Walk Through India's Historical Landscape
Indian streets are filled with the most fascinating stories and sights. And exploring this country on foot, you will not only encounter the daily life of its local people but also know what makes this country and its corners so special.
This walking tour will introduce you to India’s culture, heritage, history and festivals.
Wander inside the lanes of Old Delhi to explore its vibrant markets, street food, history and traditions. Explore the city of Agra as you embrace the monument of love - the Taj Mahal and meet the lost stories in its many corners. Join the heritage walk in Jaipur to know the local life in the village and trek up the fort to possibly see the last cannon in the world. And lastly, calm your mind with a spiritual walk at the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi.
Join us, to lose yourself in India’s narrow lanes, shop at the local markets and talk to the local people. You will discover the beat of these cities and you’ll see things you never would have seen otherwise. It will be an adventure of a lifetime!
DAY 1Arrive Delhi
Welcome to New Delhi - the capital city of India, home to approximately 17 million inhabitants! The city is divided into two parts including Old Delhi, located near the River Yamuna, and New Delhi, home to the national government, the imperial city created by the British Raj. This city is a fusion of the ancient and the modern and paints perfect picture rich with culture, architecture, human diversity, deep in history, monuments, museums, galleries and gardens.
Upon arrival into Delhi, our representative will meet and greet you at the airport and transfer to your hotel.
The remainder of the day is at leisure to allowing you to settle into your new home away from home experience.
We shall begin this morning inside the charming lanes of Old Delhi. We will explore it by traveling in a rickshaw as your feast your eyes on colourful bazaars, sacred temples and colonial monuments.
Visit India's largest mosque, the white marble Jama Masjid or “Friday Mosque.” Rising from between the crowded medieval streets of Old Delhi, the Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India.
Later we shall lay eyes on New Delhi. The city was designed and built by the British in the 1920s and is made up of well-composed and spacious streets under the shade of beautiful trees and beautiful colonial government buildings. As you navigate the city, you will drive along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House.
You will also see Humayun's Tomb, which was built by the wife of Mughal Emperor Humayun, Haji Begum, in the mid-16th century. This red sandstone structure is considered to be the predecessor of Taj Mahal and one of the best examples of Mughal architecture.
Enjoy the evening at leisure
We start our day by exploring the famous Qutab Minar, a tall tower built in 1199 by Qutbuddin as a tower for his victory against a Rajput King and is considered a great example of Indian-Islamic architecture. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Later, we move to the Mehrauli Archaeological Park Walk. This tranquil location easily qualifies as one of the largest green expanses in the capital city. In our morning stroll here, we shall cover a historic site dotted with spectacular monuments from different eras, scattered all over 200 acres of lush greenery. (Duration of the Walk: 2 to 2.5 Hours)
Explore the vibrant Hauz Khas Village, a perfect blend of history and modernity. Traverse the cluster of fourteenth century monuments that overlook a large, historical water reservoir and explore the plethora of boutiques and quirky restaurants that encompass the monuments’ precincts. (Duration of the Walk: 1 to 1.5 Hour)
DAY 4Delhi - Agra (4 hrs drive)
Today we shall drive to Agra. This is a fascinating way to see India as we wind our way down from the foothills back to the plains and onward to the city of love and home to the famous Taj Mahal. Upon arrival we will assist with the check-in process at your hotel.
Late this afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of Agra, starting from the busy streets of Old Agra, as we look for intriguing lost stories of Agra’s past. In the Mughal Era, while the Taj Mahal stood in its eternal elegance, the local industries of Agra flourished and left a legacy. We shall walk through the city’s hidden lanes, bustling spice market, and religious mosques and temples. Sample treats at a 200-year-old sweets shop, hop on a cycle rickshaw, and learn why Hindu families dress their idols. Hear the legends that have been passed down through generations and learn how modern-day India is reshaping itself. Finish it all up with the spectacular sight of the Taj Mahal from a secret spot.
In the evening enjoy the grand live performance “Mohabbat-e-Taj”, based on the love story of Taj Mahal. This theatrical show portrays the lavish lifestyle of the Mughal era and the story of the emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved Mumtaz Mahal.
DAY 5Agra - Jaipur (4 hrs drive)
Rise early and enjoy a spectacular sunrise tour of the famous Taj Mahal. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631, and is believed to have taken 18 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working around the clock. The design and construction are said to be that of the legendary architect, Ustad Ahamad Lahori. What makes the Taj Mahal unique is its perfect proportions, distinct femininity, precise and detailed construction and decorative architecture. Its marble exterior reflects rose and golden tints at sunrise and sunset, while it is dazzling white during the day.
