India South & North - 29 Nights Adventure

kerala and south india

Start in Kochi (Cochin) and end in Delhi! With the adventure tour India South & North, you have a 29 day tour package taking you through Kochi (Cochin), India and 23 other destinations in India. India South & North includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

Itinerary

  • Kochi

    Your Indian adventure starts today in Kochi with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive into Kochi early, there are plenty of things to see and do. Once an important spice-trading centre, Kochi has been under Portuguese, Dutch and British rule at various times throughout history. Explore with one of our Urban Adventures or wander down to the shore and seek out the huge Chinese fishing nets dotted along the coast of Fort Cochin. Accommodation: HotelStart point Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India 18:00

  • Kochi

    This morning, take on Kochi with a leader-led orientation tour. Board a local ferry to Mattancherry and drop by the Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century before it was renovated and presented to the Rajas of Cochin by the Dutch. Pay an optional visit to Paradesi Synagogue ? the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth and home to many rare antiques. Then amble around the spice bazaars and antique stores of Fort Cochin. In the evening, experience a Kathakali performance. This Keralan dance is an ornately costumed display of storytelling, requiring complete control of the body. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Ootacamund ? Conoor

    In and around OotacamundBuckle up, because most of today is spent travelling. Catch a 3.5-hour train to Coimbatore, before travelling by private vehicle to Ootacamund (approximately 4 hours). Often referred to as ?Snooty Ooty?, it was here that the game of snooker was named and arguably invented. Stretch your legs exploring the town?s Hindu temples or stroll through what almost feels like English countryside. Ooty is pleasantly mild in the summer but can get cold in winter, so make sure you come prepared with adequate clothing. You?ll stay in nearby Conoor, where dinner is included at your accommodation tonight. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Ootacamund ? Conoor

    Today, board Ooty?s renowned toy train for a ride along the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Be sure to get a window seat for great views over the lush countryside. In nearby Conoor, visit a tea plantation to learn about the history of tea production. Spend the rest of the day exploring Ooty?s Botanical Gardens, which are home to over 650 species of plants and trees. Alternatively, get a little bit romantic with a boat ride on the lake. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Mudumalai National Park ? Masinagudi

    In and around MasinagudiTake a private vehicle for the short drive to Masinagudi today. Set against the backdrop of the Nilgiri mountains, Mudumalai National Park was once the Mysore Maharajas private hunting ground. In 1974 it was brought under Project Tiger and is now one of the best game sanctuaries in India to observe wildlife in close proximity. Embark on a short safari in search of tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, sambars, spotted deer and much more. Theres also an amazing variety of birdlife in the park. Tonight?s family-run accommodation in Masinagudi is mixed gender dormitory style with a common bathroom. This dorm room is only open to your group. Accommodation: Jungle Lodge

  • Mysore

    In and around MysoreTravel by private vehicle across the scenic Karnataka plains to Mysore, stopping to share a biryani lunch with local host Raju and his family. Mysore is an easy-going town with a pleasant climate, perfect for wandering around on foot. Your leader will provide an orientation walk for you to get your bearings. A visit to Mysore is incomplete without a look around Mysore Palace. One of the most ornate palaces in India, its interior is full of colour, mosaics and mirrors. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Mysore ? Overnight train

    This morning, head out of Mysore and climb Chamundi Hill to the Sri Chamundeswari Temple, dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Durga. Continue on to the Keshava Temple in the small town of Somnathpur ? an excellent example of Hoysala architecture. You?ll also have some time to pay an optional visit to Tipu Sultan?s mausoleum in Srirangapatna, or instead, return to Mysore for a palm reading or to catch a film at the local cinema. Tonight, board an 11-hour overnight sleeper train to Chennai. Accommodation: Overnight Sleeper Train

  • Mamallapuram

    In and around MamallapuramAfter arriving in Chennai, take a private vehicle along the scenic East Coast Road to Mamallapuram. Explore this ancient seaport town by bicycle, paying a visit to the seventh-century Shore Temple and the enormous bas-relief rock carving, known as Arjunas Penance. There will also be time to inspect the town?s numerous mandapams (pillared temple pavilions), watch local stonemasons at work or to just to kick back and relax at a beachside restaurant. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Puducherry (Pondicherry)

    Travel by private vehicle for 5 hours through palm trees and rice paddies to Puducherry. On arrival, head out with your group and leader on a walking tour to see local temples, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the French Quarter. Once a French colony, you?ll see evidence of French influence in Puducherrys architecture, its wide town squares and even in the uniforms of the police! Accommodation: Hotel

