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12 Day India's Golden Triangle & Varanasi Premium Small Group Tour

12 Day India's Golden Triangle & Varanasi Premium Small Group Tour

This tour is fully escorted by a dedicated tour leader who will accompany you throughout the tour. If your trip includes multiple countries, you will be met by a new tour leader in each country and any internal flights included will be unescorted.

Escorted Type
Fully Escorted

This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.

Moderate Pace

These tours are our proudest creations. They have been crafted for Inspiring Vacations travellers exclusively, with personal and unique experiences in mind. Please see the Important Information on your selected tour for exact group size. Enjoy features such as hand-picked accommodation, a sampling of the region’s best culinary delights, and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.

Group Size
Small Group

Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period. 

Cooling Off Period
7 Days
Small Group Tour
1,013 people have travelled to this destination

✓ Small group experience, with no more than 16 people
✓ Incredible sightseeing including a sunset visit to the Taj Mahal, guided touring of the Amber Fort and the City Palace in Jaipur, two game drives in search of the illusive Bengal Tiger in Ranthambore National Park and guided tours of both Old and New Delhi including a spice market and food tour in Chandni Chowk, enjoy a traditional Aarti Ceremony and sunrise boat ride on the Ganges River in Varanasi, walk the backlanes of Varanasi’s old city.
✓ 11 nights accommodation in hand picked 4 & 5-star accommodation including a 3 night Inspiring Stay  in a stunning historic Rajasthani mansion in Jaipur 
✓ Daily breakfasts, 4 lunches & 4 dinners including an Inspiring Taste Indian cooking class class followed by dinner in an Indian home 
✓ Meet and greet on arrival at New Delhi Airport
Airport transfers included on the first and last day of your tour
✓ Domestic flights from Jaipur to Delhi, and return Delhi to Varanasi flights with 25kg baggage included 
✓ The services of a professional English-speaking guide throughout
✓ Sightseeing & all entry fees as per the itinerary
✓ Dedicated, comfortable air conditioned transportation

✈ Needing international airfares to accompany your Inspiring Vacation? You will be able to access our flight portal after securing your package to add international airfares to your booking.

What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.


The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa or Similar

Welcome to India and the country's cosmopolitan capital, New Delhi!

On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), you will be met in the arrivals hall by a local representative and transferred by private vehicle to your luxury 5-star hotel located in the heart of this dynamic city. 

Today is at your leisure with time to relax and explore on your own.

Arrival airport transfers are included as part of your package. You will be met upon arrival at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
If Inspiring Vacations has not provided your international airfares, please ensure you provide your flight details via your Traveller Hub portal no later than 90 days prior to travel so that your transfers can be confirmed.

Please note: if you are arriving early and have made your own arrangements prior to your tour commencing, airport transfers will not be included. However, if you are purchasing pre-nights accommodation as part of your Inspiring Vacations package, airport transfers will still be provided to the starting hotel.

The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa or Similar
Breakfast, Lunch

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before meeting your guide and fellow travellers in the hotel lobby for a full day exploration of this incredible city. 

Begin your day with a guided tour of New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind.  Enjoy a photo stop at the imposing India Gate, drive past the Parliament buildings and the Rashtrapati Bhawan (the President’s residence) and visit a step well in very close vicinity of India Gate “Agrasen ki Baoli”. 

Later we drive to visit Gandhi Smriti, Mahatma Gandhi spent his last 144 days in this mansion and today it is converted into a National Memorial. Proceed to Humayun’s tomb, the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun and today a World Heritage Site. It was the first great example of a new distinctive style, which developed to become the hallmark of the Mughal Dynasty. 

Following our tour of New Delhi, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant then later continue with a guided tour of the Old city of Shahjahanabad. Walk past the Red Fort and through the main street of Chandni Chowk visiting Jain temple from outside and to Sikh temple. We then proceed to Paranthe wali Gali, Kinari Bazar, a colourful spice market of Old city where your guide will show you the hundreds of colourful spices that are used in everyday Indian cuisine and take an opportunity to taste the local snacks at one of these shops. 

Following your tour, return to your hotel late this afternoon for an evening at leisure. 

