A tour of India's historic highlights and heritage
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Search for tigers and see the Taj Mahal on this enthralling holiday in Northern India. Discover Amritsar's sacred Golden Temple as you tour the Punjab, and the beautiful Himalayan hill state of Himachal Pradesh. See the border-closing ceremony at Wagah on the Indo-Pakistani border, and take a first-class train ride from Delhi to Jalandhar on the Shatabdi Express.
Taj Mahal And Amritsar Tour Itinerary
Fly overnight from the UK to Delhi.
Day One: Overnight flight to India
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.
Day Two: Included Delhi city tour
Explore New Delhi, with its echoes of the British Raj, and visit the impressive Agrasen ki Baoli stepwell and 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.
Day Three: Included Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque excursion and travel to Agra
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 Rajasthani family in the city.
Day Four: Included Amber Fort excursion
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
Day Five: From Jaipur to Ranthambhore
Today's highlights will be two canter (open-air vehicle) safaris in the company of a knowledgeable naturalist guide. Search for signs of the legendary Tigers of Ranthambhore, as well as some of the park's other inhabitants: striped hyenas, sambar deer, sloth bears and perhaps even leopards. Lunch is included today.
Day Six: Guided wildlife safaris in Ranthambhore National Park
Travel to Dholpur today, and enjoy a visit to the local village during the afternoon. Spend the night here, enjoying an evening cookery demonstration before dinner.
Day Seven: From Ranthambhore to Dholpur
An early morning cruise on the Chambal River offers the opportunity to spot crocodiles, turtles and an assortment of birds. Then, 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.
Day Eight: Included excursions to Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal
Start your day with an early morning and a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal from across the Yamuna River. Afterwards, bid farewell to Agra, and make your way back to Delhi for an overnight stay.
Day Nine: Included Taj Mahal sunrise visit
This morning, we'll board the air-conditioned Shatabdi Express train heading north from Delhi to Jalandhar. You'll travel in first class, and breakfast will be provided en route. On arrival, enjoy lunch, and then transfer to Pragpur hill station, where you'll stay for the next two nights.
Day 10: Included Shatabdi Express train travel
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 in the foothills of the Himalayas, calling at Dharamsala, where lunch is included. 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 a late lunch at hilltop Kangra Fort.
Day 11: The Himalayan foothills
This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Today you'll take a scenic journey across the Punjabi plain to Amritsar. Freshen up at your hotel before the perfect introduction to this city.
Day 12: From the Himalayas to Amritsar
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.
Day 13: Included Golden Temple tour
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.
Day 14: Fly back to the UK
Goa Extension Itinerary
Day 14: Fly to Goa
Fly to Goa, meet your guide at the airport and transfer south along the coast to your hotel, for a three-night stay. Spend the rest of the day relaxing by the expansive pool or enjoying an ayurvedic massage in the hotel’s tranquil spa.
Day 15: Enjoy your Goan surroundings
Choose to spend today soaking up the southern Indian sun, perhaps by the hotel’s pool, or venture further afield to explore the wide-open beaches situated just a moment’s walk from your hotel. Likewise, choose to dine in your hotel, or to visit one of a number of local eateries.
Day 16: Relax or explore in Goa
Once again, today you are free to simply let Goa’s relaxed southern feeling wash over you, perhaps with a long, lazy walk on the beach. Alternatively, choose to join us on an optional excursion to Aguada Fort and the Basilica of Bom Jesus.
Day 17: Fly home
Bid a fond farewell to Portuguese influenced Goa, as you transfer from your hotel to the airport and board your flight home.
A Taste of Kerala Extension Itinerary
Day 14: Travel to Kochi
Begin your tour extension with a flight to the southern Indian jewel of Kochi, where you will be met by your tour guide and escorted to your first hotel - the four-star deluxe Trident. Check-in, rest and relax, or take a dip in the courtyard pool, prior to taking dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.
Day 15: Explore ‘God’s Own Country’
Begin your exploration of Kerala, ‘God’s Own Country’, today, with a tour of historic Kochin. Take in the Portuguese-built and peculiarly named Dutch Palace, the spectacular Paradesi Synagogue and the area’s photogenic Chinese fishing nets. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance show.
Day 16: Discover a world of spice
This morning travel to Periyar, inland from Kochi, to spend one night in the Greenwoods Hotel. After checking into your hotel, enjoy an enlightening tour of a local spice plantation. In the evening, relax in your hotel, taking advantage of its spa, swimming pool and treehouse cafe.
Day 17: Visit Lake Periyar
Rise early on the fourth day of your extension to take to the waters of Lake Periyar for a wildlife boat tour, after which we transfer to our third and final stop, coastal Alleppey. Check in to your resort hotel set on the lush banks of the Punnamada Lake, and spend the rest of the day recharging your batteries.
Day 18: Relax on Kerala’s backwaters
Today, get to know Kerala’s famed backwaters, as you take lunch on a traditional 'kettuvallam' houseboat and cruise by as all life plays out on the area’s labyrinthine banks. Later, return to your hotel and enjoy a restful evening looking back on your journey through incredible India.
Day 19: Fly home
On your final day in India, transfer from Alleppey to Kochi, and board your flight back to the UK.
Varanasi Extension Itinerary
Day 14: Travel to India’s most holy city
Fly to historic Varanasi, and transfer to your hotel. Take some time to relax before venturing out into the old city’s pulsating heart. Rub shoulders with holy men and walk with devotees towards this evening’s Aarti ceremony on the banks of the sacred Ganges. Later, take dinner in your hotel.
Day 15: Discover Varanasi’s history
After breakfast this morning, take a boat ride along the great Ganges, known locally as Mother Ganga - India’s most sacred river. Later, take in over 2000 years of history as you are taken on a guided tour of this most important of Indian conurbations. Afterwards, enjoy lunch and take an excursion to Sarnath to visit is museum and ruins.
Day 16: Varanasi to Delhi
Spend this morning relaxing in your hotel, or choose to venture out into Varanasi’s beguiling streets for one last time. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport and fly to Delhi. Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel, dine and rest.
Day 17: Fly home
This morning take breakfast in your hotel, before transferring to the airport and boarding your flight home.