Grand Journey from India's Golden Triangle to Shimla

Grand Journey from India's Golden Triangle to Shimla

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Grand Journey from India's Golden Triangle to Shimla

15 Days Starting and ending in Delhi

Visiting: Delhi, New Delhi, Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Ranthambore National Park, Jaipur, Amber fort, Shekhawati, Shimla

Tour operator:

Riviera Travel

Tour code:

IDS

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Physical rating:

Please contact Riviera Travel if you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility.

Age range:

18-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Please contact Riviera Travel with specific dietary requests.

Tour operated in:

English

Interests:

Cultural, History, Rail Tours

Activities:

4WD, Sightseeing

This tour is no longer available

Tour Overview

India, a unique country and civilisation, is a mindboggling potpourri of sights, sounds, colours and experiences as well as a culture-shock of astonishing contrasts. Immerse yourself in this tour and prepare for a revamp of any preconceptions towards one of the world's 'must-see' destinations!

The jewel of our tour is surely the Taj Mahal in the early morning, when its colours and ethereal beauty is at its most amazing. Built to house the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, Emperor Jahan's wife, it took 20,000 men 22 years to finish it. The end result transcends the extraordinary world monument it is.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a guided tour of the 400-year-old deserted Moghul city of Fatehpur Sikri

  • Explore the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, capital of the desert kingdom of Rajasthan with a guided city tour

  • Marvel at the extraordinary location and beauty of Amber Fort, home of one of India’s most powerful maharajas

  • Hand-picked accommodation rated three to five-stars, including all local taxes, with breakfast and eight meals included

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Departure

Location: Delhi

Accommodation Name: Overnight Flight

Meals Included: Breakfast, No Meals

Airport check-in for your overnight flight to Delhi.

Day 2 : Arrival In New Delhi

Location: New Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: 5* Le Meridien Hotel

Meals Included: Dinner

On arrival, we transfer to the five-star Le Meridien Hotel. After a short rest we commence our guided tour of New Delhi. The city centre, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1911, is bisected by wide, tree-lined avenues, a hub which clearly reflects the Raj legacy and home to the former Viceroy’s Palace, now the Presidential Palace. Heading down the imposing Rajpath, we pass India Gate and the Parliament building. We’ll visit some of Delhi’s older monuments, including the Qutub Minaret, started in 1199, which is the tallest stone built tower in India.



Nearby is Humayun’s tomb, an outstanding example of Moghul architecture and the first mausoleum of its type, pre-dating the more widely known Taj Mahal by nearly a century. Dinner is included tonight.

Day 3 : Old Delhi

Location: Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: 5* Le Meridien Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we continue our city tour, first visiting Old Delhi, starting with the Raj Ghat, a fittingly simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. We continue past the imposing walls and battlements of the great Red Fort before visiting the Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques. We leave Delhi in the afternoon for our drive to Agra, arriving at our four-star Oberoi Trident hotel, in the late afternoon. 



Signature Experience:



Salaam Baalak Trust, a non-profit organisation, provides protection to the street children of Delhi with a programme of residential care, education and talent building activities. In the company of these remarkable young locals experience the sights and sounds of the narrow alleys and thronging markets of Old Delhi. You’ll be entertained with stories of the Mughal era and enlightened with more personal accounts of life today within the walled city. Round off this experience with a rickshaw ride through the vibrant streets where the fragrance of local spices fills the air.

Day 4 : Taj Mahal

Location: Taj Mahal

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: 4* Oberoi Trident Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

We rise early to catch the sun rising over the Taj Mahal. In the soft morning light, as the mist rises from the Yamuna River behind it, the Taj Mahal seems to float, mirage-like, above the surrounding landscape. A combination of extraordinary beauty, symmetry and history makes this wonder of the world one of the most amazing monuments on the planet and you will have plenty of time to admire it from all angles. Moving on, we continue our tour with a visit to the vast red sandstone Agra Fort. Completed in 1573, it was the headquarters of the Moghul Empire, boasting vast size and opulence, its buildings make it more of a walled palace than a fort. In the evening you have the option of completing a wonderful day with another visit to the Taj Mahal, to witness the shrine at sunset.



Signature Experience:



This afternoon step into the elegant gardens of Mehtab Bagh, also known as the Moonlight Garden and admire the Taj Mahal from across the Yamuna River – the alternative views from this exceptional location are a photographer’s dream. Then discover the splendid marble tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah, a dazzling white jewel box, also known as the ‘Baby Taj’. Later reflect on these architectural wonders over a dinner of typical Mughal cuisine at a local restaurant.

