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  • Departing from?Dublin + 3
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  • When?March 2015
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Home / Explore - India
Explore - India
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Explore - India

  • 16 Night Holiday
  • B&B
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On this 16-night small group tour, visit ancient forts, majestic palaces, temples and monuments, as well as bustling markets and bazaars, to become fully immersed in Indian culture and history. Mingle with the local people and witness their rituals and customs first-hand as you explore the backstreets and hidden corners of India by bicycle, tuk tuk, boat and by foot for an authentic slice of Indian life.

Explore the many sides of New and Old Delhi, marvel at the remnants of colonial grandeur in the former capital of Kolkata, and discover the secrets of Hinduism in the spiritual city of Varanasi on the banks of the River Ganga. You will also behold some of India’s most iconic sites, from the Amber Fort in the Pink City of Jaipur to the incredible complex of temples in the ancient city of Khajuraho and, in Agra, the world’s most famous monument to love, the Taj Mahal*.

Our Explore India Holiday is now available to book from our sister brand TDactive Holidays – please click on this link to the TDactive Holidays website  to find out more about our TDactive holidays and to book.

 

*In order to preserve the beauty and integrity of the iconic monument, the Taj Mahal, restoration work is ongoing at this site.  Some phases of the restoration require scaffolding to encircle parts of the monument, thus a clear view of the entire monument may not be possible. 

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Rupee
Local Time
GMT + 5.5 hours. India does not observe daylight saving time (DST).
Passport
Irish and UK citizens require a visa to enter India. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months. Click here for information on visas for India. 
Dress Code
Compared with certain parts of Asia, India has a very relaxed dress code. However, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing, which may be considered revealing, especially when visiting religious sites.
Climate

Varied continental climate. Spring occurs from March to April, summer from May to October, and winter from November to February. Tropical monsoon occurs from June to August, and post-monsoon or northeast monsoon season (Oct-Dec).

Food & Drink

The cuisine in Rajasthan is predominantly vegetarian, with beans and lentils being the focus although chicken and lamb dishes are also widely available - you will see little to no pork or beef in the north of India. The style of dishes is varied and delicious, from hot and spicy to mild and aromatic, you will notice the subtle variations in the food as you travel from place to place. Curry served with fluffy rice and flatbreads usually make up the main meal of the day with dry fruits, spices and yogurt being the predominant ingredients. 

Vaccinations
Vaccinations may be required before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau.
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: 74.00Rs
  • Beer: 75.00Rs
  • Glass of wine: 100.00Rs
  • Meal: 200.00Rs
  • Soft Drink: 21.00Rs
  • Bottled Water: 22.00Rs
(80 Rupees - €1.00)
Packing List

We advise you to bring:

  • Your valid passport
  • A 220v plug adaptor
  • Sun cream and sun hat
  • Shawl – useful to cover shoulders when visiting religious sites
  • A small backpack
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

The White Tiger by Arivand Adiga

A Passage to India by E. M. Forester

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Holiday highlights

Delhi

Delhi has been the focal point to so many invasions and absorbed so many cultures that it perfectly captures the essence of India. Exploring New Delhi, you will see the Lutyens designed parliament building, drive past India Gate and along the beautiful tree lined boulevards of the diplomatic quarter. The Red Fort dominates the Old Delhi landscape, with walls and watchtowers towering above the local streets and alleys.

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of the worlds most beautiful monuments and built by Shah Jehan as a memorial to his favourite wife. The brilliance and symmetry of this elegant marble structure, embedded with semi-precious stones and reflected in cool, clear pools, is guaranteed to take your breath away. 

Jaipur

Known as the Pink City due to its painted stone buildings, Jaipur is a lively and bustling place and is the capital of Rajasthan. Today, visitors can discover the lavish architectural projects backed by the royal family, including the Jantar Mantar observatory and the “Palace of Winds”. Outside the city stands the magnificent Amber Palace, decorated with marble, mirror work and mosaics, lays on top of a hill overlooking the city.

