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Namaste! Welcome to New Delhi, the capital city of India and the start of your eye-opening adventure! Our friendly team will be waiting in the arrivals hall to transfer you to your hotel where you can relax for the rest of the day.
Today, you'll explore Delhi - both Old and New with a private guide. Highlights of the tour will be the impressive Red Fort, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat - the site of Gandhi’s cremation and much more.
Today we drive to the Pink City of Jaipur - the vibrant capital of the state of Rajasthan. Sightseeing includes a tour of the City Palace which is a wonderful example of Rajput architecture and Jantar Mantar - the world’s largest stone astronomical observatory.
Early-risers can opt for a morning hot air balloon ride over Jaipur, and sail over hilltop forts, regal palaces, sleepy villages, and stone carved temples, have a read of the Enhance Your Holiday page for info. After, we travel beyond Jaipur to the beautiful 16th century Amber Fort. In true Indian style we take an elephant ride up to the entrance of the fort and tour the well-preserved interior and grounds. After we stop at a cotton weaving house to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing before returning to Jaipur, evening at leisure.
eparting 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 discover local life, traditions and visit the village school (if open) where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme. After hotel check in at Bharatpur and time to freshen up we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park.
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 before touring the legendary Taj Mahal and witnessing a glorious golden sunset. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, who tragically died in childbirth in 1631, the Taj Mahal in Agra is described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love and remains one of India’s most enduring symbols.
After breakfast we drive back to Delhi. Spend the remains of the day at leisure in India’s bustling capital.
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.
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of historic Fort Kochi. 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. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax or explore the area.
Located at a lofty height of 1600m, Munnar in South India offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills carpeted with 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. This morning we'll visit a tea plantation, where we learn about the various stages of tea processing.
Early this morning we set off on a scenic 4 - 5 hour drive to Alleppey. Upon arrival 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 lunch) prepared by the onboard chef using fresh local produce.
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.
Enjoy time at your leisure to relax, 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.
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 ...