Combine memorable journeys by rail with visits to the Taj Mahal, Khajuraho temples, the Ganges and more
Make tracks across northern India on this new tour that combines first-class rail journeys with a host of classic sights. From the ancient temples of Khajuraho to the Mughals monumental Taj Mahal and the holy Hindu city of Varanasi, discover the different cultural influences that colour Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
13nights in hotels, 1 in flight
27meals: 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 13 dinners
- VIP door-to-door travel service
- Optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a reduction if not required
- Return flights and transfers
- Saga tour manager
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
- Tourist visa for full British Citizens resident in the UK
- Taj Mahal
- Deeg Palace
- Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary
- Gwalior Fort
- Gwalior Light Railway
- Jai Vilas Palace
- Tomb of Tansen
- Orchha Fort
- Khajuraho temples
- Aarti ceremony
- Ganges boat ride
- Lucknow sightseeing tour
After taking Saga’s included UK door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly overnight to Delhi.
Stay overnight at Vivanta by Taj Surajkund (4Q). This evening there will be a welcome talk.
After an early breakfast, set off on your coach journey to Agra, arriving around lunchtime. This afternoon on an included excursion you’ll view the majestic Taj Mahal from an unusual perspective across the river and see the exquisite Itmad-ud-daula tomb. Perhaps return to see the sunset over the Taj Mahal on an optional excursion. Stay two nights at The Gateway Hotel (4Q). B,D
Travel into eastern Rajasthan this morning to visit Deeg Palace and its formal Mughal gardens and mansions. Continue to Bharatpur for an included lunch before flocking to Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. Once a duck-shooting ground for the maharajas and British, it is now a nature reserve protected by UNESCO where you may see a wide variety of migratory birds.
Enjoy the hustle and bustle of daily Indian life on your second train journey. This afternoon an included visit will reveal Gwalior Fort, a vast complex that contains a wealth of historic architecture. Highlights include the ornate four-storey Man Mandir and an 8th-century Vishnu temple. Stay two nights at the heritage Taj Usha Kiran Palace (3Q).
Visit the Tomb of Mohammad Ghaus, a Muslim saint who assisted the Mughal Emperor, Babur, when he conquered the citys fort in 1526. This elegant 16th century building lies amongst a complex of tombs and with its walls of pierced stone screens, hexagonal corner towers and domes, is a notable example of early Mughal architecture. Later, included visits reveal lavish 19th-century Jai Vilas Palace and the Mughal-style Tomb of Tansen, considered to be the father of Hindustani music and once one of the nine jewels of Akbars Court. B,D
Enjoy the last of your Indian rail journeys before disembarking in Jhansi and venturing off the beaten track to Datia. This is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage centre where you can see one of the best examples of Bundela architecture, Govind Palace. After an including sightseeing tour, continue to Orchha for a two-night stay at Amar Mahal (3Q).
One of Indias better-kept secrets, Orchhas atmospheric fort protects beautiful temples and palaces that lie largely empty. Admire the domed pavilions of 17th-century Jehangir Mahal and view the royal cenotaphs during an included tour of the former Bundela capital. Then look forward to attending a Hindu aarti ceremony this evening.
Cross the rural landscapes of Madhya Pradesh en route to Khajuraho for two nights at the Taj Hotel Chandela (3Q).
The 9th-century temples of Khajuraho will be revealed on an included morning tour. Protected by UNESCO, these temples feature sandstone carvings which depict various scenes thought to represent the marriage of Shiva and Parvati. A small fraction of these broach more taboo topics and have given these temples quite a reputation!
Venture into the teak thickets, gorges and valleys of Panna National Park on an optional early morning visit. Then this afternoon, fly to Varnanasi for two nights at The Gateway Hotel (4Q). This evening, visit Mother Ganges, India’s most scared river and a holy pilgrimage site where you can attend another moving aarti ceremony.
Varanasi and Sarnath
Bear witness to Varanasi’s morning rituals on an included boat ride past scores of ghats. Afterwards, explore the narrow lanes of Varanasi and see the Golden Temple. This afternoon, visit the site in Sarnath where Buddha preached for the first time. Here you can see the Dhamekh Stupa and a ruined monastery.
You’re free to relax at leisure this morning, before departing, after lunch, on your final rail journey a long but rewarding one to Lucknow. Stay two nights at the Vivanta by Taj Gomti Nagar (4Q).
Lucknow’s fascinating past as the fabled city for the Nawab of Awadh will be revealed on an included sightseeing tour today. Architectural highlights include the Turkish Gate, the spires of Bara Imambara, Chattar Manzil palace and the British Raj residency, site of the 1857 Indian Mutiny. This evening, enjoy Awadhi cuisine and learn more about the Nawab dynasty at the home of one of their descendants.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight via Delhi, arriving this evening for your included UK VIP door-to-door travel service home.