• 19 Days India Must See With Backwaters
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19 Days India Must See With Backwaters

Destination to Visit: Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Cochin, Mumbai

Trip Overview:

An extensive 19-day trip covering most of the North India cultural sights and a week of relaxation in beautiful and serene surroundings of Kerala. While in North India you cover forts and palaces, world heritage sites, Taj Mahal, Tiger Safari, the sleepy town of Orchha, erotic temples of Khajuraho and Varanasi which symbolizes the deep embodiment of spirituality and religion of Indian living, the south covers the beautiful state of Kerala popularly coined as Gods own country. A night on the houseboat on backwaters, visit to the town lush with tea gardens, old Chinese fishing nets, beaches and the laid back atmosphere, all adds up to the perfect culmination of the trip.


Trip Highlights & Experiences

Please explore some of our selected itineraries here for North India Tour, Rajasthan Tours, Kerala Tours

  • Agra
  • Jaipur
  • Jodhpur
  • Khajuraho
  • Kochi
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi
  • Udaipur
  • Varanasi
This trips specializes in crafting holiday tours in the Indian subcontinent. This trip incorporate following themes and activity.
Day 1 Arrival at Delhi

Company representatives will receive you on arrival at the DELHI AIRPORT and transfer to your hotel.

DELHI, the capital of kingdoms and empires is now a sprawling metropolis with a fascinating blend of the past and the present. It is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land. A window to the kaleidoscope - that is India.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

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Day 2 Delhi

After breakfast at the hotel start a guided tour of Old Delhi.

The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. He is also famously known as the father of the nation.

One of the most important buildings of Old Delhi is the RED FORT. The magnificent Red Fort was built during the years 1638 48 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. In 1638 Shahjahan transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi and laid the foundations of Shahjahanabad, the seventh city of Delhi. It is enclosed by a rubble stonewall, with bastions, gates and wickets at intervals. Of its fourteen gates, the important ones are the Mori, Lahori, Ajmeri, Turkman, Kashmiri and Delhi gates, some of which have already been demolished. His famous citadel, the Lal-Qila, or the Red Fort, lying at the town`s northern end on the right bank or the Yamuna and south of Salimgarh, was begun in 1639 and completed after nine years. The Red Fort is different from the Agra fort and is better planned, because at its back lies the experience gained by Shahjahan at Agra, and because it was the work of one hand. It is an irregular octagon, with two long sides on the east and west, and with two main gates, one on the west and the other on the south, called Lahori and Delhi gates respectively. While the walls, gates and a few other structures in the fort are constructed of red sandstone, marble has been largely used in the palaces.

Continue your tour to Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asias largest mosques. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.

Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi peddling through the narrow by lanes of Chandani Chowk.

After lunch proceed for a sightseeing tour of New Delhi, which reflects the legacy of the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colors and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

Imperial Delhi will include the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Qutb-Minar in red and buff standstone is the highest tower in India. It has a diameter of 14.32 m at the base and about 2.75 m on the top with a height of 72.5 m. Qutbu`d-Din Aibak laid the foundation of Minar in AD 1199 for the use of the mu`azzin (crier) to give calls for prayer and raised the first floor, to which were added three more floors by his successor and son-in-law, Shamsu`d-Din Iltutmish (AD 1211-36). All the storeys are surrounded by a projected balcony encircling the minar and supported by stone brackets, which are decorated with honeycomb design, more conspicuously in the first floor.

Next stop would be the majestic Humayuns Tomb. Humayun died in 1556, and his widow Hamida Banu Begum, also known as Haji Begum, commenced the construction of his tomb in 1569, fourteen years after his death. It is the first distinct example of proper Mughal style, which was inspired by Persian architecture. It is well known that Humayun picked up the principles of Persian architecture during his exile, and he himself is likely to have planned the tomb, although there is no record to that effect.

The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the Presidents residence.

If time permits then visit the Lotus temple located in south of Delhi. It is lotus shaped and has rightly been given the name. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquillity. Its founder, Bahaullah (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahai as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.

We could even have time to see the Indira Gandhi Museum or else Lotus Temple can be replaced with the museum visit. The history of the Gandhi family is well documented in this old building which was the last residence of Mrs Gandhi.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 3 Delhi – Varanasi

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Transfer to the airport to take flight for Varanasi. Reach and check into the hotel.

Picturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy River Ganges, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of learning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. This name seems to have been corrupted, in medieval times to Varanasi, which was in use till May 1956, when it was changed to Varanasi, by an order of the Government of India. Varanasi is probably one of the most ancient living cities in India. From time immemorial it has been a great religious center for Hindus and one of their most sacred places of pilgrimage, being visited by millions of people every year. To every visitor Varanasi offers a breathtaking experience. The rays of the dawn shimmering across the Ganges; the high-banks; the temples and shrines along the banks bathed in a golden hue soul stirring hymns and mantras along with the fragrance of incense filling the air and the refreshing dip in the holy waters gently splashing at the Ghats. Varanasi The land where experience and discovery reach the ultimate bliss. Varanasi is also renowned for its rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts and education. Some of the world renowned exponents India has produced in these fields were schooled in Varanasis cultural ethos. Luminaries apart, Varanasi abounds in the art of silk weaving, an exotic work of art, which manifests itself in precious Banarasi silk saris, and silk brocades that are cherished as collectors items across the world today.

Enjoy the evening AARTI at the GHATS. The guide will be giving a commentary to you on the proceedings and meanings of the chants during the AARTI of the river.

Overnight will be at Varanasi.

 

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Day 4 Varanasi

Drive to Daswamedh Ghat early in the morning and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world`s oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, well transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises. Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the waters edge. Return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga".

As shops are opening, the place now becomes a beehive of activity as the faithful are coming and going.

Return for breakfast to the hotel.

Proceed for a guided day tour of Varanasi including the Bharat Mata Temple, which features a big relief map of Mother India engraved in marble. Also visit the 18th century Durga Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple due to the huge population of the monkeys. Proceed to the Tulsi Manas Temple, crafted from white marble featuring the entire Ramayana inscribed on its walls. Also visit the BHU considered as the biggest residential university in Asia. The University Campus houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Visit Sarnath 5 miles out of Varanasi for a day excursion: One of the holiest Buddhist sites in the world, where Buddha preached his first Sermon in 590 BC. Here he revealed the eightfold path that leads to the attainment of inner peace, Enlightenment and Ultimate Nirvana. Witness the ruins of a once flourishing Buddhist monastery and then visit a fine Museum which houses an excellent collection of Buddhist art and sculptures found at the site.

Overnight will be at Varanasi.

Day 5 Varanasi – Khajuraho

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.

Later as per the flight timings proceed to the airport to take flight for Khajuraho. Reach and check into the hotel.

Situated in the northernmost part of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is famous for its enchanting temples and its legendary Khajuraho dance festival. The name Khajuraho is derived from the Khajur tree (date palm) grown abundantly in the region. The Khajuraho Temples are dedicated to a celebration of womanhood, her myriad moods and facets. Famous for its erotic architecture, the carvings include, women writing a letter, applying eye makeup, combing her tresses, dancing & playing with her child. Her innocent, blushed, charming, seductive, ardent beauty, all depicted in exquisitely sculptured details. These temples have been designed and carved to lead the eyes from ground level upward till you seem to be looking at heaven.

Proceed for a tour of the FAMOUS WESTERN & EASTERN TEMPLES of Khajuraho.

The Western group of temples: Primarily built in one style the temples have the ardhamandapa or the entrance, the Mandapa or the assembly hall, the antarala or the vestibule and finally a pradakshina or a circumambulation running around the grabha griha or the inner sanctum. The temples are divided in three major zones, the western, the eastern and the southern temples of which the western temples are the most popular ones.

The arch of Kandariya Mahadev shrine has meticulously carved various themes of life. Celestial beings, lovers serenading musicians all the movements captured in stone, frozen in time, yet retaining a quality of warm, pulsating life. The very stone seems to have taken on the living, breathing quality of the carved figures. Outer walls have three horizontal panels showing deities of the Hindu pantheon, and groups of lovers, a pageant of sensuousness, vibrantly alive. The Chousat Yogini temple dedicated to kali is also present but without the deity in the sanctum. The Matangeshwara temple is the only shrine used for worshipping. The temple is almost devoid of ornamentation. The Varaha Temple stands opposite the Matangeshwara temple and is dedicated to the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu in form of a Boar. The monolithic figure is exquisitely carved with 764 divine figures around it. The Lakshmana Temple, dedicated to the four armed and three headed man-lion-boar statue of Vaikuntha is the best-preserved and the most evolved Vishnu temples. There are sculptures depicting many mythological stories such as the churning of the ocean and Kalia mardan. O n the exterior the entire range of the Khajuraho temples is on display. Ecstatic street singers and the architect of the temples, surrounded by his apprentices are among the noteworthy images on this temple. The Vishwanath temple was supposed to be embedded with jewels, but only a stone lingam is what remains now. The exteriors of this temple however are the most stunningly beautiful. Here one can see nymphs can be seen playing on their flutes, removing thorns from their feet, fondling children and looking into a mirror. Some of the most erotic depictions are seen as well. Another interesting temple is dedicated to the Sun God, the Chitragupta temple. It shows the Sun God driving the chariot drawn by seven horses. The exteriors show, royal processions, elephant-fights, hunting scenes, group dances and the lavish lifestyle of the Chandela kings and their court in its all pomp and glory

