The Essence of India

The Essence of India

18 Days From



The Essence of India

18 Days Starting and ending in New Delhi

Visiting: India

Tour operator:

Indus Travels

Group size:

1 - 22

Physical rating:


$1202 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$57

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

This tour takes you on a captivating journey through some of India's most iconic and culturally rich destinations. Starting in Delhi, you'll explore the old and new parts of the city, visiting landmarks such as Raj Ghat, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate, and the Lotus Temple. From there, you'll travel to Mandawa, known as the "Open-air Art Gallery," to admire its historic mansions and intricate frescoes. Next, you'll visit the mystical city of Pushkar, famous for its sacred lake and Brahma Temple. In Jodhpur, the "Blue City," you'll explore the majestic Mehrangarh Fort and experience the vibrant markets. The journey continues to Udaipur, the "City of Lakes," where you'll visit the Udaipur City Palace, Jagdish Temple, and enjoy the serene beauty of Fateh Sagar Lake and Sahelion-ki-Bari. In Bundi, you'll be enchanted by the town's narrow lanes, blue houses, and the magical Garh Palace. The itinerary then takes you to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, where you'll visit the magnificent Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal, and Birla Temple. Finally, you'll arrive in Agra to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Witness its awe-inspiring transformation of colors and immerse yourself in the pinnacle of Mughal art. Then, travel to Lucknow, a city known for its rich culture and diversity. Explore the magnificent Bara Imambara, the haunting Lucknow Residency, and consider an optional visit to the Chhota Imambara and La Martinere School. Next, head to Varanasi, one of the holiest cities in India, and experience the enchanting Hindu prayer ceremony on the Ganges River. Enjoy a memorable boat ride on the sacred river and consider a visit to Sarnath. Finally, board a train to Delhi and conclude your journey, bidding farewell to a country filled with cultural, historical, and spiritual experiences.


  • Explore the Rich history and iconic landmarks of Delhi, including Red Fort and Lotus Temple

  • Immerse yourself in the artistic beauty of Mandawa, known as the "Open-air Art Gallery"

  • Experience the mystical aura of Pushkar as you visit the sacred lake and the Brahma Temple

  • Discover the "Blue City" of Jodhpur and explore the magnificent views of Mehrangarh Fort

  • Visit the enchanting "City of Lakes," Udaipur, and explore the majestic Udaipur City palace

  • Marvel at The Taj Mahal, an architectural masterpiece, and a symbol of eternal love, in Agra

  • Explore the cultural heritage of Lucknow, visiting the magnificent Bara Imambara

  • Enjoy the mesmerizing Hindu prayer ceremony, on the sacred Ganges River in Varanasi

  • Travel to the cultural heritage of Lucknow, visiting the magnificent Bara Imambara


Expand All

Day 1: Delhi Arrival

Welcome to Delhi, India! Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant atmosphere of this monumental city. As you arrive at Delhi International Airport, our friendly representative will be there to greet you. They will assist you with the check-in process at your hotel, ensuring a smooth start to your journey. Take some time to relax and settle in.

Overnight in Delhi

Day 2: Delhi (B/-/-)

Today after breakfast, get ready to explore the captivating city of Delhi. Your city tour will take you through both the old and new parts of Delhi, offering a fascinating blend of heritage and modernity. Begin by visiting Raj Ghat, the serene memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. Marvel at the Red Fort, an imposing 17th-century fortress with magnificent palaces and gardens. Continue to Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque, known for its stunning architecture. You'll also get a chance to see iconic landmarks like India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, and the mesmerizing Lotus Temple. Capture the essence of Delhi's rich heritage and vibrant culture as you explore its diverse attractions.

Overnight in Delhi

Day 3: Delhi - Mandawa (280 Kms / 7 Hrs) (B/-/-)

Enjoy breakfast and check out from the hotel and embark on a scenic drive to Mandawa. This picturesque town, located in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, is often referred to as the \"Open-air Art Gallery\" of India. Explore the town's historic mansions, palaces, and forts adorned with intricate frescoes and architecture. Take a leisurely walk through the vibrant streets and immerse yourself in the charming medieval bazaars. Discover traditional handmade relics and immerse yourself in the artistic beauty of Mandawa.

