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Cultural North India Tour

  • 8 Nights / 9 Days
  • Delhi - (Samode) - Jaipur - Agra - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Delhi
Ganga, ghats & ‘aarti’
Temples & traditions
Culture & bazaar
Forts & palaces
Heritage & legacy
Mosques & tombs

Cultural North India tour epitomizes the best of art, architecture and culture of North India in a short duration of 09 days only. Cultural North India tour is one of the most liked package tours in India. Designed by Optima India Tourism, Cultural North India tour is also popularly known as Golden Triangle Tour with Khajuraho & Varanasi. This north India tour presents cultural shades of Varanasi (Hindu culture), Rajasthan (Jaipur) and medieval era Delhi. Along with that visit world famous monuments like Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Akshardham temple in Delhi; Amber Fort, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and City Palace in Jaipur (Rajasthan), Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri in Agra and Western Group of Temples in Khajuraho. Cultural North India tour lets you explore vibrant and colourful markets of north India.

Day 1 Arrival at Delhi

Optima India Tourism representative awaits at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and welcomes you gracefully on arrival. As most of the International flights land either in late night or very early morning, to get re-energized and come out of jet-lag, you will be at the earliest transferred to Delhi hotel for overnight stay. The check in at Delhi hotel will be facilitated by our representative.

Day 2 Delhi sightseeing tour

Veritably, Cultural North India Tour commences today. Having enjoyed sound sleep and relaxed to a comfortable level, relish delicious breakfast in Delhi hotel. Delhi tour guide and chauffeur driven deluxe car are ready to take you for a comprehensive full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi.

Delhi can be segregated into two parts- Old Delhi & New Delhi. Though both the segments have a mix of both the worlds but Old Delhi is predominantly showcases medieval era of monuments and a bit of cultural lineage as well. On the contrary, New Delhi does possess several ancient monuments but overtly looks more cosmopolitan and modern city with skyscrapers.

The Delhi sightseeing tour includes monuments and places like Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, India Gate, President House, Parliament building, Qutub Minar and Lotus Temple. Delhi tour guide will expatiate on every subtle aspect of the monuments being visited. After enjoying interesting but fatigue-some sightseeing tour of Delhi, return to Delhi hotel for overnight stay.

Day 3 Delhi - Samode- Jaipur (270 kms / 05 hrs)

Proceed for Jaipur after having delicious breakfast in Delhi hotel. Jaipur is about 270 kms from Delhi and can be reached in 05 hours drive. But in actuality, you will reach Jaipur late afternoon. The reason being, Optima India Tourism has planned a pleasant short detour of Samode to enhance your India tour experience.

Samode is a village-town on the way to Jaipur and boasts of possessing one of the best palaces of Rajasthan. Samode Palace is known across the world for its magnificent architecture, enchanting artworks, excellent frescoes and enthralling mirror work. The most important aspect is that Samode Palace has been conserved properly. Hence, Samode tour will be an altogether different experience, keeping in view your exposure to rural lifestyle of Rajasthan. Samode Palace has been converted into a luxury heritage hotel.

Have lunch in Samode Palace and proceed for Jaipur. On arrival at Jaipur, representative of India Tour Packages will receive you and ensure your smooth check in at Jaipur hotel for relaxation and overnight stay.

Day 4 Jaipur sightseeing tour

The 4th day of Cultural North India Tour is reserved for exploring Jaipur, true representative of the culture of Rajasthan. Jaipur is capital city of Rajasthan, the desert state of India with glorious past and historical monuments. Enjoy breakfast in Jaipur hotel and move early for Jaipur sightseeing tour. You are required to commence early Jaipur tour to have a firsthand experience of 'maharaja-like' ride on a caparisoned elephant from foothill to hilltop, where the main gateway of Amber Fort is located. Elephant ride at Amber Fort will be an exotic north India cultural experience.

Jaipur tour guide will keep pouring in lot of information and knowledge regarding Kachhwaha dynasty, history of Jaipur, art and architectural significance of Amber Fort, strategic role played by Amber Fort in protection of Jaipur etc. After visiting Amber Fort Palace, drive for Jaipur city where you will visit famous monuments like Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar and City Palace.

Having seen monuments of Jaipur, explore extremely lively, vibrant and colourful market of Jaipur. Relax in the evening and return to Jaipur hotel for overnight stay.

