Spirit of North South India

Spirit of North & South India (Summer 2019)

Duration: 15 days Visiting: India

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
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Cultural riches, historic gems, and breathtaking natural wonders beyond your wildest dreams are all captured on this itinerary. From the desert forts of Rajasthan to the ancient cave temples of Mumbai, travel in complete comfort, stay in five-star hotels and enjoy the best cuisine India has to offer. During your travels you will visit the beautiful Taj Mahal at dawn, interact with local farmers and fishermen on the island village of Vaikom and savour the tropical beauty of the Kerala backwaters as you cruise by traditional houseboat.


  1. Day 1

    Delhi, a Rich Melting Pot.

    Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Welcome to India! On arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport, you are greeted with a traditional floral garland and transferred to your modern five-star hotel. Join your Travelling Concierge at 18:30 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    Delhi Sightseeing.

    Start the day with a cycle rickshaw ride through Old Delhi, including the bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk market. Stop for a photo at the impressive Red Fort, then visit the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat. Explore India's largest mosque, the magnificent Jama Masjid, built by Shah Jahan in 1650. Wander the wide boulevards of New Delhi and drive along the ceremonial Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House. Visit Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit the Tomb of Emperor Humayun, one of the best-preserved Mughal monuments in Delhi.

  3. Day 3

    An Agra Adventure.

    On arrival to Agra, witness the hustle and bustle of everyday life as you are guided through the city to Agra Fort, a powerful fortress of red sandstone. Walk through the local market, explore the palatial Royal Pavilions and Gardens, before enjoying free time to relax. Later, one of the locals accompanies you on a walk through his village in the shadow of the Taj Mahal, sharing stories about his life as an agriculturalist.

  4. Day 4

    The Taj Mahal and Ranthambore.

    Admire the lustrous Taj Mahal, bathed in the first rays of dawn. Later journey to the historic city of Bharatpur and stop for lunch, before continuing to the station for your rail journey upon the Express Train, in air-conditioned chair class seats, to Ranthambore. On arrival, transfer to your luxurious hotel, built in the style of a traditional Rajput hunting palace, nestled in the foothills of the Aravalli Range, near the Ranthambore National Park.

  5. Day 5

    In Search of Tigers in Ranthambore.

    Start with an early morning journey into the former private hunting grounds of the maharajahs of Jaipur, in search of the elusive tiger. More commonly seen in the dry, deciduous forest are the wild boars, monkeys, spotted deer and antelopes, but if you are ever going to witness tigers in their natural habitat, this is the place. Return to your resort for breakfast and a day at leisure. At dusk, enjoy another foray into the national park with an expert naturalist. Besides the wildlife, there are also lake palaces, traditional Chhatri, old fortifications and a majestic 1,000-year-old fort within the park.

  6. Day 6

    Jaipur, the Pink City.

    In the morning, embark on another exciting adventure to explore the territory of the majestic tiger - every wildlife enthusiast and photographer's dream. After lunch, travel through the rural countryside where flat, green fields are abundant with brightly coloured flowers. Your destination is the stunning Rajasthan capital of Jaipur. Visit the famous flower market where girls delicately thread garlands to be used for offerings, then explore the spice market, a place of olfactory wonderment. See the rainbow of colours as you pass giant bags of cardamom, red chillies, cinnamon and so many more. Continue to 1135 AD restaurant for a delicious freshly-prepared Highlight Dinner.

  7. Day 7

    Jaipur Sightseeing.

    Enjoy a unique excursion, as you ascend by jeep to the Amber Fort, a superb example of Rajput architecture, with its terraces and ramparts reflected in the Maota Lake below. Inside, the royal halls are decorated with intricate ivory, mirrors and glass, complemented by exquisite wall paintings. Return to Jaipur to see the famous Hawa Mahal, also known as The Palace of Winds, and visit the famous Jantar Mantar, the observatory, constructed between 1727 and 1734 by Maharajah Jai Singh II. In the evening you are privileged to an exclusive visit of the City Palace, now a museum housing a fabulous collection of Rajasthani and Mughal Art. Venture to Baradari Restaurant at the City Palace for your Celebration Dinner, an evening to remember.

  8. Day 8

    Fly to Kochi via Mumbai.

    In the morning, board your flight to Mumbai and onto Kochi. On arrival, transfer to your sophisticated hotel which offers panoramic views of the backwaters and the city.

  9. Day 9

    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.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Kumarakom.

    Witness glorious scenery en route to Kumarakom. On arrival, the rest of the day is free to explore at your leisure.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Kumarakom and Vaikom Village.

    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 Kerala 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. This afternoon, why not treat yourself to an Ayurveda treatment at the hotel?

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Kumarakom and the Alleppey Backwaters.

    Transfer to the local jetty and prepare for a full day of cruising along the the tranquil backwaters of the Alleppey. Journey through waterways that drift past picturesque villages, fields, rice paddies and rows of swaying coconut palms. Relax and take in the tranquil setting as you enjoy lunch onboard, before returning to your hotel.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    Magical Mumbai.

