FROM THE GATE OF INDIA TO THE HIGH HIMALAYA

Vintage India in Serious Style

Delhi & Around, Mumbai & Western India, Rajasthan, The Himalaya

Duration: 13 nights

Price: From £4,950 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, private transfers, experiences as stated and taxes

India has been a seat of many great empires in its long history, both domestic and foreign. Today, as it continues its blistering development as an independent nation, relics remain everywhere of its regal past, from the towering Mughal forts and tombs to ancient rock cut caves and British colonial architecture. Your journey starts in Mumbai, where you’ll visit ancient Hindu cave temples and Portuguese Catholic churches, before heading into Rajasthan to visit the princely cities of Udaipur and Jaipur. India’s capital Delhi features multiple reminders of the might of the Mughals, and the charming hill station of Simla, a summer favourite in the days of the Raj, is home to quaint colonial architecture and stunning Himalayan views.
Perfect forHistory buffs looking to get a flavour of India’s regal past.
In the knowIncluding a trip to Agra to see the storied Taj Mahal.

Best for

  • History & Heritage
  • Couples
  • Repeat
  • Cultural Immersion

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Itinerary details

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2 nightsMUMBAI

Your journey through imperial India begins in Mumbai, the country’s western gateway. Now the realm of Bollywood stars and business leaders, Mumbai has a long history as an imperial city, from the Buddhist empire of King Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE to the British Raj, the last colonisers before Indian independence in 1947. Relics of the city’s history are everywhere. The Gateway of India is a huge triumphal arch, built in the 1920s to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. At Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour, you’ll find rock-cut temples to the Hindu god Shiva dating from the 5th-8th centuries, and the influence of Portuguese colonisers is evident in the abundance of Catholic churches, such as the ruins of St John the Baptist Church, dating from 1579. You’ll spend 2 nights at the Taj Mahal Palace, an opulent luxury hotel which is an icon of Mumbai.
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2 nightsUDAIPUR

The next stop on your trip is the beautiful lake city of Udaipur. Set around a series of manmade lakes, Udaipur is renowned as the most romantic spot in the country and is a favourite of film directors, Indian and international. It’s also got a long and rich imperial history, evident in its abundance of grand palaces, many hewn from white marble. The City Palace is perhaps the most impressive: the largest in Rajasthan, it began to be built in 1599 by Udai Singh, the Mewar king who founded Udaipur. The 76 generations of Mewar kings represent possibly the oldest dynasty in the world – their long and colourful history is displayed at the grand Durbar Hall, with portraits, weapons and other martial memorabilia. Your home for 2 nights in Udaipur is the Taj Lake Palace, a grand 18th-century hotel set on its own island in Lake Pichola which featured in the James Bond film Octopussy.
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2 nightsSHAHPURA

Leaving Udaipur, you’ll journey through rural Rajasthan to the palatial heritage retreat of Shahpura Bagh for 2 nights in Jaipur, family residence of the Raja of Shahpura, where you'll experience exceptional hospitality, a wonderful insight into village India and an indescribable sense of peace. As well as enjoying superb Rajasthani cuisine, you can relax by the pool, beneath the shade of the stone arches, sway in a hammock or enjoy a pot of tea on the immaculate lawns. Out and about, explore with your guide the incredible wildfowl reserve on the estate, visit local temples and markets and enjoy lazy picnics by one of the many lakes.
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2 nightsJAIPUR

From Shahpura it's on to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Known as the Pink City for its red sandstone buildings, in Jaipur you can get a strong feeling of the maharajahs who long ruled the city. The eye-catching City Palace is pink even by Jaipur’s standards, and combines Mughal architecture with modern additions. The imposing Amber Fort, which sits high on a hill overlooking the city, was the one-time home of the Rajput king Man Singh I and is Jaipur’s main attraction. The Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds, is an unusual structure with a towering façade, designed so that the ruling Rajputs could look out at the city and their subjects without being seen. For your 2 nights in Jaipur, you’ll stay at Rambagh Palace, which was once the home of the Maharajah of Jaipur.
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2 nightsDELHI

The next stop on your journey is Delhi, around an hour’s flight from Jaipur. As India’s capital and one of its most prominent cities, Delhi has seen its fair share of colonisers and invaders, with many of the empires which reached India making this their capital at one time or another. Examples of historical attractions in Delhi include Humayun’s Tomb and the Red Fort, both of which serve as reminders of the might of the Mughals. The impressive Purana Qila was built by Afghan rulers in the 16th century, and the vast Lahore Gate was old enough in the 1600s to be modified by Aurangzeb, but still stands impressively and is now a symbol of Indian independence. Your home for 2 nights in Delhi is, appropriately, the Imperial, an Art Deco-influenced luxury hotel from the 1930s.
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 3 nightsSIMLA

The final stop on your imperial Indian adventure is Simla, a beautiful hill station which was the preferred summer destination of the British colonisers. Its Raj-era popularity is evident in its architecture, with the honey-coloured Christ Church dominating the skyline and the Town Hall and library looking like something out of a Tudor English market town. Here you'll stay in the Wildflower Hall, a luxury hotel where you can enjoy the colonial architecture and mountain views of Simla. When your journey through imperial India reaches its end, you’ll be transferred to Chandigarh for your onward flight.
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