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Mystical India

Experience the delights of India on our 22 day tour from Kochi via Jaipur to Delhi and let India's energy and spirit reveal the journey of a lifetime.

22 Day
From (AUD)
$ 15,290
  • 2017/2018 Kochi > Delhi

    History comes alive

    India has many delights and surprises to share with you as you weave your way from south to north through this magical sub-continent.

    South India offers up an entirely new perspective. Lush and sultry, you’ll instantly relax into the laid-back pace of life as you explore over 2,000 years of continuous civilisation. Search for elephants at Periyar National Park before the World Heritage-listed temple towns of Tamil Nadu will tap into your spiritual side. Let the energy of the capital Delhi propel you into the journey of a lifetime experiencing the differences between Old and New Delhi on your city adventures. Allow the astonishing Taj Mahal to seduce you with its intricate architecture and tales of love before exploring the link between the Taj and the grand and impressive Agra Fort. The ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur will astound thanks to its many historical sites and complex Raj history. The luxury of the Royal Palace during your exclusive visit is a breathtaking way to farewell the north. A journey not to be missed.

    Tour Code:

    INCI

    Duration:

    22 Days

    Departure City:

    Kochi

    Return City:

    Delhi

  • 22 Day Itinerary

    • Day 1 - Kochi
      Highlights:
      Welcome

      Welcome to South India your beautiful colonial-era home for the next two nightsis in Kochi.

    • Day 2 - Kochi
      Highlights:
      Freechoice, Kathakali dance performance

      Head down to the harbour and watch the local fishermen expertly handling the Chinese fishing nets. Discover the different colonial influences during your tour of Fort Kochi. Visit Jew Town and the Jewish synagogue.

      Freechoice

      Visit a local market before learning the secrets of South Indian cooking or indulge in a traditional Ayurveda massage. Alternatively explore Vypeen Island, a small fishing village with a number of old Portuguese churches.

      In the evening, watch a Kathakali performance, a highly evolved classical form of dance, drama and music.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 3 - Kochi > Periyar National Park
      Highlights:
      Periyar Lake cruise

      Ascend into the highlands to Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary and take a private boat cruise on Periyar Lake. Overnight stay Periyar National Park.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 4 - Periyar National Park > Madurai
      Highlights:
      Enrich - spice plantation lunch
      Freechoice

      Join an early morning guided jungle walk or partake in a jeep tour through local spice farms and countryside for panoramic views over Tamil Nadu.

      Enrich

      Wander through a small family-owned spice plantation and learn how spices grow before enjoying a lunch prepared by the family.

      Cross into Tamil Nadu, the ‘State of Temples’ and drive to Madurai, known as the ‘Athens of the East’. Tonight relax at your hotel in Madurai.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 5 - Madurai
      Highlights:
      Sri Meenakshi temple

      Rise early for a walk through the heritage section of town to witness the early morning rituals. Later, walk through the local flower and vegetable market and weavers market. Visit one of South India’s biggest pilgrimage sites, the Sri Meenakshi Temple. This evening return by Tuk Tuk to this Hindu temple to absorb the rituals and celebration of the evening puja ceremony.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 6 - Madurai > Chettinad
      Highlights:
      Chettinad city tour

      Drive to the small village of Karaikudi located in the area known as ‘Chettinad’. The merchants and traders (the Chettiars) amassed fortunes from their roles as bankers, building remarkable homes. Experience a bullock cart ride through the narrow streets exploring the charm and faded elegance of colonial bungalows and merchant houses, stopping for a weaving demonstration en-route. Stay at your beautifully restored Art Deco mansion for the next two nights.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 7 - Chettinad
      Highlights:
      Enrich - wedding feast

      Witness ‘Kolam making’, colourful designs made with dyed rice, before visiting a pottery village to watch the colourful local tiles called Athangudi being crafted by hand. This afternoon take a heritage walk and visit Chettinad Palace

      Enrich

      This evening, witness the preparations for tonight’s typical Chettinad wedding feast before appreciating a private Bharattnatayam classical dance performance.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 8 - Chettinad > Trichy > Tanjore
      Highlights:
      Freechoice

      Journey through the ‘rice bowl’ of Tamil Nadu and on to Trichy, the former Madurai Nayak capital.

      Freechoice

      Choose to climb the Rock Fort Temple or discover Trichy’s colleges, missions and churches. Alternatively visit the island and temples of Srirangam.

      Drive the short distance to Tanjore and your overnight stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 9 - Tanjore > Puducherry
      Highlights:
      Enrich - meet a master craftsman

      Discover the World Heritage-listed Brihadishvara Temple.

      Enrich

      See a demonstration by master craftsmen to learn all about lost-wax casting. Also known as ‘precision casting’ or ‘cire perdue’ in French, it is a method of bronze casting dating back 5,700 years.

      Later drive to the pretty seaside town of Puducherry, the former capital of the French territories in India, then known as Pondicherry. Stay at your romantic hotel, a beautiful tribute to the town’s French legacy.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 10 - Puducherry
      Highlights:
      Colonial heritage walking tour

      Journey to Auroville (City of Dawn) and see the Matrimandir, a metallic sphere covered in gold. Understand how the local Tamil population successfully assimilated French culture with their own during a heritage walking tour. Stroll past charming Tamil and colonial fusion architecture and visit the Aurobindo Ashram.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 11 - Puducherry > Chennai
      Highlights:
      Freechoice Dining

      En-route to Chennai stop at Mamallapuram to explore the spectacular World Heritage-listed Shore Temples. In Chennai, check in to your beautiful hotel for a two night Special Stay.