  • Madurai

    Transfer by taxi to the railway station at Villapuram and board a train to the temple city of Madurai (approximately 6 hours). Madurai?s Tamil roots stretch back 2500 years, making it one of the oldest cities in India. Wander the lamp-lit labyrinth of the Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple, dedicated to the Lord Shiva and goddess Meenakshi. Visit the Gandhi Memorial Museum, which displays a detailed account of India?s struggle for independence along with the bloodstained dhoti the famous leader wore when he was assassinated. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Periyar

    In and around PeriyarThis morning, travel by private vehicle along a winding road to the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve. High in the ranges of the Western Ghats, the park is set among stunning scenery and is the most popular wildlife sanctuary in Southern India. Both today and tomorrow, you?ll get to explore the national park on foot and will understand why Periyar is a popular wilderness sanctuary because of its lush surrounds. In the evening, enjoy a tour of a local spice plantation. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Periyar

    Venture back into the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary today for a guided nature walk. Encounters with animals in the wild are never guaranteed, and this is more of a jungle walk than an animal spotting tour, but do look out for tiger tracks, spotted deer, Indian elephants or gaur ? the worlds largest species of buffalo. In the afternoon, unwind with an optional ayurvedic massage at your accommodation, or just relax in this scenic setting with a drink in hand. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Kerala Backwaters

    Travelling by private vehicle, pass through rubber, tea and coffee plantations on the way to the backwaters of Kerala. Board a boat to cross to the island village where you?ll stay with a local family tonight. In the late afternoon, explore the island with a local English-speaking guide, and sometimes your homestay host! This is great chance to meet locals and learn more about their unique way of life. Take a leisurely punt boat ride around the waterways and enjoy the scenery. In the evening, share stories and a traditional home-cooked Keralan meal with your host family. Accommodation: Homestay

  • Kochi

    Wake early, before crossing the backwaters by private boat to Alleppey. From here, take a 2-hour local bus back to Kochi. The rest of the day is free for you to choose your own adventure. Perhaps you?d like to stroll down Princess Street for a spot of shopping, or book yourself into a southern Indian cooking class ? your group leader will have some other recommendations, so be sure to ask them. Tonight, why not gather together with your group and have a night out at a local restaurant. Whatever you do, be sure to snack on a pazhampori (fried fritter of banana or plantain) while you explore the city. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Delhi

    Take you included (but unescorted) flight from Kochi to Delhi today for the second part of your Indian adventure. There will be a meeting at 6 pm to welcome any new travellers joining you on the next stage of your adventure. After the meeting, choose whether to join the group for an optional dinner. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Delhi

    In the morning, navigate the city?s metro system to discover Old Delhi on a walking tour. Hitch a ride on a traditional cycle rickshaw through a typical Indian traffic jam in the streets around Chandni Chowk marketplace. Visit Delhi?s oldest mosque of Jama Masjid, which is also India?s largest. Escape from the frenetic pace of the city streets by ducking into a Sikh temple, Sheeshganj Gurudwara, to observe the spiritual side of this bustling metropolis. The communal kitchen welcomes all, and theres a chance to have a simple meal here together. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the sights of Delhi. Many past travellers have recommended the Delhi Food Walk or Home Cooked Delhi tours with Urban Adventures as a great way to safely (and deliciously!) explore the tastes of India. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Agra

    Travel to Agra by one of Indias express air-conditioned trains (approx 3 hours/230km). Steeped in Mughal heritage, Agra has a wealth of gardens, temples and open rooftops. Visit the Taj Mahal and learn why Emperor Shah Jahan built it as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. Buzz around Agra in a motorised rickshaw and explore inside the spectacular sandstone walls of the Red Fort, built to encompass the imperial city of the Mughal rulers in the 16th century. If you have time, move on to Akbars Mausoleum to honour the great emperor. For a meal that makes a difference while in Agra, consider visiting Sheroes Hangout, a remarkable social enterprise that supports survivors of acid attacks. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Madhogarh

    Take a local bus to Bassi, a small town in the middle of rural Rajasthan (approx 4 hours/210km). Then travel by private transport to your accommodation for the night (approx 45 min/20km) in Madhogarh. On a walk through the village, see craftspeople at work and meet some of our local friends. In the evening, stay in the beautiful heritage property of Fort Madhogarh, which has belonged to one of Rajasthan?s royal families for centuries. Dinner is included here tonight. Accommodation: Heritage Property

  • Jaipur

    Travel on by private vehicle to Jaipur (approx 90min/50km). On arrival, take a walk around the ?Pink City? of Jaipur. Get among the crowds of the city?s bazaars to shop for artisan goods and semi-precious stones. Set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, visit the Amber Fort, an excellent example of Rajput architecture. The Sheesh Mahal inside the fort is a must-see. As the walls are completely covered in little mirrors, the hall illuminates with the light of a single match. After the tour, youll have further free time to spend as you wish. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Jaipur

