North India Highlights

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 10

From: Delhi

To: Delhi

From

£905

Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Overview

From the chaos of Delhi to the forts of Rajasthan, the tangle of the Ranthambore National Park and the architectural masterpiece of the Taj Mahal, this introduction to North India will leave you with a craving for more. Stay in a desert camp complete with roaming peacocks for a unique Indian experience, visit the 'pink city' of Jaipur with its majestic palaces and spot tigers, leopards and hyenas in the National Park. India will captivate and entice you on this adventure to the north.

Highlights

  • Experience the hustle and bustle of Delhi
  • See the colourful havelis and palaces of the Rajasthani desert
  • Explore the magnificent ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur
  • Roam the heritage site of Ranthambore National Park (and spot a majestic tiger if you’re lucky!)
  • Discover the haunting abandoned Fatehpur Sikri, a complex of forts, palaces and mosques built in sandstone
  • Let the Taj Mahal take your breath away!

Itinerary

 

Itinerary in brief:

  • 1 night Delhi
  • 2 nights Mandawa
  • 2 nights Jaipur
  • 1 night Ranthambore National Park
  • 1 night Karauli
  • 1 night Agra
  • 1 night Delhi

Day 1: Arrive in Delhi

You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Today is a free day so you can explore or relax depending on how you feel after your flight.


Day 2: Drive to Mandawa

After breakfast your driver will begin the journey to the Rajasthani town of Mandawa. Mandawa is a small desert town famous for the painted havelis (mansion buildings).

You will be staying for 2 nights in a unique, desert style resort just outside of the town. Full of charm and character, this is an authentic experience complete with roaming peacocks.


Day 3: Mandawa Desert Resort

This morning you will take a guided walking tour of Mandawa to visit the painted havelis, which were built in the 19th century by Marwari merchants who took over as patrons of the arts.

In the afternoon you can enjoy a camel ride to surrounding villages. Definitely one activity that’s a must in the Rajasthani desert.


Day 4: Mandawa to Jaipur

Your journey today continues to the ‘Pink City’ – Jaipur! With stunning forts, majestic palaces rich with royal history and bazaars packed full of colour, this is a busy Indian city just bursting at the seams!

In the afternoon you will get the chance to visit some of the city’s palaces, including the City Palace, and the famous ‘Palace of the Winds’ (Hawa Mahal).

You will be staying for 2 nights in a heritage style home in a residential area of the city, just a 10 minute drive from the centre.


Day 5: Free day in Jaipur

In the morning you will visit the fabulous Amber Fort, a magnificent complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples built over a period of 125 years by successive rulers.

The afternoon is at leisure to explore Jaipur’s colourful bazaars.


Day 6: Jaipur to Ranthambore National Park

Today you will leave Japiur and head south to Ranthambore National Park, where you take an afternoon game drive and try to spot tigers and other wild animals, including some magnificent birds, deer, leopard, jungle cat and the endangered Caracal, antelope and hyenas. The park covers over 1300 sq kms of jungle scrub, with a 10th century Fort at it’s centre that is surrounded by ancient temples and mosques, croc-filled lakes and remnants of old hunting pavilions.

You will spend the night in a deluxe tented camp close to the entrance of the park.


Day 7: Ranthambore to Karauli

This morning you get the opportunity to visit the Ranthambore Fort, before heading off to Kaurali which is an interesting old Rajashtani town home to the deity of Lord Krishna; it’s got some important Krishan temples and attracts many pilgrims. In the afternoon explore the palace and bazaar on a walking tour, before staying overnight in the residence of the Maharaja of Karauli; now a beautiful heritage hotel.


Day 8: To Agra via Bharatpur

This morning you leave to travel to Agra, stopping at Bharatpur en-route, famous for the nearby Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary.

You will also make a stop at the abandoned ancient Moghul capital of Fatehpur Sikri, a complex of forts, palaces and mosques built from sandstone. It’s a wonderful site to wander; Emperor Akbar built the complex for his favourite wives after a sufi saint predicted the birth of his son and he needed a home for the Mughal empire – one a Christian, one a Muslim, one a Hindu. Sadly it was abandoned after Akbar’s death due to water shortages.


Day 9: Free day at the Taj Mahal

Today you get to visit one of the most famous buildings in the world – and it’s won’t disappoint! Whilst Agra itself can leave a little be desired, the sight of the Taj Mahal will take your breath away. Best viewed at dawn and/or dusk, this spectacular white mausoleum is now a UNESCO heritage site and took just over 20 years and thousands of craftsmen to construct. Check out views of the Taj from the nearby Red Fort, before boarding the evening train back to Delhi.


Day 10: Depart Delhi

Transfer back to the airport for your onward flight – or if you’ve got the time, why not carry on your Indian adventure by heading north to the famous Sikh ‘Golden Temple’ in Amritsar, east to the spiritual Varanasi on the banks of the mighty River Ganges, or south to the capital of Mumbai and beyond, to the backwaters of the chilled out Kerala. 


 

Info

India’s summer kicks in from February onwards, often reaching and exceeding 40 degrees Celsius around April. This can be an ideal time to escape to the hill stations where you will find cooler air! The monsoon season arrives in the North around July to September/October time and you may find many roads or transport options closed or delayed so be careful to allow for plenty of time to get around. November to February is considered ‘winter’ and this is often the best time to visit weather-wise – comfortable temperatures and clear skies. This is peak tourist time though so beware that hotels and trains will be particularly busy, especially around holiday time when Indian’s travel domestically too.

This is a tailor-made itinerary and as such can be amended to fit your needs – if you want to spend more (or less) time here, or want to include further stops during your travels in India then just let us know and we can help to create the perfect trip!

What's included: 

  • Bed & breakfast accommodation as listed for 9 nights
  • Private A/C vehicle with a driver for transfers as mentioned (arriving Delhi, departing Agra)
  • Private A/C vehicle with a driver for touring from Day 2 (departing Delhi) to Day 9 (arriving Agra)
  • Train ticket from Agra to Delhi (A/C chair car on Shatabdi Express)
  • Services of English-speaking local guides in Mandawa, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Karauli, Bharatpur & Agra
  • Camel ride in Mandawa
  • Game ride by canter in Ranthambore

Not included: 

  • International flights
  • Indian Visa – this must be arranged in advance in accordance with your passport issuing country requirements
  • Early check-in/late check-out; these can be requested if required but are not guaranteed
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Meals other than breakfast
  • Tours and services other than those mentioned
  • Laundry, phone call and items of a personal nature
  • Entry fees other than those mentioned under inclusions (there may also be fees for photography)

Accommodation

This trip includes 9 nights in comfortable accommodation; we use a mixture of 3* hotels, traditional heritage properties and Guesthouses to give a truly authentic experience on your travels.

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