The Ganges | Varanasi | India
FROM: R31,900

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 architecture in Lucknow and the beautifully colourful city of Varanasi, right on the banks of the holy Ganges.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Reviews

Trip Highlights

The Taj Mahal – discover the most iconic site in India and enjoy a guided tour at this extravagant symbol of love
Lucknow - gaze at the incredible Islamic and British Raj style architecture and discover the royal splendor of this incredible city
Jaipur – explore highlights of the Pink City including the City Palace and visit lofty Amber Fort
Fatehpur Sikri – walk around and explore the well-preserved former Mughal city which was abandoned 400 years ago
Agra – visit the lesser known but still impressive Agra Fort and explore behind its fortified walls
Varanasi – sail on the holy Ganges and watch the ancient tradition of religious ritual cleansing on the riverside ghats
Delhi – tour the highlights of Old and New Delhi including Jama Masjid and the India Gate monument
Abhaneri – admire the impressive Chand Baori step well which climbs down 13 stories to the water’s edge
Keoladeo Ghana National Park – ride on a bicycle rickshaw around this wetland reserve, home to rare bird species

Included

11 breakfasts, 2 dinners
1 economy class flight - Varanasi to Delhi
Touring of Delhi, Jaipur, Chand Baori Step Well, Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi
Bicycle rickshaw ride in Keoladeo Ghana National Park
All relevant transfers and transportation
Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides at some sites
11 nights - 3-4 star and heritage hotels
Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 12
Rickshaw ride in Delhi
Sunrise boat cruise on the holy River Ganges - Varanasi
Escorted by an English-speaking Indian tour guide (for groups of 6 or more)

Not Included

International flights and visas
Entrance Fees: USD$95-105pp, 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$40-50pp, paid in local currency

Itinerary

Day 1

Delhi

Saturday. Welcome to India! On arrival in Delhi you’ll be transferred from the airport to our hotel, where the rest of the day is free to relax or explore as you please. You may wish to visit Akshardham - the largest Hindu temple in the world. This evening we have a welcome meeting at 18:00 at the hotel to meet our guide the rest of the group.
Overnight: Delhi

Day 2

Old & New Delhi sightseeing

Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in India’s capital. In Old Delhi we’ll see the largest mosque in India - the impressive Jama Masjid. Continue to Humayun’s Tomb and Raj Ghat, the site of Gandhi’s cremation. We also enjoy a thrilling rickshaw ride around Chandni Chowk bazaar. Later we explore highlights of New Delhi including the ceremonial Rajpath and famous India Gate monument. This evening we enjoy our Namaste dinner.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Days 3-4

Jaipur & Amber Fort

Delhi - Jaipur. We travel to the UNESCO-listed Pink City of Jaipur on day 3 and enjoy a guided tour of the City Palace and the Jantar Mantar space observatory. This UNESCO-listed site is made up of 19 separate astrological instruments, including the worlds largest stone sundial.

Early on day 4 there’s the opportunity to join our Balloon Over Jaipur add-on and sail over lofty forts, temples and regal palaces in a hot air balloon, with the Pink City as your stunning backdrop. Later we explore the striking hill-top Amber Fort. Reach the site by jeep and enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful lakeside fortress. We then return to Jaipur for the evening, stopping en route at a local cotton weaving house.
Overnight: Jaipur  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 5

Chand Baori Step Well & Keoladeo Ghana National Park

Jaipur - Abhaneri - Bharatpur. Say goodbye to Jaipur as we travel to the village of Abhaneri, home to the impressive Chand Baori step well. This staggering site is 13 stories deep and famously starred in the hit movie ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’. Next we visit a local school to meet the pupils and teachers. We operate our Change for Children programme here and you may consider bringing some educational gifts from home to give out (see trip notes) - they will make a real difference to the lives of these underprivileged children.

