Due to its amazing vastness and diversity, India is an exotic country that could be explored for years without ever coming across the same things twice.
Its culture and iconic religions span thousands of years into the past and its recent history includes centuries under colonial rule; ultimately, independence was only granted relatively recently.
The vibrant and unfamiliar sights, sounds and colors that are everywhere in India are a feast for visitor’s senses. With all there is to see and do, filling your itinerary with amazing tours won’t be an issue.
Below are 15 of the best tours in India.
1. Old and New Delhi City Private 8-Hour Tour
This private eight-hour tour sets off on Monday morning and takes guests on a wonderful journey that includes the old and new portions of Delhi City and some of its most historically significant sites and monuments.
Transportation via air-conditioned car is included. For other segments of the tour, you’ll be conveyed by rickshaw, giving the whole experience a unique and historic feel.
If you choose the tour’s all-inclusive option, you won’t need to worry about entry fees, lunch or drinks.
Be sure to bring your camera; this tour includes stops at many breathtaking sites you’ll want to capture.
2. Private Taj Mahal and Agra Tour by Train
This private Taj Mahal and Agra tour kicks off with pick-up at the airport or your hotel.
From there, you’ll head to the Nizamuddin Railway Station, where you’ll embark on a 90-minute train ride to Agra.
The tour’s highlight is the amazing Taj Mahal, one of the world’s seven wonders.
Your local guide will impress you with his knowledge of India’s interesting history, much of which was spent under English colonial rule.
You’ll also visit and tour Agra Fort, another of the country’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The tour includes breakfast on the train and a traditional lunch near Agra.
3. 5-Day Golden Triangle Nature and History Tour
Large portions of India are still very rural and wild; the Ranthambore National Park is one of the country’s most pristine sanctuaries and a place where majestic tigers still roam free. You’ll tour this gem in an open-air Jeep, and with a little luck, get up close and personal with the massive cats.
In addition to the national park, this tour includes excursions to the Taj Mahal and the city of Jaipur.
A large portion of the tour will be spent in the Golden Triangle, the area in which most visitors to the country spend the majority of their time exploring.
4. Old Delhi Street Food Sampling Tour
The hustle, bustle and exotic sights, sounds and smells of Delhi can be an unforgettable experience for many visitors.
There’s no better way to see the city than by rickshaw; on this tour you’ll do just that, hitting a few highlights of the city’s amazing street food culture that serves millions of locals every day.
The tour lasts about four hours and includes a local guide, who’ll take you and your travel companions to try some of the best examples of traditional dishes, like fried bread, spiced potato, and curry chutney, and rice and bread pudding.
Most food options will be meatless, as India is largely vegetarian.
5. Full-Day Elephanta Caves Tour from Mumbai
This unique tour begins in Mumbai, lasts a full-day, and leads guests to the famed Elephanta Caves, which in local lore are believed to be the home and birthplace of Lord Shiva, one of the most important deities in Hinduism.
This tour includes some amazing historical anecdotes unique to the area, and many myths and legends based on Hinduism, one of the world’s major religions that began here centuries ago.
The caves are on an island, so a portion of the tour will be on a ferry, affording some amazingly unobstructed views of the area and the people who make a living on the river.
6. Full-Day Jungle Trek Tour from Goa
If you’re interested in hacking your way through a dense jungle, zip-lining hundreds of feet in the air, and swimming in the waters below a majestic waterfall, this tour should be on your itinerary.
You’ll also get a clear insight into the lifestyle and culture of the locals and enjoy a traditional meal prepared by a few villagers.
The tour includes door-to-door transportation and a few side-excursions to some ancient temples that have laid partially obscured in the surrounding jungle for centuries.
This is one tour that is best left to the young, fit and fearless travelers out there.
7. Private Sightseeing Tour of Udaipur City
Udaipur City is home to many of India’s most visited sites and this tour includes stops at many of them, including the City Palace, Jagdish Ji Temple, Fatehsagar Lake and the gardens of Sajjan Niwas.
The tour includes pick-up from your hotel by an English-speaking guide and will head from there to the train station where you’ll depart for the tour’s highlight, Udaipur City Palace – built in the mid-16th century.
You’ll get opportunities to explore the surrounding villages, many of which sit in the shadow of the largest and most palatial palace in all of Rajasthan.
The palace is home to an amazing museum too, but keep in mind that entrance fees, food, and drink aren’t included.
