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A Journey Through India Tour

A Journey Through India Tour

Spend a little longer in India with Distant Journeys, and delve deeper into the heart of this mystical, mesmerising country. A Journey through India enjoys all the highlights you would hope to find in classic escorted India tours, but also includes visits to places off the well-trodden tourist path.

After completing the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, along with a safari stay in Ranthambore National Park, we move on to Lucknow and Varanasi.  The historic city of Lucknow has an air of grandeur, redolent of the days of the British Raj, and is today a cultural and artistic centre. Varanasi, by contrast, is the spiritual and sacred heart of India, situated by the banks of the holy River Ganges, and offers a true taste of India at its most authentic.

You’ll return home with a lifetime of memories, and a real understanding of the mysterious, magical soul of India.

A Journey through India itinerary

The classic Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra with the addition of a wildlife experience at Ranthambore National Park; historic Lucknow and Varanasi on the sacred Ganges – Distant Journeys’ Journey through India is a true odyssey into the soul of this bewitching country.

Day 1: Depart UK
Depart from the UK airport most convenient for you with Emirates: London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow. Alternatively, fly direct with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow. No matter which airline or airport you choose, there will be no additional cost.
In-flight meals and drinks included

Day 2: Delhi, 3 nights
All flights with Emirates to Delhi will travel via Dubai. Arrive into the wonderful city of Delhi and transfer to the five star Hyatt Regency – a first class hotel, conveniently located in New Delhi. This evening, enjoy a welcome drink with your Tour Manager and fellow travellers, to get to know one another and learn more about the adventure ahead.
In-flight meals and drinks included

Day 3: Delhi
Delhi stands as the capital of modern India, where you can experience the combined historic and architectural wonders of the adjoined cities, Old and New Delhi. We begin the day with a fascinating cycle rickshaw ride through the bustling narrow streets of Chandani Chowk in Old Delhi, the former commercial centre of Delhi and still an important trading area of the city.  We travel via the opulent Mughal-built Red Fort, Shah Jahan’s symbol of power and elegance, and make a stop at India’s largest mosque – Jama Masjid. The contrast with the pulsating streets of Old Delhi is evident as we take a drive along the wide tree-lined boulevards of New Delhi. We pass the imposing India Gate and Parliament House before enjoying lunch at the delightful Olive Bar & Kitchen. Later, we further explore New Delhi, including Humayun’s Tomb and the 13th century Qutub Minar, a red sandstone and white marble minaret, measuring over 75 metres tall.
Breakfast and lunch included

Day 4: Delhi Freedom Day
Our first Indian Freedom Day allows us to spend the day as we please. Our Distant Journeys Tour Manager will be on hand to help with advice on things to do, where to eat, make any arrangements and book excursions for you to further explore the area. Perhaps explore Akshardham Temple and Lotus Temple, two of India’s most architecturally impressive wonders. Alternatively, you may prefer to learn about India’s melting pot of different cultures, languages and religions during a half day tour, or take a walking tour of Delhi’s schools and markets, guided by street children who are supported by the Salaam Baalak Trust. This evening,we have the option to dine in one of three distinct restaurants: Fio Country Kitchen blends traditional Indian cuisine with more Mediterranean influences, and Veda serves a wide range of dishes spanning the Indian subcontinent. For something a little different, you also have the option of dining at Chor Bizarre – a themed restaurant capturing the spirit of the thieves market.

Breakfast included

Day 5: Jaipur, 3 nights
Following breakfast, we drive to Jaipur,stopping en route to visit the excellent Heritage Transport Museum. We enjoy an interesting journey through the evolution of India’s motor industry on a self-guided tour. Later, we continue to the colourful city of Jaipur, popularly known as the ‘Pink City’, and to the ITC Rajputana – a superior hotel with fantastic facilities.
Breakfast and lunch included

Day 6: Jaipur
This morning we head out of the city and board our waiting Jeeps, which will take us up the steep-sided slopes of the majestic Amber Fort. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a fabulous example of Rajput architecture, and you will be equally amazed by the grandeur of its royal halls, decorated with intricate ivory, mirror and glassworks. Later, we stop for a photo opportunity at the beautiful façade of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), before discovering the delights of Jaipur. We explore City Palace Museum, with its blend of Rajasthani and Mughal Art, and the awe-inspiring Jantar Mantar, an observatory built in 1726 which still provides accurate information to this day.
In the evening we have the option to take one of two wonderful dining experiences (at an additional cost). The first choice is a dinner under the stars, surrounded by bushland and the Aravali Hills, at Dera Amer. Your second option is to dine in the home of a local Rajasthani family, where you will be treated to a cooking demonstration and an insight into well-heeled Indian life, in the company of your friendly hosts.
Breakfast included

