Indias Rich Culture Heritage Tea Estate And Backwater Tour
Package price On Request
Product Code : AGORA672
Indias Rich Culture, Heritage, Tea Estate & Backwater Tour will begin in Delhi. Visit the historical city Delhi, witness the immortal beauty of the Taj Mahal, admire the graceful cenotaphs of Orchha and the sensuous moods of the temples at Khajuraho. Then fly to the sacred city Varanasi and cruise on the River Ganges to observe ancient spiritual rites. Fly to Mumbai, visit Elephanta Caves & colonial era monuments. Fly to Aurangabad to get close look at the stunning Ajanta and Ellora Caves two unique UNESCO World Heritage sites dating between 2nd century BC and 6th century AD. Fly to Cochin in Kerala and witness the unparalleled natural, historical & heritage charm. Kerala tour will take you to rich historical sights of Cochin, aromatic tea estate in Munnar, exotic wildlife in Thekkady & cruise on backwaters in Alleppey. Fly back to Delhi for your onward connection.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
On arrival at Delhi airport assistance & transfer to hotel. (Standard hotel check in time 12pm, early check in subject to room availability). Rest time free to relax and personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Delhi
Breakfast at hotel, 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 flowerlike shape. Also drive pass President House, Parliament & India Gate etc. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Delhi - Agra (204kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Agra check in at hotel.
Later visit Taj Mahal an ivory-white marble mausoleum commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, it also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. Agra Fort the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638. And Itmad-ud-Daula Tomb commissioned by Nur Jahan for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4: Agra - Orchha (220kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Orchha. Enroute visit Gwalior Fort, situated on top of a hill is one of the best fortresses of India, known for its great architecture and rich past. The fort complex includes several temples, palaces and water tanks. Siddhachal Caves and Gopachal rock-cut Jain monuments are the two areas, complete with thousands of Jain Tirthankar idols defaced during the Mughal invasion. Teli Ka Mandir and Sas-Bahu Ka Mandir are the two architecturally rich Hindu temples here. Gurudwara Data Bandi Chhor is another holy place built inside the fort complex. Man Mandir Palace, Gujari Mahal, Assi Khamba Ki Baoli, and Suraj Kund are other important monuments found in the complex. Jai Vilas Palace has the largest carpet in the world and two most massive chandeliers in the world that weight close to 3.5 tonnes.
Arrive Orchha check in at hotel. Later city tour of Orchha a historical town known for its grand palaces, intricately carved temples adorned with classic mural paintings, frescos and cenotaphs that were constructed to commemorate the Bundela rulers. Visit the Orchha Fort complex, which houses a large number of ancient monuments. These are Raja Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, a temple, gardens and pavilions. Chaturbhuj Temple a multi-storied structure noted for having one of the tallest Vimana among Hindu temples. Chattris (Cenotaphs) situated on the banks of Betwa river, are magnificent royal tombs of the Maharajas, placed on a platform and supported by the pillars. Overnight at hotel.
Day 5: Orchha - Khajuraho (178km)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Khajuraho check in at hotel. Visit well maintained UNESCO World Heritage Site, exploring eastern, western & southern group of temples adorned by erotic and sensuous carvings. The architecture of these temples depict the erotic forms of love, the carvings on the walls display passion in the most sensuous yet aesthetic ways. Built between 950 to 1050 AD by Chandela dynasty the temples of Khajuraho are India`s unique gift to the world, representing, as they do, a paean to life, to love, to joy, perfect in execution and sublime in expression. Of the 85 original temples, 22 have survived till today to constitute one of the world`s great artistic wonders. Overnight at hotel.
Day 6: Khajuraho - Varanasi (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, 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. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7: Varanasi
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.
Breakfast at hotel, city tour 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. Continue to Sarnath, it was here Lord Buddha preached his first sermon after attaining the Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. The great Dhamekh Stupa and glistening pillar established by Emperor Ashoka in 273-232 B.C. stand testimony to the importance the place enjoyed at that time. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Varanasi - Mumbai (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board flight for Mumbai.
On arrival transfer to hotel check in. Rest time free for personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Mumbai
Breakfast at hotel, morning excursion to 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.
Later city of Mumbai, drive pass Marine Drive one of the most beautifully laid boulevards in the city, CST & Parliament House. Visit The Gateway of India an arch-monument built to commemorate the landing of King-Emperor George V & Queen-Empress Mary in December 1911 at Apollo Bunder. 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. Kala Ghoda Art Precinct area that stretches from the Regal Circle at the Southern end of Mahatma Gandhi Road, up to the Mumbai University at the northern end, flanked by the Oval Maidan to the west and the Lion Gate to the east. Its curious name, meaning Black Horse, can be traced back to a bronze equestrian statue of King Edward VII that existed there during the colonial era. Dhobhi Ghat to see the city famous open air laundry in action. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Mumbai - Aurangabad (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board flight for Aurangabad.
On arrival transfer to hotel. Later visit Ellora Caves, Grishneshwar Temple & Daulatabad Fort.
Also visit Bibi ka Maqbara built in 1678 is a sons loving tribute to his mother, Panchakki which discharged water on the wheel to power the flourmill and grind grain for the pilgrims & Aurangabad Caves artificial caves that were dug out of soft rock during the 6th & 7th century. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Aurangabad - Ajanja - Aurangabad (210kms round)
Breakfast at hotel, excursion to Ajanta (Monday closed). The Buddhist Caves of Ajanta were discovered by the British officers in 1819 while hunting tiger. Ajanta Caves were first mentioned in the writings of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited India between AD 629 and 645. The Caves at Ajanta are older than those at Ellora which date from about 200 BC to 650 AD. Thirty beautiful Buddhist Caves with mesmerizing sculptures and paintings depicting Buddha`s life as well the lives of the Buddha in his previous births. Five of these Caves are Chaityas (Place of worship) while the other twenty-five are Viharas (monasteries). Ajanta Caves are divided in two categories based on two schools of Buddhist thought - Hinayana Caves and Mahayana Caves. Drive back to Aurangabad for overnight stay. Drive back to Aurangabad for overnight stay.
