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India
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Duration

19 Days 18 Nights

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

12 people

Languages

English

About this tour

Embark on an unforgettable journey through India’s iconic Golden Triangle! 🕌🐘 Explore the vibrant cities of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, where history comes alive in massive forts and opulent palaces. Immerse yourself in the rich traditions of a heritage homestay, creating lasting memories. 🏰🌺

Venture north into the enchanting Himalayan foothills and experience the Mountains and Mystics that set this region apart. 🏔️🧘‍♂️ Feel the crisp mountain air, savor unique local cuisine, and witness the spiritual sway of the inhabitants. 🍛👳‍♂️

Uncover the complex diversity of India, a land seamlessly balancing the physical and spiritual worlds. 🌍🕊️ Let the magic of India captivate your senses on this extraordinary journey.

#GoldenTriangle #FortsAndPalaces #HeritageHomestay #HimalayanAdventure #MountainsAndMystics #CulturalDiversity #BalancingAct #EnchantingMemories #DirectFlights

For Enquiry of this Tour, please contact Direct Flights
Kindly send us your email to: bookings@directflights.com.au

Package expires at on 30th, September 2024

Highlights

  • 🏰 Golden Triangle: Explore Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur's iconic landmarks.
  • 🕌 Forts & Palaces: Immerse in history with massive forts and opulent palaces.
  • 🏡 Heritage Homestay: Experience local culture with warm hospitality.
  • 🏔️ Himalayan Adventure: Head north for breathtaking mountain scenery.
  • 🧘‍♂️ Mountains & Mystics: Discover the spiritual side of the Himalayas.
  • 🌈 Cultural Diversity: Marvel at India's diverse traditions and customs.
  • 🌍 Balancing Act: Experience a seamless blend of the physical and spiritual.
  • 🔮 Enchanting Memories: Create lasting memories in an incredible journey.

Included/Excluded

  • Meals
  • 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
  • Transport
  • Cycle rickshaw, Metro, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Shuttle Bus, TrainAccommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Heritage Property (2 night), Hotel (14 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)Activities
  • Delhi - Visit to the Jama Masjid Mosque
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking tour
  • Jaipur - Leader-led walking & market tour
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Suroth Mehal - Village Walk
  • Fatehpur Sikri - Guided tour
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Delhi - Leader-led Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Shimla - Leader-led walking tour
  • Shimla - Viceregal Lodge
  • Mandi - Leader-led walking tour
  • Dharamsala - Norbulingka Institute
  • Dharamsala - Dalai Lama Temple
  • Amritsar - Golden Temple
  • Amritsar - Jallianwallah Bagh
  • Amritsar - Wagah Border ceremony
  • Rishikesh - Leader-led walking tour
  • Rishikesh - Chaurasi Kutia 'The Beatles Ashram'

Itinerary

Namaste! Welcome to India. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive with hours (or days) to spare, consider striking out on your own, perhaps to visit the World Heritage-listed Humayun's Tomb. A great (and tasty) way to get under the city’s skin in very little time is to book an Urban Adventure like the Delhi City Food Crawl. After the 6 pm meeting, head out for an optional meal with your group at a local restaurant.

Join your group leader on an excursion through Old Delhi. Ride the city’s metro system, and then hop in a rickshaw to the once water-filled square of Chandni Chowk. Discover the Jama Masjid, Delhi’s oldest mosque, before learning about the history of the Sikh religion at the Sheeshganj Gurudwara.

Travel by private vehicle into Rajasthan and on to its capital, Jaipur (approximately 5 - 6 hours). A friendly, busy city crammed with palaces and bazaars full of jewellery, textiles and folk arts, Jaipur is a favourite for many travellers. Our suggestions are to stop by the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), then head over to Jaipur's Royal City Palace and explore its extravagant rooms and apartments. Later, discover one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur.

Choose to take an early morning hot air balloon experience, often a highlight of visiting Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over Jaipur on the morning of day four between September and June. Mid-afternoon visit the Amber Fort. Set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, the fort is an authentic example of Rajput architecture and the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is one of its more spectacular buildings.

Leave the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur behind and drive to the village of Suroth Mehal in Karauli (approximately 5-6 hours). This delightful town was founded in 1348 and is packed with rural ambiance and traditional temples. Take a guided walk around the Old Quarter, interacting with friendly locals and learning about rural Indian life off the tourist trail. Be sure to visit the eclectic market stalls along the way and sample some seasonal local sweets made from Indian ingredients, including petha (pumpkin), jaggery (organic sugar), peanut brittle, and gazak (sesame seeds). Stay in a restored heritage property tonight where dinner is included.