      FreechoiceDining

      Dine on international cuisine at Spectra or China XO, featuring the flavours of China. Alternatively try Jamavar, specialising in Indian cuisine.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 12 - Chennai
      Highlights:
      Freechoice
      Freechoice

      Walk through Georgetown and discover its markets and colonial laneways or explore the 8th century Hindu temples in Kanchipuram. Alternatively, visit a local Indian market and take part in a cooking lesson.

      Discover the history of the Basilica of San Thome before wandering along India’s largest urban beach, The Marina. Tonight reminisce about your wonderful tour at your farewell dinner.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 13 - Chennai > Delhi
      Highlights:
      Discover Delhi

      Fly to Delhi and arrive at your grand colonial Special Stay for the next three nights.

      Meals included: Breakfast

    • Day 14 - Delhi
      Highlights:
      Rickshaw ride Spice Market

      Explore Old Delhi and India’s largest mosque, Jama Masjid. Dazzle your senses on a rickshaw ride through Asia’s largest wholesale spice bazaar before undertaking a heritage walk through Delhi’s oldest streets, finishing with a traditional lunch in a haveli with a local family. Later visit the inspiration for the Taj Mahal, Humayan’s Tomb. Enjoy dinner tonight.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 15 - Delhi
      Highlights:
      Freechoice, Freechoice Dining
      Freechoice

      Learn about the differences between three of India’s main religions or explore the National Museum and learn all about Gandhi. Alternatively visit the Qutub Minar, Lodi Gardens and Dilli Haat.

      FreechoiceDining

      Partake in a cooking demonstration and dinner at Marwah’s at Hauz Khas. Alternatively, try San Gimignano Italian restaurant or the Veda Restaurant, an elegant contemporary restaurant in the centre of Delhi, serving modern Indian cuisine at Connaught Place.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 16 - Delhi > Agra
      Highlights:
      Sundowners, Freechoice Dining

      Drive past the India Gate and Presidential Avenue before continuing to Agra, stopping en-route at the Tomb of I’timad-ud-Daulah, known as the Baby Taj. In Agra thrill at the location of your luxurious Special Stay hotel, only 600 metres from the magnificent Taj Mahal.

      Sundowners

      This evening gather for an evening drink with canapés to overlook and appreciate the architectural wonder of the Taj Mahal from the close proximity of your hotel.

      FreechoiceDining

      Choose from Esphahan, which specialises in thali, or the buffet at the Bellevue. Alternatively try the Peshawari restaurant.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 17 - Agra
      Highlights:
      Taj Mahal & Agra Fort

      Savour a moment you will not forget with your sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal with its shimmering marble domes and towers reflecting in the landscaped pools. Inlaid with black marble and semi-precious stones, this architectural marvel, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his favourite wife Mumtaz, takes on different colours throughout the day. Later discover the World Heritage-listed Agra Fort.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 18 - Agra > Jaipur
      Highlights:
      Fatehpur Sikri

      Explore the World Heritage-listed site of the deserted Mughal capital city of Fatehpur Sikri. Continue to navigate along back roads and tiny villages to Jaipur, also known as the ‘Pink City’ and the capital of Rajasthan. Afterwards check into your regal hotel for a three night stay.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

    • Day 19 - Jaipur
      Highlights:
      Enrich - Elephant safari

      Revel in your visit to the striking 17th century hilltop Amber Fort. Explore the Maharajah’s apartments, the many palaces with interiors richly decorated with exquisite paintings and intricate carvings and soak in the views of the massive ramparts surrounding the complex.

      Enrich

      Experience an elephant safari through the bush surrounding Jaipur, seeing ancient monuments and wildlife before enjoying an authentic Indian BBQ dinner.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 20 - Jaipur
      Highlights:
      Enrich - morning tea at Royal Residence

      Optional Hot Air Balloon Flight - Book a hot air balloon flight over Jaipur. Additional expense, must be pre-booked to guarantee availability.

      Visit the City Palace, a superb blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, which has been home to the rulers of Jaipur. Marvel at the magnificent Jantar Mantar, an observatory built in the 18th century where the remarkable astronomical devices are still used today.

      Enrich

      Savour the opportunity of a lifetime by taking refreshments inside the residence of the Royal Family of Jaipur, an area not normally accessible to other tourists. Overlook the Nahargarh Fort, Old City and Palace gardens whilst savouring your sweets.

      Discover the magnificent Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) with its honeycombed sandstone windows where the ladies of the royal household would watch everyday life. Undertake a rickshaw ride into small chowkris of the city before returning to your hotel.

      Sundowners

      This evening enjoy a guided heritage tour of Rambagh Palace learning all about it history with a glass of champagne in hand.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 21 - Jaipur > Delhi (Gurgaon)
      Highlights:
      Bollywood stage show

      Journey to Gurgaon to see Indian cinema come alive at the ‘Kingdom of Dreams’ Bollywood stage show, a vibrant spectacle of colour, music and dance. Check into your hotel with its landscaped gardens and reflection pools. Tonight enjoy a truly gourmet farewell dining experience of Indian cuisine from the coastal regions of India.

      Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    • Day 22 - Delhi (Gurgaon)

      Depart with many wonderful memories your time in India.

      Meals included: Breakfast