Tea, Trains & the Taj Mahal - An India Adventure

16 Days

Oct - Nov 2018 - From £2849pp

IN

4 & 5-star Hotels

All excursions included

Departures
 
Price
Quote
11/10/2018
 
£2849pp
Tour IN10
08/11/2018
 
£2899pp
Tour IN11
All Info

Overview

India has an amazing cultural and scenic diversity, fascinating history, magnificent landscapes and warm and friendly people. This holiday takes us on a fascinating journey taking in India’s own rich Royal history, the British Raj and some of the most stunning landscapes and views the world has to offer.
Highlights: Escorted throughout, 4 & 5 star hotels, The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Taj Mahal, Kolkata, Siliguri, Darjeeling, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, kolkata to New Jalpaiguri Express train, Optional extension to Shimla.

Itinerary



Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata
Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata



Day 1: UK to Kolkata
Depart from Gatwick Airport and fly to Kolkata in Eastern India, near Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal. Flights from other airports are possible; all flights will involve a stop/change en route which will depend on the airline, please call to discuss. Supplement may apply.

Day 2: Kolkata
Arrive Kolkata airport. Transfer to the hotel (around 40 minutes drive) where we check in, the rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Kolkata. (Dinner included).

Day 3: Kolkata
This morning after breakfast we have a city tour of Kolkata. Once the capital of the British Empire, Kolkata is regarded as India’s intellectual, artistic and cultural capital. It is also the gateway to the beautiful North Eastern state of India. They city tour includes visits to Fort William, Victoria Memorial, the Indian Museum, St Paul’s Cathedral and Birla Planetarium and the Botanical Gardens. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Kolkata. (Breakfast included).

Day 4: Kolkata – New Jalpaiguri – Siliguri
This morning we have a tram journey in Kolkata. Late morning transfer to Howrah Railway Station and board the mid-afternoon express train for New Jalpaiguri arriving late evening. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel in Siliguri (around 30 minutes drive). Overnight in Siliguri. (Breakfast included)


The Darjeeling Himalayan Raiway
The Darjeeling Himalayan Raiway

Darjeeling tea pickers
Darjeeling tea pickers


Day 5: Siliguri – Darjeeling
Depart Siliguri after breakfast and drive to Darjeeling (around 3 hours drive). Upon arrival check in at our hotel. This afternoon we have a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan railway. Popularly known as toy train, this narrow gauge railway established in 1881 applied bold and ingenious engineering solutions to the problem of establishing an effective rail link across a mountainous terrain of great beauty, with elevation varing from 328ft to 7,218ft. Overnight in Darjeeling. (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 6: Darjeeling
This morning we have an early start and drive the short distance to the Tiger Hill to view the sunrise and its reflection over Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga. Later drive to the Tibetan Monastery at Ghoom, dating back to 1857, and which enshrines an enormous gilded statue of Maitreya Buddha. In the afternoon we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Darjeeling, one of the most beautiful Hill stations in Eastern India, with many traces of British influences. Our visits include the Race Course, Lablong village, and the Mountaineering Institute house of Tenzing Norgay - the first Everest hero. Return to the hotel, (Breakfast & Dinner included). Overnight in Darjeeling.

Day 7: Darjeeling
Morning after breakfast excursion to Happy Valley Tea Estate, once owned by an Englishman, the estate spans 270 acres, we will have a tour showing us the production process of the tea and giving us the history behind the estate. Afternoon a leisure or explore the local market by your own. Stay overnight at the hotel. (Breakfast and dinner included).


A colourful market in New Delhi
A colourful market in New Delhi

Humayun‘s tomb, New Delhi
Humayun‘s tomb, New Delhi


Day 8: Darjeeling – Bagdogra – Delhi
This morning we drive to Bagdogra Airport (around 3 hours drive) for our 2 hour flight flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi short transfer to our hotel (Breakfast included). Overnight in Delhi.

Day 9: Delhi
This morning we have a tour of Old Delhi, starting with a drive past the Red Fort, a red sandstone fortress built on the banks of River Yamuna by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. From here we continue to Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, built from 1644-1658, during the reign of Emperor Shahjahan. You complete the morning with a rickshaw journey through the famous Chandni Chowk Bazaars, once the shopping arcade of Mughal royalty. This afternoon we discover New Delhi starting at Qutab Minar - begun in 1200 AD by Qutab-ud-din Aibak,= the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, the building is believed to be erected as a tower of victory to signify the beginning of the Muslim rule in India. We continue to the Houses of Parliament and Presidential Palace, both grandiose masterpieces of the British Raj. Overnight in Dehli. (Breakfast included).

