NEW Echoes of the Empire

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Fascinating 19-night tour to discover heritage of the British Raj as India celebrates 70 years of Independence 

Saga has created a 19-night tour, with 15 excursions, to reveal the true heritage of the British Raj, crossing the country from Calcutta to Bombay.

The well-paced tour starts with three-night stay at Lalit Great Eastern (4Q+) in the heart of 'Old Calcutta' with visits to Dalhousie Square and the Indo-Gothic St Paul's Cathedral.

On a different side of the city, there’s also a call to the Mother House, where the humanitarian Mother Teresa lived and worked, followed by an evening cruise on Hooghly River to see ghats and landmarks from the days of the Raj. An early morning tour of the flower market and visits to the Victoria Memorial and Fort William, built by Robert Clive, are also on the itinerary.

The tour continues with an internal flight to Bagdogra, for a three-night stay at the Mayfair Resort (4Q). It was here, a picturesque hill station, that the British decamped to escape Calcutta's summer heat.

Guests take a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and chug slowly to Ghoom to visit the Tibetan monastery and, later, the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.

A tea plantation visit, to learn all about regional tea production, is followed by a call to the Tibetan Self Help Centre to see traditional Tibetan handicrafts before an internal flight to Lucknow, via Delhi.

During a two-night stay at the Lebua Lucknow (4Q), Lucknow's fascinating past is revealed on a sightseeing tour including the Turkish Gate, the spires of Bara Imambara and the British Raj residency, site of the 1857 Indian Mutiny. Sampling Awadhi cuisine at dinner with a member of the Nawab dynasty is also on the schedule!

Next is a train journey to Agra, with a two-night stay at the Radisson Hotel (4Q), for a visit to the Taj Mahal at sunrise and the 16th century Agra Fort.

After a drive to Delhi, for a three-night stay at Le Meridien (4Q), there’s leisure time to explore the city that was designated the British imperial capital in 1911 and developed by the British architect Edwin Lutyens. A tour to discover Lutyens’ work and the Presidential Residence is followed by an evening talk on the British Raj.

Guests can also join a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi; taking in the Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi’s mortal remains were cremated, and the Jama Masjid – India’s largest mosque.

The next stage of the journey is to Kalka, where guests jump on the Himalayan Toy Train to travel through the Shivalik ranges to Shimla for a three-night stay at the Oberoi Cecil (4Q). In 1863, Shimla replaced Darjeeling as the summer capital of the Raj. Guests take a walk through the heritage zone and visit the former summer residence of the Viceroys of India.

After an internal flight to Mumbai, a two-night stay at the Trident Nariman Point (4Q) features a cruise to Elephanta Island to see the 5th century cave temples. There’s also a heritage walk around the Fort Mumbai area, including the UNESCO-listed Victoria terminus and the Gothic glories of Mumbai University.

To relax after such a fascinating tour, guests can opt for a five-night half-board extension at The Zuri White Sands, Goa Resort and Casino (4Q) in southern Goa. The extension is available in 2018 with price on application.

ENDS

For details call free on 0800 056 0464 or visit saga.co.uk/india

19 nights from £2,799 with 14 departures from London Heathrow from October 2017 to November 2018, plus 3 additional departures exclusively for solo travelers.

Price includes VIP door-to-door chauffeur service, return flights, airport taxes, accommodation, most meals, porterage, tour manager, optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a discount if passenger has own insurance. 

Saga has created four new ‘Time to’ holiday styles: Go for it, Stay & Explore, Discover and Unwind. Each style helps guests decide on a holiday that feels right for them. Echoes of the Empire is Discover (Pace 2).

Saga is a specialist in the provision of products and services for life after 50. The Saga brand is one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the UK and is known for its high level of customer service and its high quality, award winning products and services including cruises and holidays, insurance, personal finance and publishing. Visit saga.co.uk

Note: India gained independence from the British Empire on August 15, 1947

Editors: Contact PR officer Jessica Myers email jessica.myers@saga.co.uk or call 01303 776113

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