    Journey to Kochi for your flight to the vibrant city of Mumbai. Transfer to your hotel for time at leisure. Perhaps relax and enjoy the comforts of your deluxe hotel.

  14. Day 14

    Mumbai Sightseeing.

    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, your exploration of the city includes 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, raise a glass to your adventures, with your newfound friends during a delightful Celebration Dinner.

  15. Day 15

    Depart Mumbai.

    Your magical journey comes to an end with transfers to Mumbai airport for your onward flights. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.

Highlights

 

VIP EXPERIENCES

  • Agra: 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. Money generated from the tour is used for sanitation in the village and education for women.

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Indian Festivals: Truly experience India by travelling during one of its famed festivals. Holi is the festival of colour, symbolising the end of winter and encourages the people to play, laugh, forgive and forget. Diwali is the festival of light celebrated by lighting oil lamps and fireworks to welcome in the Hindu New Year. Refer to dates and date chart notes to find out which departures travel during these wonderful, cultural experiences.
  • Delhi: Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the bustling streets of Old Delhi.
  • Delhi: See the Red Fort and visit Qutub Minar. Drive along the Rajpath to view the India Gate and Parliament House.
  • Delhi: Visit Raj Ghat and the Tomb of the Emperor Humayun.
  • Delhi: Led by your Travelling Concierge, explore the impressive Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque.
  • Agra: Inside Agra’s red sandstone fortress, witness the fairytale palaces, audience halls and mosques of the Mughal rulers.
  • Agra: Take a walk through the bustling local markets.
  • Agra: Visit the majestic Taj Mahal, bathed in the first rays of dawn, and learn about this romantic national icon.
  • Agra: Enjoy a ride on the express train from Bhraratpur to Ranthambore.
  • Ranthambore: Venture inside this former royal hunting ground and enjoy three game safaris with a naturalist.
  • Jaipur: Ascend by jeep to stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls of Amber Fort. Enjoy the shimmering mirrored walls and ceilings, the airy rooms that housed queens and concubines, and the wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Jaipur: Watch girls threading garlands to be used for offerings, when you visit the flower market. Marvel at the sights and smells as you explore the spice market.
  • Jaipur: During a city tour with your Travelling Concierge see the Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds and visit the Jantar Mantar, the Royal observatory built in 1726.
  • Jaipur: In the evening you are privileged to an exclusive visit to the City Palace Museum housing traditional Rajasthani and Mughal Art.
  • Fly to Kochi: See the countryside as you fly south via Mumbai to reach Kochi.
  • Kochi: Attend a performance of traditional Kathakali dance.
  • Kochi: During your city orientation see the oldest Jewish Synagogue in the Commonwealth and the murals of Mattancherry Palace.
  • Kumarakom: Rise early for a fascinating bird watching experience at the Bird Sanctuary.
  • Vaikom Village: Guided by boat, explore the narrow canals of one of the oldest townships in Kerala and with many spots untouched by modernity.
  • Alleppey: Cruise the backwaters of Alleppey, journeying through waterways and past traditional villages.
  • Fly to Mumbai: Relax and enjoy your flight to Mumbai.
  • Mumbai: Take a cruise to Elephanta Island and enjoy the scenery.
  • Mumbai: Explore the glorious abode of Lord Shiva and visit the complex of ancient cave temples.

EXCEPTIONAL DINING

  • Delhi: Your Travelling Concierge will accompany you to a local restaurant where you can get to know your fellow travelling companions over a tasty Welcome Dinner.
  • Delhi: Enjoy a taste of jalebi, the favourite sweet and learn about its production from the one of the best candy wallahs in Old Delhi.
  • Jaipur: Arrive at the local restaurant, 1135 AD, where your Highlight Dinner awaits.
  • Jaipur: Savour a delicious Celebration Dinner with wine at the fantastic Baradari Restaurant in the City Palace.
  • Kochi: Meet Nimmy, a local cooking instructor, who will demonstrate traditional Kerala home recipes. Then feast on some of the delicious treats you've seen being made during your Highlight Lunch.
  • Vaikom Village: Gain insight into life at the village and try your hand at weaving with wild pineapple leaves or coconut husks, before sharing lunch at a local’s home.
  • Mumbai: Showcasing the best of Indian cuisine, enjoy your mouth-watering Celebration Dinner in the nation’s largest city, the perfect environment to celebrate your time in India.
  • Dining Summary: 14 Breakfasts (B), 6 Lunches (L), 4 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW). Festive Highlight Dinner: 21 Dec departure includes a Christmas Eve Highlight Dinner in Ranthambore.

