Himalayan Heritage Trail
Awaken your senses on this incredible journey through Northern India. Experience the hustle and bustle of Amritsar, marvel at the beauty of Shimla and savour the electric atmosphere of the old bazaar in Delhi, before enjoying the Taj Mahal in all its glory. As well as stays in high-class hotels, included excursions will reveal the lasting legacy of the Raj and the importance of religion in this country's fascinating culture.
- VIP door-to-door travel service from anywhere on the UK mainland
- 11 Nights in hotels and 1 in flight
- 22 meals: 11 breakfasts and 11 dinners
- Return flights and transfers
- Excursions as described
- Saga tour manager
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
- Tourist visa for full British Citizens resident in the UK
Day 1 & 2: Amritsar
After taking your included UK door-to-door travel service to the airport, you'll fly overnight to Amritsar arriving in the afternoon of day two. You'll stay the next two nights at the locally rated 5-star Hyatt Hotel, Amritsar, approximately 20 minutes from the Golden Temple.
Day 3: Amritsar
This morning, enjoy an included sightseeing tour of Amritsar – the capital of the Sikh religion. This incredible city is full of energy, alive with the hustle and bustle of people and colourful bazaars. You'll visit Jallianwalah Bagh, the Durgiana Hindu temple and the sacred Golden Temple. You'll also see the community kitchen which provides free meals for up to 10,000 pilgrims and visitors every day! at leisure. This afternoon, you'll travel to the border town of Wagah to see a changing of the guard ceremony attended by troops from both India and Pakistan and which has taken place every evening since 1959. B,D
Day 4: Amritsar to Chandigarh
You can just sit back and relax today on a long but rewarding journey that takes you to Chandigarh – the hub of northern India. Designed by renowned Swiss-born architect Le Corbusier during the 1950s, Chandigarh is a carefully-planned, modern city featuring French Colonial-influenced architecture. Discover some of the highlights of the city as you enjoy sightseeing this afternoon. You'll stay overnight at the stylish locally rated 5-star Taj Chandigarh, which enjoys a central location in the heart of Sector 17. (Please note: departures in 2020 will stay instead at the locally rated 4-star LaLiT Chandigarh.)
Day 5: Chandigarh to Shimla
Travel to Shimla– dubbed the 'Queen of the Hills' thanks to its setting 2,200 metres above sea level amid the foothills of the Himalayas. The town was once the summer capital of the British in India, and its ties with the British Raj has left a legacy of splendid colonial edifices and quaint cottages. You'll spend the next four nights at the locally rated 4-star Clarkes Hotel, a Heritage Grand Hotel and one of the oldest hotels in the city.
Day 6: Shimla sightseeing
A morning sightseeing tour visits the Mall – Shimla's bustling commercial area, which is a pleasant place for a stroll. During your tour you'll see many reminders of the Raj, and you'll head to Observatory Hill to see the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, the summer home of the British Viceroy in India and the base from which the British Raj was ruled. The Partition Agreement was negotiated here, and visitors have included Gandhi and Nehru. The last resident Viceroy was Lord Mountbatten.
You'll also see Scandal Point, believed to be where the daughter of a British Viceroy eloped with the then Maharaja of Patiala in the 19th century, and the Christ Church – the second oldest church in Northern India.
The afternoon is free for a little independent exploring.
Day 7: Himalayan Queen Express
Step aboard the Himalayan Queen Express for an unforgettable train journey along the UNESCO-listed Kalka-Shimla railway. You'll travel through spectacular scenery as the train winds its way through the lower Himalayas to Kandaghat railway station. Here you'll continue by road up to the Tara Devi temple to enjoy incredible panoramic views. B,D
Day 8: Shimla
You can recharge your batteries during this day at leisure, but if you're feeling energetic, you can join an exhilarating guided walking tour up to Jakhoo temple.
The walk will cover a total of five kilometres with some steep uphill stretches, but from Jakhoo Peak you'll be able to enjoy panoramic views and see the temple complex dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
Day 9: Shimla to Delhi
Leave Shimla and travel to Kalka Railway station to board the Shatabdi Express for the four-hour journey to Delhi. Spend the next two nights of your tour at the locally rated 5-star The Suryaa hotel, New Delhi.
Day 10: Delhi
An included sightseeing tour explores the highlights of Old and New Delhi. In Old Delhi you'll be taken to the Raj Ghat – a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi – and Jama Masjid which is the largest mosque in India. You'll also have the opportunity to explore bustling Chandni Chowk market. It's then on to New Delhi, where you'll visit the 12th-century Qutab Minar – Delhi's oldest monument which is entirely hand-carved. You'll also visit the impressive mausoleum of Emperor Humayun. Your sightseeing tour will drive past the India Gate – a war memorial dedicated to Indian soldiers, the President's residence, parliament house and the Secretariat buildings, an interesting blend of Victorian and 20th-century architecture.
Day 11: Delhi-Agra
Travel by train from Delhi to Agra where you’ll transfer to the locally rated 5-star Courtyard by Marriott for an overnight stay before visiting Agra Fort. This walled city of red sandstone encompasses royal pavilions, mosques and carved marble buildings. You’ll also see the Itimad-ud-Daulah tomb – often referred to as the ‘Baby Taj’. This evening perhaps join an optional excursion to ‘Mohabbat The Taj Show’. B,D
Day 12: Agra-Delhi
The famous Taj Mahal was buit in 1560 by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz, and is celebrated for its beauty and magnificence. See this iconic building at sunrise before travelling to back to Delhi where you will stay overnight at the locally rated 5-star Novotel New Delhi, conveniently situated for easy access to the airport. B,D
Day 13: Delhi-UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight and included UK door-to-door travel service home. B
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