India is a vibrant destination for travellers, and specially exciting if its your first India tour. The most popular route that travellers take is the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur) and a close second is the heritage arc (Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi). The itinerary we are suggesting will combine the best of both routes to minimise travelling time and maximise your 1 week experience in the land of adventures!
Some of the top favourites amongst travellers are the royal palaces of Jaipur, the intricate labyrinth in Lucknow called the Bara Imambara, the holy river in Varanasi and of course, what's a first trip to India without checking out the Taj Mahal in Agra right? Each city is distinctly different and that's one of the most charming things about travelling through India!
Day 1-2 Jaipur
The entire old city of Jaipur was painted pink to welcome Price Albert during his India visit in 1876. The old city still retains this colour and hence Jaipur is also called Pink City. It is the first planned city of India, located in the semi-arid state of Rajasthan. Its majestic forts, grand palaces and beautiful monuments reflect the glorious history and grand opulence of this fascinating land. Also, the colourful, busy bazaars of Jaipur have always enticed visitors from across the world.
While there you must visit to the honey coloured Amber Fort sitting atop a ridge and the City Place or royal residence.
Day 3-4 Agra
Visit the Taj Mahal, the ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river. It was built in the 17th century by the Mughal king Shahjahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the wonders of the world and is called the "symbol of love".
While there make a trip to Fatehpur Sikri, Emperor Akbar's magnificent erstwhile capital city. Constructed out of red sandstone, the fortified city has two different parts. Fatehpur is a religious place, with Jama Masjid (mosque) and the tomb of Sufi saint Salim Chishti located behind the towering Buland Darwaza (Gate of Magnificence). Sikri, the main attraction, houses the palace complex where Emperor Akbar, his three wives, and son lived.
Day 5 Varanasi
Built on the banks of the sacred River Ganga, Varanasi attracts tourists and pilgrims alike with holy ghats, intriguing maze like lanes, tranquil boat rides and ancient temples. For centuries, pilgrims have come here for blessings and purification in the holy Ganges waters. Mark Twain said, "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together."
Witness the sacred Ganga aarti (prayer ceremony) on the Ghats of Varanasi while you are there. Behold the spectacular ceremony replete with thousands of glittering oil-lamps, chanting of Sanskrit mantras, resounding temple bells and the sweet scent of flowers, incense and sandalwood floating in the air. This mystical experience will stay with you forever!
Day 6-7 Lucknow
Sprinkled with exceptional Islamic and British Raj--era architecture, stuffed with fascinating bazaars and famed throughout India for its food, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, is charismatic.
Visit the 18th century architectural marvel, the Bara Imambara, a historical edifice with such astounding architecture that even modern architects seem to be perplexed by its design. The Imambara was built by Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784 and its designer was Kifayat-ullah who is said to be a relative of the architect of the Taj Mahal.
Go see the Rumi Darwaza, an imposing gateway which was built under the patronage of Nawab Asaf-Ud-daula in 1784. It is an example of Awadhi architecture. The Rumi Darwaza, which stands sixty feet tall, was modelled (1784) after the Sublime Porte (Bab-iHmayun) in Istanbul.
With us, Royal Holidays India, you get hand picked experiences and local travel insights, and the most exclusive service providers. This enable us to give them international service standards and a trip of a lifetime!