Day 12: Aurangabad - Cochin (flight)
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board flight for Cochin.
On arrival at Cochin airport assistance & transfer hotel check in. In the evening enjoy Kathakali, a traditional dance form of Kerala with lavish costumes, exotic makeup, masks etc. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Cochin - Munnar (140kms)
Breakfast at hotel, city tour of Cochin the lovely seaside city flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. You will find here a unique mix and match of traditional as well Western architecture and lifestyle.
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. After sightseeing Breakfast at hotel, drive to Munnar, check in at hotel. During the British rule in India, Munnar was the summer resort of the Government officials. The natural beauty, calmness and mild cold climate throughout the year make it the favorite tourist places. The tea estates, hills, lakes and forests inside Munnar range expose its beauty.
Later tea estate visit and tea testing. Overnight at hotel.
Day 14: Munnar
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Pothamedu which offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. Mattupetty dam and its reservoir, a concrete gravity dam built between the hill ranges for water storage for hydroelectric projects. Rajamala a hill station in Eravikulam National Park a natural habitat of the Niligiri tahr 2695 Mts above sea level. Half the world`s population of the rare mountain goat or tahr which is fast becoming extinct, is now found here. Mattupedi Dairy Farm, famous for the Indo-Swiss Farm, a highly specialized dairy farm which comes under Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. Echo Point, go there and scream as loud as you can and wait for a minute to hear your echo back! Also visit Tea Museum to know more about the century old culture a lively glimpse of how the tea culture flourished across South India. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15: Munnar - Thekkady (110kms)
Breakfast at hotel, drive to Thekkady via Ramakkalmedu one of the windiest places in Asia and being so, one can find here a wind farm generating electricity. Visit Frog Rock, Turtle Rock and the highest twin-statue in Kerala called Kuravan & Kurathi.
Arrive Thekkady check in at hotel. Evening attend Martial Arts & Kathakali Dance show. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16: Thekkady
Breakfast at hotel. Explore Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary on a boat. The tropical evergreen and deciduous forests teeming with elephants, bison, sambar deer, wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger and wild boar along with various species of snake including cobras, vipers, kraits and many non-poisonous snakes is a wildlife lover`s dream. A variety of birds such as grey jungle fowl, Malabar grey hornbill, woodpeckers and bulbuls also have found a home in this sanctuary. Afterwards take a spice plantation tour to see crops of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. You could stop at the local market and pick some fragrant spices. Overnight at hotel.
Day 17: Thekkady - Alleppey (140kms)
Breakfast at hotel, 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. Lunch, dinner & overnight in houseboat.
Day 18: Alleppey - Cochin (60kms)/ Delhi (flight)
Disembark from the houseboat and drive to Cochin airport to board flight for Delhi.
On arrival transfer to the hotel. Rest time free and easy to relax and visit any place of your interest with your driver. Overnight at hotel.
Day 19: Delhi - Departure (flight)
Breakfast at hotel. As per flight schedule transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination. (Standard hotel check out time 11 AM).
Assistance on arrival at airport.
18 Nights' accommodation in selected price category hotels.
Daily breakfast at hotels. Any other meal (lunch/ dinner) if clearly mentioned in the itinerary).
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.
Monument entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
Bottled drinking water in car.
Hotels used or similar for 18 nights accommodation
Delhi x 3 nights
3* - Madhuban Hotel/ Emarald Hotel
4* - The Royal Plaza/ Country Inn & Suite Saket
5* - Le Meridien/ The Claridges
Agra x 1 night
3* - Howard Plaza the Fern/ Atulyaa Taj
4* - Radission Hotel/ Crystal Sarovar Premier
5* - Trident Hotel/ Courtyard by Marriott
Orchha x 1 night
3* & 4* - Orchha Resort/ Amar Mahal
5* - Orchha Palace and Convention Centre x 1 night
Khajuraho x 1 night
3* - Ramada/Clarks Hotel
4* - Radisson Hotel/ Hotel Chandela
5* - The Lalit Temple View
Varanasi x 2 nights
3* - Meraden Grand/ Amaya Hotel
4* - Rivatas by Ideal/ Palace On Ganges
5* - Radisson Hotel/ Gateway Hotel Taj
Mumbai x 2 night
3* - Hotel Suba Palace/ BW Hotel Sahil
4* - Sun-N-Sand Hotel/ Fariyas Hotel
5* - Trident Hotel/ ITC Grand Central
Aurangabad x 2 nights
3* - Keys Hotel The Aures/ Aurangabad Gymkhana Club
4* - Ambassador Ajanta / VITS Hotel
5* - WelcomHotel Rama International / Lemon Tree Hotel
Cochin x 1 nights
3* - The Dune Hotel/ Abad Plaza
4* - Casino Hotel/ The Avenue Regent
5* - Xandari Harbour/ Le Meridien
Munnar x 2 nights
3* - Fort Munnar/ Abad Copper Castle
4* - Nature Zone Jungle Resort/ Fragrant Nature Munnar
5* - Chandys Windy Woods/ Tea County
Pariyar (Thekkady) x 2 night
3* - Abad Green Forest/ Hotel Treetop
4* - The Elephant Court/ Cardamom County
5* - Spice village/ Cardamom County
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)
Khajuraho - Varanasi - Mumbai - Aurangabad - Cochin - Delhi flight fare approx INR 30500 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.