Itinerary

Below is our itinerary for the 2 weeks.  It was arranged to our specification by Discover India Pvt Ltd in Delhi (discover@vsnl.com) who did a very good job  for us.  Lots of the wording below is theirs.

 

Days

Date

 

Program

 

Day 1

27-Apr

Sat

London / Delhi

 

Day 2

28-Apr

Sun

Delhi

 

Day 3

29-Apr

Mon

Delhi / Chandigarh (Train) / Shimla

 

Day 4

30-Apr

Tue

Shimla

 

Day 5

01- May

Wed

Shimla – Delhi / Kolkata (Flight)

 

Day 6

02-May

Thu

Kolkata

 

Day 7

03-May

Fri

Kolkata / Lucknow (Flight)

 

Day 8

04-May

Sat

Lucknow

 

Day 9

05-May

Sun

Lucknow / Kanpur

 

Day 10

06-May

Mon

Kanpur – Jhansi / Orchha

 

Day 11

07-May

Tue

Orchha / Gwalior

 

Day 12

08-May

Wed

Gwalior / Agra

 

Day 13

09-May

Thu

Agra

 

Day 14

10-May

Fri

Agra / Delhi

 

Day 15

11-May

Sat

Delhi / London

 

Day 01 27-Apr, Sat, Fly from London to Delhi

Arrive in Delhi.

Delhi had once been one of the most splendid cities in the world. Capital of the Moghuls, it had been home to great emperors who ruled India from the sandstone and marble splendor of the Red Fort. Times had changed and the days of Moghul power were now no more than a folk memory. In 1857 Bahadur Shah, the last of the Moghuls, was a pensioner of the British who still lived inside the Red Fort and maintained the pretense of former glory by continuing the ceremonial functions of the Moghul court.

Day 02 28-Apr, Sun, All day in Delhi

Full day touring Old Delhi and Mutiny sites visiting - Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, and Chandni Chowk (Silver Street) and Raj Ghat - the site of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation.

Day 03 29-Apr, Mon, Train from Delhi to Kalka and Shimla

Early morning! Go to railway station to connect train for Kalka.

Arrive Kalka and immediately board on the toy train for Shimla

The toy train journey from Kalka to Shimla is entrancing with 107 tunnels and lofty arched bridges. The dazzling view and the stop at the picturesque stations along the way were a wonderful experience.

Shimla was the former 'summer capital' of British India and is the present day state capital of Himachal Pradesh. It still holds lingering echoes of its colonial past. It is named after its patron goddess, Shamla Devi, a manifestation of Kali. Shimla is located at an altitude of 7,267 feet, is inhabited around a crescent - shaped ridge, which is blessed with perennially cool air and amazing views. It provides superb panoramic sights of the valleys, and the lofty peaks of the great Himalayan range, on both sides. The colourful local bazaars of Shimla are sprawled over the southern slopes of the ridge.

Day 04 30-Apr, Tue, All day in Shimla

After breakfast we did a full day sightseeing of Shimla, which included the Rashtrapati Niwas, formerly the residence of the British Viceroy, the State Museum, which has a modest collection of stone statues from different parts of Himachal Pradesh, Jakhu Temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman (Monkey God), Summer Hill, Prospects Hill and Wildflower Hall. Kufri, a well - known ski resort in Himachal Pradesh, is 16 km from Shimla.

Day 05 01-May, Wed, Fly Shimla – Delhi then Kolkata

Day 06 02-May, Thu, All day in Kolkata

All day in Kolkata.

Kolkata was the first capital of the British in India. The city was established in 1686 when the British moved to the small villages of Sutanati, Govindpur, and Kalikata from their trading port of Hooghly. It progressed well until 1756 when Siraj-Ud-Daula (Nawab of Bengal) attacked the town and drove away the British. Lord Clive retook Kolkata and until 1911, it remained the capital of the British government in India. Being the centre of power for so long created a unique culture and heritage, totally unlike any other city in India.

The city retains some of the most striking colonial buildings of the country. It used to be the capital of the British East India Company and the evidence of the British colonization persists there in the city.

We saw the Victoria Memorial - a grand edifice constructed in the memory of Queen Victoria. This building houses a number of rare specimens of the historical preserves of the land. The Howrah Bridge and the recently built Vidyasagar Setu,. St. Paul's Cathedral, National Library, Shaheed Minar, Fort William, Rat Park and Marble Palace.

Day 07 03-May, Fri, Fly from Kolkata to Lucknow

In the afternoon, visited the Mutiny site of Lucknow.

If Delhi was the symbolic centre of the Mutiny, and Cawnpore (Kanpur) provided its most horrific episode, it was Lucknow that caught the imagination of the British public and became, perhaps, the most well known action of all Britain's 19th century wars. It had all the dramatic elements of a siege and even better, a happy ending. It became indeed a paradigm for later British colonial conflicts. There were the initial reverses, the spectacle of the 'thin red line' battling against overwhelming odds, heroism in the face of adversity, the stoicism of the ladies living in appalling conditions, the death of a gallant commander, finally the sound of bagpipes on the wind and a relief column marching into the British position with flags flying and kilted highlanders leading the way. It was said the news of the relief was sent in the shape of a Latin sentence that when translated read, "I am in luck, now."

Day 08 04-May, Sat, All day in Lucknow

Morning visit – The Immambara and the famous Itar (perfume) market of Lucknow.

Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 09 05-May, Sun, Drive from Lucknow to Kanpur

Morning leave for Kanpur

In the afternoon visit the mutiny sights of the Kanpur.

