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Best of India

Best of India


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Itinerary

Countries Visited

India

Tour Itinerary

Visit India and follow the famous Golden Triangle. Enjoy the perfect introduction to India's three most popular destinations - Delhi, Agra and Jaipur - as we explore the icons and discover the secrets of this fascinating region. Experience the history of massive forts, the opulence of Rajasthan's palaces and the traditions of a heritage homestay. Head north into the Himalayan foothills and be introduced to the Mountains and Mystics of this incredible country. These mystical lands look and feel very different from the rest of India - from the food and clothes to the crisp, clean mountain air and spiritual sway of the inhabitants. Discover the complex diversity of India and be enchanted by a land balanced between physical and spiritual worlds.

Day 1: Delhi
Namaste! Welcome to India. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive with hours (or days) to spare, consider striking out on your own, perhaps to visit the World Heritage-listed Humayun's Tomb. A great (and tasty) way to get under the city’s skin in very little time is to book an Urban Adventure like the Delhi City Food Crawl. After the 6 pm meeting, head out for an optional meal with your group at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Delhi
Join your group leader on an excursion through Old Delhi. Ride the city’s metro system, and then hop in a rickshaw to the once water-filled square of Chandni Chowk. Discover the Jama Masjid, Delhi’s oldest mosque, before learning about the history of the Sikh religion at the Sheeshganj Gurudwara.

Day 3: Jaipur
Travel by private vehicle into Rajasthan and on to its capital, Jaipur (approximately 5 - 6 hours). A friendly, busy city crammed with palaces and bazaars full of jewellery, textiles and folk arts, Jaipur is a favourite for many travellers. Our suggestions are to stop by the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), then head over to Jaipur's Royal City Palace and explore its extravagant rooms and apartments. Later, discover one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur.

Day 4: Jaipur
Choose to take an early morning hot air balloon experience, often a highlight of visiting Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over Jaipur on the morning of day four between September and June. Mid afternoon visit the Amber Fort. Set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, the fort is an authentic example of Rajput architecture and the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is one of its more spectacular buildings.

Day 5: Karauli
Leave the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur behind and drive to Karauli (approximately 5-6 hours). This delightful town was founded in 1348 and is packed with rural ambience and traditional temples. Take a guided walk around the Old Quarter, interacting with friendly locals and learning about rural Indian life off the tourist trail. Be sure to visit the eclectic market stalls along the way and sample some seasonal local sweets made from Indian ingredients, including petha (pumpkin), jaggery (organic sugar), peanut brittle and gazak (sesame seeds). Stay in a restored heritage property tonight where dinner is included.

Day 6: Fatehpur Sikri – Agra
On the journey to Agra, stop en route at the one-time capital of the Mughal empire, Fatehpur Sikri (approximately 4 hours). Its stunning mosque displays both Persian and Hindu design and is secured by a 54-metre high entrance. Once in Agra, there’s the option of visiting the marble tomb that was saved for the greatest of the Mughal Emperors, Akbar's Mausoleum. The day then culminates in a visit to the Taj Mahal, built in the 1640s as a memorial to the wife of Emperor Shah Jahan.

Day 7: Delhi
In the morning, take a guided tour along the banks of the Yamuna River to the iconic Agra Fort. Originally designed by Emperor Akbar in 1565 to be a military structure, it was converted into a palace during Emperor Shah Jahan's reign and later became his prison. In the early afternoon, take the 3-4 hour journey back to Delhi by private bus. Arrive back at the hotel with enough time to freshen up and decide whether to enjoy one final dinner with the group.

Day 8: Delhi
Today either join your new group for another walk around Delhi or explore further on your own.

Day 9: Shimla
Depart Delhi by train for the 4-5 hour journey across the state of Punjab to Chandigarh. From Chandigarh we will travel by private vehicle to Shimla where on arrival we will explore the town's faded colonial charm on an orientation walk.

Day 10: Shimla
Wake up early this morning to board the World Heritage-listed 'toy train' for a two-hour scenic journey offering views of quaint villages and gorgeous mountain passes. Afterwards, head out and explore Mall Road, Shimla's most popular shopping stretch. A nearby viewpoint also offers fantastic views of the Himalayas. Visit the Viceregal Lodge to witness where the partition agreement that separated India from Pakistan and Bangladesh was drawn up. If you like, join the hoards of monkeys milling about Jakhu Temple or stock up on souvenirs and specialty wooden crafts at Lakkar Bazaar. Set among rolling hills, Shimla also offers an array of nature walks that range from gentle to challenging. In the evening, enjoy an optional trip to the cinema and bop along to a Bollywood blockbuster.

