Best of Northern India

Discover India on this superb touring and sightseeing holiday

9

days

Discovery

Wildlife

From $1,140 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • From Jaipur to Ranthambore and Varanasi, including the Taj Mahal
  • Two game drives at the famous tiger sanctuary of Ranthambore
  • Early morning boat ride on the River Ganges at Varanasi
  • See the Golden Triangle cities of Jaipur, Agra and Delhi

Offering a blend of magical experiences, this short adventure holiday manages to capture the very essence of India. We start out in the ‘Pink City' of Jaipur, one of the most attractive cities of the princely state of Rajasthan, with its splendid Palace of the Winds, Jai Singh Observatory and ornate and towering Amer Fort. We then drive through rural India to the ‘Project Tiger' reserve of Ranthambore, where we have included evening and morning game drives to give us a realistic chance of spotting a tiger, as well as some of the park's other amazing wildlife. Continuing our journey eastwards, we visit the Emperor Akbar's former capital of Fatehpur Sikri, en route to Agra and the Taj Mahal. An early morning tour of this white marble monument, built in the 17th century by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, followed by a visit to the imposing Agra Fort, makes the best of our time in Agra. Moving on by overnight train to Varanasi on the banks of the sacred River Ganges, we check in at our hotel in the city and the remainder of the day is at leisure. However, nobody will want to miss out on the optional, evening visit to the banks of the Ganges to witness the amazing aarti ceremony. After a night at our Varanasi hotel, we return to the river pre-dawn and take a boat ride along the ghats as the sun rises. A great opportunity to mingle with the countless Hindu pilgrims, who come here to bathe in the river and visit the numerous temples. Including a final sightseeing tour of Delhi, comfortable tourist-class hotels and a chance to sample delicious Indian food, this holiday offers a complete immersion into the culture of northern India - a veritable feast for the senses!

Is this holiday for you?

This touring and sightseeing adventure holiday incorporates many of the highlights of northern India into little more than a week. There is a fair amount of travelling, as we journey between Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Varanasi. However, using private, air-conditioned minibuses and also air-conditioned sleeper trains, the effect of this is kept to a minimum. Our game drives in the Ranthambore National Park are in 'canters' which are large, open trucks fitted with seats and offering a good field of view. Whilst sightseeing, there will be some leisurely walking on city streets and on good trails. These walks will be short - this is not a trekking holiday.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at Delhi Airport. Drive south to the `Pink City` of Jaipur.
  • Sightseeing tour of Jaipur, including the Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, City Palace and the Jantar Mantar.
  • Journey south through Rajasthan to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and enjoy a game drive.
  • Morning game drive in search of tigers. Transfer to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Visit the majestic Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and explore the bazaar. Board overnight train to Varanasi.
  • Arrive in Varanasi. Free time for sightseeing before visiting the Ganges for the Aarti ceremony.
  • Sunrise sail on the Ganges before some time for souvenir hunting. Overnight train to Delhi.
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Delhi, including the Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, the Red Fort and Raj Ghat.
  • Departure day. Delhi Airport transfers provided.
2016
Sun 21 Aug - Mon 29 Aug Code BON /09/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Sold Out Call Us
More information
  • Best of Northern India
  • The departure reference for this tour is BON /09/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 21 Aug and departs on Mon 29 Aug
  • Single Supplement $225 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a on sleeper train)
Sun 18 Sep - Mon 26 Sep Code BON /10/16/ Adult$1,140 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • Best of Northern India
  • The departure reference for this tour is BON /10/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 18 Sep and departs on Mon 26 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $225 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a on sleeper train)
Sun 09 Oct - Mon 17 Oct Code BON /11/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Best of Northern India
  • The departure reference for this tour is BON /11/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 09 Oct and departs on Mon 17 Oct
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a on sleeper train)
Sun 23 Oct - Mon 31 Oct Code BON /12/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Best of Northern India
  • The departure reference for this tour is BON /12/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 23 Oct and departs on Mon 31 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a on sleeper train)
Sun 20 Nov - Mon 28 Nov Code BON /13/16/ Adult$1,140 Status 1 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • Best of Northern India
  • The departure reference for this tour is BON /13/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 20 Nov and departs on Mon 28 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a on sleeper train)
Thu 22 Dec - Fri 30 Dec Code BON /14/16/ Adult$1,300 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Best of Northern India
  • The departure reference for this tour is BON /14/16/
  • This tour begins on Thu 22 Dec and departs on Fri 30 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a on sleeper train)
2017
Sun 12 Feb - Mon 20 Feb Code BON /01/17/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Best of Northern India
  • The departure reference for this tour is BON /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 12 Feb and departs on Mon 20 Feb
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a on sleeper train)
Sun 05 Mar - Mon 13 Mar Code BON /02/17/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Best of Northern India
  • The departure reference for this tour is BON /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 05 Mar and departs on Mon 13 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a on sleeper train)
Sun 09 Apr - Mon 17 Apr Code BON /03/17/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Best of Northern India
  • The departure reference for this tour is BON /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 09 Apr and departs on Mon 17 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a on sleeper train)
Sun 30 Apr - Mon 08 May Code BON /04/17/ Adult$1,140 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • Best of Northern India
  • The departure reference for this tour is BON /04/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 30 Apr and departs on Mon 08 May
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $235 - Includes all group hotel nights (n/a on sleeper train)
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Delhi. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Delhi Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the Joining arrangements and Transfers section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

