Mararikulam Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF INDIA 2559

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The grand entrance into Delhi's famous Red Fort

Day 1: Delhi

Welcome to the start of your voyage of discovery through 'Incredible India'! You will be met at Delhi International Airport by our friendly local team and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure to explore or relax as you like. Tomorrow your adventure in India truly begins.

India Gate

Day 2: Delhi

This morning, our Welcome Meeting takes place. We’ll then enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, taking in the impressive Red Fort, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque. This afternoon, we further enhance your exploration of this bustling city with an afternoon guided journey through the New Delhi area the highlights will include India gate a drive past parliamentary buildings and President's house, a guided visit to Humayun's tomb then concluding with sightseeing to UNESCO World Heritage Site Qutub minar.

The lofty Red Fort in Delhi

Day 3: Delhi - Jaipur

Today enjoy breakfast and a lovely lunch before onward travel to Jaipur. A favourite of travellers, the architecturally flamboyant capital of Rajasthan is often referred to as the ‘Pink City’. The city was planned according to Indian Vastu Shastra (Vedic Planning for the comfort and prosperity of the citizens) and is a wonder to behold.

Jantar Mantar Observatory in Jaipur

Day 4: Jaipur

This morning you will have to look out for the snake charmers that dot our route, as we travel to the 16th century Amber Fort. An exotic elephant ride transports us to the lofty fort, where we’ll enjoy a tour of this Rajput extravaganza. This afternoon enjoy journey of discovery through the historic pink city of Jaipur we start with a photo stop in front of Jal mahal (lake palace) thereafter visit the ancient astronomical observatory of Jantar mantar and then a guided tour of the city palace complex with it’s fascinating nooks and crannies.

The steps up to the magnificent Amber Fort

Day 5: Jaipur - Ranthambhore NP

After breakfast on day 5, we have a 3-4 hour drive to Ranthambhore National Park. We check-in, freshen up and then venture out for an evening game drive. Ranthambhore NP is one of the prime examples of Project Tiger’s conservation efforts in Rajasthan.

Tiger pug marks in the sand in Ranthambore National Park

Days 6-7: Ranthambhore NP

On day 6 and 7 we enjoy both morning and evening game drives with some time to relax during the day.

Tiger up close

Day 8: Ranthambhore NP - Agra

Today we journey to Agra, once India’s Mughal capitaln and home of the legendary Taj Mahal 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.

Taj Mahal in the morning sun

Day 9: Agra - Bandhavgarh NP

This morning we will have a truly amazing experience: Sunrise at the Taj Mahal. Arriving by Tonga (Indian Horse and Cart) you will marvel at the beauty and magnificance of the Taj Mahal. Bathed the in the first light of the day, have your camera's fully charged!! This afternoon we will board the sleeper train to Bandhavgarh.

A scratch post for tigers in Bandhavgarh National Park

Day 10: Bandhavgarh NP

After the drive to the National Park we once again check-in, freshen up and then venture out for an evening game drive.

Bandhavgarh National Park

Day 11: Bandhavgarh NP

Today you will enjoy both morning and afternoon game drives.

Young deer

Day 12: Bandhavgarh NP

Today we have a game drive in the morning only.

Elephant Safaris are a great way to get closer to the animals.

Day 13: Bandhavgarh NP - Varanasi

This morning we embark on one last game drive before its back to the train station for another overnight journey 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.

Varanasi Ghats

Day 14: Varanasi

Upon arrival into Varanasi, you will enjoy a lovely breakfast before checking into your hotel to rest and relax.

Bathers in the morning

Day 15: Varanasi

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). Later, we embark on a tour of the city. At sunset consider re-visiting the ghats for the evening pilgramage, remarkably different from the dawn ritual.

Sunrise on the Holy Ganges in Varanasi

Day 16: Varanasi - Kochi

After breakfast it's time to make the journey to the beautiful south of India. We will fly to Kochin to start a very different part of an already incredible journey. Upon arrival you are transferred to you hotel where you can enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Kathakali Dancer

Day 17: Kochi

Kochi (formerly known as Cochin) is long famed in the history books and offered refuge to Jews more than 2,500 years ago. The Portuguese founded the first European colony here in the 16th century. The Dutch quickly followed and eventually, the British. The cosmopolitan mix of cultures makes the city fascinating. Today we enjoy a half day city tour and in the evening we watch a performance of Kathakali, the traditional dance of Kerala.

Jewish Market

Day 18: Kochi - Munnar

Today we drive to Munnar in South India. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills carpeted with verdant tea plantations. Exuding old world charm, the combination of lofty peaks, manicured tea estates and the cool mountain air makes Munnar an ideal retreat.

Tea pickers

Day 19: Munnar - Periyar NP

Today we drive to 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. The best time to visit is from December to April, when the dry weather draws animals from the forest to drink at the lakeside.

Periyar birds

Day 20: Periyar NP

This morning we take a boat drive on the river, taking in the beautiful surroundings and enjoying the beauty of the National Park. Tonight you are back to the resort to relax and enjoy the lovely evening.

Elephants

Day 21: Periyar NP - Alleppey

Today we take a scenic 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.

Alleppey sunset

Day 22: Alleppey - Mararikulam

This morning we disembark the houseboat after breakfast at Mararikulam. Perched sleepily amongst a tangle of lush tropical waterways known as the Keralan backwaters, Mararikulam 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.

Days 23-24: Mararikulam

Mararikulam is one among the picturesque fishing villages that dot the coastline of Kerala. This private shallow beach is fringed with unending lines of coconut palms. Totally relax and unwind - free days to spend however you desire. Sun yourself on the idyllic tropical beaches, pamper yourself with some Ayurvedic treatments and perhaps take a trip on a rice boat in the nearby backwaters.

Day 25: Mararikulam

Today marks the end of your adventure in India. You will be transferred back to Kochin Airport in time for your onward flight. I hope you have enjoyed your experience and made many happy memories.

Your India Holiday
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The Amber Fort in Jaipur

Jaipur

A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...

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last updated - 27 Nov 2014 2:40 AM