Colonial India & Backwater
Package price On Request
Product Code : AGORA158
Witness the world’s most incredible diversity, while exploring “Colonial India & Backwater” in the company of Agora Voyages. This two week tour begin in Delhi, a city that boasts of a living history & heritage of close to three millennia. See the monument of love, the iconic Taj Mahal and explore the sacred city of Varanasi. Witness the culture that fused European philosophies with Indian tradition in Kolkata the colonial city developed by the British East India Company. Discover colonial Madras through the buildings the British left behind. Walk thru the French Colony quiet, clean streets, lined with bougainvillea-draped townhouses numbered in an almost logical manner. Witness the remnant of colonial buildings made by the Dutch, Portuguese and English in the colourful kaleidoscope of cultures, religions and backwater in Cochin. Finally reach Mumbai the home to Bollywood and the largest number of Billionaires in India.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
On arrival assistance & transfer to hotel (hotel check in/ out time 12pm). Rest time free for personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Delhi (B)
City tour of Delhi. In Old Delhi visit the majestic Red Fort (closed on Monday) the residence of the Mughal emperor for nearly 200 years until 1857. Jama Masjid one of the largest mosques in the world built by Shah Jahan. Cycle Rickshaw ride in Chandni chowk & Khari Baoli Spice Market a busy shopping area with markets full of spices, dried fruit, silver jewelry and vivid saris, while the narrow side streets are crowded with tiny shops selling essential oils, stationery and traditional Indian sweets. Raj Gath the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi where he was cremated after his assassination.
In New Delhi visit Humayun Tomb the first garden-tomb in Indian subcontinent and an early example of Mughal architecture commissioned by Humayun`s first wife Empress Bega Begum in 1569-70. Qutab Minar a 73-metres tall minaret that forms part of the Qutb complex a fine examples of Afghan architecture. Lotus Temple a Bahai House of Worship notable for its flower-like shape. Also drive pass President House, Parliament & India Gate etc. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Delhi - Varanasi (B)
Transfer to airport to board flight for Varanasi.
On arrival transfer to hotel. Evening attend Holy Ganga Aarti, a magical ritual held every evening at sunset on the banks of the Holy Ganges. The entire Ghat gets illuminated with a divine light that can be felt strongly. The magnificent ritual involves huge brass lamps lit with oil and the priests chant the holy mantras that reverberate in the entire location. The entire Ghat gets illuminated with a divine light that can be felt strongly. The magnificent ritual involves huge brass lamps lit with oil and the priests chant the holy mantras that reverberate in the entire location Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Varanasi (B)
Early morning boat ride & ghat visit along the Ganges and catch the scene of devotees bathing and praying in the sacred water. Ghats in Varanasi are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges. The city has 88 ghats, most of the ghats are bathing and puja ceremony ghats, while two ghats are used exclusively as cremation sites. The ghats are frequented by the people which include early morning bathers, priests, people practicing meditation and yoga, students and tourists as well. City tour of Varanasi. Visit Banaras Hindu University, with 5.3 sq kms campus and 30,000 residing students it is the largest residential university in the continent. Bharat Mata Temple built in 1936 houses a relief map of undivided India carved out of marble. Tulsi Manas Mandir one of the most famous temples in Varanasi. The temple has beautiful images of Lord Rama, Mother Sita, Lakshman and Lord Hanuman. The walls of temple are adorned with verses from Ramcharitmanas, the Hindi version of the epic Ramayana. Sarnath it was here Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after attaining the Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Varanasi - Kolkata (B)
Transfer to airport to board flight for Kolkata.
