FROM: USD $2,895

Golden Triangle & Southern India - 16 days

Kick off in Delhi, both old and new, explore the magnificent Taj Mahal in Agra and the stunning Pink City of Jaipur. Fly south to Chennai and head from the west to east coast of southern India, exploring magnificent temples and former colonial towns en route. End your tour in the beautiful port city of Kochi.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Delhi - Take in the sights of old and new Delhi on a guided tour of India’s capital city including Humayun's Tomb, Jama Masjid and Gandhi's crematorium Raj Ghat. Take a Rickshaw ride through Delhi's backstreets.
Fatehpur Sikri - Uncover an abandoned Mughal city
Jaipur - Discover the City Palace & Jantar Mantar, Amber Fort and a visit to cotton trader/tailor
Pondicherry - Soak up the atmosphere in this former French colonial town
Tanjore - Visit the ornate Brihadishwara Temple
Kochi - Independently explore Fort Kochi, Dutch Palace, St Francis’ Church and Chinese fishing nets
Agra and the Taj Mahal - Admire India’s most famous monument and visit nearby Agra Fort
Karauli - A former princely state. Stay in the Maharaja's Palace and see the fine restoration work taking place at Karauli City Palace
Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram Temples - Discover the stunning Shore Temple, Arjunas Penance and Five Rathas
Madurai - Experience a fascinating Aarti ceremony at the Meenakshi Temple
Trichy - Learn the incredible history of the Rock Fort Temple and its role in the relationship between the British Empire and India

Included

14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Travel by jeep to the Amber Fort in Jaipur
Touring of Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Karauli
Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides at some sites
Guided touring of Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram Temples, Pondicherry and Madurai
14 nights 3-4 star and heritage hotels and 1 night overnight sleeper train from Trichy to Kochi
Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 16
Escorted by an English-speaking Indian tour guide
All relevant transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicles
Delhi - Chennai economy flight

Not Included

International flights and visas
Entrance Fees: US$95-105, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow $3 - 7 USD per day per traveller. Tipping your tour guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: US$60-70, paid in local currency

Itinerary

Day 1

Delhi

Saturday. Upon arrival into Delhi, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or explore this bustling capital city.
Overnight: Delhi

Day 2

Old & New Delhi

This morning, our Welcome Meeting takes place. We then enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi, taking in Humayun's Tomb, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque and Raj Ghat - the site of Gandhi’s cremation in Old Delhi, and in New Delhi Rajpath and India Gate. Tonight, we enjoy a group Namaste dinner at our hotel.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

Taj Mahal

Delhi - Agra. Departing Delhi, we make our way to Agra, the erstwhile capital of the Mughal empire. Our first stop here is the impressive Agra Fort, which boasts some of India's finest Mughal buildings behind its fortified walls. Later we travel on to the legendary Taj Mahal. Built by the order of Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century in affectionate memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal is perhaps one of the most extravagant monuments to love ever built and has no peers.
Overnight: Agra  |  Breakfast

Day 4

The princely state of Karauli

Agra - Karauli. Bright and early this morning we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, which has been deserted for over four centuries after it was allegedly abandoned due to a lack of water. Thanks to the very durable red sandstone from which it was built, Fatehpur Sikri still remains well-preserved and is a fascinating place to explore.

We drive on to Bharatpur where we'll enjoy lunch before continuing our journey to Karauli, which was a princely state of India from 1348 until 1949. We spend the night at the beautiful Palace Bhanwar Vilas, which is the home of the current Maharaja and Maharani of Karauli. During our stay we can explore the palace and grounds at leisure. The sovereigns, continue to reside at the palace and the young princess often gives guided tours of the palace, which we will take part in, if the opportunity arises. The family is also lovingly restoring the Karauli City Palace, which we visit later this afternoon. Tonight, opt to attend the evening Aaarti (prayer) taking place nearby.
Overnight: Karauli  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Jaipur

Karauli - Jaipur. This morning we stop briefly to meet the children and teachers at a local school (if open) where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme. If you have bought any educational items with you to hand out to children this would be the time to do so. Then we drive on to Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at your own leisure.
Overnight: Jaipur  |  Breakfast

