Deserts Palaces Ganges - 13 days

FROM USD $2,699

An exciting two week tour that takes in Jaipur, the legendary Taj Mahal, the incredible carved temples of Khajuraho and the colourful city of Varanasi, right on the banks of the holy Ganges.

Day 1: Delhi
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. Overnight - Delhi
This morning, our welcome meeting takes place. Afterwards we head out on a full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. Tonight, we enjoy a namaste dinner at an Indian restaurant. Overnight - Delhi (B, D)
Deserts Palaces Ganges - 13 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
An Indian lady selling her fish at a market
Delhi - Jaipur. This morning we drive to Jaipur, the bustling capital of the state of Rajasthan. After checking into our hotel we enjoy a tour of the City Palace and Jantar Mantar - an old yet cleverly designed space observatory.

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 beyond Jaipur to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort - a sprawling Rajput creation which hugs the hill on which it was built and overlooks the dusty plains below. We enjoy a stately elephant ride up to the fort and tour the fort’s well-preserved interior and grounds. Before returning to Jaipur we visit a cotton weaving house to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing. Spend the evening at leisure. Overnight - Jaipur (B:2)
The brightly coloured Indian Roller Bird
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. Then we gain an insight into local village life, visiting Adarsh Vidya Mandir local 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 (B, D)
Bharatpur - Agra. En route to Agra, we visit Fatehpur Sikri, former imperial capital of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Built between 1569 and 1585, it has been deserted for more than four centuries, by all accounts abandoned in 1600 due to a meagre supply of water. In Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort before touring the legendary Taj Mahal. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, who tragically died in childbirth in 1631, the Taj Mahal is described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love and remains one of India’s most enduring symbols. Overnight - Agra (B)
Agra - Orchha. Today, we travel by express train to Jhansi and drive onward to Orchha. Situated on the banks of the River Betwa, Orchha is set amongst a wonderful complex of well-preserved 16th century temples and palaces. Overnight - Orchha (B)
A stork flies across the blue sky
Orchha - Khajuraho. Travelling south-east we arrive in Khajuraho which is renowned for 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. We will have plenty of time to see the various erotic acts from the famous Kama Sutra depicted on the monolithic Khajuraho temples for ourselves as we explore the site. Adding to the beauty, these amazing temples subtly change hue as the day progresses, passing from a warm pink at sunrise to white under the midday sun and back to pink at sunset. Overnight - Khajuraho (B)
Day 9: Varanasi
Khajuraho - Varanasi. We offer a jeep safari in Panna NP this morning, please see our wildlife safari bolt on for details. This afternoon we bid farewell to Khajuraho and fly east to Varanasi. Perhaps the holiest city in India, Varanasi, also known as Benares or the city of Shiva, 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 (B)
This morning, 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. Overnight - Varanasi (B)
Some intricate temples at Khajuraho in North India
Day 11: Holi Varanasi
Varanasi - Delhi. Today, take the opportunity to independently explore more of Varanasi. Early this evening we return to Delhi by overnight train (option to fly to Delhi available, see below). Overnight - Train (B)
Breakfast upon arrival into Delhi and hotel check in. Today is a chance to further explore the capital at your leisure or a chance to pick up those last minute souvenirs. Overnight - Delhi (B)
Day 13: Delhi
Thursday. Hotel check out and included onward departure transfer to airport. Happy travels! (B)

Varanasi - Delhi by air

Instead of the included overnight train journey from Varanasi to Delhi, you can opt to upgrade and fly back to Delhi. This option includes an economy flight from Varanasi to Delhi on day 11, airport transfers at both ends and one night's accommodation in Delhi (evening of day 11). Please indicate your preference to travel by air at time of booking.

Holi - Festival of Colour

Join the festivities of Holi on a special tour in India

Combine your tour with the exuberant festivities of Holi - India’s most dazzling and colourful celebration of local culture through its people, with folk dancers, melodious music, and exciting traditional competitions.



If travelling on our Deserts Palaces and Ganges tour departing Monday 02 March 2015 and ending Saturday 14th March 2015, we will be taking part in Holi - the festival of colour celebrations in the rural village of Bharatpur. A small supplement has been added to our tour price for this departure. For more information on the events and our touring itinerary please see the Go Guide.


Tour Details
  • Starts in: Delhi / Ends in: Delhi
  • Departs: Every second Saturday - September through to April
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:12, Lunch: 0, Dinner: 2
  • Hotel Rating: 3 - 4 star & heritage hotels
  • Tour Guide: Yes
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