(Delhi, Varanasi, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra)
Venture deep into the jungles of Ranthambore where tigers roam among 13th-century temple ruins, and feel your adrenalin peak as your experienced private guide leads you into the wild heart of India.
Here, at Project Tiger Reserve in Rathambore, safari-style game viewing tours will bring you up close to the park’s wild tiger popular, along with its other elusive residents including sambhar, cheetah, leopard, sloth, jackal and hyena. You’ll also take in the best of India’s man-made creations on a private tour of Delhi that showcases its British colonial history alongside the ancient Hindu traditions of the World Heritage-listed Red Fort. A short distance outside of Varanasi, you’ll encounter the more than 2000-year-old Dharmekh Stupa where Buddha is said to have first preached his sermon, and cruise the holy Ganges as enthusiastic locals – and some brave tourists – absolve their sins in her mystical waters. Other highlights include a visit to the City Palace of Jaipur and a private guided tour of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
From spotting wild tigers in deep jungle to witnessing a Hindu Aarti Ceremony on the banks of the Ganges and roaming among the artisan workshops of the Amber Fort, a team of private guides and drivers will help you attain an authentic Indian experience. A carefully-selected collection of premium hotels that feature heritage-listed colonial properties, rustic game lodges and picturesque lakeside retreats add to this rich experience.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
PLEASE NOTE: Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is closed from July 1 - September 30 due to the monsoon season.
Relax and enjoy an airport transfer in a private vehicle, with driver, and English-speaking assistant.
Set in a heritage-listed building reminiscent of Colonial India, Vivanta by Taj is located in close vicinity of Delhi's prominent landmarks such as the Lodhi Gardens, Humanyun's Tomb and The Indian Habitat Centre. A short 10 min drive to the city's main commercial, shopping centre Connaught Place. Decorated in traditional style, the 88 air-conditioned, smoke-free guestrooms are outfitted with wireless Internet access and cable/satellite TVs. In addition to recreational facilities such as a fitness centre and outdoor pool, the Ambassador Hotel offers a business centre and wireless Internet access.
Spend the day on a privately guided full day tour of Old & New Delhi which boasts spectacular monuments and holy sites.
The city of New Delhi was designed in the typically British colonial style, with tree-lined avenues and colonial bungalows. Whilst on this tour you will see the Laxminarayan Temple, a modern Hindu temple, and Gate of India which is a 42 m high War Memorial Arch. On route you will drive past the Parliament House, the Secretariat buildings and the Vice Regal Palace, which is now the official residence of the President of India. Visit the Red Fort which was the palace for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's new capital, Shahjahanabad, when he moved his capital from Agra to bring prestige to his reign. Its wall is 1.5 miles long, and varies in height from 60-110 ft. At 72.5 meters, the Qutab Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world. Surrounding the building are many fine examples of Indian artwork dating back to 1193. Humayun's tomb is a complex of buildings of Mughal architecture dating to the Slave Dynasty (1268-1287 AD). The complex is a World Heritage Site and the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. This style of mausoleum is similar to the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Enjoy your flight from Delhi to Varanasi. The flight duration is approximately 90 mins.
From your hotel, a private vehicle, with driver, and English speaking guide, will transfer you to the airport for your flight.
Private guided tour of Sarnath, located 5 miles from Varanasi, the site is a deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. Amongst the ruins is the Dharmekh Stupa is impressive at 128 feet high, and 93 in diameters. This dates back to 200 BC and is the sport where the Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon. Within the deer park complex is the large Dhamekha Stupa, constructed by the Emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE, and several other Buddhist structures that were added between the 3rd and the 11th century BC.
The Aarti Ceremony is a Hindu ritual where light or fire is offered to the deities. Each Lamp wick is soaked in ghee or purified butter and lit, whilst songs of praise are sung in front of the deities. Almost all the Hindu rituals of worship involve the ceremony of Aarti. Perhaps the earliest mention of the Ceremony of Aarti in India can be found in Rig Veda, which is considered to be the earliest scripture of Hinduism. According to the Rig Veda, the use of Aarti can be said to be derived from the Vedic concepts of elaborate sacrificial fires or Homa. The word Aarti can be itself said to be derived from a conjunction of the two words of "Aa", meaning "towards", and "Rati", which in turn means "the highest love for God" in Sanskrit. Thus, the word Aarti in actuality means the "highest love for God.
