The heritage-class Alsisar Mahal is located by the village of Alsisar in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. You are really in the middle of rural India here and a stay at this charming property gives you an insight into the India of yesteryear. The hotel can be described as a half-palace, half-castle property, entered through ancient, heavy wooden doors which lead into a wide courtyard encircled by domed roofs and overhanging balconies. There is an open-air pool, spa, traditional bar, billiard room and restaurant. All the 51 air-conditioned rooms are different in style and size, many with antiques and extra large marble bathrooms. In keeping with the style of the property there are no TVs. Swimming pools in India: most outside pools are not heated and may not be usable in the winter months.
The ‘Taj’ at dawn, a tiger in the wild and the Himalayas are amazing sights, all infused with an extraordinary and eclectic mix of colours, sounds, customs and religions.
Departing April to November 2017
Visit some of the most incredible palaces in India and fascinating Shimla on our escorted tour to this beautiful country
India is a vast country of contrasts waiting to be explored, from world-famous landmarks to wondrous hidden treasures. Your visit will be a real feast for the senses as the vibrant colours, delicious flavours and heady scents combine to make a truly unforgettable holiday. Specially tailored for people travelling alone, our tour starts in rural Rajasthan, where a potpourri of the ancient and the modern is so clearly exhibited. The ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur is popular for to its wealth of palaces, fine examples of jaw-dropping architecture.
The natural world is also a major attraction and there will be the opportunity to spot tigers in their natural habitat in Ranthambore. Of course, the highlight for many is the sublime Taj Mahal, a mausoleum so often seen in films and photographs, but there is simply no substitute for the feeling of seeing it first-hand. We conclude our wonderful journey with a breathtaking train journey into the Himalayas and the hill station of Shimla. A microcosm of Victorian English society during its colonial past, Shimla is the perfect way to conclude a visit to this amazing country.
The price of this holiday is per person, based on one person in a twin room for sole occupance. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement (date dependant) from £429 to £519 per person. Thirteen nights accommodation in three, four or five-star hotels; daily breakfast, two lunches and seven dinners; scheduled flights to/from Delhi; all transfers; guided tours of New and Old Delhi, Agra and the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, two game drives in Ranthambore, Jaipur city tour, visit to Amber Fort, walking tour of Havelis at Mandawa, walking tour of Shimla; all local transport by train or coach as described; hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person; the services of an experienced Riviera Tour Manager.
Not included: Indian visa.
The ‘Taj’ at dawn, a tiger in the wild and the Himalayas are amazing sights, all infused with an extraordinary and eclectic mix of colours, sounds, customs and religions. Visit some of the most incredible palaces in India and fascinating Shimla on our escorted tour to this beautiful country
Selected departures January to November 2017
India, a unique country and civilisation, is a mindboggling potpourri of sights, sounds, colours and experiences as well as a culture-shock of astonishing contrasts. Immerse yourself in this tour and prepare for a revamp of any preconceptions towards one of the world’s ‘must-see’ destinations!
The jewel of our tour is surely the Taj Mahal in the early morning, when its colours and ethereal beauty is at its most amazing. Built to house the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, Emperor Jahan’s wife, it took 20,000 men 22 years to finish it. The end result transcends the extraordinary world monument it is. The tomb represents the ultimate expression of a pure and enduring love, a tangible expression of the unquantifiable. But there’s more. We’ll see the real India, a subcontinent that covers the full gamut of evolution, from the natural world, including the nation’s unofficial symbol, the tiger, in Ranthambore, through the Rajasthan forts and palaces of the Moghul Empire, to the more recent Raj and British colonial influence.
We’ll stay for three nights in Rajasthan, regarded as India’s most colourful state, a region fringed by deserts, populated by a fiercely proud, warrior race and a plethora of forts and palaces. No area in all of India more clearly illustrates the paradox of ancient and modern which exist side by side.
We stay in Rajasthan’s capital city of Jaipur, known as the ‘Pink City’ due to the colour of its walls and so many of its buildings, and we visit the Maharajah’s City Palace as well as the great Amber Fort, one of the masterpieces of Rajput architecture, guarding the northern approaches to the city.
We delve, ever deeper, into the culture and history of Rajasthan with our stay at the Alsisar Mahal, a restored fort, converted into one of the region’s best heritage hotels. A wonderfully romantic setting where Belgian crystal chandeliers hang above exquisite marble floors, cut from the very quarries that supplied the builders of the Taj Mahal.
On selected departures our tour continues on to the hill-station of Shimla, effectively the summer capital of India during the Raj. At over 7,300ft, the cooler climate made this the ideal location to escape from the searing summer temperatures on the plains below. Dominated by the baronial splendour of the Viceregal Lodge, Shimla was, in those days, a microcosm of late Victorian English society. Surrounded by vast forests of teak and pine and located across a long ridge with steep mountainous terrain on all sides, Shimla was not the easiest place to get to. But Victorian engineers managed to build one of the marvels of Indian Railways, the 96-kilometre narrow-gauge line to Shimla, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Our journey ‘clickety-clicks’ along those very tracks laid by those intrepid imperial engineers more than a century ago.
But India is not all history and architecture – genuine Indian cuisine is far more varied and interesting that what we are used to at home. From a simple hot chapatti fresh from the oven, to the delicate spices of Kheer, a sweet rice pudding, a trip to India will change your view of Indian cookery – and don’t worry, many of the curries are quite mild! However, for the brave at heart, there’s the gasket-blowing prospect of Phaal curry. Whichever culinary delight you choose, the one guarantee is that the Indian people are supremely hospitable and will go out of their way to ensure their visitors enjoy their stay.
From the flawless grandeur of the Taj Mahal, to the mighty fortresses of Rajasthan and from the reminders of past glories of the Raj in Delhi to the teeming markets of Jaipur, our India tour encompasses the very best of northern India, ensuring a lifetime of truly amazing memories.
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. Thirteen nights accommodation in three, four or five-star hotels; daily breakfast, two lunches and six dinners; scheduled flights to/from Delhi; all transfers; guided tours of New and Old Delhi, Agra and the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, two game drives in Ranthambore, Jaipur city tour, visit to Amber Fort, walking tour of Havelis at Mandawa, walking tour of Shimla; all local transport by train or coach as described; hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person; the services of an experienced Riviera Tour Manager.
Not included: India visa
Please Note Dublin flights are connections via Heathrow
Prices include any applicable supplements e.g. sole occupancy or room upgrades.
Please note: There are no twin rooms available at the Oberoi Cecil Hotel - all guest rooms contain one queen-size bed only.
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