by Car
INDIVIDUAL TOUR GROUP TOUR

Crown Jewel of India

  • 1793 km
  • 12 days / 11 nights
New Delhi - Agra - Lucknow - Varanasi - Lucknow - Mathura - New Delhi
Activity :
  • Culture
  • Culinary
Terrain :

Starting from the national capital that has a history older than the Mahabharat, this route takes you to one of the world's seven wonders, the Taj Mahal, and goes further eastward to Varanasi, one of the most sacred cities of India. Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna is on the way back. So get ready for a lesson on India's cultural heritage, this time told through the eyes of the road.

Trip Type
Self Drive 365
Forget early wake-up calls, scheduled departures and the regular battery of sight- seeing destinations. That’s because when you’re out on a self-drive holiday, you decide where to go, what to see, and what to drive. And with Self-Drive 365, the road, the destination and that palpable connect between man and machine is all yours to explore!
Skill Level
Easy
Here's a road trip that is suited to those looking for a laid back drive, as well as veterans.

Is this road trip for me?

  • This trip packs in some of the most culturally and historically rich cities in the country. It will be a treat for those who want to dig deeper into India's heritage.

Highlights

  • Delve into the history of New Delhi's iconic Mughal monuments
  • Be mesmerised by the glorious Taj Mahal
  • Seek blessings at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple
  • Take a dip in the Ganges at Varanasi
Start of Tour New Delhi
Day 1
Total Driving Distance 1793 km
End of Tour New Delhi
Day 12
  • Driving Days :

    Total 9 Days

  • Rest Days :

    Total 3 Days

  • Day 1 New delhi
    • None (Meals on your own)
    • Arrival transfer from the airport to the hotel in New Delhi.
    • Overnight in New Delhi.

  • Transfers

    Arrival transfer from the airport to the hotel in New Delhi.

    Welcome to your trip. On arrival at the airport in New Delhi, you will be met by our representative and escorted to your hotel. Check in and take a breather.

  • Other Recommendation

    The rest of the evening is at leisure. If you wish, head out to explore New Delhi's hub, Connaught Place (CP) and the nearby areas. The Rajpath and India Gate are a stone's throw away. Sunset is the best time to be here, as that is when you get to see the national capital's distinct skyline.

    Also close by is the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. The serene shrine is counted as one of the main Gurudwaras, and also holds the title of being the best tourist spot in New Delhi.

    Leave the latter half of the evening to roam and window-shop around the vibrant and ever-bustling Connaught Place. The Jain Book Depot and the Oxford store are must visits for every book lover.

  • Day 2 New delhi
    • None (Meals on your own)
    • Explore the city of New Delhi.
    • Overnight in New Delhi.

  • Activities

    Explore the city of New Delhi.

    After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel in a chauffeur-driven car for a city tour of New Delhi. Start a mesmerizing tour of the City of Djinns with a visit to Imperial Delhi, accompanied by your local guide. Soak in the grandiose of the city with a drive past the imposing 42 metres tall India Gate (war memorial arch), set amidst the sprawling gardens standing alone as it were. With its eternal flame and the names inscribed on its arch, it affords a perfect tribute to 82000 soldiers of the Indian army who died in the First World War. We now drive past the Parliament House and the Rashtrapati Bhavan (the President's Residence), a structure epitomizing India's strength, its democratic traditions and secular character.

    Once you are done, your experience at these national monuments will only be outshined as you head next to the magnificent Tomb of Humayun. Considered a forerunner to the Taj Mahal, the Persian red sandstone structure evokes another era and is bound to lure you with its majestic, old world charm.

    Later, we drive through the busy streets of Delhi catching a glimpse of a bustling life not ready to stop at any point of time. We arrive at the 13th century buff sandstone tower, the Qutub Minar. In AD 1199, Qutbu'd-Din Aibak laid the foundation of this masterpiece in stone, to which were added three more storeys by his successor and son-in-law, Shamsu'd-Din Iltutmish. Qutub Minar, the leaning tower of India (it leans 2 feet of its axis) located ideally in the lush green complex still stands tall despite being hit several times by lightening and earthquakes. Though, it was the first formal entry of Islamic rule in India, its various structures offer very interesting insights into its architecture.

