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Welcome to India and the start of your holiday! Arrival and transfer to your hotel in Delhi.
Early morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Ahmedabad. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Later, visit the Kite Festival and watch enthusiasts making and flying their kites. During the International Kite Festival the skies over most cities in the state of Gujarat are filled with kites from the crack of dawn until well after dark as people take to their rooftops to compete with their neighbours. The idea is to cut the strings of those flying kites nearby, but despite the competitive angle, a hugely festive attitude prevails. This promises to be quite a surreal festival, and one of the few that go ahead without the fireworks, crowds and loud music that accompany other festivals on the subcontinent.
Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Ahmedabad today. Ahmedabad, on the Bay of Cambay is the state of Gujarat’s principal city. Given its mix of medieval and modern, along with the coexistence of Hindu, Muslim and Jain communities, it is a compelling place to explore. Ahmedabad is one of the finest places in India to see the blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural style known as Indo-Saracenic. Founded in 1411 by Ahmed Shah, by the 17th century, it was thought to be one of the finest cities in India.
Today we transfer to the airport for your flight to Kochi via Mumbai. Arrive Kochi and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy some free time today before being treated to a Kathakali dance performance this evening. Kathakali is the fascinating traditional dance form of Kerala.
Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Kochi today. The city of Kochi perfectly reflects the eclecticism of the state of Kerala. Here in historical Kochi, one can see winding streets with mosques, a 16th century Jewish synagogue, 500-year old Portuguese cottages, old churches and a palace built by the Portuguese and later renovated by in the Flemish style by the Dutch. Long famed in the history books, Kochi (formerly known as Cochin) offered refuge to Jews more than 2,500 years ago. The cosmopolitan mix of cultures makes the city fascinating. This is particularly apparent in the old sections of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin, which are approached by regular ferry from Ernakulam (modern Kochi).
We drive to Periyar today where you enjoy an afternoon visit to see a spice plantation followed by a visit to Kumily market. Enjoy the remainder of today at your leisure.
One of the largest and most visited wildlife sanctuaries in India, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the state of Kerala occupies an area of 777 sq km of lush green tropical forest of the Cardamom Hills region of the Western Ghats. Enjoy a morning nature walk and this afternoon enjoy a boat ride on Lake Periyar. Periyar offers a different yet comfortable way of spotting animals via boat rides on the lake, which the wildlife areas encircle. In addition to the very elusive tiger, Periyar hosts a population of elephant, sambar deer, wild boar, gaur, striped-necked mongoose, bison, antelope, monkeys and langur. Birdlife such as the Malabar grey hornbill, purple-headed parakeet, grey jungle fowl and tree pie can be seen.
We drive to Alleppey today to embark on your houseboat. We board a simply furnished private rice-boat for a journey through the lush backwaters. Our private rice-boat takes us sedately along the enchanting palm-fringed backwaters, covering a distance of some 20 kms, during which time the boat glides past local villages and fascinating scenes of everyday rural life. Watch a beautiful sunset over the backwaters and enjoy tasty meals prepared by the onboard chef using fresh local produce.
We disembark from your houseboat this morning and transfer to Kochi for your flight to Jaipur via Mumbai. Arrive Jaipur and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of today at your leisure.
Today, we tour the City Palace, which boasts an interesting museum of regal attire and Jantar Mantar, an ancient astronomical observatory. En route to the City Palace, we’ll pass Hawa Mahal – the Palace of the Winds. We travel to the 16th century Amber Fort. An exotic elephant ride transports us to the fort, where we’ll enjoy a tour of this Rajput extravaganza.
En route to Agra, we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, abandoned due to lack of water. After a walk through the village, continue to Agra - once India's Mughal capital.
Built entirely of white marble, the Taj Mahal has no peers. Enjoy a visit to the Taj Mahal at sunrise today. Continuing, we visit Agra fort, which boasts some of India’s finest Mughal buildings behind it’s fortified walls. Later today we drive back to Delhi.
Today we explore both Old and New Delhi - the order of New Delhi is a huge contrast to the unorganised chaos of the Old City. But both are just as appealing. Highlights we be the impressive Red Fort, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat - the site of Gandhi’s cremation and more.
Visit Rajpath today to enjoy the Republic Day celebrations. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy at your leisure.
Hotel check out and included onward transfer to airport for your flight to Goa. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Welcome to the palm-fringed shores of Goa. A one time Portuguese colony, Goa is truly a tropical paradise. Leave the world behind as you watch the sun set over the Arabian sea, sample fresh food and seafood, swim in Goa's warm waters or simply soak up the sun!
We bid you farewell today and transfer you to the airport for your onward journey.
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