The Taj, Lucknow & The Sacred Ganges

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Cox and Kings

Cross the Ganges plain from Delhi to Kolkata (Calcutta), taking in the majesty of the Taj Mahal and Amber fort, remarkable wildlife in Ranthambore, the spiritual aura of Varanasi and colonial Lucknow and Kolkata. Extend your tour in the tea plantations of Darjeeling, by the beach in the Andaman Islands, looking for rare onehorned rhinos in Kaziranga National Park or relaxing in the countryside at the heritage hotel Rajbari Bawali.

Highlights
  • Exclusive access to La Martinière College, Lucknow
  • Ride on Kolkata's historic tram
  • Heritage & culinary tour of Lucknow
  • Evening prayers in a local temple
  • Stay in 4- & 5-star accommodation
  • Small group size - average 12 people (maximum 20)
4- & 5-star accommodation
Flexible - extensions, room and flight upgrades available
Guided sightseeing & entrance fees
Direct International flights with British Airways
Internal flights in India
Experienced local tour manager
Welcome drink to meet the group and guide
12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Accommodation

Oberoi Grand, Kolkata (Calcutta)

The Oberoi Grand is located in the heart of the city, near the main monuments and shopping district. It is 22 km from the international airport, which takes approximately 45 minutes by road. The hotel has been a feature of Kolkata (Calcutta) for over 125 years and it combines classic Victorian architecture with modern facilities. It has 6 categories of rooms and suites. Deluxe rooms offer a panoramic view of the city and some luxury rooms have a private balcony overlooking the central courtyard. Premier rooms feature four-poster beds and private balconies and classic suites overlook the pool and garden. Set amid the palm-fringed courtyard and pool are the deluxe suites and the 3 luxury suites, each measuring 84 sqm, feature four balconies overlooking the hotel grounds. All rooms have a satellite television, DVD player, Internet access, safe, telephone and mini bar. The hotel ha...


Sawai Vilas, Ranthambore National Park

Just 10 minutes from the gates of Ranthambore, shadowed by the idyllic Aravalli Hills, the Swai Villas offers 60 comfortable standalone villas spread over 2.5 hectares of verdant garden. Rooms are elegantly designed, spacious and safari themed with thoughtful touches and amenities. The dining room serves an array of delicious regional, national and international dishes. Features: 60 villas, restaurant, swimming pool, spa, Wi-Fi. Room amenities: Air conditioning, television, safe, tea & coffee making...


Taj Mahal Lucknow, Lucknow

Vivanta by Taj - Gomti Nagar (previously The Taj Residency) is set in 33 acres of landscaped gardens bordering the Gomti River. The architecture of the hotel reflects the glorious Nawabi era, with graceful pillars and rich tapestry adding to its regal character. The hotel offers a choice of 110 rooms including four suites, all of which overlook either the beautiful gardens or the swimming...


The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi, Varanasi

The Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi (previously the Taj Ganges) is a comfortable, centrally located hotel situated on Raja Bazaar road. The hotel, which has 130 rooms including 10 suites, is set amid 5 hectares of verdant land, making it an oasis of greenery in the bustling holy...


The LaLiT Great Eastern Calcutta, Kolkata (Calcutta)

This early 19th-century hotel, which has played host to Queen Elizabeth II, Kipling and was regarded by Mark Twain as the "best hotel east of the Suez", was originally called the Auckland Hotel. Today, after extensive refurbishment, the LaLiT Great Eastern Kolkata is a distinctive blend of Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary architecture. Rooms and suites are spacious and elegantly decorated. The rooms in the Heritage wing evoke the old-world charm of the British Raj era while the rooms and suites in the Modern wing accentuate contemporary style with a touch of Bengali art, craft and design elements. The hotel's bakery is a real highlight and renowned throughout the city as it used to be the meeting place for the East India Company's officers in the 19th century.

Features: 195 rooms, Wi-Fi, 3 restaurants, bar, bakery, outdoor swimming pool, spa.
Room amenities: Television...


The LaLiT Jaipur, Jaipur

Located close to the airport in the heart of the commercial district of the city, The LaLiT Jaipur is a modern property designed to reflect elements of the local haveli architecture. The hotel offers 244 elegantly designed rooms with wooden flooring and large spa-style bathrooms, complimented by traditional Rajasthan artwork and luxury furnishings. All rooms are equipped with all modern amenities including satellite television, minibar, in-room safe and wireless internet access. The hotel has a variety of dining options for guests to choose from serving a range of pan-Indian and international cuisine, both à la carte and as a buffet. Other facilities include a swimming pool, fully equipped fitness centre and a spa offering a wide range of...


