North India Family Explorer

12 Days in North India: Delhi | Agra | Karauli | Ranthambhore | Jaipur

  • Delhi
  • Agra
  • Karauli
  • Ranthambhore
  • Jaipur

Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and current price.  Trip Code: WV20NIFE


  • Introduction

    A family holiday with exciting and immersive experiences, meeting and interacting with the local people, gaining an insight into the pace of life in North India’s cities and villages.

    Visit Old and New Delhi, Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan and the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Take jeep safaris in search of the elusive Tiger and have an unforgettable experience with rescued and adopted Elephants in natural surroundings. Discover the laneways of Jaipur on a private walking tour with a local guide and visit her major sights in a Tuk Tuk. Stay in a heritage hotel in Delhi, a restored palace in rural Rajasthan and a beautiful haveli in Jaipur.

    As this itinerary is tailor made, we can adjust the time frame, pace and activities according to your special interests and the family ages.  Please be in touch for a tailor made itinerary.

    Read more tips and reports from our own travelles with kids in India on our Family Travel in India page (link

  • Day 1 Delhi

    You will be met and welcomed upon arrival at Delhi airport and transferred to your hotel.

    Delhi, with its Old and New parts, each with its specific glory and charm is a very interesting city for its sustenance of medieval and modern cultures. Old Delhi, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century, still retains its medieval character to a great extent and almost indubitably reminds one of the crowded old towns of the Middle East; while New Delhi, with the exception of the area around the parliament and presidential house, the part designed by Edwin Lutyens is like any other modern city with tall buildings and large shopping complexes.

  • Day 2 Delhi

    Today discover Delhi on a full day sightseeing tour.

    This morning visit the medieval Jama Mosque followed by a walking tour of traditional businesses of Old Delhi exploring centuries old arts and crafts with artisans belonging to the 6th or 7th generation of the men who first started them.

    Visit a marvellous old-fashioned shop where you can test Indian perfume (attar) from cut-glass bottles. Saunter through the main bridal street of Old Delhi, Kinari Bazaar, with its dazzling display of embroidered silk wedding saris, beautiful bangles and colourful turbans for bridegrooms.

    The Khari Baoli is all about spices, rice and dal, dry fruits, nuts and saffron dealers have traded here for more than 150 years. The smell of spices will remain with you even after you have left the market.

    This afternoon you will be taken to explore New Delhi – including Humayun’s Tomb and Qutab Minar, and drive past Lutyens’ Delhi.  Humayun’s Tomb, built in 1565-66, is another magnificent Mughal building. Set in a square enclosed garden, this finely proportioned structure in red sandstone and marble served later as a model for the Taj Mahal. Dominating the ruins of the earliest existing settlement of Delhi is the city’s famous landmark – the Qutab Minar. This imposing (73 metre) victory tower has five storeys, each marked by intricately carved projections or balconies. Elaborately carved pillars embellish the courtyard of a nearby mosque. At the centre of the courtyard is the amazing Iron Pillar (4th – 5th century AD), which has not rusted through the centuries. The interesting buildings of Lutyens’ Delhi are the India Gate, the Rashtrapati Bhawan (President’s House) and Parliament House.

  • Day 3 Agra

    This morning you will be met at your hotel to commence the drive to Agra. The journey is around 4 hours. Upon arrival check into the hotel.

    A city with an intriguing and ruthless royal past, Agra’s golden age began with the Mughals in the early 16th century. Then known then as Akbarabād, named by the Emperor Akbar, after himself, who made it a centre for learning, arts, commerce and religion, the city was the capital of the Mughal Empire under three of its greatest emperors – Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan – all of whom contributed to its architectural glory. It contains some of the most splendid of Mughal era buildings, gardens and monuments, the most notable being Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and both of which provide unique insights into the cultured lives and opulence of the great Mughal emperors.

    This afternoon visit the magnificent Agra Fort. Many of the events that led to the construction of the Taj Mahal took place here.  Begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565, some 4,000 builders worked on it daily for eight years, completing it in 1573 (although additions continued to be made until the time of his grandson Shah Jahan). A powerful fortress of red sandstone, it encompasses within its 2.5 km-long enclosure walls the imperial city of the Mughal rulers.  The massive strength displayed in its exterior hides the beauty of its interior – an interesting mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture comprising several beautiful wells, courtyards with flower-beds, water channels and fountains and two exquisite white marble mosques – the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), and the Nagina Masjid (Jewel Mosque), as well as numerous palaces including the Sheesh Mahal and the Musamman Burj (from where Shah Jahan, imprisoned here by his son during the last years of his life, was able to view the Taj Mahal in the distance).

    Later, continue to Mehtab Bagh. Mehtab Bagh was the last of the Mughal gardens, which were built along the River Yamuna. This crescent shaped garden is considered the ultimate spot for viewing the Taj Mahal.