Day 5 Jaipur -Fatehpur Sikri- Agra (245 kms/ 05 hrs)

On 5th day of Cultural North India Tour (Golden Triangle with Khajuraho & Varanasi Tour), have delicious breakfast in Jaipur hotel and drive for Agra, an historical city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. On the way to Agra, a short detour leads you to Fatehpur Sikri, a village town with isolated cluster of grand buildings. Built by Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri was the first attempt of any Mughal Emperor to construct a planned township. There are several palaces, courtyards, religious places, gardens and towering gateways but all these couldn't help the town to its fullest capacity with uninterrupted continuum. The reason was the paucity of drinking water. But to your amazement, most of the architectural monuments are still in a very good state of preservation. Prime tourist attractions of Fatehpur Sikri are Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal, Jodhabai Palace, Jama Masjid, Shrine of Salim Chishtietc.

After visiting Fatehpur Sikri, proceed on for Agra. On arrival at Agra, representative of Optima India Tourism will receive and take you to the pre-booked Agra hotel. Relax in the evening and have overnight stay in Agra hotel.

Day 6 Agra sightseeing tour

The 6th day of Cultural North India Tour is special and destined to be memorable, as you will visit globally famous and one of the Seven Wonders of the World - The Taj Mahal . Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Majority of visitors claim that Taj Mahal looks most beautiful at the time of sunrise. So, India Tour Packages has planned your visit to Taj Mahal in dawn hours. Agra tour guide will collect you from Agra hotel's lobby. A 'tonga' ride has been planned for you to take you to Taj Mahal and impart you exotic India travel experience.

In accompaniment of Agra tour guide, the sightseeing of Taj Mahal is bound to be an exhilarating experience as the subtle beauty of Taj Mahal satiates soul with enriching information about Taj Mahal. Built of white Makrana marble, Taj Mahal is often termed as an epitome of love. Taj Mahal is perhaps the most beautiful expression of love that resulted out of the anguish of death of Mumtaj Mahal, beloved wife of Shah Jahan.

After visiting Taj Mahal, return to Agra hotel for getting refreshed and relaxed. Have breakfast in Agra hotel and move for sightseeing tour of Agra which includes Agra Fort, Baby Taj (Tomb of It-Mad-Ud-Daula) and Sikandara (mausoleum of Akbar).

After sightseeing of Agra, explore local market which is famous for marble and handicraft products. Later on, return to Agra hotel for overnight stay.

Day 7 Agra –Orchha (by train)- Khajuraho (by car-175 kms/ 04 hrs)

Have delicious breakfast early in the morning in Agra hotel and drive for Agra railway station to board train for Jhansi. On arrival at Jhansi railway station, you will be received by representative of Optima India Tourism. You will be then driven to Khajuraho. On the way to Khajuraho, only about 15 kms from Jhansi is a medieval era village town of Orchha, erstwhile capital of Bundela kingdom. You will be taken to visit Orchha-Fort-Palace-Temple-Complex. After visiting Orchha, have lunch in a nice restaurant on the banks of river Betwa. Post-lunch, proceed for Khajuraho. On arrival at Khajuraho on Taj Mahal with Khajuraho Varanasi Tour, you will be received by Optima India Tourism representative and taken to pre-booked Khajuraho hotel for smooth check in.

After relaxing a bit, in the evening, watch a cultural show which will showcase traditional folk dances and folklores of Baghelkhand region. Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

Day 8 Khajuraho sightseeing tour –Varanasi (by air)

Have relaxed breakfast in Khajuraho hotel and move for sightseeing of Khajuraho along with Khajuraho tour guide. The guided tour of the famous temples of Khajuraho will mesmerize you, literally. Refined carving, grand temple architecture, explicitly erotic and sexually postured sculpture, historical past and rural ambience take you into the realm of glorious, lively and celebrated past.

There are three prominent clusters of temples in Khajuraho- Western Group of Khajuraho Temples, Eastern Group of Khajuraho Temples and Southern Group of Khajuraho Temples. Out of these three clusters, Western Group of Khajuraho Temples is most representative of Khajuraho temples.

Having seen Khajuraho temples, drive for Khajuraho airport to board flight for Varanasi. On arrival at Varanasi, you will be received by the representative of Optima India Tourism and taken to pre-booked Varanasi hotel for smooth check in. You will be introduced with Varanasi tour guide in Varanasi hotel. After having relaxed for some time, you will be taken for sightseeing tour of Sarnath.

Sarnath is a famous ancient Buddhist site. It was in Sarnath where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon and started 'Sangh'. From here, a soft socio-religious revolution took place and the whole world started chanting 'Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami, Sangham Sharanam Gachchhami, Dhammam Sharanam Gachchhami. Here, you will happen to see ancient Buddhist monastery in ravaged form, Dhamek & Dharmarajika stupas, Asokan Pillar and a great museum.