The Eastern Group of temples: The Brahma and the Hanuman temples are the most famous temples of this group. The Vamana temple shows all the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

This place also has a few temples belonging to the Jain religion, probably because one of the descendants of the Chandela dynasty may have adopted Jainism. The prominent among these are the Ghantai temple, the Parsvanath and the Shnatinath temple.

In the evening proceed for the SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW.

Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

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Day 6 Khajuraho – Orchha – Jhansi - Agra

Proceed by surface to ORCHHA after breakfast.

ORCHHA A medieval city founded by Bundela rulers with Palaces and temples of the 16th and 17th century which have remarkable withstood the onslaught of time. The River Betwa picturesquely flanks the city.

Proceed for sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex. Lunch will be at Orchha and then proceed to the station (12 km away) for train to Agra. (This is a super fast train with airline type seats and snacks / mineral water is served on board)

Reach Agra and transfer to hotel.

AGRA: Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Today a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices, of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 7 Agra

Proceed for a sunrise tour of TAJ MAHAL.

TAJ MAHAL: Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder, which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist`s visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen.

Return to hotel and enjoy breakfast.

Freshen up and leave for sightseeing of the old Mughal city.

AGRA FORT The red sandstone structure is surrounded by chahar-bagh, (a four-square) formal garden. Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone.  Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction. It lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat.

After Agra Fort we will visit BABY TAJ or the ITMAD-UD-ULLAH The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj. Nur Jahan, the Empress of Jehangir for her father in 1628, built one of the most beautiful Mughal tombs, Itmad-Ud-Daulahs Tomb. The tomb is a resting place of the powerful personality in Mughal Court, Itmad-Ud-Daulah, whose life is very interesting. Formerly a very poor Persian merchant then named Mirza Ghiyas or Ghiyas Beg he became a minister and a trusted treasure in Akbar`s court. After Akbar`s death in 1605, his son Jahangir rose into power. Jahangir made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister and honored him with the title of Itmad-Ud-Daulah, the Pillar of State. Later, Jahangir met a beautiful daughter of Ghiyas Beg named Mehr-Un-Nissa and married her. Mehr-Un-Nissa soon played a significant role in the Jahangir`s court and was called Nur Mahal, the light pf the Place. Owing to her influence, her father and brother were granted with privileges in the court. When Ghiyas beg (Itmad-Un-Daulah) dies in 1622, Nur Mahal decided to build a mausoleum for him. Queen Mumtaz Mahal or the lady of the Taj was also from this prevailing family. The mausoleum is entirely made of white marble and graced with intricate decoration of inlay work, and marble-screen work belonging to the Islamic style. With its tranquil, small garden on the bank of Yamuna River, the tomb stands impressively elegant from a distance.

SIKANDRA This beautifully maintained monument is where EMPEROR AKBAR was buried. It is a very low profile monument but it has one of the most awe inspiring tombs. It is surreal how one of the greatest emperors has been put to rest. The manicured lawns has spotted and other varieties of deer roaming in them. Named after the Afghan ruler Sikander Lodi, Sikandra is the final resting place of Emperor Akbar. The Emperor began the construction of his own garden mausoleum during his lifetime. However, his son Jahangir completed the construction in 1613. An impressive marble - inlaid gateway leads to the spacious four - tiered monument, which is crowned by a white marble cenotaph and screen. What is interesting is that the structure imbibes the best of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain motifs, signifying the new religion started by Akbar the DEEN E ILAHI.

Relax at the hotel evening after a private cup of tea at a terrace overlooking the TAJ MAHAL with your local expert.

