Treasures of North India - 13 days/12 nights
Delhi - Ranthambore - Jaipur - Agra - Khajuraho - Varanasi
This is one of our most popular itineraries. Experience the vibrant culture and natural wonder of northern India in this 13-day tour that takes you from the bustling streets of Delhi, to the exotic wildlife of Ranthambore National Park, and back in time to some of India's most prominent historical sites. Private local guides with a passion for the history and culture of their country make this an unforgettable trip.
Note: Parts of Ranthambore National Park are closed from about July 1st through September 30 for the monsoon season. During these dates, we will substitute alternative sights and activities for that part of the itinerary.
Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, drop-offs, and daily excursions.
Choose Your Own Dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.
Customizable! Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you.
What Our Clients Say - Read what our clients have told us about their trips: Client Feedback
- City tour of Old and New Delhi
- Wildlife safaris in Ranthambore National Park
- Amber Fort and the ancient bazaars in Jaipur
- The Taj Mahal in Agra
- The kamasutra-carved temples of Khajuraho
- Varanasi and the ghats along the Ganges River
Day 1: Arrive in New Delhi
Arrive in New Delhi where you’ll be welcomed by our airport representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Overnight in New Delhi.
Day 2: New Delhi
Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and take you on a tour of the best sites of New Delhi. Start in the southern end of the city with a visit to the Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India, followed by Humayun’s Tomb, a grand example of Indo-Persian style architecture similar to the Taj Mahal. After lunch, take a short walk through the bustling Chandi Chowk shopping area in Old Delhi, and visit the adjacent Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Continue to the serene park setting of Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. Finally, visit the Laxmi Narayan Hindu Temple near Connaught Place, the heart of Delhi where you can shop or have dinner. Overnight in New Delhi. (Breakfast)
Day 3: New Delhi to Ranthambore National Park
Early morning, your driver will take you to the station to board your train to Sawai Madhopur Station near Ranthambore National Park. The train ride is about 5 hours. When you arrive, you will be met at the platform and taken to your hotel just outside the National Park. During your first afternoon, visit Ranthambore Fort inside the park, then return to your hotel for dinner. Overnight near Ranthambore. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 4: Ranthambore National Park
Covering 400 square kilometers of dry deciduous forest, Ranthambore is a perfect natural habitat for tigers. The park is dotted with pavilions and dominated by a hilltop fort. Formerly a hunting preserve for the rulers of Jaipur, the Maharajas ensured the environment was preserved and the forest and inhabitants well protected. Today, there is a healthy population of tiger and their prey species, and the park has been declared a "Project Tiger" reserve. Other wildlife include blue bull, black buck, spotted deer, wild boar, a large variety of bird species and the rare Indian leopard.
Wake early for your first guided safari in the Park. The driver will take the small dirt roads of the park in search of tigers and other, less-elusive animals. After 3 or more hours on safari, you will return to your hotel for breakfast and to relax. Mid-day is free. In the afternoon, you will take another vehicle safari to a different section of the park. The animals you will see and the atmosphere will change due to the time of day. Overnight near Ranthambore. (All meals)
Days 5: Ranthambore National Park to Jaipur
Wake early for a third vehicle safari in the park. Then return to the hotel for breakfast and prepare for the drive of about 4 hours to Jaipur to check in to your hotel. After settling in, enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the bustling bazaars. Overnight in Jaipur. (Breakfast)
Day 6: Jaipur
In the morning, visit the impressive Amber Fort situated on a ridge 11 kilometers outside Jaipur City. One of the highlights of the Fort is the famous Shish Mahal, or Palace of Mirrors. Return to Jaipur for lunch, then tour the main sites of the city including the Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of the Winds; the open-air Jantar Mantar Observatory to see the vast astronomical instruments; and the City Palace and museum. The City Palace is still the home of the Maharaja and the museum has an interesting textile section, which contains dresses and costumes of the former Maharajas and Maharanis of Jaipur. Your evening is free to explore the markets of Jaipur. Overnight in Jaipur. (Breakfast)
Day 7: Jaipur to Fatehpur Sikri to Agra
After breakfast depart for Agra, stopping to visit the step wells of Abhaneri, which were built in the 9th century. The fascinating step wells are lined by 3,500 symmetrically laid steps that descend into a 100-foot pit. Your next stop is the ancient Moghul city, Fatehpur Sikri. This planned city took 15 years to build, but was abandoned after only 14 years due to a shortage of water. View the graceful buildings including the Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal and other palaces, which are still well-preserved. Continue to Agra and check in to your hotel. Total travel time is about seven hours, including stops. Overnight in Agra. (Breakfast)
Day 8: Agra
After a relaxed breakfast, your guide and driver will take you across the narrow, congested Strachey Bridge to visit the Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb and see the Taj Mahal from the opposite side of the Yamuna River. Then visit Agra Fort and the Jami Masjid, “Friday Mosque” with the bustling Kinari market at its entrance. Then travel by tonga (horse-drawn cart) to the entrance of the Taj Mahal and stay until sunset, watching the character of the white marble change as the sun goes down. Overnight in Agra.
