Passage to India (19 Nights/ 20 Days)

2N Delhi » 1N Agra » 2N Jaipur » 1N Bikaner » 2N Jaisalmer » 2N Jodhpur » 2N Udaipur » 1N Cochin » 2N Thekkady » 2N Kumarakom » 2N Kovalam

20 days of India tour would besiege the hearts and minds of vacationers. Backpackers must not lose this opportunity to traverse through some of the most charismatic destinations of India. India astounds with its ability to change; in this dynamic country it only takes a few hours of travelling for stunning palaces to turn into seaside sand castles. Explore different facades of the country's topography, history and splendour while travelling the incredible land of India. The tour pampers the visitors with stay in some of world's best hotels such as Oberoi's Udai Vilas, Raj Vilas or Taj Lake Palace and other premium hotels. Live like royalty in the splendid palaces of Rajasthan. Experience Taj's serene beauty on a full moon night tour, desert Safari on camel back in Rajasthan, visit Amer fort, Jaipur on elephant back, live performance of "Kathakali", the stage dance – drama of Kerala & backwater cruise in traditional houseboat on this 20 days long India tour.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Delhi
On arrival in Delhi, transfer to the hotel. Take a drive past President House, Parliament House & India Gate.

Day 2: Delhi
Leave for sightseeing tour to Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple, Humayun's Tomb and Laxmi Narayan Temple in Delhi. Optional game of golf in the evening.

Day 3: Delhi - Agra
Drive to Agra en-route visit Sikandra. In Agra visit Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah.

Day 4: Agra- Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur en-route visit Fatehpur Sikri. At Jaipur check in at hotel. Evening visit Chokhi Dhani. O/N at hotel.

Day 5: Jaipur
Leave for a tour to Amber Fort also visit Jantar Mantar, City Palace, Hawa Mahal in Jaipur. O/N at hotel.

Day 6: Jaipur - Bikaner
Depart for Bikaner. Visit Junagarh Fort, Laxmi Niwas Palace and Lalgarh Palace in Bikaner.

Day 7: Bikaner -Jaisalmer
Depart for Jaisalmer. Evening at leisure in Jaisalmer.

Day 8: Jaisalmer
Commence city tour & visit Khuri village. Enjoy sunset ride on camel in sand dunes.

Day 9: Jaisalmer - Jodhpur
Drive to Jodhpur, halting at Osian's ancient Jain and Vaishnava temples. O/N stay at the Taj Hari Mahal or similar.

Day 10: Jodhpur
Leave for a sightseeing tour of Marwar and see Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswanth Thada. Afternoon jeep safari to Bishnoi village.

Day 11: Jodhpur - Udaipur
Leave for Udaipur and en route visit Jain temples of Ranakpura (Optional - lunch in the temple or at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur at extra charge). Check-in at the Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur. Late afternoon cruise on Lake Pichola.

Day 12: Udaipur
Morning excursion to temple complex of Eklingji & Nagda. Wander through City Palace & Jagdish temple.

Day 13: Udaipur – Mumbai - Cochin
Board flight to Trivandrum via Mumbai. A performance of Kathakali or a backwater cruise in the evening at Cochin.

Day 14: Cochin - Thekkady
Take city tour of Cochin and visit Fort Cochin, Spice Markets, Antique shops, Synagogue and Chinese Fishing Nets. Later depart to Thekkady.

Day 15: Thekkady
Leave for a spice plantation tour, enjoy a boat ride in Periyar Lake then. A screening of wildlife movie in the hotel.

Day 16: Thekkady- Kumarakom
Morning trek to the jungle followed by breakfast at the hotel. Depart by road to Taj Garden Retreat, Kumarakom. Afternoon, free for activities such as swimming, fishing, boating or opt for a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage (at an extra cost). In the evening - a Sunset Cruise along the backwaters. Following dinner, enjoy optional night fishing at Kumarakom (no extra cost).

Day 17: Houseboat stay
Check out from the hotel. Board the traditional houseboat for a relaxing backwater cruise.

Day 18: Kumarakom – Kovalam
Transfer to Kovalam and visit Samudra beach, Aluwa beach, Lighthouse beach and Ashok Beach. Accommodation in Grove Chalets, beach side cottages of Le Meridien.

Day 19: Kovalam
Relaxed day at the beach with local sightseeing.

Day 20: Kovalam–Trivandrum– onward Journey
Depart for Trivandrum airport for flight to Mumbai. Optional Mumbai tour before boarding flight back home.

