Toying with the idea of getting an immersive and unforgettable guided tour of India on your calendar? Here’s 14 reasons why that’s a brilliant idea
Choosing to experience a guided tour of India for your next incredible escape might just be the best idea you’ve ever had.
Forget about “Where’s hot in October?“
Sure, you could plump for another sparkling beach escape instead and quaff the same cocktail you’ve had a million times before. Or you could treat your senses to something new and truly unforgettable.
Touring India is an experience that will stay with you forever. And, we’re going to use this blog to tell you exactly why – through the medium of outlining all the activities you can experience in just 1 8-night adventure. But first, let’s simplify this whole deal.
Why Choose a Guided Tour Of India?
We should say, throughout this piece, we will be referring to our awesome new Taj & Tigers 8-Night India Tour. Just so you know that everything we’re about to share is a) possible and b) absolutely attainable.
With that in mind, the first core thing to consider when weighing up whether an India tour holiday is for you is – price. This tour is available now from £1,299pp.
Now, You couldn’t choose between a remote beach or water villa in the Maldives for that money. Whereas here you get an 8-night itinerary packed with some of the best sights and experiences India has to offer. We love a good beach as much as the next person (probably more) but some choices are easy.
While we’re on the subject of villas, if you’re thinking that tours of India usually end up with you bedding down in a basic bedsit in central Delhi, then you’ve got another thing coming.
And finally, I’m not sure if we’ve outlined this yet. But there are a staggering amount of things to do on this trip. So, why don’t we get into it and explore some of the activities we’ve outlined in more detail?
15 Things To Do, 1 Trip
- Experience Delhi
- Rikshaw through Old Delhi
- See where Gandhi was cremated
- Visit a real “Langar”
- Try authentic Indian street food
- Explore Agra
- Tour the Taj Mahal
- Witness the E-Taj Sound & Light Show
- Explore Fatehpur Sikri the “ghost city”
- Explore the Pink City
- Uncover a world of wildlife at Ranthambore
- Have dinner with an Indian family
- Witness a stunning Aarti Ceremony at Birla Temple
- Tick off 11 UNESCO Heritage sites
1. Experience Delhi
Delhi is an incredible city. From the moment you step out onto the streets, it attacks your senses and awakens them. Getting immersed in the city vibes is the best way to begin ticking off those bucket-list activities. The Red Fort and India Gate are 2 of the big sightseeing attractions here.
While you’re exploring-it-up in New Delhi, take the chance to visit Qutub Minar. Qutub Minar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the tallest stone building in India. But the stunning complex around the tower is home to some other impressive structures like:
- Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque: One of the oldest mosques in India. Quwwat-ul-Islam (or “Might of Islam”)was built in 1192
- Alai Darwaza: Created as a main gateway to the stunning Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, Alai Darwaza is a square stone archway with 4 entries, built by Alauddin Khalji in 1310.
- Tomb of Imam Zamin: Just east of Alai Darwaza lies the tomb of Imam Zamin. Imam Zamin migrated to India around the late 15th to early 16th century and he was in charge of handing out duties in the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque.
- Alai Minar: Created by Alauddin Khalji to commemorate his military achievements. Alauddin wanted to build a more impressive tower than Qutb Minar. But construction stopped following his death.
- The Iron Pillar: One of the most famous cultural attractions in Delhi. The Iron Pillar was built by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya, in honour of the Hindu god Vishnu. It;’s the oldest standing Hindhu relic in the complex.
- Iltutmish’s Tomb: Built in 1235, the tomb houses the body of Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish. The understated exterior of the building belies the heavily decorated interior. Inscriptions, iconography and geometric patterns adorn the ancient walls.
But don’t worry, there’s more stunning experiences around the corner. Let’s get even more immersed by dropping into the antiquated streets of Old Delhi.
2. Go On A Rikshaw Ride Through Old Delhi
On the Taj & Tigers Tour take the chance to go hurtling through the 16th-century streets of Old Delhi and its bustling central hub, Chandni Chowk, on an authentic Rikshaw. It’s the only way to experience this area of the city like a true local.
