of the day and climb to the hill of the royal cenotaphs for a nice view of the fortified city at sunset. Reaching Kumbhalgarh and rest of the evening free.
Day 08: Jaisalmer
Breakfast at hotel Entire day we shall spend to visit Jaisalmer is a lost city deep in the Thar Desert. Its imposing citadel, its bastions and its ramparts, emerge from the Thar Desert. Ideally placed on the route of the caravanners between India and Central Asia, its past history and development are linked to trade which enriches traders and townspeople. It is from this very prosperous period that the splendid sandstone residences (Haveli), decorated with delicate wood carvings. Within its walls, a cobbled streets leads to Jain temples and the palace of the former sovereign. Having had visited citadelle, a transfer to dunes to take a ride on Camel back to admire beautiful sunset. Camel safari offered in the dunes.
Day 09: Jaisalmer – Jodhpur (290 kms/ 06 hrs)
Breakfast at hotel and we drive through the Rajasthan desert to reach Jodhpur. Upon arrival, visit the impressive Mehrangarh Fort which stands overlooking the whole of Jodhpur as well as getting the chance to explore the busy streets and blue houses. You may then wish to spend the remainder of the afternoon discovering the bazaars located around the clock tower.
Day 10: Jodhpur (155 kms – 03 hrs) Ranakpur ( 90 kms – 03 hrs) Udaipur
Early morning breakfast at hotel Transfer by road to Udaipur enroute we shall stop to visit Ranakpur Jain Temples, which are famous for their architecture and marble work. Having had visited temples continue our drive to Udaipur, "the Venice of the East".
Day 11: Udaipur
Breakfast at hotel Entire day visit of the city exploring Udaipur, the “Venice of the East” by visiting the City Palace, Sahelion Ki Bari and Jagdism Temple. Don't forget to explore the Gangour Ghats situated just a 5-minute walk from the temple. Later in the afternoon, you can take a boat ride on Lake Pichola which is worth the experience.
Day 12: Udaipur - Shahpura ( 205 kms – 03½hrs )
After breakfast, drive from Udaipur to Shahpura, a romantic ancestral Fort and an ideal rural stopover. The activities here are great fun and give you the chance to really get under the skin of this rural area. Enjoy sundowners over Dhikola Fort before some delicious home cooking under the stars.
Day 13: Shahpura - Jaipur ( 225 kms – 04 hrs )
After breakfast drive to Jaipur, The ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur is a bustling, energetic place, full to the brim with sights, sounds, scents and flavours that unequivocally present Rajasthan in all its vibrancy. As the third point on the classic Golden Triangle, Jaipur epitomises Rajasthan’s colour, its regal heritage and its artisan culture. Evening free to relax.
Day 14: Jaipur
Early morning breakfast and  it’s time to step away from the beaten track, walking to the settlement of the Meena Tribe before ascending the Aravalli Hills on a track once by Maharajas to move their cannons. Feel your breath catch as you first see the Amber Fort, perched along the cliffs above. During the day exploring the city palace, Jantar Mantar observatory, the Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal) and the bazaars of the old town.
Day 15: Jaipur (95 kms – 02 hrs) Abhaneri (155 kms – 02½hrs) Agra
Breakfast at hotel and drive to Agra. Enroute a stopover at Abhaneri, which is is an ancient village in the Dausa district of Rajasthan state in India, well-known for its early medieval monuments, Chand Baori stepwell and Harshat Mata Temple. After visit continue drive to Agra. At sunset,the marble of the Taj Mahal encrusted with precious stones is shaded with golden tones, revealing like a mirage, one of the seven wonders of the world. Be dazzled by the beauty of this tomb which was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan in the image of his deceased queen, an enduring monument to love.
Day 16: Agra (train) Jhansi ( 20 kms) Orchha
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to Agra railway Station and onboard train to Jhansi Upon arrival in Jhansi, travel through traditional rural Indian landscapes to reach the beautiful town of Orchha on the banks of the Betwa River (approximately 45 minutes). Here you’ll have the opportunity to uncover a very different side of India. you'll visit the stunning Orchha Palace, built by Bir Sing Deo for his friend Jehangir, the great Mughal ruler. Take note of the grand Iwans (domes) that were built large enough to allow the movement of war elephants. You’ll also make a stop at Taragram - a paper making factory that enables local tribal women to work outside the realm usually afforded to them. The paper is crafted from wood pulp and recycled clothing. This evening witnesse the Ram Raja Temple puja (prayer) ceremony at the shrine at the heart of the city.
Day 17: Orchha – Khajuraho (200 kms - 05 hrs)
Breakfast at hotel and drive to Khajuraho. In the afternoon visit  the UNESCO World Heritage Site and protected temples at Khajuraho.  Known for their erotic carvings highlighting Tantrism, the temples are a combination of Hindu and Jain and hold some of the most intricate carvings in India.
Day 18: Khajuraho - Varanasi (flight)
Leisurely morning breakfast and transfer to airport to board a short flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel In the evening enjoy a private boat ride along the river Ganges where you witness the evening pooja (prayer) and Aarti ceremony. Bask in the beauty of the candles and offerings that fill the river and watch the people fill the ghats (steps leading down to a river).
Day 19: Varanasi – Excursion to Sarnath
Early morning tea or coffee and depart for another boat ride this morning to see the contrasts of life on the river. Along the banks, you'll see pilgrims and locals washing, socializing and praying. Return to hotel for breakfast and excursion to Sarnath  the sacred Buddhist town about 12 km from Varanasi. Sarnath is the site of deer park, where Gautama Buddha gave his first teachings. It is one of the four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha for pilgrimage.
Day 20: Varanasi – Delhi (flight)
Breakfast at hotel and morning to free to stroll around streets and ghats of Varanasi. Late afternoon flight to Delhi and and onwards connection to return fligh

