• India Holiday - Golden triangle tour including Agra and Varanasi and a stay at RAAS Jodhpur
  • Golden triangle tour including Agra, The Oberoi Amarvilas and Varanasi
  • Golden triangle tours including Agra and Varanasi
  • Golden triangle tour packages including Nadesar Palace in Varanasi
  • Holiday in India - Golden triangle tour including Agra and Varanasi and Ranakpur Jain temples
  • Luxury India Holiday - Romantic dining at Raas in Jodhpur

  • Luxury Golden Triangle tour - Enjoy the amazing view over drinks at Amarvilas in Agra

  • Golden triangle tours - including the City Palace in Bundi

  • Golden Triangle tour packages- Feel like royalty during your stay in luxury hotels.

  • Luxury Holiday in India - Including The Jain Temple Complex in Ranakpur

THE NORTH - discover North India

THE NORTH was created to give our guests a real flavour of vibrant Rajasthan, but also to take in the other well-known sights of North India – the increasingly trendy capital Delhi, the reverence of Varanasi and of course home to the infamous Taj Mahal, Agra.

It's a whirlwind trip, but designed to optimise your time with an itinerary that allows plenty of scope for meandering and generally soaking up all that is old, new, exciting and inspirational about each of these fantastic locations.

From the splendour of Mughal architecture to the spiritual junction on the banks of the Ganges, right the way through to spotting leopard on safari and exploring the imposing forts and palaces of regal Rajasthan, each day will be give you a new appreciation of the history and culture of India. See how everyday Indians live in settings as different as crowded ancient cities, up and coming modern metropolises and rural agricultural communities.

Your itinerary will include some of the finest and most luxurious hotels in the world – selections from the stunning Oberoi chain, as well as more boutique properties like Devi Garh, Devi Ratn and RAAS.

A thirteen-day tour, THE NORTH takes in Delhi – Varanasi – Agra – Jaipur – Bundi – Udaipur – Ranakpur – Jodhpur and then returning to Delhi.

  • You'll spend the first two days of your trip discovering Delhi, the cosmopolitan capital of India. From the airport we'll take you straight to your hotel to freshen up before heading out to see some of the major sights.

    Delhi's less conservative approach to life, combined with international influences ensure that the city is constantly evolving. It has become somewhat atypical of cities in India, with its wide, tree-lined boulevards and ready access to modern, Western conveniences and entertainment, but still manages to remain representative of India as a whole.

    As you adjust to the seeming chaos of the city, you'll explore the Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb, and the Jama Masijd (Friday mosque) part of the Mughal legacy and lasting imprint on Delhi. You'll also get to see more modern architecture, such as the beautifully serene Lotus Temple, built as a three-dimensional replica of a lotus flower or water lily.

    Depending on your interests, you will also have the chance to wander around Delhi's many markets and the famous Connaught Place – stop for a coffee or do some light shopping.

 In the evenings we'll direct you to some of Delhi's most chic and fashionable restaurants and wateringholes, popular with locals as well as the large expatriate community based in the city.
  • On day three you will fly to the ancient, holy city of Varanasi. Continually inhabited for over three thousand years and the singular most important religious site for Hindus, as well as significant for Jains and Buddhists, Varanasi is an assault on the senses. It's almost impossible not to feel some sort of spirituality in the place that is the confluence of life and death.

    The labyrinthine old city provides new sights and sounds with each turn, each doorway an insight in to how people live their life in and amongst ancient architecture.

    After lunch you can explore the ghatts; steps down to the holy river Ganges. The melee includes Brahmins ministering from beneath brightly coloured umbrellas, the faithful bathing and purifying in the murky waters, children swimming, students meditating and cattle grazing. The throng of people, from tourists to pilgrims has a certain excitement about it, even though a certain solemnity pervades the atmosphere.

    You'll take a boat out on to the Ganges to be able to appreciate the finer points of Varanasi from a quieter perspective. As you travel the length of the city you'll see all the activity along the ghatts, as well as the sacred burning grounds. Far from gruesome, observing the funeral rites of the Hindu religion is quite thought provoking and is a breathtaking experience.

    In the evening the ghatts become even more crowded as worshippers partaking in the evening Aarti (prayer) at many of the small temples along the river. Religious or not, light a ghee candle and watch as it floats out on the Ganges with hundreds of others, twinkling in the darkness.

