Spiritual India    *alt*

14 days, from £959
Tucan Travel
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Let your senses be tantalised and your spirit lifted as you embrace the colourful mosaic of cultures and religions that India embodies. Delhi can be chaotic and dazzling in its intensity, while the tranquillity of the Taj Mahal will entrance you during the tour. Enjoy the beautiful lakes of Orchha and then discover the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, whose streets represent the ancient Hindu map of the universe before returning to Delhi to complete your journey.

Type of travel: Public Transport
Group size: Average 10-14. Maximum 16.
Recommended age: 18-65
What you need to know:
* We will try to run your tour as close to the itinerary as conditions will allow. On very rare occasions, local events may affect the way your itinerary operates. We ask for your flexibility and understanding in these situations.

What's included:

11 night(s) in hotels, 2 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains

6 Breakfast(s)

Evening walk around Karol Bagh, Visit Amber Fort, Visit to Birla Hindu Temple, Entry & guided tour of the Taj Mahal, Evening Visit to Ram Temple, Orchha Heritage Walk, Village Walk, Visit a local school (exc school holidays), Walk about Khajuraho market, Entry & Guided Tour of Kama Sutra Temple, Puja Ceremony & boat ride down the River Ganges

Private Vehicle, Train, Minibus, Overnight TrainWhat's excluded:
Visas and travel insuranceSpending money - budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extrasInternational flights to/from the start/end of your tour and departure taxes Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms. Optional excursions - On each trip, you may find there are some excursions that are not included. This might be because they are not to everyone's taste or there may be various options of differing value to choose from. More information on the excursions we recommend is listed under each day of your itinerary though prices may vary. If you are after something in particular, don't hesitate to ask your tour leader.Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation


 Day 1 Arrive Delhi

Delhi is India's bustling capital, political and cultural centre, with a population of almost 13 million and is bound to be a city that keeps you on your toes no matter what time of day it is!
Many dynasties have ruled here and they have all left their own legacies in the architecture, culture and monuments. The city has been destroyed and rebuilt seven times in its long history. Distances are long in the city and walking to places can be futile. Take a bike rickshaw or a motorised rickshaw to get around some of the sites. You can visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum or the infamous Red Fort, maybe make your way to Humayun's Tomb in south Delhi, near Hazrat Nizamuddin station, one of Delhi's three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A popular way to discover Delhi for many people is to take a bicycle rickshaw tour and check out the view from Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India.
Included on your tour is an orientation walk through the Karol Burgh area in Delhi. This excursion is only available in the evening of the first day of your tour, before your pre-departure meeting. Ask a member of the reservations team for more details.
Tucan Travel's group tours operate on a modular system with smaller tour sections joining the main tour throughout its duration. Please note that on this tour, you will join the main India and Nepal tour in Agra/Jaipur . Upon your arrival to Delhi, your Tour leader will have left information for you at the hotel reception and a time to meet the local Tucan Travel guide who will provide a brief pre- departure meeting and your bus/train tickets to join the main tour in Agra/Jaipur. The Tucan Travel local guide will also escort you to the bus/train station to ensure that your boarding is easy and problem free. Upon arrival at Agra/Jaipur you will be met by your Tour Leader who will escort you to the hotel to join your new friends at the hotel.
1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Perfect or similar . Upgrade to your own room here.

 Days 2-3 Jaipur

Jaipur is Rajasthan's capital and most visited city, and is a bustling, lively destination. It is known as the 'pink city' because of its pink wash buildings although time has faded some of this colour. Make sure you check out the Old City with its bazaars, palaces and havelis. There's also the popular Nahargarh (Tiger Fort) which is a small fort with towering walls. You may also wish to go on a group visit to Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) which is one of Jaipur's most famous attractions - a five storey high Baroque- like structure built to enable the veiled ladies of the harem to observe the street scenes below, out of sight of the people below. The following day there is free time to view the city independently. Try the fresh fruit juices from the street markets (remember to ask for no water or ice!). You could shop for souvenirs and look out for the Meenakaari (enamel work) and Kundankaari (inlay work with gems), which are the two styles of jewellery made by local artisans. Alternatively you could wander around the old city taking in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Or why not visit the Amber Fort, which used to be the capital of the city.
2 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Jai Niwas or similar . Upgrade to your own room here.

 Days 4-5 Agra

Today you will travel by train to the industrial city of Agra, steeped in history and tradition, and home to the world-famous Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal never ceases to amaze all who visit to marvel at what is possibly the greatest testimonial to love and romance ever built. It was commissioned between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife.
There is more to Agra than monuments of love, and other popular attractions include the Agra Fort and Tomb of Itimad-Ud-Daulah. You will have free time in Agra to explore at your leisure or book some optional excursions. Your tour leader will offer suggestions and assist you with these.
You have the option to watch the sun set over the Taj Mahal - a truly incredible sight (this will be organised with your tour leader). You might also like to visit Fatehpur Sikri - a complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style. Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for 10 years. The day will be free to explore Agra further and admire some of Hinduism's most holy sights.
2 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Mani Ram Palace or similar . Upgrade to your own room here.

 Days 6-7 Orchha

In Orchha we will visit the Ram Temple as well as enjoying an heritage walk around the city. You can also visit the beautiful Fort. Built by the first King of Orchha in 1501, it was built on the banks of the Betwa River, surrounded by a battlement wall. It consists of intricate temples and a roof with eight domes on top. Along with the fort there are several other temples to enjoy or sit back and relax on the river.
2 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Aditya or similar . Upgrade to your own room here.

 Day 8 Basari Village

Get a feel for local life in the small village of Basari. Here we can enjoy a tour through Basari, discovering the makeshift religious shrines, the smell of incense wafting in the air. Visit a local school (except in school holidays), and discover the caste system that differentiates the houses.
A perfect place to get off the beaten track with friendly locals, Basari Village will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the big Indian cities, for an authentic Indian experience.
1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Hammer Ghari or similar . No single room upgrade available.

 Day 9 Khajuraho

Khajuraho has been growing in popularity in recent years due to the nearby temple. Here exotic architecture has given the temple the nickname of the Kama Sutra temple. You will be able to view the sculptures here, watch the sound and light show in the evening and learn about the story behind the statues.
1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Siddharth Khajuraho or similar . Upgrade to your own room here.

 Day 10 Overnight Train to Varanasi

After exploring Khajuraho we board an overnight train to the holy city of Varanasi.
1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains . No single room upgrade available.

 Day 11 Varanasi

Varanasi is one of India's most holy cities and attracts many Hindu pilgrims. We join the crowds along the holy ghats (steps leading down to the water) lining the sacred Ganges where pilgrims take a purifying dip in the river. We also can enjoy an evening boat trip to view the river in all its glory and the significance it plays in the lives of the people. The rest of the day is free to wander through the old city with its maze of narrow alleyways, and visit the temples of one of the oldest and longest inhabited cities in the world.
1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Siddharth Varanasi or similar . Upgrade to your own room here.

 Day 12 Overnight Train to Delhi

After spending the morning exploring more of Varanasi, we board an overnight train back to Delhi where there's time for some last minute souvenir shopping or to check out any sights you may have missed first time around.
1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains . No single room upgrade available.

 Day 13 Delhi

1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Perfect or similar . Upgrade to your own room here.

 Day 14 Depart Delhi

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.
Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.