Marvel at the ancient cities, majestic architecture, and timeless beauty of India’s spectacular Golden Triangle, before heading deep into the jungle in search of the elusive Bengal tiger. Lose yourself in the bustling streets of Delhi, visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise, and explore the ancient royal cities of Fatehpur Sikri and Karauli, before joining a wildlife safari in Ranthambore National Park, and going sightseeing in the magnificent Pink City—Jaipur.

Highlights

  • Ride a rickshaw through the bustling streets and markets in Old Delhi
  • Experience sunrise at the world’s most famous ‘Monument to Love’—the Taj Mahal
  • Take a camel-cart tour through the ancient city of Karauli
  • Search for tigers in one of Northern India’s biggest National Parks

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Delhi Delhi
Day 2 Delhi Sightseeing Delhi
Day 3 Delhi to Agra Agra
Day 4 Agra to Karauli via Fatehpur Sikri Karauli
Day 5 Karauli to Ranthambore National Park Ranthambore
Day 6 Tiger Safari in Ranthambore National Park Ranthambore
Day 7 Ranthambore to Jaipur Jaipur
Day 8 Jaipur Sightseeing Jaipur
Day 9 Return to Delhi & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Delhi

Birds flying over Delhi Junction railway station
Birds flying over Delhi Junction railway station

Arrive in Delhi, the bustling capital city of India. We'll meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel, where we'll give you all the tour documentation and important information about your trip. The rest of the day is yours to relax, explore, or pick up any last-minute essentials!

Day 2: Delhi Sightseeing

Catch a glimpse of the Red Fort as we explore Old Delhi
Catch a glimpse of the Red Fort in Old Delhi

Begin the first full day of your trip with a city tour of India's capital. One of the oldest existing cities in the world, Delhi has been destroyed and rebuilt many times over the last 5,000 years. Learn about its fascinating history as we explore the ancient monuments, narrow streets, and bustling bazaars of the old city. 

On the drive, you'll pass by the Red Fort—the palace of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal—and visit Jama Masjid—one of the largest mosques in India.  Take a wander through the winding alleyways and tiny shops and stalls in the fascinating Chandni Chowk market, where you can find anything from silver to saris, before enjoying an exhilarating rickshaw ride to Raj Ghat—the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.

After lunch, make your way to New Delhi, where you'll see the old British capital with its colonial-style buildings. Drive past the government buildings and along the Rajpath on our way to India Gate—an impressive stone archway that was built as a memorial to all the Indian soldiers who were killed fighting for the British Indian Army in WWI.

End your city tour with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Humayun's Tomb. The second Mughal emperor, Humayun's Tomb was built in his honor by his grieving wife in 1562.  It is set in beautifully manicured gardens and has been described as a predecessor of the Taj Mahal.

Day 3: Delhi to Agra

Watch the sun set over the Taj Mahal from the river Yamuna
Watch the sunset over the Taj Mahal from the river Yamuna

After breakfast, leave the bustling capital and drive to Agra—home of the Taj Mahal. You'll arrive around midday and check into the hotel before going on a city tour. Swing by the fascinating Agra Fort and Mehtab Bagh (Moonlight Garden), where the lush symmetrical gardens line up with the Taj Mahal in the distance. 

Following that, take a wander through the back streets, delving a little deeper into the historical, cultural, and social background of this fascinating city,  before visiting the Jama Masjid Mosque and learning about Islamic religion and Mughal history. Take a quick pitstop at Chimman Lal Poori Wala—a 185-year old local sweet shop—to see traditional Indian sweets being made, and then head to a local wholesale market. After this, make your way to Mankameshwar Mandir—a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and to the Rawatpara Spice market, where you'll wander through the stalls and narrow alleys and soak up all the aromas of India.

End your afternoon tour of Agra with a cycle rickshaw ride to the banks of the river Yamuna, as you make your way to Gyarah Sidi to view the Taj Mahal at sunset. 

Travel Time: 4-5 hours
Travel Distance: 137 miles (220 km)

Day 4: Agra to Karauli via Fatehpur Sikri

Lose yourself in the abandoned city of Fatephur Sikri
Lose yourself in the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri

Wake up early to get to the Taj Mahal for dawn. Watch the sunrise over one of India's most iconic buildings, and see how the morning light is reflected in the white marble of this magnificent monument to love. Completed in 1653 by Shah Jahan in honor of his favorite wife who died in childbirth, the Taj Mahal took 20,000 people 22 years to build and has truly has stood the test of time. 

