India - Tigers, The Taj Mahal & Kerala Extension
13 nights. October 2018. From £2354.00.
This superb-value tour of northern India features the three great cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and the opportunity to spend some time 'on safari' in beautiful Ranthambhore Park. Once the hunting ground of Indian princes, this park stands atop a hill range of grasslands, streams, lakes and old ruins, and is the home of the legendary Tigers of Ranthambhore.
Tour Highlights And Inclusions
Discover the sights of New Delhi, including the historic Red Fort the India Gate war memorial and the ruins of the Quwwat ul-Islam mosque
Take a rickshaw ride through the bewildering hustle and bustle of Old Delhi
Enjoy a guided tour of Agra, India's city of love
Marvel at the Taj Mahal
See Chand Baori, Abhaneri's astonishing stepwell
Go in search of Ranthambhore's tigers on two included safaris
See the Amber Fort
Visit Jaipur's exquisite Palace of the Winds
Enjoy dinner with a local family in Jaipur
Stay in traditional tented accommodation at Vanaashrya
Enjoy a camel cart ride and an Indian cookery demonstration
Visit the heritage Transport Museum
Conclude your holiday with a five-night extension in colourful Kerala
13 nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation in a series of four-star and five-star standard hotels in Delhi (2 nights), Agra (1), Ranthambhore (2), Jaipur (2), Vanaashrya (1), Kochi (2), Periyar (1) and Alleppey (2)
Return flights from your chosen airport to Delhi
Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager in India
Single rooms are available for a supplement
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Your holiday begins with an overnight flight from the UK to Delhi.
Arrive in Delhi, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel for lunch. This afternoon a guided tour of the Old City will introduce you to Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat, Gandhi's cremation site.
You'll also see the Red Fort and take a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk. Before evening falls you'll see some of the city's Imperial highlights including the India Gate war memorial, the vast boulevard of the Rajpath and Parliament House.
Explore the ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and the ornate Qutb Minar tower, this morning. Later we'll plot a course for Agra, India's City of Love and site of the exquisite Taj Mahal. Built as a monument to undying love by grief-stricken Shah Jahan, after the death of his beloved wife, the Taj is seen in all its glory at sunset. Your guided tour of Agra will also take in the royal pavilions, palaces and courtyards of majestic Agra Fort.
Start your day with an early morning and a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal from across the Yamuna River. Afterwards, you'll visit Abhaneri, a small town famed for its amazing baoris (stepwells) and the mighty Harshat Mata Temple. Discover the architectural beauty of the Chand Baoli stepwell and its intricate carved panels.
Leaving Abhaneri, you'll make a stop for lunch at the Umaid Lake Palace, a heritage hotel, before continuing to Ranthambhore National Park, one of the prime examples of Indian conservation and your base for two nights. Once the hunting ground of Indian princes, this national park stands atop a 600-metre-high hill range and plays host to a number of India's elusive and endangered tigers.
In the evening enjoy the 'tiger talk' with a local naturalist, in preparation for tomorrow's adventure.
This morning you'll enjoy the first of two guided tours in search of some of the park's most revered inhabitants; striped hyenas, sambar deer, sloth bears and of course tigers (and maybe even a leopard). After lunch there will be another chance to see these and many other incredible creatures at close quarters, on your second guided tour into the park.
After a morning at leisure, or, perhaps, an optional visit to nearby Ranthambhore Fort, travel through Rajasthan to Jaipur, India's pink city, for a two-night stay. Settle into your heritage hotel in downtown Jaipur, and enjoy the on-site facilities, including a cooling outdoor pool.
Visit Amber, ancient capital of the Rajput Empire, with its magnificent palaces and temples dominated by the stronghold of the Amber Fort. Take time to marvel at the royal halls and the splendid views from the ramparts.
This morning you'll head north to Vanaashrya. En route you'll make a stop at the atmospheric ruined fort of Bhangarh, dating from the 17th Century, where you'll enjoy a welcome tea or coffee. After a relaxing afternoon, hop onto a camel cart and visit the local village before a pre-dinner cookery demonstration with the chef. You'll spend the night in your private, air-conditioned, tent designed to give a sense of the India of the past.
En route back to Delhi, we'll make a stop at the intriguing Heritage Transport Museum, which showcases the development of road, rail and air in India.
Begin your extension with a flight to the southern Indian jewel of Kochi, where you will be met by your tour guide and escorted to your first hotel - the four-star deluxe Trident. Check-in, rest and relax, or take a dip in the courtyard pool, prior to taking dinner in the hotel's restaurant.
Begin your exploration of Kerala, 'God's Own Country', today, with a tour of historic Kochin. Take in the Portuguese-built and peculiarly named Dutch Palace, the spectacular Paradesi Synagogue and the area's photogenic Chinese fishing nets. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance show.
This morning travel to Periyar, inland from Kochi, to spend one night in the Greenwoods Hotel. After checking into your hotel, enjoy an enlightening tour of a local spice plantation. In the evening, relax in your hotel, taking advantage of its spa, swimming pool and treehouse cafe.
Rise early on the fourth day of your extension to take to the waters of Lake Periyar for a wildlife boat tour, after which we transfer to our third and final stop, coastal Alleppy. Check in to your resort hotel set on the lush banks of the Punnamada Lake, and spend the rest of the day recharging your batteries.
Today, get to know Kerala's famed backwaters, as you take lunch on a traditional 'kettuvallam' houseboat and cruise by as all life plays out on the area's labyrinthine banks. Later, return to your hotel and enjoy a restful evening looking back on your journey through incredible India.
On your final day in India, transfer from Alleppey to Kochi, and board your flight back to the UK.Back to top
AccommodationIndia - Tigers, the Taj Mahal & Kerala Extension Hotels
You will be staying in a series of well-located hotels, all of which will be of a four- and five-star standard. In all cases, rooms have private bathrooms and air conditioning.Back to top
Departures from Manchester and Edinburgh fly via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways. The duration and content of the tour is the same, but the order of the itinerary varies slightly with nights one and two spent in Delhi. The itinerary then continues as described, with the last tour night being in Vanaashrya. Dinner is not provided on the first night because of the late arrival time. Rooms will be ready for immediate occupancy on arrival.
Taj Mahal restoration work
The white marble of the Taj Mahal is being gradually cleaned in a process that will take up to four years. Parts of the monument's surface may be covered during this process though your visit and access to the main dome is not likely to be restricted.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.
Passports and visas
British citizens require machine-readable passports when travelling overseas. Your passport must contain two blank pages and be valid for 180 days after your return date from India. A visa is also required for entry to India. Full details of how and when to apply will be sent out about eight weeks before departure. British CITIZENS and some other European nationals satisfying certain conditions may use the online e-Tourist Visa application process at a cost of $75 (US) per person. Other British passport holders, who are not British CITIZENS, must apply for a full visa which costs GBP112. You may also, at extra cost, use the services of CIBT, our recommended visa handling partner, who will handle the whole process for you. Note that all travellers of Pakistani descent, regardless of citizenship, will generally be subject to more detailed processing by the Indian authorities, which can take up to four months from application.
Foreign Office Travel Advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
On your flight
All outbound flights leave in the evening and land at your destination the next day. All return flights leave in the morning and land in the UK on the same day. On-board meals will usually include dinner and breakfast on outbound flights, and lunch and a snack on the flight home. Drinks are complimentary.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
Requirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Changes to your hotels
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
In developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can mean that, from time to time, roadworks and rough road surfaces can extend journey times. Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads.Back to top