Clarks Shiraz or Similar

After breakfast you will be driven to the Mughal city of Agra arriving early afternoon. 

Upon arrival, check into your hotel with time to freshen up before we head out on a guided tour of the city. 

Our first stop is the impressive UNESCO World Heritage site of Agra Fort. This historical fort was built by Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD from sandstone as a majestic ode to the magnificence of the Mughal empire. It served as the main residence of the rulers of the Mughal dynasty until 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi.  

No visit is complete without a stop at the Taj Mahal, built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, this masterpiece in marble and one of the world’s most famous landmarks. Enjoy a guided tour of this incredible complex as the sun sets over the city, then return to your hotel for an evening of leisure.

Ranthambhore Tiger Inn Comfort Resort or Similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

For those wishing to visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise, an optional guided tour is available. Please refer to the below description for more information. 

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and later you will be driven to Ranthambore National Park at Sawai Madhopur arriving late this afternoon. En route, we stop for lunch at a local restaurant before arriving at our hotel late this afternoon located a 10 minute drive from the famous park gates. 

Once considered as one of the famous and former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today the Ranthambore National Park is a major wildlife tourist attraction that has drawn the attention of many wildlife photographers and lovers offering a huge variety of wild animals including tigers, leopards and marsh crocodiles.

Enjoy an included dinner this evening at the hotel and be sure to have an early night in preparation for your incredible safari experience that awaits you tomorrow! 

Optional Tour - Sunrise Tour of Taj Mahal

Early this morning, proceed on a spectacular sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal, celebrated for its architectural magnificence and aesthetic beauty. Emperor Shah Jahan built this exquisite white marble mausoleum for his favourite queen Mumtaz Mahal. The monument was commissioned in 1631 and took 20,000 artisans, 22 years to complete. Witness the dramatic interplay of light as the sun rises and casts its golden rays over the pearl white tomb, recreating the magic of the Taj.

Start Time: 5.00am
End Time: 8.00am
Includes: hotel transfers, guide & entrance fees

Ranthambhore Tiger Inn Comfort Resort or Similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Wake up early today to undertake an experience you’ll never forget, a thrilling jungle safari in open top roof canters through Ranthambore National Park. Drive to the dense jungle of Ranthambore for tiger tracking and bird watching accompanied by a naturalist guide. The scrub woodlands of Ranthambore were the erstwhile hunting reserve of Maharajas of Jaipur. Today, it is a sanctuary for India’s exotic wildlife, and famous for spotting the majestic predator – the tiger. The park is also home to a large variety of other animals, including sambar deer, panthers, marsh crocodiles, jungle cats, civets, wild boar, sloth bears and leopards, as well as being a birdwatcher’s delight with more than 250 species nesting there. 

Following the visit, return to your hotel for breakfast and spend the rest of the morning relaxing and enjoying the facilities of the hotel. 

After lunch, we head back to Ranthambore National Park for an afternoon safari with your naturalist guide. The afternoon gives you a different perspective on the wildlife as the sun begins to set and the nocturnal animals become more active. 

After your game drive, we return to the hotel for dinner. 

Please note: Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve opens from 1st October and closes on 30th June each year. During the months of July to September, gates 6 - 10 remain open and all wildlife drives will occur via these gates only. In cases of heavy rainfall, wildlife drives can be cancelled by the Forest Department without notice.

Shahpura House or Similar
Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, an additional optional game drive can be booked. Please refer to the below description for more information. 

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Jaipur arriving early this afternoon. On arrival we check into our Inspiring Stay, a beautifully restored early 19th Century Palace which offers a magical experience of the bygone regal era of Rajasthan to its guests.

Jaipur, one of the most enticing places in India, is nestled between mighty forts and the rugged Aravalli Hills. It is known as ‘the pink city’ as its prominent buildings are washed in this colour. Founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1727, Jaipur is steeped in Rajput history and is characterised by sites such as the City Palace with its astronomical Observatory, Hawa Mahal and the beautiful Amber Fort. 

In the evening, an Inspiring Taste awaits as we drive to a local house to experience the art of authentic Indian cooking.  Get yourself acquainted with Indian spices and local Rajasthani cuisine as your host will demonstrate how to cook an Indian dish.  You can also join in preparing ingredients and participate in cooking then all enjoy your efforts over dinner together. 

