Days
12
Price from
R36,825ZAR

Discover the highlights of north India, taking in New Delhi, Jaipur and Varanasi

Visit India and explore the highlights of the north on this adventure tour from Delhi to Varanasi. Discover the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, witness the Mughal splendours of Delhi and Agra, safari through Ranthambhore National Park in search of tigers, and soak up the ambience of holy Varanasi. This wonderful introduction to the magic of India includes lavish palaces, vibrant bazaars, Bollywood blockbusters and the incomparable Taj Mahal. Packed with highlights and hidden gems, this is your chance to discover the beating heart of India.


Start
Delhi, India
Finish
Delhi, India
Country
India
Style
Peregrine
Code
PIIG
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Discover the man-made beauty that lies across the north of India, from Jaipur’s ‘Palace of the Winds’ and Royal City Palace to Agra’s Red Fort and famous Taj Mahal

  • A trip to India wouldn’t be complete without a Bollywood film. Sit back and enjoy one in one of Jaipur’s magnificent cinemas

  • Embark on a safari through Ranthambore National Park in search of antelope, sloth bears, leopards and tigers

  • Begin a morning in Varanasi with a sunrise cruise down the Ganges – the perfect way to experience the spiritual magic of the ultimate Hindu pilgrimage destination

Is this trip right for you?

  • In the summer months Rajasthan can get very hot. Be sure to drink lots of water, pack light cotton clothing and use adequate skin protection.

  • There are several early mornings on this trip, as many parts of India really come alive in the dawn light.

  • It can get foggy between December and February, which can put a new spin on already spectacular scenery. However, it may cause trains to be delayed.From April 2017, the main dome of the Taj Mahal will be undergoing mud pack therapy to restore its original colour. It is expected the dome will be covered in iron scaffolding during the process, which is expected to last a year.

Itinerary

Welcome to India. On arrival at the airport you’ll be transferred to the hotel. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel, to organise the transfer. There will be a Welcome Meeting in the hotel at 6pm on Day 1. Please ask reception to confirm the time and place of your meeting. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. You can use any free time before the meeting to explore this excitingly chaotic capital city. Filled with historical sites from different eras, museums and galleries, shops and endless bazaars, there’s plenty to see.
Accommodation
  • Jaypee Siddharth Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Get your first experience of Indian rail travel with an express train into Rajasthan and on to its capital, Jaipur (approximately 5 hours). Then take a walking tour through the crowded streets packed with cars, camel carts, rickshaws, trucks and bicycles, past traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches. Walk to the city's crowded bazaars filled with handcrafted textiles, folk art, and the local specialty of semi-precious stones, then make a photo stop at India's most photographed building (after the Taj Mahal), the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds'. There’s also the option to visit one of India’s finest palaces – Jaipur's Royal City Palace – or the astronomical instrument sculptures of the Observatory. This evening, continue to indulge in the wonders of Indian culture by watching a Bollywood blockbuster.
Accommodation
  • Lemon Tree Premier or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Walking tour
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - Jantar Mantar Observatory - INR200
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR400
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Visit the opulent Amber Fort, the jewel of Jaipur. It is quite a sight, with its soft shades of red sandstone and white marble, and elaborate Hindu style flourishes. Explore the legacy of a fallen empire – ornate rooms of lavish murals, frescoed arches and delicate jali work. After spending some time here, the remainder of the day is free for you to explore parts of Jaipur that you might have missed yesterday.
Accommodation
  • Lemon Tree Premier or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - Balloon Safari - USD250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drifting high over the pink city while it’s bathed in early morning sunlight is a highlight for many visitors to Jaipur, so consider a hot air balloon ride this morning. This can be done between Septermber and June. For additional information see the Important Notes section of your trip notes. Today you drive to Kanota (approximately 1 hour). Your accommodation here is the beautiful Castle Kanota. Set on 8 acres and built in 1972, this heritage hotel is one of Rajasthan's finest.
Accommodation
  • Castle Kanota or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Drive from Castle Kanota to Ranthambhore National Park (approximately 5 hours). In the evening enjoy a safari through the park. Ranthambore National Park is one of the original Project Tiger reserves, a place where nature has reclaimed ancient fortresses and temples, and that is teeming with wildlife. In 4WD safari vehicles take game drives to search for animals and the majestic tigers which stalk through the jungle. You may also have the chance to explore the 1000 year old Ranthambore Fort, where two pavilions that have survived the ravages of war and time - Badal Mahal and Hammirs Court - give an idea of its old grandeur.