  • Day 3 New delhi
    • Breakfast
    • Explore Old Delhi.
    • Overnight in New Delhi.

  • Activities

    Explore Old Delhi.

    This morning, following a leisurely breakfast, take in the sights and sounds of Old Delhi with a visit to the magical old town. You will be picked up by your local guide for your day's excursion.

    Your introduction to the old city begins with a visit to the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Situated on a mound in the heart of the erstwhile capital of the Mughals, this impressive red sand stone structure projects beautifully into the Old-Delhi skyline with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. Lady travellers could feel more of this country's culture as they would be handed over with gowns as a protocol to visit the mosque.

    Get ready to hop on one of the most characteristic means of transport in India, the cycle rickshaw. Myriad colours, organized chaos, crowd, maze of narrow alleys, soothing fragrances, pungent smells, stray dogs and obviously the holy cow - all this and much more comes your way as your cycle rickshaw skilfully meanders through the by lanes of the walled city of Shahjahanabad.

    After having experienced all the hustle - bustle of the old city, we switch over to the calm and serene Raj Ghat - the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. Raj Ghat with its sublime expanse of lush green trees affords a perfect ode to one of the greatest souls ever. It is bound to leave you with an after taste of inspiration. Drive pass the Red Fort. Once the residence of the Mughal Kings till 1857, the Red Fort is a remarkable monument carved out of red sandstone, built at the pinnacle of their reign.

  • Day 4 New delhi
    • Drive
    • Distance:220 km
    • Time:4 hours
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in New Delhi to the hotel in Agra.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in New Delhi to the hotel in Agra.

  • Other Recommendation

    The rest of the day is at leisure. Get out in the evening and explore the markets. Agra is famous for inlaid marble work as well as leather leather articles.

  • Day 5 Agra
    • Breakfast
    • Visit the world famous monument Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
    • Overnight in Agra.

  • Activities

    Visit the world famous monument Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.

    Your day begins after a sumptuous breakfast with a visit to the Taj - the epitome of marvellous Mughal architecture. Celebrated for its structural magnificence and aesthetic beauty, partake in the poetry of the beautiful Taj and the lost love stories that surround the mausoleum, as it sits reminiscing by the gurgling Yamuna. A symphony in white marble, this is truly a tribute to eternal love.

    In order to protect the Taj Mahal from vehicular pollution, tourist vehicles are allowed only up to the designated parking zone which is a short distance away from the Taj Mahal entrance. Here onwards, we are expected to board battery operated vehicles (golf cart / bus) to reach the main entrance of the Taj and vice versa.

    Later head off to Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal art and architecture. An impregnable military structure built by Akbar, the Agra Fort luxuriated with the elegance, lavishness and majesty of an imperial palace. Relive the era as you step into the seat of power and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire. Absorb the glory of this imposing, red sandstone structure, as you cruise conveniently through its palaces, pavilions and courtyards.

  • Day 6 Agra
    • Drive
    • Distance:340 km
    • Time:5 hours
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Agra to the hotel in Lucknow.
    • Overnight in Lucknow.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Agra to the hotel in Lucknow.

    Your drive today to Lucknow is through the sprawling, six-lane, Lucknow - Agra Expressway. Like the Yamuna Expressway, this is one of the smoothest roads to drive on in the country and you will chomp the miles without breaking a sweat. Check in to the hotel in Lucknow by afternoon, and settle in for the day.

  • Other Recommendation

    The evening is at leisure. If you plan on exploring the land of the Nawabs, we suggest that you visit attractions like the Bara Imambara, the Chhota Imambara and the Rumi Darwaza. Shoppers must head to Hazratganj, Lucknow's most prominent market known for Chikankari dress shops and Lucknowi cuisine.

  • Day 7 Lucknow
    • Drive
    • Distance:330 km
    • Time:7 hours
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Lucknow to the hotel in Varanasi.
    • Overnight in Varanasi.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Lucknow to the hotel in Varanasi.

    Check out of your hotel and drive to Varanasi via NH 30 and NH 19. The roads, albeit smooth, are a four-lane affair and not as wide as the expressways that you have been used to so far. Also, this stretch doesn't have many pit-stops or food-courts, so some snacks and water would be useful.

