If you like the itinerary below please quote REF INDIA 2491 when enquiring for further details.
Alternatively you may like modify this trip with your own Holiday Wish List
Welcome to the start of your voyage of discovery through 'Incredible India'! You will be met at Delhi International Airport by our friendly local team and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure to explore or relax as you like.
This morning, our Welcome Meeting takes place. Well then enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, taking in the impressive Red Fort, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque. This afternoon why not further enhance your exploration of this bustling city with an afternoon guided journey through the New Delhi area the highlights will include India gate a drive past parliamentary buildings and President's house, a guided visit to Humayun's tomb then concluding with sightseeing to UNESCO World Heritage Site Qutub minar. Have a read of the Enhance Your Holiday page for more info.
Today is at your leisure to explore Delhi in your own time.
Bright and early this morning we board the Shatabdi Express bound for Kalka. Here, travellers will transfer (independently) to the narrow gauge Himalayan Queen Toy Train travelling to Shimla. To the commotion of the steam train's arrival to Shimla, we meet our representative on the station platform and transfer to our hotel for an evening at leisure.
Today is at your leisure to explore, perhaps you would like to pre book a tour of the heritage parts of town? or a day hiking in the hills? Have a read of the Enhance Your Holiday page for more info.
Today offers free time for you to independently explore Shimla. You can opt to stroll, 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 the eternal snows set as a glorious backdrop to the sleepy township of Shimla beneath. Hotel check out is at 12 noon, opt for some lunch and pack an evening picnic meal before boarding the Kalka Shatabdi Express at sunset and arriving into Delhi late this evening.
Departing Delhi, we journey to Agra, once India’s Mughal capital. Here, we take motorised buggy to the legendary Taj Mahal and witness a magical sunset. Built by Shah Jahan in the 16th century as an enduring memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz. Built entirely of white marble, the Taj Mahal has no peers.
Today we spend the morning exploring the impressive Agra Fort, which boasts some of India's finest Mughal buildings behind it's fortified walls. The afternoon allows free time for you to wander around and explore.
En route on our drive to Jaipur, we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, abandoned due to lack of water. Arriving into Jaipur, enjoy a bit of downtime to relax after your journey.
This morning you will have to look out for the snake charmers that dot our route, as we travel to the 16th century Amber Fort. An exotic elephant ride transports us to the lofty fort, where we’ll enjoy a tour of this Rajput extravaganza. This afternoon enjoy a journey of discovery through the historic pink city of Jaipur we start with a photo stop in front of Jal mahal (lake palace) thereafter visit the ancient astronomical observatory of Jantar mantar and thereafter a guided tour of the city palace complex and it’s fascinating nooks and crannies.
In the morning or afternoon we take a visit to Sanganer, a beautiful town just 20km from Jaipur city. Its charm lies in its palatial ruins and the magnificent Jain temple structures, there is also plenty of free time to wander around or shop for the famous handmade paper of Rajasthan.
Today, we drive to the semi-desert Shekhawati region. The small towns in this region became important trading posts, a lasting legacy of which are the beautiful painted havelis (mansions) constructed by wealthy merchants in the 18th and 19th centuries. Spend the afternoon on your own to go for a wander around the town to see the old buildings.
Travelling west, our next stop is the 14th century desert town of Bikaner, once an important staging post on the great caravan routes.
Much of the atmospheric old town which we will explore with a guide today is still encircled by massive fortified walls. Within these walls are havelis, artisan shops and people going about their daily lives. We also visit the spectacular Junagarh Fort & museum, built between 1587 and 1593 during the rule of Rai Singh.
Driving through the Rajasthani Thar desert we arrive at the medieval caravan outpost of Jaisalmer, one of the jewels in India’s crown.
Exquisite wood and sandstone buildings dot the town and within Jaisalmer Fort are homes, hotels and shops hidden in ancient laneways. During today with an expert guide in this stunning Rajasthani fortress town we’ll enjoy some touring of the fort and Jain temples, and conclude the day with a desert camel safari on the rolling sand dunes.
An interesting drive through increasingly varied scenery takes us to Jodhpur, a town at the edge of the mighty Thar Desert. Dominated by Meherangarh Fort which sits majestically atop a hill, Jodhpur is known as the Blue City. This is because of the coloured houses in the old town, painted indigo.
Today we will enjoy some touring in this colourful Rajasthani city, taking in the mighty fort and bazaars of the old city which are gathered around the city’s tall clock tower. This afternoon we set out on a jeep safari to visit the Bishnoi villages, learn all about this fascinating ethnic minority people.
Leaving Jodhpur, we drive to Ranakpur, a small town tucked away in a remote valley and famed for its beautiful 14th century Jain temples. We’ll enjoy some exploration here and time to relax, before continuing south, to arrive at Udaipur. An oasis of cool, with its massive lake and Venetian-like appearance, Udaipur is one of the most romantic towns in Rajasthan.
