ASIA PACKAGES: ROUND TRIP INDIA  
 
DAY 01 ARRIVE DELHI

Room is held in Delhi on this day from 1200 hrs for immediate occupancy on arrival

DAY 02 DELHI

Meet and assist upon arrival and transfer to the hotel where rooms have been reserved for you for immediate occupancy on check in

After a late breakfast, proceed for the full day city tour of Old & New Delhi. In Old city visit Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan; Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India; Raj Ghat- the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi and enjoy a walking tour in Chandni Chowk- the silver street of Delhi bustling with activity.

   
In the afternoon visit Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India; Humayun’s Tomb built in the Indo Persian style and a predecessor to The Taj Mahal in Agra; India Gate – A War Memorial Arch. Also drive past the President’s house, Parliament house, Government secretariat buildings and Connaught place – the heart of New Delhi and a busy shopping center.

Dinner & Overnight is at the hotel.

The capital of the state of Rajasthan is popularly known as the 'pink city' as the buildings in its old, walled city is all constructed in pink-colored sandstone. Jaipur owes its name, its foundation and its careful planning to the great warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1699-1744). He laid out the city with its surrounding walls and six rectangular blocks by principles of town planning set out in an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. In 1728 he constructed the remarkable observatory, which is still one of Jaipur's central attractions. It is worthwhile spending any leisure time wandering through the bazaars. Jaipur is well known for its beautiful carpets, enamelled ornaments, precious and semi-precious stones, brass ornaments and many other arts and crafts.

Rest of the day is free to explore the colorful town independently.

Spend time in crowded lanes & by lanes of pink city, haggling and souvenir-hunting.

   
DAY 25 IN JAIPUR

After breakfast drive to the outskirts of the city to visit AMBER FORT, the ancient capital of the State until 1728. Visit the TEMPLE OF KALI, the HALL OF VICTORY or JAI MAHAL and JAL MAHAL. You can have the unique experience of traveling on elephant back to and from the top of the hill on which the fort is situated.

Also visit Gaitor - situated 15 km. from Jaipur. Gaitor is a historical place, popular for the cenotaphs or chhatris of Jaipur rulers. The cenotaph of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II , a white marble structure, is the finest tourist spot of Jaipur . The Cenotaph is decorated with carved peacocks. Next to the cenotaph, is the Water palace or Jal Mahal constructed by Sawai Madho Singh is an enchanting spot. The cenotaphs of the Maharanis of Jaipur are located on Amber Road, very close is the Jal Mahal, a lake palace, which was the summer resort of the royal Rajput family.

Later visit the Jaigarh fort - the most spectacular of the three-hilltop forts that overlook Jaipur. It is one of the few military structures of medieval India preserved almost intact, containing palaces, a granary, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and giant mounted cannon-the Jai Ban (Jaivan) which is the largest cannon on wheels in the world. Jaigarh Fort is also known as the fort of victory.

Of Jaipur's three forts, Jaigarh is perhaps the most imposing. It does not have those delicate structures or palaces like that of Amber but if you want a quick look at a hard-core fortress, this is it. Jaigarh means `Victory Fort' and was built between the 15th and the 18th century AD, and stands 15 km from Jaipur, amidst rock-strewn, thorn-scrub covered hills, its forbidding stone ramparts being visible from the Jaipur town. It was the royal treasury for several years.

In the afternoon proceed for a sightseeing tour of the city visiting THE OBSERVATORY, THE PALACE OF WINDS AND THE CITY PALACE & MUSEUM. The museum has an interesting textile section, which contains dresses and costumes of the former Maharajas and Maharanis of Jaipur. Evening is at leisure to explore the local markets. Overnight stay is at your hotel in Jaipur.

DAY 26 TO FATEHPUR SIKRI & TO AGRA

This morning you will drive towards Agra.

