Trip Inspiration

12 Days in Incredible India

Golden Triangle + More

With endless variety, color and charm, India treats all five senses to a spectacular and spiritual experience. Soar over Jaipur on a hot air balloon. Tour India's opulent forts, mosques and palaces. Taste the culture at a traditional spice market and in the kitchen of an Indian home. Travel the Golden Triangle formed by Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and you will uncover a multitude of India's hidden gems.

Trip Highlights

Locations

  • 2 nights to experience both Old and New Delhi at the Imperial Hotel
  • 2 nights at the glamorous Nadesar Palace in Varanasi
  • 1 night at the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, home of the Taj Mahal
  • 2 nights of luxury at Jaipur’s Samode Haveli
  • 2 nights at Ranakpur’s Mountbatten Lodge
  • 2 nights at the Leela in Udaipur

Activities

  • Shopping in a traditional Indian spice market
  • Sunrise boat ride on River Gagnes
  • Tours of the Taj Mahal, Jama Masjid, and more
  • Hot air balloon ride
What does “Trip Inspiration” mean?

At Travel Beyond, we believe your trip should be designed just for you, not for the masses. Our travel consultants create a custom itinerary for each client, offering recommendations for places and experiences that best fit your style. The itinerary below was planned for a past client, but we’re sharing it for travel inspiration and as an example of what a trip to India might look like. Let us know when we can design a trip just for you!

Day 1

Arrive Delhi, India

Welcome to Delhi! Upon arrival, you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private transfer to The Imperial, where you will spend two nights. Breakfast is included in your stay. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

The Imperial Hotel Meals: N/A

Day 2

Delhi

This morning you will be met by a Travel Beyond guide and taken on a tour of Old Delhi and New Delhi.

Old Delhi pulses with energy and color, and is laced by a maze of narrow lanes which twist and turn between tall, leaning houses full of the sights, sounds and aromas of the Indian subcontinent. On your tour, you will visit the Raj Ghat, the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. You will also visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Then continue on to visit the Red Fort, once the most opulent fort and palace of the Mughal Empire. Later enjoy the rickshaw ride in one of the busiest markets in Delhi – Chandani Chowk, and explore the spice market.

New Delhi offers more historical sites than Old Delhi. The city was founded by the imperial British government in 1911 to move their capital from Kolkata (called Calcutta earlier). Your tour will include visits to the Humayun’s Tomb, a drive along the ceremonial avenue – Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate, Parliament House and the President’s Residence. You will then continue on to visit Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, which is the most prominent Sikh gurdwara (Sikh house of worship), known for its association with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan. Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is also known for its pool complex, known as the “Sarovar”, which is filled with water that is considered holy by Sikhs and is known as “Amrit”. Because equality is so important in the Sikh religion, everyone eats at the same level in the dining hall. You may see a rich businessman eating beside a homeless person.

In the evening, you will visit an Indian home to interact and taste traditional home-style Indian cooking. You will have a full meal and cooking demonstration. You will also have a great chance to learn how to tie Saris.

The Imperial Hotel Meals: B/D

Delhi
Delhi Spice Market

Day 3

Delhi to Varanasi

This morning you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private transfer to the Delhi Airport for your flight to Varanasi.

Upon arrival in Varanasi, you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private transfer to the Nadesar Palace, where you will spend two nights. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure.

This evening, you will be met by your Travel Beyond guide for a visit to the Ganges for a glittering evening Aarti (prayer) ceremony.

Following the ceremony, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Nadesar Palace Meals: B

Day 4

Varanasi

Early this morning, you will be met by your private Travel Beyond guide for a sunrise boat ride on River Ganges.

On your sunrise boat ride, you will see people praying and bathing, and witness burning ghat. Later you will walk through the mystical landscape of poets, sacred temples, holy ponds near Assighat, the southernmost embankment of the holy Ganga River. Walk in the footsteps of 16th century Banaras poet and mystic Pandit Goswami Tulsidas, translator of the sacred Ramanyana text, you will hear about the history and special culture of Varanasi while visiting the Southern temple established by Tulsidas. Your walk will end with a special darshan, meaning ‘taking sight’ of a hidden sun temple behind his home.

Afterwards, enjoy a hot Banarasi chai, British tea or a cold lassi (traditional yogurt drink), and sample homemade traditional Indian snacks such as kachori, samosa or chaat, while conversing on history and culture with one of Varanasi’s eminent personalities. You will love the experience of sitting on the floor of an old home and hearing about the experiences of growing up in the holy city of the Hindus from a local perspective.

In the afternoon, visit Sarnath, previously known as Mrigadava, “deer park,” and Isipatana, meaning the place where holy men (Pali: isi) fell to earth. The latter name is based in the legend that when the Buddha was born, devas came down to announce it to 500 holy men.

Following your tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Nadesar Palace Meals: B

Day 5

Varanasi to Agra

This morning you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private transfer to the Varanasi Airport for your flight to Agra.

Upon arrival in Agra, you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private transfer to the Oberoi Amarvilas, where you will spend one night. Enjoy time at leisure.

This afternoon, you will be met by a Travel Beyond guide for your visit to the Agra Fort. This massive structure, with 70-foot high, 1.5-mile long walls, encompasses an astounding collection of well-preserved buildings, many of them completed during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan.

