- G Adventures
15 Day Essential India
CruisePlus Land Offer
September 9, 2018
G Adventures Land Tour
From the intricate saris of Rajasthan to the beautiful symmetry of the Taj Mahal, this compact journey is a photographer’s delight and the perfect introduction to India. You’ll float past the ghats on the Ganges River to encounter the spiritual heart of Hinduism in Varanasi and get off the beaten path exploring carved stepwells and quaint temples in rural villages. With the perfect combination of included activities and free time to explore the nation’s rich heritage, you’re sure to be caught up in India’s incredible tapestry of life.
- Old Delhi walk with stops at the Jama Masjid, Gurduwara, Chandni Chowk, spice markets, and Connaught Place
- Revel in the beauty of Agra’s Taj Mahal, witness the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho and Orchha, sail the Ganges in venerable Varanasi
- Explore India’s vibrant cities, discover ancient forts and temples
What we are Including
- 15-day guided tour with Chief Experience Officer
- Women on Wheels transfer, Indira Gandhi International Airport
- City Walk in Delhi
- Amber Fort tour
- Rajasthani rural village stay
- Dhula Village cycling excursion
- Abhaneri stepwells visit
- Taj Mahal and Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah entrance
- Agra Fort entrance and guided tour
- Orchha Palace complex visit
- Western temple complex entrance and guided visit
- Ganges River boat trip at sunrise and sunset, including candle flower ceremony
- Internal flight
- All transport between destinations and to and from activities
- 1 breakfast and 1 dinner
- Please note: Indian Visa required
Ask us about arranging your flights!
Day 1 DelhiArrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project. G Adventures for Good: Women on Wheels Transfer Transfer by a G Adventures-supported project, Women on Wheels. This program provides safe and reliable transport for travellers while providing a dignified livelihood for a local woman from a resource-poor community.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting1h18:00 The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.
Day 2 DelhiEnjoy a youth-led morning walk through Delhi by G Adventures-supported City Walk project. Later, visit Old Delhi, explore the spice markets, and visit Jama Masjid and Connaught Place. Enjoy a youth-led walking tour of Delhi with G Adventures-supported project, City Walk. This tour offers a unique perspective of Delhi while supporting at-risk youth. Later, visit Delhi's famous Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) and climb the minaret for a bird's eye view of the Old City. Walk through Chandni Chowk, one of India's oldest and busiest markets, and learn the history of the Sikh religion at the important Gurdwara, (Sikh place of worship) Gurdwara SisGanj. Stop for photos at the colourful spice market before finishing at the Victorian Connaught Place, one of the most prominent architectural remnants of British rule.
G Adventures for Good: City Walk
3-5kmExplore the streets of Delhi with a youth-led tour guide from the G Adventures-supported City Walk project. As a former at-risk youth, your local guide will have a unique perspective on the city and can provide more information on the life of a child in India. The guided tour helps support the guide's college or university tuition. Please note that City Walk is closed on Sundays and holidays and this activity will not run on those days.
Jama Masjid Visit
Delhi30m-1hTravel through the winding roads of Old Delhi to visit the gorgeous Jama Masjid, the Great Mosque of Delhi. Commissioned by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who also commissioned the Taj Mahal, it is the best-known and largest mosque in India. Explore the stately structure, which was completed in 1656, and enjoy its massive courtyard, which can hold 25,000 worshippers. Be sure to check out a priceless copy of the Qur'an written on deer skin, located inside the mosque.
Gurdwara Sis Ganj Visit
Delhi30m-1hLearn the history of the Sikh religion at this historically significant Gurdwara, which is a Sikh place of worship.
Delhi Spice Market
Delhi2h-3h 30-40kmVisit this fragrant spice bazaar in Old Delhi, which is the largest spice market in Asia. Teeming with shoppers and traders from dawn till dusk, you can purchase flavourful spices, strong teas, delectable pickles and chutneys, and a large variety of dried fruit and nuts.
Connaught Place Visit
Delhi1h 3kmExplore the Victorian architecture of Connaught Place, which is a giant circle at the centre of any map of Delhi. Buy trinkets and textiles at the market on Janpath, which came into being when refugees from Pakistan began peddling their wares on this road after Partition in 1947. It remains one of Delhi's most colourful markets and is very popular with tourist and locals alike.
Chandni Chowk Visit
Delhi1h-2hEnjoy a stroll through Chandni Chowk, one of India's oldest and busiest markets. Be sure to stop and try one of the many types of paranthas (stuffed Indian bread) sold in stalls lining the streets.
Day 3 Delhi/JaipurArrive in Jaipur and explore this gorgeous 'pink city'. Drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and start exploring. Opt to visit the Jantar Mantar or Royal Observatory. Don't miss the opportunity to see a Bollywood film at the famous Art Deco Raj Mandir cinema.
Delhi - Jaipur5h-6h260kmSettle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Day 4 JaipurStop and take a photo of the 'Palace of the Jaipur Balloon Ride
JaipurBegin your day at dawn, just as the sun starts to rise over the incredible city of Jaipur. As you drift into the sky, enjoy the silence and serenity of the morning, watching as the day starts for the colourfully dressed inhabitants below. From high in the sky, you may float over ancient forts, exquisite palaces, and lively villages moving with people - and elephants! You may never want to come back down. Available August 15 - April 30.
Day 5 Jaipur/Dhula VillageTravel to Dhula Village and get a closer look at rural life in Rajasthan during a cycling excursion. Tonight opt to relax by the fire and take in the starry night sky. Tonight's accommodation is in spacious and comfortable tents outfitted with beds, lamps, and simple en-suite bathrooms.
