Exploring Historic India and the Ganges River | Yampu Tours

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Exploring Historic India and the Ganges River

TOUR - 11 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

FROM £$ 3358

Tour Highlights

  • Marvel at the grandeur of the past that is the Red Fort
  • See the bustling market of Chandni Chowk in Delhi
  • See the impressive India Gate, honoring the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives
  • Experience a sound and light show at the city’s Amber Fort
  • Get face-to-trunk with an Elephant and go on a safari!
  • Take a tour of the stunning Taj Mahal, India’s most picture perfect work of architecture
  • See a live show with a touch of Bollywood at a showing of Mohabbat the Taj
  • View the fascinating and erotic temples and sculptures of Khajuraho
  • Observe the Aarti, or the offering of lamps in the city of Varanasi
  • Watch the sun rise over the peaceful waters of the Ganges River on a lovely boat ride
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

This classic tour of India’s Golden Triangle, New Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, will include an extension to the ancient and venerated cities of Khajuraho and Varanasi. Visit Khajuraho’s impressive temples that display a wide variety of intricate reliefs before embarking to the holy city of Varanasi. Here you will visit the nearby birthplace of Buddhism, tour the city and cruise along the Ganges River.

This popular Highlight includes New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur as well as Khajuraho and Varanasi. Beginning in Delhi, the tour will take you through Jaipur and Agra. From Agra, you will transfer to Khajuraho via Orcha, which will allow you to visit the temples and palaces of this beautiful medieval town en route.

Founded during the 9th and 10th centuries, Khajuraho is well known for the detailed carvings adorning its temples. The main sites here are the nearby temples, but most notably the Western Group. The temple walls house the bands of sculpture that wrap around their edges depicting a variety of scenes, the most renowned of which depict the erotic love making of celestial nymphs, gods and goddesses. With numerous interpretations, these carvings have been represented in the Karma Sutra and are in no way distasteful, as they tend to showcase the beauty and voluptuousness of the female form.

Varanasi is a city like no other in India. Its amazing architectural sites, delicately carved palaces and robust forts are unrivaled and create a unique natural charm. While here you will visit nearby Sarnath, the site of the Buddha’s first sermon and the birthplace of his religion. In Varanasi, you will have a chance to witness the traditional evening Aarti ceremony on the Ghats, cruise upon the Ganges during sunrise and explore the colorful city.

Inclusions
Price Includes:
One way domestic flights from Khajuraho to Varanasi and Varanasi to New Delhi, train fare from Agra to Jhansi in 1st class air conditioned car, all accommodations with continental or buffet breakfast, service of deluxe air-conditioned vehicle, one time entrance fees at all monuments, services of English speaking local guide for excursions, all currently applicable taxes including service tax

Notes:
* The Red Fort in Delhi remains closed on every Monday

* The Taj Mahal in Agra remains closed on every Friday

* Additional supplements may apply between 1 – 20 November, 20 December – 10 January and 1 – 28 February. Please ask a Yampu Travel Consultant for more details.
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Pricing Details
  3-Star 4-Star 5-Star Luxury
Double £$2987 £$3358 £$4147 £$6657
Single £$4410 £$5456 £$6817 £$12056

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

Flight to New Delhi

Overnight international flight to New Delhi.

Overnight international flight to New Delhi.

Day
2

Arrival in New Delhi

Upon arrival and airport reception, transfer to the hotel. Depending on arrival time, spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Upon arrival and airport reception, transfer to the hotel. Depending on arrival time, spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Day
3

Tour of New Delhi

Here, see the Red Fort, recognized as the most opulent Fort and Palace of the Mughal Empire. The fort is Shah Jehan's symbol of power and elegance, built behind red sandstone walls. Its main gate (Lahore Gate) faces Chandni Chowk; the perpetually congested avenue heading west from the Red Fort is filled with twisting lanes, small streets and crowded bazaars.


Also visit Jama Masjid (the largest mosque in India), Chandni Chowk, and the bustling and colorful market of the old city. Chandni Chowk was the commercial center of Delhi in the old time; see it come alive in the morning as the trading day starts; another attraction, Raj Ghat, lies close by. Raj Ghat has a simple memorial to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, marking the spot where he was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in 1948. A commemorative ceremony is held here every Friday. The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Lal Nehru, was also cremated to the north of the memorial at Shanti Van (Forest of Peace). The area is now a beautiful park laden with trees. The Zinat-ul Masjid (Most Beautiful of Mosques) towers over the Raj Ghat.