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Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • airport
  • trip direction
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at Delhi Airport. Drive south to the `Pink City` of Jaipur.

    We have a morning meeting with our guide at Delhi Airport where KE Land Only package services begin. Our tour bus will be waiting for us at the airport and having made ourselves comfortable we begin the tour with a drive south. Leaving the urban outskirts of Delhi, we travel through a fascinating landscape of cultivated fields mixed with dry scrub-land with a backdrop of distant hills. On this journey we will frequently pass through small villages and larger bustling towns where we share the road with bullock carts and rickshaws and elaborately painted trucks. We enter the state of Rajasthan where we immediately notice the distinctive clothing of the people. Men wear loose-fitting white clothing, topped off with a crimson or saffron turban. The turbans are wound from a strip of cloth 82 feet in length and they are tied in many different, regional styles. The women wear incredibly colourful shawls, skirts and sarees, often decorated an embroidered with mirror thread. After approximately 5 hours, including a lunch stop, we pass beneath the imposing Amer Fort and drive through the gates to enter the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, so-named for the pastel-washed stucco of many of its principal buildings. We check in at our Jaipur hotel and during dinner our guide will brief us on the days ahead.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals d

  • Sightseeing tour of Jaipur, including the Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, City Palace and the Jantar Mantar.

    We have a full day of guided sightseeing in and around the splendid 'Pink City'. We have a reasonably early start and our first brief stop is a photo opportunity opposite the spectacular Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, where the young princesses could peep through grill-like windows at the crowds below without being seen. We then drive back out to the Amber Fort. This magnificent fort, built out of yellow sandstone, occupies a very picturesque location on a ridge-top above Maota Lake in the Aravalli hills. The traditional seat of power until the capital was moved to Jaipur in 1727 AD, the present-day fort was constructed at the end of the 16th century by one of Akbar’s generals. Inside, the fort is a complex of palaces, temples, state buildings and courtyards on several levels. Entry to the fort is through the magnificent Sun Gate which is large enough to accommodate a marching army and their elephants! There's lots to see here and we will spend a good couple of hours. After our tour of the Amber Fort we return to Jaipur and its City Palace. When the Rajput ruler Jai Singh II decided to move the apparatus of state to Jaipur he constructed the quintessentially Indian complex of buildings, courtyards, gardens and lakes known simply as the City Palace. The centre-piece of the complex is the seven-storied Chandra Mahal which is still the residence of the former ruling family of Rajasthan. The ground floor of the Chandra Mahal is now a museum exhibiting carpets, paintings, manuscripts and armoury belong to the royal family. Like many buildings in Jaipur the walls of the City Palace are rendered with stucco and pained pink. This was first done throughout the city in honour of the visit of the then Prince of Wales (later to become King Edward VII) and has remained as the theme colour of Jaipur ever since. Also well worth a visit is the strangely beautiful Jantar Mantar, a collection of astronomical structures built on the orders of Jai Singh II when he set up his capital in Jaipur. The ‘observatory’ consists of 14 structures on a gigantic scale, built with geometric precision from local stone and marble. These were used for measurement of time, the tracking of stars and planets and the prediction of astronomical events such as eclipses. Amongst the other elements that we may be able to squeeze in are: a market visit, a hand-woven rug manufacturer (if anyone is interested in making a purchase) and a visit to a cinema to see a Bollywood movie. After our long day, we return to the hotel for dinner and spend a second night in Jaipur

