12 Nights Itinerary Covering: Delhi – Jaipur – Agra – Gwalior – Khajuraho – Varanasi – Delhi
India is a land of culture, heritage, and history. This 5,000-year-old Civilization holds many surprises and will not disappoint you if you are a history buff. You will get an opportunity to explore the cultural heritage of India on this culture and heritage tour which consists of handpicked destinations in this wonderful country.
Heritage tours of India contain the famous Golden Triangle circuit (Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra) which is famous amongst tourists worldwide, along with other famous destinations like Khajuraho, Varanasi, and Gwalior. Experience the rich cultural heritage of India on this cultural tour of India and delve into the majestic beauty of this wonderland.
Note: This is just a suggested itinerary indicative of what could be possible. We tailor holidays for your specific needs. Contact us if you want modifications so that we could tailor a holiday to suit your need for an unforgettable India tour.
Your cultural tour of India will start from Delhi, the capital of India. Upon your arrival at the Delhi airport/railway station, our tour representative will be waiting for you with a smile and will help you in completing the checking formalities of the hotel in Delhi. Relax for the rest of the day in your hotel. The day is at your leisure and you can spend it according to your choice. You can explore the local market, savor delicious delicacies, or take a stroll in the hotel premises.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Delhi.
Have a mouth-watering breakfast in Delhi before proceeding to explore this Heritage City. Delhi is one of the most culturally charming cities of India as it was ruled for hundreds of years by various rulers which range from the Marathas, the Rajputs, the Mughals and the British.
Delhi boasts of many cultural monuments worth visiting. We shall start by visiting the famous Qutub Minar and Red fort then we shall proceed towards the Lakshmi Narayan temple and Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The Qutub Minar is a 73 meters tall tower which was built by Qutbuddin Aibak and Sultan Iltutmish to pay homage to the Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki. This tallest brick minaret in the world is also a UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the finest specimens of Mughal architecture in India.
Later, you will move towards the Red Fort which is another UNESCO world heritage site. This is the very site where on India's Independence Day is the Prime Minister of India unfurls the tricolor and addresses a speech to the nation. The Mughal rulers used to reside in this Red Fort and it is one of the largest red sandstone constructions in the world. Built by Shahjahan, the Red Fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Delhi.
India Gate is another imposing structure in Delhi. The monument was built by Edwin Lutyens, a famous architect from England. The structure was built to pay homage to the soldiers who died during the First World War and the Anglo-Afghan war.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan or the president's home lies near India Gate and is another imposing structure of Delhi. The magnanimity of the Rashtrapati Bhavan can be humbling as it is a gargantuan structure spread on 5 acres of land in a total of the 330-acre estate. Rashtrapati Bhavan has a total of 340 rooms which are spread over four floors and it has a small garden of 190 acres.
Lakshmi Narayan Temple is also known as the Birla Temple which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Birla Temple was built by one of the richest families of India, the Birla family and it was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi himself. This is a beautiful temple that is spread on a complex of around 8 acres and you can find idols of Lord Shiva, Krishna and even Buddha in this Temple. More than a hundred artisans were commissioned to build this beautiful Nagara style Temple.
Don't forget to visit the famous bazaars of old Delhi like the Palika Bazar and Chandni Chowk. You can choose to eat some mouthwatering Delhi street food in Chandni Chowk or buy some silverware at Dariba Kalan. Fine fabrics can be found in Katra Neel and if you need some spices to spice up your life then head straight towards Khari Baoli road which is Asia's largest spice market.
The markets of Delhi are a shopaholic's delight and we promise you that an entire lifetime is not enough to explore these markets.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Delhi.
Today we continue our journey of exploring the cultural richness of India by going to Jaipur, the Pink City of India. It will take 4 hours to reach Jaipur by road. Once you reach Jaipur you will have an assisted check-in at the hotel and the rest of the day is at your leisure. Collect some souvenirs from the local markets of Jaipur which have a rich collection of colorful Indian handicrafts.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Jaipur.
