(Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi)
The holy Ganges is the lifeblood of India, and its sights, sounds and smells fill your senses as you experience the daily life of the river aboard a private boat tour.
Glide past the riverside temples and ritual bathers who use the waters to absolve their sins and, in Varanasi, discover the meaning behind the ancient Hindu funeral ceremonies that cremate the dead while afloat in the Ganges. You’ll also tip your hat to a man-made creation on a private tour of the Taj Mahal in Agra; ride an elephant to Amber Fort and the vast City Palace of Jaipur; visit the ancient ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri; and take a guided tour of the colonial sites of New Delhi.
Beyond photo opportunities at India’s most famous monuments, this trip takes you on a genuine spiritual journey. Private tour guides will help you feel the soulful connection the people of India have with the Ganges and reveal the meaning of ancient Buddhist and Hindu sites. From contemporary hotels to historic family-run guest houses where tradition still runs strong, you’ll enjoy a range of accommodation that encompasses the many faces of India.
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.
Relax and enjoy an airport transfer in a private vehicle, with driver, and English-speaking assistant.
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.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Jaipur. (258 Kms/5.5 Hrs)
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).
Relax on your transfer from Jaipur to Agra in a private vehicle with driver. On the way, you will visit the ancient ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. This area was built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, and was known as the "City of Victory", and the capital of the Mughal Empire for 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples boasts uniform architectural style, which includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid.
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)
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
Enjoy your flight from Varanasi to Delhi today. The flight duration is approximately 90 minutes.
The Claridges, New Delhi is a seamless blend of old-world charm and modern day amenities. The flagship property of The Claridges Hotels and Resorts, located in Lutyen’s Delhi offers its guests close proximity to the business districts and entertainment hubs of the city. The Claridges is situated near the New Delhi Train Station, domestic airport and the international airport. Gracious Indian hospitality enwrapped in traditional values graces discerning travelers from around the world at The Claridges, New Delhi. Dine in elegance at any of the onsite restaurants, serving a variety of delicious dishes. The bar provides the ideal setting for you to relax with a refreshing cocktail. Leisure facilities include a health club, swimming pool, tennis court and shopping arcade.
The Shahpura House is built in traditional Rajput style featuring a mixture of Mughal and Indian architecture creating a facade with domes and frescoes. The Shahpura House is a fine example of Shekhawati design. The family portraits add to the charm of this family hotel where tradition still runs strong. Like many historic houses, Shahpura House is a curious mixture of the old and the new. The hotel was once the place for the Shekhawat clan of Rajput who lived here but now it has become a popular accommodation for the tourists.
Positioned within walking distance of the Taj Mahal, the Radisson Blu Hotel Agra boasts an ideal location for travelers. The hotel is 35 minutes from Kheria Airport, 15 minutes from the railway station and three hours from New Delhi, making it easy to explore all that this beautiful area has to offer. Guests enjoy everything from flat-screen televisions to complimentary high-speed, wireless internet access at the hotel. With on-site dining and leisure services such as an on-site spa, the Radisson Blu Hotel Agra has everything you need for an unforgettable stay.
Hotel Rivatas by Ideal Varanasi is located just 18 kilometres from Varanasi Airport. It provides the guests with Varanasi accommodation in the hear of Varanasi. Rivates by Ideal also provides Currency exchange facility for their clients and 24 hour room service onsite. Recreational facilities at Hotel Rivatas by Ideal include Swimming pool, Spa and fitness centre.
India & Area
Jim & Gayle Stinson ,
April 21, 2014
"Our individualized, private trip to India was just fabulous. Thanks to all for a trip of a lifetime!"
India & Area
Sharleen Dickson ,
April 21, 2014
"The driver and guides were excellent!"
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