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Uncover Northern India's highlights on this family-friendly tour of the Golden Triangle. Witness awe-inspiring sites, from the delights of new and old Delhi to the pink beauty of Jaipur and the regal grace of the Taj Mahal. With rickshaw rides through bustling bazaars and camel cart treks through national parks, there's adventure at every turn. At the end of the day, sleep like Maharaja in heritage properties that bring you closer to India's history and culture.
Explore Tour Leader
14 - 20
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Today we arrive in New Delhi, India's bustling capital. The city is the perfect blend of new and old, with monuments and temples hidden amongst its glittering skyscrapers.
For those arriving in time, our tour leader will meet you in the hotel reception at 1.30pm for a welcome meeting followed by a city tour. On our introduction to Delhi, we'll visit the imposing India Gate (war memorial arch), the Parliament buildings and the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President's residence as well as Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Our tour leader will be on hand in the evening to suggest dining options.
Please note, if you'd like to join today's tour, you'll need to arrive at the hotel by 1.30pm. If you're organising your own travel, we recommend giving yourself at least one hour to clear the airport, plus at least 40 minutes to get to the hotel. To make it in time, the latest your flight can arrive would be around 11am. If you miss the welcome meeting, your tour leader will catch you up as soon as possible.
If you'd like an airport transfer, you'll need to arrive into New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), a 40-minute drive from our hotel.
Compared to New Delhi the Old City is much closer to the image conjured up by Rudyard Kipling. This morning, we'll hop in rickshaws to explore the old city's hub - the Chandni Chowk Bazaar, a jamboree of deafening barter and a wonderful introduction to the 'real' India. We'll also stop by two major sights nearby, the Jami Masjid Mosque and the Red Fort.
Mid-morning, we'll head south from New Delhi to Agra, around a three-hour drive away. Here we'll visit Agra Fort, built by Akbar the Great, which contains the incomparable Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque). Before returning to the hotel, we'll get our first sight of the Taj Mahal in the evening light.
This morning's early start rewards us with the spectacular sight of the sun rising over the Taj Mahal. Built more than 300 years ago, it's arguably the world's most poetic building and its beauty seems untouched by age. The Taj Mahal was created by Shah Jahan as a funerary monument to his favourite wife, Mumtaz, and the great Moghul was laid to rest next to her beneath the building's marble dome.
Later in the day, we'll drive to the entrance of Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Once a royal duck-shooting reserve, the park is now an ornithologist's paradise, the 12 square miles of lakes and marshlands offer a safe habitat for large numbers of breeding waterbirds and migrants. More than 300 species have been sighted, among them herons, storks, geese, and the rare Siberian crane. We'll take a birdwatching tour by rickshaw to see some of these magnificent birds.
After lunch, we'll continue our journey, driving to Karauli, via Mahuwa and Hindaun for a taste of rural India. Our drive will take approximately four hours but will be broken up with plenty of stops in local villages en route. While in Karauli, we'll step into the time of the Raj at a family-run heritage hotel.
Today we'll begin to explore the town. Founded in 1348, Karauli is a holy town that's famous for the pale red sandstone wall fortification that surrounds it. Legend has it that the ruling family were descendants of Lord Krishna, one of the most loved gods in Hindu mythology.
We'll ride on camel-drawn carts from our hotel to the town's imposing 600-year-old palace. Used as a residence by the royal family until 1950, the palace has since been abandoned and is now occupied by monkeys and geese - it's said that the geese were once used as a warning system against any intruders.
This morning, we'll set out on the four-hour drive to Pachewar, a small village that's famous for its cenotaphs, blue pottery kilns and metal toy makers. It's a lively place that was once ruled by the Khangarot Rajputs. The caretaker of Khandar, Thakur Anoop Singh Khangarot, captured the fort of Ranthambore from the captivity of the Marathas and annexed it to the state of Jaipur.
