Our clients come from all over the world

Taj and Tigers Private India Tour

Break Available: Oct - March (Core Dec - End March)
9 Night Break

Price Per Person: From
£2,845 (Standard), £3,045 (Deluxe), £4,445 (Luxury)

If you only travel to India once then this Private Tour of India’s Golden Triangle will unravel the magic that India has to offer, with for many the highlight being the stay at the Ranthambore Tiger National Park.

For those looking for a longer break a wealth of options abound:

For the adventurous you can move onto Nepal to see Mt Everest; for those looking for romance then the extension to Udaipur is a wonderful romantic luxury weekend break. How about a relaxing stay in Goa or a evocative visit on the houseboats in Kerala. India really is full of exoticism and promise!

Highlights

  • Private tour of the Taj Mahal in Agra
  • Jeep Jungle Safaris in search of Tigers in Ranthambore
  • Private Tour of Agra Fort
  • The impressive Amber Fort by elephant in Jaipur
  • Private Tour of the deserted red sand stone city of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Private Tour of Delhi including Red fort, Qutub Minar, Humayuns Tomb, Raj Ghat & Jama Masjid
  • Jaipur with its city palace and astronomical observatory
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Day 1
Fly to Delhi. Private Transfer to Hotel

Day 1
Fly to Delhi. Private Transfer to Hotel

Fly to Delhi arriving very late Indian time. You will be met and transferred to your hotel.

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Day 2
Start your Golden Triangle Tour with a private Tour of Old and New Delhi

Day 2
Start your Golden Triangle Tour with a private Tour of Old and New Delhi

Your India Tour starts at 10 am with a private introduction to Old Delhi where you will visit Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.

Drive to the Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques, with the capacity to hold up to 25,000 devotees, and the last architectural extravaganza of the Mughal Emperor built in 1656 AD. It was made across the road from the Red Fort and it’s name translates as “Mosque commanding view of the world”!

Next up will be a cycle rickshaw ride through the lanes of Chadni Chowk, one of the oldest markets in New Delhi packed full of local eateries, shops and a hive of activity. Resting in the rickshaw is a great way to glimpse these colourful shops.

You will visit the Qutub Minar which is the tallest stone tower in India, started in 1199 and is indeed a dramatic soaring sight.

The Humayun’s tomb will be on your private tour and was built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor and is an outstanding Indo-Persian monument, a precursor to the Taj Mahal.

Your tour to New Delhi shows you the legacy of the British and is in contrast to the walled old city of the Mughal Empire, and you will finish with a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the President’s residence.

A la Carte Optional Extras

  • Deli - Street Photography
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A la Carte Optional Extras

Deli - Street Photography

Street photography is where is get the real pulse of the place, and on this tour you would be accompanied by a photographer who is a master at capturing street life. You should expect to get close to your subjects.

This tour lasts 3 hours.

Price per person: From £155

On the Streets in India
Street Photography in Delhi in India
Indian woman in a local market in Jaipur, India

Day 3
Train Journey to Agra. Private tour Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Guided walk through ancient village

Day 3
Train Journey to Agra. Private tour Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Guided walk through ancient village

A early transfer will take you to your 08.10 train to Agra.

On arrival you will be met and taken for a private tour of the Taj Mahal, one of the modern 7 wonders of the world. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and transported to Agra.

You will have plenty of time to be mesmerized and enjoy this outstanding building.(Please note the domes are planned to be cleaned from May-Nov 2018).

In the afternoon you will see the elegant Agra Fort with its impressive quarters, mosque, Hall of Public Audience, Royal Pavilions, as well as the beautiful gardens and ramparts. This was the seat of Mughal rule and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations.

Take a walk through the ancient village of Kachhpura visiting a school and a private household and learning about the traditional lifestyle of the villagers. This heritage trail will bring you insights into the current life throbbing in the shadows on the Taj Mahal.

A youth from the local community will show you around and this helps fund local welfare work such as upgrading schools, building toilets etc.

Later enjoy the sunset view of the Taj Mahal reflected in the river from the Moonlight garden on the opposite bank of the Taj Mahal. The Mehtab Bagh has a four garden layout with beautiful flowering plants, pools and fountains.

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Day 4
Private tour Fatehpur Sikri. Train journey to Ranthambore Tiger sanctuary

Day 4
Private tour Fatehpur Sikri. Train journey to Ranthambore Tiger sanctuary

After breakfast and leisurely check out your private guide will take you to visit Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted red sandstone city, built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his Capital and Palace.

It was abandoned soon after it was built as the local wells dried and remains today in much the same condition that it was over 300 years ago. To give you how catastrophic this was it was a town larger than London when it was originally built. It is an extraordinary place and quite surreal to wander around.

You will be transferred to Bharatpur railway station for a 2 1/4 hr train journey to Rathambore where you will be met and transferred to your hotel to start your Tiger Safaris.

A la Carte Optional Extras

  • Sky-deck Breakfast overlooking Taj Mahal
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A la Carte Optional Extras

Sky-deck Breakfast overlooking Taj Mahal

The Sky deck at the top of the Gateway Hotel offers a rare opportunity to witness the changing colours of the majestic Taj Mahal with every passing hour. You can marvel at the breathtaking view with a sumptuous breakfast. What a great way to start the day. As they say “Here the main course is the Taj Mahal, and everything else is a side dish”. Breakfast is available 7-9am.

Price Per Person: From £50

Sky deck overlooking the Taj Mahal in India
View from the Sky Deck of the Taj Mahal

Day 5 and 6
Jungle safaris in search of the Royal Tiger

Day 5 and 6
Jungle safaris in search of the Royal Tiger

Spend the next two days at Ranthambore, once the scene of royal Maharajas hunting parties and now one of the best places in the world to see majestic tigers in the wild.

Twice daily venture into the parks to track tigers and other game; panthers, marsh crocodiles, hyenas, jackals, sloth bears, wild boar, deer and antelope, as well as numerous species of birds including the crested serpent eagle and the great Indian horned owl.

A la Carte Optional Extras

  • Private Jeep Tiger Safari
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A la Carte Optional Extras

Private Jeep Tiger Safari

Upgrade to your own Jeep for the Tiger Safaris so you can go at your own pace and enjoy the peace of your own safari

Price per Person: From £255

Indian tigers, Rathambore
Indian tigers, Rathambore
Indian tigers, Rathambore

Day 7
Early morning Transfer to Jaipur

Day 7
Early morning Transfer to Jaipur

Your driver will transfer you to Jaipur (@ 4 hrs drive). Here rugged hills with formidable forts, beautiful palaces, mansions and gardens are dotted throughout the city.

