With nine days in India, you can visit four or five destinations if you move at a reasonably fast pace. First-timers and families can combine the Golden Triangle with tiger safaris in Ranthambore or a deeper dive into Rajasthan. Foodies can taste their way around the north and even take a cooking lesson in a palace. Couples will enjoy romantic activities on the "Heritage & Cuisine of Rajasthan" itinerary, while those looking to get off the beaten path can explore the dunes of Thar or join wildlife lovers on safari in Gujarat.

Itinerary #1: Natural & Cultural Splendors: Golden Triangle & Tigers

Bringing together some of the best of the Golden Triangle—you'll visit the Taj Mahal!—plus a tiger safari experience in Ranthambore National Park, this itinerary is an excellent option for first-timers to India. It moves at a fairly fast clip, so you'll make the most of your time. The variety of activities and modes of transportation, including rickshaw rides and Indian candy shop visits, means it's also fun for families and can be adjusted to suit all ages. 

Views of Maota Lake from the top of Amer Fort, Jaipur
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Delhi Delhi
Day 2 Explore Delhi Delhi
Day 3 Transfer to Agra Agra
Day 4 Transfer to Karauli via Fatehpur Sikri Karauli
Day 5 Transfer to Ranthambore National Park Ranthambore
Day 6 Tiger Safari in Ranthambore National Park Ranthambore
Day 7 Transfer to Jaipur Jaipur
Day 8 Explore Jaipur Jaipur
Day 9 Return to Delhi, Depart  

Dive into your India adventure with a Delhi city tour that includes a rickshaw ride to Raj Ghat, shopping at Chandni Chowk market, and a visit to Humayun's Tomb. Head to Agra on Day 3, where you'll tour the Red Fort, sample treats at Chimman Lal Poori Wala—a 185-year-old sweet shop, visit the spice market, and take a sunset rickshaw ride with views of the iconic Taj Mahal. Start Day 4 early with a tour of the "Monument to Love" and see the pearly white mausoleum bathed in the soft light of sunrise before leaving for Karauli with a stop to explore the walled city of Fatehpur Sikri en route.

Tour Karauli by camel cart, and check out the sculptures and frescoes at the City Palace before departing for Ranthambore National Park, where you'll search for Bengal tigers, sloth bears, and other wildlife during two Jeep safaris. Spend Day 7 and 8 experiencing the "Pink City" of Jaipur. Wander the markets, tour the Amer Palace Fort (be sure to see the mesmerizing mirror room), check out a unique, UNESCO-listed astronomical instrument at the Jantar Mantar observatory, and feast on Rajasthani cuisine (the dal baati churma bread with spicy lentils dish is a must!) on your final night. Learn more

Itinerary #2: A Culinary Tour of North India: Delhi, Agra, Lucknow & Varanasi

Foodies and travelers interested in culture and spirituality will enjoy this itinerary of North India packed with culinary tours, including a cooking lesson and dinner with Nawab descendants in a palace and spiritual rituals such as the Ganga Aarti in Varanasi. This route also hits the highlights of Delhi and Agra, so it's a good option for those who also want to visit some popular sights like the Taj Mahal.

Taste your way through North India
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Delhi, Lodi Garden Guided Walk Delhi
Day 2 Guided Old & New Delhi Tour, Street Food Tour Delhi
Day 3 Transfer to Agra, Agra Fort Sightseeing, Enjoy Peshawari Cuisine Agra
Day 4 Taj Mahal Sunrise Visit, Transfer to Lucknow, Culinary Walking Tour Lucknow
Day 5 Explore Lucknow, Cooking Class & Dinner With Nawab Lucknow
Day 6 Transfer to Varanasi, Evening Aarti (Prayer Ceremony), River Boat Dinner Varanasi
Day 7 Sunrise River Trip & Historic Ghats Walk, Street Food Walk, Visit Sarnath Varanasi
Day 8 Transfer to Delhi, Sightseeing Tour Delhi
Day 9 Depart Delhi  

Whet your appetite with a street food tour in Delhi, where you'll sample paranthas (flatbreads), samosas, and more, and see some of the sights, including Jama Masjid mosque and Raj Ghat (Mahatma Gandhi's memorial). Travel by private car to Agra on Day 3 and admire the impressive architecture within the walls of Agra Fort before sitting down to a Peshawari dinner. Arise early to experience the beauty of the Taj Mahal at sunrise, then head for Lucknow, where you'll taste some of the best Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine, including nihari gosht (beef stew) and pasanda (a creamy, mild curry), on a walking tour. 

