Essential India


DEPARTURE DATE: 5th February 2016

From the intricate saris of Rajasthan to the beautiful symmetry of the Taj Mahal, this compact journey is a photographer’s delight and the perfect introduction to India. You’ll float past the ghats on the River Ganges to encounter the spiritual heart of Hinduism in Varanasi and get off the beaten path exploring carved stepwells and quaint temples in rural villages. With the perfect combination of included activities and free time to explore the nation’s rich heritage, you’re sure to be caught up in India’s incredible tapestry of life.


What a great introduction to the crazy place that is Northern India. Our tour leader was fantastic, really enthusiastic and passionate about the places we visited and always willing to go the extra mile to make our trip memorable.

We did not know what to expect from India, I was a little unsure about going, I wanted to spend time elsewhere but I am pleased I was persuaded otherwise.

India is unlike any other place we have visited, every element of life is played out right before your eyes. There is so much going on and happening all around you all of the time it is easy to get sensory overload and at first this can be a little overwhelming. However, once you have adjusted to the sights, sounds and smells it all kind of starts to make sense and it is a great place to explore.

We loved the fact that we choose to jump on a tour for this part of our travels as we definitely did get to go to places and see things that would have been hard for us to do by ourselves in such a compact amount of time.

With visits to Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, the Taj Mahal and Varanasi you do get to cover off a lot of India’s must see destinations.

I would recommend this tour without hesitation to anyone who wants to explore India and not have to worry about the logistics of getting around, finding accommodation and good places to eat.

The accommodation throughout was of a good standard and a nice mix of property types from old palaces to modern city hotels.


  • Taj Mahal at sunrise, first in line, we beat all the crowds
  • Varanasi; multiple boat trips on the river Ganges, great view for evening prayer ceremony
  • Good mix of crazy cities and rural towns
  • Stayed in some really good heritage hotels (old palaces)
  • A couple of great meal experiences
  • Tour guide was fantastic, very knowledgeable, we learned a lot


  • Hotels in Varanasi and Delhi were a little out of the center

Been on this Trip or Thinking of Going?

We would love to here about your experiences on the Essential India tour.
Or, if you are planning on taking this tour and have any questions you would like answered please use the comments section below.


Day 1 – Delhi

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project.

Day 2 – Delhi

Take a morning walk through the city with a young adult from the G Adventures-supported New Delhi Streetkids Project. Later, visit Old Delhi, explore the spice markets, and visit Jama Masjid and Connaught Place.

Day 3 – Delhi/Jaipur

Arrive in Jaipur and explore this gorgeous ‘pink city’.

Day 4 – Jaipur

Stop and take a photo of the ‘Palace of the Winds’ and wander the organized streets of the ‘Pink City’. Later, enjoy a visit to the Amber Fort, famous for its mixture of Hindu and Muslim architecture.

Day 5 – Jaipur/Tordi Sāgar

Visit this Rajasthani rural village in the beautiful countryside with a close tie to the land.

Meals included: Lunch | Dinner

Day 6 – Tordi/Āgra

Stop by the impressive Abhaneri stepwells on the way to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7 – Āgra

Visit the famous Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort.

Day 8 – Āgra/Alīpura

Travel to Alipura and stay in a heritage property in the village.

Day 9 – Alīpura

Enjoy a day trip to Khajuraho to visit the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, India’s largest group of medieval temples, known for their kama sutra statues.

Day 10 – Alīpura/Orchha

Visit Orchha, a quiet rural town along the banks of the Betwa River and enjoy a puja ceremony. Visit a unique paper-making plant en route, set up to assist tribal women from the area.

Day 11 – Orchha/Varanasi

Visit the Orchha Palace complex and enjoy free time before the overnight train to Varanasi. Opt for a local cooking class with a family.

Day 12 – Varanasi

Take an orientation walk through the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. Marvel at the ghats from the River Ganges as you enjoy boat trips at sunrise and sunset.

Day 13 – Varanasi

Watch the sunrise from a boat along the Ganges. Enjoy free time in this holy city.

Day 14 – Varanasi/Delhi

Cut out the travel time with an afternoon flight back to Delhi.

Day 15 – Delhi

Depart at any time.