After having breakfast, we embark on our journey to view this magnificent city by starting with the Amber fort. This grand hill fort was built by Raja Man Singh in 1592. The fort still stands tall overlooking the Pink City of Jaipur and is declared as a UNESCO world heritage site.
The most intriguing experience of the Amber Fort is an elephant ride which will take you to the entrance of the fort. The fort is a pristine example of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles and is made from sandstone and marble.
Then we move on to visit the Hawa Mahal which is an iconic structure of Jaipur. Hawa Mahal was made so that Rajput ladies who are not allowed to show their faces to the men outside their family could see the royal processions which take place in Jaipur. Built-in 1799, the Hawa Mahal was designed by the famous architect Lal Chand Ustad. This 5 storeyed structure contains 953 small Windows known locally as Jharokhas and intricate latticework adorns these Windows.
Jantar Mantar is one of the most architecturally astounding monuments of India as it is an ancient planet observatory which contains the world's largest sundial. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who built Jantar Mantar was so passionate about astronomy that he built the massive stone structures first in the wood so that if any adjustments were there, then they could be corrected.
Return to the hotel after an excursion. Overnight stay at the hotel in Jaipur.
After having your delicious breakfast we move on towards Agra by road. Next, you will visit Fatehpur Sikri enroute to Agra, which was a short-lived capital of the Mughal dynasty built by Akbar. He built this city as a mark of respect towards Khwaja Salim Uddin Chishti who correctly predicted the birth of Salim (Jahangir). Fatehpur Sikri has many monuments which include the great Buland Darwaza which is a 54 meters tall marble gateway built to commemorate Akbar's victory over Gujarat. Along with the Buland Darwaza, the Jama masjid, the Anoop Talao, Birbal palace, Diwan-e-Aam, and Karawan Serai are the other notable places worth visiting in Fatehpur Sikri.
Upon your arrival, you will have an assisted check-in at your pre-booked hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Agra boasts of several historical monuments including the most romantic monument in the world, the Taj Mahal is situated in the heart of this historic city. Built by Shah Jahan for his most beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is the most beautiful white marble structure that you will find in the world. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Repeat your marriage vows or just spend some quality moments with your partner's head lying on your shoulder.
Overnight stay will be in the hotel in Agra.
On the 6th day of the Culture and heritage tour of India, you will visit the Taj Mahal which is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Built at an estimated cost of 32 million rupees at that time, it took 20,000 sculpture artisans 21 years to build this masterpiece. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site in 1983 and the mausoleum is an epitome of human love.
Next on our visit list is the Agra Fort which is another UNESCO world heritage site located in Agra. Commissioned by the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar. It took 4000 workers and 8 years of hard work to complete this magnificent fort. Many magnificent structures like the Moti Masjid, Diwan-e-Khas, Diwan-e-Aam, Khas Mahal and Jahangir Mahal are located inside this fort and it was used by Mughals as their main residence until 1638.
Now drive to hotel for an overnight stay at Agra.
Checkout from your hotel in Agra on the 7th day of your cultural tour of India and proceed towards the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh. Located in Madhya Pradesh is the famous city of Gwalior which bears huge historical significance as this city was ruled by the Mughals, the Scindia, and the Marathas. You will reach Gwalior in 3 hours and have an assisted check-in at the pre-booked hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Enjoy the evening of Gwalior from your hotel's balcony and prepare your mind for the next day excursion. You can also visit nearby places or take a stroll on the hotel premises.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Gwalior.
Today we begin our sightseeing tour of Gwalior by visiting the Gwalior Fort first. One of the most important sites of the 1857 revolt, Gwalior Fort was used by Tatya Tope and Rani Lakshmi Bai at one point in time. Built-in the 18th century and spread across an area of 3 square kilometers this fort is made of red sandstone and is one of the largest such forts. The Gwalior Fort consists of the second oldest record of the number zero which is found in an inscription in a small temple located in the fort.
The scintillating beauty of Gwalior Fort will take you on an enchanting trip through the by lanes of history. There are many structures like the Jain temples, Garuda monument, Sahastrabahu Temple, Man Mandir Palace and the Vikram Mahal along with Chhatri of Bhim Singh Rana to visit inside the fort.
