Archaeological Paths company invites you to take part in the amazing and unforgettable tour to one of the most majestic countries in the world – India – the country full of mysticism, colors, exotic tastes, and rich historical heritage! We will explore India’s most spectacular destinations on this one of a kind in-depth adventure. Delve into the rich cultural heritage of this vast and varied land which will dazzle your senses with a plethora of sights, sounds and aromas. Discover gleaming palaces, serene temples and elaborately carved shrines on an unforgettable journey to this magical country.
Our 14-day long itinerary starts in India’s historic capital, Delhi, then the journey takes you to Agra to see the resplendent Taj Mahal. This tour encompasses the holy city of Varanasi, the intricately carved temples at Khajuraho, and continues to the majestic forts and grand palaces of princely Rajasthan, the land of the maharajas. Finally, we will explore unbelievable wonders in Ellora and Ajanta – the caves carved in solid rock - one of the World Heritage Sites. We couldn't forget about a jeep adventure in the Ranthambore National Park. This wildlife sanctuary is one of the best places in India to see different kinds of animals in their natural jungle habitat. It is a beautiful gift of nature to humanity where we get a chance to see wildlife and natural glory.
Unlike the cultures of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia or China, where only spectacular fossils of architecture and language remain, the culture of India is still vibrantly alive today, and offers as its gift to the present a vast library of archaic rituals, dances, ceremonies and festivals.
Archaeological Paths chose first class hotels for you to rest after the thrill of discovering the breathtaking sites during the day. Our guests will also taste different types of the best Indian cuisine in specially selected restaurants.
February 4-17, 2024
Day 1 - Arrival to Delhi
Arrival at Delhi International Airport. A representative of Archaeological Paths company will welcome our guests at the Delhi Airport and transport them to our hotel. After the check-in process at the hotel, our guests will have time to rest. Dinner and overnight stay at the 5* hotel in Delhi, the capital region of India.
Day 2 - Varanasi
Flight to Varanasi. Varanasi is one of the oldest living cities in the world. The holy city Varanasi, believed to be founded by Lord Shiva about 5000 years ago, is placed picturesquely on the west bank of the Holy Ganges River and is one of the most revered religious destinations in India. The place is also renowned as a place for performing last rites for the believers and the mortal remains are immersed in the water of Ganges in Kashi.
In many ways Varanasi epitomizes the very best and worst aspects of India, and it can be a little overwhelming. However, the scene of pilgrims doing their devotions in the River Ganges at sunrise set against the backdrop of the centuries old temples is probably one of the most impressive sights in the world.
On the day 2 in the evening we will take part in an incredible spiritual Hindu religious pray - Aarti, where we will hear the singing of believers with candles in their hands and the "cleaning the soul" music. After that we will go back to our hotel for dinner.
Day 3 - Varanasi & Khajuraho
Early in the morning we will go again to the Ganges river to observe (from a boat) Hindu believers starting their day from taking a bath in the river. After that we fly to Khajuraho.
Khajuraho is a UNESCO world heritage site in central India. It is a famous tourist and archaeological site known for its sculptured temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Jain patriarchs. Khajuraho extends over 21 sq. km and contains about 85 temples built by multiple rulers from about 950 to 1050. Khajuraho continued its religious importance until the 14th century but was largely forgotten afterwards. Both internally and externally the temples are richly carved with excellent sculptures that are frequently sensual and, at times, sexually explicit.
Day 4 - Orchha
Transfer to Orchha. It is a peaceful place, ‘far from the madding crowd’. Orchha had the distinction of being the capital of one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms of Central India.
A visit to this ancient city, with its 16th and 17th century palaces and temples situated on the banks of the Betwa river, will give you a glimpse of a bygone era – the ‘India of the Maharajas’ – and, at the same time, provide insights into the challenges that young people, farmers and workers face in India today.
We will visit the Jahangir Mahal, the Orchha Palace, built in the 17th century in the honor of Mughal emperor, Jahangir. The monumental palace offers scenic views over the Betwa river with its hanging balconies, porches and domes. Its rich history includes the struggle for power of different kings and rulers of the region, but it also preserves the memory of a great friendship - the ruler of Orchha, Vir Singh, ordered the Palace to be built specially to bid warm welcome to his friend, emperor Jahangir.
In the evening transfer to Agra.
Day 5 -Agra & Taj Mahal
The splendor of AGRA – the capital of all India under the Mughals – remains undiminished, from the massive Agra fort to the magnificent Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world, and some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed.
Taj Mahal was built by a Muslim, Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his dear wife and queen Mumtaz Mahal. It is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of queen Mumtaz Mahal in the lower chamber. Taj Mahal was constructed over a period of twenty-two years, employing twenty thousand workers. It was completed in 1648 C.E. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. The Taj seems to glow in the light of the full moon. On a foggy morning, the visitors experience the Taj as if suspended in the air when viewed from across the Jamuna river.
After lunch we will visit the impressive Agra Fort - one of the finest Mughal forts in India. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers.
Day 6 - Agra - Ranthambore
After breakfast, on the way to our next stop, we will visit Fatehpur Sikri, the UNESCO World Heritage site. It's one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendor at its height. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar and served as the political capital of India's Mughal Empire under his reign, from 1571 until 1585. The tremendously atmospheric complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid.
After lunch we will continue to Ranthambore luxury resort for leisure time and overnight stay.
Day 7 - Ranthambore National Park
After breakfast drive to Ranthambore National Park. Ranthambore is one of the finest tiger reserves in India and it is considered to be the best place to spot a tiger in its own natural habitat. This wildlife sanctuary is a perfect place to observe different kinds of animals in their natural jungle environment. It is a beautiful gift of nature to humanity where we get a chance to see wildlife and natural glory.