8. Mumbai Sightseeing and Dharavi Slum Tour
Many guests who have participated in this tour consider it one of the most memorable experiences during their time in India.
Following your guide’s lead, you’ll meander through the narrow alleys that crisscross one of India’s largest slums and be bombarded by every sight, smell and sound imaginable.
There’s no better way to get a ground-level view of the hard-working and industrious locals who make their lives in this unforgiving place.
You’ll also visit the Gateway of India, one of Mumbai’s most famous monuments that was built as an homage to the country’s colonial rulers in a long-gone era.
9. 7-Hour Day Cruise in Alleppey
If getting a unique glimpse into the lives of locals who make their livings on the waterways of Alleppey is a priority, then this seven-hour tour will give you exactly what you’re looking for.
The tour’s primary means of travel is a traditional houseboat called a kerela; it’s the perfect platform on which to weave through the web of vegetation choked waterways and scattered villages.
The area is often referred to as India’s Venice; you’ll know why when you see it.
All transportation and a traditional lunch are included, but gratuities for your guide and servers are not, so plan accordingly.
10. Red Fort Sound, Light and Dinner Show in Delhi
Delhi’s Red Fort is a city icon, with a history dating back more than 300 years.
This light, sound and dinner show is a unique blend of the old and new and has become very popular with tourists.
The evening includes a traditionally prepared Indian meal and a magnificent and professionally choreographed light and sound show that recounts many of the historic events that are highlights of the area’s heritage.
The tour conveniently includes dinner and door-to-door transportation from your hotel. Seating is limited and tends to fill up quickly, so it’s best to book in advance if possible.
11. Customized and Private Full-Day Tour of Delhi
This customizable tour of Delhi is a great match for visitors who want to maximize the value of their time by including only options that are convenient and interesting to them.
You’ll explore many of the capital city’s sites via air-conditioned car. Stops may include Old Delhi, the Mosque of Jama Masjid, and India’s largest spice market, full of exotic colors, smells, and ingredients – many of which you’ve probably never experienced before.
No matter which options you choose, make it a point to visit Raj Ghat and the Mahatma Gandhi memorial there; it’s one of the country’s most revered sites.
12. Private Tour of Spice Plantation and Old Goa City
This tour of Panaji and Old Goa City begins at the port in Panaji, the Goa State’s capital. The Old City has a fascinating history that includes many international influences, and a few stints under colonial rule as well.
You’ll visit the city’s Portuguese and Latin quarters, with time to stop into a few shops and do some window shopping as well.
The tour’s highlight is the spice plantation and its grounds, filled with exotic spices – many of which are only found locally.
The tour includes all entry tickets, lunch, air-conditioned transportation, and an English-speaking guide.
13. Private Waterfall and Nature Tour from Kochi
Often referred to as the Niagara Falls of India, majestic Athirappilly Falls are some of the region’s most visited.
The tour also includes a stop at the 80-foot tall Vazhachal Falls. You and your travel companions will get time to explore the area’s forests and see a herb plantation as well.
The tour includes round-trip transportation to and from your hotel in either Kochi or Ernakulam, lunch, and all entry fees to the sites you’ll be visiting.
This tour is a great fit for nature lovers who relish the idea of getting away from India’s chaotic urban centers and spending a wonderful day in the wild.
14. Jewish Heritage Tour
Many visitors to India are surprised to learn that the country has a thriving Jewish community dating back more than 2,000 years.
The tour begins with a brief historical overview of the country’s Jewish population and their different sects and will include stops at some of the area’s most beautiful synagogues and historic sites.
The Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue is one of the tour’s highlights. It is noted for its amazingly beautiful and ornate interior, and the David Sassoon Library.
Transportation and guide are included on the four-hour tour, but food and drink are not, so it’s best not to begin on an empty stomach.
15. Full-Day Bollywood Tour of Mumbai with Dance Show
Bollywood has enough buzz, flash, and sparkle to make Hollywood, California seem like Cleveland, Ohio.
It’s the home of India’s movie industry, and one of those unique places to visit while in India that shouldn’t be missed.
This full-day tour will give you a behind the scenes look at what makes Bollywood tick; you’ll see an actual movie being shot as well.
The tour includes transportation to and from your Mumbai hotel. You’ll enjoy a brief movie and dance show that combines the best of contemporary Bollywood with more traditional dance and music as well.