Grand India

Departure Date

Monday

Duration

30 Days/29 Nights

Views

637

30 DAYS & 29 NIGHTS

DELHI I VARANASI I KHAJURAHO I AGRA I RANTHAMBHORE I JAIPUR I UDAIPUR I AURANGABAD I MUMBAI I COCHIN I ALLEPPEY I MUNNAR I PERIYAR I MADURAI I TRICHY I PONDICHERRY I CHENNAI I KOLKATA

 

As the name suggests – this is truly an “grand” experience offering you the best of the Indian sub-continent with all its diversity. Vibrant Indian cultures, breathtaking scene.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01Arrive/Delhi by International flight

Arrive Delhi, International Airport

Assistance on arrival.

Transfer to your Hotel.

Briefing of the tour by the executive

Delhi – discover that India’s capital is sprinkled with glittering gems: captivating ancient monuments, magnificent museums, a vivacious performing-arts scene and some of the subcontinent’s yummiest places to eat.

Overnight at hotel

Day 02Delhi

Breakfast in the Hotel.

Full day guided tour of Old & New Delhi

Delhi, the capital of India 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 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 style of architecture.

Red Fort

You will be taken to visit the Red Fort (Closed on Monday) (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE - Red Fort was built by the mughal emperor famous for its architectural wonders one of which is Taj Mahal - Shah Jahan. Red Fort is famous for its delicately carved inlaid and Royal chambers)

Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid – the Great Mughal Mosque (It is the largest mosque in India. Located in Old Delhi, the mosque has the capacity to accommodate 25000 devotees. Jama Masjid was completed in 1656 AD and it again the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan is behind this architectural masterpiece. Close to some 5000 craftsmen were involved in the construction of the mosque
Then visit Raj Ghat (The cremation ground of the father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi)

Humayun's Tomb

After the visit of Old Delhi you will move ahead to visit Humayun's Tomb (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE - Humayun's tomb is believed to have been designed in 1565 AD by the widow of Mughal emperor Humayun. Its plan is based on the description of Islamic paradise garden and is known to have inspired the Taj Mahal and many later Mughal tombs. This type of garden is known as a charbagh and is based on a grid)

Qutab Minar

Continue your tour with Qutab Minar (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE - Qutab Minar is 73 meters high which tapers from a 15 m diameter base to just 2.5 m at the top. The walls consist intricately carved quotations from Koran and is one of the most perfect towers of the Persian world),at last enter the Lutyens Delhi and drive through India Gate (The war memorial) and President's Palace.

Overnight at hotel

Day 03Delhi/Varanasi by 9W – 2423 at 1050/1215hs

Breakfast in the hotel

Transfer to Delhi airport in time to connect flight to Varanasi

Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to hotel

Sarnath

It is the place where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon. Excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India at Sarnath have revealed many structures which represent facets of the Buddhist history visit the Archaeological Museum, Chaukhandi Stupa, Ashoka Pillar and Sri Lankan Temple. The Archaeological Museum in Sarnath is one of the most famous museums of its kind in Southeast Asia. The museum is situated very near the historical ruins. It contains a huge collection of sculptures.

Overnight at hotel

Day 04Varanasi/Khajuraho by 9W 2423 at 1235/1325hrs

Arise early morning for boat ride on river Ganges. The sunrise is worth watching. The visit would include the burning ghats among other ghats where people do their early morning chores like bathing, yoga etc. You would also be able to walk through the narrow lanes of Varanasi or Kashi.

Return to the hotel for breakfast

Transfer to Varanasi airport in time to connect flight to Khajurhao

Khajuraho is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region (Chhatarpur District) of Madhya Pradesh and is famous for groups of Hindu and Jain temples. These temples are a UNESCO World Heritage site for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings.