Day 5 : Fatehpur Sikri

Location: Fatehpur Sikri

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Leaving Agra this morning we continue towards the ancient abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, built in 1571, as Emperor Akbar’s imperial capital. Although it was mysteriously abandoned just 15 years later, it remains in a remarkable state of preservation, with numerus palaces, wide courtyards and beautiful carvings.



We stop for lunch (included) at the Laxmi Vilas Palace in Bharat before going on to the railway station to catch the Shatabdi Express for our comfortable two and a half hour journey to Ranthambore National Park. Originally the private hunting preserve of Maharajahs, its 400 square kilometres of forested rolling hills, valleys and lakes form a unique ecosystem. Started in 1973, India’s famous Tiger Project was created to protect the country’s tiger population. Despite many difficulties, the tigers of Ranthambore have survived and numbers have stabilised.



Our hotel for the next two nights is the comfortable family-run three-star Ranthambore Regency on full board basis.

Day 6 : Ranthambore Tiger Safari

Location: Ranthambore National Park

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

An early start this morning is worth the sacrifice as we head out to the park for our safari using specially built, 20-person, open-top four wheel drive vehicles known as ‘canters’. After many years of conservation, Ranthambore is now the best place to spot tigers in India, but the reserve is about more than tigers – over 300 bird species have been counted including impressive crested eagles, painted stork and wild peacocks. The park’s residents also include large numbers of sambars, the largest Asian antelope, as well as marsh crocodiles, wild boar and rare sloth bears and leopards. Look out for the playful troop of black-faced langur monkeys near the main entrance gate.



We return to our hotel in the late morning, with time to relax before and after lunch. In the afternoon we take our second trip into the park for another chance to spot the elusive tigers. Dinner is included this evening.



Signature Experience:



In the company of a knowledgeable naturalist learn more about the tiger and hear how these majestic creatures play a pivotal role in the natural health and diversity of the ecosystem. As tigers are at the apex of the food chain, discover how they ensure a balance between natural prey and vegetation as they roam the forests and grasslands of Ranthambore. The experience includes a 40 minute documentary.

Day 7 : Jaipur

Location: Jaipur

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Leaving Ranthambore after breakfast we head north to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur. Our afternoon tour will cover all the major highlights of this ancient city. The famous Hawa Mahal, known as the Palace of Winds, is one of our first stops before we continue to the Astronomical Observatory constructed in 1726 and on to the City Palace, still home to the present Maharajah of Jaipur, where we’ll view collections of costumes, carpets, paintings and the impressive armoury. Our hotel for the next two nights is the new four-star Hilton Jaipur.

Day 8 : Amber Fort

Location: Amber fort

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning another highlight, on a tour of highlights. You’ll visit the immense Amber Fort, located in the hills just a short drive out of Jaipur. Sampling all the most fascinating sights, our guided tour includes the sections reserved for the Maharajah’s wives and concubines as well as the remarkable hall of mirrors, with tiny delicate convex mirrors embedded like a mosaic in the walls and ceilings. 

Day 9 : Rajasthan

Location: Shekhawati

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, we bid goodbye to Jaipur and head north, deeper into the interior of rural Rajasthan. We pass numerous small villages and towns on our way to the Sekhawati region of the state and the village of Alsisar. This was once part of India’s Silk Road and over the years the merchants here grew very rich, building a large number of luxurious mansions known as ‘havelis’, to display their wealth through the magnificence of their frescoed walls. Although most of these have now been abandoned, the imposing and luxurious residence of the local kings has been lovingly restored into an amazing Heritage hotel, the Alsisar Mahal, where we stay for the night. Dinner is included tonight.

Day 10 : New Delhi

Location: New Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we head back to Delhi and spend one night at the Le Meridien Hotel. Dinner is included this evening. 

Day 11 : Train To Shimla

Location: Shimla

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

We take the morning express train from Delhi for our four hour journey north to Kalka. Our train reservations are in ‘chair-class’ carriages, with comfortable seating, air-conditioning and large windows. At Kalka we change trains onto the Shimla narrow-gauge ‘toy’ train for the last part of our journey. Although the carriages are smaller and not air-conditioned, the compensation is the increasingly spectacular scenery en-route. Inaugurated by Viceroy Lord Curzon back in 1903, this amazing railway encounters no less than 800 bridges and 102 tunnels on its 96 kilometre journey to Shimla. A packed lunch is included today.



We arrive in Shimla’s small station in the late afternoon from where we are transferred straight to the town’s haven of luxury, the five-star Oberoi Cecil Hotel, where we stay for three nights, bed and breakfast. With its Burmese teak floors, magnificent atrium lobby, its excellent restaurant, indoor pool and Asian Spa, this is one of India’s best-known hotels. All the spacious rooms are air-conditioned, beautifully furnished and have views of the surrounding teak forests. 

