Day 1 Welcome to India!
Tauck's ultimate India tour begins at The Oberoi, New Delhi. A transfer is included from Indira Gandhi International Airport to your landmark hotel, The Oberoi, New Delhi, renowned for gracious service in the heart of the city. Due to flight schedules, you will probably arrive at the hotel after midnight local time. You may want to travel a day early to ease the effects of jet lag and relax a bit before Tauck’s India tour begins – just mention this at the time of booking; Tauck can book your international flights for travel originating in the U.S. and can arrange an extra night at The Oberoi, New Delhi.
Day 2 Explore New Delhi, where old & new converge
Explore India’s capital city with an insider guide; a sightseeing excursion shows you the Secretariat buildings, Parliament House, Presidential Palace, and India Gate, commemorating Indian and British soldiers. Visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the five-story sandstone Qutb Minar Victory Tower, built over 8 centuries ago, and Humayun’s Tomb, set in beautiful gardens. This Mughal creation popularized Persian-influenced architecture and was an inspiration for the Taj Mahal. After lunch, stop at the Gandhi Smriti Museum, paying tribute to the inspiring leader Mahatma Gandhi who forced change through non-violent protest. You'll have much to discuss this evening at the welcome cocktail reception and dinner.(B, L, D)
Day 3 Delving into the past in Old Delhi
Check out the colorful bazaars, sacred temples, 17th-century havelis (mansions) and colonial monuments in the winding streets of Old Delhi, the capital of Muslim India from the 12th through the 19th centuries. See the sumptuous Red Fort palaces, the symbol of Indian nationhood, and Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial and cremation site. Spend the afternoon as you wish – and for your dining pleasure this evening, it's your choice. Dine à la carte at a selection of fine restaurants in the hotel.(B, D)
Day 4 Rituals on the River Ganges in Varanasi
Fly to the ancient city of Varanasi, built on the banks of the sacred River Ganges. Since the 6th century BC, this city has been a key destination for pilgrims who seek blessing and purification in the river’s holy waters. A sightseeing tour visits Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon, and the National Museum, home to a priceless sculpture collection dating back to the 3rd century BC. Tonight, take a journey by boat along the River Ganges to witness ceremonies "putting the river to sleep." Amidst hundreds of lighted candles and flower offerings, tonight will be a special highlight of Tauck's India tour.(B, L, D)
Day 5 Sunrise Ganges cruise & off to the temples of Khajuraho
Tauck's India tour continues as you rise early for a cruise on the River Ganges to view the Varanasi sunrise ceremonies, then fly to Khajuraho for an overnight stay. "Wow" is a common and appropriate response to the treasures you're about to explore. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986; during the Chandella dynasty about a millennium ago, between 950 and 1,050 temples were built. They were described as striking a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture; though only about 20 remain today, their exquisitely detailed sculptures put them among India's most revered works of art. Dine à la carte this evening at your leisure at your hotel, surrounded by lush gardens near the temples.(B, L, D)
Day 6 Orchha's palace ruins & a train to Agra
Tauck's India tour continues to historic Orchha, where ancient palaces, temples and cenotaphs speak volumes about India's Mughal empire. Once inhabited by royalty, today the eerily silent ruins are home to brilliant green parakeets and chattering langurs. See the soaring spires of the cenotaphs before you travel by train to Agra, home of the magnificent Taj Mahal. Your room in the luxurious Oberoi Amarvilas offers a wonderful view of this stunning man-made wonder... what a sight to wake up to!(B, L, D)
Day 7 Wonders in Agra – the Taj Mahal & Agra Fort
Guests who wish may visit the Taj Mahal in time for sunrise – the gates open at sunrise. Those not going quite so early will join your Tauck Director a little later than sunrise (but still early morning) for a guided visit to the spectacular Taj Mahal, with time to explore on your own and take photographs. A guided tour of the massive red sandstone Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, follows. Inside, you'll get a very good look at medieval lifestyles of 16th- and 17th-century Mughal emperors. Join us if you wish on an afternoon excursion to the walled imperial city of Fatehpur Sikri for in-depth exploration of this remarkably preserved site, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dine as you please this evening from among a selection of your hotel's fine restaurants.(B, L, D)
Day 8 Enjoy the royal treatment in Jaipur
Travel to Jaipur for a two-night stay at The Oberoi Rajvilas, reflecting the gracious lifestyles of India's legendary Rajput princes. A sightseeing tour of Jaipur includes the City Palace Museum and the Jantar Mantar Observatory – a collection of architectural astronomical instruments for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, figuring out the declinations of planets and determining the celestial altitudes – all built by Maharajah Jai Singh II in the 18th century. Attend a special evening fit for Maharajah royalty tonight, celebrating India's cultural traditions, music, dance and cuisine.(B, L, D)
Day 9 Jaipur's glittering palaces & pavilions
A highlight of your India tour, today's sightseeing includes the many gems of Jaipur, from the massive gateways and pillared pavilions inside Amber Fort to a tour of Amber Palace, with its magnificent domes, massive ramparts and glittering hall of mirrors. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Jaipur, pursuing what interests you most.(B, L, D)
Day 10 Saris & turbans in Jaipur, then on to Udaipur
After a morning of leisure at your hotel, join us for a closer look at daily life in Jaipur. Learn the art of dressing in a sari and a turban during a private demonstration. Fly to Udaipur for two nights at The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, Travel + Leisure’s “Number 1 Hotel in the World” in 2007.(B, L, D)
Day 11 Lake Pichola cruise plus Udaipur's temples & palaces
