12 Day North Indian Romance - Compass India Holidays
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The Taj Mahal. Romantic palaces, lakes, and palaces on lakes. A luxury holiday to make you fall in love all over again.

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Compass India Holidays prides itself in its ability to custom design unforgettable luxury holidays in the Indian Subcontinent.
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12 Day North Indian Romance Return to list of tours

Day 01 Delhi to Varanasi by air

A Compass India Holiday representative will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the domestic airport in time for your flight to Varanasi. Reach and check into the hotel.

The ancient city of Varanasi on the west bank of the holy Ganga has been a spiritual center for Hinduism since the dawn of time.

Varanasi’s high ghats (steps leading to and from the river) are crowded with priests, wrestlers, astrologers, devotees, bathers, morning walkers and saffron clad mendicants or sadhus. The ringing of temple bells and the heady, heavy smell of incense permeate everywhere. In Varanasi, even a short walk or a simple boat-ride is an unforgettable adventure.

The cinematic nature of daily life in Varanasi is not lost on filmmakers and over the years, many have made Varanasi their backdrop, among them maestros like Roberto Rossellini, James Ivory and Satyajit Ray. Fittingly, the first moving picture ever shot on Indian soil was filmed here in 1899.

Varanasi is one of the unforgettable highlights of your luxury holiday in the timeless Indian subcontinent.

In the evening proceed to the GHATS for the sunset. Enjoy the evening Aarti at the ghats. The guide will be giving a commentary to you on the proceedings and meanings of the chants during the AARTI of the river. This is a highlight of the tour.

Overnight will be spent at Varanasi.

Day 02 Sightseeing at Varanasi

Go for an early morning boat ride along the middle of the river to watch the spiritual life of Hindu India unfold before you along the banks. Visit Dashashwamedh and Manikarnika, the holiest of the Varanasi ghats. A section of Manikarnika serves as a cremation ground and it is said the funeral pyre never dies here.

Kashi Vishwanath with its famous solid gold spire is one of the holiest of Hindu temples and devotees believe that praying here after a dip in the Ganges will grant them Moksha or liberation from the eternal cycle of life, death and rebirth.


Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Later, visit the 18th century Durga Temple. According to legend, the idol of the goddess simply appeared in the spot where the temple stands today.

Up next, the 4000 acre Benaras Hindu University campus houses an art gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Take a buggy ride through the city in the evening.

A short drive from Varanasi, lies Sarnath where, millennia ago, the Buddha delivered his first ever sermon. Today, thousands of travellers from all over the world pour in every year to pay homage to what is one of the holiest places in Asia. The 1600 year old Dhamekh stupa marks the spot where the Buddha sat as he delivered his first teachings. Interestingly, this ancient stupa is a stand in for an even earlier structure erected by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BC to commemorate the teaching. 

The highly recommended Sarnath museum houses antiquities dating back to the 3rd century BC. Don’t miss the gigantic red sandstone standing Bodhisattvas and the magnificent Asokan pillar that is India’s state symbol.

Overnight will be in Varanasi.

Day 03 Varanasi to Delhi by air, Delhi to Agra by road

You will be provided with a spacious and comfortable Compass approved vehicle.

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Transfer in time for flight to Delhi. Reach and drive to Agra.  Check in at the hotel and relax.

The Mughal capital of Agra on the banks of the Yamuna River is a bustling town teeming with narrow, winding alleyways that hark back to an era gone by. Dotted by magnificent monuments including UNESCO World Heritage SIte Taj Mahal, the city is a dazzling contrast of red sandstone and white marble structures.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 04 Sightseeing at Agra, Visit Taj Mahal

Wake up early for a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal. Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his queen Mumtaz Mahal and designed by Persian architect Ustad, the magnificent Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world. A massive white marble structure so delicate that it appears to float in the air, the Taj is otherworldly in its beauty and is best viewed in moonlight or at dawn and dusk. The close-up view reveals breathtakingly intricate inlay work carved into the marble, and bears eloquent testimony to the triump of Mughal art, culture and architecture at its peak. No holiday in India is complete without the Taj.