Jaipur presides over the surrounding desert and is surrounded by rugged hills each crowned with a formidable fort. There is a timeless quality to Jaipur, and it has a very special feel. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy this stunning city and overnight in Jaipur

A la Carte Optional Extras

  • Private Walking Tour: Evening Bazaar & Traditional Crafts of Jaipur
  • Private Walking Tour of Temples & Havelis of Old Jaipur
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A la Carte Optional Extras

Private Walking Tour: Evening Bazaar & Traditional Crafts of Jaipur

From its creation in 1727 the royal families and nobles of Jaipur patronised the craftsmen and artisans of the city. These traditions continue to this day and as a result Jaipur is considered by many as the craft capital of India. Traditional methods are still used to produce many valuable and highly prized items. Using skills passed down through generations, artisans and master craftsmen can be seen in the areas of Ghat Darwaza and Vishveshwar ji.

On this fascinating evening walk mingle and talk with the locals whilst sampling some of the regions culinary delights; try pakoras, aloo tiki, samosa and sweets from some of the city’s most popular street food vendors. Observe local artisans in their workshops; jewellers and silversmiths, gold and silver foil makers. This is a 2 1/2 hr walking tour.

Price per person: From £35

India, Rajasthan, Jaipur, Indian tailor working on the street
Goldsmith working with a unfinished work
Jaipur crafts walking tour
Block Printing On Fabric - Rajasthan, India
Indian Potters hard at work
Indian woman showing traditional jewelry

Private Walking Tour of Temples & Havelis of Old Jaipur

Join us on this walking tour of Jaipur; a unique way to explore the living traditions of the city. Experience the religious life of local communities by visiting colorful temples, interact with residents over tea and snacks in their home and discover some of the architectural wonders of this fascinating aspect of Jaipur.

This walk has been carefully designed to offer a rewarding and enriching experience for our guests. Uncovering some of the best kept secrets of the walled city of Jaipur we take pride in sharing a warm association with the resident artisans, shop owners, temple priests and local citizens, so that you have a genuinely interactive experience getting to meet the residents and as a result gain an insight into traditional ways of life. This walking tour lasts 2 1/2 hrs.

Price Per Person: From £35

Jaipur walking tour of the temples and havelis
Grain nut cereal and vegetable at street market in Jaipur, India
Street Food seen walking Around Old Jaipur in India
Walking Around Old Jaipur in India and seeing the Temples
Walking Around Old Jaipur
Walking Around Old Jaipur in India

 

Day 8
Visit City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Palace of Winds and Amber Fort

Day 8
Visit City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Palace of Winds and Amber Fort

After breakfast your private driver will take you to the  fabulous Amber Fort where an elephant or jeep will take you up to the top to visit the Fortress.

Stroll through the myriad of courtyards and halls, seeing delightful wall paintings many with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls, and the famous Hall of Mirrors where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors lighting up the room.

Move on to the Palace of the Winds where the cool wind blows through the elaborate intricate facade of pink sandstone windows and latticed screens, through which the queens once viewed the streets of the city.

This afternoon visit the City Palace with its complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards with decorative art and carved doorways, as well as rare manuscripts, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings. End the day at the Astronomical Observatory built in 1726 and which still makes accurate predictions 300 years later! Overnight in Jaipur

A la Carte Optional Extras

  • Hot Air Ballooning over Jaipur
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A la Carte Optional Extras

Hot Air Ballooning over Jaipur

Proceed for Hot Air Ballooning Safari over the beautiful city of Jaipur (subject to weather condition). Arrive and welcome by the team with light refreshments whilst you witness the exhilarating sight of the Balloon being inflated.

After a small briefing session, you will guided to Balloon basket. Glide through the sky as your pilot varies the altitude during the flight to offer you a sneak peak into daily life and hidden treasures of Jaipur city.

The Balloon ride is at sunrise and lasts about an hour. There could be up to 20 people in the Hot Air Balloon, and the route will vairy according to the weather conditions.

Price per person: From £200

Ballooning in Rajasthan in India
Hot Air Balloon flight over Amber Fort in India
Hot Air Balloon flight over Amber Fort in India
Hot Air Balloon flight over Jaipur in India
Hot Air Balloon flight over Jaipur Fort in India
Hot Air Balloon flight over Jaipur Fort in India

Day 9
Private transfer back to Delhi airport

Day 9
Private transfer back to Delhi airport

Late in the afternoon a private driver will take you to lunch (not included) at Samode (@ 1hr), a meticulously restored Palace amidst the hills. Afterwards private transfer onto Delhi (@ 5 hrs) to overnight.

A la Carte Optional Extras

  • Extend to Stay in Romantic Udaipur
  • Extend to add a stay in Mumbai & Goa
  • Extend to Visit Varanasi
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A la Carte Optional Extras

Extend to Stay in Romantic Udaipur

After the hustle and bustle of India a 2 night stay at Udaipur at the Taj Lake Palace in a Luxury room is a haven of peace and tranquillity for relaxation and indulgence.

Day 9

Take a direct flight from Jaipur to Udaipur to overnight in your luxury lake view room.

Day 10

Today you have a private sightseeing tour of Udaipur. The City Palace is an enormous building which stands on a ridge on the shores of Lake Pichola. Take the entrance through the Elephant Gate along the main street of the old city and past the Jagdish Temple. The City Palace has superb paintings, mosaics, intricately carved chhatries, (domed shaped pavilions), to make this visit truly memorable.

The Crystal Gallery houses a unique and intriguing collection of crystal items of fountains, vases, crockery, furniture and bed.

Finally on the tour the Garden of the Maids of Honour, constructed for 48 young ladies in waiting who were sent to the royal house as part of a dowry, has extensive lawns and shady walks which hug the shores of the second lake in Udaipur.

This evening enjoy a private 45 minute sunset romantic boat cruise on Lake Pichola noted for its marble pavilion and imposing dome. You will also likely see people doing their laundry on the shores with the backdrop of the massive City Palace and old city.

City Palace on lake Pichola. Udaipur in India
Garden of the Maidens in Udaipur in India
Jagdish Temple in Udaipur, India
Jagdish Mandir Temple in Udaipur in India
Udaipur City Palace in India
Jagdish Temple in Udaipur, India
Courtyard of the Maidens in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
City Palace in Udaipur in India
City Palace in Udaipur in India

Day 11

Breakfast followed by time at leisure before your private transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Private transfer to your airport hotel to overnight

Day 12

Private Transfer to airport for flight home

Price Per Person: From £1,595 (Assuming no change in international flight costs)

City Palace in Udaipur in India
Maharaja's City Palace, Udaipur, India
Courtyard of the Maidens in Udaipur, India
Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur, India
Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur, India
Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur, India

Extend to add a stay in Mumbai & Goa

Extend your stay to include Goa, the Pearl of the Orient, and Mumbai with its famed Elephanta Cave Temples as well as the Gateway of India and Gandhi memorial.

Goa is famed for its sun-kissed white beaches, serene blue seas and the lush meandering streets

Mumbai in contrast has so many cultural sights with the Gateway of India, the Jain Temples and the evocative Tower of Silence, as well as the dramatic Elephanta Cave Temples and a museum dedicated to the “Father of the Nation” Gandhi.

