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Travelmarvel

In Search of Tigers and Leopards

Delhi to Colombo

Trip Code: TSGMJ21
21 Days
42 Meals
2 Countries
  • Travel & Accommodation
  • Map & Itinerary
  • Similar Trips

Trip Inclusions

  • 20 nights in premium accommodation
  • Services of a Great Rail Journeys Tour Escort & Travelmarvel Tour Director
  • 42 meals - 20 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 13 dinners
  • Take a fascinating rickshaw tour in Old Delhi and explore the Pink City of Jaipur
  • Search for the elusive tiger on morning and afternoon game drives in Ranthambore National Park
  • Discover Mumbai on a dawn walking tour as the sun rises over the Arabian Sea
  • Take an enchanting train ride through Sri Lanka's tea plantations and picturesque hill country

  • See how displaced baby elephants are cared for at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home

Map & Itinerary

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary, inclusions and pricing are subject to change
  • Days 1 to 9 are operated by Great Rail Journeys
  • Day 10 flight from Mumbai (India) to Negombo (Sri Lanka) is included and unescorted
  • Prices include transfers, tipping and porterage
  • Prices are for land/rail only. Flights not included unless specified
Asia Map 2025 TSGMJ21
Delhi to Colombo

Designed exclusively for our guests

Insider Experience

Enjoy an included special or unique excursion or event

On arrival in Delhi, India's capital, you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel. Tonight, get to know your Great Rail Journeys Tour Escort and fellow travellers during a Welcome Dinner.

Stay: Two Nights, Crowne Plaza New Delhi Okhla

Daily :
  • Dinner

Insider Experience

Take a rickshaw ride through the narrow streets of Old Delhi’s lively Chadni Chowk bazaar.


Today you will explore Old and New Delhi, India’s vibrant metropolis blends medieval, colonial and modern architecture. Visit Jama Masjid, a 17th-century mosque, India’s largest before setting out on a rickshaw ride. Continue to New Delhi to visit Humayun’s Tomb. Thought to have inspired the magnificent Taj Mahal, the World Heritage-listed tomb perfectly combines elements of Persian and Mughal architecture in its design. Explore the wide leafy avenues and later discover Gandhi Smriti and learn about Mahatma Gandhi. This museum, dedicated to his life, is where he spent his final 144 days before being shot in 1948.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Highly decoratvie and ornate large mosque built of red sandstone and white marble with birds flying around the towers.

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Be in awe at the beauty of the iconic Taj Mahal, the white marble mausoleum inlaid with semiprecious stones. Commissioned in 1631 by the fifth Mughal emperor to house the tomb of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. The structure took over 22 years to build and is a wonder to behold. Its awe-inspiring glittering white marble domes almost seem to change colours throughout the day depending on the position of the sun.


Set off this morning to the station where you will board the Gatimaan Express, travelling from Delhi to Agra, a journey that takes just over an hour and a half, on India's first semi high-speed train and the fastest train in India. Enjoy simple Indian snacks as you relax in fully air-conditioned carriages and enjoy the passing scenery. Once in Agra, embark on your Insider Experience and later a sightseeing tour of the World Heritage-listed Agra Fort. One of the city’s most historic sites, the fort has served as both a military point and a royal residence in the past.

Stay: Agra, Hotel Clarks Shiraz

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Dine on a lunch of traditional Rajasthani cuisine in regal surroundings at Laxmi Vilas Palace, residence of the former Jat rulers of Bharatpur.


Transfer from Agra to Ranthambore National Park, stopping en route at the abandoned ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri, a World Heritage-site for a guided tour. This town to the west of Agra was once known as the City of Victory. Built in the 16th-century, Fatehpur Sikri is home to several impressive monuments and temples. Remarkably, this deserted city remains almost exactly as it was more than 400 years ago, providing an insight into the opulent lifestyle of the Mughal Empire. Enjoy your Insider Experience lunch at Laxmi Vilas Palace Bharatpur before boarding the Shatabdi Express train for the last leg of your trip to Ranthambore National Park. Enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages as you travel in air-conditioned comfort, taking in the scenery. Dinner tonight is at your hotel.

Stay: Two Nights, Ranthambore, The Sher Garh

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

With an expert guide, go in search of the Bengal tiger. Ranthambore is one of the best parks to view this elusive cat, so make sure to have your camera at the ready.