Return to the hotel after the excursion. Overnight stay at the hotel in Gwalior.
After having delicious breakfast you will head towards the Khajuraho which is a unique city located in Madhya Pradesh. The city is famous for its majestic temples. More than 1000 years old, these temples are magnetic and will have a spellbinding effect on your mind when you see the enchanting beauty of various sculptures in the temple. Upon your arrival, you will have an assisted check-in at the pre-booked hotel in Khajuraho.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Khajuraho.
On the 10th day of the tour, you will embark on the sightseeing tour of Khajuraho after having a sumptuous breakfast. The art sculptures displayed in Khajuraho are deeply interlinked with Hindu philosophy and represent various aspects of the Hindu way of life. Khajuraho shot to fame from its erotic sculptures which display the ancient Hindu text of Kamasutra. But apart from these sculptures, many other sculptures represent various other aspects like the guru shishya relationship, friendship, and devotion towards various gods and goddesses in Khajuraho.
The Chandela dynasty is credited with the construction of Khajuraho which ruled the area between 950 to 1050 CE. Khajuraho consists of many Hindu and Jain temples and there were originally 85 temples with the number coming down to 25 throughout 1 millennium. The temple complex can be divided into three parts namely the Western complex, eastern complex and the southern complex with most of the temples being concentrated in the Western complex.
Hindu temples dominate the Western complex which contains temples of Shiva Jagdamaba, Chausath Yogini and Lakshmana. You can choose to visit the evening color and light show in the Western complex with voice-over being provided by the famous Bollywood actor Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. The Eastern complex consists of beautiful Jain temples with the huge idols of Lord Parshvanath and Adinath increasing the beauty of the temple complex with their calm divinity. The intricate carvings made on the stone in Khajuraho will leave you awestruck.
Leave the Khajuraho temple complex with vivid memories of beautiful sculptures and retire for the night in your hotel in Khajuraho.
We will leave Khajuraho and proceed to Airport to take a flight to Varanasi on the 11th day of the tour.
In the Hindu belief system, Banaras or Varanasi is a very important city as it is believed that one who gets cremated here will attain moksha. Varanasi has been the cultural cradle of many cultural movements which includes the theosophical movement by Annie Besant and the Bhakti movement by Sant Kabir Das, Haridas, and Tulsi Das. Check into your hotel, freshen up and prepare to view one of the most astounding spectacles of your life, the Ganga Aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Bare-chested pandits performing the Ganga Aarti by the Ganga Ghat with the reflection of the holy fire been seen in the holy waters of Ganga is one of the most iconic scenes for which Varanasi is famous. You are bound to feel the energy of spirituality reverberating through your bones when you see this spectacle from your own eyes.
Retire for the night in your hotel in Varanasi.
Varanasi wakes up early and so will you on the 12th day of your culture and heritage tour of India. Today we visit the various monuments and Ghats of the city by hiring a boat that will take us to our destinations through the smooth and silky water of Ganga River.
Then we return to the hotel for our delicious breakfast, freshen up and get ready for a sightseeing tour of the Holy City. Varanasi is famous for the Kashi Vishwanath Temple who is considered to be the presiding deity of the city. The Kashi Vishwanath Shivling is famous as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Shiva. Constructed by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 1780, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple is also known as the Golden Temple. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple holds the proud title of being the fifth richest temple in India and it is considered to be one of the oldest temples in India with its mention being found in the Puranas.
Then go on a visit to the famous Ghats of Varanasi which include the Harishchandra, Manikarnika (special cremation Ghats) and the Assi Ghat. Dhamek stupa and Ramnagar fort are other worthwhile places in Varanasi that we shall visit.
Return to the hotel in the evening. Overnight stay at the hotel in Varanasi.
Today is the last day of our culture and heritage tour of India. Have your baronial breakfast and get the last glimpse of the holy Ganges and the spiritual city of Varanasi. Dip your senses in the cultural essence of India and proceed towards the Varanasi airport from where a flight will take you to Delhi where your tour ends.