The Taj Gateway hotel is set amidst 40 acres of lush green gardens, just 21 kms (45 mins drive) from the airport. The hotel is the veritable haven of peace and tranquility in this crowded, ancient temple city. The hotel is 6 kms away from the city centre or the commercial hub of Varanasi, also commonly known as The Chowk. The hotel is constructed in the holy Swastik shape (The Swastika is an ancient symbol which re-presents good fortune and blessing). Taj Gateway offers recently renovated & refurbished world-class contemporary rooms & suites with choice of views ranging from the lush green gardens or the swimming pool. The hotel has 130 rooms divided in four categories - Standard Rooms, Executive Rooms, Executive Suites and Deluxe Suites.
Glide along the famous and holy Ganges waterway in a private boat accompanied by an expert guide. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi attract tourists and pilgrims of all ages for the opportunity to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one's sins. Pilgrims and tourists alike can be seen swimming and bathing immediately next to the funeral pyres of the riverside temples. This is a somewhat surreal experience and only for those with a strong constitution.
"One can survive everything nowadays, except death." Dying is accepted as a part of life, and when one dies, there are a multitude of rituals and ceremonies that need to be performed. This experience takes you to the Manikarnika Ghat to take a look at the various death rituals passage that the Hindus perform. Hindus, who perform a myriad of rituals in their lifetime, believe that humans are reborn according to their karma and hence, perform many death rituals to ensure that the soul rests in peace. Often, we wonder why Hindus burn or cremate the body instead of burying it. The answer lies in the belief. Here, our tour guide will introduce you to the history and mythology associated with this Ghat. You will get to understand the rites being performed and see the inner workings of this unique place. This experience is expected to last approximately 4 hours including travel time.
Winding through the streets and popping out onto the riverside will give you an insider’s look at the symbiotic life of the riverside people of Varanasi. Eventually, as you tour through the city you will end up on Bengali Tola, the street of the Bengalis, where you will be visiting the hidden Mother Goddess Kali shrines, and the vistas of life along the riverside. The tour continues to the historic ritual bathing site called Dashaswamedh, or the ten-horse sacrifice Ghat, the perfect way to conclude this walking city tour.
Enjoy your flight from Varanasi to Jaipur via Delhi. Approximate flying time 5 hrs.
Airport transfer with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking representative.
The Trident, Jaipur captures the romance and beauty of the fabled "Pink City" with its rose-colored facade reflecting traditional Rajasthani architecture. Situated en route to Jaipur's renowned Amber Fort, the hotel looks out onto the scenic Mansagar Lake and the picturesque Aravalli range. The hotel's135 rooms and 2 suites are a viewing gallery for all grandeur of the Pink City of Jaipur.The restaurant and bar at the Trident have been designed keeping in mind the international traveler while maintaining the elegance associated with Jaipur. The outdoor heated swimming pool offers a perfect ambience for guests to relax and unwind. A bonus is a view of the picturesque Aravali hills.
Spend the day today in the company of a knowledgeable English speaking guide as you tour the Amber Fort and City Palace of Jaipur, the iconic Observatory and the Hawa Mahal.
The magnificent Amber Fort was established in 1592, and remained the citadel of the Kachhawaha rulers right until they moved their capital to Jaipur in 1727. Maharaja Man Singh I created this imposing monument on the remains of an ancient 11th century fort. Since the first half of the 18th century, the City Palace has been the abode to the rulers of Jaipur. The sprawling expanse of the breathtaking palace is a superb harmony of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Part of the palace has been converted into a museum, open to the public, while a section - Chandra Mahal - still remains the home of today’s maharaja.The Observatory of Jaipur is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period". Within it, the Jantar Mantar is a collection of massive astronomical instruments, built of local stone and marble. Each instrument carries an astronomical scale marked on the marble inner lining, and bronze tablets were also employed.
Built in 1799, the whimsical Hawa Mahal - Palace of Winds - which adjoins the Palace has become quite the city icon, with its ornate facade in pale pink, tiered baroque like build, projecting ‘jharokha’ windows and balconies with perforated screens. These were designed so that the mysterious veiled ladies of the harem could look down upon the colourful and bustling bazaars below, remaining hidden themselves. Overlooking busy streets, it offers great views of the city. We feel the Amber Fort is best reached by car, but an optional elephant ride is available should you prefer (cost not included).
