11-day India Culture and Beaches tour will show you the vibrant and brilliant side of India. Start in Mumbai, the political and entertainment capital. Goa, the ultimate Indian beach destination showcasing temples, churches, attractive beaches and a mesmerizing nightlife. The Indian Heritage is reflected in the city of Delhi, yet bubbling with a thriving present. Feel the ultimate charm of Agra as you walk along the pathway to the Taj Mahal. To celebrate the visit of the Prince of Wales to Jaipur, the city decided to recoat its building, hence the name “Pink City” Here you visit the Amber Palace on elephant back; followed by an exploration of its markets, making Jaipur India’s best shoppers paradise. Just one trip may scratch the surface of this incredible country but it will leave you coming back for more.
At a glance
Day 1 Welcome to Mumbai. Transfer to your hotel
Day 2 Morning tour of Mumbai’s most important sites
Day 3 Mumbai-Goa (Flight) and transfer to your hotel
Day 4 Morning tour of Goa’s main sites
Day 5 Goa: the day is yours to relax or explore more of Goa
Day 6 Goa-Delhi (Flight) and transfer to your hotel
Day 7 Combined Old and New Delhi and travel to Agra
Day 8 Taj Mahal and Agra Fort tour
Day 9 Stop at Fatehpur Sikri before arriving in Jaipur
Day 10 Tour of Jaipur with Elephant ride to the Amber Fort
Day 11 Return to Delhi Airport for onward/return flight
India’s Different Seasons
India climate is considered hot; however, the weather varies a lot depending on which part of the country you visit. The South has Monsoons whereas the North may be covered in snow. The best time to travel is between October and March (except for the Far North, where you will encounter winter conditions from November onwards)
Overview of food & drink
India’s food is tantalizing and spicy and comes in so many varieties. Rice is the foundation of each dish. This does not exclude a number for breads from light to roasted. Northern Indian food mostly consists of meaty stews and kebabs. Southern India is known for its spiced vegetarian curries and dosas. Goa and Kerala will serve you the best seafood dishes.
Drink only bottled water during your stay in India. Nimbu Pani (Lemonade) is a traditional and most common Indian drink, made of lemon and ginger juice. Coconut water is preferred by many locals across India. Toddy is a famous alcoholic drink in Madhya Pradesh that is made from various palm plants. Jal Jeera, the magical drink to survive the hot Indian Summers
Usually, add 10 to 15% when eating out. Restaurants in Delhi and Mumbai often charge a ‘service charge’, not to be confused with ‘service tax’ (which is a government-levied tax). When a ‘service charge’ is levied no tip is expected. When you have a driver over multiple days you should tip him between 150 – 300 INR per day. Again, base this on how happy you were with his service and local knowledge
Culture and Language
It’s traditional to greet people using ‘Namaste’; place both hands together and bow slightly. In urban areas, this is often overlooked. Indian culture is based on a hierarchical system, so elders and superior are greeted first. Avoid standing too close to others. Use your right hand to touch, accept or give something. Do not use public displays of affection. Hindi is the official language, but English is widely spoken throughout the country
Getting around in India
Air carriers serve all major cities and large towns. There are several domestic “low Budget” options
Taxis and auto rickshaws are a very popular way of getting around the major cities. These rides are charged by the kilometer. Insist that your vehicle has a meter before going on your journey. Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai have metro systems. Rail is India is widely available. Shatabdi Express connects major and secondary cities. Advanced reservations are essential
Here are some traditional dishes
Alu Gobi: a dish made with potatoes (aloo), cauliflower (gobi) and Indian spices
Butter Chicken: traditionally cooked in a tandoor; but may be grilled, roasted or pan-fried with a special gravy
Rogan Josh: consists of braised lamb chunks cooked with a gravy based on browned onions or shallots, yogurt, garlic, ginger and aromatic spices
Malai Kofta: cooked in a creamy gravy made of tomatoes and cashew nuts
Naan: leavened, oven-baked flatbread normally served with all meals
A Melting Pot of Contrasts
A melting pot of religion, ancient traditions, and rich cuisine, India has plenty to keep you entertained. It also claims one of the world’s New 7 Wonders – the iconic Taj Mahal and miles of coastline.
A spiritual and intoxicating country, India is home to millions of people. Mountains, desert, coastal landscapes spiced with some of the world’s largest and culturally diverse cities. It is somewhat of an enigma, as this nation is constantly changing and embracing the modern world while maintaining its cultural customs, and beliefs of old.
Mark Twain, famous American author and humorist portrayed Indian culture perfectly through his following words, “In religion, India is the only millionaire, the one land that all men desire to see and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.”
Indians and their heritage are completely immersed in cultural diversities, with its vibrant states having cultural diversities in terms of traditions, rituals, beliefs, values, attitude, behavior, food, clothes and lifestyle. Each state differs from the other providing you so much to learn about. It is known for treasuring rich cultural heritage that no other country has.
- You are met on arrival for transfer to your hotel.
- Check-in at hotel 12h00 noon.
- Overnight at your hotel in Mumbai.
- Morning tour of Mumbai; visit the Gateway of India; Mumbai’s principal landmark. This arch of yellow basalt was erected on the waterfront in 1924 to commemorate King George V’s visit to Mumbai in 1911.
- Drive past the Secretariat of Maharashtra Government and along the Marine Drive which is fondly known as the ‘Queen’s Necklace’.
- Visit Mani Bhavan; where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his visits to Mumbai.
- Drive past the Victoria Terminus; the principal railway station of Mumbai; a beautiful building that symbolizes the ethos of the Edwardian architecture; well worth a photo stop.
- At the Church gate station, see the Dabbawalas – a unique tiffin delivery service run by over 5000 semiskilled workers of delivering lunch to corporate executives from their homes.
- Visit the ‘Dhobi Ghat’; an open laundry where Mumbai’s ‘dirties’ are scrubbed; bashed; dyed and hung out to dry – a nice photography stop well worth a visit.
- Visit the ISKON Temple devoted to Lord Krishna in time for the noon Aarti and then continue to the colorful Crawford market and Flora fountain a large bustling square; in the heart of the city.
- The afternoon is at your at Leisure to explore more of the fabulous city of Mumbai.
- Overnight at your hotel in Mumbai.
Mumbai – Goa (B)
- After breakfast, you will depart for Mumbai Airport for your flight to Goa.
- You will be met and assisted; through the airport upon your arrival and then transferred to your hotel and check-in.
- Overnight at your hotel in Goa.
- Meet and assist on arrival and departure by our local representative
- Sightseeing tours and intercity transfers as per itinerary in AC vehicle
- 10 Nights’ Accommodation at selected hotels in a double room sharing
- Meals: as mentioned
- Local English Speaking Guide
- Jaipur offers sightseeing tour with an elephant ride/jeep ride
- International/Domestic flights – Departure & Fuel taxes (Contact us for best airfares)
- Personal expenses, meals and drinks unless otherwise specified
- Travel insurance
- India visa fee
- Entrance fees
- Services not stated in the itinerary
- Rate valid for travel between 01 OCT 18 and 31 MAR 2019
- Seasonal supplements for travel between 18 DEC 18 and 10 JAN 19
Contact us for any other date of travel required