Days One and Two - Kolkata
Fly from Heathrow via Dubai on an Emirates Airlines Flight, arriving in Kolkata early on day two. After some time to refresh, you'll enjoy some sightseeing in the afternoon, taking in such landmarks as the 19th century Jain Temple, Victoria Memorial, Kali Temple, Kolkata's holiest spot for Hindus, and Mother Teresa's Orphanage. You'll stay overnight at Hotel Kenilworth.
Day Three - Train to New Jalpaiguri
An early start today with a dawn visit to Kolkata's colourful flower market, enjoying the rest of the day at leisure. In the evening, you'll board the train to New Jalpaiguri, travelling overnight in 1st a/c sleeper.
Day Four - To Darjeeling
Arriving in New Jalpaiguri in the morning, you'll change for the famous Toy Train to Darjeeling, following the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a 2ft narrow gauge railway built between 1878 and 1881. During your journey, the elevation varies from 328ft at New Jalpaiguri to 7,218 ft at Darjeeling. Using vintage British-built B class steam locomotives, the railway is a Mountain Railways of India World Heritage Site, and you'll enjoy glorious scenery as the train slowly weaves its way up the mountain sides. You'll stay for two nights at the Hotel Windamere.
Day Five - Darjeeling
A dawn visit to the Tiger Hill starts your day with fantastic views of Mount Kanchenjunga, and the peak of Mount Everest (on a clear day!). You'll also see the Ghoom Monastery, home to the 15ft statue of the Maitreya Buddha. After lunch you'll have a busy afternoon, visiting the Botanical Garden, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, and the Tibetan Refugee Centre.
Days Six and Seven - Varanasi
In the morning, you'll drive to New Jalpaiguri station to board the Radjhani Express - one of the fastest trains in India - to Mughalsarai station, travelling overnight in a 1st a/c sleeper. On day seven, you'll arrive at Mughalsarai station early in the morning, spending the rest of the morning at leisure before an afternoon excursion to Sarnath, where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon. Here you'll see the beautiful Buddhist Stupas and an interesting Museum. In the evening, you'll take a cycle rickshaw ride to the Ghats to witness the moving religious ceremony. You'll spend two nights at Taj Gateway Ganges.
Days Eight and Nine - Agra
Varanasi is famous as a holy city, situated right on the banks of the holy river Ganges. This morning, you'll take a dawn boat ride to watch the religious rituals performed by the devout, before spending the rest of the day at leisure. This evening, you'll transfer to the Mughal Sarai station to board the train to Tundla, travelling overnight in a 1st class air conditioned sleeper. Arriving at Tundla station in the morning of day nine, from there you'll drive to Agra, enjoying afternoon sightseeing, visiting the majestic UNESCO-listed Agra Fort, created by successive Mughal Emperors as a statement of their power and majesty. You'll also visit the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah, and stay overnight at the Taj Gateway.
Days Ten to Twelve - Shimla
Enjoy a memorable sunrise this morning, visiting the iconic Taj Mahal and watching as the sun slowly caresses the white marble, magically changing its colours. In the afternoon, you'll transfer to the railway station to board your overnight train to Kalka, staying in a 1st class air conditioned sleeper. You'll arrive in Kalka early in the morning of day eleven, changing for the toy train to Shimla, enjoying one of the world's most iconic rail journeys, passing the villages and hills of north-west India, and travelling along a 2ft 6in narrow gauge railway, which has been declared a Heritage Property. It's an enjoyable and memorable ride as the little train chuffs and puffs up the winding track. You'll stay for two nights at the Oberoi Cecil in Shimla, enjoying morning sightseeing on day twelve. Your tour of Shimla will include the Viceroy's Lodge and highlights of the Mall, including the Gaiety Theatre and Christ's Church, before spending the afternoon at leisure.
Days Thirteen and Fourteen - Delhi
You'll have a restful morning at leisure before driving to Kalka station this afternoon to board the Shatabdi Express, a high speed train, to Delhi, where you'll spend two nights at the Shangri-La Eros Hotel. On day fourteen, you'll enjoy a full day sightseeing, taking in many of the sights of India's bustling capital, including the Jama Masjid, one of India's largest mosques, the Chandni Chowk Bazaar, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, dating back to the 17th century, the symbolic India Gate, the Mughal Humayan's Tomb and the Qutab Minar, the tallest brick minaret in the world.
Day Fifteen - To London
Transfer this morning to the airport for your return flight with Emirates Airlines via Dubai
Various dates are available
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Humayan's Tomb, Delhi
Jain Temple, Kolkata
Toy Train to Darjeeling
Toy train to Shimla