Experience the real India on this comfortable introduction to the cultures of north India and the lush beauty of southern India. Travelling from Delhi in the north to Trivandrum in the south, discover everything that India has to offer. The highlights and hidden jewels are revealed against a backdrop of green on a Kerala tour and in the vibrant towns of Rajasthan. Visit India's flamboyant major cities and the quiet repose of tiny fishing villages, along with tea gardens, tribal homes and colonial enclaves. Discover the culinary delights of each region and stay in colourful hotels, heritage accommodation and even a palace!
- Discover the man-made beauty that lies across the north of India â from Jaipurâs âPalace of the Windsâ and Royal City Palace, Agraâs Red Fort and iconic Taj Mahal, to the palaces of Orchha and the carved steps leading down to the river in Varanasi
- Be immersed in the spirituality of India â the Jama Masjid mosque in Delhi, the ghats of Varanasi, Kama Sutra carved temples and Buddhist pilgrimage sites; evening prayer ceremonies, ancient bathing rituals and candle flower ceremonies on the Ganges
- With its idyllic lifestyle and contemporary feel, Puducherry is a beautiful seaside town to explore
- Learn about the man who dedicated his life to the independence of India at The National Gandhi Museum
- Track footprints in search of wild elephants in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
- The rolling hills and chai gardens of Munnar are a tea loverâs dream
- Ferry-hop between the islands of Fort Kochi to discover palaces, temples and Portuguese architecture at every turn
- See the dazzling Taj Mahal of Agra and the majestic Red Fort
|Physical||Cultural||Max Group Size||16||Duration||26 days|
|Category||Gold||Trips for those who want a tonne of inclusions, better standard accommodation, larger roomier vehicles.|
Day 1 - New Delhi
Day 2 - New Delhi
Day 3 - Jaipur
Day 4 - Jaipur
Day 5 - Agra
Notes: Please note that in the case of an unreasonably hot, or cold, foggy day, the cycle rickshaw tour will be replaced with a battery-powered rickshaw tour.
Day 6 - Orchha
Day 7 - Orchha
Day 8 - Khajuraho
Day 9 - Varanasi
Important Information: Please note that due to ongoing construction works at Khajuraho Airport, many airlines have reduced the number of flights into and out of this airport. As a result we have had to reroute some trips between Khajuraho and Varanasi to an overnight train replacing the flight. Please be aware that while we will continue to do all we can to secure tickets on the limited flights available, this change may need to be made last minute to your itinerary. Your leader will notify you at the Group Meeting of any changes. All activities will continue to be included.
Day 10 - Varanasi
Day 11 - Varanasi/New Delhi
Day 12 - Chennai
Chennai (previously known as Madras) was the site of the first major settlement of the East India Company in 1639, and is now the fourth largest city in India. The town grew up around the Fort St George and along Mount Road and some interesting historic buildings can be seen here. It's true that it is busy, noisy and often extremely hot, but in many ways it is a surprisingly efficient and orderly place by Indian standards. The Government Museum is worth a visit if you're interested in the history of the city, and for motorcycle enthusiasts the Enfield Factory tour is a must - though it only runs on certain days of the week, so check days and times before you make the journey. You might prefer to just wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere, exploring the many temples and bustling local markets.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're encouraged to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Day 13 - Mamallapuram â Puducherry (Pondicherry)
ContinueÂ onto Puducherry in the late afternoon where your evening is then free. Today's drive should take around three hours in total.
Day 14 - Puducherry (Pondicherry)
Day 15 - Thanjavur
Dedicated to Shiva, its one of the largest temples in India and was completed in 1010. Keep an eye out for the sacred bull, carved from a single peice of granite measuring around 5 x 4 metres.
Day 16 - Karaikudi
Day 17 - Madurai
Day 18 - Madurai
Day 19 - Periyar
Day 20 - Periyar
Day 21 - Kochi
Day 22 - Kochi
Day 23 - Kerala Backwaters - Kumarakom
Your guide will take you on a walk around the local village and introduce you to members of the community. This is a great chance to meet and talk with the people who live in the backwaters. Strolling under palm trees and weaving in between the rice fields that cover the island, learn about their lifestyles.