This amazing adventure through historic India takes us to some of the glorious country's most exciting sights. On our fascinating journey we discover thriving cities, spectacular forts, and have a chance to see a tiger in the wild, culminating with a night in a 200-year-old palace.
We leave London Heathrow on our overnight flight to Delhi, arriving in the morning of Day 2. We are then transferred into the heart of Delhi, where we spend two nights at the heritage 4-Star Maidens Hotel, located on the banks of the River Yamuna close to the quaint bazaars of Chandi Chowk.
Today we explore Delhi, India's vibrant, hectic, awe-inspiring capital city. We begin our tour with a rickshaw ride in Old Delhi. We visit Jama Masjid, a 17th-century mosque which is the largest in India, before taking a fascinating rickshaw ride through the narrow streets of Delhi's lively bazaar. As we head towards Chandi Chowk, we wind through a sea of pedestrians going about their everyday lives.
We leave the enticing aromas of street food behind and move on to New Delhi, where we visit Humayun's Tomb and Qutab Minar - India's tallest stone tower. Other highlights include India Gate, the Parliament Building and Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Early this morning we have our first experience of rail travel in India as we board the Gatimaan Express to Agra, home to the truly magical Taj Mahal. On arrival in Agra we visit the enormous Agra Fort, an enormous UNESCO listed complex that stands over Agra. Its red hued walls were built over 8 years, before being finished in 1573. The building was worked on every single day for that entire time period, due it its invaluable strategic position. We then cross Agra by coach to visit the Taj Mahal, another UNESCO world heritage site, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Our sunset visit ensures we experience the magical aura as the sun's final rays catch the natural pink and red hues of the white marble. We leave the Taj Mahal after a truly captivating day and transfer to the Trident Hotel Agra, where we spend the night.
Today we travel by coach on an excursion to Fatehpur Sikri. Built in the 16th century as the brand new capital city of India, Fatehpur Sikri was abandoned after only 14 years of rule when local water supplies ran dry. The deserted city has been preserved in almost the exact state it was left in 400 years ago and provides a vivid glimpse into life during the time of the Mughal Empire.
After time to explore, we continue to Bharatpur where we take lunch together at a local restaurant. Later we travel by train to Sawai Madhopur, where we transfer to the Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge, once a hunting lodge for the Maharajas, for a two-night stay.
Today we head into the Ranthambore National Park for an early morning game drive in open-topped safari vehicles called 'Canters', which are for the exclusive use of Great Rail Journeys' customers.
Many rare creatures such as leopards and panthers can be found here including hyenas, marsh crocodiles and sloth bears. The park's most popular resident, however, is the tiger. In fact, the park is one of the only places in India where the incredible tiger can still be found in the wild, thanks to the successful efforts of Project Tiger. To increase our chances of seeing all of the creatures, we embark on a second game drive in the afternoon.
Today we travel by coach to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. It is popularly known as the 'Pink City', as pink sandstone was used to construct the pretty buildings within the old city walls. On arrival, we check into our hotel for the next three nights.
This morning we embark on an exciting sightseeing tour of Jaipur. We head to the grand City Palace, which is home to the current Maharaja of Jaipur. The ornate building was completed in 1728, and is now enclosed by high walls and set in fine gardens. We also see the early 18th century Astronomical Observatory, a splendid complex featuring a number of early geometric devices for tracking locations of planets.
We then see the spectacular Palace of the Winds, an opulent red and pink sandstone building created for royal ladies to overlook the city without being seen. Your afternoon is spent at leisure.
Today we transfer to the ancient village of Amber, to visit the immense Amber Fort. Located high on a hillside, the fort was traditionally the royal stronghold, before Rajasthan's capital relocated to Jaipur. After ascending by jeep, you are free to stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls.
The views of the fortifications on the surrounding mountains are stunning. The imposing exterior of the defensive building contrasts with the intricate and detailed interior of the rooms. Many of the rooms have beautiful wall paintings with mirrors and precious stones inlaid in the walls.
We travel by coach to the town of Patan today. On arrival, we are transferred by camel cart to the Patan Mahal Palace Hotel. Built around 1790, shortly after the battle of Badal- Mahal, the Patan Mahal Palace has been lovingly turned into a heritage hotel, and is ours for today and this evening. As befi tting visitors to a palace, we receive a royal welcome when we reach the grounds, and are decorated with flowers and rangoli.
This afternoon we enjoy a guided walking tour of Patan town, a wonderful opportunity to see life in an unspoilt rural Indian town, a world away from the hustle and bustle of the big Indian cities. Tonight we are indulge with a farewell gala dinner in the grounds of our palace hotel, a fitting end to our Indian odyssey.
