Essential India
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From the intricate saris of Rajasthan to the beautiful symmetry of the Taj Mahal, this compact journey is a photographer's delight and the perfect introduction to India. You'll float past the ghats on the Ganges River to encounter the spiritual heart of Hinduism in Varanasi and get off the beaten path exploring carved stepwells and quaint temples in rural villages. With the perfect combination of included activities and free time to explore the nation's rich heritage, you're sure to be caught up in India's incredible tapestry of life.

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Map for Essential India


Destination & Sightseeing

ITINERARY

Delhi
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included through the G Adventures-supported Women With Wheels project.

Delhi
Enjoy a youth-led morning walk through Delhi by G Adventures-supported City Walk project offering a unique perspective of Delhi while supporting at-risk youth. Later, visit Delhi’s famous Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) and climb the minaret for a bird’s eye view of Old City. Walk through Chandni Chowk, one of India’s oldest and busiest markets, and learn the history of the Sikh religion at Gurdwara. Stop for photos at the colourful market before finishing at Connaught Place, one of the most prominent architectural remnants of British rule.

Delhi/Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, and start exploring the Pink City. Opt to visit the Jantar Mantar, or Royal Observatory. Don't miss the opportunity to see a Bollywood film at the famous Art Deco Raj Mandir cinema.

Jaipur
Stop and admire the intricate architecture of Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) before venturing to the ruined city of Amber to explore the famous Fort.

Jaipur/Dhula Village
Travel to Dhula Village and get a closer look at rural life in Rajasthan during a cycling excursion. Tonight, settle in to your cozy tent, relax by the fire, and take in the starry night sky.

Dhula Village/Āgra
Stop by the impressive Abhaneri stepwell en route to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.

Āgra
Visit the sparkling, iconic Taj Mahal for sunrise with time to explore the picturesque grounds. Afterward, jump on a cycle-rickshaw for a rustic ride to the walled city of Agra Fort and Baby Taj.

Āgra/Alīpura
Board a morning train then transfer to a private vehicle for a ride across rough Indian roads to Alipura. This friendly village will be our base for two days where you'll stay in a heritage property with time to wander the town and interact with local people.

Alīpura
Enjoy a day trip to Khajuraho, where India's largest group of medieval temples reside, known for their Kama Sutra statues. Learn the history of these world-famous temples on a guided tour and enjoy a taste of a little erotica from the Middle Ages. After, opt to visit a nearby waterfall or watch an evening dance performance.

Alīpura/Orchha
En route to Orchha, visit a unique paper making plant, set up to assist tribal women from the area. All the paper is made from recycled clothing and wood pulp. Continue on to Orchha and embark on an orientation tour of this small town. Set on the banks of the Betwa River, it is the perfect antidote to the chaos of India’s cities. Later, attend an evening puja ceremony at the Ram Raja Temple.

Orchha/Varanasi
Visit the Orchha Palace complex and enjoy free time before the overnight train to Varanasi.

Varanasi
Disembark the train in legendary Varanasi - the quintessential Indian holy city where millions of Hindus visit for pilgrimage, to worship, to mourn, or to die. Take an orientation walk through the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. There is time here to shop, wander, and absorb the atmosphere of this unique city. Marvel at the ghats from the River Ganges as you enjoy an evening boat trip to witness a mesmerizing candle-lit flower ceremony.

Varanasi
Watch the sunrise from a boat along the Ganges. Spend the rest of the day getting to know this holy city. Opt to visit the monasteries and ruins of nearby Sarnath, the site of the Buddha's first sermon.

Varanasi/Delhi
Soak up some free time this morning and continue exploring Varanasi. Later, cut out the travel time with a flight back to bustling Delhi.

Delhi
Depart at any time.

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