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Shimla, Taj Mahal & Rajasthan Car & Driver Holiday

HOME > India > Car & Driver > Shimla, Taj Mahal & Rajasthan

Head to Shimla and the foothills of the Himalayas before taking in the classic sights of Northern India - Delhi, Agra and the beautiful Taj Mahal, and the three Rajasthani cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur.


Day 1 - Depart

Fly from Heathrow to Delhi, arriving the next day. Other departure points including Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow are also available.

Day 2 - Delhi

Welcomed by your representative at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Rest and relax at the hotel. Overnight at hotel in Delhi (Vehicle for transfer).

Day 3 - Delhi to Shimla

Morning check out from the hotel and transfer to Delhi railway station to board the train to Kalka (approx. 4 hours). On arrival at Kalka, change trains and board the toy train to Kandhaghat (approx. 3 hours). On arrival at Kandhaghat railway station, you will be met and assisted with your drive to Shimla (approx. 2 hours). Check in at your hotel in Shimla. Overnight at your hotel in Shimla (vehicle for transfer).

Day 4 - Shimla

Today you could go for half day city tour of Shimla. Shimla was declared the summer capital of India. Visit the Ridge which is a large open space in the heart of the town and presents excellent views of the mountain ranges. Also visit the six-storeyed Vice-Regal Lodge or Rashtrapati Niwas built in 1888, which was formerly the residence of Lord Dufferin, the British Viceroy. Another of Shimla's major landmarks is the Christ Church and St. Michael's Cathedral, known for its stained glass windows. You will also visit the Jhaku temple, located at a height of 8048 feet above sea level. Overnight at your hotel in Shimla (vehicle for sightseeing).

Day 5 - Shimla to Delhi

Check out from hotel in time and drive to Chandigarh (129 km / approx. 2.5 hours) to board the train to Delhi (approx. 4 hours). On arrival in Delhi you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at your hotel (vehicle for transfer). 

Day 6 -  Delhi to Agra (220 Kms/4 Hrs)    

After breakfast at the hotel, check out and proceed for sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, starting at Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Here you will also enjoy Rickshaw Ride in narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, once an imperial avenue of Mughal Royalty which today is the busiest commercial market of City. Visit Raj Ghat, the last resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, drive past from the magnificent Red Fort, a marvel in red sandstone, built on the banks of River Yamuna by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Continue visiting New Delhi - drive past the India Gate (war memorial dedicated to the lives of the Indian soldiers), Rashtrapati Bhawan (the President's house) - formerly the Viceroy's Palace, Parliament House and the Secretariat Buildings, an interesting blend of the Victorian and 20th century architecture.

In the afternoon drive to Agra. Upon arrival at Agra check in at your hotel. Overnight at  hotel in Agra (Vehicle for sightseeing and transfer).

Day 7 -  Agra to Jaipur ( 260 Kms/ 5 Hrs)
Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire, giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat - seat of the Emperor. Today, a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow lanes and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favourite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously.

In the early morning visit the mesmerizing Taj Mahal - a UNESCO World heritage site. The 17th century Taj Mahal is often called a poem in stone. If so, the mausoleum is a love poem, created by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal. It took 22 years to be completed and was designed and planned by a Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. It is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage (Please note: Taj Mahal remains closed on Friday).

Return to hotel for breakfast . Check out and visit Agra Fort, a UNESCO World heritage site. An imposing structure with walls of red sandstone, almost two miles long and contains palaces, audience halls and mosques. The fort presents a good sampling of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles. It was built by the third Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Subsequent additions were made to the fort by his son Jahangir and grandson Shahjahan.

In the afternoon drive to Jaipur. Jaipur, or the City of Victory, was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and is a well planned city of magnificent palaces and building. Built from rose-coloured terra cotta, it has given it the name 'Pink City'. Nowadays the Capital of Rajasthan with a population of over 1 million, it is a city full of contrasts with bazaars teeming with turbaned elders and jean clad youngsters to camels, horses and a multitude of vehicles. Upon arrival in Jaipur, check in at your hotel. The rest of the day free to you. Overnight at your hotel in Jaipur (vehicle for  transfer & sightseeing).  

Day 8 - Jaipur

After breakfast this morning visit Amber Fort, superbly located and protected by wild Aravali Hills on all sides. Originally built in the 11th Century, it was extended by Raja Mansingh 1 in the late 16th Century.  Its history can be traced backed to the 12th century.  Elephant Ride up to Amber fort. Later visit the City Palace, Observatory and the Hawa Mahal.  The sprawling City Palace was an integral part of Raja Sawai Jai Singh II’s new city of Jaipur. Today it is a museum that displays some of the finest collection of paintings, costumes, carpets and armoury of that period. Nearby is the ornate Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds). It is a delightfully idiosyncratic five-tier composition of arches and balconies. Amongst the observatories in India, Jaipur’s Astronomical Observatory built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh II is the most accurate and well kept. Overnight at hotel in Jaipur (vehicle for sightseeing).