Day 12 : Shimla

Location: Shimla

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we explore the many reminders of British colonial life in Shimla. The most fascinating by far is the immense Viceregal Lodge and its beautiful botanical gardens, built in Scottish baronial style to house the Viceroy and his staff for the six months they were based in the town. Although some of the interior of the building is closed to the public, the areas that are open give an incredible glimpse into the not-so-distant past. Particularly touching is the large collection of photographs from the late Victorian era and the last years of the Raj. We also take a walk along the pedestrian-only Mall, from Scandal Point and Christ Church past the mock- Tudor Post Office, the Gaiety Theatre and the Town Hall. There are a huge number of shops and markets and Shimla is particularly known for the quality of its locally made pashmina shawls.

Day 13 : Free Day In Shimla

Location: Shimla

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a day at leisure in Shimla, relax at the hotel pool or spa, or maybe take another stroll along the mall and do some last minute bargain hunting in the markets. Alternatively, there are a number of short local ‘treks’ that can be arranged in the surrounding hills. A sumptuous buffet dinner is included this evening.

Day 14 : Train To Delhi

Location: Delhi

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we say goodbye to Shimla and the Oberoi Hotel as we start our return journey to Delhi. This time we descend by car to Kalka from where we catch the train back to Delhi for our last night at the Le Meridien hotel.

Day 15 : Return Flight

Location: Delhi

Meals Included: Breakfast

We depart Delhi in the early afternoon on our flight home to the UK, arriving back the same day.

What's Included

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement (date dependant)

  • Accommodation

    3 to 5-star accommodation

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • Fully Guided

    The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager

  • Meals

    24 meals: 14 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 6 dinners

  • International Travel

    Scheduled flights to/from Delhi

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

    All local transport by train or coach as described

  • Local Taxes

    All local accommodation taxes and flight taxes

  • All touring as mentioned

    Included excursions are guided tours of New and Old Delhi, Agra and the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, two game drives in Ranthambore, Jaipur city tour, visit to Amber Fort, walking tour of Havelis at Mandawa, walking tour of Shimla

  • Hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person

What's Not Included

  • Country Entry Visas

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Any other items not mentioned or listed as optional

Check out our Q&As

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Will passengers from another country be participating in the tour?

    Yes

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    Copy & Paste description of Difficulty Level into FAQs - found above in the Overview section

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    No

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Roundtrip airport-to-hotel transfers are included when purchasing our airfare with your tour. If you have arranged for your own air, we are pleased to provide you the option of purchasing these transfers. Please note that all transfers will leave at pre-scheduled times.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes, 5 years or above

  • What is the maximum group size?

    44 people but average group size is 32.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    For almost 40 years

  • I have reduced mobility; can I still travel?

    We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to contact us to discuss these concerns

  • Do I require travel insurance?

    It is a condition of booking that you carry suitable travel insurance.

  • What is my luggage allowance?

    You will receive details of your luggage allowance with your final travel documents, which are sent approximately 10 days prior to your date of departure.

Reviews of this operator

David Clarke (Google Reviewer)  

This review is for the...

08-Aug-2023

This review is for the italian Lake Como trip Aug 1-8 Wow what a trip. Riviera from start to finish were excellent the booking and help line answering questions were very good and clear. The travel booklet you get is laid out that it is simple to read and follow with step by step info from booking in to flights to meeting the guides. Our guide Matt Purse was just the best guide and real credit to Riviera with his knowledge and straight forward approach to running the trips. Matt kept us informed and told us all the sort of info you want to know without going over the top....This chap should teach other reps ..thank you so much. The coaches they use are all clean and well equipped with usb chargers and have aircon. The places chosen to visit were well researched even down to where coaches park or drop you off. The Bernina Express was the highlight for our family and matts photo tip was welcomed. The only down point was the hotel,a little dated and evening meal in main restuarant was a bit of a let down. I think we were lucky with our room on level 7 and with balcony as the walls are very thin and noise travels. We would book again with riviera

Barbara Shillaker (Google Reviewer)  

I have been on three...

11-Jan-2024

I have been on three trips with Riviera Travel so far, with two more booked during 2024. Highly recommended. Excellent tour guides. Great program of visits. Great hotels used.

Julie Berry (Google Reviewer)  

What a fantastic holiday to...

29-May-2024

What a fantastic holiday to Canada on the Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska Cruise. If you are thinking of booking this do it right now. From start to finish everything was great. The hotels, the transport and the cruise. The rep was absolutely fabulous. If you have ‘B’ as your rep you will make a friend. She is so full of knowledge. We went on this trip with strangers and left it as friends.

