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Duration: 20 days Visiting: India
Multihued cities, palaces, temples and forts give way to the lush Kerala Coast on this tour. Drifting through the peaceful tropical backwaters on your deluxe houseboat contrasts with time spent in the megacity of Mumbai. The one constant is the exemplary service, opulent hotels and unrivalled care provided throughout this Luxury Gold itinerary.
• Learn how to express emotions with the raise of an eyebrow at a vibrant performance of traditional Kathakali dance.
• Stay at the Taj Lake Palace, set in a majestic location on Lake Pichola.
• In Kochi, cooking instructor Nimmy Paul unveils her secrets of traditional cooking techniques.
Delhi, a Rich Melting Pot of Old and New
Welcome to India! On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, you will be greeted with a traditional floral garland and transferred to your hotel. Join your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception with a delicious meal in the evening.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a ride by rickshaw through the lanes of Chandni Chowk bazaar in Old Delhi. See the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, visit the Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat and the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Later, drive along the broad Rajpath past the India Gate and Parliament House to visit the Tomb of Humayun.
Agra & the Taj Mahal
On arrival in Agra, visit the lustrous Taj Mahal, a monument of love and flawless architectural creation, built by an emperor in memory of his beloved queen. Afterwards, spend time exploring the famous market - Sadar Bazaar as you make your way through the city to Agra Fort, a powerful fortress of red sandstone. After your tour through the palatial Royal Pavilions and gardens there is free time to relax. Later, walk through a village in the shadow of the Taj Mahal with one of the villagers to discover the way of life as agriculturists next to India's most famous monument. Enjoy tea and pakoras on a rooftop with exceptional views.
Jaipur, the 'Pink City'
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, travel to the historic city of Bharatpur for lunch, before continuing to the ‘Pink City' of Jaipur.
Embark on an early morning walk through this stunning walled city. Meet with local residents to fully experience their culture, traditions and rich heritage in their homes and workshops. Ascend by jeep to the Amber Fort, with its royal halls decorated with intricate ivory, mirrors, glass and exquisite paintings. Back in Jaipur, see the 'Hawa Mahal' (The Palace of Winds) and visit the City Palace Museum and royal observatory.
Bikaner, Camel Country with a Royal Aura
Journey northwest to the fort town of Mandawa for lunch. Afterwards, continue to the fortified desert city of Bikaner, known for its camel festival which is celebrated on a grand scale every January. Learn all about this indispensable ship of the desert at the Camel Research and Breeding Farm before reaching your hotel.
The Sun City, Jaisalmer
(Relaxed Start) Your tour of Bikaner includes the Junagarh Fort, an unassailable fortress comprising of various palaces, pavilions and a museum containing priceless art and antiques. This afternoon continue through the Great Thar Desert to the trade route town of Jaisalmer, crowned by its hilltop fortress.
(Relaxed Start) Embark on a city tour of Jaisalmer, visiting Gadisar Lake and the Fort built in 1156 that is still in use today. Pass by the local market where you can witness desert life at its best. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. No visit to Jaisalmer is complete without a trip into the rippling Kanoi Sand Dunes. Savour a dinner accompanied by the gentle melodies of a local musician.
The 'Blue City' of Jodhpur
(Relaxed Start) Follow the ancient silk routes to the ‘Blue City' of Jodhpur and your beautiful hotel. Later, journey to Rohet and feel the very pulse of rural Rajasthan on your ‘village safari' where you are welcomed into the homes of the local Bishnoi people to share a slice of their life.
Explore Mehrangarh Fort
(Relaxed Start) Visit Mehrangarh Fort set on a cliff thirty metres above the city skyline and the white marble Jaswant Thada. Experience a tuk tuk ride through the ancient winding streets before returning to your hotel, where the rest of the day is free to relax.
Udaipur, Venice of the East
Drive to Ranakpur, the temple town of Rajasthan. Explore the elaborate carvings and classic architecture of the sprawling Jain temples, which are regarded as perhaps the best in the country. At lunch, learn from a local chef in our included cooking demonstration. Then, continue through the undulating countryside to Udaipur, the beautiful ‘City of Lakes'.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, sightseeing includes the City Palace complex, the private residence of the ‘King of Kings'. Wander through the markets and bazaars to visit the Jagdish Temple and Garden of the Maids of the Honour. In the evening, enjoy a boat cruise on the serene waters of Lake Pichola, followed by a special Celebration Dinner with drinks.
