Railways of India for solo travellers

Resort: Railways of India for solo travellers
Operator: Saga
Destination: India
Price From: £2799.00

Explore Indias famous Golden Triangle and beyond by rail

Step aboard and explore northern India by train on six memorable rail journeys on this escorted tour exclusively for solo travellers. Discover Indias Golden Triangle comprising three of the most vibrant cities of north-west India Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, capital of the ancient state of Rajasthan. Each has its own fascinating history, rich cultural heritage and wealth of sights, sounds and experiences waiting to be discovered. Next, head further north to Amritsar famed for its stunning Golden Temple, Chandigarh, and Shimla in the Himalayan foothills with its colonial British connections.

During this 14-night holiday, youll also travel by road, visit markets and bazaars, mosques and palaces, and watch for tigers on safari. Marvel at the Taj Mahal at dawn, visit the famous Golden Temple, watch for tigers in Ranthambore National Park and travel by steam train on one of Indias UNESCO World Heritage Mountain Railways. Apart from the iconic toy train mountain railway, look forward to travelling in air-conditioned carriages and staying in locally rated 4-star hotels. At the end of the day look forward to relaxing over dinner in convivial company perfect for sharing new experiences with your travelling companions.

Including…

VIP door-to-door travel service from anywhere on the UK mainland

14 nights in hotels and 1 in flight

32 meals: 14 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 13 dinners

UK Return flights and transfers // Saga tour manager // Welcome briefing with refreshments // Porterage at all hotels // Tourist visa for full British Citizens resident in the UK // Fast track security and airport lounge UK // Welcome drink and dinner // Drinks party // Farewell dinner // Meet and greet at the airport // Social activities

Excursions

Tour of Old and New Delhi // Visit to the Amber Fort // Maharaja’s City Palace and the Jantar Mantar observatory // Two safaris in Ranthambore National Park // Tour of Agra including Agra Fort and the Baby Taj // Visit the Taj Mahal around sunrise // Tour of Amritsar including the famous Golden Temple and the Wagah Border // Tour of Chandigarh // Tour of Shimla Six train journeys


Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK-Delhi

After taking Sagas included UK door-to-door travel service to the airport, depart on your overnight flight to Delhi.

Fly over night

Day 2 Delhi

Transfer to the locally rated 4-starThe Suryaa,where you will stay for the next two nights.

The Suryaa has a lounge bar, patisserie, main SSence restaurant serving national and international cuisine and the Sampan restaurant, serving Asian cuisine, an outdoor pool, gym and Spa (charges apply). Each of the 244 air-conditioned rooms has a telephone, television, safe, tea and coffee-making facilities and hairdryer.

This evening enjoy dinner and a welcome briefing with refreshments. D

Delhi

Day 3 Delhi

Discover Delhi on a day tour of this colourful and vibrant city. In historic Old Delhi, you’ll visit Old Delhi Market Chandni Chowk with its stalls, shops and street food Jama Masjid, Indias largest mosque, and drive past the famous Red Fort.

In New Delhi look forward to driving past the presidential palace of Rashtrapati Bhavan and the impressive India Gate memorial. You will also visit Raj Ghat the resting place of Mahtma Gandhi, the Mausoleum of Humanyu and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Qutb Minar, a 13th-century minaret which, together with its surrounding area, is regarded as a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art. B, L, D

India Gate memorial

Day 4 Delhi-Jaipur

Set off early morning for your first train ride as you travel from Delhi to Jaipur aboard the Ajmer Shatabdi Express. This superfast air-conditioned express train journey will arrive in Jaipur mid-morning after which you will transfer to the locally rated 4-starLaLiT Jaipur.

The LaLiT Jaipur Hotel has two restaurants, a cafe, a bar, rooftop swimming pool, fitness centre and a spa (extra charge). All 231 air-conditioned rooms have a television, telephone, tea and coffee-making facilities, Wi-Fi (extra charge), minibar (extra charge), hairdryer and safe. Spend this afternoon at leisure.

Perhaps join an optional evening excursion to the Choti Choper Bazaar. B, L

Jaipur

Day 5 Jaipur

Today’s full-day tour begins with a visit to the deserted city of Amber, once the ancient capital of the Rajput Empire.

Inside Amber Fort you can visit the earlier palaces built by Raja Man Singh, stark in comparison to those built by Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Jai Singh II. In the short time span of just a few decades, the Mughal influence permeated the Rajput court and is evident in the splendid and ornate halls of audiences, residential palaces and gardens. Of special interest is Shish Mahal, a delightful palace where the walls and ceiling are encrusted with glittering mirrors. You’ll travel to the palace in an open jeep as the climb is steep. Afterwards, visit the Maharaja’s City Palace, a sprawling royal residence where the main attraction is the museum and armoury, with its extensive arsenal of pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers.

Youll also visit the Jantar Mantar Observatory with its collection of 14 astronomical instruments used to scan the celestial bodies with extraordinary accuracy, including a 27-metre tall sundial whose shadow moves at a rate of around 1millimetre per second. Youll also drive past Hawa Mahal the Palace of the Winds. This five-storey building has 953 sandstone windows from which the royal ladies could watch life going on outside without being seen.

Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure. B, L

Amber Fort

Day 6 Jaipur-Ranthambore

Depart Jaipur late morning as you travel by train to Sawai Modhopur on an air-conditioned intercity express.

