Splendours of India

tours / Adventure

Splendours of India information and booking

from
$2560
  • Duration
    10 days
    Days
  • Group size
    2-16
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Adventure touring
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

Summary
  • 10 day trip
  • 6 nights heritage hotel
  • 2 nights hotel
  • 1 night house boat
Equipment Required
There is no specialised equipment required for this trip however a suggested gear list is supplied in the pre-departure information provided on booking.

Highlights

  • Sightseeing in Delhi
  • Spectacular Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
  • Pink City of Jaipur
  • Fatehpur Sikri
  • Backwaters cruise
  • Historic Cochin

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Join us on this comprehensive itinerary to absorb the depth, history, diversity and vibrant colours of India from north to south. Discover Rajasthan, undoubtedly one of India's most beautiful regions with its magnificent palaces and impressive forts evoking vivid images of medieval India. From the chaotic delights of Delhi with its amazing contrast of old and new, take time to enjoy the shimmering changes of light over the white marble masterpiece of the Taj Mahal. In Jaipur marvel at the spectacular facade of the Palace of Winds and ascend the ramparts to the awe-inspiring Amber Fort. After Jaipur we journey south to Cochin where the languid pace of the beautiful Keralan backwaters and its lush tropical scenery is interrupted only by close-up glimpses of traditional village-life. Combine the delights of colonial Fort Cochin with an overnight cruise on a traditional Kettuvallam houseboat as you meander through the spectacular Kerala Backwaters.

What's included

  • 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 1 dinners
  • Airport transfers (day 1 and 10 only)
  • Private car and driver
  • Comfortable hotel accommodation and heritage hotels on a twin share basis
  • Internal flights from jaipur to cochin via mumbai
  • Backwaters cruise
  • Sightseeing with local guides including entrance fees