  • Day 4 Karauli

    Rise early this morning to visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise.

    The Taj Mahal has been described as a ‘tear on the face of eternity’ and as an enduring monument of love. Its unique beauty is blended with grandeur and its massive over-all design is matched with immaculately intricate execution. Built by Mughal Emperor Shan Jehan in memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal complex took 22 years to be completed and is today counted among the Seven Wonders of the World. It is particularly stunning at sunrise. Return to your hotel for breakfast.

    Afterwards depart for the drive to Karauli. The journey is around 4 hours.  Upon arrival check into your hotel and your afternoon is at leisure.

    Karauli is a small place with interesting local bazaars in a part of Rajasthan, not on the tourist trail. The small town also has its own City Palace which is a treasure trove of architecture, stone carvings, gorgeous jali work and paintings. The temple at the City Palace is one of the most mesmerising ‘live temple’ in entire Rajasthan with villager devotees singing and dancing each evening in praise of Lord Krishna.

  • Day 5 Karauli

    Today is at leisure. There is a selection of optional local activities as offered by your hotel. These include yoga, massage, horse riding, boat rides, cycling, trekking and bird watching.

    You may like to take an early morning jeep safari to the Kaila Devi Game Sanctuary with its beautiful scenery and assorted wildlife, stopping to visit the Kaila Devi temple. You could also explore the nearby village with its handicraft shops selling lacquer work, bangles, wooden toys, bamboo items, traditional sweets, etc.

    Also, worth a visit is the once magnificent City Palace; although in need of restoration, it has some impressive architectural features and the Durbar Hall contains fine wall paintings and stone carvings. A Krishna temple – at which the evening ‘Aarti’ ritual takes place – is located in the Bhanwar Vilas Palace grounds.

    This evening enjoy a cooking demonstration at the palace followed by dinner.

  • Day 6 Ranthambhore

    This morning depart for Ranthambhore National Park. The journey is around 4 hours. Upon arrival check into your hotel.

    Earlier the private hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur, Ranthambore was once the scene of royal hunting parties. Today, it is famous for its tigers and is one of the best places in the country to see these majestic predators in the wild.

    Its royal heritage prevails and manifests itself in the picturesque ruins that dot the park. There are lake palaces, cenotaphs, old fortifications and a majestic thousand-year-old fort on a height overlooking the park.

    Later this take a jeep safari inside the National Park to attempt catching a glimpse of the elusive tiger and other wildlife of the park. Riding in open jeeps with a Naturalist, each safari lasts 3 hours.


  • Day 7 Ranthambhore

    An early morning and afternoon jeep safari inside the Park.

    Besides tiger, Ranthambore is home to mammals such as leopard, hyena, jackal, jungle cats, sloth bear, reptiles such as marsh crocodile and a large variety of bird-life that includes Jacanas, painted stork, black stork and white necked stork which are seen along the water bodies. Peafowl are found in abundance and other birds include Bonelli’s eagle, crested serpent eagle, the great Indian horned owl, quail, partridge, spurfowl and paradise flycatcher.

    There is excellent bird watching on and around your accommodation, with hotel staff and equipment to facilitate the experience.

    The remainder of your day is at leisure to relax and enjoy the surrounds of your hotel.

  • Day 8 Jaipur

    This morning depart Ranthambhore for Jaipur. The journey is around 4 hours. Upon arrival check into your hotel.

    The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is known as the ‘pink city’ because of the pink paint applied to the buildings in its old walled town. Jaipur is steeped in history and culture and the past comes alive here in magnificent forts and palaces, once the habitats of maharajas. Jaipur has been widely regarded as the first modern planned city in the world. Even though it was founded and built in the 18th century, the city amazes many modern town planners and architects for its brilliance of planning and beauty of architecture.

    Later in the evening set out on a guided walking tour of Jaipur; Bazaars, Cuisine and Craft of Old Jaipur.

    From its creation in 1727 the royal families and nobles of Jaipur patronised the craftsmen and artisans of the city. These traditions continue to this day and as a result modern day Jaipur is considered by many as the craft capital of India. Traditional methods are still used to produce many valuable and highly prized items. Using skills passed down through generations, artisans and master craftsmen can be seen in the areas of Ghat Darwaza and Vishveshwar ji.

    On this fascinating walk mingle and talk with the locals whilst sampling some of the region’s culinary delights; try pakoras, aloo tiki, samosa and ladoo from some of the city’s most popular street food vendors.

    Observe local artisans in their workshops including jewellers and silversmiths, gold painters and tie dying experts as well as meenakari and kundan artists. Midway through the walk visit a local resident in his private haveli, which is beautifully decorated with gold painting, rich tapestries, carpets and rare artefacts, before finishing at Tripolia Gate to enjoy the colourful and vibrant bazaar.