Today, search for the elusive Bengal tiger on guided morning and afternoon game drives through Ranthambore National Park. Ranthambore is also home to many more unique animals including leopards, sloth bears and striped hyenas. Enjoy an evening talk by a local naturalist about the park and its diverse wildlife.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Bengal Tiger in the thick of vegation in Ranthambhore National Park

Spend the morning at your leisure. After lunch, depart by coach to the picturesque and historic city of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. The bustling modern city is one of the three corners of the golden triangle that includes Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. In 1876 the local ruler decided to paint the city in shades of pink in anticipation of a visit from the Prince of Wales. The prince (who later became King Edward VIII) named Jaipur the ‘Pink City.’ After a declaration by the Queen of Jaipur that she too had a fondness of this colour, a law was passed that all future buildings were to be pink.

Stay: Two Nights, Jaipur, Clarks Amer

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Insider Experience

Explore the ‘Pink City” of Jaipur, discover why its beautiful buildings are coloured in this distinctive hue and explore Amber Fort, learning about its fascinating history and uncover many of the rooms elaborately painted with decadent mirrors and precious stones.


Today, spend the day on your Insider Experiences. Drink in the striking architecture blending Hindu and Islamic styles and visit such incredible sites including the City Place, and the World Heritage – listed 18th-century Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory. Drive by Jaipur’s most distinctive landmark, the Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of the Winds. Completed in 1799, it's one of India's most recognizable buildings.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Pink Palace Hawa Mahal Jaipur

Transfer to the airport for your included flight to Mumbai, set on India’s west coast beside the Arabian Sea. You’ll be transferred to your hotel before observing a cooking demonstration, introducing you to the rich and vibrant food culture of the city.

Stay: Two Nights, Mumbai, Trident Nariman Point

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Discover Mumbai by foot as the city comes to life in the sun’s early rays on a dawn walking tour. Visit the fishing docks of Colaba, see the colonial architecture of DN Road, experience the bustling environment of Crawford Market, and explore the fascinating neighbourhoods.


Rise early for your Insider Experience. Return to your hotel for breakfast and spend the rest of the morning at your leisure before taking an afternoon sightseeing tour of Mumbai icons including the Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal, a 19th-century World Heritage listed railway station and admire the colours of Mahalaxmi Dhobhi Ghat, the world’s largest open-air laundry. Enjoy a delicious Farewell Dinner at your hotel.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Listen to a talk on Geoffrey Bawa and appreciate his influence on architecture across Sri Lanka, and Asia in general.

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Savour a Sri Lankan Welcome Dinner hosted by the head chef who will explain the use of herbs and spices in the local cuisine.


After breakfast, say goodbye to your Great Rail Journeys Tour Escort and transfer to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport for your included flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka. On arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel. Afterwards, enjoy your Insider Experiences at the hotel. 

Stay: Negombo, Jetwing Lagoon

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Be entertained by a dance performance at the Habarana Cultural Center. Watch as the dancers showcase a selection of different styles of regional dance forms.


Early risers may want to visit the fish market to watch the boats returning with their catch and the vendors bargaining for the best selection (additional cost). After breakfast travel to Dambulla where you will have some time at leisure. Later, venture to the World Heritage-listed Dambulla Cave Temple. Home to over 150 incredible Buddha paintings and statues, Dambulla is the largest and most well-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. Explore the five sanctuaries, each containing ornate statues and ancient art relating to the life of Buddha. Tonight, enjoy your Insider Experience before a delicious dinner at the hotel.

Stay: Two Nights, Habarana Village by Cinnamon

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

A fascinating cultural experience awaits you today. Meet local villagers for a herbal drink experience and be intrigued by the process of using traditional ingredients in making energy boosting herbal drinks.


Following breakfast, head to the World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa for a tour of its ancient city. Once a prosperous religious centre, it was the second capital of Sri Lanka after the destruction of Anuradhapura in 993 AD. Explore the fascinating ruins and discover a world of archaeological treasures. Have your Insider Experience and dine on a traditional farmer's lunch before returning to the hotel. This afternoon, you may wish to embark on a safari to see the herds of elephants in Minneriya National Park (additional expense).

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Insider Experience

Watch sunrise from the top of Sigiriya, the World Heritage-listed rock fortress built by King Kassyapa I in the fifth Century and served as a royal citadel for more than 18 years.


Set off early for your Insider Experience. Rising 200 metres above the central plains, this spectacular geological formation was once home to an ancient civilisation. Enjoy breakfast back at the hotel before departing for Kandy. Tonight, enjoy an included international buffet dinner at the hotel’s main restaurant.

