Northern India holidays
Responsible Travel's at a glance summary
“As well as Golden Triangle gems, this trip has some sacred specials. Head to Varanasi to see life on the Ganges, and Ranthambore National Park to spot the sacred tiger.”
Highlights: Delhi | Jaipur | 2 game drives in Ranthambore National Park | Fatehpur Sikri | Taj Mahal | Varanasi and the Ganges
This small group holiday packs as much as it can into ten days, taking you to the classic architectural wonders such as the Pink City of Jaipur or the Taj Mahal. However, it also stretches you out of this crumbly heritage world, to a very vibrant one in Varanasi where, for two days you witness the extraordinary life around the Ganges.
Take a boat trip at dawn to take in this sacred river where thousands of Hindu pilgrims immerse themselves every day. You also get to immerse yourself in India’s finest natural heritage, with two game drives in Ranthambore National Park where you have to try and spot the tiger. Although elusive, the Park is teeming with other wonderful wildlife.
Our top tip:
Have cushion, will travel. This is best rule of thumb for this busy trip, with lots of travelling by bus and train. So have something cosy to cuddle.
Small group with maximum 16 people. Min. age 16
Solo travellers welcome, with surcharge for single rooms.
6 nights in standard, ensuite city hotels. 2 sleeper train journeys.
Flights, accommodation, all breakfasts except day 1, 1 lunch, all transport, tour leader.
Allow £13 -15/day for lunch and dinner.
About this holiday company:
As well as over 40 years’ experience this company boasts an impressive portfolio of conservation and community work in India.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Northern India holidays
Description from the holiday company
Description of this tour from the holiday company
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Northern India holidays: the story of this holiday company
This tour operator was the first to get access to China over 30 years ago and the first to take a truck to Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan side. They have since expanded into 91 countries. Their product is driven by their clients because they listen to feedback and have to constantly evolve to provide a greater experience and better value. The exclusive centres they use have been grown organically and are often owned by ex-leaders. The holidays remain innovative, though you will now be travelling in a Mercedes 16-seater sprinter coach rather than a rusty old Bedford overland truck.
Responsible tourism: Northern India holidays
With the exception of summer departures, this tour includes the wonderful chance to visit Ranthambore National Park for 2 game drives. Ranthambore is a tiger reserve under Project Tiger- a conservation effort which has now been running with progressing success for over 40 years. Tigers have been targeted for centuries by poachers for their fur and various body parts for Chinese medicine, but with increasing tourist numbers investing in a mutually safe form of tiger tourism, population numbers are on the rise. By paying National Park fees at Ranthambore, this tour contributes to the upkeep of this vital habitat for the tigers, deer, crocodiles, bird and plant life etc.
Accommodation & Meals
This trip sees you spend 6 nights in standard city tourist hotels with en suite facilities two nights in an overnight train with air conditioning from Agra to Varanasi and Varanasi to Delhi. You will notice that our hotels employ locally and use local produce from markets in the area wherever possible. The hotels are waste and energy conscious and have their own policies like asking guests to turn off the power when leaving a room in order to save electricity. Where meals are not supplied, our group leaders always encourage people to try local restaurants and street food vendors. They can make recommendations which will help boost small businesses and celebrate local specialties. In Jaipur, Varanasi and Delhi, clients can even see how the food is made e.g. Masala Chai (Tea), Samosa (Mashed Potato Snacks), Jalebe (Indian Donuts), Lassi (Yoghurt Drink), etc.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
For years we have been involved in campaigning for tiger conservation in Bandhavgarh. In late summer 2014 we teamed up with The Corbett Foundation, an Indian charity dedicated to conservation-oriented research. They have proved instrumental in enabling us to get the funds to where they are needed. Through this we have now completed the building of a community hall at Tala Village, solar pumps in the park for wildlife and staff in the dry season, bio gas plants and smart stoves for villagers and provided the salary for 2 full time teachers at the government school. Our work in India continues to be of great significance and most recently we have been able to purchase a 4 wheel drive medical vehicle and pay for outreach medical support.
Local Craft & Culture
We are keen to encourage guests to engage with the culture of Northern India and to purchase local crafts and services where possible. Your local guide will be able to recommend the best of the area’s colourful and vibrant markets and small businesses and through our commerce, tourist wealth is more evenly distributed. You might pick up some street food in Delhi or in Varanasi take the opportunity to explore the emporiums specialising in silks and brocades, have a massage by the banks of the Ganges or buy block printed material and pottery in Jaipur. There are locally crafted gifts and souvenirs available by most of the landmarks we visit, and your guides will be able to advise you on which to buy and which to avoid. For example, some bangles and other decorative items in Jaipur claim to be made of ivory and, although this is mostly fake, we are against the popularisation of this kind of product and make a point of including a warning in the briefing.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.