Ranthambore is also counted as the famous heritage site because of the pictorial ruins that dot the wildlife park. Certainly, a visit to Ranthambore National Park is a treat for every wildlife and nature lover. The time spend on watching tigers roaming around, verdant greenery, a gamut of other species of chirpy birds and animals is priceless and worth exploring at least once in a lifetime.
Day 8 - Jaipur
Morning transfer to Jaipur. Jaipur, also known as the 'Pink City' was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1727 AD. Jaipur is famous for its rich cultural heritage and has today become the most popular tourist destination in India. Here, one gets to see the architectural marvel of ancient forts and monuments that stand tall even to this day. The city has acquired the name, the Pink City, because of the extensive use of pink color on the walls during the visit of the Prince of Wales.
The city is garlanded by a number of beautiful monuments that echo its splendid history. It is no surprise then that tourists coming to this city always feel the urge to come back.
Day 9 - Jaipur
After breakfast we will visit all the major tourists' sites in Jaipur. We will see the Amber Fort, perched high above the nearby town of Amer.
The Amber Fort was built in the 16th century by ruler Mann Singh, one of the trusted generals of emperor Akbar. In the Hall of Public Audience inside the beautiful fort the king used to listen to the needs and complaints of his people. The Hall of Private Audience is decorated with a beautiful mosaic work in glass. The most famous part of the fort is the Sheeh Mahal – the Mirror Palace – decorated with intricate glass work.
In the afternoon we will return to Jaipur for a city tour including a visit to the Royal Observatory, where we will learn more about the traditional methods the Indians used for observing time and astronomical phenomena, using the principles from the ancient Hindu Sanskrit texts, and we will take a closer look at the architectural instruments that were used to record time – including the world’s biggest sundial. The Royal Observatory is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
We will make a photo stop outside the Palace of the Winds which has a unique honeycomb-style façade. The characteristic Palace wall was built to allow the women of the royal court to observe the festivities on the streets without being seen from the outside. It’s one of the most recognizable views in Jaipur, with its pink and white sandstone colors and the unmistakable shape.
The evening will be at leisure, so you may choose to explore the colorful local bazaars.
Day 10 - Jaipur - Delhi
After breakfast we will visit Maharaja’s City Palace. The City Palace is a combination of Mughal, Rajput and European architecture which resulted in this unique wonder. The City Palace, which was the home of the king Sawai Maan Singh, is different from all the forts of Jaipur including the art gallery, marble pillars and carved interiors which cannot be seen in any other regions. The City Palace is actually an entire complex of palaces and other buildings located in the heart of the city, offering the overview of different styles of architecture that influenced this region – Indian, Islamic, Mughal, European.
After our lunch we will drive to Delhi for the overnight.
Day 11 - Flight to Aurangabad. Visiting Ajanta caves
AJANTA is one of the world's greatest historical monuments recognized by UNESCO located in India. There are 30 caves that were discovered in 1819. The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta date from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. All paintings show heavy religious influence and centre around Buddha, Bodhisattvas, incidents from the life of Buddha and the Jatakas. The Ajanta caves preserve some of the best masterpieces of Buddhist art in India.
Day 12 - Visiting Ellora Caves. Flight back to Delhi
Ellora is one of the most wonderful and breathtaking places in India with its incredible cave temples. These 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff. Ellora, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from A.D. 600 to 1000, brings the civilization of ancient India to life. Not only is the Ellora complex a unique artistic creation and a technological exploit but, with its sanctuaries devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, it also illustrates the spirit of tolerance that was characteristic of ancient India.
Day 13 - Visiting Delhi
Delhi is a metropolis and the capital region of India which includes the national capital city, New Delhi. The area around Delhi was probably inhabited before the second millennium BC, and there is evidence of continuous inhabitation since at least the 6th century BC. The city is believed to be the site of Indraprastha, the legendary capital of the Pandavas in the Indian epic Mahabharata. Through most of its history, Delhi has served as a capital of various kingdoms and empires. It has been captured, sacked and rebuilt several times, particularly during the medieval period, and therefore the modern conurbation of Delhi is a cluster of a number of cities spread across the metropolitan region.
Day 14 - Departure from Delhi
It is time to say goodbye to India. After breakfast we will be flying back homes.
Price per person: $9985 in a double room (deposit is only $1200 during booking!). If you are traveling alone, you can share a room with another tour member. If you would like to have a single room, the single supplement costs an extra $2985.
- $1200 deposit during booking.
- Full payment is due three months before the tour.
13-night stay at 4-5* hotels in India; three meals per day - breakfast, lunch and dinner - except the first day (dinner only) and the last day (breakfast only); English speaking guides; English tour-leader; Transfers in air-conditioned bus; Entrance tickets; All sightseeing tours; Reception at Delhi International airport; Airport Arrival & Departure transfers; Four domestic flights within India (Delhi - Varanasi; Varanasi - Khajuraho; Delhi - Aurangabad; Aurangabad - Delhi; Travel Insurance; Government taxes.
International flights to/from Delhi in India; Indian Visa; Drinks during lunches and dinners.
Next, please make the deposit payment to confirm your place on the tour. Since the number of places is limited, we encourage you to book the tour as soon as possible. Please contact us if you have any questions.
USA phone: 917-724-2772
Other countries: +1 917-724-2772
Office hours: 8am–8pm EST Monday–Friday & 9am–5pm EST Saturdays.