11 Day Golden Triangle and Kerala

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Visit the splendor of the Mughal era, the royalty of Rajasthan, a giant cave temple and Kerala’s backwaters.



HIGHLIGHTS

Visit the splendor of the Mughal era, the royalty of Rajasthan, a giant cave temple and Kerala’s backwaters.

Day by Day plan

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  • Day 1: Arrival in Delhi

    Our representative will receive you at the airport and ensure a smooth check in to your hotel.

     

    Delhi is the capital of India and the seat of the central power and government. With multiple administrative and state headquarters, important political hubs and national landmarks, Delhi is a modern world capital city with its multi-lane highways, snarling traffic, sky-high buildings and malls, and modern glass constructed financial and commercial centers. However, at the same time, Delhi is also a timeless entity, carrying within its folds, a rich history and a repertoire of artistic, aesthetic architectural wonders, that bear stamp on the different dynasties and rulers that have made their indelible mark on the landscape and culture of the city. Old Delhi hums the influence of the Mughal period, New Delhi, on the other hand, shines with colonial, contemporary and modern outlook.

     

    Have a pleasant overnight stay in your hotel. 

  • Day 2: Delhi Attractions

    After breakfast proceed for a guided tour of Old Delhi.

     

    Raj Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna is the memorial built in the memory of the nation’s most iconic and revered personality, Mahatma Gandhi.  A stone footpath surrounded by lawns marks the way to the simple black platform with the eternal flame which is the site of cremation.

     

    The Red Fort built by Shah Jahan in 1639 is a fortified structure built in red sandstone and it is from here that the Prime Minister of India delivers the Independence Day speech every year. The massively built fort emits grandeur and grit and is one of the most visible and recognizable landmarks of the city.

     

    The Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in Asia and was built by Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656. Take a look at its splendid outer architecture manifested by the towering minaret, domes and arched gateways.

     

    From the splendor of the Mughal age, proceed to the area of New Delhi.

     

    Built by the British as their capital city sometime in the 1930’s, New Delhi is distinguished by its colonial influence. Sir Edwin Lutyen was commissioned to build the new city and hence the imposing government buildings and tree-lined streets of the New Delhi are also referred to as Lutyen’s Dehli.

     

    The India Gate is a war memorial dedicated to the soldiers who died during the First World War and Third Anglo-Afghan war. The India Gate is situated on the Rajpath which is one of the main areas where the Republic Day celebrations are carried out. The Parliament house a circular building where the ministers of the country meet regularly as well as the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India are at close quarters to the India Gate. The Mughal Gardens within the Rashtrapati Bhavan popular for its fountains and well-maintained lawns is open to the public during spring.

     

    Qutub Minar though built in 1193 by Qutbuddin Aibak has been rebuilt by various rulers over the years and marks the site of the country’s first Muslim Kingdom. The iron tower opposite the structure is unique since it is known not to have ever rusted through all these years.

     

    The Lotus Temple is a flower-shaped construction and is the Bahai House of Worship. Open to people of all religions and race, this architectural wonder is a place for quietude and peace with oneself.

     

    Return to the hotel after an eventful day of sightseeing and rest well. 

     

  • Day 3: Delhi to Agra by road, en route Sikandra

    After breakfast proceed to Agra in a comfortable vehicle, making a stop at Sikandra.

     

    At Sikandra lies the grave of one of the most beloved kings, Akbar the great. The beautifully elegant and well-kept memorial has architectural motifs of different religions that inspired him. This is more significant since Akbar was a great secular king and also introduced Din-i-Ilahi a religion that was an amalgamation of the fundamentals of different religions, such as, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.

     

    Continue your drive to Agra and check in the hotel on arrival.

     

    Agra conjures images of the Taj Mahal, the impressive Agra Fort as well as the historically seeped Fatehpur Sikri. Poised on the banks of Yamuna, Agra is every bit a tourist hub, with its much sought after Mughal era architectural wonders, mausoleums, bustling marketplaces or chowks, hordes of rickshaws and buzzing guides.

     

    Proceed for a sightseeing tour of the city in the afternoon.

     

    About two and a half kilometers from the Taj, stands the Agra Fort, a massive monument in red sandstone which can be described as a walled city. The planning and layout within the fort is highly impressive and strategic since the Fort acted as the residence of the Mughal dynasty till 1638. It is believed that Shah Jahan spent the last days of his life in Agra Fort in the Muasamman Burj, a tower with a balcony view of the Taj Mahal.

     

    Your final stop for the day is at Itmad-Ud-Daulah. Also known as Baby Taj, it was in fact built much before the Taj Mahal, by Nur Jehan wife of Jahangir, in the memory of her late father. Built in white marble and encrusted with semi-precious stones, the interiors of the mausoleum have intricate carvings, which many believe inspired the same in Taj Mahal.

     

    In the evening enjoy Kalakriti, a modern dance performance depicting the story of the Taj Mahal.

     

    After an eventful day spent in visiting the famous tourist sites of Agra, spend the night relaxing in the comfort of your hotel.

