Tales Of India
Tales of India Singles Holiday
DISCOVER MORE WITH OUR COMBINED INDIA TOURS
This incredible journey combines our 'Delhi to Darjeeling', 'An Invitation to India' and 'India's Tiger Trail' tours.
Discover the many contrasts of the Indian subcontinent on this exciting 27-day journey. Your adventure begins as you explore the faded colonial grandeur of Kolkata and head north to see the snow-topped peaks of the Himalayas. From here you'll travel to the tea-strewn slopes of Darjeeling, where you'll sample the simple life of Tibetan monks and step aboard a steam train on an iconic hilltop railway.
Next, you explore the 'Golden Triangle' cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, where highlights include the unforgettable Taj Mahal and Lutyens' magnificent architecture in Delhi.
Heading deep into the heart of central India, you'll search for wildlife in the land which inspired storyteller Rudyard Kipling. Keep a look out for leopards, antelopes, crocodiles and more, and keep your fingers crossed for sightings of the elusive Bengal Tiger. There's also a chance to admire ancient forts, sacred temples and the ornate palace of Jahangir Mahal before your tour comes to an end in Mumbai. This city on the shores of the Arabian Sea is home to the historic Gateway of India, a colossal arch built to commemorate the 1911 visit of King George.
On this exciting Indian adventure, you'll see the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas and tea-strewn slopes of Darjeeling. You'll also explore the 'Golden Triangle' cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and then search for tigers in Madhya Pradesh before ending your journey in Mumbai.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
- Just You Tour Manager as your host
- Return flights from Heathrow with Emirates Airways
- 25 nights in 4 & 5-star hotels plus 1 night in flight
- 40 meals: 24 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 9 dinners
- Specialist Local Guide
- Overseas transfers & other transportation
- Dedicated Just You representative to greet you at all UK airports
- Kolkata flower market
- Victoria Memorial Hall
- St Paul's Cathedral
- Rumtek Monastery
- Namgyal Insitute of Tibetology
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
- Visit a tea estate
- Sightseeing tour of New Delhi
- Explore Old Delhi
- Sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal
- Visit the Amber Fort
- Saree-draping/turban-wearing demonstration
- Discover the Jantar Mantar & walk through a spice market
- Evening visit to Jaipur City Palace including dinner
- Look for tigers in Kanha National Park, the inspiration for The Jungle Book
- Discover the Agrasen ki Baoli stepwell in Delhi
- Visit the Taj Mahal & Agra Fort
- See the Khajuraho temples & carvings
- Visit the sacred temples in medieval Orchha
- Two game drives in Bandhavgarh, two in Kanha & 1 in Panna National Parks
- Discover the cultural melting pot of Mumbai
- Day 1 UK to Delhi
- Today you'll depart on your flight to Delhi, India's largest city.
- Day 2 Delhi
- On arrival, we'll transfer you to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Delhi is a fascinating place – together, the walled city of Old Delhi and the more modern sector, New Delhi, exemplify the colours and contrasts of all India. This is a city of fine sights – including the majestic architecture of Edwin Lutyens, the seat of power at Parliament House and India Gate, the 42-metre-high War Memorial Arch. Today, you're free to explore at your leisure. This evening, get to know your travelling companions over a welcome drink.
- Day 3 Kolkata
- Our destination today is Kolkata, and we'll fly here this morning. Formerly known as Calcutta, this trading post of the East India Company was the country's capital under the British Raj. Nowadays, it is the capital of India's West Bengal state, and is known for its grand colonial architecture, elegant gardens, art galleries and cultural festivals. Soak up the atmosphere of Kolkata's faded grandeur, and maybe take a rickshaw ride this evening to one of the many restaurants serving mouth-watering Bengali cuisine.
- Day 4 Kolkata
- We start the day with an authentic Kolkata experience – a visit to the famous flower market located on the banks of the River Hoogly. Many of the workers at this captivating, colourful place bathe in the river and live close to the market, while in the mornings, local wrestlers practise their art nearby.
