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Ampersand Travel’s North India City Guide

Ampersand Travel’s North India City Guide

Colourful and captivating, North India is a region equally rich in history, culture and natural beauty. Whether you're interested in exploring its vibrant cities, visiting spiritual sites or trekking in the Himalayan foothills, there's something for every type of traveller. Below we’ve shared a city guide to help you make the most of your journey through North India

Agra, Rajasthan

Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the ultimate monument to love. Other sights include Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb (also known as the Baby Taj), and the red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage Site just an hour’s drive away.

Amritsar, Rajasthan

Amritsar is the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion and home to the breathtaking Golden Temple, a gilded shrine that draws thousands of pilgrims every day. Whilst you’re here, we highly recommend making the 30km journey to the Wagah border, where India and Pakistan perform the daily flag-lowering ceremony every evening.

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Calcutta, West Bengal

Situated on the Hooghli River, Calcutta is one of India’s largest and most unusual cities, renowned for its colonial architecture, vibrant festivals and rich literary and artistic heritage. Travel through history as you visit the Victoria Memorial, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Indian Museum, which is home to a fine collection of Indian art.

Delhi, Rajasthan

India’s bustling capital is jam-packed with historical sites, iconic Mughal architecture, great shopping - whether you’re looking for markets down Old Delhi’s winding streets or luxury brands in sparkling malls - fabulous bars and restaurants and a thriving nightlife. Explore the historic Red Fort and Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi or take a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Old Delhi to indulge in street food delights.

Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh

Set in the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala literally means “a spiritual dwelling” and is one of the 80 hill stations established by the British between 1815 and 1847. Surrounded by mountains and deodar forests, the town is separated into Upper and Lower Dharamsala. The Tsuglagkhang Complex in Upper Dharamsala is the largest Tibetan temple outside of Tibet and is the home of the Dalai Lama in exile, making it a major site for visiting pilgrims, monks and tourists.

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Jaipur, Rajasthan

Known as the Pink City due to its trademark building colour, Jaipur is the capital and largest city of Rajasthan. Home to the photogenic Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), City Palace, Patrika Gate and Amber Fort, this buzzing yet elegant historic city offers everything from magnificent desert views and grand havelis to luxury hotels and some of India’s best bazaars.

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Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Commonly referred to as the “yoga capital of the world”, Rishikesh is one of the major Hindu pilgrimage sites in northern India. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills and located right on the banks of the Ganges River, visitors can explore the many temples and ashrams, practice yoga and meditation, enjoy spa treatments, take a dip in the holy river or go hiking in the surrounding hills. In recent times, it has also become popular for adventure sports such as white water rafting, bungee jumping and canoeing.

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Immerse yourself in spirituality in India’s holiest city and one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Sitting on the banks of the Ganges River, the ghats (stone steps that lead down to the water) are an incredible sight, particularly at sunrise when thousands of pilgrims bathe in the spiritually cleansing waters, or at dusk when sadhu’s (holy men) and Hindu priests attend the daily prayer ceremony (Ganga Aarti) to the soundtrack of clanging cymbals and hypnotic music.

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With its diverse landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality, North India promises an unforgettable journey for every traveller. Below we’ve picked out a few highly-recommended itineraries, but please do remember that all of our tours are tailor-made for each client. We are more than happy to share our travel tips to fit your needs and interests, as well as advise on the best times to visit India, especially during special festivals and events.

Suggested Itineraries

A Perfect Introduction to North India

Grand Tour of North India… Our Favourite Luxury India Holiday

Holy Cities & Sacred Rivers of North India

Himalayan Odyssey… North India’s Finest Monasteries, Temples & Spas


Client Testimonials

Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka

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