After the metro ride continue to visit New Delhi to visit two monuments from Delhi's past - Qutub Minar and Humayun's Tomb. In 1199, Qutub-ud-Din raised the Qutub Minar either as a victory tower or as a minaret to the adjacent mosque. Humayun's tomb, which was built by emperor Humayun's wife, took eight years to complete and is regarded as an example of the early Mughal architecture. The emperor's wife, Begai Begum, was buried in the tomb and the structure is the first of its kind built in the centre of a well-planned garden. The combination of white marble and red sandstone was a great influence on later Mughal architecture. It is generally regarded as a prototype of the famed Taj Mahal of Agra.


The drive meanders along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate. At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42m high India Gate, an Arc-de-Triomphe like Archway in the middle of a crossroad. It commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the First World War and bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the North-western Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919. The foundation stone was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The Presidential House is a palatial building built on an area of 330 acres with a private garden designed by the illustrious Lutyens, originally as the official residence of the Viceroy of India during British reign, is now the official residence of the First Citizen and the Parliament House.


Note: Yampu recommends an optional tour (price not included) to enjoy a fine dinner at the Veda Restaurant, a lavishly designed nouvelle cuisine curry house that offers a fusion of traditional Indian food with a modern spin. A second option is a visit to Akshardham, a unique, yet stunning monument that boasts 234 elaborately carved pillars, 9 decorative domes, 20 quadrangled shikhars (towers of Hindu architecture), stone elephants sculptures, and 20,000 murtis (Hindu images portraying Divine spirits). Please inquire with a Yampu travel consultant for more information.
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Day
4

Delhi - Jaipur

Drive approximately 3-4 hours to Jaipur. Upon arrival check in to the hotel and be free to explore at leisure.


In the evening, transfer to the Amber Fort for a music and light show. The Amber Fort was originally built by the Meenas in the town they consecrated to Amba, the Mother Goddess, whom they knew as Gatta Rani or Queen of the Pass. Built over the remnants of an earlier structure, the palace complex which stands today was commenced under the reign of Raja Man Singh, Commander in Chief of Akbar's army and a member of the Emperor's inner circle of nine courtiers, in 1592. The initial structure of the fort was entirely completed by his descendant, Jai Singh I. Amber was modified by successive rulers over the next 150 years, until the Kachwahas shifted their capital to Jaipur during the time of Sawai Jai Singh II.


The sound and light show at the Fort was scripted by the noted lyricist and filmmaker Gulzar for which superstar Amitabh Bachchan will lend his baritone. The one-hour show, which will be in English, will blend the visual splendor of a light show with the gripping historical narrative surrounding the Amber Fort's history.
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Day
5

Tour of the Amber Fort

This morning, return to the Amber Fort for a half day excursion. Strolling through the magnificent rooms and chambers, observe the various intricate ivory, mirror and glass work. In the afternoon, enjoy a city tour that will begin at the City Palace Museum, followed by a visit to Jantar Mantar (an accurate observatory built in 1726) and great photographic opportunity at the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds – a spectacular five storied, honeycomb styled building exemplifying superb Rajput artistry.


As the sun sets, transfer to the Elephant Safari. The elephant Safari is conducted in the natural and serene area surrounding the camp of Dera Amer. At dusk upon arrival the guests are welcomed by the elephants. After feeding the elephants, enjoy a welcome drink and face towel. The guests are seated on the cushioned seat (2 adults on each elephant) and sent on a picturesque track following a local tribal guide passing through a private jungle area surrounding the camp, as the sun sets over the hills passing by villages, fields, a medieval fortress lit up by flame torches – mashaals (at night) until arrival at the camp situated in the middle of the forest to a grand welcome
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Day
6

Jaipur - Agra

Drive approximately 4-5 hours to Agra. En route, stop to enjoy an excursion to the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, the once imperial city of the Mughal dynasty that was mysteriously deserted years after its inception. This ornate city was built with such grandeur that words do not do justice to the glorious atmosphere created by its buildings. Upon arrival, check into the hotel for the evening.

Drive approximately 4-5 hours to Agra. En route, stop to enjoy an excursion to the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, the once imperial city of the Mughal dynasty that was mysteriously deserted years after its inception. This ornate city was built with such grandeur that words do not do justice to the glorious atmosphere created by its buildings. Upon arrival, check into the hotel for the evening.

Fatehpur-Sikri-India-tour
Day
7

Tour of the Taj Mahal

The area around the Taj Mahal is a protected area and the parking is approximately one kilometer away from the monument. Here, disembark and board battery buses to the Taj.


That magnificent monument of love – The Taj Mahal, was built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631, and is believed to have taken 22 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working round the clock. The design and construction is said to be that of the legendary architect, Ustad Ahamad Lahori.

In the impressive Agra Fort, tour the chambers of this royal residence. On the drive through the city, witness the local life and bazaars and the hustle bustle of everyday India. Agra Fort is officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fort is also known as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge and Red Fort of Agra. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal. The fort is often described as a walled palatial city and as the most important fort in India. The great Mughals Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb lived here, and the country was governed from here. It contained the largest state treasury and mint. It was visited by foreign ambassadors, travelers and the highest dignitaries who made history in India.