On the journey to Agra, stop en route at the one-time capital of the Mughal empire, Fatehpur Sikri (approximately 4 hours). Its stunning mosque displays both Persian and Hindu design and is secured by a 54-metre high entrance. Once in Agra, there’s the option of visiting the marble tomb that was saved for the greatest of the Mughal Emperors, Akbar's Mausoleum. The day then culminates in a visit to the Taj Mahal, built in the 1640s as a memorial to the wife of Emperor Shah Jahan.

In the morning, take a guided tour along the banks of the Yamuna River to the iconic Agra Fort. Originally designed by Emperor Akbar in 1565 to be a military structure, it was converted into a palace during Emperor Shah Jahan's reign and later became his prison. In the early afternoon, take the 3-4 hour journey back to Delhi by private bus. Arrive back at the hotel with enough time to freshen up and decide whether to enjoy one final dinner with the group.

This morning, join the group for a walking tour around Old Delhi, which has been an important city in India for over 2000 years. Climb aboard a traditional cycle rickshaw and be driven through the colour and chaos of Delhi’s traffic. In the afternoon, learn about the Sikh religion at the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) and visit the Jama Masjid – Delhi's oldest and India’s largest mosque.

Depart Delhi by train for the 4-5-hour journey across the state of Punjab to Chandigarh. From Chandigarh, you’ll travel by private vehicle to Shimla. On arrival, get your bearings and explore the town's faded colonial charm on an orientation walk with your group leader.

Wake up early this morning to board the World Heritage-listed 'toy train' for a two-hour scenic journey offering views of quaint villages and gorgeous mountain passes. Afterward, head out and explore Mall Road – Shimla's most popular shopping stretch. A nearby viewpoint also offers fantastic views of the Himalayas. Visit the Viceregal Lodge to witness where the partition agreement that separated India from Pakistan and Bangladesh was drawn up. If you like, join the hordes of monkeys milling about Jakhu Temple or stock up on souvenirs and specialty wooden crafts at Lakkar Bazaar. Set among rolling hills, Shimla also offers an array of nature walks that range from gentle to challenging. In the evening, you might like to enjoy an optional trip to the cinema and bop along to a Bollywood blockbuster.

Travel by jeep to the small town of Mandi. Situated on the Beas River, Mandi has a rich cultural heritage of both historical and theological significance. Once part of the salt route to Tibet, today it's the gateway to the Kullu Valley. Head into town for a walk and explore a huge sunken shopping centre – the only one like it in India and the focal point of entertainment in Mandi. You can also spend time at the bathing ghats along the river or hike to hilltop temples just outside of town. In the evening, enjoy an included dinner and stay in the simply restored former palace of the Raja of Mandi.

Today’s journey through the mountains today is an adventure in itself. Travel by private vehicle for the 6-hour drive along bumpy, winding roads to Dharamsala, also known as McLeod Ganj. Strung with prayer flags and busy with robed monks strolling between monasteries, this hilltop retreat is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile. Spend the afternoon wandering the peaceful streets, which are set to the backdrop of the Himalayas. There’s a lot to gain here from learning about the many facets of Tibetan Buddhism.

Today, visit the fascinating Norbulingka Institute, developed to train Tibetan refugees in skills needed to preserve the traditional arts and crafts of Tibet. Its grounds feature a beautiful temple and several workshops where you can see woodcarving, painting, and needlework in action. Then make your way to the Tsuglag Khang complex to see the Dalai Lama’s temple. You may also like to visit the Losel Doll Museum, which is a great way to learn about the daily lives and customs of people all over Tibet.

Today, travel down the mountains to Amritsar, situated in the heart of the fertile plain known as India's ‘breadbasket’ and the centre of Sikhism in India. Tour the sights and wander through the rambling streets and bazaars of the Old City by foot. Explore the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib), which sits in the middle of a sacred lake. Listen to the soothing sounds of the devout chanting verses from the Sikh holy book – the Guru Granth Sahib.

Visit Jallianwala Bagh – the site of the tragic 1919 massacre that played a vital role in India's independence. Then head out to the India–Pakistan border to witness the pomp and circumstance of the daily flag ceremony – a military practice that the security forces of India and Pakistan have followed since 1959. Tonight, take an overnight sleeper train from Amritsar to Haridwar.

After pulling into Haridwar in the morning, there’s a 1-hour drive to Rishikesh. Check in to your hotel before going on an orientation walk with your leader. Pay a visit to the faded but mural-lined walls of Chaurasi Kutia – the ashram made internationally famous (long with Rishikesh by association) when the Beatles visited in the 1960s. Explore the crumbling beauty of the former ashram, now covered in graffiti related to the band and counterculture. In the evening, take a stroll along the holy Ganges River as temple bells ring and the nightly fire ritual of Ganga Aarti begins.