Day 6

Jaipur sightseeing

Very early this morning there is the opportunity to sail over the lofty hilltop forts and regal palaces of Jaipur in a hot air balloon, on our Balloon Over Jaipur Add-on. We then travel beyond Jaipur to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort, reaching its summit by jeep, where we enjoy a tour of the fort's well-preserved interior and grounds. Later we visit a cotton weaving house to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing before touring the City Palace and Jantar Mantar - an old yet cleverly designed space observatory.
Overnight: Jaipur  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Return to Delhi

Jaipur - Delhi. This morning we drive back to Delhi. The afternoon is free for you to further discover the city. Opt for a meal in the heart of the city or simply relax and chat with group members at the hotel.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Delhi to Chennai

Delhi - Chennai – Mahabalipuram. Today we head to Delhi airport for our flight south to Chennai. Upon arrival at Chennai airport you'll be met by our representative and transferred to Mahablipuram, about a 90 minute drive from Chennai. After arriving at our hotel the rest of the day is free for you to relax or explore Mahablipuram on your own.
Overnight: Mahabalipuram  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Kanchipuram Temples

This morning we visit Kanchipuram, the capital of the Pallava dynasty from the 6th to 8th century and home to some southern India's most impressive temples. Split in to two sections we will visit the nothern Shiva temples as well as the southern Vishnu temples. Kanchipuram is also known as the 'silk city of India'. It has a thriving handloom industry with an enviable reputation as the producer of the best silk sarees in India.

This afternoon we return to Mahabalipuram, also know as Mamallapuram, for a tour of the highlights. Our first stop will be to the beautiful Shore Temple, built in the 7th century during the reign of Rajasimha, it's so name because it overlooks the Bay of Bengal. Next we continue to Arjuna's Penance, the worlds largest bas-relief carving. This impressive collections of sculptures is one of India's most fascinating ancient artworks. Our final stop this afternoon is the Five Rathas, each one incredibly carved from single large rocks. Built in the 7th century these Hindu temples were covered in sand until their discovery by the British around 200 years ago.
Overnight: Mahabalipuram  |  Breakfast

Day 10

Pondicherry

Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry. Departing Mahabalipuram this morning we head for the former French colonial city of Pondicherry (Puducherry). French rule of the city lasted until 1954 and the influence can still be seen today in the architecture of the old town and the many French-India restaurants. Our first stop today will be Pondicherry Beach, with it's beautiful golden sand and lapping waves. We then continue to Sacred Heart Church, built in 1895 this beautiful red and white church was upgraded to a Basillica in 2011. Another highlight and one that brings many travellers to Pondicherry is the the popular Sri Aurobindo Ashram, whose spiritual tenets combine yoga and modern science.
Overnight: Pondicherry  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Temples of Tamil Nadu

Pondicherry – Tanjore. After breakfast we head away from the coastal Pondicherry to an important centre of South Indian religion, art and architecture, Tanjore (Thanjavur). En route we'll visit temples in the towns of Chidambaram, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Darssuram.

In Chidambaram we'll visit the Natraja Temple, the present temple dates to the 10th century, making it one of the oldest temples in Southern India. We continue to Gangaikonda Cholapuram where we visit Brihadisvara Temple, completed in 1035 it is a great example of a Dravidian style temple. Next we visit Darasuram, home to the 12th century, UNESCO world heritage listed, Airavateswara temple. At this temple you'll witness some well preserved stone carvings including a number of Chariot inspired structures.

Our day ends this afternoon upon arrival in to Tanjore, where you'll have the evening free to relax or explore this colourful city.
Overnight: Tanjore  |  Breakfast

Day 12

Evening Aarti Ceremony

Tanjore – Madurai. This morning we enjoy a tour of Tanjore, an ancient fortified town, with a glorious history dating back more than 1500 years. Thanjavur was the ancient capital of the Chola kings whose origins date back to the beginning of Christianity. Our city tour includes the enormous Brihadishwara Temple. Built by Raja Raja in 1010, the World Heritage protected temple has a dome weighing an estimated 80 tonnes which was hauled into place along an earth ramp in a manner similar to that used for the Egyptian pyramids.

