Discover ancient monuments and colonial grandeur as you tour India's greatest cities
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Uncover India's exotic wonders in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Search for tigers in Ranthambhore National Park and spend two nights revelling in colonial splendour at a five-star luxury hotel in the historic Himalayan hill station of Shimla. Join us for a thrilling adventure on a tour of India filled with unforgettable sights - from the ancient stronghold of Amber Fort to the chaos of old Delhi and the unmistakeable, unparalleled sight of the Taj Mahal at sunset and sunrise.
Tigers, the Taj Mahal and Shimla Tour Itinerary
Begin your Indian holiday with an overnight flight from the UK to Delhi.
Day One: Fly to India
A coach will be waiting for you when you arrive in Delhi this morning, and will carry you to your hotel. After an included lunch, join your Tour Manager for a guided tour of Delhi. In the Old City you'll see the Red Fort (former home of the Murghal emperor), Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat, Gandhi's cremation site at Raj Ghat, and enjoy a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk.
Day Two: Included Delhi city tour
Crossing into New Delhi, you'll enter a colonial city filled with traces of the British Raj. Highlights here will include the historic India Gate war memorial, Parliament House and the broad monumental avenue of the Rajpath.
Head to Delhi airport to catch the short flight to Chandigarh. After lunch, we'll travel to Kandaghat in Himachal Pradesh where we'll board the train to Shimla. Relax as the 'toy train' winds its scenic way into the foothills of the Himalayas, along the narrow-gauge line opened by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, in 1903.
Day Three: Travel into the Himalayas
Shimla itself is a delightful city. Its mansions, lawns, and cricket pitches retain the colonial atmosphere you'd expect of a place that was once the summer capital of British India. And your two nights here, in the magnificent Oberoi Cecil Hotel, is sure to be a real highlight of your trip.
This morning we'll rejoin the 'toy train' for a short journey through the mountains to Tari Devi 's Hindu Temple. Enjoy lunch at Clark's Hotel, the first hotel of the now world famous Oberoi chain, before heading out for a guided tour of Shimla.
Day Four: Included Shimla hill-station tour
We'll visit the Viceregal Lodge, where the Partition of India was mapped out, stroll across the Ridge (the road-cum-square that's the centre of community activity in Shimla) and see the very English spires of Christ Church. You may like to visit the temple of the Hindu monkey god, Hanuman, on Jakhoo Hill before joining the crowds at Scandal Point, Shimla's traditional meeting place, for an afternoon gossip.
Today we'll retrace our steps, with a packed lunch en route, as we make our way down from Shimla to Chandigarh airport. After a short flight to Jaipur, the 'pink' city, we'll head to our next hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing.
Day Five: From Shimla to Jaipur
Amber, the ancient Rajput capital, is dominated by the 16th-century hill-top stronghold of Amber Fort. Today, we'll take a jeep ride up to the fort to wander its royal halls and take in the views from the ramparts.
Day Six: Included Amber Fort tour
After an included lunch, you'll be free to spend the afternoon relaxing or join us for an optional tour to Elefantastic Sanctuary. Interact with the gentle elephants that live here, away from the throngs of mass tourism, as you feed, walk and even bathe your giant friend.
Enjoy today's city tour of Jaipur will reveal the museums and ancient observatory of the City Palace complex, and view the ornate- many-windowed facade of the Palace of the Winds.
Day Seven: Included Jaipur city tour
Return to the hotel for lunch and time to relax and perhaps take a refreshing dip in the pool.
Dinner tonight will be taken at the Nokha House, hosted by the Rathore family in traditional Rajasthani style.
This morning we will leave Jaipur for Agra, India's City of Love. After lunch we'll visit the Ta Mahal, the extraordinarily beautiful monument built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, but our first stop will actually be the pavilions, palaces and courtyards of Agra Fort. And from there we'll head to the Taj Mahal with time to watch the sun set behind its delicate domes and spires.
Day Eight: Included Taj Mahal tour
Today's early start will be rewarded by another unforgettable view of the Taj Mahal, from across the Yamuna River as the sun rises.
Day Nine: Travel from Agra to Ranthambhore National Park
We'll return to the hotel for breakfast, and then leave Agra behind as we head to Abhaneri. This ancient village is home to Chand Baori, one of the oldest and most intricate stepwells in India, its 13 storeys and 3500 steps offering access to water and much-needed refuge from the sun's heat.
