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India's Golden Triangle and Tiger Safari

4.9 stars(23 reviews)

India's most exciting sights by train

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2021 Tour code: GSC21

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Days 1 - London to Delhi

We leave London Heathrow on our overnight flight to Delhi, travelling via Abu Dhabi.

Day 2 - Delhi

We arrive in Delhi on the morning of Day 2. We transfer to the heart of Delhi, where we spend 2 nights at the 5-Star Suryaa Hotel in the heart of the city.

Day 3 - Sightseeing tour of Delhi

Today we explore Delhi, India's thriving and awe-inspiring capital city, on a guided tour. 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 Chandni 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.

Day 4 - Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal

Early this morning we have our first experience of rail travel in India as we board the Gatimaan Express to Agra, home to the wondrous Taj Mahal. On arrival, we visit the enormous Agra Fort before transferring to the Taj View Hotel, where we spend the night. After checking in, we make our way by coach to the Taj Mahal, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Our sunset visit ensures we experience the magical aura as the sun's final rays fall on the white marble covering it with brilliant pink hues.

Day 5 - Fatehpur Sikri and Bharatpur

Today, we travel by coach to Fatehpur Sikri. Built in the 16th century to be the new capital city of the Mughal Empire, Fatehpur Sikri was abandoned after only 14 years 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 Mughal era. After taking a guided tour, we continue to Bharatpur where we have lunch at a local restaurant. Later, we travel by train to Sawai Madhopur before transferring to the Ranthambore Kothi Hotel for a 2-night stay.

Day 6 - Tiger-spotting in Ranthambore National Park

Today, we head into 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. Many rare creatures such as leopards, hyenas, marsh crocodiles, and sloth bears inhabit the reserved forest. The park's most popular resident, however, is the tiger. In fact, the park is one of the few places in India where the incredible Royal Bengal Tiger can still be found in the wild, thanks to the successful efforts of Project Tiger. To increase our chances of seeing as many animals as possible, we embark on a second game drive in the afternoon. In the evening, we attend a naturalist's talk on the flora and fauna of Ranthambore.

Day 7 - Jaipur

On Day 7, we travel by coach to the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, known as the 'Pink City' due to the pretty pink shade of the buildings within the old city walls.

Day 8 - Jaipur

On Day 8, we transfer to the ancient village of Amber to visit the immense Amber Fort and explore its magnificent interiors as well as its sprawling courtyards and fortifications.

On returning to Jaipur, we embark on a sightseeing tour, exploring the history and culture of the region. We head to the grand City Palace, which is home to the royal family 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 the orbits of planets. We then see the spectacular Palace of the Winds, an opulent red and pink sandstone building with close to 1,000 latticed windows.

Day 9 - Patan

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 exclusively ours for the day. As befitting visitors to a palace, we receive a royal welcome when we reach the grounds that are decorated with flowers and rangoli.

This afternoon we enjoy a guided walking tour of Patan, a wonderful opportunity to see life in an unspoilt rural Indian town a world away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities of the country. Just outside the tiny town lie acres of agricultural fields and organic farms producing local crops and vegetables. This evening we enjoy a classical Rajasthani dance performance, and a farewell gala dinner is held in the grounds of our palace hotel, a wonderful end to our Indian odyssey.

Day 10 - Delhi

Today, we enjoy the morning at leisure before bidding farewell to Patan and transferring to Delhi. Here we connect with our overnight flight to London Heathrow, via Abu Dhabi.

Day 11 - London

We arrive back in London on Day 11.