Visit Lucknow's monuments, such as the Rumi Darwaza gate, on Day 5, then take a cooking lesson and dine with Nawab descendants. Travel to the holy Hindu city of Varanasi on Day 6, and observe the Ganga Aarti prayer before boarding a boat for a vegetarian dinner on the Ganges River. Start Day 7 with a cruise along the river to witness Hindu purification rituals, then sample local flavors, such as thandai (a drink made with milk, spices, nuts, seeds, and rose petals). Fly to Delhi on Day 8 and take one last tour, stopping by Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a Sikh pilgrimage center, where a communal meal is prepared. Learn more

Plan your trip to India
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Itinerary #3: Explore the Heritage & Cuisine of Rajasthan

This itinerary is ideal for travelers looking to hit the highlights of the Golden Triangle and spend additional time in Rajasthan. The sunrise and sunset activities, as well as fun and romantic activities—such as a boat ride on Lake Pichola, a cooking class in Jaipur, and a countryside bike ride near Agra—make this a wonderful option for couples.

Visit the City Palace and Pichola Lake in Udaipur
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Delhi, Explore the Local Sites Delhi
Day 2 Sightseeing & Street Food Tour, Visit the Hauz Khas Ruins Delhi
Day 3 Fly to Udaipur Udaipur
Day 4 Udaipur Heritage & Food Walk, Lake Pichola Boat Ride & Vintage Car Museum Udaipur
Day 5 Transfer to Pushkar, Sightseeing & Camel Ride Pushkar
Day 6 Temple Sunrise Tour, Transfer to Jaipur, Sightseeing Tour & Cooking Class Jaipur
Day 7 Visit Amer Palace Fort, Transfer to Agra & Food Walk Agra
Day 8 Taj Mahal Sunrise Visit, Agra Fort & Countryside Bike Tour Agra
Day 9 Transfer to Delhi, Depart  

Before departing for Rajasthan, spend your first two days in Delhi, tasting local eats on a food tour in Chandni Chowk and visiting significant sites such as Mahatma Gandhi's memorial and the ruins of Hauz Khas. Fly to Udaipur on Day 3, and witness a dharohar (Rajasthani folk dance) at Bagore ki Haveli. Stroll the old city on Day 4 on a heritage walk from Jagdish Temple and along the shores of Lake Pichola, followed by a culinary walk with a chance to sample Mewari street food. Travel to Pushkar on Day 5, where you'll take a camel ride and trek desert dunes before attending a prayer ceremony at sunset.

Start early on Day 6 with a sunrise hike to Savitri Temple, an important pilgrimage site with panoramic views, then hit the road for Jaipur, where you'll tour iconic Pink City sights, such as Hawa Mahal palace. End the evening at a family home, cooking Rajasthani cuisine together and learning about daily life. Visit the opulent Amer Fort on Day 7 before departing for Agra, where you'll enjoy a food tour through the bazaar. End your journey on a high note with a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal on Day 8, followed by a cycling tour in the countryside and a leisurely boat ride with final views of the Taj Mahal. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Explore Rajasthan: Palaces, Forts, and Sand Dunes of Thar

This itinerary is perfect for travelers that want to experience Rajasthan's impressive architecture, historic sights, opulent palaces, and colorful cities, as well as the slower pace of the Thar Desert. As this itinerary does not include the Taj Mahal, it's best for those who have previously been to India. 

