Day 1: Arrive at Delhi
(most flights arrive either in the evening or at night). Our services begin here.
You are greeted at the airport by our Travel Facilitator or Tour Director, and then ushered to a chauffeur driven vehicle. You are then driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check in. The next day’s plans are briefly reviewed and the travel facilitator or Tour Director hands over travel documents such as your air tickets and hotel vouchers to you.
Day 2: Delhi.
Start your exploration of India with a city tour of Old Delhi that includes visits to the Jama Masjid (1650 AD)
which is the largest mosque in India, and the amazing Red Fort (1639-48) which was the seat of the Moghul Empire for more than 250 years. Enjoy a rickshaw ride along the alleys of the ancient bazaar at Chandni Chowk. You also visit the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi (Raj Ghat).
There is a break for lunch
enjoy a city tour of New Delhi that begins with a drive past Safdarjang’s Tomb (1753 AD) while driving to the Qutab Minar (1193 A.D.) which is a striking medieval tower of victory of Persian architectural style and is 239 ft high. Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of Quwat-ul-Islam mosque, stands the famous Ashoka pillar. This large iron pillar has withstood the vagaries of Delhi’s weather and has not rusted in over 1500 years. Later, visit the tomb of the Moghul Emperor Humayun and then drive through Lutyens New Delhi which includes the Embassy area (Diplomatic enclave), Government buildings, India Gate, a golden domed Sikh Temple (Bangla Sahib Gurudwara), Birla Temple and Connaught Place, which is New Delhi’s main shopping area.
Day 3: Delhi - Varanasi.
Board the mid-morning flight to Varanasi. Check in to your hotel upon arrival.
city tour of Varanasi that includes visits to the numerous temples that dot the banks of the holy river. You will be able to walk through the narrow lanes and stop by the bazaars to have a look at, among other things, the world famous Banaras silks.
Sunset cruise on the Ganga
- cruise on the Ganga at sunset and have a grandstand view to witness to the ancient prayer and oil lamp ceremony, as hundreds of lamps are sent floating on the holy river as the sun sets.
Varanasi is famous
for silk weaving.
A Note about Hotels in Varanasi & Khajuraho: Whilst we believe these destinations are truly unique and rank among the most noteworthy in all of Asia, the Hotels in these cities do not offer the same world class luxury offered at most destinations in India. At Varanasi (with one notable and expensive exception that is seldom available as it only has 4 rooms & 6 suites) and Khajuraho the options are very few. Easy Tours routinely monitors these establishments for changes in service standards, and our preferred hotels represent the best options available in each destination. For guests that require luxury in all their lodging we recommend that you select one of our other tours that does not visit these destinations.
Day 4: Varanasi - Khajuraho.
Early morning boat cruise on the river Ganges - duration about two hours - The best time to visit the Ghats is dawn when pilgrims take their morning dip. The most famous Ghat is the Dasadwamedh Ghat from where we begin this tour. Enjoy the boat ride while looking out for the people on the Ghats - the women bathing discreetly in their sarees, the young men displaying prowess in yogic postures & the Brahmin priests offering prayers. Return to the hotel to check out.
- fly to Khajuraho. Arrive at Khajuraho and transfer to your hotel. Start your tour of the temples. These magnificent examples of Hindu religious art were constructed over 1000 years ago. The detailed artistry of the sculptures and their incredible volume are both beyond explanation.
Day 5: Khajuraho - Agra.
You are assisted with your checkout from your hotel in the morning and then you are driven to Orcha. There is a break for lunch (included) on arrival, after which you will enjoy an exploration of the magnificent ruins. The archaeological treasures of Orcha were built between four and five centuries ago by the Hindu kings that ruled this area. After your exploration of the ruins you continue with your drive to Agra, arriving in the evening, where you are assisted with check-in to your hotel.
Agra’s artists are famous for their inlaid marble creations.
Day 6: Agra.
Start your exploration of Agra with a half day city tour. The tour includes a visit to Itmad -Ud -Daulah’s tomb,
built by the Mughal Emperor Jehangir’s queen as a memorial to her father. It has beautiful ornamentation with ‘Pietra Dura’ inlay and lattice marble screens. The mausoleum rests in a walled garden with a view of the river Yamuna. Constructed in the year 1628, most historians believe that its design provided the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. You then visit the original red sandstone fort in North India, the Agra Fort. It was built in 1565 by Emperor Akbar, the greatest Mughal ruler of India. Its maze of courtyards, marble mosque, and private chambers all serve as reminders of the grandeur of the Mughal Empire.
There is a break for lunch.
- Visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the incomparable Taj Mahal. The world’s greatest monument dedicated to love, the Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 AD as a memorial to his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal. This pure white marble mausoleum took 22 years and 22,000 craftsmen to build.
Tour the amazing monument and its surroundings till it is time to admire the sun’s rays setting on the Taj Mahal’s façade.