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bd

  • Journey south through Rajasthan to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and enjoy a game drive.

    After an early breakfast at the hotel, we board our tour bus and continue our journey south. Once we leave the city it will take around 3 to 4 hours to drive to Ranthambore passing through typically Rajasthani villages en route. Arriving in Ranthambore we check in at our hotel, have lunch and then meet up with our naturalist guide and our 'canter' transport at the hotel gate. We then head out on our first game drive into the National Park. Ranthambore was originally designated as a game reserve by the Indian Government as long ago as 1955. In the seventies it was at the centre of ‘Project Tiger’ which set out to save the rapidly dwindling tiger population of India. Ranthambore was given National Park status in 1980 and the park encompasses large tracts of forest as well as areas of grassland, hills and lakes. This is one of the few places in India where we have a real chance of spotting a tiger during the game drive. There are several different 'routes' through the park and we are allocated one of the routes at random. There are a number of lakes, stands of forest, rocky gorges and lots of very approachable animals, such as spotted deer, chital, wild boar, crocodiles, nilgai (also known as blue bull, the biggest of the antelopes), leopard and tiger, as well as many exciting bird species, including vultures and eagles. The animals and birds pay little attention to the safari vehicles. After around 3 hours, we return to our accommodation outside the park.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bd

  • Morning game drive in search of tigers. Transfer to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri.

    We rise early today for another game drive in the park and another chance of seeing a tiger, as well as lots of other exciting wildlife. We will be allocated a different 'route' in the park. Returning to our hotel we have a late breakfast before driving north-east to the well-preserved former Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri. The drive will take at least 4 hours. Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for just 10 years. Legend has it that the city was built here after a chance meeting between the emperor and a holy man close to this spot, but ultimately its location proved to be strategically untenable and it was abandoned. There is no inhabited city here but the complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, are superbly preserved and includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. The city is now a World Heritage Site. Following a guided sightseeing tour of this ancient city, we continue our drive to nearby Agra where we check in at our hotel close to the Taj Mahal.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

  • Visit the majestic Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and explore the bazaar. Board overnight train to Varanasi.

    A highlight of the tour, this morning at sunrise, we visit the Taj Mahal - one of the man-made 'seven wonders' of the world. Whatever you think you know about the Taj Mahal from the countless photographs and images which are worldwide, you are in for a pleasant surprise. No photograph can adequately portray the exquisite beauty, precision and craftsmanship of this incredible monument built for love. It took 20,000 people 22 years to build it, using over 1000 elephants to transport the marble for its dazzling white walls and dome. Twenty eight different types of precious and semi-precious stones are inlaid into parts of the marble, some of these depicting verses from the Koran in highly decorative script. The Taj Mahal itself is a mausoleum for Mumtaz the wife of its builder Shah Jahan and is set in tranquil gardens providing several vantage points from which to contemplate the building. From an upper terrace it is possible to look across the Yamuna River, the largest tributary of the Ganges, towards the Agra Fort. A visit to the Taj Mahal can easily absorb a whole day, but there are more sights that we want to see in Agra. So, after an approximately 3-hour visit, we return to our hotel for a late breakfast and a wash and brush up. Then, in the early afternoon we drive to the Agra Fort, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. There has been a walled city on this site for more than a thousand years, but the present structure was built by the Mughals. Commanding gates, fashioned in red stone, as well as an excellent view of the Taj Mahal, just 2 and a half kilometres away, are highlights of this impressive site. We can also take the opportunity to drive across the Yamuna River to gain a different perspective of the Taj from the opposite bank. As our final Agra experience, we find a restaurant in one of the shopping streets and take a late lunch, with the chance to do some exploring in the bazaar. Our train from Tunla Junction is generally in the early evening and we have a drive of about 45 minutes to get to the station. Here, we say goodbye to our driver who has been with us for the first 5 days of the trip and we will no doubt want to give him a tip. At Tunla, we will experience an essential part of Indian life, as we board the overnight sleeper train to Varanasi. For this journey we will travel in air-conditioned carriages with four berths to a compartment. Dinner will be a snack affair provided by our guide. The train departs around 9.00 pm and we are soon tucked up in bed and being rocked to sleep by the motion and noises of the train as it rattles through the warm Indian countryside.

