DAY 01: ARRIVE AT DELHI

Our services begin here. You will be greeted by our tour executive at the Arrival Hall of Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport. You will be then escorted to your hotel and shall be assisted with check-in. He will explain the travel plan in detail and hand over the essential documents to you.

DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land. A window to the kaleidoscope - that is India.

Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 02: FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING OF DELHI

Morning – have breakfast before starting your full-day tour of Old and New Delhi.

Start your adventure with Old Delhi, a formal capital of the Mughal Dynasty that boasts a plethora of breathtaking monuments.

We will begin visit to the massive Red Fort built, by Shah Jahan in 1648, before exploring the colorful Chandni Chowk market by cycle-rickshaw. You also visit the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi (Raj Ghat).

Shortly after, we will arrive in Jama Masjid. This is the largest mosque in India at the height of 40m where you are able to view Delhi from the minarets of this last architectural project of Shah Jahan.

Drive past Safdarjang’s tomb to visit the highest stone tower in India, the Qutab Minar, metallurgical marvel that has never rusted since its iron pillar shape was erected in 1199.

Later on – we will take you past the earliest example of Mughal architecture, the Tomb of Humayun.

Drive through New Delhi. New Delhi is a much more recent city and is also known as Lutyens’ Delhi

The city’s namesake, Edwin Lutyens, was a British architect who was largely responsible for designing the India Gate (a memorial to the martyrs of World War I), Rashtrapati Bhavan (the Presidential House), the Secretariat, the Parliament House, and many other government buildings.

Stay overnight at the hotel.

Note: The Red Fort remains closed on Monday.

DAY 03: DELHI – AGRA

Check out of your hotel after breakfast and set off for the lovely drive to Agra. The journey will take about two & half hours, hence an early morning (0700 hrs) start is recommended.

Arrive at Agra and check in to your hotel before starting your tour.

Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, had transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire.

In Agra, you will be caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, as well as the city’s irresistible charm.

Unsurprisingly, modern Agra has held onto its Mughal heritage so that the modern city is blended with old and beautiful monuments.

Afternoon – your discovery of historic Agra will begin with a visit to the red sandstone Agra Fort, built by the Mughal dynasty's greatest Emperor, Akbar, in 1565. A number of the fort’s beautiful palaces, mosques and gardens were built by his successors in later years.

A few of the priceless examples of artisanship from the Mughal era include the exquisite Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-i-Khas, the Diwan-i-Am, the Jahangir Mahal and the Shish Mahal.

Later on – visit the magnificent Taj Mahal, a pristine white marble mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife – Mumtaz Mahal. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, it took 20,000 workers from neighboring Islamic countries, 22 years of ceaseless toil to create this exquisite white marble monument upon which peopled have waxed eloquent throughout the world. Experience a splendid sunset viewing of the Taj Mahal and the return to your hotel.

Agra is famous for its marble manufacturing, carpets and ethnic jewelry.

Stay overnight at the hotel.

Note: The Taj Mahal remains closed on Friday.

DAY 04: AGRA – FATEHPUR SIKRI – JAIPUR

Early morning –visit Mehtab Bagh (Mughal Garden) to view the Taj Mahal while the sun rise upon its massive bronze domes. This 500-year-old garden is located across from the Taj Mahal on the other side of the Yamuna River.

Later on, visit the Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s tomb, a beautiful mausoleum built by the Mughal Emperor Jehangir’s queen in 1628 as a memorial to her father. Many historians revere the mausoleum as the inspiration of the Taj Mahal, yet it still has an original beauty. It houses significant ‘Pietra Dura’ inlays, marble screens within a walled garden, and a view of the Yamuna River.

Experience a splendid sunrise view and the return to your hotel and freshen up after your visit.

After breakfast – check out of the hotel and drive to Jaipur, which is about a fours hour’s journey.

On the way – take a mini-excursion to Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar completed this red sandstone city in 1585 that still holds the mysterious tomb of Salim Chishti (the Muslim mystic who gave his blessings to Akbar for a son).

The Panch Mahal, Jodha Bai’s Palace, Birbal Bhavan and the uniquely checkered Pachisi Court are also original monuments from the Mughal Empire.

After the tour – resume your drive to Jaipur. When you arrive, check in to your hotel.

Jaipur: The origins of the beautiful city of Jaipur can be traced back to the eighteenth century, during the reign of Jai Singh II who ascended the Amber throne in 1699. Jaipur today, epitomizes the spirit of Rajputana. In-spite of growing into a bustling metropolis, it still retains its character and history - A beautiful fusion of the yesteryears and modernity. Jaipur is popularly known as the Pink City because of the extensive use of the locally abundant pink plastered stone, painted so in honor of the visit of the royal consort of Queen Victoria. Jaipur thrills the soul with its massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and lush gardens.

Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 05: JAIPUR

Make an 8 a.m. excursion to the Amber Fort & Palace so that you may ascend to its colossal red entrance on the back of a highly decorated elephant. Raja Man Singh constructed the Amber Fort that is now regarded as a quintessential example of Rajput architecture as is the elaborate design of the Palace’s interior.

You will see the fort’s splendor with your own eyes when you walk down the hallways and chambers to see the luxurious and adorned ambiance of the palace.

In the afternoon – take a half-day tour of the Palace Complex. See the Jantar Mantar Observatory, a sanctuary of the astronomer king, Maharaja Jai Singh II. Nearby, the intriguing Palace of the Wind, the Hawa Mahal, was built in 1799 to allow ladies from the royal family to view the city and bazaar below in privacy.

Continue to the breathtaking Palace, a royal residence built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles.

The city’s Palace Complex holds several museums that contain impressive collections of miniature paintings, costumes, and armor. Between the art gallery and the armory, you will find the majestic Diwan-i-Khas—the hall of selective audience.

The Diwan-i-Khas is a marble-paved pavilion that puts on display massive silver vessels. The vessels, the world’s largest sterling silver object, used to be filled with royal drinking water from the River Ganga.

Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 06: JAIPUR – COCHIN

Board the morning flight to Mumbai. Connect with the flight to Cochin.

The eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land locked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Kochi thus became a haven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and became the first European town-ship in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century.

The Dutch wrested Fort Kochi from the Portuguese in AD 1663 and later in the last phase of the colonial saga, the British took over, the town in 1795. During 1660's, Fort Kochi peaked in stature as a prime commercial centre and its fame spread far and wide - variously as a rich trade centre, a major military base, a vibrant cultural hub, a great ship building centre, a centre for Christianity and so on. Today, centuries later, the city is home to nearly thirteen communities.

Arrive at Cochin and check in to your hotel.

Evening - Drive to watch a Kathakali dance (the art of storytelling through dance) performance. After the show, you are driven to dinner with a Keralan family at their home.

Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 07: COCHIN

Morning – Enjoy a City Tour of Cochin. The tour begins from the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays) built in 1568. Next to the synagogue is Kochi’s fascinating Jew Street, with its collection of antique stores and other reminders of a past that has pretty much disappeared from this area.

Also 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. Visit the Chinese fishing nets. More than a century old and still in use, they are a great part of this tour.

Stay overnight at the hotel.

DAY 08: COCHIN – BACKWATER CRUISE

Morning - drive to Alleppey & board your houseboat. Relax and have a great time till the next morning as you cruise the amazing backwaters. The cook and other staff make sure that all your needs are taken care of, while serving you with delicious Kerala cuisine.

Stay overnight on the houseboat.

DAY 09: BACKWATER CRUISE – MARARIKULAM

Disembark from houseboat in the morning and drive to Mararikulam.

Arrive at Mararikulam and check in to your sea side resort.

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.

Balance of the day – you are at leisure.

Stay overnight at the resort.

DAY 10: MARARIKULAM

You are at leisure to enjoy the beautiful, lush lakeside environment & also enjoy Ayurvedic Spa facilities at your resort.

You can consult the Ayurveda Doctor at the resort if you wish.

Stay overnight at the resort.

DAY 11: MARARIKULAM – COCHIN – MUMBAI

Morning – check out from your hotel and drive back to Cochin airport to board your flight to Mumbai.

Arrive at Mumbai and board your flight to onward destinations.

Our services end at Cochin airport.

Flights included in travel supplement: Jaipur – Mumbai - Cochin – Mumbai. Travel supplement (Current pricing, subject to change)

INCLUSIONS:

  • 10 nights stay at the hotels on entire trip.
  • Hotel accommodation on double occupancy basis.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by your personal A/C vehicle.
  • Check-in time is 2 p.m. and check-out time is 12 noon for most of the hotels (but we can usually arrange earlier check-in).
  • Breakfast at all the hotels.
  • One cycle-rickshaw ride to explore the famous Chandni Chowk market in Delhi.
  • One horse-carriage ride to the Taj Mahal from the nearest parking point.
  • One elephant ride at amber fort, Jaipur.
  • Kathakali Dance performance in Cochin.
  • 01 Dinner with a famous Keralan chef and her family (incl. cooking lesson) in Cochin.
  • Entrance fees to the monuments as per the itinerary.
  • Services of an English speaking guide as per the itinerary.
  • Representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers.
  • 24/7 on-tour assistance throughout the journey.
  • All currently applicable taxes.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Any personal expenses such as tips, laundry and drinks.
  • Any extra meals (other than those specifically laid down).
  • Personal Travel Insurance, visa etc.
  • Camera fees (both still and video).
  • International flight tickets.
  • Miscellaneous.