Essence of India


With majestic palaces, stalking tigers and spiritual epicentres – this comprehensive luxury tour allows you to experience the wonders of India in style; from the spiritual Ganges of Varanasi to the majestic Amber Fort of Jaipur, and let's not forget, the iconic Taj Mahal.

tour duration 19 Days from
tour price 4,890pp
tour type Group Tour

Places Visited

UK - Delhi (2N) - Udaipur (2N) - Narlai (1N) - Jodhpur (2N) - Jaipur (2N) - Bharatpur (2N)/Ranthambore (2N) - Agra (2N) - Khajuraho (1N) - Varanasi (2N) - Delhi (1N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Discover the stunning architecture of Udaipur, India’s ‘City of Lakes’
Visit the imposing Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur
Browse the wares at lively Choti Choper bazaar
Discover tigers in Ranthambore or India’s extensive birdlife in Bharatpur
See the striking Temples of Khajuraho
Cruise on the spiritual Ganges River in Varanasi

Exclusive Experiences

Enjoy a cooking demonstration in Jaipur
Take a night tour of the Amber Fort, after hours
Gaze on the Taj Mahal at  sun rise
Witness a Puja ceremony on Varanasi’s ghats
Tour the magnificent Mehrangarh with one of the  fort’s curators

Day 1 Fly to Delhi
Arrive at the airport by chauffeured transfer and fly overnight to India's capital, Delhi. On arrival you will be accompanied by one of our experienced escorts to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 1 Fly to Delhi
Day 2 Arrive & Explore
On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 2 Arrive & Explore
Day 3 Discover Delhi
Explore Old Delhi; drive past the Red Fort, walk through Chandni Chowk Bazaar to Jama Masjid and visit the Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple. After lunch, view India Gate before visiting Gandhi Smriti and Qatab Minar. That evening, dine at the Olive Bar & Kitchen, situated in an ancient Mughal mansion. (B,L,D)
Day 3 Discover Delhi
Day 4 Fly to Udaipur
Fly to Udaipur, a city of lakes, palaces and temples. The afternoon is at your leisure. (B,L)
Day 4 Fly to Udaipur
Day 5 Explore Udaipur
In the morning visit Sahelion Ki Bari, the Folk Museum and Mewar Art Gallery. You will also tour the City Palace. Spend the afternoon relaxing on a cruise on Lake Pichola. In the evening, dinner will be on the Sunset Terrace at the Fateh Prakash Palace with perfect views across Lake Pichola. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Explore Udaipur
Day 6 Rawla Narlai
Transfer by road to Rawla Narlai. A small settlement off the regular tourist trail, walk through the village with a guide from the local shepherd community to visit houses and drink tea with the villagers. a beautiful candlelit dinner will be served by the village stepwell. (B,L,D)
Day 6 Rawla Narlai
Day 7 Jodhpur
Transfer to Jodhpur. The city is dominated by the mighty Mehrangarah Fort, which perches on a sandstone plinth in the centre of the old town. This evening you will visit the fort for a private walking tour with the curator. Enjoy dinner in a venue within the fort that is not usually open to the public. (B,L,D)
Day 7 Jodhpur
Day 8 Mehrangarh Fort
The day begins at Jaswant Thasa, a cluster of cenotaphs built in 1899, before heading up in to the hills to Umaid Bhawan Palace to visit the museum. Back in the city wander amongst the stalls of a local vegetable and spice market. Take dinner in Hanwant Mahal, a former royal residence. (B,L,D)
