Private Tours

Home Luxury Escorted Tours » Asia » India » Private Tours

Private tours are for individuals or couples and are designed to customer requirements in terms of standard of hotels, flights, tours and durations in destinations.

Our most popular private tours are Golden Triangle and Boutique Kerala

Schedules are detailed as can be seen from a recently constructed 28 day itinerary reproduced below:

the price for this itinerary was £10,300 pp with International Business Class Seats

 

LONDON - MUMBAI     

Mumbai also known as Bombay, located off the west coast is the commercial and entertainment capital of India, and houses important financial institutions. It is the bubblegum glamour of Bollywood cinema, shopping malls full of designer labels, cricket on the Oval Maidan, promenading families eating bhelpuri on the beach at Chowpatty red double-decker buses queuing in grinding traffic jams and the infamous cages of the red-light district. This pungent drama is played out against a Victorian townscape more reminiscent of a prosperous 19th-century English industrial city than anything you'd expect to find on the edge of the Arabian Sea. It's a city with vibrant street life, India's best nightlife, and a wealth of bazaars.

 

Overnight is at Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai [Deluxe Sea View room – Tower Wing with breakfast]

 www.tajhotels.com

 

After breakfast you will be taken for excursion of Elephanta caves (Closed on Monday) located 10 km away from the Gateway of India. There are various rock cut temples present in these caves, which are as old as 5th century. The Elephanta island was named by the Portuguese, after the statue of an elephant near the landing area of the island.

Afternoon you will be taken for half day tour of Mumbai visiting Malabar Hills. The colonial bungalows that peppered the hillside in the 18th century have now been replaced by the apartment blocks of Mumbai. You would visit Victoria Terminus. Also visit the Mani Bhavan is the old Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi. It's a pretty, two-storied structure that now houses a reference library with over 2000 books, a photo exhibition of the Mahatma's life, and well preserved memorabilia, including an old charkha or spinning wheel that Gandhiji used to use. Also visit to Prince of Whales Museum (Closed on Monday)  The Prince of Wales Museum located on the Mahatma Gandhi Road in Mumbai, India is known for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and was constructed in the early 20th century to commemorate the visit of the Price of Wales to India.

Overnight is at Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai [Deluxe Sea View room – Tower Wing with breakfast]

www.tajhotels.com

 

BOARD INDIAN MAHARAJA                                              

At an appropriate time, you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to railway station to board the Indian Maharaja.

Welcome aboard a fascinating journey of India! We commence at 16:30 Hrs from Victoria Terminus, also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Once onboard and, in the cozy confines of your Cabins, we leave Mumbai behind us for an overnight journey towards Aurangabad. This evening you could familiarize yourself with the layout of the train, especially with the location of the Spa, Restaurants and the Bar.

Enjoy a sumptuous dinner onboard.

Overnight is on board Indian Maharaja [Gold class Cabin on Full board basis]

 

 

AURANGABAD                                              

Wake up to a dawn at Daulatabad, in Aurangabad, where you will take in the sights of ancient art and architecture through the day.

After breakfast we proceed towards Ellora Caves, a World Heritage site, the caves are created in basalt (volcanic rock) hills where the three great faiths - Buddhism, Hindu Brahmanism and Jainism are seen side by side. The Buddhist caves are the earliest (500-700AD).The caves contain elaborate carvings of gods and goddesses including some paintings depict the life and culture of that period; in all together 32 cave temples first 12 are Buddhist. Then 16 belong to Brahmanism and rest in the Jain group. The caves are badly damaged due to weather and vandalism now protected and renovated by Archeological Survey of India.

Return to the train for lunch. Rest of the day will be at leisure. 

Overnight is on board Indian Maharaja [Gold class Cabin on Full board basis]

AURANGABAD                                              

After breakfast, we will take you to visit Ajanta Caves, an architectural marvel for its time and a World Heritage site today. Rock-cut cave monuments with masterfully carved sculptures and paintings of Buddhist religious art, these depict universal pictorial art and are known to fuse the flow between Buddhist and Hindu faith.

Carved into the caves in Ajanta, are many different stories that involve Buddha. He can be seen in many different poses. The carvings are all a bit rough, partially through age, partially through vandalism.

In the 19th century, a hunting troop of British officers “discovered” the striking carved caves, hewn into the horseshoe-shaped rock cliff to the Sahyadri range at Ajanta; of the caves, five are Chaitya Grihas or prayer halls dedicated to the Buddha; Its all done with consummate artfulness and infused with the truth that comes from the deepest of faith;

Lunch is on board the train.

The day ends with a splendid dinner on board as we travel overnight towards our next destination, Udaipur.

 

Overnight is on board Indian Maharaja [Gold class Cabin on Full board basis]

UDAIPUR                                              

Set on the shores of the pristine Lake Pichola, Udaipur is surrounded by scenic hills and is known as the City of Lakes. The famous City Palace, a majestic white monument, has been built on the banks of this lake.

As you drive past Fateh Sagar Lake, make a visit to Sahelion-ki-Bari or the Garden of the Maids-of-Honor that has many fountains and pools embellished with kiosks and elephants. Offer your prayers at the Jagdish Temple, a splendid 16th-century temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the largest of its kind in Udaipur.

You may get to cruise Lake Pichola to visit the marvellous Jag Mandir Palace that’s spread over four acres and noted for its marble pavilion and an imposing dome, if the monsoon God has showered enough rains to fill up the lake.

Lunch on board the train

Join in for a gala dinner at the Durbar Hall of Fateh Prakash Palace hotel. Thereafter, rest up as we chug along overnight to Sawai Madhopur, where you gear up for a wild treat the next day!

 

Overnight is on board Indian Maharaja [Gold class Cabin on Full board basis]

 

SAWAI MADHOPUR                                              

Wake up to an exciting day as we take you, this time, on a jungle safari to Sawai Madhopur, India’s exclusive abode to the tiger! 

Sawai Madhopur, in Rajasthan, is home to the famous Ranthambore National Park and India’s efforts to conserve the dwindling wild cat species. If it’s your lucky day, you could spot a tiger lolling around lazily in the sun, or feverishly hunting down Sambhar around the lakes !  You will have ample time to try during your morning and afternoon safaris.

Lunch on board the train

Afternoon proceed for another Jungle Safari.

A high tea and wildlife presentation is scheduled at Taj Hunting Lodge.

When you’re done with the jungle, feel free to share the spoils (of your photo-shoots!) as you savour your dinner on the train.

We then depart for Jaipur on an overnight journey.

Overnight is on board Indian Maharaja [Gold class Cabin on Full board basis]

 

JAIPUR                                              

Legendary for the triumphs of its proud Rajputs, the city of victory, Jaipur, is surrounded by rugged hills—each crowned by a formidable fort—and beautiful palaces, mansions and gardens. A pre-modern Indian city, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan, India.

Have a leisurely breakfast as we then take you to visit Maharaja Mansingh’s 17th century masterpiece, Fort Amber that overlooks the Maota Lake. Known for its unique architecture that fuses, both, Hindu and Muslim elements, this marvelous mastery in red sandstone and white marble has a sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Its rooms are adorned with beautiful paintings, precious stones and mirrorrs. Behold the Sheesh Mahal or Hall of Mirrors, where a single lamplight reflects in many mirrors, and lights up the entire room!

En route to Amber city is the Palace of Winds or Hawa Mahal, known for its intricate pink sandstone carving and a beautiful view of the city.

Lunch at hotel.

In the afternoon, you will visit the city of Jaipur, famous for the City Palace. The city has many exquisite palaces, courtyards and decorative art. Walk to the adjacent Jantar Mantar or Astronomical Observatory and you will immediately notice that it was an astronomical wonder for its time. Built by Sawai Jai Singh, the instrument correctly measures the time of the day, to this day! While you’re there, you might also want to wander around the local markets before you’ve breathed in this city’s rich history.

Relax thereafter as the train journeys overnight towards Agra

Overnight is on board Indian Maharaja [Gold class Cabin on Full board basis]

 

AGRA                                              

Breakfast on board train

Your day will begin with the sights of the beautiful city, Fatehpur Sikri, and then the medieval city, Agra.

Fatehpur Sikri, is an untouched, red sandstone city built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century; a city that is also known for its many palaces and mosques.

When you arrive at Agra, you will realise that the Mughals were not just great rulers but were also great architects of their time. The Taj Mahal, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s gift to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, is truly the world’s most wondrous monument of love.

Lunch at city hotel.

Afternoon you will Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, in mid-17th century, it is truly one of them.

You will also visit Agra fort Built with red sandstone, the Agra fort is not only an outstanding example of Mughal architecture, but was also once the seat of Mughal rule. A walled palatial city, Agra fort is the most important fort of India. Several palaces, numerous building designs of Bengal and Gujarat descent are also present in the fort.

Dinner on board train.

Hop across to the bar or put your feet up and relax as we take you, next, on an enchanting trip to Delhi

Overnight is on board Indian Maharaja [Gold class Cabin on Full board basis]

 

ARRIVE DELHI

Today you will disembark The Indian Maharaja and let the pleasant memories of the past week linger on your mind for a long, long time.

India’s capital and a major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds - the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast spiraling skyscrapers the remnants of a bygone time in the form of its many monuments stand as silent reminders to the region’s ancient legacy. The first impressions for any visitor traveling in from the airport are of a specious, garden city, tree-lined with a number of beautiful parks.

Overnight is at the Claridges, Delhi [Deluxe room with breakfast]

www.claridges.com

DELHI

After breakfast, you will be taken for full day sightseeing tour of Delhi.