Khajuraho has the Vindhya range of mountains as its beautiful backdrop which makes Khajuraho a more fascinating destination

Overnight at hotel

Day 05Khajuraho

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for sightseeing tour of Eastern & Western Group of Temples

Western Group of Temples

Lakhmana Temple - The oldest and finest of the western group of temples, named after the ruler that built the temple. The A horizontal beam over the entrance of this beautiful Vaishnavite temple shows the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Kandariya Mahadeo Temple - This temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. Devi Jagdamba Temple - Dedicated to the Goddess (devi), this is smaller and much more delicately proportioned temple and is home to some of the finest sculptures of Khajuraho. The garbha griha has a huge image of the Devi of the Universe (Jagdambi), though it appears to have started as a Vishnu temple. It has the usual three bands of sculptures, but the third and most uppermost of these houses some of the most erotic sculptures.

Eastern Group of Temples

Eastern Group of Temples

Parsvanath Temple - Largest among the group, with exquisite carvings in detail. The sculptures on the northern outer wall are the highlights of this temple. The image was installed in 1860.

Ghantai Temple - This Jain temple has a frieze which depicts the 16 dreams of Mahavira's mother, and a jain goddess on a winged Garuda. Other temples in the group are Adinath Temple, Hanuman Temple & Brahma Temple.

Overnight at hotel

Day 06Khajuraho/Jhansi via Orchha by road (180kms/5hrs), Jhansi/Agra by 12001 Shatabdi Express at 1759/2030hrs

Breakfast in the hotel

Transfer to Jhansi train station en route visiting Orchha

Orchha was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela Rajput chieftain, Rudra Pratap, who chose this stretch of land along the Betwa river as an ideal site for his capital. Of the succeeding rulers, the most notable was Raja Bir Singh Ju Deo who built the exquisite Jehangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful chhatris. From here the view of soaring temple spires and cenotaphs is spectacular.

Orchha Fort -

The fort is reached by an arched bridge and the three palaces set in an open courtyard within the fort are the first buildings to explore. The tiered Jahangir Mahal was built in 1606 to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jahangir in 1606. The Raj Mahal, to the right of the courtyard, was built by Madhukar Shah and has bold colorful murals inside. The third palace, is the Rai Praveen Mahal, which is a two storey brick structure set in the gardens of Anand Mahal. 
Of the many temples within the fort, three are especially worth visiting. The Ram Raja Mandir was originally a palace and became a temple more by accident than design. An image of Ram was installed while the temple, The Chaturbhuj was being built for it.  For some reason the image could not be moved from the palace and despite its spires and ornate decoration became a sacred place. Linked to the Ram Raja is the Lakshminarayan temple, the interiors of which have some of the best preserved murals and wall paintings in Orchha.


Continue your drive to Jhansi train station in time to board train to Agra

Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to hotel

Agra is famous as being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the world - The Taj Mahal. The architectural splendor of the Moslems, the fort and the palaces is a vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal empire, of which Agra was the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries. While its significance as a political center ended with the transfer of the capital to Delhi in 1634 by Shah Jahan, its architectural wealth has secured its place on the international map.

Overnight at hotel
Day 07Agra

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for sightseeing tour of Taj Mahal (Closed on Friday) (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE)
Describe as a most extravagant monument ever build for love, this sublime Mughal mausoleum is India’s most ogled icon. The Taj was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. The death of Mumtaz left the emperor so heartbroken that his hair is said to have turned grey virtually overnight. Construction of the Taj began in the same year and was not completed until 1653. Not long after it was finished, Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son Aurangzeb and imprisoned in Agra Fort where, for the rest of his days, he could only gaze out at his creation through a window. Following his death in 1666, Shah Jahan was buried here alongside Mumtaz.

AGRA FORT

than depart for AGRA FORT (sometimes called the Red Fort), was commissioned by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565, and is another of Agra's World Heritage Sites. A stone tablet at the gate of the Fort states that it had been built before 1000 but was later renovated by Akbar. The red sandstone fort was converted into a palace during Shah Jahan’s time, and reworked extensively with marble & Pietra  dura inlay. Notable buildings in the fort include the Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-e'Ām and Dīwān-e-Khās (halls of public and private audience), Jahagir Palace, Khās Mahal, Sheesh Mahal (mirrored palace),

Also visit local market and a marble factory where you can actually see the inlay work being done on marble like it was done for Taj in the past.

Overnight at hotel
Day 08Agra/Rathambhore via Fatehpur Sikri by road (260kms/6-7hrs)

Buffet breakfast at the Hotel.

