A 9 day adventure travelling north from Delhi to the revered pilgrimage centre of Haridwar, where the Holy Ganges river finally leaves the Himalayas on its way to the sea and home of the legendary Aarty ceremony.
Explore Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga, meet with Gujjar villagers, go whitewater rafting, take an elephant safari and of course, visit the Taj Mahal...
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Day 1: Arrival in Delhi
Upon arrival in Delhi you will be met by our guide and escorted to your hotel. After time to relax and freshen up, meet your guide for an introductory talk over dinner.
Day 2: Haridwar
Take the early morning Shatabdi Express to Haridwar, arriving late morning. After checking into your hotel and a leisurely lunch, head out to visit Mansa Devi (a hilltop temple), via cable car, for a bird's eye view of the city and the beautiful surrounding landscape.
In the evening, visit Harki Pauri to witness the famous Ganga Aarti when oil lamps are set upon the water to drift downstream, as priests perform elaborate rituals. A truly moving and unforgettable sight...
Day 3: Rishikesh
After breakfast, travel to Rishikesh which was made famous by the Beatles after visiting their Guru here in the 1960's. Today it is a peaceful centre for spiritual learning, nestled around the Ganga river as it runs swiftly through the last foothills of the Himalayas. If you're feeling adventurous, you may choose to raft down the river - a fairly easy trip with some rapids but plenty of time in between to relax on the still water and watch the life along the banks. Alternatively, perhaps you'd prefer a yoga lesson or an Ayurvedic massage at one of the many ashrams in the area. Visit the suspension bridges of Lakshman Jhulla and Ram Jhulla - a picturesque area with wonderful views, waterfalls and secluded beaches along the river. Return to Haridwar in the late afternoon.
Day 4 - Gujjar Village
Rising early, travel to Rajaji National Park where you can take an elephant safari into the Park before enjoying a late breakfast at the park lodge. Then travel by mountain bike (or vehicle) to the outlying areas of Rajiji, riding parallel to the Ganga canal which overlooks the forest, the Ganga river below and the mighty Himalayan peaks. Visit Vindyavasani Temple and before arriving at a silver sand river beach where there will be time to relax in the sun and to take a swim.
After a picnic lunch we will travel to a Gujjar village for an evening visit. The Gujjar people live a simple life tending to buffalos in the forest. They are one of the few tribes that have resisted changes enforced by the twentieth Century. It is a great opportunity to experience Gujjar tribal living in simple huts and having the meal with these friendly people.
Day 5: Corbett National Park
Drive through lush mango orchards and farmland to Corbett National Park. Check into a comfortable lodge, beautifully situated in the foothills of the Himalayas beside the Ramnager river. After lunch, take a walking tour around the area which is famous for its paddy fields. There should be an opportunity to chat with the local farmers to gain a unique insight into life in rural India. Wildlife commonly seen around here includes wild elephants, langur monkeys, several types of deer... and occasionally even the elusive tiger.
In the evening, enjoy a barbecue dinner at the lodge.
Day 6: Corbett - Overnight train to Delhi
Take an early morning jungle safari by jeep or elephant into the park, before returning for breakfast. Spend the day relaxing at the lodge, perhaps enjoying a swim in the pool or river, watching the elephants being bathed or spending some time animal /bird spotting around the vicinity of the lodge. In the evening, drive to Ramnagar town to board the train to Delhi arriving early the next morning.
Day 7: Taj Mahal
Arriving in Delhi in the morning, catch the train to Agra enjoying breakfast en route. Upon arrival, freshen up at your hotel before visiting the most iconic image of all India, the legendary Taj Mahal. After time to explore, take a bicycle rickshaw to visit Agra's Red Fort. After lunch, there will be time to relax or perhaps visit a local carpet manufacturer before heading back to the Taj Mahal at sunset.
Day 8: Taj Mahal - Delhi
If you wish, get up early to see the Taj at sunrise before breakfast at the hotel followed by an optional visit to Fatipur Sikri, the perfectly preserved ghost city that was once the capital of the Moghul emperor, Akbar. Return to Delhi in the late afternoon with time for some last minute shopping before enjoying a farewell dinner.
Day 9: Departure
Head back to the airport for your homeward flight.
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Prices start from around GBP 1100 per person based on 2 adults travelling together.
Price includes accommodation, transfers, most meals and activities.
We can arrange this itinerary at ANY time of year, subject to availability.
This itinerary can be tailor-made to suit your particular interests.