Day 9

Fly to Mumbai from Jaipur and private transfer to your hotel.

Day 10

At the Gateway of India you will board the motor launch (shared boat with locals) to visit the famous Elephanta Caves with your private guide. The beautifully sculpted rock-cut temples are thought to have been created between 450 and 750 AD when the island was known as Fortress cirt. The Portuguese renamed it Elephanta because of a large stone elephant near the shore. The caves are reached by climbing 100 steps.

In the afternoon your private tour will continue starting at the Gateway of India, which was before the advent of air travel, the only gateway into India. It was built to commemorate the visit of King George and Queen Mary in 1911. First up will be the Hain Temples built of marble and dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara.

Next up is the Tower of Silence, where the Parsis place their dead to eaten by the vultures and the Hanging Gardens built over Bombay reservoir. This is a fascinating place but don’t worry this is seem from a distance so is not unpleasant or upsetting. From here you have a panoramic view of the Marine Drive, often known as the Queen’s Necklace- known as such as the streetlights of the U Shaped road light up. At the Dhobi Ghats you will visit a huge open-air laundry before continuing to the Gandhi Memorial, the houses where he stayed. It is reserved as it was during his visits and the scenes of his life in photographs and models are of special interest.

The Gateway of India in Mumbai
Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, India
Elephanta Island caves near Mumbai in India
Trimurti Sadashiva sculpture in Elephanta Island. Mumbai, India
The Dhobi Ghat in Mumbai, the biggest open air laundry
The Dhobi Ghat in Mumbai, the biggest open air laundry
Mani Bhawan, the memorial to Gandi in Mumbai
At Mani Bhawan, the memorial to Gandi in Mumbai
Mani Bhawan, the memorial to Gandi in Mumbai

Day 11

Breakfast and private transfer to airport to fly to Goa. Upon arrival you will met and transferred to your hotel.

Goa known as the Pearl of the Orient has a wonderful atmosphere which stems from its unique history, rich culture and some of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer.

Goa, India
Goa, India
Goa, India

Day 12 and Day 13

Magnificent temples, churches, old houses are waiting for you to self explore, though most people choose to spend their time enjoying its famed beaches and sea.

Goa, India
Goa, India
Anjuna Market, Goa, India

Day 14

Private Transfer to airport for your flight back to Delhi (Connecting via Mumbai). On arrival private transfer to airport hotel.

Catholic Church in Arambol, Goa - India
Goa, India
Wooden outrigger fishing boats at Baga Beach, Goa in India

Day 15

Private Transfer to airport for flight home

Price Per Person: From £1,245 (Assuming no difference in international flights)

Extend to Visit Varanasi

Varanasi is Hinduism’s holiest city and a sacred place for a pilgrimage. The Ganges runs through a plethora of ghats (terraced steps on the river bank) and thousands of pilgrims gather here chanting and burning pyres. It is the most extraordinary and spiritual sight and nothing can quite prepare you for the wonderful experience of Varanasi !

Day 9

Take a private transfer to the airport for a very early flight from Jaipur to Varanasi.

Take a private evening boat ride on the River Ganges and witness the evening Aarti ceremony. The Ganga Aarti is a spectacular illuminated sight where hundreds throng to participate. In this ceremony offerings of lamps and flowers are made to to the river and you can watch hundreds of miniature lamps float along the river.

The Ganges in Varanasi in India
Candles used in performance of religious Ganga Aarti ritual in Varanasi in India
Varanasi Arti in India

Day 10

Early morning you will take a private boat ride followed by a visit to Kashi-Vishwanath Temple, the most sacred of shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, the patron deity of Varanassi. You will also stop to see Bharat Mata Mandir inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, a unique temple dedicated to mother India.

In the afternoon you will visit Sarnath which is a major Buddhist Centre, and 1 of the 4 sites to visit as a Buddhist follower. Here Buddha, the Awakened One, delivered his first sermon here in the 6th Century, and you will visit dramatic monastery & stupa ruins from pre 12th Century when Muslim invaders sacked the area.

Morning Aarti in Varanasi, India next to the Ganges
Varanassi - On the Ganges in India
Morning ritual on the Ganges river, Varanasi, India
In Varanasi in India
Hindu women praying mantras as part of a ritual ceremony at the Ganges river ghat Varanasi, India
Sadhu man in Varanasi, India
Dhamekh Stupa and the Shri Digambar Jain Temple outside Varanasi in India
Sarnath Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
The town of Sarnath outside Varanasi in India

Day 11

Breakfast and morning at leisure prior to your private transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi to overnight in airport hotel

Day 12 

Private transfer to airport for flight home

Price per person: From £865 (Assuming no difference in international flights)

Day 10
Private Transfer to airport for flight home

Day 10
Private Transfer to airport for flight home

An early transfer will take you to the airport for your flight home after your Taj and Tigers holiday. Alternatively you could extend to go to see beautiful Nepal which is fully open after the earthquake and has much to share with you.

A la Carte Optional Extras

  • Extend to Visit Nepal and see Mt Everest
  • Extend to visit South Kerala
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A la Carte Optional Extras

Extend to Visit Nepal and see Mt Everest

Having come so far it makes sense to extend for a private tour of Kathmandu, as well as enjoy a dramatic mountain flight around Everest.

Dotted by medieval city squares, monasteries and temples Kathmandu has numerous World Heritage Sites, centuries old stupas and monasteries to experience centuries old civilization and architecture. The people are known for their hospitality and warm nature. Traditionally guests are to be treated as a god with uttermost respect and kindness.

Day 10

Fly to Kathmandu and private transfer to the Dwarika hotel. Afternoon at leisure.

Temples in Nepal
Temples in Nepal

Day 11

Private visit of Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur translates as city of devotees, and is the best preserved of the 3 main medieval cities in the valley. Indeed it contains some of the most breath-taking religious architecture in the entire country. The 3 major squares are Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square and Dattatreya Square studded with pagoda and shikhara style temples. Narrow stone paved streets snake through red brick houses leading to hidden temples.

You will find in this buzzy area artisans who continue the traditional works of weaving, pottery, puppet and mask making and wooden crafts, as well as locals gathering to bathe, socialise and collect water. Main attractions that you will see are the Golden Gate, Lion’s Gate, Mini Pashupati Temple, Nyatapola Temple, Bhairav Nath Temple

In the afternoon your private tour will continue with a visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath. Durbar, meaning Palace, is  where the kings were once crowned and ruled from. Here the charm of the old town blends with traditional architecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979. The massive complex has three main squares, home to palaces, temples and courtyards. In this area you will find the former Royal elephant stable, and the Temple of the Living Goddess, Kumari. Kumaari is a young girl chosen through an ancient and mystical selection to become the human incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Taleju, and if you are lucky you may get a glimpse of her peeking out of an elaborately carved wooden window.