Overnight in Mandawa

Day 4: Mandawa – Pushkar (B/-/-)

After breakfast, bid farewell to Mandawa as you head to Pushkar. This ancient city, nestled amidst the hills, is a popular destination for tourists and devotees alike. Explore the mystical aura of Pushkar as you visit the sacred Pushkar Lake and the famous Brahma Temple, dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. You may also choose to participate in a unique Pooja service at a Ghat, performed by a Hindu priest. Enjoy the rest of the day at your own pace, soaking in the tranquility and spirituality of this revered city.

Overnight in Pushkar

Day 5: Pushkar - Jodhpur (B/-/-)

This morning after breakfast, you will depart for Jodhpur, known as the \"Blue City\" due to its blue-painted houses. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and enjoy some leisure time. Explore the city's vibrant markets and soak up the local culture at your own pace.

Overnight in Jodhpur

Day 6: Jodhpur (B/-/-)

Get ready to delve into the history and grandeur of Jodhpur after breakfast. Visit the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, an architectural marvel that offers breathtaking views of the city. Explore the intricately designed palaces and expansive courtyards within the fort complex. Afterward, take a stroll through the bustling Clock Tower Bazaar, where you can shop for spices and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the local market.

Overnight in Jodhpur

Day 7: Jodhpur – Udaipur (B/-/-)

Overnight stay at the After breakfast, check out from the hotel and embark on a scenic drive to Udaipur. You may opt for an En route stop at Ranakpur to visit the awe-inspiring Chaumukha Mandir (Four-Faced Temple). This Jain temple is a masterpiece of architecture, with its 1444 intricately carved pillars and exquisite craftsmanship. Continue to Udaipur, often called the \"City of Lakes.\" Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.

Overnight in Udaipur

Day 8: Udaipur (B/-/-)

Today, after enjoying a delicious breakfast, explore the captivating city of Udaipur. Your first stop is the majestic Udaipur City Palace, situated above Lake Pichola. This magnificent palace, constructed entirely out of marble and granite, is a testament to luxury and grandeur. Inside, you'll be awestruck by the intricate inlays of colored glass, engravings, towers, and balconies. It's a truly unique experience that showcases the rich history of Rajasthan. Next, you'll visit the beautiful Jagdish Temple, a 16th-century temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple is the largest and most splendid in Udaipur, offering a glimpse into the city's religious heritage. As you drive past Fateh Sagar Lake, you'll make a stop at Sahelion-ki-Bari, also known as the Garden of the Maids-of-Honor. This enchanting garden boasts delicately chiseled kiosks, fountains, and elephants in its four pools. It's the perfect place to soak in the serene beauty of Udaipur.

Overnight in Udaipur

Day 9: Udaipur – Bundi (B/-/-)

Enjoy a group breakfast and embark on a scenic drive to Bundi. This captivating town will mesmerize you with its narrow lanes, Brahmin-blue houses, lakes, hills, bazaars, and temples at every turn. Bundi's highlight is its fantastical palace, rising from the hillside with faded parchment cupolas and loggias. It's like stepping into a magical world frozen in time. Upon arrival, you'll check into our hotel and later in the afternoon, embark on a delightful walking tour of Bundi. Youll visit one of the most beautiful step-wells in town and explore the vibrant and characteristic marketplaces. The walk will culminate at the Garh Palace, also known as Bundi Palace, a partly decaying edifice that seems to grow out of the rock. Inside, you'll be captivated by the fabulous turquoise-and-gold murals, the palace's chief treasure. Take your time to absorb the magical atmosphere of this historical gem. The rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy.

Overnight in Bundi

Day 10: Bundi – Jaipur (B/-/-)

Breakfast at hotel, before bidding farewell to Bundi and drive to Jaipur, the enthralling capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur is a city that beautifully blends the old and the new, offering a vibrant and colorful experience. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Explore the bustling streets, soak in the lively atmosphere, and immerse yourself in the rich culture of this flamboyant city.

