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Golden Triangle & Ganges

A luxurious exploration of India's Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra & Jaipur with Ganges river cruise.

Overview

This Golden Triangle and Ganges River tour encompasses the very best of northern India, from the striking architecture and rich history of three extraordinary cities, to the wildlife of the Sundarbans National Park. You will have the opportunity to explore the incredible cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, before embarking on a luxury cruise along the Lower Ganges, aka the Hooghly River, to the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove eco-system in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the hub of the ‘Royal Bengal Tigers’.

Fascinating Destinations

In the capital city of Delhi, reminders of long-ago empires co-exist with magnificent museums, temples and mosques, colonial British architecture, ancient Mughal ruins, bustling bazaars and elegant shopping emporiums. There are few sights in the world as iconic as Agra’s Taj Mahal. Testament to the power of an emperor’s love, the sight of this astonishingly beautiful marble mausoleum will remain with you forever. The pink city of Jaipur introduces splendid forts and palaces, a treasure trove of bustling bazaars, and an 18th century astronomical observatory that has amazed scientists and astrologists worldwide.

The second part of this tour is a cruise along the Hooghly River to the deltaic region of West Bengal and the serene Sundarbans National Park. This rich and unique mangrove ecosystem is home to abundant birdlife, Gangetic dolphins, crocodiles, fishing cats, snakes, deer, monkeys, wild hogs and otters, with the most famous but most elusive residents being the ‘Royal Bengal tigers’.

Exciting Excursions

In India’s capital city, take time to explore historical monuments such as the Qutub Minar in Old Delhi, and Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi. Here, surprises await you around every corner. Discover the narrow, winding lanes of old Delhi, and take a rickshaw ride through one of the country’s oldest and busiest markets – the famous Chandni Chowk. Travel to romantic Jaipur to wonder at the pink-hued architecture, palaces, bazaars and the enormous astronomical instruments of the Jantar Mantar observatory. Just outside Jaipur, the Amber Fort invites you to wander freely through the stronghold of an ancient kingdom. In Agra, gaze in awe at the Taj Mahal, India’s most stunning homage to love; return at dawn when the atmosphere is brilliantly altered by the rising sun.

Relish a cruise along the Hooghly River to the Sundarbans National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy guided excursions with expert naturalists to the watchtowers in search of crocodiles, terrapins, wild boars, axis deer, and a wide range of migratory and local birds. Visit a local village and take a small boat excursion through some of the narrow creeks. Spotting the tiger here is harder than in any other forest, but wouldn’t it be amazing to see one.

All excursions are on a private basis, by means of private transportation, and accompanied by an experienced private guide, with the exception of the West Bengal Hooghly River cruise which is on a small-group, shared basis.

Five-star Accommodations

The exquisite accommodations on your luxury Delhi Agra Jaipur tour have been chosen to reflect the spirit of North India’s three most famous cities, showcasing the architecture of each region within a harmonious blend of tradition, contemporary sophistication and attentive service. Likewise, on your India Golden Triangle cruise extension you will feel like a Maharaja aboard the Ganges Voyager, within the serene sanctuary of your spacious, high-ceilinged suite, complete with beautiful hand-painted murals and all the comforts of a five-star hotel.

This two-part, luxury 10-day India tour offers couples, honeymooners and families a fascinating insight into the history and wealth of the Indian culture, and the extraordinary wildlife of one of the country’s biggest national parks.

Itinerary & Prices

10 Day - Golden Triangle & Ganges
itinerary map

Welcome to Delhi

On arrival at Delhi international airport after midday, you are met and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight at The Oberoi hotel or similar.

Location
Delhi
Day
1 / 10

Old Delhi & Qutab Minar

Breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to visit Old Delhi for a Cycle Rickshaw ride to witness daily activities in the bustling alleyways of Chandni Chowk market, the heart, and soul of Old Delhi – a patchwork of eight different cities built by a succession of rulers and a center of Muslim India between the 13th and 19th centuries.

