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Hotel Accommodation for 18 nights Buffet Breakfast daily at the hotel All three meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) at the Ranthambore hotel All three meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) on the Houseboat in Kerala All transfers and tours by private medium Air-conditioned Sedan Car Personal English speaking guide for sightseeing excursions in each city All entrance/admission fees to monuments and sights Exclusive: Cycle-rickshaw ride through the ancient bazaar of Old City Boat cruises (Sunrise & Sunset) on Ganges River in Varanasi Exclusive: Decorated Horse Cart Ride to the Taj Mahal in Agra Exclusive: Elephant Ride failing Jeep Ride at Amber Fort Palace in Jaipur Boat ride (sharing) on Lake Pichola in Udaipur Camel back ride at Sam sand dunes in Jaisalmer Motor Launch (sharing) for excursion to Elephanta Island Kathakali Dance performance in Cochin Guided walk in the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary Train travel Jhansi to Agra by Air-conditioned Luxury Chair Car Bottled water during sightseeing, day excursions and long drives Representative for assistance at airport/railway station in each city Road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges, interstate taxes 24/7 on-tour assistance in IndiaInternational or Domestic Airfare (Internal flights cost approx. $100 each) Personal Expenses (tips, porterage, phone, internet, beverages) Video Camera fees Travel insurance, Visa etc.
Day 1 : Delhi NCR
Arrive Delhi in the afternoon or evening/night, depending on flight schedules (Standard check-in time is at 2 pm). You're greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 : Delhi NCR
Start your journey of Incredible India with a visit to the Old walled city in the morning. Drive pass the 17th century imposing Red Fort, take a traditional cycle rickshaw ride in the back streets of Chandni Chowk selling an extraordinary variety of items like., dress material, spices, jewellery & perfumes and mouth-watering food delicacies (parts of bazaar is closed on Sundays). From here you visit the India’s largest mosque, Jama Masjid. In complete contrast to the noise and crowds of Old Delhi, is Raj Ghat, a simple and stunning memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.
Afternoon: Explore New Delhi, which is a blend of ancient & pre-independence India. Visit the exquisite Humayun’s Tomb, built in 1570 is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. Sightseeing will also include drive past the Lodhi Garden, Safdarjung's tomb, the elegant government buildings designed in blend of Indian and European styles - the India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Presidential Palace.
Day 3 : Delhi NCR / Varanasi
Check out from your hotel after breakfast and transfer to the airport to board your flight.
Arrive Varanasi in the early afternoon and transfer to your hotel.
Afternoon: Explore India’s most sacred city for Hindu’s, which is the oldest living city in the world. During the visit to the Old city you will share space with Cows, Scooters etc. and walk through the narrow alleys where every street corner has roadside shrine or temple and vendors selling garlands, incense sticks and other items used in worship.
Evening: Enjoy a boat ride on the river Ganges to witness Oil lamp Aarti (prayer) performed by the priest on the banks of the river.
Day 4 : Varanasi / Khajuraho
Early morning: The best way to experience the life in Varanasi is to tour the Ganges in a country boat at sunrise as early morning life in this city revolves around the Ghats (River front). You will see Pilgrims, yogis and mystics flock to the ghats, to take a cleansing dip in India's holiest river, practice yoga, meditate, or washing clothes and vessels. Return to your hotel after the tour to relax & pack.
Check out from your hotel after breakfast and transfer to the airport.
Arrive Khajuraho in the early afternoon and transfer to your hotel.
Afternoon: Explore Khajuraho, which captures world attention for its 22 amazing erotic temples built by the rulers of the Chandela dynasty. Each temple, built of stone, is distinguished by carved spires and walls, where the subjects range from aesthetic depictions of major and minor deities and celestial beings to a variety of erotic sculptures.
Day 5 : Khajuraho / Agra
After breakfast, proceed on drive to Jhansi enroute visit the medieval city of Orchha with exquisite palaces and cenotaphs. Built by an 11th century king of the Bundela dynasty, Orchha is now a ghost city containing the remains of what must have been once spectaculary lovely monuments, and which combine Hindu and Muslim architectural traditions.
