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India Itinerary for 9 Days: 6 Tailored Options 2024/2025

By RitaUpdated Apr. 30, 2024

Nine days are not enough to travel throughout India, but you could discover the highlights of two to three areas in either North India or South India.

For first-time visitors, North India is often preferred. Most choose the week-long Golden Triangle tour (Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur) as a starting point, and then allocate the other 2 days for their different interests. You could choose Varanasi for spiritual traditions, Ranthambore for tiger safaris, or Udaipur for a relaxing regal journey.

For a return trip, you could delve deeper into Rajasthan to see its colorful desert civilization, which is the No. 1 option in the north, or you could explore less-traveled South India. In South India, you could witness the huge wealth gap in Mumbai, sunbathe on the sunny beaches of Goa, go cruising in the backwaters in Kerala, and marvel at the historical ruins of Aurangabad.

We've specially handpicked the following six itineraries for your inspiration. We're also happy to customize them based on your specific interests.

Itinerary 1: 9-Day Classic India Trip with a Tiger Safari

This itinerary is popular with first-timers, particularly wildlife enthusiasts and active families.

You could take a rickshaw ride traversing in Old Delhi, get an up-close view of the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra, spot tigers during thrilling sunrise and sunset jungle game drives in Ranthambore, and create real Indian food together with a local family in Jaipur.

Check out the following outline.

  • Day 1: Arrival in Delhi
  • Day 2: Delhi city tour with the Jama Masjid, the Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb and the Chandni Chowk market
  • Day 3: Drive from Delhi to Agra and take a village walk with high tea in Agra
  • Day 4: Agra heritage tour with the Taj Mahal, the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah and Agra Fort
  • Day 5: Transfer from Agra to Ranthambore and visit Fatehpur Sikri en route
  • Day 6: Tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park
  • Day 7: Ranthambore to Jaipur via a private transfer
  • Day 8: Jaipur city tour — Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, a cooking class in a local house, the City Palace, and Jantar Mantar
  • Day 9: Departure
ah-in-71 tour mapah-in-71 tour map

Delhi is typically the first stop for travelers arriving in India. You're advised to stay amid the modern comforts of New Delhi for a cozy retreat, then head out to explore the historical sites and vibrant life of Old Delhi.

To explore Old Delhi, your local expert would unveil the secrets behind ancient heritage sites including the Jama Masjid, the Qutub Minar, and Humayun's Tomb with your local experts. Taking a rickshaw ride with your family would be an immersive way to indulge in the chaotic local life of Delhi.

On Day 3, you would be driven to Agra. You could get perfect family pictures in front of the Taj Mahal during an early morning visit, find the hidden treasures in the sprawling red sandstone Agra Fort, and get some peaceful moments in the Baby Taj. On the way to Ranthambore National Park, you would also visit the abandoned ancient capital, Fatehpur Sikri.

In Ranthambore, to avoid the heat, you would venture into the jungle at sunrise and sunset to spot tigers and other animals. Staying at an atmospheric tented camp together would enhance your family bonding with the wild vibe.

Then transfer to Jaipur, a city full of pink-hued buildings. You would track the treasures at the Amber Fort, capture the iconic pictures of the pink Hawa Mahal, and go inside the secret rooms of the City Palace. After learning about astronomical observation at Jantar Mantar, knock on the door of a local family and create your Indian food together.

Itinerary 2: 9-Day India Cultural Odyssey — the Golden Triangle and Varanasi

This 9-day itinerary is ideal for cultural heritage and spiritual immersion. Beyond the highlights of the Golden Triangle, you would experience Hindu and Buddhist culture and rituals in Varanasi.

If you're traveling in March or November, you could also add some festive fun to your trip: Holi in March or Diwali in November.

  • Day 1: Arrival in Delhi
  • Day 2: Delhi city tour with a rickshaw ride through the Chandni Chowk market
  • Day 3: Fly to Varanasi, take a heritage walk, and enjoy the Ganga Aarti ceremony
  • Day 4: Sunrise boat ride on the Ganges and visit Sarnath
  • Day 5: Fly to Jaipur and have a pink-city tour by electric pink rickshaw with a female driver
  • Day 6: Drive to Agra with a stop in Fatehpur Sikri
  • Day 7: Explore the best of Agra: the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and a village walk around Mehtab Bagh
  • Day 8: Visit the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah and have some free time with a sunset tea with cookies at a rooftop restaurant
  • Day 9: Departure
India tour map

Your journey would start with a brief 2-day stay in Delhi. You could listen to the chants of the Quran at Jama Masjid, lose yourself in the vibrant chaos of the Chandni Chowk market, and admire the elegant architectural splendor of Humayun's Tomb.

