Our People
  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Gwalior Fort, Gwalior, India

Central India’s Cultural Highlights

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

11 Days

Prices Start from

£3,350pp (ex. flights)

Suitable for

Adventure Traveller

Central India contains some of India’s most impressive and memorable sights from the daily religious ceremonies that take place on the ghats of the Ganges River in Varanasi to the perfectly preserved erotic temples of Khajuraho. 

 

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Morning on the Ghats, Varanasi, India 1

Discover Varanasi

Experience religious rituals and ceremonies on the edge of the holy River Ganges.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India 2

Marvel at the Taj

Visit the world-famous Taj Mahal in Agra, an ever-lasting monument to love.

Chatri of Bundela kings, Orchha, India 3

Wander Orchha

Explore Orchha, a dreamy, isolated town full of fantastically romantic stone palaces, temples, towers and gateways.

Temple, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India 4

Explore Khajuraho

Wander around the immaculate temple complexes of Khajuraho and see the unusual and erotic temple carvings.

Why we like it

Central India never fails to amaze, enthral and stimulate the imagination. Containing erotic temples, emotive rituals, romantic temples and palaces and glorious boutique hotels, this is one of our favourite parts of India that will leave you spellbound. This holiday idea has been designed to combine some of the most evocative and memorable experiences available on a holiday to India. It can also be combined with a visit to one of the many national parks thereby offering a rich contrast and insight into the fauna that inhabits this region.

Included as Standard

Airport VIP meet and greet, a bottle of wine on arrival, a spa treatment, a dedicated member of our team available 24/7, an upgrade at one of your chosen hotels and cars with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Delhi

  • Day 2

    Delhi

  • Day 3

    Delhi - Varanasi

  • Day 4

    Varanasi

  • Day 5

    Varanasi - Agra

  • Day 6

    Agra - Gwalior

  • Day 7

    Gwalior - Orchha

  • Day 8

    Orchha

  • Day 9

    Orchha - Khajuraho

  • Day 10

    Khajuraho

  • Day 11

    Khajuraho - Delhi

Day 1

Delhi

Day 2

Delhi

Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, India

Spending a few days on holiday in Delhi is a wonderful introduction to this great country and to its extensive and fascinating history.

Day 3

Delhi - Varanasi

Morning Ritual on the Ganges River, Varanasi, India

Experience religious rituals and ceremonies on the edge of the holy River Ganges.

Day 4

Varanasi

Day 5

Varanasi - Agra

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Visit the world-famous Taj Mahal in Agra, an ever-lasting monument to love.

 

Day 6

Agra - Gwalior

Day 7

Gwalior - Orchha

Royal cenotaphs of Orchha, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh, India

Explore Orchha, a dreamy, isolated town full of fantastically romantic stone palaces, temples, towers and gateways

Day 8

Orchha

Day 9

Orchha - Khajuraho

Day 10

Khajuraho

Temple, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India

Wander around the immaculate temple complexes of Khajuraho and see the unusual and erotic temple carvings.

Day 11

Khajuraho - Delhi

Now for the details

Sadhu Praying at the Ghats, Varanasi, India
Varanasi, India
Ganges River, Varanasi, India
Varanasi, India

Varanasi and the River Ganges

If you are ready for it, Varanasi may just become your favourite place in India, if not, certainly the most memorable. A short flight from Delhi, Varanasi is the spiritual capital and to quote Lonely Planet “one of the most blindingly colourful, unrelentingly chaotic, unapologetically indiscreet places on earth”, but do not let this put you off. With our specialist guide to navigate and accompany you, walk the ghats and visit the evening religious rituals. You will leave the city having had the most extraordinary experience.

Downtown, Agra, India
Agra, India

The Taj Mahal and Beyond

Not quite considered Central India, but the perfect inclusion on this journey to the centre, a visit to Agra to see the Taj Mahal never fails to impress. The Taj Mahal is one of the most hyped historical sites on the planet that genuinely delivers. Be prepared to be spellbound. Whilst its piece de resistance is undoubtedly this iridescent-white tribute to love, the city contains a number of other magnificent structures. Accompanied by our guide, stroll through Agra fort and examine the private and public rooms which are coated in intricately sculpted white marble, in the style of the Taj Mahal. Afterwards, visit local craftsmen to see how the exquisitely precise ‘pietra dura’ inlay work is still done today. Your guide will also take you to other viewpoints around the city from which you can see the Taj Mahal.

Gwalior Fort, Gwalior, India
Gwalior, India

The Gem of Gwalior

Strangely left off many an itinerary, Gwalior is an absolute gem with its grandiose fort dominating the city skyline. An entire day could be spent exploring this enormous structure with few tourists to share it with. Our specialist in Gwalior is a fantastic story-teller and will accompany you around the fort, bringing it all to life. The icing on the cake is a stay at the Taj Usha Kiran Palace Hotel, a beautiful heritage hotel with warm, friendly staff and a fabulous swimming pool.

Temples, Orchha, India
Orchha, India

The Magic of Orchha

Dreamy, isolated and marooned on a bend of the Betwa River, Orchha is a fantastically romantic cluster of stone palaces, temples, towers and gateways surrounded by acres of bright green jungle.

