Start in New Delhi and end in Kochi (Cochin)! With the in-depth cultural tour Golden Triangle & Kerala - 14 days, you have a 14 day tour package taking you through New Delhi, India and 7 other destinations in India. Golden Triangle & Kerala - 14 days includes accommodation in a hotel as well as flights, an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Saturday. Namaste! Welcome to Delhi! On arrival at the airport you?ll be transferred to our hotel for an afternoon at leisure before meeting the group and guide at the hotel at 18:00 for a Welcome meeting.
Today we enjoy a full day of sightseeing in India?s capital. In Old Delhi we visit Humayun?s Tomb and Jama Masjid - the largest and oldest mosque in India. Continue to Raj Ghat, the site of Gandhi?s cremation and enjoy an exhilarating rickshaw ride around the Chandni Chowk bazaar. In New Delhi we stroll down the ceremonial Rajpath and see the India Gate monument. This evening we enjoy a group Namaste dinner at our hotel.
Delhi - Jaipur. On day 3 we leave Delhi and travel to the UNESCO-listed Pink City of Jaipur. Explore highlights of the city including the impressive City Palace and UNESCO-listed Jantar Mantar space observatory, home to the world?s largest stone sundial. On the morning of day 4 you may wish to join our Balloon Over Jaipur add-on. Climb into a hot air balloon and sail over forts, temples and palaces with Jaipur in the background. Later we take a jeep ride up to the 16th century Amber Fort, a well-preserved fortress laid out over four levels and set on the shore of the shimmering Maota Lake. Enjoy a guided tour of the fortress before we continue to a local cotton weaving house on our way back to Jaipur.
Jaipur - Abhaneri - Bharatpur. Leave Jaipur today as we discover the remarkable Chand Baori step well in Abhaneri, where 13 stories climb down to the water?s edge. The well also featured in the hit movie ?Batman: The Dark Knight Rises?. We then visit a local school (if open) to meet the pupils and teachers. We operate our Change for Children programme here and any donations you make are greatly appreciated. You may also wish to bring some educational gifts from home to give to the pupils (see trip notes). Continue to Bharatpur and check in to our hotel before we visit the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Enjoy a bicycle rickshaw ride around this bird-watchers paradise and important wetland reserve. Well be escorted by a knowledgeable guide who will be able to identify the species you spot. After our visit, we return to the hotel.
Bharatpur - Agra. Our first stop of today is the former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, which was abandoned more than 400 years ago but remains fantastically preserved. Continue to Agra and visit striking Agra Fort before we arrive at the most famous site in India - the Taj Mahal. Enjoy a guided tour of this legendary white mausoleum, commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century to commemorate his beloved wife. The Taj Mahal is perhaps the most extravagant monument to love ever built and remains in all its glory.
Agra - Delhi. We return to Delhi this morning where the rest of the day is at leisure. You may wish to visit Red Fort and enjoy its famous Sound and Light Show this evening.
Delhi - Kochi. This morning we fly to Kochi, on the Arabian Sea coast. The afternoon is free to relax before we enjoy an entertaining Kathakali dance show this evening. Admire the colourful costumes and extensive use of make-up as we watch this traditional Keralan performance.
In and around MunnarKochi - Munnar. On day 9 we enjoy a guided tour of historic Fort Kochi, the old part of the city. See the iconic Chinese fishing nets and stroll down narrow, winding streets. Our tour will take in St. Francis? Church - the oldest European church in India and the Paradesi Synagogue. After our tour we drive to scenic Munnar in the Western Ghats Mountains. On day 10 we take a guided walk through one of Munnar?s many tea plantations with our guide and visit a bustling local market. The rest of the day is free to explore. There are numerous trails in the region that you may wish to hike - any of these will be rewarded with breath taking mountain views.
Munnar - Alleppey - Keralan backwaters. Today we embark on a picturesque 4-5 hour drive to Alleppey and board our deluxe furnished rice boat. Enjoy a cruise through the famous Kerala Backwaters, a chain of lakes and rivers which run parallel to the Arabian Sea coast. Pass bustling local villages and green vegetation on either side as we sail. We watch the beautiful sunset onboard and all of your meals will be prepared with fresh local produce by our chef.
In and around KumarakomKeralan Backwaters - Kumarakom. On day 12 we arrive in the village of Kumarakom and disembark our rice boat. Kumarakom is built on a cluster of islands on Lake Vembanad - the longest lake in India. Spend two days relaxing or exploring the charming surroundings at leisure. Take a boat ride on the lake if you wish and perhaps visit the local bird sanctuary, which is a famous stopover for migratory birds and home to species including eagles, owls and storks.
Kumarakom - Kochi. Friday. Our Indian adventure comes to an end today. We leave Kumarakom and transfer to the airport in Kochi - flights from Kochi should depart after 2pm.