Varanasi Shoreline

9 day itinerary

India's Golden Triangle with Varanasi Superior Tour

The spirit of India

On this fascinating private tour experience the real flavour of India and discover the major influences that shaped the country's colourful and multi-cultural history. Visit dramatic settings, cruise down the Ganges River and see the most sacred ancient temples and sites. According to legend Varanasi was founded by the god Shiva over 3000 years ago, it is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited cities and has a vast wealth of culture and history. Experience everything from the intimate life and death rituals to the manic ghats to the many sacred temples throughout this spiritual and magical city.

Our Experts Recommend:
  • Exploring Delhi's temples and mosques
  • Witnessing the splendour of the Taj Mahal at sunset
  • ExploringJaipur's romantic palaces
  • Khajuraho's medieval temples
  • Experiencing The Ganges holy ghats
  • Sarnath holy Buddhist sites

Sample Itinerary Summary

We can tailor any part of this itinerary or create a new one just for you.

Duration
9 days
Destination Breakdown
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Included
  • Accommodation as detailed in twin or double bed with private facilities (alternative but similar hotels may be used at certain times of year)
  • Meals as stated
  • Private air-conditioned transport plus trains (chair car) and economy flights where stated - Please be aware that the domestic flight luggage allowance may be less than your international flight allowance. Maximum allowance on a domestic flight is 15 K
  • Services of a qualified English-speaking local guide
  • Airport/train station assistance and transfers
  • All site entrance fees while touring as appropriate.
  • International flights.
Not included
  • Visa fees
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Beverages during meals
  • Tips for the driver/guide
  • Optional excursions

Itinerary Breakdown

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the rest of today at your own pace, weather that's exploring Delhi or relaxing in your hotel. 

Overnight Accommodation

  • Taj Palace, New Delhi or similar

Drive past the Red Fort from where the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation on India’s Independence Day. Visit Jama Masjid, the most elegant mosque in India that stands high on a hillock. In between and around these two focal points of the 17th century city is a thriving modern city in a medieval setting.

On the way back, the tour visits Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s shrine.Later drive past the President’s House, the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the two flanking Secretariat buildings – the nerve centre of government activity. Driving down this hillock is the India Gate, the great memorial arch built to commemorate the slain heroes of World War-I and Indo-Afghan War. Around India Gate are palaces of some of the erstwhile Indian princely states that are now public offices and museums.

Visit the precursor to the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb built in 1565 AD by the widow of the second Mughal emperor Haji Begum. In the vicinity of Humayun’s Tomb is the grave of Delhi’s most revered Sufi Saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin. Humayun’s Tomb is a beautiful garden tomb and stands as a high point of early Mughal architecture and technology. Later drive to Delhi’s most recognized symbol, the 12th century Qutab Minar, standing 72 meters high and Delhi’s first mosque Quwat-ul-Islam (Light of Islam) Mosque. Also standing in this complex are buildings that were built by successive Islamic rulers and British. To round off the days sight seeing, the tour visits the Hindu heritage of the city, Lakshmi Narayan temple built by one of India’s premier industrial families, the Birlas.

After sightseeing leave Delhi for Jaipur. (05 – 06 hrs drive) Overnight in Jaipur.

Overnight Accommodation

  • ITC Rajputana or similar

Enjoy an excursion to the classic Amber Fort and visit the romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace. Enroute to the Amber Fort, you will have a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – also known as the Palace of Winds. In the afternoon take a sightseeing tour of Jaipur city visiting the Maharaja's City Palace, the former Royal residence, and later visit the Jantar Mantar, which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world.

Overnight in Jaipur.

Overnight Accommodation

  • ITC Rajputana or similar

This morning leave for Agra (5.5hrs/230km). Travel via the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, built in 1569 and used as the capital for 14 years. Visit the remarkably well preserved, graceful and grand buildings within the 'Ghost City'.

Upon arrival in Agra, check in to your hotel before watching the sun set beyond the world famous Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan in 1560 in memory of his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel took 17 years to complete and is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble (please note: Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays).

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Radisson Blu or similar

Depart to Agra train station this morning for the Shatabdi Express to Jhansi (depart around 8am). Onward travel by road to Khajuraho (4hrs/175km). Check in at your hotel before an afternoon visit to the famous UNESCO Temple at Khajuraho and the Western Temple at Khajuraho, beautiful sites.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Lalit Temple View or similar

Visit the Eastern Temples at Khajuraho before boarding your flight to the colourful historic city of Varanasi. In the evening head down to the Ganges to see the Aarti Hindu ritual on the holy ghats.

Overnight in Varanasi.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Ramada Plaza or similar

Enjoy an early morning boat ride on the great Ganges River before heading back to the hotel for breakfast.In the afternoon visit Sarnath, 10 kms from Varanasi, where Buddha preached his first sermon. You'll see impressive stupas, a large complex of ruined monasteries and the new monastery, built by the Buddhist Mahabodhi Society, which depicts the major events of Buddha's life.

Overnight in Varanasi.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Ramada Plaza or similar

Travel to the airport for your flight to Delhi. On arrival you will be meet and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Taj Palace, New Delhi or similar

After breakfast transfer back to Delhi airport for your onward journey. 

  • Delhi

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Monuments, forts and temples
    • Experience old and new Delhi
    • Chandni Chowk
    • Humayun’s Tomb
    • Historic and cultural city
  • Jaipur

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Jaipur City
    • Amber Fort and Palace
    • Jantar Mantar Observatory
    • Rajasthani Fort Palace
    • Also known as Blue City
  • Agra

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Taj Mahal at sunset
    • Visit the Ghost City
    • Traditional and historic city
    • Delicious cuisine
    • Iconic Indian architecture
  • Varanasi

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Home to one of the worlds most spiritualist rivers, The Ganges
    • Sacred and holy city
    • Experience a traditional Aarti Hindu ritual on the holy ghats
    • It is believed that Varanasi was founded by the god Shiva over 3000 years ago
    • Many sacred temples across this holy city