Tours & Tailor-made Holidays To
India

Taj and Raj

11 Days  |  Starts/Ends: Delhi  |  from USD $1,929  |   Guaranteed Departure 

Discover the lofty peaks and breathtaking views of Shimla, India's largest hill station and the former summer capital of British India. Ride the narrow gauge railway aboard the Himalayan Queen Toy Train and explore Delhi, the Pink City of Jaipur and the legendary Taj Mahal in Agra.

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Itinerary
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Hotels
Inclusions
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Day 1

Wednesday. Upon arrival into Delhi, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or explore this bustling capital city. Our Welcome Meeting will take place this evening at approximately 8pm.
Overnight: Delhi

Day 2

Delhi - Kalka – Shimla. Bright and early this morning we board the Shatabdi Express bound for Kalka. Upon arrival travellers will transfer to the narrow gauge Himalayan Queen Toy Train to continue their journey on to Shimla.

The Guinness Records Book of 'Rail Facts and Feats' named the Kalka to Shimla railway as 'The greatest narrow gauge engineering feat in India’. The scenic 96 kilometre journey winds around 919 curves, passes through 20 railway stations and clatters across five level crossings, each to the cacophonous symphony of greetings, tooting horns and the hubbub of Indian life. There are also 102 tunnels to navigate and some 863 multi-arched galleries bridges – similar to ancient Roman aqueducts, to cross where spectacular landscapes of rolling hills, lush valleys and panoramic vistas can be seen.

Upon arrival in Shimla, we meet our representative on the station platform and transfer to our hotel for check-in and an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Shimla  |  Breakfast

Day 3
Shimla Sightseeing

The most famous of the British hill stations and the former summer capital of the Raj, Shimla is set in the foothills of the Himalayas along a crescent-shaped ridge at an altitude of over 2100 metres. The famous main street, The Mall, is lined with stately English homes and retains a quintessentially British look. Today we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the lofty settlement, venturing into the narrow streets, which fall steeply away from the ridge giving way to colourful bazaars and fine views of the surrounding valley and snow-capped peaks.
Overnight: Shimla  |  Breakfast

Day 4

Shimla - Kalka - Delhi. Today offers free time for you to independently explore Shimla. You can opt for a stroll around the town, drop by the colourful Lakkar Bazaar or hike to the summit of Jakhoo Hill, Shimla’s highest point. Here visitors are rewarded with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks set as a glorious backdrop to the sleepy township of Shimla below. Hotel check-out is at noon, opt for some lunch and pack an evening picnic meal before boarding the Kalka Shatabdi Express and arriving into Delhi late this evening.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Today we enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi, taking in the Red Fort, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque and Raj Ghat - the site of Gandhi’s cremation in Old Delhi, and the Rajpath and India Gate in New Delhi. Tonight, we enjoy a group Namaste Dinner at a restaurant specialising in classic Indian cuisine.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Delhi - Agra. Departing Delhi, we make our way to Agra, the erstwhile capital of the Mughal empire. Our first stop here is the impressive Agra Fort, which boasts some of India's finest Mughal buildings behind its fortified walls. Later we travel on to the legendary Taj Mahal. Built by the order of Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century in affectionate memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal is perhaps one of the most extravagant monuments to love ever built.
Overnight: Agra  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Agra - Jaipur. En route to Jaipur we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, which has been deserted for over four centuries after it was allegedly abandoned due to a lack of water Thanks to the very durable red sandstone from which it was built, Fatehpur Sikri still remains well-preserved and is a fascinating place to explore. Later we drive to Jaipur, the bustling capital of the state of Rajasthan. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at your own leisure.
Overnight: Jaipur  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Very early this morning there is the opportunity to sail over the lofy hilltop forts and regal palaces of Jaipur in a hot air balloon, on our Balloon Over Jaipur Bolt-on. We then travel beyond Jaipur to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort where we enjoy a tour of the fort's well-preserved interior and grounds. Reaching the fort is an experience in itself, as we ride up the road aboard Indian elephants - subject to regulations and availability. Later we visit a cotton weaving house to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing before touring the City Palace and Jantar Mantar - an old yet cleverly designed space observatory.
Overnight: Jaipur  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Jaipur - Alsisar. Today we drive to the semi-desert Shekhawati region, which lies in a triangular area between Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner. The small towns in this region were once important trading posts, and today their legacy is carried on through the beautiful painted havelis that were constructed by wealthy merchants here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Later we enjoy a walk through a local village and time to relax.
Overnight: Alsisar  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10

Alsisar - Delhi. This morning we make a quick visit to the children and teachers at a local school in Alsisar where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme, before returning to Delhi. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is free for you to further explore the city. Opt for a meal in the heart of the city or simply relax and chat with group members at the hotel.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Our touring arrangements come to an end after breakfast. Following hotel check-out an included transfer will take you to the airport for your onward travel.
Breakfast

Balloon Over Jaipur!

Bolt-on an exhilarating hot air balloon ride over the majestic Pink City of Jaipur. Sail within a breath of lofty hilltop forts and fine regal palaces. Look down upon sleepy villages waking in the early morning sun. Drift past expansive waterside manors and intricately carved temples on a magical hot air balloon adventure! The balloon flight will take place in the early morning of day 8.

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Accommodation on Tour

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.

