Essence of India Tour

Essence of India Tour

Tourism in India

Destination Covered:

Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Udaipur - Cochin - Kumarakom - Houseboat - Mumbai

14 Nights / 15 Days
Tour Category:
Day 01 - Arrive Delhi
Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, you are met by our representative who will present you with a welcome pack including all necessary documentation and arrange for your transfer to your hotel for check-in. No activity is scheduled today, since most of the International flights arrive into India close to midnight only.

Delhi – As a part of Central India tours first you will visit Delhi. This city is a bustling metropolis and a city of 14 million inhabitants, is also India’s capital. A near perfect blend of the ancient and the modern, Delhi, consisting two parts Old & New Delhi, is a city with something for everyone. From Forts and monuments that are almost 500 years old, to modern shopping malls, nightclubs and golf courses, Delhi truly is India’s crown jewel.
Overnight in Delhi.
Day 02 - In Delhi
Breakfast at hotel. This morning embark from your hotel for full day tour of Old and New Delhi where you would visit : The 17th-century old city includes the great mosque of Jama Masjid, The main street of Old Delhi is the colorful shopping bazaar known as Chandni Chowk (“Moonlit Street”). Red Fort, most spectacular pieces of mughal architecture, built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan between 1638 and 1648. Drive past Raj Ghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi.

The tour of New Delhi includes Qutab Minar, one of the most popular landmarks in Delhi built in 1199. The Humayun's Tomb, the precursor of the Taj Mahal. Drive down the spectacular Rajpath (“the Kingsway,”) passing the India Gate (the memorial built to commemorate the unknown soldiers,) the President’s House, and the House of Parliament. Enjoy a brief respite from the otherwise bustling city at Birla Mandir, a modern and colourful Hindu temple.
Evening at leisure to perhaps venture out and discover the city or its many facets on your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 03 - Delhi - Agra
After breakfast this morning drive to Agra.

Agra - “The Land of Taj” was once the capital of the Mughal Empire and even today it seems to linger in the past. Not surprising, for the Mughal emperors with their passion for building, endowed the city with some of the finest structures in the world. Agra is an old city and it is said that its name was derived from Agrabana, a forest that’s finds mention in the epic Mahabharata. In more recent times Agra came into prominence when Sikandar Lodi made it his capital city in 1501. Later it passed into the possession of the Mughals. It was during the time of the third emperor “Akbar” that Agra came into its own and later on his grandson “Shah Jehan” ornamented the city with that masterpiece of Mughal architecture - The Taj Mahal.

Upon arrival in Agra, check in to your hotel. Afternoon, embark on the half day city tour of Agra visiting The Taj Mahal - a poem, a feeling of love, in white marble, is a fine example of the fusion of many architectural styles. It has been described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love. Your tour also includes a visit to the Red Sandstone Agra Fort, seat of the Mughal dynasty in the 16th century, lies on the bend of the River Yamuna, almost in the heart of town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years of 1565-1573.
Evening at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04 - Agra – Jaipur By Road (Approx 255 Kms /05 Hours)
After breakfast this morning drive to Jaipur , visiting Fatehpur Sikri en-route – often called the ghost city , built by Akbar the Great in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire, Fatehpur Sikri was mysteriously abandoned 13 years later. Later continue the drive to the Pink City of Rajasthan - Jaipur

Jaipur - Jaipur is an exuberance of colour, dance, and song with the traditional arts and crafts. It's one of India's most well planned cities, with wide, straight avenues, roads, streets and lanes in a grid system. The great warrior/astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II carefully planned Jaipur's foundation. Laid out in the 18th century, its design followed specifications from an epochal Hindu treatise on architecture. This "Pink City," so called because its buildings are painted in the tones of an autumnal sunset, intersperses the play of red and pink with white borders and motifs. The royal family's residence at Amber is only 11 km away. The palaces and forts of yesteryear, once witness to royal processions, now shine amid the splendor of modern monuments, juxtaposition accepted quite naturally into the lifestyles of an amazing people.

