Grand Tour, Culture

The Colours and Culture of North India

4 to 19 November 2018

India is a country of contrasts and this tour of the Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, offers some fascinating and unique travel experiences. Starting and ending in Delhi we visit the hill station of Shimla, the city of Chandigarh designed by Le Corbusier, Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple, the bustling holy city of Haridwar on the banks of the River Ganges, the New Age ashram town of Rishikesh, and Agra, whose pride and joy is the Taj Mahal.

Tour Manager: Jenny


Sunday 4 November (D).  Arrive Delhi and transfer to the Ashok Country Resort.  Our afternoon sightseeing tour through New Delhi includes the India Gate war memorial,  the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan, designed by Edward Lutyens and formerly known as Viceroy House, Humayun’s Tomb and the Qutab Minar, India’s tallest stone tower.

Monday 5 November (B,D) This morning we visit Old Delhi on a sightseeing tour which includes the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, and Raj Ghat a moving memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, ‘father of the Nation’.  Afternoon at leisure.

Tuesday 6 November (B,Packed Lunch,D) A very early morning departure on the Himalayan Queen Express to Kalka where we transfer to the narrow-gauge Toy Train, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for Shimla in the foothills of the Himalayas.  First occupied by the British in 1800, Shimla rose to fame as a favourite summer retreat for governmental officials from the heat of the plains.  The Kalka Shimla toy train provides one of the most scenic train journeys in India (with 103 tunnels!) and is like traveling back in time. We arrive in the late afternoon and transfer to the Eastbourne Hotel.

Wednesday 7 November (B,D) Our sightseeing today takes us through the Mall with its historic neo-Gothic buildings from the colonial era, including Viceroy Lodge and Christ Church, as well as the Jakhoo Temple.

Thursday 8 November (B,D)  After breakfast we travel by road to Chandigarh, via the quaint and colourful town of Kasauli, which dates from the British Colonial era. On arrival into Chandigarh we transfer to our hotel James/Fern Residency/Lemon Tree

Friday 9 November (B,D) Chandigarh was made capital of the States of Punjab and Haryana at the time of partition when Lahore, the then capital, fell within the territory of Pakistan.   Designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, Chandigarh is renowned for its architecture and design.  This morning we visit the unique Rock Garden designed by Nek Chand, who used scrap materials in its construction, the Rose Garden and Sukhna Lake. Afternoon at leisure.

Saturday 10 November (B,D)  A morning departure by train to Amritsar arriving mid-morning.  Afternoon at leisure to explore this busy city with the Sikh Golden Temple as focal point.

Sunday 11 November (B,D)  We start the day with a blessing at the Golden Temple. Our sightseeing tour then continues with a visit to Jallianwala Bagh, site of the Amritsar massacre on 13 April 1919, when under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer, British troops were commanded to fire on civilians.  The public garden has a memorial, in the shape of an internal flame, in memory of those who lost their lives.

Monday 12 November  (B,D) A very early departure on the Shatabdi Express to Haridwar and onwards by road for the short journey to Rishikesh whose impressive ashrams are set against a forest background. Afternoon at leisure.

Tuesday 13 November (B,D) A private yoga session has been arranged for those who would like to take part this morning.  During the afternoon we visit some of the many ashrams and temples of this most vibrant town.

Wednesday 14 November (B,D) Today there is an opportunity of take a locally guided walk to the waterfalls in the Rishikesh valley.  Transport is available for those who do not wish to walk.

Thursday 15 November (B,D) After breakfast we take the short journey by road back to Haridwar. Afternoon at leisure.  Haridwar is a wonderfully colourful people watching venue..   This evening we will observe, and participate in, the Hindu religious ritual of Aarti on the banks of the Ganges.

Friday 16 November (B,D)  This morning we visit some of the various temples around Haridwar, including the Mansadevi Temple, reached by cable car.

Saturday 17 November  (B,D) An early morning departure on the Jan Shatabdi Express to Delhi arriving mid morning. Afternoon at leisure.

Sunday 18 November (B,D) We take the morning train to Agra for a visit to the famed Taj Mahal, the mausoleum commissioned in 1632 by Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.  We return by train in the late afternoon to Delhi for our final dinner.

Monday 19 November (B)  Transfer to Delhi Airport for our flight to the UK.

Place(s) available
Holiday prices per person

• 16 day tour including flight from London: £2,350

• Own travel to/from Delhi (15 days): £1,850


• Single room Supplement: £560


• £100 (balance of deposit due 01/01/2018)


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    • The experience of travelling on the regular services of Indian Railways
    • An insight into the cultures and religions of India
    • A variety of architectural styles
    • Beautiful mountain and riverside scenery
    • The Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar
    • The Taj Mahal in Agra
Price includes
  • All travel and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • Good quality en-suite accommodation
  • Meals as shown in the itinerary; B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
  • Services of our tour manager. Holiday is fully escorted.

BA 11.15 London Heathrow to Delhi
BA 11.05 Delhi to London Heathrow

Also indirect flights from Manchester, Birmingham and other UK airports via Dubai