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PRIVATE TOUR

India

Intriguing India

12 NIGHTS FROM £6,250 per person

Showcasing the sheer diversity of enchanting India, this tailor-made itinerary takes you from British-inspired metropolises and the tea-growing Himalayan foothills, to the holy banks of the River Ganges and bustling megacities. Everywhere you go, immersive Indian experiences await – from dining with locals, to partaking in Hindu ceremonies on the sacred River Ganges.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS expand_more

Visit the home of a Kolkata socialite for dinner and to peruse his art collection

Stay on a tea plantation in Darjeeling, visiting a convent and school supported by the estate

Glide along the sacred River Ganges at dusk and witness the Hindu 'aarti' ceremony

Enjoy a guided tour of mind-blowing mega-city, Mumbai

Through A Local Lens

Head into the Dharavi slum of Mumbai – the setting of the award-winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ – home to a variety of recycling industries that turnover a staggering USD 1 billion per year. With a slum social worker, head to one of these thriving small businesses – whether producing leather, pottery or poppadums – to meet with the local community and learn more about life here.

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Intriguing India

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TOUR DETAILS

    DAY DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    TRANSFERS

    • Type:
    • Summary:
    • Feature:
    • Rooms:
    • Location:
    • Star rating:
    MEAL BASIS

    DAY 2-5 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    The former capital of British India, take a guided tour around cultural Kolkata, where highlights include the Dalhousie square, St John’s Church, Park Street Cemetery and the Victoria Memorial. You’ll also view the sights of the 19th century Bengali Renaissance – from the Jain Temple Complex to the house of Mother Teresa. Enjoy an authentic Bengali lunch at the home of local art collector and socialite, Mr Surojit ‘Bomti’ Iyenger, as well as a private boat cruise along the city’s historic Hooghly River. Stop for a spot of tea at Flury’s Tea Room, an old Kolkata institution on Park Street, close to the Oxford Bookshop where you can browse an impressive collection of books on Kolkata and the rest of India.

    TRANSFERS

    Take a private car transfer to Kolkata airport for your flight to Bagdogra. From here, take a private car transfer to Glenburg Tea Estate, Darjeeling. On the way, stop for a picnic at a scenic spot in the foothills.

    The Glenburn Penthouse
    • Summary: A discrete residence in the heart of historic Kolkata
    • Feature: Expert guides will lead you on a discovery of this heritage-rich city
    • Rooms: 9 suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 5-8 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Stay amid the Darjeeling foothills of the Indian Himalayas on a working tea plantation. From here, take the gentle hike to the Cluny Sisters convent, meeting the sisters and the children that study here, sponsored by the plantation, as well as visiting the Glenburn Lamahatta Orange Orchard where the fruit is made into delicious marmalade that you can enjoy at breakfast. A further walk uphill takes you to the Gorkhay Daara viewpoint, boasting jaw-dropping views of Glenburn below, set against the green peaks of Sikkim and the snowy majesty of Mount Kanchenjunga.

    TRANSFERS

    Take a private car transfer to Bagdogra Airport for your flight back to Kolkata and onwards to Varanasi. From here, take a private car transfer to The Nadesar Palace.

    Glenburn Tea Estate
    • Summary: A colonial tea plantation amid the Himalayan foothills
    • Feature: As well as a wealth of tea-related experiences, activities include hiking, river fishing and more
    • Rooms: 8 rooms across 2 historic bungalows
    DAY 8-10 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    A holy Hindu city that is steeped in history, Varanasi offers a truly authentic Indian experience. Cruise along the sacred waters and ghats of the River Ganges aboard a Bajra boat in the early morning, passing pilgrims as they perform rituals or practice yoga, before a walk through the old city, home to no less than 2,000 temples and shrines! Visit the birthplace of Buddhism Sarnath, before another cruise along the Ganges, this time experiencing the spectacular sunset “aarti” worship ceremony. As the darkness descends, it’s a highly charged spiritual extravaganza where oil lamps are lit, bells clang, incense burns and bhajans (devotional prayers) are chanted.

    TRANSFERS

    Take a private car transfer to Varanasi airport for your flight to Mumbai. From here, take a private car transfer to Taj Mahal Palace.

