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Namaste! Welcome to India and New Delhi the capital city of India. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel with the rest of the day yours to relax after your long flight.
Today we explore both Old and New Delhi - the order of New Delhi is a huge contrast to the unorganised chaos of the Old City. But both are just as appealing. Highlights we be the impressive Red Fort, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat - the site of Gandhi’s cremation and more.
We will transfer you to the train station for the train to Kalka (Kalka Shtabadi, departing at 07:40 and arriving at 11:45 - a/c chair class). Change over to the toy train, taking you on to Shimla (Himalayan Queem, departing at 12:10 and arriving at 17:20 - chair class). On arrival in Shaimla, we will meet you and check you into the hotel.
Today is yours to explore the hill station of Shimla. Venture into the narrow streets, which fall steeply away from the ridge giving way to colourful bazaars and fine views of the surrounding valley and snow-capped peaks. Walk through 'The Mall' which is lined with stately English homes and the fortress like Viceregal Lodge.
Today we drive to Kalka and board the onward train to Delhi arriving there late at night. (Kalka Shtabadi departing at 17:45 and arriving 21:55, a/c chair class). On arrival in Delhi we will transfer you to the hotel.
We will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Varanasi (Air India flight AI406 departing at 10:30 and arriving at 11:45, economy class). On arrival we will transfer you to the hotel. Rest of the day is free, until the evening excursion to see the Arti ceremony on the Ganges.
Varanasi - a city abundant with temples and labyrinthine streets. In the early morning of we will enjoy a boat ride on the holy Ganges River. Later in the day we embark on a tour of India’s spiritual city.
This morning we will take you on a guided sightseeing tour to visit the famous Buddhist holy sight of Sarnath. Sarnath is located at 10 Kms from Varanasi where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon to the five holy men; preaching the middleway to final 'NIRVANA’. Aftrnoon free. We then proceed to the train station for the 22:20 1st Class sleeper train destined for Agra.
We will pick you up from the train station and check you into the hotel. 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 you will enjoy a tour of this Rajput extravaganza. Later in the afternoon we will take you to the Taj Mahal. Enjoy your own time to explore and a guided tour of this once powerful Moghul emperor’s monument to love.
This morning we will take a drive out to the ghostly fortifed city of Fatehpur Sikri, abandonded only 8 years after its construction due to droughts in the area. We continue on to Ranthambhore and check you into the lodge.
Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the national park. Ranthambore National Park is one of the prime examples of Project Tiger’s conservation efforts in Rajasthan. The forests around the Ranthambore Fort were once the private hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Game drives will be in shared jeep or canter.
After our final morning game drive we will depart from this wonderful park, hopefully having seen some of the elusive tigers. Today we will head to Jaipur.
This morning early, you will float above Jaipur in a hot air balloon, seeing this beautiful Rajasthani city from above. We then visit the delicate pink, magnificent fort-palace of Amber - a wonderful example of Rajput architecture just north of Jaipur. Subject to Government regulations, we will arrive in style on top of an elephant! Enjoy an afternoon sightseeing tour of the city, taking in the City Palace, which boasts an interesting museum of regal attire and Jantar Mantar, an ancient astronomical observatory.
It's time to head to to Southern India! We will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Kochi via Delhi. (S2 3250 departing at 07:00 and arriving in Delhi at 07:45, then flight S2 4241 departing at 09:15 and arriving in Kochi at 13:30). On arrival in Kochi we will meet you and transfer you to the hotel.
The touring this morning includes the visit to Dutch Palace built by the Portuguese for a local King in 1555 A.D. The famous Jew Street, a cul-de-sac leading to the beautiful Parsi Synagogue built in 1568. A walking tour of Fort Cochin will take you through the streets still graced with traces of Portuguese, Dutch & British colonial architecture. We then drive to Alleppey and board the houseboat. Sit back and relax and the houseboat gently cruises along the backwaters.
Disembarking at Allepey today, we drive to Mararikulam for your relaxing beach stay.
Enjoy some free time and days at your leisure in Mararikulam.
We will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight.
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