Return to the hotel for breakfast.

Proceed for sightseeing in Agra.

A beautifully maintained tree-lined monument at Sikandra marks the grave of the illustrious Akbar the Great. A great believer in harmony and equality of all religions,  this visionary Mughal Emperor created Din-i Ilahi, a unique religion that combines the fundamentals of Islam, Hindusim, Buddhism and Christianity. His memorial imbibes architectural motifs of all the faiths that inspired him.

Standing across the river from the Taj, the majestic red sandstone structure of Agra Fort was erected in 1565 by Mughal Emperor Akbar the great. Little did he know that the same fort would later serve as prison for his grandson Emperor Shah Jahan in the end of his days. From his prison perch of Musamman Burj, an exquisite octagonal marble tower atop the fort, Shah Jahan would spend his last days looking out longingly at the Taj.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 05 Agra to Jaipur by road, enroute visit Fatehpur Sikri

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Fatehpur Sikri, or the “City of Victory”, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 in honour of sufi saint Salim Chishti was the capital of the Mughals for 14 years. The white marble Tomb of the Salim Chisti with its intricately carved marble screens occupies pride of place in the central courtyard of the structure.

Attractions include the colossal Buland Darwaza, a victory gate built to mark the conquest of Gujarat by Emperor Akbar, the Diwan-i-Aam where the emperor held his legendary hearings with the general public and the Diwan-i-Khas where he held private consultation with his nine ministers, or as he called them, his navaratna or nine gems.

Fatehpur Sikri also houses the palace of Jodhabai, Akbar’s Hindu wife, and the house of the legendary Birbal - Akbar’s Hindu minister and one of the navaratnas - the tales of whose extraordinary wit and wisdom are the stuff of popular culture in India, inspiring countless comic books and children’s animation TV shows.

Reach Jaipur and check into hotel.

Jaipur, also known as the ‘Pink City’ from the facelift it received in 1853 to celebrate a visit by Prince Albert, is dotted with havelis (traditional mansions), bazaars, opulent palaces and rugged majestic  forts that showcase the glorious past of its rulers, the Rajputs.

The Rajput princes were fierce warriors some of whom declared loyalty to the invading Mughals and proved to be formidable allies of the empire.  Among them was King Jai Singh II, whom the Mughals gave the title Sawai Maharaja, or “King and a quarter”. Jaipur gets its name from this valiant king.

This evening, visit the Birla Temple. A stunning white marble structure, the three towers of the Birla Temple stand for three different approaches to religion. Carvings on the ornate pillars celebrate Hindu gods and goddesses along with Christ, Virgin Mary and St. Francis of Assissi. Don’t miss the hypnotic evening Aarti, the ritual lighting of oil lamps.

Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 06 Sightseeing in Jaipur

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Proceed for a morning excursion to the Amber Fort.  

Situated on the top of a hill, the magnificent Amber Fort Palace offers a panoramic view of the old city. Established in 1592, its rugged exteriors believe the delicate architecture inside, a rare fusion of traditional Rajasthani and Islamic styles. Reach the fort the old fashioned way, atop a ceremonial elephant along a cobbled path up that opens into several havelis, step wells, courtyards and temples. Visit Sheesh Mahal or chamber of mirrors, Jas Mandir with its ornate ceilings and latticework and the stunning Shila Devi temple with its intricately carved silver door.

Proceed for afternoon sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting.

The sprawling City Palace has been home to the rulers of Jaipur since the 18th century. The architecture of the palace is a blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal styles. The City palace Museum is located here and houses various items from Jaipur’s princely and warrior past.

The scientific-minded King Jai Singh II, an astronomy enthusiast, commissioned five observatories named Jantar Mantar around West Central India in the early 1700s.  The one in Jaipur is the largest and the best preserved. The massive architectural instruments are constructed out of local stone and marble some of which are still in use. We shall walk through and explore this surreal maze of giant geometric objects.

