Indian Rail Journeys - Amritsar Shimla & The Taj
- Duration: 15 days
- Board Basis: Mixed Board
- Tour Ref: D2TNEW99513
- Travel Type: Air
14 nights. November 2020 - November 2022. From £2109.00.
A classic India tour with a twist
Savour Rajasthan’s timeless glories, the Golden Temple, Ranthambhore’s tigers and the Raj-era elegance of India’s most famous hill station. This exciting Small-Group Tour combines the classic sights of India’s capital, ‘City of Love’ Agra and ‘Pink City’ Jaipur with the majesty of Amritsar’s gilded island temple, adds in Ranthambhore’s famed tigers, and ends with a journey back in time to Shimla, the quintessential colonial haven high in the Himalayan foothills. With accommodation ranging from home-stay warmth and welcome to historic Heritage Hotels and five-star comforts, and with a host of additional highlights, this is a wonderful Indian adventure.
What's Included13 nights’ carefully chosen dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation and four lunches and a High Tea, plus one night on the aircraft
Return scheduled flights to Delhi and an internal flight from Delhi to Amritsar
Air-Conditioned rail travel from Delhi to Agra and from Chandigarh to Delhi
Coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
Holiday HighlightsStay at some wonderful boutique ‘home-stay’ and Heritage hotels
Discover Old and New Delhi and enjoy a rickshaw ride
A guided tour of Agra, ‘City of Love’ and the ‘Taj’
Discover deserted city Fatehpur Sikri
Go in search of Ranthambhore’s tigers on two safaris
Guided tour of ‘Pink City’ Jaipur
Rajasthani folk evening and Gala Dinner
Visits to Amritsar’s Golden Temple by day and night
Visits to the Jalinawaila Wala Bagh memorial park and IndoPakistani border closing ceremony
Journey by ‘Toy Train’ to Shimla
Stay in Shimla’s famed, Raj-era, Oberoi Cecil Hotel
Guided visit to Tara Devi shrine and Shimla walking tour
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 1Fly overnight from the UK to Delhi.
Day 2Upon arrival this morning, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your welcoming, family run, boutique-style ‘homestay’ hotel. Meet your fellow guests over dinner with your host family.
Day 3Today, enjoy a guided tour of some of the Indian capital’s major sights, including the historic Red Fort, Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat, Gandhi’s cremation site, as well as the Raj-era grandeur of New Delhi, where highlights include India Gate. Complete the day with an exhilarating rickshaw ride
Day 4Board the Gatimaan Express early this morning to journey to Agra, home to the exquisite Taj Mahal. Visit majestic Agra Fort then take in the glorious ‘Taj’ sunset. Enjoy dinner with your host family in your home-stay hotel.
Day 5Cross from Uttar Pradesh into Rajasthan, calling en route at deserted Moghul city Fatehpur Sikri. Enjoy lunch at a luxurious heritage hotel just outside walled Bharatpur, before continuing to famous tiger sanctuary, Ranthambhore National Park for a two-night stay. This evening, enjoy a ‘tiger talk’ with a local naturalist before dinner.
Day 6Enjoy today’s two canter (open air vehicle) safaris in the company of a knowledgeable guide. With luck you may also see the tigers and other species in their natural environment. Lunch is included today.
Day 7Rest and relax, or join the morning optional excursion to Ranthambhore Fort, with its stupendous views of the park below (please note, there is a 273-step climb to the fort). After lunch, journey to ‘Pink City’ Jaipur, for two nights in an elegant, historic Heritage hotel, with dinner in sumptuous surroundings.
Day 8Join your tour manager for a visit to Amber’s vast fort, climbing jeep to visit the Royal Halls and to take in the magnificent views. This afternoon, take in the City Palace complex and drive by the 18th-century ‘Palace of the Winds’.
Day 9Make the short journey after breakfast from Jaipur to the extravagant haveli hotel in Rajasthani village Shahpura. Rest and relax in the former maharaja’s palace and, with a guide, experience local life in the village. This evening, enjoy a traditional Rajasthani folk dance performance and a Gala Dinner.
Day 10Journey back to Delhi for the afternoon flight to Amritsar. Visit the traditional Punjab village of Sadda Pind to enjoy high tea. After dinner, join the throng for the extraordinary Palki ceremony at the Golden Temple, as Sikhism’s Holy Book, is carried on a causeway over the sacred lake the nearby sanctum on a human conveyor belt. Perhaps visit the Old Town’s bustling bazaar before returning to the hotel.
Day 11Today brings another opportunity to visit the jewel-encrusted Golden Temple, which is open to all, and which provides welcome, shelter and food each day for up to 35,000 pilgrims from across the globe. You’ll also visit the poignant Jalinawaila Wala Bagh memorial park, which commemorates one of the bloodiest days in Indian history, and this evening, make the short journey to the Indo-Pakistani border crossing at Wagah, to witness the once-seen-never-to-be-forgotten nightly closing ceremony.
Day 12Journey into mountainous Himachal-Pradesh and Kandaghat, to board the famous ‘toy train’, the that winds its scenic way up to Shimla, where the magnificent Oberoi Cecil Hotel waits to welcome you for a two-night stay in the famous hill-station.
Day 13Make the short scenic journey into the hills, to the shrine of Tara Devi, a tranquil place amongst groves of trees and shrubs, from where, on fine days, there are spectacular views of the surrounding Himalayas. Return to Shimla for a guided tour, including the Viceregal Lodge, former British summer retreat where the map of Indian Partition was drawn up, the open space of the Ridge, with its very English Christ Church and the shops of Mall Road. Enjoy a second dinner at the hotel.
Day 14Bid farewell to the former colonial haven, and back down to Chandigarh to the Shatabdi Express train for the three-and-a-half-hour journey back to Delhi and a farewell dinner in your home-stay hotel.
Day 15After breakfast, transfer back to Delhi Airport and your return flight to the UK, arriving late this afternoon. Back to top
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
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.
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.
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