Day 9 - Jaipur to Jodhpur (355 Kms/6 Hrs)    

Today we proceed for Jodhpur. Dominated by the spectacular Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur city is a mass of sky blue coloured cubed houses set against a desert setting. Traditionally blue signified the home of a Brahmin but nowadays anyone can paint their home blue; additionally the colour allegedly is said to repel insects. Rao Jodha founded the Rathore Dynasty in Jodhpur in 1459 AD and the kingdom of Marwar flourished due to its strategic location on the trade route between Delhi and the Middle East. Sandalwood, dates, copper, cattle, camels and salt passed through the City over the centuries. As a legacy of its glorious past, Jodhpur boasts some stunning palaces, forts and temples. On arrival, check-in at your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at your hotel in Jodhpur (vehicle for transfer). 

Day 10 – Jodhpur

After a leisurely breakfast proceed for sightseeing of Jodhpur. Visit Meherangarh Fort, which is one of the most majestic forts in Rajasthan riding sheer out of a 125 metre high rock and spreading over five kilometres. Inside, the palace hewn from red sandstone with finely latticed windows, brilliantly coloured glass panes and flamboyantly decorated interiors gives a vivid recreation of princely life in Rajasthan. The Royal apartments additionally house an outstanding museum including a rich collection of palanquins, howdahs, miniature paintings, folk music instruments, costumes and impressive armoury. On the way back from the fort stop to visit Jaswant Thada, the graceful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. His son Maharaja Sardar Singh built this monument known as the Taj Mahal of Marwar in the memory of Maharaj Jaswant Singh II of Jodhpur. The main memorial has been built like a temple with intricately carved marble stone. A visit to this structure is through the rocky hills giving it a secluded and a mystic aura. 

In the afternoon proceed for Bishnoi village safari. The Bishnoi’s are an eco-friendly sect of Hindu religion, it is one of the different communities of Rajasthan who are famous for their rich cultural Rajasthani life and there true love for nature and animals. Return to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at your hotel in Jodhpur (vehicle for sightseeing).   

Day 11 - Jodhpur to Udaipur  (275 Kms/6 Hrs)

Today we proceed for Udaipur. En route visit Ranakpur, where beautifully sculptured Jain temples mark the glory of this renowned place. Considered as one of the five holy places for the Jain community, these were created in the 15th century during the reign of Rana Kumbha. The temple is an astounding creation of architectural splendour with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars all distinctly carved, no two pillars being alike. Every hall of the temple has inconceivable surfaces carved with equal delicacy. Another temple worth visiting is the nearby 'Sun Temple' dedicated to the 'Sun God'. The temple has a polygonal wall, richly embellished with carvings of warriors, horses and celestial (Nakshatras, grahs) bodies.

Continue with your drive to Udaipur. Regarded by many as the most romantic city in India, Udaipur is an enchanting image of white marble palaces, placid blue lakes and green hills. It is an oasis of colour in a stark and arid region. The city is dominated by the massive City Palace overlooking Lake Pichola with its white washed palaces, picturesque havelis, ghats and temples along the lake front. The lively bazaars of the old city and a relaxing atmosphere make a visit to Udaipur one of North India’s greatest highlights & perfect for wandering around.  On arrival, check-in at your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at your hotel in Udaipur (vehicle for transfer). 

Day 12 - Udaipur  

Today spend the day on a sightseeing tour of Udaipur, starting with the City Palace.  The entrance to the City Palace complex is through the 'Hathi Pol' (elephant gate) along the main street of the old city, past the Jagdish Temple. The paintings, mosaics, intricately carved 'Chhatries' and the architecturally brilliant façade all contribute to making a visit to the City Palace a truly memorable experience. We will also visit the lovely Sahelion-ki-Bari, the garden of the maids of honour that was constructed for forty-eight young ladies in waiting who were sent to the royal house as a part of a lavish dowry. Later we'll go on a motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola (subject to water levels). From the beautifully decorated boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake. Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - another lovely island palace in the middle of the lake. If the weather gods permit, we will watch a spectacular sunset over the lake, which will be a fitting finale for the day. Rest and relax at the hotel. Overnight at your hotel in Udaipur (vehicle for sightseeing).

Day 13 – Departure  
Transfer to the airport to board your onward flight.

Multicentre holidays to India - Amber Fort, Jaipur


2018/19 package holidays India Car & Driver holidays Prices are per person based on two sharing.

Prices include flights, transfers and accommodation, and are subject to availability. Flights from Heathrow - other departures also available, call for details.

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Car & Driver
holiday prices

India car and driver holiday

Heritage Hotels Option
1 night Maidens Hotel Delhi

2 nights Woodville Palace Shimla

1 night Welcome Dwarka Delhi

1 night Grand Imperial Agra

2 nights Alsisar Haveli Jaipur

2 nights Ranbanka Jodhpur

2 nights Udai Kothi Udaipur
from £1559 per person

Classic Hotels Option
1 night Claridges Hotel Delhi

2 nights Radisson Hotel Shimla

1 night Taj Dwarka Delhi

1 night Jaypee Palace Agra

2 nights Hilton Hotel Jaipur

2 nights Welcome Hotel Jodhpur

2 nights Trident Hotel Udaipur
from £1639 per person

Multicentre holidays to India - Amber Fort, Jaipur