Optional Tour - Ranthambore National Park Morning Drive

Morning game drive through Ranthambore National Park in an open top roof canter with a naturalist guide. Enjoy another opportunity to sight the illusive Bengal Tiger. Other wildlife that inhabit the park include leopards, striped hyenas, sambar deer, chital, nilgai, common or hanuman langurs, macaques, jackals, jungle cats, caracals, sloth bears, black bucks as well as a plethora of birdlife and reptiles. 

Start Time: 6.00am
End Time: 9.30am
Includes: hotel transfers, entrance fees, Naturalist Guide 

Optional Tour - Evening Sound & Light Show at Amber Fort

A spectacle of great visual delight, the Amber Fort & Palace Complex in Jaipur, hosts a breathtaking son-et-lumière. The Amber fort has been home to 28 kings of the Kachwaha dynasty until their capital was moved to Jaipur. The sound and light show at Amber Fort is a glorious attempt in reviving the pride, history and traditions of Amber. The show highlights the local legends, folklore, and celebrates the maestros of folk music, who, to this day, continue to give Rajasthan its unique identity. The show has been set in a spectacular location, with a brilliant view of Amber Fort & Palace Complex in the front, the rising Jaigarh on the left, and magnificent hills behind it.

Start Time: 6.30pm - 7.30pm (depending on time of year) 
End Time: show duration is approximately 1 hour 
Includes: hotel transfers and entrance fees

Shahpura House or Similar
Breakfast, Lunch

An exciting day awaits you on a full day of discovery of the beautiful “Pink City'' with your guide. Begin your sightseeing tour with a photo visit at the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) - a five-storied wonder with a spectacular pyramidal facade and overhanging windows with lattice screens, domes and spires. The town around Amber Fort consists of beautiful small temples and a step well called Panna Meena. Amer was a flourishing settlement originally occupied by the Meena tribe. Explore this atmospheric ancient town as you pass numerous local shops selling traditional sweets, historic temples, havelis, and water harvesting structures amidst the natural beauty of Aravali Mountain range with your guide. Continue your sightseeing tour with a visit to the fabulous Amber Fort. At the foot of the hill, you will be taken by jeep up to the main gate and tour the chambers and hallways of the palace, famous for the excellence of its design and decoration

Following our visit, we stop for lunch at a local restaurant before exploring the exquisite City Palace, a synthesis of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles, consisting of an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces. The Museum has a collection of Rajasthani costumes, armoury of Mughals and Rajputs including swords of different shapes and sizes with chiselled handles.  Later, visit the Royal Observatory also known as “Jantar Mantar”, a stone astronomical and astronomical Observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 18th century before returning back to your beautiful Haveli for an evening of relaxation. 

An optional sound and light show at Amber Fort is available this evening. Please refer to the below description for more information. 

Shahpura House or Similar
Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy breakfast in the beautiful surrounds of your heritage Haveli, then we embark on a morning heritage walk in the pink city. 

Starting from the massive Tripolia Gate, make your way through the bustling lanes of Jaipur as you walk past the beautiful old temples and painted havelis. Wander through the streets as you see some of the gorgeous temples on both side of the roads dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman, and the many forms of Lord Krishna. Appreciate the beautiful murals on their exterior walls as you continue to the big terracotta red building called the Jaipur College. Proceed through the narrow alleys seeing a collection of textiles, utensils, wedding attires and street food vendors. Choose to stay to continue exploring on your own and do some last minute shopping, or return back to your Haveli where the afternoon is yours to relax, unwind, and take in your last day in Jaipur. 

This evening, we gather for a special dinner at a typical Jaipurian restaurant.

Lemon Tree Aerocity or Similar

Enjoy breakfast this morning before we transfer to the airport for our included flight to Delhi. 

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel located close to the airport where the rest of the day is at leisure.  

Hotel Madin or Similar

Today you will be met in the hotel lobby and transferred to the airport for your included flight to Varanasi.  

On arrival you will be met in the arrivals hall by your local guide and transferred to your hotel for your two night stay. 