Begin with Old Delhi, the Mughal Capital of Shahjahanabad. Visit the Jama Masjid – is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, and completed in the year 1656 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India. It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi, the Chawri Bazar Road. The mosque of Friday was built from 1644 to 1658 during the reign of Shahjahan. The mosque which measures 65m on 35m, and whose court forms a square of 100m on side is by its surface the greatest religious construction of Islam. Later we proceed to visit Raj Ghat where Mahatma Gandhi – The Father Of Nation, was cremated and drive pass the Red Fort [from outside] - the palace for Shahjahan new capital, Shahjahanabad, the seventh Muslim city in the Delhi site. Wander in the busy streets of the mile long Chandni Chowk, popularly called “The Silver Street”.

In the afternoon, you will have sightseeing tour of New Delhi.

New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

The tour to Imperial Delhi will start by visit to the Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India.  The Qutab Minar was started in 1199 AD by Qutab-ud-Din Aibak and completed by the sultan's successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish. The building is 72.5 m high and has 379 steps from the bottom to the top. The Minar is tapering with the diameter of the base is 14.3 m while at the top floor it is 2.7 m.  The Qutab Minar is still the highest stone tower as well as one of the finest Islamic structures ever raised in India. 

Then visit Humayun’s Tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, it is an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, a precursor of the Taj Mahal. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President’s residence.

Overnight is at the Claridges, Delhi [Deluxe room with breakfast]

www.claridges.com

DELHI - PARO

The flight into Bhutan takes you over the great Himalayas, offering the scintillating scenery of the world's highest glacial peaks. As you enter Paro valley, you will see the silvery Pa Chu (Paro river) meandering down the valley, the Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watch tower).

Overnight is at Tashi Namgay, Paro [Deluxe room with All meals]

http://www.tnr.bt/ 

 

PARO - BHUMTANG

Bumthang has an individuality that charms its visitors and separates it from other regions. Comprising of four smaller valleys namely Tang, Ura, Choekhor and Chumey, the deeply spiritual region of Bumthang is shrouded in religious legend. Bumthang is also the traditional home to the great Buddhist teacher Pema Linga to whose descendants the present dynasty traces its origin.      

Overnight is at the Yu –Gharling Resort, Bhumthang [Junior Suite with all meals]

http://www.yugharling.com/index.html 

 

BHUMTANG

After breakfast you will have sightseeing tour Bhumthang including Jambay Lakhang, Kurje Lakhang, Tamsing Lakhang and Jakar Dzong.

Jakar Dzong: Founded by great grand-father of the first Shabdrung, the Dzong was initially built as a monastery in 1549. It was upgraded after the Shabdrung had firmly established his power in 1646. The Dzong is now used as administrative centre for Bumthang valley, and houses the regional monk body

Jambay Lakhang: This monastery was built in the 7th century by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. It is one of the 108 monasteries built by him to subdue evil spirits n the Himalayan region. Its present architectural appearance dates from the early 20th century.

Kurje Lakhang: Situated before Jambay Lhakhang, Kurje Lhakhang consists of three temples. The one on the right was built in 1652 on the rack face where Guru meditated in the 8th century. Second temple is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the imprint of Guru's body and is therefore considered the most holy. The third temple was built in 1990s by Ashi Kesang, the Queen Mother. These three temples are surrounded by a 108 chorten wall.

Overnight is at the Yu –Gharling Resort, Bhumthang [Junior Suite with all meals]

http://www.yugharling.com/index.html

 

BHUMTANG - GANGTEY

After breakfast, you will drive to Gangtey [Approx 193 Kms; 7.5 Hrs]

Overnight is at Hotel Dewachen, Gangtey [Standard Room with all meals]

www.dewachenhotel.com

 

GANGTEY

After breakfast you will visit Gangtey Goempa.

Gangtey Goempa: Perched on a small hill that rises from the valley floor, the Gangtey Monastery is the only Nyingmapa monastery on the western side of the Black Mountain’sGangtey valley, Bhutan and also the biggest Nyingmapa monastery in Bhutan. The Monastery is surrounded by a large village inhabited mainly by the families of the 140 Gomchens who take care of the Monastery.

Gangtey was founded by Pema Trinley, the grandson of Pema Lingpa, the famous Nyingmapa saint of Bhutan. In 1613, Pema Trinley establish the monastery and became the first Gangtey Tulku. The religious traditions of Pema Lingpa still taught there. The second Tulku, Tenzin Legpa Dondrup (1645 to 1726), enhanced the size of Gangtey while keeping up good relations with Drukpas, and rebuilt the monastery in the form of a Dzong.

Rest of the day will be at leisure.

 

Overnight is at Hotel Dewachen, Gangtey [Standard Room with all meals]

www.dewachenhotel.com

 

GANGTEY - PUNAKHA

After breakfast you will drive to Punakha [Approx. 130 Kms – 06 Hrs].

En-route you will visit Chimi Lakahng.

The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, who in the late 15th century used humour, songs and outrageous behavior to dramatise his teachings and due to this also known as ‘Divine Madman’. This temple is also known as the temple of fertility. It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. It is about 30 minute walk across field from the road to the temple. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. It then follows a tiny stream downhill to Yoaka and across more fields before making a short climb to Chimi Lhakhang.

After the sightseeing tour, continue your drive to Punakha.

Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until and still it is the winter seat of Je Khenpo (the chief abbot). Blessed with temperate climate and owing to its natural drainage from Pho Chhu (male) and Mo Chhu (female) rivers, the Punakha valley produces abundant crops and fruits. There are splendid views of the distant Himalayas at Dochula pas (alt. 3,050m) on Thimphu – Punakha road

 

Overnight is at Zangtho Pelri, Punakha [Suite with all meals]

 

PUNAKHA - THIMPU

After breakfast you will be taken for a visit to Punakha Dzong.

Built strategically at the junction of Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers in 1637, by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to serve as the religious and administrative centre of the region, Punakha Dzong has played an important role in Bhutan’s history. Damaged by four catastrophic fires and an earthquake, the Dzong has been fully restored by the present King. The Dzong is open for visitors during Punakha festival and in summer months when the monk body moves to Thimphu.

Later you will drive to Thimpu [Approx. 75 Kms – 03 Hrs]

Enroute visit Wangdue Dzong. 

After the sightseeing tour, continue your drive to Thimpu.

Thimphu is the seat of government. This bustling small town is home to Bhutan’s royal family, the civil servants, and foreign missions with representation in Bhutan. It is also the headquarters for a number of internationally funded development projects.

Overnight is at the Druk Hotel, Thimphu [Standard room with all meals]

THIMPU

After breakfast, you will be taken for sightseeing tour of Thimpu visiting National Memorial Chorten - The building of this landmark was envisaged by the third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, as a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the Father of modern Bhutan”) and a monument to world peace. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide good knowledge about Buddhist philosophy.

Later visit National library (closed on Sat, Sun & Govt Holidays), which holds a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion.

You will also visit the Textile and Folk Heritage Museums (Textile Museum closed on Sun & Govt Holidays, Folk Heritage Museum closed on Govt Holidays). These museums, opened in 2001, provide insights into Bhutanese culture and way of life.

Later you will visit the Government Handicrafts Emporium. This government-run enterprise displays a wide range of hand-woven textiles and craft products. It also carries a small collection of books on Bhutan, Buddhism and Himalayan culture.

Finally, you will drive to Trashichhodzong: The ‘Fortress of the Glorious Religion’, was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s.  Trashichhodzong houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body.  It is open to visitors during the Thimphu Tsechu (held in autumn) and while the monk body is resident in its winter quarters in Punakha.

 

Overnight is at the Druk Hotel, Thimphu [Standard room with all meals]

THIMPU - PARO

After breakfast, you will be driven to Paro. [Approx. 55 km/2.5hrs]

Enroute visit to Simtokha Dzong.

In the afternoon, you will visit Ta Dzong and Rinpung Dzong.

Ta Zong: One time watch tower built to defend Rinpung Dozng during inter-valley wars of the 17th century, since 1967 Ta Dzong is serving as the National Museum of the country. It holds fascinating collection of art, relics, religious thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. The museum circular shape augments its varied collection displayed over several floors.

Rinpung Dzong: Built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro, the office of the Dzongda (district administrative head) and Thrimpon (judge) of Paro district.

The approach to the Dzong is through a traditional covered bridge called Nemi Zam. A walk through the bridge, over a stone inlaid path, offers a good view of the architectural wonder of the Dzong as well as life around it. It is also the venue of Paro Tshechu, held once a year in the spring.

Overnight is at Tashi Namgay, Paro [Deluxe room with All meals]

http://www.tnr.bt/

 

PARO

After breakfast, you will visit Tiger’s nest.

Tiger’s Nest (5 hrs hike]: It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognized as a most sacred place and visited by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime. On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendor.

Overnight is at Tashi Namgay Resort, Paro [Deluxe Room with all meals]

www.tnr.bt

 

PARO

After breakfast, you will visit Drukgyel Dzong.

Drukgyel Dzong: This Dzong, with a delightful village nestling at its foot, was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Historically and strategically this Dzong withstood all its glory and was featured in 1914 vide National Geographic magazine. The glory of Drukgyel Dzong remained even when it was destroyed by fire in 1951. On a clear day, one can see the commanding view of Mount. Chomolhari from the village, below the Dzong

Afternoon is at leisure.

Overnight is at Tashi Namgay, Paro [Deluxe room with All meals]

http://www.tnr.bt/

 

PARO – KOLKATA – BAGDOGRA-DARJEELING

Tea/coffee at the Hotel.

Darjeeling among the rolling mountains with the glistening Mt. Kanchenjunga towering over the azure sky, Darjeeling fondly called “Queens of Hills” Provides a perfect gateway for those seeking to be in harmony with nature.

Darjeeling is world famous for its tea production which dominates the landscape around the town and the local economy.

Darjeeling was created by the British as a military and administrative Centre to escape the heat of the plains and retains a special ambience to this day. The views of the Himalayas are stunning and there are many local attractions worthy of a visit.