Upon arrival in Jaipur, check in to your hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05 - In Jaipur
After breakfast this morning embark from your hotel for a city tour Amer Fort and Jaipur City Amber fort, situated on the outskirts of the city. Here you are transported back in time today, riding like royalty atop elegantly draped and painted elephants into the high mountain fortress. Amber Fort was the ancient capital of the State until 1728 and inside the fort, you visit the Jagmandir or the Hall of victory glittering with mirrors, Jai Mahal and the Temple of Kali.
This tour also includes a visit to the Hawa Mahal or "Palace of Winds,” one of the major landmarks of Jaipur, although it is actually little more than a façade. The five-story building was originally built to enable the ladies of the royal household to watch the everyday life and processions of the city. The City Palace, located in the heart of the old city, is a large complex of courtyards, buildings, and gardens, and also houses an interesting museum.
Adjacent to the City Palace is Jantar Mantar, the ancient astronomical observatory built by Raja Jai Singh, whose passion for astronomy was even more notable than his prowess as a warrior.
Evening at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 06 - Jaipur - Udaipur (Flight)
Breakfast at hotel. This morning you will be met by our representative and escorted from your Hotel to the Jaipur airport in time for your flight to Udaipur.

Udaipur - The enchanting city of Udaipur was once the lakeside capital of Mewar. Romantic, wistful, and serene, Udaipur was built around shimmering blue lakes that reflect the green hills of the Aravali Ranges. Maharana Udai Singh founded Udaipur in 1599, and this extraordinarily beautiful city has come to be celebrated for its association with Queen Padmini and Meera Bai, royal princesses who are linked with the fortunes of the Sisodia family. Developed scientifically, the old city was surrounded by fortified bastions with entry through 11 gates. Ruins of the se ancient fortifications are still in evidence, and the more recently built palaces can still be visited. Udaipur was also the location where the Hollywood, James Bond blockbuster “Octopussy”was filmed.

Upon arrival met and escorted to your hotel for check-in . The day ends with a sunset boat ride on the shimmering waters of the Lake Pichola, within which seemingly floats The Lake Palace Hotel. Considered one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, arising out of the Turquoise Waters of the Lake Pichola like an elegant fantasy in white marble.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 07 - In Udaipur
Breakfast at hotel. Afterwards this morning embark from your hotel for half-day tour of Udaipur.
The tour includes a visit to the City Palace, the largest palace complex in Rajasthan, with its scalloped arches, fretted balconies, and cupolas. The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum.
Saheliyon-Ki-Bari or “Garden of the Maids of Honor” is a small ornamental garden with fountains, kiosks, marble elephants, and delightful lotus pools.

Jagdish Temple is an Indo-Aryan temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It has a black stone image of Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the Universe.
Rest of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08 - Udaipur - Cochin ( Flight)
This morning you will be met by our representative and escorted from your hotel to the Udaipur airport in time for your flight to Mumbai followed by a connecting flight to Cochin.

Cochin:- Cochin means harbour and even before the building of Ancient Rome, spices, silks, ivory and sandalwood were traded here. Cochin proudly boasts a rich cultural heritage, but is also one of the most fast-paced and modern cities in India. It is also one of the finest natural harbours of the world and a major Indian port. It is its charm and a relatively good infrastructure that make it the ideal gateway to the state. This has been the case since 1341, the year nature carved out Cochin's harbor with a massive flood. As a result, Cochin became the first port of call for Arabs and came to be known as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea." This city offers visitors Forts, palaces, museums, old churches, cool backwaters; palm fringed lagoons, beaches and the practicality of a contemporary metro.
Upon arrival you will be met and escorted to your hotel for check-in.
Your evening tour includes a Kathakali dance performance at a local theatre. Kathakali is a traditional dance form, depicting Indian epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata). The dancers are dressed in very colorful and elaborate costumes. Their faces are painted to depict various characters of the se epics. This dance has a lot of facial expressions and brisk, yet articulate body movements.
Overnight at Hotel.
Day 09 - In Cochin
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast embark on your sightseeing trip of the city and this toue includes a visit to Fort Cochin – a home to a unique community of Eurasians, commonly known as "Anglo-Indians". The architecture of the quiet streets in this enclave is very definitely, European with fine houses built by wealthy British traders, and Dutch cottages with split farmhouse doors.
Mattancherry Palace- locally known as the Dutch Palace, the two storey building was actually erected by the Portuguese, as a gift to the Cochin Raja.