In the morning, board your flight to Mumbai and onto Kochi. On arrival, transfer to your sophisticated hotel, offering panoramic views of the backwaters and the city.
Kochi sightseeing, cooking school and Kathakali
Sightseeing of Kochi shows you the oldest Jewish synagogue in the commonwealth. Next, witness the renowned mythological murals of Mattancherry Palace, built in 1557 by the Portuguese. Stop by India’s oldest European-built Church of St. Francis to see the tombstone of Vasco de Gama, interred here before his remains were returned back to Lisbon. Meet Nimmy a local cookery instructor as she demonstrates traditional Kerala home recipes. Then feast on some of the delicious treats during our included lunch. In the evening, you will attend a performance of traditional Kathakali dance.
(Relaxed Start) Witness glorious scenery en route to Kumarakom. On arrival, the rest of the day is free to explore.
Kumarakom and Vaikom Village
(Relaxed Start) For those who want to rise early in the morning, there is an included bird watching tour at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Set within lush acres of woodland, become acquainted with the vast variety of migratory birds, that flock to the Himalayas. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Guided by boat, explore the narrow canals of Vaikom village, one of the oldest townships in Kerela and with many spots untouched by modernity. Gain insight into the life at the village and try your skills at weaving from wild pineapple leaves or coconut husks, before sharing lunch at a local’s home.
Kumarakom and the Alleppey Backwaters
(Relaxed Start) Transfer to the local jetty to board your delux houseboat for a cruise on the backwaters of Alleppey. Journey through waterways that traverse past picturesque villages, fields brimming with ripe paddy and rows of swaying coconut palms. Relax, enjoy the tranquil setting and prepare for a luxurious night on-board.
(Relaxed Start) Journey to Kochi for your flight to the vibrant city of Mumbai. Transfer to your hotel for leisure time, perhaps relax and enjoy the comforts and facilities of your deluxe hotel.
Enjoy the view of the city skyline on your cruise to Elephanta Island, the glorious abode of Lord Shiva. Visit the complex of ancient cave temples listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The massive entrance hall, supported by large pillars, houses the Mahesamurti, an enormous three-faced statue of Shiva. In the afternoon, embark on a sightseeing tour visiting the Gateway of India, commemorating the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Admire the collection of Indian paintings and sculptures at the Prince of Wales Museum, visit Jehangir Art Gallery, Crawford Market and see the meticulous Hanging Gardens on top of Malabar Hill. In the evening, enjoy a Celebration dinner with drinks.
Your magical journey comes to an end with transfers to the International Airport for your onward flights.
New Delhi (Central) - India● ● ● ● ●
Trident, Gurgaon is located in the central business district of Gurgaon, a part of the New Delhi National Capital Region. The Hotel is set amongst 7 acres of landscaped gardens, walkways, courtyards, reflection pools and fountains.
Agra (Central) - India
The regal Jaypee Palace Hotel and Convention Centre, a glorious structural blend of red sandstone and marble is spread over an unbounded 25 acres of elegantly landscaped luxuriant greenery. Sprinkled with enormous water bodies and endless walkways, this magical creation impeccably blends Mughal and contemporary architecture with modern amenities.
Jaipur (Scenic) - India
Le Meridien, Jaipur, five star deluxe hotel, located just 3.5 miles from Amber Fort, Le Méridien Jaipur promises a memorable stay characterized by an unrivalled assortment of services.
Bikaner (Scenic) - India
Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner
Jaisalmer (Historic) - India● ● ● ● ●
Situated close to the Thar Desert, the magnificent Suryagarh is testimony to the pomp and panoply of Rajputana, juxtaposed with every modern convenience.
Jodhpur (Traditional) - India
Kerala - Kochi (Central) - India
At over 100 years old, The Oberoi Cecil is a Grand Heritage Hotel. It is situated at ChauraMaidan, Shimla, 7000 feet up in the Himalayas. The Oberoi Cecil is very much a part of Shimla’s colonial history. The hotel has been restored to its original grandeur with wood floors, period furniture, crackling fires and an inviting ambience. Built around a beautiful atrium, the rooms offer splendid views of the mountains and valleys.
Kumarakon (Resort) - India
Winner of the World Travel Award as India’s Leading Resort for four years, the Kumarakom Lake Resort exudes the charm of Kerala’s true heritage while offering a complete range of New Age amenities for a luxuriously comfortable stay.
Mumbai (Traditional) - India
Clothing, gear, and accessories you need for your next premium or Luxury Gold escorted journey
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