Overnight in Jaipur

Day 11: Jaipur (B/-/-)

After a fulfilling breakfast, get ready for a day of sightseeing in Jaipur. Your first stop is the magnificent Amer Fort, surrounded by fortified battlements and situated on a ridge just outside the city. This 17th-century fort, initiated by Maharaja Mansingh, offers a fascinating glimpse into the past with its impressive design and decoration. You'll have the opportunity to tour the chambers and hallways and marvel at the architectural brilliance. Next, you'll make a photo stop at the iconic Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of Winds. Its unique pyramidal facade and intricate latticed windows make it a true architectural wonder. You'll also visit the Birla Temple, a modern temple made of pure white marble dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. It showcases Hindu symbols and ancient quotes, creating a serene atmosphere. In the evening, you'll have the chance to learn the art of turban tying and saree draping, immersing yourself in the traditional attire and customs of India.

Overnight in Jaipur

Day 12: Jaipur – Agra (B/-/-)

Today after breakfast, check out from your hotel in Jaipur and hit the road to Agra. Agra, renowned for its historical significance, is home to one of India's most iconic attractions—the Taj Mahal. Commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 15th century, this architectural masterpiece was built as a tribute to his beloved wife. Prepare to be awestruck by the Taj's exquisite craftsmanship and perfect proportions. Upon arrival in Agra, check-in at the hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure, soaking in the ambiance of this remarkable city.

Overnight in Agra

Day 13: Agra – Lucknow (B/-/-)

Rise early to witness the enchanting beauty of the Taj Mahal at sunrise (closed on Fridays). As the sun casts its gentle light upon this magnificent monument, experience the awe-inspiring transformation of colors. The Taj Mahal is considered the pinnacle of Mughal art in India, a jewel of Muslim art. It's a sight that words cannot fully capture—truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Afterward, return to the hotel for the breakfast before checking out

You'll then drive to Lucknow, where you'll check into your hotel. Lucknow is a city known for its rich culture, art, and diversity. It's a modern and vibrant city where people appreciate good food, language, and the unique \"nawabi ada\" or royal grace. Lucknow is the perfect place to discover self-help and craft groups from all over the country, showcasing their amazing products.

Overnight in Lucknow

Day 14: Lucknow (B/-/-)

Embark on a guided tour of Lucknow, after enjoying your breakfast at hotel. Your first stop is the magnificent Bara Imambara. This architectural marvel was built by Nawab Asif-ud-Daula to provide employment during a devastating famine. It boasts the world's largest hall, spanning 8,500 square feet, with a 50-foot high ceiling and no supporting beams. Its simplicity, symmetry, and exceptional acoustic qualities will leave you in awe. Don't miss the impressive 'Rumi Darwaza' or the Turkish Gate and the beautiful Asfi Mosque.

Next, you'll visit Lucknow Residency, a place where the silent walls tell the haunting tale of the 1857 mutiny. This sprawling British campus witnessed the sacrifice of thousands of brave Indians who fought against British rule. The Residency stands as a poignant reminder of the struggle for independence.

Overnight in Lucknow

Day 15: Lucknow – Varanasi (By Road) (B/-/-)

Enjoy your breakfast at your hotel and take the morning to relax at your leisure. Around noon, you'll conclude your hotel check-out and embark on a journey to Varanasi, the ageless city located along the sacred Ganges River. Varanasi is one of the holiest places in India, where Hindu pilgrims come to cleanse their sins in the holy waters. It's a city with a rich history, dating back over 2,000 years, and claims to be one of the oldest living cities in the world.

Upon arrival in Varanasi, you will check-in to your hotel. In the evening, you'll witness a mesmerizing Hindu prayer ceremony called 'Aarti' on the Ganges River. You'll take a trip to Dhaswashmedh Ghat, where you'll board a boat and witness the enchanting aarti for about 20-30 minutes. The riverbanks, temples, and ghats will be adorned with oil lamps and candles, creating a magical atmosphere. Devotees will float oil lamps in the water as an offering to the sacred river. Afterward, you'll be returned to your hotel for a restful night.

Overnight in Varanasi

Day 16: Varanasi (B/-/-)

Rise early to experience a memorable boat ride on the holy Ganges River (subject to water levels). Varanasi's bathing ghats, lining the western banks, are a sight to behold. The serene and spiritual ambience is best witnessed at dawn. As the sun rises, you'll see countless devotees paying homage to the Sun God or locals engaging in their daily rituals. After the boat ride, you'll head back to the hotel for a delicious breakfast and some relaxation.

