Visit India and discover this vibrant, intoxicating, inspiring and dramatic country. Tour India's chaotic city streets and peaceful countryside, from the Mughal splendour of Delhi and Agra to tiger-spotting in Bandhavgarh National Park. Soak up Indiaâs culture and history, smell and taste a world of spices, blush at the erotic Khajuraho carvings and see pilgrims undertake their daily rituals on the Ganges' ghats. This adventure will provide unforgettable sensory experiences of unpredictable, chaotic and enchanting India.
- The Taj Mahal is not only an sumptuous masterpiece of Indian architecture, but also a truly meaningful stop on any travellerâs journey
- Old and New Delhi fuse to create a city that pays homage to past empires, while wrestling with its modern identity
- Experience the wonder of camping on the banks of the Ganges near Varanasi.
- Watch the Taj Mahal change colour with the light
- Stroll the heady backstreets of Old Delhi
- Explore the peaceful countryside of Orchha
- Experience rural life in tiny Chanderi
- Marvel at Kama Sutra carvings
|Physical||Cultural||Max Group Size||12||Duration||15 days|
|Themes||Explorer, Delicious Journeys, Explorer, Huts, Gers & Gites, Make a Difference, Once Upon a Time, Showstoppers|
|Category||Silver||The classic small group tour, with some included activities and staying at reasonably priced accommodation.|
Day 1 - New Delhi
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
India's capital is an exciting, busy, and often chaotic city but it's also one of the most interesting in the world with historical sites from different eras, museums and galleries, shops and endless bazaars!
There are plenty of things to see and do in free time. Visit the World Heritage-listed Mughal masterpiece of Humayun's Tomb. This was the first garden tomb in India, built way back in 1570. Wonder at the tall brick minaret of Qutub Minar, which was started back in the 1100s. Explore the mighty Red Fort of Delhi. Part palace and part fort, it plays an integral part in the history of the city with former residents ranging from royal families to British soldiers.
Day 2 - New Delhi
This afternoon is free for further exploration or jump on an Urban Adventure.
Day 3 - Agra
Visit the Taj Mahal - a masterpiece of shimmering white marble set amid beautiful formal gardens. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz, this 'teardrop on the face of eternity' (as it was described by writer Rabindranath Tagore) lives up to all expectations.
Built in 1565 by Emperor Akbar, Agra Fort was originally designed to be a military structure. It was converted to a palace in Emperor Shah Jahan's time with mighty sandstone walls enclosing the beautiful white marble pearl mosque, palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains. The fort eventually became the emperor's prison after he lost power in 1658.
Day 4 - Chanderi
Catch a morning train from Agra to Lalitpur (approx. 4 hours) followed by private jeeps from Lalitpur to Chanderi (approx. 2 hours)
Chanderi is a small medieval town - home to Muslims, Hindus and Jains. Still off the beaten track, Chanderi is a place where you can experience the life of a movie star - the moment you stroll into town, you instantly become the centre of attention.
Enjoy dinner in at the home of our local guide, a great chance to meet his large family.
Day 5 - Chanderi
Join our guide for a look around Chanderi's temples and mosques, and walk out to ruins beautifully situated in the fields.
Day 6 - Orchha
Situated on the banks of the Betwa River, Orchha has changed little over the centuries. Originally a hunting area, it became the capital of the Bundela rajas and, as a result, Orchha has more temples and palaces than any town of this size deserves.
Experience an evening puja ceremony at the Ram Raja Temple.
Day 7 - Orchha
See the stunning Orchha Palace, built by Bir Sing Deo for his friend Jehangir, the great Mughal ruler.
Visit Taragram, one of Intrepid's Responsible Tourism projects. This unique papermaking plant was set up to give tribal women from the area a chance to work outside the traditional areas normally afforded to them. All the paper is made from recycled clothing and wood pulp.
Take the chance to experience the local flavours at a cooking demonstration by our local friends.
Day 8 - Alipura
We arrive around midday and after checking in and a freshen up its time for a guided village walk. This evening we enjoy a group dinner at Alipura Palace.
Day 9 - Khajuraho
Far from any major population centres, modern or historical, Khajuraho's remote location saved its stunning 1,000-year-old temples - infamous for their explicit carvings depicting the entire Kama Sutra - from destruction by foreign invaders.
Khajuraho's 'Kama Sutra' Temples were all built during the Chandela Dynasty 1,000 years ago, most within a 100 to 150-year time frame. These temples have baffled foreigners and Indians alike since their rediscovery by the British in the late 19th century. What they were built for and what the delicate and erotic carvings mean is open to wide interpretation. Some believe that these intricate designs, all located on the exterior of the temple, were meant to symbolise the leaving of sexual desires before entering the holy sanctuary within. Others argue that these carvings were a way of teaching young boys in the hermitage about life outside of religion. We take a tour of the western temple complex.
Visit a local Hindu family for a home-cooked vegetarian meal and gain an insight into the life of middle-class Indians.
There's the chance to view a classical dance performance tonight.
Day 10 - Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park is truly one of India's most magnificent wildernesses with a relative abundance of tigers compared to other national parks, so our chances of spotting some are high.
This evening head into the park and enjoy a jeep safari. As well as tigers, this fine park also boasts leopard, jungle cats and sloth bears. Keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready.
Day 11 - Bandhavgarh National Park/Overnight Train
Day 12 - Varanasi
The ultimate destination for all Hindu pilgrims, Varanasi is full of temples, shrines and devotees. It is truly one of the world's most amazing cities.
Perhaps visit the Ram Nagar Fort which lies about 14 km from Varanasi on the opposite bank of River Ganga. Built by Maharaja Balwant Singh in the 18th century, it's the ancestral home of the Maharaja of Banaras.
Spend the evening soaking up the magical atmosphere of a candle flower ceremony, serenaded by traditional musicians on a Ganges river cruise as the sun sets.