Saturday. Upon arrival into Delhi, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or independently explore this bustling capital.
This morning, our welcome meeting takes place. Then we embark on a full day sightseeing tour of Delhi, taking in the impressive Red Fort, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat - the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation, Humayan’s Tomb, Qutab Minar and a carpet emporium where we can witness a demonstration on the art of carpet weaving. Tonight, we enjoy a Namaste Dinner at an Indian restaurant.
Overnight: Delhi | Breakfast, Dinner
Delhi - Jaipur. Today, we travel by road to the architecturally flamboyant Jaipur - capital of Rajasthan which was founded in 1727. We enjoy a tour of the City Palace and Jantar Mantar, a medieval astronomical observatory - both of which were built by Jaipur’s founder - Jai Singh. On day 4 early-risers can opt for a morning hot air balloon ride over Jaipur and sail over hilltop forts, regal palaces, sleepy villages, and stone carved temples. Then we travel to Amber Fort, where we take an elephant ride to the summit of this stunning 16th century Rajput fort. A visit will be made to cotton trader this afternoon before returning to our hotel for free time.
Overnight: Jaipur | Breakfast x 2
Jaipur - Abhaneri - Bharatpur. Departing Jaipur we stop in the village of Abhaneri to see Chand Baori, which is the largest and deepest step well in the world. This incredible well has a staggering 3500 steps and is 13 stories deep. Next, we discover local life, traditions and visit the village school (if open) where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme. After hotel check in at Bharatpur and time to freshen up we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park.
Overnight: Bharatpur | Breakfast, Dinner
Bharatpur - Agra. Today we travel to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri - the magnificent fortified Mughal capital of Emperor Akbar. In Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort before touring the the legendary Taj Mahal and watching a magical sunset. Built by Shah Jahan in the 16th century as an enduring memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal is simply breathtaking.
Overnight: Agra | Breakfast
Orchha - Khajuraho. Travelling south-east we arrive in Khajuraho and explore its magnificent Hindu and Jain temples which were built during the Chandela dynasty from 950-1050 AD. The intricate stone carved temples are famous for their erotic sculptures, although why they were built still remains a mystery. In fact the Chandelas appear to have forgotten about the temples soon after they were completed and it wasn't until they were rediscovered by the British that these exquisite masterpieces were fully appreciated in India.
Overnight: Khajuraho | Breakfast
Khajuraho - Varanasi. This morning consider going on a wildlife safari at Panna National Park. Around noon, forgoing a long drive, we fly east to Varanasi. Varanasi is perhaps the holiest city in India, known as Benares or the city of Shiva, it is also one of the oldest cities on earth. Sitting on the banks of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi has been a centre of learning for more than 2000 years and it's an important Hindu pilgrimage site.
Overnight: Varanasi | Breakfast
Varanasi - New Jalpaiguri. On the morning of day 10 we enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges river where we’ll view the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps). Later, we embark on a tour of the city. At sunset consider re-visiting the ghats for the evening pilgrimage, which is different to the dawn ritual.
On day 11, take the opportunity to further Varanasi at leisure before our early evening transfer to Mughal Sarai rail station for our overnight North East Express train to New Jalpaiguri.
Overnight: Varanasi (1) Train (1) | Breakfast x 2
New Jalpaiguri - Kalimpong. Arriving into New Jalpaiguri train station this morning we commence the 3 hour drive to Kalimpong. Kalimpong, a remote hill station which was once part of Sikkim and a meeting point on the trade route to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal, sits amid beautiful mountain scenery where orchids and other flowers grow in profusion. Kalimpong offers wonderful views of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world and the town is home to several important monasteries, including the brightly painted Zong Dog Palri Phodrang Gompa (simply known as Durpin Monastery) and Thirpai Choling Gompa founded in 1892 and recently renovated. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the town at your own pace.
Overnight: Kalimpong | Lunch, Dinner
Kalimpong - Gangtok. Leaving Kalimpong we drive to Gangtok, where the remains of the day are at leisure. The charming town of Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state known for its orchids and flowers and for the heavy influence of Tibetan culture. Beyond the busy market areas, lie monastic complexes and striking countryside.
On day 14 we visit the beautiful Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim’s largest and most active monastery which is located in a lower valley. Then we tour Gangtok taking in the Royal Monastery – Tsuklakhang, the Institute of Tibetology and the Orchid Sanctuary.
