India bristles with a mix of natural wonders, cultures and people that’s so eclectic, it defies belief. You’ll discover a kaleidoscope of new experiences wherever you look, and a destination full of surprises.

India. A billion people, 17 languages, 5000 years of history, and the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions. This is a land of mesmerising multiculturalism; of landscapes from deserts and mountains to dense forests and perfect beaches; and of customs, complexity and incredible contrasts.

For the visitor, it’s difficult to know where to start – and many choose the ‘Golden Triangle’ of capital Delhi, historic Agra, and the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur. The country’s rich past has spawned hundreds of exquisite palaces, temples and monuments, and nowhere more so than here; meantime Rajasthan will delight with its tiger-inhabited forests and camel-crossed deserts. But whatever it is you expect, India will always give you more: endless and enduring possibilities. 




Delhi delights: the old city of the Mughals is a hustling, bustling affair, dominated by two huge gems: the majestic Jama Masjid, one of the world’s largest mosques, and the legendary Red Fort, which offers a real contrast to the busy streets outside. 



No matter how many pictures you see of the Taj Mahal, the reality is even more beautiful. A perfectly-symmetrical palace, it was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, and took 20,000 men nearly 22 years to complete. 


Sample Itinerary

12 nights from New Delhi to Udaipur


Day 1/

Fly overnight from London Heathrow to New Delhi

Day 2/

Arrive New Delhi, stay 2 nights at The Imperial, New Delhi

Day 4/

New Delhi to Agra by train, stay 2 nights at The Oberoi Vanyavilas

Day 8/

Ranthambore National Park to Jaipur, stay 3 nights at The Oberoi Rajvilas

'Old' Delhi, with its teeming bazaars, lively traders and winding alleys, is from the 17th century and dominated by the immense Jama Masjid or Great Mosque


Days 1 to 8

New Delhi to Jaipur

New Delhi is your first stop. A mad melting pot with a hugely-colourful atmosphere, it's teeming with people (14 million!) as well as India's heritage. 

After transferring to the grand Imperial Hotel, we'd spend the rest of the day exploring the city. New Delhi is the beautifully-planned city the British built when they moved the capital from Calcutta, courtesy of architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. Begun in 1911, its wide boulevards radiate out from the boutiques and cafés of Connaught Place with the Imperial Mall, and the Rajpath, leading to the impressive India Gate war memorial. 

'Old' Delhi, with its teeming bazaars, lively traders and winding alleys, is from the 17th century and dominated by the immense Jama Masjid or Great Mosque. To its east is Lal Qila (the Red Fort). Named after its sandstone walls, this huge palace stands at the end of a busy shopping street, Chandna Chowk – but through the impressive Lahore Gate, the pristine lawns and tranquil halls are something of a surprise. 

After two days in New Delhi, take the early train to Agra – well-organised and efficient, India's railways are by far the best way to get around the country. 

Agra, of course, is home to the Taj Mahal, India's most popular tourist site. And your hotel, the fabulous Oberoi Amarvilas, is only 600m or so away – so you'll have front row views throughout your stay. Built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal took 20,000 workmen 22 years to complete. However many pictures you've seen the reality is even more breathtaking, especially at sunrise, sunset or under moonlight, when the marble seems to change colour. Absolutely mesmerising! 

Before leaving Agra visit the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri too, just an hour's drive away. Built around 1575 it was virtually abandoned within 20 years, and its well-preserved palaces make it a really atmospheric destination. 

From here take the train to possibly the most exciting part of our journey – Ranthambore National Park. A spectacular mass of untamed jungle hemmed by ribbons of rocky ridges, Ranthambore is a vast expanse of wild and wondrous protected parkland and part of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. 

Here, wildlife is left to roam amongst an almost-surreal scattering of historic relics, including the 10th-century Ranthambore Fort. A Maharajas' hunting ground until 1970, this is the only place in Rajasthan to spot wild tigers. The luxurious tents of the Oberoi Vanyavilas feel like a royal hunting party – although the only shooting here is with your camera, over two days tracking tigers, panthers, crocodiles and more (remember to take plenty of extra memory).

Days 11 to 14

New Delhi to Jaipur

Leaving the wildlife behind, the next stop is Jaipur – another gem – staying at the beautiful Oberoi Rajvilas. 

Known as the 'Pink City' from its red-washed buildings, Jaipur's best-known sight is the fantastic Palace of Winds. Its façade has 953 small windows, each with a fine lattice screen so the royal women could 'people-watch' anonymously! It's part of the vast City Palace, which is well worth exploring, as are the giant instruments (including a 23m sundial) of the Jantar Mantar observatory next door. 

The imposing Amber Fort with its lavish interiors is also a must-see, so do make time to visit Jaipur's bazaars, where you can get anything from jewellery to carpets! 

Then finally it's on to Udaipur, the most enchanting fairytale city in India with its marble palaces and lakes surrounded by mountains. It's dominated by the enormous City Palace overlooking Lake Pichola, which is actually several palaces, with fortress-style walls topped with balconies and turrets (we have heard it called a plain cake topped by loads of icing – which is pretty accurate). But the winners in the beauty contest have to be the lake's fabulous island palaces.

Jag Mandir's marble chambers and lush gardens are believed to have inspired the Taj Mahal – but our personal fave is Jag Niwas, featured in so many photographs (not to mention the Bond film Octopussy!). Spend two or three days in the palatial splendour of the Oberoi Udaivilas, taking in the palaces, bazaars and beautiful surroundings (make sure you take a private boat trip on Lake Pichola – at sunset it's sooo romantic!). Surely there's no more memorable way to end such an action-packed journey.





Day 11/

Jaipur to Udaipur, stay 3 nights at The Oberoi Udaivilas

Day 14/

Udaipur to London Heathrow, via New Delhi

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