This small group tour is a wonderful introduction to northern India, combining history, culture, stunning wildlife and grand architecture like the resplendent Golden Temple of Amritsar and the Taj Mahal. Explore grand palaces and ancient monuments, try some unique cultural experiences and then go on thrilling game drives in Ranthambore on the trail of the elusive tiger.

• Delhi: 2 nights

• Agra: 2 nights

• Ranthambore: 2 nights

• Jaipur: 2 nights

• Amritsar: 2 nights

11nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

This small group tour is a wonderful introduction to northern India, combining history, culture, stunning wildlife and grand architecture like the resplendent Golden Temple of Amritsar and the Taj Mahal. Explore grand palaces and ancient monuments, try some unique cultural experiences and then go on thrilling game drives in Ranthambore on the trail of the elusive tiger.

• Delhi: 2 nights

• Agra: 2 nights

• Ranthambore: 2 nights

• Jaipur: 2 nights

• Amritsar: 2 nights

11nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Delhi Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Delhi.

Day 2: Delhi On 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: Delhi Enjoy 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 Agra Transfer 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: Agra Rise 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 Ranthambore The 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 Jaipur This 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: 5 hours, 99 miles. Stay: ITC Rajputana or the Trident Jaipur (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 9: Jaipur This 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 Amritsar Today 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: Amritsar This 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 UK Transfer 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.


Stay longer

Beaches of India - Goa 3 nights

For a relaxing end to your India adventure, we recommend spending a few days lazing on Goa’s idyllic golden beaches. 


Himalaya Foothills (Shimla) 4 nights

Take in the fresh mountainous surrounds in the former British Raj summer capital of Shimla.

Day 1: Amritsar to Shimla
Transfer to Amritsar station for your train journey on the Shatabdi Express to Ambala (approx. 4 hours). On arrival, you’ll transfer by road to your hotel in Shimla, approx. journey time: 5 hours, 90 miles. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar).

Day 2: Shimla
Begin the day with a tour of Shimla and its Hindu temple, colonial buildings and the famous Scandal Point. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar). B.

Day 3: Shimla
Today you’ll have time at leisure to go on country walks, visit Shimla and learn more about its history or enjoy the luxurious facilities at your hotel. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar). B.

Day 4: Shimla to Delhi
Begin your journey back to Delhi on Shimla’s famous Toy Train (approx 2¾ hours). You’ll get gorgeous mountain views in this old-world style train as it travels to Solan. Here, you’ll take a road transfer (approx. 1½ hours) to Kalka for your onward train back to Delhi (approx. 4¼ hours), with dinner on the train. Approx. journey time: 8½ hours, 214 miles. Stay: Maidens Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Delhi to UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Day 1: UK to Delhi Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Delhi.

Day 2: Delhi On arrival, transfer to your hotel and begin your exploration with a half-day orientation. Drive around New Delhi and see Parliament House, the Secretariat Building, and Lutyens Bungalow Zone, which is home to the political elite and some of the city’s richest residents. This area was designed by British architects and features wide roads and sprawling parks – a stark contrast to Old Delhi’s labyrinthine lanes. See the India Gate, a huge war memorial dedicated to the Indian soldiers who lost their lives during World War I, and Rashtrapati Bhawan. Formerly known as Viceroy’s House, it’s now the official residence of the President of India. Return to the hotel for a welcome dinner hosted by your tour leader. Stay: Taj Palace (or similar). D.

Day 3: Delhi Enjoy a full day of sightseeing today starting with a rickshaw ride through the alleys of Old Delhi for a different perspective on this historic part of the city. Visit the UNESCO-listed Humayun’s Tomb, the greatest Mughal mausoleums before the arrival of the Taj Mahal. Stay: Taj Palace, New Delhi (or similar). B. NB Guests travelling on the 24 Jan 2020 departure will go on a guided walk of Hauz Khas Village to see 14th-Century monuments instead of the rickshaw ride due to road closures for an event.

