Golden Triangle, Varanasi & Lucknow

Tour Type:
Private Escorted Tours
Start:
Delhi
Duration:
11 Days
End:
Delhi
Departs:
Daily

Starting From

NZ$ 3129
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Offering an inspiring introduction to the Subcontinent, this journey combines Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi and Lucknow’s cultural and natural wonders. Delving into centuries of history, the tour uncovers ornate temples, magnificent Islamic architecture and marbled palaces. Explore the Old and New Delhi highlights; visit the ultimate symbol of love, the Taj Mahal in Agra and Varanasi which is considered the oldest living city in the world. Experience the spiritual aspect of India’s age-old beliefs and enjoy a unique culinary experience in the metropolis of Nawabs known as Lucknow.

Itinerary

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DAY 1

Upon arrival you will be welcomed by our Tour Executive at the airport lounge with a TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS signboard. Transfer to hotel. Stay overnight at Delhi.

DAY 2

After buffet breakfast start your sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. Drive pass the renowned 17th-century landmark Lal Qila; the Red Fort Palace, Jama Masjid literally meaning the Friday Mosque; India’s principal and biggest mosque, Chandni Chowk; Shahjahanabad’s Main Street in 1650 facing the majestic Red Fort. It originally had a central canal running down its full length, and when moonlight reflected off the water it got the name Chandni Chowk or ‘Avenue of Moonlight’. The canals have long since gone and it is now a chaotically bustling area, typical of real India, containing a mix of stalls, shops, food outlets, and temples. Between the mosque and Chandni Chowk is a narrow shop-lined street along which you will be transported by cycle rickshaws on your most photogenic journey of the tour. The locals go shopping here like nowhere else. Also visit Gandhi Memorial; the simple black marble slab honoring Mahatma Gandhi, Qutab Minar; the 234-step tower dating to 1193. Also, drive past India Gate; that honors the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died in World War, President House and Parliament House. Also, visit Humayun’s Tomb. Stay overnight at Delhi.

DAY 3

Have a leisurely buffet breakfast before a transfer to the Delhi airport to catch a flight to Varanasi. Abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown. Ghats of Varanasi is a natural supplement to the concept of divinity and is known as the city that liberates the soul from human body to ultimate. Varanasi abounds in the art of silk weaving, an exotic work of art which manifests itself in precious Banarasi silk saris and silk brocades which are cherished as collector’s items across the world, even today. The city is also renowned for its rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts, and education. On arrival, you will be received by our Tour Executive at the Airport, transfer to hotel for check-in. Rest of the day at leisure to explore the local markets for Banarasi silk. Later in the evening witness grand prayer ceremony on the ghats of river Ganges. Stay overnight at Varanasi.

DAY 4

Wake up early morning and proceed to enjoy the heritage walk and sunrise boat ride on the river Ganges. The river will be thronged with early morning bathers, raising their faces to the rising sun and reciting the sacred mantra. One can see the perpetual movement of the pilgrims on the steps, the vivid colors of their clothes glistening against the pale gold water, the triangular flags fluttering atop the temple spires. Varanasi is associated with the promotion of spiritualism, mysticism and Sanskrit, yoga and Hindi language. Visit the Banaras ghat, Assi ghat & various other ghats. Return back to the hotel for buffet breakfast. After breakfast, proceed for morning city tour of Varanasi, visiting various temples including Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Bharat Mata Temple etc. Afternoon proceed for an excursion to Sarnath where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon at the deer park after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of the four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by Lord Buddha himself for pilgrimage. Sarnath is one of the richest in Buddhist antiquities ranging in date from the times of Ashoka down to the 12th century A.D. Ashoka built here the Dharmarajika Stupa and nearby a pillar surmounted by the magnificent capital of four adorned Lions, which today forms the national emblem of India. Stay overnight at Varanasi.

DAY 5

An early morning in time transfer to the railway station to board the train to Lucknow. Lucknow is also known as ’The City of Nawabs’ and is an intriguing blend of old world charm, beautiful architecture, courteous people, warm hospitality, and rich heritage. On arrival, you will be received by our Tour Executive at the railway station, transfer to hotel for check-in. In the evening enjoy a walking food tour of Lucknow which allows you to hop-in, hop out of the world-famous traditional roadside eateries. Some of the eateries we visit are Mobeen’s Pasanda, Raheem’s Nihari Gosht, Bismillha’s or Idris’ Biryani, Tundey Kebab and finish with Indian ice cream at Chanakya’s Kulfi, this is your dinner tonight. Overnight at Lucknow.

