India

Elephanta Caves in Mumbai
Elephanta Caves in Mumbai
UNESCO World Heritage Site of Agra
UNESCO World Heritage Site of Agra
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal

A true indulgence for all the five senses

India is a multi-faceted and diverse country with a wide range of landscapes, cultural groups, cuisines, and ideas. It can be as chaotic as it is peaceful, and as exuberant as it is serene. The heterogeneity in cultures, language, food habits, and lifestyles together make for an incredible adventure. Along with a magical sunrise visit to the legendary Taj Mahal, which no visitor to this destination should miss, there will also be a chance to glimpse tigers at a fantastic conservation project, a trip by boat to Elephanta Island where ancient cave temples dedicated to Shiva await discovery, and many opportunities to indulge in the regional cuisine that has put India firmly on the foodie map.

  • A journey of contrasts stretching from the north to south, starting in Delhi and moving on to Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, and finally to Mumbai
  • Visits to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Qutub Minar, Hawa Mahal, the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, the Elephanta Caves, and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
  • Gain an insight to local life at a village in Ranthambore and wander around the bustling fish market at the Sassoon Docks in Mumbai
  • Admire a plethora of architectural styles as reflected in buildings, temples, caves home to sculptures, religious art, carvings, and shrines in abundance
  • Grasp the opportunity to travel by a variety of transport from air, train, Jeep, boat, and even rickshaw

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

London - Delhi

Overnight Flight.

Day 2

London - Delhi

After an overnight flight, we’ll start our adventure in India’s capital territory at a leisurely pace with lunch and a talk about the wide variety of Indian cuisine. Afterwards, we visit the 16th century Humayun’s Tomb and the UNESCO site of Qutub Minar, then we drive past the India Gate and Presidents’ House to complete our first insight into this fascinating city.

Day 3

Delhi

Our sightseeing of Old Delhi starts at Jama Masjid and then we’re dropped off at the Chandni Chowk, one of the busiest, oldest and somewhat chaotic markets in Old Delhi. After a short walk in the market, we hop aboard rickshaws and wind our way through the labyrinth of narrow streets. By coach we drive past the magnificent Red Fort and our final stop is at Raj Ghat, the cremation ground of Mahatma Gandhi. Our morning ends with a visit to Bangla Sahib Gurudwara (a Sikh temple), where we can see the afternoon langar – or, ‘free kitchen’. The concept of the langar is to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour or creed, and it serves thousands of people each day. Everyone sits together on the floor to eat the meal, which is cooked and served by volunteers. In the afternoon, we walk to Connaught Place to spend time in the local market, where a variety of handicrafts are on sale from different parts of India.

Day 4

Delhi - Jaipur

After breakfast, we drive to Jaipur and check into our hotel upon arrival. After some free time, we regroup later in the afternoon to take part in a Patangbazi (kite-flying) session from the terrace of a heritage hotel, accompanied by an Indian high tea. On arrival at the venue, we are welcomed by the retainers of the erstwhile royalty, who will assist women in putting on the traditional sarees, while men gain a royal aura with instruction in tying Rajasthani turbans and scarves. The art of kite-flying and the competitive spirit that goes with it is a colourful experience.

Day 5

Jaipur

After a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds – a short drive brings us to Amber and the magnificent fort that nestles on the rocky hill rising above Maota Lake, a symbol of power and perseverance. Close to the fort and located in a magnificently restored haveli (or mansion) is the Anokhi Textile Museum. On display are a varied selection of block-printed textiles alongside images, tools and related objects – all chosen to provide an in-depth look into the complexity of this ancient tradition. We return to Jaipur or the ‘Pink City’ to explore the intricately carved marble Old City Palace, built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1728. Next, we visit Jantar Mantar, one of five astronomical observatories built in north India between 1724 and 1730. This truly is a striking geometrical structure. Afterwards, we can enjoy a walk in the local bazaar.