After the tour, drive to Jhansi railway station to board the express train to Agra.
Arrive Agra in the late evening and transfer to your hotel.
Day 6 : Agra
Morning: Visit Agra Fort, it’s first red sandstone fort of North India was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in the year 1565. Its royal audience halls, immense stone courtyards, marble mosque and the private royal chambers give us a glimpse of the grandeur and talent for combining defensive architecture with beauty and design of the Mughal Empire.
From here visit Emperor Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra. In the tradition of all Mughal emperors, the tomb was begun by Akbar but completed by his son Jehangir. Woven into the Mughal garden tomb format, are Akbar’s ideas of Din-I-Ilahi, a universal religion combining beliefs from Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. The stone was quarried from near Fatehpur Sikri and the great gateway has magnificently bold polychrome inlay in geometric and floral patterns. The four minarets crowning its corners are an innovation in tombs, later seen at the Taj Mahal. The calligraphy on the monument is exceptional.
Afternoon: Visit the fabled Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Taj Mahal was built in the year 1652 AD by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal. It took 22,000 skilled craftsmen 22 years to create this spectacular white marble mausoleum. You will stay at Taj Mahal until sunset to see the white marble reflect the nuances of the changing light from the sun.
Please note the Taj Mahal is closed for public viewing every Friday. In case this day is a Friday, then Agra sightseeing will be re-arranged at no extra charge so that you visit Taj Mahal on Saturday morning.
Day 7 : Agra / Jaipur
Early Morning: You're at leisure at your hotel with option (no extra charge) to visit the Mughal garden of Mehtab Bagh, which is located across from the Taj Mahal on the other side of the Yamuna River. Enjoy a walk and view the Taj Mahal from across the river.
Check out from your hotel after breakfast and proceed on the drive to Jaipur.
On the way, stop at Fathepur Sikri, the deserted city. This one of the world's most perfect ghost cities and a marvel of design and construction. It was conceived and bult by Emperor Akbar, one of the most enlightened rulers of his time. Built in 1571, it is a synthesis of the flourishing styles of the Persian courts and the prevailing Hindu Islamic trends. Today its pristine red sandstone buildings are as perfect as when they were first chiseled. The masterpiece of this remarkable monument is the Jewel House of the Diwan I Khas. Architecturally extraordinary, the four doorways lead into a single storey room where a huge central pillar carved to baroque richness, supports a seat reached by mid air walkways. After the tour, continue your journey to Jaipur.
Arrive Jaipur in the evening and check in to your hotel.
Day 8 : Jaipur
Morning: A visit to the Amber Fort. Its forbidding exterior belying a bejeweled interior whose richness reflects the sumptuous styles of the surrounding Mughal courts. An Elephant ride takes you up to the fort and Jeep/Car brings you down the fort (Both ways Jeep/Car ride option available).
From here visit the City Palace, a series of open courtyards, simple stables and buildings leading to the richly decorated royal rooms. The museum within the palace house a fabulous collection of textiles, carpets, manuscripts and costumes from the personal collection of the royal family; Hawa Mahal, also known as the ‘Palace of Winds’ and the fascinating Jantar Mantar Observatory is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century.
Day 9 : Jaipur / Udaipur
Breakfast at your hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Udaipur. We recommend you get a packed lunch/snacks from the hotel, due to limited dining choices/rest stopover during this long journey.
Arrive Udaipur in the late afternoon or evening and check in to your hotel.
Day 10 : Udaipur
Morning: Explore the romantic city of Lakes - Udaipur, with the palaces built around Lake Pichola and the Aravalli Hills forming the backdrop. Visit the City Palace, the former home of the Maharanas of Udaipur. A majestic architectural marvel, within the four walls are mosaics of peacocks, exquisite mirror work and exotic paintings. It is a conglomeration of coutyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. After touring the City Palace, you will visit the Sahelion Ki Bari - the Gardens of the Maids of the queen. The garden has many fountains in its four delightful pools, chiselled kiosks and marble elephants.