After our visit, we'll return to the hotel for a buffet breakfast, before heading off on a city sightseeing tour. Together with your travelling companions, you'll explore the rich colonial heritage of Kolkata on a visit to the Victoria Memorial, built by the British in 1921 and now a treasure trove of Raj relics including paintings, statues and the famed Rosewood piano played by Queen Victoria herself.
St Paul's Cathedral, close to the Victoria Memorial, is a Gothic treat not to be missed, with its Renaissance-style frescoes and tower modelled on that of Canterbury Cathedral. We'll also visit Mother House, the Catholic religious order established by Mother Teresa in 1950, before culminating our tour at the Indian Museum. One of the finest museums in Asia, what you'll find here is an excellent collection of art, fossils and meteorites.
- Day 5 Gangtok
- India is a country of great contrasts, as we'll discover today when we fly to Gangtok. The capital of the northern state of Sikkim, nestled in the Himalayas, was established as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the 1840s. Today, this enticing hilltop city remains a Tibetan Buddhist centre, and offers superb views of the world's third-highest mountain – and India's highest – Mount Kangchenjunga, which towers to 28,169ft.
On arrival, we'll check into our hotel, then enjoy some time at leisure.
- Day 6 Gangtok
- After breakfast at the hotel, join your travelling companions for a visit to the Rumtek Monastery, a gompa – or Buddhist seat of learning – for the Buddhist Kargyu sect, which originated in the 12th century in Tibet. Enjoy the fascinating tiered architecture of the building, which also houses rare Buddhist wall murals and intricate, hand-painted scrolls.
Later, we visit the Enchey Monastery, perched on a ridge above Gangtok, offering spectacular views of the city. Built in 1910 on the site of the hermitage of the great tantric saint, Lama Drutob Karpo, who was renowned for his powers of levitation, this monastery houses the monks of the Nyingmapa Order.
We'll also get an intimate glimpse into Buddhism at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. Here, we'll learn more about the charismatic traditions of Mahayana Buddhists and Tibetans.
This evening, there's a chance to explore local life in Gangtok in more detail. Take a walk, with your guide, through the pedestrianised streets and bustling markets of this pleasant, sub-tropical city.
- Day 7 Darjeeling
- We drive to the town of Darjeeling today, in the Himalayan foothills, to explore this former colonial hill station. It's here where India's only operating steam trains can be found, travelling from Darjeeling to the town of Ghoom above.
Darjeeling is also famous for its distinctive black tea plantations, dotted across the slopes that surround the town. The backdrop to it all is the impressive jagged peaks of the snow-capped Himalayas.
On arrival today, we'll check into the hotel before taking a trip to the local markets, famed for their textiles. Enjoy people-watching at the pretty Mall, where four roads meet in the centre of the town, or climb Observatory Hill to the Mahakal Temple, built on the site of a Buddhist monastery.
- Day 8 Darjeeling
- The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which opened in 1881, is a hill railway like no other. These 'toy trains', operating on narrow-gauge tracks, with small steam engines pulling mini coaches up the hills, are a special sight to behold. So much so, they've been granted UNESCO World Heritage status.
We'll take breakfast at the hotel before enjoying a ride on one of these famous trains to Ghoom monastery. Absorb the magnificent beauty of the mountains as we overcome impossible-looking curves and gradients to navigate this tough terrain. Watch local schoolchildren hop on and off as the train moves at a snail's pace up the mountain. You might even see the attendant sprinkling sand on the tracks to prevent the engine from skidding. Either way, the journey to the top is a triumph of engineering.
Ghoom Monastery is the first-ever Tibetan Buddhist monastery to be built in the Darjeeling region, in 1850. Sitting at an elevation of 8,000ft, you'll enjoy sweeping, breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayas, plus an impressive 15ft statue of Lord Buddha flanked by two huge, perpetually-burning, oil lamps.
