Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights

Deserts Palaces Ganges

13 days  |  Starts/Ends: Delhi  |  from USD $2,695  |   Guaranteed Departures  25 reviews

Explore Delhi, both old and new, tour the legendary Taj Mahal in Agra as well as the beautiful Pink City of Jaipur. Continue on to the incredible carved temples of Khajuraho and the beautifully colourful city of Varanasi, right on the banks of the holy Ganges.

Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Inclusions
Reviews

Itinerary

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

Day 2

Old Delhi & New

This morning, our welcome meeting takes place. We’ll then embark upon a full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi, taking in the impressive Red Fort, Jama Masjid - India's oldest and large mosque, Raj Ghat - the burial site of Ghandi and Humayan's Tomb. Tonight, we enjoy a Namaste Dinner at our hotel
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Days 3-4

Amber Fort

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 jeep 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  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 5

Abhaneri Stepwells & Rural India

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  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal

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  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Orchha's temples & Palaces

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  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Khajuraho - the Chandela dynasty

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  |  Breakfast

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  |  Breakfast

Day 10

Boat ride on the Ganges

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  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Holy 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  |  Breakfast

Day 12

Explore Delhi your own way

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  |  Breakfast

Day 13

Delhi

Thursday. Hotel check out and included onward departure transfer to airport. Happy travels!
Breakfast

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.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who would like their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates can be guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons.

New Years Tour
New Year Departure
Xmas departure, book early!
XMAS Departure
Please note this tour departs on a Thursday.
Thursday Departure
We have special arrangements on this tour to celebrate 'Holi - Festival of Colour'. A small supplement applies. Please refer to the Trip Notes for further details.
Holi - Festival of Colour
Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
This is a special Diwali departure, which includes our own Diwali celebrations! Please see our Trip Notes for details of the event.
Diwali Departure
Guaranteed Departure
4+ places available
Limited places
Sold out
On Request (Please Contact Us)
2016
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $2975
USD $1060
2017
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2795
USD $1060
USD $2795
USD $1060
USD $2975
USD $1060
USD $2975
USD $1060
USD $2795
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2795
USD $1060
USD $2795
USD $1060
USD $2975
USD $1060
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2975
USD $1060
2018
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2975
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2795
USD $1060
USD $2795
USD $1060
USD $2695
USD $1060
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2885
USD $1060
USD $2975
USD $1060

Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Private Tour Supplement
USD $650
-  
Pre-Tour accommodation - Delhi
USD $109
USD $100
Post-Tour accommodation - Delhi
USD $109
USD $100

Please note: To confirm your position on this trip we require your full name and date of birth to be able to secure train tickets for the train trip included within this holiday. Please make sure you provide us with this information at time of booking.

This tour is also available on a private basis.

SPECIAL DEPARTURES:
29 OCTOBER 2016 tour includes special DIWALI arrangements, please visit the 'Festival Tours' section on the web and see our DIWALI FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS TOUR for further details. A small supplement has been added to our tour price for this departure. Please see our trip notes for more information.

Our THURSDAY 09 MARCH 2017 tour will celebrate Holi - the festival of colour, in the rural village of Bharatpur. A small supplement has been added to our tour price for this departure. Please see our trip notes for more information on this wildly colourful event.

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

The Picadilly, Delhi

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The grand lobby of the Picadilly is a perfect introduction to this elegant luxury property. Rooms are bright, airy and furnished in a sophisticated and contemporary fashion. Staff are helpful, attentive and go above and beyond to make sure your stay is a memorable and happy one. Dining at popular Zune and contemporary Twenty-9 is highly recommended. Located in the west of town, close to the airport. Access to the rest of the city is very simple with the Janakpuri West Metro station just next door.

Mandawa Haveli, Jaipur

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

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.

Udai Vilas Palace, Bharatpur

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

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!

Seven Hills Tower, Agra

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The modern and stylish Seven Hills Tower hotel boasts a range of facilities and services designed to ensure the quality of each traveller's stay. Guests can enjoy a dip in the rooftop pool or laze on the sun loungers before heading to the equally lofty restaurant for some mouth-watering Mughlai cuisine. The spacious guestrooms are elegantly decorated with neutral colours and fabrics covered with traditional patterns and all have excellent ensuite facilities. Why not head to the rooftop pool and al fresco dining area for beautiul views of the Taj - perfect for a sunset drink.

Raj Mahal, Orchha

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

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? The accommodation is located a short drive from central Orchha, close to the Betwa River.

Hotel Ramada , Khajuraho

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

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.

Surya Hotel, Varanasi

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

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.

Trip Highlights

Varanasi - the holiest city in India, Mother India site, local temples, mosque and the holy River Ganges
Orchha Temples - wonderful complex of brilliantly preserved 16th century temples
Bharatpur - rural India at its friendliest
Fatehpur Sikri - an ancient abandoned Mughal city
The spectacular Taj Mahal - India's most famous monument in all its glory at sunset
Khajuraho - the stunning and erotic Chandela temples
Abhaneri - the iconic Chand Baori 9th century step well
Keoladeo Ghana National Park - UNESCO heritage site with up to 300 migratory birds
The Pink City of Jaipur - the lofty Amber Fort, the very regal City Palace and the ancient observatory of Jantar Mantar
Old and New Delhi - Humayan's Tomb, India's largest mosque Jama Masjid and Gandhi's crematorium Raj Ghat. Red Fort till 01 June 2017.

