North India is a delightful experience that'll be hard not to cherish for a lifetime, with its countless fascinating tourist destinations that never lose their allure. The region ticks all the different tourism categories: cultural & heritage, nature, rural tourism, and pilgrimages. The most popular tourist destinations around these parts are Delhi, the nation's capital; Jaipur the Pink City; and Agra and the Taj Mahal's timeless message of mortal love. There's also Khajuraho, the Temple city of Kandariya, furnished with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art; and Varanasi, also known as Banaras or Kashi, one of the oldest living cities in the world, that has sat on the banks of the holy river Ganges for millennia. These are just some examples that demonstrate that you're going to be dazzled no matter what screen of North India's kaleidoscope you focus on.
Day 01: Delhi
Arrive New Delhi “Namaste” Assistance on arrival and transfer to your hotel.
Delhi- Delhi as the capital of India Delhi is the seat of administration and the monuments which tell the saga of a bygone era to stand there. These icons are a testimony to the grandeur of the past and also an attraction for the tourists. With an area of 1483 sq. Kms, Delhi is all set to acquire full statehood. The charm of Delhi has attracted Emperors, Conquerors and poor in equally. It is correctly said that Delhi is a land of 'Dilwalas' or for people with heart. This phrase acquires a true color when one goes around the lanes of Delhi. Delhi-- a window to the kaleidoscope that is India.
Day 02: Delhi
Morning sightseeing tour of Old Delhi having a panoramic view of Red Fort (outside) and then visit Jama Masjid which is considered the biggest in India, Chandni Chowk - a typical Bazaar with narrow lanes and traditional traders Raj Ghat where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated.
Afternoon sightseeing tour of New Delhi visiting - the Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate, Parliament House, and government buildings.
Day 03: Delhi - Jaipur (260km/06hrs)
After breakfast, you'll be driven to Jaipur to be checked into your hotel.
Jaipur is also referred to by its romantic nickname, "The Pink City," because of the roseate hue its royal buildings display. It boasts the grand Amber Fort, the first royal residence of the Maharajas of Kachchwaha, and is also famous for its gorgeous handicrafts and jewels.
Your afternoon sightseeing includes The City Palace, Jantar Mantar- Jai Singh’s observatory, and Hawa Mahal or the “Palace of Winds,” which, as you'll find out, has very little to do with flatulence.
Day 04: Jaipur
The morning after the breakfast enjoy a guided excursion to Amber Fort. Situated atop a hill overlooking the city, this impressive structure was the old capital before the city of Jaipur was built. Ride on a decorated elephant to ascend the hill to the Palace, which is laid out on different levels of the hillside and surrounded by a fortress. The exterior of the fort is very imposing and rugged, whereas the inside is comforting and warm, influenced by both Hindu and Muslim ornamentation. On the walls are paintings depicting various hunting scenes, intricate carvings, mosaics, and minute mirror work that lend the halls a majestic and imperial air.
Ever thought that Indian clothes look distinctively beautiful, but that you'd never be able to work out how to put them on? Well, after this afternoon, you'll no longer have any excuses for not looking fabulous the Indian way, as you'll receive an in-depth demonstration on tying a saree (for women) or pagdi (for men).
Day 05: Jaipur - Agra (250km/05hrs) via Fatehpur Sikri
This morning drive to Agra en route visit to Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri: It was supposed to be the great Emperor Akbar’s grandiose new capital city. Phantoms of ancient pomp and splendor fill this ghost of a city, a silent witness to a vanished dream. Shortly after it was completed, this magnificent fortress was abandoned by the ambitious but somewhat myopic emperor, due to the lack of an adequate water supply. The marble tomb of the Saint “Salim Chisti” and the “Bulland Durwaza,” the highest gateway in the world, are some of the highlights of this intriguing fortress. Agra is home to the world-famous Taj Mahal, best described as “poetry in marble" due to its beauty, grace and exquisite workmanship. But that's not the only string to Agra's formidable longbow: there is a wealth of palaces and monuments that recall the Mughal glory days.
Day 06: Agra
This morning will see you finally witness the majesty of Taj Mahal (Closed Fridays) and Agra Fort for yourself, on a guided tour of these world wonders.
The Taj Mahal stands serene and awe-inspiring on its raised marble platform by the banks of the Yamuna, testifying to the timelessness of art and love. Its pure white marble shimmers silver in the soft moonlight; exudes a shell-pink glow at dawn; and, at the close of the day, takes on the tawny, fiery hue of the majestic sun. Shahjahan built this monument in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the 'lady of the Taj'. It's, without doubt, the most extravagant monument ever built for the sake of love. The construction of the Taj commenced in 1631 and took 22 years to complete. Workers were gathered from all over the country and Central Asia - about 20,000 were recruited to translate this wild dream into a reality.
Among the other monuments that Agra takes pride in is the Agra Fort, built by three of the greatest Mughal emperors. The construction of this massive structure began in 1565, under Akbar, and continued till the time of his grandson, Shahjahan. Armed with massive double walls, punctuated by four gateways, the fort houses palaces, courts, mosques, baths, gardens, and gracious pavilions within its premises Among the fascinating structures that are to be found within the fort is the red sandstone Jehangiri Mahal built by Akbar for his Hindu queen, Jodhabai. It was one of the earliest constructions illustrating the fort's change from a military structure to a palace.
Day 07: Agra – Jhansi by Train & Jhansi - Khajuraho (173km/04hrs)
After early morning breakfast, you'll transfer to Agra Railway Station for the train to Jhansi. Upon arrival at Jhansi railway station and drive to Khajuraho. In the afternoon, get ready to have your jaw dropped, your breath was taken away, and your mind blown by The Western, Eastern, and Southern group of temples.
Khajuraho was once the capital of a powerful dynasty of Hindu kings called the candelas. All 85 temples of Khajuraho, famous for their erotic sculptures, were built by these excitable rulers.
Day 08: Khajuraho - Varanasi by Flight
The morning transfer to Khajuraho airport to board the flight for Varanasi.
On arrival, there will be a quick transfer to your hotel; you will visit Sarnath and the Ashoka pillar on this day.
Day 09: Varanasi
Today, you'll find that taking a dawn boat ride on the holy Ganges is worth all the trouble, as you'll get to watch a glorious sunrise and experience the religious activity at the bathing ghats and temples on the sacred river's banks.
After this, return to the hotel and take breakfast. Later than taking in a Varanasi tour, in which you'll get to visit Banaras Hindu University and the temples.
In the evening, a rickshaw rides through the old city and evening witness the Evening Aarti ceremony on the Ganges river.
Day 10: Varanasi – Delhi by flight
This morning transfer to Varanasi airport to board the flight for Delhi. Where you will board your international flight to back home.