This afternoon we drive to Madurai and check in to our hotel. Later we make our way to Meenakshi Temple to enjoy an Aarti Ceremony, which involves candles and music in praise of the gods and goddesses being worshipped.
Overnight: Madurai  |  Breakfast

Day 13

Madurai

After breakfast we proceed for half day city tour of Madurai, first up we visit Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal, a temple built in the Indo-Saracanic style by the Nayaks. The main attractions here are the musical pillars and the pathway. We continue to Thirupparankunram Murugan Temple, located around 8 km from the center of Madurai city. This temple is cut straight into the rock and is considered one of the six abodes of Lord Murugan. Next we revisit Meenakshi temple, for a second chance to view the magnificently carved temple. Considered by some as the holiest place of worship in South India, it draws thousands of devotees everyday. We end the day exploring the local bazaar.
Overnight: Madurai  |  Breakfast

Day 14

Rock Fort Temple

Madurai – Trichy - Kochi. Today we make our way to Trichy (also known as Tiruchirappalli). Our first stop is Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, this colourful temple covers 156 acres and lies on an island formed by the Kaveri and Kollidam rivers. Dedicated to Ranganatha, a reclining form of Vishnu, it is believed that the sight on where the temple stands has existed since the 2nd century. Next we visit the Rock Fort Temple, originally built as a temple by the Pallavas, it's location a top a ancient rock meant that it was eventually used as a fort. The Rock Fort temple has witnessed fierce battles over the years and played an important role during the Carnatic wars, helping to lay the foundations of the British Empire in India. We also visit Sri Jambukeswarar Temple, built by Kochengon, a Tamil king during one of the Early Cholas, said to be around 1,800 years ago.

This evening we transfer to the railway station to board our overnight train journey to Kochi. It's recommended to brings snacks and supplies for the journey and the following morning.
Overnight: Overnight Sleeper Train  |  Breakfast

Day 15

Kochi

Arriving into Kochi train station this morning you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day offers free time to explore Kochi. 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, then the Dutch quickly followed and eventually, the British. The cosmopolitan mix of cultures makes the city truly fascinating.
Overnight: Kochi

Day 16

Kochi

Our tour comes to an end after breakfast today. A transfer will be provided to take you to Kochi airport.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates can be guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.

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Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
Xmas departure, book early!
XMAS Departure
Available
Contact us to book
Sold out
2019
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $2,995
USD $1,200
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13 Apr - 28 Apr Easter departure, book early!
Easter departure, book early!
USD $2,895
USD $1,200
USD $2,895
USD $1,200
USD $2,995
USD $1,200
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2020
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $2,995
USD $1,200
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USD $1,200
USD $2,995
USD $1,200
USD $2,995
USD $1,200
USD $2,995
USD $1,200
04 Apr - 19 Apr Easter departure, book early!
Easter departure, book early!
USD $2,895
USD $1,200
11 Apr - 26 Apr Easter departure, book early!
Easter departure, book early!
USD $2,895
USD $1,200
USD $2,895
USD $1,200
USD $2,995
USD $1,200
USD $2,995
USD $1,200
USD $2,995
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USD $1,200
12 Dec - 27 Dec Xmas departure, book early!
Xmas departure, book early!
USD $2,995
USD $1,200

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Jaypee Siddharth Hotel, Delhi

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

The luxurious Jaypee Siddharth is a stunning poperty located just a few miles from the New Delhi Railway Station. Guestrooms feature rich wooden floors and furnishings and are exquisitely decorated with creams and browns as well as the odd splash of colour. In their free time, guests can indulge in one of the rejuvenating treatments, available at the spa, or work up an appetite in the gym. A range of cuisines are served in the various restaurants that can be found within the hotel complex.

Hotel Jivitesh, Delhi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Jivitesh Hotel is centrally located in the heart of Karol Bagh, a popular neighbourhood of Delhi which is renowned for its excellent shops and vibrant street markets. The Jivitesh offers comfortable and spacious guest rooms, with all modern amenities and you can be assured of a warm welcome and excellent customer service from the hotel staff. Enjoy authentic Indian vegetarian cuisine at the hotel's restaurant and enjoy a refreshing dip in the outdoor swimming pool, after a day of sightseeing in the capital.

Vivanta by Taj Dwarka, Delhi

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Vivanta by Taj Dwarka is a modern, luxury hotel located in Dwarka, on the outskirts of New Delhi, just 15 minutes drive from the airport. Spread over 7 acres, this striking hotel has a unique angular design and offers 250 luxurious rooms and suites. All tastes are catered for at the hotel's multi-cuisine restaurant, while the Indus Express restaurant serves mouth-watering Punjabi cuisine. Head to the popular Tipple bar for a delicious array of heady cocktails or relax by the poolside with a refreshing smoothie from the Celsuis Pool Bar. The nearby Sector 21 Metro station provides direct access to the heart of the city and after a day of sightseeing you can cool off with a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool or relax in the sauna and massage parlour.