 

Overnight is at Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling [Suite with all meals]

www.glenburnteaestate.com

  

DARJEELING

Early morning visit Tiger Hill [2590 metres] to view the sunrise and reflection on Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest.

After breakfast, enjoy famous Toy Train ride upto Ghoom Monastery. The slow speed gives you enough time to watch and appreciate the beauty which nature has provided it. This train passes through the forests, waterfalls, over deep valleys and through the mountains and tunnels.

After the joyride, visit Ghoom Monastery and see the Yiga-Choling Gompa, a Yellow Hat sect Buddhist monastery. The 19th century Gompa, one of the oldest in the area, enshrines an enormous gilded statue of the Maitreya Buddha and also houses valuable Tibetan manuscripts.

After breakfast, you will be taken for a half day sightseeing tour of Darjeeling – visiting Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. After the successful ascent of Mount Everest on the 29th May 1953, by Late Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary, the mountaineering in India got impetus. Consequently the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute was established on 04th November 1954 by personal initiative of late Pandit J.L.Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India and Dr. B.C. Roy, the then Chief Minister of West Bengal, which was then the hub centre of all mountaineering activities of India.

 

Wind up your day with a visit to the Tibetan Refugee Centre – started on 1st Oct. 1959. At that time, following the dramatic escape of His Holiness Dalai Lama, thousands of Tibetans leaving hearth and home, fled into the neighbouring countries to live as free human beings.

Overnight is at Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling [Suite with all meals]

www.glenburnteaestate.com

 

DARJEELING

Overnight is at Glenburn Tea Estate, Darjeeling [Suite with all meals]

www.glenburnteaestate.com

DARJEELING-BAGDOGRA-KOLKATA

The city of Calcutta, now called Kolkata, was established by the British in 1690 and was the capital of British India until 1911. It is the proud intellectual capital of India, with a rich contemporary cultural life. The city retains some of India’s most striking colonial buildings, and is also home to the country’s first underground railway.

Legend says that Kolkata is derived from the Bengali word Kalikshetra, meaning "Ground of the Goddess Kali." Some match it to the Bengali words for lime (kali) and burnt shell (kata), since the area was noted for the manufacture of shell-lime.

 

Overnight is at Oberoi Grand, Kolkata [Deluxe Room with Breakfast]

www.oberoihotels.com

 

KOLKATA                                  

This morning 0730 Hrs you would be taken for the Heritage Walk of Dalhousie Square, now a World Heritage Site.

 

The walk takes place in the morning so that you can leisurely take in the architecture and history of the city’s many unique and spectacular buildings without any traffic on the roads. There is an option to begin at The Flower Market on the River Hoogly – where it really “all” began. The walk then starts at the site of the terrible ‘Black Hole’… takes you past the famous Writer’s Building, the former HQ of the infamous East India Company, around the square to, among others, the magnificent Governor’s House and the almost forgotten Charnock Mausoleum. The whole experience takes you back to the 18th and 19th century when the British ruled the entire subcontinent from Calcutta – at that time the most fashionable city in the world after London.  It is also a chance to experience a special side of the city as it is waking up in the morning with many interesting city characters to interact with along the way

After sightseeing tour, you will proceed for the Breakfast at Bomti’s” – offers a rare glimpse of the old Calcutta way of life, now sadly endangered. Mr Surojit ‘Bomti’ Iyenger, an art collector and socialite, is delighted to welcome visitors to his charming flat in perhaps the most interesting heritage building on historic Chowringhee. Authentic and home-cooked Bengali cuisine served up with hot cups of fresh Darjeeling tea and stimulating insights into Bengali Art (with some for sale) and Modern Kolkata make up Bomti’s salon.

Later, you will proceed for city tour which includes visit to Victoria Memorial.

Evening do the Boat cruise up the River Hoogly.  In a private river boat, guests are able to discover a hitherto unseen side of Kolkata, with a ring-side view of the myriad happenings on the river’s ‘Ghats’. This was the view that greeted many a 19C adventurer as he stepped up to the Princep’s Ghat. You will sail past Belur Math, headquarters of The Ramakrishna Mission, as the city’s two huge and famous bridges, Howrah and Vidyasagar Setu pass overhead. It is a wonderfully relaxing end to the day with a sumptuous tea menu comprising popular Indian snacks and refreshing Darjeeling Tea.

Overnight is at Oberoi Grand, Kolkata [Deluxe Room with Breakfast]

www.oberoihotels.com

 

KOLKATA – DELHI - LONDON    

 

Example 2

      

 

 

“The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” 

 

                                                                                                                                             

Day 01                                                   DEPART LONDON                                        

Today you will proceed to board your flight for Bangalore.

 

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    BA 119

Departs London                                                                                                                                                1400 Hrs

 

Your accommodation will be booked from today to ensure immediate occupancy.

 

Accommodation booked at Taj West End, Bangalore [Executive Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/City-Hotels/The-Taj-West-End-Bangalore/Overview.html

 

Day 02                                                   ARRIVE BANGALORE                

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    BA 119

Arrives Bangalore                                                                                                                                            0500 Hrs

 

On arrival in Bangalore: Company representatives cannot come into the baggage collection area. Having cleared immigration, collected your luggage and passed through customs, please make your way towards the exit of the terminal building where you will see a bank of people waiting for you. Amongst them will be a Western & Oriental Representative who will be waiting to greet you with a paging board with your name on. Please note that the crowds can be enormous and it is possible that you may not spot our representative, despite their making every effort to be as visible as possible, so please keep an eye out for them [Emergency Contact Number: +91-9818137171]

Your travel documents and air tickets will be issued in India and will be given to you on arrival.

On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Breakfast is at the hotel. 

 

Later at an appropriate time, you will be taken on half day sightseeing tour of Bangalore.

 

You would drive pass the Vidhan Sabha – is a splendid neo-Dravidian granite building that dominates the northern boundary of the Cubbon park, is the home of the State Legislature and the Secretariat. Lal bagh - This botanical garden has over 1000 species of flora. The Glass House is the center of attraction in this 2400-acre park. The ancient ruler Hyder Ali laid it out and later his son added horticultural wealth to them by importing trees and plants from several countries. Bull temple - Kempe Gowda built this temple. The center of reverence is a magnificent Nandi, which is 15 feet tall and over 20 feet long. A festival is celebrated here each year in November or December every year. When the groundnuts have been harvested, a groundnut fair is held near the temple. The farmers offer the first groundnuts to the sacred bull and Tipu Sultan's Palace located very close to the fort. It is now converted to a museum. The building of the palace was started by Hyder Ali and it was completed by Tipu Sultan. The construction of the Palace was completed in the year 1791 and it took ten years to plan and construct the palace.

 

Overnight is at Taj West End, Bangalore [Executive Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/City-Hotels/The-Taj-West-End-Bangalore/Overview.html

 

Day 03                                                   BOARD GOLDEN CHARIOT                                       

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

After breakfast, you will be at leisure.

 

[Check out time is 12 Noon. We will place a request for late check-out and our endeavor is to do our best to secure it, however, you will appreciate the same will be subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed]. 

 

In the afternoon [at approx. 1500 Hrs], you will complete your check-in formalities for Golden Chariot Train at the hotel itself. 

 

The land once ridden by formidable armies is now traversed by the world's most unique railway - The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South beckons you to discover worlds that are enriched with history and culture. Recline and relax as the magnificent scenery unfolds outside your window with luxury on the inside, thus far reserved for royalty. We present The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South - a fine balance between a glorious yesterday and an omnipresent tomorrow in a magical land... that is Karnataka

 

 

In the evening enjoy a cultural show.

 

After the show, you will be transferred to Yeshwantpur railway station to board The Golden Chariot.

 

Dinner onboard the train.

 

The train departs to Mysore.

 

Overnight onboard Golden Chariot-Pride of the South [Deluxe Cabin]

 

Day 04                                              ARRIVE MYSORE – KABINI                           

Breakfast on board.

After breakfast, you will visit the Mysore Palace: Built in the Indo - Saracenic Style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the palace in-spite of housing the Royal Family is open for Visitors it attracts in millions from all over the world.

Later, you will be driven to Kabini [Approx. 96 Kms – 3 Hrs] 

On arrival, you will check in at your lodge.

Lunch will be at the jungle lodge.

Afternoon, you will enjoy jungle excursion or boat ride.

Kabini: A World of Wildlife

Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarhole (Kabini), the hunting retreat of the Mysore Maharajas, is definitely the perfect destination for wildlife lovers in South India. The excitement starts with a safari into the heart of the park, where you are sure to spot wild animals in their natural habitat. Some of the popular sightings are elephant, gaur, sambar, chital, wild boar and the more exclusive predators like tiger and leopard. A bird watcher's paradise, the park is home to over 300 species of birds, many of which are endemic to these jungles

Return to the lodge in the evening for wildlife film.

Dinner and overnight stay at Jungle Lodge.

Day 05                                                                   MYSORE                        

Early morning boat ride for bird safari on Kabini River.

Return to the lodge for breakfast.

After breakfast, you will drive to Mysore [Approx. 96 Kms – 3 Hrs] 

Your lunch will be onboard the train.

After lunch, you will visit Srirangapatnam.

Srirangapatnam: also spelt as Srirangapattana, is city of historic, religious and cultural hub situated in Mandhya district of Karnataka, just about 13 kms from Mysore. A must see place on Bangalore - Mysore Highway. Here you will come across the entire town as an island enclosed by River Kaveri. This history-rich town was the capital of the Warrior-Kings Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan - The Tiger of Mysore.

In the evening, you will visit a Hotel for a cultural performance followed by dinner.

Return to the Golden Chariot for an overnight stay.

Overnight onboard Golden Chariot-Pride of the South [Deluxe Cabin] 

                          

Day 06                                                                   HASSAN                         

Early morning, train departs from Mysore to Hassan.