Depart for Ranthambhore en route visiting Fatehpur Sikri

The Mughal Emperor Akbar built Fatehpūr Sikrī about 35 km from Agra, and moved his capital there. Later abandoned, the site displays a number of buildings of significant historical importance. A World Heritage Site, it is visited by most tourists. The name of the place came about after the Mughal Emperor Barbar defeated Rana Sanga in a battle at a place called Sikrī . Then the Mughal Emperor Akbar wanted to make Fatehpūr Sikrī his head quarters, so he built a majestic fort; due to shortage of water, however, he had to ultimately move his headquarters to Agra Fort.

Continue your drive to Ranthambhore & check in at Hotel.

Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and is the first well planned city of India, located in the desert lands of India, Rajasthan. The city which once had been the capital of the royalty now is the capital city of Rajasthan. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal families. In the present date, Jaipur is the major business centre for the natives of Rajasthan with all requisites of a metropolitan city.

Overnight at hotel

Day 09

Day 10Jaipur

Morning depart for Amber fort (Situated atop the Aravali hills, it is the ancient capital of Jaipur and a magnificent example of Rajput architecture).

We ascend to the fort on Elephant's back and come down in Jeep.

Pronounced ‘Amber’ and meaning ‘High’, this wraithlike fort – palace beautifully illustrates Rajput artistry in the faded shades of the reddish pink. Situated on the rugged hills 1 Km north of town, Amber was once the ancient capital of the Jaipur state.

Hawa Mahal

Later sightseeing of Jaipur city visiting Hawa Mahal- Palace of Winds (This five storied building which looks out over the main street of the old city is one of Jaipur's major landmarks. This is a stunning example of the Rajput artistry with it's pink, semi-octagonal and delicately honey combed and stone windows. Originally Hawa Mahal was built to enable the ladies of the royal families to watch the daily life and processions of the city)

Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar (The Observatory, built by Raja Jai Singh in1728. It is an excellent example of the marvelous precision where in each construction has a specific purpose to measure the position of stars, altitudes and azimuths or calculating eclipses. The most striking instruments the Sun Dial which is 90 feet high)

City Palace Museum

City Palace Museum (City Palace is delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture. A part of the palace is still the house of the former Maharaja of Jaipur). Visit the various galleries displaying the armory, clothes and paintings of the Rajput clan.

The tour of Jaipur is not complete without shopping as Jaipur is known as a shopper’s paradise famous for jewellery, handicraft, carpet, blue pottery and textiles

Overnight at hotel
Day 11Jaipur/Udaipur by road (430kms/7-8hrs)

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for Udaipur and check in at hotel

Udaipur was the capital of the Rajpur kingdom of Mear, ruled by the Sisodia clan. The founder of Udaipur was Rana Udai Singh. The ancient capital of Mewar was Nagda, located on the Banas River northeast of Udaipur. Legend has it that Maharana Udai Singh came upon a hermit while hunting in the foothills of the Aravalli Range. The hermit blessed the king and asked him to build a palace on the spot and it would be well protected. Udai Singh established a residence there. In 1568 the Mughal emperor Akbar captured Chittor, and Udai Singh moved the capital to the site of his residence, which became the city of Udaipur. As the Mughal empire weakened, the Sisodia ranas, and later maharanas, reasserted their independence and recaptured most of Mewar except the fort of Chittor. Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818. After India's Independence in 1947, the Maharaja of Udaipur acceded to the Government of India, and Mewar was integrated into India's Rajasthan state. The city's pride , the 'Lake Palace' was once a prison.

Overnight at hotel

Day 12Udaipur

Breakfast in the hotel.