Meet the camel herders of the Thar Desert
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Jodhpur Jodhpur
Day 2 Guided Tour of Jodhpur Jodhpur
Day 3 Transfer to Jaisalmer Jaisalmer
Day 4 Guided Tour of Jaisalmer Jaisalmer
Day 5 Fly to Jaipur Jaipur
Day 6 Guided tour of Jaipur Jaipur
Day 7 Transfer to Delhi Delhi
Day 8 Guided Tour of Delhi Delhi
Day 9 Depart Delhi  

Start your journey in Jodhpur with a tour of Fort Mehrangarh and views over the "Blue City," then shop the stalls of Sardar bazaar. Days 3 and 4 are dedicated to Jaisalmer, the "Golden City" of yellow sandstone architecture in the Thar Desert. You'll visit intricately decorated Havelis and see the temples at Gadisar Lake before heading into the desert by 4WD. You'll visit the Jain Temple of Amarsagar, the Bada Bagh cenotaphs, and the abandoned village of Kuldhara, then end the evening with a peaceful camel ride over the desert sands. 

Fly to Jaipur, Rajasthan's capital, on Day 5 and enjoy free time to explore on your own and sample some Rajasthani cuisine. Take a rickshaw tour of this pink city on Day 6, with a stop at City Palace followed by an evening in the markets near the impressive red and pink sandstone Hawa Mahal palace. Travel by private car to Delhi on Day 7, with a lunch break at Fort Neemrana en route. Take a guided walk in Old Delhi, then check out some of the sights in New Delhi, such as the Red Fort and the Qutab Minar victory tower, before you bid adieu to India. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Highlights of Gujarat: Culture & Wildlife

With safaris in Dasada, Velavadar National Park, and Gir National Park, this trip plan is best for wildlife lovers and travelers that have already visited the Golden Triangle and are looking to go farther afield. The vibrant city of Mumbai, the salt flats of the Rann of Kutch, and the opportunities for wildlife sightings also make this an excellent option for photographers. 

Spot Asiatic lions on a wildlife safari
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Mumbai, Visit Dhobi Ghat Mumbai
Day 2 Fly to Ahmedabad, Half-Day Ahmedabad Tour  Ahmedabad
Day 3 Transfer to Dasada, Visit Modhera Sun Temple & Patan  Dasada
Day 4 Dasada Jeep Safari & Local Village Tour Dasada
Day 5 Transfer to Velavadar National Park & Afternoon Safari  Velavadar
Day 6 Transfer to Gir National Park, Afternoon Jeep Safari Gir National Park
Day 7 Full-Day Safari in Gir National Park Gir National Park
Day 8 Fly to Mumbai, Enjoy Free Time at Juhu Beach Mumbai
Day 9 Depart Mumbai  

Experience the blend of modernity and tradition in Mumbai, with its many temples, bazaars, and colonial-style buildings, and celebrate with dinner at a Colaba and Marine Drive area restaurant. Then on Day 2, fly to Ahmedabad to visit the Gandhi Ashram and religious sites like Jama Masjid and explore the city after dark on a tour from Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, passing through the Manek Chowk food court. On Day 3, depart for Dasada's Rann of Kutch—desert lands that flood during monsoon season and then create otherworldly salt flats when they dry—with a stop at the Sun Temple in Modhera on the way. 

Embark on an early safari in the Rann of Kutch wetlands on Day 4, and get your camera ready for gazelles, jackals, and other wildlife. Visit the textile makers of the Mir and Rabari tribes, then go bird watching at Bajana Lake. Head for the grasslands of Velavadar National Park on Day 5, and take a safari in search of blackbuck antelope, hyenas, and more. Journey to Gir National Park on Day 6. This is the last remaining habitat for the Asiatic lion, so there are three safari excursions for a chance to spot them—as well as leopards, sloth bears, and a variety of birds—before returning to Mumbai. Learn more

More Great 9-Day India Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to India? Check out these other nine-day India itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 9 Days in India - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 9 Days in India - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas