A short train ride from Agra is Jhansi, gateway for visiting nearby Orchha. Situated on a river, Orchha is a peaceful place, full of well preserved palaces and temples, with a distinctly medieval charm. Four hours' drive from Orchha is Khajuraho, world renowned for the intricately carved temples full of erotic sculptures. No where else will you find such unique temples with meticulously detailed carvings.
Day 1 - Orchha
Early morning transfer to Agra railway station to board the express train to Jhansi (2 1/2 hrs). From here it is just 18 km to the tiny village of Orchha (1/2 hr). During the 16th and 17th centuries the local rulers built a fort palace on a small island on a bend in the Betwa River, later followed by other magnificent fortifications, palaces and temples. The deserted medieval town is an architectural gem not to be missed.
Day 2 - Khajuraho
Drive to Khajuraho (4 hrs), a tiny village but world renowned for its temples representing the finest art and architecture of medieval India. These temples were built in a short span of hundred years between 950 to 1050 A.D. Enjoy an afternoon tour of the temples, famous for their erotic sculptures whereby little is left to the imagination.
Day 3 - Varanasi
Transfer to Khajuraho airport to board the short flight to Varanasi. On arrival at Varanasi you are met and transferred to your hotel. Varanasi, the holy city on the Ganges River, is one of the most important places of pilgrimage for Hindus. According to the Hindu beliefs, to be cremated on the banks of the Ganges, especially at Varanasi, is certain to gain entry to heaven.
Day 4 - Varanasi
The principal attraction of Varanasi is the long string of bathing ghats which line the river Ganges from which pilgrims make their sin-cleansing dip and on which bodies are cremated. Watching the religious rituals, especially at sunrise and sunset, is a profoundly memorable experience. We organise an early Ganges boat trip followed by a Heritage Walk through the Old City. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Varanasi on your own.
Day 5 - Varanasi
Your tour ends in Varanasi after breakfast. From here you can either take a flight or an overnight train back to Delhi. Alternatively, you can take an overnight train to either Kolkata or New Jalpaiguri (to connect with the Kurseong & Darjeeling module).