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Joe’s North India

Joe’s North India (Tour Code : IN/Pvt) – Joe’s North India is a private tour that can be joined either in Spring or Autumn on the date when it is operating. Joe Roberts is a travel writer who has travelled India extensively and has known it well since the publication of his first book, Three Quarters of A Footprint, in 1994.  Abdul’s Taxi to Kalighat about Kolkata and a novel about Edward Lear’s visit to India, Bengal, The Cold Weather, 1873 are some of his other published works. Joe as a writer contributes to The Times, Condé Nast Traveller, National Geographic Traveler and many other magazines. Joe has been a teacher of Humanities at Bath Spa University and is working on a third Indian travel book about Lucknow. His interests include gastronomy (he is a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Food) and art history, but his real passion has always been India. Joe Roberts leads two private tour series (Spring & Autumn) that originate in London and travel through Agra, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi and Delhi. The tours include some very privileged experiences and hand-picked hotels that are an experience unto themselves and above all they include regular lectures and in-depth knowledge about each aspect of visits by Joe Roberts himself.


(Subject to change/altered as per local conditions but primarily it will be this. Old Delhi & Varanasi are very crowded and traffic conditions change every time, thus the visits and itinerary will be flexible and the local guides will decide upon local time and places to be visited.)


Day 01 London / Delhi / Agra

Arrive Delhi today. We will be met assisted and transferred to Agra (3.5 hours drive by road).

Upon arrival check-in at the hotel. Day at leisure or venture out in the evening. Overnight at the hotel Courtyard by Marriott.

Courtyard by Marriott 
Fatehabad Road, 
Taj Nagri Phase 2, 
Agra - 282001.


Day 02 In Agra

Breakfast at hotel and post breakfast visit Fatehpur Sikri (40 km / 45 min drive). Return to Agra by Lunch. Later post lunch visit The Agra Fort & Mehtabbagh.

Back to hotel & overnight at hotel in Agra.


Day 03 Agra / Lucknow

Today early morning we visit Taj Mahal. Return to hotel for breakfast and post breakfast, check-out and drive to Lucknow (4 hours drive).

Arrive Lucknow by late afternoon. Check-in at hotel and overnight at hotel Lebua in Lucknow.

Lebua – Lucknow,
19, Mall Avenue,
Lucknow – 226001.


Day 04 In Lucknow

Post breakfast we will visit Asfi Imambara, Husainabad Imambara and Picture Gallery.

Enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant.

This evening we will have ample opportunity to see the local crafts as a part of our visit to the home of a celebrated film maker, Muzaffar & Meera Ali’s called the Kotwara House, where we will see the craftsmen at work on Chikan, Zari & Mukaish. We will also enjoy watching a film clip from his landmark film, ‘Umrao Jan’, specially the dance sequence. His home is no less than a living museum and a restored portion of the larger Kaiserbagh Palace com

Evening free to stroll at Hazratganj Market. Return to the hotel and overnight.


Day 05 Lucknow

Breakfast at the hotel. Today we will visit La Martiniere and Dilkusha. Later we will visit home of the Nawab (Royal) where we admire his antique collection and here Nawab Sahib will deliver a talk over a cup of tea.

Return to our hotel by lunch.

This evening our dinner is very special. We visit a local home of an erstwhile royalty to enjoy their hospitality, watch a live Kathak dance performance and home cooked dinner.

Back to hotel and overnight at the hotel Lebua in Lucknow.


Day 06 Lucknow

Breakfast at hotel and post breakfast we visit the Residency. Also visit the State Museum today.

Lunch at a local restaurant or return to the hotel.

This evening we visit the local market, Chowk as a part of our Heritage Walk and enjoy an unpretentious local food. Enjoy some kebabs and curries, while understand the food history of this local cuisine called, ‘Awadhi’.


Day 07 Lucknow / Allahabad

Breakfast will be served at the hotel and post breakfast at about 0800 hrs we will drive to Allahabad (4.5 hrs).

Upon arrival in Allahabad, check-in at the hotel Kanha Shyam in Allahabad, lunch at the hotel and this afternoon we visit Anand Bhawan and Khusro Bagh.

Back to hotel and overnight at hotel Kanha Shyam in Allahabad.

Kanha Shyam
Civil Lines, 
Allahabad – 211001


Day 08  Allahabad / Varanasi

This morning after breakfast at 0800 hrs we will check-out from the hotel and visit an Old Colonial Church on our way to Sangam – the confluence of three rivers, enjoy a bit of boat ride here.

Later by 1130 hrs we leave the Sangam Ghat and continue the drive to Varanasi (2.5 hrs). Enjoy a packed lunch en route to Varanasi

Arrive Varanasi, check-in at the hotel Ramada in Varanasi, later this evening explore the markets around the ghats and attend the evening Aarti ceremony at one of the ghats.

Ramada Plaza
The Mall Road,
Varanasi – 221103.


Day 09  In Varanasi

After an early breakfast at the hotel today we take a tour of temples and the Ghats. On this tour we will visit Durga Mata Temple, Sankat Mochan Temple, Banaras Hindu University and Bharat Mata Temple.

Our lunch today will comprise essential Varanasi Street Food that essentially is vegetarian. (Possibly during lunch today visit the traditional road-side eateries).

Also visit weaving center and see the weavers at work on silk yarns to understand the process.

Back to hotel and overnight at the hotel Ramada in Varanasi.


Day 10  Varanasi

Pre-breakfast at about 0500 hrs we will visit the ghat for an early morning  boat cruise and see the priests at work for the morning rituals. Also visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple today.

Return to the hotel for a late breakfast and post breakfast we will check out and visit Sarnath, the Buddhist excavation site, where Lord Buddha gave the first sermon. Also visit the stunning Museum here.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Sarnath.

Return to the hotel


Day 11 Varanasi / Delhi

Post early breakfast we check out from Varanasi hotel and will be transferred to Varanasi Airport in time to connect our flight to New Delhi.

Upon arrival we will be transferred to Hotel Claridges in Delhi.

Post lunch we will visit Humayun’s Tomb. Later evening visit Nizamuddin Sufi Shrine and enjoy a local meal at Karims, an unpretentious local restaurant.

Hotel Claridges, 
12, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Rd, 
New Delhi - 110011.


Day 12 In Delhi

Post breakfast we set out for a day tour of Delhi visiting Qutab Minar complex, The National Crafts and Handloom Museum. This followed by a tour of Jama Masjid. We will walk at Chandni Chowk, the crowded market place and visit some local eateries to try out the lip-smacking street food of Old Delhi, including Paranthas.

Back to hotel and overnight at the Claridges New Delhi.


Day 13  Delhi / London

Breakfast will be served at the hotel and post breakfast we check-out and with our luggage stacked in the car, we will visit India Gate, Viceroy’s House and the Parliament House.  Later we stroll at Connaught Place or spend time at Khan Market. Late evening post dinner transfer to international airport in time to connect international flight (Day 14) to London (Heathrow).