updated 8/27/2008 9:49:37 AM ET 2008-08-27T13:49:37

Book by: September 4, 2008
Travel by: Various dates in 2009

The deal
Contemplating India? Whether you are planning your first visit or a return trip to this vast country, there are so many not-to-be missed sites it can be hard to know where to start. We found three upcoming tours that eliminate the guesswork. The varying itineraries will lead you through the land of the maharajas, to sacred temples and along banks of the Ganges. No need to worry about navigating, as each tour provides guides and transportation. This threesome of sojourns, with prices starting at just $1,719, will sell out so act fast. The first purchase deadline falls as soon as September 4.

Seven nights, three cities from $1,719
Gate1Travel’s nine-day Affordable India package lives up to its name, with rates starting at $1,719. The itinerary showcases Delhi, Agra and Jaipur — the popularly termed “Golden Triangle” — with time to explore each city independently or with optional tours (at an extra charge). The stated rate covers round-trip airfare from New York departing September 22; airport transfers; seven nights in a combination of tourist- and first-class accommodations; sightseeing in an air-conditioned bus with an English-speaking guide; and entrance to the Taj Mahal. Prices for the October 13, November 10, February 23 and March 30 departures begin at $1,879.

Travel from Delhi to Mumbai for $5,239
Prefer a longer adventure? Consider this 15-day air-land inclusive tour visiting Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra, Samode, Jaipur, Udaipur, and Mumbai for $5,239. The package covers international airfare on British Airways; domestic flights within India; accommodations in first-class hotels with private bathrooms and air-conditioning; and breakfast and dinner most days. Sightseeing by private bus and local escort, plus all transfers, taxes and entrance fees are also included. The price is based on travel from New York. Los Angeles departures start at $5,309. Tours are available once a month, from October 2008 to March 2009, with the exception of December.

12 nights in India from $3,189
If you don’t mind extensive overland travel, we suggest the Virgin Vacations’ 12-night trip from $3,189. What you get: round-trip airfare to Delhi; guided daily excursions; airport transfers; private car transportation between cities; hotel lodging; and continental breakfast daily. The price also covers hotel taxes and service charges, and mandated fuel surcharges. The itinerary includes three nights in Delhi; two nights each in Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park and Udaipur; and one night each in Agra, Pushkar and Jodhpur. The quote is valid for travel November 30–December 5 from Chicago or New York. Upgrading to all deluxe digs jumps the price to an upscale $8,599. Regardless of travel dates, the package must be purchased by September 4.

The dollars
Airport fee and taxes, tips and visa costs are not included.

The catch
Be prepared for a dose of culture shock.

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