After our school visit, we continue to our hotel in Bharatpur and explore Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO-listed wetland reserve. The park is home to hundreds of bird species including vultures, owls, eagles and pelicans - we'll be accompanied by a guide who can identify the species for you. Enjoy a rickshaw ride around this beautiful reserve before we return to the hotel.
Overnight: Bharatpur  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal

Bharatpur - Agra. Travel to Agra today, stopping en route at the city of Fatehpur Sikri, which has laid abandoned for more than 400 years. On arrival in Agra we explore the impressive Agra Fort and then discover the most famous attraction in India - the Taj Mahal. This iconic white mausoleum was constructed on the orders of Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, who tragically died in childbirth. It remains the most extravagant symbol of love ever built and the icon of India. We enjoy a guided tour of the legendary monument.
Overnight: Agra  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Lucknow

Agra – Lucknow. This morning we depart for Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. Boasting beautiful British Raj-era architecture as well as fantastic examples of Islamic art and design, Lucknow is an enigmatic city steeped in history. This afternoon we’ll tour the highlights of a city which first gained importance in 1528 with its capture by Babur, the first Mughal ruler of India. Our first stop will be to the Chota Imambara, one of the most intricate and exquisite buildings in Lucknow, it was built as a congregation hall for Shia Muslims and today houses the tombs of Muhammed Ali Shah and his family. Our next stop is the Rumi Darwaza, often referred to as the Turkish Gate. This imposing gate is a busy route through the city. We finish the day at Bara Imambara, this impressive complex was built in the 1780’s and houses a mosque, a step well and a maze of corridors.
Overnight: Lucknow  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Lucknow

Today we further explore the city of Lucknow, heading first for La Martiniere college. The college was established in 1845 from instructions in the will of Major General Claude Martin, who left a large endowment for its construction and upkeep. Today, it educates upwards of 6,000 pupils at one time and the Constantia building has been described as ‘perhaps the best-preserved colonial building in Lucknow’. Later we’ll visit the remains of two British Raj-era buildings, Dilkusha Palace and the British Residency, both of which were shelled during the 1857 siege of Lucknow and today lay in ruins. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to further explore Lucknow.
Overnight: Lucknow  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Varanasi

Lucknow – Varanassi. Today we drive from Lucknow to Varanasi, one of the oldest and holiest cities on Earth. The city is also an important Hindu pilgrimage site, set on the banks of the River Ganges.
Overnight: Varanasi  |  Breakfast

Day 10

Boat ride on the Ganges

Early this morning we enjoy a boat ride on the holy Ganges. Enjoy the sunrise and watch the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the riverside ghats (steps). We then enjoy a guided tour of the city and you may wish to return to the banks of the Ganges at sunset for the evening ritual.
Overnight: Varanasi  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Return to Delhi

Varanasi - Delhi. Spend our final morning in Varanasi at leisure, before we fly to Delhi this afternoon. Your final evening in India is then free to spend as you wish. Perhaps visit the stunning Red Fort and attend its famous Sound and Light show after dark.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast

Day 12

Delhi

Wednesday. Our Indian adventure comes to an end today with an included transfer to the airport.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the per person price.

Read More
Xmas departure, book early!
XMAS Departure
New Years departure, book early!
New Year 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
Please note this tour departs on a Friday.
Friday Departure
Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
Please note this tour departs on a Thursday.
Thursday 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
Available
Contact us to book
Sold out
2019
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
21 Dec - 01 Jan Xmas departure, book early!
Xmas departure, book early!
R35,900
R9,900
28 Dec - 08 Jan New Years departure, book early!
New Years departure, book early!
R35,900
R9,900
2020
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
R34,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
06 Mar - 17 Mar 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.
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.
Please note this tour departs on a Friday.
Please note this tour departs on a Friday.
R35,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
11 Apr - 22 Apr Easter departure, book early!
Easter departure, book early!
R35,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
R31,900
R9,900
R31,900
R9,900
R31,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
12 Nov - 23 Nov Please note this tour departs on a Thursday.
Please note this tour departs on a Thursday.
This is a special Diwali departure, which includes our own Diwali celebrations! Please see our Trip Notes for details of the event.
This is a special Diwali departure, which includes our own Diwali celebrations! Please see our Trip Notes for details of the event.
R35,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
R34,900
R9,900
19 Dec - 30 Dec Xmas departure, book early!
Xmas departure, book early!
R35,900
R9,900
27 Dec - 07 Jan New Years departure, book early!
New Years departure, book early!
R35,900
R9,900