Next we'll walk to the nearby Happy Valley tea estate, taking in fantastic views of Mount Kanchenjunga along the way. The estate, which stretches for miles, is one of the oldest and most renowned in the area, producing world-class Darjeeling tea. Find out how tea is cultivated, learn about its history and enjoy a cuppa during a tasting session before we venture down the mountain!
- Day 9 Delhi
- After breakfast, we'll transfer to the airport for our flight back to Delhi. Spend some time at leisure in this magnificent city – perhaps you'll visit the iconic 17th century Red Fort, a marvel of Mughal architecture with its red sandstone walls and evening sound and light shows. Or stroll through the beautifully landscaped Nehru Park to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life for a while.
- Day 10 Delhi
- Enjoy an afternoon of sightseeing in New Delhi. This spacious, imperial city was created by the British in 1911. Our drive takes us through elegant boulevards and lush green parks where the iconic India Gate and imposing Parliament House are both reminders of a colonial past. We'll also step back in time at the ancient Qutub Minar - a UNESCO-listed site.
- Day 11 Old Delhi
- After breakfast, join your Tour Manager on an included sightseeing tour of the 17th century walled city of Old Delhi. Temples and mosques fill every available space and tempting food stalls flood the narrow streets with colour and heady aromas. As we explore we'll pass by the spectacular Red Fort, the impressive marble domes of Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. This afternoon has been left free for you to explore at your own pace, in the company of your fellow travellers. If you wish, you could join our optional excursion which will introduce you to India's array of different religions. We'll visit Birla Mandir, the Hindu temple inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, and the Catholic Sacred Heart Cathedral before arriving at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. Hundreds of devotees are fed every day at this Sikh place of worship, and we'll have a chance to volunteer in the kitchens before our tour continues to Nizamuddin Dargah, the shrine to Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya.
- Day 12 Agra
- Today we'll travel south to Agra, where we'll stay overnight. After checking in to our hotel we'll visit the UNESCO-listed Agra Fort. Once the imperial city of the Mogul rulers, this mighty red-sandstone fortress is where the Emperor Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son.
- Day 13 Jaipur
- A dawn visit to the spectacular Taj Mahal today is sure to be a memorable highlight of your holiday. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a symbol of his love for his wife, nothing will prepare you for the breathtaking sight of this magnificent mausoleum, whose white marble walls are inlaid with semiprecious stones.
Close by is Mehtab Bagh, a centuries-old garden complex, which sits on the other side of the river. You'll get to see the Taj Mahal from here too, for equally wonderful views.
Later we'll travel to Jaipur, affectionately known as the 'Pink City' because all of the buildings are painted in a distinctive shade of pink. Enjoy an evening at leisure or perhaps join us for an optional cookery demonstration in a local family home, with dinner included.
- Day 14 Jaipur
- This morning we'll drive to the marvellous Amber Fort, a 17th century stronghold set on top of a hill. It's a wonderful blend of Hindu and Muslim elements and we'll step inside to explore the palace, courtyards and gardens. Back in Jaipur, we'll learn how to carefully drape a colourful saree and to put on a turban. Our expert guides will share the secrets of these traditional items of clothing with us to help give us even more insight into the Indian culture. You can pose for pictures with your hosts in your beautiful saree or majestic turban, and you'll be gifted the clothing you wear so you can take a piece of India back home as a souvenir. Then we'll head to the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory built in the early 18th century, and then take a stroll through Chaandpol Bazaar, where pungent aromas emanate from the shops which grind and sell all manner of brightly coloured spices. This evening we'll visit the City Palace and see rare personal items of the Maharajas of Jaipur. During our visit we'll watch a state-of-the-art light show narrated by a Bollywood star, and enjoy dinner at a restaurant in the palace.
