Designed for the first time visitor, this tour covers the major sights of Northern India including Lucknow, site of the famous siege of 1857 Starting in Delhi, we move to Lucknow, also known for its cuisine and indulgent "nawabs" and then on to the Ganges in Varanasi, or Benares, one of the oldest living cities in the world; Khajuraho offers 10th century temples with erotic sculpture while the beauty of the Taj awaits us in Agra; finally to Rajasthan, taking in the colourful cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur. The hotels are a mix of deluxe and first class with some charming heritage properties included.

Days 1 to 3 Delhi
Arrive into Delhi, transfer to the colonial Maidens Hotel. Visit the sights of Old and New Delhi; enjoy a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk; see the Jama Masjid, Bangla Sahib and Akshardham; visit Hauz Khas Village; try out one of our recommended restaurants.

Days 4 & 5 Varanasi
Fly to Varanasi, stay at Suryauday Haveli, a tastefully refurbished home on the Ganges. See the evening aarti at the ghats followed by a boatride to Manikarnika Ghat; an early morning visit to the bathing ghats; visit the Buddhist site of Sarnath; walk through the old town and see silk- weaving, try the kachoris at Madhur Milan or the cream- laden lassi at Assighat.

Days 6 & 7 Khajuraho
A short flight to Khajuraho, stay at The Serai in Toria, on the Ken River. Visit the celebrated Chandela temples, take a jeep safari in Panna, walk through the village, ride a boat to see riverine birds.

Days 8 & 9 Agra
Drive to Jhansi, stopping at Alipur for lunch at the haveli; drive on to Orchha to see the Bundela ruins, take the train to Agra, stay at the modern Trident Hotel. Visit the Taj at sunrise, see the tomb of Itamud-ud-daula, Noorjehan's father, and walk through the Fort, on the other side of the Yamuna.

Days 10 & 11 Jaipur
A long drive to Jaipur, visiting Fatehpur Sikri and the Bharatpur Sancuary. Stop at Peharsar to see village life and have lunch at the Chander Mahal Haveli. In Jaipur stay at Dera Rawatsar or Narain Niwas. Visit the colourful bazaars including the gems market, see the Amber Fort, City Palace and Jantar Mantar; optional visit to Dera Amer for an elephant ride in the countryside and a special dinner.

Days 12 & 13 Rohet (Jodhpur)
Drive to Rohet for two nights' stay at the royal residence. Visit the Meherangarh Fort in Jodhpur, explore the bazaars, take a jeep safari through tribal villages or trot on a Marwari stallion.

Days 14 & 15 Udaipur
Take the road, through forested hills, to the lake-city of Udaipur, stopping at the Ranakpur Jain Temple. Stay two nights at Jagat Niwas, or indulge yourself with an upgrade to the Lake Palace. Visit the sights, take a boat ride on Lake Pichola; join a family for lunch after a cooking session.

Day 16 Delhi/Mumbai
Fly back to Delhi or Mumbai.

Price indication: $1900 to $2400 per person for a private tour for two.