Overnight will be at Agra.

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Day 8 Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur

Proceed for Jaipur after breakfast.

Stop at Fatehpur Sikri on your way for sightseeing.

The deserted, red Sandstone City, Emperor Akbar built that as his capital and palace in the late 16th century is an exhilarating experience. It a veritable fairytale city and its "ruins" are in pristine condition ... its not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world.

Continue drive to JAIPUR. Reach and check into the hotel.

Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. Proudly belonging to the KSHATRIYA warrior caste and fiercely independent, the Rajput princes made fearsome foes. However, many of them realized that to maintain their wealth and authority locally, it was expedient to proclaim allegiance to the central power. Thus, many enjoyed a privileged position under the Mughal emperors and also the British Raj that followed.

The bustling Rajasthan capital of Jaipur takes its name from its venerated founder Jai Singh II, who was given the title Sawai Maharaja by the Mughal. Literally translated this would mean one and a quarter, suggesting that the Mughal thought this emperor to be more valuable than just one. Jaipur is known as the Pink City on account of the distinctive colour of its buildings. This did not, however, form part of the original plan, but dates back to 1856, when the city was given a wash of pink in honor of a State Visit from Prince Albert.

This evening, visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include images of the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Francis of Assisi. Your visit will coincide with the AARTI Ceremony, which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity.

Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur.

Day 9 Jaipur

Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed for a morning excursion will be taken to the Amber Fort. Enjoy the fort ascent on elephant back in a royal manner.

AMBER FORT PALACE Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression.

Afternoon sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting...

CITY PALACE A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.

JANTAR MANTAR It is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.

HAWA MAHAL The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.

This evening is free for you to relax shop or explore independently. Shopping is superb in Jaipur, particularly for gold and silver jewelry, pottery, tie-dye materials, silk, saris, wooden handicrafts and carpets.

Overnight will be at Jaipur.

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Day 10 Jaipur – Jodhpur

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Start for Jodhpur by 9AM and pass through the desert landscape of Central Rajasthan. (Lunch would be in CHATTRASAGAR CAMP)

Reach and check into the hotel.

Set at the edge of the Thar Desert, the imperial city of Jodhpur echoes with tales of antiquity in the emptiness of the desert. Once the capital of the Marwar state, it was founded in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha-chief of the RATHORE clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - the epic hero of the RASEPTEMBERANA. The massive 15th century AD Mehrangarh Fort looms on the top of a rocky hill, soaring 125 Mts. Above the plains. A high wall encompasses the city 10 km long with 8 gates and innumerable bastions.

Visit museum in Umaid Bhawan Palace The palace was actually built with the purpose of giving employment to the people of Jodhpur during a long drawn famine. The royal family of Jodhpur still lives in a part of the palace. Another part of the palace houses a well-maintained museum, displaying an amazing array of items belonging to the Maharaja and the royal family - weapons, antiques & fascinating clocks, crockery and trophies

Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

Day 11 Jodhpur

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Enjoy the sightseeing tour of the city.

Mehrangarh Fort: Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts in India. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrate a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. Mehrangarh Fort, spreading over 5 km on a perpendicular hill and looking down 125 meters, presents a majestic view on city horizon. It was built on advice of a saint in 1459 to establish an impregnable headquarters. This Fort is one of the best in India with its exquisitely latticed windows, carved panels, elaborately adorned windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, and Sheesh Mahal. A collection of musical instruments, palanquins, royal costumes, furniture and the cannons on the fort`s ramparts are well preserved.

Jaswant Thada: Close to the fort complex, lies Jaswant Thada. This 19th century royal cenotaph built in white marble in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and three other cenotaphs stand nearby. The cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh holds the rare portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur. A visit inside the cenotaphs, with some villagers of the region, would bring forward the reverence they still hold for their brave kings.

Visit the BISHNOI VILLAGES. Have a rare glimpse into the rich culture and true essence of India. This famous BISHNOI community inhabits this village. They are staunch believers in the sanctity of plant and animal life. Villages are marked by Khejri trees and deer, which thrive well in the absence of any hunting / poaching. The great desert landscape usually fascinates one while driving along the countryside.

Enjoy a dinner at the terrace overlooking MEHRANGARH FORT.

Overnight will be at Jodhpur.

 

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Day 12 Jodhpur – Udaipur

Breakfast would be at the palace.