Kanpur was soon to become the epicenter of the outbreak of 1857, as some of the leading luminaries of the War of Independence hailed from her, namely – Nana Sahib, Tantiya Tope, Azimoolah Khan and Brigadier Jwala Prasad. The three strategic events of the 1857 war at Kanpur were the fight at `Wheeler’s entrenchment’, the `massacre at Sati Chaura Ghat’ and the `Bibighar massacre’. Nana Sahib had declared independence on the 7th of June 1857 at Kanpur. The British under Commander Hugh Wheeler retreated into a shallow earth entrenchment in the cantonment area, later known in history as `Wheeler’s entrenchment’. The English garrison surrendered in the last week of June 1857 on terms of safe passage to Allahabad. But when on the morning of 27th June, the soldiers along with the women and children were about to embark into the boats at Sati Chaura Ghat, fighting broke out and most of the men were killed. The survivors, women and children were rescued who were imprisoned into the Savada Kothi and later shifted to Bibighar in the `cantonment magistrates’ compound. But when it became clear the relieving forces under General Havelock were nearing the city and defeat was inevitable, the captives-all women and children were massacred and their dismembered bodies buried in the well of the compound on 15th July 1857. The Bibighar was dismantled by the British and reoccupation of Kanpur and a `memorial railing and a cross’ raised at the site of the well. The well is now bricked over.

Only remains of a circular ridge survive, which can be still seen at the Nana Rao Park. The Kanpur Memorial Church – `The all soul cathedral’ was raised in honour of the fallen at the north-east corner of Wheeler’s entrenchment in 1862 by the British. The marble gothic screen with famous `mournful scarf’ was transferred to the churchyard of All Souls after independence in 1947, and in its place a bust of Tantiya Tope Installed as Nana Rao Park’

After 1857, the development of Kanpur was even more phenomenal. Government Harnes and Saddlery Factory was started for supplying leather material for army in 1860, followed by Cooper Allen & Co. in 1880. The first cotton textile mill, the Elgin Mills were started in 1862 and Muir Mills in 1882.

Day 10 06-May, Mon, By train from Kanpur to Jhansi then drive to Orchha

1235hrs, depart by Rapti Sagar Express.

1645hrs, Arrive Jhansi transfer to Orchha.

Day 11 07-May, Tue, Drive from Orchha to Jhansi then Gwalior

After breakfast we visited the temples and the Fort – Orchha is an ancient capital of a powerful Rajput kingdom between 1531 & 1783, situated on a large rocky island in the Betwa River.

Thereafter, leave for Jhansi and visit the Fort of Jhansi.

When news of the mutiny in Meerut reached Jhansi, the Rani asked permission to raise a small bodyguard for her own protection, a measure to which Captain Skene readily agreed. Skene and the other British officers failed to take the Rani's lead to protect themselves against a possible mutiny.

On June 5th, some time after the mutiny broke out elsewhere, members of the Jhansi garrison mutinied, took the more important of the two forts in the town, killing two of the British officers and wounding another. They plundered the town, and released the prisoners from the gaol. The remaining British and Eurasians sheltered in the other fort, the Town Fort. There were 61 people, over half of them women and children. One or two others sheltered in the town and were able to escape with the aid of local people. The survivors in the Town Fort appealed to the Rani for help.

It is not obvious what she could do, she had a limited military force, the small bodyguard granted by the British at the outset of the mutiny, at her disposal, and no obvious political influence over the mutineers. They owed no allegiance to the Rani.

Thereafter we continued towards Gwalior.

Day 12 08-May, Wed, Drive from Gwalior to Agra

In the morning we visited the Gwalior Fort.

Gwalior is named after a saint who cured the local chieftain Suraj Sen from leprosy. History of Gwalior dates back to 8th century. From then onwards Gwalior was to become the cradle of dynasties. The massive fort, which overlooks the city, is a testimony to its glory and grandeur. Warrior kings, poets, musicians and saints contributed in making Gwalior the city it is.

Gwalior is one place which was most affected during the Revolt of 1857. It was one of the centers, which experienced fierce encounters between the British and the 'Rebels'. The Maharaja of Gwalior was loyal to the British during the mutiny but his troops sided with the rebels who had laid their hands on the city. Towards the end of mutiny, Gwalior was subject to heavy fighting, after which British gained complete control over India. Among those who laid down their lives here in their attempt to capture the fort were Tatiya Tope and Rani of Jhansi.

Later proceed to Agra – Synonyms with Taj – which is Amber at Dawn & Dusk and Radiant at Noon. Mark Twain once said, “ When this soaring bubble of marble breaks upon your view you for sure can not keep your emotions within bounds”

Day 13 09-May, Thu, AGRA

After breakfast, proceed to visit the World famous Taj Mahal, whose eternal beauty will astonish and mesmerize the visitors. It is also known as the "Crown of Palaces” built by the Emperor Shah Jehan to immortalize the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

In the afternoon, discover the strong & magnificent Red Fort - built by the three generations of Mughal Emperors between 1565 and 1573, whose military power cannot be questioned. It was the residence of the Mughal Emperors. Each one left there its print, Red sandstone of Akbar and Jahangir, White marble of Shah Jahan. This fort rises on the edges of Yamuna River; surrounded by a wall from 20 to 33 meters top and 2500 m perimeter.

In the afternoon, we visited Fatehpur Sikri - the extraordinary city built by Akbar the Great, deserted 14 years later, but which, during its brief span, the city had more significant than London in both grandeur and population.

Day 14 10-May, Fri, Drive from Agra to Delhi

Arrived and checked in to hotel.

We relaxed for the rest of day at leisure and did some souvenir shopping.

Day 15 11-May, Sat, Fly from Delhi to London

After breakfast we went to the International airport to connect flight for London.