Depart for Half day guided tour of Udaipur – also known as City of lakes visiting

City Place - standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic views of "Jag Niwas" (the Lake Palace Hotel), Jag Mandir on one side and on the other the city of Udaipur. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate - the Tripolia, built in 1725. The way now leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping parations, terraces, corridors and gardens. There is a Suraj Gokhda, where the maharanas of Mewar presented themselves in the times of trouble to the people to restore confidence. The Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), gets its name from the mosaics in glass decorating its walls. The chini chitrashala is noteworthy while a series of wall paintings of Krishna are on display in Bhim Vilas. There are numerous other Palaces such as Dilkhush mahal, Sheesh mahal, Moti mahal and Krishna vilas - in memory of a princess of striking beauty who poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival princes. Now the palace contains many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils and attracts thousands of visitors every day,

Sahelion ki Bari

Sahelion ki Bari was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry. The gardens set below the embankment of the Fateh Sagar Lake have lotus pools, marble pavilions and elephant-shaped fountains. These fountains are fed by the water of the lake gushing through ducts made for the purpose.

Lake Pichola

Late afternoon, approximately an hour before sunset, enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola and visit the Jag Niwas Palace by motor launch. The palace, built of granite and marble, covers four acres and is built almost in the middle of the lake. Visit the Borra Mahal, Khas Mahal and the courts, gardens and fountains. Also visit Jag Mandir Palace

Overnight at hotel

Day 13Udaipur/Aurangabad by Flight

Breakfast in the Hotel.

Transfer to Udaipur airport in time to connect flight to Aurangabad via Mumbai (change of plane in Mumbai).

Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to Hotel.

Overnight at hotel

Day 14Aurangabad

Breakfast in the Hotel

Depart for Full day excursion to Ajanta & Ellora Caves.

Ajanta Caves (Closed on Tuesday)

AJANTA is world's greatest historical monument recognised by UNESCO near Jalgaon city of Maharashtra, India. There are 30 caves in Ajanta of which 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are Chaitya-grihas and the rest are monasteries. These caves were discovered in AD 1819 and were built up in the earlier 2nd century BC-AD. The paintings are executed on a ground of mud-plaster in the tempera technique.

Ellora Caves (Closed on Mondays)

ELLORA is another world's great historical monument recognised by UNESCO. Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture The 34 "caves" – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills – being Buddhist Hindu and Jain rock cut temples and monasteries were built between the 5th century and 10th century.

Overnight at hotel

Day 15Aurangabad/Mumbai by flight

Breakfast in the Hotel.

Transfer to Aurangabad airport in time to connect flight to Mumbai.

Bombay, is the capital of the Indian State of Maharashtra. The city is the second most-populous in the world; with approximately 14 million inhabitants along with the neighbouring cities of Navi Mumbai and Thane it forms the world’s 4th largest urban agglomeration, with around 19 million people. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour.

Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to Hotel.

Overnight at hotel
Day 16Mumbai

Breakfast in the Hotel.

Depart for sightseeing tour of Mumbai.

Elephanta Cave

Excursion by motor launch to Elephanta Caves - 9 kms in the sea. These 7th century rock cut cave temples dedicated to Lord Shiva are situated on top of a hill on the island.

The Elephanta Caves are caves located on Elephanta Island in the Arabian Sea near Mumbai, contain Shaivistic high reliefs in stone of Hindu Deities important to worshipers of Shiva. The sculptures were created beginning in the late Gupta Empire, or sometime after, and at later dates. Elephanta Island was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 to preserve the artwork. The original name of this epitome of temple art is Agraharpuri, Agrahar. Agrahar is the necklace or most important neck ornament. The Agraharpuri slowly became Gharapuri; still retaining the original meaning as the focal point of Gharapuri Island, which was renamed Elephanta Island by the Portuguese and is located in Mumbai Harbour off the coast of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay).

Afternoon half day sightseeing tour of Mumbai

Gateway of India

Mumbai's most famous monument, this is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. It was built as a triumphal arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, complete with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone. Ironically, when the Raj ended in 1947, this colonial symbol also became a sort of epitaph: the last of the British ships that set sail for England left from the Gateway. Today this symbol of colonialism has got Indianised, drawing droves of local tourists and citizens.