Three temples were destroyed in the 2015 earthquake but the Hanuman Dhoka, the main entrance to the old royal palace and the Taleju Bhawani temples, the oldest of all the temples is situated in this area. Restoration is underway in this square.

Temples, Nepal
Patan, Nepal
Durbar Square, Nepal
Temple in Nepal

Continue your private tour to Swayambhunath. This holy shrine is perched on top of a hill and visible from all sides of the valley for many miles. The Stupa is over 2,500 years old and it is surrounded by a variety of shrines and temples. The stupa has Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on. Here you will have the unique chance to see Tibetan pilgrimages and listen to monks chanting prayers in their traditional clothes which for many is the highlight of their trip to Nepal.

During this day you will see restoration after the 2016 earthquake but Nepal is very much open to tourism, with many beautiful and spectacular places to see.

Temples in Nepal

Day 12

Enjoy an early morning hour long scenic flight capturing the breathtaking scenery of the Himalayas where you will view stunning snow capped peaks including the highlight the inspiring Mount Everest. Fly over glaciers, lakes, rivers and gorges but do remember that this flight is only operated when the weather is good and visibility satisfactory.

Return for breakfast and a morning at leisure, until your private transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi to overnight.

Everest
Everest, Nepal

Day 13

Private Transfer to airport for your daytime flight to the UK

 

Price Per Person: From £995 (Assuming no change to your international flight costs)

Extend to visit South Kerala

Day 10

Private transfer to fly to Cochin from Delhi. On arrival private transfer to your hotel.

Cochin is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. The Lake opens out into the Arabian sea here to form one of the finest natural harbours in the world. It is this natural advantage that has made Cochin a fascinating blend of the cultures and influences of explorers and traders. The Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and the British have all left their mark here. The Jewish synagogue, the Dutch Palace, the Chinese fishing nets, and other remnants of European and Asian architecture merge smoothly into the traditional fabric of the seaport city.

Day 11

This morning your private guided tour will take you to see the Dutch Palace built in 1555 AD. Its interiors are decorated with murals from the Ramayana and there are some lively displays of royal costumes and palanquins. Continue to visit Jewish Synagogue built in 1568 AD. The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, the copper plates in which the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers were recorded and the exquisite Chinese hand-painted tiles are well worth seeing.

Continue to see the Chinese Fishing Nets that line the sea-front and used at high tide. Finally visit St. Francis Church –  believed to be the oldest church built by the Europeans in India, built by the Portuguese in 1510 AD. It is here the remains of Vasco da Gamma were initially buried before his remains were taken to Portugal.

Afternoon at Leisure

Dutch Palace at Cochin in India
Jewish Synagogue at Cochin in India
Dutch Palace at Cochin in India

Day 12

This morning you will be driven from Cochin to Munnar (@ 4 hrs) for a quiet and restful stay in amongst nature.

Snuggling in the green and serene Kannan Devan hills you will have panoramic views of low-flying clouds and mist filled valleys. It was opened up out of virgin forests a century ago by pioneering planters, and with its remote churches – gracious, stone-structures with ancient chandeliers and rosewood pews this is a little stop in heaven.

Rests of the day is at leisure to stroll in the Tea Estates.

Tea Plantation in Munnar in India in Kerala
Tea Plantation in Munnar in India in Kerala
Tea Plantation in Munnar in India in Kerala

Day 13

Today you will be driven to Periyar (@ 3-4 hrs drive). Periyar is a small town with a beautiful landscape of chains of hills and spice-scented plantations and is famous for the Periyar Wildlife Reserve. This region is home to bison, sambar, wild boar, langur, about 1000 elephants and 35 to 40 hard-to-spot tigers.

This afternoon you have the choice of a guided Nature walk with a local ranger inside the reserve for @ 2 1/2-3 hrs. Alternatively there is a guided walk in the Spice Gardens in the park for 1/2-2 hrs. (This is a shared experience with a maximum of 15 people)

Periyar Reserve walk in Kerala in India
Periyar Reserve walk in India in Kerala
Periyar Reserve walk in Kerala in India

Day 14

Start the day with a shared boat ride on the lake looking to spot elephants, antelopes, monkeys, bears or bison. Afterwards you will be driven (@ 4 hrs) to Alleppey to the houseboat, and for many the highlight of this extension.

Houseboats are also known as the Rice Boat, and is likely to be the most romantic ride you can ever have with an overnight stay on the boat.  Lake Vembanad is a backwater of rivers, lakes, bays, lagoons and canals extending into the villages.

This backwater journey through the narrow canals crossing exquisite villages of Kerala, with lush green paddy fields, tall coconut grooves makes it a spellbinding journey.

The boat anchors at night at a jetty and lunch and dinner will be served on board.

Houseboat at Kerala in India
Houseboat at Kerala in India
Houseboat at Kerala in India
Houseboat at Kerala in India
Houseboat at Kerala in India
Houseboat at Kerala in India

Day 15

Disembark from house boat and check in at Kumarakom, a veritable paradise called the ‘Venice of the East’. Palm fringed narrow canals wind through the vast expanse of paddy fields, and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are a sight not to be forgotten. Kumarakom is Kerala’s heartland with the typical low slung country boats that carry everything from fish, rice and coconuts to the milkman or priests to wedding parties. This is the perfect relaxing end to your stay in India. Lie in a hammock on this lakeshore, and allow your senses to possess you.

Day 16

Private Transfer (@ 1 1/2 hrs) to Cochin for your flight to Delhi. Private Transfer to the hotel.

Day 17

Private Transfer to the airport for your flight home

Price per person: From £1,295 Standard Accommodation (Assuming no difference in international flights costs)
Price per person: From £1,695 Deluxe Accommodation (Assuming no difference in international flights costs)

 

Accommodation

Where You'll Stay

Luxury: Delhi: The Imperial Hotel

Imperial Hotel, Delhi, India
Dining at the The Imperial Hotel in Delhi
Grand Heritage room at The Imperial Hotel in Delhi
The Imperial Hotel in Delhi

Luxury: Delhi: The Imperial Hotel

The Imperial is thought to be amongst Asia’s finest hotels. Built as a jewel in the crown of the outgoing British Raj the Hotel is known for its contemporary colonial style.

It offers discreet luxury, total privacy and serenity. The hotel displays a priceless collection of the ‘British Art on India.’ has a Fitness Centre, Swimming Pool, as well as three acres of beautiful gardens. It has award winning restaurants, and offers a choice of location for Alfresco Dining, as well as live entertainment.

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Luxury: Agra: Oberoi Amarvilas hotel

Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel, Agra, India
Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel, Agra, India
Oberoi Amarvilas hotel in Agra
Room at Oberoi Amarvilas hotel in Agra

Luxury: Agra: Oberoi Amarvilas hotel

Located only 600 metres from the Taj Mahal enjoy the luxury of your own private view of the Taj Mahal from your own balcony or from the bar terrace. All the rooms offer breathtaking views of the monument.