Before sunset, you will be taken to the banks of the river and board a boat to witness the magical Aarti Ceremony from the holy waters of the Ganges. Admire this spiritual spectacle as you witness priests and devotees participate in the traditional ritual. The Ganges is worshipped as a living goddess in Varanasi and daily prayers at dawn and dusk serve as salutations to the river. Oil lamps are offered, and bells rung while sacred mantras are chanted. Priests offer prayers to Ganges in a spectacular and very well-orchestrated event which lasts 45 minutes to an hour.  

Following our visit, return to your hotel where the rest of the evening is at leisure.

Hotel Madin or Similar

Early morning,  subject to water levels, enjoy a boat cruise on the River Ganges. Varanasi's principal attraction is the string of bathing ghats, which line the western ghats of River Ganges. The spectacular series is a unique sight, best viewed at dawn. The early morning boat ride presents an incredible scene as the multitudes of devotees come to the river to pay homage to the Sun God or locals come to perform their daily rituals. We then walk through the maze of back lanes in the old quarters that exude the smells and sounds of this holy city. The winding Vishwanath Gali leads to the Vishwanath Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva also known as Vishwanath – Lord of the Universe, here. Witness the street food shops selling Varanasi’s famous chaat (savouries), thandai (traditional mocktail) and paan (a mouth freshener made of betel leaf).  

Following our visit, return to your hotel for breakfast and enjoy the rest of the morning at leisure.

In the afternoon visit Sarnath. One of the most important Buddhist centres, Sarnath is where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon. Several Buddhist structures were raised at Sarnath between 3rd century BC and 11th century and today it presents the most expansive ruins amongst places on the Buddhist trail. We also visit the Sarnath Museum, a treasure trove of Buddhist sculpture, inscription and pottery before returning back to the hotel where the rest of the afternoon and evening is free at leisure.


Today, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to New Delhi where your tour ends on arrival. 

Departure transfers are included as part of your package. You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport to meet your flight.

If Inspiring Vacations has not provided your international airfares, please ensure you provide your flight details via your Traveller Hub portal no later than 90 days prior to travel so that your transfers can be confirmed.

Please Note: If booking a connection flight at Gandhi International Airport (DEL) on this day, all flights must be booked from 8pm onwards. If your flight departs prior to 8pm, we cannot guarantee your connection from Varanasi and recommend booking an additional night accommodation. Post tour accommodation information can be found under “Extra Services” and can be purchased at time of booking.


  • Small group experience, with no more than 16 people
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary 
  • 11 nights accommodation as per the itinerary 
  • Daily breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Cooking class in Jaipur followed by dinner in an Indian home
  • Domestic flight from Jaipur to Delhi, Delhi to Varanasi and Varanasi to Delhi in economy class with 25kg pre-paid baggage included 
  • Meet and greet at New Delhi airport on arrival 
  • Airport transfers included on the first and last day of your tour
  • The services of a professional English-speaking guide throughout.
  • Dedicated, comfortable air conditioned transportation
  • 7 day cooling off period. See under Fine Print for more information
  • All entrance fees to the sites listed (except optionals)
  • All activities listed in the itinerary unless a paid optional

  • Delhi - Enjoy a city tour in Old and New Delhi including the bustling bylanes of Chandni Chowk with a spice market visit and food tasting 
  • Delhi - UNESCO listed Humayun’s Tomb
  • Agra - Witness the world’s most revered monument of love, the Taj Mahal at sunset 
  • Agra - Explore majestic Agra Fort
  • Ranthambore National Park - Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in search of the Bengal Tiger and other wildlife 
  • Jaipur - Admire the Jaipur’s hilltop citadel - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - See the Palace of Winds and visit the City Palace Museum
  • Jaipur - Experience a cooking class of traditional Rajasthani cuisine followed by dinner 
  • Jaipur - Walking tour of the “Pink City” with time at the local markets for shopping 
  • Varanasi - Witness the magical Aarti ceremony on the ghats of holy river Ganges. 
  • Varanasi - Enjoy sunrise from a boat on the Ganges. 
  • Varanasi - Visit the site of Sarnath, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon.
  • Varanasi - Explore the rituals and sights of ancient, spiritual Varanasi on a walking tour of the Old City

Fine Print

This product requires full payment upfront to secure your booking.
Once you have created your booking you will be directed to your invoice to choose your preferred payment method.

