A classic adventure in northern India. The journey includes the palaces of Jaipur, the immortal beauty of the Taj Mahal, the medieval temple town of Orchha, the erotic statues of Khajuraho and sunrise over the sacred Ganges. A boat ride on the Ganges at dawn, when it is full of pilgrims making their sin-cleansing dip in the holy river is an amazing experience.
Day 1 - Delhi
Arrive in Delhi where you are met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 - Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur, the captivating Pink City. On Jaipur's streets, camel carts, scooters, cycle rickshaws, modern cars and bullock carts all jostle for space - a total riot of colour. You may even see a load of computers carried by a camel cart! There are incredible palaces, fascinating observatories, parks and bazaars. Jaipur never fails to thrill.
Day 3 - Jaipur
Morning Jaipur city tour. In the afternoon you visit the fabulous Amber Fort, a magnificent complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples built over a period of 125 years by successive rulers.
Day 4 - Agra
Continue to Agra. Stop en route at Fatehpur Sikri to visit the remains of the abandoned former Moghul capital.
Day 5 - Agra
In Agra you have time to enjoy the fantastic Taj Mahal, a sight which will leave you breathless no matter how many pictures of it you have seen before. You also the impressive Agra Fort.
Day 6 - Orchha
Travel by express train to Jhansi. On arrival in Jhansi you will be met and transferred to Orchha. Afternoon time to explore Orchha, the former capital of the Bundela dynasty who left a legacy of magnificent monuments. In the afternoon you have time to explore Orchha, the former capital of the Bundela dynasty who left a legacy of magnificent monuments. It is a treasure trove of palaces, temples and royal cenotaphs built in the Hindu-Islamic style. Three main palaces are enclosed in Orccha's fortified walls. The Jahangir Mahal is the largest and most impressive, and its upper levels offer some arresting panoramic views. Vultures now have sole possession of the palaces and yet they seem fitting owners of these dramatic, abandoned buildings. Arches, carved brackets, glittering blue tiles brighten the buildings' yellow facades. It is now a peaceful and easy going place - prefect for relaxation and independent exploration of the scattered ruins.
Day 7 - Khajuraho
Drive from Orchha to Khajuraho, known for its temples representing the finest art and architecture of medieval India. Every inch of the outside, and much of the inside, of these temples is covered by superb stone carvings. The sculptures are sublime and sensuous at the same time. You visit the Khajuraho temples on a guided afternoon tour.
Day 8 - Varanasi
Transfer from your hotel to Khajuraho airport to board the flight to Varanasi. On arrival at Varanasi airport you are met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. In the evening you witness the evening Aarti ceremony from a boat on the river Ganges.
Day 9 - Varanasi
Your guide meets you at the hotel before sunrise to take you on a boat trip on Ganges, so you can witness the amazing spectacle which takes place on Varanasi's water front at the start of every day. Watching the religious rituals and everyday life of this chaotic, crowded, but most fascinating of Indian cities, is a unique and profound experience. Leaving the boat after passing the most important Ghats, you then continue on foot for a fascinating exploration of the narrow lanes of the Bengali Tola area of Varanasi, one of the oldest continuously inhabited places on earth, passing countless small temples, shrines, and traditional shops. The rest of the day is at leisure to further explore Varanasi on your own.
Day 10 - Delhi
Transfer from your hotel to Varanasi airport to board a flight back to Delhi which connects with your onward travel.