India's Tigers & Palaces 2014
Explore exotic India by train
This amazing adventure through India takes us to some of the country's most exciting sights. We discover thriving cities, spectacular palaces and forts and have the chance to see a tiger in the wild. Our tour culminates with an exclusive night in a 200-year old palace.
Days 1-2 - Fly to Delhi
We leave London Heathrow on our overnight flight to Delhi, arriving in the morning of Day 2. We transfer to the 4* Maidens Hotel.
Day 2 - Dinner
Day 3 - Sightseeing tour of Delhi
As India's capital, Delhi is a major cultural and political centre, boasting an ancient legacy, many beautiful monuments, and spacious, lush parks. We take in all of these on today's guided tour. Beginning in Old Delhi, we see the historic streets and colourful markets before visiting Jama Masjid, a stunning 17th century mosque - which is India's largest. After enjoying a rickshaw ride down 'The Silver Street', we continue to New Delhi for a visit to Humayun's Tomb and Qutab Minar - India's tallest stone tower. Other highlights include India Gate, the Parliament Building and Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Day 4 - To Agra, the Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal
We leave Delhi on the Shatabdi Express for the journey to Agra, a city known for its splendid Mughal buildings. On arrival, we enjoy a tour of the city, stopping at Agra Fort, a complex sometimes referred to as a 'walled city' due to its sheer size. Set on a hill above Agra, the 15th century fort was seen as India's most important fortification. Later we travel across the city to one of the world's most famous structures - the Taj Mahal. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the outstanding sight is truly a joy to behold. Our sunset visit ensures we experience the building's magical aura as the sun's final rays catch the white marble. We stay at the welcoming 4* Trident Hotel tonight.
Days 5 - Fatehpur Sikri and Bharatpur
We leave Agra this morning and travel by coach to Fatehpur Sikri, a fascinating red sandstone city built in the late 16th century. Despite being designed as India's political capital, the city had to be abandoned soon after when the local wells ran dry. Remarkably, the city remains exactly as it was 400 years ago. After time to explore, we continue to Bharatpur where we take lunch together at a local restaurant. Later we transfer to the station for the journey by rail to Sawai Madhopur, where we arrive at the Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge for a two-night stay.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 6 - Tiger-spotting in Ranthambore National Park
Early this morning we enjoy a game drive through Ranthambore National Park. Many rare creatures such as leopards and panthers can be found here among the scenic woodlands and rugged open plains. Other permanent residents of the park include hyenas, marsh crocodiles and sloth bears. The park's elusive star is the tiger, being one of the only places in India where these incredible creatures are still found in the wild, thanks to the successful efforts of Project Tiger. We embark on a second game drive in the afternoon to ensure the best possible sightings of these fascinating animals.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 7 - To Jaipur
Today we travel by coach to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. It is popularly known as the 'Pink City', as pink sandstone was used to construct the pretty buildings within the old city walls. On arrival, we check into our hotel for the next three nights, the Trident Hotel. The rest of your day is free to simply relax in the hotel, or perhaps take a stroll through your new surroundings.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 8 - Sightseeing in Jaipur
This morning we embark on an exciting sightseeing tour of Jaipur. We head to the grand City Palace, which is home to the current Maharaja of Jaipur. The ornate building was completed in 1728, and is now enclosed by high walls and set in fine gardens. We also see the early 18th century Astronomical Observatory, a splendid complex featuring a number of major geometric devices for tracking locations of planets. We experience the spectacular Palace of the Winds, an opulent red and pink sandstone building created for royal ladies to overlook the city without being seen.
Day 9 - The Amber Fort
Today we transfer by coach to the ancient village of Amber to visit the immense Amber Fort. Situated high on a mountainside, it was traditionally the royal stronghold before Rajasthan's capital was relocated to Jaipur. After ascending by jeep, you are free to stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. The views of the great walls and fortifications on the surrounding mountains are stunning. The imposing exterior of the defensive building contrasts with the intricate and detailed interior of the rooms.
Day 10 - To the Patan Mahal
We travel by coach to the town of Patan today. On arrival, we are transferred by camel cart to the Patan Mahal Palace Hotel. Built around 1790, the Patan Mahal Palace Hotel has been lovingly turned into a heritage hotel. As befitting visitors to a palace, we receive a royal welcome when we reach the grounds, and are decorated with flowers and rangooli. After time to settle in, this afternoon we enjoy a guided walking tour of Patan town. We then continue to Badal Mahal, an 800-year old palace, where we can admire the stunning views. Tonight we indulge in a gala dinner in the grounds of our palace hotel.
Day 11 - To Delhi and London
This morning we bid farewell to the Patan Mahal, and transfer by coach to Delhi International Airport. Here we connect with our flight back to London Heathrow.
These meals, where shown, are included in the price of your holiday
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India's Tigers and Palaces
See some of the country's most iconic sights and meet fantastic native wildlife on this India's Tigers and Palaces tour. Experience the magisterial proportions of the Agra Fort and marvel at the unmistakable Taj Mahal on India's Tigers and Palaces tour.