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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.
We’ll enjoy a half day morning sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, taking in the impressive Red Fort (closed Mondays), Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque and a rickshaw ride in the bylanes of the old city. This afternoon, we have a half day guided journey through New Delhi. The highlights will include India gate, a drive past the parliamentary buildings and President's house, a guided visit to Humayun's tomb and concludes with sightseeing to UNESCO World Heritage Site Qutub Minar.
Departing Delhi, we journey to Agra, once India’s Mughal capital. Here, we visit the impressive Agra Fort, which boasts some of India's finest Mughal buildings behind it's fortified walls. Later on we take a motorised buggy to the legendary Taj Mahal (closed Fridays) and witness a magical sunset. Built by Shah Jahan in the 16th century as an enduring memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz. Built entirely of white marble, the Taj Mahal has no peers.
En route to Jaipur, we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, abandoned due to lack of water. As we get closer to Jaipur we stop for a tasty lunch at Hotel Udai Vilas Palace.
Look out for the snake charmers that dot our route, as we travel to the 16th century Amber Fort. An exotic elephant ride (subject to elephant availability and government regulations) transports us to the lofty fort, where we’ll enjoy a tour of this Rajput extravaganza. Later in the afternoon we tour the City Palace, which boasts an interesting museum of regal attire and Jantar Mantar, an ancient astronomical observatory.
Driving back to Delhi today, we board the overnight train to Varanasi.
Perhaps the holiest city in India; Varanasi, also known as Benares or the city of Shiva, is also one of the oldest cities on earth. Sitting on the banks of the holy River Ganges, it has been a centre of learning and civilisation for more than 2000 years and is a place of Hindu pilgrimage. Enjoy a train station transfer to your hotel with the rest of the day at leisure. Enhance option: The Buddha in Varanasi is available today.
This morning, we enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges where we’ll view the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps). Enjoy a half day sightseeing tour today including a walk through Ghats, Old Park and Kashi Viswanath Temple, with a drive through Benaras Hindu University. Later today, you can independently re-visit the ghats for the evening pilgramage, remarkably different from the dawn ritual.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Kochi via Mumbai. Arrive Kochi airport, where you will be met by a representative to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
Drive for approximately 2 hours to Allepey and board a private rice-boat for a journey through the backwaters in and around Allepey. Watch as our crew propel the boat through the water using tall bamboo poles! Spend the day at leisure on the rice- boat. Opt for a swim, soak up the sunshine, enjoy the scenic beauty of colourful villages and have a sumptuous meal on banana leaves. In the evening, witness sunset through coconut palms. Enjoy dinner under a million stars. Sleep and dream with the pleasant roll of the backwater.
Disembark at Alleppey. Drive to Kochi airport for your flight to Goa. END OF SERVICES.
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