Start your Indian trip in capital Delhi, exploring the Old Town's historic architecture and trying some street food on Chandni Chowk. Travel by train to Agra to see the famous Taj Mahal. Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, this monument to love is dedicated to his wife Mumtaz. While in Agra, visit the ghost town of Fatehpur Sikri before heading into Rajasthan and the arty city of Jaipur. Here, you can explore Rajasthan's arts and crafts, alongside its many palaces and mansions. Next, fly to Kochi, where you try Keralan cuisine and explore Fort Kochi's many cultural influences. Head into the jungle and Periyar National Park, home to tigers and elephants before ending your trip on a houseboat trip in Kumarakom.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, Kerala
Jaipur, Kochi, Kumarakom, Periyar National Park
Activity Activity Luxury, Nature & Wildlife, Culture
Physical Level Physical Level Easy
Season Season January - December

Suggested itinerary

Delhi's historic Old Town

Delhi's historic Old Town

Day 1–2 in Delhi

Start your Indian adventure in capital city Delhi. Your guide will introduce you to the sights of this grand city, starting with the World Heritage site of Humayun’s Tomb, Gandhi’s eternal flame and the imposing India Gate, a memorial to 82,000 soldiers who died during World War One.

Make sure to explore the narrow streets of Old Delhi, founded in 1639 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who moved the Mughal capital here from Agra. Try street food, marvel at the architecture and absorb your surroundings – it’s crowded and chaotic, but this is the real India.

Don't miss

Get lost in old Delhi in the Chandni Chowk

Get lost in old Delhi in the Chandni Chowk

Visit Old Delhi, the symbolic heart of India’s capital, and get lost in one of its oldest and busiest markets, the Chandni Chowk. Explore its fascinating history, temples and famous colourful bazaars, selling everything from sweets and saris to jewellery and the delicious jalebis.

Agra beyond the Taj Mahal

Agra beyond the Taj Mahal

Day 3–4 in Agra

Your arrival into Agra will give you your first glimpse of the world-famous Taj Mahal. Spend a couple of days exploring this monument to love (Emperor Shah Jahan built it to house the tomb of his wife Mumtaz Mahal), as well as Agra Fort and Chandni Bazaar. If time allows, visit the ancient ruins of the sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri.

Don't miss

Visit India’s most impressive fort in Agra

Visit India’s most impressive fort in Agra

Agra may be more famous for a certain monument to love (hint: the Taj Mahal), but it is also home to the imposing, red sandstone Agra Fort. Built in the 16th century, it was once the residence of the Mughal emperors.

Jaipur's amazing architecture

Jaipur's amazing architecture

Day 5–6 in Jaipur

Known as the pink city, Jaipur is a Rajasthani royal city that offers spellbinding sights and sounds. Its palaces, observatories and merchant buildings are painted in hues of red and pink, but its crowning jewel is the spectacular Amer Fort which towers over the city on a hillside a short drive from the city. Spend a couple of days exploring Jaipur, including its rich arts and crafts scene, before flying back to Delhi to connect with your international flight.

Don't miss

Marvel at the architecture of Jaipur's Amber Fort

Marvel at the architecture of Jaipur's Amber Fort

Perhaps Rajasthan’s best known city, Jaipur is renowned for its stunning architecture. From the imposing Amber Fort to the Hawa Mahal and Jal Mahal palaces, the city oozes history. Jaipur is also Rajasthan’s cultural centre, making it a great place to take in traditional folkloric dance and music.

Tour historial Jodhpur

Tour historial Jodhpur

Bizarrely overlooked by mainstream tourists, Jodhpur is the blue sapphire to Jaipur’s ruby. The beautifully preserved Mehrangarh Fort, built in 1460, is a magnificent sight and an architectural triumph. Surrounding it is a bite-sized old city enclosed by massive walls with squares and step wells all waiting to be discovered on foot.

Experience rural Rajasthan

Experience rural Rajasthan

100kms from Jaipur nestled in the Aravelli Hills is the tiny village of Ajabgarh where life hasn’t changed for generations, tribesmen tend their goats and the sight of a foreigner is certain to raise a wave and a smile from local children. If there’s such a thing as ‘real’ India, this must be pretty close.

Kochi's culture and cuisine

Kochi's culture and cuisine

Day 7–9 in Kochi

The port city of Kochi (also known as Cochin) is Kerala's biggest conurbation, but is actually made up of a collection of tiny islands and outcrops. Visit Fort Kochi island for Chinese fishing nets and the Jewish Quarter, or head inland for cultural Kathakali performances and delicious Keralan food. This is a great place to begin your Keralan adventure.

Tigers in Periyar National Park

Tigers in Periyar National Park

Day 10–11 in Periyar National Park

Found near Thekkady in the Western Ghat mountains, Periyar National Park is home to sought after populations of elephants and tigers. Take a bamboo raft trip on Periyar Lake to remote wildlife-watching places, or take a jeep to the top of the Cardamom Hills for views over the park.

Houseboat trips from Kumarakom

Houseboat trips from Kumarakom

Day 12–14 in Kumarakom

Kumarakom is the perfect jumping off place for houseboat tour in Kerala. From here, you can explore the canals and waterways around Lake Vembanad. Kumarakom is also a centre of holistic Ayurvedic treatments and is known for its yoga centres, making it a perfect place to relax from the stresses of your trip.

Don't miss

Sail Kerala's waterways on a houseboat

Sail Kerala's waterways on a houseboat

Explore Kerala's canals and waterways onboard with an authentic houseboat adventure, starting from rural Alleppey.

Where to stay

Superior

Trident Agra

A little island of cleanliness and calm in the middle of the Taj Mahal mayhem. With this chain, you can be sure of excellent service, flawlessly clean rooms and a tickbox list of facilities. Lacking a little character, perhaps, but excellent value for money.

Superior

Rambagh Palace

This jewel in the Taj’s crown offers 78 stunning grand luxury rooms and suites, once the chambers of the Maharaja. The palace retains its splendour with vintage cars, guards on horseback and exquisitely uniformed staff. Mughal gardens and exceptional cuisine.

Deluxe

The Imperial

A unique blend of Victorian, Old Colonial and Art Deco style, the iconic and historic Imperial is seriously good. Beyond the turbaned, mustachioed doormen, elegant interiors are adorned with fine art. Great rooms compiled with delicious understated elegance.

Deluxe

The Lodhi

Super hip, refined, elegant and contemporary, The Lodhi oozes luxury. There’s an art gallery, a library and cigar room, a spectacular sunken pool, a vast gym and health club. The restaurants are truly superb and the rooms simply the best in Delhi.

Deluxe

Oberoi Amarvilas

A view with a room: the whole orientation of the Oberoi Amarvilas is towards the Taj Mahal, which is visible from much of the lobby and bar area. Rooms are exquisitely appointed. Superb pool area is a sunken step well. Two brilliant restaurants.

Deluxe

Rajmahal Palace

A dazzling reincarnation of a former Maharaja’s palace. Bespoke wallpapers, butlers pristine in white, scents of jasmine from the lush gardens, Art Deco pool, monogrammed linen, custom china… 14 suites, all unique but united by creative flair. And fabulous food to boot.

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