Start for Udaipur visiting Ranakpur enroute.

En-route, visit the RANAKPUR TEMPLES, dating back to the 15th century. 200 pillars, none of which are alike, support its 29 halls. The Temple abounds with intricate friezes and sculptures. Includes visits to two more Jain temples and the Temple of the Sun God with its erotic sculptures.

Reach and check in at hotel.

The city of Dawn, Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure lake, hemmed in by the lush hills of the ARAVALLIS. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets, painters and writers.

Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the LAKE PICHOLA is an enticing sight.

Udaipur is the jewel of MEWAR -a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 Years.

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 13 Udaipur

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace.

City Palace: Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola, is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559 A.D. The balconies of the palace provide panoramic views of "Jag Niwas" (the world wide famous 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 - a harmonic profusion hard to describe. 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 vivid 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 villas - in memory of a princess of striking beauty who poisoned herself to avert a bloody battle for her hand by rival princess. Now the palace contains many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils and attracts thousands of visitors every day.

Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard.

Saheliyon Ki Bari: Maharana Sangram singh builds this in the mid 18th century. The `garden of the maidens` brings to mind the lifestyle of the ladies of the court. The delightful gardens appear discreet and in impeccable taste. There are four pools with dainty kiosks, and all around are flowerbeds, lawns, pools and fountains protected by a series of walls and shady trees. The Foundation of the Sahelion Ki Bari functions solely by water pressure and no pumps are used. The garden has a lotus pool, a sitting room decorated with paintings and glass mosaics. The whole ambiences are flavored by the nostalgia of those beautiful bells enjoying themselves in a lavish aura.

Bagore Ki Haveli: This is a very congenial old building built right on the waterfront of Lake Pichola at Gangori Ghat. Amir Chand Badwa, the Prime Minister of Mewar built it in the eighteenth century. The palace has over hundred rooms and some very interesting display of costumes and modern art. The glass and mirror in the interiors of the Haveli delicate work and well preserved too. It also preserves a fine example of Mewar Painting on the walls of Queen`s Chamber. The two peacocks made from small pieces of colored glasses are fine examples of glasswork. After the death Badwa the building became the property of Mewar State. It came to be occupied by Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore who built the palace of the three arches also in 1878 and it acquired its name of Bagore-Ki Haveli, the house of Bagore. After independence the structure lay in neglect until 1986 when it housed the West Zone Cultural centre.

Jagdish Temple: The temple is situated in the middle of the city. The temple of Jagannath Rai, now called Jagdish-ji, is a major monument and should be seen carefully. Raised on a tall terrace and completed in 1651, it is a tribute alike to the tenacity of its builders and the resilience of the art tradition it represents. It attaches a double storeyed Mandapa (hall) to a double - storied, saandhara (that having a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bell - roof) while the hollow clustered spire over the sanctum contains two more, non - functional stories. Lanes taking off from many of the sheharpanah (city wall) converge on the Jagdish Temple and walking leisurely through them brings you face with the many layers of the cultural palimpsest that Udaipur is. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh Ist in 1651 A.D.

Proceed for Evening Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir Palace.

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

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Day 14 Udaipur – Mumbai - Cochin

Have breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to airport for flight to Mumbai. Reach and take connecting flight to Cochin.

Arrive Cochin and transfer to Hotel.

The eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land locked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Kochi thus became a haven for seafaring visitors from all over the world and became the first European town-ship in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century.

The Dutch wrested Fort Kochi from the Portuguese in AD 1663 and later in the last phase of the colonial saga, the British took over, the town in 1795. During 1660`s, Fort Kochi peaked in stature as a prime commercial centre and its fame spread far and wide - variously as a rich trade centre, a major military base, a vibrant cultural hub, a great ship building centre, a centre for Christianity and so on. Today, centuries later, the city is home to nearly thirteen communities.

Overnight will be in Cochin.

Day 15 Cochin – Aleppey

Houseboat Cruise in the backwaters

Enjoy breakfast at hotel.

Proceed for a day sight seeing tour of Cochin. A few interesting sites included in the tour are the:

Chinese fishing nets: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea.

JEWISH SYNAGOGUE: The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer that 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portuguese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jew town.

The Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow etc. are also nice for sightseeing. Take a boat ride and visit BOLGATTY PALACE and VYPPIN ISLAND.