Seven Hills Tower, Agra

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The modern and stylish Seven Hills Tower hotel boasts a range of facilities and services designed to ensure the quality of each traveller's stay. Guests can enjoy a dip in the rooftop pool or laze on the sun loungers before heading to the equally lofty restaurant for some mouth-watering Mughlai cuisine. The spacious guestrooms are elegantly decorated with neutral colours and fabrics covered with traditional patterns and all have excellent ensuite facilities. Why not head to the rooftop pool and al fresco dining area for beautiul views of the Taj - perfect for a sunset drink.

Bhanwar Vilas Palace, Karauli

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

Built in 1938, this stunning property is the residence of the Maharaja (181st in the Royal Dynasty) and Maharani of Karauli. Both the architecture and furniture have been designed in fitting with colonial styles. Rooms are split between deluxe rooms and luxury suites, each including a range of modern amenities such as a mini bar, a well-appointed ensuite and a plush king-sized bed. In the evenings, guests can tuck into an array of regional specialities as well as cuisine from around the world in the hotel's restaurant. The hotel is just 7km from the nearest train station.

Mandawa Haveli, Jaipur

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

The beautiful heritage style Mandawa Haveli is a fine example of typical Rajasthan architecture - set in terraced gardens with pretty courtyards. All rooms are well appointed with intricately carved wooden beds and king-size royal portraits. An evening spent enjoying a lavish Rajasthani dinner in front of a traditional folk dance is highly recommended. Well located in the heart of Jaipur city on Sansar Chandra Road, just a few minute’s drive from the Palace of the Winds.

MGM Eastwood , Mahabalipuram

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Sprawled across 3 acres of lush landscaped gardens and swaying palm fronds, this resort features quaint pathways leading to its spacious guestrooms. Once inside, you’ll find the rooms are well-equipped with modern amenities, including free WiFi and 24-hour room service. Other dining options include the Virundhu Restaurant, which offers all-day dining on a selection of continental, Indian and Oriental fare. The azure blue swimming pool is also particularly inviting and the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon cooling off.

Hotel Atithi, Pondicherry

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

With its great selection of facilities, this modern hotel has marked itself one of the finest hotels in Pondicherry. Each room is fully equipped with all the essential amenities, with the added perks of 24-hour room service and free WiFi. Guests can enjoy the in-house gym, rejuvenating spa and an outdoor pool offering amazing views over the city. There are plenty of options when it comes to dining, with a lounge bar, two multi-cuisine restaurants and a fun-filled rooftop bar. If that wasn’t enough, Hotel Atithi is also well-located close to many of the top attractions in this heritage city.

Hotel Sangam, Thanjavur

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Set among the historic temples of Thanjavur, Hotel Sangam offers you a peaceful and comfortable stay. Its guestrooms are spacious and feature modern interiors with large windows allowing for plenty of natural light. Enjoy local and international cuisine at the Thillana Restaurant, where you’ll find both guests and locals alike, or opt for a light snack and cool beer in the Layam Bar. An outdoor pool serves the perfect place to kick back and relax after a day of sightseeing. And you can always expect a warm greeting from staff, who are more than happy to share their knowledge of the area.

GRT Regency, Madurai

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The GRT Regency is a modern, tastefully designed hotel with comfortable rooms that have been elegantly decorated with just a splash of colour. The hotel has extensive business and conferencing facilities as well as a modern gym and health centre to ensure that visitors want for nothing during their stay. Dining options are allow guests to choose from a range of different cuisines including traditional Indian and international. The hotel is only 2 km from the city centre and 3 km from the railway station.

Casino Hotel, Kochi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Casino Hotel is a modern hotel located on Willingdon island, set in tropical gardens it is a beautiful blend of art deco and colonial Indian architectural styles. With a large pool and and spacious comfortable rooms this hotel offers a fantastic experience when in Kochi. Casino Hotel boasts 2 restaurants, a 24-hour health club as well as free wifi in public areas.

In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Delhi
Ends
Kochi
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star & heritage hotels
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 14, Lunch: 1, Dinner: 2
Visiting
Delhi, Old Delhi, Agra, Karauli, Jaipur, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, Madurai, Trichy, Kochi
Countries

Tour Add-ons

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