Day 8 Mehrangarh Fort
Day 9 The Pink City
Transfer by road from Jodhpur to Jaipur. Rajasthan's colourful capital, Jaipur, the 'Pink City' is a place of extravagant architecture and a frenetic street life. On arrival, head into the old town to do some shopping for crafts and product before enjoying a cooking demonstration and dinner at Ikaki Niwas. (B,L,D)
Day 9 The Pink City
Day 10 Hawa Mahal & Amber Fort
Your day of sightseeing will include the Hawa Mahal - the Palace of the Winds, the Maharaja's Palace and Jantar Mantar Observatory as well as the formidable Amber Fort, draped over a hillside above the nearby town of Amer. You will return to the fort this evening for a short night tour before dining at the 1135AD restaurant, exclusively located inside the fort's highest ramparts. (B,L,D)
Day 10 Hawa Mahal & Amber Fort
Days 11-12 Ranthambore or Bharatpur
Depending on the season, the next three days operate different itineraries: Jan to May: Travel by train to Ranthambore National Park and enjoy a canter safari in the park. The next day, take morning and afternoon canter safaris. (B,L,D) Sep to Dec: Drive to Bharatpur. Tomorrow visit Keoladeo National Park for a morning rickshaw safari. Later we will visit a nearby village. The following day, drive to Agra via the fortified ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. (B,L,D)
Days 11-12 Ranthambore or Bharatpur
Day 13 Agra
Jan to May: Travel by train to Bharatpur and then continue by road to Agra, stopping at Fatehpur Sikri ghost city, built in 1569 by Emperor Akbar. This evening enjoy a viewing of 'Mohabbat the Taj' (B,L,D). Sep to Dec: A day at leisure with a short drive to Agra and time to explore the historic city. This evening, enjoy a viewing of 'Mohabbat the Taj' (B,L,D)
Day 13 Agra
Day 14 Taj Mahal
Stand in awe as the sun rises over the Taj Mahal. Later, visit Agra Fort. This afternoon, visit the local markets of Sadar Bazaar where you can see the Tirupati Temple. (B,L)
Day 14 Taj Mahal
Day 15 Train to Khajuraho
Rise early to board the Shatabdi Express train to Jhansi. Continue to Khajuraho with a stop at Orchha, a medieval city, famous for its palaces and temples built by the Bundela rulers of the 16th century. Continue to Khajuraho and view a cultural dance performance. (B,L,D)
Day 15 Train to Khajuraho
Day 16 Ghats of Varanasi
The intricately and erotically carved temples of Khajuraho were built between the 10th and 12th centuries and display some of the finest temple art you will find anywhere in the world. Fly to Varanasi. This sacred city sits on the banks of the holy River Ganges - take an atmospheric evening rickshaw ride through the narrow streets to the ghats. (B,L,D)
Day 16 Ghats of Varanasi
Day 17 Boat Ride on the Ganges
An early morning cruise on the Ganges reveals the buzz of activity on the ghats at sunrise. Visit the Buddhist sights of Sarnath. The site of Buddha's first ever sermon after he found enlightenment, Sarnath has a series of magnificent stupas, temples and ruins to explore, some of which date back to the 3rd century BC. (B,L)
Day 17 Boat Ride on the Ganges
Day 18 Fly to Delhi
Fly to Delhi and take some free time to explore this incredible city. (B)
Day 18 Fly to Delhi
Day 19 Fly Delhi to UK
Transfer to Delhi and fly back to the UK, arriving the same or following day. On arrival you will be transported home by chauffeured transfer. (B)
Day 19 Fly Delhi to UK