Stay: Two Nights, Kandy, Thilanka Hotel

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Witness the evening puja at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, conducted by the resident monks accompanied to the sounds of drums and burning incense.


This morning, you may like to choose from the following excursions (at an additional cost). Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens originally created in the 14th Century as a pleasure garden for the Queens. Home to over 4,000 species of plants, ferns, shrubs, palm trees, spices and medicinal plants, these are the largest botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. Or perhaps, join a cookery demonstration with a local family and discover how they use traditional herbs and spices to create delicious meals before indulging in authentic Sri Lankan fare for lunch. This afternoon, take part in a walking tour of the city of Kandy with its iconic monuments, bustling marketplace, and vibrant shopping opportunities. Tonight, enjoy your Insider Experience.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Visit a tea plantation and factory to learn about the traditions behind tea making and the processes involved in the production of tea. Then try out your newfound knowledge with a special tea tasting, sampling a selection of the finest Ceylon tea.

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Sit down and indulge in a High Tea style lunch at the Grand Hotel, a timeless property nestled amid lush surrounds.


This morning, journey onwards to the lush, green hills of Nuwara Eliya. En route, visit one of the many famous tea estates for your Insider Experience. Your lunch is another Insider Experience. This afternoon, take in a guided tour of Nuwara Eliya, often referred to as 'Little England' as it was favoured by the British civil servants as a summer retreat and is home to several colonial buildings. Admire stunning waterfalls, vast tea terraces and expansive vegetable fields along the way.

Stay: Nuwara Eliya, Araliya Green Hills

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Workers plucking tea leaves in Sri Lanka

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Take an enchanting train ride through the picturesque hill country. The journey from Nanu Oya to Demodara is considered one of the most scenic railway journeys in Sri Lanka. Sit back and enjoy stunning highland vistas of emerald tea plantations and lush landscapes as the unmistakeable aroma of pure Ceylon tea fills the air.


This morning, embark on your Insider Experience. Afterwards, journey to Ella for lunch. Return to Nuwara Eliya, stopping enroute to visit to Nazareth Chapel of the good shepherd convent in Bandarawela, commissioned in 1961 by the nuns of the Good Shepherd.

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Spend time with the Resort Naturalist sharing his knowledge on and experience in tracking the abundant wildlife found across the National Park.


Journey from Nuwara Eliya to Yala National Park. Enjoy lunch on arrival then board a jeep and venture out on an afternoon safari in one of the country’s oldest and largest national parks. The park is home to over 32 species of mammals including elephants and sloth bears. Its star attraction, however, is the spectacular Sri Lankan leopard. Tonight, enjoy your Insider Experience.

Stay: Jetwing Yala

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Visit the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home and learn how the displaced baby elephants are cared for and rehabilitated with the ultimate hope of re-introducing them back into the wild, as soon as they are fit enough to fend for themselves. Watch the elephant calves being fed with rich nutrient milk formula.


This morning, you may choose an optional early morning Yala game drive safari (additional expense). Afterwards, journey to Udawalawa then embark on your Insider Experience. This afternoon transfer to Galle and check into your hotel. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.

Stay: Two Nights, Raddisson Blu Resort Galle

Daily :
  • Breakfast
A herd of elephants walking through a river

This morning explore the Dutch Fort of Galle on foot, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with its atmospheric paved streets and colonial heritage. Visit the Maritime Museum, see the lighthouse and the crumbling bastions along the way. This afternoon, you may choose to partake in a mask carving and painting experience at the hotel or a cooking demonstration in Galle (both at additional expense).

Daily :
  • Breakfast

INSIDER EXPERIENCE

Savour a special Farewell Dinner, a final Sri Lankan feast at the highly acclaimed Dining Room inside the hotel on a menu specially designed for you.


After breakfast, depart for the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. Take a tuk tuk tour of the city and see many of its sights including the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, the Pettah bazaar area, the Wolfendhal Dutch Church, and the Old Parliament complex. Head back to your hotel and relax before your Insider Experience tonight.

Stay: Colombo, Cinnamon Lakeside

Daily :
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Your holiday comes to an end this morning with a transfer to the Bandaranaike International airport for your onward flight.

Daily :
  • Breakfast

Everything was wonderful. There were great sight seeing trips and the guides were very knowledgeable.