A Date with History
Arrive in Chennai today, with accommodation held from 12 noon. The journey begins here as it did for the East India Company in 1639.
Formerly Madras, the city’s lost era stands characteristically in the form of some landmark buildings and areas : the Old Cantonment, Raj Bhawan (1817), the erstwhile Ice House (1842), University Examination Hall, Presidency College, Public Water Works (1870), Chepauk Palace (1768), Senate House (1873), Fort St George (1644), St Mary’s Church (1678), St Andrew’s Kirk (1818), Chennai Central Station (1868) and the High Courts (1888). The Pantheon, now the Government Museum & Art Gallery (closed Fridays/holidays), houses the world’s finest collection of Chola bronzes and the gardens of Annie Besant’s Theosophical Society are ideal for an early evening stroll.
Continue visiting the various British period attractions through the day before the evening flight to Kolkata.
The pre-1911 crown jewel of the empire. Explore the relics of the Raj era around the former Dalhousie Square:Raj Bhawan, Writers Building (1780) High Court (1872), Town Hall (1815), General Post Office (1868), St John’s Church (1787) and the Tomb of Job Charnock . Further attractions are College Street and Kolkata University, the Maidan, Eden Gardens, Kolkata Racecourse, the Strand and Fort William, the Victoria Memorial (closed Mondays/holidays), St Paul’s Cathedral and one of the great city institutions, a club.
Morning flight to Bagdogra followed by a drive into the mountains of the Eastern Himalayas in the vicinity of Darjeeling (118 km/3.5 hours), once a favourite Raj hill station. Stay three nights at a working tea plantation in one of its charming bungalows.
Savour tea plantation life, local walks, picnics and the high tea tradition. On one of the days, take an excursion to Darjeeling, an hour’s drive each way, whose centrepiece is The Mall.
Drive back to Bagdogra for the flight to Kolkata and on to Lucknow.
Visit the poignant British Residency, a watershed in history since the Mutiny of 1857. Amidst its gardens are the remains of the Treasury, the Banqueting Hall, Dr Fayrer’s house, Begum Kothi, the Museum and the cemetery. At nearby Alampur, pause at the grave at Sir Henry Havelock who led the Relief of Lucknow. Take an excursion to Kanpur (158 km roundtrip/1.5 hours drive each way), another notable Mutiny site, to visit the All Souls Memorial Church, the Memorial Garden at the Sati Chauri Ghat.
Morning flight to Delhi, capital of the Raj from 1911. In the afternoon, visit pre-1911 Delhi whose principal sights are the British Residency, Telegraph Memorial, Flagstaff House, Kashmiri Gate, St James Church and the Nicholson Cemetery.
Morning tour of Old Delhi, visiting Gandhi’s memorial at Rajghat, the Red Fort (closed Mondays), the teeming Chandni Chowk market and Jamia Masjid. In the afternoon, view the architectural legacy of Lutyens and Baker: the India Gate war memorial, North & South Block Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidential Palace) and Parliament, before strolling through Connaught Place (closed Sundays/holidays).
Morning flight to Mumbai. Formerly Bombay, the city was the major gateway and trade centre for the Raj. During this afternoon and the next day, visit the Gateway of India (1927), Taj Mahal Hotel (1903), Prince of Wales Museum (closed Mondays/holidays), Secretariat (1874), University Convocation Hall (1874), University Library and Rajabai Tower (1869), High Court (1871), Public Works Office (1869), General Post Office (1909) and Victoria Terminus (1869).
The Victorian Journey ends here after the day’s sightseeing.
Leave Mumbai for your onward destination.
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