Tour Highlights

  • Stay in some of world's best hotels such as Oberoi's Udai Vilas, Raj Vilas or Taj Lake Palace and the premium hotels
  • Explore splendid palaces and magnificent forts of Rajasthan.
  • Experience the magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonder of the World. Optional night visit (available only on full moon nights).
  • Free lessons in Indian Paintings, Miniatures, Frescoes and Pottery making at Jaipur, a historic city & capital of Rajasthan.
  • Desert Safari on Camel back in Rajasthan.
  • Visit Amer fort, Jaipur on elephant back.
  • Live performance of "Kathakali", the stage dance – drama of Kerala.
  • Backwater cruise and overnight stay in traditional moving houseboat called "Kettuvallam".
  • While on the tour, why miss on Golf? Enjoy Golfing at Delhi and Jaipur

Day 1: Arrive Delhi
Upon your arrival at the airport, meet our representative awaiting just outside the arrival hall, past the customs area & currency shops. Later at the hotel our representative will brief you about tour starting day after.

Delhi, the national capital of India is an historic city and commercial centre of Northern India. Numerous dynasties ruled and flourished each bequeathing the city with different colours, shades and folds of civilisation as heritage. With a multi-ethnic society, Delhi welcomes all to witness a miniature of the vast Indian subcontinent.

Day 2: Delhi
Start exploring the city from the undulated lanes of Old-Delhi. The attractions here worth visiting first include the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Red Fort and the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. The day tour will also include visits to one of the largest brick minarets of the world- Qutab Minar, white lotus shaped Baha'i Temple- Lotus Temple, the stunning Humayun's Tomb built in 1562 CE, and beauteous Laxmi Narayan Temple.
Visit the eclectic mix of modern and cosmopolitan worlds of India and take a sightseeing tour of New Delhi. Once called Lutyens' Delhi, the area of New Delhi was designed by British architect, Sir Edward Lutyens. These glorious imitations of Victorian style architecture have always been an eye-candy for the connoisseurs of art and architecture. Enjoy a drive past monuments of national significance such as President's House, Parliament House and later enjoy a night view of India Gate under starlit sky.

Day 3: Delhi – Agra

(Driving Time: 4hrs approx)
Morning drive to Agra en-route visiting Sikandra. The tomb of Akbar the Great, a magnificent specimen of Mughal architecture is located at Sikandra. A connoisseur of art Mughal Emperor himself initiated the construction around 1600. After his death his son Jehangir completed the tomb.

On arrival in Agra, check into the hotel. This day is spent exploring the best of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Agra. In afternoon, visit the ultimate emblem of love and an edifice that has most rightly been called a World Wonder- Taj Mahal. Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Taj Mahal is a UNESCO acclaimed site and is called "the jewel of Muslim art in India" for its beauteous design and configuration. Later, visit the imposing structure of Agra Fort containing the Pearl Mosque, the Halls of public and private audience. Also visit, the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah a replica of Taj Mahal often regarded as a draft of the famous mausoleum was built by Empress Noorjehan in memory of her father.

Day 4: Agra- Jaipur

(Driving Time: 5.5hrs)
Morning drive to Jaipur en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri. The monuments and edifices of Fatehpur Sikri are applauded by UNESCO for they showcase a synthesis of various regional schools of architecture amongst influences of Hindu, Jain and Islamic religions. Explore the beautiful edifices which include Jama Masjid, The Buland Darwaza, palace of Queen Jodha Bai, Birbal's Palace & the tomb of Saint Salim Chisti. On arrival at Jaipur, check in at a heritage hotel and experience Rajput hospitality at its best. Evening visit to Chokhi Dhani, an ethnic village resort. Gaily caparisoned camel, horses and bullock carts offer joy rides and the colourful folk performances brightens up the atmosphere further while you enjoy a typical Rajasthani cuisine.

Day 5: Jaipur
Leave for a 1/2-day sightseeing tour to the hilltop fortress of Amber. A small trek up the hill will be covered while riding an elephant in the royal manner. The fort was built in 1592 under the reign of Raja Man Singh and was later modified by successive rulers for next 150 years. Today the structure stands with its beautifully carved ceilings, intricate patterns and stunning designs .

In the afternoon, tour the old walled city of Jaipur. Visit the unique Jantar Mantar Observatory- an assortment of architectural astronomical structures. Built by Maharaja Jai Singh II it consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time and predicting eclipses etc. Stunning City Palace will be the next destination on this city tour. City Palace is a complex of various palaces in Jaipur which is an erstwhile seat of Maharaja of the region. Drive-by the stunning Hawa Mahal- a palace with hundreds of ornamental windows, built for royal ladies to be able to watch the daily processions of city.

