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Deccan Odyssey’s Cultural Discovery

Home Icon 15-day Deccan Odyssey’s Cultural Discovery from £6,555pp

India has captured the minds and hearts of travellers and poets alike, and for good reason. The country’s beauty is matched only by the depth of its history.

Every corner tells a story: from ancient palaces to imposing forts; pristine forests to the bustle of bazaars. India is the perfect choice for the traveller who wants it all, seeking to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Our 15-day Deccan Odyssey’s Cultural Discovery tour explores some of the most iconic sights that India has to offer, starting with Delhi, where history meets modernity. We’ll visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, witness the Wagah-Attari border ceremony in Amritsar and experience the home of Tibetan Buddhism in Dharamshala.

We enjoy seven nights on board the world-renowned Deccan Odyssey; a true highlight of this tour. Lean into the pace of this remarkable rail journey, leaving the comfort of the train to search for the ever-elusive Bengal tiger in Ranthambore National Park, to wonder at the opulent Taj Mahal in Agra and to be dazzled by Jaipur, the Pink City, returning to your elegant cabin and butler after each excursion. We’ll visit revered temples as well as other spiritual sites, like the holy River Ganges.

This tour is more than just a trip: it’s a Cultural Odyssey, offering immersion alongside exploration.

SAVE £200 per person on all India tours departing from September 2025 when you book by 30th November 2024.

Day 1

Depart UK

Depart with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow for our overnight flight to Delhi.

Alternative airline – Emirates
If you prefer, you may fly with Emirates via Dubai from London Heathrow, Manchester or Birmingham for a supplement, from £375 per person return.

Included meals:

In-flight meals and drinks

Day 2

Delhi, 2 nights

Upon arrival into Delhi, we transfer to the impressive Heritage Maidens Hotel, for our first two nights in India. This evening, we join our Tour Manager and fellow travellers for a welcome drink, to become better acquainted for our adventures ahead.

Included meals:

In-flight meals and drinks and dinner

Day 3


Delhi, a city combining the very best of old and modern India, is a wonderful introduction to this fascinating country. Following breakfast, we embark on a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi, taking in the sights as we ride through its street. We cycle past the Red Fort – famed for its opulence, and being the palace of the Mughal Empire in the 1500s. We visit Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, as well as the lively old-city market, Chandni Chowk. Later, witness the imposing India Gate and striking Parliament House, and further explore New Delhi. Visits include the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Humayun’s Tomb, where the 16th-century Mughal Emperor lies.

Included meals:

Breakfast and dinner

Day 4

Amritsar, 2 nights

It’s an early start today as we make our way to the train station in time to board the Shatabdi Express to Amritsar. Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel, the centrally-located Taj Swarna, which will be home for the next two nights. Following dinner this evening, see the breathtaking Golden Temple at night, when numerous lights illuminate its beauty, and witness the sacred and much revered Palki Sahib ceremony.

Included meals:

Breakfast and dinner

Day 5


Tour Highlight
We begin our sightseeing tour with a visit to the striking Golden Temple. We continue to the Partition Museum, a world-first ‘people’ museum that tells the stories of the millions affected during the Partition of India in 1947. The afternoon is reserved for a very special journey to the Wagah border, to witness the inimitable Wagah-Attari border ceremony. This daily ‘beating retreat’ attracts crowds from both sides of the India-Pakistan border and is characterised by elaborate and rapid dance-like manoeuvres.

Included meals:

Breakfast and dinner

Day 6

Dharamshala, 2 nights

This morning we begin the scenic drive from Amritsar to Dharamshala. Recharge as you take in the views of lush cedar forests and rolling hills as we approach Dharamshala, at the edge of the Himalayas. En route, we visit the magnificent rock-cut temples of Masrur, located in the Kangra Valley. Upon arrival, we will check into Fortune Moksha Hotel. Our evening is at leisure to spend as we please.

Included meals:

Breakfast and dinner

Day 7


A morning of sightseeing takes us to the renowned McLeod Ganj, the spiritual home of Tibetan Buddhism. Tucked among the shrines and statues of the serene Tsuglagkhang Complex, we visit the striking Namgyal Monastery, the library, and see countless artefacts showcasing tradition and art at the Tibetan Museum. We continue to the tranquil Norbulingka Institute, a peaceful sanctuary that pays tribute to Tibetan culture and crafts, and supports Tibetan refugees.

Included meals:

Breakfast and dinner

Day 8

Deccan Odyssey, 7 nights

Tour Highlight
After breakfast, we head to the airport for our flight to Delhi. Upon arrival we transfer to the railway station to board the Deccan Odyssey, the epitome of luxury train travel. Nestle into private cabins, with on-demand butler service, as we take in the tapestry of India’s panoramic landscapes. For dinner, we dine on a delicious menu prepared by expert chefs with the freshest local ingredients. Meander the elegant hallways and sample the opulent facilities of the bar, lounge room, signature spa, and more. As we revel in the finer things in life, our overland journey transports us to Sawai Madhopur.