- Day 15 Delhi
- We have left this morning free for you to explore Jaipur at your own pace. Alternatively, you could join our optional walking tour, which is one of the best ways to appreciate the rich heritage of the walled city. As we wander around the houses and workshops, local people will be delighted to tell you more about life in the bustling capital of Rajasthan. Later we will drive to Delhi.
- Day 16 Delhi
- Today we'll admire more of Delhi on a walking tour, before we head to the incredible Agrasen ki Baoli stepwell. This centuries-old landmark, which was originally used to harvest water, is wonderfully preserved, and as you gaze down the cascading carved steps you'll be simply amazed.
- Day 17 Dholpur
- Today we're off to Madhya Pradesh, thought to be the setting of 'Mowgli's Brothers', a short story penned by Rudyard Kipling. Here we'll stay in a charming, sleepy little town called Dholpur, which is packed with historical forts and monuments.
There's an opportunity to make a return visit to the wonderful Taj Mahal and mighty Agra Fort today.
- Day 18 Dholpur
- After breakfast together, we'll drive to Chambal, where on an optional excursion where you can catch your first sight of a majestic Sarus crane or graceful Ganges River dolphins leaping in the air on an exciting river cruise. We'll sail along the Chambal River with a trained naturalist who will teach us about the wildlife found here. You might spot turtles enjoying the sun, and keep a lookout for gharial and mugger crocodiles as expert boatsmen carefully take us near the wildlife without disturbing the animals.
Alternatively, get up close to India's natural world on a thrilling Jeep ride along the Safari-Sarus trail and the banks of the River Chambal. We'll begin with a visit to the Shergarh Fort, passing through its secret tunnel. The Sarus Crane Conservation Reserve is a sweeping wetland area framed by ravines, agricultural fields and hidden villages. Easily distinguished from other types of crane with their red heads contrasting sharply against grey plumage, these are the tallest flying bird in the world, standing up to six feet tall. See if you can spot raptors and wetland birds here too.
- Day 19 Orchha
- We've got a fantastic day ahead of us. After breakfast, we'll drive to laid-back Orchha, which lies on the Betwa River. Flying a little more under the radar compared to its neighbour Khajuraho with its erotic sculptures, Orchha has a relaxed vibe and plenty of medieval charm. En route, we'll make a stop at Gwalior, an imposing sandstone fort set on a picturesque hilltop overlooking the city.
Reminiscent of a bygone royal era, Orchha is a feast for the senses, dotted with vibrant ochre palaces and ancient forts. We'll indulge in some sightseeing, absorbing the town's famous sacred temples. These surviving relics were built by the Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Next, we'll visit the ornate, multi-storey palace of Jahangir Mahal. The expansive 136-room citadel boasts eight elegant domes, walls adorned with intricate panels and stylish hanging terraces. Built by Akbar, the third Mughal Emperor, he named the palace after his son, Jahangir, and mainly used it for his Rajput royal wives. We'll take photos under the beautiful arches and marvel at the glorious palace, carved from a single piece of stone.
Next, we'll make our way to the magnificent Ram Raja temple, enclosed within the grand square. Up to 3,000 Hindu worshippers pray here every day. As the only temple in India that features Lord Rama as a king, it's said that those who look at his left toe will have their wishes come true. It's worth a try!
- Day 20 Panna National Park
- We'll make our way through central India to Panna today. First, we'll stop at the Khajuraho temples within India's Vindhya Mountain Range, where according to local legend, gods and deities - including Shiva the destroyer - enjoyed praying here.
The temples were built by mighty warrior kings from the Chandela dynasty. However, the temples are well-known around the world for their intricate carvings featuring erotic poses from the Kama Sutra, of which only 22 of the original 85 have survived. We'll tour the monuments and will have plenty of opportunities for photos.
When we arrive in Panna, we'll get some much-needed rest as we'll be up bright and early tomorrow for our morning safari in Panna National Park.