 

Breakfast onboard.

 

After breakfast, depart for sightseeing to Shravanabelagola

 

Shravanabelagola, 52km from Hassan, is an important Jain pilgrim centre. It is home to Asia's largest monolithic statue Lord Gomateswara here towers 58 ft., looming atop the picturesque Vindhyagiri Hill. Every 12 years, Jain pilgrims gather here to participate in a splendid head-anointing ceremony.

 

Lunch on board the train.

 

Post lunch, Depart for Belur and Halebid for sightseeing

 

Belur & Halebid: A World of Worship

Belur in Hassan district 220 kms from Bangalore and 38 kms from Hassan) is famous for its magnificent Hoysala Temple Complex. The Chennakesava Temple here is the major attraction, built by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana, to commemorate his victory over the Cholas. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures with no portion left blank. It is the only Hoysala Temple still in active worship.

 

Halebid in Hassan district is 27 kms away from Hassan and was the capital of the Hoysalas. It has one of the finest Hoysala temples. The Hoysaleswara Temple, perched on a star-shaped base amidst lawns, is a sculptural extravaganza. Its walls are richly carved with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylized animals, birds and friezes depicting the life of the Hoysala Kings.

 

After the sightseeing, return to The Golden Chariot.

 

The train departs to Hospet

 

Dinner onboard the train

 

Overnight onboard Golden Chariot-Pride of the South [Deluxe Cabin]

 

Note: At Shravanabelagola, please note that you would have to climb close to 700 steps to experience the architectural marvel. Only those who can undertake this are advised to do so. Guests unwilling to experience can stay back onboard The Golden Chariot - Pride of The South. Palanquins are available for those who cannot take the climb by themselves. This is available to the passengers at no extra cost)

 

Day 07                                                                   HOSPET                          

The train arrives Hospet in the morning.

 

Breakfast will be on board.

 

After breakfast depart for Hampi sightseeing: Virupaksha Temple, Queens's Bath, Elephant Stables, Local crafts bazaar.

 

Hampi: A World Heritage Site

If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi. Hampi has been classified as a World Heritage Center and is one of the major tourist destinations in India.

 

Hampi, the seat of the famed Vijayanagara empire was the capital of the largest empire in post-moghul India, covering several states. The Vijayanagara empire stretched over at least three states -Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. The destruction of Vijayanagar by marauding Moghul invaders was sudden, shocking and absolute.


Although in ruins today, this capital city once boasted riches known far beyond the shores of India. The ruins of Hampi of the 14th Century lies scattered in about 26 sq. km area, amidst giant boulders and vegetation.


Protected by the tempestuous river Tungabhadra in the north and rocky granite ridges on the other three sides, the ruins silently narrate the story of grandeur splendor and fabulous wealth.


The splendid remains of palaces and gateways of the broken city tells a tale of man's infinite talent and power of creativity together with his capacity for senseless destruction. A visit to Hampi is a sojourn into the past. Most of the important structures and ruins are located in two areas, which are generally referred to as the Royal Centre and the Sacred Centre.

 

Return to the Golden Chariot for Lunch.

 

After lunch, depart for sightseeing tour visiting Vijaya Vittala Temple Complex and the Marvel stone chariot.


In the evening, sit out by the banks of the Tungabhadra river for a sunset view.

 

In the evening, return to the train.

 

Dinner onboard the train

 

Overnight onboard Golden Chariot-Pride of the South [Deluxe Cabin]

                          

Day 08                                                                   BADAMI                         

Early morning train departs from Hospet to Badami.

 

You will have breakfast onboard.

 

After breakfast, depart for sightseeing tour visiting Badami Caves and Pattadakal.

 

Badami: A World Heritage Site

Badami is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. The exquisite sculptures and the rust red sandstone cliffs of Badami tell many a tale of yore. The first sculptural embellishment to dazzle the eye is the 18 armed Nataraja striking 81 dance poses

 

Pattadakal, with its beautifully chiseled temples is a World Heritage Site located on the banks of the Malaprabha River. It bears testimony to the richness of the Chalukyan architecture. Pattadakal reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukyan Kings and was once used as a ceremonial center where kings were crowned.

 

Return to the train for lunch.

 

After lunch, the train departs for Goa.

 

Dinner onboard the train

 

Overnight onboard Golden Chariot-Pride of the South [Deluxe Cabin]

 

 

Day 09                                                                   ARRIVE GOA                

The train arrives Goa past midnight.

Breakfast is on board.

Goa is a land that redefines holidays, with its exquisite mix of sun, surf, and beaches. It is a tiny emeralds land with its natural scenic beauty, attractive beaches and temples, famous for its architecture, feast and festivals and hospitable people with a rich culture. Goa is India's smallest state in terms of area and the fourth smallest in terms of population. Located on the west coast of India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. Internationally renowned for its beaches, Goa is also known for its world heritage architecture. Portuguese merchants first landed in Goa in the 16th century but soon after colonized it. The Portuguese colony existed for about 450 years, until it was annexed as part of India in 1961.

 

After breakfast, proceed for the sightseeing of UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Goa Churches. Founded in 15th century by Muslim Rulers of Bijapur Sultanate & capital of Portuguese Colonial rulers from early 16th to mid-19th century, town of Old Goa is famous for the churches affiliated to various congregations, including the Se Cathedral (the seat of the Archbishop of Goa), the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the Church of S. Caetano, and notably, the Basilica of Bom Jesus which contains the relics of Saint Francis Xavier, Later visit Old Portuguese House & time free for shopping.

After sightseeing you will met by a Western & Oriental representative and transferred to your hotel.

Rest of the day, you will be at leisure.

 

Overnight is at The Leela, Goa [Club Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.theleela.com/locations/goa

 

Day 10-13                                                            GOA                

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

These days, you will be at leisure [no transportation]

 

 

Overnight is at The Leela, Goa [Club Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.theleela.com/locations/goa

 

Day 14                                                                   GOA – HYDERABAD

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

After breakfast, at an appropriate time, you will be met and transferred to Goa airport to connect with your flight to Hyderabad.

 

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    SG 3604

Departs Goa                                                                                                                                                       1400 Hrs

Arrives Hyderabad                                                                                                                                          1525 Hrs

 

Note: In some routes only low frill airline operate and we may have used it, Guests do not get any food on board and baggage allowance is 15 Kgs. On all domestic flights in India, 15 kgs baggage allowance is now become a standard on all advance purchase airfares (including Air India unless you are paying a published or higher fares, you will see the same on Air India website that it allows 20 kgs only on higher paid classes). The advance airfare I have used to base my quote is still better value. You/your guests will not be declined boarding on account of excess baggage. They may need to pay nominal charges for excess baggage (which ranges from £3-4 per kilo from airline to airline, subject to change owing to exchange rate and airline discretion).

 

Hyderabad the capital of Andhra Pradesh, India, is the city of Love and Joy! Hyderabad city has lot of Charm, and the people who live here have an Intrinsic Goodness in them that touches one and all. Hyderabad is renowned for Hospitality, Hyderabadi Biryani and Irani Chai. Hyderabad is located on the Deccan Plateau and the Musi River, 650m above sea level. Hills, tanks, forests, and rock formations dominate the physiography of Hyderabad.

 

On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

 

Overnight is at Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad [Historical Suite with Breakfast]  http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/Grand-Palaces-And-Iconic-Hotels/Taj-Falaknuma-Palace-Hyderabad/Overview.html

 

Day 15                                                                   HYDERABAD

Breakfast is at the Hotel.

 

After breakfast, you will have full day sightseeing tour of Hyderabad including Charminar and Mecca Masjid

 

Charminar: Charminar is the emerald of Hydrabad city. The majestic beautiful building built with granite, lime crushed marble and mortar is one of the prime tourist attractions of Andhra Pradesh state and a must visit place for Hyderabad visitors. The city was previously known as Sikandarabad. You will also visit Lad Bazaar [Closed on Friday afternoon for 02 Hours].

 

Mecca Masjid [Closed on Fridays] is the oldest and the biggest of the mosques situated in Hyderabad city. About 10,000 people can offer prayers in this mosque at a time. It is said that Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah began the construction of the Masjid in 1617 but the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb completed the construction in 1694. The Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad is located just 100 yards away from the famous and historic Charminar

 

Chowmahalla Palace [Closed on Friday and National Holidays], once regarded as the center of Hyderabad, the magnificent Chowmahalla Palace was the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty where the Nizams entertained their official guests and royal visitors. Built over 200 years ago, Chowmahalla is renowned for its unique style and elegance.

 

Rest of the day is at leisure.

 

Overnight is at Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad [Historical Suite with Breakfast]  http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/Grand-Palaces-And-Iconic-Hotels/Taj-Falaknuma-Palace-Hyderabad/Overview.html

 

Day 16                                                                   HYDERABAD

Breakfast is at the Hotel.

 

After breakfast, you will visit Golconda Fort and Qutub Shahi Tombs.

 

Golconda Fort: The 13th century Golconda Fort was built by the Kakatiya kings. The existing structure was later built by Qutub Shahi Kings into a massive fort with granite walls having eight gates and 87 bastions spread upto 7 kms, in circumference over a span of 62 years. Golconda Fort, popularly known in Telugu as "Golla Konda", which means "Shepherd's Hill", has an exotic story behind it. In 1143, on the rocky hill known as 'Mangalavaram', a shepherd boy came across an image and conveyed to the Kakatiya king, who was ruling at that time.

 

The 10km long road from Golconda to outer Hyderabad was a fantastic market selling jewellery, diamonds, pearls and other gems, popular in all over the world.

 

Qutub Shahi Tombs: Located about a kilometer north from Golconda Fort, the Qutub Shahi tombs represent the most authentic and majestic display of the Qutub Shahi dynasty architectural traditions today.

