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India Holidays

A Pilgrimage to Kumbh Mela

13 Night Itinerary from  £5,388

Tirtha Tour

Travel from Delhi to the Taj, explore Lucknow and its delicious cuisine, experience the wonderful Kumbh Mela Festival and spiritual Varanasi.

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Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • Experience the colourful Kumbh Mela Festival, the most important pilgrimage for Hindus
  • Explore Delhi including the Red Fort, colourful bazaars and India Gate
  • Take a tour of Old Delhi, visiting Jama Masjid, one of the largest Muslim mosques in India
  • Visit Agra Fort, and mesmerising Taj Mahal at dawn
  • Discover Lucknow and the flavours of Awadhi cuisine withkebabs and fragrant biryanis
  • Explore Prayagraj, one of the four holy sites for the Kumbh Mela Festival
  • Experience the holy city of Varanasi, with its riverside ghats 
  • Enjoy a boat ride on the Ganges in Varanasi 

This itinerary can be tailored to your preferences by our specialist advisors, who can provide a guaranteed price based on your choice of route, duration, flights, hotels, transport and excursions.

Tour Itinerary

Delhi Jama Pinterestfreeimage2

Delhi - 3 Nights

Day 1 - Depart the UK on overnight flight to Delhi

Day 2 - Arrive in Delhi

Day 3 - Guided tour of Delhi

Day 4 - Tour of Old Delhi

  • Full Description

Sunday, 21 April 2024

Fly to Delhi

Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Delhi.

Monday, 22 April 2024

Arrive in Delhi

Arrive in Delhi, where our representative will meet you and escort you to the hotel for a 3-night stay including breakfast

Delhi is said to be one of the oldest existing cities in the world, along with Jerusalem and Varanasi. Legend estimates it to be over 5,000 years old. Over the millennia, Delhi is said to have been built and destroyed 11 times. The oldest alleged incarnation of the city shows up in the Indian mythological epic Mahabharata as Indraprastha.

Tuesday, 23 April 2024

Guided tour of Delhi

After breakfast, we begin our Delhi exploration with a visit to city's most striking monument, the Qutub Minar which looms majestically across the wide plains of Delhi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was completed by subsequent rulers – Qutb ud din Aibak and Shamsu’d-Din Iltutmish. The 13th- century square tomb of Iltutmish in the north-western part of Quwwatu’l-Islam marks the beginning of the tradition of constructing royal tombs, a practice followed as late as the Mughal era in India.

Drive past India Gate, President's Estate and government building.

Thereafter, visit the most prominent Sikh Gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship, in Delhi. The 'Langars' or the community kitchen proves to be the ideal example of prodigious hospitality of the Sikhs. Anyone and everyone can have scrumptious meal irrespective of caste, color or class.

Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Tour of Old Delhi

On the tour of “Old Delhi,” we first stop at Raj Ghat, is the place where Mahatma Gandhi, India’s “Father of the Nation,“ was cremated on the evening of January 31, 1948. Drive past Red Fort and visit the Jama Masjid, one of the largest Muslim mosques in India. A bicycle rickshaw will take you into the heart of Chandni Chowk (the silver square - so named because of the silver merchants).

Drive past India Gate, President's Estate and government building.

Our next stop will be at Gandhi Smriti the location where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on January 30, 1948. The museum in the building houses a number of articles associated with Gandhi's life and death. Visitors can tour the building and grounds, viewing the preserved room where Gandhi lived and the place on the grounds where he was shot.

We will conclude our day with a visit of a World UNESCO Heritage Site -Humayun's Tomb, which was built in the mid-16th century, 9 years after his death. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It was also the first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale. Besides the main tomb enclosure of Humayun, several smaller monuments dot the pathway leading up to it, from the main entrance in the West, including one that even pre- dates the main tomb itself, by twenty years.

Taj Phoebe

Agra - 1 Night

Day 5 - Travel to Agra & the Taj Mahal

  • Full Description

Thursday, 25 April 2024

Travel to Agra & the Taj Mahal

After breakfast, we depart for Agra. On arrival, check-in to the hotel. Later this afternoon visit the imposing Red Fort of Agra (also known as Agra Fort). A creative, architectural, and strategic masterpiece, the Fort is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In a cruel twist, Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal and whose grandfather built the original Fort and who also assumed the throne himself, was imprisoned here at the end of his life by his own son – in a room looking out on the Taj Mahal across the river.

