India’s Golden Triangle
The kaleidoscopic sights of this colourful country take you breath away.
Our Indian rail tour takes in the Red and Amber Forts, historic temples, beautiful palaces and ornate gardens, as we visit Delhi, the 'Pink City' of Jaipur and Agra with its white marble icon, the Taj Mahal.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Scheduled return flights from London Heathrow to Delhi (including flight taxes and charges)
- All rail and Volvo coach travel throughout Toyota Innova car transfers in Shimla
- 11 nights' 5-Star hotel accommodation
- 26 meals including 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, including 2 packed lunches, and 11 dinners
- Rail journey on the Shatabdi Express
- Journey on the UNESCO-listed Toy Train to Shimla
- Guided city tours in Delhi, Shimla and Jaipur
- Visits to iconic monuments, including the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and the Amber Fort
- Specialist guest speaker
- The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Days 1 & 2 - Fly to Delhi
We depart London Heathrow on our flight to Delhi, arriving late morning on Day 2. Delhi is one of India's most colourful and exciting metropolises, where the old and new cities exist harmoniously together. We spend the night at our 5-Star hotel.
Day 3 - By train to Shimla
We leave Delhi on the Shatabdi Express to Kalka. Here we board the UNESCO-listed narrow-gauge Shivalik Express, which is also affectionately referred to as the 'Toy Train'. Covering a journey of 96km, the train gradually passes through the Shivalik foothills of the Himalayas, passing over 864 bridges and through 102 tunnels on its journey to Shimla. The train moves at a leisurely pace, giving us time to soak in the incredible panorama of the surrounding scenery. Alternatively, you may choose to make the journey by car. Shimla was 'discovered' by the British in 1817, and was later used as a fashionable retreat from the summer heat thanks to its lovely temperate climate. In 1684, the Government of India declared Shimla as their official headquarters during the hot season. Because of this, many of the town's buildings are very British in style. We spend three nights at the heritage 5-Star Oberoi Cecil Hotel.
Days 4 & 5 - Shimla
We begin our exploration of Shimla with a sightseeing tour, of the town's colonial heritage. We begin 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, named thus due to it being a popular social meeting place where people would gather and share gossip.
On Day 5 you are free to explore at leisure. This provides you with a great opportunity to travel further into the Himalayas for majestic views towards the higher, snowcapped mountain peaks of the world's tallest mountain range. Alternatively, you could explore more of Shimla, visiting Wildflower Hall, a former residence of Lord Kitchener. Now a hotel, this beautiful building sits amidst a verdant forest with incredible views of the surrounding peaks of the Himalayas.
Days 6 & 7 - Exploring Old and New Delhi
We depart Shimla and return back to Delhi, for two more nights. On Day 7 we visit Old Delhi, taking a rickshaw ride through the narrow streets of Delhi's bazaar for an incredible insight into the lives of the millions of people who live in the city. As you travel towards Chandi Chowk, you will be immersed in real India - we visit the Jama Masjid - India's largest mosque, Raj Ghat, a simple but moving memorial to Gandhi, 'the father of the Nation', and pass Delhi's Red Fort. Later we embark on a sightseeing tour exploring the wide, leafy avenues and impressive colonial architecture of New Delhi. Our tour includes India Gate war memorial, the grandiose Rashtrapati Bhavan, Humayun's Tomb and Qutab Minar, India's tallest stone tower, built in 1199.
Day 8 - The Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
We join the southbound Gatimaan Express early this morning to Agra. On arrival, we visit Agra's imposing Red Fort, originating from the 15th century and considered India's most important fortification. 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. Later we travel across the city to the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, to visit this marvellous sight. Built by the Mughal Emperor 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 the world's finest example of Mughal and Persian architecture.
Day 9 - Fatehpur Sikri
We depart Agra by coach, stopping at Fatehpur Sikri, a perfectly preserved ancient 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 remains exactly as it was 400 years ago, giving us an excellent insight into how life was during the time of the Mughal Empire. After a guided tour of the empty, ghostly buildings, we continue to Jaipur, for three nights at the 5-Star ITC Hotel Rajputana.
Days 10 & 11 - Jaipur and the Amber Fort
We begin our stay in the 'Pink City' with an exciting sightseeing tour that includes the grand and ornately decorated City Palace, home to the current Maharajah of Jaipur, as well as the unique early 18th century and UNESCO listed Astronomical Observatory and the sights, sounds and smells of colourful Jaipur market. On Day 11 we travel past the beautiful Jal Mahal water palace, located in the middle of a lake, before heading to the outskirts of Jaipur to visit the Amber Fort. Located high on a hillside, to reach the fort we travel by Jeep. We have the chance to explore some of the ornate rooms within the palace complex before we continue our tour, driving past the Palace of Winds, a facade built in 1799 so the ladies of the Royal Household could look over the streets below without being seen.
