This small group tour offers a wonderful introduction to northern India, combining history, culture, the mesmerising Taj Mahal, stunning wildlife and the resplendent Golden Temple of Amritsar. Explore grand palaces, ancient monuments and beautiful parks; enjoy thrilling game drives in Ranthambore National Park on the trail of the elusive tiger, as well as some unique cultural experiences.
- Delhi: 2 nights
- Agra: 2 nights
- Ranthambore: 2 nights
- Jaipur: 2 nights
- Amritsar: 2 nights
What to expect
• Some long days with early starts
• Driving times are approximate
• Check-in at hotels is after 12pm
• India’s colourful cities can be hectic but this assault on the senses is all part of the experience
• Domestic flights with 20kg luggage limit.
Accommodation on tour
We have selected quality hotels that are ideally located for local exploration such as the Hyatt Amritsar which is just ten minutes away from the awe-inspiring Golden Temple. Vivanta By Taj - Sawai Madhopur Lodge is Ranthambore’s only heritage hotel and this former hunting lodge of the Maharaja has hosted illustrious guests including Queen Elizabeth II.
What is included in the tour
• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.
What is NOT included in the tour
- Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips and gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
- The required Indian visa
- Anything not detailed on the itinerary.
Day 7: Ranthambore Jeep Upgrade from £18 per person
Day 8: Additional Shared Jeep Safari from £36 per person
An Indian visa is required for all British passport holders and MUST be obtained before your arrival in India. You can now apply for an e-Visa at a cost of $100 USD per person at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. The application must be completed between 4–120 days prior to your arrival in India. Your e-visa will be valid for 60 days from the date of your arrival. You should ensure that your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your departure date from India and have at least two blank pages.
Day 1: UK to DelhiDepart from the UK on your overnight flight to Delhi.
Day 2: DelhiOn arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy some free time to relax. Visit the Jama Masjid Mosque and Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial Raj Ghat and pass the impressive Red Fort during an afternoon drive around the city. This evening you’ll have a welcome dinner hosted by your tour leader. Stay: Taj Palace, New Delhi (or similar). D.
Day 3: DelhiEnjoy a full day of sightseeing today and visit the UNESCO-listed Humayun’s Tomb before continuing to Lutyens’ New Delhi, which was designed by British architects and features wide roads and sprawling parks – a stark contrast after exploration of Old Delhi’s labyrinthine lanes. See the India Gate, which is dedicated to the Indian soldiers who lost their lives during World War I, and drive past the monumental government buildings. Stay: Taj Palace, New Delhi (or similar). B.
Day 4: Delhi to AgraTransfer to the railway station for your journey to Agra on board the Gatimaan Express which leaves at around 8am (approx. 2 hours). Enjoy an introduction to this ‘land of palaces’ with a tour of the Itmad-ud-Daulah, also known as Baby Taj. This stunning marble tomb is studded with semi-precious stones and is renowned for its intricate inlaid stonework and elaborate carvings. Feel the anticipation build as you head to Mehtab Bagh, or ‘Moonlight Gardens’ at sunset for enchanting views of the magnificent Taj Mahal. Watch as the gleaming marble reflects the ever-changing sky, from yellow to orange and then white. Continue your exploration with a colonial tour as you learn about life during the British Raj and stop for high tea at Amar Niwas, a cosy colonial guesthouse, before heading to your hotel. Stay: Trident, Agra (or similar). B, D.
Day 5: AgraRise early for the incredible highlight of your tour – the once-in-a- lifetime experience of watching the sunrise at the spectacular Taj Mahal. Built in the 17th Century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, this exceptional monument to love has been declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. You’ll find yourself spellbound by the beauty of the Taj as it appears to change colour as the light changes. Return to your hotel for breakfast and enjoy some time to relax before an afternoon tour of the UNESCO-listed Agra Fort which houses fairytale palaces and white marble mosques. Stay: Trident, Agra (or similar). B.
Day 6: Agra to RanthamboreThe long drive to Ranthambore gives you the opportunity to chat to your tour leader and learn more about northern India’s wildlife, culture and history. Stop en route to visit the perfectly preserved deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri and enjoy lunch at the nearby Laxmi Vilas Palace, a restored former palace. Boasting one of the country’s leading tiger conservation efforts, Ranthambore is one of the best places to spot this elusive animal in the wild. This evening, learn all about the tigers during a discussion with a renowned local naturalist. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 168 miles. Stay: Vivanta by Taj - Sawai Madhopur (or similar). B, L, D. Day 7: Ranthambore Today you can look forward to another of the highlights of the tour – morning and afternoon game drives in the park. As you explore the park in shared open-top canters, you may be lucky enough to spot Bengal tiger as well as leopard, crocodile and over 300 species of birds. Stay: Vivanta by Taj - Sawai Madhopur (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 8: Ranthambore to JaipurThis morning you have the option of joining another game drive before breakfast. You’ll then depart the park and enjoy a packed lunch on the way to Jaipur. Relax at your hotel before an evening visit to a local temple to attend the evening Aarti ceremony – the Hindu ceremony of light. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 99 miles. Stay: ITC Rajputana or the Trident Jaipur (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 9: JaipurThis morning, immerse yourself in India’s spiritual heritage by joining a one-hour yoga session with a yoga guru. Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur and visit the striking hilltop Amber Fort and the City Palace – an exquisite complex of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. You will also visit the Royal Observatory and the unique Palace of the Winds, an intricately designed building that resembles a beehive. Stop for lunch at the beautiful Samode Haveli, a former mansion (guests travelling on 13 Mar will follow a slightly different itinerary on Days 8-9 and enjoy Holi celebrations with a local family at Nokha House, a traditional guesthouse). Stay: ITC Rajputana ot the Trident Jaipur (or similar). B, L.
Day 10: Jaipur to AmritsarToday you’ll fly to the holy walled city of Amritsar via Delhi (approx. 3 hours). This evening you have the option to witness a Palki ceremony, the worshipping of the Holy Book by pilgrims, at the Golden Temple. Approx. journey time: 3 hours, 400 miles. Stay: Hyatt Amritsar or Taj Swarma (for departures from 22 Feb 2019) (or similar). B.
Day 11: AmritsarThis morning, you’ll go on a walking tour of Old Amritsar followed by a visit to the spectacular Golden Temple – the spiritual centre of the Sikh faith, which is crowned with an inverted lotus-shaped golden dome. Continue to the Jallianwala Bagh, the site of the tragic 20th-Century Amritsar Massacre. Next, put your dexterity to the test during a turban-tying experience. In the early evening you will visit the Wagah Border, the only road border crossing between India and Pakistan, to witness the ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremony. Enjoy a farewell dinner at your hotel with your group and tour leader (Guests travelling on 17 Oct will join a local family for dinner and Diwali celebrations). Stay: Hyatt Amritsar or Taj Swarma (for departures from 22 Feb 2019) (or similar). B.
Day 12: Amritsar to UKTransfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK via Delhi. Alternatively, extend your holiday with a few days of relaxation on a golden beach or in the mountains of Shimla.