Check into a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat. The houseboat with all modern comforts lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. You will have lunch, dinner and breakfast in the Houseboat. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.

Cruise through the backwaters towards Aleppey. Lunch will be served on the boat. The menu is simple and traditional. The cook (chef) of the boat prepares the lunch from fresh materials and even you can have a peek at the recipe.

Reach VEMBANAND Lake in KUMAROKOM.

The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist`s paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds flock the area here. This is an unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lilies.

The boat will drop anchor at the edge of the lake and the boatman would lead you onto a village tour at sunset.

Visit a church and return to the boat. Lounge with a book and a glass of red or enjoy a culinary class on KERALA COOKERY STYLES in the kitchen preparing dinner.

Overnight will be on the boat under a starry sky while the fishermen move around in their small rowboats with small lanterns.

Overnight will be on the houseboat.

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Day 16 Check in at Kumarokom Lake Resort

Breakfast will be served on the boat. It will be mainly a vegetarian fare with eggs to order.

Cruise along the narrow canals and disembark at the KUMAROKOM LAKE resort.

Day will be free to explore and relax. Dinner will be served in the resort.

Overnight will be at the resort.

Day 17 Kumarokom Lake Resort

Enjoy the resort and take a hike to the nearby villages or experience an Ayurvedic Spa.

Breakfast and dinner will be at the resort.

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Day 18 Kumarokom – Cochin - Mumbai

Breakfast will be at the resort.

Transfer to the airport for flight to Mumbai. Reach and check into the hotel.

Its young, its lively and a confluence of varied cultural currents and cross currents have given Mumbai a unique position of the most multi-ethnic city of India. The capital city of Maharashtra State, formerly known as Bombay lies in the southwestern part of India and occupies a peninsular site originally composed of seven islets lying off the Konkan Coast of western India. Oozing with the self-confidence of a maverick moneymaker and "Bindass" (carefree) attitude, Mumbai is also country`s financial and commercial hub and has a principal port on the Arabian Sea.

Enjoy the beach in the evening.

Chowpatty Beach: Chowpatty beach situated at the end of Marine Drive has a moderate expanse of sand and is the only beach in the central part of Mumbai. One can witnesses many Hindu religious ceremonies taking place at Chowpatty like the Annual Thread-Tying Ceremony initiating young boys into the Brahmin caste, `Nariel Purnima` towards the end of the monsoons and `Ganesh Chaturthi` immersions.

Overnight will be at Mumbai.

Day 19 Mumbai – Departure

Mumbai Fort: The area north of Colaba is known as Mumbai Fort, since the old British fort was once located here. There are a lot of impressive buildings from Mumbai`s golden period here. St. John`s church, dedicated to the soldiers, who laid down their lives in the Sindh campaign of 1838, and the first Afghan war of 1843, is also worth a visit.

Marine Drive in Mumbai: Marine Drive located in the central Mumbai, built in the 1920s and 30s on land reclaimed from the sea, is Mumbai`s most famous thoroughfare. It is also referred to as the Queen`s Necklace because of the dramatic line of street lamps lit up at night. Recently it has come to known as Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road with Nariman Point on one end to Babulnath, at the foot of Walkeshwar on the other.

Gateway of India: Mumbai`s principal landmark, the Gateway of India is a huge archway on the water`s edge at Apollo Bunder. It is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. This famous monument was built to commemorate the visit of the first ever British Monarch, King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.

Flora Fountain/ Hutama Chowk: This fountain situated in the heart of the city was erected in 1869 in honor of a British Governor of Bombay. Sir Brtle Frere. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and known as the `Picadilly Circus `of Mumbai, which is decorated at its four corners with mythological figures, the Fountain is a structure in dull stone with a figure the Roman Goddess of flowers, at the top.

Victoria Terminus/Western Railway Station: At the site of the Koli`s original temple to Mumba Devi now stands Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus - one of Mumbai`s most prominent buildings and architecturally one of the finest stations in the world. It is built in a style that combines Gothic and Indian influences. It was completed in 1885. Designed by F.W. Stevens the building commenced in 1878. This Italian gothic Building has a frontage of over 15, 00 feet. The administrative offices form three sides of a rectangle enclosing an ornamental garden, the entrance gate guarded by a massive stone Lion and Tiger. The most prominent feature of this building is the high 160 feet dome crowning the centre. On top of the giant dome is a figure of a women with a torch held aloft to symbolize progress.