This is a land only package.

This package does not include international airfares. If you would like to add airfares to your booking our flight portal will be available via your Traveller Hub. The flight portal will allow you to search for all available airfares to your destination. The function works like most general flight search engines allowing you to select your preferred airline, book different cabin classes (eg. Business class) and view flight durations and transit times to your destination. 

The flight portal will be available via your Traveller Hub once the following criteria has been met:

  • Your booking is confirmed
  • Your departure date is within 11 months
  • You  have completed your passenger detail form

Visit our Flight Hub for more information on terms and conditions, amending your flights and information on luggage allowances. 

Some of our packages will include airport transfers in either one or both directions when arriving or departing from your destination. To know if transfers are included please view the ‘inclusions’ section of your selected package. If airport transfers are stated, transfers will be included as advised.

If transfers are not included, we also offer the option to book your airport transfers using our online portal. Access to this portal is available through your Traveller Hub once your booking is confirmed. Transfers are readily available and do not need to be booked until your final hotel list has been confirmed. Once you have made a transfer booking, please refer to your confirmation email for all transfer details including a local contact number for the transfer company.

If you book pre and/or post-tour accommodation on your own arrangement, and the tour includes transfers, note that these will be forfeited. The transfers are only provided in line with the tour dates and pre and/or post-tour accommodation purchased through Inspiring Vacations when available.

It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return. Visas may be required for your destination. For further visa information, click here.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.

This particular tour is categorised as a ‘3’

3 – Moderate Tour: A good level of fitness and mobility is required, as this tour includes a moderate level of physical activity and is considered a medium-fast paced tour. You should be able to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and able to walk reasonable distances of approximately 2 kilometres per day or more with ease. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.

A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. Tipping is not compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you feel that your guide and driver have done an impeccable job, you can choose to give a gratuity, but this is entirely your decision.

The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, but we can’t guarantee your request will be available at all properties.

Single travellers
By paying an additional $1,315.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price, you guarantee the privacy of your own room throughout the entire trip.

Triple Share
Not available.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

Group Size
Minimum: 2
Maximum: 16

Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Fully Escorted - This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

All participants must be in good physical condition to fully engage in this journey. For the safety and welfare of yourself and fellow travellers, if you are feeling unwell prior to departure, we advise staying home and contacting us to arrange alternate plans.

Prior to selecting your trip, carefully review the itinerary to assess your ability to comfortably manage our travel style. Please be aware that if, based on evaluation by our leader or local representative, a participant is deemed unable to safely complete the itinerary, we retain the right to exclude them from all or part of the trip without reimbursement.

It is advisable to consult your physician for current medical travel advisories and any required vaccinations before embarking. We recommend carrying a first aid kit and any necessary medications in their original packaging, as they may not be readily available during travel. For those carrying medication, it's essential to check your government's foreign travel guidelines for local restrictions or regulations.

You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:

Pre Tour Accommodation

  • $196.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $196.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Post Tour Accommodation

  • $156.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $145.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.

To enhance your journey, we are offering guests a choice of the following optional activities (prices are per person):

  • Sunrise Tour of Taj Mahal (Day 4) - $75 per person
  • Ranthambore National Park Morning Drive (Day 6) - $50 per person
  • Evening Sound & Light Show at Amber Fort (Day 6) - $31 per person

Optional tours can be selected once you have finalised your tour purchase and paid your deposit. When completing your Passenger Booking Form, you will be asked if you would like to add Optional Tours, where any applicable cost will be added to your final balance. If you choose not to select them at this time, you can choose to add them later by logging in to your Account online.

Please note that you must select your Optional Tours no later than 70 days before departure, after which you will be required to purchase them on tour. Please keep in mind that anything purchased on-tour is subject to availability and prices may vary as you will be paying in local currency. We appreciate your understanding.

  • International airfares
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

Departure Dates for 12 Day India's Golden Triangle & Varanasi Premium Small Group Tour

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