Day 4: Delhi to Agra Transfer 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: Agra Rise 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 is 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 in the light. Return to your hotel for breakfast and have some time to relax before an afternoon tour of the UNESCO-listed Agra Fort, which houses fairytale palaces and white marble mosques. You’ll also get to visit a colonial home for tea and snacks. Stay: Trident, Agra (or similar). B.

Day 6: Agra to Ranthambore The 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. On the way, you’ll stop to visit the perfectly preserved deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri and for lunch at Umaid Lake Palace, a splendid heritage hotel. Boasting one of the country’s leading tiger conservation efforts, Ranthambore is one of the most accessible 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 national 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. Upgrade to a Jeep for a more intimate experience (must be booked in advance at extra cost). Stay: Vivanta by Taj - Sawai Madhopur (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 8: Ranthambore to Jaipur This morning you have the option of joining another game drive before breakfast. You’ll then leave and have a packed lunch on the way to Jaipur. Relax at your hotel this evening. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 99 miles. Stay: Trident Jaipur (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 9: Jaipur This morning, immerse yourself in India’s spiritual heritage by joining a one-hour yoga session with a yoga guru. Then it’s a full day of sightseeing in the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, which includes a visit the striking hilltop Amber Fort and the City Palace – an exquisite complex of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. You’ll also visit the Royal Observatory and the unique Palace of the Winds, an intricately designed building with a honeycomb façade. Stop for lunch at the beautiful Samode Haveli, a former royal home, and in the evening you’ll visit a local temple for the evening Aarti ceremony – the Hindu ceremony of light. Stay: Trident Jaipur (or similar). B, L.

Day 10: Jaipur to Amritsar Today you’ll fly to the holy walled city of Amritsar via Delhi (approx. 3 hours). This evening you have the option to attend a Palki ceremony, the worshipping of the Holy Book by pilgrims, at the Golden Temple. Approx. journey time: 3 hours, 400 miles. Stay: Taj Swarma (or similar). B.

Day 11: Amritsar This 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 watch the ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremony. Have a farewell dinner at your hotel with your group and tour leader. Stay: Taj Swarma (or similar). B.

Day 12: Amritsar Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK via Delhi, or extend your holiday with a few days of relaxation on a golden beach or in the mountains of Shimla.


Stay longer

Beaches of India - Goa 3 nights

For a relaxing end to your India adventure, we recommend spending a few days lazing on Goa’s idyllic golden beaches. 


Himalaya Foothills (Shimla) 4 nights

Take in the fresh mountainous surrounds in the former British Raj summer capital of Shimla.

Day 1: Amritsar to Shimla
Transfer to Amritsar station for your train journey on the Shatabdi Express to Ambala (approx. 4 hours). On arrival, you’ll transfer by road to your hotel in Shimla, approx. journey time: 5 hours, 90 miles. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar).

Day 2: Shimla
Begin the day with a tour of Shimla and its Hindu temple, colonial buildings and the famous Scandal Point. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar). B.

Day 3: Shimla
Today you’ll have time at leisure to go on country walks, visit Shimla and learn more about its history or enjoy the luxurious facilities at your hotel. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar). B.

Day 4: Shimla to Delhi
Begin your journey back to Delhi on Shimla’s famous Toy Train (approx 2¾ hours). You’ll get gorgeous mountain views in this old-world style train as it travels to Solan. Here, you’ll take a road transfer (approx. 1½ hours) to Kalka for your onward train back to Delhi (approx. 4¼ hours), with dinner on the train. Approx. journey time: 8½ hours, 214 miles. Stay: Maidens Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Delhi to UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

Ideal if you want to combine some of India’s must-see attractions with Ranthambore’s tigers and the holy city of Amritsar.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 12)
• Average group size of 12 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests
• Journey times do not take into account stops or local traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag.

What to expect

• Some long days with early starts
• A packed itinerary with a lot of travelling on the road
• 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
• Photography may not be allowed inside monuments, palaces or museums
• Luggage allowance on domestic flights is limited to 20kg, excess luggage can be taken for a locally payable fee
• A good level of fitness is required.

Themed itinerary

Holi Festival, Jaipur – 20 Mar 2019
This 'Festival of Colours' is a national holiday that is highly anticipated by locals as well as tourists that are keen to photograph this colourful event. It commemorates the triumph of good over evil and is a joyous celebration of life and love. The crowded streets are showered in all colours of the rainbow as people throw coloured powder and water.

