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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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.
This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi taking in the impressive Red Fort - dating back to India’s Mughal period; Jama Masjid mosque - the final architectural extravagance of Emperor Shah Jahan and the colourful, if crowded, Chandni Chowk bazaar. This afternoon, enjoy a tour of New Delhi. Offering a real contrast to the congestion of Old Delhi, open and relatively streamlined New Delhi was built as the imperial capital of India by the British. Highlights include the majestic India Gate, Rajpath, Rashtrapati and bustling Connaught Place. A visit is also made to Qutab Minar, a massive tower built to proclaim the arrival of Islam in India in the 11th century.
Early morning we transfer to the railway station to board the Shatabdi Express train to Amritsar (air-conditioned chair car). You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon travel approximately 28km to Wagah, which is the only border crossing between India and Pakistan. Visiting Wagah is an interesting experience especially at sunset when the ‘Retreat’ ceremony takes place with the BSF on the Indian Side of the Border. The changing of the guards and the ceremonial lowering of the flags ceremony is carried out with great pomp.
This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the historic Amritsar, including the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh and Rambagh Gardens. Amritsar’s main attraction - the beautiful Golden Temple, is made of white marble, bronze and gold leaf. To enter the temple, you must don a traditional headscarf, wade through a shallow pool (a purification ritual) and merge with the mass of bodies that circle the embankment around the holy structure. The Jallianwala Bagh is a particularly sacred place for all Indians today, as it is associated with a poignant episode in India’s freedom struggle. This evening we will witness the Palki Ceremony at the Golden Temple.
This morning you return to Delhi again by comfortable AC Chair car on the express train. Arriving in at around 11:30 meet our driver who will take you for a peaceful cup of tea somewhere nice before commencing the drive to Agra.
This morning witness first-hand, the efforts Emperor Shah Jahan went to in constructing the immense mausoleum, stunningly studded with semi-precious stones for his beloved wife, Mumtaz on your tour of the Taj Mahal. Later, explore the Agra Fort, which has some of the finest Mughal buildings in India behind its walls and the Baby Taj, also known as Itamud ud Daula.
This morning tour and explore the fascinating former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri - Emperor Akbar’s vision in red sandstone. Early afternoon board the train Kota Jan Shatabdi Express (air conditioned chair car) to Sawai Madhopur station and onward transfer to Ranthambhore National Park. (GAME DRIVE NOT POSSIBLE TODAY, ARRIVING TO LATE BY TRAIN)
Sprawling across an area of some 1334 sq. kms, Ranthambhore is scenically beautiful. Set amidst a landscape of hills, lakes and rivers, the park boasts an impressive 10th century fort. The entire forest is peppered with ruined pavilions and small domed, Mughal kiosks known as chhatris. In addition to the Bengal tiger, Ranthambhore is home to wild boar, nilgai, sambar deer and a variety of birds. Tiger sightings are more common in the morning or late afternoon, especially if hunting or tending to their young. For today and tomorrow venture on morning and afternoon game drives in shared Jeeps or Canters.
Indulge with a final game drive this morning before our afternoon transfer to Jaipur. Jaipur is 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.
This morning, travel beyond Jaipur 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. Later in the afternoon we explore the Hawa Mahal, also known as the palace of wind and the City Palace, which boasts an interesting museum of regal attire and Jantar Mantar, an ancient astronomical observatory. The 18th century observatory is the largest and best preserved of five observatories built by the astronomer prince, Jai Singh II. He had the huge stone structures built to measure time, chart the declination of celestial bodies and predict eclipses.
Rather than fly and miss all the fantastic scenery we drive you today to a small village called Shahpura here you will experience a fantastic heritage hotel situated in rural surroundings. After check in, you will head out on a walk in the village then a hearty dinner awaits back at the hotel.
This morning we continue south to Udaipur along the way stopping to stretch our legs at the not so commonly visited Chittorgarh fort, here we will also make time for a nice lunch before continuing to your next port of call.
Start the day with a tranquil cruise on Lake Pichola, plus touring of the imposing City Palace, a vision in soft yellow stone on the northeast promontory with breathtaking views of the lake and is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. We conclude our day with a visit to the Monsoon Palace with it's fantastic architecture and views of the lake.
Enjoy a rather laid back day today. Morning or afternoon our guide will take you to see the Jagdish Temple and the wonderful Sahelion ki bari gardens.
Today we transfer to the airport for our morning flight to the tropical Southern city Kochi (Via Mumbai) Arriving into Kochi, meet with our local team who are waiting to take you to your hotel. This evening our guide will take you for a walk along the waterfront where you will see the fishermen's Chinese nets as the sunsets.
Formerly a princely state, Kochi is also fondly referred to as “The Queen of the Arabian Sea”. This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the town including the beautiful Parsi Synagogue built in 1568, the Dutch Palace built by the Portuguese in 1555 and St Francis’ Church. A walking tour of Fort Cochin takes you through streets still graced with traces of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial architecture. This afternoon enjoy some downtime to explore the city at your own pace, this evening we will take you to see a traditional dance performance called Kathakali.
A drive east to to Munnar - a quaint hill station nestled on the verdant slopes of tea plantations, that exudes a rare old world charm and reminds one of the days of the Raj in its elegant splendour. At a height of 1525 metres, Munnar offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills which you will see today on your visit to a Tea estate.
Today you will be driven to Alleppey to board the houseboat a traditional Keralan rice boat for a journey through the backwaters in and around Allapuzha (Alleppey). The boat will cross shallow, palm-fringed lakes and cruise along peaceful canals where copra and cashews are loaded onto local boats. The on-board cook will prepare locally-inspired food. Relax, read and catch some sun as the boat plies its route.
Disembarking at Kumarakom, we will transfer you to the hotel in Kovalam Bay.
For your remaining days in India with us really relax. Stroll for miles along white palm fringed sandy beaches, try sampling the local seafood and sipping cocktails on your sunlounger the perfect remedy to unwind.
Today, you’ll be driven the short distance back to Kochi and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.