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Rupee
Local Time
GMT + 5.5 hours. India does not observe daylight saving time (DST).
Passport
Irish and UK citizens require a visa to enter India. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months. Click here for information on visas for India. 
Dress Code
Compared with certain parts of Asia, India has a very relaxed dress code. However, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing, which may be considered revealing, especially when visiting religious sites.
Climate

Varied continental climate. Spring occurs from March to April, summer from May to October, and winter from November to February. Tropical monsoon occurs from June to August, and post-monsoon or northeast monsoon season (Oct-Dec).

Food & Drink

The cuisine in Rajasthan is predominantly vegetarian, with beans and lentils being the focus although chicken and lamb dishes are also widely available - you will see little to no pork or beef in the north of India. The style of dishes is varied and delicious, from hot and spicy to mild and aromatic, you will notice the subtle variations in the food as you travel from place to place. Curry served with fluffy rice and flatbreads usually make up the main meal of the day with dry fruits, spices and yogurt being the predominant ingredients. 

Vaccinations
Vaccinations may be required before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau.
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: 74.00Rs
  • Beer: 75.00Rs
  • Glass of wine: 100.00Rs
  • Meal: 200.00Rs
  • Soft Drink: 21.00Rs
  • Bottled Water: 22.00Rs
(80 Rupees - €1.00)
Packing List

We advise you to bring:

  • Your valid passport
  • A 220v plug adaptor
  • Sun cream and sun hat
  • Shawl – useful to cover shoulders when visiting religious sites
  • A small backpack
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

The White Tiger by Arivand Adiga

A Passage to India by E. M. Forester

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 – Depart Dublin

Morning

Depart Dublin

Depart Dublin on your overnight flight to Delhi.

Day 2 - Delhi

Early Morning

Arrive in Delhi

Upon your early morning arrival in Delhi you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Your room will be ready for immediate check in so you can catch up on some sleep! You will have the rest of the morning at leisure to settle in to your hotel.

Afternoon

New Delhi

Embark on an orientation tour of Lutyen’s Delhi, an area of New Delhi named after the British architect Edwin Lutyen. During your panoramic tour you will see British era bungalows, government offices, the Presidential Palace and India Gate.

Evening

Dinner

Enjoy dinner at your hotel before having the remainder of the evening at leisure.

Day 3 – Old Delhi

Morning

Old Delhi by Bicycle

Depart your hotel in the early morning for a cultural adventure around Old Delhi by bicycle. On this guided tour with a difference you will explore the nooks & crannies of this walled city as it slowly wakes up! Ride your bicycle through bazars and narrow lanes, bypass temples & places of worship, gaze upon old colonial buildings before enjoying a late breakfast in a local restaurant.

Afternoon

Guided tour of Delhi

In the afternoon enjoy a guided tour of Delhi. Visit Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi, where you can see an eternal flame burning at the spot of his cremation. From here you will move on to the Jama Masjid mosque which is home to the ancient Qur’an. You will also see Humayun’s Tomb, a beautiful 16th Century building and the tomb of the Emperor Humayun. You will finish the day at Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple, known for its community kitchen which offers food to thousands of people every day irrespective of their faith & religion.

Evening

Delhi at Leisure

You will have a full evening at leisure to experience Delhi independently. Perhaps take a tuk tuk to try some authentic food at a local restaurant? Your guide will be happy to suggest somewhere to suit your taste!

Day 4 – Delhi to Jaipur

Morning

Qutub Minar

Explore Qutub Minar, the tallest brick minaret in India, before your transfer from Delhi to Jaipur. En route you will witness the changing landscapes of Northern India.

Afternoon

Jaipur at Leisure

Upon arrival in Jaipur you will have an afternoon at leisure to settle in to your hotel and get to know your surroundings.

Evening

Bollywood Movie

Jaipur is home to Rajmandir, which is the most regal Single Screen Cinema Hall in India, known for its rich interiors. This evening you will experience a Bollywood movie in this stunning location. So sit back and relax with some popcorn and enjoy the movie!