This evening, depart to a showing of Mohabbat the Taj, a live show with a touch of Bollywood. Without the love and the romantic saga associated with it, the Taj Mahal would be just a well-arranged heap of white stones. What really makes Taj Mahal stand out in the list of wonders is the passionate and romantic relationship that inspired its creation, the emotional halo that actually gets transformed into an architectural marvel. Indeed the Taj Mahal is synonymous with pure Love. This 80 minute presentation is a charming way to top off the day at the Kalakriti Auditorium.
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Day
8

Agra - Khajuraho

Transfer to the railway station for the train departing for Jhansi. Once in Jhansi, depart for a four hour drive to Khajuraho with a visit to the medieval town of Orcha en route. Once the capital of Bundela Kings, this city is nestled in the rugged countryside, yet retains a captivating atmosphere with its beautiful palaces and temples. Of note are the Jehangiri Mahal, the Raj Mahal and the Laxmi Narayan temple. In the late afternoon, arrive at Khajuraho and check in at the hotel.

Transfer to the railway station for the train departing for Jhansi. Once in Jhansi, depart for a four hour drive to Khajuraho with a visit to the medieval town of Orcha en route. Once the capital of Bundela Kings, this city is nestled in the rugged countryside, yet retains a captivating atmosphere with its beautiful palaces and temples. Of note are the Jehangiri Mahal, the Raj Mahal and the Laxmi Narayan temple. In the late afternoon, arrive at Khajuraho and check in at the hotel.

Day
9

Temples of Khajuraho

Khajuraho read more...

Khajuraho was founded in the 9th and 10th centuries by the rulers of the Chandela Dynasty, and influenced by Tantrism. Eroticism becomes a theme of philosophical interest and the aim is sublimation of sexual relationship in the sexual act or "Maithun", women being regarded as the incarnation of the divine energy or "Shakti". It is also possible that the carvings of Khajuraho were influenced by "Kama Sutra", the famous treatise on erotic arts, written by Vatsyayana in the time of the Guptas. The erotic love making images of celestial nymphs, gods and goddesses sculpted in delicate detail have caught the imagination of people from all over the world.


The temples are divided into three groups, of which, the western is largest and best known. All but three temples, which are built of local granite, are constructed with hard river sandstone dug from the east bank of the Ken River, 13 miles to the east. None of the temples are enclosed, rather they are erected on high masonry platforms, each on an east-west axis. It is their detailed sculpture which gives Khajuraho its appeal and importance. Less than a tenth of it can be called 'erotic'. Numerous interpretations have been given for the erotic sculpture but there is nothing sordid about these inspired carvings showing beauty and voluptuousness of the female form. Most of the temples are 'banded' by horizontal panels of statues. The purvasins, or divine ladies, are shown engaging in commonplace human activities such as having a bath, getting dressed and applying makeup. Figures of Lord Shiva often protruded from the band. The long frieze with scenes of battles, processions and hunting that rind the base of the Lakshmana temples are some of the best examples of narrative sculpture.


Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in Khajuraho.
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Day
10

Khajuraho - Varanasi

Enjoy a morning at leisure in Khajuraho before transferring to the airport for a flight to Varanasi.


Upon arrival in Varanasi, transfer to the hotel.


Embark on an excursion to Sarnath, 10 km from the center of the city. Sarnath symbolizes the birth of Buddhism, as it was here that Buddha revealed his doctrine and founded his monastic community. The museum at Sarnath is amongst the most important in India and contains carvings representing a whole range of styles - archaic, the Mathura School, Gupta, past Gupta and Medieval - covering work of sculptors from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D.


This evening, take a city tour of Varanasi and observe how local culture ceremonially manifests itself. Situated on the west bank of the Ganges, Varanasi extends from the riverbank ghats back to a winding maze of picturesque alleys overlooking tall houses and temples. The city is a center of education, arts and crafts, and has a vast repertoire, from silver, brass, and copper artifacts to perfumeries and trinkets. Varanasi is also the holy city of India, and is also known by the name of Kashi and Benaras. Kashi, the city of Moksha for Hindus for centuries, is known for its fine quality silks, "paan", Benares Hindu University and Avimukta of the ancient days. The city is the most popular pilgrimage point for Hindus, as it is one of the seven holiest cities.


