Marvel at historic temples, spot elusive tigers and visit
beautiful palaces and gardens as we explore kaleidoscopic India,
taking in the tranquillity of Shimla, enigmatic Delhi, the 'Pink
City' of Jaipur, and Agra home of the resplendent Taj Mahal.
Experience the wildlife of Ranthambore National Park with two game drives
Enjoy a talk by expert guest speaker, Raaja Bhaasin
Take a guided tour of Old and New Delhi, including a rickshaw ride through the bazaar and spice market
We depart London Heathrow on our flight to Delhi, arriving late
morning on Day 2 for a one-night stay. Delhi is one of India's most
colourful and exciting metropolises, where the old and new exist
harmoniously. Start immersing yourself in this vibrant metropolis
with some free time, or you could relax at the hotel.
Day 3 - The Toy Train
We leave Delhi on the Shatabdi Express to Kalka. Here we board
the UNESCO-listed, narrow-gauge 'Himalayan Queen', also
affectionately referred to as the Toy Train. Covering a journey of
60 miles, we pass through the Shivalik foothills of the Himalayas,
crossing 864 bridges and powering through 102 tunnels on our way to
Shimla. The train moves at a leisurely pace, giving us time to soak
in the incredible panoramas of the surrounding scenery.
Alternatively, you may choose to make the journey by car.
Days 4-5 - Shimla
Our day begins with an informative talk from expert guest
speaker, Raaja Bhasin. Our exploration of Shimla then continues
with a sightseeing tour that takes in much of the local colonial
heritage. We start at the Viceregal Lodge, the summer seat of the
viceroys until the 1940s. This afternoon, a leisurely stroll takes
us past the town's Gaiety Theatre, the Victorian-Gothic Christ
Church and Scandal Point, so named because it was a popular meeting
place for people to gather and share gossip.
On Day 5, you're free to explore at your
own pace. You could take a trip to Kufri for stunning views across
the mountains, followed by a high tea lunch at Wildflower Hall.
Days 6-7 - Old and New Delhi
We return to Delhi for two more nights, visiting Old Delhi
on Day 7 and taking a rickshaw ride
through the narrow streets of the bazaar to Chandni Chowk. We also
visit Jama Masjid, which boasts the title of India's largest
mosque, Raj Ghat, a simple but moving memorial to Gandhi, and pass
Delhi's iconic Red Fort. Later, we embark on a sightseeing tour of
the wide, leafy avenues and impressive Mughal and colonial
architecture of New Delhi, exploring the India Gate war memorial,
the grand Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mughal Emperor Humayun's Tomb and
Qutab Minar, India's tallest stone tower.
Day 8 - Agra and the Taj Mahal
We join the Gatimaan Express bound for Agra this morning. On
arrival, we check into our hotel for the night before visiting the
imposing Agra Fort, built by the Mughal emperor Akbar in the late
16th century. Built on a hill above Agra, its centrepiece is a
tower with a marble balcony where Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan spent
his last days imprisoned. Inside the fort are some of the most
exquisite specimens of Mughal architecture, including the Moti
Masjid. Later we travel across the city to the spectacular Taj
Mahal, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Built by Shah
Jahan in 1653 in memory of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, this
iconic white marble building is a true monument to undying love and
is considered to be the world's finest example of Mughal and
Day 9 - Fatehpur Sikri
Leaving Agra by coach, we stop at Fatehpur Sikri, a
perfectly-preserved red sandstone city built in the 16th century as
India's political capital, but abandoned after only 14 years due to
lack of water. Remarkably, the city almost remains exactly as it
was over 400 years ago, giving us an excellent insight into the
opulent life-style of the Mughal era. After a guided tour, we
continue to Ranthambore National Park, our base for the next two
Days 10-11 - Ranthambore National Park
We experience a highlight of our holiday as we head into
Ranthambore National Park, one of the best places in the world to
spot a Bengal tiger in its natural habitat. Declared a Project
Tiger Reserve in 1973, the park is a favourite among wildlife
photographers and tourists alike, as its reasonable tiger
population means it is possible to spy one of these majestic
creatures basking in the sun or sauntering through the wilderness.
We enjoy a talk by a naturalist at the hotel before our first game
drive in open-topped safari vehicles called 'canters' which are for
the exclusive use of Great Rail Journeys.
We're treated to another game drive on Day
11, increasing our chances of observing other types of
native wildlife such as leopards, deer and crocodiles. This
afternoon, we continue to Jaipur, attending an authentic Aarti Fire
Ceremony at the Birla Temple before checking into our hotel for two
Day 12 - Jaipur
Discovering the 'Pink City' of Jaipur on a full-day sightseeing
tour, we travel by Jeep firstly to the Amber Fort, located high on
a hillside overlooking Maota Lake. We have the chance to explore
the ornate rooms within the palace complex before continuing our
tour to the ornately decorated City Palace, home to the current
Maharajah of Jaipur as well as an early 18th-century Astronomical
Observatory. We also drive past the Palace of the Winds, a stunning
façade built in 1799 whose intricately latticed windows were
designed to allow the ladies of the royal household to look over
the streets below without being seen.
Days 13-14 - Delhi and London
Returning to Delhi by coach for a final night, we transfer to
the airport on Day 14 for our flight
back to London Heathrow.
Guest Speaker - Raaja Bhasin
Selected departures feature a guest speaker on Day 4 at Oberoi
Cecil Shimla. We enjoy a talk from Raaja Bhasin for a detailed
insight into the town through its people, history and culture.
Raaja Bhasin is an acclaimed writer and researcher; most recently
he served as history consultant on the Channel 4 series 'Indian
Summers'. Born in Shimla, he was written two books on the former
12 nights’ hotel accommodation
All rail and coach travel throughout your tour
Return flights from London Heathrow to Delhi
UK Tour Manager from start to finish
ITC Mughal, Agra
ITC Sheraton Rajputana, Jaipur
The Oberoi Cecil Hotel, Shimla
Book with flexibility
Your Peace of Mind Options
Rail Discoveries requires a deposit of
to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 60 days before departure..
All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.