Mrs Bodnarec (Google Reviewer)  

Thankyou Riviera and all the...

28-Apr-2024

Thankyou Riviera and all the staff on the William Wordsworth Danube River cruise. My husband and i have just travelled on the Danube to celebrate my husbands 60th and we had such a lovely experience. We were younger than most of the travellers but we met so many lovely people so this wasnt a problem. The staff were so lovely and professional. The service we experienced was so high. The boat was beautiful, the food amazing and the excursions were informative and well managed. I would definately recommend riviera as a company. In fact we are now considering their Japan holiday.

Valerie Pascoe  

We would go again in a heartbeat

22-Jan-2022

Oh my goodness, what a relief it was to actually get away! Full marks to all at Riviera for keeping us up to date before our trip and for the help so cheerfully and patiently given with the extra admin that Covid brought our way. We felt totally safe with the measures taken on board, thank you very much for this. Without exception, Staff were fantastic and our every need was attended to. The additional Covid testing ran smoothly, organised by our Riviera Reps. The guided tours were most interesting: the guides very knowledgeable and more importantly, interesting to listen to. We loved this trip and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you again Riviera, you were FAB!

Chris Wilson (Google Reviewer)  

Second escorted tour with this...

25-Jul-2022

Second escorted tour with this company. Did 5 days in Iceland tour. Everything went smoothly, excellent tour guide, Per. Extremely knowledgeable and interesting guy. Very friendly too. Highly recommend. Just let down by the room given at the hotel, but I guess the travel company doesn't have control over this.

Kathryn Jurin, GB  

Riviera South Africa tour - awesome

21-May-2021

Riviera have amazing holidays and tours to choose from. The one we chose was South Africa and wow! It turned out to be our best trip ever - incredible memories we will never forget. We’ve been all over the world which was because of all our experiences, this one was awesome. The organisation of the holiday, the guide and the travel was e cells that. The choice of hotels, meals, restaurants, trips was absolutely fantastic - very good quality and character - nothing bland or boring! The Riviera guide was permanently with us along with a South Africa guide and they were both extremely friendly, professional, informative and you could ask any questions you want! I would massively recommend this holiday/trip and when you’ve experienced it, you realise how reasonable the price is. We reflect on this trip a lot and thank you Riviera for giving us such a wonderful experience.

Trustpilot
Christine Hardy (Google Reviewer)  

Although most people seem to...

10-Mar-2024

Although most people seem to book and pay for their holidays online, because we live close by we prefer to make a personal visit. In my opinion if they are offering this as an option they should be better equipped to accommodate visits in person. We have not been on our river cruise yet, so can't comment on that yet.

Norma Patrick (Google Reviewer)  

Recently went on a tour...

18-May-2024

Recently went on a tour of the Deep South USA plus Texas. Before we set off on the trip we were informed that our trip On the Amtrak train would not be going ahead and we were given a £50 refund each. We were disappointed especially as there was no consultation beforehand and to only receive £50 each in compensation was poor. This was one of the reasons we had chosen Riviera Travel and may have considered another company had we been given the choice. Despite this we had a fabulous holiday, although we thought the tour guide was poor. There was no music played whilst we were traveling on the coach and when asked if more could be played we received a flat ‘no’. If we had relied on the tour guide all the time we wouldn’t have gone anywhere. However we ignored his comments that Nashville was ‘mad’ and went downtown and had the best night. All in all we had a wonderful holiday but it could have been better from Riviera Travel point of view. This is a very expensive tour and we thought the standard of hotels were very poor in some places. Probably would try a different tour company next time.

Barbara Parkes (Google Reviewer)  

Presently in Croatia staying at...

22-Sep-2023

Presently in Croatia staying at Arauana Hotel, supposedly a 4 star property, but wouldn't give it any star rating. Rooms are small and dirty. Wallpaper blistering. Meals served in a shed like lean-to. Food like warm, greasy and always self service. Second holiday with Riviera this year and neither at standard advertised. Have travelled with them previously and everything was fine, but standards have really dropped. Have booked a holiday with them next year and now dreading it. Certainly don't provide the standard advertised. We have never stayed in such a hovel and have visited youngsters in back packers accommodation which was far better than this supposedly 4 star accommodation. There are no indoor bars or lounges only a shed as a so called restaurant. Absolutely disgusting. Won't be boking with them again

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Riviera Travel requires a minimum deposit of 500 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 75 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of riviera travel charges.

    Up to 75 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 74 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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