Evening Aarti Varanasi

13 day escorted tour itinerary

The British Heritage Tour

Explore India's colonial past

Travel through time as you explore India's Mughal and British heritage. Along the way, visit some of the country's finest historic sites and see Delhi's blend of Victorian and 20th century architecture built during British era. Travel to Agra to view the magnificent Taj Mahal. In Gwalior, explore one of the oldest forts in India, discover the heritage city of Lucknow, and in Kanpur hear stories about the Indian rebellion as you visit sites from the massacres of 1857. Your tour comes to an end with a visit to Varanasi to witness an Aarti ceremony on the Ganges, and, quite fittingly, concludes in the former capital of British India, Kolkata.

Our Experts Recommend:
  • The sights of Old and New Delhi
  • The magic of the Taj Mahal
  • Gwalior Fort, temples and palaces
  • Kanpur massacre sites
  • Heritage town of Lucknow
  • Ganges River and Aarti ceremony
  • Former capital of British India

Sample Itinerary Summary

We can tailor any part of this itinerary or create a new one just for you.

Duration
13 days
Guide Price
£1,829 per person
Price based on
Based on 08 October 19, meal basis as per itinerary.
Our guide price gives you an idea of pricing which will vary depending on exchange rates, accommodation, duration, dates, airline and cabin class.
Destination Breakdown
  • 2 nights
  • 1 night
  • Orchha 1 night
  • Gwalior 1 night
  • Kanpur 1 night
  • Lucknow 2 nights
  • 2 nights
  • 2 nights
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Included
  • Domestic flights as detailed. Please be aware that the domestic flight luggage allowance may be less than your international flight allowance. Maximum allowance on a domestic flight is 15 kilos of hold luggage.
  • Accommodation as detailed in double or twin room with private facilities (alternative but similar hotels may be used at certain times of the year).
  • Air-conditioned transportation and train tickets.
  • Services of an English speaking local driver/guide.
  • All entrance fees during sightseeing as detailed.
  • Meals included as stated. Please note: Breakfast is usually a Western style buffet in your hotel.
Not included
  • International flights from the UK
  • Visa fees
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Beverages during meals
  • Tips for the driver/guides/porter
  • Optional excursions

Itinerary Breakdown

Upon arrival into Delhi you will be met and transferred to your hotel. You can upgrade to The Leela Palace New Delhi for the first two nights if you fancy a little more luxury. 

The rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Standard Tour - The Suryaa / Superior Tour - Taj Palace, New Delhi or similar

Enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of New and Old Delhi. New Delhi features sites like the President's House and the India Gate, a memorial arch built to commemorate the slain heroes of World War 1 and Indo-Afghan War. Then moving on the 300 year old Old Delhi - built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century as his capital - and Mahatma Gandhi's shrine. Visit the precursor to the Taj Mahal, Humayun's Tomb. This is a garden tomb and stands as a high point of early Mughal architecture and technology.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Standard Tour - The Suryaa / Superior Tour - Taj Palace, New Delhi or similar

After breakfast leave Delhi for Agra. After checking in to your hotel, visit the Agra Fort. Behind it's forbidding red sandstone battles lie palaces that tell the story of the Mughal Empire. At sunset, visit the world famous Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan in 1560, this architectural marvel is a perfectly portioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the skill of 20,000 craftsmen.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Standard Tour - Radisson Agra / Superior Tour - ITC Mughal

This morning transfer to Agra Railway station to board the Express train for Jhansi. On arrival, visit the Jhansi Fort and delve into the significance of this strategic base. After the fort tour drive on to Orchha, a medieval riverside town known for grand palaces and temples. 

Points of Interest

  • Chaturbhuj Temple

Overnight Accommodation

  • Amar Mahal, Orchha

Explore Gwalior, home to one of the oldest Forts in India. The Tomar King, Man Singh (1486-1516), built the Man Mandir, a six-towered palace decorated with perforated screens, mosaics, floral designs, and mouldings in Hindu profusion. Man Singh also built the Gujari Mahal, a turreted palace of stone—now an archaeological museum. The Fort also contains a mosque and 11th century temples. Outside the Fort, Gwalior offers the tomb of Muhammad Ghaus, a saint worshipped by the Mughals and the tomb of Tansen, Akbar's famed court musician.

Points of Interest

  • Gwalior Fort

Overnight Accommodation

  • Taj Usha Kiran Palace Hotel Gwalior

Morning transfer to Gwalior railway station, to board the train for Kanpur, a large city on the banks of the River Ganges. On arrival this evening you will be transferred to your hotel.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Landmark Hotel Kanpur

Discover the tragic story of the massacres of Kanpur (then known as Cawnpore) which encapsulates the long suffering of a garrison under siege. Following the tour of these significant sites, drive to Lucknow and on arrival check in to your hotel.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Standard Tour - La Place Sarova Portico / Superior Tour - Vivanta by Taj

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Lucknow, the city of Nawabs (Indian governors). This multicultural city is characterised by courtly manners, beautiful gardens, poetry, music, and fine cuisine. Visit the Picture Gallery housing life-size oil paintings of the Nawabs of Oudh, and also see Chattar Manzil Palace, Moti Mahal Palace, and the British Raj Residency.

Points of Interest

  • Rumi Darwaza

Overnight Accommodation

  • Standard Tour - La Place Sarova Portico / Superior Tour - Vivanta by Taj

Take an early morning transfer to the railway station to board the intercity express train for Varanasi, arriving at lunch time. This evening, visit the Ganges to witness the beautiful Aarti ceremony.

Points of Interest

  • Aarti Ceremony

Overnight Accommodation

  • Standard Tour - Ramada Varanasi / Superior Tour - Taj Gateway

An early morning boat ride on the River Ganges is an unforgettable experience. See the bathing and cremation sites along the river, before taking a short walk through Varanasi's narrow lanes, passing Vishwanath and Durga temples. The rest of the morning, your day is spent on an excursion to the Dhamek Stupa, a once resplendent monastery but now a large complex of ruins. The first monk communities are thought to have settled here in the 3rd century BC. Sarnath also has an interesting archaeological museum which shows the major events of Buddha's life by wall paintings.

Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. 

Points of Interest

  • Durga Mandir

Overnight Accommodation

  • Standard Tour - Ramada Varanasi / Superior Tour - Taj Gateway

After a leisurely morning, transfer to Varanasi Airport to board your short flight for Kolkata. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel, and have the rest of the day at leisure. 

Overnight Accommodation

  • Standard Tour - The Park Hotel / Superior Tour - Taj Bengal

Today features a full day tour of Kolkata. This former capital of the British Raj is home to endless monuments, and reminders of India's colonial past. Visit sites such as the Victoria Memorial and St. Paul's Cathedral for a unique hint of home. 

Overnight Accommodation

  • Standard Tour - The Park Hotel / Superior Tour - Taj Bengal

Spend the day at leisure before your transfer to the airport for your onward journey.