DAY 6

After breakfast at the hotel, see some of the highlights of the city, Bada Imambara a famous monument of Lucknow that has historical, cultural and heritage importance. The complex also includes the large Asfi mosque, the Bhul-Bhulayah (the labyrinth) and a summer palace with running water. Government Museum, a must visit for all the tourists is situated in a modern three-storied building at Banarasi Bagh area of Lucknow. Lucknow is the center for Chikan embroidery, renowned for its timeless grace and gossamer delicacy, a skill more than 2000 years old. In the afternoon visit a chicken workshop that will mesmerize you when you watch skilled workers delicately working on unique styles and stitches on very light cotton cloths. Also, take a leisure walk in Hazrat Ganj and Aminabad local bazaar. Return to the hotel for an overnight stay at the hotel.

DAY 7

After breakfast travel to Agra. Agra, known by all as the home of the Taj Mahal, the city is still associated with the Mughals who were great builders and you will see this by the architecture of the buildings as you pass by. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. Stay for two nights in Agra.

DAY 8

Morning pay sunrise visit to Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays) - the epitome of love, stands on the banks of the river Yamuna built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shahjehan. The Taj attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. To experience the beauty of this architectural marvel, it needs to be viewed at different times of the day and year. The white marble building changes its hue with the variations in the daylight. Made entirely of white marble and decorated with exquisite pietra dura (stone inlay) work, different types of precious and semi-precious stones were used in the intricate inlay work done on the interiors. This magnificent monument is built around a Charbagh or ’four garden’ plan, split by watercourses— reflects the influence of Persian architectural style. After the visit, you will be taken back to your hotel for breakfast. After brief rest, late afternoon visit the impressive 16th century Agra Fort, which was started in 1565 by Akbar with later additions made by his son, Jahangir, and grandson, Shahjehan. You can ask your guide to take you to one of the factories to have a look at the marble inlay work before returning to the hotel. Overnight at Agra.

DAY 9

After breakfast drive towards Jaipur visiting Fatehpur Sikri on the way, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 1571 Akbar constructed Fatehpur (Victory) Sikri city exactly as we see it today, as the new capital of the Mughal Empire replacing the perfectly viable Agra just 37 km away, which was left almost deserted. But after only fifteen years, Fatehpur itself was abandoned and left as an evocative ghost-town because they say of a lack of water! The perfectly preserved red sandstone buildings consist of palaces, courtyards, a life-size chess board, tombs, and mosques. We visit the Diwan-e-Khas (Private Audience Hall) with its remarkable central pillar. Also unmissable is Panch Mahal, the five-storied structure used as the viewing station for the hareem. Arrive Jaipur and check in at the hotel, the evening is to relax at the hotel or enjoy shopping with an overnight stay at Jaipur. Enjoy hunting through the colorful and chaotic streets, shopping for souvenirs like silver jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones such as diamonds, topaz, and emeralds, embroidered clothing and quilts, block printed textiles, lacquered brass work, leather footwear, miniature marble carvings and blue potteries. Besides shopping, one can also watch the skillful artisans at work. While walking down the lanes you will also witness the cultural heritage of the city unfolding a legacy of the royal past. Stay Overnight in Jaipur.

DAY 10

Start full day sightseeing tour with a visit to Amber Fort, the Maharajas City Palace, the Observatory and a photo stop at the Hawa Mahal as we drive pass the old Part of the Pink City.

DAY 11

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before traveling back to Delhi. The tour finishes with direct transfer to Delhi international airport to board your onward flight.

Inclusion


Accommodation in hotel with private facility

Private air-condition vehicle with Chauffeur

Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, D=Dinner)

Private English speaking guide during sightseeing in Delhi, Jaipur, Agra , Varanasi & Lucknow.

Entry fee/Monument charges

Rickshaw ride in Delhi

Sharing Boat ride at Varanasi on seat basis. (provided boats are available and is subject to water level and weather conditions)

Walking food tour in Lucknow

Elephant Ride in Jaipur

Bottle of mineral water while travelling

Air conditioned chair car train fare for sector Varanasi – Lucknow, Lucknow – Agra

Airfare Delhi-Varanasi in economy class

Assistance and transfers

All current applicable taxes

Exclusion


Any international or domestic airfares

Train fares other than specified in the what's included section 

Airport taxes, visa & passport fees

Extra baggage charges

Early check in or late check out

Meals other than specified in the what's included section

Tips & gratuities

Travel & medical insurance

Camera & video permits

Expenses incurred due to flight / train cancellation or delay

Any expense of a personal nature, like drinks, laundry, telephone calls, mini bar, postage etc

Any optional excursion or tour

Entry charges at monuments/forts etc

Any other expense not mentioned in the what's included section