The morning is yours to roam around Rishikesh. Perhaps tuck into a masala dosa for breakfast before walking it off on one of the trails along the Ganges. Aptly named the 'Yoga Capital of the World', Rishikesh is a great place to relax and seek a little enlightenment with your own yoga class, if you’d like. For something more adventurous, there is the option to white-water raft down the Ganges. In the afternoon, reunite with your group for a walk through the jungle nearby. Tonight, experience sleeping under the stars just outside of Rishikesh; you’ll be staying in a fixed campsite with twin-shared tents and western-style toilets.

Bid farewell to Rishikesh and take the train back to Delhi (approximately 7-9 hours). The train arrives back into Delhi around 11 pm from where you’ll be transferred to your hotel on arrival.

There are no activities planned for today, so you’re free to depart the accommodation at any time. Don't forget to check out the great range of Urban Adventures if you have extra time in Delhi, including Culture Vulture Delhi – visiting the chaotic lanes, historic sites, and streetside food stalls of the capital. Head to urbanadventures.com/destination/delhi-tours for more information. If you would like to spend some more time in Delhi, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

Durations

19 Days 18 Nights

Languages

English

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Frequently asked questions

  • The Taj Mahal is not only a sumptuous masterpiece of Indian architecture, but also a truly meaningful stop on any traveller’s journey. Here's what you need to know about your visit: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/taj-mahal-travel-guide/
  • Overlooking the picturesque scene of Moata Lake, the monumental Amber Fort is one sight that will forever be under India’s protection
  • Experience authentic Rajasthani luxury with a heritage stay at the lavish Bhanwar Vilas in Karauli
  • Old and New Delhi fuse to create a city that pays homage to past empires, while wrestling with its modern identity
  • The colonial charm of Shimla Hill Station offers a great introduction to the Himalayas, and the World Heritage-listed ‘toy-train’ is a great way to get there
  • As the home of the Dalai Lama, tranquil Dharmasala is the ideal place for an enlightening experience of Tibetan spirituality, culture, and history
  • Learn about Sikhism on a visit to the faith’s most sacred monument, the luminous Golden Temple in Amritsar
  • Breeze through the self-proclaimed ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ in Rishikesh and walk along the banks of the holy Ganges River

  • Old Delhi can be very busy and crowded. While it’s an exciting place to see local life moving around you, be aware that on the walking tour you’ll need to navigate through people, tight spaces, and walkways.
  • Rajasthan can reach extremely high temperatures in the summer. While we aim to do our walking tours early in the morning when it’s cooler, remember to keep hydrated and to bring a hat, sunscreen, a long-sleeved shirt, and anything else that will protect you from the sun.
  • We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees.
  • This trip involves some long train rides, which can be tiresome but offer a quintessential Indian experience. The journey from Delhi to Shimla takes nearly a full day of train travel and you’ll also be taking a ten-hour overnight sleeper train from Amritsar to Haridwar.
  • Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned and a great way to travel long distances while still getting maximum time in each place. Beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow, and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Please note that you may be sharing with locals of the same or opposite gender.
  • We’ll be taking a local bus between Mandi and Dharmsala. The road through the mountains is rough and bumpy, but the scenery, adventure, and opportunity to mingle with locals will distract you from any discomfort.
  • In Dharmsala, our vehicle can’t get all the way to the hotel so some walking (500 m) with your luggage will be required.
  • As Rishikesh is a sacred town, no alcohol is permitted.
  • This trip travels into the Himalayas, where temperatures can get very low. We don’t run the trip in winter, but ensure that you’re well prepared for cold weather at any time of the year. The sun can also be strong at higher altitudes, so make sure you bring a hat, sunscreen, and any other relevant sun protection.
  • Long-distance and overnight trains can often be delayed and occasionally cancelled due to heavy fog between Dec-Feb. Please see the transport section of the essential trip information.

  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR600
  • Delhi - Delhi Food Walk Urban Adventure - INR3750
  • Delhi - Red Fort - INR600
  • Delhi - Gandhi's Delhi Urban Adventure - INR3350
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR800
  • Jaipur - Jantar Mantar Observatory - INR200
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema - INR400
  • Jaipur - Balloon Safari - USD280
  • Agra - Additional entries to Taj Mahal - INR1300
  • Delhi - Qutub Minar - INR600
  • Delhi - Home-Cooked Delhi Urban Adventure - INR4000
  • Shimla - Cinema - INR100
  • Shimla - Jakhu Temple - Free
  • Shimla - Lakkhar Bazar - Free
  • Dharamsala - Cooking Class - INR400
  • Dharamsala - Losel Doll Museum - INR50
  • Rishikesh - Yoga Class - INR600
  • Rishikesh - White Water Rafting - INR1500
  • Delhi - Culture Vulture Delhi Urban Adventure - INR2500

DF/INIP16

Tour's Location

India
From: $3166

Owner

ayesha

Member Since 2023

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