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Grand Tour of India

18 Days From £2159*
Departing September 2016 - May 2018
* Price shown: 25 Apr 2017 from London Heathrow - LHR
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Delhi, the Taj Mahal, Tigers and the Beautiful South

Uncover the mystery and majesty of one of the world's oldest civilisations. From ancient cities and mighty temples to tropical backwaters plied by traditional 'houseboats', and from forested uplands dotted with colonial tea plantations to dusty plains and breathtaking temples, this wonderful Indian exploration has it all.

Tour Highlights And Inclusions

  • Discover Delhi's historic Red Fort and Jama Masjid Mosque, the India Gate war memorial and the ruins of the Quwwat‑ul-Islam
  • Enjoy a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi
  • A visit to Jaipur's Palace of the Winds and the Amber Fort
  • A journey to Ranthambhore National Park to search for tigers
  • A visit to Abhaneri's stepwell and a cookery demonstration
  • A visit to the wondrous Taj Mahal
  • Explore Kochi with its famous Chinese fishing nets
  • A night on a traditional houseboat
  • A visit to Periyar's Wildlife Sanctuary, with a lake cruise
  • A night time cycle-rickshaw ride in the temple-town Madurai
  • Visit the Munnar tea plantations and Tata Tea Museum
  • 15 nights' half-board accommodation staying in Delhi (1 night), Jaipur (2), Ranthambhore (2), Geejgarh (1), Agra (1), Kochi (3), Periyar (2), Madurai (2) and Munnar (1) in hotels and on a traditional houseboat (1) sharing a twin/double room
  • Nine lunches, enjoying cuisine typical to the region
  • Return flights from your chosen airport to Delhi, returning from Kochi via Mumbai
  • An internal flight from Delhi to Kochi
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager in India

Single rooms are available for a supplement

N.B. Visas are required for travel on this tour (see Further Information)

Itinerary

Day One

Board your overnight flight from the UK to Delhi - the teeming, colourful, enthralling heart of India, where the ancient and modern worlds collide.

Day Two

Arriving in Delhi you'll be met by your Tour Manager and transferred to your first hotel for an included lunch. Freshen up, then join a guided tour of Delhi's Old City. Discover the historic Red Fort, the Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat, Gandhi's cremation site. We also take you on an exhilarating rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk's narrow lanes.

Day Three

Today we'll explore the grandeur of New Delhi, built by the British Raj to reflect the glories of the Empire. Highlights include the historic India Gate war memorial and the vast boulevard of the Rajpath.

You'll also have time to see the ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and the ornate Qutb Minar tower that rises from them before you travel to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, this afternoon.

Day Four

This morning we'll visit Amber for the chance to discover the opulent Royal Halls and sweeping rampart-top views of this 16th-century fort. In the afternoon, we'll tour Jaipur itself, exploring the City Palace complex with its museums and ancient observatory, and the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds', with its innumerable windows and screened balconies. Dinner tonight is with a local family in Jaipur.

Day Five

Ranthambhore National Park, one of the best examples of India's conservation programme, Project Tiger, is your base for the next two nights. Once here, rest and relax at your hotel, or join an afternoon optional excursion to Ranthambhore Fort, and take in the stupendous views of the park from its 600m-high vantage point.

Day Six

Today you'll enjoy two open-air vehicle (canter) safaris through the Park. Scour the grasslands and waterways of this former hunting ground of princes, in the company of a knowledgeable naturalist guide, searching for signs of the famed, endangered 'Tigers of Ranthambhore' in their natural environment.

Day Seven

Though little more than a village, ancient Abhaneri boasts some of India's most unusual architectural treasures. Don't miss the intricate carved panels and terraced steps lining Chand Baori, a huge and astonishing stepwell, or the stunning temple to Harshat Mata, Goddess of Joy and Happiness.

This afternoon we'll continue to Geejgarh for an insight into India's traditional heritage, staying in a private lodge. Enjoy a cookery demonstration before dinner.

Day Eight

Agra, City of Love and home of the iconic Taj Mahal, completes the first part of your tour. See the royal pavilions, palaces and courtyards of majestic Agra Fort, and then enjoy your first visit to the exquisite Taj Mahal, bathed in glorious evening light, at sunset.

Day Nine

Today you'll return to Delhi. From there, you'll fly south to Kochi, on the shore of the Indian Ocean.

Day 10

Discover Mattancherry Palace's exquisite murals, the ancient Jewish synagogue, and enchanting Fort Cochin, where Chinese fishing nets line the shore, on this morning's guided tour of historic Cochin.

