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The Legacy of Lutyens: An Architectural Tour of North India

17 days from £8,200 per person

Largely designed by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens over twenty years, New Delhi is a classic example of his invented new order of architecture. This tour takes you between the two great capital cities of 19th and 20th century India - Calcutta and Delhi - and discover important Mughal buildings and sites of historic interest along the way.

Begin your journey in Calcutta, the old capital of British India until 1911. This culturally fertile city is steeped in history and rich in fascinating stories. Explore the city with your private guide who will take you round the Raj Bhawan, Assembly House and Writers Building, which is located in Dalhousie square. A sunrise visit to the flower market on the banks of the Hooghli River will be sure to awaken your senses to buzzing India life, and Kalighat is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Calcutta; densely populated but brimming with life and atmosphere.

Travel through to the spiritual city of Varanasi, possibly the most impactful city in India. A frantic and frenetic city cast from ancient winding streets and narrow back lanes, where life and death coexist so closely together. Experience both a sunrise and sunset boat ride along the Ganges, and witness the evening aarti for a truly memorable experience. The compelling city of Lucknow tells a tale of several cultures that are woven through history and society. Here you will visit the crumbling British Residency and the 18th century palace of La Martiniére (now a school) which carries an authentic atmosphere of the departed Raj.

Before visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra, one of the world’s greatest sights, a gleaming white marble tomb which transforms in colour throughout the day, you will spend some time in the much overlooked state of Madhya Pradesh; the fantastically romantic cluster of ruined temples and palaces of Orchha are from a bygone era, and Gwalior paints an exciting picture with the fascinating and turbulent history of the Fort. The trip ends with a grand finale in Delhi where Lutyens’ work stands, magnificent as ever. Visit the iconic the former Viceroy’s House, now known as Rashtrapati Bhavan, and his 20th century palaces for the Maharaja of Baroda and Nizam of Hyderabad.

This luxury holiday is purely a suggested itinerary; it can be booked as it is or used as a starting point for creating your perfect tailor-made tour of India. If you would like to see similar trips, take a look at our collection of Epic Journeys and Family Holidays, as well as our favourite Active itineraries.


Itinerary details

17 days from £8,200 per person

  • Day 1 - The Oberoi Grand - Calcutta
    Arrive in Calcutta and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon optional sightseeing or relax at the hotel.
  • Day 2 - The Oberoi Grand - Calcutta
    Private specialist tour of Calcutta with the main focus on Raj Bhawan, Assembly House and Writers Building.
  • Day 3 - The Oberoi Grand - Calcutta
    Sunrise visit to the flower market on the banks of the Hoogly river followed a walking tour of Kalighat. Afternoon visit to the Marble Palace.
  • Day 4 - The Maurya Patna - Patna
    Morning flight to Patna. Afternoon city sightseeing including Gol Ghar, Raj Bhawan, the Law Courts and Secretariat.
  • Day 5 - Brijrama Palace Hotel - Varanasi
    Morning drive to Varanasi via the Sasaram Sher Shah Suri tomb. In the evening witness the Aarti (fire) ceremony on the banks of the Ganges River.
  • Day 6 - Brijrama Palace Hotel - Varanasi
    Early morning boat ride on the Ganges followed by a Varanasi city tour. Afternoon visit Sarnath, the site of The Buddha's first public address.
  • Day 7 - Hotel Kanha Shyam - Allahabad
    Morning drive to Allahabad via Janpur bridge. Afternoon private guided tour of Mayo Hall, Anand Bhawan and Khurso Bridge.
  • Day 8 - Lebua - Lucknow
    Full day sightseeing tour of the city including the Bara and Chota Imambaras, Kaisarbargh, Hardinge Bridge and the colourful bazaars.
  • Day 9 - Lebua - Lucknow
    Morning visit to La Martiniere and The Residency complex. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 10 - Amar Mahal - Orchha
    Morning drive to Orchha via Kanpur. Afternoon visit the ruined temples and palaces of Orchha.
  • Day 11 - Usha Kiran Palace - Gwalior
    Morning drive to Gwalior via the Jhansi fort and Datia. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 12 - Usha Kiran Palace - Gwalior
    Private sightseeing tour of Gwalior including Man Singh Palace and Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior Fort and the tomb of Miyan Tansen.
  • Day 13 - The Oberoi Amarvilas - Agra
    Morning drive to Agra. Afternoon at leisure followed by an evening visit the Taj Mahal at sunset.
  • Day 14 - The Oberoi Amarvilas - Agra
    Early morning sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal. Afternoon private sightseeing of Agra Fort and Itmad-Ud-Daula.
  • Day 15 - The Imperial Hotel - Delhi
    Morning drive to Delhi. Afternoon sightseeing including Hyderabad House, Baroda House and Parliament buildings.
  • Day 16 - The Imperial Hotel - Delhi
    Private tour of Old and New Delhi focussing on Lutyen’s architecture; Coronation park, Mutiny Memorial and St James Church.
  • Day 17 - In transit.
    Transfer to Delhi international airport for your onward flight home.
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To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
Bill Bryson

Client Testimonials

Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India

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