St. Francis Church - this Protestant church was originally built by the Portuguese in 1510 A.D. It is considered to be India's oldest European church. Today it is governed by the Church of South India (CSI). Vasco Da Gama was buried here before his remains were taken back to Portugal 14 years later.

Jewish synagogue - dates from 1568 and is adorned with fine glass lamps and floor tiles.

Bolghatty Island- This is a beautiful island lying close to Ernakulam. Built by the Dutch in 1774, Bolghatty Palace, the home of the former British Resident of Kochi is situated here. At the end of your tour visit the harbor near Vasco da Gama Square, where you can watch fishermen hoisting their catch from the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that line the shore.
Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10 - Cochin – Kumarakom By Road (Approx 90 Kms . 02 Hours)
After breakfast this morning drive to Kumarakom.
Kumarakom: The enchanting backwater destination of Kumarakom is a small village that is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerela. Kumarkom strengthens Kerala’s reputation for being God’s own country with its unbelievably beautiful mangrove forests, coconut groves and emerald green paddy fields interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lillies. It is part of the Kuttanad region, and the bird sanctuary here spread across 14 acres of any ornithologist's paradise. This enchanting backwater destination offers visitors many leisure options. From wandering into the depths of its wildlife sanctuary to cruising down the back waters and fishing, Kumarkom is perfect for a lazy and laid back holiday. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands, as hundreds of swaying verdant coconut palms lining the rivers lean to brush the tops of your heads. Kumarkom is an example of nature at her bountiful best in the fragrant flowers, the riot of multi coloured birds, the surrounding greenery and the clear waters.
Upon arrival check-in to the hotel.
Rest of the day at leisure to enjoy the Nature’s beauty on your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11 - In Kumarakom
Breakfast at hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 12 - Kumarakom - House Boat
House Boat – A highlight of any trip to Kerala is a night spent onboard a houseboat, or a rice barge. These converted rice barges or "Kettuvallams" sail along shallow, palm-fringed lakes and narrow canals where coconut and cashew is loaded onto dugouts. You pass villages built on narrow spits of land, stopping to visit local markets, or to marvel at craftsmen engaged in centuries-old boat-making tradition. The boats offer one or two cabins with a small sitting room and a crew of 2 staff and a chef. The food is authentic Kerala cuisine, purchased fresh along the way. For most of the journey, the boat is poled, sailing only between dawn and dusk. Although the accommodation on board is basic, this is an unforgettable experience.
Overnight on board Houseboat.
Day 13 - Alleppey - Cochin By Road (65 Kms / 02 Hours), Cochin - Mumbai (Flight)
After breakfast, disembark the houseboat in Alleppey and drive to Cochin airport in time to connect with the flight for Mumbai

Mumbai: Mumbai or Bombay as it was known earlier is the commercial capital of India, a city of entrepreneurs, concrete towers, clubs and discos, cricket, Bollywood and more. In 1661, Charles II of England received the islands of Bombay as dowry when he married Princess Catherine of Braganza. The British Government leased the islands to the East India Company, who developed it into a thriving trading port.
Today, Mumbai is the country's financial and cultural capital. It is also home to India’s thriving film industry. It is seen, to the teeming masses that flock there to live and work, as a place where opportunities abound. Its inhabitants, an amalgam of great wealth and abject poverty, are swept into the endless maelstrom of activity that characterises this city of dreams.

Upon arrival you will be met and escorted to your hotel for check-in etc. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Mumbai.
Day 14 - In Mumbai
This morning embark on your half-day tour of Mumbai. This tour includes a visit to the Gateway of India- a grand ceremonial arch built to commemorate the visit of King George IV, Mani Bhavan – where the father of our Nation resided for 15 years, the Marine drive, the Prince of Wales museum- considered as one of the best museums in the country, the Hanging gardens & Victoria rail station.

Rest of the day at leisure to perhaps venture out and discover the city or its many facets on your own. Overnight in Mumbai.
Day 15 - Mumbai- Overseas (Flight)
Met by our representative and escorted from your hotel to the Mumbai airport in time for your flight home.
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