Enjoy this alluring introduction to India as we visit the spectacular Taj Mahal at sunset reflecting the rays of sun explore a hilltop fortress and discover the world heritage monuments of Delhi in the north. In the south of the country, we cherish jungle treks, curry lessons and cruising along the backwaters on a houseboat in tropical Kerala.
DAY01: Arrival and welcome
Arrive at the International Airport in Delhi.
After the traditional welcome, transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
DAY02: Delhi – Agra (210km 04h)
After the breakfast, we will drive towards Agra, around 4 hrs drive (Famous for many splendid Mughal era buildings) and known as the city of Taj Mahal. The city was first mentioned in the Indian epic Mahabharata, where it was called Agrevana (meaning “the border of the forest”). Although Agra’s history is mainly associated with the Mughal Empire, the place was established much before it and has linkage since Mahabharata period. The golden age of the city began with the Mughals. It was known then as Akbarabad and remained the capital of the Mughal Empire. Upon arrival at our hotel, we will check in and relax. Later, we will go out to visit the Agra Fort, a historical fort in the city of Agra in India and it was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty till 1638 when Mughal capital was shifted from Agra to Red Fort in Delhi. In the late afternoon, we will have an opportunity to visit the Taj Mahal“ the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage, from centuries Taj Mahal became the symbol of love and beauty. Overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY03: Agra – Bharatpur (60km 1h30m) - Bharatpur – Jaipur (200 km 3h 20m)After breakfast, we will drive to Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan and known as “Pink City”. En-route, we will visit the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. Over 230 species of birds are known to be resident. It is also a major tourist center with a score of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It was declared the protected sanctuary in 1971 and also a world heritage site. We will be taken on bird watching tour by Cycle Rickshaw and hope to see some of the 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 5 species of snakes and 7 species of turtle. Later, we will head towards the pink city of Jaipur. It is called a pink city owing to its pink colored buildings. Being a vibrant city of Rajasthan, it is widely known for its fort and palaces. Jaipur was founded in 1726 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, the king of Amer who ruled from 1688 to 1758. The city was planned according to Indian Vastu Shastra by Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya in 1727. Upon arrival at Jaipur, we will check in to our hotel and overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY04: Jaipur full day sightseeing
After breakfast, we drive to the ancient capital of Amer, 11 km from Jaipur. Famous for its massive Amber (Amer) Fort, Amer was the ancient capital of Kachwaha dynasty for 6 centuries.
Take an Elephant ride (Optional), an experience to remember for a long time, to reach the Fort situated on the hill. Having appreciated its beauty and captured that in our cameras, we visit City Palace Jaipur, a perfect blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Visit Jantar Mantar, a Solar Observatory built in the 18th century; an astronomical treasure house that measures time according to the movement of the Sun to an error of just 2 seconds with solar devices that give accurate astrological predictions as well till date. Visit Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a five-storied facade of pink sandstone. It was built in the year 1799 to allow royal ladies to watch processions and other the festivities on the road through its 953 ‘Jharokas’ or small windows without being seen by the public.
DAY05: Jaipur - Cochin (Kochi)
Today morning is free at leisure before catching our flight to Kochi (also known as Cochin), a city in southwest India’s coastal Kerala state. It has a port since 1341 when a flood carved out its harbor and made it accessible outsiders such as Arab, Chinese and European merchants. Kochi was also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Most of European have established Cochin as one of important port for their commercial activities. Since many centuries, it has been a hub of the spice trade.
DAY06: Visit Fort Kochi and watch famous Kathakali dance
Visit Fort Kochi, founded by the Portuguese in 1503 and it is considered to be one of the earliest site chosen by European colonial power. An odor of spice emerges from warehouses and food stalls offering different delicacy is a common sight in each nook and corner of the town. In the afternoon, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese as a gift for the Raja of Kochi, the Jewish Synagogue dating from 1568 and St Francis Church.
Explore the town of Kochi, its bazaars and old harbor area.
In the evening there is the chance for an Optional visit to see a display of Kathakali, a form of classical dance unique to Kerala.
DAY07: Cochin (Kochi) – Thekkady (170km 4h 30m)
Drive towards Thekkady passing through rubber and tea plantation and will reach Thekkady in the late afternoon.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY08: Thekkady – Chennmkary (84km 2h)
Periyar National Park, also known as Periyar Tiger Reserve. it is in the mountainous western ghats of Kerala, southern India. It is a protected area near Thekkady in the districts of Idukki, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta in Kerala. The protected area covers an area of 357 sqm and the rest 140 sqm of the core zone is declared as the Periyar National Park in the year 1982. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife such as wild pigs, monkey, flying squirrel and elephant. It also has 260 species of birds including darters, ospreys, and kingfishers. We then take a Guided walk in hope to see any of the wildlife creatures.
After completing our Guided walk in the Park, we head towards Chennmkary village via a visit to a Tea factory at Vendeperiyar.
Later, we reach Chennmkary village, located 12 km towards East from district headquarters Alappuzha and surrounded by Veliyanad Taluk towards East. Chennmkary is also a major spot for movies making, TV soaps and music albums due to its beautiful landscape view. Our accommodation is spread over several village houses and these are styled in typically Kerala tradition. Houses are comparatively smaller and due to space constraint family have to share a room together. All accommodation is close to each other, 5-10 minutes walk between them; we will be provided bedding and towel. Our meals will be prepared by locals and serve in the traditional style and will enjoy the dinner sitting together. And will have a close observance as how they are living there life and know their culture as well. Overnight stay at the homestay.
DAY09: Free time to explore Mancombu village
Complete day at own leisure, we can explore the local area and tropical forests filled with the fragrance of flowers. Mancombu village is in the district of Alappuzha in the state of Kerala. Mancombu is part of the Kuttanad region in Kerala which is one of the two major paddy cultivating regions in the state.
Overnight stay at a Homestay.
DAY10: Chennmkary - Alappuzha (Alleppey) (25km 1h)
After breakfast, we will drive towards Alleppey, a city bordering the Laccadive Sea in the southern Indian state of Kerala. This place is alternately known as a paradise of Houseboat as it offers an extraordinary experience of cruises on the rustic backwaters, crisscross of lagoons and sober canals. Board our Houseboat and start our rejuvenating journey on the Kerala backwaters. These small cruises have a limited number of rooms depending on the size and have a common area to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of backwaters. Houseboats are like taxis for villagers who perform home delivery, harvest and other goods through boats and it becomes an integral part of their daily life. During our houseboat journey, we will stop off at many points including Chambakulam Saint Church and Chambakulam Chundan - the famous snake boats.
Overnight stay at the houseboat.
DAY11: Alappuzha (Alleppey) – Mararikulam (18km 1h)
After disembarking the houseboat, we will take a short journey to Mararikulam, an exotic beach village located a few kilometers from the networks of Canals of Alleppey. It has golden sandy beaches attracting the tourist from all corners of the world. Morning promenade is a quintessential way to explore the hidden treasure and its immeasurable charm.
DAY12: Day at Mararikulam
Today, you will have a day at leisure.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
DAY13: Mararikulam - Cochin (Kochi) (45km 1h 30m)
Today morning, our tour terminates here and we will be transferred to the Cochin airport for our onward flight.