Marine Drive

Drive past Marine Drive is a 3-kilometre-long boulevard in South Mumbai in the city of Mumbai. It is a 'C'-shaped six-lane concrete road along the coast, which is a natural bay. This is a windswept promenade, flanked by the sea and a row of art deco buildings. Looped between the concrete jungle of Nariman Point, Mumbai's Manhattan, and the leafy green slopes of Malabar hill, Marine Drive was once called the queen's Necklace

Crawford Market

Crawford Market is one of the prominent markets of Mumbai. It is located in South Mumbai, to the north of Victoria railway station and opposite the Police headquarters. The market is called so, after the City's Municipal Commissioner Arthur Crawford. Though it is now officially known as the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Market, it is still popular by its former name. The construction of the market building was completed in 1869. One of the main features of the building is the Clock Tower, which is adorned with beautiful Victorian carvings. 

Dhobi Ghat

The Dhobi is a traditional laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. The "laundries" are called "ghats": row upon row of concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone. The clothes are soaked in sudsy water, thrashed on the flogging stones, then tossed into huge vats of boiling starch and hung out to dry. Next they are ironed and piled into neat bundles. The most famous of these Dhobi Ghats is at Saat Rasta near Mahalaxmi Station where almost two hundred dhobis and their families work together in what has always been a hereditary occupation.

Mani Bhavan

Mani Bhavan in Mumbai is a must visit for all those who are curious about knowing Mahatma Gandhi, the torchbearer of Ahimsa or Non-violence. The memorial is dedicated to this legendary freedom fighter of India & the Father of the Nation, who stayed here between 1917 and 1934 during India's freedom struggle.

Hanging Garden

Perched at the top of Malabar Hill, where the elite have built their plush modern palaces is Kamala Nehru Park, the hangout of the bourgeois middle class. It has little to offer by way of entertainment, apart from a "Old Woman's Shoe" relegated to a distant corner, but the view of the city is spectacular and should not be missed. For most Mumbaiites, Kamala Nehru Park is to Mumbai what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris -- a vantage point that casts a proud eye on the entire city.

Overnight at hotel

Day 17Mumbai/Cochin by flight

Breakfast in the hotel

Transfer to Mumbai domestic airport in time to connect flight to Cochin

Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to hotel

Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.

In the evening you will be invited to witness KATHAKALI – the ancient and traditional dance drama of Kerala. The drama shows different scenes from the epics of Maharabharata and Ramayana. To understand the entire process you must reach the place an hour before the show and see the make-up being done on the artists.

Overnight at hotel

Day 18Cochin

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for half day sightseeing tour of Cochin visiting

Jewish Synagogue (Closed on Fridays & Saturdays) – built in 1568 the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth stands, adorned by hundreds of exquisite hand – painted Chinese tiles in blue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town lies the Synagogue of the white Jews near Mattancherry palace. The Synagogue is now a fascinating mixture of shops, warehouses and spice auction rooms. The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament and the Copper Plates recording the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers to the Jewish community are displayed here.

Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays)

The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry was actually built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin Raja in AD 1555. The palace acquired its present name in 1663 when the Dutch carried out some extensions and repairs in it. The main attractions of the palace lie in its wall murals that depict the scenes from the Ramayana.

Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Kochi

The chinese fishing nets are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, outside China! Many fishermen earn their livelihood by fishing using these massive nets. A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted with these nets.

St. Francis Church

St. Francis Church- it is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that, his burial spot inside the church has been clearly marked out.

Afternoon is free to relax

Overnight at hotel
Day 19Cochin/Alleppey by road (60kms/2hrs)

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for Alleppey boat Jetty in time to board Rice houseboat

Afternoon you would be sailing in the canales of the massive lake where you can see people doing their daily ritual

Overnight at hotel

Day 20Alleppey/Munnar by road (163kms/4-5hrs)

Breakfast in the hotel

Drive to Munnar and check in at hotel

Munnar is Kerala’s premium hill station. A hill station transcending excellence – Munnar is surrounded by gently undulating hills swathed in the soothing green of vast tea estates makes it perfect tourist destination in south India. Situated at an altitude of 1600 m above sea level, its bracing climate with the laidback atmosphere and its delightfully refreshing colonial air makes it the most sought-after destinations.

Tea Gardens

Munnar’s top attraction is its scenic tea gardens and is top priority on any travel itinerary in this area. There are around 30 tea estates, all are privately owned (about 27 of them owned by Tata Tea Company), but most estate managers will allow visitors to wander around the estate for free. Tea factories at the estates offer a great opportunity to witness the entire process by which tea changes from being a fresh, hand picked leaf to the fragrant product that makes it to breakfast tables across the world. Some tea factories also offer tea on sale for visitors.