Included meals:

Breakfast and dinner

Day 9

Ranthambore & Sawai Madhopur

Awake in luxury and meet us in the dining car as we prepare to embrace our quest for nature in the world famous Ranthambore National Park, a tiger reserve that once served as the private hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Embark on a thrilling safari in search of the ever-elusive tigers that roam freely. Amid the ancient ruins of yesteryear, we’ll immerse ourselves in the vibrant locales of Sawai Madhopur. Later, return to the luxurious embrace of our state-of-the-art train, Deccan Odyssey. Swap stories from plush armchairs as we sip on a cocktail, prior to dinner in the dining car.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 10


We arrive into the historic capital of Rajasthan, ‘The Pink City’. After breakfast, we explore the treasure trove of exquisite forts and regal palaces, a testament to the architectural ingenuity of old. Behold the magnitude of Amber Fort that adorns the sprawling landscape; the seven-story citadel of the City Palace with its vast courtyards; and the latticed sandstone work of art that is the Hawa Mahal, known as the Palace of the Winds. History and modernity dance together as we browse the bustling bazaars of this beautiful city, weaving our way between stalls. Afterwards, we return to the comfort of the Deccan Odyssey, where a sumptuous dinner and a comfortable night’s rest awaits.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 11

Agra & The Taj Mahal

Tour Highlight
This morning, we set out to discover the Mughal citadel of Agra, where the vision of the Taj Mahal will be seared in our memories forever. The exquisite ivory white marble mausoleum and testament of love stands as a serene sentinel over the city. We discover other architectural gems, like the imposing beauty of the Agra Fort, and take in the views of the Yamuna River. With the experiences of the day fresh in our minds and hearts, we return to the Deccan Odyssey for dinner.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12

Gwalior and Orchha

Enjoy breakfast as the Deccan Odyssey pulls into Gwalior. Disembark and witness the imposing Gwalior fort. Its intricate sandstone façade towers into the azure sky, as the sun catches the ornate details of each majestic turret. We venture onward to the enchanting hidden gem of Orchha. Step into India’s rich history as you roam the ruins of grandeur and absorb the tranquillity of the sacred Chaturbhuj Temple which reaches skyward, glowing in the golden light. Step into the Orchha Fort complex with its daunting bastions and intricate architecture, and visit the village for a flavour of local life. Return to the train for another lovely dining experience.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 13


This morning we visit the historic city of Khajuraho, an archaeological treasure trove. Take in the exquisite beauty of the Chandela Temple complex, a World Heritage Monument, resplendent with carved deities adorning the ornate exterior. Afterwards, it’s the spiritual centre of the Mahadev Temple, which tells tales of devotion through its majestic façade and reaching spire. Later in the day, we return to the Deccan Odyssey.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 14


Today we step back in time during our visit to Varanasi – one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. We spend time traversing the bazaars, admiring the serenity of carved temples and walking in the footsteps of history itself as we descend the riverfront steps to the Holy River Ganges. We take a boat along the sacred water, deemed to be the embodiment of the goddess Ganga, as the water’s divinity is believed to offer purification and spiritual connection. With full hearts, return to the Deccan Odyssey to experience its comforts for one final evening.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 15

Depart Delhi / Arrive UK

Our train returns to Delhi in the early hours and we make our way to the airport to return home. After two weeks discovering the delights of India, it is finally time to say farewell to this enchanting country and our newfound friends. We arrive in the UK in the evening, ready to delight our loved ones with stories from our travels.

Included meals:

Breakfast and in-flight meals and drinks

Departure dates & prices

SAVE £200 per person on all India tours departing from September 2025 when you book by 30th November 2024.

At Distant Journeys we believe in delivering exceptional value for money, and a smaller group with a maximum of 24 guests will help you to really engage with this fascinating country.

 Departure date Price (pp) Availability Offer
 23 November £6,555 1 ROOM
 01 March £6,555 6 ROOMS
 22 November £6,995 £6,795 JUST LAUNCHEDSAVE £200 per person
 21^ December £7,295 £7,095 JUST LAUNCHEDSAVE £200 per person
 28 February £6,995 £6,795 JUST LAUNCHEDSAVE £200 per person

^This departure operates with a different itinerary. Please call for details.

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin or double room.

Single occupancy supplement
Nov 24 – Mar 25 £1,995
Nov 25 £2,225
Dec 25 £2,275
Feb 26 £2,245

£500 per person if travelling Economy Class, £1,000 per person if travelling Premium Economy and £1,500 per person for Business Class.

