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Five-Star India’s Golden Triangle, Tigers & Shimla

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Marvel at historic temples, spot an elusive tiger and visit beautiful palaces

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20202021
14 days From £1,995 per person

2021 Tour code: LTC21

About the tour

Explore India's Golden Triangle as you bask in the comfort of 5-Star hotels. Marvel at historic temples, spot an elusive Bengal tiger, and visit beautiful palaces and gardens as we explore kaleidoscopic India, taking in the tranquility of Shimla, enigmatic Delhi, the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, and Agra with its resplendent marble icon - the Taj Mahal.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-2 - London and Delhi

We depart from London Heathrow on our flight to Delhi, arriving late morning on Day 2. Delhi is one of India's most colourful and exciting metropolises, where the old and new exist harmoniously. We spend the night at the 5-Star Taj Palace.

Delhi
Day 3 - By train to Shimla

We leave Delhi, travelling on the Shatabdi Express to Kalka. Here we board the UNESCO-listed narrow-gauge Himalayan Queen, also affectionately referred to as the 'Toy Train'. Covering a journey of 60 miles, the train gradually passes through the Shivalik foothills of the Himalayas, crossing 864 bridges and powering through 102 tunnels on its journey to Shimla. The train moves at a leisurely pace, giving us time to soak in the incredible panorama of the surrounding scenery. Alternatively, you may choose to make the journey by car.

Shimla
Days 4-5 - Shimla

We begin our day with an informative talk from our expert guest speaker, Raaja Bhasin. Our exploration of Shimla then continues with a sightseeing tour that takes in much of the local colonial heritage. We begin at the Viceregal Lodge, the summer seat of the viceroys until the 1940s. This afternoon, a leisurely stroll takes us past the town's Gaiety Theatre, the Victorian-Gothic Christ Church, and Scandal Point, so named because it was a popular meeting place for people to gather and share gossip. On Day 5, you are free to explore at leisure. Perhaps take a trip to Kufri offering stunning views of the mountains, followed by a high tea lunch at Wildflower Hall (payable locally).

Shimla
Days 6-7 - Exploring Old and New Delhi

We leave Shimla and return to Delhi for 2 more nights. On Day 7, we visit Old Delhi, taking a rickshaw ride through the narrow streets of Delhi's bazaar to Chandni Chowk for an incredible insight into the lives of the millions of people who live in the city. We also visit Jama Masjid which boasts the title of India's largest mosque, Raj Ghat, a simple but moving memorial to Gandhi, and pass Delhi's Red Fort. Later, we embark on a sightseeing tour of the wide, leafy avenues and impressive Mughal and colonial architecture of New Delhi, exploring the India Gate war memorial, the grand Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mughal Emperor Humayun's Tomb, and Qutab Minar, India's tallest stone towers.

Dehli Red Fort
Day 8 - The Taj Mahal and Agra Fort

We join the Gatimaan Express early this morning headed to Agra. On arrival, we visit the imposing Agra Fort, built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in the late 16th century. Built on a hill above Agra, its centrepiece is a tower with a marble balcony where Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan spent his last days imprisoned. Inside the fort are some of the most exquisite specimens of Mughal architecture, including the Moti Masjid. Later we travel across the city to the spectacular Taj Mahal, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Built by Shah Jahan in 1653 in memory of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, this iconic white marble building is a true monument to undying love and is considered to be the world's finest example of Mughal and Persian architecture.

Taj Mahal
Day 9 - Fatehpur Sikri

We depart Agra by coach, stopping at Fatehpur Sikri, a perfectly-preserved medieval red sandstone city built in the 16th century as India's political capital, but abandoned after only 14 years due to lack of water. Remarkably, the city remains exactly as it was 400 years ago, giving us an excellent insight into the opulent lifestyle of the Mughal era. After a guided tour, we continue to Ranthambore. Our hotel here is the 5-Star Sawai Vilas, set within acres of stunning gardens, lakes and fountains on the border of Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve.