While in Pachewar, we'll stay at another family-run heritage property, Pachewar Garh Fort. Built 300 years ago, the fort is a testament to its heritage with huge ramparts, turrets, and gates. The afternoon is free to explore the village, get closer to village life or maybe even watch locals in a game of cricket. In the evening, there'll be a puppet show held at the hotel.
This morning, we'll head out on foot to visit the local temple and a village home, where we'll have a cooking demonstration to learn about Rajasthani cuisine.
Later in the afternoon, we'll head to a farm, giving us more opportunity to connect with the local way of life and rural India. Afterwards, the afternoon is free to unwind at our heritage fort and get dressed up in traditional Indian costume before dinner.
After breakfast, we'll drive for three hours to Jaipur.
Known as the 'Pink City', Jaipur was first painted terracotta pink by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh to celebrate the visit of Prince Albert in 1853. On arrival, we'll visit City Palace, where we'll find a fine collection of textiles and costumes and the Palace of the Winds, a five-story façade that you might have already spotted on souvenir postcards. This is also home to Jantar Mantar, a stargazing observatory built by Jai Singh, the great Maharaja-astronomer.
In the evening, there's an optional puppet show at the hotel, or you might like to take in a famous Bollywood movie at the Raj Mandir, an art-deco style cinema where the locals cheer on their favourite movie stars.
Today, we'll take a short drive to the foot of the Amber Palace, an impressive hilltop fortress that's home to the Chamber of Mirrors and affords astounding views of the surrounding plains. After our visit to the palace, we'll return to Jaipur for a free afternoon exploring the Pink City at your own pace.
After a leisurely breakfast, we'll bid farewell to Jaipur and drive back to Delhi. It's a long drive of around six to seven hours but we'll break it up with a stop at Samode Palace in the Aravalli Hills. Blending elements of Mughal traditional architecture, this 475-year-old former royal residence is a treasure trove awaiting to be explored with twisting narrow stone staircases, lavish mosaics, fountains, and hidden courtyards. We'll tour the grounds by camel cart and have lunch at the palace before continuing our journey and arriving into New Delhi in the early evening.
Our tour of India's Golden Triangle ends at our hotel in Delhi.
There are no activities planned today, so you're free to depart at any time. If your flight leaves later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you'd like a hotel transfer, you'll need to depart from Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL).
There is considerable variation between the different regions of India but, in general, the climate is tropical. Summer temperatures on the plains are very hot, but cooled by the South-West Monsoon, which lasts from June- September. During these months it can be very wet and therefore very humid. At altitude, temperatures can become quite cool at night even in the summer and may drop below freezing between December and February so warm clothing is necessary. In the winter, northern and mid India can be very cool, with cold evenings, so warm clothing, including plenty of layers, are essential. The south of India remains warm and sunny during the winter months.
3 Pin Round
Catholicism, Hindu, Islam and Sikhism
Hindi and English.
A selection of optional activities are listed below to help you budget for your Family adventure. Whilst the basic tour price you pay before you travel includes a great selection of highlights, we have also built in free time to allow you the flexibility to choose from a carefully selected range of additional excursions and activities or take time to relax, the choice is yours. At certain destinations along the way there may be several options to choose from and it may not be possible to fit all the activities in; your Explore Leader will be able to give advice on which are the most suitable for your family. Day 1: Delhi Craft museum - Entrance fee is INR 200 per person plus transport to and from the museum (transport at additional cost) National rail museum - Weekday entrance fee is INR 50 per person, a reduce rate of INR 10 applies for children aged under 13. Entrance fees are double over weekends and government holidays. Transport to and from the museum will be at additional cost. Akshardham Temple - free entry. The temple is closed on Mondays and on national holidays. Transport costs to and from the temple will cost extra. Day 7 or 8: Jaipur Discover the old city with Pink City Rickshaw Tour: Embark on a journey to discover the city of Jaipur like never before. Today, vroom around the city on a pop pink coloured e-scooter with a woman driver at the helm. The Pink City Rickshaw Company identifies women from underprivileged backgrounds and trains them how to ride e-rickshaws and conduct tours of the Old City. Aged between 18 and 45, these women hail from diverse socio-economic scenarios and are fighting stereotypes to hit the road. Explore the city's iconic structures like Hawa Mahal and navigate your way through the famous bazaars - Johari Bazaar, Maniharon ka rasta as you browse through the block-printed accessories and handcrafted souvenirs. Approximate cost INR 1000 per person, transport to and from the old city will be at additional cost. During the winter months a puppet show is provided by the Mandawa Haveli hotel in Jaipur lasting approx 45 minutes. There is no charge however a tip at your discretion is appreciated. Bollywood movie between INR 350 and INR 450 per person plus transport costs.