Day 6

Jaipur - Ranthambore National Park

Formerly the hunting grounds for the Maharajahs of Jaipur before Indian independence, this park is one of the finest tiger conservation programmes in the country under Project Tiger. These majestic predators, assured of protection here, roam freely during the daytime and can be seen up close. Ranthambore Sanctuary has a lot of fauna, but the star of the show is, of course, the King of the Jungle - the great Indian tiger. We drive to Ranthambore in the morning and then take part in a late-afternoon safari in the park. We’ll close the day with a presentation on the tigers of Ranthambore, which is followed by an enlightening lecture from a wildlife expert.

Day 7

Ranthambore National Park

Our day starts with an early morning safari, another chance to try and spot tigers along with other endemic wildlife. We return to the hotel for breakfast and enjoy some free time. In the afternoon, we visit Dastkar – a local endeavour that works with craftspeople for the promotion and revival of traditional Indian crafts. The Dastkar Ranthambore has identified local craft traditions and helps local women to come forward and use their skills. Our day ends in a nearby local village, where we have tea and conversation with a local family, a chance to learn more about life here.

Day 8

Ranthambore - Bharatpur - Agra

No trip to India would be complete without a journey by train, and ours will take us to Bharatpur. On arrival at the station, we drive to Agra where we visit the Fort. This walled palatial city was built from red sandstone in the 11th century, an era marked by invasions and battles, and this red stone-fortified castle was the site of the India Rebellion of 1857 – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest Mughal forts in all of India.

Day 9

Agra - Mumbai

What better way to start the day then with a sunrise visit to the legendary Taj Mahal. An immense white marble mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan after the death of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. After returning to the hotel for breakfast, we have some free time before we drive to Delhi airport to fly to Mumbai.

Day 10

Mumbai

At Sassoon Docks we’ll see the first catch of the day at one of the largest fish markets in the city before visiting a Koli fishing village and the local dhobi wallas in the community laundry – a truly fascinating local industry which you are not likely to have ever seen before. Our morning continues as we travel by motorboat to Elephanta Island. Here, we discover the ancient cave temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. We then return to Mumbai to gain an understanding of its transformation from being part of a colony to a modern city. After lunch, a walking tour showcases the city’s impressive architecture and it includes the magnificent UNESCO-listed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in contrast with other beautiful Art Deco-inspired buildings. At the end of our walk, we’ll stop at a local café to enjoy a light snack and a refreshing local Indian beer.

Day 11

Mumbai – London

This morning, we bid a fond farewell to India and make our way back to London.

Itinerary 2021

Day 1

London - Delhi

Overnight Flight.

Day 2

London - Delhi

After an overnight flight, we’ll start our adventure in India’s capital territory at a leisurely pace with lunch and a talk about the wide variety of Indian cuisine. Afterwards, we visit the 16th century Humayun’s Tomb and the UNESCO site of Qutub Minar, then we drive past the India Gate and Presidents’ House to complete our first insight into this fascinating city.

Day 3

Delhi

Our sightseeing of Old Delhi starts at Jama Masjid and then we’re dropped off at the Chandni Chowk, one of the busiest, oldest and somewhat chaotic markets in Old Delhi. After a short walk in the market, we hop aboard rickshaws and wind our way through the labyrinth of narrow streets. By coach we drive past the magnificent Red Fort and our final stop is at Raj Ghat, the cremation ground of Mahatma Gandhi. Our morning ends with a visit to Bangla Sahib Gurudwara (a Sikh temple), where we can see the afternoon langar – or, ‘free kitchen’. The concept of the langar is to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour or creed, and it serves thousands of people each day. Everyone sits together on the floor to eat the meal, which is cooked and served by volunteers. In the afternoon, we walk to Connaught Place to spend time in the local market, where a variety of handicrafts are on sale from different parts of India.

Day 4

Delhi - Jaipur

After breakfast, we drive to Jaipur and check into our hotel upon arrival. After some free time, we regroup later in the afternoon to take part in a Patangbazi (kite-flying) session from the terrace of a heritage hotel, accompanied by an Indian high tea. On arrival at the venue, we are welcomed by the retainers of the erstwhile royalty, who will assist women in putting on the traditional sarees, while men gain a royal aura with instruction in tying Rajasthani turbans and scarves. The art of kite-flying and the competitive spirit that goes with it is a colourful experience.

