This classic itinerary covers iconic sites of North India, from Rajasthan to the Gangetic Plain. For travelers looking for exposure to a variety of experiences and atmospheres in a short span of time. The trip to Khajuraho ends on the banks of the Ganges.
12 days / 11 nights
Delhi – Jaipur – Agra – Gwalior – Orchha – Khajuraho – Varanasi
- Scenic Forts and Tombs of ancient kingdoms
- Unique blend of sacred, profane and erotic art in forgotten temples
- Ganga Aarti ceremony at the holy Ganges in Varanasi
Day 1 : Delhi
Arrival in Delhi and transfer to hotel. Drive past British Connaught Place, India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan (President House).
Day 2 : Delhi
In Old Delhi, visit the mosque of Jama Masjid and Mughal Red Fort… Wander in Chandni Chowk bazaar. In New Delhi, visit Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple and Humayun’s Tomb.
Day 3 : Delhi / Amber / Jaipur
Leave for Rajasthan. First stop in Amber, once the feodal capital of the region. Ride an elephant up the Fort. Proceed to to the walled city of Jaipur and check in hotel.
Day 4 : Jaipur
Maharaja Jai Singh II founded Jaipur in 1727. Visit City Palace, Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds) and the Observatory of Jantar Mantar. Stroll around the lively bazaars.
Day 5 : Jaipur / Fatehpur Sikri / Agra
Drive to Agra en route visiting the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. Reach Agra and visit Red Fort and Itmad ud Daulah Mausoleum. From the bank of Yamuna River, get a glimpse of Taj Mahal at sunset.
Day 6 : Taj Mahal / Gwalior
Visit fabulous Taj Mahal. Then drive to Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. The breathtaking Fort features palaces and Jain and Hindu temples including Surya, Teli ka Mandir, Saas Bahu Temples and the Sikh Gurudwara.
Day 7 : Sonagiri / Datia / Orchha
Drive to Orchha en route visiting the temple-covered hill of Sonagiri
and the elegant Govind Palace in Datia. Proceed to Orchha.
Day 8 : Orchha
Once the capital of Bundelkhand kingdom, Orchha is now a pleasant town. Visit Jehangir Mahal and Raj Mahal palaces, and Ram Raja, Chhatturbhuj and Laxmi Mandir temples. Walk along the serene river.
Day 9 : Orchha / Khajuraho
Trip to Khajuraho. Elegant temples were carved a thousands years ago and richly adorned with erotic statues. They remained forgotten for centuries and are now a world renowned site.
Day 10 : Khajuraho / Varanasi
Board a train or flight to Varanasi, the most sacred place of pilgrimage for Hindus. The old city is a maze of narrow alleyways leading to holy ghats, where the ceremony of Ganga Aarti is held at sunset.
Day 11 : Varanasi and Sarnath
Early morning boat ride on the Ganges. Observe pilgrims take a purifying dip in the river. Temple tour of the old city : Vishwanath Golden Temple, Durga and Tulsi Manas Temples... Trip to Sarnath shrine where Buddha preached his first sermon.
Day 12 : Varanasi / Delhi
Board a train or flight back to Delhi or to your next destination.
Average travel time:
- 3 to 5-hour drive between halts.
When to go:
- Ideal in October-November and February-March, great to combine with a religious festival.
- Train traffic is disrupted by fog during December and January, prefer flights.
- Avoid during summer (April to June), too hot!
- Temperatures remain high during Monsoon (July to September), and boat ride on Ganges may be stopped
Spice up your trip:
- Stay in on of the few heritage palaces overlooking the Ganges.
- Extend the trip to Bodhgaya or Kolkata.
- Live with a family in Orchha as part of a community outreach program.
- Track the tiger during a safari in Panna near Khajuraho.
- Cruise to Varanasi for a 2 days / 1 night adventure with overnight camping.
Monument closing days:
- Taj Mahal on Fridays
- Delhi Red Fort on Mondays
- All monuments in Jaipur on Holi festival.
Ask for a custom quote now for this trip to Khajuraho and Varanasi. Tour reference: Wonders of North India.