Following your tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

The Oberoi Amarvilas Meals: B

Day 6

Agra to Jaipur

Early this morning you will be met by a Travel Beyond guide for a sunrise visit to the world famous Taj Mahal. Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder, which is always the raison-d’etre for every tourist’s visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj Mahal is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens, and some of the best inlay work ever seen.

Taj Mahal

Following your morning excursion, you will be transferred back to the hotel in time for checkout and your private transfer to the Samode Haveli in Jaipur, where you will spend two nights. Breakfast is included in your stay. En-route visit Fatehpur Sikri. The Red Sandstone City was built by Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. You will also visit the Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world. Enjoy time at leisure.

This evening you will visit the colorful markets of the Old City. Jaipur, which literally meaning ‘the City of Victory’ is named after its founder Jaisingh who shifted his base from the hills to the new city in 1727. This was the first planned city in India, with well laid out markets and residences. Because of this planned development, the trade and commerce grew fast and is still continuing to grow. The markets are a treasure trove that can turn just about anybody into a shopper. Since the early 18th century, Jaipur has been a hub of color gemstone processing. Other note-worthy items to shop for include: ‘Kundan’, (enameled) jewelry, exotic blue pottery, the batik painting, block printed textiles of Sanganer and Bagru, tie & dye fabrics, Mojari- (the local embroidered shoe), sandal wood carving items, beautiful stone carvings, brass works, lac ornaments and handicrafts, handmade paper and allied products, antiques, and silk carpets.

As a complimentary treat during your shopping tour, you will also get to try tying turbans and applying henna. The ambrosial smell of henna and the bright variant colors of the Rajasthani turban will add all the more joy to your experience. Nothing beats the glow and charm of henna on a woman’s wrists, complementing her beauty in the most graceful way possible. The bright and lively colors of the turbans will paint the canvas of your imagination in an unimaginable way.

Following your tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Samode Haveli Meals: B

Day 7

Jaipur

This morning you will be met by a Travel Beyond guide for an optional Hot Air Balloon Ride! To give you a new experience, travel to see the beauty of Jaipur in a very unique way – Hot Air Balloon. Fly over the Aravallis, the oldest mountain range, and absorb the mélange of light and colors.

Following your excursion, you will be transferred back to the hotel in time for your visit to Amber Fort.


Amber Fort Palace
is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression.

Continue on this afternoon to visit the City Palace, a delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture. The City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. Continue on to the Jantar Mantar, a royal observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments that are still in use. Finally, visit the Hawa Mahal (from outside), the ornamental facade of this “Palace of Winds” is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. The palace has 953 niches and windows, later cycle rickshaw ride around old market at leisure.

In the evening, you will be taken to the Dera Amber for an elephant interaction with local farmers. This is the ideal natural environment for the resident elephants and camels, who are part of the happy Dera Amer family and responsible for protecting several hundred hectares of indigenous Aravali Forest land. Tonight you will also enjoy dinner at the camp.

Following your excursion, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Samode Haveli Meals: B/D

Days 8-9

Jaipur to Ranakpur

This morning after checkout, you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private transfer to Mountbatten Lodge, where you will spend two nights, inclusive of all meals. Enjoy the remainder of your stay at leisure.

Mountbatten Lodge Meals: B/L/D

Tent

Day 10

Ranakpur to Udaipur

This morning after checkout, you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private transfer to The Leela in Udaipur, where you will spend two nights. Breakfast is included in your stay. Enjoy time at leisure.

This evening, you will be met by a Travel Beyond guide for your walking tour of the Old City.

The very special tour starts at Jagdish Chowk, opposite Jagdish Temple. Later immerse yourself in the narrow alleys of this medieval city. Your guide will introduce you to the lives of common men and create impromptu opportunities to walk into homes of people from various communities like warrior, merchant and priests. Many people from these communities are still involved in professions decided by their birth in a particular community. Witness artisans working on bronze to make utensils and villagers crafting plates and cups out of tree leaves. Go further to see a silversmith working with age old simple tools, and walk through the vegetable market.

Following your tour, you will be assisted back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

The Leela Meals: B

Day 11

Udaipur

This morning you will be met by a Travel Beyond guide for your visit to the City Palace Complex, consisting of Durbar Hall, Crystal Gallery, Palace Museum and Jagdish Temple.

Following your tour, you will be assisted back to the hotel. Enjoy time at leisure.

In the evening, visit Jag Mandir by boat. Jag Mandir is a palace built on an island in the Lake Pichola, it is also called the ʺLake Garden Palace”. The palace is located in Udaipur city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Its construction is credited to three Maharanas of the Sisodia Rajputs of Mewar kingdom. The construction of the palace was started in 1551 by Maharana Amar Singh, continued by Maharana Karan Singh (1620–1628) and finally completed by Maharana Jagat Singh I (1628–1652). It is named as ʺJagat Mandir” in honor of the last named Maharana Jagat Singh. The royal family used the palace as a summer resort and pleasure palace for holding parties. The palace served as a refuge to asylum seekers on two separate occasions.

The Leela Meals: B

Day 12

Depart India

Enjoy your morning at leisure!

This afternoon after checkout, you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private transfer to the Udaipur Airport for your flight to Delhi.

Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be met by a Travel Beyond representative for your private transfer to The Trident, where you will have use of a day room until your onward commercial flight home.

N/A Meals: B