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Explore the diverse cultural influences that have created the fascinating heritage of India. This tour encompasses holy cities, the resplendent Taj Mahal, Jodhpur’s bluewashed houses, and the beautiful lakes and palaces of Udaipur. Go in search of the elusive Royal Bengal tiger and extend your journey in the idyllic backwaters of Kerala.
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Fly from London (regional connections available) to Amristar via Delhi with Jet Airways. (N)
Arrive in Amritsar and check into the Ranjit Vilas, an authentic Punjabi farmhouse, for 2 nights. This evening, get to know your fellow travellers over a welcome dinner at the hotel before visiting the spectacular Golden Temple. Extravagantly lit at night, the glistening temple leaves a mesmerising reflection in the large water tanks which surround the sanctum. Every evening, drums and hymns fill the air for the auspicious evening Palki Sahib ceremony adding to the allure and grandeur of the temple. (D)
Revisit the Golden Temple this morning and delve deeper inside the complex to discover the community kitchen called Langar. This humbling assembly provides more than 50,000 free meals each day to visitors of the temple who come from all walks of life. Afterwards weave your way through Qila Ahluwalia, a fort replete with colonial architectural features, before arriving at the Jalebiwala Chowk with its jalebi shop selling delicious sticky sweets. In the late afternoon, travel to the Wagah border to observe the daily Sunset Retreat ceremony. This is an immaculately choreographed display of synchronised marching, military commands, high kicks and foot stamps and a spectacle not to be missed. (B)
This morning fly to Varanasi, one of the oldest, holiest and most characterful cities in the world. One of the best ways to glimpse the city's spiritual significance is by boat. This evening, visit the Dasaswamedh ghats to witness the magical Ganga aarti ceremony from the sacred Ganges. On the 9 November 2019 departure enjoy the Dev Diwali celebrations when the steps of the ghats are lit with more than a million earthen lamps. Overnight at the Hotel Madin (or similar). (B)
This morning take a serene dawn boat ride on the Ganges, where you are likely to see locals and pilgrims ritually cleansing themselves. After the boat ride, enjoy a delicious breakfast overlooking the Ganges at the Brijrama Palace, one of the oldest remaining landmarks of the city. Later stroll through the narrow alleys and ancient streets of the city in the direction of Bengali Tola where you will find many shrines of the Mother Goddess Kali. Take the afternoon flight to Delhi for a 2-night stay at the Trident Gurgaon (or similar). (B)
A busy day exploring the nation's capital. This morning take a tour of the pulsating Old Delhi, which includes a drive past the red fort and visits to the colourful Chandni Chowk market and the vast Jama Masjid mosque. New Delhi is a fascinating contrast to Old Delhi with grand Lutyens designed government buildings, including the former Viceroy's House, now home to the President; the majestic India Gate Memorial and broad; tree-lined avenues. Finish the day at the Humayun's tomb, an example of early Mughal architecture. (B)
Experience a train ride in India as you head to Agra for an overnight stay at the Trident Agra (or similar). In the late-afternoon visit the impressive and imposing Agra Fort before gathering in the serene Mehtab Gardens to watch the sunset over the mesmerising Taj Mahal. The iconic structure is magical at this time of the day as the marble transforms its colour in the twilight. (B)
Today we head to one of India's most beautiful national parks, Ranthambore, via the ancient citadel of Fatehpur Sikri. This deserted, 16th-century sandstone city was built as a tribute to the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti but was abandoned just 15 years after it was built due to a shortage of water. Take the train from Bharatpur to Sawai Madhopur on the outskirts of Ranthambore and stay 2 nights in the Swai Villas (or similar). (B, D)
Today take 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 sambars, panthers, marsh crocodiles, sloth bears and leopards, as well as being a bird watcher's paradise. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, drive to Jaipur and stay at the Trident Jaipur (or similar) for 2 nights. (B)
Optional early morning yoga session*. Spend the rest of the morning just outside Jaipur in Amber, the ancient capital of the Kachwaha Rajputs. Here you will find a majestic fort-palace displaying both Mughal and Rajput designs. This afternoon head back to Jaipur and explore the Pink City including visits to the sprawling City Palace, the curious astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar and a brief photo stop at the remarkable façade structure of 'Hawa Mahal', also known as the Palace of the Winds. (B)
Full-day drive to Rohet via Jodhpur visiting the magnificent Mehrangarh fort and the imposing Jaswant Thada cenotaph en-route. Rohet is a picturesque hamlet and home to the Bishnoi tribal community. Stay at Rohet Garh (or similar) for 2 nights. On the 24 October 2019 departure, enjoy the Diwali celebrations. (B, D)
Morning at leisure. After lunch, take a 4x4 safari to visit the Bishnoi tribal villages. The Bishnoi tribe protect the flora and fauna of the area with reverence, and from as far back as the 16th century, they are known to have resisted royal edicts ordering the felling of trees by literally wrapping themselves around them. (B, D)
Drive to the lake city of Udaipur, visiting the exquisite Jain temples at Ranakpur en route. Arrive at the Trident Udaipur (or similar) for a 2-night stay, or upgrade to the Taj Lake Palace (luxury Lake View room) from £440 for 2 nights. (B)
Set on the shores of Lake Pichola and surrounded by the Aravalli hills, Udaipur is one of Rajasthan's most beautiful cities. Today, explore the City Palace, the Jagdish temple and a miniature painting studio to see several examples of this articulate art-form which originated in Rajasthan. In the evening watch an evening Bagore-ki-Haveli cultural show depicting traditional Rajsthani folk dances. (B)
Transfer to the airport and fly to Mumbai (Bombay) to connect with the Jet Airways flight to London. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
These activities can be pre-booked or booked locally and incur an additional charge.
Due to changes to seasonal schedules and opening times, there are minor itinerary variations for certain departure dates. Please check with your Cox & Kings tour consultant for details.
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.
GNI2019: 14 Nights
The earliest reference to Agra can be found in
the epic Mahabharata. It was in the...
Amritsar, in northwest India, is a vibrant yet relaxed and friendly city, full of...
One of the prime examples of Project Tiger’s
conservation efforts in Rajasthan,...
Rohet is a picturesque hamlet to the south-east of Luni, settled by the Bishnoi tribal...
Set on the shores of Lake Pichola and
surrounded by hills, Udaipur is possibly the
Set on the riverbanks of the sacred
Ganges, Varanasi is one of the oldest cities