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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.
Fly overnight with Virgin Atlantic to Delhi.
On arrival, transfer to the Eros Hotel 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.
After breakfast enjoy a city tour of Old and New Delhi, beginning with a visit to the Red Fort. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna, was built between 1638–1648 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques. Later visit Raj Ghat and drive past India Gate, Parliament building and the President’s Residence, before visiting Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. (B)
Morning drive to Agra (approximately 205 km/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 overnight. 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 visit the world famous Taj Mahal. 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)
Drive to Bharatpur this morning (approximately 56 km/1-2 hours 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 20 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 180 kms/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 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)
This morning take the early morning train to Delhi (6:00am-10:30am). Check in at The Eros Delhi for overnight. Afternoon at 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)
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, flights (if included) 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, not tour only. Single room and flight upgrade 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 Royal Plaza in Delhi. We recommend extending your tour with a few nights on the tropical beaches of Goa.
GMT +5 hours 30 minutes (summer) +6 hours 30 minutes (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.
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. Recent changes mean you can now apply for an e-Visa at a cost of $60USD per person at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. This must be completed between 7-30 days prior to arrival in India, eg if you are applying on 1 Sep then you can select an arrival date from 5 Sep-4 Oct. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your departure date from India and have at least two blank pages. Further information can be viewed on the above link. If you wish to obtain a paper visa we recommend using ‘CIBT’ who will obtain all visas in person, and return your passport to you by registered post. Contact them on www.uk.cibt.com/virginholidaysjourneys or 0844 800 4650.