Having visited Sarnath, you will be driven to Dashaswamedh Ghat of Varanasi where grand and auspicious Ganga Aarti (Ganges Worship Ceremony) takes place every evening. Be witness to cultural and traditional rituals of Hindu religion which worships river Ganga as mother. Later in the evening, come back to Varanasi hotel for overnight stay.

Day 9 Varanasi sightseeing tour- Delhi (by air)- Departure

The 09th day of Cultural North India Tour is special as you will happen to see various aspects of Varanasi. Early in the morning, Varanasi tour guide will accompany you for boat cruise along the ghats of the sacred river the Ganges to see the cremation ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions.

After having enjoyed boat cruise, return to Varanasi hotel to relax and have breakfast. Thereafter check out from Varanasi hotel and proceed for Varanasi city and temple tour. After Varanasi city tour, move for Varanasi airport at Babatpur to board flight for New Delhi. On arrival at New Delhi, change the terminal within and board flight for your onward destination.


Delhi is enriched with long historical past, glorious culture, an enviable treasure of monuments and modern infrastructure. Delhi, currently thecapital of Indian Republic , has passed through several upheavals during its thousands of years of existence and has witnessed many ups and downs of history with many dynasties flourishing and diminishing with the passage of time.

Delhi has been built nine times over the years and accordingly named in the scriptures. Indraprastha, known as first Delhi, was founded by Pandavas of Mahabharata in around 1500 BC. Qila Rai Pithora, termed as second Delhi, was built by Raja Anang Pal and later re-christened by Prithviraj Chauhan as Lal Kot. Siri, the third Delhi, was founded by Ala-ud-din Khilji. Siri Fort, a major tourist attraction, is a famous monument of that time. Tughlaqabad, called as fourth Delhi, had been founded by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. Tughlaqabad Fort is a testimony to that. Jahan Panah, the fifth Delhi and a walled city, was constructed by Muhammad bin Tughlaq to address the constant threat of Mongols. The sixth Delhi, Ferozabad, was founded by Feroz Shah Tughlaq and its testimonial evidence can be seen in the form of 13-metre high tapering quadrangular pillar adjacent to Ashokan pillar. Din Panah, the seventh Delhi, was rebuilt afresh by Humayun and later razed and constructed by Sher Shah Suri. Earlier this Old Fort or Purana Qila was seat of legendary ruler Prithviraj Chauhan. The walled city of Shahjahanabad, known as eighth Delhi, had been founded by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who built Taj Mahal as well in Agra. Modern and present day Delhi, the ninth Delhi and known as Lutyens' Delhi or New Delhi has been laid down by the British.


Jaipur, present day capital city of India’s largest state Rajasthan, is representative of typical Rajasthani culture, art, architecture and lifestyles. Known as ‘Pink City’ or ‘Gulabi Nagar’ of Rajasthan, Jaipur attracts tourists towards its gargantuan forts, marvelously built palaces, lively market of handicraft products and intricately carved out temples. The sprinkling beauty, the edifices, big havelis and stupendous sky-touching forts of Jaipur attract the tourists immensely. Jaipur is the only city in the world which has been built as per India’s Vaastu Shastra and segmented as per astrology. Jaipur has been laid according to the conventional nine-grid pattern that astrologers believe to be lucky and which has been recommended in the ancient Indian treatise on architecture. Its nine rectangular sectors represent nine levels of universe. A boundary wall with eight gates surrounds the city.


Agra finds its mention in epic of Mahabharata as ‘Agravana’. Agra is traditionally and culturally part of Brijbhumi, associated with legendary Lord Krishna. Strategically located on the banks of river Yamuna, the city of Agra has seen many upheavals due to intermittent attacks of the invaders to take control of it. Agra remained under control of the Rajputs, the Muslims, the Marathas and the British. Though the influences of these regimes are quite visible in art, architecture and culture of the city but the Mughal impact is more pronounced, especially in old Agra. Now-a-days, Agra has been synonymous with Taj Mahal from tourism perspective. Taj Mahal can easily be termed as a feather in the cap of India, particularly Agra, which also possesses the most precious jewel in the country’s crown the “Taj Mahal”. Sikander Lodhi, Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan ruled with Agra as capital of their kingdoms. Babur was the first Mughal king who built first Islamic monument in Agra i.e. Gul-e-Afgaan or the Aram Bag -a planned garden. During the rule of Akbar, famous monuments of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort, were constructed. Sikandara and It-mad-ud-Daula are the famous buildings of Jahangiri period. World renowned Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan in fond memory of Mumtaj Mahal, is now one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. Agra is also known for its fabulous handicrafts, made of marble and soft-stone inlay work. Agra's major handicraft products besides inlay work are: leather-ware, brassware, carpets, jewellery and embroidery work.