From its creation in 1727, the royal families and nobles of Jaipur patronized the craftsmen and artisans of the city. These traditions continue to this day and as a result modern day Jaipur is considered by many as the craft capital of India. Traditional methods are still used to produce many valuable and highly prized items. Using skills passed down through generations, artisans and master craftsmen can be seen in the areas of Ghat Darwaza and Vishveshwar ji.
On this fascinating evening walk mingle and talk with the locals whilst sampling some of the region's culinary delights; try pakoras, aloo tiki, samosa and ladoo from some of the city’s most popular street food vendors. Observe local artisans in their workshops; jewelers and silversmiths, gold painters and tie dying experts. The iconic Hawa Mahal also called the Palace of the Winds is the meeting point at which this two and a half hour walk begins.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Ranthambore.
You'll join others to Rajasthan's first Project Tiger reserve, spread over 392 sq. km, and named after the 1,000 year old fort which stands in the park. Game viewing for tigers is often successful, and the park is also home to sambhar, cheetah, wild boar, leopard, sloth bear, jackal, and hyena among others.
Located amidst 12 acres of lush gardens, Vivanta by Taj - Sawai Madhopur Lodge, a 70-year-old hunting lodge exudes a rustic, earthy charm and an air of history. The lodge is a 20-minute drive from the Ranthambore National Park, which is famous for its tiger population. All guestrooms and suites embody rustic style and comfort. From casual, all-day eateries to formal, fine dining, guests can look forward to a wide selection of delectable dishes and refreshing drinks. Take part in the resort's various recreational activities for fun, adventure, knowledge and relaxation.
The 13th century Ranthambore Fort is in the midst of the jungle, and features the palaces of Toran Dwar, Mahadeo Chhatri, Sameton KiHaveli, 32-pillard Chhatri, Mosque & the Ganesh Temple.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri. Total travel time approximately 6 hrs.
Wyndham Grand located in the city of Taj, has been built on 18 acres of land with a large frontage. A beautiful hotel property inspired by the intricacy of Mughal architecture with splendid display of terraced lawns, fountains and ancient interiors that take you back to an era of emperors and princes with the modern facilities. It is a masterpiece of architecture built on ''Mughal Theme'' with world class modern hi-tech amenities. It is attracting leisure & business tourists from all over the world. The easy to approach location is another big advantage. The royal ambiance, the intricate craftsmanship and the beautiful landscape makes it the most preferred destination in the itinerary of tourists. A visual delight for holiday makers as it revives the grandeur of the Mughal emperors.
Be amazed on a private guided tour of Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful monuments built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his dear wife and Queen, Mumtaz Mahal.
You'll also get to visit Agra Fort, built of red sandstone and marble. This great monument of red sandstone dominating a bend in the river Yamuna, 2km northwest of Taj Mahal was constructed by the Mughals during 1565-1571.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Delhi. (205 Kms/5 hrs)
India & Area
Alton J Hundley ,
March 14, 2011
"Our trip to India was a wonderful and magical event! We owe our gratitude to Kensington Tours for making the trip run so smoothly. The guides were exceptionally friendly and caring towards our four year old son and our driver was absolutely amazing!"
India & Area
Fred and Sharon Tooley ,
November 11, 2010
"We've just returned from our second "once in a lifetime" trip with Kensington Tours. A year ago we went to Kenya and Tanzania and felt that no future trips could match that incredible benchmark. We were wrong! When we had the wonderful opportunity to travel to India and Nepal this year, we once again called Kensington. What an amazing, amazing adventure we had! The fact that we have had two "once in a lifetime" trips with Kensington, tells us that we may not know where our next adventure will take us but we do know that Kensington Tours will take us there. We send huge thanks to Brad Crockett who coordinated a trip that was like no other. We thank he and Karishma Kaul both for walking us through our concerns, dealt with via email, while in country regarding a tight flight/luggage transfer and to both of them for arranging the marvelous hotels, lodges and incomparable guides and drivers for us in both India and Nepal. We want to especially thank them for Ghanshyam, our driver for our entire stay in India. Without him, and our trusty "Tempo Traveller" we simply wouldn't have survived the traffic and hours of travel--he was not only a great driver, but a terrific guide during those long drives between cities. We will never forget the thrill of seeing Machali, the magnificent tiger known as "Lady of the Lake" at Ranthambore National Park in India. We will never forget the speechless first sight of the Taj Mahal--nor, we doubt, will we ever have an experience that will ever compare with seeing a tiger in Chitwan National Park, Nepal while on a late afternoon elephant back safari in dense jungle cover--the sights, the sounds of the elephants...words may fail, but the memories will never fade. Thank you, Kensington.