Next, you would fly to the sacred city of Varanasi. With a guided walk along the Ganges River, you would explore the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, encounter pilgrims bathing and making offerings at the bank of the River, and witness death rituals at the burning ghats.

For more engaging experiences, take a serene sunrise boat ride on the Ganges and enjoy captivating Ganga Aarti ceremonies at dusk. For those interested in Buddhism, don't miss Sarnath and its stupa complex.

Your next stop is Jaipur. A classic day tour would show you the beauty of the landmarks of this pink city: Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, the City Palace, and Jantar Mantar. If you're there in November, you could hop on a tuk-tuk to explore the Diwali market. If it's March, join the locals in their color fights during Holi.

Your journey through India would conclude at the home of the Taj Mahal, Agra. Listen to the magnificent love story of King Shah Jahan within the Taj Mahal, imagine historical royal luxury at Agra Fort, and discover the authentic lives of Indian villagers while walking through the countryside.

If you'd like to add some foodie experiences in these four cities, see our 9-Day India Highlights and Food Tour. You could also find some ideas about celebrating Holi from our 11-Day India Holi Festival Tour.

Itinerary 3: 9-Day India Romantic Retreat from Delhi to Udaipur

This 9-day itinerary is custom-designed for couples looking to create unforgettable memories together. You would explore Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Udaipur, known as India's wedding capital.

It includes exclusive and romantic experiences that can be tailored for you and your partner, from dressing up in traditional Indian attire to visit the Taj Mahal to staying in authentic palaces and enjoying a private boat trip on Lake Pichola.

  • Day 1: Arrival in Delhi
  • Day 2: Delhi city tour, including a foodie walk with a local chef in Old Delhi
  • Day 3: Drive to Agra and watch a sunset over the Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh.
  • Day 4: A heritage tour to Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal alongside an Indian clothing experience and rooftop drinks
  • Day 5: Drive to Jaipur, visit Chand Baori en route, and indulge in a private spa or body treatment.
  • Day 6: Take a classic Jaipur city tour, including Amber Fort, the City Palace with a high tea experience, and Jantar Mantar.
  • Day 7: Fly to Udaipur, visit Udaipur's City Palace, and take an exclusive boat ride on Lake Pichola.
  • Day 8: Discover Eklingji and Nagda temples, take a vintage car tour, and enjoy a lakeside candlelit dinner.
  • Day 9: Departure
a balcony with the view of Taj Mahal

In Delhi, you and your loved one could dive into the lively chaos of life and have a glimpse of the architectural marvels: Jama Masjid, the Qutub Minar, and Humayun's Tomb. For an unforgettable experience, hunt for food in the hidden alleys with a local chef in Delhi.

In Agra, sunrise and sunset make the perfect backdrop for any romantic journey. Imagine the two of you dressed in exquisite Indian attire as you visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise and sip cocktails on a rooftop as the sun sets.

Jaipur offers a private spa for ultimate relaxation in your palace hotel. You and your loved one could also indulge in afternoon tea at the City Palace, just like a king and queen.

Udaipur boasts an unparalleled leisurely atmosphere and romantic ambiance. You and your partner could explore its lakeside in a vintage car or enjoy a tranquil sunset boat ride, followed by a candlelit dinner by the lake. For cultural immersion, step back in time at the Udaipur City Palace and experience the spiritual fervor at the Aarti ceremony at Eklingji and Nagda temples.

Find out more exclusive activities from the 2-Week Luxury India Tour, tailored for couples.

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Itinerary 4: 9-Day Rajasthan Heritage Delight with Camel Festival

This 9-day itinerary would take you deep into the colorful ancient cities and desert landscapes of Rajasthan by road.

To make your Rajasthan itinerary more exciting, hop on a pink e-rickshaw to explore the Pink City, Jaipur, or embark on a camel ride for a mesmerizing sunset in Pushkar. Take a heritage walk through the winding streets of the Blue City, Jodhpur, or enjoy a serene sunset boat ride in the White City, Udaipur. Pushkar's camel fair offers a window into local life and age-old religious traditions.

  • Day 1: Arrival in Jaipur
  • Day 2: Jaipur city tour with a visit to Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, the City Palace, and Jantar Mantar
  • Day 3: Henna painting and block printing; drive to Pushkar (5–6 hours)
  • Day 4: Camel fair, Brahma Temple, and a camel safari
  • Day 5: Drive to Jodhpur (4 hours), known as the Blue City
  • Day 6: Mehrangarh Fort, the Jaswant Thada cenotaph, and walk around the blue city
  • Day 7: Jodhpur to Udaipur (5 hours) and visit a Jain temple en route
  • Day 8: Udaipur city tour: the City Palace, a scenic boat ride over Lake Pichola, and a private spa or yoga class.
  • Day 9: Departure
Lovely kids in Jodhpur Lovely kids in Jodhpur

In Jaipur, beyond a classic day tour of its landmarks, you could get your hands decorated with henna paintings on the streets and create a handkerchief using the traditional hand-block printing techniques at a local museum.

