North India Heritage
Delhi - Chambal - Gwalior - Orchha - Panna - Varanasi - Lucknow - Agra
After the chaos of Delhi, this tour takes you on a journey to discover some of India’s more remote forts and temples at Gwalior, Orchha and Khajuraho - the latter renowned for its highly erotic Hindu temples. It also includes the lesser explored wildlife sanctuaries at Chambal and Panna, as well as the holy city of Varanasi – India’s spiritual heart. There is also time to uncover the fascinating history of Lucknow, once ruled by the nawabs and the starting point of the Indian Uprising in 1857. Finish by visiting the world’s most famous monument to love, the incomparable Taj Mahal.
- Sightseeing in Delhi, India’s most vibrant city
- Nature walks and river safaris at Chambal
- A visit to Gwalior Fort and the temples at Orchha
- The famous erotic temples of Khajuraho
- Jeep safaris in Panna National Park
- Boat ride on the sacred Ganges in Varanasi
- Discover historic Lucknow
- The most romantic monument of all, the Taj Mahal
Visit remote temples and wildlife sanctuaries, historic Lucknow and the holy city of Varanasi on this 16 day trip
Fly to Delhi.
Overnight: In flight
Arrive Delhi. The capital city of India has 2 distinct personalities: Old Delhi, with its chaotic, winding alleys, crammed with cycle rickshaws, colourful shops and noisy street traders; and New Delhi, built by the British in 1911 for unashamed Imperial display. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel.
Experience a full-day guided tour of Delhi. In the morning you will visit Old Delhi, visiting Jama Mosque and Red Fort. You will also have a chance to enjoy rickshaw ride in the by-lanes of the old city. In the afternoon you will be taken on a tour of New Delhi, visiting Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and drive past Government Buildings of Lutyen’s Delhi.
After breakfast, drive to Chambal where you stay within the wildlife sanctuary. Covering a 400km stretch of the Chambal and Yamuna Rivers the sanctuary provides protection to marsh crocodiles, eight species of turtle and over 290 species of birds. Today take a river cruise to explore the Chambal Valley with a trained naturalist.
A day for further exploration and excursions, you may like to visit the nearby Bateshwar Temple Complex, take a jeep safari into remote and inaccessible areas of the reserve or take a camel safari along the river banks to see the Ater Fort.
This morning you travel by road to the ancient city of Gwalior, which is dominated by the magnificent fort. As you drive up to the fort you pass many impressive Jain sculptures, hewn into the cliff face. The fort itself houses many temples and palaces, all of which are impressively preserved.
Today enjoy an excursion to explore the fort.
Drive to Orchha. Marooned on a bend of the Betwa River, Orchha is a fantastically romantic cluster of stone palaces, temples, towers and gateways surrounded by acres of bright green jungle. There are numerous royal cenotaphs, formal gardens and fountains as well as a 17th-century fort and palace on an island reached by a causeway.
Travel by road to Panna. Situated close to the world-famous town of Khajuraho, Panna National Park is located on the banks of the River Ken and is lush green with deep ravines, cascading waterfalls and thick teak forests and is home to a variety of wildlife. There are chances of seeing leopard, wolf, hyena, jackal and sloth bear as well as small tiger population.
Today enjoy guided jeep safaris into the park.
Visit the temples at Khajuraho. Widely acknowledged as some of the most exquisite temple art in India these famous sculptures are better know because of their erotic content but they are so much more. The artwork is beautiful and executed with a lack of inhibition that is rarely to be found in modern India.
Fly to Varanasi. Attend the evening aarti on the ghats. Varanasi is a great pilgrimage centre for Hindus, and millions each year flock to the ghats to perform puja to the rising sun, following centuries old traditions, from fertility ceremonies to cremations. The ghats - hundreds of stone steps flanking the riverbank - are an incredible sight, particularly at sunrise when thousands of pilgrims bathe in the spiritually cleansing waters. Varanasi is the spiritual heart of India - a seething throng of pilgrims, holy men, Saddhus and tourists, all gathered to give praise to the Holy Ganges.
Enjoy a dawn boat ride on the Ganges then visit Sarnath. Sarnath, where Budhha preached his first sermon is a spiritual place of stupas, shrines and temples, which unfortunately are now largely in ruin. Now marked by the Damekh Stupa, reaching 110 feet in height, it remains an important Buddhist site.
This morning transfer to the station to board the train to Lucknow, which arrives later in the afternoon. Lucknow rose to prominence after the fall of the Moghul empire and the emergence of the nawabs of Avadh who were responsible for building most of the city's main architectural landmarks. Highlights of the city include the Bara Imambara, a colossal tomb and mosque built in the 1780's, the tomb of Hussainabad Imambara and the British Residency which was the stage for the dramatic 1857 siege of Lucknow during the first Indian war of Independence.
Enjoy a heritage and culinary walking tour of the city.
Drive to Agra and proceed to your hotel. Visit the Taj Mahal at sunset to watch the changing hues on the white marble edifice. The most romantic monument in India, it is the garden-tomb built by Emperor Shah Jehan for his beloved wife Mumtaz.
An optional early start to visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise, before taking a tour of Agra city – visiting Agra Fort and the tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah otherwise known as the baby Taj. Return to Delhi for your flight home late this evening.
From £3,895 per person
Price is based on travel in mid season and on 2 people sharing. Includes international flights from the UK, accommodation and all transfers and excursions as listed.
All of our itineraries are tailor-made to your specific requirements and therefore prices do vary. The above is an indication only. Prices will vary depending on the season of travel and the standard of accommodation used. Please contact us for a quotation and to discuss your holiday requirements in more detail.