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This wonderful introductory tour of India's rich and cultural history explores the sights and sounds of the Golden Triangle, including the iconic Taj Mahal, with the added experience of spotting tigers in the beautiful Ranthambore National Park, one of the best places in the world to see these majestic animals.
Welcome to India - on arrival in Delhi you will be met by your tour guide from Cox & Kings and transferred to the Vivanta by Taj Dwarka for 2 nights and the rest of the day is at leisure. Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which combines the ancient with the modern. Amidst the skyscrapers can be found many monuments which stand as silent reminders of the region’s ancient legacy.
Morning sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, the 300-year-old walled city built by Emperor Shah Jehan in 1648 as his capital and named after him. Drive past the magnificent Red Fort built of red sandstone. Visit the Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated in 1948. You will have the opportunity to visit a local restaurant for lunch (at own expense) before afternoon sightseeing tour of New Delhi. Drive past the imposing India Gate - a War Memorial Arch, the residence of the President - the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Parliament House and other government buildings. Visit the Qutab Minar (Tower of Victory) – a masterpiece built to establish the might of Islam and the onset of the Muslim rule in India and Humayun's Tomb – the first great example of a new and distinctive style, which developed to become the hallmark of the Mughal Dynasty. Following sightseeing tour, return back to hotel. (B)
Morning drive to Agra (approximately 205kms/5 hours excluding sightseeing) via the Itmad-Ud-Daulah. Often described as a "jewel box", sometimes called the "Baby Taj", the tomb of I'timad-ud-Daulah is often regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal. Afternoon arrival at the Clarks Shiraz for an overnight stay. The city of Agra, the quintessence of the grand Mughal era, reigns to this day in the public mind as the embodiment of royal grace, imposing architecture and power. In the late afternoon visit the Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture and the seat and stronghold of this Empire under successive generations. Later this afternoon visit the world famous Taj Mahal for a sunset viewing. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favourite queen, Mumtaz. This incomparable marvel is constructed entirely out of white marble and is an architectural masterpiece with beautiful inlay work and marble screens. Approximately 20,000 of India’s most revered craftsmen were recruited to give shape to this poetry in marble. (B)
For those of you who wish to view the Taj Mahal at sunrise, there is an optional visit to see this magnificent wonder as the day awakes. This is a very morning visit but well worth the 5am alarm call (this is pre-bookable and at an additional cost). After breakfast, we continue to drive to Bharatpur this morning (approximately 56km/1-2 hours driving excluding sightseeing) via the deserted 16th-century city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by Akbar the Great and abandoned on the emperor’s death. The deserted red sandstone city built by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital in the late 16th century. It was the Mughal capital for 14 years after which it was abandoned due to lack of water, they city is made of red sandstone and combines influences from both Hindu and Mughal architecture. In the afternoon, board the express train to Sawai Madhopur (2 hours 30 minutes) and proceed by road to the Ranthambore Regency for 2 nights. (B/D)
Early morning and late afternoon game-drives, with the opportunity to see some of India’s richest and most diverse wildlife with over 270 species of birds, 12 reptiles and 30 mammals. (B/L/D)
Enjoy an early morning game-drive in Ranthambore before driving to Jaipur (approximately 180kms/4 hours). The vibrant 18th-century capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the ‘Pink City’ because of the pink coloured buildings in its old city. You will arrive at the Lalit, Jaipur for 2 nights and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (B)
Take a morning tour of the fabulous Amber Fort by jeep, a honey coloured fortress palace in the Aravalli Hills. Possessing a chamber of mirrors, the interiors are a decorative arts paradise and there are striking views of the gorge. In the afternoon, visit the Observatory and City Palace which boasts courtyards, impressive gateways and temples. Witness the elegant façade of the Hawa Mahal, the spectacular Palace of the Winds, built by King Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, and one of Jaipur’s photographic highlights. The evening is at leisure to explore Jaipur further; home to cultural delights and a shopper’s paradise. (B)
Morning drive to Delhi (approximately 270kms/6-7 hours). Check-in at the Vivanta by Taj Dwarka for an overnight stay. This afternoon will be at your leisure. (B)
After breakfast, depart for the airport and the Virgin Atlantic flight to London Heathrow. Alternatively why not extend your stay on the beaches of Goa. (B)
Meals: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.
Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.
Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.
Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.
The first day of the tour is at leisure so allows you enough time to arrive and relax. If you wish to arrive earlier extra nights can be added to your tour in the Vivanta by Taj Dwarka in Delhi. We recommend extending your tour on one of our city extensions or with a few nights on the tropical beaches of Goa.
GMT +5 1⁄2 hours (summer) +6 1⁄2 hours (winter)
8 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners.
Occasionally we may need to substitute one or more of the hotels with that of a similar standard.
India is a vast country and journey times between destinations can sometimes be long. Journey times are listed in the itinerary and are approximate. India is a vast country with different topography from the north to the south and road conditions may vary depending on the region.
There is a maximum of 25 people per group.
An Indian visa is required for all British passport holders and MUST be obtained before your arrival in India. You can now apply for an e-Visa at a cost of $100 USD per person at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. The application must be completed between 4–120 days prior to your arrival in India. Your e-visa will be valid for 60 days from the date of your arrival. You should ensure that your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your departure date from India and have at least two blank pages.