This evening, experience a traditional Kathakali dance performance - a colourful spectacle that combines elaborate costumes with literature, music, painting and dance.

Day 11

Rise early to see the fresh catches of fish being landed on fishermen's beach before a tuk-tuk drive through the fish market. After breakfast with a local family, we'll head to Alleppey and board a traditional, thatch-roofed 'Kettuvallam' houseboat for a lazy cruise along the labyrinthine canals and waterways that run between the region's coconut groves, rice fields, hidden temples and tiny islands.

This evening the houseboat chef, who will prepare a series of traditional meals during your voyage, will give a cooking demonstration, and you'll enjoy a guided walk through a traditional Keralan village.

Day 12

Bid farewell to your floating home, and journey into a lush landscape of tea and spice plantations as you head to Periyar. Check in at your hotel, then join our guide and explore the Spice Plantation to learn about the mystery and history of the Indian tea and spice industry.

Day 13

See elephants and colourful birds - and just maybe rarely glimpsed tigers and leopards - on an optional, guided trek this morning through Periyar's Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is home to several species of endangered mammals and over 250 bird species. This afternoon, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the lake at its heart.

Day 14

Journey east, into the province of Tamil Nadu, to spend the next two nights in Madurai, one of Asia's oldest cities. Soak up the atmosphere of this unforgettable metropolis, which is dominated by the vast Meenakshi Temple.

Day 15

A guided sightseeing tour introduces the Old City of Madurai, today. The ornate facade, colonnades, shrines and towering gopurams (monumental gateways) of the Meenakshi Temple are the breathtaking highlight. Marvel at the continual round of ceremonies and devotions, and the lively markets that take place within the temple enclosure. We'll also visit the beautiful 17th-century palace of Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal.

This evening, head out from your hotel once more for a cycle-rickshaw ride through the streets and local markets of old Madurai.

Day 16

Leaving the bustle of the city behind, you'll drive through increasingly dense forest to the hill-station at Munnar. Spend a night in this remnant of the glories of the Raj, with its verandas and manicured lawns, and enjoy visits to a working tea-plantation and the fascinating Tata Tea Museum.

Day 17

Spend your final morning relaxing, then journey back down to the shores of the Indian Ocean and back to Kochi for a final night in India.

Day 18

This morning we'll take a short flight to Mumbai, and connect with our flight back to the UK.

Prices

 Departure AirportDatePrice From
Aberdeen25 Apr 2017 £2359.00
Aberdeen12 Sep 2017 £2599.00
Aberdeen03 Oct 2017 £2799.00
Aberdeen10 Oct 2017 £2799.00
Aberdeen07 Nov 2017 £2799.00
Aberdeen14 Nov 2017 £2799.00
Aberdeen23 Jan 2018 £2899.00
Aberdeen06 Feb 2018 £2899.00
Aberdeen06 Mar 2018 £2899.00
Aberdeen17 Apr 2018 £2659.00
Aberdeen08 May 2018 £2599.00
Aberdeen11 Sep 2018 £2599.00
Aberdeen02 Oct 2018 £2899.00
Aberdeen09 Oct 2018 £2899.00
Aberdeen06 Nov 2018 £2949.00
Aberdeen13 Nov 2018 £2949.00
Edinburgh25 Apr 2017 £2359.00
Edinburgh12 Sep 2017 £2599.00
Edinburgh03 Oct 2017 £2799.00
Edinburgh10 Oct 2017 £2799.00
Edinburgh07 Nov 2017 £2799.00
Edinburgh14 Nov 2017 £2799.00
Edinburgh23 Jan 2018 £2899.00
Edinburgh06 Feb 2018 £2899.00
Edinburgh06 Mar 2018 £2899.00
Edinburgh17 Apr 2018 £2659.00
Edinburgh08 May 2018 £2599.00
Edinburgh11 Sep 2018 £2599.00
Edinburgh02 Oct 2018 £2899.00
Edinburgh09 Oct 2018 £2899.00
Edinburgh06 Nov 2018 £2949.00
Edinburgh13 Nov 2018 £2949.00
Glasgow25 Apr 2017 £2359.00
Glasgow12 Sep 2017 £2599.00
Glasgow03 Oct 2017 £2799.00
Glasgow10 Oct 2017 £2799.00
Glasgow07 Nov 2017 £2799.00
Glasgow14 Nov 2017 £2799.00
Glasgow23 Jan 2018 £2899.00
Glasgow06 Feb 2018 £2899.00
Glasgow06 Mar 2018 £2899.00
Glasgow17 Apr 2018 £2659.00
Glasgow08 May 2018 £2599.00
Glasgow11 Sep 2018 £2599.00
Glasgow02 Oct 2018 £2899.00
Glasgow09 Oct 2018 £2899.00
Glasgow06 Nov 2018 £2949.00
Glasgow13 Nov 2018 £2949.00
London Heathrow25 Apr 2017 £2159.00
London Heathrow12 Sep 2017 £2399.00
London Heathrow03 Oct 2017 £2599.00
London Heathrow10 Oct 2017 £2599.00
London Heathrow07 Nov 2017 £2599.00
London Heathrow14 Nov 2017 £2599.00
London Heathrow23 Jan 2018 £2699.00
London Heathrow06 Feb 2018 £2699.00
London Heathrow06 Mar 2018 £2699.00
London Heathrow17 Apr 2018 £2459.00
London Heathrow08 May 2018 £2399.00
London Heathrow11 Sep 2018 £2399.00
London Heathrow02 Oct 2018 £2699.00
London Heathrow09 Oct 2018 £2699.00
London Heathrow06 Nov 2018 £2749.00
London Heathrow13 Nov 2018 £2749.00
Newcastle25 Apr 2017 £2359.00
Newcastle12 Sep 2017 £2599.00
Newcastle03 Oct 2017 £2799.00
Newcastle10 Oct 2017 £2799.00
Newcastle07 Nov 2017 £2799.00
Newcastle14 Nov 2017 £2799.00
Newcastle23 Jan 2018 £2899.00
Newcastle06 Feb 2018 £2899.00
Newcastle06 Mar 2018 £2899.00
Newcastle17 Apr 2018 £2659.00
Newcastle08 May 2018 £2599.00
Newcastle11 Sep 2018 £2599.00
Newcastle02 Oct 2018 £2899.00
Newcastle09 Oct 2018 £2899.00
Newcastle06 Nov 2018 £2949.00
Newcastle13 Nov 2018 £2949.00