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri, a historical place with nicely preserved monuments of Mughal era, is a must see place while visiting Agra. Located some 37 kms from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri of Buland Darwaja fame was founded by Akbar in 1569 to express his gratitude for Sufi mystic Salim Chishti, who was born in Sikri village. Many historians believe that Fatehpur Sikri was established as a joint capital with Agra but due to paucity of potable and drinking water, the plan to shift a section of imperial officials there had been reversed. Even today, its red stone architecture, richly ornamented with carvings & firework, is in a perfect state of preservation. Buland Darwaja is 15-storied, stands 140 feet on the pedestal and is 54 feet above the ground. A steep flight of 42 steps leads one to the massive gateway and makes it as one of the tallest gateways in the world is made of red-sandstone with marble decoration on it. With Quranic inscription on the front and cenotaph on the heights of the gateway, Buland Darwaja is a splendid blend of Hindu and Persian architecture. The calligraphy work done on the inner façade of Buland Darwaja has very less parallels in India.


At Orchha, one can see the palace of Bir Singh Deo and also the Jahangir Palace. The palaces are impressive and offer pleasant views of the countryside and are worth a visit. There many other ruined buildings here and the seven storey Chaturbhuj Temple is close by.


Khajuraho is well known for its temples. Of Indo-Aryan architecture, the temples of Khajuraho are embellished with superb decorations. Fine and artistic stonework is to be found around these temples. Many aspects of Indian life, as it existed 1000 years ago, have been depicted by the sculptors; curiously women and sex have been depicted in more detail. Owing to the subject of the sculptures, Khajuraho temples are also called Kamsutra Temples. These temples were built in Chandela period.

Dance festival is held in March. The festival lasts for 10 days and some of the best classical dancers of India perform during the Khajuraho Dance Festival against the backdrop of Khajuraho temples which are floodlit.


Situated on the banks of holy river Ganga (the Ganges), the spiritual capital of India- Varanasi is known by several names like Banaras (as local people call it), Kashi (desrived from 'Kashika' meaning the shining one referring to the light of Lord Shiva), Avimukta (meaning never forsaken by Lord Shiva), Rudaravasa (meaning abode of Lord Shiva) and Anandavana (meaning forest of bliss). Varanasi is one of the holiest of the pilgrimages of the Hindus. Being on the banks of the Ganges, the most sacred and venerated river in India, Varanasi becomes all the more pious spiritual centre among religious Hindus. Its name Varanasi is derived from its being on the confluence of two rivers- Varuna and Asi. Though Varanasi is the world's oldest living city but its oldest monument is not older than 300 years because of inimically destructive invasions of Muslims. Varanasi is a prominent business and trade centre as well since the ancient times.

Ghats of Varanasi along the western bank of the Ganges are special as these epitomize various aspects of Hindu way of life. Watch out people having early morning bath followed by ablutions, puja by Brahmin priests, people practicing meditation & yoga, cremation process on Manikarnika ghat and Harishchandra ghat, people consulting the astrologers under their palm leaf parasols, buy offerings for rituals, trades selling silk apparels and brassware etc.


Located 10 kms from Varanasi, Sarnath is one of the four pilgrimages of the Buddhists. It was Sarnath where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon and declared the birth of a different 'dharma' (religion)- Buddhism. From Sarnath, the 'dharmachakra pravartan' commenced. In around 234 BC, Emperor Ashoka, a great follower of Buddhism, built a grand stupa- Dharmarajika Stupa, here. Later on Sarnath developed as a prominent Buddhist centre with a grand monastery. Between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, several Buddhist structures were built here in Sarnath. The Muslim invaders in medieval period ransacked and destroyed it. But an inquisitive traveler may still experience the rich past in the remnants of monastery, Dhamekh stupa, Dharmarajika stupa and Emperor Ashoka's pillar. Also, visit Sarnath museum. Sarnath museum also has the figures and the sculptures from the Mauryan, Kushana and Gupta periods discovered during the excavations at Sarnath.

  • Accommodation in the mentioned hotels on double sharing.

  • Daily breakfast basis on all places.

  • Total Meals: 08 (Breakfast-08).

  • Total night stays: 08 (Delhi-02; Jaipur-02, Agra-02, Khajuraho-01, Varanasi-01).

  • Well-appointed upgraded air-conditioned rooms at all places.