Extra Prices

Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
Private Tour Supplement
R6900
-  
Pre-Tour Accommodation - Delhi
R1400
R1200
Post-Tour Accommodation - Delhi
R1400
R1200

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.

Surya Hotel, Varanasi

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

Originally built in 1818 as an ancient Nepali King's Palace, the Surya Hotel has been beautifully restored to its former glory. Guestrooms 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 refreshing drink should head to the Sol Bar for cocktails, beers and other beverages. The hotel also offers traditional Henna tattoos and Indian handicrafts to purchase.

Hotel Jivitesh, Delhi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Jivitesh Hotel is centrally located in the heart of Karol Bagh, a popular neighbourhood of Delhi renowned for its excellent shops and vibrant street markets. The Jivitesh offers comfortable and spacious guest rooms, with modern amenities such as free WiFi, and you can be assured of a warm welcome and excellent customer service from the hotel staff. Enjoy authentic Indian vegetarian cuisine at the hotel's restaurant and take a refreshing dip in the outdoor swimming pool after a day of sightseeing in the capital.

Vivanta by Taj Dwarka, Delhi

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Vivanta by Taj Dwarka is a modern, luxury hotel located in Dwarka, on the outskirts of New Delhi, just a 15-minute drive from the airport. Spread over 7 acres, this striking hotel has a unique angular design and offers 250 luxurious rooms and suites. All tastes are catered for at the hotel's multi-cuisine restaurant, while the Indus Express restaurant serves mouth-watering Punjabi cuisine. Head to the popular Tipple bar for a delicious array of heady cocktails or relax by the poolside with a refreshing smoothie from the Celsuis Pool Bar. The nearby Sector 21 Metro station provides direct access to the heart of the city and after a day of sightseeing you can cool off with a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool or relax in the sauna and massage parlour.

Jaypee Siddharth Hotel, Delhi

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The luxurious Jaypee Siddharth is a stunning property located just five kilometres from the New Delhi Railway Station. Guestrooms are exquisitely decorated with a blend of cream and brown tones and benefit from air conditioning and complimentary WiFi. If you have free time, guests can indulge in one of the rejuvenating treatments available at the spa, take a dip in the outdoor pool or work up an appetite in the gym. A range of cuisines are served in the various restaurants found within the hotel complex.

Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini, Delhi

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Located just footsteps from the nearest metro station, the Crowne Plaza New Delhi offers a beautiful blend of contemporary facilities and warm Indian hospitality. Each en-suite guestroom features traditional wood furnishings and a minibar, free WiFi and a flat screen TV. Guests can unwind in the Adya Spa which features a mix of Asian and European therapies or take a swim in the outdoor pool to escape the heat. The hotel prides itself on its range of dining options including the Spice Art restaurant, which serves delicious North Indian cuisine, and Moasic, where you’ll find a range of international dishes.

Mandawa Haveli, Jaipur

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

Made of pink and red sandstone, the beautiful heritage-style Mandawa Haveli is a fine example of typical Rajasthani architecture. All rooms are well appointed with intricately carved wooden beds and king-size royal portraits, with modern amenities such as free WiFi and ensuite bathrooms. Spend an evening dining on continental, Indian or Rajasthani cuisine on the outdoor terrace or request a private, candlelit dinner on the rooftop under a star-studded sky. Well located in the heart of Jaipur city on Sansar Chandra Road, this hotel is 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 located right in the heart of Bharatpur city. 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, where you will be enthralled by traditional music and dance performances. Keoladeo National Park, one of the most well-known bird sanctuaries in India, is also just a five-minute drive away.