Itinerary

Day 1 Join Delhi
Upon arrival at Delhi airport you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel (check in 1400 hours). There are no activities planned for the rest of the day so you are free to explore this bustling capital city. India’s capital is an exciting, busy, and often chaotic city but certainly one of the most interesting. Delhi comprises of conspicuously contrasting Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of Muslim India between the 12th and 19th centuries and one can find mosques, monuments and forts related to this Muslim history. New Delhi is the imperial city created as India’s capital by the British, intricately planned and comprises of imposing buildings displaying various modern styles of architecture. For those arriving early, explore some of the many attractions on your own - explore the Janatar Mantar, wander the local markets, catch the metro anywhere, visit the Crafts Museum, Indira Gandhi Museum or Birla House (the site of Gandhi’s assassination) or relax in the magical Lodi Gardens. Overnight: Justa the Residence.
Day 2 Sightseeing in Delhi
Upon arrival at Delhi airport you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel (check in 1400 hours). There are no activities planned for the rest of the day so you are free to explore this bustling capital city. India’s capital is an exciting, busy, and often chaotic city but certainly one of the most interesting. Delhi comprises of conspicuously contrasting Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of Muslim India between the 12th and 19th centuries and one can find mosques, monuments and forts related to this Muslim history. New Delhi is the imperial city created as India’s capital by the British, intricately planned and comprises of imposing buildings displaying various modern styles of architecture. For those arriving early, explore some of the many attractions on your own - explore the Janatar Mantar, wander the local markets, catch the metro anywhere, visit the Crafts Museum, Indira Gandhi Museum or Birla House (the site of Gandhi’s assassination) or relax in the magical Lodi Gardens. Overnight: Justa the Residence.
Day 3 Agra, visit Taj Mahal
In the morning drive to Agra (205 km – 3 ½ hours approximately via Yamuna Express Highway). Arrive in Agra and check into the Grand Imperial hotel (or similar). The 100 year old The Grand Imperial is constructed of biscuit bricks commonly referred to as Lahori bricks, which were also used in the construction of the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. Post World War II, the Imperial Hotel, as it was then known, played host to distinguished guests such as The Crown Prince of England and Japan and Prince Aga Khan and others. Later in the evening we visit Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal (closed to visitors on Fridays). Built by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal the beauty of the Taj Mahal is unmatched. On the death of his beloved wife, in wild extravagance, Shah Jahan built her this memorial. 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this wealth of white marble and precious stone. Agra is a great place to try barbecue meats (kebabs) mixed with Indian spices. Petha, pieces of white pumpkin dipped in sugar syrup, and Gajak, a crumbly sweet made with sesame and jaggery, are delicious local sweets and sold everywhere - try them.
Day 4 Jaipur via Fatephur
After breakfast we depart for Jaipur by road and en-route we visit the ghost city Fatehpur Sikri. Built in red sandstone by Emperor Akbar the Great in 1569 and deserted 14 years later because its water supply failed, its glorious courtyards and palaces conjure up dreams of the mysterious past. There’s the imperial Jami Masjid, the tomb of Shaik Salim Chisti who predicted the birth of Akbar’s son Jehangir, the Panch Mahal, a strange building which resembles a Buddhist Temple, a cloistered courtyard which was the Hall of Public Audience and the Pachchisi paved with black and white where the Emperor played chess using slave girls as figurines. En route lunch is at Laxmi Vilas Hotel, Bharatpur. Arrive in Jaipur and check in at the Alsisar Haveli for a two night stay. Tucked away in the heart of the pink city, more than five centuries ago, the grandson of Maharaja Udaikaran of Amer, Rao Shekhaji, founded the sub-clan popularly known as ‘Shekhawat’. This haveli is owned by this branch of the Kachawa clan of Rajputs. The descendants of the family have restructured and refurbished their haveli into this wonderful heritage hotel.
Day 5 Morning excursion to Amber Fort, afternoon sightseeing in Jaipur
After breakfast at the hotel, we head out on a morning excursion to the Amber Fort (excluding Elephant ride), the honey coloured fortress-palace in the Aravalli Hills just north of the town centre. The sombre exterior belies the richness of the royal apartments, which open to striking views of the gorge. The Hall of Victory presents a galaxy of decorative art - panels of alabaster with fine inlay work of the tenderness hues and the intriguing Chamber of Mirrors. We have an afternoon city tour of Jaipur including a visit to the City Palace, now a museum that contains fine Rajput and Moghul paintings, rare manuscripts and an armory, old carpets, and even amazingly embroidered clothes of the Maharajas and the Maharanis, and Observatory. Overnight: Alsisar Haveli, Jaipur.
Day 6 Fly to Cochin
Transfer to Jaipur airport for the flight to Cochin via Mumbai. On arrival in Cochin you will be met and transferred to the charming Hotel Arches located within historic Fort Cochin for a two night stay. The rest of the afternoon is spent at your leisure.
Day 7 Sightseeing in Cochin
Half day city tour of Cochin and a traditional lunch in the eco-friendly village of Kumbalanghi. The city of Cochin was founded in 1341 following a flood which created a natural and safe harbour and quickly became the chief port on the Malabar Coast. From the 1400’s it attracted Jewish, Arab and Christian settlers from the Middle East as a result of the Royal Family’s move to the city from Muziris, 50 kms north. The Europeans began settling from 1500’s as the Portuguese, Dutch and English competed to control the port and the lucrative spice trade. The city has three distinctive regions – Ernakulam, the modern region to the East, and the older districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin located on a peninsula in the west. We are staying in the heart of the historic Fort Cochin, India’s Oldest Indo – European town.
Day 8 Backwaters cruise, overnight house boat
After breakfast we head to Alleppey where we join our backwaters cruise boats. Backwaters or Kuttanad is a district in Kerala – an enchanting landscape of dyaks, canals, rivers and deltas fed by 3 major rivers that flow down from the Western Ghat mountain chain. The entire system depends on water and boat as the main means of transportation. The backwaters extend far into the countryside as deep or shallow canals or channels, and are navigated by ketuvallam or boats, ranging in size from one person ketuvallam to large open goods transporters. Like most waterways in India, life encroaches and daily activities such as washing are centered by such waterways. Coconut oil extraction is one of the main industries on the backwater. There will opportunities during the cruise to stop at village tea shops to sample the refreshing green coconut juice, or tea, and visit churches, sacred groves and market places. Overnight on houseboat.
Day 9 Disembark house boat and transfer to Cochin
After enjoying sunrise over the backwaters we continue cruising before disembarking at Boat Jetty. Return transfer to Cochin and overnight Hotel Arches. The remainder of the day is free to relax and explore.
Day 10 In Cochin, trip concludes
Trip concludes with a transfer to the airport for your onward flight.