Introducing North India

Its heady mix of fantastical landscapes, ancient monuments and rich cultural traditions makes North India one of the most stimulating destinations on the planet. From the majesty of the Himalayas to the sandcastle-like forts of the Thar Desert, this is a land that begs to be explored. Those who do are richly rewarded.

All are afforded the warmest of welcomes. The mountain kingdom of Sikkim is perhaps the happiest place in India, while an exchange of smiles in Rajasthan can be utterly spellbinding. Then, of course, is the delectable food, which in the north means ghee-smothered rotis, Mughlai-style tandoori feasts and elaborate chicken biryanis.

These North India holiday ideas are crafted by destination experts from trusted local travel companies.

Highlights

  • Witnessing the ethereal beauty of the Taj Mahal at sunrise
  • Exploring the hilltop forts and Rajput palaces of Rajasthan
  • Watching out for tigers and sloth bears in Madhya Pradesh
  • Taking the Himalayan road less travelled to loveable Leh
  • Experiencing aarti on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi

When to go

  • High: Oct to Nov, Feb to Mar
  • Shoulder: Dec to Jan, Apr and Sep
  • Low: May to Aug

Experiential Golden Triangle

  • When to go: October – April
  • Duration: 6 nights

From the glorious Taj Mahal to dinner at a traditional Punjabi kitchen, this unique take on the classic Golden Triangle route combines North India’s star attractions with experiencing the ‘real’ Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. With a classic train journey and a visit to a maharajah’s former hunting reserve – today among the world’s finest bird sanctuaries – included, this week-long trip is as experiential as it is unforgettable.

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Wild Golden Triangle

  • When to go: October – April
  • Duration: 6 nights

Explore the rambunctious bazaars of Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, spot little-known Ganges river dolphins not far from the Taj Mahal and take an elephant to Jaipur’s imperious Amber Fort. This ‘wild’ take on the classic Golden Triangle route combines North India’s landmark attractions with off-the-beatentrack experiences; from travelling down one of India’s cleanest rivers to discovering remote caves populated by friendly sadhus.

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Absolute Golden Triangle

  • When to go: October – April
  • Duration: 9 nights

Stimulate the senses on this extended version of the classic Golden Triangle route, where the thrill of discovering North India’s must-see sights – namely the timeless Taj Mahal, Delhi’s Mughal marvels and Jaipur’s awe-inspiring Amber Fort – is complemented by a tiger-spotting excursion in Ranthambore National Park and a trip down one of the country’s cleanest rivers, the little-explored Chambal.

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Resplendent Rajasthan

  • When to go: October – April
  • Duration: 14 nights

Depart Delhi’s Mughal marvels for Mandawa’s marvellous havelis; the first stop on a two-week journey taking in centuries-old Rajput forts, milky-white Jain temples and deserted former capitals. Combining such mesmerising attractions with unforgettable experiences – namely sunset boat rides, exploring sand dunes on camelback and riding a local train into the Aravalli hills – this is Rajasthan at its most resplendent.

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Royal Rajasthan

  • When to go: October – April
  • Duration: 12 nights

Follow in the footsteps of Rajput kings and queens on this palatial journey through India’s most colourful state. Beginning in Delhi – at the city’s most prestigious hotel, no less – before travelling to Rajasthan via Agra and the Taj Mahal, you’ll discover the state’s grand hilltop forts, ornately decorated temples and romantically ethereal lakes, before culminating the trip at mesmerising Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace – one of the world’s most iconic accommodations.

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Ultimate East

  • When to go: October - April
  • Duration: 13 nights

Witness a spellbinding aarti ceremony on the holy River Ganges, take to the hills onboard Darjeeling’s famous ‘toy train’ and get breathtakingly close to Kangchenjunga – the world’s third-tallest mountain – on this eye-opening introduction to India’s east. Starting in Delhi before venturing into Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim, this two-week journey goes from Hinduism’s heartland to the bosom of Buddhism via time-honoured rituals, spectacular landscapes and arguably the world’s best-tasting tea.

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Himalayan Highway: Amritsar to Leh

  • When to go: May – September
  • Duration: 14 nights

A journey that begins in earnest at Amritsar’s exquisite Golden Temple culminates at the dramatic Himalayan surroundings of Leh, 3,500 metres above sea level. Experiencing Sikh, Hindu and Buddhist culture – and visiting the Dalai Lama’s adopted home town – en route, take one of the world’s most spectacular road journeys on this adventure-focused journey of a lifetime.

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Tigers & Temples

  • When to go: October – April
  • Duration: 8 nights

Go in search of tigers in their natural habitat, be inspired by some of the world’s finest temple carvings and discover where Rudyard Kipling was inspired to write The Jungle Book. This superstimulating trip to laid-back, landlocked Madhya Pradesh – via Delhi’s Mughal marvels and bustling bazaars – combines the best of the natural and man-made worlds in thrilling fashion.

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Wellness North India: Himalayan Hideaway

  • When to go: October – March
  • Duration: 7 nights

Head into the heavenly Himalayan foothills above Rishikesh, the world’s yoga capital, on this week-long wellness retreat. Based at what’s arguably India’s premier spa destination, there’s the opportunity to indulge in more than 80 tailor-made treatments: from ancient Ayurvedic therapies to contemporary western practices. Benefitting from the expertise of leading physicians and nutritionists, by the end of the week you’ll feel completely rejuvenated and reenergised.

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Adventurers’ Golden Triangle

  • When to go: October – March
  • Duration: 10 nights

From cycling ancient trade routes in Rajasthan to rafting down the Ganges to Rishikesh, this adventurous take on the classic Golden Triangle route combines North India’s must-see sights with some seriously exciting excursions. Along the way will be the chance to witness ancient holy rituals, indulge in yoga sessions and take a ride on the back of an elephant.

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Cycle Rajasthan

  • When to go: October – March
  • Duration: 10 nights

From pedalling through Bishnoi villages to arriving at exquisite Jain temples, discover the thrill of exploring Rajasthan – India’s most colourful and arguably most fascinating state – by bicycle. Along the way will be the chance to tuck into a traditional lunch with a local family, interact with remote tribal communities and take a cruise on the ethereal Lake Pichola.

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