Day 7: TOUR HIGHLIGHT
Jaipur Freedom Day & Amber Fort Dinner
Take advantage of a Jaipur Freedom Day, where you can choose to relax or explore as you please. For example, we have the opportunity to take a heritage walking tour through the heart of the old city, learning about the local trades and crafts as we navigate the narrow streets.
Alternatively, you may wish to discover the ancient art of hand block printing and creating the region’s famous Blue Pottery, or you may like to explore a local organic farm, including a live cookery demonstration.
This evening will undoubtedly be a real highlight of the tour; a lavish dinner served at 1135AD, a beautiful restaurant set within the historic ramparts of Amber Fort. We dine like royals, in opulent surroundings, with Amber Fort illuminated against the night sky to make an enchanting backdrop.
Breakfast and dinner included

Day 8: Ranthambore, 2 nights
We leave Jaipur and journey to our hotel in Ranthambore, Nahargarh, which has been built in the style of a traditional Rajput hunting palace and will be our home for the next two nights. Ranthambore National Park is a forested area, with a rugged terrain of rocky ridges, open valleys and lakes.  Once the private hunting ground of the Maharaja, the park is now celebrated for its wildlife conservation, and in particular its majestic tigers. Following lunch, we board our open canter vehicle for our first game drive in the park. Whilst the elusive tiger is the park’s most famous inhabitant, keep an eye out for sambar deer, marsh crocodiles, sloth bears, monkeys, leopards and more than 250 species of bird life. After a thrilling afternoon, we return to our hotel in time for dinner.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 9: Ranthambore
Early this morning, we explore a different area of the National Park in search of more wildlife experiences and to see some of the impressive forts, ancient temple ruins, and ramshackle palaces which dot the landscape. We return to our hotel for breakfast, and the remainder of the day is free to spend as we please. The hotel has a wonderful pool area, which is a perfect place to unwind for a few hours with a good book.
This evening enjoy a barbecue dinner within the hotel’s picturesque grounds.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Day 10: Agra, 2 nights
All good things must come to an end, and this morning we leave Ranthambore as we make our way to Bharatpur. Enjoy lunch in the peaceful surroundings of Laxmi Niwas Palace before we journey to Fatehpur Sikri. Built in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri was deserted after only 14 years of rule. The abandoned city has been extremely well preserved and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, providing a wonderful insight into life in the time of the Mughal dynasty. Following our tour of Fatehpur Sikri, we continue to Agra and the Jaypee Palace, where we spend our next two nights.
Breakfast and lunch included

Day 11: TOUR HIGHLIGHT
Agra and the Taj Mahal
Agra is home to India’s most iconic attraction, the Taj Mahal, and this morning we enjoy our first experience of this magnificent monument. Taking 22 years to complete, with over 20,000 craftsmen working around the clock, the Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife and is justifiably considered the world’s greatest monument to love. The purity of its white marble exterior and precious gemstones makes this arguably the most beautiful building in the world.

Having spent time exploring the Taj Mahal, we visit the impressive 16th century Agra Fort, a commanding red sandstone monument stretching 2.5 kilometres along the banks of River Yamuna. This walled imperial city was once the home of the Mughal rulers, and for many years, the country was governed from here. Our afternoon has been left free to spend as we please. This evening, why not experience Mohabbat the Taj show – an 80 minute presentation, which perfectly complements the love story behind the Taj Mahal.
Breakfast included

Day 12: Lucknow, 2 nights
Early risers will be able to see the Taj again, from across the river at Mehtab Bagh or Moonlit Gardens. These gardens offer a peaceful opportunity to marvel at the monument and provide incredible photo opportunities of the subtle colour changes as the sun rises. Following breakfast in the hotel, we travel to Lucknow and the next two nights will be spent at Lebua, a boutique hotel, decorated using the Art-Deco style which prevailed in the early 1900s.  This evening, we have the option of a dinner in the magnificent surroundings of the city palace, Khajoorgaon. A delightful evening awaits in the company of the Maharaja’s family, who host an authentic home-cooked dinner and explain the history of Lucknow’s Hindu royalty.
Breakfast and packed lunch included

