India South & North
This all-encompassing tour of India takes in the highlights of north and south - revealing some of the country's wonderful secrets. Revel in the tropical climate, warm waters and lush green landscapes of the south in places like Kochi, Pondicherry and Madurai. Then be dazzled by the kaleidoscopic colours, the Mughal grandeur and the spiritual mysteries of the north in Jaipur and Agra. Travel from Kochi to Delhi and combine the slower delights of Kerala and Tamil Nadu with the rush and jumble of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on this incredible adventure.
- Known as the âQueen of the Arabian Seaâ, Kochi is a fascinating blend of Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and English influences, and is best explored by ferry
- Step back in time among the iridescent hills of the very British âSnooty Ootyâ - home of snooker and the charming Nilgiri toy train
- Spot tigers, elephants, sloths and birds on safari around two of the best places in India to observe wildlife up close - Mudumalai National Park and Periyar Tiger Reserve
- Feel energy radiate from the worldâs largest solid crystal in the experimental city of Auroville
- Experience a unique way of life with a family homestay in the idyllic backwaters of Kerala
- Keep your adrenaline charged with a tiger spotting adventure among the lakes and crags of Ranthambhore National Park
- Ride camels through the desert in Pushkar, gaining insight into the life of rural Rajasthan
- Ballooning over Jaipur while the sun rises is an unforgettable experience
- The hills and shimmering lakes of Udaipur make it Indiaâs capital of romance
- A trip to India wouldnât be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal â a masterpiece of Indian architecture
- Enjoy a variety of accommodation - from a fortified mansion to camping under the stars
|Physical||Cultural||Max Group Size||12||Duration||29 days|
|Themes||Explorer, Delicious Journeys, Explorer, Huts, Gers & Gites, Local Life, Once Upon a Time, Showstoppers|
|Category||Silver||The classic small group tour, with some included activities and staying at reasonably priced accommodation.|
Day 1 - Kochi
If you arrive into Kochi early, there are plenty of things to see and do. Once an important spice-trading centre, Kochi has been under Portuguese, Dutch and British rule at various times throughout history. Visit the Kerala Folklore Museum or Vasco House, one of the oldest Portuguese houses in India, or check out the huge Chinese fishing nets dotted along the coast of Fort Cochin.
Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Day 2 - Kochi
Day 3 - Ooty
Day 4 - Conoor
Day 5 - Mudumalai National Park
Tonightâs family-run accommodation in Masinagudi is dormitory style.
Day 6 - Mysore
Day 7 - Mysore
Tonight take an eleven-hour overnight sleeper train to Chennai. Sleeper trains are clean and air-conditioned, and beds are padded berths with sheets, pillow and blanket provided (although some people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet).
Note: Youâll be visiting a few temples today, so please ensure that youâre dressed appropriately with legs and shoulders covered. Please also note that on the sleeper train you may be sharing with locals of the same or opposite gender.
Day 8 - Mamallapuram
Day 9 - Pondicherry
On arrival in Puducherry, join a group walking tour to see local temples, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the French Quarter. Once a French colony, youâll see evidence of French influence in Puducherry's architecture, its wide town squares and even in the uniforms of the police.
Day 10 - Madurai
Visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum, which displays a detailed account of Indiaâs struggle for independence along with the bloodstained dhoti the famous leader wore when he was assassinated.
Note: Make sure that your shoulders and legs are covered when visiting the temple and please respect the no camera rule.
Day 11 - Periyar
Day 12 - Periyar
Day 13 - Kerala Backwaters Homestay
Note: Accommodation is on a multi-share basis. All the families live within a few hundred metres of each other and contain at least one speaker of basic English.
Day 14 - Kochi
Day 15 - New Delhi
Day 16 - New Delhi
Day 17 - Agra
Day 18 - Madhogarh
Day 19 - Jaipur
Day 20 - Jaipur
Note: Ballooning can be done over the city on the morning of day six between September and June. For additional information, please see the important notes section of the Essential Trip Information.
Day 21 - Ranthambhore National Park
Notes: The safety of our travellers is our highest concern and your tour leader has the authority to cancel or reschedule the jeep safari if they believe the vehicles available do not meet our safety standards. Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On those trips affected, we'll visit the nearby Mansingh Sanctuary instead.