Day 7: Agra - Ranthambore.
You are assisted with your checkout from your hotel after breakfast and then you are driven to Fatehpur Sikri
- a packed lunch is provided by your hotel. Enjoy a guided exploration of this beautiful uninhabited city. It was built by Emperor Akbar between 1570 and 1585 A.D. and is constructed primarily out of red sandstone. The Emperor moved his capital from Agra to this city and then, a few years later, abandoned it, returning back to Agra. Visit the tallest gateway in the world, the towering Bulund Darwaza (The Gate of Victory). In the northern part of the courtyard is the superb white marble tomb of Shaik Salim Chishti, built in 1570.
Continue on with
your journey to Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore National Park). The second half of this drive is through rural Rajasthan and there are multiple photo opportunities of the colorful villagers as they go about their daily activities. You will also encounter many camels and other livestock on this drive.
You are greeted on arrival at your jungle lodge and assisted with your check-in.
All three meals are at your boutique resort while at Ranthambore.
Since 2006, Easy Tours of India
has tracked the percentage of tiger sightings for our guests in Ranthambore National Park. More than 85% of our guests have had tiger sightings during this period, with many of them getting multiple sightings.
Day 8: Ranthambore.
Covering an area of 410 sq. km, Ranthambore runs along the eastern spur of the Aravali mountain range until
it meets with the Vindhya ranges. Ranthambore used to be the private hunting ground for the Royal family of Jaipur. In 1972 it was declared a Sanctuary and was brought under the Project Tiger Conservation platform.
Dry deciduous forest covers open valleys with lush vegetation around the lakes in this park, and there are open grasslands on the higher slopes. This varied flora supports a large number of animals including a variety of deer, the sloth bear, the shy caracal, leopards and of course, the tiger.
Enjoy wildlife safaris’
in to the park in the morning and evening.
In between safaris, you can visit the jungle fort at Ranthambore. This is one of the finest examples of the ancient Hindu concept of “vana-durg”,
or a fort protected by a jungle. The history of this Fort (first built in AD 944) is a chronicle full of tales of blood and valor. Occupied by the Muslims, Rajputs and Mughals, the insides of the fort today lie in ruins, but there are superb views of the park to be had from the ramparts.
Day 9: Ranthambore - Jaipur.
Enjoy your last safari into Ranthambore in the morning.
Check out of your hotel
and proceed on a drive to Jaipur. Arrive at Jaipur and check into your hotel.
There is a break for lunch.
- Proceed for a half day city tour of the walled city of Jaipur, including the magnificent City Palace. Visit the unique Jantar Mantar magnificent stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728. View the ‘Hawa Mahal’ (Palace of the Wind), the intriguing facade built in 1799 to allow royal ladies to view the city and bazaar from the windows. Continue the tour to visit the City Palace, the former royal residence (a part of it is still occupied by the Royal family and is not accessible to the public), built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. This immense complex also houses a number of museums that offer a large and impressive collection of miniature paintings, costumes, and armory.
Jaipur is famous
for its carpets, jewelry, & handicrafts.
Day 10: Jaipur.
Start your day with an excursion to Amber Fort & Palace, located 12 kilometers from the center of the City.
Arrive at the complex well before 9 a.m. so as to be able to partake in the elephant back ascent. The Fort was originally built by Raja Mansingh and is one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture. Enjoy the ascent to the palace on the back of a brightly caparisoned elephant. Visit the chambers and hallways of the Palace which are famous for their design and decorations.
There is a break for lunch
- you are at leisure with your guide and chauffeur, who are available to you till 5 pm. This is a good time to shop for Rajasthani specialties if you are so inclined. There are enough other options that your guide/chauffeur can offer you.
- Watch the show at your hotel and then drive to have dinner with a Traditional Rajasthani family at their home. Or drive to a cultural show and dinner.
Day 11: Jaipur - Udaipur.
You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel in the morning and then you proceed on the drive to Udaipur, via Ranakpur. Arrive at Ranakpur around noon and enjoy a guided excursion to the awe-inspiring Jain Temple Complex. Tour the famous 15th Century marble temple that is still an active place of worship. The main temples 29 halls are supported by 1444 massive yet intricately carved marble pillars, and no two are of the same design. There is an abundance of exquisite sculptures and friezes and the enormous scale of the monument and the exquisite details of its design have to be experienced to be believed. Lunch is included at Ranakpur this afternoon.
Continue on the drive to Udaipur. This is a picturesque drive through the Aravali hills with multiple photo opportunities of village life and local livestock, including many camels. Arrive at Udaipur in the late afternoon and you are assisted with your check-in to your hotel.
Udaipur is famous
for its artists and paintings, including exquisite miniatures.
Day 12: Udaipur.