    • Accommodation Sleeper Train

    • Meals bd

  • Arrive in Varanasi. Free time for sightseeing before visiting the Ganges for the Aarti ceremony.

    We wake up to the call for ‘chai chai’ as tea and coffee are brought around the carriage. There will be plenty of time to get dressed and ready before the train pulls into Varanasi. We transfer to our hotel in the city in time for breakfast and the rest of the day is free for independent sightseeing in this holiest of Indian cities located on the banks of the Ganges. Also known as Kashi and Benares, Varanisi is a city of temples and every colourful, ancient but vibrant aspect of Hinduism can be seen on its streets. In the late afternoon, our guide will arrange for the group to travel out to the banks of the Ganges to witness the aarti ceremony. This is an optional activity, as the journey can only reasonably be made by motorised rickshaw or 'tuk-tuk' during the busiest part of the day. This is an exciting way to travel (it takes 20 minutes in each direction) and may not be to everyone's taste. However, the aarti ceremony is unmissable and highly recommended. The cost of this trip out to the Ganges is around 500 rupees (£5) to include watching the aarti ceremony from a boat that will pull just 50 or 100 metres off shore to gain the best viewpoint. The ceremony takes place at 2 locations close together on the wide stone steps known as ghats, where pilgrims take the waters and perform their pujas. The aarti ceremony takes place every evening, involving 7 priests and thousands of oil lamps are floated on the river, each one representing the hopes or prayers of the individuals who push them out into the gentle current. Returning to our hotel by tuk-tuk, we overnight at our Varanasi hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bd

  • Sunrise sail on the Ganges before some time for souvenir hunting. Overnight train to Delhi.

    Leaving the hotel in the early morning pre-dawn darkness we make our way by bus through the quiet city streets back to the ghats where our boat is waiting. All aboard we float out onto the river for one of India's most magical experiences, watching the sun rise over the Ganges and the ghats. After the spectacle of the sunrise itself, we are rowed slowly along the river, watching the activity of the ghats as the devotees come down to the waters. All aspects of life can be seen on the ghats as people make their offerings and prayers, wash themselves and their clothes and even cremate their loved ones on the banks of the most important river in Hinduism. From our vantage in the boat and with the soft pink dawn light, the higgledy-piggledy arrangement of temples and houses rising from the shore have a magical quality. After this Ganges experience we return to our hotel for breakfast and then have some free time for shopping in the busy bazaars. As well as having the distinction of being one of the oldest cities on earth, Varanasi is also famous for its silk and there are bargains to be had here if you are looking for souvenirs. The Buddhist site of Sarnath is a short distance outside the city and can be visited as an optional excursion arranged locally. In the early evening, we drive back to the railway station (up to 1 hour drive) to catch the overnight train to Delhi. We will have a snack dinner on board the train, before settling down for the night.

    • Accommodation Sleeper Train

    • Meals bd

  • Guided sightseeing tour of Delhi, including the Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, the Red Fort and Raj Ghat.

    We arrive in Delhi in the morning and transfer to our hotel first to rest. We take breakfast at the hotel and then go out for a morning ‘s guided sightseeing around the capital. In the Old City we will visit the Jama Masjid, Chandi Chowk, the Red Fort and Raj Ghat. The rest of the day is then free for further independent sightseeing or for some souvenir buying. As well as the sprawling bazaars there are several very modern shopping malls in the modern centre of Delhi. There are also ‘state emporiums’ which are showcases for the particular crafts of other states in India (including silks from Varanasi and the colourful textiles of Rajastan). We come together again for our final evening meal of the tour and we stay overnight in Delhi.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bd

  • Departure day. Delhi Airport transfers provided.