Day 11: Mandi
Travel by jeep to the small town of Mandi. Situated on the Beas River, Mandi has a rich cultural heritage of both historical and theological significance. Once part of the salt route to Tibet, today it's the gateway to the Kullu Valley. Head into town for a walk and explore a huge sunken shopping centre - the only one like it in India and the focal point of entertainment in Mandi. You can also spend time at the bathing ghats along the river or hike to hilltop temples just outside of town. In the evening, enjoy and included dinner and stay in the simply restored former palace of the Raja of Mandi.

Day 12: Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj)
The journey through the mountains today is an adventure in itself. Travel by private vehicle for the six-hour drive along bumpy, winding roads to Dharamsala, also known as McLeod Ganj. Strung with prayer flags and busy with robed monks strolling between monasteries, this hilltop retreat is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile. Spend the afternoon wandering the peaceful streets, which are set to the backdrop of the Himalayas. There’s a lot to gain here from learning about the many facets of Tibetan Buddhism.

Day 13: Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj)
Today visit the fascinating Norbulingka Institute, developed to train Tibetan refugees in skills needed to preserve the traditional arts and crafts of Tibet. Its grounds feature a beautiful temple and several workshops where you can witness woodcarving, painting and needlework in action. Then make your way to the Tsuglag Khang complex to see the Dalai Lama’s temple. You may also like to visit the Losel Doll Museum, which is a great way to learn about the daily lives and customs of people all over Tibet.

Day 14: Amritsar
Today travel down the mountains to Amritsar, situated in the heart of the fertile plain known as India's ‘breadbasket’ and the centre of Sikhism in India. Tour the sights and wonder through the rambling streets and bazaars of the Old City by foot. Explore the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib), which sits in the middle of a sacred lake. Listen to the soothing sounds of the devout chanting verses from the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib.

Day 15: Amritsar - Overnight train
Visit Jallianwala Bagh, the site of the tragic 1919 massacre that played a vital role in India's independence. Then head out to the India-Pakistan border to witness the pomp and circumstance of the daily flag ceremony, a military practice that the security forces of India and Pakistan have followed since 1959. Tonight take an overnight sleeper train from Amritsar to Haridwar.

Day 16: Rishikesh
After pulling into Haridwar in the morning, there’s an hour drive to Rishikesh. Check in to your hotel before going on a walk with your leader. Pay a visit to the faded but mural-lined walls of Chaurasi Kutia, the ashram made internationally famous (long with Rishikesh by association) when the Beatles visited in the 1960s. Explore the crumbling beauty of the former ashram, now covered in graffiti related to the band and counterculture. In the evening, take a stroll along the holy Ganges River as temple bells ring and the nightly fire ritual of Ganga Aarti begins.

Day 17: Rishikesh - River Ganges
The morning is yours to roam around Rishikesh. Perhaps tuck into a masala dosa for breakfast before walking or riding it off on one of the trails along the Ganges. Aptly named the 'Yoga Capital of the World', Rishikesh is a great place to relax and seek a little enlightenment. For something more adventurous there is the option to whitewater raft down the Ganges. In the afternoon, reunite with your group for a walk through the jungle nearby. Tonight, experience sleeping under the stars just outside of Rishikesh, you’ll be staying in a fixed campsite with twin-shared tents and western-style toilets.

Day 18: Delhi
Bid farewell to Rishikesh and take the train back to Delhi (approx 7-9 hours). The train arrives back into Delhi around 11pm from where you’ll be transferred to your hotel on arrival.

Day 19: Delhi
There are no activities planned for today, so you’re free to depart the accommodation at any time. Don't forget to check out the great range of Urban Adventures if you have extra time in Delhi.

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Inclusions

  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Jaipur - Walking & market tour
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Karauli - Village walk
  • Fatehpur Sikri - Guided tour
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Shimla - Walking tour
  • Shimla - Viceregal Lodge
  • Mandi - Walking tour
  • Dharamsala - Norbulingka Institute
  • Dharamsala - Dalai Lama Temple
  • Amritsar - Golden Temple
  • Amritsar - Jallianwallah Bagh
  • Amritsar - Wagah Border ceremony
  • Rishikesh - City walk
  • Rishikesh - Chaurasi Kutia 'The Beatles Ashram'

Meals
2 Breakfast(s) Included
1 Lunch(es) Included
3 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Original

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Accommodations

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Heritage Property (2 night), Hotel (14 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews


Ratings based off 120 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 6 reviews with comments only

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.


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