Overnight: Gangtok | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Gangtok - Darjeeling. Leaving Gangtok we drive to Darjeeling. Sitting at a spectacular altitude of 2124m with a backdrop of mighty snow-clad Himalayan peaks and surrounded by verdant tea plantations, Darjeeling has been a popular hill station since the British established it as an R&R centre for their troops in the mid 19th century. Draw cards include a number of Buddhist monasteries, tea plantations and colourful markets.
On day 16, we drive to Tiger Hill to catch sunrise over the snowy peak of Kanchenjunga - the world’s third highest mountain. Continuing on, we visit the Ghoom Gompa (monastery) followed by city sightseeing and a visit to a tea estate,where you can purchase some of Darjeeling’s most famous export.
Overnight: Darjeeling | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Darjeeling via Jalpaiguri - Kolkata. Transferring to Jalpaiguri station we catch our overnight 2nd class sleeper train for Kolkata (*option to fly available, see below). We arrive into Kolkata on the morning of day 18 - Tuesday. This marks the end of our tour and we transfer you to the airport. As the train arrives at approximately 6 am we advise that you book your departure flights for after 12 noon.
Overnight: Train (1) | Breakfast x 1
Extend your stay with a 7 day/6 night Bhutan Breakaway! Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan has for centuries remained cautiously aloof from the rest of the world. Opening its doors to the world in 1974, Bhutan's incredible scenery & hospitable charm has been revealed to travellers hungry for new experiences.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
The modern and smart Almondz Hotel offers guests good sized well appointed rooms which all come with complimentary Wi-Fi. The in-house restaurant is highly recommended providing diners with delicious food and a friendly service. Please note that the majority of hotel rooms do not have windows.
The beautiful heritage style Mandawa Haveli is a fine example of typical Rajasthan architecture - set in terraced gardens with pretty courtyards. All rooms are well appointed with intricately carved wooden beds and king-size royal portraits. An evening spent enjoying a lavish Rajasthani dinner in front of a traditional folk dance is highly recommended. Well located in the heart of Jaipur city on Sansar Chandra Road, just a few minute’s drive from the Palace of the Winds.
Set amongst 2 acres of landscaped gardens, the Udai Vilas Palace is a traditional hotel taking guests back to a bygone era. Guest rooms are spacious and well equipped with comfortable beds and large windows. The hotel is famous for its barbecue nights and Rajasthani Folklore evenings. On an evening why not grab a nice cold beer and sit by the pool - a great way to end the day! Well located near the Bharatpur Bird sanctuary - great for keen twichers!
Recently built, the Raj Mahal is an oasis of elegance and luxury offering high standards of facilities to all its guests. Guest rooms are simply furnished with classic Indian four poster beds. There is an outdoor pool to relax in and the onsite restaurant, Rajsi Bhoj comes with excellent reviews. Why not take a walk along the riverside and see how many different birds you can spot? Located a short drive from central Orchha close to the Betwa River.
A popular heritage property, the Ramada is smart, modern and elegantly furnished. Rooms are good in size and have marble flooring with beautiful views out of the bay windows on to the stunning landscaped grounds. Guests can relax in the refreshing outdoor pool and sip a tasty beverage at sunset from the master cocktail makers at the bar. Very well located just a short walk to the fantastic erotic temples of Khajuraho.
Originally an ancient Nepali King's Palace, the Surya Hotel has been beautifully restored to its former glory. Guest rooms are classically furnished with excellent amenities and beautiful European-style bathrooms. Meals are served in the Canton Royale Restaurant which serves up a delicious array of Indian and International cuisine. Those wanting a nice drink should head to Sol Bar for cocktails and other assorted beverages. Well located in the north of Varanasi.
A pleasant family run retreat providing simple cottages and lodgings with spacious and comfortable rooms.
Nor-Khill is a traditional hotel, typical Sikkimese architecture, with spacious, elegant rooms.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in India, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.
Well organised and coordinated. Our tour guide Satender was very friendly and did an awesome job showing us India.”
A huge thank you to our guide, Yusuf who was extremely knowledgeable, personal and helpful in every way possible. He has gone above and beyond for us all and we are very grateful. ”
Excellent tour, very very good guide, Satendra is a credit to your company. I have travelled twice with on the go and can't wait to book again. ”
I had such an amazing time - thank you On The Go! I really liked the erotic temples at Khajuraho as we had them to ourselves and this was truly an amazing experience given how crowded India is! I also fell in love with Varanasi such a beautiful chilled out place. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who has yet to or would like to visit India again. ”
A very well organized, informative and safe tour. ”
Well organised and coordinated. Our tour guide Satender was very friendly and did an awesome job showing us India.”