The Trident Agra, Agra

The Trident Agra is set in beautiful gardens and is only a short distance away from the Taj Mahal. The hotel is built of red stone, reminiscent of the Mughal era, and is designed around a landscaped central courtyard with swimming pool and fountains. The hotel features a multi-cuisine informal brasserie as well as an alfresco Italian restaurant. Features: 138 rooms, Wi-Fi, 2 restaurants, bar, fitness centre, beauty salon, gift shop. Room amenities: Air conditioning, minibar, tea & coffee facilities, television, safe, en suite...


Trident Gurgaon, Gurgaon

Set in seven acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, the Trident Gurgaon is characterised by domes, long walkways, inner courtyards, reflection pools and fountains. The hotel has 136 rooms, which include a Presidential suite and six executive suites, overlooking the garden, courtyards and...

2 included wildlife drives
Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
Porterage at airports & stations
Express train travel in air-conditioned class
Destinations
  • India
  • Asia
Tour Types
  • group
  • General interest


Day 1: Fly to Delhi

Travel from London (regional connections available) with British Airways to Delhi. (N)


Day 2: Delhi

Arrive in the nation's capital and transfer to the Trident Gurgaon for an overnight stay. Afternoon at leisure. Optional half-day tour visiting Humayun's tomb and the mughal gardens of the Sunder Nursery*. This evening join the rest of your group and your guide for a welcome drink. (N)


Day 3: To Jaipur

Travel to Jaipur for a 3-night stay at The LaLit (or similar). (B)


Day 4: Jaipur

Morning visit to the nearby Amber fort; the ancient capital of the Kachwaha Rajputs from 1037. Considered to be the jewel of Jaipur, the fort displays an excellent example of Mughal architecture and offers spectacular views of the old town below, where Akbar stopped on his annual pilgrimage to Ajmer. Afternoon at leisure. (B)


Day 5: Jaipur

Today explore the rest of the 'Pink City' starting with a visit to the sprawling palace complex, still home to the current Maharajah. Next to it you will find the curious astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar, home to a fine collection of 18th century astronomical instruments that can still be used with astonishing accuracy. Later lose yourself in one of Jaipur's bustling and historic bazaars, selling jewellery, silk and traditional Indian crafts. (B)


Day 6: Ranthambore National Park

Drive to Ranthambore National Park, one of the prime examples of Project Tiger's conservation efforts in Rajasthan. The park covers an area of 400 square kilometres and was once the private hunting grounds of the maharajas of Jaipur. 2 nights at Sawai Vilas (or similar). (B, D)


Day 7: Ranthambore National Park

Wildlife drives in the early morning and late afternoon in search of the elusive Bengal tiger. Although well known for its tiger population, Ranthambore is also home to panthers, marsh crocodiles, sloth bears and leopards, as well as being a bird watcher's paradise. (B, L, D)


Day 9: Lucknow

Travel to Lucknow for a 2-night stay at Taj Mahal. Lucknow is a beautiful city with a turbulent history, which has subsequently led to a melting pot of cultures and a blend of architectural styles. After settling into your hotel, take a short heritage and culinary tour to develop your understanding of Lucknow and to try some of the delicious Awadhi cuisine in one of the city's many traditional roadside eateries. You will visit local temples, the flower market and see examples of medieval artistry from Zardosi (golden embroidery) to Ittar (traditional perfume) workshops.(B)


Day 10: Lucknow

One of the first things you may notice on your full-day tour of Lucknow is how alluring Islamic buildings sit next to fine colonial monuments. Explore the Asifi Imambara and the magical Husainabad complex, both built by the Muslim Nawabs of Oudh when Lucknow was a political and cultural hub. The city also rose to prominence during the 1857 Indian mutiny when it saw fierce fighting between British and Indian forces. Visit the Residency where British forces were held under siege for 6 months and visit the La Martinière College where exclusive access allows you to see the chapel, award room and arms room. (B)