    Today is a full free day that you can jam pack with experiences of your choice. This morning, you could take an optional hot air balloon ride. Floating across the skyline of Jaipur in a hot air balloon is a highlight of the trip for many travellers. Jump on a rickshaw to Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of the Winds?. Alternatively, head to Jaipurs Royal City Palace or the observatory of Jantar Mantar to see a collection of intriguing astronomical instruments. After a long day of exploration, perhaps head to the Raj Mandir Cinema to experience a Bollywood film. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Ranthambhore National Park

    Continuing on frm Jaipur by private vehicle, head to Ranthambhore (approximately 5 hours/200km). Ranthambhore National Park was once a famous hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur, and was one of the original Project Tiger reserves. Explore the ruins of the park?s 10th-century fort, and in the evening take a 4WD safari in search of tigers and other wildlife, such as hyenas, jackals, deer, langurs, marsh crocodiles, wild boars and birds. Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On trips departing during this time, youll visit nearby Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary is located approx. 16km from Ranthambhore and due to its hilly terrain isnt as affected by the monsoon. Tigers also inhabit this area and spottings are more favorable at this time of year as they move here away from flooded areas of Ranthambhore. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Bundi

    In and around BundiNext, travel to Bundi by private vehicle (approx 4 hours/150km). Navigate Bundis narrow streets on an insightful walking tour, including wandering through the downtown market. Stop in at Bundis intriguing and intricate step wells (baori), an architectural marvel and once the source of water for the town. Check out the 16th-century Bundi Palace with its famous murals before checking into our next heritage stay for the night. Accommodation: Heritage Property

  • Paangarh Lake

    Take off from Bundi and and take a local train to Bassi. cross the Chittorgarh countryside to Paangarh Lake. Enjoy the view out to the 15th-century fort and unwind with a cup of chai while watching sunset over the lake. Youll spend tonight in a beautiful permanent tented camp, right on the lakeshore - a truly relaxing experience away from the chaos of Indias cities. Accommodation: Permanent Tent

  • Bijaipur

    In and around BijaipurThis morning we drive in an open-top jeep out into the countryside past tranquil villages. You might be lucky enough to spot some native wildlife as we drive through the region. Meet some villagers and maybe even get a henna tattoo - a temporary but very traditional souvenir. Arrive at our next heritage stay and enjoy a meal of authentic local specialties.? Accommodation: Heritage Property

  • Udaipur

    Depart the heritage stay and begin your next journey by private vehicle takes us to Udaipur (approximately 4 hours/180km). Take in the city?s hills, lakes and white marble palaces, or delve into its twisting alleys and bazaars filled with silver, leather goods and miniature paintings. A popular centre for artists, dancers and musicians, there?s plenty to entertain you here. After a city walk with your leader, the rest of your day is free. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Udaipur

    Visit Udaipurs City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Some suggestions for your free time after the tour include an optional boat ride on the picturesque Lake Pichola (seasonal) to marvel at the island palaces off Jag Nivas and Jag Mandir and seeing a cultural performance that combines seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances in the evening. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Pushkar

    Take a six-hour air-conditioned train to Ajmer and then a private vehicle to your hotel in Pushkar, a place synonymous with Rajasthan. Enjoy a walking tour to visit the bustling ghats and temples around Pushkar Lake, and watch as the devout worship by the holy waters and at the Brahma Temple. At lunchtime, share a meal with a local family and learn about their life living in this desert city. The rest of the day is free for you to explore further. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Pushkar - Delhi

    Early risers can hike up to the Savitri Temple for amazing sunrise views over the town this morning. Board the Shatabdi Express train, departing Ajmer around 2 pm for the trip back to Delhi, arriving at around 10:40 pm. Transfer to the hotel on arrival for your final night of the trip. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Delhi

    There are no activities planned for the final day and you?re able to depart the accommodation at any time.End point New Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi, India

Inclusion

  • GST on total package
  • Accomodation in a well appointed room
  • Meals as per hotel plan and ones mentioned in itinerary
  • All transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary in an air-conditioned vehicle (except in the hills when the air-conditioner will be switched off)
  • All toll taxes, parking fees and driver allowances
  • All applicable hotel taxes

Exclusion

  • Anything not mentioned under ‘Package Inclusions??:tm:
  • All personal expenses, optional tours and extra meals
  • Camera fees, alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages
  • Vehicle service on leisure days for sightseeing not included in the itinerary
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Tips, laundry and phone calls

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