Highlights of Northern India

Highlights of Northern India

586 Views
9 Days
From

$1648

$1459

Highlights of Northern India

9 Days Starting and ending in Delhi

Visiting: New Delhi, Jaipur, City Palace, Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Amber Palace, Ranthambore National Park, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Taj Mahal , Red Fort, Varanasi, Ganges, Delhi

Tour operator:

Exodus

Tour code:

AIC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Leisurely

Age range:

16 to 99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Small Group

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

From:
$1648
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Tour Overview

Northern India conjures up memorable and colourful images of turbans, saris, flavoursome curries and rickshaws. We visit the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, home to the wonderful former Maharaja's Palace and the splendid hilltop Amber Fort. Agra and the serene Taj Mahal are not to be missed and fully live up to expectations. An early morning boat ride through the mist along the ghats of Varanasi is probably the most sensory intoxicating excursion in India and is both fascinating and deeply moving – an experience only equalled by spotting a tiger in Ranthambore National Park.

Highlights

  • Search for the elusive tiger

  • See the unforgettable Taj Mahal

  • Sample flavoursome and familiar curries

  • Meander along the Ganges at Varanasi

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Start Delhi; Transfer To Jaipur.
Location: New Delhi, Jaipur
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Fort Chandragupt (or similar)
Meals Included: No Meals

Those who are on the group flights will land in Delhi in the morning. Those

not on the group flights will need to be at the start hotel by 9.30am (or at

the airport when the group land). A local representative will meet Land Only

clients at the start hotel and provide a transfer to the airport where we

meet clients arriving on the group flight. Once everyone has arrived we will

then depart on the drive to Jaipur, which may take between 5-7 hours

depending upon traffic conditions.



*Standard Hotel*



Day 2 : Visit City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal And The Amber Fort; Free Time For Exploring.
Location: Jaipur, City Palace, Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Amber Palace
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Fort Chandragupt (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Built in the late 18th century, Jaipur is a planned city of broad avenues

built of sandstone and painted pink at a later stage. We visit the City

Palace in the centre of Jaipur, formerly the residence of the Maharaja, now a

fine museum containing rare manuscripts, paintings, royal garments and

weapons. Close to the palace is one of the most intriguing sights of India,

the observatory of Jai Singh. This is an assembly of immense astronomical

instruments made of marble and brass set in a pleasant garden. We will also

see Jaipur's impressive landmark, the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds. We

then visit the impressive and splendid Amber Fort, a few miles from the main

city, rising above a lake. Jaipur is a centre of many handicrafts, such as

durries (woven rugs), carpets, printed cloth, semi-precious stones,

leatherwear etc. It will be difficult to leave a workshop without buying

anything!

*Standard Hotel*



Day 3 : To Ranthambore; Afternoon Game Drive In Search Of Elusive Tiger.
Location: Ranthambore National Park
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Raj Palace Resort (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast

We wind our way through the villages of rural India to Ranthambore Tiger

Reserve (approx. 5 hr drive); we stay in a hotel not far from the park

entrance and make 2 game drives into the park, one in the late afternoon and

one the following morning. Ranthambore is one of India's tiger reserves under

Project Tiger. After initial success, poaching has drastically reduced the

tiger population and the chance of spotting a tiger is small, but many Exodus

groups have seen tigers over the last few years. There is other wildlife to

spot such as several species of deer, crocodiles and bird life including

purple heron, kingfishers, cormorants, parakeets, jacanda, waders and

partridges.

*Standard Hotel*



Day 4 : Morning Game Drive; Drive To Agra Via Fatehpur Sikri.
Location: Agra, Fatehpur Sikri
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Avalon Palms (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning we take our second game drive, trying to find that elusive

tiger, before we start our journey to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri

is the Emperor Akbar's deserted royal city. This impressive and

well-preserved citadel became his capital in 1571, after the blessing of a

local Moslem holy man correctly predicted the birth of a longed-for son, his

successor the Emperor Jehangir. The mosque, designed to hold ten thousand

worshippers, the palaces, residences and halls of audience are all made of

decorative red sandstone. But this magnificence only lasted 14 years, as in

1584 Akbar left Fatehpur Sikri to secure his outlying territories, leaving

this city much as we see it today – in perfect condition. This is another

very full but rewarding day. Total driving time approx. 7 hrs.

*Comfortable Hotel*



Day 5 : Visit The Incredible Taj Mahal And Agra Fort; Overnight Train To Varanasi.
Location: Taj Mahal , Red Fort
Accommodation: Sleeper Train
Accommodation Name: Sleeper train
Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we will rise early to visit the beautiful white marble Taj Mahal at

sunrise which was built by the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his

beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. The Taj is serenely beautiful

and never fails to amaze a first time visitor; the white marble exterior

changes colour according to the position of the sun during the day and is

matched by the rich interior detail. Within striking distance is the imposing

Red Fort of Akbar, third of the Moghul Emperors, whose mighty sandstone walls

enclose the beautiful white marble Pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls,

courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jehangir and Shah Jahan.