On arrival at Kolkata airport assistance & transfer to hotel. Rest time free & easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Kolkata (B)
City tour of Kolkata. Visit Fort William one of most enduring Raj-era edifices built during the early years of the Bengal Presidency of British India, on the eastern banks of the River Hooghly. Victoria Memorial the immaculate white memorial bounded by verdant greenery and broad roads dedicated to Queen Victoria. Inside the memorial there is a museum where you can see the dresses of the queen as well as different kinds of weapons used during that era. Netaji Bhawan a building maintained as a memorial and research center to the life of the Indian nationalist Netaji`s Subhas Chandra Bose. The house, built by Bose`s father in 1909, is owned and managed by the Netaji Research Bureau and includes a museum, archives and library. Howrah Bridge one of the most popular bridges of India, built on the river Hooghly. It is one of the major Kolkata attractions and people from different part of the country come here especially to witness this amazingly structured bridge. Dakshineswar Kali Temple one of the major pilgrimage center dedicated to Goddess Kali. Located on the bank of River Hoogly, the temple compound maintains a large courtyard with rooms along the boundary walls, twelve shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, a bathing ghat on the river and a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni. Overnight at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Kolkata - Chennai (B)
Transfer to airport to board flight for Chennai.
On arrival transfer to hotel. Later visit Fort St. George & St Mary`s Church inside the fort built by the British East India Company in 1640 AD. Kapaleeshwarar Temple a holy shrine of Lord Shiva originally built by the mighty Pallavas and rebuilt in 16th century by the Vijayanagar kings. Vadapalani Murugan Temple one of the most frequented places of worship for Hindus in Chennai. Government Museum built in the Indo-Sarcenic style it houses a rich collection of works of Raja Ravi Varma. Dakshinachitra Museum, one of the living-history museums. Santhome Cathedral a historical and ancient pilgrim centre, which was built during the 14th to the 15th century AD by the then reigning Portuguese. Drive Pass Marina Beach a 13kms long natural urban beach along the Bay of Bengal. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Chennai - Pondicherry (235kms) (B)
Drive to Pondicherry via Kanchipuram & Mahabalipuram. In Kanchipuam visit Kailasanathar temple 8th century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Ekambareswarar temple an ancient temple dedicated to Siva, 2500 year old mango tree inside the temple has 4 branches each yields different varieties of mangoes. Varadharaja temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Vaikundhaperumal temple dedicated to lord Vishnu & Kamakshiamman temple the ultimate form of Goddess Parvati. In Mahabalipuram visit Monolithic Temples Five Rathas an excellent examples of the evolution of Dravidian style architecture. Krishnas Butterball a gigantic granite boulder resting on a short incline. 7th century Cave Temples cut and decorated with panels in the Mamalla style. Shore Temple built with blocks of granite in 7th century during the rule of King Narsimha-Varman II Rajasimha the temple complex consisting of two Siva temples and a carving of Anantasayana Vishnu. The Arjuna`s Penance an enormous rock-cut relief, one of the largest in the whole world.
Continue drive to Pondichery check in & overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Pondicherry - Chennai (160kms) (B)
visit Drive to Pondicherry check in at hotel.
Later visit Aurovil an experimental community founded in 1968 by the spiritual leader Mirra Alfassa as a town where people from all over the world could live in harmony. Its focal point is the Matrimandir, a futuristic, spherical temple covered in gold discs. Pondicherry Museum it houses a fantastic collection of bronze sculptures of god and goddess, a wide gathering of temple lamps, handicrafts and art. Drive pass or walk through stunning French Quarters, charming mustard streets, colonial villas and vibrant Tamil settlements. Besides a very picturesque view of the lovely alleys and narrow lanes, you can also marvel at the gorgeous architecture of the French colonial settlements which include French consulate, Raj Nivas, Government Square, Churches & French schools. Evening to relax on the beach. Overnight at hotel.
Later drive to Chennai check in & overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Chennai - Cochin (B)
Transfer to airport to board flight for Cochin.
