After traveling aboard the Palace on Wheels, explore the sacred sites of Khajuraho and Varanasi. Discover the magnificent carved temples of the Chandela Rajputs, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the holy city of Vanarasi, situated on the banks of the Ganges river, witness intimate Hindu rituals that are part of everyday life. Cruise along the Ganges at sunrise and visit the ancient Buddhist monuments of Sarnath.
Itinerary - 5 Days
Day 1 — Agra/Delhi
Drive from Agra to Delhi as scheduled in the main expedition. Relax at the hotel in Delhi this evening. Taj Mahal Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 2 — Delhi/Khajuraho
Fly this morning to Khajuraho. Visit the intricately carved temples of the Chandela Rajputs, who ruled the area from the 10th to 12th centuries. The Lalit Temple View Khajuraho (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Khajuraho/ Varanasi
Spend the morning exploring the eastern group of the Khajuraho temples before taking an early afternoon flight to Varanasi. Situated on the banks of the Ganges River, Varanasi is a pilgrimage site for Hindus and a center for learning. Transfer to the hotel and enjoy free time to relax before this evening’s dinner. Taj Ganges (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Varanasi
Begin the day with a sunrise boat cruise on the sacred Ganges River to observe morning rituals and prayers. Visit Sarnath, where Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment and delivered his first sermon in Deer Park. Discover the old city by rickshaw and see the evening Aarti before one last dinner together. Taj Ganges (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Varanasi/Delhi
This morning, visit one of India’s leading academic institutions, Banaras Hindu University, established in 1916 to promote the study of Sanskrit literature and preserve Hindu culture. Visit Bharat Kala Bhawan, a museum on the university campus with a fine collection of miniature paintings and sculptures from the 1st to 15th centuries. Transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight to Delhi. Relax in day rooms at the hotel before boarding your return flight home. Radisson Blu (B,L,D)
This extension is available on the following dates:
Mar 08 - 12, 2018
Feb 26 - Mar 08, 2018
Mar 22 - 26, 2018
Mar 12 - 22, 2018
Oct 25 - 29, 2018
Oct 15 - 25, 2018
Fall 2017 - Spring 2018
Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room add $850 through Mar 2018 and $875 in Oct 2018.
Internal airfare between Delhi-Khajuraho and Varanasi-Delhi is not included and is estimated at $675 (subject to change).
Please note, this extension is designed a cultural program, and does not incorporate special photography inclusions.
The National Geographic Photographer's participation in the extension is subject to a minimum of five bookings and his or her availability. Otherwise, the extension will be led by the Expedition Leader or a local guide.