Grand Tour of India Touring Hotels

You will be staying in a series of four-and five-star standard hotels. All hotels have a restaurant and bar, and most have a swimming pool. All bedrooms offer private facilities and are very well-appointed, with air conditioning, TV and tea- and coffee-making facilities.

Find out more

Further Information

Hotel transfer times

The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.

Passports and visas

British citizens require machine-readable passports when travelling overseas. Your passport must contain two blank pages and be valid for 180 days after your return date from India. A visa is also required for entry to India. Full details of how and when to apply will be sent out about eight weeks before departure. British CITIZENS and some other European nationals satisfying certain conditions may use the online e-Tourist Visa application process at a cost of $62 (US) per person. Other British passport holders, who are not British CITIZENS, must apply for a full visa which costs £92. You may also, at extra cost, use the services of CIBT, our recommended visa handling partner, who will handle the whole process for you. Note that all travellers of Pakistani descent, regardless of citizenship, will generally be subject to more detailed processing by the Indian authorities which can take up to four months from application.

On your flight

All outbound flights leave in the evening and land at your destination the next day. All return flights leave in the morning and land in the UK on the same day. On-board meals will usually include dinner and breakfast on outbound flights, and lunch and a snack on the flight home. Drinks are complimentary.

Luggage allowance

You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 20kg.

Special requirements

If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

Disabled access

The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Travel vaccinations

Requirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.

Itinerary changes

Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

Changes to your hotels & itinerary

Should circumstances require, the routing of days three to eight may be reversed without affecting the overall content or duration of the tour. We also reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.

Restrictions on alcohol

Please note that local restrictions do not permit some hotels in Kerala to serve alcohol.

Grand Tour of India Reviews collected by Reevoo

Grand Tour of India reviews verified by reevooReevoo

Grand Tour of IndiaScores 9.0 out of 10 based on 57 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Nick

Cardiff Couple
A fascinating and revealing trip - but quite hard work! A real insight into India, greatly helped by seeing the contrast between north and south. The two guides (one each for north and south) were fantastic and knowledgeable. They knew everything about everything and were happy to share their personal lives, feelings and beliefs with the group. That added so much more than just being told about the many sights we saw.

If you want to combine the golden triangle sights of north India (with all the hustle and bustle and teeming life) with experiencing the relative order, tranquillity and scenic beauty of the south, this trip cannot be bettered. But be prepared for many early mornings!
Confirmed traveller: 21 October 2016
Published on: 04 November 2016