India tour combing evergreen Kerala and magical Northern Region. Showcasing its best-known cities such as Kochin, Periyar, Kumarakom, Agra, Delhi, and Jaipur.
During this tour, you will explore wildlife reserves, spice plantations and the backwaters of laid-back Kerala in the South. Continue northwards to the Royal heritage cities all forming part of the ‘Golden Triangle’.
At a glance
|Day 1||Welcome to India. Transfer Cochin Airport to hotel|
|Day 2||Morning tour of Cochin|
|Day 3||Depart for Periyar followed by a sanctuary tour|
|Day 4||Continue to Kumarakom & enjoy the backwaters|
|Day 5||Return to Cochin for flight to Delhi|
|Day 6||Morning tour of Delhi and travel to Agra|
|Day 7||Visit the world famous Taj Mahal and Agra Fort|
|Day 8||See Fatehpur Sikri before arriving in Jaipur|
|Day 9||Tour of Jaipur with Elephant ride to the Amber Fort|
|Day 10||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
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
Periyar’s Nature Beauties
Go on a scenic drive to Periyar, the wildlife and spice plantation hub of Kerala. The afternoon spice plantation tour will open the mystery and history of Indian spices. Stop at a local market and shop for fragrant spices.
Discover the history and heritage of Delhi with a visit to the Qutab Minar, a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture. Continue to the old part of the city and walk through the busy streets of the Chandni Chowk, Delhi’s largest bazaar. Visit the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Drive past the splendid Red Fort, the India Gate, President’s and Parliament Houses and other Government Secretariat Buildings of Lutyen’s Delhi.
Agra’s Romantic sites
See the spectacular Taj Mahal. This inimitable poem in white marble was built over a period of 22 years by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. Afterwards visit the splendid Agra Fort, built in red sandstone.
Jaipur the Pink City
Full day guided tour of the ‘Pink City’. Start at the Amber Fort, a marvelous example of Rajput architecture, ascending the hill by an elephant. Continue to the City Palace, the Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory and the Hawa Mahal or ‘Palace of Winds’.
- You will be met and assisted; through the airport upon your arrival and then transferred to your hotel.
- Check-in at your hotel by 12h00 noon.
- Overnight at your hotel in Cochin.
- After breakfast you will have a morning sightseeing tour of Cochin; a city till today influenced by medieval Portugal; Holland and England.
- You visit St. Francis Church; built-in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars where Vasco da Gama was buried for 14 years before his remains were transferred to Lisvon. His tombstone still stands.
- Nearby is the Mattancherry Palace or Dutch Palace. The central hall on the first floor was the coronation hall of the Rajahs of Cochin.
- Other rooms depict scenes from the Ramayana and Puranic legends connected with Hindu gods.
- You will see the amazing Chinese fishing nets.These cantilevered fishing nets line the entrance to the harbor mouth. They were introduced by traders from the courts of Kublai Khan.
- You also see the Jew City with the Jewish Synagogue; constructed in 1568; with hand-painted; willow-pattern floor tiles brought from Canton in the mid-18th century by a Rabbi; who had trading interest in that city.
- Overnight at your hotel in Cochin.
Cochin – Periyar (B)
- After breakfast, drive to Periyar National Park.
- This unique wildlife sanctuary is about 780 sq. km centered around an artificial lake fed by the Periyar River.
- Different nature trails traversing diverse habitats form the trekking routes; generally 4 to 5 km. in length.
- This is an interactive program offering an excellent opportunity to watch birds; butterflies and other wildlife.
- After the tour; check in to your hotel in Periyar.
- Overnight at your hotel in Periyar.
- Meet and assist on arrival and departure by our local representative
- Sightseeing tours and intercity transfers as per itinerary in AC vehicle
- 9 Nights’ Accommodation (3*- 4*- 5*) in a double room sharing
- Meals: as mentioned
- Local English Speaking Guide
- Houseboat includes 3 Meals
- 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 APR and 30 SEP 2018
- Seasonal supplements may be applicable