    KE Land Only group package services end after breakfast.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional English-speaking local leader
  • Delhi Airport transfers on the group departure day
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Wildlife guides during 2 Ranthambore game drives
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Park and monument entrance fees
  • Guided sightseeing tours in Jaipur Agra Varanasi and Delhi
  • Travel insurance
  • Delhi Airport transfers (other than group transfer) on arrival
  • Indian Visa
  • Tips for local staff
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

Part of the experience of a visit to India is sampling the excellent local food. Indian cuisine offers a wide choice of dishes, much more variety than the 'curries' we are used to in Indian restaurants at home. Whether the food is presented as a dinner buffet or as a set menu, there will always be vegetarian options. In some place, there will also be familiar international dishes. Breakfasts include cereals, bread, possibly in the form of local 'rotis', eggs, hard-boiled or omelette, often one or two delicious, spicy Indian breakfast options, fruit, juice, hot water for tea or coffee. Lunches will usually be at a restaurant where you can choose what you want - the guide will help with this.

All breakfasts and all dinners are included in the holiday price from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 9. Since it makes sense on a tour of this nature to occasionally skip lunch and to take snacks at any time during the day, we have not included the cost of lunches in the overall price. Any snacks or lunches will be paid for directly and we estimate that you should budget a total of £50 - £75 for this.
The group will rendezvous at approximately 11.00 hrs at Delhi International Airport. If you are travelling with an airline with an arrival time later than 10.00 am it is possible to arrive a day earlier and we can book an extra night's accommodation in Delhi for you. It is also possible to join the tour in Jaipur on the evening of day 1 of the Land Only itinerary. Please contact the KE office for details. At the end of the trip airport transfers are provided for all clients departing on the final day of the Land Only itinerary. Detailed joining instructions along with hotel details and an emergency contact number, will be provided with your booking confirmation.
The group will have a total of 6 nights in comfortable tourist standard hotels in Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, Varanasi and Delhi. On 2 nights, the accommodation will be in air-conditioned sleeper carriages on overnight trains. All accommodation except the sleeper train is allocated on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Depending upon availability it may be possible to arrange single rooms for the hotel nights. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The group will be accompanied throughout by an experienced English-speaking tour leader and during the game drives in Ranthambore, by a wildlife expert. During the tours of Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi and Delhi, there will also be a local city guide.

Approximately £150 - £200 (or equivalent in Euros, US dollars etc.) changed into local currency (Indian rupees), should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including snacks or lunches, tips for your guides, beer and soft drinks, etc. There are several opportunities to buy souvenirs on this trip. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Indian Rupees) before you travel. Sterling, US dollars and Euros are readily exchanged in Delhi. Since you will be changing the majority of your spending money into local currency on the day of arrival, we recommend taking this in cash. You can change an initial amount on arrival at Delhi Airport, where the rate is likely to be a few rupees down on what you can expect to get on the high street. Credit cards can be used to purchase many goods in Delhi and Agra and are particularly useful for more expensive souvenirs. It is possible to withdraw cash (rupees only) from cash machines in Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Varanasi using credit and debit cards.

Tipping is an accepted and expected part of Indian culture, although you should only tip for services which are well done. We recommend that tips to your guides and driver be made from the group as a whole and that the group decides together on an appropriate amount. Your guide will help with sundry tipping; bell boys, other hotel staff, toilet attendants, lunchtime restaurant staff, Ranthambore staff and railway porters. This means you don't need to concern yourself with who to tip and who not to tip. Your guide will set up a tip 'kitty' for this and you will probably be asked to contribute 2000 rupees (£20) each for this. Separately from this, you will need to tip the driver who is with you for the first 5 days. And you will need to tip your guide. As a rough guide we suggest that £50 (depending on group size) will allow you to pay reasonable tips.