Seven Hills Tower, Agra

Our Category: Standard   |   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. The spacious guestrooms are elegantly decorated with neutral colours and fabrics covered with traditional patterns and all have excellent ensuite facilities. 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 al fresco dining area offers beautiul views of the Taj Mahal, perfect for enjoying a sunset drink.

Reviews

Travellers have rated this tour as 4.74 out of 5 based on 35 recent reviews

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6

I really enjoyed this tour and loved India. Our guide Sat was great - patient, informative, funny and helpful. We enjoyed all the sites we saw and the information we received.

• Submitted 24 Jan 2019
Tour
Guide
Country

India was a wonderful place & I fell in love with the place and the people within a very short period of time.

Our guide, Yusuf, was professional & couldn’t have been more fun or helpful. He made the tour better than we could have hoped. A real asset to On the Go.

I know that I’ll return to India and I’ll be using On the Go again when I do. Overall, it was an great experience.

• Submitted 15 Mar 2018
Tour
Guide
Country

As I wrote on the first feedback form, the tour itself was great. It covered a lot of ground and included various types of experiences -- something for everyone. On the Go did a really good job. The only disappointments were things out of your control (e.g., cancelled flight to Varanasi on 31 Dec, so we spent a lot of time at Khujaraho airport and missed the festive banquet for New Years; lots of "fog" and "mist" (read horrible smog); and not seeing much wildlife on the bolt-on "safari"). That last hotel in Varanasi had a nice restaurant, but the rooms were a little skeevy, with towels that were stained and faucet loose in the sink. But what SAVED it all, and turned every downside into an upside, was Satendra Sharma. He looked out for everyone without being overly controlling, and he found special opportunities to engage us in local happenings (e.g., a fabulous and unique festival in Orchha around Morari Bapu, which turned into an amazing experience!). When our flight was cancelled he somehow managed to quickly book us into a different hotel (Clarks) on New Years Eve. Satendra is thoughtful, knowledgeable, funny, and extremely competent at his job -- with managing logistics, giving us history, in his personal interactions, and in communicating with the group. I can't imagine a better tour guide! He is surely the Guide of the Year!

• Submitted 16 Jan 2018
Tour
Guide
Country

I would like to vote for tour guide Satendra Sharma, he was impeccable, he has the most kindest heart, excellent knowledge, nothing was a problem, worked long hours to insured we enjoyed the most out of all sightseeing, our safety and well being, WWe had perfect weather however our flight was cancelled to Varanasi from fog and tech problems and he was quick to get us comfortable back into a hotel with dinner all paid by the airlines. I could not fault anything with our tour, I still think about how wonderful the time was. I highly recommend and give 5 stars for ON THE GO TOURS INDIA to all my friends and would make sure Satendra was their tour guide as he was recommended to me from my friend that did the tour earlier in May Fiona. I so hope he wins, he is so deserving and if I was ever back in India I would do a private tour with him.

I will post on Trip advisor 5 stars for ON THE GO TOURS.

Thank you, Patricia

• Submitted 16 Jan 2018
Tour
Guide
Country

I had a wonderful trip with my 19 new travellers and all made very welcome by our wonderful tour guide Saatendra who amazed us with his knowledge and insight to the history and told us in detail about the sights we visited and stories relating to past times and really explained everything in descriptive detail capturing all our attention. Saat organised everything to perfection, the other guides, passes in and buses organised to various sights, although he had no control over the weather, we had an unexpected overnight stop due to lack of flight to Varanasi and he very quickly overcame that obstacle (given it was New Year's Eve and most places book out) but arrangements very quickly organised, overall I would highly recommend On the Go to others and particularly request Saat as their guide.