In general only lightweight clothing is needed during the day. Local people may be offended by western styles of dress and brief shorts, tight fitting clothing etc, should be avoided by both men and women.
Comfortable shoes for walking, and sandals.
One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.
Binoculars are useful for bird viewing. Also a 2 litre water bottle, a torch, insect repellent, sunhat and high factor suncream.
Bus, 4WD, Rickshaw, Train
Accommodation in India is as varied as the country itself and standards might not always meet those back home. Service can be slow, especially when travelling with a group and a number of hotels in India don't serve alcohol due to complicated licencing laws or for religious reasons. Hot water is not always available at small properties and with a group staying, you might find the water is cooler if you're showering last. Hotels also don't usually have heating, so it can become chilly in the winter months, however, blankets will always be provided. Due to the growth in tourism in India, it's not always possible to stay at our listed accommodation and an alternative will be found. In Delhi, we stay at a hotel in the affluent South Delhi area. Based right next to the metro station, we're easily places to get in and out of Old Delhi as well as having the delights of the new town on our doorstep. All rooms are en-suite with air-conditioning and the hotel has a restaurant and a rooftop swimming pool. In Pechewar, we stay in a family-run heritage property that brings us closer to the by-gone days of the Maharajahs. Rooms are spacious with period furnishings, en-suite facilities, and air-conditioning. The property has extensive, beautiful gardens and a swimming pool.
All the hotels have swimming pools
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
\red5\green99\blue193;\red177\green45\blue26; India: Holders of passports endorsed British citizen, as well as Australian, New Zealand and US passport holders may be eligible for the e-Tourist Visa to enter India. Unfortunately the Indian government are not currently granting visas for anybody travelling with a Canadian passport. The visa can be applied for through the official Indian government visa website only - \ul \ulnone . Please check all eligibility criteria that can be found on the website but important points are listed below - You must be arriving into one of 29 selected entry points which can be found via the official Indian Government website link above. However, you can exit from any of the authorised immigration check posts in India. Passports must have at least 6 months validity from the date of arrival in India and at least two blank pages for stamping. Visa applications will take approximately 4 days to process. There are different validity visas and the costs are as follows: 30-day validity (travelling between April and June) - $10 30-day validity (travelling between July and March) - $25 1-year validity - $40 5-year validity- $80 Those applying for a 30 day electronic visa can only apply within 30 days of arrival for your visa to be valid. Furthermore double entry is permitted and you can only obtain two 30-day visas in a calendar year. Please note these costs are subject to frequent change so you should check on the official Indian government visa website mentioned above. Biometric data will be collected on arrival in India. If you are not eligible for the e-Tourist Visa, please refer to VFS Global to apply for your Indian visa - \ul \ulnone Whilst the online form offers a relatively quick way to apply for a visa, some applicants have reported difficulty in completing the form. If you do require assistance, then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. They can complete the online visa on your behalf for a service fee + the visa cost. See \ul www.travcour.com \ulnone If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846 . It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.20
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Whether in swimming pools, rivers, lakes, the sea or the ocean, participation requires that you are able to swim unaided for your safe enjoyment
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against Tetanus, Infectious Hepatitis, Typhoid and Polio. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.