Day 5

Jaipur

After a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds – a short drive brings us to Amber and the magnificent fort that nestles on the rocky hill rising above Maota Lake, a symbol of power and perseverance. Close to the fort and located in a magnificently restored haveli (or mansion) is the Anokhi Textile Museum. On display are a varied selection of block-printed textiles alongside images, tools and related objects – all chosen to provide an in-depth look into the complexity of this ancient tradition. We return to Jaipur or the ‘Pink City’ to explore the intricately carved marble Old City Palace, built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1728. Next, we visit Jantar Mantar, one of five astronomical observatories built in north India between 1724 and 1730. This truly is a striking geometrical structure. Afterwards, we can enjoy a walk in the local bazaar.

Day 6

Jaipur - Ranthambore National Park

Formerly the hunting grounds for the Maharajahs of Jaipur before Indian independence, this park is one of the finest tiger conservation programmes in the country under Project Tiger. These majestic predators, assured of protection here, roam freely during the daytime and can be seen up close. Ranthambore Sanctuary has a lot of fauna, but the star of the show is, of course, the King of the Jungle - the great Indian tiger. We drive to Ranthambore in the morning and then take part in a late-afternoon safari in the park. We’ll close the day with a presentation on the tigers of Ranthambore, which is followed by an enlightening lecture from a wildlife expert.

Day 7

Ranthambore National Park

Our day starts with an early morning safari, another chance to try and spot tigers along with other endemic wildlife. We return to the hotel for breakfast and enjoy some free time. In the afternoon, we visit Dastkar – a local endeavour that works with craftspeople for the promotion and revival of traditional Indian crafts. The Dastkar Ranthambore has identified local craft traditions and helps local women to come forward and use their skills. Our day ends in a nearby local village, where we have tea and conversation with a local family, a chance to learn more about life here.

Day 8

Ranthambore - Bharatpur - Agra

No trip to India would be complete without a journey by train, and ours will take us to Bharatpur. On arrival at the station, we drive to Agra where we visit the Fort. This walled palatial city was built from red sandstone in the 11th century, an era marked by invasions and battles, and this red stone-fortified castle was the site of the India Rebellion of 1857 – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest Mughal forts in all of India.

Day 9

Agra - Mumbai

What better way to start the day then with a sunrise visit to the legendary Taj Mahal. An immense white marble mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan after the death of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. After returning to the hotel for breakfast, we have some free time before we drive to Delhi airport to fly to Mumbai.

Day 10

Mumbai

At Sassoon Docks we’ll see the first catch of the day at one of the largest fish markets in the city before visiting a Koli fishing village and the local dhobi wallas in the community laundry – a truly fascinating local industry which you are not likely to have ever seen before. Our morning continues as we travel by motorboat to Elephanta Island. Here, we discover the ancient cave temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. We then return to Mumbai to gain an understanding of its transformation from being part of a colony to a modern city. After lunch, a walking tour showcases the city’s impressive architecture and it includes the magnificent UNESCO-listed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in contrast with other beautiful Art Deco-inspired buildings. At the end of our walk, we’ll stop at a local café to enjoy a light snack and a refreshing local Indian beer.

Day 11

Mumbai – London

This morning, we bid a fond farewell to India and make our way back to London.

What's Included

  1. A Tour Host throughout
  2. Transport as detailed
  3. All activities, and entries to all sites and museums
  4. Gratuities for all waiters for included dinners & hotel porters
  5. All accommodation & transport taxes
  6. Return flights from London and all other transport as detailed

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2020 Tour Details

Tue 13th Oct - Fri 23rd Oct

Available

£3,095

Full Price £3245 Save £150

inc.

sgl supp: £740

20INDA

Led By:

Managed By: Shakeel Chauhan , Manish Nagar

Tue 10th Nov - Fri 20th Nov

Available

£3,095

Full Price £3245 Save £150

inc.

sgl supp: £740

20INDB

Led By:

Managed By: Shakeel Chauhan , Manish Nagar

2021 Tour Details

Thu 25th Mar - Sun 4th Apr

Available

£3,145

Full Price £3295 Save £150

inc.

sgl supp: £740

21INDA

Led By:

Managed By: Shakeel Chauhan , Manish Nagar

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