Today we bid farewell to the Patan Mahal, and drive to Delhi. Here we connect with our overnight flight to London, where we arrive on Day 12.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
We travel on the Gatimaan Express in India. Running 188km from Delhi to Agra in a journey that takes just over an hour and a half, this is India's first semi-high speed train and the fastest train in India. The Gatimaan Express first opened in early 2016. On board, you can be served traditional Indian cuisine by dedicated train hostesses, as you relax in fully air-conditioned carriages, and enjoy the passing Indian scenery. There is also complimentary Wi-Fi, and an app that provides access to movies, music, and news on board.
The Shatabdi Express trains are some of the fastest in India and are the pride of Indian Railways. Fully air conditioned and of a far superior standard to most Indian trains, the Shatabdi Express apparently always arrives at the best platform a station has!
The average speed on most lines is 68mph (110km/h) although the service between Agra and Delhi can reach speeds of 80mph (130km/h). During our journeys on the Shatabdi Express we travel in air conditioned Chair Class. Complimentary snacks, meals and beverages are generally provided during the journey.
Set amidst beautiful gardens and fountains, this welcoming 4-Star hotel is built of red stone in a style reminiscent of the Mughal era. The hotel features tastefully appointed rooms overlooking the landscaped gardens and the pool. Contemporary facilities and warm hospitality complement the delightful ambience, whilst a fitness centre, jogging track, outdoor swimming pool and other activities make for a memorable stay.
Built in the early 1900s, the magnificent Maidens Hotel is one of Delhi's oldest hotels. This elegant 4-Star hotel stands in eight acres of private gardens on the banks of the River Yamuna, just a short distance from Delhi's famous Jama Masjid Mosque and many of the city's other sights and attractions. Full of colonial charm and turn of the century architectural features, the Maidens Hotel has a restaurant serving European and Indian cuisine, the Garden Terrace coffee shop and the intimate Cavalry Bar. There is also an outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts. The comfortable rooms are all air conditioned and come with a telephone, satellite television, minibar, hairdryer and a safe. We enjoy comfortable accommodation in suite category rooms.
Found in the colourful city of Jaipur in India, the 5-Star Hilton Jaipur is a refined and sophisticated hotel which has modern amenities, efficient and professional staff and well-furnished rooms. Its convenient location in the city, means you are never far from restaurants and shops. Amenities include a swimming pool, a fitness centre, a bar and a restaurant. Rooms include a television and a minibar.
The Patan Mahal in Patan was built about 1790 shortly after the battle of Badal-Mahal. Today the former palace retains the large, airy rooms from its royal past, but has been brilliantly restored to create an iconic heritage hotel, and the wonderfully appointed rooms reflect the royal heritage of the Patan family. The hotel has a refreshing swimming pool, and rooms have air conditioning, tea & coffee making facilities and a minibar.
The Vivanta by Taj - Sawai Madhopur Lodge is the only heritage hotel in Ranthambore, and the original lodge was a hunting stop for the Maharaja of Jaipur. It boasts a spa, swimming pool, bar and lounge, whilst rooms come equipped with a television, safe, telephone and minibar.
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!
Upgrade your flight to Business Class from £850 per person each way
Spending a night in London before your tour can make such a
difference to the first day of your holiday - you can arrive in the
capital in good time, relaxed and ready to join your Tour Manager
the next morning. You may even want to take in a show on the West
End, or dine in one of London's famous restaurants. Perhaps on your
return to London, you would like to break your journey with an
overnight stay before continuing home.
We are able to book a wide range of hotels in central London or, for our holidays beginning with a flight, at Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester Airport for the night before or after your holiday. The hotels listed below are some of the more popular hotels our customers book in Central London, others are available on request.
|Hotel||Room Rate From Price|
|The Ambassador Hotel||From £65 per person|
|Pullman London St Pancras||From £110 per person|
|Studios2Let, Cartright Gardens||From £55 per person|
Above prices are approximate, subject
to availability, and per room per night based on two people
sharing. If you require a quote for single occupancy at any of the
hotels please contact us on 01904 734 805.
Buying tickets for UK train services can be a tricky business - there are so many fares to choose from, each with different rules and restrictions. As you are connecting with an international departure, we strongly recommend that you book a fully flexible ticket to ensure that should the departure times for your holiday change, your rail ticket can allow for these changes.
We can book fully-flexible UK rail tickets from your local station to join your holiday whether this be a European holiday from St Pancras or a UK holiday. The prices are competitive and tickets are not restricted to a particular train or time of day, and in most cases offer you a free choice of routes.
For an up to date quote from your local station, please ask one of our Tour Advisors.