  • Day 9 Jaipur

    This morning discover the pink city of Jaipur from the comfort of a custom designed, eco-friendly pink rickshaw. An innovative initiative run by a not-for-profit organisation, this is an opportunity for you to see the city from a unique point of view, interact with your female driver and support women from low-income households.

    Take a ride with your Pink City Rickshaw canopy down and feel the crisp air on empty streets of this otherwise bustling city. Your designated rider will take you for an experience of the morning aarti or prayer chanting at the Govind Devji Temple at the City Palace where crowds chant songs to the deity. Receive the blessings at this 18th century Krishna temple where the deity, worshipped by the erstwhile royal family, is also revered by the Hindus in Jaipur and nearby areas. Next visit the wholesale flower market near Hawa Mahal. See turbaned crowds trading sacks of roses and marigold.

    Continue to the iconic Hawa Mahal also called the Palace of Winds. Made in 1799, the unique five storied structure, with its small latticed windows, made to resemble the crown of Lord Krishna, served as a place where the ladies of the royal household could observe the hustle bustle and everyday life without being seen themselves.

    Stop at a chaiwalla on Chaura raasta for some cardamom early morning tea in Kullad, which is a specialty in Rajasthan. Continue to Albert Hall, beautifully designed in the Indo-Sarcenic architecture and housed in the centre of Ram Niwas Garden for a photograph.

    Return to your hotel for breakfast. After visit the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, medieval observatory and Hawa Mahal, Palace of Winds.

    The magnificent City Palace was established in 1727 and has been home to the city’s rulers ever since. In addition to being the residence of maharanas, it was also a centre of politics and court administration and ceremony, a site of religious ritual, and a source of patronage for music, literature, dance and painting.  A sprawling complex, it is wonderfully laid out with large courtyards, balconies, cupolas, arched entrances and gardens, which are a combination of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The museum here displays the rich heritage of the Jaipur royal family in collections of miniature paintings, textiles, garments, books and manuscripts, carpets, palanquins and weapons dating back to the 15th century.

    Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had a passion for astronomy, which led him to build five astronomical observatories in India at Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi, Mathura and Delhi. The observatory at Jaipur, built in 1728, is the largest and best preserved of them. It incorporates multiple buildings of unique form, each with a specialized function for astronomical measurement. Popular structures within the Jantar Mantar are the ‘Samrat Yantra’ (the world’s largest sundial standing 27 metres tall) and the ‘Hindu Chhatri’, (small cupola) on top, which is used as a platform for announcing eclipses and the arrival of monsoons.

    End the tour at the beautiful Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds. Built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, this building is one of Jaipur’s landmarks.  It is thought to be dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna, as when seen from afar it takes the form of the crown that often adorns the god’s head.  Considered as an embodiment of Rajputana architecture, the main highlight of the Hawa Mahal is its pyramid shape and its 953 windows or ‘jharokhas’, which are decorated with intricate designs.  Little more than a façade, this five-storey pink structure was built to enable the women of the harem to see the activities of the outside world without themselves being seen.

  • Day 10 Jaipur

    This morning visit Amber Fort, one of the more fascinating of Indian forts. It was the ancient capital of the erstwhile Jaipur state. Its construction began in 16th century and was subsequently added on to by successive rulers. Inside the fort, the places worth visiting are the Palace of Mirrors, inlaid with millions of tiny glistening mirrors, the hall of Public Audience and the beautiful manicured gardens.

    After visiting the Fort, you will be driven to Dera Amer on the outskirts of Jaipur.

    Dera Amer Camp is surrounded by wilderness with no urban civilization in the vicinity, just a few hamlets and housing of the local villagers, where the purpose is sustainability; social responsibility, animal welfare, organic farming and water conservation.

    Over 30-years, Dera Amer has become a sanctuary for animals both domestic and wild and for visitors to Jaipur to experience firsthand a more agricultural way of living to have a positive effect on the environment and the local communities and ensuring their animals live in a natural environment – rather than on the bustling streets of Jaipur.

    Their 3 adopted, rehabilitated and resident Elephants are a big part of this experience. Spend some time either bathing, feeding or walking beside an Elephant in the wilderness with their Mahout.

    NOTE:  Dera Amer does not support Elephant riding. All activities are walking tours and their Elephants do not wear “saddles”.

     The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure with your vehicle and driver, perhaps shopping for crafts that Jaipur is well known for.

  • Day 11 Delhi

    Your morning is at leisure with your hotel check out at midday.

    Later this afternoon, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to Jaipur railway station to board a fast evening train to Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

  • Day 12 Delhi

    Today, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to Delhi international airport to connect with your departure flight. Your hotel check out is at midday

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