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

21-Oct > 08-Nov - £4,890 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £4,690 (Delhi - Delhi)
Single room from £1,290
Tipping paid locally US$125

27-Jan > 14-Feb - £5,390 BOOK NOW
17-Mar > 04-Apr - £5,290 BOOK NOW
20-Oct > 07-Nov - £5,190 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £4,690 (Delhi - Delhi)
Single room from £1,290
Tipping paid locally US$125

16-Mar > 03-Apr - £5,990 BOOK NOW
19-Oct > 06-Nov - £5,890 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £4,690 (Delhi - Delhi)
Single room from £1,290
Tipping paid locally US$125

Wendy Wu Tours, inspect all of our hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service which we require for our guests. If the hotels details below for your tour are not available, hotels of a similar standard will be used.

The Lalit New Delhi
The Lalit New Delhi - Delhi (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

The refined rooms of the Lalit Hotel have flat-screen TVs, DVD players, minibars and desks. Room service is available. A free breakfast buffet is served in a 24-hour restaurant. There are 5 other eateries, plus a bar and a funky nightclub. Other amenities include a spa, a yoga studio, a fitness centre and an outdoor pool.



Radisson Blu Udaipur Palace Resort & Spa
Radisson Blu Udaipur Palace Resort & Spa - Udaipur (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

Set on the shores of Fateh Sagar Lake, this elegant resort hotel with a dome-accented roof features luxury room featuring lake or jungle views. They come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and desks. Room service is offered 24/7. Other amenities include a lounge with a rooftop terrace, plus a continental/Indian eatery and a Pan-Asian restaurant. There’s also a gym, an outdoor pool and a spa.



Rawla Narlai
Rawla Narlai - Rawla Narlai (1 Nights)
hotel star rating

This heritage hotel is set in the Aravalli Hills. Elegant rooms come with free Wi-Fi, antique furnishings, seating areas and tea and coffeemaking facilities. Amenities include a restaurant, an outdoor pool, and a cozy bar with live music. There's also a deck with sunloungers, umbrellas and huts, plus a lawn with tables and chairs.



RAAS Hotel
RAAS Hotel - Jodhpur (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

With unrivalled views of the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, the RAAS hotel takes you right to the historical and cultural core of the ‘blue city’. As Jodhpur’s ?rst boutique hotel, the RAAS is designed to mirror the stone-coloured look of neighbouring Mehrangarh and o?ers stunning vistas over Jodhpur.



Jaipur Marriott
Jaipur Marriott - Jaipur (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

The layout of the Jaipur Marriott is designed to re?ect the opulent and historical character of the ‘pink city’ with its marble interior, spacious bedrooms and exotic style outdoor pool. Equipped with high-speed internet, in-room entertainment and complimentary fruit plate, the Jaipur Marriott goes to lengths to make your stay all the more pleasant.



Radisson Blu
Radisson Blu - Agra (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

Located within minutes of the fabled Taj Mahal and the Mughal Agra Fort, the Radisson Blu is nestled in the centre of this exciting city. With calming colours, upscale amenities and comfortable beds, Radisson Blu is a tranquil relaxation spot to unwind in luxury after a day of sightseeing. Don’t forget to check out the extensive range of bars and restaurants, both inside and out.



The Gateway
The Gateway - Varanasi (2 Nights)
hotel star rating

Set amidst 40 acres of lush verdancy and a short drive from the spiritual River Ganges, the Gateway is the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern day life. With stylish touches, mod-cons aplenty and impressive panoramas of the surrounding grounds, your room will be a bit of paradise in this ancient city.



The Grand New Delhi
The Grand New Delhi - Delhi (1 Nights)
hotel star rating

Luxurious rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and city, pool or garden views. Breakfast is complimentary. The hotel has 4 restaurants, 2 bars, a patisserie and a nightclub. There's an outdoor pool, a spa and a fitness centre.



Goa Extension

Goa Extension

tour duration 5 Days from tour price 340pp
Dubai and the Desert

Dubai and the Desert

tour duration 4 Days from tour price 320pp

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find high quality coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and India is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over India where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
 
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
 
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades from Varanasi in the north or Kanchipuram in the south, tie-dyed cottons from all over Rajasthan, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets from Darjeeling or Dharamshala, or the woollen shawls pashminas of Kashmir and Ladakh.
 
There is also the heavy and elaborate silverwork of Rajasthan, “spring picked” tea from the hill stations, and the spices, wooden carvings or facemasks of Kerala.
 
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in India. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes a combination of western and local dishes. As traditional in this region, lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group.
 
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big. In tourist centres, some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars and tea/coffee from home.
 
Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.
 
Tea is very popular and Indians simply love visiting the many street stalls which brew chai (also known as masala), a sweet, spiced tea brewed with boiling milk. Hotels will usually serve tea and instant coffee at breakfast or other meals – you can usually request the chai or masala style tea as well.
Packed meals: On some days, your National Escort/Guide may arrange for a simple, packed meal for your group. It may be a matter of schedule (on long driving days), hygiene (on train journeys), or your location (in remote areas) and we ask you to bear this in mind. Although this is not a full meal, most of our passengers seem to enjoy this change from the large portions and more elaborate banquets enjoyed most days.

What's Included

International flights
UK chauffeur transfer (50m airport radius)
Domestic transportation
5* luxury accommodation
Meals as stated
Touring with guides and entrance fees
Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders

Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable for those with a reasonable amount of time available to travel and who are looking to tour the most iconic and popular destinations and cities in India. This tour is a luxury tour and is suitable for the more discerning traveller.

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