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A tour of India's historic highlights and heritage

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.

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.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

A guided tour of the sights of New Delhi
Enjoy a traditional rickshaw ride through Old Delhi
Visit Jaipur's 'Palace of the Winds'
A stay in Ranthambhore National Park, including two safaris
Enjoy a village visit and a cookery demonstration in Dholpur
A guided tour of Agra, 'City of Love'
A visit to the immortal Taj Mahal
Explore 'Heritage Village' Pragpur
A drive through the foothills of the Himalayas
Witness the Palki ceremony at Amritsar's Golden Temple
Visits to the Golden Temple by day and night
A visit to the Jallianwala Bagh memorial park
See the Indo-Pakistani border closing ceremony
Conclude your holiday with a five-night extension in colourful Kerala

WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?

17 nights' half-board accommodation in a series of good-quality hotels
Seven lunches
Return flights to Delhi
An internal flight between Amritsar and Delhi
Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager

Your Itinerary

Day One: Overnight flight to India

Fly overnight from the UK to Delhi.

Day Two: Included Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque excursion

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.

Day Three: Included Delhi city tour and travel to Agra

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 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 Four: Included Amber Fort and Jaipur excursion

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 Five: From Jaipur to Ranthambhore

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 Six: Guided wildlife safaris in Ranthambhore National Park

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 Seven: From Ranthambhore to Dholpur

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 Eight: Included excursions to Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal

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 Nine: Included Taj Mahal sunrise visit

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 10: Included Shatabdi Express train travel

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.

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.

Day 11: The Himalayan foothills

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.

This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Day 12: From the Himalayas to Amritsar

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. 

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.

Day 13: Included Golden Temple tour

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. You will also have the chance to visit the bustling bazaar in the heart of the Old Town. 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.

Day 14: Fly to Kochi

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.

Day 15: Included tour of Kochin

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: Travel to Periyar

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: Included wildlife boat tour on 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 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.

Day 18: Included cruise on a traditional 'kettuvallam' houseboat

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 back to the UK

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

PRICES

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

You will be staying in a series of well-located hotels, all of which will be of a four- and five-star standard. In all cases, rooms have private bathrooms and air conditioning.

Further Information

Diwali - India's Festival of Lights

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.

Holi - India's Festival of Colours and Love

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.

Chambal River cruise

Cruise is dependent on water levels.

Taj Mahal restoration work

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.

Hotel transfer times

The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.

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 $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.

Foreign Office Travel Advice

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.

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 23kg.

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. 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.

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

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.

Road Conditions

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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