Lucknowrumi Darwaza Pinterest

Lucknow - 3 Nights

Day 6 - The Taj Mahal at dawn & travel to Lucknow

Day 7 - Guided tour of Lucknow

Day 8 - Exploring Lucknow

  • Full Description

Friday, 26 April 2024

The Taj Mahal at dawn & travel to Lucknow

Early this morning savour a travel highlight as we embark on a tour of the Taj Mahal (Closed on every Friday), the magnificent tomb of white marble built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, who had implored her husband to build a monument symbolizing their undying love for each other.

After relaxed breakfast, we depart for Lucknow, the city of Nawabs.

On arrival, check-in to the hotel for a 3-night stay including breakfast. Late this afternoon embark on a “Heritage Walk’’ to witness the unique crafts of this Nawabi City delving into the rich culture and journeying back to a bygone era. Wander through the Çhowk’, the oldest market place of Lucknow’, the narrow lanes of 'Gol Darwaza', once bustling with 'Kothas' where nautch girls entertained, now transformed into a vibrant market renowned for its handicrafts and Chikan work.

Saturday, 27 April 2024

Guided tour of Lucknow

Start your day with a visit Lucknow Residency, where silent walls recount the grim tale of the 1857 mutiny. This historic site, central to the first war of independence, witnessed over 3000 sacrifices to uphold the Union Jack. Erected between 1780 and 1800 for the British Resident, it once sprawled with numerous structures. Now, only scarred ruins remain, overlooking the Gomti River amidst terraced lawns. A visit also honors the soldiers, known and unknown, who bravely defended the Residency.

Visit La Martiniere College, one of the oldest and most prestigious educational institutions in India, renowned for its architectural beauty and rich history. Founded through an endowment from the Frenchman Major General Claude Martin, the college boasts a fascinating legacy.

Our next stop will be Dilkusha Palace & Gardens, the remnants of a residence constructed in the early 19th century by a European architect for Nawab Sadat Ali Khan. It's said that the Nawab only laid eyes on the completed building once, and upon beholding its grandeur, he exclaimed, "Dil Khusha Hua," meaning "My Heart is Pleased," thus bestowing upon the palace its charming name, Dilkusha.

This evening, join on a Culinary Walk to uncover the history, flavors, and recipes of Awadhi cuisine, straight from their original sources that continue to thrive despite the era of fast food giants like McDonald's and KFC. Experience the essence of food loyalty as you indulge in the authentic tastes of Tundey Kebabs, Raheem’s Nihari, and Mobeen’s Pasanda Kebabs. Witness the culinary magic firsthand as chefs work their craft in humble, seemingly unhygienic establishments where nonetheless, no one has ever fallen ill. To truly savor this experience, bring your inner foodie with eyes closed, allowing your taste buds to revel in their full glory.

Sunday, 28 April 2024

Exploring Lucknow

Today explore Husainabad Complex, a testament to the city's rich cultural and architectural heritage compassing the several remarkable structures, including the imposing Clock Tower which symbolizes the passage of time, having witnessed the city's highs and low; Husainabad Imambara, also known as Chota Imambara, built in 1840 by Mohammad Ali Shah, this exquisite edifice showcases intricate craftsmanship and architectural finesse.

Visit Sadat Ali Tomb, driving past ‘Chatar Manzil’ – a part of this palace was built by a French architect, Claude Martin, you will now enter the gateway of world’s most unique architecture, 'Asifi Imambara'. This monument was built as a relief measure for a devastating famine, in order to provide employment to the subjects of the state by Nawab Asif-ud-Daula'.

“Who else can tell the stories of the cities of Nawab better than the Nawab himself”, experience a truly unique opportunity to meet a descendant of the Nawab for an afternoon tea session and interact with Nawab to gain insights into the evolving landscape of Lucknow over the years. Learn about their family's illustrious history and first hand experience their refined etiquettes, mannerisms, and the art of speech perfected by the Nawabs. Beyond Lucknow's magnificent monuments lies a vibrant culture and a community of cultured individuals whose lifestyle transcends mere financial prosperity. It's a cherished legacy passed down through generations, offering a glimpse into the city's rich heritage and the enduring traditions of its esteemed families.