Following this, visit the Raj Ghat a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. It is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burns at one end.

Then visit the Humayun’s Tomb (WHS), the mausoleum of Mughal Emperor Humayun, commissioned by his wife during 1569-70, which is the first Persian style garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. Structurally it set a precedent for subsequent Mughal architecture, which reached its zenith with the Taj Mahal at Agra.

Thereafter we drive past India Gate, a prominent landmark of Delhi, built in 1931 to commemorate the soldiers of the British Indian Army who lost their lives in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War.

After having lunch at a local restaurant, we continue the city tour and visit the World Heritage Site of Qutab Minar. The Tower and other structures in this complex date from the Slave Dynasty (1206-1290) and reflect the beginnings of Islamic architecture in India. The complex initially housed about 27 Hindu temples that were destroyed and their material was reused for constructing the Tower and the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque adjacent to it.

Dinner and overnight at The Oberoi hotel or similar.

(B/L/D)

Location
Delhi
Day
2 / 10

Agra Fort & Taj Majal at Sunset

After breakfast at the hotel we drive to Agra (approx. 4-hrs drive via the Expressway)

On arriving in Agra, we visit another World Heritage Site, the formidable Agra Fort, built by Emperor Akbar, which is perhaps the best-preserved fort in India. Construction of this crescent-shaped fort 2.5km in circumference commenced in 1565. Contained within the huge double outer walls up to 20m high and broken by a series of huge gates, the fort is almost a city within a city.

Transfer to hotel and check in. Settle in and have your lunch at the hotel.

Later during the day, we’ll visit the highlight of any India vacation, the incredible Taj Mahal, and stay until sunset. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Begum, construction took 22 years and was completed in 1653 at a speculated cost of 3 million rupees, equivalent to around 70 million US Dollars today.

Dinner and overnight at The Oberoi Amarvilas or similar.

(B/L/D)

Location
Agra
Day
3 / 10

Taj Mahal at Sunrise & Jaipur Journey

This morning rise early for a breathtaking sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal to view the marble sparkle in the dawn light.

Return to the hotel for breakfast and spend your time in the hotel on your own.

After lunch, we drive to Jaipur (approx 5 hrs drive) and check in to the hotel and have dinner.

Overnight at The Oberoi Rajvilas or similar.

(B/L/D)

Location
Jaipur
Day
4 / 10

Amber Fort & Pink City

After breakfast at the hotel, we visit the Amber Fort, located on the outskirts of the city (approx. 11km). High above the town and surrounded by defensive fortification walls, the impressive fort was built by Raja Man Singh in the early 17th century. It houses mighty gates, temples, huge ornate halls, palaces, pavilions, and gardens.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

Later we visit the Pink City, the old part of Jaipur named after its pink hue coloration. Visit the City Palace, an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthan and Mughal architecture. The vast palace complex occupies one-seventh of the walled city of Jaipur. Originally built by Maharaja Jai Singh, additions have been made to the palace complex by many of his successors. The complex is divided into a series of courtyards, sprawling gardens, and buildings.

Adjacent to the city palace is the Jantar Mantar Observatory. Built between 1728 and 1734 on a grand scale, the 17 astronomical instruments were built in stone and marble. The collection, built by Jai Singh includes a 27.4m high sundial accurate to 2 seconds!

Finally, we visit the colorful bazaar from where we can view the Hawa Mahal. This unique building also known as the “Palace of the Winds” is a Jaipur landmark and was once used by the ladies of the court to watch the daily goings-on in the street below.

Back to the hotel & spend your time on your own. Have your dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at The Oberoi Rajvilas hotel or similar.

(B/L/D)

Location
Jaipur
Day
5 / 10

Kolkata Flight & Embarkation

After early breakfast, depart for the airport for a flight to Kolkata. Upon arrival in Kolkata, you are met and transferred to the ship Ganges Voyager, the gateway to your journey along with the world’s holiest river, the sacred Ganges. You’ll be welcomed on board with a refreshing beverage, which will be followed by a safety briefing.

