On arrival, you will be welcomed by Vacations International representative at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or independently explore this bustling capital. Overnight in Delhi
After breakfast, your exploration of India's capital city commences with a sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. In Old Delhi drive past to Red Fort, - a marvel in red sandstone and visit to the Raj Ghat, - memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, Jama Masjid, - the largest mosque in India. Proceed to Chandni Chowk to savour the ambience of an oriental, crowded bazaar. Continue to New Delhi; pass by India Gate (memorial to the Indian army soldiers who died in the World War I), the Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly the viceroy's residence) and the Parliament House. Visit the imposing Lakshmi Naryan Temple, Humauin;s Tumb see the 12th century Qutab Minar - gracefully hand-carved for its entire height of 234ft, and the Ashoka iron pillar, which has withstood the ravages of time and not rusted even after 1500 years and the mausoleum of emperor Humayun - a forerunner of the Mughal style of architecture. In the evening have a group dinner at restaurant. Overnight in Delhi hotel, Meal: Breakfast & Dinner
Delhi – Jaipur
Breakfast at hotel, proceed to Jaipur by surface and on arrival check-in at hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or independently explore this pick city. Overnight at Jaipur (Meals Breakfast)
Very early this morning there is the opportunity to sail over the lofty hilltop forts and regal palaces of Jaipur in a hot air balloon. In the morning excursions to Amber Fort with an Elephant ride up the hill and descend by jeep followed with city tour Later we visit a cotton weaving house to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing before touring the City Palace and Jantar Mantar - an old yet cleverly designed space observatory. Overnight at Jaipur (Meals Breakfast)
Jaipur - Abhaneri - Bharatpur
Breakfast at hotel then proceed to Bharatpur en route visit to village of Abhaneri to see Chand Baori, which is the largest and deepest step well in the world. This incredible well has a staggering 3500 steps and is 13 stories deep. Later continue drive to Bharatpur and arrival check in at hotel. Later and time to freshen up we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park. Overnight at Bharatpur (Meals Breakfast, Dinner)
Bharatpur - Agra
Breakfast at hotel, and then proceed to Agra visit Fatehpur Sikri en-route, former imperial capital of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Built between 1569 and 1585, it has been deserted for more than four centuries, by all accounts abandoned in 1600 due to a meagre supply of water. Later continue drive to Agra and on arrival check-in at hotel. In the afternoon visit the impressive Agra Fort before touring the legendary Taj Mahal and witnessing a glorious golden sunset. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, who tragically died in childbirth in 1631, the Taj Mahal in Agra is described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love and remains one of India’s most enduring symbols. Overnight at Agra (Breakfast)
Agra – Orchha
In the morning transfer to railway station to board train for Jhansi and on arrival drive onward to Orchha. Situated on the banks of the River Betwa, Orchha is set amongst a wonderful complex of well-preserved 16th century temples and palaces. Overnight at Orchha (Breakfast)
Orchha – Khajuraho
Breakfast at hotel and drive to Khajuraho and on arrival check-in at hotel Khajuraho which is renowned for its magnificent Hindu and Jain temples which were built during the Chandela dynasty from 950-1050 AD. The intricate stone carved temples are famous for their erotic sculptures, although why they were built still remains a mystery. In fact the Chandelas appear to have forgotten about the temples soon after they were completed and it wasn't until they were rediscovered by the British that these exquisite masterpieces were fully appreciated in India. We will have plenty of time to see the various erotic acts from the famous Kama Sutra depicted on the monolithic Khajuraho temples for ourselves as we explore the site. Adding to the beauty, these amazing temples subtly change hue as the day progresses, passing from a warm pink at sunrise to white under the midday sun and back to pink at sunset. Overnight at Khajuraho (Breakfast)
Khajuraho - Varanasi.
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to the airport and board a flight to Varanasi and on arrival check-in at hotel Varanasi the holiest city in India, also known as Benares or the city of Shiva, is also one of the oldest cities on earth. Sitting on the banks of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi has been a centre of learning for more than 2000 years and it's an important Hindu pilgrimage site. Overnight at Varanasi (Breakfast)
Boat ride on the Ganges
This morning, we enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges river where we’ll view the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps). Later, we embark on a tour of the city. At sunset consider re-visiting the ghats for the evening pilgrimage, which is different to the dawn ritual. Overnight at Varanasi (Breakfast)
Varanasi - New Jalpaiguri.
Sunrise on the Ganges & free time On the morning of day 10 we enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges river where we’ll view the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps). Later, we embark on a tour of the city. At sunset consider re-visiting the ghats for the evening pilgrimage, which is different to the dawn ritual. On day 11, take the opportunity to further Varanasi at leisure before our early evening transfer to Mughal Sarai rail station for our overnight North East Express train to New Jalpaiguri. Overnight in Train (Breakfast x 2)
New Jalpaiguri – Kalimpong
In the morning arrival at New Jalpaiguri railway station and 3 hour drive to Kalimpong. Kalimpong, a remote hill station which was once part of Sikkim and a meeting point on the trade route to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal, sits amid beautiful mountain scenery where orchids and other flowers grow in profusion. Kalimpong offers wonderful views of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world and the town is home to several important monasteries, including the brightly painted Zong Dog Palri Phodrang Gompa (simply known as Durpin Monastery) and Thirpai Choling Gompa founded in 1892 and recently renovated. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the town at your own pace. Overnight at Kalimpong ( Lunch, Dinner)
Kalimpong – Gangtok
Breakfast at hotel drive to Gangtok, where the remains of the day you will at leisure The charming town of Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, a tiny Himalayan state known for its orchids and flowers and for the heavy influence of Tibetan culture. Beyond the busy market areas, lie monastic complexes and striking countryside.
Breakfast at hotel proceed for local sightseeing tour of Gangtok We visit the beautiful Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim’s largest and most active monastery which is located in a lower valley. Then we tour Gangtok taking in the Royal Monastery –Tsuklakhang, the Institute of Tibetology and the Orchid Sanctuary. Overnight at Gangtok (Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2)
Gangtok – Darjeeling
Breakfast at hotel drive to Darjeeling and on arrival check-in at hotel Sitting at a spectacular altitude of 2124m with a backdrop of mighty snow-clad Himalayan peaks and surrounded by verdant tea plantations, Darjeeling has been a popular hill station since the British established it as an R&R centre for their troops in the mid 19th century. Draw cards include a number of Buddhist monasteries, tea plantations and colourful markets.
Breakfast at hotel proceed for local sightseeing tour of Darjeeling. We drive to Tiger Hill to catch sunrise over the snowy peak of Kanchenjunga - the world’s third highest mountain. Continuing on, we visit the Ghoom Gompa (monastery) followed by city sightseeing and a visit to a tea estate, where you can purchase some of Darjeeling’s most famous export. Overnight at Darjeeling (Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2)
Darjeeling - Jalpaiguri – Kolkata by Train
Today transfer to New Jalpaiguri railway station to board overnight train for Kolkatta Overnight at Train
Arrive in the morning and transfer to the international airport to board connecting flight for onward destination.