Day 13: Lucknow
Lucknow is a multicultural city that has flourished as a cultural and artistic hub, and was the seat of power of the Nawabs in the 18th and 19th centuries. The city rose to prominence during the 1857 Indian mutiny, when it saw fierce fighting between British and Indian armies. Today, we explore the fascinating history of this city from 1784 through to modern times, including visits to La Martiniere School, Bara Imambara and The British Residency.
Breakfast and lunch included

Day 14: Varanasi, 2 nights
Today we embark on a journey to Varanasi, situated on the banks of the sacred River Ganges, and one of the oldest and holiest cities in the world. For the Hindu religion in particular, Varanasi is considered as the place that provides the ultimate pilgrimage, where pilgrims come to the ghats lining the Ganges to wash away sins in the sacred waters or to cremate their loved ones. The city shows India at its most authentic, with a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and smells around every corner.  We stay for two nights at the comfortable Ramada Plaza Hotel.
Breakfast and packed lunch included

Day 15: TOUR HIGHLIGHT
Varanasi, morning boat ride on the river Ganges
Varanasi comes alive in the morning as pilgrims flock to the river banks to bathe in the holy water and worship the rising sun. We rise early to experience sunrise during a boat ride on the Ganges – a truly spectacular sight. Following our spiritual start to the day, we explore the old city and Bharat Mata Temple before returning to our hotel for breakfast.  This afternoon, we take an excursion to Sarnath, where Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment, and explore the important treasures contained within its archaeological museum.

In the evening we return to the ghats on the Ganges to experience the Aarti ceremony, amongst hundreds of lighted candles and flower offerings. Later there is an optional dinner in the incredible Brijrama Palace, one of the oldest landmarks of Varanasi.
Breakfast included

Day 16: Delhi, overnight
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi, we will be transferred to the nearby Pride Plaza Hotel, New Delhi. Your afternoon is free to spend as you wish, before we bid farewell to India and our new-found friends with a celebratory dinner.
Breakfast and dinner included

Day 17: Depart India – Arrive UK
We depart Delhi with Emirates, and fly via Dubai to our chosen airport; London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow. Alternatively, fly with Virgin Atlantic direct to London Heathrow.
Breakfast and in-flight meals and drinks included

Departure dates & prices

At Distant Journeys, we offer a great range of tours of amazing places, all of which include so much in the price.  And our Journey through India holiday is no exception. Your scheduled international flights, overseas transfers, expertly chosen hotels, daily breakfast plus several other lunches and special dinner experiences are all included. You’ll enjoy many amazing excursions in the company of experienced tour managers and knowledgeable local guides, all taken care of in the price of your holiday.

And don’t forget, you can also save up to £160 per couple as we give you two Freedom Day excursions, completely free of charge if you make your reservation before 30th November 2017.

 

Departure datePrice (pp)AvailabilityOffer
2018
03 November£2,995NEW DATE 2 complimentary excursions
2019
19 January£2,995NEW DATE 2 complimentary excursions
02 February£2,995NEW DATE 2 complimentary excursions
02 March£2,995NEW DATE 2 complimentary excursions


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

Single supplement:
£995

Deposit: £1,000 per person if travelling in economy class, £1,950 per person if travelling in premium economy, and £3,750 per person for business class.

Visa: British and Irish Citizens travelling to India will be required to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) before travelling. You can find more information about the eligibility criteria for the e-visa and apply online on the government of India’s e-Tourist Visa website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html  Thecost of this visa is currently (September 2017) USD75 per person. As the government online application can be tricky in places, you may prefer to use a visa agency to simplify the process. We recommend a company called VisaHQ. Please call for details.

Terms and conditions: Holiday prices are subject to the availability of flights in the lowest fare booking class and may change, however the correct price will always be confirmed before you book. For full terms and conditions see our terms and conditions page.

