Start and end in New Delhi! With the in-depth cultural tour Mysteries of India (Delhi to Varanasi) (Standard), you have a 14 day tour package taking you through New Delhi, India and 6 other destinations in India. Mysteries of India (Delhi to Varanasi) (Standard) includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
A paradise of contradiction, Delhi features a mesmerizing modern energy, age-old monuments and an all-encompassing vitality that courses its way through the busy streets. Experience everything this dynamic metropolis has to offer, from modern New Delhi to historic Old Delhi.
Start your morning at the expansive Humayun?s Tomb, one of the best-preserved Mughal monuments dating back to the 1500s. This sprawling complex inspired countless mausoleums, including the legendary Taj Mahal. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Gather with your group in the evening for a memorable dinner featuring Indian specialties.
Cut through Old Delhi?s buzzing streets on a rickshaw ? your mode of transportation for an exhilarating food tour. Down narrow streets and corridors, enjoy bites of local flavor as you meet Delhi?s friendly food vendors. Your culinary adventure continues in the sacred Sikh temple, where you?ll find a lively communal kitchen. In the afternoon, see the famous monuments of New Delhi such as the India Gate and Parliament building.
A scenic drive through the countryside delivers you to Jaipur, the Pink City. Your first stop is at the Hawa Mahal, the former home of a maharaja. Marvel at the architectural brilliance of Jaipur as you stroll through the heart of the Old City. Walk the perfumed aisles of a flower market, where garlands are created for traditional Indian ceremonies.
Take in the extensive palace complex of Amber Fort, India?s former seat of power. Head to the palace by means of a vintage jeep, scaling the hills overlooking Jaipur. This afternoon, experience the vibrancy and aromas of the Jaipur Spice Market. In the evening, get to know a local family as you join them for a hosted dinner in their home.
Set out to explore the beautiful city of Jaipur, starting with the City Palace. Nearby, take in the impeccable masonry at the Jantar Mantar ? the world?s oldest stone sundial. The afternoon is yours to discover Jaipur however you please.
The tiger is a creature of unending fascination in India. Seek out tigers in their natural habitat at Ranthambore National Park. Learn about Project Tiger?s conservation efforts and the impact the organization has had on the Ranthambore sanctuary. Connect with a naturalist, introducing you to India?s extensive wildlife.
Surrounded by deep forests and scattered ruins, board a canter (open-air truck) and pass by barking deer, Indian gazelles and exotic birdlife as you follow the tigers? paths in search of the sanctuary?s renowned wildlife. Then, it?s your choice! Return to your hotel to relax -OR- visit Dastkar Ranthambore, a social enterprise dedicated to providing employment and training for local artisans. In the afternoon, return to the wild for another opportunity to watch for marsh crocodiles, sloth bears, hyenas and the park?s famous tigers.
Hop on a train, coasting through tunnels and around bends as you follow the rails to Agra, a city rich with the splendors of the past. Home to stone forts and marble mausoleums, culture comes alive in this animated city.
The Taj Mahal, a stunning vision in white marble and sandstone, was built as an expression of love by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Experience the romantic spirit of the Taj Mahal at sunrise, when the colors of the sky dance on the bright fa?ade and shimmer in its reflective pool. Later, visit Agra Fort, the seat of the Mughal Empire. Enjoy lunch at Sheroes Hangout ? a caf? that empowers female survivors of violence, allowing them to reclaim their lives and livelihoods through employment and sisterhood.
In and around KhajurahoStart your morning with a train ride to Khajuraho. In the shadow of the Vindhya mountain range, find a city of stone temples and mystifying sculptures.
Take in the Chandela Temple complex, home to unparalleled temple architecture and intricate stone carvings. Fly to Varanasi ? India?s holiest city ? where spiritual energy radiates from the ground up. Sail along the River Ganges and pass by the ghats (banks) where locals wade into the river. From the Dashashwamedh Ghat, enjoy a reserved seat to experience the Ganga Aarti ceremony as it illuminates the night sky.
Today, take advantage of a morning boat ride for an opportunity to see the sunrise on the River Ganges. Travel to Sarnath, where Siddhartha Gautama ? later known as Buddha ? gave his first sermon in the 6th century B.C. Discover this holy site and gain insight into the country?s divine past. Celebrate your adventure through India alongside new friends at a farewell dinner.
Enjoy a morning at leisure before flying back to Delhi, where a day room has been reserved for you to freshen up before your return flight home.