    The Nadesar Palace
    • Summary: A boutique hotel steeped in history, first opened in 1835
    • Feature: Lush gardens surround the spa, offering ancient Indian therapies
    • Rooms: 10 suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 10-12 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Your adventures end in energetic Mumbai. Head out with a guide to explore this soulful city, the second largest in India – from the fishing village at Cuffe Parade and the unique Crawford Market, to the UNESCO Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station. Meet with one of the city’s unique dabbawallas – people that deliver tiffin lunches to suburban households, schools and offices – and marvel at the impressive Gateway of India, before lunch at the members only Bombay Gymkhana Club. Later, head into the heart of the dense and ultra-productive Dharavi slum, home to nearly a million people and setting of the award-winning film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. A slum social worker will guide you through this micro-economy of Mumbai, where you will spend time with a community group and learn more about slum rehabilitation.

    TRANSFERS

    Take a private car transfer to Mumbai Airport for your flight to the UK.

    The Taj Mahal Palace
    • Summary: An iconic hotel that is part of Mumbai's beating heart, first opened in 1903
    • Feature: The best location in Mumbai, as well as an impressive outdoor pool and spa
    • Rooms: 285 rooms and suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    TRANSFERS

    • Type:
    • Summary:
    • Feature:
    • Rooms:
    • Location:
    • Star rating:
    MEAL BASIS

DAY ACCOMMODATION

TRANSFERS

  • Type:
  • Summary:
  • Feature:
  • Rooms:
  • Location:
  • Star rating:
MEAL BASIS

DAY 2-5ACCOMMODATION
Kolkata, India

The former capital of British India, take a guided tour around cultural Kolkata, where highlights include the Dalhousie square, St John’s Church, Park Street Cemetery and the Victoria Memorial. You’ll also view the sights of the 19th century Bengali Renaissance – from the Jain Temple Complex to the house of Mother Teresa. Enjoy an authentic Bengali lunch at the home of local art collector and socialite, Mr Surojit ‘Bomti’ Iyenger, as well as a private boat cruise along the city’s historic Hooghly River. Stop for a spot of tea at Flury’s Tea Room, an old Kolkata institution on Park Street, close to the Oxford Bookshop where you can browse an impressive collection of books on Kolkata and the rest of India.

TRANSFERS

Take a private car transfer to Kolkata airport for your flight to Bagdogra. From here, take a private car transfer to Glenburg Tea Estate, Darjeeling. On the way, stop for a picnic at a scenic spot in the foothills.

The Glenburn Penthouse
  • Summary: A discrete residence in the heart of historic Kolkata
  • Feature: Expert guides will lead you on a discovery of this heritage-rich city
  • Rooms: 9 suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 5-8ACCOMMODATION
Darjeeling, India

Stay amid the Darjeeling foothills of the Indian Himalayas on a working tea plantation. From here, take the gentle hike to the Cluny Sisters convent, meeting the sisters and the children that study here, sponsored by the plantation, as well as visiting the Glenburn Lamahatta Orange Orchard where the fruit is made into delicious marmalade that you can enjoy at breakfast. A further walk uphill takes you to the Gorkhay Daara viewpoint, boasting jaw-dropping views of Glenburn below, set against the green peaks of Sikkim and the snowy majesty of Mount Kanchenjunga.

TRANSFERS

Take a private car transfer to Bagdogra Airport for your flight back to Kolkata and onwards to Varanasi. From here, take a private car transfer to The Nadesar Palace.

Glenburn Tea Estate
  • Summary: A colonial tea plantation amid the Himalayan foothills
  • Feature: As well as a wealth of tea-related experiences, activities include hiking, river fishing and more
  • Rooms: 8 rooms across 2 historic bungalows
DAY 8-10ACCOMMODATION
Varanasi, India

A holy Hindu city that is steeped in history, Varanasi offers a truly authentic Indian experience. Cruise along the sacred waters and ghats of the River Ganges aboard a Bajra boat in the early morning, passing pilgrims as they perform rituals or practice yoga, before a walk through the old city, home to no less than 2,000 temples and shrines! Visit the birthplace of Buddhism Sarnath, before another cruise along the Ganges, this time experiencing the spectacular sunset “aarti” worship ceremony. As the darkness descends, it’s a highly charged spiritual extravaganza where oil lamps are lit, bells clang, incense burns and bhajans (devotional prayers) are chanted.

