Start and end in New Delhi! With the adventure tour India Culture and Nature Tour: Indian Getaway, you have a 11 day tour package taking you through New Delhi, India and 4 other destinations in India. India Culture and Nature Tour: Indian Getaway includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
? Day 1: Delhi Honk-honk! Beep-beep! Welcome to Delhi, a fabulously chaotic capital city that will warm your heart and overwhelm your senses. The air is thick with the smell of spices and the sound of mayhem as vendors whip up masala chai on the side-streets, locals barter at bazaars for the best bargain, bhangra music blasts from the alleyways and the honking horns of cycle-rickshaws resonate through vast crowds of colourful sari-clad women. With no activities planned until your welcome meeting at 6 pm, why not head out and explore the streets. After the meeting, perhaps get to know your new travel buddies over an optional group dinner.
? Day 2: Delhi - Overnight train On our India culture and nature tour, this morning, check out the sights and sounds of Old Delhi on a leader-led tour of this enchanting quarter of the capital. Take a ride on the citys modern metro system, get a taste of Indias famed public transport with an optional cycle rickshaw ride through chaotic streets (such as the famous Chandni Chowk), perhaps make a visit to the Jama Masjid ? Delhis oldest mosque and one of its most impressive buildings ? then stop by the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion. In the evening, board an overnight sleeper train bound for Varanasi (approximately 13 hours).
? Day 3: Varanasi On arrival into Varanasi this morning, check in to your hotel and freshen up before heading out on a guided walking tour of the Old City. Set along the banks of the holy Ganges River, Varanasi is the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel from far and wide to experience this spiritual city. Overflowing with temples, shrines and devotees, it might not be one of the worlds cleanest cities but there?s no doubt it?s one of the most amazing. It?s a unique experience to navigate through Varanasis maze of narrow alleyways packed full of small shops, stalls and lumbering cows. See pilgrims performing rituals unchanged for hundreds of years and pass chiming temples as wafts of incense fill the air.
? Day 4: Varanasi Today?s an early start, but it?s completely worth it as you take a boat ride down the Ganges to watch the sun rise. Even if youre not the spiritual sort, you cant help but get goosebumps. Pass the many ghats (stairs leading to the water) and temples along the river, and watch thousands of Hindu pilgrims cleanse their sins in the holy water as the sun bathes the surrounds in glorious shades of amber and orange. Witness the rituals of life and death taking place along the riverbank and be prepared for potentially confronting sights and smells, as this is also where families come to cremate deceased loved ones. The rest of the day is free to explore.
? Day 5: Varanasi - Overnight train On our culture and nature journey today, there?s lots of free time to explore more of Varanasi before you get a unique slice of Indian life on board an overnight sleeper train bound for Agra (approximately 13 hours). You could take a trip to nearby Sarnath, one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage destinations and the site is where Buddha preached his message of the path to enlightenment. There?s also the crumbling 17th-century fort and palace on the eastern bank of the Ganges, Ram Nagar Fort. Varanasi is home to India?s silk-making industry, so maybe investigate the many silk markets dotted around the city, otherwise, take the chance to perfect your yoga in the ultimate chakra-balancing place.
? Day 6: Agra Agra might not be the prettiest city in the world, but the minute you check out its top-notch site that won?t matter one bit ? of course, were talking about the glorious Taj Mahal ? and you?ll head out for a guided tour of this elaborate monument on arrival. Afterwards, enjoy a free day to explore Agras alternative highlights. An optional trip on a motorised rickshaw takes you to some of the city?s best monuments. If you?ve got the energy, head out to Agra Fort and stroll the palatial gardens of this red sandstone stronghold or check out Akbars Mausoleum, a beautiful sandstone and marble tomb built for the greatest of the Mughal emperors. In the evening, perhaps try Agra?s delicious signature curry ? butter chicken.
Day 7: Bharatpur? Jump into private transport and drive through Fatehpur Sikri or the City of Victory is a fortified city in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It was founded in 1569 by the Great Emperor of the Mughal dynasty Akbar. The palace city atop a rocky ridge, confined within walls on its three sides and a lake in the foreground, was designed by Tuhir Das using Indian principles of art and stay Bharatpur tonight you?ll sleep in heritage accommodation, Bharatpur is an Indian city in eastern Rajasthan. At its center is the 18th-century Lohagarh Fort, surrounded by a moat. Inside the fort is the Government Museum, which displays artifacts of local rajas. Just south, carved statues of Hindu gods fill Ganga Mandir and the sandstone Laxman Mandir temples. South of the city, Keoladeo National Park is a major bird sanctuary with hundreds of species.
? Day 8: Jaipur Journey to Jaipur by private vehicle (about 3 hours), Indias oh-so-pretty Pink City. On our culture and nature travel today, youll have plenty of free time here to haggle to your hearts content at the bazaars and backstreets where vendors sell a variety of textiles, precious and semi-precious gems and stunning blue pottery. Enjoy a guided walk on arrival to orientate yourself with the city, then perhaps drop by one of India?s finest palaces, the Royal City Palace. Food lovers will want to hit the streets for raj kachori chaat, a big fluffy chaat served with chutney, yoghurt, chilli and potato. Then cool off with a lassi at Jaipurs oldest and most famous lassi shop. Cinema buffs wont want to miss the chance to take in a Bollywood blockbuster at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema this evening. Your accommodation for tonight will be in another family-run heritage hotel.
? Day 9: Jaipur If youre keen for a different view of the Pink City, an optional early morning hot air balloon ride is a trip highlight for many visitors. For more information please see the Important Notes section of your trip notes. Later in the morning, you?ll drop by Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), the impressive five-storey facade with pink and honeycombed windows is it the most photographed building in the country after the Taj Mahal. Then it?s out to the old capital of Amber and an exploration of the hilltop fort complex known as the Amber Fort. The rest of the day is free for you to spend as you like.
? Day 10: Delhi This morning, take a train ride back to Indias capital (5 hours). This exciting city is overflowing with incredible historic sites, museums and galleries, shops and endless bazaars. Watch one of the worlds greatest shows unfold as people, cars, rickshaws and cows all work together in a kind of organised chaos. Perhaps sit back with a chai and let it all soak in as you enjoy a free day to explore. Ask your expert leader for their top recommendations on how to make the most of your time here. This evening, enjoy an optional dinner with your group to say goodbye to this incredible country and toast to your adventures.
? Day 11: Delhi Our India culture and nature trip comes to an end this morning and there are no further activities planned.