The highlights and heritage of India
Search for tigers and see the unforgettable Taj Mahal on this enthralling tour of Northern India. You'll discover a beguiling Himalayan hill state, beautiful Himachal-Pradesh, and witness the Golden Temple's sacred ceremonies at Amritsar, in the prosperous province of the Punjab.
Fly overnight from the UK to Delhi.
Meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel for lunch and the chance to freshen up. Today you'll enjoy a guided tour of the Old City, as well as an exciting rickshaw ride through the lanes of Chandni Chowk.
Explore New Delhi, with its echoes of the British Raj, and visit the ruins of the ancient Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. This afternoon, you'll travel to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, where you will enjoy a two-night stay.
Visit Amber's extraordinary hill-top fort, travelling by jeep to explore the Royal Halls and enjoy magnificent views. This afternoon, see the sights of Jaipur, including the stunning City Palace museum complex, the famous astronomical observatory and the 18th-century 'Palace of the Winds'. Dinner tonight is with a local family in Jaipur.
Beautiful Ranthambhore National Park is one of the best examples of India's conservation programme Project Tiger, and the destination for your next two-night stay. Rest and relax in the park's surroundings, or join this afternoon's optional excursion to take in the views from Ranthambhore Fort.
Today's highlights will be two canter (open-air vehicle) safaris in the company of a knowledgeable naturalist guide, giving you more chances to search for signs of the legendary 'Tigers of Ranthambhore'. Lunch is also included today.
The ancient village of Abhaneri's architectural treasures include the astonishing stepwell of Chand Baori, lined with intricate carved panels, and the beautiful temple to the goddess Harshat Mata. From here, continue to Geejgarh for a night in a private air-conditioned lodge, enjoying an evening cookery demonstration before a traditional dinner.
Travel to Agra, the 'City of Love', whose crowning glory is the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal. Visit majestic Agra Fort before your first sight of the 'Taj' - a monument to undying love - viewed in all its glory at sunset.
Start your day with an early morning and a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal from across the Yamuna River. Afterwards, farewell to Agra, and make your way back to Delhi for an overnight stay.
This morning, we'll board the air-conditioned Shatabdi Express train heading north from Delhi to Jalandhar. On arrival, enjoy lunch, and then transfer to Pragpur hill station, where you'll stay for the next two nights.
This former Royal settlement was declared India's first Heritage Village and has become a living museum radiating relaxed charm, history and culture. Highlights include the 19th-century artificial Taal pond - the centre of village life - the colourful temples and the traditional artisans' shops.
There will also be a cookery demonstration at the hotel during your stay.
Spend a full day out into the foothills of the Himalayas, calling at Dharamsala. This former British hill station still draws international visitors - as does its upper town, McLeod Ganj, not least because it's the Dalai Lama's home-in-exile. On our return, we'll stop to enjoy exceptional views and afternoon tea at hilltop Kangra Fort.
This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
A scenic journey crosses the Punjabi plain and continues to Amritsar. Freshen up at your hotel before the perfect introduction to this city.
At the breathtaking Golden Temple, Sikhism's holiest shrine, join the throng for the extraordinary Palki ceremony. Visitors are welcome to join the devotees who line the bridge over the sacred lake each evening for the procession of the Granth Sahib, Sikhism's Holy Book. You will also have the chance to visit the bustling bazaar in the heart of the Old Town.
Today brings another opportunity to visit the Golden Temple. The jewel-encrusted, golden-domed main temple, the vast dining hall - where food is distributed free to some 35,000 people each day - and the Central Sikh Museum are all highlights of a fascinating day.
You'll also visit the poignant Jallianwala Bagh memorial park, which commemorates one of the bloodiest days in Indian history. This evening, you'll make the short journey out to the Indo-Pakistani border crossing at Wagah, where the gates are closed and the flags lowered at sunset in a colourful, unforgettable ceremony.
This morning we'll head to the airport to board your flight home to the UK, arriving back in the UK late this afternoon.
Part of the itinerary on this departure, between 20th and 25th January will operate in reverse. The tour content and total duration is not affected.
18th January 2017 departures
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Hotel transfer times
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.
Passports and visas
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.
On your flight
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Should circumstances require, we 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.
Changes to your hotels