It is here that the latter spent his last years, imprisoned by his own son

Aurangzeb. Later in the day we will transfer to Agra train station and join

the overnight sleeper train to Varanasi.





Day 6 : Relax And Enjoy The Wonders Of Varanasi.
Location: Varanasi
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Surya (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast

We arrive in Varanasi during the morning and transfer to our hotel. Varanasi,

located on the river Ganges, is one of the holiest cities in India and stands

at the centre of the Hindu Universe. As such, the city lives and breathes

Hinduism: there are thousands of pilgrims, wandering holy men (Sadhus),

religious elders and casual visitors. It is a city to get immersed in by

exploring its maze of narrow lanes and the many temples and watching the

Hindu ceremonies that take place around the clock. There is time to explore

the emporiums specialising in silks and brocades or maybe take a massage by

the banks of the Ganges. Your leader can organise various optional

sightseeing trips during your 2 days here.

*Comfortable Hotel*



Day 7 : Dawn Boat Ride On The Ganges Visiting The Bathing Ghats; Afternoon Flight To Delhi.
Location: Ganges, New Delhi
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Florence Inn (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Just before dawn, we take a boat out on the Ganges to witness the

extraordinary spectacle on the ghats, the steps leading down to the river.

Every day thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to these three miles of riverbank

to soak in the holy waters.  This afternoon we fly back to Delhi.  *

*



*Standard hotel*



Day 8 : Delhi Free Day Or Optional Sightseeing.
Location: Delhi
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Florence Inn (or similar)
Meals Included: breakfast

Today you are free to relax or explore the sites of New and Old Delhi (an

optional sightseeing trip will be organised if you wish). Recommended sites

are the Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate, Jama Masjid (India's largest

mosque), Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) and Raj Ghat. For last minute

shopping, we recommend the market area of Chandni Chowk or Karol Bagh. 

*Standard Hotel*



Day 9 : End Delhi.
Location: New Delhi
Meals Included: Breakfast

Those on the flight inclusive package will depart for the airport this

morning for the daytime flight back to London; Land Only arrangements will

finish after check-out from the hotel.

**



What's Included

  • All breakfasts and 1 lunch included

  • Transfer for group flights

  • All accommodation

  • Fully Guided

What's Not Included

  • Single supplement

  • Travel insurance

  • Visas & vaccinations

Accommodation

We stay in centrally located city hotels (two- or three-star, local rating) that mix heritage and modern styles, plus a jungle hotel in Ranthambore National Park and the overnight sleeper train from Agra to Varanasi.



Jaipur: Fort Chandragupt







In central Jaipur, Fort Chandragupt is a combination of classic heritage with contemporary services and amenities. From the rooftop terrace, take in the view of the Pink City and the Aravalli mountain range where, on a clear day, the Nahargarh Fort can be seen. By staying close to several attractions and transport hubs, your senses will go into overdrive as you step out into the hustle of local people and tourists busily going about their day. The hotel facilities include a swimming pool, several restaurants and a lounge-bar.



Ranthambore: Raj Palace







Within Ranthambore National Park, the Raj Palace is conveniently located so we don't have far to go in search of tigers and other wildlife. When not in the forest, relax in the pool or just sit in the gardens giving your senses a break, away from the city noise and heat.



Sleeper trains







These are booked in a two-tier sleeper (or three-tier if two-tier is unavailable) with air conditioning. There are many excellent trains in India, but the standard of seating and sleeping is not in line with Western standards. All seats are allocated at the time the tickets are issued, meaning we cannot guarantee the whole group is together on the train. Your leader will manage this as best as possible and will always check on you during the journey. Indian trains are safe, but we recommend you always keep valuables with you as the sleeper compartments are open with curtains for privacy along the aisle. Snacks are often offered on board (at an additional cost). While some trains have Western-style facilities, most services are equipped with squat toilets.



Worth knowing



Hotels in India usually do not have heating as there are only a couple of months when the weather can get cold. You can, however, request more blankets if needed or the hotel may be able to provide a standing heater for your room. Please talk to your tour leader if you need help in this matter.

Its common for hotels in India to have limited times in the day for hot water use to save energy. If you find your shower is cold, please let your leader or reception know so they can make sure the water heater is on.

Sleeper trains are not enclosed compartments, bed bunks are set up within a carriage with curtains for some privacy.

Within the sleeper train, you may be sharing a compartment of four beds with members of the public depending on how the seats are allocated.

Single accommodation excludes sleeper trains

Food


All breakfasts and 1 lunch are included in this trip.

India is famous for its food and there is ample chance to try various curries
such as the familiar tandoori, biriyani and rogan josh. If you are a
vegetarian, India is a great destination. There are wonderful desserts and
excellent beers, soft drinks and Indian specialities such as lassi, a
refreshing yoghurt drink.