 

The grandeur of the tombs is ensconced amidst the beautiful and picturesque landscape and gardens of Ibrahim Bagh, and the tombs themselves are dedicated to the seven Qutub Shahi kings who ruled Golconda for nearly 170 years.

 

Rest of the day is at leisure.

 

Overnight is at Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad [Historical Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/Grand-Palaces-And-Iconic-Hotels/Taj-Falaknuma-Palace-Hyderabad/Overview.html

 

Day 17                                                   HYDERABAD – MANGALORE – LOTUS HOUSEBOAT

Tea / coffee at the hotel.

 

In time, you will be met and transferred to Hyderabad airport to connect with your flight to Mangalore.

 

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    9W 2742

Departs Hyderabad                                                                                                                                        0810 Hrs

Arrives Bangalore                                                                                                                                            0940 Hrs

 

On arrival in Bangalore, you will board your onward flight to Mangalore. Please contact airline staff for any assistance.

 

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    9W 2755

Departs Bangalore                                                                                                                                          1030 Hrs

Arrives Mangalore                                                                                                                                          1140 Hrs

 

Note: In some routes only low frill airline operate and we may have used it, Guests do not get any food on board and baggage allowance is 15 Kgs. On all domestic flights in India, 15 kgs baggage allowance is now become a standard on all advance purchase airfares (including Air India unless you are paying a published or higher fares, you will see the same on Air India website that it allows 20 kgs only on higher paid classes). The advance airfare I have used to base my quote is still better value. You/your guests will not be declined boarding on account of excess baggage. They may need to pay nominal charges for excess baggage (which ranges from £3-4 per kilo from airline to airline, subject to change owing to exchange rate and airline discretion).

 

On arrival at Mangalore, you will be transferred to Lotus Point [Approx. 90 Kms: 2.5 Hrs] from where you will embark The Lotus Houseboat.

Your cruise today covers about 25 kms of the Valiyaparamba backwater. Depending on the time taken for visits en route, the journey lasts about 3 hours.

 

It begins from Lotus Point, situated on the banks of the Tejaswini River that joins the backwaters after a long, slow descent from high above the tea and coffee plantations of the Coorg Hills. Once you have boarded The Lotus and enjoyed a welcome drink from the staff, you will be taken to your room.

 

Not long after we leave the jetty a small cluster of colourful boats announces the Snake Temple, dedicated to the fierce Goddess Badrakali, a delightful spot with many bright carvings sacred to the local fishing community. The nearby fish-landing point attracts flocks of sea-birds that wheel and dip over the arrival of each fresh catch. These are the first of many that will accompany your trip: black snake-necked cormorants perched on trees and posts in the water, imperiously elegant white Great Egrets, orange-breasted kingfishers with iridescent turquoise wings

 

As verdant islands appear ahead of us, we approach Valiyaparamba Village, a long strip of land between the backwater and the open sea. Here coloured houses can be seen peeping through the dense fringe of coconut palms that lines the water front. The village’s main source of income is producing coir fiber from coconut husks that is used to make twine, mats and mattress stuffing. You can visit the production site with different qualities of coir in heaps awaiting shipment to distant factories. 

 

The backwater has four tides a day, so those who sail her need to know every yard of her shifting sandbanks, different depths of water and subtle changes of mood. The further south you go, the quieter the scene becomes; soon even the waterfront activity has died away and the only sound is the lapping of water or the occasional jumping of huge red snappers. Those of you who wish can fish for your own supper... 

   

Today’s cruise ends with a visit to Monkey Island. A short walk through a sleepy village brings you to a thick forest inhabited by friendly monkeys. In its heart sits a clearing with an ancient shrine dedicated to the Naga snake deities. This simple place exudes a lovely peaceful atmosphere.

 

Back to The Lotus for tea, home-made cakes and another 20 minutes cruising before we anchor in the middle of the lake for the night. Then you have time to relax on your elevated deck, watch the evening birds and fishing canoes return home for the night, and enjoy the sunset with a drink before a delicious dinner under the canopy of stars.

 

Overnight is on board The Lotus Houseboat [Exclusive Houseboat with all meals]

www.thelotuskerala.com

 

Day 18                                                                   LOTUS HOUSEBOAT         

The day begins with Bed Tea served with flowers; you can take it out onto your own private verandah and watch the changing light as the day begins. Breakfast is served around 9, then we move south for another hour towards the softly rolling contours of the Ezhi Elimala range. Legend has it that on his journey back from the Himalayas bearing the life-saving herbs of Ayurveda, Lord Hanuman let fall part of the sacred mountains to make these seven hills. Next to the boat whole shoals of tiny fish leap together to form one shower of silver sparks; further away fishermen wade up to their shoulders setting their nets. On land the occasional minaret rises up above the soporific sway of coconut palms. 

 

After an hour or so we reach Kotti jetty, from where a three kilometer auto-rickshaw ride takes us to the remarkable temple dedicated to Lord Subramanyam, second son of Shiva. The shrine dates from about 800 AD and is the living heart of Payyannur, a town famed all over India for its expertise in the sacred science of astrology. As well as the elegant building with its fine carvings in wood and brass you can see the daily ritual when the silver image of the deity is processed three times around the temple compound. Then, quench your thirst with chai from an open air tea- shop by the temple before heading back to The Lotus for lunch.

 

Then, after tea at about 3.30 pm, we take a taxi 18 kms to the Shri Mutthappan temple, a highly atmospheric and popular shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva in his form as a local tribal hunter. Here the evening ritual involves the priest acting as a   trance-medium for Shiva and serving as an oracle for worshippers. After witnessing this unique ceremony we return back to The Lotus for drinks and dinner and golden dreams.

 

Overnight is on board The Lotus Houseboat [Exclusive Houseboat with all meals]

www.thelotuskerala.com

 

Day 19                                                                   LOTUS HOUSEBOAT         

Breakfast is on board the houseboat.

 

Your cruise will return to the Lotus Point.

 

(Houseboat will be anchored at a point near the Lotus Jetty)

 

 

Overnight is on board The Lotus Houseboat [Exclusive Houseboat with all meals]

www.thelotuskerala.com

 

Day 20                                                  LOTUS HOUSEBOAT – MANGALORE – MUMBAI  

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

After breakfast, you will be at leisure.

 

At an appropriate time, you will be met and transferred to Mangalore airport to connect with your flight to Mumbai.

 

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    9W 432

Departs Mangalore                                                                                                                                         1550 Hrs

Arrives Mumbai                                                                                                                                               1720 Hrs

 

Note: In some routes only low frill airline operate and we may have used it, Guests do not get any food on board and baggage allowance is 15 Kgs. On all domestic flights in India, 15 kgs baggage allowance is now become a standard on all advance purchase airfares (including Air India unless you are paying a published or higher fares, you will see the same on Air India website that it allows 20 kgs only on higher paid classes). The advance airfare I have used to base my quote is still better value. You/your guests will not be declined boarding on account of excess baggage. They may need to pay nominal charges for excess baggage (which ranges from £3-4 per kilo from airline to airline, subject to change owing to exchange rate and airline discretion).

 

Mumbai also known as Bombay, located off the west coast is the commercial and entertainment capital of India, and houses important financial institutions. It is the bubblegum glamour of Bollywood cinema, shopping malls full of designer labels, cricket on the Oval Maidan, promenading families eating bhelpuri on the beach at Chowpatty, red double-decker buses queuing in grinding traffic jams and the infamous cages of the red-light district.

 

This pungent drama is played out against a Victorian townscape more reminiscent of a prosperous 19th-century English industrial city than anything you'd expect to find on the edge of the Arabian Sea. It's a city with vibrant street life, India's best nightlife, and a wealth of bazaars.

 

On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

 

Overnight is at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai [Executive Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/Grand-Palaces-And-Iconic-Hotels/The-Taj-Mahal-Palace-Mumbai/Overview.html

 

 

 

Day 21                                                                   MUMBAI

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

After breakfast, you will be taken on Heritage walk: Tour of South Mumbai which takes you to Gateway of India, an art deco cinema, gothic and victorian style buildings, the bye-lanes of old Colaba, the Kala Ghoda art district ending at the Times of India Building opposite Victoria Terminus

 

Later you will drive past the Malabar Hills. The colonial bungalows that peppered the hillside in the 18th century have now been replaced by the apartment blocks of Mumbai. Also visit the Mani Bhavan - the old Mumbai residence of Mahatma Gandhi. It's a pretty, two-storied structure that now houses a reference library with over 2000 books, a photo exhibition of the Mahatma's life, and well preserved memorabilia, including an old charkha or spinning wheel that Gandhi-ji used to use. Later head towards the laundry quarters - Dhobi Ghat, only of its kind in world.

In the afternoon, you will be doing the Slum Tour: On this tour, visitors will see why Dharavi is the heart of small scale industry in Mumbai. Many people know Dharavi as the 'largest slum in Asia', but there is much more to this historic area of Mumbai than poverty. Dharavi's industries have an annual turnover of approximately US$ 665 million. Through this tour, visitors experience a wide range of these activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadom-making and many more. Most of these things are created in innovative ways and in very small spaces!

 

When passing through the residential spaces, you will undoubtedly feel the sense of community and spirit that exists in the area. People from all over India live in Dharavi, and this diversity is apparent in the temples, mosques and churches that stand side by side. A tour through Dharavi's narrow alleys is quite an adventure, and you will leave with an enlightened sense of the purpose and determination that exists in the area

 

Overnight is at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai [Executive Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/Grand-Palaces-And-Iconic-Hotels/The-Taj-Mahal-Palace-Mumbai/Overview.html

 

Day 22                                                                   BOARD MAHARAJA EXPRESS

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

After breakfast, you will be at leisure.