  • Best Season:  From 01 September –  30 April
map of Nawabs of Lucknow
The high lights of this trip

Diversity

Brimming with colour, culture and life, India is like no other. Steeped in culture and spirituality, blessed with vast and varied landscapes, birthplace of some of our most important religions and philosophies and home to more than a billion people, Mother India is ancient, fascinating and incredibly diverse.

You could lose yourself among colourful textiles, spices and handicrafts in bustling market bazaars; savour the heady flavours of one of the world’s great cuisines; and explore India’s incredible architecture – ancient citadels, temples and palaces in rich earthy tones and gaudy candy colours. 

Palaces & Temples

The delightfully erotic temples of Khajuraho where spirituality takes an artistic turn. You’ll then take a good look at the iconic Taj Mahal, love’s most perfect expression. Afterwards it’s off across country to the pink city of Jaipur with its princely palaces and bustling markets, the blue city of Jodhpur with its massive fort and cubist blue-washed houses, and finally to Udaipur on the lakes. Here the ancient palaces float on water and all the pageantry of Rajasthan is on display.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

India is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites; ranging from natural wonders to architectural marvels. While some are keepers of the magnificence of history, others are a safe and lush haven for biodiversity to flourish. 

The Flavours of India

Known for its diversity that varies with every region, state, community, culture and even religion, food in India is a vibrant assortment of uncountable dishes. It is distinctly characterised by the subtle and sophisticated use of spices, grains, fruits and vegetables that are all grown in the country. Home to people of many religions who come from a plethora of cultural backgrounds, the food culture of the country has been influenced by all of them, including foreigners.

  • Cultural 80% 80%
  • Monuments 95% 95%
  • Local Experience 85% 85%
  • Landsapes 85% 85%

The tour was fantastic !!!!

“The tour was fantastic. Nakul was amazing!! He did an incredible job of making the trip interesting and enjoyable for everyone and he is a great instructor. We were extremely well looked after and felt safe at all times. It was a trip of a lifetime. ”

Myriam & Florence, Paris, France

A grand tour of the very diverse..

“A grand tour of the very diverse Indian nation and all its people and other treasures – fascinating and incredible.“

Vincent & Sylvain, Reims, France.

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