You should allow at least £15-25 (approx. US$20 - US$35) per day for lunch
and dinner. You can eat out very cheaply in India, but if you go to the more
expensive restaurants most of the time, you will spend more than the
suggested amount. In most of the towns there is a good choice of restaurants
and a choice between Indian and Western food. Please note that service in
restaurants can be quite slow. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A
(large!) bottle of beer is approximately £3 (approx. US$4).

Mineral water is widely available, but drinking water is provided in a large
container in the bus in order to reduce our use of plastic, so please bring
your own water bottle with you to refill. 

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Check out our Q&As

  • Who is Exodus Travels?

    At Exodus Travels, we've been exploring the world for nearly 50 years. From Walking and Trekking, Cultural and Cycling, Responsible Wildlife, to Polar and our new Premium Adventures, we are proud to offer award-winning small group and self-guided tours to 100+ countries worldwide.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    If you would like to be paired with a tour member of the same gender, there is no additional charge. A single supplement can be requested if you would like your own room.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, our local guides are English speaking.

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    We are happy to assist with pre and post tour accommodation. Please enquire for detailed information.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    The minimum age for this tour is 16 years old.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    International flights are not included with this tour.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Amazing

The whole trip was awesome, lots of different places visited the tour guide was fabulous lots of knowledge. Did some wonderful things that supported sustainable tourism an experience never to be forgotten

Wonderful first experience of Northern India - highly recommended!

This was an amazing "starter" trip for anyone wanting to begin to experience India. Packed with highlights, everything ran like clockwork (yes, even the train!) and there were no disappointments - friendly people, incredible sights, amazing experiences and incredible food. Highly recommended!

Life changing

This is the first time I had visited to India and gone solo on a group tour. It was life changing for me . The country was fantastic I felt if I went home on day 3 I would have been happy! Our group was fabulous and we have since met in London for a curry! The itinerary was busy but excellent covering the classic sights of northern India with the added extra of Varanasi which was so memorable riding down the Ganges at 6am, our guide Naveen was simply the best. Great company, funny, kind and kept up on track.

Highlights of Northern India

Fabulous advice and guidance, ethical and sustainable throughout. The Taj Mahal was amazing and the boat trip on the river Ganges was inspirational an unexpected highlight. The whole trip was well planned, felt very safe as a solo traveller.

Exhausting, Exhilarating, Incredible India

A non stop trip round the highlights

Fantastic

An amazing trip. A wonderful group. A brilliant guide …who made the tour even more wonderful …took care of us all and made us all laugh. A sensory overload of a trip.

Fantastic trip!

An amazing trip with a very full on itinerary! You’ ll see all the highlights of Northern India, you will do all the must activities like boat ride in Varanasi. Yes, there will be early mornings, but in return you’ll got to see fantastic places during sunrise! Yes, there will be long bus journeys, but you’ll travel through small villages and see how people live and take some amazing photos. Yes, most hotels were basic, but nice and clean with friendly staff. Yes, the overnight train is fun! Read your trip notes to know what to expect, arrive with open mind, ask questions and enjoy this amazing country!

Excellent Varied and Full Trip

Every day was like having 2 days in one! We saw and did so much each day. The itinerary was packed but it all worked really well and we visited so many wonderful sights. Each day was so different and varied and for each site we had our own specialised guide who explained things well and gave us time to enjoy each one. Naveen Bazaz, our Exodus leader, looked after our every need. We all really enjoyed his sense of humour and his caring nature.

Busy itinerary packed with highlights

This is a busy itinerary that covers all the major sights in the 'Golden Triangle' of Northern India, plus two tiger safaris and Varanasi, in only 7 days off work. Most itineraries on offer for this part of the world won't give you so much in such a short time period. This makes it a great option for travellers with little time to spare and who want to see as much as possible of this part of the world. There is little 'down time' and it can feel a bit rushed at times, but for me this was far outweighed by the opportunity to see so much and visit places I simply couldn't have fitted in at all any other way. The trip was very well organised and run and I enjoyed everything we visited.

Fantastic but full-on trip

The trip delivered exactly what it stated and in that respect was wonderful. However, we felt that the pace was too relentless given the large distances needed to travel. An additional day, perhaps in Ranthambore NP (with a further tiger hunt?) and some time by a pool would have been good to break in the itinerary. Overnight second class train from Agra to Varanasi was 6 hrs delayed adding further to the tight timeframe and was somewhat of a challenging experience. Express train from Varanasi to Delhi very good however. Hotels were fine but mostly tired.

Read all 14 reviews

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Celebrate Exodus' 50th anniversary! This departure includes a cooking experience and dinner with a Royal family in Jaipur, a local birthday celebration and a special edition Exodus kitbag

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  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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