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Visit Amritsar, the cultural and spiritual centre of the Sikh religion, located in the heart of Punjab. Famous for its traditional handicraft and handloom products the city is also home to the magnificent Golden Temple, Sikhism's holiest shrine and one of India's most serene and humbling sights.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Delhi International Airport.
On arrival in Delhi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After lunch, a short tour of the beautifully planned city of New Delhi will follow. Offering you a taste of its imperial glory, you'll drive past the India Gate and Parliament Building before visiting the Birla Temple, made purely out of 2,000 tons of Rajasthani white marble.
Today enjoy a full day tour of Delhi, beginning with the historic Old Delhi. Travelling through the narrow, crowded streets on a rickshaw, pass vibrant food markets and chai wallahs brewing their sweet tea. A visit to the regal Red Fort gives you a sense of the lavish life once led by the former rulers before your tour continues to New Delhi to see the Mahatma Gandhi memorial and the 12th century Qutab Minar with its fine examples of Indo-Islamic architecture.
Depart Delhi for a leisurely train journey to Agra. Despite being a small city, Agra was once the capital of the mighty Mughal dynasty whose strength manifested itself in the huge forts and buildings designed to maintain its power. During the afternoon you will visit the vast red sandstone Agra Fort. The colossal walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by the Mughals in 1573 and boasts gigantic pavilions, grand palaces and spectacular courtyards.
This magical day starts with a tour of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal; words do not do this remarkable palace justice. Taking 17 years and 20,000 men to build, the heartbroken Mughal Emperor Shahjahan dedicated this stunning white marble monument of love to his deceased wife to enshrine her mortal remains. Return back to the hotel for lunch and to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
This morning drive to the Pink City of Jaipur, en route you will make a stop at the magnificent Fatehpur Sikri, the ancient capital of the Emperor Akbar. A World Heritage Site, the city includes a stunning mosque and three palaces. After lunch, proceed to Jaipur, passing farms and villages before arriving in Jaipur in time for dinner.
Begin your day in Jaipur with a visit to the spectacular Amber Fort, the ancient capital of the royal family until 1728. Spanning over four huge courtyards, you will travel to the centre of the fort by either elephant or jeep, passing snake charmers and harems of the Maharajah along the way. An afternoon city tour of Jaipur takes you to the City Palace and astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar. Lastly marvel at the hundreds of tiny windows on the facade of the Hawa Mahal, known to many as the Palace of the Winds.
Following breakfast you will start the drive to Bikaner, stopping en-route for lunch. Bounded by sand dunes and situated on an elevated plain, this vibrant desert town is fondly known as the 'camel country' of India. Arriving early evening you will check-in to your hotel for your overnight stay.
A morning tour of the 16th century Junagad Fort awaits you today. With its unique and formidable structure, you will be able to appreciate the amazing network of havelis - mansions with courtyards and balconies of red sandstone and marble. The fort also contains numerous monuments with gold plasters, exquisite mirror work and hidden chambers. Returning to the hotel for lunch you will have the rest of the day at leisure to relax.
This morning you will head to the 'Sun City' of Jaisalmer, located in the great Thar Desert. Dominated by the breathtaking fort, this beautifully evocative city is one of Rajasthan's biggest attractions with its mysterious camel-train trade routes and local bazaars brimming with bright embroideries and dazzling glass mirrors. On arrival into the city you will check into your hotel before visiting some of the main attractions including the 12th century Jain temples and the magnificent golden Jaisalmer fort itself.
Located in the heart of Rajasthan, Manvar's wilderness is beautiful beyond imagination. Surrounded by sand dunes, your desert camp destination is perfectly situated for fantastic views of the vast desert. After check-in you will be taken on a desert jeep safari to see some of the rural life of the surrounding areas. Later on you will also be taken for the unique experience of a camel ride into the Thar Desert. This evening witness the stunning sunset with a cultural performance and dinner under the starlit skies.
After breakfast, check-out and journey on to Jodhpur where you will enjoy an afternoon tour of the buzzing 'Blue City'. Starting at the mighty 15th century Mehrangarh fort, this magnificent architectural masterpiece towers above the sandstone hills of the city and boasts huge courtyards and palatial apartments within. Continue on to Jaswanth Thada, the traditional cremation ground of the rulers of Jodhpur with ornamental gardens containing the fabulous white marble memorial to the Maharaja, Jaswanth Singh II.
Spend a relaxed morning at leisure before an afternoon visit to a tribal village in the nearby Bishnoi, offering a taste of the past and rich culture of the region. Inhabited by a community of nature worshippers, the beautifully scenic village contains a natural lake surrounded by Khejri trees where migratory birds, antelope and other animals come from nearby areas to drink and graze.