Day 10: Dehli – Agra – Taj Mahal
This morning leave Delhi and drive to Agra where we check in to our hotel (around 4 hours drive). In the afternoon visit the world famous Taj Mahal built by Shahjahan in 1648 in memory of his Queen Mumtaj Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the skill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy who took 17 years to complete this world famous monument. We also have time to visit Agra Fort, with its halls intended for private and public audiences, and the local bazaar. Overnight in Agra. (Breakfast included).


Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri

Palace of the Winds, Jaipur
Palace of the Winds, Jaipur


Day 11: Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur
After breakfast we head to Jaipur stopping en route at the city of Fatehpur Sikri which was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned after fifteen years due to scarcity of water. We see the ancient red sandstone buildings including the Jama Masjid, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, the Panch Mahal and other palaces. We continue to Jaipur where we check in to our hotel. early evening. Overnight in Jaipur. (Breakfast included).

Day 12: Jaipur
Today we visit the Maharaja‘s City Palace, the former Royal residence of which a small portion is still used by the royal family of Jaipur. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the city. Afterwards visit the Jantar Mantar, which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world, situated near the gate of the city palace, the observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Jaipur. (Breakfast included).

Day 13: Jaipur
This morning visit the Amber Fort, a classic Rajasthani Fort Palace (around 60 minutes drive). The rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort may not look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is a virtual paradise. Inside the fort we see the Jag Mandir or Hall of victory with its famed Sheesh Mahal room with all four walls and ceiling completely embedded with glittering mirror pieces imported from Belgium. Afternoon we return to Jaipur. Overnight in Jaipur. (Breakfast included).

Day 14: Jaipur – Delhi
Today we return by coach to Delhi where we check into our hotel. Overnight in Dehli. (Breakfast and dinner included).

Day 15: Depart Delhi
Transfer to Delhi Airport for your flight home.

Day 16: Arrival in the UK

Shimla Tour Extension - £599pp


Shimla
Shimla


Day 15: Delhi – Kalka – Shimla
Early morning transfer to the New Delhi Railway Station to board the train for Kalka arriving late morning. Upon arrival at Kalka Railway station we connect with the toy train for Shimla; The Kalka–Shimla Railway was built in 1898 to connect Shimla, the summer capital of India during the British Raj, with the rest of the Indian rail system. The railway is just 2ft and 6ins wide and at its peak is more than 2000 metres above sea level it is known for its dramatic views and is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site. On arrival in Shimla we check into our hotel. Overnight in Shimla. (Breakfast and dinner included).

Day 16: Shimla
This morning we have a tour of Shimla visiting Jakhu Hill and Kufri - Perched at a height of 2510 metres Kufri is known for its picturesque trekking and hiking trails. this evening enjoy a walking tour at Mall road. Overnight in Shimla. (Breakfast included).

Day 17: Shimla
Today is at leisure in Shimla. Overnight in Shimla. (Breakfast included).

Day 18: Shimla – Chandigarh & Chandigarh – Delhi
This morning we transfer by coach to the Chandigarh Railway Station to board the train for Delhi. On arrival at Delhi transfer to the hotel for check-in. Overnight in Dehli. (Breakfast included).

Day 19: Depart Delhi
Transfer to Delhi Airport to join your flight home.

Day 20: Arrival in UK

Hotels

Hindustan International, Kolkata
Hindustan International, Kolkata

Royal Sarovar Portico, Siliguri
Royal Sarovar Portico, Siliguri

Windamere Hotel, Darjeeling
Windamere Hotel, Darjeeling

Pride Plaza, New Delhi
Pride Plaza, New Delhi

Four Points by Sheraton, Agra
Four Points by Sheraton, Agra

Four Points by Sheraton, Jaipur
Four Points by Sheraton, Jaipur

Hotel Willowbanks, Shimla
Hotel Willowbanks, Shimla


Accommodation Options
Single room supplement £20 per person per night

Included


  • Escorted throughout in India

  • Return Flights from UK, please call to discuss options. Supplement may apply

  • 13 nights 4/5-star and Heritage hotel accommodation sharing a twin or double bedded room - hotels listed above

  • Meals as stated

  • All excursions as stated

  • Trains & internal flights as listed

  • All transfers abroad