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Not sure if North or South? Visit both. Experience the Taj Mahal and the highlights of Delhi and Jaipur, then travel south for hallucinating Hindu temples, Ayurveda therapy and floating houseboats in the backwaters.
Welcome to India!
Upon arrival at Delhi International airport, you will be provided assistance followed by transfer to the hotel.
Today we will start a full-day tour of the city of Delhi.
Get ready for a fun rickshaw ride around Old Delhi and discover the massive Red Fort (from the outside only) and the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Then take in the essential highlights of the city starting with the Qutb Minar, a soaring minaret renown for its elaborate engravings of Islamic caligraphy and Humayun's Tomb, a masterpiece of Mughal architecture that precedes the Taj Mahal. Our city drive will also give us great sights of India Gate, Raj Ghat and the ornate government buildings along Janpath road.
In the evening, we will travel to witness the nightly prayers at the Bangla Sahib Temple, the most revered Sikh shrine in Delhi.
After breakfast we will leave Delhi and start our drive to Jaipur, the capital of the mythical Rajasthan. Once the head of a powerful Hindu kingdom of fierce warriors, Jaipur captures the essence of the quintessential Indian romance with its mighty forts, royal palaces and colorful streets.
We will arrive at Jaipur in the afternoon and after a short rest, we will go exploring the city streets and treasure hunting at its lively market. We close the day with an evening visit to Birla temple for evening ceremony (without guide, only driver).
|Delhi → Jaipur||240 km||5h|
This day we have a full-day city tour of Jaipur beginning at the UNESCO-listed Amer Fort, a jewel of Rajput architecture. Our guided visit will lead you through the chambers, courtyards and pavilions of this red sandstone and marble fortress, which features some of the most impressive stonework and mirrorwork in India.
We will continue our Jaipur tour with the flamboyant City Palace and the medieval observatory of Jantar Mantar, and to crown the day we will make a visit (outside only) to the baroque Hawa Mahal or "Palace of the Winds", a pink sandstone palace with a beehive of picturesque windows. You will have an hour at leisure in the city center and then you vehicle will drive you back to the hotel.
After enjoying breakfast we will start our drive to Agra, the former capital of the Mughal empire and home of the world-famous Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
On the way we will make a rewarding photo stop at the hypnotic step-well of Abhaneri and an exploration of the UNESCO-listed citadel of Fatehpur Sikri. After arriving in Agra we will spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
|Jaipur → Agra||240 km||5h|
Early in the morning, we will make our visit to the magnificent Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays). Built on the heartbreak of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his deceased wife, the Taj Mahal is the most refined monument of Indo-Islamic architecture. We will explore the Taj in and out with time to photograph its soaring minarets and shiny marble dome, then back to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast we will start the drive back to Delhi to connect with our flight to Chennai, the cultural hub of South India. After arrival in Chennai, transfer to Mahabalipuram, a tranquil seaside town in Tamil Nadu.
|Agra → Delhi||230 km||4h|
|Delhi → Chennai||2h 45min|
|Chennai → Mahabalipuram||50 km||1h|
Today we will embark on a temple tour to the beaches and lanes of Mahabalipuram with an excursion to the nearby Kanchipuram, one of the seven holy cities in Hinduism.
The tour starts with a visit to the Shore Temple and the Five Rathas temple complex, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. Carved from one single rock, these elaborate temples are renowned for their detailed stonework.
After visiting Mahabalipuram we will continue to the holy city of Kanchipuram, where you will explore the energetic Shiva temples of Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Kailasanathar Temple and Ekambareshwara Temple.
|Mahabalipuram → Kanchipuram||60 km||1h|
You will have the morning to explore Mahabalipuram at leisure. Dubbed as "India's stone-carving capital", the thriving sculpting industry in Mahabalipuram offers an interesting insight into Indian arts and crafts, with numerous workshops where thousands of sculptures are made everyday.