The hotel is a splendid display of terraced lawns, fountains, reflection pools and pavilions. Richly detailed interiors are perfectly complemented by a choice of international and Indian cuisine, as well as a rejuvenating Spa.

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Luxury: Jaipur: Oberoi Rajvilas Hotel

Oberoi Rajvilas Hotel, Jaipur, India
Oberoi Rajvilas Hotel, Jaipur, India
Oberoi Rajvilas Hotel in Jaipur
Oberoi Rajvilas Hotel in Jaipur

Luxury: Jaipur: Oberoi Rajvilas Hotel

The Oberoi Rajvilas, set in 32 acres of landscaped gardens with pavilions and reflection pools recreates the magnificence and grandeur of Rajasthan.

All rooms have large teak four poster beds and sunken Italian marble baths overlooking private walled gardens. The rooms are elegant combining all that is finest of modern life with traditional Indian craftsmanship.
You have the opportunity to indulge in the Spa with holistic, Ayurvedic & Western relaxation and beauty treatments.

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Luxury: Ranthambore: Oberoi Vanyavilas hotel

Oberoi Vanyavilas Hotel, Rathambore, India
Oberoi Rajvilas Hotel in Rathambore
Oberoi Vanyavilas Hotel, Rathambore, India
Oberoi Rajvilas Hotel in Rathambore

Luxury: Ranthambore: Oberoi Vanyavilas hotel

Nestling in the natural beauty of the wilds this is India's leading luxury jungle hotel on the edge of the Tiger Reserve.

The luxury tents with finely embroidered canopies, luxurious bathrooms and private walled gardens are an indulgent treat. The Chef provides an exquisite cuisine offering Western, Thai and Indian cuisine. At the Spa, set over the lake, you can choose from a menu of treatments, all aimed at promoting a deep sense of relaxation and wellbeing. Perfect after an exciting day's tiger spotting in the Reserve.

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Deluxe: Delhi: The Claridges hotel

Claridges Hotel, Delhi, India
The Claridges hotel in Delhi - Deluxe room
Double room at the Claridges in Delhi
Gardens at The Claridges hotel in Delhi

Deluxe: Delhi: The Claridges hotel

With its classic ambience and contemporary facilities the hotel couples old world charm with gracious Indian hospitality. The architecture, the expansive garden, and personalized service transports one to a haven of tranquillity right in the middle of the bustling city.

The rooms are amongst the most spacious in Delhi and there are 4 restaurants; Mediterranean, Chinese, Indian as well as multi-cuisine. You can rejuvenate in the steam or sauna room, outdoor swimming pool or gym.

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Deluxe: Agra: Mughal Sheraton

Mughal Sheraton Hotel, Agra, India
Double room at the Mughal Sheraton in Agra
The Spa at Mughal Sheraton Hotel in Agra
Taj Bano Restaurant at Mughal Sheraton hotel in Agra

Deluxe: Agra: Mughal Sheraton

Exquisite interiors, impeccable service and extraordinary cuisine come together to create an experience that is both grand and intimate.

The rooms envelop guests in comfort and convenience, as well as provide splendid views of the lush green gardens or the pool. The Royal Spa offers an oasis of pampered tranquillity where holistic therapies are offered. The 25-metre lap pool, yoga gardens, bird trail, butterfly park, and islands of palm trees are all elements that come together to create a spa like no other

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Deluxe: Jaipur: Jai Mahal Palace

Jaimahal Palace, Jaipur, India
Luxury Room with sitout in Jai Mahal Palace in Jaipur
Luxury Room at Jai Mahal Palace in Jaipur
Jaimahal Palace, Jaipur, India

Deluxe: Jaipur: Jai Mahal Palace

Set amidst 18 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, this incomparable Palace dates back to 1745. Colonial style furniture and stylish bathrooms offer contemporary comfort with a regal touch.

From casual to formal fine dining, you can look forward to a selection of dishes from the finest Indian and international cuisines.
The Spa draws upon ancient Indian traditions and tastefully combines Western and Indian therapies to help melt stress and tension and pamper your senses.

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Deluxe: Ranthambore: Khem Villas

Khem Villas Rathambore Hotel, India
Khem Villas Tent at Ranthambore
Khem Villas Luxury Tent in Rathambore

Deluxe: Ranthambore: Khem Villas

The cottages include a spacious and comfortable air conditioned bedroom, a large bathroom, a private plunge pool, a large private courtyard and veranda.

The Luxury tents are erected on a wooden platform on a steel frame with all the modern amenities. The bathrooms are minimalist using simple natural materials like bamboo and wood to give a rustic charm without compromising on comfort and functionality.

Local masseurs can give you a traditional massage, and one hour camel rides can be provided on request to take you to the local villages.

Goverdhan has been working for nearly 20 years with the local people, and runs a state of the art hospital and school. You can experience these projects first-hand on request.

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Standard: Delhi: Maidens

Oberoi Maidens Hotel, Delhi
Gardens at Maidens Hotel in Delhi
Oberoi Maidens Hotel, Delhi
Pool at Maidens Hotel, Delhi

Standard: Delhi: Maidens

Maidens Hotel still retains its colonial elegant charm. Set amidst eight acres of lush gardens, shady trees and tennis courts, it escapes the noise of the main city, but has easy access to the quaint bazaars.

The spacious high ceilinged rooms are newly refurbished. The restaurant has over 100 Raj era photographs on the walls, and serves a selection of European and Indian cuisine. The charming garden terrace offers a relaxed atmosphere and serves Indian and Continental cuisine.

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Standard: Agra: Gateway Taj View Hotel

Taj Gateway Hotel, Agra, India
Taj Gateway Hotel, Agra, India
Double room at Gateway Taj View hotel in Agra
Superior Room at Gateway Taj View Hotel

Standard: Agra: Gateway Taj View Hotel

Gracious interiors and personalized service feature in the rooms which are decorated in a blend of contemporary and Mughal design, and offer excellent views of the Taj Mahal which is only 3 kms away.

There is a stylish coffee shop offering Indian and international favourites, as well as a traditional Indian and Chinese restaurant with live music and dance performance.
You can workout in the gym, have a dip in the swimming pool, indulge in a game of tennis or pamper yourself at the sauna or with a massage.

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Standard: Jaipur: Samode Haveli

Swimming pool at Samode Haveli in Jaipur
Samode Haveli, Jaipur, India
Dining room at Samode Haveli hotel in Jaipur

Standard: Jaipur: Samode Haveli

This is a meticulously restored small intimate hotel, which has a warm, friendly and personalised service. Each of the rooms are individually designed and furnished with antiques and old family portraits.

Most of the rooms have a separate dressing area.
There is a spectacular hand-painted dining hall, or you can have a private lunch or candlelit dinner in the poolside pavilions or lush green gardens.
In the evening watch a cultural puppet show in the central courtyard.