Later in the day we drive to Jaipur, also referred as the ‘Pink City’ due to its many pink sandstone monuments. Witness its vibrant culture on dazzling display in the lively local streets and bazaars. It is one of the great cities of the Rajput, with historic forts, palaces and gardens. Jaipur is named after its founder, the warrior and astronomer sovereign Sawai Jai Singh II who planned his new capital to reflect the increasing wealth of the kingdom.
Post breakfast we shall visit the splendid Amber Fort, a spectacular complex of palaces, temples and apartments that offers a stunning view of the city. It is a marvelous example of Rajput architecture with its terraces and ramparts reflected in the Maota Lake below. Feel the history and visualize the pomp and grandeur of a kingdom never conquered.
Later we shall trek to Jaigarh Fort, a battle fort with a cannon foundry, an interesting museum, intricate water harvesting system and possibly the largest cannon in the world - the Jaiwan! Built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1726, ‘The Pride of Jaigarh’ the Jai Ban canon is supposed to be the largest canon of its type. Next we shall hike to Nahargarh Fort or the tiger fort that overlooks the city of Jaipur. It has some fantastic views of the city, a beautiful palace complex and a uniquely designed stepwell. As you ascend, you will see a beautiful valley with dense forest and streams. During your trek, you will also come across some rare wildlife species.
This morning, join your guide in a Heritage Walk to experience the local life of the city. Begin with a heritage walk of the old markets, brimming with friendly locals as they go about their daily lives and an array of vibrant goods for sale. Jaipur boasts some of the finest jewelry and textile markets, particularly known for its semi-precious stone jewelry. On the way you will be amazed by the artistic Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), where a high and intricately carved wall allowed woman of the court to watch processions below. Visit the contemporary Birla Mandir (Lakshminarayan Temple), dedicated to the Hindu Goddess of wealth, and the 18th century Moti Dungri Ganesha Temple, dedicated to the elephant-headed Hindu God of auspiciousness. Venture to the classical 1960s movie theater, Raj Mandir Cinema to absorb the fanfare of Bollywood royalty!
This afternoon, you will also visit the City Palace, a former royal residence built in the centre of the old city with a blend of the Rajasthani and Mughal architecture styles. The tour will also highlight Jantar Mantar which is the largest of the five remarkable observatories built by Jaipur’s founder. Its complex instruments with scientifically designed settings and shapes represent the high points of medieval Indian astronomy.
Later, indulge in Rajasthan’s traditional art of block printing. The process of doing block printing flourished since the 12th century when the art received a royal patronage from the kings of the era. It is created on cotton fabrics by using natural colours.
DAY 8Fly Jaipur - Varanasi
This morning we to the land of Varanasi, a pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Formerly known as Benares, Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. These few lines by Mark Twain say it all: “Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi will attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth.”
On arrival, transfer to your hotel.
This evening, join your guide for a walk through the oldest and most famous narrow and winding lanes of the city, past the endless human panorama - pilgrims, worshipers, sadhus, children selling flowers and floating lights in the river. Arrive at the ghats at the Ganges to witness the Aarti Ceremony which is part of the evening puja or prayers. During the ceremony diwaas (oil lamps) are offered to Mother Ganges with thanks and devotion for the light of the sun and for her divine power. As the Aarti fire ceremonies take place, bells are rung and chanting and singing provide a fascinating, magical and spiritual conclusion to the days end.
Today you will indulge in a cruise on the Ganges. The Ghats of the Ganges are perhaps the holiest spot of Varanasi, and are full of pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy river. They believe this absolves them from all sins and cleanses them physically, mentally and spiritually. It is at the Ganga Ghats where we see life and death together.
Later join us for a walk as we Ddive deep into the spirituality of Varanasi. Get an immersive experience of the city with us as we take you back in time and unwrap all aspects of spirituality one by one. See a visual astronomic illustration come to life and visit some specific temples dedicated to saints who have gone down in history books. (Duration of the Walk: 2 to 2.5 Hours)
This afternoon, you’ll visit the holy site of Sarnath, where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of the four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by Buddha himself for pilgrimage. Amongst the ruins, the Dharmekh Stupa is impressive at 128 feet high, and 93 feet in diameter. This dates from around 200 BC and is the spot where the Buddha is said to have preached his first sermon.
DAY 10Fly Varanasi - Delhi - Departure
Today we fly to Delhi.
On arrival, a room will be reserved near airport for your comfort and allow you the opportunity to freshen up before your return journey back home.
Safe travels and we look forward to welcoming you back to incredible India!