Spend the morning with our guide to enjoy touring of the imposing City Palace, a visit to the mystical Jagdish Temple and an in depth wander around the Sahelion Ki Bari gardens.
Spend a day explore the city in your own time, we do offer a fantastic excursion to the Monsoon Palace so have a read of the Enhance Your Holiday page for info.
Today we make the move south by flight to Aurangabad -- (Udaipur / Mumbai (9W 2094: 07:15 / 08:30) – Mumbai – Aurangabad (AI 442: 1500 / 1650) -- Arriving into the city, meet our driver who will take you to your hotel.
Enjoy a full day excursion to Ajanta Caves. Nestling in an inner fold of the Sahyadri hills, 100 kms from the city of Aurangabad in the shape of a mammoth horseshoe are the 30 rock-hewn caves of Ajanta, dating from 2nd century B.C. Discovered in 1819, by a group of British Offcers, these startling achievements took around 600 years to create. Carved with little more than a hammer and chisel, Ajanta, once the retreat of the Buddhist monastic orders features several ‘Chaityas’ and Viharas. The exquisite paintings and sculptures of Buddha’s life belong to the Mahayana period.
In the morning head out to Ellora Caves. Impressive in their own right are the rock-hewn temples and monasteries of Ellora that lie just 30 kms away from Aurangabad City and are the meeting point of the Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. In all, there are 34 elaborate cave temples. Later, we head to the train station for the overnight journey to Hyderabad (Ajanta Express: 22:45 / 08:55+1)
Your train arrives into Hyderabad in the morning to the start of a new day and the gathering hustle and bustle. Our rep will be waiting for us, but make sure you take a moment to try some chai, hot tea from one of the vendors, before transferring to your hotel. Here you will enjoy some breakfast while you wait for check in. Today is at your leisure to explore the city, or simply relax after your train journey.
Departing after breakfast, we make our way towards Birla Mandir Temple, set on the rocky hills of Kala Pahar. Our last stop in town is at Charminar, a monumental mosque in the heart of the city and one of its most important landmarks. Heading out of town in afternoon, we visit the massive granite hilltop fortress of Golkanda just west of Hyderabad. Later, we head to the train station for the overnight journey to Hospet (KGC YPR Express: 2100 / 0632+1)
Arriving into Hospet, look out for our driver who will take you onto the small town of Hampi. Overnight- Royal Orchid
Explore one of the largest Hindu empires in Indian history. You will be taken on a full day guided tour to the most beautiful parts of Hampi.The serene position next to the river and the magical atmosphere that surrounds the temples and ruins, makes Hampi one of the most fascinating historical sites of India. (Watch out for the Monkeys!!!) Overnight- Royal Orchid
Today is at your leisure to explore the area at your own pace. Overnight- Royal Orchid
Later, we head to the train station for the overnight journey to Bangalore (Hampi Express: 20:45 hours / 06:10+1)
After your arrival transfer and time to relax at the hotel enjoy exploring India's garden city with visits to the highlights such as Lalbagh, the Botanical Gardens and Vidhan Sabha.
Departing early in the morning we begin our drive down to Mysore, and stop off en route at the town of Srirangapatna where we visit the lavish Daria Daulat. The former summer palace of Tipu Sultan with embellished ceilings and mural-covered walls. We also stop-in at Gumbaz, the sultan’s burial chamber, the historic fort of Srirangapatna and Swamy Temple. Arriving into Mysore the afternoon is at your leisure. Overnight - Geetanjali Homestay
This morning with your guide explore the structure dominating the skyline, the majestic Mysore Palace. Wander through the grand Durbar Hall, gazing upwards at the ornate ceiling and beautifully sculpted pillars; stroll through the Marriage Pavilion with its glazed floor tiles, stained glass windows and domed ceiling; and keep your eye out for other design highlights including intricately carved doors, wonderful paintings, and an elusive bejewelled golden throne. Later we climb up Chamundi Hill to see the colossal statue of Nandi, Lord Shiva’s Bull, and the revered Chamundi Temple. Overnight - Geetanjali Homestay
This morning is at your leisure to explore. Later, we take you to the station for the train to Chennai -- 1415 / 21:00 – AC Chair car -- Arriving into Chennai, our local driver is awaiting to take you to your hotel.
Enjoy a lazy morning, an afternoon tour of the city includes a visit to the fascinating Kapaleeswara Temple and Marina Beach.
Today is spent exploring Kanchipuram, one of sacred cities in India and the seaside town of Mahabalipuram, famous for its shore temple. The city is also famous for handwoven silk. In Mahabalipuram, the huge rock-cut sculptures and mandapams (pillared pavilions) date from the 5th to 8th centuries.
Sadly your epic Indian adventure has come to an end, we will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...