- Day 21 Panna National Park
- Today's the day to truly immerse yourself in pristine natural beauty and imagine you're in Kipling's 'Just So Stories'. We'll set off for tranquil Panna National Park for an exhilarating game drive. Wait in breathtaking awe for a glimpse of a leopard running through the wilderness and rolling savannah grasslands.
From the safety and comfort of our Jeep, we could easily spot big cats, antelopes, hyenas, sloths, deer, monkeys, wild dogs and over 300 species of bird. Pinch yourself as you listen to the sounds of the jungle and take in the lush backdrop of 550 square kilometres of stunning scenery, with plunging gorges, cascading waterfalls and rolling savannah all around us.
In the afternoon, we'll have plenty of time at leisure to unwind at our hotel.
- Day 22 Bandhavgarh National Park
- Today, we've got a long but very enjoyable drive ahead of us that really gives us an insight into the remoteness and peaceful tranquillity of central India.
Hopefully, we'll be rewarded with a sighting of the elusive Bengal tiger tomorrow, when we visit Bandhavgarh National Park.
- Day 23 Bandhavgarh National Park
- Boasting the largest population of tigers in India, today's visit to Bandhavgarh National Park gives you your best chance to see one in its natural habitat.
It's not all about the big cats though - look out for many types of animal including wild boar, sloth bear, striped hyena, sambar and, when we get to more open swathes of wilderness, nilgai, a fascinating species of Asian antelope, and barking deer. A plethora of bird species also call the park home, from peacocks to parakeets. And take in views of the soaring cliffs and deep valleys, and the park's namesake, Bandhavgarh Fort. Scattered around the park you'll also see numerous caves housing shrines and ancient Sanskrit inscriptions.
- Day 24 Kanha National Park
- We're really getting into the swing of jungle life now, and after breakfast, we'll journey by road to Kanha. Relax as you admire central India's superb scenery, and when we arrive, we'll enjoy a leisurely afternoon exploring our new surroundings.
Tomorrow, we're off in pursuit of tigers once more in Kanha National Park, where 'The Jungle Book' comes to life.
- Day 25 Kanha National Park
- Today, fans of Rudyard Kipling's iconic childhood stories are in for a real treat. Arguably India's most impressive wildlife reserve, Kanha National Park is widely considered to be the inspiration for 'The Jungle Book'. This thrilling park is also known as the Kanha Tiger Reserve, so on our morning and afternoon safaris you're likely to see your very own Shere Khan.
Amongst the 950 square kilometres of peaceful rivers and lush rolling hills, we might also spot pythons slithering through the grass like vengeful Kaa, wolves reminiscent of those who raised Mowgli and sloth bears just like Baloo. Get up close and imagine yourself in the 'Just So Stories' as we make our way through savannah that stretches as far as the eye can see.
Although Kipling never visited Kanha, he was enthralled by his friends' photographs and the writers who travelled to the Seoni region – and we'll see for ourselves how the park inspired every page.
- Day 26 Mumbai
- We're off to Mumbai, Rudyard Kipling's birthplace, today. Lapped by the Arabian Sea, the city that the writer would have known as Bombay, lies on the coast of Western India. Here, shiny, towering offices and apartment blocks jostle with the colonial Gothic architecture of times gone by.
We'll be welcomed here by the 'Gateway of India', a colossal arch erected in 1924 to mark the visit of King George V and Queen Mary.
- Day 27 Mumbai to UK
- Enjoy a free morning, before we transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK.
- The Grand
- The Park Hotel
- Situated in one of the best locations in downtown Kolkata, this property has many of the modern amenities and services that are desirable by guests. There are numerous fine dining restaurants that offer an array of both local and international dishes. Guests can also enjoy a relaxing time in the pool or spa. Each room in the hotel comes furnished with en-suite facilities, as well as a kettle and TV. Further services available here include laundry, money exchange and complimentary WIFI.
