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Cross the Ganges plain from Delhi to Kolkata (Calcutta), taking in the majesty of the Taj Mahal and Amber fort, remarkable wildlife in Ranthambore, the spiritual aura of Varanasi and colonial Lucknow and Kolkata. Extend your tour in the tea plantations of Darjeeling, by the beach in the Andaman Islands, looking for rare onehorned rhinos in Kaziranga National Park or relaxing in the countryside at the heritage hotel Rajbari Bawali.
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Travel from London (regional connections available) with Jet Airways to Delhi. (N)
Arrive in the nation's capital and transfer to the Trident Gurgaon for an overnight stay. The rest of the day is yours - relax at your hotel or take an optional tour of New Delhi. This evening join the rest of your group and your guide for a welcome drink. (N)
Travel to Jaipur for a 3-night stay at Khas Bagh, a heritage homestay in rural Jaipur complete with stables and horses. (B)
Morning visit to the nearby Amber fort; the ancient capital of the Kachwaha Rajputs from 1037. Considered to be the jewel of Jaipur, the fort displays an excellent example of Mughal architecture and offers spectacular views of the old town below, where Akbar stopped on his annual pilgrimage to Ajmer. Afternoon at leisure. (B)
Today explore the rest of the 'Pink City' starting with a visit to the sprawling palace complex, still home to the current Maharajah. Next to it you will find the curious astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar, home to a fine collection of 18th century astronomical instruments that can still be used with astonishing accuracy. Later lose yourself in one of Jaipur's bustling and historic bazaars, selling jewellery, silk and traditional Indian crafts. (B)
Drive to Ranthambore National Park, one of the prime examples of Project Tiger's conservation efforts in Rajasthan. The park covers an area of 400 square kilometres and was once the private hunting grounds of the maharajas of Jaipur. 2 nights at Swai Villas (or similar). (B, D)
Wildlife drives in the early morning and late afternoon in search of the elusive Bengal tiger. Although well known for its tiger population, Ranthambore is also home to panthers, marsh crocodiles, sloth bears and leopards, as well as being a bird watcher's paradise. (B, L, D)
Experience a train ride in India by taking a journey from Sawai Madhopur to Bharatpur. Continue to Agra to visit the magnificent Taj Mahal, a highlight to all that visit it. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Nearby you will find the imposing Agra fort. Often overshadowed by the Taj Mahal, it is easy to overlook the beauty of the fort, one of the finest Mughal forts in India. Wander through the courtyard and enjoy the views overlooking the river. Overnight stay at Trident (or similar). (B)
Travel to Lucknow for a 2-night stay at Vivanta by Taj - Gomti Nagar. Lucknow is a beautiful city with a turbulent history, which has subsequently led to a melting pot of cultures and a blend of architectural styles. After settling into your hotel, take a short heritage and culinary tour to develop your understanding of Lucknow and to try some of the delicious Awadhi cuisine in one of the city's many traditional roadside eateries. (B)
One of the first things you may notice on your full-day tour of Lucknow is how alluring Islamic buildings sit next to fine colonial monuments. Explore the Asifi Imambara and the magical Husainabad complex, both built by the Muslim Nawabs of Oudh when Lucknow was a political and cultural hub. The city also rose to prominence during the 1857 Indian mutiny when it saw fierce fighting between British and Indian forces. Visit the Residency where British forces were held under siege for 6 months and visit the La Martinière College, one of the most prestigious schools in Asia which also played a key role in the rebellion. Rest of the day at leisure before the highlight of a dinner with a royal family of Lucknow. Enjoy a live Kathak dance performance before a home-cooked Awadhi dinner. (B, D)
Take the morning train to Varanasi for an overnight stay at the Taj Gateway Varanasi (or similar). This evening watch the mesmerising and mystical aarti ceremony on the banks of the River Ganges. Observe the evening puja (or prayers) which are led by priests whilst musicians play and deeyas (oil lamps) are offered to Mother Ganga in thanks for the light and sun. (B)
Early morning boat ride on the Ganges to witness pilgrims performing their ablutions and other rituals, funeral pyres blazing on the steps, incense wafting through the air and music chiming all around. After breakfast, visit Sarnath, the site of Buddha's first sermon after receiving enlightenment. Take the evening flight to Kolkata for 2 nights at the centrally located LaLiT Great Eastern Hotel or upgrade to the Oberoi Grand (Deluxe room) from £85. (B)
Kolkata is a vibrant city where many colonial buildings remain. Take a half-day tour of Kolkata's colonial heritage including a ride on one of Kolkata's historic trams to see how the British legacy can still be felt. Optional afternoon visit to the Victoria Memorial, South Park Cemetery and Kumartuli - the potter's village where the idols are created for the city's festivals. (B)
Take the Jet Airways flight to London via Mumbai. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits
you, for which guideline prices are shown.
Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact
requirements. Please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
ATJ2019: 12 Nights
The earliest reference to Agra can be found in
the epic Mahabharata. It was in the...
Kolkata (Calcutta) was the capital of British India until 1911 and the character of this...
In Kipling’s Kim “no city – except Bombay, the Queen of all – was more beautiful in her...
One of the prime examples of Project Tiger’s
conservation efforts in Rajasthan,...
Set on the riverbanks of the sacred
Ganges, Varanasi is one of the oldest cities