  • Monument entrance charges.

  • Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

  • Elephant ride at Amber Fort in Jaipur.

  • Morning boat cruise in the Ganges during morning hours to enjoy panoramic view of Varanasi ghats.

  • English speaking & destination-specific guides at all destinations for mentioned sightseeing tour.

  • Meet & assist at the airport on arrival & departure.

  • Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Air-conditioned private car for the whole sightseeing tour.

  • Driver for the whole tour.

  • All prevailing taxes like luxury tax, service tax etc.

  • All transfers, city tours, excursions & drives by air-conditioned transport.

  • Interstate road tax, toll tax, parking charges, driver’s wages, fuel charges etc.

Optima Special:
  • Manual rickshaw ride in the alleys of Kinari Bazaar, situated in 400 years old Chandni Chowk market, built by Shah Jahan and supervised by Jahanara.
  • Maharaja (king)- like elephant ride at Amber Fort, 13 kms from Jaipur, the capital city of desert state of Rajasthan.
  • Cultural show in Western Group of Khajuraho Temples that is performed by local artists.
  • Morning boat cruise on the Ganges along the ghats of Varanasi to behold a colourful aspect of Varanasi culture.
Don’t miss on Cultural North India Tour:
  • Camp in tents under the stars in the Thar desert of Jaisalmer.
  • Do watch medieval era’s still working water harvesting system - the baoris in Bundi.
  • Get face to face with Royal Bengal tigers in Ranthambhore.
  • Fall in love with India's romantic Udaipur.
  • Discover the many faces of Delhi.
  • Catch a Bollywood blockbuster in Jaipur.
  • Experience a taste of rural Rajasthan in Mandawa.

Delhi: Expl.ore various state emporia to buy distinctive and ethnic products
Jaipur: Carpets, durries, hand-made leather shoes and eco-friendly coloured garments.
Agra: Marble items embellished with semi-precious stones.
Khajuraho: Ethnic jewellery.
Varanasi: World famous Banarasi sarees and Bhadohi carpets.


Delhi: Punjabi non-veg spicy dishes like tandoori chicken etc.
Agra: Mughalai non-veg dishes especially mutton, chicken and ‘korma’.
Varanasi: Sweets of different variety, prepared of milk.

Is This Trip For Me:
Travel Style Service Level TPhysical Demands Trip Type Trip Rating
Classic Standard FIT/Small Group 4.8/5
DelhiJiviteshHiltonShangri LaHotel Imperial
JaipurParadiseShahpura HouseITC RajputanaOberoi Raj Vilas
Agra Siris 18Mansingh PalaceITC MughalOberoi Amar Vilas
KhajurahoUsha BundelaClarks KhajurahoTaj ChandelaLalit –Temple View
VaranasiHotel IndiaRamada PlazaRadissonNadesar Palace
  • Price is per person twin/ double sharing basis.

  • Airfare not included.

  • Additional conditions may apply, please enquire for further details.

  • Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes.

  • Additional levies, government charges & other applicable fees, including additional taxes and surcharges on flight routing, may apply and are beyond our control.

  • Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel.

  • Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.

  • Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store or through normal bank transfer into our accounts.

  • These prices are a guide to the best price and are subject to change without notice.

  • Prices are subject to change without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases, please enquire for further details.

  • Please provide your passport details to Intrepid at least one month before travelling. Please note that if you do not provide your passport details you may be denied entry to any National Parks that are visited along this itinerary, or you may be charged a fee by the local government as passport details are now a requirement for entry into all national parks in India.

  • Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

  • In India normally the check in time is 02:00 PM and check out time is 10:00 AM.

  • Meals other than breakfast and as specified above.

  • Video camera/ still camera fee applicable at various monuments. The same will be paid by you direct on spot on actual basis.

  • Items of personal nature like telephone calls, laundry, tips, hard/soft drink etc.

  • Any expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like flight delay/cancellation/hike in fare, strike or any other natural calamities.

  • Indian visa fees.

  • Any compulsory meal supplements during festive season is not included.

  • Early check in & late check out at the hotels.

  • Any other Items is not included in " Inclusions" heading.

*Important Notice: The following information has been obtained from the relevant suppliers and should be considered an indicative guide only as to the prices that may be available for these products. Optima India Tourism cannot guarantee that any particular product will still be available at the following prices, or for your exact dates of travel. At time of making your booking, prices may differ to that price displayed on this website. Please contact an Optima India Tourism travel consultant to obtain the latest up to date information regarding applicable prices, fees and charges, availability and other terms and conditions which may apply.

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