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Upon arrival into Delhi, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or independently explore this bustling capital. Overnight - New 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, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat - the site of Gandhi’s cremation and more. Overnight Delhi.
Today, we drive to Jaipur. Affectionately known as the Pink City as Maharaja Ram Singh had all of the Old City painted a welcoming pink in 1876 to herald a visit by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), it is also the bustling capital of the state of Rajasthan. We enjoy a tour of the City Palace, (watch out for snake charmers that dot our route) and Jantar Mantar - an old yet cleverly designed space observatory. Overnight - Jaipur
We travel beyond Jaipur today to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort - a sprawling Rajput concoction which hugs the hill on which it was built and overlooks the hot plains below. We’ll ascend the road leading to the palace in princely style, aboard Indian elephants, - subject to regulations/availability as the elephants are limited to the number of trips that can make up the fort each day. Arriving at the top we'll tour the fort’s well-preserved interior and grounds. Back in Jaipur, enjoy the remains of the day your way. Overnight - Jaipur
Departing Jaipur we stop in the village of Abhaneri to see Chand Baori, which is the largest and deepest step well in the world. This incredible well has a staggering 3500 steps and is 13 stories deep. Next, we drive on to the rural village of Perharsar, where we walk the backstreets discovering local life, traditions and (if open) visit the village school. Here, we visit Chandra Mahal, a charming haveli with small courtyard, lawned gardens and rustic appeal carefully being restored to the splendour of better farming years (if open, currently under renovation till Dec 2012). After hotel check in at Bharatpur and time to freshen up we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park. Overnight - Bharatpur
En route to Agra, we visit Fatehpur Sikri, former imperial capital of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Built between 1569 and 1585, it has been deserted for more than four centuries, by all accounts abandoned in 1600 due to a meagre supply of water. In Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort. Overnight - Agra
After breakfast before we return to Delhi we vist the Taj Mahal and enjoy a tonga ride. The latter part of the afternoon is free for you to relax or independently explore more of Delhi. Overnight - New Delhi
This morning we catch an early morning flight to Kochi today in the beautiful southern state of Kerala. Long famed in the history books, Kochi (formerly known as Cochin) offered refuge to Jews more than 2,500 years ago. The Portuguese founded the first European colony in Kochi in the 16th century. The Dutch quickly followed and eventually, the British. The cosmopolitan mix of cultures makes the city fascinating. This evening we watch a Kathakali performance. Kathakali is the fascinating traditional dance form of Kerala. Overnight - Kochi
Enjoy a guided tour of historic Fort Kochi this morning. We see the elegant Chinese fishing nets and explore the winding streets of the old town, visiting St Francis’ Church, Parsi Synagogue (exterior only) and a Dutch palace. After our sightseeing in Kochi we drive east to Munnar - a picturesque hill station nestled on the verdant slopes of tea plantations. From many locations in Munnar, one can view Anamudi (2695m), South India’s highest peak. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax or explore the area. The next morning we’ll visit a tea plantation, where we learn about the various stages of tea processing. Overnight - Munnar
We set off early this morning to visit the Tea Museum of Munnar. After its a scenic 4 - 5 hour drive to Alleppey. Mid afternoon, 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 (starting with a late lunch) prepared by the onboard chef using fresh local produce. Overnight - Deluxe Rice Boat
This morning we disembark the houseboat after breakfast at Kumarakom. Perched sleepily amongst a tangle of lush tropical waterways known as the Keralan backwaters, Kumarakom is technically a cluster of islands on Lake Vembanad - one of Asia’s largest freshwater lakes. This is an ideal place to relax for the next two days and enjoy the beautiful scenery. There is also a wonderful bird sanctuary spread across 14 acres, which is a favoured haunt of migratory birds and certainly worthy of a visit. Overnight - Kumarakom
Today marks the end of our memorable journey. After breakfast we travel back to Kochi and included transfer to the airport. Please note: flights from Kochi should depart after 2pm.
A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...