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In the Footsteps of Indian Independence - From Delhi to Amritsar

13 days from £2950 per person

Inspired by the film Viceroy’s House, this special historical journey links the key locations that played such an important role in the latter days of British rule in India, the events surrounding partition and evolution of a modern India in the post-independence period. Combining regal New Delhi and genteel Shimla, the opulence of Jaipur and Mughal Agra with Amritsar’s turbulent connection with partition and, ultimately, Nehru’s declaration of independence from the Red Fort in Old Delhi – this journey provides an in-depth exploration of the historic events that unfolded exactly 70 years ago.

Route: Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Chandigarh – Shimla – Amritsar – Delhi

Itinerary Highlights

New Delhi was planned by the British in the 1930s. Offering a contrast to the medieval lanes of Old Delhi, this area is now the location of Rashtrapati Bhawan where the Indian President resides.

Shimla played an integral role during the lead up to independence and many linked to the process remain including Viceregal Lodge where the important Shimla Conference of 1945 took place.

Partition greatly affected Amritsar. During your time here visit the thought-provoking Partition Museum then attend the atmospheric border closing ceremony at the Indo-Pakistan Wagah Border.

Itinerary: In the Footsteps of Indian Independence - From Delhi to Amritsar

Today depart the UK on the British Airways flight to Delhi. (N)
Delhi is India's modern capital and played an important role in India’s independence struggle. A city of two halves, Old Delhi is an historic, chaotic district of grand mosques, majestic forts and crumbling monuments. In contrast New Delhi, with its large government buildings, wide tree-lined avenues and pretty white-washed bungalows was purpose-built in the 1930s by the British as a colonial capital and remains the epicentre of Indian political power. (N)
Accommodation in Delhi: The Maidens Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: The Imperial Hotel (or similar)
This morning head to New Delhi which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Today home to Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official residence of the Indian President, Rajpath and the imposing India Gate, witness the changing of the guard at the President’s Palace (only on a Saturday morning) and visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex (closed on a Monday). If possible, a visit will also be made to Rashtrapati Bhawan and the Mughal Gardens, however, these are only open to the public on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All visits are subject to approval of the President’s Secretariat. In the afternoon enter Old Delhi with your guide. Explore the area's dense network of busy alleyways, homes, bazaars and mosques, visit the famous Chandni Chowk market, beautiful Jama Masjid and Red Fort where, on the 15th August 1947 Jawaharlal Nehru raised the new national flag about Lahore Gate. In the Red Fort visit the Swatantrata Sangram Sanghralaya Museum (closed on a Monday) which chronicles India’s independence movement. End the day with a memorable visit to Rajghat which was the cremation place of Mahatma Gandhi. (B)
Accommodation in Delhi: The Maidens Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: The Imperial Hotel (or similar)
This morning travel by train from Delhi to Agra. Agra was once one of the world's majestic cities and later today visit the imposing Agra Fort, established by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565, and the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula. No stay in Agra is complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal, arguably the greatest monument to love, built by Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. The Taj Mahal is a building world renowned for its beauty and the craftsmanship is outstanding. (B)
Accommodation in Agra: ITC Mughal Hotel (or similar)
Leaving Agra, visit Fatehpur Sikri, once the capital of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and constructed of beautiful red sandstone. Afterwards visit Abhaneri which is famed for its 8th century Chand Baori – the deepest step-well in the world – then continue to Jaipur. Planned by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1727, Jaipur is a vibrant city of bazaars, palaces, havelis forts. Jaipur also regularly played host to Lord Louis Mountbatten – the last Viceroy of India. (B)
Accommodation in Jaipur: Dera Mandawa (or similar)
Upgrade option: Raj Mahal Palace
Alternative upgrade option: Taj Rambagh Palace
This morning drive outside of Jaipur to the dramatically located Amber Fort set on a ridge above the rugged sounding hills. A Rajput capital for over 700 years, there is plenty to explore here from courtyard gardens and small temples to the private chambers of the Maharaja. In the afternoon return to Jaipur to visit the superb City Palace complex which is home to the beautiful Peacock Gate and famous Hawa Mahal, or 'Palace of the Winds' and the Jantar Mantar – the largest stone observatory in the world. (B)
Accommodation in Jaipur: Dera Mandawa (or similar)
Upgrade option: Raj Mahal Palace
Alternative upgrade option: Taj Rambagh Palace
After breakfast transfer to Jaipur Airport and fly to Chandigarh via Delhi. On arrival you will be met and driven to the charming hill station of Shimla, summer capital of the British Raj and a place where many momentous decisions on the future of India were made. With its wooden bungalows, gardens of gladioli and hydrangea and stone churches, this quaint town has retained much of its bygone atmosphere. (B)
Accommodation in Shimla: Clarks Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Oberoi Cecil Hotel
Alternative upgrade option: Oberoi Wildflower Hall
Over the next two days explore the town and surrounding area. Places of interest include Christ Church where the original chancel window was designed by Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard's father, nearby Gaiety Theatre and Town Hall. There are also many walks in and around the town including the climb up Jakhu Hill from where there are excellent mountain views. Most importantly, however, is the grand Viceregal Lodge (closed on a Monday). Summer residence of the Indian Viceroy, during the latter years of British rule the building played host to key figures from all sides of the independence debate and was the location for the 1945 Shimla Conference. (B)
Accommodation in Shimla: Clarks Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Oberoi Cecil Hotel
Alternative upgrade option: Oberoi Wildflower Hall
This morning leave Shimla and take the famous ‘toy train’ down to Kandaghat. Here you will be met and driven to Chandigarh – Le Corbusier’s famous planned city. Later leave Chandigarh and travel by train to Amritsar, arriving in the evening. Founded in the late 16th century, Amritsar is the centre of the Sikh religion and is best known for the spectacular Golden Temple complex. The temple acquired its distinctive golden exterior in 1830 after Maharaja Ranjit Singh donated 100kg of gold to be applied to the roof and walls and since that date the complex has changed little. (B)
Accommodation in Amritsar: Ranjit's Svaasa Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Taj Swarna Hotel
The Golden Temple is a highlight of any visit to Amritsar and this morning return to visit this magnificent complex. Later visit the newly opened Partition Museum. Housed in the city’s grand Town Hall, this special museum brings together a unique collection of letters, personal belongings, photographs and audio-recordings relating to the events surrounding this turbulent period. From here continue to the Jallianwala Bagh garden and memorial which commemorates the site of the 1919 massacre and in the late afternoon drive outside of the city to the Indo-Pakistan Wagah Border to experience the daily colourful, but chaotic, border closing ceremony. Return to Amritsar and in the evening visit the Golden Temple and witness the Palki Ceremony. (B)
Accommodation in Amritsar: Ranjit's Svaasa Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Taj Swarna Hotel
This morning you will be met and taken to Amritsar Airport for your flight to Delhi. This afternoon visit Coronation Park, the location of three Delhi Durbars which now houses a small selection of statues from the British Raj. (B)
Accommodation in Delhi: The Claridges Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: The Imperial Hotel (or similar)
Today transfer back to Delhi Airport to catch the British Airways flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Train travel as specified
  • Private car with English speaking driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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