Overnight in Varanasi.

Day 17: Varanasi – Delhi (By Train) (B/-/-)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and take your time to relax by the poolside or in the hotel surroundings. In the afternoon, you'll transfer you from the hotel to Varanasi railway station, where you'll catch a train to Delhi. Board the Vande Bharat Train (1500/2300) for a comfortable journey. Upon arrival at Delhi Railway station, you'll be transferred to your hotel, and the rest of the day is yours to unwind and explore at your leisure. Have a comfortable overnight stay at the hotel.

Overnight in Delhi

Day 18: Delhi – Usa/Canada (B/-/-)

It's time to bid farewell. After breakfast, check out from the hotel, and you'll transferred you to Delhi International Airport for your onward journey. Hope you had an incredible time exploring the vibrant cities of Agra, Lucknow, and Varanasi, filled with culture, history, and spiritual experiences.

What's Included

  • 17 Nights accommodation on a twin sharing basis at listed Superior hotels or similar

  • Daily buffet breakfast

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers

  • All Transportation by AC chauffeur-driven vehicle

  • Services of an English-speaking tour guide

  • All Sightseeing as per the detailed itinerary

  • All Entrance fees as per the detailed itinerary

  • All local applicable taxes

What's Not Included

  • Items of a personal nature, tips, and gratuities

  • Optional tours

  • Arrival and departure transfers for land-only passengers

  • Items not mentioned as being included

Check out our Q&As

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but only in case it was previously agreed by both sides and arranged by us.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Our e-document package includes all local contact details, daily itinerary, airline e-ticket information, service vouchers, and travel tips which should be everything you require to go on your trip.

  • If I need one, who is responsible to obtain my visa?

    You are responsible for obtaining the proper travel documents for the destinations on your itinerary, including having a passport that is valid for at least 6 months before the date of departure and a visa if required. Please check the Visa section in the Know Before You Go document for the countries you will be visiting.

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

    No, not as standard. Solo travellers can book and occupy their own room for a supplement.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    We have been organizing unforgettable trips since 2001.

  • Can I arrange flights via Indus Travels, too?

    In some cases, yes. Indus Travels can provide flights from/to selected departure points in the USA. If you would like a quote inclusive of flights, please let us know and we'll be happy to check the details for you!

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?


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

    Changes to an existing reservation up to the Final Payment Date, whatever the cause, will incur a $100 per person amendment fee, potential loss of any supplier fees (such as non-refundable event tickets, park permits, and sea cruise reservations) plus any costs for replacement services. On/ after the Final Payment Date, the $100 change fee is no longer valid, instead cancellations terms apply.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Gary Geller, Toronto - Ontario  

The Essence of India

<p>Elizabeth,<br /> Thank you for your email. We

<p>Elizabeth,<br /> Thank you for your email. We are just now finally getting over the jet lag.<br /> <br /> India was in a word, wonderful. This has been a memorable experience for myself, wife and other travelling companions. We will be recommending you for all travel to India. The trip could not have been better. Everything fell into place. The boats at the Bird Sanctuary were initiating their boating the day we arrived. The elephants at Jaipur Amber Fort, were just recently no longer "agitated" and had been regulated to a shorter working day, allowing us the experience of the elephant ride.<br /> <br /> Thank you again for your efforts. We could not have been happier. We look forward to perhaps returning to India in the next year or so to take in the southern part of the country.<br /> <br /> Thank you again.</p>

Jed and Linda Pilling, USA  

The Essence of India

<p>Dear Praveen, <br /> <br /> We had a wonderfu

<p>Dear Praveen, <br /> <br /> We had a wonderful holiday. All arrangements went to plan. All accommodations were excellent. I particularly wish to commend our guide Mr Mahipal from your India office. I would be very happy to recommend the use of your tour company.<br /> <br /> Regards,</p>