 

Exceptional value inclusions

Flights with leading scheduled airlines

  • Return economy class flights with Virgin Atlantic (London Heathrow only) or Emirates
  • Depart from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow at no additional cost
  • Premium Economy and Business Class upgrades are available on selected international routes for a supplement

Carefully selected hotels

  • Superior hotels in great locations as detailed in the itinerary

Many meals included

  • Daily breakfast included, worth £219pp
  • Six lunches and two packed lunches included
  • Dinner at Amber Fort
  • Farewell dinner
  • Two further dinners included

Unforgettable experiences included

  • Sightseeing tours in Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi
  • Visit the Heritage Transport Museum
  • Explore Amber Fort, including Jeep ride
  • Two safari drives in Ranthambore National Park
  • Fatehpur Sikri
  • The iconic Taj Mahal
  • Boat ride on the River Ganges

We include even more…

  • Services of an experienced local Tour Manager
  • All hotel porterage
  • All overseas transfers and transport in modern air-conditioned coaches
  • All airport charges, security charges and applicable fuel surcharges
  • UK Air Passenger Duty
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • ATOL protection for your holiday

Carefully selected hotels

To complement the amazing destinations you’re visiting, we work hard to find hotels in India that are perfectly placed for you to really make the most of your visit. And of course, the accommodation we choose is of fantastic quality too, with immaculate and friendly service at all times.


Hyatt Regency New Delhi

Set in the heart of New Delhi, the Hyatt Regency Delhi is surrounded by many local restaurants, monuments and shopping areas. The hotel boats bright and modern rooms, perfect for unwinding after a busy day sightseeing. This 5* hotel in… Find out more >
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ITC Rajputana Hotel in Jaipur

The ITC Rajputana Jaipur is conveniently located right in the heart of the bustling city. The hotel has been beautifully and elegantly decorated to give the hotel a palatial feel – perfect for escaping the busy city. All guest rooms… Find out more >
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Jaypee Palace Hotel in Agra

Set amongst 25 acres of beautiful landscape gardens, the Jaypee Palace is a tranquil and elegant hotel. The Jaypee Palace hotel in Agra offers a large outdoor swimming pool, Turkish baths, spa facilities, and spacious comfortable guest rooms. With seven… Find out more >
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Lebua Hotel Lucknow

Surrounded by luscious greenery, the Lebua Hotel Lucknow is conveniently situated in the heart of the city. Incorporating a mix of Art Deco and modern décor, this boutique hotel is the perfect base for your visit. Each room at the… Find out more >
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Nahargarh Fort Hotel Ranthambore

Nestled between the Aravali Ranges and Ranthambore National Park, Nahargarh Fort Ranthambore provides a tranquil setting for your stay. Relax in the hotel’s courtyards or surrounding gardens and retreat to the swimming pool for a swim after your thrilling game… Find out more >
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Pride Plaza Aerocity Hotel New Delhi

Situated a stone’s throw away from Delhi’s International Airport, the Pride Plaza Aerocity provides a modern and convenient base for your final night in India. Unwind and relax ahead of your flight home and make use of the hotel’s swimming… Find out more >
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Ramada Plaza Hotel in Varanasi

A modern 4* property surrounded by tranquil gardens along with two outdoor swimming pools, making it a great place to relax. The Ramada Plaza Hotel, Varanasi, boasts large modern rooms all with beautiful views of the hotel’s grounds. The hotel… Find out more >
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A Journey through India – Freedom Days

When it comes to exploring your destination and discovering new places, it’s important to find the right balance between ensuring you see all the best bits, and still finding time to do the things that interest you. That’s why you have Freedom Days – days which you can spend as you please, with a range of included activities to choose from.  Or of course you can just relax in the comfort of your hotel and recharge your batteries ready for more adventures ahead.

And you don’t have to decide everything before you leave the UK – you can choose many of the excursions as late as the day before, and your local Tour Manager will make all the arrangements for you.

Simply click on the description of each excursion available in the various destinations to read more about it.

Price pp in Indian Rupees (INR)Approx. price pp in British Pounds (GBP)
Delhi
 Visit Akshardam Temple & Lotus TempleINR 2528GBP £32
 Salam Baalak Walking tour with street childrenINR 2923GBP £37
 An Introduction to India’s ReligionsINR 2528GBP £32
 Fio Country Kitchen and BarINR 3792GBP £48
 Chor BizarreINR 3792GBP £48
 Veda RestaurantINR 3316GBP £42
Jaipur
 Heritage walking tourINR 3002GBP £38
 Block printing & Blue Pottery tourINR 2765GBP £35
 Organic farm visit & live cooking experienceINR 6320GBP £80
 Dera Amer dining experience with welcome by elephantsINR 4503GBP £57
 Dinner and cookery demonstration in a local homeINR 3950GBP £50
Agra
 Mohabbat the Taj showINR 3318GBP £42
Lucknow
 Dinner with the Maharaja in Khajurgaon PalaceINR 9243GBP £117
Varanasi
 Dinner at Brijrama Palace by the shores of the GangesINR 5846GBP £74