Day 5 - Jaipur

Morning

Amber Fort & Palace

Discover Amber Fort & Palace during a guided excursion. Perched on a hill top, the rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort not only look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is also a visual paradise. You may take an elephant ride from the gate to the top of Amber Fort & Palace to experience how royalty travelled during the 17th Century.

Afternoon

Jaipur City Tour

Enjoy a guided city tour of Jaipur, often referred to as the Pink City. You will visit City Palace Museum, to see the former seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, experience the awe-inspiring Jantar Mantar sundial, and finally have an opportunity for a photo outside the famous ‘Palace of Winds.’ Your tour will end with a thrilling tuk tuk ride from the old bazaar back to your homestay.

Day 6 - Amber Fort & Palace to Jaigarh Fort

Morning

Guided Trek

In the early morning depart on a 5km guided trek from Amber Fort & Palace to Jaigarh Fort. The trek takes you through the Aravalli hills passing the walls of Amber and then on to Jaigarh. The trek is moderately paced across hilly terrain before a slightly steeper incline to Jaigarh Fort, from which you will have a stunning view of Jaipur city.

Afternoon

Jaipur at Leisure

The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure to explore Jaipur at your own pace. The food in Rajasthan is as colourful as its culture, so if you are keen to experiment with the local cuisine, your guide will be happy to suggest somewhere to enjoy an authentic meal.

Day 7 – Jaipur to Agra

Morning

Chand Baori Step Well

Depart Jaipur for Agra with visits to Chand Baori Step Well & Fatehpur Sikri en route. Chand Baori was built over a thousand years ago in the Abhaneri village of Rajasthan. It is one of the largest stepwells in the world and was constructed by local rulers to tackle the scarcity of water in the dry climate. It has 3,500 narrow steps arranged in perfect symmetry, which descend 20m over 13 floors to the bottom of the well.

Afternoon

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri is located 40 Km before Agra. This red sandstone palace complex was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, in honour of the great saint Sheikh Asalim Christi who prophesied the heirless Akbar with the birth of three sons. Fatehpur Sikri was occupied as capital of the Mughal Empire for 14 years but it eventually became deserted and is known today as a “Ghost City”. After your visit you will continue to your hotel in Agra.

Evening

Dinner

Enjoy dinner at your hotel before having the remainder of the evening at leisure.

Day 8 - Agra

Early Morning

The Taj Mahal

Experience sunrise at the famous Taj Mahal, built in 1560 by Shah Jahan in memory of his Queen, Mumtaz Mahal, to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a visual masterpiece and is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. Later in the morning you will have a unique opportunity to visit a Bear Rescue Camp, which is dedicated to rescuing India’s “dancing bears”. You will have a chance to interact with bear keepers and learn about the challenges of bear conversation in India.

Afternoon

Agra Fort

This afternoon you will explore Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest Mughal forts in India. Built in the 11th century, an era marked by invasions and battles, this red stone-fortified castle was the site of the India Rebellion of 1857.

Evening

Sheroes Hangout

This evening you will have the opportunity to spend time at Sheroes Hangout, a community hub located near the Taj Mahal. The women who work at Sheroes Hangout have lived through devastating acid assaults. Sheroes Hangout is designed to promote empowerment and to give these acid attack survivors the confidence to show their faces in public after being disfigured.

Day 9 – Agra to Khajuraho

Morning

Orchha Fort Complex

This morning you will board your express train from Agra to Jhansi. Upon arrival you will then transfer directly to Orchha to visit the incredible medieval Orchha fort complex which is home to various palaces such as Jahangir Mahal, Laxmi Narayan temple, Raja Mahal & Chattris

Afternoon

Khajuraho

In the afternoon you will continue from Orchha to your hotel in Khajuraho. Khajuraho was an ancient city in the Madhya Pradesh region of northern India and is famous today for its groups of Hindu and Jain temples.

Evening

Khajuraho at Leisure

You will have an evening at leisure to settle in to your hotel and get to know your surroundings.