LUXURY HOTELS

  • Agra: The Trident is the perfect base to experience this city steeped in history. The hotel features tastefully appointed rooms which overlook the central courtyard and gardens and offers a superb range of facilities.
  • Ranthambore: Situated on the foothills of the spectacular Aravalli Range and walking distance from the famous Ranthambore National Park, the Nahargarh Ranthambhore boasts a sprawling Mughal-style garden and three outdoor swimming pools.
  • Kumarakom: 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.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas. See booking conditions for exemptions.
  • Luxury Gold is proud to offer various modes of transportation, from luxury coach to included flight to safari jeep and more, so that you always travel in comfort and experience your journey and destination in the best possible and most appropriate way.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with a Luxury Gold Flourish, which is a local speciality representing the destination.
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates, when flights are included within the itinerary and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold. Complimentary, private train station transfers are included when train travel is included within the itinerary. Transfers to train stations or alternate hotels, in the same start or end city of the itinerary, may be requested but are not guaranteed.

Accommodation

 

Regency Delhi

Delhi (Traditional) - India

Trident, Agra

Agra (Traditional) - India

The Trident is the perfect base to experience this city steeped in history. The hotel features tastefully appointed rooms which overlook the central courtyard and gardens and offers a superb range of facilities.

Nahargarh Ranthambhore.

Ranthambore (Traditional) - India

The luxurious Nahargarh Ranthambhore lies nestled at the foot hills of Aravalli Range neighbouring the Ranthambore National Park. The hotel boasts luxurious rooms, modern facilities and a superb restaurant offering global cuisine.

Rajputana, Jaipur

Jaipur (Traditional) - India

Crowne Plaza Kochi

Kochi (Traditional) - India

Kumarakom Lake Resort.

Kumarakom (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.

Trident, Nariman Point (Ocean View Room)

Mumbai (Traditional) - India

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.4 out of 5 based on
1026 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 04 December, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: A trip not to be missed. Wonderful experience and incredible people.

    Service: Excellent service. Would prefer less standing around while the tour guide purchased the tickets. Pretty hot for us dudes in Western Canada.

  • 03 November, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: With a week in the north and a week in the south I was able to get a sense of the diversity of cultures within India.

    Service: Agents on the ground were very helpful, courteous and punctual and our guide was very accomplished at ensuring that all check-ins. check-outs, transfers and cultural and dining experiences went smoothly.

  • 08 May, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Lots of variety - old and new, rich and poor - I felt like we experienced a lot!

    Service: Great accommodation. Good tour guide - helpful in lots of little ways, added extra where he could. Great Local Guides - very knowledgeable and friendly. The internet on the bus up north was fabulous!! - please add to the southern part of the tour if you can.

  • 21 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: All round good experience and service.

    Service: Took me where I wanted to go in luxury.

  • 07 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Almost all was fine with exception that on some days the tour tried to push too much into one day, leaving too little time to enjoy what we were trying to see. This was particularly true of the day in Mumbai where we were rushed through the Gandhi museum and the city museum. I suggest that maybe adding another day to the tour to allow a reasonable time to visit the sites would be in order.

    Service: I would definitely book another Luxury Gold tour. Representatives were on time, knowledgeable and courteous.

  • 07 April, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Would have liked more time in Jaipur. Would have also liked better information on the free time and amenities at the nice resorts in the South.

    Service: Not sure what you include under service - 1. trying to find information about the trip on your outdated website was frustrating at times. Calling to inquire was not helpful since the nice people answering the phone wanted to be helpful but they had never been on the specific trip. However, the trip itself was excellent since we had an excellent guide (Devender).

  • 25 March, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Well planned iternary...only complaint is the inferior quality of our houseboat excursion...old boat ....terrible bed , poor food. Most every day was exciting and full of surprises.

    Service: Hotels were amazing as was our guide "..events chosen were also good.

  • 24 March, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I liked the tour, guides, people, hotel and food. The only waiste of time was looking for a tigar since the chance was slim.

    Service: The over night boat ride didn't give us the same food as the other 2 boats. The chicken was burned making it impossible to eat. We weren't served fruit like the others. My shower wouldn't work. I spunge bathed from the sink. The bus that picked us up in Mumbai was dirty. We were on the bus ready to go but the bus wouldn't start so we waited for another bus. These events didn't represent luxury gold. Taj, our tour guide was amazing! I would highly recommend touring with him.

  • 17 March, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Excellent sights, hotels, food and Tour Guide

    Service: Sights, hotels, food, and Tour Director were all excellent.

  • 10 March, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Loved the first half of the itinerary in the north, although would have perhaps liked a little more time in the hotels to enjoy the beautiful amenities. The second half of the itinerary was very pretty and we loved the different experiences. We felt that some of the churches and synagogue were not that necessary to see and could easily have had that time to relax. Our travel guide Taj, was exceptional and extremely knowledgeable. He smoothed out the bumps and twists and turns on the way. He did an amazing job and we couldn't praise him enough. We appreciated the driver or co-driver always at the door of the coach to hand out the hand sanitiser when we returned from being off the bus. All in all, a wonderful holiday.

    Service: Everything was well organised and the staff we dealt with were very efficient.

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Red Hot Deal (discounts are not combinable).
Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space.
All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.