Days 12 & 13 - Return to Delhi and home
Today we drive back to Delhi, where we spend our final evening. On Day 13, we transfer to the airport for our flight to London, via Abu Dhabi, arriving lake in the afternoon.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
ITC Mughal, Agra
The 5-Star ITC Mughal in Agra is set in 35 acres of gardens close to the city centre and the Taj Mahal. Part of the Sheraton group, this modern hotel has four restaurants serving a selection of Indian, Oriental and international cuisine, as well as a lobby bar which offers a selection of drinks and light snacks. The ITC Mughal also boasts one of the largest spas in India, covering 99,000 square feet. Facilities within the spa include a heated outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, state-of-the-art fitness centre, beauty parlour, outdoor rain showers, yoga gardens and a Hamam. A range of holistic therapies and treatments are available. (Please note: fees for use of the spa and treatments are payable locally.) The modern, recently-renovated rooms are air-conditioned and feature a telephone, television, radio and coffee maker. Many of the rooms have a garden view.
Taj Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi
The opulent 5-star Taj Diplomatic Enclave Hotel is perfectly located in the heart of New Delhi. The hotel has a selection of restaurants offering Indian, Vietnamese, Italian and French cuisine, a choice of bars and a tea lounge. The hotel boasts a Fitness Centre with a fully equipped gym, steam room, jacuzzi and an outdoor swimming pool, as well as a shopping arcade, beauty salon and a spa offering a range of therapies and treatments (payable locally). The luxurious bedrooms are air-conditioned and come with a telephone, LCD television, DVD player, wireless internet connectivity, tea and coffee making facilities, minibar, safe, 2 bottles of mineral water, complimentary newspapers and a hairdryer.
ITC Rajputana Sheraton, Jaipur
The 5-Star ITC Rajputana Sheraton is located 500 metres from the bustling centre of Jaipur and combines modern rooms and excellent amenities with architecture influenced by Rajasthan's history. The hotel has two restaurants offering a selection of Tandoori and international cuisine, a coffee shop and bar - both of which serve light meals and snacks. Leisure facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and a beauty salon (pay locally). Rooms are air-conditioned and have a telephone, television, radio, minibar and a coffee maker.
The Oberoi Cecil Hotel, Shimla
The wonderful 5-Star Oberoi Cecil Hotel in Shimla is reminiscent of a bygone era, a celebration of colonial elegance and grace. Restored to its original grandeur with wooden floors and period furniture, it boasts fabulous views of the mountains and valleys. A heated swimming pool, billiards rooms and many opportunities for nature walks, make this luxury resort an all season destination. Rooms include satellite television, air conditioning, telephone, minibar, hairdryer and a safe.
The Shatabdi Express trains are some of the fastest in India and are the pride of Indian Railways. Fully air-conditioned and of a far superior standard to most Indian trains, the Shatabdi Express apparently always arrives at the best platform a station has! The average speed on most lines is 68mph (110km/h) although the service between Agra and Delhi can reach speeds of 80mph (130km/h). During our journeys on the Shatabdi Express, we travel in air-conditioned Chair Class. Complimentary snacks, meals and beverages are generally provided during the journey.
The Shivalik Express, affectionately referred to as the 'Toy Train' travels between the Indian town of Kalka and Shimla, capital city of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The Toy Train's ninety-six kilometre narrow-gauge track through the Shivalik foothills of the Himalayas is one of three Indian mountain railways which together constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by British colonists, the Kalka-Shimla Railway opened in 1903. An extraordinary feat of railway engineering, the line negotiates 102 tunnels, more than 864 bridges and around 919 curves. The Toy Train's passengers have plenty of time in which to admire and marvel these features as well as the spectacular mountain panorama that line the route, tackling the 1 in 33 gradient as the train makes its ascent to Shimla demands a leisurely pace.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|28th March 2019||£2,145||Please call for availability.|
|11th April 2019||£1,995||Book Now|
|12th September 2019||£1,895||Book Now|
|19th September 2019||£1,995||Book Now|
|26th September 2019||£2,195||Book Now|
|6th October 2019||£2,395||Book Now|
|17th October 2019||£2,445||Book Now|
|24th October 2019||£2,445||Book Now|
|31st October 2019||£2,445||Book Now|
|3rd November 2019||£2,395||Book Now|
|7th November 2019||£2,375||Book Now|
|14th November 2019||£2,295||Book Now|
|17th November 2019||£2,295||Book Now|
|21st November 2019||£2,295||Book Now|
|28th November 2019||£2,195||Book Now|
|19th December 2019||£2,595||Book Now|
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India's Golden Triangle: Departs 28th March 2019 from £2,145 - Please call for availability 11th April 2019 (£1,995), 12th September 2019 (£1,895), 19th September 2019 (£1,995), 26th September 2019 (£2,195), 6th October 2019 (£2,395), 17th October 2019 (£2,445), 24th October 2019 (£2,445), 31st October 2019 (£2,445), 3rd November 2019 (£2,395), 7th November 2019 (£2,375), 14th November 2019 (£2,295), 17th November 2019 (£2,295), 21st November 2019 (£2,295), 28th November 2019 (£2,195), 19th December 2019 (£2,595)
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Prices are correct at the time of publication, however are subject to change at time of booking. Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Itinerary and accommodations may vary for 2019 departures, please speak with a rail specialist for details.
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