Steve & Elaine Smith - Mosspaul Inn Teviothead Hawick Scotland  

The Essence of India

<p>We have just returned from our first trip to In

<p>We have just returned from our first trip to India on your Royal Rajasthan Tour and felt we should immediately contact you to say how thoroughly satisfied we were with all aspects of our trip. We are not &#39;package tour&#39; people but felt that with limited time available to us and no previous experience of India we needed some structure to our visit.<br /> <br /> We found your tour to be the ideal balance between not being part of a large group but at the same time having all the hassle taken care of. We really felt like travellers and not herded tourists.<br /> Your organization was faultless, the hotels were much above expectations and of a consistently high standard (we own a small hotel ourselves),the guides we had were all excellent and, of course, a special mention must go to our driver Mr Singh who was an absolute star. <br /> <br /> This tour has whetted our appetite to return to India again and we shall have no hesitation whatsoever in using your company again. We are already recommending you to friends.<br /> Once again thank you for a truly memorable holiday. <br /> <br /> Best regards</p>

Jenny Hains, Australia  

The Essence of India

<p>Hi Praveen,<br /> Thank you for the wonderfull

<p>Hi Praveen,<br /> Thank you for the wonderfully organised tour of Rajasthan. We enjoyed the experience very much and felt that the program ran smoothly, and in fact exceeded our expectations.<br /> <br /> I would recommend this tour to others. It suited our needs well given that we were touring with our 15 year old daughter and I wanted her experience to be enjoyable. Travelling in India can be challenging but we felt the tour arrangements made it very comfortable and easy. The local staff were all excellent and experienced. <br /> <br /> Warm regards</p>

Henri Garand  

The Essence of India

<p>Hi Tordes,<br /> <br /> India is an extraordi

<p>Hi Tordes,<br /> <br /> India is an extraordinary destination. Though my wife and I have travelled to many other parts of the world, India provided something of interest and wonder every day we were there.<br /> <br /> We&#39;re also pleased that we could concentrate on sightseeing. The travel arrangements Indus had made worked almost flawlessly. All the representatives were knowledgeable, helpful, and accommodating. Though we had trouble understanding a few guides, we still had good tours at every stop. The hotels were at least the standard we expected, and some, like the Jaypee Palace in Agra, were pleasant surprises.<br /> Thank you especially for the arrangements at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and the Kohinoor Hotel in Mumbai. The naturalist guide and the extra bedroom made an enormous difference.<br /> <br /> I will certainly recommend Indus Travel to friends who envy our trip to India, and I would use Indus again for a return trip.<br /> <br /> Thanks so much for your help in planning the itinerary and for giving us happy memories of travel.<br /> <br /> Regards,</p>

S. James  

The Essence of India

<p>My parents had a blast...they loved their hotel

<p>My parents had a blast...they loved their hotels, the driver, the flight...literally everything!!!!<br /> Thanks again....I&#39;m so happy we were able to do this for them.</p>

Read all 6 reviews

1 Dates & Availability

tourhub Discount Available - Sign In

Thursday - Sunday

Jun 06, 2024 - Jun 23, 2024
$1364 $1303

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$61

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Sunday

Jul 04, 2024 - Jul 21, 2024
$1364 $1303

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$61

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Sunday

Aug 08, 2024 - Aug 25, 2024
$1364 $1303

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$61

Instant Booking Available

Thursday - Sunday

Sep 05, 2024 - Sep 22, 2024
$1259 $1202

Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$57

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Indus Travels requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 45 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

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

    Up to 75 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 74 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

Why book with tourhub?

Safe & Secure

Your money is protected in an external trust until you travel.

pts logo

100% Guaranteed Refunds if your trip is cancelled.

The safest way to make overseas, multi-currency payments.

Guaranteed Best Value

Industry leading discounts, we won't be beaten on price.

No cancellation or amendment fees from tourhub.

(Operator terms may apply)

Expert Knowledge

Reliable & unbiased advice from travel experts.

Direct contact with the tour operator via our messaging service.

Inspiration & advice from a community of 6000+ real travellers, influencers & content creators.

Trusted Service

Official partners & licensed agents of 1000+ tour operators worldwide.

Don't just take our word for it...

"Tourhub: Friendliness, Professionalism & Integrity I would happily give tourhub a 6* review if I could..."

Similar Tours

Travel Guru Features

Our Reviews