Day 9: Agra to Khajuraho
Transfer from your hotel to the Agra railway station for a 3-hour train ride to Jhansi. In Jhansi, you will be met at the platform and driven ½ an hour to nearby Orchha. This beautiful medieval town was once the capital of the Bundela Kings, but is now a quiet village. Built along the banks of the Betwa River, it still retains the captivating air of a bygone era. After the tour, drive 4 ½ hours to Khajuraho and check in to your hotel. Overnight in Khajuraho. (Breakfast)
Day 10: Khajuraho
In the morning, meet your guide and tour a complex of temples consisting of both Hindu and Jain temples. The temples of Khajuraho have been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in order to preserve the rich legacy of architecture. They are famous for their intricate sculptures and erotic carvings that are one of the outstanding achievements of Indian art. Overnight in Khajuraho. (Breakfast)
Day 11: Khajuraho to Varanasi
The morning is free until you transfer to the airport for your mid-day flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival, you will be met and before checking in to your hotel, you will visit Sarnath, a serene park and archaeological sight where Buddha gave his first sermon after becoming enlightened. This is one of Buddhism’s most holy sites. Afterwards, drive into Varanasi and check into your hotel. In the evening, visit the ghats to experience an Aarthi (prayer) ceremony. The ceremony is conducted every day at sunset by white-robed priests who worship the river goddess with incense, flowers and earthen lamps. Overnight in Varanasi. (Breakfast)
Day 12: Varanasi
In the early morning, you will be taken to Daswamedh Ghat for a boat ride on the sacred Ganges where you can witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. Return to your hotel for breakfast. Next tour the city of Varanasi with its numerous temples and shrines. Visit the Bharat Mata temple, known for its relief map of India in marble, the Durga temple, the Tulsi Manas Mandir, and Benaras Hindu University which has an art gallery & the mosque of Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb. Stroll along the narrow lanes and bazaars full of shops selling, among other things, the world famous Benares silks. Finish with a visit to a family who runs a traditional music school in the Kabir Chaura alley. They will talk about their instruments, their family history, and demonstrate by singing and playing sitars and bangla drums. Overnight in Varanasi. (Breakfast)
Day 13: Varanasi to New Delhi to Home
The day is free until you are taken to the airport for your flight from Varanasi to New Delhi to connect to your onward flight home. (Breakfast)
End of Services
Optional 2-Day Supplement: Chambal Safari Lodge (between Agra and Orchha)
Extension Day 1: Chambal River Safari
After breakfast, drive 1.5 hours to Chambal Safari Lodge. After checking-in and enjoying a buffet lunch, you are free to relax on the lodge’s grounds, walk in their gardens or explore the nearby village. In the late afternoon take a boat ride down the Chambal River to see a diverse variety of birds, gharials, marsh crocodiles, river dolphins, and other wildlife. Overnight at Chambal Safari Lodge. (All meals)
Extension Day 2: Chambal River and Bateshwar Temples
On the second morning, enjoy a camel ride to a Fort or take a hike along the Chambal River. The day is free to explore the villages in the area or relax and enjoy the serene surroundings. In the late afternoon visit the nearby Bateshwar Temples, a site dedicated to Shiva on the Yamuna River. Take a short ride on the Yamuna River to view the temples and enjoy the nature of the area. Overnight at Chambal Safari Lodge. (All meals)
*Supplement fees do apply. Please inquire for current rates.
Per Person Rates (based on double occupancy) start from:
- All airport transfers
- Transportation on all excursions beginning and ending at hotel by air conditioned car
- Meals as listed in above itinerary
- Hotel accommodation on double occupancy basis inclusive of taxes and service charges
- Services of a local, English-speaking guide for all visits and excursions
- All tours and activities mentioned in the itinerary, including entrance fees
- Trains from:
- New Delhi to Sawai Modhpur (Ranthambore)
- Agra to Jhansi
- Flights from:
- Khajuraho to Varanasi
- Varanasi to New Delhi
Rates Do Not Include
International flights, airport taxes, visa fees, lunches or dinners except as noted in the itinerary, tips for driver and guides, and expenses of a personal nature.
To Book This Tour
Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you would like to book this tour. Then follow these instructions:
- Download, print, and fill out the Reservation Form for each person.
- Fax the form to us at 206-529-4803, or mail it to:
Red Lantern Journeys
1000 N. Northlake Way, Suite H
Seattle, WA 98103
- Pay a non-refundable $500 per person deposit and we will initiate your reservations.
- Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.
If your reservation is made less than 75 days prior to departure, the non-refundable deposit will allow us to initiate reservations. Full payment will be due immediately upon confirmation of all hotels and transportation services. If the services quoted cannot be confirmed, alternate accommodation or transportation will be arranged and the price will be adjusted accordingly.
Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 4 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation package containing your itinerary and detailed information on the logistics of your trip.
Forms to Download (pdf file)
Reservation Form with Complete Terms and Conditions
- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.
- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.
- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.
- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.
- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.
- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.