 

In the afternoon, assemble at 1430 hours at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace & Towers for a traditional welcome and complete your registration and check in formalities for the Maharajas' Express.

 

The Maharajas' Express starts from Mumbai at 1640 hours approximately and will travel through the land of the Marathas.

 

Dinner on board

Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express [Suite with all meals]

 

Cost for Maharaja Express includes:

  • Accommodation in double / twin bedded cabins with en suite bathrooms.
  • All meals,
  • Soft beverages, house brands of Indian wines, beer and spirits,
  • Butler service,
  • Guided off train excursions as illustrated in the journeys
  • Inclusive of entrance fees, still camera fee, transport and services of a guide,
  • Complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water on board,
  • Porterage at stations,

 

Day 23                                                                   AURANGABAD – AJANTA CAVES   

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

Today you will reach at Ajanta Caves near Aurangabad. After breakfast onboard proceed towards Ajanta Caves.

 

Ajanta caves: Visit the World Heritage site of Ajanta: Marvel the rock cut caves dating back to 2nd century B.C. with their exquisite frescoes and sculptures.

 

These caves were discovered in AD 1819 and were built up in the earlier 2nd century BC-AD. Most of the paintings in Ajanta are right from 2nd century BC-AD and some of them about the fifth century AD and continued for the next two centuries. All paintings shows heavy religious influence and centre around Buddha, Bodhisattvas, incidents from the life of Buddha and the Jatakas. The paintings are executed on a ground of mud-plaster in the tempera technique.

 

After the tour, you will return to Maharajas Express. The train then departs for Udaipur.

 

Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express [Suite with all meals]

 

Day 24                                                                                   UDAIPUR

Udaipur, the magnificent landscape as you arrive in Udaipur.

 

Visit the City Palace and Crystal Gallery. Experience the traditional hospitality over lunch at an exclusive venue and later proceed for an optional ‘Walking Tour’ through the Old Market of Udaipur. Browse through shops selling exquisitely embroidered and printed fabrics, jewellery, paintings, carved wood artifacts and other local crafts. Following lunch, return to the train for a relaxed afternoon on board OR you have the option of enjoying spa facilities in a five star hotel OR visit the Vintage Car collection of the Royal Family OR you can also opt for a private shopping tour. Later in the afternoon, you may if you wish, proceed for a 'Walking Tour' through the Old Market of Udaipur.

 

Return to the luxury of the train and look forward to another exciting journey.

 

Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express [Suite with all meals]

 

Day 25                                                                                   JODHPUR

A ride through countryside brings you to Jodhpur.

 

Jodhpur:  Set like a jewel amidst the golden sands and famous for its magnificent forts and palaces from the Rajput era, it is home to some of the finest architectural wonders.

 

In the morning, enjoy visit to local village as an optional activity.

 

After lunch, proceed on a walking tour of the Old Clock Tower market experiencing the hustle and bustle of the market as well as get an insight of the daily lifestyle of the local residents as you walk through a section of the blue city, past some of the oldest houses and havelis. Continue to the magnificent Meherangarh Fort. Admire the intricate latticed windows, elaborately carved panels and elegantly curved porches. Tour the palaces and temples built by successive rulers, with priceless jewels and a dazzling collection of arms.

 

Later, savour dinner at an exclusive venue.

 

Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express [Suite with all meals]

 

Day 26                                                                                   BIKANER

Arrive at the desert Kingdom of Bikaner.

 

The medieval city of Bikaner was once a major centre in the cross-desert caravan trade. Popularly known as Camel Country, Bikaner has the best riding camels in the world. Bikaner’s forts, palaces and temples are splendid creations made in red and yellow sandstone and are living reflections of its rich historical and architectural legacy.

 

Late morning arrive into the desert citadel of Bikaner. You have the option of relaxing on board the train. Or you may choose to embark on an optional tour of the city visiting Lallgarh Museum displaying some fascinating exhibits on the royal heritage of Bikaner.

 

Another intriguing optional is a half-day excursion to the Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok, situated on the outskirts of Bikaner. Popularly known as the “Rat Temple”, the temple complex has hundreds of rats swarming the courtyard, an integral part of the temple rituals and customs as they are considered very sacred. Or camel breeding Farm or shop for Kundan Jewellery

 

Following your participation in any one of the optional tours, you will return to the train for lunch.

 

Following lunch, you will disembark and proceed on a visit to the Junagarh Fort, an unassailable fortress built in 1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh. While the fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat, its real beauty lies inside. Be overwhelmed by the Diwan-i-Khas, Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal and Anup Mahal. The Fort Museum is fascinating and adorned with ornate decorative costumes and jewellery.

 

Continue on an experience of a lifetime! Catch a glimpse of rural Rajasthan, as you are escorted through the surrounding village. Experience the royal pageantry as a convoy of decorated canopied camel carts accompanied by musicians takes you for a Sundowner in the Sand Dunes. Enjoy cocktails, savour traditional mouth-watering barbecue delicacies as you enjoy traditional folk artists like the Langaas and Kalbeliyas whose music and dance will mesmerise you.

 

Later return to the comfort of your train and embark on your onward journey to Jaipur.

 

Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express [Suite with all meals]

 

Day 27                                                                                   JAIPUR

Today, you will arrive into the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur.

 

Jaipur is truly a pristine jewel in the crown of the desert state of Rajasthan. Built by Raja Jai Singh in the 18th century, Jaipur is renowned for its magnificent palaces, forts and temples.

 

Later, proceed to City Palace/Jai Mahal Palace for an exclusive Elephant Activity where guests may choose to indulge to paint them, feed them or take a joy ride followed by lunch.

 

Post lunch, visit the Royal Observatory (Jantar Mantar). Optionally, you may also choose activities such as Spa facilities at a Palace hotel, visit to Amer Fort, private shopping tour or a golf session at Rambagh Golf club.

Later, return to train for dinner and overnight stay.

You will return to the Maharajas Express for Dinner.

 

Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express [Suite with all meals]

 

Day 28                                                   RANTHAMBORE – FATEHPUR SIKRI

On arrival in Sawai Madhopur, early in the morning, get ready for jeep safari to the Ranthambore National Park.

 

Originally the private hunting ground of the Maharajas, Ranthambore was declared a National Park in 1973. It is famous for its open sightings of tigers, sambar, chital, nilgai, chinkara, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, jackal and leopard.

 

Wildlife cannot be compared to that of Africa and you are indeed fortunate if you spot the elusive tiger or the shy leopard.

 

Return to the train and continue your journey to the fabled deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri. Admire the changing landscape as you savour a hearty brunch.

 

On arrival at the quaint station of Fatehpur Sikri, disembark and proceed on a tour of the fascinating sights comprising of imposing gateways, Halls of Private and Public audience, beautifully sculptured palaces with unique water bodies, reflecting a perfect blend of hindu and muslim architectural styles. This deserted red sandstone city was built by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital in the late 16th century. It is now a famous UNESCO World heritage site!

 

Overnight on the Maharajas’ Express [Suite with all meals]

 

Day 29                                                                           AGRA – DELHI

Today, you will arrive Agra.

 

 

On arrival, you will visit the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, in mid 17th century, it is truly one of the wonders.

 

Later, you will have Champagne breakfast at Taj Khema.

 

After breakfast, you will return to Maharajas Express and later train departs for Delhi.

 

Lunch on board.

 

The train arrive Delhi at approx. 1530 Hrs. Disembark and bid farewell to the Maharajas' Express as your journey comes to an end!

 

On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

 

India’s capital and a major gateway to the country, contemporary Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which successfully combines in its folds - the ancient with the modern. Amidst the fast spiraling skyscrapers the remnants of a bygone time in the form of its many monuments stand as silent reminders to the region’s ancient legacy. The first impressions for any visitor traveling in from the airport are of a specious, garden city, tree-lined with a number of beautiful parks

 

Overnight is at The Imperial Hotel, Delhi [Heritage Suite with Breakfast]

www.theimperialindia.com

 

Day 30                                                                                   DELHI                               

Breakfast is at the Hotel.

 

After breakfast, you will enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Delhi.

 

Begin with Old Delhi, the Mughal Capital of Shahjahanabad. Visit the Jama Masjid – is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, and completed in the year 1656 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India. It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi, the Chawri Bazar Road. The mosque of Friday was built from 1644 to 1658 during the reign of Shahjahan. The mosque which measures 65m on 35m, and whose court forms a square of 100m on side is by its surface the greatest religious construction of Islam. Later we proceed to visit Raj Ghat where Mahatma Gandhi – The Father Of Nation, was cremated and drive past the Red Fort [from outside] - the palace for Shahjahan new capital, Shahjahanabad, the seventh Muslim city in the Delhi site. Wander in the busy streets of the mile long Chandni Chowk, popularly called “The Silver Street”.

 

Afternoon proceed for tour of New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

 

The tour to Imperial Delhi will start by visit to the Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India.  The Qutab Minar was started in 1199 AD by Qutab-ud-Din Aibak and completed by the sultan's successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish. The building is 72.5 m high and has 379 steps from the bottom to the top. The Minar is tapering with the diameter of the base is 14.3 m while at the top floor it is 2.7 m.  The Qutab Minar is still the highest stone tower as well as one of the finest Islamic structures ever raised in India.  Then visit Humayun’s Tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, it is an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, a precursor of the Taj Mahal. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President’s residence.

 

Overnight is at The Imperial Hotel, Delhi [Heritage Suite with Breakfast]

www.theimperialindia.com

 

Day 31                                                                   DELHI – CHANDIGARH – SHIMLA                                          

Breakfast is at the Hotel.

 

In time, you will be met and transferred to the airport to connect flight to Chandigarh.