    Back at the hotel, time to relax and let everything sink in.
  • A leisurely day to spend time exploring more of Varanasi, either by heading back in to the heart of the old city to visit some of the smaller temples and monasteries, or to do some sightseeing around the wider area, including Benares University, the Birla Mandir located in its grounds along with the Bharat Kala Bhavan which houses an impressive collection of religious art. There's also the Jantar Mantar (observatory), designed from the same blueprint as those in Delhi and Jaipur, collectively commissioned by Jai Singh.

    Alternatively, opt for time to enjoy the hotel spa facilities and unwind in the peaceful setting of the hotel grounds.

    Depending on the time of year and flight availabilities you will either fly to Delhi and drive to Agra in the afternoon of day four (spending the night in Agra), or morning of day five.
  • After breakfast on day five you take a flight back to Delhi and then drive onwards to Agra, which takes about three hours. After checking in to your hotel, you'll head to the impossibly romantic Taj Mahal, the most recognised and enduring symbol of love anywhere in the world. No matter how long you gaze at it or how many times you've visited before, it never ceases to amaze you with its enormity, beauty and plain simplicity. While away a few hours taking in this massive edifice from every angle and close-up in the minutest of detail. The craftsmanship, the intricate inlay work, the sheer scale and ingenuity of the project to build such a monument is quite staggering.

    And while big can be beautiful, the much smaller I'timad-Ud-Daulah, or 'Baby Taj' is also worth visiting. The mausoleum of the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal (for whom the Taj Mahal was built) perhaps provided some of the inspiration behind its much larger counterpart, but is much more intimate and restful, and certainly less crowded. Again the use of marble and semi-precious stones from Rajasthan is incredible and gives you a sense of the dedication and sophistication of Mughal architects.

    Agra's final jewel is undoubtedly the gigantic Red Fort, yet another Mughal masterpiece, although this time more functional, a solid garrison as well as a royal palace. Take in the views of the Taj Mahal which was located strategically so that its creator, Shah Jahan might see a daily reminder of his beloved wife from his private quarters in the fort. Partially used as a military post to this day, you're more likely to see monkies snoozing on the lawns and ramparts than actual soldiers.

 Depending on timings, it is possible to see one of the three monuments in the morning of the following day, or to revisit the Taj Mahal at sunrise when the gates are opened to the public.
  • A relatively early start on day six as you head in to Rajasthan and to the state capital, Jaipur. You'll spend most of the day exploring the “Pink City” - the old walled city with its maze of small streets and bazaars. Taking a tuk tuk is definitely the best way to get around quickly and to experience everyday life here up-close.

    You'll be visiting the City Palace and Jantar Mantar after lunch and get a chance to go for a wander back through the streets (with or without a guide) as dusk sets in and the inhabitants of Jaipur come out to do their shopping and to socialise.

    You'll be having drinks and dinner at one of Jaipur's most popular rooftop restaurants, a chance to see just how expansive the city has become in recent times.

    On day seven you'll visit the Royal Gaitor (cenotaphs of the Maharajahs of Jaipur) as you make your way just outside the main city to the impressive Amber Fort, which sits on a hillside in a prime defensive position. The fort and its surroundings were the foundations of what later developed in to the modern city of Jaipur. 

After lunch at chance to meet some of the elephants that work at the fort, ferrying visitors up the steep climb. However, you'll get to see them as they relax and bathe at the relatively new Hathi Goan or Elephant Village. The village was designed to give these magnificent animals (and their mahouts) better living conditions and a place where they can be carefully monitored by animal protection agencies. Join in bath time and help the mahouts scrub down the elephants as they spray water and play.

    Time permitting you'll also have chance to visit the Monkey Temple, or the bright-white Birla temple back in the city.

    After a busy day, you'll have a fantastic five-star dining experience to look forward to, either back at your hotel or at one of the world's most renowned hotels.
  • Day eight starts with the drive to Bundi. Bundi is a relatively small town and as yet not particularly touristy. You'll be able to discover the City Palace that perches over the town and with the help of our resident guide, uncover the history and detail behind the architecture of this former royal residence. Then climb up to the Taragarh Fort, a semi-ruin where you get a sense of adventure as you explore the abandoned buildings and find the occasional relic from its former glory days, including wall paintings and carvings.

    Before heading back to the hotel you have the choice to wander through the streets (perhaps stop off and admire our favourite antique shop where the antiques are genuine and interesting, even if you're not buying!), or to see the Kshar Bagh (royal cenotaphs) monuments to the Maharajahs of Bundi. Here you will note the various Sati memorials, testament to the wives and concubines who followed their royal masters on to the funeral pyre.

