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India's Golden Triangle with Varanasi & ME to WE Option

11 Days from $4,143 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Active

Embark on a spiritual interlude with India. Candle-lit rituals on the River Ganges, palaces, forts and tombs, a riot of color and vibrancy around every corner—your exploration of India's Golden Triangle and centuries-old heritage takes you through the sandstone and marble halls of the Amber Fort and the exquisite Taj Mahal. Your heartfelt encounter with a local Rajasthan community will see you make a difference to their efforts to break the cycle of poverty and uplift their families.

Travel to Asia often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

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Overview

Embark on a spiritual interlude with India. Candle-lit rituals on the River Ganges, palaces, forts and tombs, a riot of color and vibrancy around every corner—your exploration of India's Golden Triangle and centuries-old heritage takes you through the sandstone and marble halls of the Amber Fort and the exquisite Taj Mahal. Your heartfelt encounter with a local Rajasthan community will see you make a difference to their efforts to break the cycle of poverty and uplift their families.

Travel to Asia often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

  1. Embrace the vibrant energy of Delhi, the capital of India. On arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel where this evening you'll join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception with drinks and appetizers.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
    hotel:Sheraton New Delhi
  2. We dive into culture this morning, embarking on an exhilarating rickshaw ride around Old Delhi. We'll view the UNESCO-listed Red Fort—its towering red sandstone palace walls considered to be the most opulent of the Mughal Empire, followed by a visit to Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Our next stop at Chandni Chowk to see first-hand how its merchants spend their day trading enthusiastically. We continue along the ceremonial avenue Rajpath and past Parliament House and India Gate, commemorating the Indian soldiers who died during WWI. After lunch in a local restaurant, we'll head to the district of New Delhi, where we'll visit the UNESCO-listed Humayun's Tomb to admire its magnificent Persian-style façades of white marble and red sandstone. Then it's on to another UNESCO-listed site, Qutub Minar, the world's tallest brick minaret. Our evening is at leisure.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch
  3. Embark on a pilgrimage to the sacred city of Varanasi, located on the banks of the holy river Ganges. Immerse yourself in its spiritual surrounds, exploring the city's role as the center of Hindu religion, before escaping to the countryside and make a difference with a visit to Rameshwar village. Dive into culture and witness first-hand how all local activities are aimed at sustainable livelihood and community empowerment whilst ensuring the economic growth of the under-privileged. Observe local women making papad and pickles, doing embroidery or making saris which they sell to the local markets. Visit the village school and the Shanti Dham Ashram, a Catholic prayer center for the Christian society living in Varanasi. Feed your soul as you cruise down the River Ganges to witness the ritual of Aarti, watching as the delicate diya laden with a candle and tiny blooms floats in a magical train down the river. Return to our hotel for dinner.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Radisson
  4. Admire the pink light of sunrise appear over the River Ganges, watching the sights and sounds of Varanasi stir slowly along the banks of the river. Observe the locals taking their morning bath in the holy water while worshipping the rising sun. Then, return to your hotel for breakfast followed by a visit to Sarnath, one of the four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. Explore the spectacular collection of Buddhist artifacts dating back to the 3 BC and see the Lion Capital of Ashoka with its inverted lotus carving, adopted as the national emblem of India. Return to your hotel for an afternoon and evening at leisure.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  5. Take a short flight to Agra to delve into the imperial history of the Mughal Empire and India's Golden Age. Visit the UNESCO-listed Agra Fort this afternoon, gaining insight into the heritage, rituals and traditions of the dynasty that ruled here until the 17th century. As you drive through the city's crowded streets, connect with its vibrant spirit and witness local life first-hand. Enjoy dinner at your hotel and consider joining an Optional Experience.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Double Tree by Hilton
  6. Rise with the birds, embarking on a spiritual encounter with the magnificent UNESCO-listed Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Watch as the white alabaster marble of this monument of love glows pink and gold at the first hints of sunrise, admiring the flawless architecture that took 18 years and over 20,000 craftsmen to complete. Return to your hotel for breakfast, then depart for Jaipur, the Pink City and gateway to the colorful state of Rajasthan. This evening, we connect with locals, joining a local family for a Be My Guest dinner in their home.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel:Hilton
  7. Our first stop this morning sees us explore Jaipur's UNESCO-listed Amber Fort, one of the country's most exquisite examples of Rajput architecture. Marvel at its royal halls decorated with intricate ivory, mirror and glass work, before returning to your hotel. En route, we'll enjoy a quick photo stop outside the Palace of Winds, whose latticed windows once revealed the outside world to the sheltered ladies of the royal household. This afternoon, we embark on a city tour including a visit to the ornate City Palace to see the seamless blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal Art. Across the road from the palace is the UNESCO-listed Jantar Mantar, featuring the largest sundial in the world. Later this evening, we'll join our fellow guests and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  8. Embark on a journey into India's Rajasthan countryside, meeting your ME to WE guide at Jaipur bound for Udaipur. On arrival, you'll make your way to the rural surrounds of Araveli Lodge, where you'll learn how rural communities are working to break the cycle of poverty and uplift the community through education, healthcare and food security projects. Brush up on your Hindi before meeting the local community and immerse yourself in their warm embrace as you interact with local students and villagers who are directly impacted by the work you are doing. Take a moment to participate in puja—a traditional Hindu prayer ceremony to bless your new initiative, then learn about the village and school you will help to rebuild. Discover how your efforts and the work of WE Charity make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and their families. Lunch and dinner are prepared by Chef KK, a local who is passionate about sharing traditional cuisine and explaining the story behind each dish.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel:Araveli Lodge
  9. Begin your day like the locals and center yourself through a session of morning yoga, or consider joining a dosha class to balance your body. Rub shoulders with the local women as you assist with their daily activities—making chapatti in their homes, hauling water from the local well and feeding the animals. Escape the midday sun and indulge in a brief jhapki (siesta) and lunch at Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp before returning to the day's activities. Meet a local farmer to gain insights into his agricultural challenges and successes, then roll up your sleeves and begin work at the build site, where guests of all ages and abilities will help build a much-needed facility for the community. Your reward for a day of hard work is a colorful performance, showcasing local folk dance traditions.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  10. Join a local guide this morning for a leisurely walk through the beautiful foothills of the Mewar region before returning to the project site where you'll continue to work as a team to contribute to the project the community needs most at that time. Enjoy a well-deserved afternoon at leisure to connect with the age-old customs, culture and craft of the villagers, from henna and tie-dying to block printing. Meet the men and women involved in alternative income projects and learn about their daily struggle to support their families. During this open discussion, you'll have an opportunity to delve into their lives in rural India and discuss gender roles in the community. Later, return to the project site to continue your team project.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  11. As the sun rises, so do we for our morning yoga practice. After a special farewell breakfast, say bidaai ka vachan to your new friends at Araveli and transfer to Udaipur's Maharana Pratap Airport for your onward flight.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