 

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    AI 864

Departs Delhi                                                                                                                                                    0950 Hrs

Arrives Chandigarh                                                                                                                                         1045 Hrs

 

Note: In some routes only low frill airline operate and we may have used it, Guests do not get any food on board and baggage allowance is 15 Kgs. On all domestic flights in India, 15 kgs baggage allowance is now become a standard on all advance purchase airfares (including Air India unless you are paying a published or higher fares, you will see the same on Air India website that it allows 20 kgs only on higher paid classes). The advance airfare I have used to base my quote is still better value. You/your guests will not be declined boarding on account of excess baggage. They may need to pay nominal charges for excess baggage (which ranges from £3-4 per kilo from airline to airline, subject to change owing to exchange rate and airline discretion).

 

On arrival in Chandigarh, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Shimla [Approx. 119 Kms – 4 hrs].

 

Shimla, formerly known as Shimla, is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of the British Raj in India. Shimla is often referred to as the "Queen of Hills," a term coined by the British.

 

Located in the north-west Himalayas at an average altitude of 2,205 metres (7,234 ft), the city of Shimla, draped in forests of pine, rhododendron, and oak, experiences pleasant summers and cold, snowy winters. The city is famous for its buildings styled in tudorbethan and neo-gothic architecture dating from the colonial era.

 

Overnight is at The Wildflower Hall, Shimla [Deluxe Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_wildflowerhall/index.asp 

 

Day 32                                                                                   SHIMLA                                           

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

After breakfast, you will enjoy toy train ride from Shimla to Taradevi.

 

Train                                                                                                                                                                      Himalayan Queen

Departs Shimla                                                                                                                                                 1030 Hrs

Arrives Taradevi                                                                                                                                               1120 Hrs

 

After the ride, you will be taken on sightseeing tour of Shimla.

 

Your sightseeing will include - the Vice Regal Lodge - this also happens to be the place where the partition of India into two parts India and P akistan was planned on the world map. The British architecture here is amazing. The wooden work inside the building is still kept alive as it was during the British rule. The building is now used by Indian scholars and is called Institute for Advanced Studies. After the tour of this impressive building visit a Hindu Temple containing shrines to the many and various Hindi gods.

 

After the tour, you will be at leisure [no transportation]

 

Overnight is at The Wildflower Hall, Shimla [Deluxe Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_wildflowerhall/index.asp

 

Day 33                                                                   SHIMLA                                           

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

After breakfast, you will be at leisure.

 

Optional tours that can be booked and paid locally 

 

  1. 1.       Walking tour

 

Oaks & Orchards Hike

Distance: 6 Km

Duration: 2 Hrs

Grade: Easy

This is an easy-paced, two-hour hike that skirts Mashobra Hill and loops around the Presidential Retreat – a beautiful colonial bungalow used by the President of India as a summer retreat. The trail descends from a hill adjacent to the Wildflower Hall, which offers a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains and deep valleys. It then winds back through oak forests and apple orchards dotted with colonial cottages.

 

OR

 

The Wild Strawberry Trail

Distance: 3 km

Duration: 1 hr

Grade: Easy

A pleasant walk lasting an hour and covering four kilometers, skirting the Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary. The trail loops astride the Mahasu Ridge through the lush green forest reserve and is suitable for the elderly on account of its gentle gradient. This trail is also a wonderful introduction to the flora of the Himalayas and offers some great views.

 

  1. 2.       Mountain Bicycling

 

The Sylvan trail

 

Distance: 18 km


Average Duration: 3 hrs

Grade: Easy

 

The trail starts from Mashobra village, a twenty minutes’ drive from the Wildflower Hall. The trail from Mashobra to Bekhalty is a level road that skirts the hill on which the Wildflower Hall is located. Picturesque villages dot the road and the entire biking stretch provides some beautiful views of the Great Himalayan Range and the Shali peak that dominates the north-western skyline. The track joins the highway at Bekhalty, another small hamlet from where our vehicle picks the bikers up for the thirty minute drive back to the Wildflower Hall.

 

OR

 

The Sanctuary Trail

 

Distance: 08 - 12 Kms

Duration: 02 - 04 Hrs

Grade: Easy

The Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary surrounds the Wildflower Hall on three sides. There are two options for exploratory walks into the sanctuary famous for its abundant and well-preserved flora and fauna. One is a two to three hour hike into the sanctuary that traverses a tiny trail carved through the lush undergrowth. The second is a longer, four-hour hike across the dense and pristine forest within the sanctuary, an area that has been preserved for the past 125 years and home to a variety of rare birds and animals.

 

OR

 

Drive for the city tour

 

Mashobra:                                                                                       

Mashobra is a town in the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. Mashobra is located at a height of 2,500 metres (8,200 feet) above sea level and is connected to the state capital Shimla through the historic Hindustan-Tibet Road built in 1850 by Lord Dalhousie. You can also visit the former residence of Lord Kitchener, Wildflower Hall rebuilt to a new magnificence that recreates the grand style of the colonial era. Situated at 8,350 feet in the magnificent Himalayas, is a fairytale luxury resort set in 23 acres of virgin woods of pine and cedar.

 

Chail:                                                                                                                                    

The former capital of the Maharajah of Patiala, Chail is built on three hills and is about 45 kms from Shimla. The cricket pitch here is the highest in the world. The old palace and the polo grounds are worth a visit. It is an attractive tourist spot and an ideal place for picnics.

 

Naldehra: It is about 20 minutes’s drive from Wildflower Hall Mashobra. Viceroy Lord Curzon was so enchanted by this spot that his daughter’s middle name is Naldehra. He also created India’s first nine-hole golf course at this site, and the perfect season is between April and October.

 

Overnight is at The Wildflower Hall, Shimla [Deluxe Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.oberoihotels.com/oberoi_wildflowerhall/index.asp

 

Day 34                                                   SHIMLA – CHANDIGARH – DELHI – KATHMANDU                

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

After breakfast you will be at leisure. [Check out time at the hotel is 1400 Hrs. We will place a request for late check-out and our endeavour is do our best to secure it, however, you will appreciate the same will be subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed]

At an appropriate time, you will be transferred to Chandigarh airport to connect with your flight to Delhi

 

 

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    9W 2658

Departs Chandigarh                                                                                                                                        1240 Hrs

Arrives Delhi                                                                                                                                                     1400 Hrs

 

On arrival in Delhi, you will be met & assisted to board your onward flight to Kathmandu.

 

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    SG 45

Departs Delhi                                                                                                                                                    1750 Hrs

Arrives Kathmandu                                                                                                                                         1935 Hrs

 

On arrival at Kathmandu, you will be met and transferred to the hotel for check in.

Nepal has eight World Heritage sites and has won two Heritage Awards, one for the medieval city of Bhaktapur and the other for Dwarika's Hotel.  The magnificence of Dwarika's is its buildings of intricate carved wood and terracotta work that must have taken 10 million hours of the best craftsmen in Nepal.  Every brick is handmade and every piece of woodwork, a centuries old original.   But Dwarika's is also about intimate luxury and the spirit and hospitality of the Nepali people.  Each of the rooms has its own character and individuality.  There are 16th century windows in many and private courtyards attached to others. Buddhist symbols on hand printed curtains and bedspreads are used with traditional fabrics and accessories.

Overnight is at Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu (Junior Suite Room with breakfast)

http://dwarikas.com/

 

Day 35                                                                   KATHMANDU               

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

After breakfast you will be taken for the sightseeing tour of Kathmandu City and Swayambhunath.

 

Kathmandu City - Although the fertile Kathmandu Valley has been inhabited for thousands of years, its rich and varied cultural legacy essentially began during the 14th century under the Malla Dynasty. Patronized by nobility, Newar artisans constructed temples, monasteries and elaborate courtyards that constitute a fascinating architectural history.  Visit Durbar Square and the tall Teleju Temple with its gilded roofs; the present temple was restored by King Mahendra Malla in 1562.  The gate to the Hanuman Dhoka Durbar, the old Royal Palace, is guarded by a statue of Hanuman, the Monkey God. Wrapped in a red cloak, the deity’s face is covered by a thick layer of sindur, a red power mixed in mustard oil.  Stop at the House of the Living Goddess where the virgin goddess known as Kumari, may look down from one of the exquisitely carved windows of the upper floor. Kathmandu derives its name from the 12th century wooden temple of Kasthamandap, believed to have been built of wood from a single tree.  Walk through the colourful bazaar and labyrinthine back streets of the old city.

 

Move on to Swayambhunath - the “Monkey Temple” which is one of the oldest shrines in the world, established more that 2500 years ago.  Perched on a hilltop where the legendary Manjushri discovered the lotus growing in the ancient Kathmandu Valley lake, Swayambhunath commands a superb view of the city below and beyond. The four sides of this ancient structure are painted with the compassionate eyes of the Buddha. Between the eyes is a mystical third eye symbolizing true wisdom. The nose, appearing as an incomplete question mark, is the Nepalese figure of one, a symbol of unity.

 

Visit to Patan City: the City of arts and architecture founded in 250 A.D. is also known as Lalitpur. It is renowned for its fine works in bronze, silver and copper. Visit the Durbar Square, Royal Baths, Mahaboudha, Krishna Mandir and Hiranya Verna Mahabihar (the Golden Temple). A visit to the new Patan Museum is a must. The museum faces Durbar Square and is housed in a beautifully restored and renovated former Malla residential palace. The collection spans much of Nepal’s cultural history, primarily exhibiting exquisite sculptures of Hindu and Buddhist deities, typical of Patan’s tradition in craftsmanship.

Overnight is at Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu (Junior Suite Room with breakfast)

http://dwarikas.com/

 

 

 

Day 36                                                                   KATHMANDU               

MOUNTAIN FLIGHT offers the closest possible aerial views of mount Mt. Everest, Kanchanjunga and the Tibetan Plateau. Twice the size of the Alps, their sheer immensity is mind-blowing Mountain flights appeal to all category of travelers and have become a popular tourist attraction of Nepal. The 45-minute flight offers an incredible panorama, and you can take a photograph of the world’s highest mountain from the cockpit (mountain flight is subject to clear weather conditions)

 

Return to the hotel for breakfast.