Jaipur - Dhula Village2h50kmSettle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Village Cycling Excursion
Dhula VillageSet off to discover quaint Dhula on two wheels. Take in the peaceful rhythm of village life and Rajasthan's scenery as you cycle along.
Meals included: Dinner
Day 6 Dhula Village/AgraOpt for an early morning hike to a ruined fortress. Later, stop by the impressive Abhaneri stepwell en route to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
Dhula Village - Agra - 4h - 250kmSettle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Abhaneri Stepwell Visit
Abhaneri30m-1hWalk around the amazing Chand Baori, a tenth-century water tank that's an impressive 6.1m (20 ft) deep. Learn about ancient Indian environmentalism--a "baori" is a unique Indian invention for harvesting rainwater.
Day 7 AgraVisit the famous Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort. Visit the sparkling Taj Mahal for sunrise then stick around to explore (if the light is better around sunset, we may visit later in the day instead). Later, visit the walled city of Agra Fort by cycle-rickshaw and the I'timad-ud-Daulah, or the Baby Taj.
Taj Mahal Visit
Taj MahalCross one off your bucket list as you visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Explore the gorgeous white marble mausoleum, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a testament of his love for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
AgraVisit the Agra Fort by human-powered cycle-rickshaw.
Agra Fort Visit
Agra1h-3hEnjoy your visit to this impressive Mughal fort made of red sandstone and white marble.
Baby Taj Visit
AgraVisit this mausoleum that looks like a jewel box, built before the Taj Mahal by Queen Nur Jahan for her father. Enjoy the intricate details of the structure; it was the first Mughal building faced with white marble and where "pietra dura" (precious stones inlaid into marble) was first used.
Day 8 Agra/AlipuraTravel to Alipura and stay in a heritage property in the village. Leave early and travel along typically rough Indian roads to Alipura, a friendly village which will be our base for two days. Here, stay in a heritage property with time to wander the town and interact with locals. Train
Agra - Jhansi2h30mClimb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Jhansi - Alipura3h30mSettle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Alipura AfternoonEnjoy some free time to meet the locals and check out village life.
Day 9 AlipuraEnjoy a day trip to Khajuraho to visit the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, India's largest group of medieval temples, known for their kama sutra statues. Travel 1.5 hrs to Khajuraho, one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Learn the history of these world-famous temples on a guided tour and enjoy a taste of a little erotica from the Middle Ages. After, opt to visit a nearby waterfall (seasonal) or watch an evening dance performance.
Alipura - Khajuraho1h30m-2h96kmSettle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Khajuraho Temples Guided Tour
KhajurahoGet ready to be impressed by the beautiful temples of Khajuraho during this guided tour. Not intended for the bashful, these erotic carvings are similar to the style of the Kama Sutra. These Hindu temples were built over a span of a 100 years, and while originally there were more than 80 of them, only 22 currently remain.
Khajuraho - Alipura1h30m-2h96kmSettle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Day 10 Alipura/OrchhaVisit Orchha, a quiet rural town along the banks of the Betwa River and enjoy a puja ceremony. Visit a unique paper-making plant en route, set up to assist tribal women from the area. En route to Orchha, visit a unique paper making plant, set up to assist tribal women from the area. All the paper is made from recycled clothing and wood pulp. Continue on to Orchha and enjoy an orientation tour of this small town. Set on the banks of the Betwa River, it is the perfect antidote to the chaos of India's cities. Later, attend an evening puja ceremony at the Ram Raja Temple.
Alipura - Orchha2h30m-3h96kmSettle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Orchha1hEnjoy a visit to this unique paper-making plant, set up to assist tribal women from the area. All the paper is made from recycled clothing and wood pulp.
Orchha1hEnjoy a Hindu prayer ceremony.
Day 11 Orchha/VaranasiVisit the Orchha Palace complex and enjoy free time before the overnight train to Varanasi. Opt for a local cooking class with a family.
Orchha Palace Visit
Orchha1h-2hVisit the three separate palaces, or "mahals," in this complex: the Raj Mahal, Jehangir Mahal, and Rai Parveen Mahal. Enjoy the medieval architecture and learn about its rich history.
Orchha AfternoonEnjoy free time to check out the local markets.
Orchha - Jhansi15m-30mSettle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Basic overnight train (beds)
Jhansi - Varanasi 13hExperience overnight travel like a local. Sit back and get some well-earned (and likely much-needed) rest en route to your next stop.
Day 12 VaranasiTake an orientation walk through the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. Marvel at the ghats from the River Ganges as you enjoy boat trips at sunrise and sunset. Disembark the train in legendary Varanasi, the quintessential Indian holy city where millions of Hindus visit for pilgrimage, to worship, to mourn, or to die. There is time here to shop, wander, and absorb the atmosphere of this unique city, while optional activities include the monasteries and ruins of nearby Sarnath, the site of the Buddha's first sermon.
Evening Ganges Boat Tour
Varanasi1h-2h 7kmEnjoy a boat ride on the sacred Ganges River, where Hindu pilgrims from all over the world come to wash away their sins and cremate their loved ones. Participate in a candle and flower ceremony while on the water.
Day 13 VaranasiWatch the sunrise from a boat along the Ganges. Enjoy free time in this holy city.
Morning Ganges Boat Tour
Varanasi1hCatch the sunrise from a boat cruising the sacred Ganges River, where Hindu pilgrims from all over the world come to wash away their sins and cremate their loved ones. Witness locals participating in dawn rituals of bathing and burning at the river.
Varanasi AfternoonExplore all this famous city has to offer.
Day 14 Varanasi/DelhiCut out the travel time with an afternoon flight back to Delhi.
Varanasi MorningDo some last minute sightseeing with free time in the morning.
Varanasi - DelhiLook! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
Day 15 DelhiDepart at any time.
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