    Check in to the hotel in Varanasi and relax for the day.

  • Other Recommendation

    The rest of the day is at leisure. We suggest that you step out early in the evening and drive to Sarnath, located about 12 km North of Varanasi. Head first to The Deer Park. Here is where Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermons after attaining enlightenment.

    Next, visit the Sarnath Archaeological Museum, the oldest site museum of the Archaeological Survey of India. Its oldest artefacts date back to the 3rd Century BC.

  • Day 8 Varanasi
    • Breakfast
    • Morning visit the Ghats of Varanasi.
    • Explore Varanasi on a city tour.
    • Overnight in Varanasi.

  • Activities

    Morning visit the Ghats of Varanasi.

    Very early this morning, we will take you to Ghats for a unique experience of Varanasi. At sunrise, the Hindu faithfully flock to the river to cleanse themselves of their sins. From a vantage point you observe people performing the morning rituals. You will see the Cremation Ghats in Varanasi are by far the busiest in India as Varanasi, the city of Lord Shiva is considered to be the gateway to salvation. It is believed that people dying in Varanasi can break the cycle of life and re-birth hence many people like to spend their last years in Varanasi.

    Return to hotel for breakfast.

  • Activities

    Explore Varanasi on a city tour.

    Later in the morning proceed to explore the temples. The chief temples of the holy city are located within 5 km of each other. Start with the Sankat Mochan Temple that is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. A short walk from here takes you to Tulsi Manas Temple. This is where the Devanagari version of the Ramayana was written, which made the epic tale accessible to the masses. Earlier, the Ramayan was only understandable and accessible to the Sansktri speaking elite. In addition to the historical significance, the temple's architecture and design are stunning.

    Next on the list is Kashi Vishwanath, the chief temple of Varanasi (entry restriction applied to non Hindus). It is one of the twelve jyotirlingas (prime Shiva Temples), that are spread across India. One of the highlights of the temple is its dome, which is plated in gold. Kashi Vishwanath is located next to the river Ganga, and is close to the Dasashwamedha Ghat (Stairway to a river), the main ghat in Varanasi. The word Dasashwamedha translates to a ceremony where ten horses were sacrificed, in this case, by lord Brahma, to welcome Lord Shiva to Varanasi.

    In the evening, we once again take you to the Ghats to witness another spectacular activity in Varanasi. The Ganga aarti. Multi tier flaming lamps are used with music to offer prayers to mother Goddess the river Ganges. You could either watch it from the river sitting in a boat or be a part of the crowd offering prayers on river banks. Both are spectacular experiences.

  • Day 9 Varanasi
    • Drive
    • Distance:330 km
    • Time:7 hours
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Varanasi to the hotel in Lucknow.
    • Overnight in Lucknow.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Varanasi to the hotel in Lucknow.

    Post breakfast, drive back to Lucknow via NH 19 and NH 30. Check into your hotel at Lucknow and settle in for the evening.

  • Day 10 Lucknow
    • Drive
    • Distance:400 km
    • Time:6 hours
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Lucknow to the hotel in Mathura.
    • Overnight in Mathura.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Lucknow to the hotel in Mathura.

    Today, you drive to Mathura, the holy ground where Lord Krishna was born. Don't be daunted by the 400 km-long drive ahead of you. All of it is via the brilliant Lucknow-Agra Highway and the Yamuna Expressway, so you will hardly realise the distance. Head out after breakfast and you will comfortably reach Mathura by late afternoon. Check in to your hotel and settle in.

  • Other Recommendation

    The rest of the day is at leisure. Get out by early evening and seek blessings at the famous Banke Bihari Mandir, dedicated to Lord Krishna. It was established by Swami Haridasji. The story goes that it was upon his meditation that Lord Krishna appeared in the form of the black statue that's worshipped in the temple.

    Next, head to the mysterious Nidhivan garden, where Lord Krishna is said to perform the Ras Leela every night. Locals believe that the Tulsi trees in the garden turn into gopis and participate in the admiration of Krishna.

  • Day 11 Mathura
    • Drive
    • Distance:3 hours
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel in Mathura to the hotel in New Delhi.
    • Overnight in New Delhi.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel in Mathura to the hotel in New Delhi.