 

After breakfast, you will visit Bhadgaon [Approx. 16 Kms – 1 Hr one way]

 

Bhaktapur is located about 20 km east of Kathmandu and drive around 30 min. Bhaktapur is another Newar city founded in the 9th century. Bhaktapur Durbar Square is located in the center of Bhaktapur. The Square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. The main items of interest in Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate and the statues of kings on stone monoliths. The Golden Gate was erected by King Ranjit Malla as the entrance to the main courtyard of the Fifty-five Windowed Palace. The Palace of Fifty-five Windows was built during the reign of King Yakshya Malla in A.D. 1427 and was remodeled by King Bhupatindra Malla in the seventeenth century. The art Gallery of Bhaktapur Durbar Square contains ancient paintings belonging to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of various periods. This gallery is open every day except Tuesday. Bhaktapur's Durbar (Royal) Square was added to the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1979.

Overnight is at Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu (Junior Suite Room with breakfast)

http://dwarikas.com/

 

Day 37                                                                   KATHMANDU               

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

After breakfast you will at leisure. [No Transportation]

 

Overnight is at Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu (Junior Suite Room with breakfast)

http://dwarikas.com/

 

Day 38                                                   KATHMANDU – DELHI – AJABGARH                

Tea/coffee at the hotel

 

Early morning you will be met and transferred to Kathmandu airport to board your flight for Delhi.

 

 

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    9W 263

Departs Kathmandu                                                                                                                                       0840 Hrs

Arrives Delhi                                                                                                                                                     1020 Hrs

 

Note: In some routes only low frill airline operate and we may have used it, Guests do not get any food on board and baggage allowance is 15 Kgs. On all domestic flights in India, 15 kgs baggage allowance is now become a standard on all advance purchase airfares (including Air India unless you are paying a published or higher fares, you will see the same on Air India website that it allows 20 kgs only on higher paid classes). The advance airfare I have used to base my quote is still better value. You/your guests will not be declined boarding on account of excess baggage. They may need to pay nominal charges for excess baggage (which ranges from £3-4 per kilo from airline to airline, subject to change owing to exchange rate and airline discretion).

 

On arrival at Delhi, you will be driven to Ajabgarh [Approx. 220 Kms – 5.5 Hrs].

 

On arrival, you will check in at your hotel.

 

Deriving its name from aman, meaning ‘peace’ in Sanskrit and bagh, meaning ‘garden’ in Hindi, Amanbagh lies within a walled compound once used by the Maharajah of Alwar to site his mobile hunting camps in search of the elusive tigers known to roam the nearby hills. Long since abandoned, the trees and vegetation continued to thrive due to a reliable source of underground water. The resort is very much a modern day ‘Mughal Palace’, conceived in the present, but paying homage to the architecture and design of India’s golden age.

 

Rest of the day, you will be at leisure.

 

Overnight is at Amanbagh Resort, Ajabgarh [Garden Haveli Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.amanresorts.com/amanbagh/home.aspx

 

Day 39-41                                                              AJABGARH                  

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

These days, you will be at leisure [no transportation]

 

Optional tours that can be booked and paid to the hotel directly

 

  1. Visit to the Sariska National Park for the game drive: Sariska national Park covers an area of 765sq km. The nearest entrance to Sariska is located close to the turn off to Neelkanth, 35 minutes from Amanbagh. Sariska was once the personal hunting ground of His Highness the Maharajah of Alwar and is accessible year round. Previously famous for its tigers, it is also home to wildlife such as leopards, panthers, wildcats, caracals, neelgai (blue bull) antelope, chital, sambar deer, wild boar, jackals, as well as langur and macaque monkeys. Recently, tigers have been reintroduced with a number brought from Ranthambore Reserve and released in Sariska. Early morning or afternoon excursions from Amanbagh via open jeep are ideal to see the varied wildlife in the forest.

 

  1. Sunset cow dust tour – Godhuli is a Hindi word that describes the late afternoon when cows are led home along dusty village roads, and the last sunlight of the day refracts through the dust they leave in their wake. A great way to experience rural Rajasthan is to head out at sunset anytime of the year in one of Amanbagh’s open jeeps for a tour of the surrounding villages during this peak hour. Pass local neighbours as they herd their goats, cows and buffalo towards home, watch the children playing village cricket and observe the village elders gathered around their hookahs for an evening communal smoke and gossip. You may even be invited for chai in a local village home, a form of interaction that for many can be a moving experience.

 

  1. Visit to Ajabgarh Fort and village: Ajabgarh is named for its founder Ajab Singh Rajawat, the grandson of Madho Singh, founding ruler of Bhangarh. Moghul Emperor Akbar the Great is said to have stayed in Ajabgarh during the inauguration of Somsagar, a reservoir lake in the hills behind Ajabgarh.

 

Shah Jahan, famed creator of the Taj Mahal, was entertained here at a chhatri erected specially for him by Ajab Singh when the former was passing through this valley to join his son, Aurangzeb, on a campaign against the Maharajah of OrchhaAjabgarh’s finest present day attractions are the fort and the old temple, dedicated to Shri Raghunathji. Built in 1635 AD, it features a 24-pillared open courtyard and a marble façade. This temple once housed a statue a Lord Rama and the Goddess Sita, bejewelled with precious stones. It was unfortunately stolen. The temple and Ajabgarh fort are connected by an underground passage originally designed for use by the royal ladies so they could enter the temple in complete privacy.

 

  1. Visit to Abhaneri stepwell: It a famous stepwell situated in the village Abhaneri near Jaipur in Indian state of Rajasthan. This step well is located opposite Harshat Mata Temple and is one of the deepest and largest step wells in India. It was built in 9th century and has 3500 narrow steps and 13 stories and is 100 feet deep. It is a fine example of the architectural excellence prevalent in the past. [The visit will be without guide]

 

  1. Visit to Narayani Mata: With its history dating back to 1058 AD, Narayani Mata is as sacred to the Rajasthani as Pushkar or Ramdeora. It is located 14km from Amanbagh, on the edge of Sariska National Park. The legend of the site began when Narayani and her husband were returning to their village. Along the way, while taking a rest in the shade of a Banyan tree, her husband was fatally bitten by a snake. While the cremation was taking place at this fateful site, Narayani, already renowned for displaying supernatural powers, chose to immolate herself on her husband’s funeral pyre, asking the villagers whether she could assist them in any way.

 

Villagers wished for water which miraculously sprang from the ground. The same spring continues to flow to this day. Sparked by her prayers, the funeral pyre ignited and consumed them both. Narayani, of the Barber caste, became one of the oldest known and best revered Sati in Rajasthan, one with the power of truth.

 

Meena tribal priest conducts the Aarti (prayer in the form of songs) in the evenings which, with bells and gongs resounding, can be an intense experience.

 

For a trek to Narayani Mata in the same tradition as the local villagers, depart from Amanbagh by jeep to the start of the welltrodden trail up over the hill and down into Narayani Mata. Here guests can view the temple and adjacent spring of holy water and enjoy a chai stop with the locals before being picked up for the return to Amanbagh.

 

  1. The temple town of Neelkanth: Neelkanth, meaning the blue-throated reincarnation of Lord Shiva, is located inside Sariska National Park, 45 minutes from Amanbagh. The view is spectacular as one climbs up the last stretch of road to the plateau where it is situated.

 

Lost in a high valley, encircled on all sides by mountains, this ancient temple town is home to the ruins of more than 80 beautifully carved temples dating back to the 6th century. Its most famous temple, Neelkantheshwar, predates even these. Neelkanth is also the site of the remains of the 7th century Jain temple of Naugaza, where there is the massive 25ft tall pink sandstone statue of Shri Parshavanath-ji – the 23rd Jain Tirthankara.

 

  1. Visit to Somsagar Lake: As the inscription on the stone next to Somsagar Lake suggests, it was built in 1598 AD at the time of Emperor Akbar’s visit to Ajabgarh. Its purpose was to provide a watering hole for the surrounding wildlife and birds. Accessed through a marble ravine, the walk up through the valley to Somsagar makes for an interesting trek. Huge blocks of marble have been polished over the centuries by villagers and cattle accessing the lake above.

 

A shrine, believed to have been established at the time of the lake’s creation, still stands today. Sagar ki Bahu, meaning ‘the Lake’s Bride’, was established as a reminder of the Hindu belief of life in all forms and its emphasis on sensitivity towards the link between man and nature.

 

Guided excursions can be organised from Amanbagh on foot which can culminate in meditation, yoga and/or breakfast next to the lake. The walk up to the lake takes approximately 40 minutes. One can continue on from the lake to the traditional Meena village of Kala Para where a jeep will collect you for the return journey

 

Overnight is at Amanbagh Resort, Ajabgarh [Garden Haveli Suite with Breakfast]

http://www.amanresorts.com/amanbagh/home.aspx

 

Day 42                                                                   AJABGARH – DELHI  

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

At an appropriate time, you will be driven to Delhi [Approx. 220 Hrs – 5.5 Hrs].

 

On arrival, you will check in at your hotel.

 

Overnight is at The Oberoi, Gurgaon [Premier Room with Breakfast]

www.oberoigurgaon.com

 

Day 43                                                                   DELHI – LONDON                       

Breakfast is at the hotel.

 

In time, you will be met and transferred to the international airport to connect with your flight to London.

 

Flight                                                                                                                                                                    BA 256

Departs Delhi                                                                                                                                                    1110 Hrs

Arrives London                                                                                                                                                 1500 Hrs

 

                                                                                     ** END OF SERVICES **