Early booking offer – save up to £160 per couple

If you book your Journey through India tour by the 30th November 2017, you will enjoy two full day excursions completely free of charge.  These excursions would together normally cost £80 per person.  In Jaipur you can choose EITHER:

Heritage Walking tour of Jaipur

This morning’s guided walking tour takes you through the heart of the old city of Jaipur, to see people going about their daily lives and to learn about the local trades and crafts as we make our way through the narrow streets.   From polishing gems to bangle making, intricate embroidery and traditional tie dyeing, you will be welcome to watch the locals as they work and chat to them about their lives.

OR:

Block Printing & Blue Pottery Demonstration Tour

Discover the ancient art of hand block printing and creating the region’s famous Blue Pottery, on an optional visit to Sanganer, just a few kilometres outside Jaipur.  The block-printed cotton fabrics of Jaipur have long been highly regarded for their traditional colourings and exquisite patterns, and are created using ancient methods.  Jaipur’s famous Blue Pottery, which was introduced to the area in the 16th century by Man Singh I, is made out of quartz and powdered glass, and its vibrant blue and green colours make it an eye-catching gift.

In Agra, you can enjoy, compliments of Distant Journeys:

Mohabbat the Taj Show

Learn more about the love story of Emperor Shajahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal in the Mohabbat The Taj show.  This beautiful story from the Mughal Empire will be brought to life amid a colourful spectacle of lights and music.


Dubai Offer, Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Hotel

After all the amazing sights and experiences you will have enjoyed during your tour of India, you might feel like a little rest and relaxation on the way home – time to reflect on all that you’ve done and seen…

Find out more >

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Customer reviews

A Journey through India is a new tour with departures in late 2018 and early 2019. This page will be updated with reviews as soon as our customers are contacted by the independent reviews company Feefo. In the meantime, please feel free to look at the reviews for our other tours to Australia and New Zealand – we’re sure you will be impressed with the service our guests receive.

‘A fabulous holiday which delivered on itinerary, accommodation, travel and value for money. Would certainly use Distant Journeys in the future and recommend to all’  Mr & Mrs Barber, Derbyshire
Mr & Mrs Barber, Highlights of Australia & New Zealand
‘The holiday completely lived up to the high expectations we had after reading reviews online.  The organisation was superb, the tour guides excellent, hotels well chosen for both comfort, facilities and location. Excellent value for money and would happily recommend to others’ Mr & Mrs Bryant, Yorkshire 
Mr & Mrs Bryant, Highlights of Australia & New Zealand
From booking to returning home this company does it all. Nothing is too much trouble and booking is very straightforward, as a customer we felt very valued’ Mr & Mrs Gunn, Hampshire
Mr & Mrs Gunn, Highlights of Australia & New Zealand
‘Our holiday was so much more than we expected. It was perfectly organised and everything we saw was amazing’ Mr & Mrs Janssens, Middlesex
Mr & Mrs Janssens, Wonders of Australia
99%

of our customers are
happy with our service

  • ‘A fabulous holiday which delivered on itinerary, accommodation, travel and value for money. Would certainly use Distant Journeys in the future and recommend to all’  Mr & Mrs Barber, Derbyshire
    Mr & Mrs Barber, Highlights of Australia & New Zealand
  • ‘The holiday completely lived up to the high expectations we had after reading reviews online.  The organisation was superb, the tour guides excellent, hotels well chosen for both comfort, facilities and location. Excellent value for money and would happily recommend to others’ Mr & Mrs Bryant, Yorkshire 
    Mr & Mrs Bryant, Highlights of Australia & New Zealand
  • From booking to returning home this company does it all. Nothing is too much trouble and booking is very straightforward, as a customer we felt very valued’ Mr & Mrs Gunn, Hampshire
    Mr & Mrs Gunn, Highlights of Australia & New Zealand
  • ‘Our holiday was so much more than we expected. It was perfectly organised and everything we saw was amazing’ Mr & Mrs Janssens, Middlesex
    Mr & Mrs Janssens, Wonders of Australia
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