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Namaste! Welcome to India and the start of your exclusive journey through this fascinating land. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. For the rest of day, enjoy some time to recoup after your journey.
The graft of a European city imposed on an Asian landscape lends Kolkata a bewitching blend of colour, charm and excitement. Enjoy a city sights tour including a visit to the imposing Victoria Memorial. Opened by the Prince of Wales in 1921, this vision in marble is often called the “Taj” of the British Raj. We also visit the New Market – a bazaar on Chowringhee Road, the stately Indian Museum founded in 1814 and the oldest and largest in India, St Paul’s Cathedral and the extraordinary Marble Palace which houses paintings by Rubens, Titian and Reynolds. This afternoon board the Coromandal Express (1st class A/C wagon) to Bhubaneshwar.
Today we have our first insight into the fascinating culture and diversity of Orissa state. We embark on a guided exploration of Bhubaneshwar - state capital and home to more than 500 temples. The final stop of the day is at the coastal town of Pipli which is renowned for its handicrafts, patchwork and exquisite appliqué. This evening we board the overnight train to Rayagada, a must-do experience for any visitor young or old! The friendly locals will be vying for a chat with you to the point you feel like a celebrity.
We arrive into Rayagada in the morning and drive to Jhigidi Village. Jhigidi Village is famous for jewellery made by the local Kondh tribe and it is your home for the next two nights. The remains of the day are free for you to explore the village and watch the locals making jewellery.
We visit visit the tribal village of Desia Kondh.
We will visit the Dongaria Konch Tribal villages and continue south east to Gopalpur. Gopalpur was a prominent trading port during the days of the British East India Company. Today, the city is a quiet, relaxed place with a charm of its own dotted with casuarina trees and palms and industrious fishermen dressed in pointed straw bonnets haul in hand nets on Gopalpur’s extensive shoreline.
To round off the exploration of Orissa, we visit Chilika Lake - Asia’s largest lagoon. It is famous for the migratory birds that travel to the bird island during winter. The shallow lake is only separated from the sea by a sand bar and wildlife can be found on some of the larger islands. Afternoon drive to Bhubaneshwar.
The morning is at leisure before boarding the Dhauli Express train to Kolkata. Afternoon arrival and hotel check in.
Enjoy free time exploring the showpiece capital of the British Raj. Kolkata also possesses numerous churches, temples and Botanical Gardens for you to walk around at leisure. Hotel check-out and included onward transfer to airport.
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