Eravikulam Sanctuary

The Eravikulam National Park was established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr, endangered species of the wild goat and the only one to be found south of the Himalayas. Rich in forest and grasses, this park is relatively new as it was in 1978 that the area was notified as a park. The park lies along the high ranges of the western coast in the Munnar Forest Division of Idukki district in Kerala. It is situated on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the north.

The national park has a large variety of flora and fauna with over 26 species of mammals, 132 species of birds, 101 species of butterflies, 19 species of amphibians and 20 species of orchids already registered in the park books.

Overnight at hotel
Day 21Munnar/Periyar by road (100kms/4-5hrs)

Breakfast in the hotel

Drive to Periyar and check in at hotel

Set high in the ranges of the Western Ghats, in God’s Own Country, Kerala, is the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. Periyar wildlife sanctuary has a picturesque lake at the heart of the sanctuary. Formed with the building of a dam in 1895, this reservoir meanders around the contours of the wooded hills, providing a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. Though it is a Tiger Reserve, tourists come here to view the Indian Elephant in the act of ablution and playfulness by the Periyar lake.

In the afternoon you will be taken into the park. The most thrilling and ideal way to move into the park is by a boat cruiser. The boat cruiser will allow you harmonize with the natural surroundings of the Periyar Sanctuary.

Overnight at hotel
Day 22Periyar/Maduari by road (150kms/4hrs)

Morning visit spice plantation

Breakfast in the hotel

Drive to Madurai and check in at hotel

Evening witness closing ceremony at Meenakshi Temple

Overnight at hotel
Day 23Madurai

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for half day sightseeing tour of Madurai

Madurai is a major city in Tamil Nadu and home to the Meenakshi Temple. It is one of the most ancient heritage sites of India truly reflective of the cultural ethos of India. It is also known as the Temple City of India. You can find temples in almost every street in Madurai. The city is called "Thoongaa Nagaram", which means Sleepless City. You can find coffee/tea shops open at almost any time of day and night.

Meenakshi Temple

The Temple is dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi (a form of Parvati) with a sanctum for her consort, Sundareshwarar (Shiva). The original temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya, but the entire credit for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayaks. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from the 16th to the 18th century and left a majestic imprint of their rule in the Meenakshi - Sundareswarar Temple. The Temple complex is within a high-walled enclosure, at the core of which are the two sanctums for Meenakshi and Sundareshwara, surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls. Especially impressive are the 12 Gopuras. Their soaring towers rise from solid granite bases, and are covered with stucco figures of Deities, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colours.

Thirumala Nayak Palace

Thirumalai Nayak Palace is a 17th century palace built by King Thirumalai Nayak, one of the Madurai Nayak rulers in 1636 AD in the city of Madurai, India. This Palace was built with the help of an Italian Architect and is a classic fusion of Dravidian, Islamic and European styles. The building, which can be seen today, was the main Palace where the king lived. The original Palace Complex was four times bigger than the present structure.

Also visit the bustling market of Madurai outside the Meenakshi Temple.

Afternoon is free to relax

Overnight at hotel

Day 24Madurai/Trichy by road (250kms/5-6hrs)

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for Trichy and check in at hotel

Afternoon tour of Trichy Tiruchirapalli, situated on the banks of the river Cauvery is the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. It was citadel of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas. Trichy is a fine blend of tradition and modernity built around the Rock Fort. Apart from the Fort, there are several Churches, Colleges and Missions dating back to the 1760s. The town and its Fort, now in Trichy were built by the Nayaks of Madurai. This city has given great Tamil scholars whose contributions to the Tamil literature have been very significant. The most famous landmark of this bustling town is the Rockfort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a massive rocky out crop which the wards of the Carnatic were fought in the 18th century. The city is a thriving commercial centre in Tamil Nadu and is famous for artificial diamonds, cigars, handloom cloth, glass bangles and wooden and clay toys.