After that, you would head to Pushkar, famous for its lively Camel Fair (around November). There, you would experience India's largest livestock trading event, watch the thrilling horse and camel races, as well as see the enchanting evening Aarti ceremony at the sacred Pushkar Lake. Don't miss a serene camel ride at sunset, adding a touch of adventure to your journey.

Your next stop would be the Blue City, Jodhpur. Immerse yourselves in the daily performances at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, relax at the tranquil Jaswant Thada (an exquisite monument in landscaped gardens), and get lost in the charming blue streets of the old town.

Before flying home, kick back and relax with the serene vibes of the White City, Udaipur. Treat yourselves to a leisurely boat cruise on the lake, followed by indulgent spa treatments or rejuvenating yoga sessions.

Itinerary 5: 9-Day Kerala Relaxation with Natural Charms

If you've been to the history-packed North India and seen its Golden Triangle, Kerala in South India would be a great choice for a different history and culture as well asnatural landscapes and beach getaways.

In Kerala, explore the multicultural historical architecture of Kochi, dive into the tea culture and natural beauty of Munnar, and spot wildlife in Periyar National Park. Experience tranquility on Alleppey's backwater cruises and take in the stunning ocean views at Kovalam.

  • Day 1: Arrival in Kochi
  • Day 2: A half-day sightseeing tour in Kochi and a Kathakali dance performance
  • Day 3: A drive from Kochi to Munnar (about 4 hours) and a tea plantation visit
  • Day 4: An outdoor adventure at Mattupetty Lake and dam, and Eravikulam National Park
  • Day 5: Munnar to Thekkady by car (about 3 hours), Periyar National Park, and a spice garden
  • Day 6: Transfer from Thekkady to Alleppey (about 4 hours) for an overnight backwater cruise
  • Day 7: From the cruise, continue by car to coastal Kovalam (about 4 hours) for beach relaxation
  • Days 8: Beach time at Kovalam
  • Day 9: Departure
India map

Start your Kerala adventure in Kochi. Admire beautiful wall murals at Mattancherry Palace, visit India's oldest European church—St. Francis Church, and explore the Paradesi Synagogue at Jew Town. Watch fishermen use traditional techniques at the iconic Cheenavala ("Chinese Fishing Nets") and end your day with a captivating traditional Kathakali dance performance.

In Munnar, stroll through aromatic tea gardens, spot the Nilgiri Tahr (a goat-like animal) at the Eravikulam National Park, and enjoy a peaceful walk near Mattupetty Dam.

Then transfer to Thekkady for a thrilling jungle walk and a scenic boat cruise at Periyar National Park. If you're lucky, spot wild elephants, buffaloes, and deer. Take the opportunity to visit a spice garden for a special sensory experience.

For the last 4 days, spoil yourself with a private overnight backwater houseboat experience in Alleppey and unwind amidst the picturesque beachside retreats of Kovalam. Don't forget to indulge in an Ayurveda spa treatment, which is a must in Kerala.

Itinerary 6: 9-Day South India Adventure with Mumbai and Goa

This itinerary blends the modern metropolis of Mumbai, ancient historical sites in less well-known Aurangabad, and beach getaways in Goa. You could see the best of South India, making it ideal for return visitors who have explored North India.

  • Day 1: Arrival in Aurangabad
  • Day 2: A 1-day sightseeing tour of the Ajanta Caves.
  • Day 3: Discover the Ellora Caves
  • Day 4: Bibi Ka Maqbara and fly to Mumbai
  • Day 5: Explore Mumbai's city highlights: the Gateway of India, the Prince of Wales Museum, Dhobi Ghat and a Bollywood tour
  • Day 6: Fly to Goa, and a half-day sightseeing tour including the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, and Se Cathedral.
  • Day 7–8: Enjoy some free Goa beach time
  • Day 9: Departure
the unbelievable Kailasa Temple in Ellora Caves

In Aurangabad, explore the ancient Ajanta Caves showcasing intricate Buddhist art, marvel at the hand-carved Kailasa Temple in the Ellora Caves, and visit Bibi Ka Maqbara, a shrine similar to the Taj Mahal.

Then, fly to India's most energetic city, Mumbai, and visit its notable city landmarks, such as the Gateway of India, the Prince of Wales Museum, and Dhobi Ghat laundry. A Bollywood tour would allow you to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Indian movie-making.

Conclude your trip to the sandy beaches of Goa. You could discover the Old Goa with its religious sites: the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, and Se Cathedral. Then, relax on the picture-worthy beaches and enjoy fun-filled water activities.

You can contact us to tailor-make a tour if you like to adjust any activities or destinations.

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