TRANSFERS

Take a private car transfer to Varanasi airport for your flight to Mumbai. From here, take a private car transfer to Taj Mahal Palace.

The Nadesar Palace
  • Summary: A boutique hotel steeped in history, first opened in 1835
  • Feature: Lush gardens surround the spa, offering ancient Indian therapies
  • Rooms: 10 suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 10-12ACCOMMODATION
Mumbai, India

Your adventures end in energetic Mumbai. Head out with a guide to explore this soulful city, the second largest in India – from the fishing village at Cuffe Parade and the unique Crawford Market, to the UNESCO Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station. Meet with one of the city’s unique dabbawallas – people that deliver tiffin lunches to suburban households, schools and offices – and marvel at the impressive Gateway of India, before lunch at the members only Bombay Gymkhana Club. Later, head into the heart of the dense and ultra-productive Dharavi slum, home to nearly a million people and setting of the award-winning film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. A slum social worker will guide you through this micro-economy of Mumbai, where you will spend time with a community group and learn more about slum rehabilitation.

TRANSFERS

Take a private car transfer to Mumbai Airport for your flight to the UK.

The Taj Mahal Palace
  • Summary: An iconic hotel that is part of Mumbai's beating heart, first opened in 1903
  • Feature: The best location in Mumbai, as well as an impressive outdoor pool and spa
  • Rooms: 285 rooms and suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY ACCOMMODATION

TRANSFERS

  • Type:
  • Summary:
  • Feature:
  • Rooms:
  • Location:
  • Star rating:
MEAL BASIS

TOUR MAP

TOUR EXCURSIONS

Explore Kolkata
Full Day Tour

Join an expert guide for a day discovering Kolkata’s historic architecture, bustling markets, local gastronomy and interesting local residents. Highlights include a heritage walk around the historic Dalhousie Square, the famous Writers’ Building, the Governor’s House and the Charnock Mausoleum. Enjoy a cup of Indian tea at St John’s Church, before continuing to the poignant Park Street Cemetery and the majestic Victoria Memorial. Then, glimpse how locals live as you enjoy lunch of authentic Bengali cuisine at the home of Mr Surojit ‘Bomti’ Iyenger, a local art collector, socialite and eccentric. The tour ends with a private river boat ride past the River Hooghly’s ‘Ghats’ (sacred stone steps), enjoying the view that greeted adventurers in the 19th century, while sipping on delicious Darjeeling tea.

Historic Kolkata
Full Day Tour

Learn more about the Bengali Renaissance and the 19th century awakening of modern India, beginning on the banks of the River Hooghly, where trade battles of Europe have been fought throughout history. Head here in the morning to watch the city wake up, before a visit to the riverside flower market. Next, head north to the “Black Town”, where a European culture flourished among the pioneering families of Bengal. Visit the Marble Palace mansion here, built by a wealthy merchant in 1835 and still showcasing a kitsch collection of paintings, sculptures and Belgian glass. Other tour highlights include the Bengali Quarter where you can enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, before visiting Kumartuli (or the Potters’ Market) where religious idols are created for the city’s many festivals. On your way back into town, stop at Mother Theresa’s home and view her modest tomb, before enjoying tea at Flury’s Tea Room, an old Calcutta institution on Park Street, close to the impressive Oxford Bookshop.

Hike to the Cluny Sisters Convent, Lamahatta Orange Orchard and Gorkhay Daara Viewpoint
Half Day Excursion

While based at the Glenburn Tea Estate amid the Kanchenjunga mountain range, a short 15-minute drive followed by a gentle uphill walk for 30 minutes, leads to a charming local church and convent school, which is run by the Irish Cluny Sisters. Explore their school, meet the children that board with them, and play with the baby animals that they look after. There is also the opportunity to sponsor children to help with their vital education. Next, explore the picturesque Glenburn Lamahatta Orange Orchard, where oranges are grown to make the marmalade served at the hotel, as well as various other fruits, vegetables and flowers. A further uphill walk takes you to the Gorkhay Daara viewpoint, from which you can enjoy stunning views of the green peaks of Sikhhim and snowy Mount Kanchenjunga. Then, start your descent back to the main track where your jeep awaits you to take you to the hotel.