Flight upgrades
Virgin Atlantic upgrade to Premium Economy from £995 per person return, or Business Class from £2,895 per person return. Emirates upgrade to Premium Economy from £1,895 per person return, or Business Class from £3,895 per person return.

Visa information
A Tourist visa is required for travel to India. For more information on applying for your visa and the associated costs, please refer to our FAQ’s page.

Important information
Our holiday prices are subject to fuel surcharges and the availability of flights in the lowest fare booking class. The correct price will always be confirmed to you before you book, and once you have booked, our Price Promise will guarantee there will be no further increases. For full terms and conditions see our terms and conditions page.

Please note, alternative airlines may be considered or further supplements may apply in certain periods when international flight prices are higher.

So much included

Our escorted holidays to India are designed to offer superb value for money and our Deccan Odyssey’s Cultural Discovery tour is no exception. So much of what you will do and see is already included in the price.

Small group touring

  • Maximum only 24 passengers

Flights with leading scheduled airlines

  • Return economy class flights
  • Fly with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow
  • All airport charges, security charges and any applicable fuel surcharges
  • UK Air Passenger Duty

Carefully selected hotels

  • First class and deluxe hotels in great locations
  • All hotel porterage
  • Applicable hotel taxes

Many meals worth £534 per person

  • Daily breakfast
  • Six lunches
  • Dinner each evening

Unforgettable experiences

  • Sightseeing tours in Delhi, Amritsar, Dharamshala,
    Jaipur, Agra, Gwalior, Orchha, Khajuraho and Varanasi
  • Ride the Shatabdi Express train to Amritsar
  • The Golden Temple of Amritsar
  • Experience the Wagah-Attari border ceremony
  • Safari in Ranthambore National Park
  • Visit the iconic Taj Mahal

On the ground

  • Services of an experienced local Tour Manager
  • All overseas transfers
  • Modern, air-conditioned coaches throughout

100% confidence

  • Your holiday is covered by our Price Promise
  • Your holiday is fully ATOL protected

Heritage Maidens Hotel, Delhi

Maidens Hotel is one of Delhi’s grandest and best-preserved buildings. Its sweeping driveway and grand façade give a clue to its illustrious heritage. Built in 1903 to host the attending dignitaries during the 1903 Durbar, held to celebrate the coronation… Find out more >
  • Star-Rating-5
  •   Official rating
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  •   Distant Journeys rating

Taj Swarna, Amritsar

Taj Swarna in Amritsar brings style and elegance to offer an exceptional stay in true Punjab fashion. The spiritual centre of the Sikh community, Amritsar is home to the Golden Temple and the Jallianwalla Bagh monument, and the Taj Swarna… Find out more >
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  •   Official rating
  • Star-Rating-4-5
  •   Distant Journeys rating

Fortune Park Moksha, Dharamshala

Fortune Park Moksha, nestled in the picturesque Strawberry Hills of the lush Dharamshala valley, offers a tranquil retreat amidst the rolling Dhauladhar mountain range. It’s also located just a short drive from the main square of the picturesque hill station… Find out more >
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  •   Official rating
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  •   Distant Journeys rating

Deccan Odyssey, India's Luxury Train

Be transported to an age of romance and royalty, with an enchanting stay on India’s most opulent train, The Deccan Odyssey. Once reserved only for Indian royalty and British aristocrats, travelling by train is now one of the most exciting… Find out more >

Special Offer

SAVE £200 per person on all India tours departing from September 2025 when you book by 30th November 2024.

Customer reviews  feefo logo

This is a new tour with the inaugural departure in 2024. This page will be updated with reviews as soon as our returning customers are contacted by the independent reviews company Feefo. In the meantime, please feel free to look at the reviews for some of our other tours to India – we’re sure you will be impressed with the service our guests receive and the great reviews they kindly give us!

Deccan Odyssey’s Cultural Discovery Deccan Oddesey - Cultural 2024-25 map

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From start to finish a great tour of the golden triangle with knowledgeable local guides. Nothing was too much trouble for them introducing us to the Indian sights and culture.

Mr & Mrs C (Staffordshire), Golden Triangle and Ranthambore


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Distant Journeys has won 18 awards over the last seven years, at the British Travel Awards, and we have been awarded Feefo’s highest Platinum Trusted Rating for customer satisfaction.

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Know you are paying the best price for your holiday with our Price Promise. We never offer last minute discounts and we guarantee the earlier you book the better the offer you’ll receive.

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Book in the confidence your money is 100% safe. All Distant Journeys holidays are fully bonded by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number 10913) or ABTOT (number 5427).


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