    It takes under three hours to cover the 170 km from Mathura to New Delhi on the Yamuna Expressway, and is quite an easy drive.

  • Other Recommendation

    The rest of the day is at leisure to explore New Delhi.

  • Day 12 New delhi
    • Breakfast
    • Drive from the hotel to the airport, drop off the car at the car rental agency to take your onward journey.

  • Transfers

    Drive from the hotel to the airport, drop off the car at the car rental agency to take your onward journey.

    After breakfast and check out of the hotel, you will drive to the airport for your onward journey.

    Once you reach the airport, handover the vehicle to the rental agency and take home experiences of a lifetime!

    Please do give us your valuable feedback on feedback@selfdrive365.com.

Inclusions

  • Accommodation as per hotels mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Transfers as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Car as per your package selected.


Exclusions

  • International air ticket.
  • Airport taxes.
  • Visa fees.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Any transport to / from New Delhi. Your tour price starts ex New Delhi.
  • Loss Damage Waiver for the vehicle.
  • Airline / hotel surcharges (if applicable) during high / festive season to be paid extra per person.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Meals, tips, laundry, telephone, optional excursions and other items of a personal nature.
  • Cost of petrol / diesel / parking charges / tolls for the vehicle provided.
  • Client has to pay in case of damage to the vehicle by accident.
  • Spare parts / engine oil of any kind.
  • Any items / services not specifically mentioned under inclusions.
  • Goods and Services Tax of 5%.
Categories Full-Size Sedan - Nissan Sunny or similar MPV - Toyota Innova or similar SUV - Toyota Fortuner or similar Luxury Sedan - BMW 3 Series or similar
STANDARD 792 856 878 1,133
DELUXE 869 932 954 1,210
  • New Delhi 4 Nights

    Hotel View
    Novotel New Delhi Aerocity
    Deluxe Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Lucknow 1 Night

    Hotel View
    Clarks Avadh
    Deluxe Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Varanasi 2 Nights

    Hotel View
    Ramada Plaza
    Deluxe Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
  • Mathura 1 Night

    Hotel View
    Nidhivan Sarovar Portico
    Deluxe Room
    Double - 2 Guests
    Included in trip
    • New Delhi Day 2

    Red Fort, the seat of the Mughal Empire for over 200 years.
    Explore the city of New Delhi.

    After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel in a chauffeur-driven car for a city tour of New Delhi. Start a mesmerizing tour of the City of Djinns with a visit to Imperial Delhi, accompanied by your local guide. Soak in the grandiose of the city with a drive past the imposing 42 metres tall India Gate (war memorial arch), set amidst the sprawling gardens standing alone as it were. With its eternal flame and the names inscribed on its arch, it affords a perfect tribute to 82000 soldiers of the Indian army who died in the First World War. We now drive past the Parliament House and the Rashtrapati Bhavan (the President's Residence), a structure epitomizing India's strength, its democratic traditions and secular character.

    Once you are done, your experience at these national monuments will only be outshined as you head next to the magnificent Tomb of Humayun. Considered a forerunner to the Taj Mahal, the Persian red sandstone structure evokes another era and is bound to lure you with its majestic, old world charm.

    Later, we drive through the busy streets of Delhi catching a glimpse of a bustling life not ready to stop at any point of time. We arrive at the 13th century buff sandstone tower, the Qutub Minar. In AD 1199, Qutbu'd-Din Aibak laid the foundation of this masterpiece in stone, to which were added three more storeys by his successor and son-in-law, Shamsu'd-Din Iltutmish. Qutub Minar, the leaning tower of India (it leans 2 feet of its axis) located ideally in the lush green complex still stands tall despite being hit several times by lightening and earthquakes. Though, it was the first formal entry of Islamic rule in India, its various structures offer very interesting insights into its architecture.

    Included in trip
    • New Delhi Day 3

    Humayun's Tomb, one of the pinacles of Mughal Architecture.
    Explore Old Delhi.

    This morning, following a leisurely breakfast, take in the sights and sounds of Old Delhi with a visit to the magical old town. You will be picked up by your local guide for your day's excursion.