We‘ll stop FATEHPUR SIKRI, 38 kms before Agra. This was the capital city of Akbar but was abandoned later due to scarcity of water. This complex in red sandstone is considered to be more beautiful than TAJ MAHAL by many visitors.

Then continue your drive of approximately 45 min. to Agra and check in at the hotel on arrival Rest of day is at leisure to relax at the pool side.

Overnight is at the hotel


   
DAY 27 AGRA TO VARANASI BY OVERNIGHT TRAIN

After breakfast, proceed with a half day city tour of Agra city. Visit the red sandstone Agra Fort, which stands like a crescent on the banks of the Jamuna River enclosed by forbidding 20-meter high walls, with a 12- meter moat between them. Three successive Mughal emperors - Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jehan - helped create this massive structure which contains Hindu and Muslim architecture. Then proceed for the famous white marble mausoleum, which was built in the middle of the 17th century by the Moghul emperor Shah Jehan for his `wife Mumtaz Mahal. Visit the Taj Mahal surely the greatest monument to love and one of the wonders of the modern world. Completed in 1652,

skilled craftsmen from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and some 20,000 labourers worked for 17 years to build this edifice, constructed by Emperor Shah Jehan as a mausoleum for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. Marble was brought from Makrana, near Jodhpur and precious stones of onyx, amethyst, malachite, lapis lazuli, turquoise, jade, crystal and mother of pearl were carried to Agra from Persia, Russia, Afghanistan, Tibet, China and the Indian Ocean.
In the evening transfer to the railway station to boar the overnight train for Varanasi

Overnight on board the train

DAY 07 ARRIVE VARANASI

Meet and assist upon arrival and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the morning is at leisure.

Varanasi picturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy Ganga, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of le1arning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. Varanasi is probably one of the most ancient living cities in India. From time immemorial it has been a great religious center for Hindus and one of their most sacred places of pilgrimage, being visited by millions of people every year.

In the afternoon, proceed with an excursion to Sarnath – where lord Buddha preached his first sermon. A major Buddhist centre, Sarnath lies 10 kilometres north east of Varanasi. It was here that Buddha preached his message of the ’middle way’ to nirvana after achieving enlightenment at Bodhgaya. In around 234 BC, Emperor Ashoka, a great follower of Buddhism, erected a stupa here. Between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, several Buddhist structures were built here in Sarnath. Most of the Sarnath’s monuments are set in large gardens making it quite pleasant for a visitor to spend some time here.

Visit to the River Ganges in Varanasi to witness the evening Aarti and pooja.

Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 08 VARANASI–KOLKATA BY OVERNIGHT TRAIN

Early in the morning, enjoy a boat ride on the River Ganges. The most important facet of this holy city is the river and the ghats lining its southern bank in the city. From dawn to dusk, the ghats are thronged by thousands of devotees, who perform their holy rituals in the hope of attaining salvation, the “Nirvana”

Return to the hotel for a late breakfast

Rest of the day is at leisure. In the evening transfer to the railway station to board your overnight train for Kolkata

Overnight on board the train

DAY 09 ARRIVE KOLKATA

Meet and assist upon arrival and transfer to the hotel

Later in the day proceed with a city tour of Kolkata visiting Dalhousie Square (Covering Raj Bhavan, High Court, GPO, Town Hall, Writer’s Building and other important colonial buildings), Flower Market, Marble Palace, Tagore House, St.Paul’s Cathedral Church, Victoria Memorial, Kalighat Kali Temple and Mother Teresa’s House.

Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 10 KOLKATA – CHENNAI BY FLIGHT & DRIVE TO MAHABALIPURAM

Transfer to the airport to board your flight for Chennai

Met and assistance on arrival at in Chennai and drive 01 hour (60 kms) to your beach resort at MAHABALIPURAM

In the afternoon proceed with a half day city tour of Mahabalipuram. Mahaballipuram with its picturesque location on a rocky outcrop between the beach and a lagoon is a happy combination of history, good beaches, hassle-free tourism and fabulous fish and lobster. It is renowned for its series of charming RATHAS and the spectacular carved relief depicting ARJUNA’S PENANCE. The magnificent SHORE TEMPLE built by king Rajasimha in the seventh century houses the shrines of both Shiva and Vishnu. The KRISHNA MANADAPAM has a bas-relief of Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhan hill on his fingertips. Return to your hotel late in the afternoon for overnight stay.

DAY 11 TO PONDICHERRY

After breakfast drive to Pondicherry, a French colony on the coastline of India. During your afternoon tour visit SRI AUROBINDO ASHRAM, where Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for the most parts of their lives. The PONDICHERRY MUSEUM is home to some of the most exquisite collections on architecture and sculpture. Pondicherry also has a pleasant beach alongside promenade and historical monuments.

Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 12 TO MADURAI

After breakfast drive to Madurai entoure visiting Tanjavur Tiruchirappalli & Thanjavur has been the treasure house of art for centuries. It is called the ‘Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu’ and is the home of the Brahadeeswara temple, the magnificent palace, Rajah Serfoji's Saraswathi Mahal Library, Art Gallery and also for its exquisite handicrafts like the Art Plate, pithwork, bronze icons, Thanjavur paintings and the classical South Indian musical instruments.

Continue your drive after the visit and check in at the hotel on arrival

Visit to the Temple for the night prayer ceremony. Overnight is at the hotel

   
DAY 13 TO PERIYAR

Today morning visit the major attractions of Madurai City.

Later drive to Periyar – one of the finest sanctuaries for studying the Indian Elephant in its home. Arrive and check-in at your hotel. In the afternoon you will be taken around to see some spice plantations. Overnight is at the hotel.
   
DAY 14 TO COCHIN

After breakfast drive to Cochin and check in at the hotel on arrival

Being a major harbor from the times of the British and Portuguese, Cochin has a rich heritage of forts, churches and temples.

In the afternoon proceed with a sightseeing tour of Cochin visiting the Dutch Palace, Jewish synagogue, Chinese fishing nets & St. Francis Church. Dutch Palace was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Cochin in 1555 AD. The Jewish Synagogue, built in 1568 AD, Fort Kochi, St. Francis Church, and the Chinese Nets.

In the evening there is a visit to the cultural centre to see the traditional dance form of Kathakali. Overnight is at the hotel.
   
DAY 15 TO KOVALAM

After breakfast drive to the beach resort at Kovalam

Arrive and check in at the resort where you would be staying for 02 nights. Overnight at the resort

DAY 16 IN KOVALAM

The day is at leisure to explore the beaches.
Overnight is at the hotel

DAY 17 KOVALAM – TRIVANDRUM AIRPORT FLIGHT TO MUMBAI

In time, transfer to the Trivandrum airport to connect your flight for Mumbai. Meet and assist upon arrival and transfer to the hotel

This afternoon, visit GATEWAY OF INDIA built in 1924 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India. Built in the 16th century Gujarati style, the monument stood testament to British supremacy. Ironically, it was from here that the last British troops left the country after independence. PRINCE OF WALES MUSEUM like the Gateway of India commemorates the visit of King George V. The building is built in Indo Sarcenic style and is surrounded by beautiful Gardens.

A unique feature of Mumbai, the dhobi is a traditional laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. All for a pittance, the most famous of these DHOBI GHATS is at Saat Rasta near Mahalaxmi Station where almost two hundred dhobis and their families work together in what has always been a hereditary occupation. MARINE DRIVE features a bustling waterfront promenade. Marine Drive is built on land reclaimed along the Arabian coast, and runs from Nariman point to the foot of Malabar Hill. Sunsets here are particularly beautiful.
Overnight is at Hotel.


DAY 18 DEPART MUMBAI

In time transfer to the International airport to connect your flight for onward destination

End of the Tour
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