Included

12 breakfasts, 2 dinners
1 night overnight train (2nd class air-conditioned, semi - enclosed cabin)
Travel by jeep to the Amber Fort in Jaipur
Sunrise boat cruise on the holy Ganges - Varanasi
All relevant transfers and transportation
Touring of Delhi, Jaipur, Chand Baori Step Well, Agra, Orchha, Khajuraho and Varanasi
Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides at some sites
11 nights - 3-4 star and heritage hotels
Rickshaw ride in Delhi
Bicycle rickshaw ride in Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Economy class flight - Khajuraho to Varanasi
Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 13
Escorted by an English-speaking Indian tour guide (for groups of 6 or more)

Not Included

International flights and visas
Entrance Fees: USD$110-120, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow $3 - 7 USD per day per traveller. Tipping your tour guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$35-45, paid in local currency

Reviews

Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.76 out of 5 based on 25 recent reviews

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

Sam has good local knowledge and language skills. He is a good tour guide with good interpersonal communication skills. He needs to keep to scheduled sight seeings.

Sam need to improve on group organizational skills, when it comes to interstate travel by air and train. While other group tourist were managed to stay as one group, our group ended up separated. Pre organized 1st class train seating was not organized / achieved, creating

disappointment. His organized evening entertainments were good and appreciated as well as the boat cruise at night on the Ganges.

• Submitted 31 Oct 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

We loved our time in India and our guide Yusuf was absolutely brilliant. We also had fantastic guides in Mumbai and Cochin. Das, our driver in Kerala was also amazing.

All went smoothly with transfers and flights and we would recommend doing India again with On the Go.

Thankyou so much Rachna for putting this lifetime trip together for the 6 of us. We will be in touch.

• Submitted 20 Oct 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

We completed a hard copy feedback but in summary tour was great and I wouldn't change anything, except maybe hotel in Delhi.

• Submitted 27 Jan 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

I found the tour a very educational experience. It is hard to believe that people still live like that in this day and age. The support and work that On The Go Tours into small villages is fantastic.

I would like to know some more information on how I could contribute on a regular basis.

Satish was handed a couple of challenging situations and handled himself very professionally. Satish also went out of his way to ensure that everyone was happy and did not miss out on anything. My partner and I missed on going to the jeweler visit the rest of the group went on, due us choosing to do the bolt on Balloon Ride. Satish was able to find us another jeweler at another one of our stop overs for us to visit. He also greatly assist me in organizing a surprise birthday cake for my partners birthday.

I was lucky enough to have Satish sit with me one afternoon and shared a drink and chat, giving me a great incite to his and Indian life.

• Submitted 24 Jan 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

This tour met all of my expectations our tour guide was fantastic he went out of his way to accommodate us all, very helpful and able to answer all of our questions. He was able to deal with all difficult situations and we did have some. I will be recommending this tour and will use On The Go again.

• Submitted 13 Jan 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

My friend and I are just finishing the Deserts Palaces Ganges Tour and want to say thank you for such a terrific trip. Satish was our guide and I can't compliment him enough. His knowledge was enormous and there didn't appear to be anything he couldn't arrange to make our trip so enjoyable. There was one passenger who was difficult but he was never fazed and always showed a lovely sense of humor. We would like you to pass on our appreciation to Satish for making our trip so enjoyable.

Wendy Pryde • Submitted 24 Nov 2015

Sammy was with the group at all times. He treated everyone with care and patience. He was so keen to share his knowledge and experiences. The whole group felt comfortable. My brother and I met Sammy on our return from Shimla (add on) at the Almondz Hotel. He was starting off with another group but came over to ask how we were and if we were comfortable. He also recommended places for us where we might have meals. He was professional at all times, even with a demanding client. I would also like to commend our guide in Varanasi. He was such a professional ,pleasant knowledgeable person. His name was Pulkit

• Submitted 15 Nov 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

Fantastic tour, quite quick paced, but saw a lot. Loved every minute of it.

Satendra was fabulous. He took amazing care of our group, and his passion was really genuine, and enhanced the trip.

• Submitted 07 Apr 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

my tour of India was incredible made even more incredible because of Santendra.

His care, knowledge and assistance is an asset to your company

• Submitted 04 Apr 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

Satendra was the best tour leader I have ever had, told me so much about his country, he also shared personal info about him which he didn't have to do.

• Submitted 04 Apr 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5
Tour Details
Starts
Delhi
Ends
Delhi
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star & heritage hotels
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 12, Dinner: 2

Tour Bolt-ons

Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons

Panna Wildlife Safari

USD $245 / half day

Golden Amritsar

USD $625 / 3 days

Shimla Calling

USD $595 / 4 days

Amritsar & Shimla

USD $2,045 / 6 days

Sam has good local knowledge and language skills. He is a good tour guide with good interpersonal communication skills. He needs to keep to scheduled sight seeings.

Sam need to improve on group organizational skills, when it comes to interstate travel by air and train. While other group tourist were managed to stay as one group, our group ended up separated. Pre organized 1st class train seating was not organized / achieved, creating

disappointment. His organized evening entertainments were good and appreciated as well as the boat cruise at night on the Ganges.

Kornelia Maraczy
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