Later enjoy a boat tour of Lake Pichola and visit the beautiful 17th century Jagmandir Island Palace - a palace on an island in Lake Pichola.
Day 11 : Udaipur / Jodhpur
Check out from your hotel after breakfast and drive to Jodhpur, enroute stop at Ranakpur.
Ranakpur is one of five important pilgrim centers for the Jain community. Noted for its grandiose scale and elaborate ornamentation, of the three temples, the Adinatha is the most outstanding. Built by Daranshah in 1439, the temple is dedicated to the first Tirthankara of saint. The whole, including the extraordinary array of 1144 pillars each distinct in design, carved ceilings, and arches decorated with friezes depicting scenes from the lives of the Jain saints, is fascinating.
NOTE: No tourist guide services is allowed inside temple. If required, you can hire Audio-guide from the Temple authorities..
Arrive Jodhpur in the evening and check in to your hotel.
Day 12 : Jodhpur / Jaisalmer
Morning: Visit the aptly named majestic Meherangarh Fort, which dominates the skyline. Entered through gates, which bear the evocative handprints of the "Sati" queens women of the royal harem, who took their own lives when their men were defeated in battle. The fort has a series of spectacular palaces, each decorated with exquisite engravings, lattice and mirror work. Of particular note is the museum that exhibits a magnificent collection of royal memorabilia; we stop to admire the graceful cenotaph at Jaswant Thada, and browse in the bazaars of the old city for Jodhpur's well known glass bangles, rugged "mojri" slippers and vivid tie and dye fabric. The area around the bazaars is a wonderful example of 19th century town planning, blending Rajasthani concepts with more contemporary styles.
Afteroon proceed on the drive to Jaisalmer.
Arrive Jaisalmer in the evening and check in to your hotel.
Day 13 : Jaisalmer
Morning: Half-day tour of Jaisalmer city. The tour begins from "The Jaisalmer Fort", built in 1156 by Rawal Jaisal. The fort crowns 80 meter high Trikuta hill. Still inhabited, there are palaces and bazaars within the fort walls. The Fort has 99 bastions around the circumference. Other attractions include Ganga Sagar Tank and Museum, once the water supply of the city, housing many small temples and shrines. A wide variety of water birds flock here in winter.
Also visit to the "Havelis" of Jaisalmer. Wealthy merchants built their exquisite homes with profusely carved stone facades. The famous ones are the Patwon Ki Haveli, Salim Singh Ki Haveli and Nathmal Ki Haveli.
Late Afternoon: Drive to Sam Sand Dunes at a distance of approximately 45 km from the city of Jaisalmer. One of the most pleasurable moments comes at the time of the sunset- a photographer’s delight. Watching the sand dunes in the faint orange glow of the sun with the ballads of the legendary lovers playing in the background leaves you completely speechless. The silken smooth sands of Sam look like a tale out of the Merchant of Venice and camel safaris are much in vogue here.
Enjoy a short Camel back ride on sand dunes at sunset.
Day 14 : Jaisalmer / Mumbai
Check out from your hotel after early breakfast and proceed on the Jodhpur airport to board afternoon flight.
Arrive Mumbai in the evening. You're greeted at the airport and transfer to your hotel.
Day 15 : Mumbai / Cochin
Morning: Start your exploration of India with half day guided tour of Mumbai. Visit Gateway of India, Mumbai's principle landmark. This arch of yellow basalt was erected on the waterfront in 1924 to commemorate King George V's visit to this colony in 1911. Drive past the Afghan Church. Secretariat of Maharashtra Government and along the Marine Drive which is fondly known as the 'Queen's Necklace'. Visit Jain temple and Hanging Gardens which offer a splendid view of the city, Chowpatty, Kamala Nehru Park and also Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his visits to Mumbai. Drive past Haji Ali Mosque, a shrine in honour of a Muslim Saint on an island 500 m. out at sea and is linked by a causeway to the mainland. Stop at the 'Dhobi Ghat' where Mumbai's 'dirties' are scrubbed, bashed, dyed and hung out to dry. Watch the local train passing close by on which the city commuters 'hang out like laundry' - a nice photography stop. Continue to the colourful Crawford market and to the Flora fountain in the large bustling square, in the heart of the city.