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Standard: Ranthambore: Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge

Khem Villas Rathambore Hotel, India
Superior Charm Room at Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge, at Rathambore
Cafe Varandah at Rathambore at Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge
Verandah at Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge, Rathambore

Standard: Ranthambore: Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge

Located amidst 12 acres of lush gardens, this 70-year-old hunting lodge exudes a rustic, earthy charm. The spacious rooms overlook the gardens.

The lodge is only a 20-minute drive from the National Park. Guests can have a luxurious dining experience savouring the finest Indian and international cuisines.
For relaxation you can play badminton, table tennis, air pistol shooting and pool.
You can also relax with a body massage or take tours of the neighbouring areas.

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Standard: Goa. The Zuri White Sands Goa Resort

Zurri White Sands Hotel, Goa, India
Zurri White Sands Hotel, Goa, India
Zurri White Sands Hotel, Goa, India
Zurri White Sands Hotel, Goa, India

Standard: Goa. The Zuri White Sands Goa Resort

With its sun-kissed white beaches, serene blue seas and the lush meandering streets, Goa is something special and this award-winning, five-star beach resort sits on the most scenic, picturesque white-sands Varca beach.

This hotel also boasts a huge meandering pool that runs across the entire property giving it a lagoon like appearance, with pretty bridges so you can walk across the pool, whilst stone sculptures and cobbled pathways enhance the charm.

The Maya Spa at the hotel offers Ayurvedic massages, steam rooms, saunas and Jacuzzis.

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Standard: Mumbai. Trident Nariman Point

Trident Nariman Hotel, India
Trident Nariman Hotel, India
Trident Nariman Hotel, India
Trident Nariman Hotel, India

Standard: Mumbai. Trident Nariman Point

This hotel is nestled in the heart of the vibrant and bustling Mumbai. Soaring 35 storeys tall, it offers panoramic views of the Queen's necklace, as the beautiful promenade is lovingly called.

Art galleries, museums, fashion boutiques, clubs and dining hot spots, all lie within a short distance of the hotel.

Elegant and spacious, each room is furnished with the utmost attention to detail and dotted with contemporary art, making it a quiet, comfortable retreat. The rooms offer breathtaking views of the ocean and the Marine Drive or the iconic city skyline.

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Nepal: Dwarikas Hotel

Dwarikas Hotel, Nepal
Bedroom at Dwarikas Hotel in Nepal
Relax area at Dwarikas Hotel in Nepal
Dwarikas Hotel, Nepal

Nepal: Dwarikas Hotel

The Dwarikas is in a building of intricately carved wood and terracotta work that must have taken millions of hours of the best craftsmen in Nepal.

Guests enjoy a tradition of casual elegance delivered by an uncommon attention to detail and personal service.

Each of the rooms has its own character and individuality. There are 16th century windows in many, while there are private courtyards attached to others. The rooms are spacious and luxurious.

The Dwarikas offers a special Nepalese restaurant where the finest meat, vegetables, aromatic spices, purified oils and saffron are selected by the chef to create exotic meals of between 6 to 22 courses.

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Udaipur: Taj Lake Palace

Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur, India
Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur, India
Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur, India
Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur, India

Udaipur: Taj Lake Palace

Rising out of the Lake Pichola, the luxurious Taj Lake Palace was built in 1746 and spreads across a 4 acre island.

Guests will be transported into a world of fantasy, romance and magic. Delicately restored pavilions, magnificent carvings, opulent silks, richly coloured murals, and ornately carved wood furniture abound.

The open air restaurant offers a scintillating view of the beautifully lit Palace of the King of Mewar and the sparkling waters of Lake Pichola.

A magical romantic dining experience can be arranged on a marble floored platform in the middle of Lake Pichola, decorated with beautiful flowers and illuminated by candlelight.

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Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi

The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi
The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi
The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi
The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi

Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi

The Gateway Hotel Varanasi is nestled amidst 40 acres of lush  garden. Old world charm meets modern amenities at The Gateway Hotel Varanasi. Each room offers a different view but service remains excellent throughout.

The hotel is proud of their round-the-clock dining service and innovative recipes, and have also  introduced two new concepts: Active foods and Regional home-style cuisine. So that you can enjoy the best of both the worlds: health and local delicacies.

A Spa offers a range of massages.

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Optional Extras
Deli - Street Photography
On the Streets in India

Street photography is where is get the real pulse of the place, and on this tour you would be accompanied by a photographer who is a master at capturing street life. You should expect to get close to your subjects.

This tour lasts 3 hours.

Price per person: From £155

Sky-deck Breakfast overlooking Taj Mahal
Sky deck overlooking the Taj Mahal in India

The Sky deck at the top of the Gateway Hotel offers a rare opportunity to witness the changing colours of the majestic Taj Mahal with every passing hour. You can marvel at the breathtaking view with a sumptuous breakfast. What a great way to start the day. As they say “Here the main course is the Taj Mahal, and everything else is a side dish”. Breakfast is available 7-9am.

Price Per Person: From £50

Private Jeep Tiger Safari
Indian tigers, Rathambore

Upgrade to your own Jeep for the Tiger Safaris so you can go at your own pace and enjoy the peace of your own safari

Price per Person: From £255

Private Walking Tour: Evening Bazaar & Traditional Crafts of Jaipur
India, Rajasthan, Jaipur, Indian tailor working on the street

From its creation in 1727 the royal families and nobles of Jaipur patronised the craftsmen and artisans of the city. These traditions continue to this day and as a result Jaipur is considered by many as the craft capital of India. Traditional methods are still used to produce many valuable and highly prized items. Using skills passed down through generations, artisans and master craftsmen can be seen in the areas of Ghat Darwaza and Vishveshwar ji.

On this fascinating evening walk mingle and talk with the locals whilst sampling some of the regions culinary delights; try pakoras, aloo tiki, samosa and sweets from some of the city’s most popular street food vendors. Observe local artisans in their workshops; jewellers and silversmiths, gold and silver foil makers. This is a 2 1/2 hr walking tour.

Price per person: From £35

Private Walking Tour of Temples & Havelis of Old Jaipur
Jaipur walking tour of the temples and havelis

Join us on this walking tour of Jaipur; a unique way to explore the living traditions of the city. Experience the religious life of local communities by visiting colorful temples, interact with residents over tea and snacks in their home and discover some of the architectural wonders of this fascinating aspect of Jaipur.

This walk has been carefully designed to offer a rewarding and enriching experience for our guests. Uncovering some of the best kept secrets of the walled city of Jaipur we take pride in sharing a warm association with the resident artisans, shop owners, temple priests and local citizens, so that you have a genuinely interactive experience getting to meet the residents and as a result gain an insight into traditional ways of life. This walking tour lasts 2 1/2 hrs.

Price Per Person: From £35

 

Hot Air Ballooning over Jaipur
Ballooning in Rajasthan in India

Proceed for Hot Air Ballooning Safari over the beautiful city of Jaipur (subject to weather condition). Arrive and welcome by the team with light refreshments whilst you witness the exhilarating sight of the Balloon being inflated.

