AMRITSAR, INDIA – AUGUST 26, 2011: Sikh guard in Golden Temple S
AMRITSAR, INDIA – AUGUST 26, 2011: Sikh guard in Golden Temple S
AMRITSAR, INDIA – AUGUST 26, 2011: Sikh guard in Golden Temple S

The Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship Tour of India
13-24 September 2024 Special Interest

A Small Group Tour Led by Raaja Bhasin, Award winning author, historian, and journalist.

India

The Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship Tour of India 13-24 September 2024 Special Interest

Interesting, educative and enjoyable, this tour embodies the spirit of The Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship and its multi-cultural ethos.

The tour begins and ends in Delhi which is a multi-layered city and the seat of political power. There are numerous monuments from the middle-ages that reflect Delhi’s past and these seem to merge seamlessly with the colonial structures of New Delhi which was built in the early 20 th century by a team led by Edwin Lutyens. Now, a rapidly expanding city, this also reflects India’s rise as a global power. Our next destination, Amritsar is a city sacred to the Sikhs as well as to Hindus. The Golden Temple is the holiest of Sikh shrines and embodies much of the ethos of this community. The langar, community kitchen attached to the temple, feeds thousands everyday – regardless of their faith. In 1919, Amritsar was also the site of a massacre of civilians which catalyzed India’s movement for freedom.

We then travel to Chandigarh, a city designed by the acclaimed modernist architect, Le Corbusier and reflective of post-Independence India.

From Chandigarh, we move to the mid-ranges of the majestic Himalaya Mountains and the charming town of Shimla. This was the ‘summer capital’ of the Indian Empire and its architecture reflected several European forms. This tour also takes you on the UNESCO-inscribed World Heritage Site, the Kalka Shimla Railway.

Agra holds the iconic monument, the Taj Mahal and it is sometimes said that no visit to India can be considered complete without experiencing its graceful majesty.

Trip Scholar - Raaja Bhasin, Award winning author, historian, and journalist.

You will be accompanied by Raaja Bhasin -Award winning author, historian, and journalist. He has published 15 books of history, travel, fiction, and poetry and is a recognised authority on the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and its capital, Shimla. He has handled assignments for television, including for the BBC, and for the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and various departments of the Indian Government. He writes regularly for magazines and papers in India and elsewhere. He is the state Co-convenor of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage – Himachal Pradesh State Chapter.

12 days from £2,576.00 per person
London - Delhi - Amrtisar - Chandigarh - Shimla - Agra - Delhi - London

Contact a
specialist consultant

020 8901 7320 Enquiry
Viceregal Lodge Shimla
Itinerary View Map
British Airways

Day 1 : To Delhi

Friday 13 September

Flights from London Heathrow, regional UK airports or from your country for Delhi. Participants from UK wishing to join the tour please contact us for flight options. Participants from Australia and other countries will make their own arrangements for international travel to Delhi.

old-delhi

Day 2 : Delhi

Saturday 14 September

Arrive Delhi. Afternoon tour of old Delhi. Overnight stay at The Radisson Blu Plaza.

Afternoon: Tour of Old Delhi Evening at leisure. D

AMRITSAR, INDIA – AUGUST 26, 2011: Sikh guard in Golden Temple S

Day 3 : To Amritsar

Sunday 15 September

Morning Transfer to the domestic airport for your flight to Amritsar with IndiGo airlines or Air Asia. Meeting assistance on arrival and transfer to Hotel Hyatt Regency. Begin your afternoon with sightseeing of Amritsar. Visit Partition Museum, Jallianwala Bagh and Durgiana temple. Evening at leisure. Those who wish to visit Golden Temple after dinner for Sukh Aasan ceremony will be taken for the late evening visit to Golden Temple. This ceremony finishes around mid-night. B, D

Monkeys sitting on rooftop

Day 4 : Amritsar

Monday 16 September

Begin your morning with sightseeing of the famous Golden Temple. You may wish to volunteer and help in the free kitchen (langar) of the temple and also have lunch at the Temple. An afternoon excursion to Wagha-the Indo-Pakistan border to witness the ‘Changing of the Guard Ceremony.’ Overnight at the Hyatt Regency. B, D

Rajasthan Rural and Regal Day 2

Day 5 : To Chandigarh

Tuesday 17 September

Depart for Chandigarh (4 hrs drive) - 2 night’s stay at the Taj chandigarh. Meeting assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon: Visit Government Museum and Art Gallery to understand the historical background of Punjab in the best way possible. The Art Gallery is famous for its Gandharan sculptures, Rajasthani miniature paintings, and Pahari art pieces that were brought back to India from Lahore’s Central Museum after Partition. Later in the evening visit The Rock Garden. It is a sculpture garden for the rock enthusiasts. A government official Nek ChandSaini starts building this garden secretly in 1957. The garden is built from Industrial and home waste. Dinner at the Hotel. B, D

Rock Garden Chandigarh

Day 6 : Chandigarh

Wednesday 18 September

Explore Chandigarh beginning at the famous Nek Chand's Rock Garden, a unique sculpture garden created from recycled industrial and urban waste, it's a fascinating artistic marvel. Followed by a visit to the Sukhna Lake, a serene man-made reservoir where you can take a leisurely walk around the lake, go for a boat ride, or simply relax by the shore.

