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Ancient monuments & colonial grandeur

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.

Extend your holiday and visit Goa, with white sand beaches backed by swaying palms, is a perfect ending to your holiday. It’s a charming blend of Portuguese and Indian cultures, laid back, green and generally untouched by mass tourism.

What does this price include?

  • 11 nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation in a series of four-star and five-star standard hotels in Delhi (2 nights), Shimla (2), Jaipur (2), Agra (1), Ranthambhore (2) and Vanaashrya (2), plus two nights on the aircraft
  • Four nights' half-board accommodation in Goa
  • 11 lunches
  • Return flights to Delhi via Doha returning from Goa via Doha.
  • An internal flight from Delhi to Goa
  • All rail travel in India
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
  • The services of a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Begin your Indian holiday with an overnight flight from the UK to Delhi via Doha.

  • You'll arrive in Delhi, this morning, meet your tour manager and transfer to your first hotel. After lunch, enjoy a guided tour of some of the city’s major sights, including the historic Red Fort, Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat (Gandhi’s cremation site), as well as the Raj-era grandeur of New Delhi. Complete the day with an exhilarating rickshaw ride before dinner at the hotel.

  • This morning you'll catch the train to Chandigarh. From here, you'll journey up to Kandaghat to board the "toy train" to Shimla. Relax as the narrow-gauge route winds its scenic way into the foothills of the Himalayas, along the line opened by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, in 1903, to where the magnificent Oberoi Cecil Hotel waits to welcome you.

  • This morning we'll rejoin the 'toy train' for a short journey through the mountains to Tara 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. 

    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 before joining the crowds at Scandal Point, Shimla's traditional meeting place, for an afternoon gossip.

  • Today we'll retrace our steps, heading back down to Chandigarh for the return rail journey to Delhi.

  • After a morning drive to Jaipur, and lunch when we arrive in the city, you'll have the afternoon free to relax or join our optional excursion to Elefantastic. This conservation sanctuary is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary animals, and you'll the chance to get up close to some of its rescued elephants.

  • After breakfast you'll visit the former Rajput capital, Amber, and its vast fort, climbing by jeep to visit the Royal Halls and take in the magnificent views from the ramparts.

    After lunch, you'll take a guided tour of Jaipur to see the City Palace museums and ancient astronomical observatory of the City Palace, and drive past the 18th-century Palace of the Winds with its ornate windows and screened balconies.

    This evening, enjoy a special dinner at historic Nokha House, hosted in traditional Rajasthani style by the Rathore family.

  • Bid farewell to Jaipur after breakfast, and journey to Agra, the fabled City of Love. After a visit to the royal pavilions, palaces and courtyards of majestic Agra Fort, you’ll make your first visit to the incomparable Taj Mahal, a monument to undying love, to see it in all its glory at sunset.

  • Today's early start will be rewarded by another unforgettable view of the Taj Mahal, from across the Yamuna River as the sun rises. 

    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.

  • 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. 

    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.

  • 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?

  • Fly from Delhi to Goa, meet your guide at the airport and transfer south along the coast to your hotel, for a four-night stay. Spend the rest of the day relaxing by the expansive pool or enjoying an ayurvedic massage in the hotel’s tranquil spa.

  • Spend a few days soaking up the southern Indian sun, perhaps by the hotel’s pool, or venturing further afield to explore the beaches that lie just a moment’s walk from your hotel. Why not join us on an optional excursion to Aguada Fort and the Basilica of Bom Jesus?

  • Bid a fond farewell to Portuguese-influenced Goa, as you transfer from your hotel to the airport in the late evening, and board your flight home via Doha.

  • Arrive back home after a spectacular holiday.

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Hotels

India - Tigers, the Taj Mahal, Shimla and Goa Extension Hotels

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

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Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
  • 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.
  • 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 $10 (US) per person for entry to India for arrivals in the months of April, May and June or $25 (US) per person for arrivals in other months. 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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