In the afternoon, transfer to the Chennai airport to connect with our flight to Madurai. Assistance on arrival at Madurai airport followed by transfer to the hotel.
|Mahabalipuram → Chennai||50 km||1h|
|Chennai → Madurai||1h 15min|
Today we will enjoy of a full-day city tour in the temple town of Madurai, whose mighty Meenakshi Temple is among the most impressive temples in South India. It is known for its soaring gopuram towers covered by thousands of statues of multi-armed gods in bright colors. Walk among pilgrims who come to pay their respects to the sacred effigy of the goddess Meenakshi and get lost in its extensive corridors flanked by stone pillars and lively stalls selling flowers and temple offerings.
Next on our city tour are visits to the Teppakulam Temple and Nayak Palace before returning in the evening to Meenakshi Temple to witness the ceremony of darshan and the processions of Hindu priests carrying a holy image of Shiva.
This day we will leave the spectacular temples of Tamil Nadu behind and make our way to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala. Set in the green hills of Thekkady, Periyar is the most popular nature reserve in South India and is home to bisons, antelopes, samber, wild boars, monkeys, a wide range of birdlife and most importantly, elephants.
Rest of the time is at leisure for you to enjoy of the activities around Periyar (not included).
|Madurai → Periyar||140 km||3h|
Early in the morning we will enjoy of a nature walk in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, where we will have the chance to watch birds, butterflies and other species that inhabit this reserve (provided by Park Authority, you may have to share this activity with other people). After our activity we will return to the hotel.
In the afternoon we will go on a spice plantation tour where we will observe how pepper, cardamom, nutmeg and many medicinal plants are locally grown. Dubbes as the 'spice garden of India', Kerala is the ideal destination to expand your knowledge of spices and maybe bring some back home.
Rest of the day at leisure.
Our tour will continue to the lush resort town of Kumarakom. We will spend the day relaxing at the resort, we suggest you try one of its Ayurvedic treatments (not included). Ayurveda is the centuries long traditional medicine in Hinduism and it focuses on the cleansing of body and mind to maintain good health. You can choose from a range of holistic therapies including rejuvenation, stress management, spine care and body purification programmes, as well as the traditional Ayurvedic massage or yoga and meditation sessions.
In the evening you will enjoy a sunset cruise on Vembandu Lake (1h, shared with other guests).
|Periyar → Kumarakom||130 km||3h|
After breakfast, we will board a traditional Kerala houseboat from the resorts jetty point for a 3 to 4 hour back-water cruise with lunch on board. Kettuvalam, the states legendary houseboats are the best way to tour the backwaters of Kerala and one of the most memorable experiences one can have in South India.
Built as virtual floating palaces, houseboats were used by the Indian aristocracy and got more sophisticated over time, including chefs and elegant furniture. Venture in the tranquil canals as you take in the natural beauty of the region and observe the daily comings and goings of the villages in the shore.
After the cruise, disembark at the jetty and drive to Cochin. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel.
|Kumarakom → Cochin||53 km||1h|
Today we will take a half-day city tour of Cochin. Our explorations will take us to all the colonial landmarks in the city, including the Dutch Palace at Mattancherry, the Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica. We will also make a short stop at the iconic Chinese fishing nets which are thought to have been brought by Chinese traders to Kochi.
In the evening you will witness a fascinating Kathakali performance. This mystical fusion of dance and drama is one of the most elevated art traditions of South India, where actors dressed in elaborate costumes and colorful make-up enact religious mythology classics.
After breakfast, you will be provided assistance followed by departure transfer to Cochin airport to connect the flight for onward journey.
|Prices per person||2 pax|
Double Sharing Basis
Double Sharing Basis
|16 Apr 2018 - 30 Sep 2018||$2224||$2102|
|1 Oct 2018 - 15 Apr 2019||$3196||$3057|
We had a great trip, thank you all for the attention to detail. We had a small group that you took great care to assure our experience was 5* and first rate. The entire journey was a vibrant assault to the senses throughout. We will definitely recommend your services to our friends and fellow travelers.
Everything has been excellent. It is one of our best trips. If we come back we will be with you.
Everything was excellent. The staff was professional. It was an amazing experience. The level of details was exceptional. I will ""with pleasure"" be a reference. Thank you for creating a memorable experience. I will be back.
It was a first class experience, truly exceptional service, always great. The tour briefing was thorough and very helpful. Staff was very professional, efficient and courteous. Thanks for arranging Glutton free meals for us.