The exquisite outer facade of Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Winds," resembles a manmade honeycomb and is one of Jaipur’s most iconic and oft photographed sights. Designed to facilitate maximum air circulation and cross ventilation, the five-storied Hawa Mahal is made of lime and mortar and decorated with impossible intricate trelliswork. From the privacy of its ornate jharokhas (traditional Rajasthani windows), the ladies of the court could gaze out at life in the streets below.

In the evening enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the bustling bazaars. Jaipur is renowned for textile block printing, blue pottery, carpet weaving, semi-precious stones and local crafts which still thrive from the day of Maharaja Jai Singh's patronage when he designed special areas in the city for the 'bandhanas', the 'cheepas' and the 'meenakari' workers.

Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 07 Jaipur to Chattrasagar by road

The fort of Nimaj was built in 1733 by the valiant ruler – Thakur Jagram Singh. Situated in the heart of the town, it is a massive structure built in traditional Rajput style with courtyards and separate wings for men & women. The little township is surrounded by places of historical interest, like the 9th century temple Magar Mandi, 3 Kms away. Visit nearby villages to see local craftsmen at work & a little further see blackbucks, blue bulls etc.

Lakes in the desert region are a rarity having their own charm. Chhatra Sagar, 4 Kms from the fort is a beautiful water body nestled between two hillocks. Built as a summer retreat, the lush green lawn, flowering trees and clear waters are like an oasis in the otherwise dry region. Boating and angling is possible. It is surrounded by lush green fields and vast grazing pastures. Chhatra Sagar, a hundred-year old reservoir with a periphery of about 10 kilometers, is an ideal destination for nature lovers and a perfect getaway from the chaotic city life.


As a hunting preserve of the Nimaj Estate, Chhatra Sagar has witnessed many exciting shikar camps and leisure parties. Today, the campsite, situated on the dam, offers breathtaking views of the sunrise, sunset and the Aravalli ranges on the horizon. The old shooting box - Aodhi has been put to good use as it provides a closer view of the water fowl and birds of prey.


Watch the birds, go for nature walks, soak in the fresh air, sit around the bonfire and listen to old folk lore - or be more adventurous and take one of the many safaris on offer. Experience the warm hospitality, and enjoy some truly delicious Indian and traditional Rajasthani meals cooked with farm fresh vegetables in the family kitchen.


Relax in the tastefully designed and well appointed tented accommodation. Each tent has an attached bath with running hot and cold water, and its own private sit out overlooking the lake.

Get a few tips on Indian cooking from the family and the traditional chefs. Dinner would be typically RAJASTHANI.

Overnight will be at the camp.

Day 08 Chattrasagar to Jodhpur by road

Proceed to Jodhpur at noon.

Rao Jodha, chief of the Rathore clan, founded the city of Jodhpur in 1459. Situated on the edge of Thar Desert, Jodhpur embodies the romance and feudal splendor of Rajasthan. Jodhpur is also called the ‘Blue City’ from the blue houses that surround its most famous landmark, the majestic Mehrangarh Fort that sits on the top of a hill 125 meters above the city. The city itself is surrounded by high walls 10 kilometers long.

Check in to hotel.

Designed by the British Royal Institute of Architects, the Umaid Bhawan is one of world’s largest private residences with over 300 rooms, lavish theaters, banquet halls and a ballroom. A part of the palace has been converted to a museum with an impressive collection of royal memorabilia and weaponry.

Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

Day 09 Sightseeing at Jodhpur

Breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of the city.

Hewn out of solid rock atop the red sandstone cliff overlooking Jodhpur 400 feet above the city, the awesome 15th Century Mehrangarh fort spreads out over 5 kilometers and in the words of Rudyard Kipling, is the “work of angels and giants”. The fort’s defenses are impressive, with seven highly fortified gates to reach the fort, and massive, ornate cannons perched on the bastion walls. The view of the Blue City from the ramparts of the fort is breathtaking. In spite of the forbidding exteriors, the fort’s exquisitely latticed windows, carved panels and ceiling with radiant glass tiles reveal another more artistic side to its warrior inhabitants. Batman fans might remember Mehrangarh Fort from an iconic scene in Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.