Mumbai High court: An attractive building in early English Gothic style, situated next to the Oval Ground is well worth a visit for its impressive architecture. Statues representing Justice and Mercy surmount the Central structure.

Rajabai Clock tower: Rajabai Clock tower, situated at the gardens of the Bombay University building rises above the portion of the library section. Consisting of five elaborately decorated storeys the tower is 280ft.in height. The top of the cupola is ornamented with sixteen statues depicting various Indian castes.
 
Hanging Gardens in Mumbai: Also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, the Hanging Gardens were built in 1880 and renovated in 1921. These gardens are popularly known as Hanging Gardens, because of their location on the slope of a hill. The terrace garden looks south from Malabar Hill towards Colaba, and affords a panoramic view of the city or a breathtaking sunset. It is built over three reservoirs, which store 30 million gallons of water pumped here for cleaning before being supplied to the town.

As per your flight timings you will be transferred to the airport to take flight back home with sweet memories of the tour.

TOUR ENDS

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IVAT  specializes in crafting highly customized  holiday tours in the Indian subcontinent. The India tour packages provided here are itinerary ideas.   You can take directly any of these itinerary or ask us to design tailor made trip for you. Our travel  expert will work out itineraries made specific to your requirements and desires. Price of the tour depends on lots of factors including Number of People, Experience Type, Hotels, Room Type,  Activities Wanted, Routings and date of travel.  So we have not placed price directly. Please ask us with different options .

Hello Victor,
We have successfully returned from India and are back in Texas.  I have finally downloaded my photos and I`m am thoroughly enjoying the editing process as I relive my wonderful experiences in India.  If our children had been with us, we would have stayed a month more.  My favorite thing in all of India-- more esteemed than the food, the architecture, or the religious and cultural learning--was the people.  India is its people--warm, gracious, friendly and open.
 
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how pleased we were with everything that pertained to our trip.  The guides in each town were very knowledgeable and unique in different ways.  Some were spiritual, some political, some very worldly--regardless,  it was refreshing to go to another town and have a different perspective from each guide.
 
We cannot say enough good things about our driver, Mr. Kulmant Singh.  As you are aware, it takes a lot of bravado and luck to get from point A to point B in India.  We are thankful we did so without incident and that we got to experience India "as close to a local experience" as possible.  I think the only way to have traveled more like an Indian would have been to put all four of us on one motorbike!
 
I cannot wait to return to India.  I would return to Varanasi to be part of the mass of humanity that lives and breathes with a city that encircles all of life.  I would return to Jodhpur and Udaipur to spend more time in the streets, the markets, and with the people of India.  I liked the smallness and openness of these cities.  (I have to admit, we gave our guides some work trying to keep up with our random wanderings down side streets and off the tourist path!)  I would return to Jaipur if only to stay at the Rambagh Palace again.  It was my favorite hotel as was the Imperial.  My husband`s favorites were the Oberoi`s in Udaipur and Agra.  The Orchard hotel was quite a surprise and we would return if only to sit and visit with the host, a most gracious man.
 
Once again, thank you for your help in preparing our trip.  I look forward to working with you again when we decide to travel to the south!
 
Best wishes,
Stephanie Routh
Stephanie Routh

Question : Health advice for UK citizens

Vaccinations are not required when you travel in India; however anti malaria medication is strongly recommended. If you have visited or transited a yellow fever area ten days prior to your scheduled trip to India a yellow fever inoculation certificate will be mandatory. Like all tropical countries, there are precautions that need to be followed while travelling. Indian medical professionals have reputably high standards. Should you need to consult a doctor; most hotels have doctors on call. We would be happy to assist you in visiting the specialist, although appointments are likely to be limited to a certain time of the day. Should you be using prescription medicines, please carry adequate supply - what you use may not be locally available and substitutes may not be suitable. In the unlikely event of hospitalisation, primary and secondary metros offer very high standards of health care. As a primary precaution, always drink bottled water. Ensure your liquid intake is consistent throughout the day. We always recommend that you consult your personal physician prior to any travel. We advise you to consult your doctor or the British Airways Travel Clinics, allowing at least 4 weeks before the date of travel for all medical advice. Some areas including Bhutan and Nepal may be at high altitudes so please check with our staff before confirming your itinerary. You can also check health advice for UK citizens at below link: Http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-(east)/india.aspx