Simple
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.

Standard
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.

Superior
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
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
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!

Almondz Hotel, Delhi
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The modern and smart Almondz Hotel offers guests good sized well appointed rooms which all come with complimentary Wi-Fi. The in-house restaurant is highly recommended providing diners with delicious food and a friendly service. Please note that the majority of hotel rooms do not have windows.

Hotel Willow Banks, Shimla
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The Willow Banks is a colonial style hotel with every room having its own private balcony. As well as the gym and pool, the hotel has a steam room and sauna, jacuzzi and Ayurvedic massage available. The hotel is located on The Mall, within walking distance of great retail outlets and restaurants.

Utkarsh Vilas, Agra
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Utkarsh Vilas is a simple, comfortable hotel with large rooms.

Mandawa Haveli, Jaipur
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

The beautiful heritage style Mandawa Haveli is a fine example of typical Rajasthan architecture - set in terraced gardens with pretty courtyards. All rooms are well appointed with intricately carved wooden beds and king-size royal portraits. An evening spent enjoying a lavish Rajasthani dinner in front of a traditional folk dance is highly recommended. Well located in the heart of Jaipur city on Sansar Chandra Road, just a few minute’s drive from the Palace of the Winds.

Indra Vilas, Alsisar
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

Indra Vilas is a beautiful haveli with spacious rooms and set in 10 acres of land.

Trip Highlights

Shimla Hill Station - The beautiful Jakhoo Temple, majestic Viceregal Lodge, State Museum, Christ Church and the very British Mall Road
The spectacular Taj Mahal - India's most famous monument
An exotic elephant ride into Jaipur's Amber Fort
India's rural Shekhawati region famed for its beautiful Rajasthani architecture and classic havelis
Old and New Delhi - The magnificent Red Fort, India's largest mosque Jama Masjid, and Gandhi's crematorium Raj Ghat
The Pink City of Jaipur - The lofty Amber Fort, regal City Palace and ancient observatory of Jantar Mantar
Fatehpur Sikri - An ancient abandoned Mughal city
Agra - The beautiful Agra Fort and the Mughal mausoleum known as Baby Taj

Included

10 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners including Namaste Dinner in Delhi
2 train journeys, Air-conditioned Chair Class, Delhi to Kalka and Shimla to Delhi
Touring of Delhi, Shimla, Agra, Jaipur, Alsisar and the Shekhawati region
Specialist guides at local sights
All relevant transfers and transportation in private vehicles
Narrow gauge Toy Train journey on the Kalka to Shimla Railway Line
10 nights - 3-4 star and heritage hotels
Elephant ride to Amber Fort - Jaipur
Escorted by an English speaking Indian tour leader for groups of 6 or more
Entrance fees to museums in Shimla
Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 11

Not Included

International flights and visas
Entrance Fees: $65-70 USD
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow $3 - 7 USD per day per traveller. Tipping your tour guide is an entirely personal gesture.
Tipping Kitty: $20-35 USD

I really enjoyed Shimla! Guide - Vansh - was excellent, easy to get along with.

Elena Veigurs

The guide was incredible, places visited were great, overall it was amazing tour.

Tom Cochrane

The Tour experience was culturally interesting and historically informative with Yusuf's touch of making us feel secure and well entertained. His sense of humour was delightful. Thank you!

Patricia Armitage

Yusuf was an excellent guide. Very knowledgeable very helpful and organised, lots a lots of information made tour very enjoyable for us. Stay + dinner in Surajgarh was very special.

Nel Ronelle

Organization/ Information provided was outstanding. Our guide Yusuf made sure everything went smoothly and answered any and all questions. Bus driver was excellent - not easy to drive in India.

Richard Reilly

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who would like their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
This is a special Diwali departure, which includes our own Diwali celebrations!
Diwali Departure
Xmas departure, book early!
XMAS Departure
New Year Departure
2015
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $1929
USD $899
Easter departure, book early!
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
This is a special Diwali departure, which includes our own Diwali celebrations!
USD $1979
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
Xmas departure, book early!
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
2016
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
Easter departure, book early!
USD $2009
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
 
USD $1929
USD $899
USD $1929
USD $899

Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Private Tour Supplement
USD $500
-  
Pre-Tour accommodation - Delhi
USD $109
USD $80
Post-Tour accommodation - Delhi
USD $109
USD $80

This tour is also available on a private basis.

SPECIAL DEPARTURES:

THU 26 FEBRUARY 2015 departure we will be celebrating Holi - the festival of colour in the rural village of Alsisar. A small supplement has been added to our tour price for this departure. Please refer to Page 3 of our tour Trip Notes for details relating to the special events planned for the day.

04 NOVEMBER 2015 tour includes special DIWALI arrangements. On this tour we celebrate Diwali in Jaipur at the Birla Temple. See the Trip Notes for details. A small supplement has been added to our tour price for this departure.

Tour Details
Starts
Delhi
Ends
Delhi
Departs
Wednesdays
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star & heritage hotels
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 10, Lunch: 1, Dinner: 2
Tour Bolt-ons
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons
Shimla Calling
USD $529 / 4 days
Mumbai Breakaway
USD $699

I really enjoyed Shimla! Guide - Vansh - was excellent, easy to get along with.

Elena Veigurs
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This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.