Start: Delhi Finish: Delhi
Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Please contact On The Go Tours with specific dietary requests
Tour code: 200/TAR
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Group size: 2 - 24
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Discover the lofty peaks and breathtaking views of Shimla, India's largest hill station and the former summer capital of British India. Ride the narrow gauge railway aboard the Himalayan Queen Toy Train and explore Delhi, the Pink City of Jaipur and the legendary Taj Mahal in Agra.
Wednesday. Namaste! Welcome to Delhi. On arrival at the airport we transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is then free for you to relax or explore the bustling capital at leisure. Perhaps visit the impressive Red Fort which gets its distinctive colour from the sandstone used in its construction. This evening we have a welcome meeting at 17:00 at the hotel to meet our guide the rest of the group.
Delhi - Kalka - Shimla. Rise early this morning as we board the Shatabdi Express train to Kalka. You then transfer independently to the Himalayan Queen Toy Train for a unique experience to Kandaghat. The 57km journey sees us travel along narrow twists and turns, through scenic countryside and numerous tunnels. Pass through forests, over bridges and stop at old, traditional stations. Arriving into Kandaghat we complete the journey to our hotel in Shimla by road, where the evening is at leisure.
Today we explore the city of Shimla, located 2,100m above sea level at the foot of the mighty Himalayas. Explore the famous main street - The Mall, which is lined with stately English homes and has a distinctly British feel. We also discover the Viceregal Lodge, the former residence of the British Viceroy of India. Stroll down narrow streets and explore colourful bazaars in this scenic city, surrounded by the beautiful valley and the towering mountains.
Shimla - Kalka - Delhi. This morning is free for you to relax or explore independently. Perhaps take a fairly easy trek to Shimla’s highest point, the summit of Jakhoo Hill. The reward is panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains. Remember to keep an eye out for the local monkeys as you make your way to the summit - they will try and raid any food you bring with you! Later, we board the Kalka Shatabdi Express and return to Delhi.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Today we enjoy a full day of sightseeing, taking in the highlights of Old and New Delhi. In the older part of the city we visit Humayun’s Tomb and Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque. Continue to the Raj Ghat memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, where an eternal flame now burns at the site of his cremation. There's also time for an exhilarating rickshaw ride. In New Delhi we discover the ceremonial Rajpath, formerly the ‘King’s Way’, and the India Gate monument.
Delhi - Agra. Say goodbye to Delhi as we travel to Agra, the former capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1648. Explore behind the fortified walls of Agra Fort and continue to India’s most iconic attraction - the legendary Taj Mahal. Enjoy a guided tour of this famous white mausoleum, which was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century to honour his wife who died tragically in childbirth. The Taj Mahal remains the most extravagant monument to love ever built and has no peers. Gaze in awe at this bucket list worthy destinaton.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Agra - Karauli. This morning we travel to the well-preserved city of Fatehpur Sikri, which was abandoned more than 400 years ago due to a lack of water. Our day continues as we travel to the beautiful Palace Bhanwar Vilas in Karauli, our home for the evening. The Maharaja and Maharani still reside here but much of the site now operates as a heritage hotel. Explore the palace grounds at leisure and if we’re lucky, join a tour run by the princess herself - if the opportunity arises. Later, we visit the Karauli City Palace, which is being lovingly restored by the family. There is also an optional visit to attend the evening Aarti (prayer).
Karauli - Jaipur. Today we visit a local school to meet the pupils and teachers (if open). We operate our Change for Children programme here and you may consider bringing some educational gifts with you from home to give out to the children - they’ll be much appreciated (see trip notes). After the visit, we continue to the famous UNESCO-listed Pink City of Jaipur, where the rest of today is at leisure. You may wish to attend the showing of a Bollywood movie at the Raj Mandir cinema.
There is an exciting optional opportunity this morning to sail over Jaipur and its surrounding palaces, forts and countryside in a hot air balloon, with the Pink City as your stunning backdrop. Later, we travel to Amber Fort for a guided tour of its well-preserved interior. We reach the site by jeep and gaze out over Maota Lake from one of the four levels of this impressive fortress. Our tour continues with a visit to the Jaipur City Palace and the UNESCO-listed Jantar Mantar space observatory, made up of 19 separate astrological instruments.
Jaipur - Delhi. This morning we drive back to Delhi where you’re free to explore the city as you please. Perhaps visit the striking Akshardham, which is the largest Hindu temple in the world.
Saturday. Our Indian adventure comes to an end today with an included departure transfer to the airport.
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