Diwali Festival, Jaipur – 27 Oct 2019
Diwali, also known as the 'festival of lights', is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated every autumn. It commemorates the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. Diwali is marked by four days of celebration where lights illuminate the homes of people and the night sky comes alive with light from the firecrackers.

Holi & Diwali Festivals themed itinerary departing on 13 Mar; 17 Oct 2019 from £2620.

Accommodation on tour

We have chosen quality hotels that are ideally located for local exploration, and have good facilities and restaurants so you don’t need to venture too far out in your free time. A standout stay is Vivanta By Taj - Sawai Madhopur Lodge, Ranthambore’s only heritage hotel and former hunting lodge of the Maharaja whose illustrious guests included Queen Elizabeth II.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £455

Is this for you?

Ideal if you want to combine some of India’s must-see attractions with Ranthambore’s tigers and the holy city of Amritsar.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 12)

• Average group size of 12 guests

• A maximum of 16 guests

• Journey times do not take into account stops or traffic conditions

• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag.


NB Guests travelling on the 24 Jan 2020 departure will go on a guided walk of Hauz Khas Village to see 14th-Century monuments instead of the rickshaw ride due to road closures for an event.

What to expect

• Some long days with early starts
• A good level of fitness is required.

• India’s cities can be hectic but this is all part of the experience

• Photography may not be allowed in certain buildings

• Luggage allowance on domestic flights is 20kg (excess luggage at extra cost).

Themed itinerary

Holi Festival, Jaipur – 09 Mar 2020
This 'Festival of Colours' is a national holiday that is highly anticipated by locals as well as tourists that are keen to photograph this colourful event. It commemorates the triumph of good over evil and is a joyous celebration of life and love. The crowded streets are showered in all colours of the rainbow as people throw coloured powder and water.

Diwali Festival, Jaipur – 14 Nov 2020
Diwali, also known as the 'festival of lights', is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated every autumn. It commemorates the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. Diwali is marked by four days of celebration where lights illuminate the homes of people and the night sky comes alive with light from the firecrackers.

Accommodation on tour

We have chosen quality hotels that are ideally located for local exploration, and have good facilities and restaurants so you don’t need to venture too far out in your free time. A standout stay is Vivanta By Taj - Sawai Madhopur Lodge, Ranthambore’s only heritage hotel and former hunting lodge of the Maharaja whose illustrious guests included Queen Elizabeth II.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £455

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Jan 24; Feb 01, 08, 15, 22; Mar 01, 09, 13†; Apr 12, 26; May 03, 24; Sep 27; Oct 11, 17†; Nov 01, 08, 15, 23, 29

† Holi & Diwali departures

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £345 per person, ref IN0030.

Excursions

Day 7: Ranthambore Jeep Upgrade from £18 per person
Day 8: Additional Shared Jeep Safari from £36 per person

Tour dates

All 2020 departures are guaranteed to operate.

2020 Jan 10, 24; Feb 07, 14, 21, 28; Mar 06, 20; Apr 03, 24; May 01; Sep 25; Oct 09, 23, 30; Nov 06, 20.

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary,  departing on the date of your choice from £345 per person, ref IN0030.

Excursions

Day 7: Ranthambore Jeep Upgrade from £140 per person
Day 8: Additional Shared Jeep Safari from £95 per person

Kuoni highlights

As well as covering must-see sights including visits to the Taj Mahal at both sunrise and sunset and a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park, you’ll get to enjoy some memorable experiences. Drink tea in a colonial home, enjoy an exhilarating rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi, try your hand at turban tying and attend a traditional Hindu Aarti ceremony.

Kuoni highlights

As well as covering must-see sights including visits to the Taj Mahal at both sunrise and sunset and a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park, you’ll get to enjoy some memorable experiences. Drink tea in a colonial home, enjoy an exhilarating rickshaw ride through the streets of Old Delhi, try your hand at turban tying and attend a traditional Hindu Aarti ceremony.