After lunch at Umaid Lake Palace, a Heritage resort hotel laid out in the style of a Mughal residence, and a tour of its 20-acre landscaped gardens, we'll continue to Ranthambhore National Park. This former royal hunting ground is now a key centre for Project Tiger, and its grasslands, streams and beautiful pools are home to striped hyenas, sambar deer, sloth bears and of course tigers.
This evening, prior to tomorrow's adventures, enjoy a 'tiger talk' with a local naturalist.
Today revolves around two open-air vehicle safaris in Ranthambhore National Park, one in the morning and one after lunch. Join an expert naturalist guide to search your surroundings for signs of tigers, leopards and the many other species that make their home in the park.
Day 10: Included Ranthambhore wildlife tour
This morning, rest and relax, or join the optional excursion to ancient Ranthambhore Fort, which sits atop hills above the National Park, and rewards those prepared to climb its 273 steps with stupendous views.
Day 11: Optional Ranthambhore Fort tour
In the afternoon we'll bid farewell to Ranthambhore, and make our way into the Aravali Hills, heading to the jungle resort of Vanaashyra. We'll stop en route at the fascinating ruins of Bhangarh Fort for a welcome tea or coffee, before continuing to Vanaashyra, where your private air-conditioned tent will be waiting. After a relaxing afternoon, why not ride a camel-drawn cart into the local village and enjoy a cookery demonstration before dinner?
Spend the day relaxing in the resort after your time spent sightseeing. Why not ride a camel-drawn cart into the local village and enjoy a cookery demonstration before dinner?
Day 12: Day at leisure
Today we'll return to Delhi airport to check in for our flight home, arriving back in the UK in the evening of the same day at the end of an unforgettable tour of India and the Himalayan foothills.
Day 13: Fly back to the UK
Goa Extension Itinerary
Day 13: 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 14: 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 15: 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 16: 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 13: 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 14: 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 15: 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 16: 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 17: 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 18: Fly home
On your final day in India, transfer from Alleppey to Kochi, and board your flight back to the UK.
Udaipur Extension Itinerary
Day 13: Travel to Udaipur
Fly to lakeside Udaipur, be greeted by your tour guide and transfer to your hotel. Choose to spend the rest of the day pool-side, re-energising after your trip, or strike out into the welcoming streets of one of India’s most magical cities.
Day 14: Get to know Udaipur
Today, take a tour of Udaipur, the former capital city of the Mewar Kingdom, home to the incredible City Palace that incorporates 11 ornate palaces, Sahelion-ki-Bari gardens and Jagdish Temples. After a day spent around the lake, the evening brings the opportunity to take to the water on a boat ride to see the spectacular water palaces up close.
Day 15: Fly from Udaipur to Delhi
Enjoy your last morning in warm-hearted Udaipur, before bidding farewell to one of India’s jewels and flying to the country’s bustling capital. Check into your hotel and enjoy your last evening in India.
Day 16: Fly home
Wave goodbye to India and her wonderfully welcoming people, as you board your flight back to the UK.
Marari Beach, Kerala Extension Itinerary
Day 13: Travel to Marari Beach
Fly to ocean-side Kochi today, and transfer south along the coast to your hotel, beginning your three-night stay on Marari Beach. Check-in, explore the hotel and unwind.
Day 14: Explore Marari Beach
Enjoy your first full day in Marari Beach. Choose to begin with a swim in the on-site pool or enjoy a relaxing ayurvedic treatment, before exploring farther afield, with a walk along the golden beach. Later, dine in the hotel or explore the local area.
Day 15: Unwind at the hotel
Today, choose to relax pool-side, letting Kerala’s mellow atmosphere sooth, or perhaps take out one of the hotel’s bicycles and explore the local area at a leisurely pace. In the evening, enjoy dinner in the hotel and look back on your time and experiences in this wonderful country.
Day 16: Fly home
This morning you’ll transfer back to Kochi’s airport and begin your flight home.
Varanasi Extension Itinerary
Day 13: 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 14: 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 15: 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 16: Fly home
This morning take breakfast in your hotel, before transferring to the airport and boarding your flight home.