Transfer to the Hotel Jungle Vilas in Ranthambore, where youll stay for the next two nights. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or perhaps join an optional excursion. The contemporary, locally rated 5-starHotel Jungle Vilasis adjacent to Ranthambore National Park, lies in 10 acres of grounds. and has a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and spa (extra charge). All 22 air-conditioned rooms have a television, telephone, tea and coffee-making facilities, mini-fridge, safe, and hairdryer.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. B, L, D

Day 7 Ranthambore

Today look forward to a morning and afternoon Safari by Canter an open-topped safari bus in Ranthambore National Park. This National Park was Rajasthan’s first tiger reserve and is home to stately sambar, the largest species of Asiatic deer, crocodiles and a wealth of birds. During your safaris watch for glimpses of tigers, although sightings of tigers cannot be guaranteed Relax at your hotel tonight. B, L, D

Ranthambore National Park

Day 8 Ranthambore-Agra

Early this morning travel to Sawai Madhopur railway station to board the Shatabdi train for Bharatpur.

On arrival continue to Agra and the locally rated 4-starRadisson Blu Agraor locally rated 4-starTaj Hotel & Convention Centre, where you will stay overnight. At lunchtime look forward to a special Thali lunch where a selection of different dishes encapsulating six different flavours are served arranged on a plate with bread or rice a true taste of the area. This afternoon youll head for the Agra Fort a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 16th-century Mughal fortress with its palaces and halls enclosed the Mughal imperial city. Close by lies the Baby Taj the tomb of I’timd-ud-Daulah and reminiscent of the famous Taj Mahal in miniature. This evening, perhaps join an optional excursion.

The Taj Hotel & Convention Centre, Agra, is located on the edge of the city and is around a half-an-hours walk from the Taj Mahal. It has four restaurants offering a variety of cuisine, two bars and a fitness centre. All 142 air-conditioned rooms have a television, telephone, tea and coffee-making facilities, minibar (extra charge) complimentary Wi-Fi and a safe. B, L

Agra Fort

Day 9 Agra-Delhi

The Taj Mahal in Agra is celebrated for its architectural magnificence and aesthetic beauty. Built by Shah Jahan in 1560 in memory of his queen Mumtaz Mahal it’s constructed in white marble and took 22 years and over 20,000 workers and craftsmen to complete.

Join an included excursion this morning to see this fabulous building in the early morning sun. After breakfast at the hotel Transfer to Delhi where you will stay overnight at the locally rated 5-starThe Suryaa(for hotel details please see day 2). B, D

Taj Mahal

Day 10 Delhi-Amritsar

This morning, take the early morning train to Amritsar, a journey of around six-and-a-half hours.

Check into the locally rated 5-starTaj Swarna, a contemporary hotel with a convenient location in Amritsar. The elegant facilities include a restaurant, bar and health club. The 157 spacious bedrooms are air-conditioned and feature a television, minibar (extra charge) and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Relax at your hotel or alternatively perhaps join an optional excursion. B, D

Day 11 Amritsar

This morning, a sightseeing tour visits Jallianwalah Bagh and the Durgiana Hindu temple, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘Silver Temple’, as well as a local bazaar. You’ll also visit the famous Golden Temple the most famous place for Sikhism and the community kitchen nearby which provides free meals for thousands of pilgrims and visitors every day.

This afternoon, travel to the border town of Wagah to see a changing of the guard ceremony a military ceremony involving troops from both India and Pakistan which has taken place every evening at sunset since 1959. B, L, D

Durgiana Hindu Temple

Day 12 Amritsar-Chandigarh

Depart for Chandigarh this morning, a drive of approximately five hours.

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city the hub of northern India. Designed by renowned Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier during the 1950s, it is a carefully-planned, modern city featuring French Colonial-influenced architecture. During your tour visit the High Court and drive by the Punjab University, Governors Residence, Sukhna Lake and the main commercial district.

This evening stay overnight at the locally rated 4-starTaj Chandigarh. Facilities include three restaurants, a bar, swimming pool, beauty salon, fitness centre and spa. There are 149 bedrooms with a television, direct-dial telephone, tea and coffee-making facilities and minibar. Wi-Fi is available (charge applies). B, D

Day 13 Chandigarh-Simla

Leave Chandigarh and drive to Kalka, home of the famous Toy Train. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mountain Railways of India, this famous railway covers some 96 kilometres and was built in the 19th century.

Youll travel from Chandigarh to the hill station of Shimla aboard the 30-inch wide Himalayan Queen train that will make its way through scenery of forest-clad mountains and beautiful valleys, passing through some 100 tunnels and 800 bridges!

Transfer to the locally rated 4-starClarkes Oberoi Hotel, a Grand Heritage Hotel where you will stay for the next two nights. Built in 1898, the hotel is reminiscent of a colonial bungalow, and has a dining hall, lounge bar and attractive terrace with mountain views. Each of the 32 rooms has a telephone, television, tea and coffee-making facilities, safe, minibar and Wi-Fi (charges may apply). B, D

Toy Train

Day 14 Shimla

During a morning sightseeing tour of Shimla you will see the Sankat Mochan Temple and the Jancient Jakhu Temple, as well as the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies on Observatory Hill which was the summer home of the British Viceroy in India and the base from which the British Raj was ruled. The Partition Agreement, where India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain was negotiated here, and visitors have included Gandhi and Nehru.

Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to perhaps stroll the Mall Shimla’s bustling commercial area. B, L

Jakhu Temple

Day 15 Shimla-Delhi

Drive from Shimla to Chandigarh and board the train for the final train journey of your holiday.

Stay overnight at the locally rated 4-starNovotel Aerocity Hotelin Delhi. This modern hotel has a restaurant, lounge bar, swimming pool, spa (charges apply) and free Wi-Fi. Each of the 400 air-conditioned rooms has a television, telephone, safe, hairdryer and free Wi-Fi. B, D

Delhi

Day 16 Delhi-UK

Transfer from your hotel to Delhi airport for your return flight to the UK. B

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