    Your introduction to the old city begins with a visit to the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Situated on a mound in the heart of the erstwhile capital of the Mughals, this impressive red sand stone structure projects beautifully into the Old-Delhi skyline with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. Lady travellers could feel more of this country's culture as they would be handed over with gowns as a protocol to visit the mosque.

    Get ready to hop on one of the most characteristic means of transport in India, the cycle rickshaw. Myriad colours, organized chaos, crowd, maze of narrow alleys, soothing fragrances, pungent smells, stray dogs and obviously the holy cow - all this and much more comes your way as your cycle rickshaw skilfully meanders through the by lanes of the walled city of Shahjahanabad.

    After having experienced all the hustle - bustle of the old city, we switch over to the calm and serene Raj Ghat - the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. Raj Ghat with its sublime expanse of lush green trees affords a perfect ode to one of the greatest souls ever. It is bound to leave you with an after taste of inspiration. Drive pass the Red Fort. Once the residence of the Mughal Kings till 1857, the Red Fort is a remarkable monument carved out of red sandstone, built at the pinnacle of their reign.

    Included in trip
    • Agra Day 5

    Taj Mahal, the grandest expression of love.
    Visit the world famous monument Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.

    Your day begins after a sumptuous breakfast with a visit to the Taj - the epitome of marvellous Mughal architecture. Celebrated for its structural magnificence and aesthetic beauty, partake in the poetry of the beautiful Taj and the lost love stories that surround the mausoleum, as it sits reminiscing by the gurgling Yamuna. A symphony in white marble, this is truly a tribute to eternal love.

    In order to protect the Taj Mahal from vehicular pollution, tourist vehicles are allowed only up to the designated parking zone which is a short distance away from the Taj Mahal entrance. Here onwards, we are expected to board battery operated vehicles (golf cart / bus) to reach the main entrance of the Taj and vice versa.

    Later head off to Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal art and architecture. An impregnable military structure built by Akbar, the Agra Fort luxuriated with the elegance, lavishness and majesty of an imperial palace. Relive the era as you step into the seat of power and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire. Absorb the glory of this imposing, red sandstone structure, as you cruise conveniently through its palaces, pavilions and courtyards.

    Included in trip
    • Varanasi Day 8

    Dasashwamedha Ghat by the river Ganga, Varanasi.
    Explore Varanasi on a city tour.

    Later in the morning proceed to explore the temples. The chief temples of the holy city are located within 5 km of each other. Start with the Sankat Mochan Temple that is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. A short walk from here takes you to Tulsi Manas Temple. This is where the Devanagari version of the Ramayana was written, which made the epic tale accessible to the masses. Earlier, the Ramayan was only understandable and accessible to the Sansktri speaking elite. In addition to the historical significance, the temple's architecture and design are stunning.

    Next on the list is Kashi Vishwanath, the chief temple of Varanasi (entry restriction applied to non Hindus). It is one of the twelve jyotirlingas (prime Shiva Temples), that are spread across India. One of the highlights of the temple is its dome, which is plated in gold. Kashi Vishwanath is located next to the river Ganga, and is close to the Dasashwamedha Ghat (Stairway to a river), the main ghat in Varanasi. The word Dasashwamedha translates to a ceremony where ten horses were sacrificed, in this case, by lord Brahma, to welcome Lord Shiva to Varanasi.

    In the evening, we once again take you to the Ghats to witness another spectacular activity in Varanasi. The Ganga aarti. Multi tier flaming lamps are used with music to offer prayers to mother Goddess the river Ganges. You could either watch it from the river sitting in a boat or be a part of the crowd offering prayers on river banks. Both are spectacular experiences.

    Included in trip
    • FULL-SIZE SEDAN

    Nissan Sunny or Similar.
    Starting from
    4 Pax including driver
    Included in trip
    • 4 Doors
    • AC
    • Automatic
    • Diesel
things-to-carry

Appropriate equipment is a component of a successful journey! Travel light, try to stay under 45 l (20 kg).

  • Driving licence along with International Driving Permit
  • Credit card
  • Cash
  • Smartphone for maps
  • Phone charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Swiss knife
  • Water
  • Music
  • Tissue box
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Mints
  • Spare plastic bags
  • Sunscreen
  • Small tool kit
  • Warm clothes
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