After a small briefing session, you will guided to Balloon basket. Glide through the sky as your pilot varies the altitude during the flight to offer you a sneak peak into daily life and hidden treasures of Jaipur city.

The Balloon ride is at sunrise and lasts about an hour. There could be up to 20 people in the Hot Air Balloon, and the route will vairy according to the weather conditions.

Price per person: From £200

Extend to Stay in Romantic Udaipur
City Palace on lake Pichola. Udaipur in India

After the hustle and bustle of India a 2 night stay at Udaipur at the Taj Lake Palace in a Luxury room is a haven of peace and tranquillity for relaxation and indulgence.

Day 9

Take a direct flight from Jaipur to Udaipur to overnight in your luxury lake view room.

Day 10

Today you have a private sightseeing tour of Udaipur. The City Palace is an enormous building which stands on a ridge on the shores of Lake Pichola. Take the entrance through the Elephant Gate along the main street of the old city and past the Jagdish Temple. The City Palace has superb paintings, mosaics, intricately carved chhatries, (domed shaped pavilions), to make this visit truly memorable.

The Crystal Gallery houses a unique and intriguing collection of crystal items of fountains, vases, crockery, furniture and bed.

Finally on the tour the Garden of the Maids of Honour, constructed for 48 young ladies in waiting who were sent to the royal house as part of a dowry, has extensive lawns and shady walks which hug the shores of the second lake in Udaipur.

This evening enjoy a private 45 minute sunset romantic boat cruise on Lake Pichola noted for its marble pavilion and imposing dome. You will also likely see people doing their laundry on the shores with the backdrop of the massive City Palace and old city.

Day 11

Breakfast followed by time at leisure before your private transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Private transfer to your airport hotel to overnight

Day 12

Private Transfer to airport for flight home

Price Per Person: From £1,595 (Assuming no change in international flight costs)

Extend to add a stay in Mumbai & Goa
The Gateway of India in Mumbai

Extend your stay to include Goa, the Pearl of the Orient, and Mumbai with its famed Elephanta Cave Temples as well as the Gateway of India and Gandhi memorial.

Goa is famed for its sun-kissed white beaches, serene blue seas and the lush meandering streets

Mumbai in contrast has so many cultural sights with the Gateway of India, the Jain Temples and the evocative Tower of Silence, as well as the dramatic Elephanta Cave Temples and a museum dedicated to the “Father of the Nation” Gandhi.

Day 9

Fly to Mumbai from Jaipur and private transfer to your hotel.

Day 10

At the Gateway of India you will board the motor launch (shared boat with locals) to visit the famous Elephanta Caves with your private guide. The beautifully sculpted rock-cut temples are thought to have been created between 450 and 750 AD when the island was known as Fortress cirt. The Portuguese renamed it Elephanta because of a large stone elephant near the shore. The caves are reached by climbing 100 steps.

In the afternoon your private tour will continue starting at the Gateway of India, which was before the advent of air travel, the only gateway into India. It was built to commemorate the visit of King George and Queen Mary in 1911. First up will be the Hain Temples built of marble and dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara.

Next up is the Tower of Silence, where the Parsis place their dead to eaten by the vultures and the Hanging Gardens built over Bombay reservoir. This is a fascinating place but don’t worry this is seem from a distance so is not unpleasant or upsetting. From here you have a panoramic view of the Marine Drive, often known as the Queen’s Necklace- known as such as the streetlights of the U Shaped road light up. At the Dhobi Ghats you will visit a huge open-air laundry before continuing to the Gandhi Memorial, the houses where he stayed. It is reserved as it was during his visits and the scenes of his life in photographs and models are of special interest.

Day 11

Breakfast and private transfer to airport to fly to Goa. Upon arrival you will met and transferred to your hotel.

Goa known as the Pearl of the Orient has a wonderful atmosphere which stems from its unique history, rich culture and some of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer.

Day 12 and Day 13

Magnificent temples, churches, old houses are waiting for you to self explore, though most people choose to spend their time enjoying its famed beaches and sea.

Day 14

Private Transfer to airport for your flight back to Delhi (Connecting via Mumbai). On arrival private transfer to airport hotel.

Day 15

Private Transfer to airport for flight home

Price Per Person: From £1,245 (Assuming no difference in international flights)

Extend to Visit Varanasi
The Ganges in Varanasi in India

Varanasi is Hinduism’s holiest city and a sacred place for a pilgrimage. The Ganges runs through a plethora of ghats (terraced steps on the river bank) and thousands of pilgrims gather here chanting and burning pyres. It is the most extraordinary and spiritual sight and nothing can quite prepare you for the wonderful experience of Varanasi !

Day 9

Take a private transfer to the airport for a very early flight from Jaipur to Varanasi.

Take a private evening boat ride on the River Ganges and witness the evening Aarti ceremony. The Ganga Aarti is a spectacular illuminated sight where hundreds throng to participate. In this ceremony offerings of lamps and flowers are made to to the river and you can watch hundreds of miniature lamps float along the river.

Day 10

Early morning you will take a private boat ride followed by a visit to Kashi-Vishwanath Temple, the most sacred of shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, the patron deity of Varanassi. You will also stop to see Bharat Mata Mandir inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, a unique temple dedicated to mother India.

In the afternoon you will visit Sarnath which is a major Buddhist Centre, and 1 of the 4 sites to visit as a Buddhist follower. Here Buddha, the Awakened One, delivered his first sermon here in the 6th Century, and you will visit dramatic monastery & stupa ruins from pre 12th Century when Muslim invaders sacked the area.

Day 11

Breakfast and morning at leisure prior to your private transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi to overnight in airport hotel

Day 12 

Private transfer to airport for flight home

Price per person: From £865 (Assuming no difference in international flights)

Extend to Visit Nepal and see Mt Everest

Having come so far it makes sense to extend for a private tour of Kathmandu, as well as enjoy a dramatic mountain flight around Everest.

Dotted by medieval city squares, monasteries and temples Kathmandu has numerous World Heritage Sites, centuries old stupas and monasteries to experience centuries old civilization and architecture. The people are known for their hospitality and warm nature. Traditionally guests are to be treated as a god with uttermost respect and kindness.

Day 10

Fly to Kathmandu and private transfer to the Dwarika hotel. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 11

Private visit of Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur translates as city of devotees, and is the best preserved of the 3 main medieval cities in the valley. Indeed it contains some of the most breath-taking religious architecture in the entire country. The 3 major squares are Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square and Dattatreya Square studded with pagoda and shikhara style temples. Narrow stone paved streets snake through red brick houses leading to hidden temples.