The Miracle of the Ganges
Early Morning Tour

Arise early and board a decorated Bajra (boat) for a sunrise cruise between the famous Ghats (stone steps) of the Ganges River in Varanasi. Witness traditional cremation rituals beside the water, watch locals practice yoga and absorb the captivating colours of orange and red as the sun rises. Then, walk through the maze of narrow streets of this charming old city, home to over 2,000 shrines and temples – of which you will visit the Durga and Tulsi Manas Temples. Then, visit the Benares Hindu University, founded as a centre of education in Indian art, culture and music, as well as for the study of Sanskrit. Your final stop is the Bharat Mata Temple, dedicated to “Mother India” and boasting a marble relief map of the country, rather than traditional images of deities.

Sarnath - The Birthplace of Buddhism
Half Day Excursion

Around 10 kilometres from central Varanasi, Sarnath is often cited as the birthplace of Buddhism, where Buddha first spoke of his philosophy. An impressive stupa marks where Buddha stood amid the deer park complex, while the area also boasts various other Buddhist structures and magnificent monasteries. Unsurprisingly, Sarnath is considered very sacred to Buddhists and is one of the four major pilgrimage destinations for the religion.

Ganges Twilight Cruise and Aarti Ceremony
Evening Excursion

Experience the sacred Ganges River at twilight with a boat cruise to the iconic Dashashwamedh Ghat, dating back thousands of years. Here, experience the spectacular daily sunset “aarti” ceremony, during which thousands of Hindu devotees gather on the steps of the Ghat, lighting oil lamps, clanging bells, burning incense and chanting bhajans (devotional prayers). Feel the magic of the river and immerse yourself in local life as you watch flowers and lamps float along the water in this unforgettable experience.

Bombay City Discovery
Half Day Tour

Like any great and soulful city, Bombay is both captivating and overwhelming. This city tour will introduce you to the complexities of India's second largest city, built at the height of the British Raj, that later became home to the Indian freedom movement. It's a city of textile factories and fishing villages, Islamic mosques and Hindu temples, the elegance of Marine Drive and the shocking paucity of the slums.

You will be driven along the Mahalakshmi road bridge which overlooks Dhobi Ghat - a huge public laundry facility unique from laundries anywhere in the world, a visit to which is truly an exciting and unique experience. You'll then head southwards towards Malabar Hill, an exclusive residential area in Mumbai city, passing the Jain temple, built at the turn of the century, as well the Hanging Gardens. Continue along Marine Drive to the impressive architectural vestiges of the Raj - the High Court, the Bombay University and the Raja Bhai Clock tower to the Victoria Terminus railway station. However, arguably the most impressive landmark in Bombay is the Gateway of India, often dubbed "Bombay's Arc de Triomphe" and built to commemorate the visit of King George V in 1911.

Visit the Slums of Dharavi, Mumbai
Half Day Excursion

Head into the Dharavi slum of Mumbai – the setting of the award-winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Dharavi consists not only of residential space, but is also a major economic hub representing the city's vast underground manufacturing sector, home to a variety of recycling industries that turnover a staggering USD 1 billion per year. With a slum social worker, visit one of these thriving small businesses – whether producing leather, pottery or poppadums – to meet with the local community and learn more about life here. Then, head back into Mumbai for a refreshment and talk on slum rehabilitation in India by your accompanying guide.

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

Generally, the best time to visit these areas of India together is between October and March, when the weather is more likely to be dry and clear. High temperatures and monsoon rainfall is often experienced from June to August.

  • JAN
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  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Best

12 NIGHTS FROM £6,250 per person

Price based upon economy flights from London, transfers, UK airport lounge passes and meals and excursions as specified.

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Independent Reviews

Although our awards and long history stand testament to our success, independent reviews from our clients via Feefo further support our unrivalled travel experiences.

Elegant Resorts have achieved an average score of 4.9 / 5 based on 395 independent reviews.

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