On arrival transfer to hotel. Later visit Fort Cochin a charming seaside area known for its Dutch, Portuguese & British colonial architecture and elaborate bamboo fishing nets at Fort Kochi Beach. St. Francis Church was the original burial site of explorer Vasco da Gama. Upscale eateries and chic cafes serve Keralan specialties, and quaint shops sell cotton clothing and handmade souvenirs. Heritage buildings house contemporary art galleries. Also visit Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry Dutch`s Palace. In the evening enjoy Kathakali, a traditional dance form of Kerala with lavish costumes, exotic makeup, masks etc. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Cochin - Alleppey (60kms) (B)
Transfer to Alleppey boat jetty to board houseboat and sail through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters. While sailing enjoy palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals, the panoramic sights one can never forget. Pass through one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level. Alleppey is referred as the Venice of the East, due to canals, backwaters, and lagoons. Boats are the main mode of transportation here, you can see Shikara boats, small motor boats, passenger boats, cargo boat, and houseboats. Evening enjoy sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats. The Houseboats have generated electricity, sitting cum dining area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a chef & driver. Overnight in houseboat.
Day 12: Alleppey - Cochin/Mumbai (B)
Disembark from houseboat & drive to Cochin airport to board flight for Mumbai.
On arrival transfer to hotel. Rest time for personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Mumbai (B)
City tour of Mumbai. Drive via Marine Drive one of the most beautifully laid boulevards in the city to reach Gateway of India. Board a ferry from here to reach Elephanta Caves (Monday closed). A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where caves are located. Afterwards cruise back to Gateway of India and then city tour. Drive pass CST & Parliament House. Visit Dhobhi Ghat to see the city famous open air laundry in action. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay, a grade I Heritage Building of the city counted amongst one of the most prominent museums of India. The complex exhibits a myriad collection of ancient artefacts, artwork and sculptors of the country which give a unique insight into our past. Overnight at hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14: Mumbai - Departure (B)
As per flight schedule Departure transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
Assistance on arrival at airport.
13 Nights accommodation in selected price category hotels.
Meal as per day plan (B- Breakfast, L- Lunch, D- Dinner)
Private air conditioned deluxe car for airport transfer, sightseeing and excursion as per program.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.
Monuments entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
Bottled drinking water in car.
Hotels used or similar for 13 night accommodation
Delhi x 2 nights
3* - Madhuban Hotel/ Meridian Plaza
4* - The Royal Plaza/ Country Inn & Suite Saket
5* - Le Meridien/ The Claridges
Varanasi x 2 nights
3* - Meraden Grand/ Amaya Hotel
4* - Rivatas by Ideal/ Palace On Ganges
5* - Radisson Hotel/ Gateway Hotel Taj
Kolkata x 2 night
3* - Regenta Orko's/ The Fern Residency
4* - The Peerless Inn/ The Fern Residency
5* - ITC Sonar, a Luxury Collection/ The Lalit Great Eastern
Chennai x 2 night
3* - Raj Park/ MGM East Woods
4* - The Raintree/ Accord Metropolitan
5* - ITC Grand Chola/ The Leela Palace
Pondicherry x 1 night
3* - Shenbaga Hotel/ Annamalai International
4* - Le Pondy/ The Windflower Resort & Spa
5* - Palais De Mahe/ La Villa
Cochin x 1 nights
3* - The Dune Hotel/ Abad Plaza
4* - Casino Hotel/ The Avenue Regent
5* - Xandari Harbour/ Le Meridien
Alleppey x 1 night
3* - Deluxe Houseboat (ATDC Houseboat/ Dream Boats)
4* - Premium Houseboat (Abad Premium Houseboats/ Rainbow Premium Houseboats)
5* - Luxury Houseboat (Xandari Riverscapes/ Lakes & Lagoons)
Mumbai x 2 nights
3* - Hotel Suba Palace/ BW Hotel Sahil
4* - Sun-N-Sand Hotel/ Fariyas Hotel
5* - Trident Hotel/ ITC Grand Central
Delhi - Varanasi - Kolkata - Chennai - Cochin - Mumbai flight fare approx INR 25,500 per person in economy class.
Camera charges at monuments.
Meals other than mentioned in day plan.
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Gratuities & optional activities.
Anything not mentioned in inclusions.