Our Golden Triangle Tour with Varanasi begins by exploring the best of the capital, Delhi; with its bustling souk-like bazaars, crumbling Mughal charm and imperious British remains. Fly to Varanasi to experience the holy river Ganges in all its glory, taking in daily life on the ghats and centuries-old Hindu rituals. Continue to Agra to wonder at the Taj Mahal, before heading to the vivacious Pink City of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Think fairy-tale-like forts and palaces, colourful saris, fragrant bazaars, decorated elephants, and romantic tales of yesteryear: this is quintessential India at its best.
Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, otherwise known as India’s Golden Triangle, make for an incredible introduction for the first-time visitor. Add the holy city of Varanasi into the mix and experience India in all its colours, sounds, and chaos. It’s the perfect addition for anyone looking to immerse themselves in India’s rich culture and stir their souls. Pair this with our exceptional service and the region’s finest hotels, and you have a winning combination for the holiday of a lifetime. We can help you discover this fascinating corner of the world in comfort and style, never compromising on authentic experiences.
Take it easy this afternoon to relax, settle in, and recuperate from your international journey. Depending on how early in the day you arrive, if you’d like to begin exploring this afternoon, you can let us know anytime. Your chauffeur is always on hand, and we’re only a quick call away on your complimentary mobile phone (or WhatsApp, if you prefer).
If you’d like to dine out this evening, we recommend the award-winning Indian Accent or Bukhara (an advance reservation is highly recommended. This is just one example of the finer details we’ll take care of when you entrust Indian Excursions Co with your holiday arrangements).
Later today, you’ll be met by your experienced local guide for a tour of the Ganges and its ghats by boat, culminating with the evening aarti ceremony. A highlight of our Golden Triangle Tour with Varanasi, these aged ceremonies have changed very little over hundreds and hundreds of years. The smell of sandalwood and incense swirls around, while the sounds of prayer chanting and clashing symbols rise to a crescendo. Hundreds of little oil lamps twinkling on the river are a pretty sight.
Later today, embark on a privately guided tour of Agra Fort, followed by the Taj Mahal at sunset.
For a truly memorable evening, we recommend a private dinner on your balcony overlooking the Taj Mahal. This is just one of many unique experiences we can bring to your trip with first-hand knowledge and expert advice.
Your base for the next three nights in Jaipur is Rajmahal Palace. It’s one of the most exciting hotel openings in India in recent years. Still, we’d be wrong to call it new: dating back to 1729, it was formerly the royal residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur and boasts a colourful history. Leading Indian designer Adil Ahmad recently renovated the palace. It’s bursting with striking colour and bespoke decor. Forty-six types of custom-made wallpaper adorn the walls. Former guests inspire each of the 14 rooms and suites; from Queen Elizabeth II to Lord Mountbatten and Jackie Kennedy. If the Rajmahal Palace is not your cup of tea, other favourites of ours in Jaipur include The Oberoi Rajvilas and Taj Rambagh Palace. Or for something more modest, Samode Haveli.
To end the day, continue to Dera Amer to spend a memorable evening with elephants. It’s a magical place on the outskirts of the city, where you can spend time up close with elephants by helping to feed and bathe them, before taking a gentle walk together through the surrounding forest at sunset (Dera Amer do not encourage rides). If meeting elephants isn’t your thing, this can certainly be removed or replaced. Perhaps with a private cooking class or a special dinner recommendation. For those who are interested in spending time with elephants, Dera Amer is a fantastic and ethical place to do it.
At your convenience, you’ll be chauffeured back to Delhi for a last night’s stay. We recommend The Oberoi, Gurgaon. It’s just a fifteen-minute drive from the terminal, so it’s ideal for early morning departures and for avoiding the Delhi traffic. Alternatively, if your flight is departing in the evening, you may prefer to head straight to the airport. Or, if you have more time in Delhi, something centrally located (such as The Imperial we began at) would be more appropriate.
To end your time in India on a truly relaxed note and to experience the slow pace of life in rural Rajasthan, you may like to consider slotting in a night or two at the beautiful Amanbagh on your way back to Delhi. It can be a lovely change of pace from the thronging cities. Or fly to the fairy-tale-like city of Udaipur for a couple of nights at the iconic Taj Lake Palace.
The Golden Triangle Tour with Varanasi we’ve described here is merely a starting point to share a flavour of the possibilities. Every aspect is flexible, from the hotels to the destinations to the length to the sightseeing. You can book it as it is, or we can tweak it into your ideal Indian getaway. For example, if you’re a little short on time, Jaipur can be comfortably accommodated over a two-night stay rather than three. Those interested in wildlife may like to include a stop in Ranthambhore National Park, to spot wild Bengal tigers and bring the Jungle Book to life on a Jeep safari in Ranthambhore. Or, extend your luxury Golden Triangle tour deeper into Rajasthan by exploring Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur, in which case our Rajasthan with Varanasi Tour might be up your street. You could even head up to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Himalayan Foothills in Shimla (it pairs very well with this luxury Shimla tour), or the bustling city of Bombay. All our tours are private, and tailor-made to complement your taste and interests. In essence, the itinerary described above is just a starting point, and together we can refine it into your ideal Indian experience. For further inspiration, you may like to check out our classic Luxury Golden Triangle Tour, our Luxury Golden Triangle Tour with Oberoi Hotels, and our tour of the Golden Triangle and Beyond.
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Indian Excursions, aka the experts in luxury tours of Rajasthan. Anything and everything you’d like to see and experience in Rajasthan, we can make it happen while delivering an impeccable level of service. All our tours are private and tailor-made to our guest’s individual requirements.
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