Discover spiritual Varanasi
12 Nights / 13 Days
Discover the ancient city of Varanasi, the religious capital of India, and partake in the Ganga Aarti, held on the banks of the River Ganges.
Varanasi is a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and probably the oldest of India. The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the River Ganges and the river’s religious importance.
India is a wonderful destination of vibrant contrasts, engaging personalities, bustling cities and wildlife areas filled-to-the-brim with incredible game viewing opportunities. This 11-day India tour is perfect for those wanting to sample some of the country’s finest cultural attractions and incredible jungle safaris, guaranteed to take your breath away.
The journey covers five exceptional destinations, starting in Delhi, home to the bustling marketplace of Chandni Chowk, various stately buildings and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Humayun’s Tomb and the Qutub Minar.
The next leg of your journey takes you deep into jungle territory with explorations of both Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks. It is here that you will spend your morning and afternoons searching for the elusive tiger, meeting the sturdy gaur or tracking beautiful leopard and other amazing indigenous species.
Afterwards, your adventure will lead you to beautiful Varanasi for an insightful exploration, showcasing the unique relationship the city and its inhabitants have with the Gangtey River.
Next, you will board a train to Agra. Your journey in this iconic destination offers tours of the red-stone Agra Fort and the legendary Taj Mahal, which you will get to see at both sunset and sunrise.
Day 1-3: Delhi
- Take a rickshaw ride through the Chandni Chowk, once the grandest of markets in India.
- Explore the Spice Market in Old Delhi which has been in operation since the 17th century.
- Visit the Jama Masjid, the principal mosque of the region, commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1644.
- Stop at Agrasen ki Baoli, an ancient ‘haunted’ stepwell which is a protected monument.
- Discover Rajpath, also known as the Kings Way, flanked on either side by ornamental ponds.
- Drive past Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidential House) – the official residence of the President.
- Stop at the India Gate for photographs, the 42 metre stone arch.
- Visit Humayun’s Tomb, a complex of buildings that were built to house his body.
- End your day with a stop at the Qutub Minar, a 72.5-meter tower, the world’s tallest brick minaret.
Day 3-5: Kanha National Park
- Move on to Kanha National Park, one of the first areas to be protected under Project Tiger, aimed at preserving this magnificent animal.
- Kanha is a renowned and picturesque conservation area that boasts the ideal habitat for both tigers and their prey species.
- Explore the sal and bamboo forests of Kanha on twice-daily game drives accompanied by a trained naturalist, who will point out and explain details about the fascinating animals and plants of the jungle.
- Spend three nights at Banjaar Tola Tented Camp, in a luxury tent. Your stay is on a full board basis and includes scheduled shared game drives.
Day 6-9: Bandhavgarh National Park
- An essential stop on any serious tiger safari, Bandhavgarh National Park is renowned for one of India’s highest concentrations of this magnificent animal.
- A relatively small park with a thriving tiger population, it offers guests a good chance of encountering the king of the jungle, as well as a selection of other exotic wildlife.
- Explore this magnificent destination on morning and afternoon game drives.
- Spend three nights at Mahua Kothi Jungle Lodge. Accommodation is in a luxurious cottage with ensuite facilities. Your stay is on a full board basis.
Day 9-10: Varanasi
- Varanasi is a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and probably the oldest of India.
- The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the River Ganges and the river’s religious importance.
- Discover the spiritual significance of the city with an evening visit to the ghats to witness the daily activity.
- Then, set off a sunset boat ride on the river which rewards with the magical sight of thousands of tiny candlelit lamps made of leaves and marigolds being set afloat as part of the Ganga Aarti ceremony.
- Visit again at dawn, when the river is bathed in a luminous yellow light as colourful throngs of pilgrims perform their morning devotions.
Day 10: Delhi
- Today, you will be collected for your flight to Delhi. Upon your arrival, you will be warmly welcomed by a representative and chauffeured to your hotel where you will spend the evening at your pleasure before transferring to Agra the next day.
Day 11-12: Agra
- Board a train for Agra and experience some of the truly wonderful things about Indian train travel
- The city of Agra flourished under the patronage of the emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan and attracted artisans from Persia and Central Asia.
- Agra is where Emperor Shah Jahan engraved his immortal love for his Empress in marble, the Taj Mahal. Agra is still famous for handicrafts products such as Inlay work on marble, carpets, jewellery, zari and embroidery work.
- Visit Agra Fort, the ancient red sandstone palace once occupied by Shah Jahan and his family, and which was renovated, converted and reworked extensively with marble and pietra dura inlay.
- Marvel at the world’s greatest monument to love – the famous Taj Mahal.
- Explore this monument at both sunset and sunrise the next morning. Said to be one of the most elegant and harmonious buildings in the world, the manifestation of the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in its architecture, garden design, painting, and calligraphy.
Day 13: Departure
- Today, you will have the morning to enjoy at your leisure before being collected for your flight to Delhi and onward flight later this evening.