Notes: Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On those trips affected, we'll visit nearby Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary is located approx. 16 km from Ranthambhore and, due to its hilly terrain, isn't as affected by the monsoon. Tigers inhabit this area also and spottings are more favourable at this time of year as they move away from flooded areas of Ranthambore.
Accommodation
  • Pugmarks Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ranthambore National Park - Evening safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Peregrine requires a copy of your scanned passport bio page at time of booking to complete bookings for Ranthambore National Park visit.
Awake early for a morning safari, a second chance to spot tigers. Even if the tigers are too stealthy to see, the park is filled with other animals like gazelle, hyenas, sloth bears, crocodiles, jackals, three types of antelope (nilgai, sambar and chital) and leopards to watch out for. Afterwards, enjoy free time at the resort. Later, in the afternoon, spend some time relaxing or take a stroll around town.



Accommodation
  • Pugmarks Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ranthambore National Park - Morning Safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Drive to Agra (approximately 5 hours). Here you visit Agra Fort, and India's most famous icon – the spectacular Taj Mahal. Best known as a monument to love and loss, the 17th century Taj was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his second wife and is a beautiful example of Mughal architecture surrounded by trimmed English gardens. Agra is also home to one of the finest looking forts in India. Stop at the nearby Agra Fort, a fortress, palace and prison built of red sandstone by Akbar in 1565 and partially converted into a palace during the time of Shah Jahan.
Accommodation
  • Jaypee Palace or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Agra Fort
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel from Agra to Delhi. Explore the bustling city streets on a walking tour. Also travel in the local style, by cycle rickshaw, to get another perspective on this frantic metropolis. Visit the Sisganj Gurudwara, one of the nine historic gurdwaras (Sikh temples) in Delhi, first constructed in 1783. Stop in at the awe-inspiring Red Fort, which is considered to be the peak of Mughal creativity. Also pay a visit to the 73 metre high Qutab Minar and about learn some of its history.
Accommodation
  • Jaypee Siddharth or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Old Delhi tour
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Red Fort - INR500
  • Delhi - Qutub Minar - INR500
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Fly from Delhi to Varanasi. Awash with shrines and temples, this is the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel from far and wide to experience such a spiritual city. Varanasi is not known for its cleanliness, but it is recognised as one of India’s most inspiring cities. Take a walking tour of the old city, through narrow laneways packed with stalls and shops, past the dhobi wallahs, burning ghats, and the endless temples that echo with bells and the pungent aroma of incense. Witness pilgrims performing ancient bathing rituals and ceremonies as your first day in this sacred city comes to an end.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hindustan International or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
  • Varanasi - Sunset candle ceremony
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
.
Today starts early with a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges, where you can watch the light gradually illuminate the many ghats and temples along the river as you pass. There is an option to take a trip to nearby Sarnath, one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage destinations. The site is where Buddha preached his message of the path to enlightenment and features a number of stupas and museums to explore. Alternatively the day can be spent exploring the laneways and alleys behind the ghats, or picking up some examples of the excellent local silk industry. Perhaps finish the day with an optional Ganges river cruise at sunset.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hindustan International or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
Optional Activities
  • Varanasi - Sarnath day trip (entry only) - INR250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning will be free for you to soak up the atmosphere of Varanasi during your final time here. Maybe do some last minute shopping in the incredible bazaars or merely wander through the ghats. Then you return to Delhi by plane (approximately 1.5 hours). This evening there will be an (optional) group farewell dinner organised for those interested.
Accommodation
  • Jaypee Siddharth Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - City Food Crawl Urban Adventure - INR3500
  • Delhi - Home-Cooked Experience Urban Adventure - INR4000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. There are no other activities planned for the day and you can leave the accommodation at any time. For those who wish to stay on in Delhi to further explore the city, we are happy to help in booking accommodation (subject to availability). Check out our Urban Adventures as a great way to experience more of this amazing city.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 3 dinners

Transport

Auto-rickshaw, Bicycle rickshaw, Boat, Plane, Private vehicle, Shuttle bus, Train

Accommodation

Comfortable Hotel (8 nights), Heritage Property (1 night), Resort (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Jaipur - Walking tour
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Ranthambore National Park - Evening safari
  • Ranthambore National Park - Morning Safari
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Agra Fort
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Old Delhi tour
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
  • Varanasi - Sunset candle ceremony
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available for this trip and is applicable for all nights on tour.

HOT AIR BALLOONING JAIPUR
Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate mornings from September to June and morning and evening from September to March. Morning flights depart around sunrise and evening flights late afternoon and last 60 mins. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments and a certificate of flight are included in the cost.
You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your joining meeting on day 1 of your trip.
Payment must be made in cash - INR/USD/AUD/GBP only please
Flights are subject to weather conditions and tickets are fully refundable.

TAJ MAHAL DOME RESTORATIONS
The main dome on the Taj Mahal will undergo mud pack therapy due to begin in April 2017. It is likely the entire dome will be obscured by iron scaffolding. Portions of the white marble façade will be covered in mud and plastic sheets during the cleaning process. The restorations will be carried out in sections and the work on the dome is expected to last one year.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.