First Time India: Luxury Golden Triangle and Varanasi

First Time India: Luxury Golden Triangle and Varanasi

Delhi - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi - Delhi 10 days/9 nights


This luxury private journey through north India takes in a number of the subcontinent’s most incredible sights, from the fairytale-like heritage hotels of Rajasthan to the sacred River Ganges in Varanasi. Begin in India’s cosmopolitan capital Delhi where you will enjoy the contrasts of the city, from the souk-like bazaars of Old Delhi to the tree-lined colonial avenues of New Delhi. You’ll then be chauffeured to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur with its splendid architecture, not to mention fantastic shopping. Continue on to Agra, home to the breath-taking Taj Mahal and the magnificent Red Fort. Next is the spiritual city of Varanasi and the River Ganges, which is the perfect place to connect with India's spiritual side with intimate rituals of life and death laid bare. You will then fly direct back to Delhi, where you can snap up some final souvenirs before your private luxury tour through north India ends. This is just a sample itinerary featuring Varanasi, one of the most unique cities in India. We can completely tailor a bespoke experience for you in keeping with your expectations from your India holiday.


Day 1


Your luxury private journey through India begins on arrival in Delhi, where you will be met by a member of our team at the airport and chauffeured to The Claridges, an elegant five-storey character property, which features classic contemporary interiors, a lovely pool, and four excellent restaurants. The Claridges has a great central location. For those wanting to experience an old world colonial charm we would recommend the Imperial hotel for them. Spend the afternoon, going for a stroll through verdant Lodi Gardens or exploring the enticing boutiques of Khan Market. You can also use this afternoon for a drive by tour of India Gate and the president's Palace. This is a suggested itinerary and we can tailor-make any of our tours to best suit your specific interests and requirements.


Day 2


Start the day with an exciting cycle-rickshaw ride through the bustling alleyways of Chandni Chowk’s souk-like bazaars, including Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest spice market. Enjoy a guided walk through Dharampura haveli and bangla sahib the Sikh temle. Discover the myriad of sights in Old and New Delhi including the Mughal monuments from 17th- century Jama Masjid, Qutb Minar and Humayun’s Tomb which is thought to have inspired the Taj Mahal. Other highlights include Connaught Place, and Gandhi museum. Spend the evening relaxing at the hotel or there are several dining options Delhi has to offer especially Bukhara, the finest Tandoori and North indian cuisine. If you like artisinal fusion food Indian Accent is another option.


Day 3


In the capable hands of your private chauffeur, leave Delhi this morning for a scenic car journey to Rajasthan’s vibrant capital Jaipur. A member of our team will greet you at your hotel, Samode Haveli, the elegant 300-year-old mansion of the Samode royal family bulit for the Prime minister of Jaipur in the 20th century now one of the most popular heritage hotels in central Jaipur. It has 39 grand rooms, decorated in Rajasthani style. In the evening, guests can enjoy traditional Rajasthani dishes in the glorious dining room, lined with chandeliers or in the central courtyard with its lemon trees and geometric courtyard is perhaps the most serene corner of Jaipur. Relax and unwind near the swimming pool which is encircles with dahlia-and jasmine-filled paths.


Day 4


Today, you’ll be discovering the best of Jaipur. In the early morning, make your way on elephant back to the splendid 17th-century Amber Fort with your guide. Led by a local expert enjoy a walking tour of the Jaipur's bazaars. Thereafter, a photo-stop at the stunning Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) and a visit to the Jantar Mantar observatory. After a lazy lunch continue exploring the City Palace and its private rooms. Spend the evening strolling through the bazaars looking at blue pottery, block printes textiles and silver jewellery or for an evening with elephants at Dera Amer. There is a great social scene at Bar Palladio, also the setting for the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.


Day 5


Take to the road for another scenic journey – this time, to Agra. Check into Radisson Blu Agra Taj East Gate, which has 239 rooms and suites, a rejuvenating spa and refreshing rooftop infinity pool. The Radisson is a great affordable option in Agra. In the afternoon, visit the iconic Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, which was built as a monument to eternal love by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife who dies giving birth to their 14th child. Marvel at the interiors which have several different colored stones crushed and inlaid in the floral details on the marble walls and gateways. The Taj Mahal is known for reflecting pastel colored hues with the play of sunlight on its surfaces throughout the day. the afternoon visit is special as it radiates an orangey pink as the sun goes down. 

Please note: you can start this journey on any day however the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.


Day 6


After a delicious breakfast, begin your privately-guided tour of Agra, taking in another Mughal masterpiece Agra Fort, a palatial red-sandstone and marble fortress along the Yamuna River which was constructed by Emperor Akbar in 1565. Then visit Itmad-ud-daulah, nicknamed the ‘baby Taj’, the exquisite white marble tomb of a Persian nobleman Mizra Ghiyas Beg, which features particularly fine carved jalis. Evening to relax and reminice the views of the Taj Mahal. You could visit the Oberoi Amar Vilas for a sundowner or tea in the lush lawn overlooking the Taj Mahal.


Day 7


Board a direct flight to Varanasi this morning. Upon arrival, you’ll be chauffeured to Taj Nadesar Palace, an opulent retreat with 40-acres of the garden. Alternatively, stay at Brijrama Palace, a boutique hotel nestled on the banks of the River Ganges. In the early evening, you’ll be met by your guide for a boat trip along the Ganges where you can watch the dramatic ancient Ganga Arti Ceremony aboard your private boat, where thousands gather together for evening worship. Varanasi also known as Kashi 'the city of lights' after the golden luminescence of the temples and ghats is at its best in the evening with holy chants, pilgrims floating lamps and the fragrance of incense. 


Day 8


Rise early for a sunrise boat ride along the Ganges the river of life, where guests can see the 84 ghats or hillocks in all their glory, spotting pilgrims bathing, funeral processions and Hindu religious ceremonies. Later on, wander through the tangle of lanes of Varanasi’s Old City and shop for stunning brocade textiles. Other highlights include a visit to the holy Buddhist site of Sarnath, where Buddha has said to have given his first sermon and a tour of the iconic Benaras Hindu University, built in 1916 in the Indo-Gothic style of architecture. Spend the evening relaxing in the Nadesar Palace spa.


Day 9


Morning at leisure. Relax at the hotel, alternatively head out into Varanasi to take one last look at India’s most sacred city – your chauffeur is on hand to take you anywhere you might like to go. In the afternoon, board a direct flight to Delhi. Should you wish to explore the capital further, we can offer some exciting ideas or enjoy the remainder of your day with your feet up at the The Claridges.


Day 10


Today, your luxury private journey ends. Transfer to Delhi airport in time for your onward flight.


This tour is purely a suggested itinerary for what your trip to India could include. Treat our First Time India: Luxury Golden Triangle and Varanasi tour as inspiration. Each trip designed by Rajasthan Tours is created uniquely for you, working to your budget and interests with an absolute commitment to quality.


The price shown includes hotels on double or twin sharing basis, breakfast, sightseeing, transfers, internal flights or trains, private guides, monument entrances, activities and excursions and chauffeur-driven car. On request, we can include international flights, too. In other words, we take the work off you to allow you to enjoy the most memorable holiday experience. The price is a guide and subject to change based on hotels, dates of travel and number of people travelling. During the low season (April to September), the costs are significantly less yet this season remains a great time to travel with smaller crowds and more affordable rates. During the high season, particularly over Christmas and New Year, prices are higher however there are lots of great festivals and the weather is excellent.