Afternoon: Departure transfer to the airport to board your flight.
Arrive Cochin in the evening and transfer to your hotel.
Day 16 : Cochin
Morning: An ancient harbor town, Cochin reflects the influence of the many foreign traders who visited the city. The Jewish synagogue (closed on Fridays and Saturdays), one of the oldest in India, is set in the heart of the area known as “Jew Town” surrounded by an aromatic spice market, and interesting shops selling antiques. The synagogue is decorated with blue ceramic Chinese tiles, each distinct in their design. The pictures on the tiles relate the tale of the romance between a wealthy mandarin. If synagogue is closed on this day, then your driver can be arranged (no extra charge) to take you there on one of the other days that you are in Cochin. You spend time in the surrounding markets and walk to the Mattancherry Palace, which was commissioned by the Portuguese for the raja of Kochi in exchange for trading rights. The palace is two storeys high and is built in the traditional Kerala style known as nalukattu (four buildings). The palace exhibits memorabilia from the raja of Kochi’ collection, but it is best known for its outstanding murals painted on the wooden walls. The royal bedroom has ceilings and walls covered with forty-five 16th century paintings illustrating the Ramayana. From here visit the St. Francis Church, established by the Portuguese Franciscan friars in 1503. Vasco Da Gama was buried in the courtyard of this European church, one of the first built in India. Also visit the Chinese fishing nets (they are a great part of this tour), which is a more than a century old traditional form of catching fish and still in use.
Late Afternoon: Witness Kathakali dance performance in a theatre. Kathakali is a classical dance form that has its origins in Theyyam a ritual tribal dance of north Kerala and Kalaripayyattu the martial arts which goes back 1000 years. The dancers use dramatic costumes and exaggerated facial make up, and to accompaniment of drums and cymbals, use stylized movements to relate episodes from the Mahabharat and Ramayan. You will arrive early at the theatre to watch the dancers prepare for their performance.
Day 17 : Cochin / Backwaters
Morning: Check out from your hotel after breakfast and drive to Alleppey to board your houseboat for an overnight cruise.
A visit to Kerala is incomplete without a visit to the backwaters. A series of canals, which thread their way through the state to the sea, it allows you a glimpse of life in Kerala impossible to get from road transport. Along the way you will pass rice fields, tiny villages, boats transporting children to school and farmers transporting their produce to the market, and women completing household tasks such as laundry and washing utensils. You will disembark from the boat to wander in the villages and talk to the people. At night the boat will anchor mid stream, and your meals will be specially prepared by the crew from freshly bought produce.
Day 18 : Backwaters / Kumarakom
After breakfast, disembark from your houseboat around 9 am at Alleppey and proceed on the drive to Kumarakom.
Standard check-in time at the hotel is 2 pm and early check-in is subject to availability on arrival. If room is not available then enjoy common areas/restaurant etc.
You are at leisure on this day to enjoy Ayurvedic Spa facilities at your lakefront resort or explore the nearby villages (on your own) on the picturesque island of Kumarakom.
Day 19 : Kumarakom / Cochin
Early Morning: You have option (no extra charges) to visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary to view the incredible birdlife of Vembanad Lake.
Check out from your hotel by noon. After early lunch, drive to the Cochin airport to board your return flight to Mumbai or Delhi (Airfare for last flight TBD depending on travel to Mumbai or Delhi).
Our services end at Cochin airport.
Payment Terms & Methods :
* Some Advance Percentage of total booking amount
* Airfare/Transport fare to be paid full at one time in advance.
Cancellation & Refund Policy :
* Upon cancellation, refund will be made after deducting the Retention Amount.
* Retention Amount varies as per the number of days left before your package start date.
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