• Submitted 16 Jan 2018
Tour
Guide
Country

I would like to say how wonderful and amazing our Tour was to India especially a big mention our tour guide Satendra Sharma, he has a wonderful kind heart, impeccable knowledge, nothing was any problem. He worked long hours to make sure our trip was memorable and he went over and beyond his job. I still think about the tour, we were lucky to have a wonderful group of people and extra lucky to have Satendra. If there is anywhere I can put a recommendation for him please advise. I had a friend Fiona Baker that did the tour back in May 2017 and also had Satendra and she advised me before I went that I was in for a amazing tour, we both would come back possibly to do a private tour with him. I have told all my friends about ON THE GO TOURS and highly recommend the high quality and pricing is very reasonable for what you receive.

The only complaint about the trip was that we had to leave :-) Thank you ON THE GO TOURS and a big thank you to Satendra. I will be a return customer in the future. Kind Regards

Patricia

• Submitted 16 Jan 2018
Tour
Guide
Country

What can I say! Not only was this my first trip to India, but also my first overseas. I had always wanted to see a country different to my own (Australia), and that I did! I chose to go at Diwali time, and so glad I did. It was incredible. I also chose the "bolt - on" of going up in a hot balloon, which was another first for me. It was fantastic, and especially being able to see the Indian villages from above in the basket. There were highlights throughout the tour. I cannot just pick one, but I will say that the Diwali made it more special. It was great also, to see the Taj Mahal as well as the temples and hear the history of each. The experience of Varanasi, I will never forget either. I felt incredibly lucky to have been able to be there in India, embracing it all. Our tour guide, Yusuf added his own touch and personality to the whole trip, but I have to say that I personally thank him from the bottom of my heart for he had a confident aura about him, which allowed me to relax. I can be a panic merchant, but with him in lead, I felt safe. He also made the Diwali night an evening I will never forget. I would love to go back to India one day, because I think it is a pretty incredible place to visit, with so much to learn and appreciate. Thank you On The Go Tours, And thank you Yusuf!

• Submitted 16 Nov 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

As I have said with feedback form given to me by Yusuf, it was through Yusuf, that I was not only able to enjoy ( apart from excessive heat) but feel safe. He was in control of any situation that might crop up, which left me and others feeling safe in what a trip in India represents, some interesting, though exciting challenges. I do also, thank On The Go for making these types of trips possible. For my first time out of Australia, it was a great experience. Thank you!

Cheers Kathy

• Submitted 01 Nov 2017
Tour
Guide
Country

The tour was well organised and covered a lot of ground. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and made the whole trip very enjoyable as well as feeling safe.

• Submitted 29 Dec 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

From the moment Sammy met me at the airport I felt in safe hands. He was professional yet easy going and friendly, well organised and calm. The group met for a briefing the next morning and then we were off. And I absolutely loved every minute of the next 13 days. We saw amazing things and people, went to astonishingly wonderful places and throughout, Sammy managed to gently herd us along without us ever feeling managed. At Varanasi we were all stuffed in pairs into tuc tucs and sent off into the pre dawn traffic mayhem of the 3 day Puja there. Sammy somehow materialised at the riverside (20mins ride away) and got us all into a boat and onto the water to see the magical sunrise. I never worked out how he did that! And it was all with implacable calm. He was funny and fun, informative and interesting, organised and efficient and brought out the best in the group. He is a brilliant ambassador for India and all its wondrousness. I Loved the entire tour and would like to nominate Sammy for an award

• Submitted 24 Nov 2016
Tour
Guide
Country
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In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Delhi
Ends
Delhi
Departs
Saturdays
Group Size
Min 2 / Max 24
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star & heritage hotels
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 11, Dinner: 2
Visiting
Delhi, Old Delhi, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Abhaneri, Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi
Countries
Jama Masjid
A-sunny-blue-sky-day-at-the-Amber-Fort-in-Jaipur
The Taj Mahal reflected in the water in Agra
Varanasi Highlight

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I really enjoyed this tour and loved India. Our guide Sat was great - patient, informative, funny and helpful. We enjoyed all the sites we saw and the information we received.

Beth Maggs
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