Then, you have a two-hour drive to the historic royal city of Karauli, stopping en-route to visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fatehpur Sikri—the historic capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585.  Take a tour through this long-abandoned walled city, with its impressive imperial palace and magical architecture from a bygone era. Explore the Buland Darwaza (Gate of Victory), the five-story Panch Mahal palace, the Jama Masjid mosque, and the Tomb of Salim Chisti.  

From there, continue onto Karauli, where you'll check into your hotel for the night. There are no plans for this evening, so you can explore this beautiful city at your leisure, or just relax and recharge.

Travel Time: 2 hours
Travel Distance: 37 miles (60 km)

Day 5: Karauli to Ranthambore National Park

Visit the 14th-century Karauli City Palace
Visit the 14th-century Karauli City Palace

Your day begins with a unique tour of Karauli on a camel cart. Visit the City Palace, which was built in the 14th century by Arjun Pal, the founder of the city, and which was the main residence of the Karauli Royal Family up until 1938. Although the palace has lost a bit of its luster over the years, it's still full of incredible sculptures, intricate carvings, and faded frescoes in a very unique style.

After you tour the palace, visit the 17th-century Madan Mohan Temple, which was built on the banks of the Bhadravati River in honor of Lord Krishna, and the Kalyan Temple. This afternoon, you'll drive out to Ranthambore National Park, where we will be spending the next two nights.

Travel Time: 3 hours
Travel Distance: 75 miles (120 km)

Day 6: Tiger Safari in Ranthambore National Park

Search for the elusive Bengal Tiger in Ranthambore NP
Search for the elusive Bengal Tiger in Ranthambore NP

Ranthambore National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest national parks in northern India and is well known for its lush jungle, Bengal tigers, leopards, sloth bears, hyenas, crocodiles, and monkeys.

You'll start your day with a sunrise safari jeep tour with the park rangers in search of tigers and other animals, before heading back for lunch and a rest and then going out in the jeeps again in the afternoon to maximize your chances of seeing the park's most elusive residents. Opt to take a visit the historic Ranthambore Fort to enjoy panoramic views over this stunning national park, which was the historic hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur, before becoming a designated wildlife sanctuary in the 1950s.

Day 7: Ranthambore to Jaipur

Explore downtown Jaipur at sunset
Explore downtown Jaipur at sunset

This morning, leave Ranthambore and its tigers behind and drive to Jaipur, one of India's most fascinating and beautiful cities and cultural hubs. You'll set off after breakfast and arrive in around noon, so you can capture a glimpse of life in the countryside from the windows as we make our way to the Pink City.

Once you've checked into the hotel in Jaipur, you'll have a few hours' leisure time, before a late afternoon tour of the city and the local bazaar, where you'll be able to sample an array of different street food, admire all the beautiful jewelry and fabrics, smell all the different incenses, perfumes, and spices and shop for souvenirs.

Travel Time: 3-4 hours
Travel Distance: 115 miles (185 km)

Day 8: Jaipur Sightseeing

Admire the reflection of Amer Fort in Lake Maota, Jaipur
Admire the reflection of Amer Fort in Lake Maota, Jaipur

You'll begin our tour of Jaipur with a drive out to the ancient capital of Amer, stopping en-route to visit Hawa Mahal—the Palace of the Winds. Built in 1799, its unique facade was designed to allow the royals to look out onto the street to watch parades and processions or everyday life of the people without being seen. 

Then visit the magical Amer Fort—also known as the Amber Fort—a massive palace built in the Hindu-Muslim style. Explore the Sheesh Mahal—the mirror room—with its thousands of mirrored tiles adorning every surface, and head up to the walls for beautiful views overlooking the surrounding mountains and the Lake. Next, head back to the city to see the magnificent City Palace, with its unique blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. This massive palace complex was built in 1727, when the Kachwaha-Rajput ruler, king Sawai Jai Singh II, moved his capital from the fort at Amer to Jaipur.

End your city tour with a trip to the Jantar Mantar, an 18th-century observatory built by Jai Singh II. Intended to measure the time of day to within half a second, compile astronomical tables, and predict the movements of the sun, moon, and the planets, this is one of nineteen astronomical instruments built by the founder of Jaipur and has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. 

Day 9: Return to Delhi & Depart

Make your way back to Delhi where the tour ends
Make your way back to Delhi where your tour ends

Following a leisurely breakfast, you'll begin the journey back to Delhi. Enjoy your last glimpses of India from the window as you drive back to the hustle and bustle of the capital city, where you will be dropped you at the airport with plenty of time before your flight.

Travel Time: 5-6 hours
Travel Distance: 168 miles (270 km)

Map

Map of Natural & Cultural Splendors in India: Golden Triangle & Tigers - 9 Days
Map of Natural & Cultural Splendors in India: Golden Triangle & Tigers - 9 Days