We were looking for a new destination, one that would challenge all our senses! India more than satisfied our lust. The colours, the people, the sounds, the sights and the food were more than we could have ever hoped for! With only 3 weeks leave we were able to taste so much of the real India, experience the rich culture, sights and a variety of accomodation from castles to palaces, overnight trains and camping in the desert. India can be difficult but Deb’s careful planning and expertise made for one of the most relaxed holidays we have ever been on. It was a trip of a lifetime, one that memories are made of, we can’t wait to go back!
Sharon and Richard, Queensland, Australia
Maximum Group Size: 10
Tour Length 24 days / 23 nights
Starts in Chennai (Mahabalipuram) on Thursday 1st March 2018
Finishes in Delhi on Saturday 24th March 2018
Entrance Fees Included for all sites visited as part of the itinerary
Fully Escorted by a representative of Incredible Indian Tours
Cost from USD2990 per person twin share (USD4040 including Optional Single Supplement)
|21 nights Hotels||Arrival airport transfer||23 Breakfasts|
|1 night Luxury Houseboat||Private Mini-Bus||1 Lunch|
|1 night overnight train||Plane||3 Dinners|
This is a brand new journey for 2018 covering the highlights of both South and North India.
If you only get one chance to explore this incredible country, this is the trip to take. In just 3 and a half weeks, you will experience the vast diversity of this nation. From the gentle, tropical south, the temple towns of Tamil Nadu, French Pondicherry and God’s own country – Kerala to the deserts of Rajasthan, full of castles, palaces and forts. No trip to India is complete without visiting the world’s greatest monument to love – the Taj Mahal and we also visit the big metros of Mumbai and Delhi. As icing on the cake, you will also get to experience the amazing Varanasi, holy city on the banks of the Ganges.
A slightly more budget version of our regular tours, we stay in comfortable and clean 2-3 star hotels and guest houses, plus a few luxury stops on the way.
Experience Incredible India on this Small Group Tour, fully escorted within India by a western tour leader with the service of local guides for various activities and sightseeing.
Day 1 Mahabalipuram
Arrival Day. We have a group meeting at 6pm to discuss the tour before heading out for dinner.
Hotel: Chariot Beach Resort or similar
Day 2 Mahabalipuram
We spend the day visiting the world heritage sites of the ancient town of Mahabalipuram and soak up the vibes of this friendly beachside resort.
Hotel: Chariot Beach Resort or similar
Day 3 Pondicherry
We have a short drive to reach Pondicherry where we take a walking tour to experience the wonderful charms of this erstwhile French Colony which is full of wonderful architecture and fabulous boutiques and restaurants.
Hotel: L’escale Guest House or similar
Day 4 Madurai
We take a 5 hour train ride to Madurai - ‘Athens of the East’. Home of the spectacular Sri Meenakshi Temple, Madurai is the quintessential Tamil Nadu temple town. After a day train we spend the late afternoon exploring the town and temple complex.
Hotel: Hotel Moskva or similar
Days 5-6 Periyar
A 4 hour drive today up into the Cardamom hills to Thekkady, our destination for the next 2 nights. We visit a spice plantation in the afternoon followed by an early morning guided walk through the Periyar National Park jungle on day 6 which is the best way to experience the park and hopefully see Elephants, Deer, Monkeys and more up close. A free afternoon to relax or shop or perhaps have an ayurvedic massage.
Hotel: El Paradiso Guest House or similar
Days 7-8 Cochin
Another 4 hour drive this morning to Cochin. We spend time visiting Jew Town and Mattancherry Palace, the St Francis Church and Chinese Fishing nets and soaking up the ambience in this wonderfully laid back town. Kerala is famous for Kathakali, an intricate and stylised form of dance. We watch a short performance as well as witness the intricate makeup application beforehand.
Hotel: No. 18 Hotel or similar
Day 9 Alleppey
A short 2 hour journey brings us to Alleppey where our traditional Kettuvallam (rice barge) houseboat awaits us. We spend the afternoon slowly drifting past idyllic tropical rural scenes in the lush palm fringed backwaters, on the way visiting villages to see local industries such as coir-making, toddy-tapping and boat building.
Hotel: Spiceroutes Houseboats or similar
Days 10-11 Mumbai
Arriving by direct flight from Cochin, we have a full day to explore Mumbai, the exciting and frantic commercial capital of India, where we visit some of the sights including the Gateway of India, Dhobi (laundry) washers and Chowpatty beach.
Hotel: Hotel Residency or similar
Days 12-13 Udaipur
We take a morning flight to Udaipur. The city of lakes, Udaipur lives up to its name with its white washed havelis ‘private mansions’ and palaces lining the banks of the charming lake Pichola. We visit the City Palace complex and take a sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola.
Hotel: Hotel Pratap Bhawan or similar
Day 14 Narlai
A few hours drive north are the Ranakpur Jain Temples and the Mewar fortress of Kumbalgarh. We visit both en route to Narlai, a small Rajasthani town home to the stunning Ravla Narlai, our Heritage Castle hotel stop for the night.
Hotel: Ravla Narlai or similar
Day 15 Jodhpur
Travelling on to Jodhpur we wander the palaces of the magnificent Meherangarh Fort before exploring the markets in the city below. Famous throughout the country for its special Makhani (butter) lassi’s (yoghurt drink), Jodhpur is also where the pants come from.
Hotel: Hotel Haveli or similar
Days 16-17 Jaipur
A 6 hour drive today to Jaipur, the ‘Pink City’ and capital of Rajasthan. Amber Fort is a splendid example of Rajput/Mughal architecture and was the old capital of Rajasthan prior to 1727. We take a wander through the markets and colourful bazaars of Jaipur and visit the wondrous Jantar Mantar.
Hotel: Hotel Arya Niwas or similar
Days 18-19 Agra
Leaving Rajasthan, we head further east today to Agra. We make a dawn visit to the incomparable Taj Mahal and visit the remarkable Agra Fort and the exquisite ’Baby Taj’. On the evening of day 19 we take an overnight train to Varanasi.
Hotel: The Retreat or similar
Days 20-21 Varanasi
We arrive early morning into Varanasi. After transferring to our riverside hotel, we take a walk along the Ghats (steps) on the bank of the Ganges and explore the old city. Whilst in Varanasi, we enjoy an evening ceremonial “aarti” on the riverbanks and take a dawn boat ride on the Ganges. We visit Sarnath, the site of Buddha’s first sermon and still have plenty of free time to explore the Ghats and alleyways of ancient Varanasi.
Hotel: Hotel Temple on Ganges or similar
Days 22-23 Delhi
We have a morning flight into Delhi. Included here is a visit to Old Delhi visiting the old Delhi spice market and Chandni Chowk, the busiest marketplace in Asia. We also pay our respects to the Moghul emperor Humayan, at the spectacular tomb built by his grieving widow in the mid 16th century.
Hotel: The Hans or similar
Day 24 Departure Day
There are no organised activities for today. You may leave at any time.
Read the tour dossier here on Issuu
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