    Drinks and dinner by the pool, with a view of the Taragarh Fort illuminated at night make for the perfect end to the day.
  • On to Udaipur on day nine, your destination is a palace hotel painstakingly restored and converted in to a design hotel. Upon arrival you can choose to relax and unwind, enjoy the hotel's L'Occitane spa, or to visit the nearby Eklingji temple complex.

    Private dining in one of the palaces turrets, with some of the finest cuisine in India and the gentle accompaniment of lilting traditional flute music will certainly be one of the highlights of your trip.

    On day ten you'll head in to Udaipur itself. The city is relatively small and easy to navigate, so we recommend that armed with a map you walk the streets around the City Palace, before visiting the palace itself. You'll find many small art galleries down towards the ghatts and can browse through some of the contemporary art produced by local students – as well as the more traditional miniature paintings for which Rajasthan is well known.

    After lunch you can take a boat ride on Lake Pichola and head over to the Jag Mandir island, built as a 'copy' of the now infamous Lake Palace (hotel) by a jealous prince. The views back towards City Palace, and from the gardens out over the Mewar Hills up to the Monsoon Palace. Take the boat back to the quayside around sunset for an amazing vista!

    Dinner at one of Udaipur's many rooftop restaurants involves great Rajasthani cuisine and a fantastic panorama across the city, the lake and palaces.
  • After a late breakfast on day eleven, it's on to Ranakpur.. The drive takes a little over one hour, with the occasional stop along the way to take in the ever-changing landscapes as the terrain becomes more mountainous and you pass through pockets of agricultural communities where traditional methods are still used to work the land. Spot an ox-driven well, or small fields being worked with old-fashioned plough drawn by cattle.  

    After lunch you will visit the Jain temple complex, one of the most important Jain holy sites in the world. The craftsmanship that you will find here is awe-inspiring – truly devotional work. 1444 individually unique pillars, and a multitude of carvings of the Jain prophets, as well as the tranquility and spiritual feel of the temple make it easy to spend quite a while taking everything in.

    One of the resident monks will explain the history of the temples as well as giving you insight in to the daily routine of the community of monks who live in and maintain the temples.

    In the late afternoon we'll head a short distance out of Ranakpur, where leopard expert Devi Singh will help you get a glimpse of these usually shy big cats. Depending on the time of year, there's a very good chance of spotting a leopard, sometimes from very close by. These intriguing animals are stunning and elegant and extremely powerful in action...and captivating for those watching.

    A chance to hear Devi Singh's many leopard-related anecdotes, and thoughts on conservation of this species over drinks and dinner are a great way to gain more understanding of the leopards' habits, routine and precarious position when it comes to poaching and farmers protecting their herds.
  • A three-hour drive to Jodhpur on day twelve. You'll be staying at a design hotel right in the heart of the old city – reputed as the Blue City for the many houses painted in Indigo (traditionally a colour only Brahmin families were allowed to paint their homes in). From the outskirts of the city, you can be collected by the hotel's customised tuk tuk in order to navigate the extremely narrow streets and central market square. The hotel itself, a converted haveli is leading a new wave of hotels that deftly combine very modern design with traditional Rajasthani craftsmanship.

    After check-in and lunch you'll visit the mighty Mehrangarh Fort which sits on a rocky outcrop high above the city. The fort is under the custodianship of the Mehrangarh Trust, supported primarily by the erstwhile royal family of Jodhpur and has been maintained or restored to some of its former glory and has an excellent audio-guide which delves in to the rich history or the Marwar dynasty. Time permitting you can also visit the Jaswant Thada (royal cenotaphs) before heading back down to visit the local markets at dusk. Stalls sell everything from bric-a-brac to spices, fruit and vegetables, sticky sweets and pastries, clothes, fabrics...the list goes on. It's a great time to lose yourself in the crowd as locals go about their shopping.

    Drinks and dinner back at your hotel will not be a disappointment – modern Indian and fusion dishes served up with an excellent glass of wine and views straight up to the Mehrangarh Fort.
  • Your final day in Rajasthan, you'll have time for a leisurely start before your afternoon flight to Delhi and then your onward international connection.

Leopard safaris

Our leopard safaris are a chance to get up close and personal with big cats...Wire teams up with Thakur Devi Singh for a unique wildlife encounter.

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Oberoi indulgence

Enjoy über luxury Oberoi hotels in Delhi, Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Udaipur as part of one of our most indulgent trips...ever!

THE OBEROI tour by Wire

Affordable luxury tours

Your holiday in Rajasthan from £1795 per person for 10 days? Wire affordable luxury is still expertly crafted, but with a few less extras!

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