During your visit, you’ll appreciate the extent of Orchha’s remarkable architecture. Explore some of the significant buildings with our guide. Of particular note are the lively paintings still visible on the interior walls of buildings such as the Laxminarayan Temple. There are numerous royal cenotaphs, formal gardens and fountains as well as a 17th-century fort and palace on an island reached by a causeway. Orchha is also conducive to wandering around in your own time, to enjoy the atmosphere of its quaint shops, cafes and bakeries.

Khajuraho, India
Khajuraho, India

Erotic Temple Carvings

Khajuraho is a bit of a surprise. Clean and quiet with exceptionally well-maintained temples and gardens make this town a relaxing place to explore. Meander around the erotically carved temple complexes with our local guide, a high caste Brahmin who is incredibly well connected and a superb story-teller. He’ll explain what the architects and artisans were trying to achieve through their carving work and why.

We suggest staying outside the town of Khajuraho at Sarai at Toria. This peaceful spot sits on the Ken River and offers lovely views, superb birdlife and the most relaxing early morning boat ride you can imagine.

Tiger, India
Tiger, India

Tigers of Panna National Park

Central India is not only known for its exceptional historical sites but is prime tiger country with some of the best tiger reserves in India within this region.

During your stay near Khajuraho, visit Panna National Park and take a jeep safari through the teak, bamboo and sal forests. The park is renowned for its thriving tiger population. Sarai at Toria is owned and run by one of India’s leading tiger conservationists. Spend time with Ragu discussing tiger conservation and how engaging with the local communities had a positive impact on tiger populations. Extend your stay here if you want more time to go on safari.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Sarai at Toria £££££

  • India
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Sarai at Toria ‘s uniquely designed accommodation is situated on a beautiful riverside site, close to the UNESCO heritage site of Khajuraho and Panna National Park. This comfortable but earth-friendly riverside retreat is owned and run by passionate conservationists and offers a home from home environment. The eight independent cottages are set in a lovely garden bordered by the Ken River. The food is some of the best you will find in India and mainly grown on their farm.

View Property

Taj Usha Kiran Palace Hotel £££££

  • India
  • Forts and Palaces

Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior is a 40 room heritage hotel managed by the Taj Group and is the best place to stay in Gwalior. Usha Kiran Palace Hotel is a real surprise. Old world charm and utter authenticity make it a memorable experience and well worth including in an itinerary to Central India.

View Property

Nadesar Palace £££££

  • India
  • Forts and Palaces

History soaked Taj Nadesar Palace has been hosting guests since its inception in 1835. A former palace, now a micro boutique historic hotel, with only 10 rooms complimented by 32 acres of landscaped grounds set in a residential neighbourhood. To stay here is a taste of colonial luxury. The Taj team of staff have won the hearts of all their visitors and nothing is too much trouble.

View Property

Oberoi Amarvilas £££££

  • India
  • City

Oberoi Amarvilas is situated just 650 yards from the Taj Mahal.  This is the closest hotel to the Taj and has the best views. They need to be seen to be believed.  We don’t really need to say anymore. This is the place to be if your only reason to visit Agra is to marvel at the astonishing site that is the Taj Mahal. The views are ever-present, kicking back from your bed, or just as impressive from the inviting bar and lounge area. The changing hues throughout the day make it hard to peel yourself away even for a minute. Although the award-winning spa beckons.

View Property

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.

Enquire

A faultless trip so brilliantly expedited and organised by Steppes Travel but with a major backup from those on the ground, in India.

India

Everything was simply wonderful. We had two great tiger sightings at Nagarhole and caught a glimpse of three fully grown cubs. The driver we had was really excellent and has looked after us so well. It is all simply wonderful.

Nagerhole, India

At no point did we feel anything but full confidence in Kate. We actually returned from India having enjoyed the week she arranged for us immensely. We stayed in beautiful places and had wonderful experiences. Thank you, Steppes has delighted us.

India

In a very short period of time, Charlotte was able to come up with an excellent itinerary, to keep us informed of reservations on a timely basis and to make changes to meet our requirements. She was always available either on the phone or through email exchanges which was most reassuring and hugely appreciated. A valuable asset!

India

Overall another amazing trip from Steppes Travel. We saw so many different sights and had so many new experiences. Would always highly recommend Steppes.

Steppes Travel

Dev Shree's rural location allowed us a glimpse of India off of the beaten track. We had a memorable afternoon wandering the small town.

Dev Shree - Rajasthan, India

A great itinerary for an introduction to India. It has given us lots of ideas and enthusiasm for a return trip.

India

We had an absolutely amazing time. Everything ran smoothly, all accommodation and other arrangements were fabulous and the contacts were such wonderful and professional people we feel we have made friends for life.

India

Outlining a trip and having Joe fill in the details and make suggestions or changes meant we had a wonderful experience.

India

All guides, drivers and vehicles were superb and it was such a great way to see everything and know everything. The service was excellent.

India

Joe was wonderful and very knowledgeable about India. He was patient with us as we made numerous changes to the itinerary and very quick to respond.  

India