A leisurely cruise on Lake Pichola sets the stage for an Udaipur sightseeing tour with our local guide. Visit the 18th-century fountain gardens of Saheliyon Ki Bari, and the Jagdish Mandir Temple. View the City Palace, a labyrinth of richly decorated courtyards, frescoed galleries, and marble temples that was once home to the Maharajah of Udaipur. Spend the rest of the day at leisure before dinner à la carte at the hotel.(B, L, D)
Day 12 Sunset cruise on the Arabian Sea in Cochin
Fly to Kochi (Cochin) in the state of Kerala, on the southern tip of India, home to coconut groves, paddy fields and wide beaches. Cruise its tropical inland waterways before setting off on a spectacular sunset cruise on the Arabian Sea. Enjoy a performance of the renowned Kathakali Dancers prior to dinner tonight at your hotel.(B, L, D)
Day 13 Traditional cuisine & more in historic Kochi
Kochi (Cochin) dates back to the 15th century, boasting myriad historic sites reflecting its founding by the Portugese, as well as the influence of Dutch and British settlers. After a lecture on southern India's unique heritage and cultural diversity, Kochi sightseeing includes Fort Cochin, the oldest European settlement in India, the Dutch Palace and the 16th-century St. Francis Church. Later, visit the private home of an acclaimed Kerala chef for a cooking demonstration and dinner this evening. Lively conversation, lively spices and delectable dishes await!(B, L, D)
Day 14 Mohiniattam dancers & more at Kumarakom Lake Resort
Explore the small villages of coastal Kerala as you make your way to the picturesque island of Kumarakom in Lake Vembanad to continue your Tauck India tour with a two-night lakeside stay at Kumarakom Lake Resort. Tonight you'll be treated to a program featuring dancers performing the classical Indian dance form known as Mohiniattam, dating to the 16th century.(B, L, D)
Day 15 Cruising Kerala's canals by houseboat
Today, board unique houseboats for a cruise along the canals of Kerala, often referred to as the "Venice of the East." Spend the afternoon enjoying the activities and amenities offered by your lakefront resort. An unforgettable martial arts demonstration this evening is both educational and entertaining; there is no other ancient martial practice in the world that can compete with its training system and application techniques. Have dinner at your leisure at the resort.(B, L, D)
Day 16 Welcome to Mumbai (Bombay)
Fly to the "City of Gold," Mumbai (Bombay), surrounded on three sides by the Arabian Sea. Upon arrival, an introductory sightseeing tour maps out the city and its landmark sites for you. Your accommodations for the next two nights are at The Oberoi, Mumbai; dine à la carte tonight at your hotel.(B, L, D)
Day 17 Elephanta Island temples & other treasures of Mumbai
Explore Mumbai today, including the Gateway of India – erected by the British to commemorate the landing of the King and Queen in 1911 – and a cruise to Elephanta Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the rock-cut cave temples with sculptured interiors dating back to the 6th century; a highlight is the Mahesamurti, a triple-headed Shiva statue. Following lunch in Mumbai and an afternoon spent as you please at the hotel, join us this evening for a farewell cocktail reception as your Tauck India tour comes to an end.(B, L)
Day 18 Journey home
Tauck's comprehensive India tour ends: Mumbai (Bombay). Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from your hotel in Bombay to Sahar International Airport. Most international flights depart between 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM.
Two nights in Jaipur, highlighted by a visit to the Amber Fort and a Maharajah evening featuring dinner and entertainment
A boat ride on the River Ganges, providing an opportunity to experience revered cultural traditions centuries old in Varanasi
Exclusive insider visit to a chef’s private home in Kerala and a cooking demonstration for an authentic taste of daily life
Houseboat and river cruises, and a martial arts demo
Kathakali dance performance in tropical southern India
Demonstration in the art of dressing in a sari or turban
A cruise to Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbor to see the “City of Caves,” a UNESCO World Heritage Site treasured for its art, thousands of years old
All This Included
You'll be amazed by all that's included on A Portrait of India
! Applauded by guests for its unique experiences and many inclusions, Tauck's popular India tour gives you a complete look at this complex country from north to south! Live like a maharajah as you stay in some of the world's top-rated hotels – including two-night stays at the award-winning The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, featuring views of the Taj Mahal, and in Udaipur at The Oberoi Udaivilas. View the amazing temples of Khajuraho, and cruise by houseboat in southern India through Kerala’s beautiful canals. Enjoy a boat ride to witness spiritual ceremonies along the River Ganges in Varanasi... a cooking demonstration and a taste of hospitality on an exclusive insider visit to a chef's private home in Kerala... a special Maharajah evening with dinner and entertainment... a sari and turban demonstration... a traditional dance performance... special insights from Tauck's local experts and much more. Our India tour is a must for any world traveler!
Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
46 meals (16 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 15 dinners); gratuities to local guides, service charges, admissions, taxes and porterage
Accommodations on this Tour
New Delhi: The Oberoi
Varanasi: The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi
Madhya Pradesh: The LaLiT Temple View Khajuraho
Agra: The Oberoi Amarvilas
Jaipur: The Oberoi Rajvilas
Udaipur: The Oberoi Udaivilas
Cochin: Vivanta by Taj Malabar
Kumarakom: Kumarakom Lake Resort
Mumbai: The Oberoi
Intra-tour air (starting at $1,050 & $1,100) not included.
Flying time to Delhi averages about 18 hours from gateway cities in the U.S., and may include a stop-over in Europe; most international flights arrive between 11:00 PM and 3:00 AM local time, 10½ hours ahead of the U.S. (EST). To ease the effects of jet lag, consider traveling to India a day early, rather than arriving late at night on Day 1.
Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package, at the price quoted.