Northern India Discovery


This exciting adventure takes you through the northern hill stations of the Himalayas to the fantastical, iconic Golden Triangle of Agra, Jaipur, and Delhi, immersing you in North Indian culture.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Delhi (2N) - Amritsar (2N) - Dharamshala (3N) - Shimla (2N) - Delhi (1N) - Agra (1N) - Jaipur (2N) - Delhi (1N) - New Zealand

DAYS 1-2: FLY TO DELHI
Fly overnight to Delhi for a two-night stay in India’s vibrant capital.
DAY 3: DISCOVER DELHI
Take a full day to explore, starting in Old Delhi. Embark on a rickshaw ride through the atmospheric streets, visiting soaring Jama Masjid. Venture into a local market where you’ll learn about local herbs and spices. Cross into New Delhi to view the colonial grandeur of the Rajpath, including the Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate, finishing the day at Humayun's Tomb.
DAY 4: TRAIN TO AMRITSAR
Transfer to Delhi station and hop on a train travelling north to Amritsar. Head to the close by India-Pakistan border to watch the elaborate border closing ceremony with its fantastically over-the-top showmanship.
DAY 5: EXPLORE AMRITSAR
Enjoy a heritage walk of the city, taking in local markets and temples including Jallianwalla Bagh. Visit the Golden Temple, Harmandir Sahib – the spiritual heart of the Sikh faith. Built in the 16th-century, its dome is richly gilded in shimmering gold. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity and walk around the sacred waters of Amrit Sarovar. Return to the temple this evening to experience Palki Sahib, an atmospheric ceremony accompanied by drums and hymns.
DAY 6: TRAVEL TO DHARAMSHALA
Ascend into the Himalayas to Dharamshala, a former British hill station that has become the home of the Tibetan Government in exile. This afternoon, visit the Tibetan Library and the Tibetan Medical Institute.
DAY 7: EXPLORE DHARAMSHALA
Start the day at Bhagsunag, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva before exploring Mcleodganj, a town with a distinctly Tibetan feel. Explore the town, visiting Buddhist temples and local markets, and popping into the Dalai Lama Temple and the Tibetan Museum.
DAY 8: YOGA EXPERIENCE
Start the day with a yoga and meditation session. Continue your explorations at the Kangra State Museum and St John’s Church. Enjoy a demonstration on how to cook local dishes before spending some time at the Nobulingka Institute. A major centre for Buddhist learning, it also
DAY 9: TRAVEL TO SHIMLA
Drive to Shimla. On arrival, the rest of the day is at leisure.
DAY 10: EXPLORE SHIMLA
The summer capital of British India, and nicknamed the ‘Queen of Hill Stations', Shimla has a spectacular location. Start the day with a visit to Jakhoo Temple, which sits at the highest point of the city, offering amazing views. Continue to the Himachal State Museum and the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. Enjoy a walking tour of Mall Road, Shimla’s main street constructed during British colonial rule.
DAY 11: TOY TRAIN
All aboard the famous Toy Train, a World Heritage railway built in 1903. One of India’s most scenic train journeys, admire spectacular views as your wind your way down from the mountains. Transfer to Chandigarh and take the train back to Delhi.
DAY 12: AGRA FORT
Travel to Agra by road. On arrival, admire the colossal Agra Fort, built by the Mughals in the mid-1500s. This evening, after the sun has set, return for the nightly spectacle that is the sound and light show.
DAY 13: TAJ MAHAL
Rise early to see the sun rise over India’s most iconic sight. At dawn, when the crowds are at their thinnest, the Taj Mahal is swathed in mist and tinged pink by the rising sun – a magical experience. Depart for Jaipur, stopping en route to admire the symmetrical beauty of the Chand Baori stepwell. Arrive in the ‘Pink City’ and visit the City Palace and the fascinating Jantar Mantar observatory.
DAY 14: EXPLORE JAIPUR
Start with a photo stop this morning at Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) before visiting the spectacular Amer Fort. Stop at a craft centre to watch artisans at work block printing and carpet weaving before exploring the markets at Choti Choper.
DAY 15: DELHI
Return to Delhi by road. This evening, sit down to a final group dinner to swap stories from your shared adventure.
DAYS 16-17: FLY DELHI TO NEW ZEALAND
After breakfast, shop for souvenirs or enjoy some leisure time before transferring for your flight to New Zealand, arriving home the following day.

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Single supplement from $1,200
Land Only (Delhi to Delhi), 15 days From $4,580 per person twin share
Customary tipping paid locally US$120
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and India is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over India where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
 
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
 
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades from Varanasi in the north or Kanchipuram in the south, tie-dyed cottons from all over Rajasthan, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets from Darjeeling or Dharamshala, or the woollen shawls pashminas of Kashmir and Ladakh.
 
There is also the heavy and elaborate silverwork of Rajasthan, “spring picked” tea from the hill stations, and the spices, wooden carvings or facemasks of Kerala.
 
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in India. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes a combination of western and local dishes. As traditional in this region, lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group.
 
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big. In tourist centres, some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars and tea/coffee from home.
 
Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.
 
Tea is very popular and Indians simply love visiting the many street stalls which brew chai (also known as masala), a sweet, spiced tea brewed with boiling milk. Hotels will usually serve tea and instant coffee at breakfast or other meals – you can usually request the chai or masala style tea as well.
Packed meals: On some days, your National Escort/Guide may arrange for a simple, packed meal for your group. It may be a matter of schedule (on long driving days), hygiene (on train journeys), or your location (in remote areas) and we ask you to bear this in mind. Although this is not a full meal, most of our passengers seem to enjoy this change from the large portions and more elaborate banquets enjoyed most days.


Why Book This Tour?

Our Northern India Discovery itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.

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