Your jaunt through Chandni Chowk will come to an end as you reach the resplendent walls of Jama Masjid, a stunning example of Mughal architecture constructed by emperor Shah Jahan in the mid-1600s.
Have a tour of the stunning mosque grounds and interior which include revered prayer areas and ancient relics believed to be from the Prophet Mohammad.
3. Stop Off At Raj Ghat: The Place Where Mahatma Gandhi Was Cremated
On the face of it, Raj Ghat might not seem like an important spot. The beautifully manicured park is undeniably easy on the eye. But there’s more going on here than just a pretty park to walk around.
Head to the centre of the park and you come to a simple square platform crafted from sheer black marble. This sombre monument marks the place where the great Mahatma Gandhi was cremated following his assassination in 1948.
4. Feel The Community Spirit at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara “Langar”
A Gurudwara or “langar” is a Sikh idea of a social area and free kitchen. Take the chance to see this sentiment in action at Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in New Dehli, as around 35,000-40,000 people come together every day to be fed.
The simple, wholesome dishes are created to be vitamin-rich and filling to ensure everyone who comes gets a nutritional meal without the cost.
5. Try Some Authentic Indian Street Food
Staying on the subject of delicious, vibrant and wholesome Indian food, you need to try some street food during your time in Delhi. You can find some awesome examples of this… well. Everywhere. But over in South Delhi, there’s a large craft bazaar called Dilli Haat.
Visiting Dilli Haat is an optional complimentary extra activity on our 8-night tour of India. But it’s well worth going along.
During the 60-90 minute exploration of the marketplace, walk the corridors around the many stalls and shops where hundreds of Indians are cooking up a storm, creating souvenirs, or sculpting rosewood carvings.
6. Explore the Ancient City of Agra
If you haven’t heard of it before, Agra is the ancient capital of the Mughal Empire and one of the most visited cities in India. But, on this tour, you will need to make the near-250km journey south first. From Delhi to Agra.
So what makes Agra so good?
Making up one point of India’s “Golden Triangle”, Agra is home to some of the country’s most renowned and recognised landmarks. Those big names include Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-Daula, the Tomb of Akbar, Chini ka Rauza, and the serene Taj Mahal, of course.
Which leads us nicely on to our next awesome activity on a guided tour of India…
7. Tour The Incredible Taj Mahal
It’s the big one! The Taj Mahal is a quintessential bucket-list landmark and you have the chance to tour it on our awesome India tour package.
One of the Seven New Wonders Of The World, many people believe the Taj Mahal is a huge mosque. But, it’s actually a mausoleum built by the same Mughal emperor who constructed Jama Masjid back in Delhi – Shah Jahan.
Created to hold the body of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to their 14th child. The Taj took 21 years to complete. During your tour, you can learn even more about the star-crossed lovers, as well as the building and its super symmetrical layout. You even get the chance to see the “Diana Seat”
What Is The Diana Seat at The Taj Mahal?
The Diana seat is a low stone bench located at the front of the Taj. it’s been given that name after the famous Princess once perched there during a photo opportunity during The Prince and Princess of Wales’ tour of India back in 1992.
Unfortunately, the famous snap would go on to mark a dark point in the couple’s marriage which would end in divorce a few years later.
Nowadays people come from across the globe to grab a seat on the cement bench and rest in Princess’s shadow. But it’s also the iconic area of the Taj where the whole building opens out behind you.
8. Witness the E-Taj Sound & Light Show
While you’re at the Taj, wait for the cover of night to enjoy an 80-minute music, dance, and light extravaganza. The Mohabbat-e-Taj show includes 80 dancers depicting the gorgeous story of the love between Shah Jahan and Mumtaz.
9. Explore The Eerie Ghost City
Around an hour west of the Taj Mahal lies the town of Fatehpur Sikri. The only thing moving around this ancient town are the tourists searching for ghosts of the past.
Constructed between 1571 and 1573 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, the walled city is made up of ornate houses, a mosque and 3 palaces that many believe were dedicated to each of the Emperor’s wives.
Unfortunately, the city which was designated as the Mughal capital by Akbar, was only in operation for a short time. Water scarcity meant that many had to move away from the area. It has been abandoned ever since.