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  • Definite Departure
  • Special Rate Solo Rooming
  • 2020 Departures
Start Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
Special Rate Solo Rooming
27 Apr 19 7 May 19 $4,550$4,143pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
11 May 19 21 May 19 $4,550$4,143pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
1 Jun 19 11 Jun 19 $4,550$4,143pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
24 Aug 19 3 Sep 19 $4,550$4,143pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
21 Sep 19 1 Oct 19 $4,550$4,143pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
5 Oct 19 15 Oct 19 $4,895$4,453pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
Special Rate Solo Rooming
19 Oct 19 29 Oct 19 $4,895$4,453pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
2 Nov 19 12 Nov 19 $4,895$4,453pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
Special Rate Solo Rooming
16 Nov 19 26 Nov 19 $4,895$4,453pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
30 Nov 19 10 Dec 19 $4,895$4,453pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
2020 Departures
4 Jan 20 14 Jan 20 $4,825$4,390pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
2020 Departures
25 Jan 20 4 Feb 20 $4,975$4,525pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
2020 Departures
8 Feb 20 18 Feb 20 $4,975$4,525pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
2020 Departures
22 Feb 20 3 Mar 20 $4,975$4,525pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
2020 Departures
7 Mar 20 17 Mar 20 $4,975$4,525pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
2020 Departures
21 Mar 20 31 Mar 20 $4,975$4,525pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
  • Special Rate Solo Rooming: These departures include a discount on standard single supplement.
  • 2020 Departures: are subject to change of itinerary, price, discount and hotels.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $970 p.p.

Flights: Prices include internal airfare and taxes for flights from Delhi to Varanasi, Varanasi to Agra and Jaipur to Udaipur and are accurate as of 1st June 2018.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements. Visas cannot be issued upon entry to the country.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Meal Summary

10 buffet breakfasts, 5 lunches, 8 dinners.

Included Highlights

Connect with Locals

  • Enjoy dinner with a local family at their home in Jaipur.

Dive into Culture

  • Take a rickshaw tour around the Old Delhi.
  • In Varanasi, visit the rural life and observe the locals taking a morning bath in the holy water at the River Ganges.

Make a Difference

  • At Rameshwar Village, you'll discover the 'Learn and Earn' program which helps to raise the economic and social status of local rural women.
  • Extend your trip and join MeToWe for the unforgettable experience of working side by side with a local community.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City Tours of Delhi, Varanasi, Jaipur
  • Visit the Jama Masjid, the Humayun's Tomb, the Qutub Minar in Delhi, Sarnath near Varanasi, the Agra Fort, the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Amber Fort, City Palace Museum in Jaipur
  • View the Palace of Winds in Jaipur
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Print Itinerary

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Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to India must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. U.S. passport holders traveling to India will also need an entry visa.  We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.

  • The currency in India is the Rupee.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in India. We recommend bringing a combination of credit and debit cards; it is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. On your trip you’ll discover an abundance of regional dishes and local traditions.  Consumption of beef is considered taboo in India. Staples include lentils, rice, potatoes and flatbread served with spiced vegetables, sauces, and chutneys.

  • We suggest bringing breathable, loose-fitting clothing that can be layered to stay comfortable throughout your trip. Sturdy walking shoes are important for sightseeing excursions; a hat, lightweight jacket, and shawl or scarf could also come in handy. Keep in mind that your shoulders and legs should be covered at religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • It is appropriate to leave 5-10 percent gratuity at restaurants in India.  Restaurants in Dehli and Mumbai will sometimes include a service charge in the bill, in which case there is no need to leave an additional tip.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

MeToWe Program

On this trip extension you will get to experience a life changing side by side volunteer project and see first hand how you can make a difference to the local communities. MeToWe is an award winning charity which has 21 years in sustainable development.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

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