Jaswant Thada, the white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II is known for its highly intricate lattice-work. The marble used in the structure is translucent and in the day time, the interior walls glow from the sunshine outside. Jaswant Singh II was known for his innovative irrigation projects and to this day, locals throng to Jaswant Thada to pay their respects to the benevolent king whose touch once healed their arid land.

The Bishnoi tribe have been steadfast conservationists centuries before conservation became fashionable. Much like the Native American people, the Bishnois have a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all species and believe that the continued survival of mankind is only possible if mankind takes steps nurture and preserve every species of plant and animal that populates our planet. So much so, that it is common to spot, completely unafraid herds of blackbuck grazing right inside the Bishnoi villages. A visit to the Bishnoi Village gives one a rare and intimate insight into the daily life of this ancient, enlightened tribe.

Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

Day10 Jodhpur to Udaipur by road, enroute visit Ranakpur

The Bishnoi tribe have been steadfast conservationists centuries before conservation became fashionable. Much like the Native American people, the Bishnois have a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all species and believe that the continued survival of mankind is only possible if mankind takes steps nurture and preserve every species of plant and animal that populates our planet. So much so, that it is common to spot, completely unafraid herds of blackbuck grazing right inside the Bishnoi villages. A visit to the Bishnoi Village gives one a rare and intimate insight into the daily life of this ancient, enlightened tribe.

The priest will show you around and then lunch will be at an Indian Haveli before driving on to Udaipur. 

Reach by early evening.

Founded by Maharana Uday Singh, beautiful Udaipur on the banks of Lake Pichola is a fairyland with beautiful palaces in the middle of lakes, islands, opulent havelis and temples. Surrounded by the ancient Aravalli hills, Udaipur shimmers in dazzling white and is also called the City of Dawn.

Relax at the beautiful palace in the evening enjoying the romantic experience.

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day11 Sightseeing at Udaipur

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace after breakfast.

The massive City Palace overlooking the Lake Pichola is a glittering example of Rajput architecture. A part of the city palace is now a museum. Behind the fortified walls of the palace, dark, steep and narrow staircases connect a maze of royal chambers and courtyards. Dazzling intricate miniatures, antiques and paintings are on display everywhere. Of note are gorgeous mosaics of peacocks in Mor Mahal and a courtyard full of shady trees on the terrace of Amar Vilas.

Maharana Sangram Singh built Saheliyon Ki Bari or “Garden of the Maidens” in the mid 18th century on the shores of Fateh Sagar Lake. The lush green lawns of the garden are replete with fountains whose spouts are placed inside the trunks of large stone elephants. The water flow is controlled solely by water pressure. No pumps are used. Of particular note is an interesting medieval experiment in sound design. In a secluded corner of the garden, carefully selected large leafed plants damp the sound of flowing water on stones to create the auditory effect of being in a large tropical forest in the pouring rain. 

Built in 1751, Bagore Ki Haveli on Gangaur Ghat of Lake Pichola has over a hundred rooms displaying interesting artifacts and paintings. Of note is the fascinating puppet museum. The officials in charge are happy to organize a short impromptu puppet show for interested visitors.

The magnificent 17th century Jagdish Temple is located in the center of the city and is a fine  example of Indo-Aryan architecture. The main deity at the center is a giant black stone image of Lord Vishnu. The outer walls of the temple and the tower feature highly detailed carvings depicting Vishnu and scenes from the life of Krishna. 

Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day12 Udaipur to Delhi by air, tour ends

Morning enjoy the breakfast

As per the flight timings you will be transferred to the airport to tale flight back home.

 

WHY COMPASS®?

Compass India Holidays prides itself in its ability to custom design unforgettable luxury holidays in the Indian subcontinent.

To learn more about how Compass goes about making your holidays special, please click here.

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