Fatehpur Sikri
Days 10-11 - Tiger spotting in Ranthambore National Park

We experience a true highlight of our trip this afternoon, as we head into Ranthambore National Park, one of the best places in the world to spot a Bengal tiger. Declared a Project Tiger Reserve in 1973, the park is a favourite among wildlife photographers and tourists alike, as its reasonable tiger population means it is possible to spot one of the majestic creatures basking in the sun or sauntering through the wilderness. We enjoy a talk by a naturalist at the hotel before heading out on a game drive this afternoon to try to catch a glimpse of the elusive creature. We travel in open-topped safari vehicles called 'Canters' which are for the exclusive use of Great Rail Journeys. We are treated to another game drive on the morning of Day 11, increasing our chances of observing other types of native wildlife such as leopards, deer, and crocodiles. This afternoon, we continue to Jaipur, 'seeing an Aarti Ceremony at Birla Temple, before checking into our hotel for 2 nights.

Ranthambore National Park
Day 12 - Jaipur

We discover the 'Pink City' on a full-day sightseeing tour, travelling by Jeep to the Amber Fort, located high on a hillside overlooking Maota Lake. We have the chance to explore the ornate rooms within the palace complex before continuing our tour to the ornately decorated City Palace, home to the current Maharajah of Jaipur, as well as an early 18th-century Astronomical Observatory. We also drive past the Palace of the Winds, a stunning façade built in 1799, whose intricately latticed windows were designed to allow the ladies of the royal household to look over the streets below without being seen.

Jaipur
Days 13-14 - Delhi and London

This afternoon we travel back to Delhi by coach. On Day 14, we transfer to the airport for our flight to London Heathrow, arriving late in the afternoon.

Flying home

Additional information

Guest Speaker - Raaja Bhasin

Selected departures feature a guest speaker on Day 4 at Oberoi Cecil Shimla. We enjoy a talk from Raaja Bhasin for a detailed insight into the town through its people, history and culture. Raaja Bhasin is an acclaimed writer and researcher; most recently he served as history consultant on the Channel 4 series 'Indian Summers'. Born in Shimla, he was written two books on the former British retreat.

Raaja Bhasin
Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Visa requirements
Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

ITC Mughal, Agra

ITC Mughal, Agra

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Taj Palace, New Delhi

Taj Palace, New Delhi

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ITC Rajputana Sheraton, Jaipur

ITC Rajputana Sheraton, Jaipur

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The Sawai Vilas

The Sawai Vilas, Ranthambore

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The Oberoi Cecil Hotel, Shimla

The Oberoi Cecil Hotel, Shimla

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Trains

Gatimaan Express
Shatabdi Express
Toy Train

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

2 For 1 Flight Upgrade
Upgrade to a twin occupancy Valley View room at the Oberoi Cecil Hotel
Upgrade your flight to Premium Economy
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Extend your holiday

Amritsar by Rail
Goa
Kerala
Mumbai
Varanasi

Reviews

93% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 14 verified reviews

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Anonymous

Submitted 27/03/2020

Well organised tour, excellent tour manager and local guide, really impressed

Anonymous

Submitted 27/03/2020

Such a great and varied tour. Superb hotels and all your guides and tour manager excellent

Anonymous

Submitted 20/03/2020

The ITC hotel rooms were a bit tired and having buffet meals everywhere were negative points from an otherwise excellent tour.

Anonymous

Submitted 17/03/2020

All aspects of the tour were faultless. Hotels, travel arrangements, guides, excursions etc

Paul - Customer Relationsfrom Great Rail Journeys
Thank you for the 5 star review! It's great to see that you enjoyed the tour throughout. I hope we can welcome you on another tour with us soon! Kind Regards Victoria
1

Mrs K Harper

Submitted 13/03/2020

EXCELLENT HOLIDAY, PROFESSIONAL FRIENDLY SERVICE PROVIDED BY THE KNOWLEDGEABLE GUIDES.

Paul - Customer Relationsfrom Great Rail Journeys
Thank you for your great 5 Star reviewVictoria
Mrs K Harper
N/A
2

Mr I Broadgate

Submitted 13/03/2020

Action packed, loads of variety day to day.

Paul - Customer Relationsfrom Great Rail Journeys
Its great to receive such a lovely review, Thank you!Victoria
1
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Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2020/21

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Five-Star India’s Golden Triangle, Tigers & Shimla

Marvel at historic temples, spot an elusive tiger and visit beautiful palaces

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