Overnight at hotel

Day 25Trichy/Pondicherry via Tanjore by road (222kms/5-6hrs)

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for Pondicherry en route visiting Tanjore

Tanjore is the "Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu" and famous for the Brahadeeswarar Temple. The temple which was constructed almost thousand years ago by the King Rajarajan, is an architect's marvel. It is a flourishing centre for bronze sculpture and painting.

Thanjavur was the royal city of the Cholas, Nayaks and the Mahrattas. Thanjavur was at height of its glory during Rajaraja Cholan. The Big Temple and the other famous temples in the district are known all over the World. Thanjavur was the cultural capital of the country in 1790. Thanjavur gained prominence during the period of Chola Kings, who made it as their capital. It is known as the Granary of the South India lying in the deltaic region of the famous river Cauvery.

Overnight at hotel
Day 26Pondicherry/Chennai via Mahaballipuram and Kancheepuram by road (240kms/6hrs)

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for Chennai en route visiting Mahaballipuram and Kancheepuram

Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It has an average elevation of 12 metres (39 feet). Mahabalipuram was a 7th century port city of the South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas around 60 km south from the city of Chennai. It is believed to have been named after the Pallava king Mamalla. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th century, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monuments are mostly rock-cut and monolithic, Some important sculptures are The Shore Temple - a structural temple along the Bay of Bengal with the entrance from the western side away from the sea. Recent excavations have revealed new structures here. The temple was reconstructed stone by stone from the sea after being washed away in a cyclone. Pancha Rathas (Five Chariots) - five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula and Sahadeva) and Draupadi. An interesting aspect of the Rathas is that, despite their sizes they are not assembled — each of these is carved from one single large piece of stone & other temples.

Kancheepuram

Kancheepuram – the city of thousand temples, it is one of India’s most spectacular temple cities and its many Gopurams can be seen from miles away. Between the 6th and 8th century AD, Kancheepuram was the great capital of the Pallava Kings. Visiting Kailasanathar Temple built by the Pallavas, the temple has 54 small shrines around it. Vaikuntaperumal Temple is dedicated to Vishnu. Elegant pillars carved with Lions edge the temple courtyard. Ekambareshwarar Temple dedicated to Shiva, is one of the largest temples in Kanchipuram, its huge Gopuram 57 meters high and besides a thousand – pillared hall which houses the Temple’s numerous art facts. There is an old mango tree with four branches that is supposed to be 2500 years old. The fruits of the four branches are said to be different in taste.

Continue your drive to Chennai

Chennai formerly known as Madras, is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Chennai, popularly regarded as the Gateway to the South, is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. It is the fourth largest metropolis in India, located on a 17 km stretch of the Coromandel Coast. The city grew up around the English settlement of Fort St. George and gradually absorbed the surrounding towns and villages. However, despite the strong British influence, Chennai has retained its traditional Tamil heritage and effectively blended it to create a unique synthesis of cultures.

Overnight at hotel
Day 27Chennai

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for half day sightseeing tour of Chennai visiting

Fort St. George Fort is located on the banks of Bay of Bengal. It was built by the British East India Company in 1640 AD. The fort is believed to be the first establishment of the British in India. It is a military architecture marvel, which was erected as a trading post and later evolved to be the origin of modern Indian Army. Situated in the coastal state of Tamil Nadu, this ancient monument is worth watching on your trip to Chennai. St. George Fort holds great historical importance and is looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India & also visit

The Fort St. George Museum. The Museum began with a small collection of objects of the British Raj donated by the then Madras Presidency Government, the St. Mary's Church authorities, the disbanded army units and others.

Also visit The Hindu Temple and Marina Beach –the Second longest in the world, running 12 km in length.

