Friday. Namaste! Welcome to India. We will be there to collect you as you arrive into New Delhi for your transfer to the hotel.
Delhi. Today we will explore all that Old and New Delhi have to offer. Modern New Delhi is a striking contrast to the chaos of the Old City. Our tour of Old Delhi includes Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Ghandi and marks the spot where he was cremated. We continue on past the Red Fort, overlooking the Jamuna River. Next we jump aboard local rickshaws to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s biggest mosques. Later on we visit the famous Khari Baoli Spice & Food Grain Market for an interactive session with a local spice and grain merchant.
This afternoon we explore New Delhi, including Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb. Afterwards we drive past India Gate, the Parliament building and Rastrapathi
Bhawan – the President’s residence before we relax at The Atrium in the Hotel Imperial and enjoy delightful Afternoon Tea.
Overnight: Delhi | Breakfast
Delhi - Agra. This morning we travel to Agra,
home of the Taj Mahal! Our first stop of the day is the
Tea Lounge at the Radisson where we will indulge in
an exquisite tea and coffee afternoon. Later on we visit
the lofty Agra Fort, a powerful fortress of red sandstone
with walls that stretch to 2.5km in length. From here
we’ll be able to our first glimpses of the Taj before we
pay our visit in the early evening for a gorgeous Indian
Overnight: Agra | Breakfast
Agra - Jaipur. Today we start our journey to Jaipur, stopping at Fetehpur Sikri en route. This sprawling sandstone city was built in the 16th Century and housed Emperor Akbar, his 3 wives (one Muslim, one Hindu and one Christian), his many staff and endless concubines. This afternoon we drive to the final part of the Golden Triangle, the fabulous Pink City of Jaipur.
Overnight: Jaipur | Breakfast
Jaipur. We start the morning with a visit to striking Amber Fort. Arriving into the fort in style atop an Indian elephant, just as the royal families would have done. This afternoon we embark on a city tour taking in the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and Birla
Hindu before being treated to High Tea at the beautiful Rambagh Palace which was the home to generations of royals for nearly two centuries and is now a luxury hotel, fondly referred to as the ‘Jewel of Jaipur’.
Overnight: Jaipur | Breakfast
Dibrugarh. We begin today with a visit
to a tea factory that uses the CTC (Crush, Tear and
Curl) method of producing tea. Our tour here takes
us through nearly 160 years of heritage tea gardens
and we gain a fabulous insight into the origins of
tea and how it is grown. We also visit the Mancotta
Tea Estate which practices the Orthodox method of producing tea. Whilst here we take a walk around
the plantation, visit the tea factory and sample the
different types of tea that Mancotta produces.
Overnight: Dibrugarh | Breakfast, Dinner
Dibrugarh – Guwahati - New Jalpaiguri. Early this morning there is the opportunity to take an optional horse ride through the lush green tea plantations of Ethelwold and Jalaangar Tea Estate before we fly onward to Guwahati, the capital of the Assam region. Later on we enjoy free time to explore this beautiful city before boarding our train to New Jalpaiguri.
Overnight: Sleeper Train | Breakfast
New Jalpaiguri - Darjeeling - Selim Hill. We arrive into New Jalpaiguri in the morning for breakfast. We then transfer to Darjeeling – probably the most famous tea region in India and home to the Selim Hill Tea Estate a sprawling organic tea estate. At Selim Hill we spend some time in the tea garden and the factory. In the evening we take a leisurely stroll along the tea gardens to sunset point. We also have the opportunity to visit one of the Tea Picker’s homes in the local village.
Overnight: Darjeeling | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Selim Hill - Makaibari - Darjeeling. After breakfast we visit the Makaibari Tea Estate for a morning tea experience. Makaibari is the world’s second tea factory and was established in 1859 - the tea here actually mainly grows in forest as 70% of the entire area is under forest cover. Some of the tea is plucked during the night of the full moon and this exclusive type of tea, the Silver Tips Imperial is the world’s most expensive.
Overnight: Darjeeling | Breakfast, Dinner
Darjeeling - New Jalpaiguri - Kolkata. On the morning of day 11 we visit the Tea Factory and partake in a spot of tea tasting with a local expert as well as
enjoying High Tea at the Tea Lounge at the New Elgin Hotel. However, Darjeeling isn’t just all about the tea. The famous Sherpa Tenzing Norgay is from here and given its close proximity to the Himalayas means it is home to the Everest Museum, the Mountaineering Institute and the Mountaineering Museum, all of which we will visit over these two days. Darjeeling is also home to the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre which we can visit. It has been set up to help rehabilitate refugees from neighbouring Tibet, who have fled since the Chinese invasion. Also not to be missed is the Zoological Park which houses a whole host of local animals including the fearsome
Siberian Tiger and the cute Red Panda - a smaller and more feline looking version of its giant cousins. We depart from Darjeeling in the early evening of day 12
and transfer to New Jalpaiguri station for our train on to Kolkata.
Overnight: Darjeeling (1) Sleeper Train (1) | Breakfast x 2, Dinner x 1
Kolkata, We arrive early into Kolkata - India’s bustling capital of culture. Upon arrival we transfer to the hotel and then enjoy some sightseeing around this colourful city. Our tout includes visits to the imposing marble Victoria Memorial, the Indian Museum, which
houses one of the best collections of Indian art and the beautiful Jain Temple.
Overnight: Kolkata | Breakfast
Saturday. Kolkata - breakfast. Our tour concludes after breakfast with a transfer to the airport.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
The stylish Hans Plaza hotel is one of the tallest buildings in Delhi with rooms on the upper floors giving fantastic views across the city. The rooms are spacious, clean and tastefully designed. The hotel has an excellent breakfast daily and offers guests fine Italian dining at the stylish and cool in house restaurant. The hotel is a home from home in the heart of the city with Connaught Square just a short walk away and the Barakhamba Road Metro Station around the corner.
Contemporary and chic, the Radisson is one of the newest hotels in Agra and a welcome addition to the city’s ever growing list. Boasting from clean and well appointed spacious rooms with Wi-Fi available throughout, the hotel also has a stunning poolside bar as well as a popular 24 hour coffee shop. Taking afternoon high tea at the Tea Lounge is our top tip! Well located close to the Taj Mahal as well as lots of great shops and entertainment.
A fine example of Shekhawati architecture, the grand Shahpura House has spacious, richly furnished rooms with a truly majestic feel. The hotel boasts a number of eating experiences including a roof top restaurant and a relaxing pool side restaurant and bar. Indulge in some pampering spa treatments at the Shahpura House Spa – our top tip! Located in a quiet plush residential area of Jaipur hidden away from the usual hustle, bustle and chaos of the city.
The trip was immensely enjoyable and informative, great fun in entirety due to the people we met along the way - particularly guides/ drivers who were excellent. We discovered many new things that could enhance this tour and broaden the scope re: tea and other cultural, environmental and natural history suggestions”