After this fascinating city tour, visit Ghats of Ganges to experience evening aarti. Aarti is the Sanskrit word for homage or devotion. The aarti, or offering of the lamps, is observed at certain hours of the day and night to invoke the gods. It is believed that the gods physically present themselves before devotees at this ceremony. The lamps are revolved before the idols in a clockwise manner along with the chanting of hymns. This recitation is accompanied by drums, blowing of the conch shell, and tolling of the temple bells. At the end of the aarti ceremony, the priest takes a handful of water which he revolves around the god's idol. This is to pacify Agni (the Fire God), who is pressed into service in the form of the wick lamp. The lamps themselves are charged with this "Presence" and after the ceremony, devotees collect the fumes and smear their faces with its aroma.


After the tour and ceremony conclude, transfer back to the hotel.
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Day
11

Varanasi - Delhi

Awake early for a boat ride along the Ganges River. While watching the sun rise over the calm waters, slowly begin to see more and more people walk down to dip in the holy waters of the Ganges and perform their morning prayers. As the cruise travels along the river, the city will slowly come alive in time for docking, debark, and the beginning of the city tour.
Following a morning tour of the sites, transfer to the airport for a connection to New Delhi and flight home or continue with an optional Yampu Tours add-on.


Note: Check out of the hotel is at 12 pm. Late check out may be available directly at the hotel subject to availability. Regardless, store luggage at the hotel until departure.
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Varanasi-Sunrise-Boat-India

Delhi, India

Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Places You'll See

  • varanasi-ghats-india

    Varanasi

    Regarded as sacred by Hindus and Jains, Varanasi is a beautiful and historical city. Experience, first hand, the culture as you see traditional rituals and bathing occurring al throughout the day. Walk along the River Ganges, where ancient Hindu Kings spent their final days. Visit the famous Sankat Mochan Temple, home to thousands of monkeys.

  • Erotic-Temple-Khajuraho-India

    Khajuraho

    Famous for its many Hindu and Jain temples, the small town of Khajuraho is a fascinating place to visit. The 85 original temples are divided into three complexes, the West Group being the richest and largest group of the three. The temples have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their nagara-style architectural symbolism, and profusion of intricately designed sculptures.

  • for-agra-India

    Agra

    Visit the famous Taj Mahal, one of the New 7 Wonders of the world, in Agra. Take a guided tour through the immense, white marble mausoleum, built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife, a true monument of love. While in Agra, also visit the Agra Fort, mainly constructed from sandstone, it’s more of a palace than a defense structure.

  • Amber-Fort-Jaipur-India

    Jaipur

    Nicknames the Pink City, Jaipur is home to several enticing attractions. Visit the Amber Fort, once the royal palace for the Kachwahas, and see the impressive evening light show. Explore the massive City Palace inside the old city. Take a peaceful stroll through one of the many gardens, or purchase some unique souvenirs at the city center bazaar.

Hotel Options

3 Star Properties

Delhi : Justa Greater Kailash

Jaipur : Alsisar Haveli

Agra : Hotel Amar

Khajuraho : Radisson Hotel

Varanasi : Rashmi Guest House

4 Star Properties

Delhi : The Royal Plaza

Jaipur : Jaipur Trident Oberoi

Agra : Agra Trident Oberoi

Khajuraho : Hotel Chandela, Khajuraho

Varanasi : The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi

5 Star Properties

Delhi : The Claridges

Jaipur : Jaimahal Palace

Agra : ITC Mughal Agra

Khajuraho : Sarai At Toria

Varanasi : Suryauday Haveli

Luxury Properties

Delhi : The Oberoi

Jaipur : Oberoi Rajvilas,

Jaipur : Taj Rambagh Palace

Jaipur : Sujan Rajmahal Palace

Agra : Amarvilas

Khajuraho : Lalit Temple View

Varanasi : Nadesar Palace

Testimonials

Brian T.

Traveled June, 2013

Would highly recommend your services to friends & family

Local Guides – All three guides were superb. Very knowledgeable, respectful, communicative, personable and great with kids & family. Transportation – Both very good, cautious drivers always made us feel comfortable (and safe). Both patient and punctual.Hotels – All Taj hotels were top notch & would highly recommend. Marari was unique & fun but would not recommend for those who prefer luxurious accommodation; we really enjoyed the natural environment however. Houseboat was also great! Restaurants – All Taj hotels had excellent food. To avoid illness would stick to hotel food in the future. How would you rate your whole trip? Excellent for education. Great overall experience. Was very happy with Yampu itinerary and ease of everything. General Comments – Would highly recommend your services to friends & family.

Traveled To

Barbara

Traveled December, 2014

The trip was fantastic

From a travel agent: They were thrilled with the trip, so thank you very much for taking such good care of them. From the client: The trip was fantastic. The one comment which we all repeated over and over was how well it was planned and that everything was perfection.

Traveled To


Ruben D. (travel agent)

Traveled October, 2012

I would recommend contacting Yampu Tours

I would recommend contacting Yampu Tours. They are great to work with and the documentation for clients is exceptional.

Traveled To

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