This trip is ideal for repeat visitors to North India or those who want to get off the beaten track, taking in some of the classic highlights and some more unusual ones. Starting in the capital, New Delhi, before heading to one of the world's oldest cities Varanasi, a truly unique city and it provides a wonderful insight in India's history and culture. A short flight brings you to temples of Khajuraho, which have been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Next you travel through small temple towns offering an insight into life in rural India before a visit to Agra and the Taj Mahal.
DAY 1 - DELHI
You will be met on your arrival at Delhi airport and be taken to your hotel. The afternoon is at leisure, if you want to explore why not head to Lodi Gardens, to enjoy Delhi's greenery and uncover Mughal tombs.
Today your guide will take you to the sights of the capital. Beginning in Old Delhi this includes the massive Jama Masjid Mosque and the colourful winding bazaars nearby, which are best seen on foot. Afterwards, you will see the late British capital of New Delhi, its wide tree lined avenues and impressive parliament buildings designed by Lutyens. You will also visit the 12th century Mughal victory tower - the Qutb Minar, and Humayun`s Tomb. In the evening you will be transferred to the station and board the overnight train to Varanasi.
DAY 3 - VARANASI
You will be met on the platform and transferred to your hotel where you can freshen up, before exploring Varanasi's labyrinthine streets to visit the Golden Temple, the Temple of Mother India and the Durga Temple. In the late afternoon head to the ghats that lead down to the Ganges and take a boat ride before experiencing the evening religious ceremony.
DAY 4 - VARANASI
An early morning boat ride on the Ganges is the ideal way to appreciate the spirituality of this most ancient city. You will see the bustling scene at the many ghats of washing, cleansing of souls and funeral pyres. In the afternoon you may visit Sarnath, an important Buddhist site, of excavated temples and stupas.
DAY 5 - KHAJURAHO
You will have most of the morning at leisure before being taken to the airport for your flight from Varanasi to Khajuraho. After checking into your hotel and some time for lunch you will make your first visit to Khajuraho`s temples famed for their wonderful carvings of deities, apsaras, mythical beasts and battle processions as well as the famous erotic sculptures.
DAY 6 - ORCHHA
This morning is at leisure, you may like to return to the temples. Later you will drive to Orchha, the once capital city of the Bundelas, with its wonderful complex of well-preserved palaces and now a small sleepy town with few foreign visitors. In the evening you might like to visit the Ram Raja Temple to witness the rousing chants of the devotees.
DAY 7 - ORCHHA
Today your guide will take you to the Jehangir Mahal complex, to see the superb murals in the Raj Mahal. You will also visit the Lakshmi Narayan Temple at the opposite end of Orchha which also has impressive murals and wonderful views from its rooftop .
DAY 8 - AGRA
Today you will drive to Gwalior, visiting Datia the ruined temple town, and Gwalior's imposing fort that dominates the city. In the evening you will board the express train to Agra.
DAY 9 - DELHI
This morning you will see sunrise at the Taj Mahal, as it is particularly breathtaking at sunrise as you witness the translucent marble changing colour. Later in the morning you will have a tour of the city, visiting the Agra Fort, and its Musamman Burj, a gilded cage, in which Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. You will also see the I`tma-ud-daulah, sometimes known as `Baby Taj`, before returning to Delhi by road.
DAY 10 - DEPART DELHI
This morning you will be transferred to the airport in plenty of time to catch your return flight arriving home the same day.