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Indian heritage highlights

Take a journey of the senses to the cities of the Golden Triangle, Sikhism's most sacred site and some of northern India’s most alluring countryside.

Search for tigers in Ranthambhore and see the Taj Mahal on this enthralling holiday in Northern India. Journey into the prosperous province of Punjab, home to Amritsar’s sacred Golden Temple, and explore the beautiful Himalayan hill-state of Himachal-Pradesh, one of India’s most arresting and beguiling regions. Experience the colourful theatrics of a border-closing ceremony, visit exquisite, Tibetan-influenced Dharamsala and ride the Shatabdi Express train.

Extend your holiday with a visit to Kerala. See Kochi’s famous Chinese fishing nets as well as enjoying a spice plantation visit and a houseboat cruise on the backwaters. You’ll also visit Periyar National Park for a chance to see the wildlife.

What does this price include?

  • 17 nights' half-board accommodation in a series of good-quality hotels in Delhi (2 nights), Jaipur (2), Ranthambhore (2), Dholpur (1), Agra (1), Pragpur (2) and Amritsar (2), plus two nights on the aircraft
  • Seven lunches
  • Return scheduled to Delhi via Abu Dhabi
  • An internal flight from Amritsar to Delhi
  • First-class rail travel between Delhi and Jalandhar
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Fly overnight from the UK to Delhi.

  • Meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel for lunch and the chance to freshen up. This afternoon, explore the ruins of the ancient Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and the ornate Qutb Minar tower.

  • Today’s explorations begin with a guided tour of the Old City, and an exciting rickshaw ride through the lanes of Chandni Chowk. Afterwards, you’ll explore New Delhi, with its echoes of the British Raj, and visit the impressive Agrasen ki Baoli stepwell. This afternoon, you’ll travel to the Pink City of Jaipur, where you'll spend the next two nights.

  • Visit Amber’s extraordinary hill-top fort by Jeep to explore the Royal Halls and enjoy the magnificent views. This afternoon, discover Jaipur’s stunning City Palace museum, the famous astronomical observatory and drive by the 18th-century Palace of the Winds. Dinner tonight is taken in the city with a local Rajasthani family.

  • Journey to beautiful Ranthambhore National Park for a two-night stay, during which you’ll hope to catch a glimpse of the legendary Tigers of Ranthambhore. Relax in the hotel or join this afternoon’s optional excursion to Ranthambhore Fort before this evening’s tiger talk from a local naturalist.

  • 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.

  • Journey through the Rajasthan countryside to Dholpur to your next hotel - the Raj Niwas Palace. Once a Royal retreat, this glorious, red sandstone, Raj-era building stands in 13 acres of manicured gardens. During your stay you'll enjoy attentive service, accommodation in beautifully appointed pool-villas in the grounds, and have the opportunity to watch a cookery demonstration before dinner at this splendid heritage hotel.

  • An early morning cruise on the Chambal River offers the opportunity to spot crocodiles, turtles and birdlife. Afterwrds, you'll travel to Agra, the City of Love, whose crowning sight is the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal. Visit majestic Agra Fort before your first sight of the Taj – in all its glory – at sunset.

  • Pay an early morning visit to view the Taj Mahal from across the Yamuna River. Afterwards, bid farewell to Agra and make your way back to Delhi for an overnight stay.

  • This morning we'll board an air-conditioned Shatabdi Express train and journey north to Jalandhar. You'll travel in First Class and breakfast will be provided en route.

    After lunch in Jalandhar, you'll cross the Punjabi plain and continue to exquisite Pragpur hill station. This former Royal settlement was named India's first Heritage Village. Enjoy it's delightful surroundings, which include a 19th-century artificial Taal pond, several colourful temples and a collection of traditional artisans'
    shops. There will also be an included cookery demonstration at the hotel.

  • Call at former British hill station, Dharamsala and its upper town McLeod Ganj – a Tibetan refuge and home-in-exile to the Dalai Lama, which draws visitors from across the globe to its glorious setting. Visit Kangra Fort where a late lunch is included, before returning to Pragpur.

  • You'll take a scenic journey across the Punjabi plain to Amritsar, today. Here, you'll join the throng for the extraordinary Palki ceremony at the breath-taking Golden Temple. Sikhism’s holiest shrine is stunning by night, towering over the narrow streets of Amritsar’s Old Town. See its copper-plated Harimandir, from which a covered causeway runs out over the waters of the sacred lake, lined each evening by devotees who have come for the procession of the Granth Sahib, Sikhism’s Holy Book.

  • Today brings another opportunity to visit the Golden Temple. The jewel-encrusted, golden-domed main temple (which provides welcome and shelter for pilgrims from across the globe), 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 Jallianwala Bagh, a poignant memorial park that 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.

  • Begin your extended tour 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Alleppy. 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.

  • 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.

  • On your final day in India, transfer from Alleppy to Kochi, and board your flight back to the UK.

Prices

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Don't miss out on these fantastic prices!

Hotels

India - Tigers, the Taj Mahal, Amritsar & Kerala Extension Hotels

You will be staying in a series of comfortable hotels that are conveniently located for your tour itinerary.

Further Information

  • Passengers travelling on the 31st October 2018, 24th October 2019 and 12th November 2020 departures will have the chance to celebrate Diwali, a major Hindu festival marked by family gatherings, and by decorative displays of candles and lamps shining from rooftops and doorsteps, in windows, and all around temple buildings.
  • Passengers travelling on the 14th March 2019 and 5th March 2020 departures will be able to join the joyful crowds throwing coloured powder into the air in celebration of Krishna and the beginning of spring.
  • Cruise is dependent on water levels.
  • The white marble of the Taj Mahal is being gradually cleaned in a process that will take up to four years. Parts of the monument's surface may be covered during this process though your visit and access to the main dome is not likely to be restricted.
  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
  • 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 $100(US) per person. Other British passport holders, who are not British CITIZENS, must apply for a full visa which costs £112. 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.
  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about 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.
  • 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. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
  • 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.
  • In developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can mean that, from time to time, roadworks and rough road surfaces can extend journey times. Some journeys are made on winding mountain roads and passes, which may also make for slow travelling - although the scenery is usually worth it! Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads.
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