10. Discover The Beauty Of Jaipur (The “Pink City”)
Did you know that, with 3.1 million people, Jaipur is India’s 10th most populous city?
Dubbed the Pink City by Prince Albert in 1876, after Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh I had the whole city painted dusky pink in honour of the royal visit. Pink was believed to be the symbolic colour of hospitality. And the shade has stuck to this day!
During your time exploring this awesome locale, enjoy a tour of Amber Fort. The UNESCO-designated site, built in 1592, is a Rajasthani fortification and palace where vast armies would return to showcase the spoils of war. Head inside and check out the gorgeous murals depicting scenes from those conflicts and royal hunting trips.
While you’re in town, you should also take the chance to check out the iconic Hawa Mahal – or Palace of Winds. A honeycomb-esque building boasting 950 intricate lattices. Or how about exploring grand palaces like ‘Chandra Mahal’ and ‘Mubarak Mahal’. If you’re a stargazer, head over to Jantar Mantar, an 18th-century astronomical observatory.
11. Go On a Wildlife Safari at Ranthambore
A world away from the bustling streets of the Pink City (around 166km actually) is the serene location of Ranthambore National Park. That’s right, our India tour package also takes you to the awesome natural sights of the country not just the manmade ones.
Heading out on a safari in Ranthambore National Park is a great way to spot majestic and rare creatures like Bengal tigers, leopards, and wild boars among others, in their natural habitat.
Our India tour will get you out on the trails with two dawn safaris. You also have the amazing opportunity to check out the 10th-century Ranthambore Fort too!
12. Experience Dinner With a Dinner with An Indian Family
Join an Indian family for an authentic dinner. Don’t worry, this is part of the 8-Night India Tour. We’re not just going to encourage you start knocking on doors to see if anyone fancies a few strangers for lunch.
Not only does the dinner include delicious homecooked Indian delicacies, but it also comes with turban tying for the men while the ladies are presented with a ceremonial scarf. Plus, you’ll also be honoured with a Tikka. A vermillion paste is applied to your forehead to signify the energy of spiritual enlightenment and wisdom
13. Catch An Aarti Ceremony at Birla Temple
This ancient Hindhu ceremony, known as the ‘Ceremony of Light’, sees Hindhus giving thanks and praise to Deities such as Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.
During the ceremony prayers will be offered to the gods and lit wicks will be waved in front of their imagery to infuse the flames with their love and energy.
After all the thanksgiving, you sit down to share a banquet of food. It’s the perfect fusion of spiritual and gastronomic immersion.
14. Tick 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites Off Your Must-See List
One of the best things about this guided tour of India is the amount of awesome UNESCO World Heritage Sites you’ll tick off during your trip. India is a deeply cultural location, as such, the country is dripping with famous historic landmarks.
This Northern India odyssey could see you tick off famous landmarks that we have and haven’t mentioned above like the Taj Mahal, Qutb Minar, Huamyun’s Tomb, Agra Fort, Amber Fort, and Jantar Manta.
If you can pack more culture into an 8-night trip, then we don’t want to hear about it.
Where To Stay On Your Guided India Tour
With that incredible exploration happening throughout the days, you’re going to want somewhere comfortable to stay each night, right?
During the tour, stay at a selection of awesome hotels throughout Delhi, Agra and Jaipur:
- Hotel Vivanta by Taj or the Leela Ambiance Shahadra (or similar)
- Taj Hotel & Convention (or similar)
- Clarks Safari, Ranthambore (or similar)
- Taj Devi Ratan (or similar)
Each of these beautiful resorts boasts 4 & 5-star facilities. It sure beats bedding down in some hostel in central Delhi.
Discover More Things To Do On Your 8-Night India Tour
If you fancy a change from hitting up another beautiful beach for your next escape, this guided tour of India is perfect.
With more landmarks than you can shake a stick at, modern hotel stays, and a generous smattering of rare wildlife in there for good measure. Our India tour package gives you a concentrated dose of South Asian culture for the same price as a luxury beach stay.
Click the button below to learn more about this awesome trip and how you can book your spot.