India - Tigers & The Taj Mahal
8 nights. February 2020 - November 2021. From £1299.00.
India's exotic wonders
Uncover northern India’s greatest cities on this perfect introduction to one of the world’s most fascinating and alluring destinations. Explore the teeming, colourful, spectacular cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur that make up the world-famous, fascinating Golden Triangle. See sights like the Red Fort, the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal and the Palace of the Winds. Spend two nights on safari in Ranthambhore Park, a one-time hunting ground of Indian princes, and complete your holiday with a night in a luxury jungle resort.
What's IncludedEight 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) and Vanaashrya (1), plus one night on the aircraft
Return flights to Delhi
Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
The services of a friendly, experienced tour manager
Holiday HighlightsThe magical sight of the Taj Mahal at sunrise
Searching for Ranthambhore's tigers on two safaris
The astounding sights and sounds of New Delhi
The historic Red Fort, the India Gate war memorial and the ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque
Take a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi
A guided tour of Agra, India's city of love
Explore the ramparts, gates and cobbled paths of Jaipur's Amber Fort
Jaipur's exquisite Palace of the Winds
Chand Baori, Abhaneri's astonishing 13-storey stepwell
Dinner with a local family in Jaipur
Staying in cottages at Vanaashrya Resort
Enjoy a camel cart ride and an Indian cookery demonstration
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1Your Indian holiday begins with an overnight flight from the UK to Delhi via Doha.
Day 2Arrive in Delhi, this morning, to be greeted by your Tour Manager, and transferred to your hotel. Later, after an included lunch and time to freshen up, join your tour manager on a guided tour, and explore the ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and the ornate Qutb Minar tower that rises above them.
Day 3Today's guided tour will introduce Delhi's vibrant Old City. Drive by the historic Red Fort, Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat – Gandhi’s cremation site close to the Yamuna River – and enjoy an exhilarating rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk. You’ll also experience the grandeur of New Delhi, built by the British Raj to reflect the glories of the Empire. Highlights will include the historic India Gate war memorial and the vast boulevard of the Rajpath. Later, we'll travel to Agra, India's City of Love and site of the exquisite Taj Mahal. After a visit to the royal pavilions, palaces and courtyards of majestic Agra Fort, you’ll make your first visit to the Taj, a monument to undying love, to see it in all its glory at sunset.
Day 4Start your day with the unforgettable view of the Taj Mahal at dawn, seen from across the Yamuna River. After breakfast, you'll journey to Abhaneri, a small town famed for its amazing baoris (stepwells). Discover the intricate beauty of Chand Baori, one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India, and its carved panels. Leaving Abhaneri, you'll travel to Ranthambhore National Park, stopping en route for lunch at the sumptuous Umaid Lake Palace, a lovely heritage hotel and organic retreat that grows produce for its fine restaurant. Once the hunting ground of Indian princes, Ranthambhore is landscape of thorn trees, scrub and grasslands dotted with beautiful ponds, streams and lakes is a perfect habitat for the famous, elusive (and still endangered) Tigers of Ranthambhore, and other species. Relax for the afternoon, then enjoy an evening tiger talk with a local naturalist: the perfect preparation for tomorrow's adventures.
Day 5Today’s two canter (open-air vehicle) safaris in Ranthambhore Park are sure to be among the highlights of your entire holiday. In the company of a knowledgeable naturalist guide, you'll go in search of the park's most animal inhabitants: striped hyenas, sambar deer, sloth bears and, of course, tigers (and perhaps even a leopard).
Day 6Rest and relax this morning, or join our optional excursion to climb the gradual, 273 steps to ancient Ranthambhore Fort, which sits atop a 600-metre-high hill range, and offers stupendous views of the park below. This afternoon, after lunch at the hotel, you’ll bid farewell to Ranthambhore and journey to the Pink City of Jaipur, where you'll stay for the next two nights.
Day 7After breakfast, visit Amber, the ancient capital of the Rajput Empire. Climb by jeep to the city's vast sixth-century hill-top fort to wander its Royal Halls and take in the magnificent views from the ramparts. After an included lunch, you'll tour Jaipur to see the City Palace complex, with its museums and ancient astronomical observatory, and drive past the innumerable windows and screened balconies of the 18th-century Palace of the Winds. This evening, enjoy a special dinner at the Nokha House, hosted in traditional Rajasthani style by the Rathore family.
Day 8Bid farewell to Jaipur and journey across the desert plain into the Aravali Hills to the jungle-resort of Vanaashyra. En route you'll stop at Bhangarh, a ruined fort dating from the 17th Century. This afternoon, take a camel cart to visit the local village and enjoy a pre-dinner cookery demonstration. You'll spend the night in a private cottage designed to give you a sense of the India of the past with the little luxuries of the present (like air conditioning).
Day 9Today we head back towards Delhi where you'll spend the final night of your holiday. En route, we'll stop at the fascinating Heritage Transport Museum, with its impressive collections covering the development of India’s road, rail and air-travel industries, as well as transport-related toys and memorabilia.
Day 10Transfer back to the airport and board your flight home after a wonderful introduction to India. Back to top
Diwali - India's Festival of LightsPassengers travelling on the 10th November 2020 and 2nd November 2021 departures will have the chance to celebrate Diwali, a major Hindu festival marked by family gatherings, and by decorative displays of candles and lamps shining from rooftops and doorsteps, in windows, and all around temple buildings.
Holi - India's Festival of Colours and LovePassengers travelling on the 3rd March 2020 departures will be able to join the joyful crowds throwing coloured powder into the air in celebration of Krishna and the beginning of spring.
Altered itinerariesDepartures from Manchester fly via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways, and arrive in Delhi in the early hours of Day Two. 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 at the Suryaa Hotel. Rooms will be ready for immediate occupancy on arrival. 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. The return flight from India leaves late on Day Nine, and lands in the UK on the morning of Day 10.
Taj Mahal restoration workThe 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 timesThe transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Passports and visasBritish 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 $10 (US) per person for entry to India for arrivals in the months of April, May and June or $25 (US) per person for arrivals in other months. Other British passport holders, who are not British CITIZENS, must apply for a full visa which costs £112. 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 AdviceVisit 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 flightFlights from London 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. Flights from Manchester leave in the afternoon and fly via Abu Dhabi where a change of aircraft is necessary in both directions. Return flights are overnight, and arrive back in the UK in the morning. Meals appropriate to the time of day will be served.
Luggage allowanceYou are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
Special requirementsIf 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.
Disabled accessThe 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.
Travel vaccinationsRequirements 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.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, 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 hotelsShould 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.
Road ConditionsIn 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