- The Royal Plaza
- The Royal Plaza is set amongst rolling green hills and allows for fantastic views of the valley. The beautiful natural landscapes around this property are accompanied with a selection of great amenities. At the hotel guests can enjoy a bar , restaurant as well as a fitness centre. Air conditioned rooms are furnished with a minibar, kettle and private facilities.
- Cedar Inn
- Flanked by the beautiful mountains of Darjeeling, the Cedar Inn is a hotel guests won’t forget in a hurry. It’s rustic and homely interior design is complemented with excellent amenities and services. Rooms are equipped with a TV, hairdryer, kettle and en-suite facilities. At the property there is also a spa, gym and the chance to relax with a massage. The in-house restaurant offers a selection of regional cuisines and there is a quaint garden space that is a great spot to unwind and enjoy the stunning surroundings.
- Mayfair Resort
- The Grand
- Ramada Plaza Agra
- The Ramada Plaza Agra is a contemporarily styled property that also offers a great location – being less than 4 miles from the Taj Mahal. The fantastic facilities and services on offer will also ensure guests have a great stay. There is an outdoor pool, fitness centre as well as a shared lounge area. Guests can dine at the in-house restaurant and grab a drink at the bar. Rooms are fitted with a flat screen TV, kettle, and minibar. The hotel also offers free Wi-Fi and complementary toiletries.
- Ramada Jaipur
- The 4-star Ramada Hotel Jaipur is located in the heart of the ''Pink City''.
Hotel facilities include a choice of restaurants, bar, swimming pool, gym and spa. Bedrooms have private facilities, tea/coffee maker, TV and mini-bar.
- The Grand
- Raj Niwas Palace - Dholpur
- The Raj Niwas Palace is one of the most spectacular examples of Dholpur''s historic grandeur.The beautiful architecture of the property is accompanied by an outdoor swimming pool and lush gardens. Air-conditioned rooms are furnished with a TV, complimentary toiletries and a phone. The in-house restaurant offers a range of cuisine, whilst room and laundry services are also available.
- Amar Mahal Hotel
- Historic Architecture and an authentic Indian charm are two aspects that truly personify the Amar Mahal. At the property, the beautiful interior décor is matched by the marvellously kept gardens. Guests can enjoy some time in the stylish swimming pool or even relax with a massage. Rooms are air conditioned and come with private facilities, complimentary toiletries and a minibar. Further services include a restaurant offering a range of specialities as well as 24-hour room service.
- Ken River Lodge
- The lodge that is named after, and overlooks the beautiful Ken River is a serene place to stay. Built amongst its stunning bank surroundings, the wooden architecture throughout really enhances the appeal of the lodge. The rooms at the property come furnished with a fan, kettle as well as en-suite facilities. Other services available include money exchange, laundry and access to a library.
- Bandhav Villas
- Bandhav Vilas is an ideal lodge to stay at, because it is situated in a great location to explore the Bandhavgarh National Park. Amenities at the property include a swimming pool which is surrounded by tall trees , as well as an outdoor seating area with a firepit. There are both local and more western cuisines available here, in addition to a bar for guest to enjoy. The rooms are air conditioned and come furnished with a fridge.
- Chitvan Jungle Lodge
- Chitvan Jungle Lodge is a tranquil base from which to explore Kanha National Park. The Homely décor of the lodge is accompanied by great facilities for its guests to enjoy. Some of these amenities include a bar, restaurant and an outdoor pool.
- Sea Princess Mumbai
- The Sea Princess is a modernly designed hotel that is in one of the premier locations in Mumbai. Some of the excellent amenities on offer at this property include several eating options, an outdoor pool as well as a fitness centre. Guest rooms boasts a TV, minibar , en-suite facilities and complimentary toiletries. There is also a money exchange service available at the Sea Princess, in addition to free WIFI.
- An Introduction to India's religions
- Cookery demonstration & dinner in a local home
- Walking tour of Jaipur
- River safari in Chambal
- Jeep safari in Chambal