Day 6: Jaipur – Bikaner
(Driving Time: 6hrs)
Leave for Bikaner, a remote town tucked away in the Thar Desert. Once in Bikaner and after lunch, proceed on a sightseeing tour. A medieval labyrinth of narrow streets opens up to stunning dark-red sandstone havelis and some exquisite Jain temples. The desert town continues to impress with its imposing fort and increased popularity of camel safaris.

Take a trip to massive Junagarh Fort, the 5.28 hectares large precinct of the fort is laced with impressive palaces, exquisite temples and pavilions. Laxmi Niwas Palace is the next highlight of the city tour. The palace built in Indo-Saracenic style is also a luxury hotel and thus provides an opportunity to live life King size. Built in 1902 Lalgarh Palace is another exquisite structure in the city whose stunning architecture sings the saga of splendour of erstwhile royal age.

Day 7: Bikaner –Jaisalmer
(Driving Time: 6hrs)
After breakfast, leave for-Jaisalmer. Evening is left free for you to enjoy leisure activities in the hotel at Jaisalmer. A Golden City echoing stories of valour and wars for honour, Jaisalmer bedazzles its visitors with its magnificent fort and exquisite mirror work and embroidery. Crowned by Jaisalmer Fort the city also offers lots to be seen including museums and havelis.

Day 8: Jaisalmer
After breakfast, treat yourself to a visual feast as you tour the golden city of Jaisalmer. Hewn entirely out of sandstone, the city is a tawny colour in the day and at sunset it magically morphs into honey-gold hue. Afternoon drive to Khuri, a quaint village with clusters of thatch roof houses. On the sand dunes here, take a sunset ride through the scrubland of Rajasthan on a camel safari that is a lifetime experience.

Day 9: Jaisalmer - Jodhpur

(Driving Time: 5.5 hrs)
After an early morning breakfast, drive to Jodhpur, halting at Osian. Osian's ancient Jain and Vaishnava temples reflect the grandeur of Indian temple architecture. The town is famous for housing a cluster of relics of Brahmanical and Jain temples dating from 8th to 11th centuries. The temples are applauded for their grace and exquisite architecture by tourists coming from worldwide. On arrival at Jodhpur the rest of the day is left free for relaxation.
The city painted in blue, Jodhpur is the renowned Blue City of Rajasthan. Featuring various forts, palaces and temples in the middle of stark landscape of Thar Desert, Jodhpur paints the region in the colour of royalty. The houses painted in blue colour around and the vibrant bazaars add joviality to the deserted region.

Day 10: Jodhpur

After breakfast at the hotel, leave for a sightseeing tour of the erstwhile capital of Marwar, the south-western region of Rajasthan. At the foot of the fort, lies the "Jaswanth Thada", a richly carved white marble cenotaph. Take an afternoon jeep safari to the picturesque Bishnoi village to experience rustic Rajasthani life. The drive through the countryside abounds with black bucks and chinkaras grazing serenely and migratory birds dot the skies.

Day 11: Jodhpur – Udaipur

(Driving Time: 5.5hrs)
After breakfast leave for Udaipur. En route visit the Jain temples of Ranakpur, famous for their intricate friezes and sculptures. (Optional - lunch in the temple or at Maharani Bagh, Ranakpur at extra charge). Later in the day arrive at enchanting, medieval city of Udaipur and check-in at the Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur. Laced with scenic lakes, Udaipur is truly an oasis in the middle of desert region of Rajasthan. Its magnificence and splendour is further enhanced with the presence of various grand edifices reminiscent of the splendid era of royalty. Enjoy a leisurely late afternoon cruise on the shimmering waters of Lake Pichola.

Day 12: Udaipur
Let the glorious sunrise dazzle you at breakfast. The breathtaking beauty of the lakes- Pichola & Fateh Sagar truly makes Udaipur an oasis in the desert. Morning excursion to the famous temple complex of Eklingji & Nagda. Wander through the opulent City Palace grounds and the museum. Overlooking the gorgeous Lake Pichola, City Palace complex has several beauteous palace structures inside showcasing a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles with picture perfect backdrop. Visit the Jagdish temple on the shores of Lake Pichola a large Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple situated on a raised terrain was built in 1651 and forms a beautiful pyramidal shape. A visit to the temple will not only be of religious experience, but will also impress you with the architectural brilliance of the age of royalty.