Day 11: Varanasi

Take the morning train to Varanasi for an overnight stay at the Taj Ganges. This evening watch the mesmerising and mystical aarti ceremony on the banks of the River Ganges. Observe the evening puja (or prayers) which are led by priests whilst musicians play and deeyas (oil lamps) are offered to Mother Ganga in thanks for the light and sun. (B)


Day 12: Varanasi • Fly to Kolkata

Early morning boat ride on the Ganges to witness pilgrims performing their ablutions and other rituals, funeral pyres blazing on the steps, incense wafting through the air and music chiming all around. After breakfast, visit Sarnath, the site of Buddha's first sermon after receiving enlightenment. Take the evening flight to Kolkata for 2 nights at the centrally located LaLiT Great Eastern Hotel or upgrade to the Oberoi Grand (Deluxe room) from £105pp. (B)


Day 13: Kolkata

Kolkata is a vibrant city where many colonial buildings remain. Take a half-day tour of Kolkata's colonial heritage including a ride on one of Kolkata's historic trams to see how the British legacy can still be felt. Optional afternoon visit to the Victoria Memorial, South Park Cemetery and Kumartuli - the potter's village where the idols are created for the city's festivals. (B)


Day 14: Fly to London

Take an Air India flight to Mumbai to connect with the British Airways flight to London. (B)


Meal basis

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.


Important information


Superior Tour

This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.


Single supplement

From £725pp.


Private & tailor-made travel

This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits you, for which guideline prices are shown. Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact requirements. Please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online

• 4- & 5-star accommodation
• Flexible - extensions, room and flight upgrades available
• Small group size - 12 people (max 20)
• Direct International flights with British Airways
• Internal flights in India
• Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
• Express train travel in air-conditioned class
• Experienced local tour manager
•12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
• Welcome drink to meet the group and guide
• 2 included wildlife drives
• Guided sightseeing & entrance fees
• Porterage at airports & stations

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability

Touring with Cox & Kings

Cox & Kings, the world’s longest established travel company, arranges award-winning small-group tours and private journeys to the world's most captivating destinations. They also offer expert-led arts and culture tours, group tours specially designed for solo travellers, and create adventurous tailor-made itineraries.

Cox & Kings’ roots stretch all the way back to its establishment by Richard Cox on 21st July 1758. The company evolved from its original purpose providing logistical support for army regiments, through banking and shipping, to its current role making often complex arrangements for discerning travellers.

Today, Cox & Kings continues to flourish as a UK based tour operator. Wherever you choose to travel with Cox & Kings, you can travel with confidence. With over 260 years of expertise, you can rest assured that you’ll be safe in the hands of a dedicated team of regional experts and the best support in country. With the experience to create travel arrangements of the highest calibre, they offer excellent value for money.

Cox & Kings’ tours strike a balance between visiting iconic landmarks and revealing lesser-known gems; glimpsing layers of history and getting an authentic taste of modern life; and filling days with exceptional experiences combined with enough time to unwind or explore independently. Enjoy the savings that group travel affords, while exploring with a small group of people who share your passion for seeing new sights.

To enhance your enjoyment of the tour, they like to keep their groups genuinely small and manageable. Therefore, numbers are normally restricted to a maximum of 18 and an average of only 14 guests. Their general interest group tours uncover the best the world has to offer, whether that means a destination’s fabulous heritage, charming cultural traditions, mesmerising landscapes or enthralling wildlife.

Cox & Kings also specialise in group tours for solo travellers with no supplements on their dedicated Solo Travellers tours, and limited No Single Supplement places available across their full collection.

Sustainable and responsible travel is important, and as part of the Abercrombie & Kent family, Cox & Kings work with Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP) who partner with more than 40 local grassroots projects that positively impact local communities.

In uncertain times, Cox & Kings is, above all else, a company you can trust. Fully ABTA and ATOL protected, the team also offer 24/7 emergency support. They offer one of the most flexible new booking policies on the market and their strict health and hygiene commitments have earned them a World Travel & Tourism Council Safe Travels accreditation.  

They have won numerous awards, most recently Best Luxury Tour Operator at the 2020 Silver Travel Awards. There is an art to creating and delivering the highest quality tours, which Cox & Kings has been refining for generations. Their experience, knowledge, service and business ethics are all underpinned by more than 260 years of heritage.

 

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tour details

This tour is operated by Cox and Kings

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Group Size:12 - 20
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