During Kumbh Mela Pilgrimage 2013, Allahabad, India

Prayagraj and Kumbh Mela - 3 Nights

Day 9 - Travel to Prayagraj

Day 10 - Experience Kumbh Mela 

Day 11 - Experience Kumbh Mela

  • Full Description

Monday, 29 April 2024

Travel to Prayagraj

After breakfast, we depart for Prayagraj, believed to be the most important pilgrimage centre for Hindus and location of the 2025 Kumbh Mela Festival. Traditionally river confluences are regarded as auspicious places, but in Sangam, the significance of the confluence is most pious because here, the holy Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati meet to become one. We stay 3 nights in the well-appointed deluxe tented accommodation with ensuite facilities (non-air conditioned tents with heating) including breakfast, lunch and dinner. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Tuesday, 30 April 2024

Experience the Kumbh Mela Festival

We will have 2 full days for an immersive experience to explore the Kumbh Fair with our guide.

According to legends, Vishnu was carrying a Kumbh (pot) of amrit (nectar), when a scuffle broke out and four drops were spilled. They fell to earth at the four Tirthas of Prayag, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujjain. A tirtha is a place where the devout can attain salvation.

The event is commemorated every three years by the Kumbh Mela, held at each tirtha in turn; the Sangam is known as Tirtharaj, the ‘King of Tirthas’ and here the Kumbh is held once in every twelve years, which is the greatest and holiest of all.



13 January, 14 January, 29 January, 2 February,4 February, 12 February, 26 February 2025

Wednesday, 01 May 2024

Experience the Kumbh Mela Festival

A further day to experience the Kumbh Mela Festival with our guide.

Varanasi Pinterestfreeimage3

Varanasi - 3 Nights

Day 12 - Travel to Varanasi

Day 13 - Guided tour of Varanasi

Day 14 - Boat ride on the Ganges

Day 15 - Fly back to the UK

  • Full Description

Thursday, 02 May 2024

Travel to Varanasi

Today we leave for Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world.

On arrival, check-in to the hotel for a 3-night stay including breakfast. Later this afternoon take a boat ride in the holy River Ganges where we will witness the beautiful and captivating 'Aarti' ceremony at twilight. ‘Aarti’ is a Hindu religious ritual of worship, in which wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor are offered to one or more deities. An absolute must see in Varanasi, the evening aarti is conducted every day at sunset by priests, worshiping the river goddess with incense, camphor, flowers and earthen lamps. The circling of large flaming lamps creates a bright hue against the darkened sky. The movement of the lamps, held in the priest’s hands, is synchronic with the rhythmic chants of hymns and clang of cymbals.

Friday, 03 May 2024

Guided tour of Varanasi

After breakfast, we depart to visit an ancient buddhist site at Sarnath. Buddhism started in India over 2,600 years ago as a way of life that had a potential of transforming a person. The religion is based upon the teachings, life experiences of its founder Siddhartha Gautam. At the age of 29, Gautama left home and rejected his life of riches and embraced a lifestyle of asceticism, or extreme self-discipline. Buddha gave his first sermon in the village of Sarnath, near the city of Varanasi. This event is known as Dharma-Chakra-Pravartana (turning of the wheel of law). Return to the hotel for lunch on own.

Varanasi is also known for its musical heritage and renowned for its contribution to Indian classical music, especially the Hindustani classical tradition, Varanasi has been a sanctuary for maestros and musicians for centuries. Varanasi's musical legacy is further enriched by its gharanas, like Benaras and Senia, each offering unique styles and interpretations. This afternoon we will visit to a home of a music maestro to witness a live Sitar performance.

Saturday, 04 May 2024

Boat ride on the Ganges

We will rise early this morning and take a boat ride on the Ganga past the Ghats. Here, pilgrims gather on the steps that lead down to the river to bathe in the waters of the sacred river, as the city begins to come alive, in the magical misty light of dawn. Walk through the streets and visit some of Varanasi’s temples.

Sunday, 05 May 2024

Fly back to the UK

Transfer to the airport for your return flight back to the UK, arriving later the same day.

Price Guidelines

Season High Season
Travel Dates 4 Jan - 10 Feb 2025
Room Arrangement First
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £5,388

Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.

What's Included

  • Guidelines prices are per person based on 2 people sharing a twin room
  • 15 Days/13 Nights
  • International flights (1 overnight)
  • Accommodation as shown on the itinerary
  • 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport  throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides

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