You will find in this buzzy area artisans who continue the traditional works of weaving, pottery, puppet and mask making and wooden crafts, as well as locals gathering to bathe, socialise and collect water. Main attractions that you will see are the Golden Gate, Lion’s Gate, Mini Pashupati Temple, Nyatapola Temple, Bhairav Nath Temple

In the afternoon your private tour will continue with a visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath. Durbar, meaning Palace, is  where the kings were once crowned and ruled from. Here the charm of the old town blends with traditional architecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979. The massive complex has three main squares, home to palaces, temples and courtyards. In this area you will find the former Royal elephant stable, and the Temple of the Living Goddess, Kumari. Kumaari is a young girl chosen through an ancient and mystical selection to become the human incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Taleju, and if you are lucky you may get a glimpse of her peeking out of an elaborately carved wooden window.

Three temples were destroyed in the 2015 earthquake but the Hanuman Dhoka, the main entrance to the old royal palace and the Taleju Bhawani temples, the oldest of all the temples is situated in this area. Restoration is underway in this square.

Continue your private tour to Swayambhunath. This holy shrine is perched on top of a hill and visible from all sides of the valley for many miles. The Stupa is over 2,500 years old and it is surrounded by a variety of shrines and temples. The stupa has Buddha’s eyes and eyebrows painted on. Here you will have the unique chance to see Tibetan pilgrimages and listen to monks chanting prayers in their traditional clothes which for many is the highlight of their trip to Nepal.

During this day you will see restoration after the 2016 earthquake but Nepal is very much open to tourism, with many beautiful and spectacular places to see.

Day 12

Enjoy an early morning hour long scenic flight capturing the breathtaking scenery of the Himalayas where you will view stunning snow capped peaks including the highlight the inspiring Mount Everest. Fly over glaciers, lakes, rivers and gorges but do remember that this flight is only operated when the weather is good and visibility satisfactory.

Return for breakfast and a morning at leisure, until your private transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi to overnight.

Day 13

Private Transfer to airport for your daytime flight to the UK

 

Price Per Person: From £995 (Assuming no change to your international flight costs)

Extend to visit South Kerala
Dutch Palace at Cochin in India

Day 10

Private transfer to fly to Cochin from Delhi. On arrival private transfer to your hotel.

Cochin is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. The Lake opens out into the Arabian sea here to form one of the finest natural harbours in the world. It is this natural advantage that has made Cochin a fascinating blend of the cultures and influences of explorers and traders. The Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and the British have all left their mark here. The Jewish synagogue, the Dutch Palace, the Chinese fishing nets, and other remnants of European and Asian architecture merge smoothly into the traditional fabric of the seaport city.

Day 11

This morning your private guided tour will take you to see the Dutch Palace built in 1555 AD. Its interiors are decorated with murals from the Ramayana and there are some lively displays of royal costumes and palanquins. Continue to visit Jewish Synagogue built in 1568 AD. The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, the copper plates in which the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers were recorded and the exquisite Chinese hand-painted tiles are well worth seeing.

Continue to see the Chinese Fishing Nets that line the sea-front and used at high tide. Finally visit St. Francis Church –  believed to be the oldest church built by the Europeans in India, built by the Portuguese in 1510 AD. It is here the remains of Vasco da Gamma were initially buried before his remains were taken to Portugal.

Afternoon at Leisure

Day 12

This morning you will be driven from Cochin to Munnar (@ 4 hrs) for a quiet and restful stay in amongst nature.

Snuggling in the green and serene Kannan Devan hills you will have panoramic views of low-flying clouds and mist filled valleys. It was opened up out of virgin forests a century ago by pioneering planters, and with its remote churches – gracious, stone-structures with ancient chandeliers and rosewood pews this is a little stop in heaven.

Rests of the day is at leisure to stroll in the Tea Estates.

Day 13

Today you will be driven to Periyar (@ 3-4 hrs drive). Periyar is a small town with a beautiful landscape of chains of hills and spice-scented plantations and is famous for the Periyar Wildlife Reserve. This region is home to bison, sambar, wild boar, langur, about 1000 elephants and 35 to 40 hard-to-spot tigers.

This afternoon you have the choice of a guided Nature walk with a local ranger inside the reserve for @ 2 1/2-3 hrs. Alternatively there is a guided walk in the Spice Gardens in the park for 1/2-2 hrs. (This is a shared experience with a maximum of 15 people)

Day 14

Start the day with a shared boat ride on the lake looking to spot elephants, antelopes, monkeys, bears or bison. Afterwards you will be driven (@ 4 hrs) to Alleppey to the houseboat, and for many the highlight of this extension.

Houseboats are also known as the Rice Boat, and is likely to be the most romantic ride you can ever have with an overnight stay on the boat.  Lake Vembanad is a backwater of rivers, lakes, bays, lagoons and canals extending into the villages.

This backwater journey through the narrow canals crossing exquisite villages of Kerala, with lush green paddy fields, tall coconut grooves makes it a spellbinding journey.

The boat anchors at night at a jetty and lunch and dinner will be served on board.

Day 15

Disembark from house boat and check in at Kumarakom, a veritable paradise called the ‘Venice of the East’. Palm fringed narrow canals wind through the vast expanse of paddy fields, and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are a sight not to be forgotten. Kumarakom is Kerala’s heartland with the typical low slung country boats that carry everything from fish, rice and coconuts to the milkman or priests to wedding parties. This is the perfect relaxing end to your stay in India. Lie in a hammock on this lakeshore, and allow your senses to possess you.

Day 16

Private Transfer (@ 1 1/2 hrs) to Cochin for your flight to Delhi. Private Transfer to the hotel.

Day 17

Private Transfer to the airport for your flight home

Price per person: From £1,295 Standard Accommodation (Assuming no difference in international flights costs)
Price per person: From £1,695 Deluxe Accommodation (Assuming no difference in international flights costs)

 

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Price Per Person: From
£2,845 (Standard), £3,045 (Deluxe), £4,445 (Luxury)
What's included & departure airports

What's Included?

  • Flights with one hold bag per person from the UK
  • 9 nights accommodation with breakfast (Standard Level)
  • Activities as outlined
  • Private vehicles and guides for the tours and transfers
  • 1st Class Trains

Departure Airport

  • Heathrow
  • Birmingham (Overnight Flight)
  • Manchester to Mumbai (No flights on a Tuesday or Wednesday)

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Reviews & Feedback

Testimonials

"We saw tigers on safari , the Taj on a clear day and our Everest flight took off and I didn’t expect to be lucky on all 3 counts. The guides and hotels were all good and we were upgraded several times to suites with huge amounts of space."

Holiday was absolutely fabulous, everything ran exceptionally smoothly and we felt like Royalty the way we were met and greeted and whisked around by your team in India. We were very impressed by the standard of the guides, and it was wonderful to have the flexibility to tweak a couple of the tour details. Thank you once again for a truly memorable experience -wonderful memories to last a life time."

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You have Signed up to receive newsletters with ideas and tips for special occasion trips from our travel websites. This e-newsletter comes out twice a month and we guarantee your information will not be shared with others. If at any stage you would like to cancel this then please e-mail info@weekendalacarte.co.uk informing us and we will remove your details from our database.

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