Day 13: Udaipur – Mumbai – Cochin

(Flying Time: 4 hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for onward flight to Trivandrum via Mumbai. Arrive at Cochin Airport and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon at leisure. In the evening, watch a captivating performance of Kathakali, a ritualistic dance drama or enjoy a sunset cruise in the backwaters. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14: Cochin – Thekkady
(Driving Time: 4.5hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for a sightseeing city tour of Cochin. A vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of Indian peninsula, Cochin is an important port city ideally called the Gateway to Kerala. The city has emerged as a significant commercial and industrial hub of the state and on your drive to the hotel you will come across various local industries such as coir making, toddy tapping, spice producing and pot making and more. The city situated on a cluster of islands is owner of one of the best natural harbours in the world.

Set on an exciting sojourn to various historic and political sites of the city. On today's sightseeing tour you explore St. Francis Church and Jewish Synagogue and more. Believed to be the oldest church in India, it was built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan monks. Jewish Synagogue is the synagogue housing The Great Scrolls of Old Testament. The Mattancherry Palace features Kerala murals displaying Hindu temple art, portraits of former Kings of Kochi. Also visit & Chinese fishing net exhibiting a unique method of catching fish by local fishermen by lining the net by the sea front.
Later leave for Thekkady by road.

Day 15: Thekkady
Set on a jeep safari inside Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary situated on the banks of the Periyar Lake. The sanctuary is one of the biggest natural reserves in India which covers about 777 km squares. Home to myriad wild creatures this protected area lies in the middle of mountainous region of Cardamom Hills and is cradled with picturesque Periyar Lake. Animals such as elephant, sambar, gaur and wild boars and beauteous bird populations such as darters, cormorants, kingfishers and racket tailed Drongos have made the park their home. Spot these animals coming to the banks of Periyar Lake to quench their thirst while you sail on a boat in the pristine lake. Also, visit a spice plantation in the vicinity later and return to the hotel for night stay.
Return to the hotel for a screening of wildlife movie, followed by dinner.

Day 16: Thekkady- Kumarakom

(Driving Time: 4hrs)
On this day you will proceed to Kumarakom- the charming emerald peninsula sticking out into the ever-sparkling Vembanad Lake which will take you into the heart of the scenic land where you'll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes. Reach Kumarakom where you will be accommodated in a fine jungle resort for you to maintain a close association with Mother Nature throughout your stay. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is an ornithologist's paradise for it is a favourite haunt of beauteous migratory birds such as Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. Avid bird watchers should make plans for a visit to the park early in the morning for that is the time birds leave their nests and fly over the lake in groups creating beauteous patterns in the sky.

You can swim, fish, go boating or opt for a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage (at an extra cost). In the evening - a Sunset Cruise along the backwaters. Following dinner, enjoy optional night fishing at Kumarakom (no extra cost).

Day 17: Houseboat stay

Today will be one of the most memorable experience of your tour. You journey on the clear backwaters while cruising on a traditional houseboat, Kettuvallam. This is the undoubtedly the best way to travel across Kerala backwaters for this way one gets to travel at one's own speed and thus to enjoy the pristine environs of the region completely at peace. The Kettuvallams were originally used as grain barges to transport the rice grown alongside the backwaters. These traditionally furnished but comfortable houseboats are equipped with a living room and bedroom (en suite bathroom).

While sailing these canal routes you will come across scenes from everyday life at Kerala such as villages, paddy fields, coconut palms, fisherman and more. Travel at your speed and let yourself loose amidst the enchanting panorama that surrounds you.

Day 18: Kumarakom – Kovalam
(Driving Time: 4.5hrs)
After breakfast transfer to Kovalam. A popular sea-side beach resort, Kovalam offers unique beaches in a range of colours from white to black sands. This internationally renowned beach town is a favourite haunt of tourists looking to spend laid-back vacations amidst beauteous environs. A former favourite jaunt of hippies, this tropical beach town is known for its picture perfect looks, traditional fishing villages providing a refreshing India tour experience. Some popular beaches are: Samudra beach, Aluwa beach, Lighthouse beach and Ashok Beach.

Day 19: Kovalam
Relaxed day at Kovalam. The town known as "Paradise of South India" appears soothing to the eye with its stretches of balmy sands and endless parallel lanes of coconut groves. Swimming and bathing here is very refreshing and also the safest. So much so that one can keep walking about 100 meters into the sea without losing hold of the ground. The underwater magic here is most enchanting which are visible as you snorkel deep inside the ocean. The calm bay of blue waters is the ideal location to tie that hammock or to indulge in playful castle making competitions.

Day 20: Kovalam–Trivandrum- Mumbai
(Flying Time: 3 hrs)
After breakfast, depart for the Trivandrum airport for flight to Mumbai. On arrival, you can go for a short sightseeing tour of Mumbai, if time permits before the onward flight back home.