Evening: Dinner at the hotel. B, D

Shimla-Town-hill-houses-c

Day 7 : To Shimla

Thursday 19 September

Your journey continues to Shimla (4 hrs drive).

Check in at Hotel Oberoi Cecil Shimla for 2 nights stay. Evening lecture by Raaja Bhasin followed by dinner at the hotel. B, D

Viceregal-Lodge-Shimla

Day 8 : Shimla

Friday 20 September

After breakfast leave for Heritage Walk of Shimla with Raaja Bhasin. Visit the old Viceregal Lodge followed by a walk up to the Mall, Gaiety Theatre and Christ Church. Tea at the Amateur Dramatics Club. Walk back to the hotel. Evening gala dinner at Chapslee, a distinctive heritage property. B, D

Shimla-Train

Day 9 : To Delhi

Saturday 21 September

Experience the thrill of not one, but two completely different train rides today. The first, after breakfast, is the plucky little Toy Train leaving from Shimla railway station. The views are outstanding as the train slowly winds down the tortuous hillsides to Kalka to meet the second of the rides… the mighty Shatabadi Express to Delhi.

Dinner on board train. Meeting and transfer to The Claridges Hotel for overnight stay. B, D

Agra-Fort

Day 10 : To Agra

Sunday 22 September

Meeting assistance on arrival and transfer to the ITC Mughal. Explore the city of Agra in the afternoon and immerse yourself in its colourful culture. Head to the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This massive red sandstone fort is rich in history and offers a fascinating glimpse into India's Mughal heritage. Take a short walk to the nearby Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India. It's an architectural marvel. Followed by dinner at the Hotel. B, D

Taj Mahal In The Evening

Day 11 : Agra

Monday 23 September

Begin your day with an early start with a sunrise visit to the world-famous Taj Mahal, an architectural masterpiece, renowned for its stunning white marble craftsmanship and intricate details. Its historical significance as a symbol of eternal love and its breathtaking beauty, especially at sunrise or sunset, make it an iconic destination in India. The Taj Mahal's serene ambiance and lush gardens also offer a peaceful and photogenic experience for travellers.

Afternoon: Drive back to New Delhi for your last night’s stay at the Claridge’s Hotel. Dinner at the hotel. B, D

Aircraft in the sky Airbus British Airways

Day 12 : To London

Tuesday 24 September

Transfer to Delhi International Airport for your return flight home. Participants from other countries will depart Delhi relevant to their international flight departures.

Extension Tour are available for those who wish to explore other parts of India. Enquire for details. B

Itinerary map

Dates & Prices

Dates Price per person (Double/Twin share) Single room supplement
13-24 Sep 2024 £2,576.00 £915.00
Cost includes:
  • Domestic flights within India (economy class).
  • Air-conditioned accommodation with private facilities.
  • Meal Plan- Daily breakfast and dinner throughout the tour.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by an air-conditioned coach with on board toilet facilities
  • Services of Raaja Bhasin as trip scholar.
  • Services of an accompanied tour manager to oversea all arrangements.
  • Services of a licensed English speaking guide for sightseeing of monuments.
  • Entry fee at monuments and places of interest including all museum visits.
  • Complimentary mineral water and fresh fruit while on board the coach for transfers & sightseeing.
  • 100% protection of your monies by our ATOL & ABTA licences.
Cost does not include:
  • International flights
  • Tourist visa for India. E-tourist visa is now available for India. A step-bystep application guide will be sent to you when you book.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature like laundry, telephone calls, beverages.
  • Camera fees at monuments and other places of interest.
  • Travel Insurance.*
  • Tips & gratuities.

We plan to follow this detailed itinerary, but events beyond our control like unpredictable weather, road conditions, cancelled flights, or any other circumstances may require changes to the itinerary.

This tour is sold and operated by Indus Experiences. All enquiries regarding the tour should be directed to Indus Experiences. The Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship have endorsed the tour but have no organisational responsibility or liability.

*Travel Insurance

It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.

• Make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
• Make sure it provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
• Make sure it covers you for all activities.
• Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
• Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.

If you have any doubts about your cover, check with your insurer.
For a competitive quotation please visit https://www.indusexperiences.co.uk/insurance/

020 8901 7320
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