Day 10 - Khajuraho

Morning

Temples of Khajuraho

Explore the famous Western group of temples in Khajuraho. The intricate carvings on the temple walls depict daily life in all forms, though the most famous carvings are the erotic postures taken from ancient book of love, Kamasutra.

Afternoon

Khajuraho at Leisure

Enjoy a full afternoon and evening at leisure discovering Khajuraho at your own pace. Your local expert guide will be happy to suggest some activities to suit your taste. There is plenty to keep nature lovers occupied with Panna National Park close by, or perhaps you would prefer to sip at beer at the rooftop bar of Raja cafe which is popular with locals and tourists alike.

Day 11 - Khajuraho to Varanasi

Morning

Fly to Varanasi

You will have one final morning at leisure in Khajuraho before transferring to the airport in the late morning for your internal flight to Varanasi.

Afternoon

Varanasi

Upon arrival in Varanasi you will transfer to your hotel. Varanasi is regarded as the spiritual capital of India. The city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Spend the afternoon at leisure settling in before dinner at your hotel.

Evening

Aarti Ceremony

You will have the unique opportunity to witness an aarti ceremony from the ghats on the banks of Holy River Ganga. Aarti is a Hindu religious ritual of worship and every evening hundreds of people gather to participate in this daily ritual. The ceremony is performed by seven priests standing on platforms with large oil lamps in both their hands. The worshippers also hold small earthen lamps which are then floated in the river after culmination of the aarti ceremony.

Day 12 - Varanasi

Early morning

Cruise on the Ganga River

Experience an early morning cruise on the Ganga River. This is the perfect time to visit the holy Ganga as you will see the city waking up. As you sail past the different ghats you will learn the essence of Hinduism. You may also see people taking their morning exercise, washing their clothes or taking a holy dip in the river. Following your cruise you will explore the narrow lanes of the surrounding areas where you will see people coming out of the temples after their morning prayers.

Morning

Sarnath

After breakfast at your hotel, drive to Sarnath which is the place where Gautama Buddha was enlightened below the Bodhi tree. The direct descendant of that tree is still rooted firmly at the same site. It is a very important pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over the world. The excavation at Sarnath date back to pre-Christ era and the onsite museum has some very ancient & rare art crafts.

Afternoon

Varanasi at Leisure

You will have the afternoon and evening at leisure to explore the spiritual city of Varanasi at your own pace.

Day 13 - Varanasi to Kolkata

Full Day

Varanasi at Leisure

You will have the morning and afternoon at leisure for some independent exploration. Perhaps you would like to join an early morning Yoga session on the banks of the Ganga River? Or spend the day at a nearby craft village? Your local guide will be happy to suggest some optional activities for your last day in the wonderful city of Varanasi.

Evening

Overnight Train to Kolkata

No visit to India is complete without experiencing the bustle of Indian railway stations! In the early evening you will board your overnight train to Kolkata (2 tier and 3 tier sleeping berths are included as standard).

Day 14 - Kolkata

Full Day

Kolkata at Leisure

On arrival in Kolkata you will transfer to your hotel. You will have the full day at leisure to get to know your surroundings in Kolkata. Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is the capital of India's West Bengal state. Founded as an East India Company trading post, it was India's capital under the British Raj from 1773–1911. Today it’s known for its grand colonial architecture, art galleries and cultural festivals. Dinner will be included at your hotel in the evening.

Day 15 - Kolkata

Early morning

Kolkata Flower Market

In the early morning, enjoy a walk through the colourful flower market of Kolkata. The impressive market stretches from under the Howrah Bridge to a little beyond the Mallick Ghat. While marigold is the most widely sold flower at the market, rose, lilies, gladiolus and other seasonal flowers can also be seen here too.

Full Day

Kolkata City Tour

After breakfast at your hotel, embark on a full day sightseeing of the Kolkata city. Your guided tour will include a visit to the Victoria Memorial, often called the "Taj" of the British Raj and St. Paul's Cathedral. Drive past BBD Bagh, St. John’s Church, Raj Bhavan and Eden Gardens before a visit to Mother House. Mother House is the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity and was founded by Mother Teresa, whose tomb is on site.