Proceed for a city tour, including a tour of the fabled City Palace. At this Palace complex, explore the beautifully
decorated rooms with thousands of exquisite, handcrafted mirrors that cover the walls, the ancient ivory doors that are a dark reminder of royalty’s passion for hunting, the brightly colored glass windows, expansive inlaid marble balconies and the unique peacock courtyard. Enjoy a private tour of the amazing Crystal Gallery which houses the world’s largest collection of priceless crystal. Marvel at pieces like the complete bedroom furniture set in crystal, discovered recently in a store room in the palace. There are amazing views to be had from this structure, especially of Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace hotel and Jag Mandir.
After your tour of the City Palace you have the option (no charge) of a visit to the lovely Sahelion-ki-bari gardens and the local Museum.
Late afternoon/Early evening
: Enjoy a cruise on Lake Pichola and visit the historical and beautiful monuments at Jag Mandir Island (if available - the royal family at Udaipur will occasionally rent out the island for large celebrations and on those occasions the island cannot be visited by tourists).
Day 13: Udaipur - Mumbai.
Board the morning flight to Mumbai. Arrive at Mumbai and proceed for a Mumbai City tour. The tour
begins at the “Prince of Wales Museum“, built to commemorate King George V first visit to India in 1905. Designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, the museum has sections of art, paintings, archeological exhibits, and natural history. Across the road is the Modern Art Gallery which is a must for any connoisseur of art, we make a brief stop here. Continue the tour to visit “The Gateway of India”, Mumbai’s foremost landmark overlooking the harbor. This structure was conceived following the visit of King George V in 1911 and officially opened in 1924. A drive up to the Malabar Hill, to the hanging gardens, gives a panoramic view the city and the "Queens Necklace", a road called Marine Drive. You then drive through the Flora Fountain and Fort area, where you can view the Gothic and Victorian style buildings. Visit the Victoria Terminus (now known as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus) India’s finest Gothic building and a bustling Railway Station. Continue on your drive around Horniman Circle and visit the Town Hall, right besides the docks of Mumbai.
Check in to your hotel
in the late afternoon.
Day 14: Mumbai - Aurangabad.
Board the early morning flight to Aurangabad. Arrive at Aurangabad and proceed for half day guided excursion to Ellora. Explore the magnificently sculptured caves of Ellora. These caves illustrate a resurgence of Hinduism, reflected by the creation of these 17 caves with Hindu themes, sculpture, and art; including Cave 16, the awe-inspiring "Kailash Temple". Like all of the other Cave temples, this one was created out of one rock. However, the significance of that fact changes when you put it in perspective of this enormous structure.
Check in to your Hotel
after the tour.
Day 15: Aurangabad
. Full day guided excursion
to Ajanta. Buddhist monks and other craftsmen began excavating, sculpting, and painting at Ajanta in the 2nd century BC. The incredible variety of paintings and sculpture were created in hard rock by using elaborate and ingenious lighting, tools, and materials. These 28 caves are a testimony to the devotion of the Buddhists, as well as the talents of their skilled craftsmen. Ajanta's incredible paintings are even more amazing considering that the color and texture you're admiring today was created by artists about two thousand years ago.
Day 16: Aurangabad - Cochin (Kochi).
Board the morning flight to Mumbai. Connect with the flight to Cochin. Arrive at Cochin and check in to your hotel.
The tour begins from the St. Francis Church, established by the Portuguese Franciscan friars in 1503. Vasco Da Gama was buried in the courtyard of this European church, one of the first built in India. Visit the Chinese fishing nets. More than a century old and still in use, they form one of the highlights of this tour.
Drive to watch a Kathakali dance (the art of storytelling through dance) performance. After the show, you are driven to dinner with a famous Keralan chef and her family at their home. Cooking tips and recipes are included.
Day 17: Cochin - Backwaters cruise.
Check out from hotel and visit the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays) built in 1568.
After the tour, drive to Alleppey in the morning & board your houseboat. Relax and have a great time till the next morning as you cruise the amazing backwaters. The cook and other staff make sure that all your needs are taken care of, while serving you with delicious Kerala cuisine.
Day 18: Kumarakom - Cochin.
Disembark from your boat at Kumarakom. You are at leisure at Kumarakom till after lunch. Enjoy the beautiful, lush lakeside environment and have a nice lunch at one of the resorts if you are so inclined.
Afternoon - Drive
back to Cochin and check in to your hotel.
Day 19: Cochin - Delhi/Mumbai - International Flight.
Drive to the airport and board the morning flight to Delhi/Mumbai. Arrive at Delhi/Mumbai and you are greeted at the airport by your personal chauffeur. You are provided with a personal vehicle for yourself (if Single traveler), for both of you (If Couple or Two people) or for your family (if a family is traveling). Do any last minute shopping and sightseeing that you feel you may have left for the end.
Your vehicle and chauffeur
stay with you till your late evening assisted check in at the airport.
Our services end
at Delhi/Mumbai airport.