Leaving Jodhpur, en-route to Udaipur you will visit the world famous Ranakpur temple complex. Acclaimed for their intricate and superb architectural style, the temples are the largest of the Jain cult and form one of the five major pilgrimage sites. Wholly constructed in marble with more than 1,400 exquisitely carved supportive pillars, they contain numerous beautifully and delicately carved sculptures and are definitely a highlight of any trip to this area. Continuing on towards Udaipur, you will stop for lunch before arriving at your hotel in the city.
Affectionately known as 'The Venice of the East', magical Udaipur is a city of romance with beautiful lakes and fantastical palaces all bordered by lush, forested hills. This morning you will visit the huge City Palace, lining the eastern shore of Lake Pichola, with its balconies gazing out towards the stunning Lake Palace seemingly floating on the waters across the shimmering lake. Next make a stop at the celebrated Jagdish temple, the largest in the city and whose 79 foot sculpted spire dominates the skyline. Here you can appreciate the three-storied te
This morning you will fly from Udaipur to Amritsar, via Delhi, where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel to spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Following breakfast, the highlight of your visit to Amritsar awaits; a visit to the magical Golden Temple, a mesmerising blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles and seeming to float atop a glistening pool. After lunch continue to the Wagah border with Pakistan to see the sunset 'retreat' ceremony for which it is famous for, at the gates the two countries.
Enjoy some free time this morning to explore the maze of street markets in Amritsar city at your leisure before transferring to the airport for your flight to Delhi where you will spend the evening.
Depart after breakfast for your flight to the UK.
A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £96 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30 day single entry stay from the date of arrival. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Direct is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 24 days cover||£48||£94||£146|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight is to Delhi International Airport with Jet Airways (9W), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage and hand luggage of 7kg not exceeding 55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm in size. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival and will be accompanied by a guide throughout your stay ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in India is the Rupee or Rs. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of India. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
You will need to take money with you to cover any personal purchases such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £300 per person will be sufficient for the durations of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Extension Price||Tour Price||Total Price|
|18 Apr 2018||06 May 2018||£429pp||£1699pp||£2128pp|
|09 May 2018||27 May 2018||£429pp||£1499pp||£1928pp|
|23 May 2018||10 Jun 2018||£429pp||£1599pp||£2028pp|
|05 Sep 2018||23 Sep 2018||£429pp||£1729pp||£2158pp|
|26 Sep 2018||14 Oct 2018||£429pp||£1899pp||£2328pp|
|17 Oct 2018||04 Nov 2018||£429pp||£1929pp||£2358pp|
|07 Nov 2018||25 Nov 2018||£429pp||£1929pp||£2358pp|
|28 Nov 2018||16 Dec 2018||£419pp||£1929pp||£2348pp|
|16 Jan 2019||03 Feb 2019||£429pp||£1989pp||£2418pp|
|27 Feb 2019||17 Mar 2019||£429pp||£1949pp||£2378pp|
|27 Mar 2019||14 Apr 2019||£429pp||£1799pp||£2228pp|
|08 May 2019||26 May 2019||£429pp||£1499pp||£1928pp|
|22 May 2019||09 Jun 2019||£429pp||£1599pp||£2028pp|
|04 Sep 2019||22 Sep 2019||£429pp||£1729pp||£2158pp|
|25 Sep 2019||13 Oct 2019||£429pp||£1929pp||£2358pp|
|16 Oct 2019||03 Nov 2019||£429pp||£1949pp||£2378pp|
|06 Nov 2019||24 Nov 2019||£429pp||£1959pp||£2388pp|
|27 Nov 2019||15 Dec 2019||£429pp||£1969pp||£2398pp|
We have a limited number of single places with no supplement on this tour. Once these have been sold, a single supplement will apply for single travellers on this tour. However, if you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender, then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner.
If the group departure dates are not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience then you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.
Please note that, due to weather conditions for departures between April and June, the Manvar Camp will be closed and you will stay at Manvar Desert Resort. All activities will remain the same however the swimming pool will be closed for May and June departures.
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
Once a famous hunting ground for the gallant rulers of Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park is spread over 1,344km2 and is one of the biggest national parks in India. Choose this extension to experience a variety of wildlife including tigers, leopards, deer and much more.
As capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh, the engaging town of Shimla is a popular resort for tourists and local vacationers alike. This former British summer capital still retains much of its colonial heritage and is the perfect extension to your tour of India.
Travelling from Delhi to Agra, then Jaipur, this 10-day, 8-night tour of the Golden Triangle and the exotic Ranthambore National Park takes you through India's most famous sights.
Characterised by winding emerald rivers, exotic wildlife, spice plantations and lush landscapes, the south Indian state of Kerala exudes tranquillity and beauty.
Journey through tropical lowland rainforests, rolling tea plantation-covered mountains and discover pristine white-sand beaches in the east of the island.