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Ancient, colonial & natural grandeur

Discover the glorious cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, Ranthambhore’s tigers and the Raj-era comforts of India’s most famous hill station.

Combine a tour of the classic sights of India’s capital and the wonders of Rajasthan with a journey back in time to Shimla, the quintessentially colonial haven high in the Himalayan foothills. Begin in Delhi, before journeying on to Shimla, the former summer capital of the Raj. The Pink City of Jaipur, with its extraordinary Fort and palaces, Agra’s majestic Fort and peerless Taj Mahal, and stays in famed Ranthambhore Park and a wonderful jungle resort complete this unforgettable journey.

See more of India and extend your holiday to beautiful Nepal. See Kathmandu’s temples and squares come to life on a guided tour.

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 at hotels in Nagarkot (1 night) and Kathmandu (3)
  • 11 lunches
  • Return flights to Delhi via Abu Dhabi, returning from Kathmandu via Abu Dhabi
  • All rail travel in India
  • 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 via Abu Dhabi.

  • 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.

  • We’ll rejoin the "toy train", this morning, 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 an afternoon guided tour of Shimla. We'll visit the teak-panelled rooms of Viceregal Lodge - a former British summer retreat and where the map of Indian Partition was drawn up. Other highlights will include the high, open space of the Ridge, dwarfed by the Gothic spires of the very English Christ Church and offering superb views of the distant peaks, and the shops of Mall Road. We'll pass the colonial Gaiety Theatre, and join the throng at Scandal Point, Shimla's traditional meeting place.

  • 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.

  • Awaken early to pay a second visit to the Taj Mahal, watching the sun rise over it from across the Yamuna River. 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 the sumptuous Umaid Lake Palace heritage hotel, 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 from a local naturalist.

  • Today’s two canter (open-air vehicle) safaris in the Park are sure to be highlights of your entire holiday. Join a knowledgeable naturalist guide to search your surroundings for signs of tigers, leopards and other species in their natural environment.

  • Rest and relax this morning, or join our optional excursion to Ranthambhore Fort, climbing the gradual, 273-step path to take in the stupendous views.

    Later, journey into the Aravali Hills and head to the jungle resort of Vanaashyra, calling en route at the fascinating ruins of 17th-century Bhangarh fort.

  • Rest and relax at Vanaashyra, then enjoy an afternoon camel-cart ride and a cookery demonstration before a farewell dinner at the resort.

  • Fly to the beautiful Himalayan city of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and then transfer to Nagarkot for a one-night stay at Mystic Mountain Resort. Check-in, admire the scenery or take a dip in the hotel’s outdoor pool.

  • Nagarkot offers some the best mountain views in the entire valley. Start your day with the unforgettable panoramic views of the majestic Himalayas from the comfort of your hotel. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the tranquil surroundings before leaving Nagarkot to head back to central Kathmandu for a three-night stay.

  • Today’s sightseeing tours will give you the chance to marvel at Kathmandu’s exotic-feeling blending of palaces, temples, courtyards and shrines, and everyday bustle. Visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, the traditional heart of Kathmandu, discover Nepal’s ancient cultural centre in Bhaktapur, and take in the spiritual atmosphere at the Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath – one of the largest stupas in the world.

  • Today you’re free to relax or explore under your own steam. Enjoy your hotel’s historic surroundings, or head out to explore the bustling town of Thamel. Crammed with street vendors’ stalls and backpackers, Thamel is a haven for tourists (if not for the faint-hearted). Beneath the colourful web of bunting, banners, power cables and shop signs that festoon the narrow streets, you’ll find shops, cafes and restaurants filled with unexpected treasures. Later, enjoy your final dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, or at your leisure in the city.

  • Bow your head and bid namaste to Nepal and its welcoming people as you transfer back to the airport to board your evening flight back to the UK via Abu Dhabi.

  • Early this morning, you'll land back in the UK.

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Hotels

India's Golden Triangle and Shimla with Nepal Extension Touring Hotels

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

View Hotel

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.
  • Dependent on flight times from Delhi, the 'toy train' journey may take place on Day Five, en route back down to Chandigarh.
  • British citizens require machine-readable passports when travelling overseas. Your passport must contain three blank pages and be valid for six months after your return date. A visa is also required for entry to India and Nepal. 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. 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. The cost of a visa for Nepal is currently £20.

    You may also, at extra cost, use the services of CIBT, our recommended visa handling partner, who will handle the whole process for you.


    You may also, at extra cost, use the services of CIBT, our recommended visa handling partner, who will handle the whole process for you.

  • 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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