You should restrict your luggage to one main travel bag plus a small daypack to carry cameras, binoculars, water etc. We recognise that for some of our holidays and for some of our travellers, the KE Trek Bag (see below) may not provide the best solution when packing for your trip. A bag with fitted wheels or a holdall with more than one compartment and more than one access zip can, in some circumstances, be more appropriate. Although it can be useful for our tour leaders when all members of the group have similar, identifying baggage, we have no problem if you choose to use an alternative bag.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

The following items are optional:

  • Pocket-knife (remember to pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Camera

  • Travel clothes

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa India

All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $60 and you need to apply for this online prior to departure at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The currency of India is the Indian Rupee.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

Although there is no strenuous walking on this holiday, there are several sights which are best explored on foot and it makes a lot of sense to get some additional exercise before coming on any active holiday. Walking, jogging, squash and swimming are all good for developing fitness and stamina. Some of the days it will get quite hot and you should be prepared for this. Before departure, we suggest that you do some reading about the country, its people and the wildlife you are likely to see.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The majority of departures for this holiday take place outside of the Indian Monsoon and at these times you should experience little if any rainfall although sudden short lived storms can and do occur at any time of the year. By August the monsoon has lost most of its force although cloud bursts particularly in the afternoon, are reasonably common except in Rajasthan which tends to be very dry at this time. The coolest temperatures are encountered during November and December when the maximum daytime temperatures will generally be in the mid to high twenties of Celsius. From February temperatures start to rise reaching mid thirties during trips in March and April. The arrival of the monsoon cools everything down again and temperatures in August and September can often be the same or even less than April. Evening temperatures in Delhi and Agra from late October to February can be quite chilly (requiring a jacket).

  • India – Lonely Planet

  • Guide India - The Rough Guide

  • Indian Wildlife Insight Guide

  • Field Guide to the Mammals of the Indian Subcontinent. K. K. Gurung and Raj Singh

  • Birds of India. Richard Grimmett, Carol and Tim Inskipp

  • The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling

TTK State Road Maps

Locally produced maps showing road and rail network with intermediate driving distances. No information on topography is given but each map comes with a booklet providing further information on places of interest. Three sheets are required to cover the whole tour (Madhya Pradesh Rajasthan and Varanasi)

Extend Your Holiday

Extensions

When booking your holiday, you will be able to 'add an extension option'.

Once we have received your booking we will contact you to discuss additional services required for the extension and to take any additional deposit.

Delhi Sightseeing Tour - Full day

Old Delhi is centred on the Red Fort and is a labyrinth of narrow, bustling streets including Chandni Chowk bazaar. Must-sees here include the Red Fort, built by Emperor Shah Jahan, and Hummayan's Tomb, built in similar style to the Taj Mahal. Also worth a visit is Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. New Delhi was the creation of the British Raj who wanted to show their ascendency over the former Mogul rulers with many grand buildings designed by the greatest ever British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens. Driving by this area will give a glimpse of this interesting aspect of India.

Delhi Sightseeing Tour - Full day

From $75 per person

More info

Delhi Sightseeing Tour - Half day

Old Delhi is centred on the Red Fort and is a labyrinth of narrow, bustling streets including Chandni Chowk bazaar. Must-sees here include the Red Fort, built by Emperor Shah Jahan. Also worth a visit is Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. New Delhi was the creation of the British Raj who wanted to show their ascendency over the former Mogul rulers with many grand buildings designed by the greatest ever British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens. Driving by this area will give a glimpse of this interesting aspect of India.

Delhi Sightseeing Tour - Half day

From $65 per person

More info

Kashmir and Srinagar Extension

The beautiful Kashmir Valley and the town of Srinagar are located within India's most north-westerly territory. Known as the Valley of Paradise, this region is now back on the tourist map. One of Srinagar's highlights is Dal Lake and you can make the most of your visit by staying in one of the houseboats moored around its shores. Floating markets, friendly fishermen, the Mughal Gardens and many temples, mosques and bazaar streets, make any visit to Srinagar simply unforgettable.

Kashmir and Srinagar Extension

From $815 per person

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