Afternoon is free to relax

Overnight at hotel
Day 28Chennai/Kolkata by flight

Breakfast in the hotel

Transfer to Chennai domestic airport in time to connect flight to Kolkata

Meet/Assist on arrival and transfer to hotel

Kolkata, a city that means different things to many people. For some, Kolkata is the city of joy, while for others it is dirty, crowded, and noisy. Once the greatest colonial city in the Orient, Kolkata was later reviled as a cauldron of poverty, dirt, and disease. Today, it ranks among the four major metropolis of India along with Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. A mere village in the 17th century, Kolkata is not an ancient city like Delhi. Like Mumbai and Chennai, it originated largely due to the expansionist ambitions of the European powers, especially the British Raj. Little wonder, Kolkata has some of the finest Raj edifices built in a variety of styles

Overnight at hotel
Day 29Kolkata

Breakfast in the hotel

Depart for half day sightseeing tour of Kolkata visiting

The Victoria Memorial is built in white marble from Rajasthan in commemoration of Queen Victoria  who also carried the title of Empress of India. It currently serves as a Museum and a tourist attraction.

The Memorial was designed by Sir William Emerson in an architectural style similar to Belfast City Hall. He was earlier asked to design the building in the Italian Renaissance style but Emerson was against the exclusive use of European styles and used Indo-Saracenic style, incorporating Mughal elements in the structure. 

Also visit the Parshvnath Jain Temple - this ornate Digamber Jain Temple built in the central Indian style by a Jeweller in 1867, is dedicated to the 10th Tirathankara.

Afternoon is free to relax

Overnight at hotel
Day 30Depart/Kolkata by International flight

Transfer to to Kolkata International airport in time to connect your onward to next destination.

COST & INCLUSIONS

PremierPremierLuxuryComfort
SummerUS$ 7900US$ 7482US$ 5032US$ 4529
WinterUS$ 10831US$ 10188US$ 5904US$ 5133
DelhiOberoiTaj Palace HotelThe LalitSurya Hotel
VaranasiRadisson HotelBrij Rama PalaceRamada HotelHindustan International
KhajuhraoThe LalitThe LalitRadisson HotelRamada Hotel
AgraOberoi AmarvilasITC MughalTridentCrystal Sarovar
RanthambhoreOberoi VanyavilasTaj Sawai Madhopur LodgeNaghargarhPugmark
JaipurOberoi RajvilasTaj Rambagh PalaceTridentHoliday Inn
UdaipurOberi UdaivilasTaj Lake PalaceTridentUdaikothi
AurangabadVivanta by TajVivanta by TajWelcom RamaLemon Tree
MumbaiThe oberoiTaj Mahal Palace & TowerTridentFariyas Hotel
CochinVivanta by Taj - MalabarVivanta by Taj - MalabarFragnant NatureFort House
AlleppeyPremium HouseboatPremium HouseboatDeluxe HouseboatDeluxe Houseboat
MunnarWindermereFranget NatureParakatt NatureAbad Copper Castle
PeriyarSpice VillageSpice VillageGreenwoodAbad Copper Castle
MaduraiThe Gateway HotelThe Gateway HotelSangam HotelFortune Pandiyan
TrichySangam HotelSangam HotelSangam HotelSangam Hotel
PondicherryPalasis de MahePalasis de MaheMainson PerumalThe Promenade
ChennaiTaj CoromandelTaj CoromandelITC Grand CholaRaintree Hotel
KolkataOberoi GrandTaj BengalThe LalitPark Plaza


The above rates are valid from

Winter – 1st October 2019 – 20th December 2019 & 11th January 2020 – 15th April 2020

Summer – 16th April 2020– 30th September 2020

 

Based on Minimum 2 persons traveling together.

  Tour Includes

 

 Share twin accommodation with breakfast
   Transfers & sightseeing tours by private air conditioned vehicle
   Services of English speaking local guides
   Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi;
  Boar ride on Ganges in Varanasi
   AC Chair car train ticket for travel Jhansi/Agra
   02 Canter/Jeep Safari in Ranthambhore on sharing basis
   Lunch & Dinner at Ranthambhore
   Elephant ride at Amber Fort in Jaipur
   Boat ride on Lake Pichola in Udaipur
   Kathakali Dance Drama tickets in Cochin
   Boat ride on Lake Periyar
   Present Applicable taxes as on 15th Oct 2017

  Tour Excludes

 

   Entrance tickets to Monuments/National Park
   Domestic Airfare
   Visa fee & Insurance;
   Items of personal nature i.e. laundry, telephone, camera fee, drinks & tips etc

END OF SERVICES

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