As the ship navigates, you’ll be entertained onboard by Baul musicians, whose music represents a long heritage of preaching mysticism through songs in Bengal. Although Bauls constitute only a small fraction of the Bengali population, their influence on the culture of Bengal (both in India & Bangladesh) is considerable. The Baul tradition has been included in the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Overnight onboard Ganges Voyager.

(B/L/D)

Location
Kolkata
Day
6 / 10

Kolkata-Namkhana

Set sail along the Hooghly River to reach the fishing port of Namkhana, the gateway of the Sundarbans National Park, a World Heritage Site.

We will cruise past the boat-building yard of Nurpur and the historic Diamond Harbour towards the Bay of Bengal. Time permitting, we’ll visit the Namkhana port, or sail forward towards Sundarbans to visit protected areas.

As we navigate, enjoy interaction with the Naturalist on the unique ecosystem of the Sundarbans, the world’s largest delta mangrove forest and habitat of the famous Royal Bengal Tiger.

The Highlight of the Day: Full-day sailing viewing historic sites and unique landscapes following the river to the Bay of Bengal and learning about the Sundarbans from the Naturalist.

Overnight onboard Ganges Voyager.

(B/L/D)

Location
Namkhana
Day
7 / 10

Namkhana – Bony Camp – Bali Island

Anchoring in the Western Sundarbans today is your first foray into this rich and unique mangrove ecosystem, scaling the Bony Camp Watchtower on an excursion to spot endangered crocodiles, terrapins, and many species of migratory birds.

Sailing along the Matla river to the Hero Bhangra Islands, keep a keen eye out for Irrawaddy Dolphins and other marine life.

After lunch we visit the serene Nethidopani Watchtower and experience the spectacular nature of the surroundings. Sail onward to Bali Island, a typical village whose inhabitants are engaged in farming, paddy husking, honey packing, and fishing.

The Highlight of the Day: Bali Village & NGO Interaction – The Bali Nature & Wildlife Conservation Society in collaboration with the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) helps support the communities living around the Tiger Reserve, and encourages them to view wildlife and their environment as an asset rather than a threat. Enjoy a village walk and interact with the villagers engaged in creating handicrafts, visit a local home, and witness a tribal dance.

Overnight onboard Ganges Voyager.

(B/L/D)

Location
Bali Island
Day
8 / 10

Bali – Sudhanyakhali – Do Banki – Namkhana

With a gorgeous sunrise, you’ll scale the Sudhanyakhali Watchtower, the most popular locale to spot the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger; this vast habitat endows invigorating possibilities of crocodiles, wild boars, axis deer, and a wide range of migratory and local birds.

Thereafter you’ll take a small country boat through the narrow creeks to climb the Dobanki Watchtower and enjoy a canopy walk at an elevation of 20 feet from the ground and about half a kilometer in length, to reveal the riveting flora and fauna.

Return to the ship for late lunch and sail to Namkhana.

The Highlight of the Day: Interaction with Fishermen at work during the creek ride.

Overnight onboard Ganges Voyager.

(B/L/D)

Location
Namkhana
Day
9 / 10

Disembarkation

Early this morning we sail back to Kolkata enjoying breakfast and lunch on board, arriving late in the afternoon.

Disembark and proceed with your onward journey.

(B/L)

Location
Kolkata
Day
10 / 10
1 / 10

Accommodations

Cruises & Lodges

Ganges Voyager

Stylish voyages of colonial-style elegance and luxury along India's sacred River Ganges and beyond.
56 Guests
28 Cabins
View

Hotel Options

5 Star

The Oberoi New Delhi

Delhi
5 Star

The Oberoi Amarvillas

Agra
5 Star

The Oberoi Rajvilas

Jaipur