Evening

Kolkata at Leisure

You will have the evening at leisure to independently discover more of what Kolkata has to offer. Fish is integral to life of Bengalis so perhaps try out some of the local cuisine or take a ride on the vintage Trams of Kolkata.

Day 16 – Return home

Full Day

Kolkata at Leisure

You will have one final day at leisure in Kolkata before transferring to the airport in the late afternoon for your overnight flight home.

Day 17 - Arrive Home

Arrive home

Morning

Arrive home following your once in a lifetime adventure across Northern and West India.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Africa Avenue Anand Lok Hotel 3

Africa Avenue Anand Lok Hotel is located in the heart of South Delhi with nearby attractions including the Commercial centre in Nehru Place, Okhla Industrial area and M block market, one of the posh markets of Delhi. ... read more read more read more

Africa Avenue Anand Lok Hotel is located in the heart of South Delhi with nearby attractions including the Commercial centre in Nehru Place, Okhla Industrial area and M block market, one of the posh markets of Delhi. 

Hotel address
Africa Avenue Anand Lok Hotel
6 Anand Lok
New Delhi
110049
New Delhi
View available dates for this hotel

Ikaki Niwas 0

Ikaki Niwas is a homestay in Jaipur city in Rajasthan, India. Guests will enjoy the small library, the cooking demonstrations and the lounge areas on the patio and terrace.... read more read more read more

Ikaki Niwas is a homestay in Jaipur city in Rajasthan, India. Guests will enjoy the small library, the cooking demonstrations and the lounge areas on the patio and terrace.

Hotel address
Ikaki Niwas
5, Chha 2, Sector 5
Jawahar Nagar
Jaipur
View available dates for this hotel

Royale Residency Hotel 3 Star

Hotel Royale Residency is situated in the city of Agra. Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and spa facilities. Nearby attractions include The Taj Mahal which is just a five minute drive away.... read more read more read more

Hotel Royale Residency is situated in the city of Agra. Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and spa facilities. Nearby attractions include The Taj Mahal which is just a five minute drive away.

Hotel address
Royale Residency Hotel
Fatehabad Road
Agra-282 001

Agra
View available dates for this hotel

Ramada Plaza 3 Star

The Ramada Khajuraho Hotel is located in the centre of the historic town of Khajuraho. Guests can enjoy the hotel bar and restaurant, as well as the outdoor swimming pool and the lawn tennis court.... read more read more read more

The Ramada Khajuraho Hotel is located in the centre of the historic town of Khajuraho. Guests can enjoy the hotel bar and restaurant, as well as the outdoor swimming pool and the lawn tennis court.

Hotel address
Ramada Plaza
Airport Road, Khajuraho, M.P.
471606 India

Khajurahoo
View available dates for this hotel

The Amayaa 3 Star

The Amayaa Hotel is located in the city of Varanasi. It features 2 dining options, an outdoor swimming pool and air-conditioned rooms. Nearby landmarks include Manikarnika Ghat, Dasaswamedh Ghat and Harishchandra Ghat.... read more read more read more

The Amayaa Hotel is located in the city of Varanasi. It features 2 dining options, an outdoor swimming pool and air-conditioned rooms. Nearby landmarks include Manikarnika Ghat, Dasaswamedh Ghat and Harishchandra Ghat.

Hotel address
The Amayaa
The Mall Rd
Varanasi Cantt, Varanasi
Uttar Pradesh 221002
Varansi
View available dates for this hotel

Regenta Orkos 3 Star

Regenta Orkos Hotel is located in the city of Kolkata. Nearby attractions include the sacred Kalighat Kali Temple and the Victoria Memorial Hall.... read more read more read more

Regenta Orkos Hotel is located in the city of Kolkata. Nearby attractions include the sacred Kalighat Kali Temple and the Victoria Memorial Hall.

Hotel address
Regenta Orkos
621, Prantik Pally, Kasba,Kolkata
West Bengal
India-700107
View available dates for this hotel

*Some hotel facilities are seasonally operated and may not be available at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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