Fred & Sharon Tooley 2011"
India & Area
Glenn Dorfman ,
March 10, 2010
"Our two weeks in India and Nepal doing the Golden Triangle, Varanasi and the Ganges, and Kathmandu went precisely as planned. Airport greetings and transfers, the drivers and especially the guides were all just great; highly qualified, interesting and dedicated to see that you have an interesting and safe experience. I have many examples to share of this. The itinerary was perfect. We have no complaints at all. Would be glad to share more details with prospective travelers."
India & Area
Mohmud Kassam ,
February 24, 2010
"Very helpful from the beginning and helped us change our itinerary so many times until we got it right. We really appreciate your effort. All guides were somewhat knowledgeable. We found that they were not as forthcoming as we would have liked and therefore we had to ask many questions to get more out of them. They were however very pleasant and patient. Vehicles were excellent! We chose Kensington Tours because you gave us the option of a “private guided trip” which is exactly what we were looking for. We have been on many tours and did not want a tour package where we had to go with a big group. Overall our experience was very good. The trip was exactly what we were looking for. The accommodation, cars and guides and agent reps were all very good and helpful. India was incredible!"
India & Area
Claudia Pedreira ,
February 09, 2010
"Sorry for the late response, I've been meaning to write to you since we came back to thank you so much for your assistance with coordinating our trip. India was such an amazing experience and truly a fascinating country. We appreciate the upgrades and the travel by private car as it made a difference in our trip. All three hotels were excellent and we found the local tour service to be prompt and very accommodating. I will certainly be using Kensington Tours again for any future travel. Thanks again!"
India & Area
Joan and Sam Hubball ,
February 09, 2010
I am thinking about you and your wonderful plan and our amazing trip to India. I think the flexibility within the tour, the number of rich experiences due to the private nature of the trip, the mind,body, spirit connections of the country made this a true life experience, not a trip. I will write you a long letter with more specifics this week as I believe there are so many places and people who deserve acknowledgment and recognition for some of the most gracious and experienced tourism service. For now,Bindu, everyone should stay at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur and everyone must see Varanasi. We are so glad we chose the more aggressive approach...I cannot imagine our trip without any of the places we've seen!
Warmest regards, heartfelt thanks for the plan, and will be in touch soon, Joan Hubball
India & Area
Helmut and Helga Igel ,
December 14, 2009
"Hi Bindu. Everything worked out great. The hotels all where very good. What made the trip a real pleasure was our driver, Manohar Lal Thakur. He always went out his way to take care of any requests we had. The Indian people are the friendlest we have ever met! We will use Kensington again on one of our next trips.
India & Area
Illa Gandhi ,
January 07, 2010
"We had a great time in India. Karishma Kaul from Kensington tours did a tremendous job putting our trip together. The company did second to none job making us feel at home. It was because of them, it felt like a holiday. Thank you Karishma for a wonderful experience."
India & Area
Cheryl Smith ,
September 28, 2009
"My trip to India was incredible, and I want to thank you for organizing the tours. They took very good care of us. The hotels were nice, and we felt very safe. The guides and the driver were fantastic. The guides were very knowledgeable and patient in answering all of our questions and waiting for us when I know we extended our slotted time in some places (like shopping). For instance, I went to the airport to depart and expected only a driver. I was very surprised and grateful to have another person with the driver who helped me enter the airport, obtain my boarding pass, and showed me where to get to security. "
India & Area
Frank Walchak ,
September 28, 2009
"We just arrived this morning from Delhi. The hotels, tour and driver were all excellent. We certainly got our monies worth. Thank you again for setting up this great trip. Prior to the golden triangle, we operated on 93 children with burns, cleft lip and palate at a medical school outside of Bangalore. Frank and Carolyn Walchak
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