     

  • Day 4: Taj at dawn, drive to Jaipur, en route Fatehpur Sikri

    Enjoy a surreal sunrise at the Taj Mahal.

     

    The absolutely magnificent Taj Mahal. Deserving of all the hype that surrounds this structure, the Taj Mahal is an ode of love built by Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. This splendid white marble structure though imposing is laden with intricate designs and carvings that are delicately detailed and finely carved.

     

    Return to the hotel for breakfast before proceeding to Fatehpur Sikri.

     

    Fatehpur Sikri built by Akbar served as a capital for the Mughal Empire for a short 14 years, however, its architectural splendor and Indo-Islamic influences are hard to miss or found any place else.

     

    Visit the tomb of Salim Chisti with its stunning white marble façade and intricately carved marble screens is built in the honor of the saint who predicted the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne.

     

    Other attractions include the magnificent Buland Darwaza built by Akbar as a mark of victory over Gujarat and the historically iconic Diwan-i-Aam and Diwan-i-Khaas, where the just king held hearings of the general public in the former and private meetings with his talented and trusted navratnas or nine ministers in the latter. In fact, Birbal, one of the most famous and witty ministers from Akbar’s court of navratnas lived in Fatehpur Sikri.

     

    Besides, the palace of Jodabai, Akbar’s Hindu wife is also a popular tourist attraction.

     

    Continue your road journey to Jaipur. Relax a while after checking in before proceeding for sightseeing of Jaipur.

     

    Jaipur is the land of the erstwhile Rajput kings who are deemed to be warrior legends. Their valor, strength and focus on integrity and values set them apart and are remembered as one of the most notable era in Indian history.

     

    King Jai Singh II who was also titled as Sawai Maharaj by the Mughals is the Rajput king after whom the city of Jaipur is named.

     

    Jaipur, also called the ‘pink city’, is fraught with palatial architecture, mahals and forts that glorify the rich past, as well as, with clambering auto rickshaws, alleyways and camel laden rides making Jaipur a heady mix of the old and new, the grand and the mundane.

     

    The Birla Mandir with its stunning three towers signifying the three different approaches to religion is an iconic landmark of the city of Jaipur. The white marble structure boasts of elegant carvings on pillars of gods, goddesses, as well as, of Christ and Virgin Mary. Witness the surreal aarti or lighting of lamps in the evening.

     

    Overnight stay will be in Jaipur.

     

  • Day 5: Jaipur Attractions

    After breakfast proceed for an elephant ride and excursion to the Amber Fort.

     

    Amber Fort Palace situated on a hilltop was constructed by Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Jai Singh I. The interiors of the palace are breathtaking and the different sections within, such as, the Sheesh Mahal or palace of mirrors, Jas Mandir with its decorated ceiling and latticework and the Shila Devi temple with the splendid silver carved door are some examples of the intricate, delicate yet well thought and planned layout of the palace’s interiors.

     

    The Amber Fort Palace with its formidable red sandstone exterior plastered as white façade melts your heart once you step inside.

     

    Next, the City Palace built by Sawai Jai Singh II has been the home of Rajasthan royalty since the 18th century. The palace is a blend of the Mughal and Rajasthani architecture and is an interesting and unique construction of various pavilions, temples, gardens and palaces. The City Palace Museum displays a wide range of items and souvenirs used by the royals and kings.

     

    Jantar Mantar built by King Jai Singh II is a scientific and astronomical architectural delight. Walk through this geometric maze of wonder to sharpen your intellect and flex some brain cells.

     

    Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds is another architectural wonder in the city of Jaipur. With an exterior that reminds one of a honeycomb or beehive, the Hawa Mahal is built with perfect logical conclusions in order to allow the maximum circulation of air during the hot summers. This five-storied structure is made of lime and mortar and intricately decorated with delicate designs and latticeworks. The jharokas or windows offered privacy for the queens to peep out onto the world making Hawa Mahal an architectural feat of historical significance.

     

    Jaipur is famous for its shopping of silver and gold jewelry, pottery, tie and dye materials, saris, silk, wooden handicrafts and carpets. Enjoy the evening shopping before retiring for the night.

     

    In the evening visit an ethnic village resort and enjoy a traditional folk dance performance by the local dancers. End the day with a delicious dinner before retiring for the night. 

     

  • Day 6: Jaipur to Mumbai by air

    After breakfast proceed to the airport to catch your flight to Mumbai. Our representative will meet you at the Mumbai airport and facilitate your hotel check-in.

     

    Relax and unwind in the hotel before venturing out into the city.

     

    Mumbai is often also called the city of dreams and the city that never sleeps. This bustling metropolis is brimming with life and energy and its round the clock frenzy of activity makes it one of the most happening cities of the world. From being the commercial hub of the country to being recognized as the land of divas and superstars of Bollywood, Mumbai is also known for its daily mundane precisions, such as the mindboggling network of local trains and commutes, the slums and housing colonies, the dabbawalas as well as the grooving nightlife. Formed from an archipelago of islands in the Arabian Sea, Mumbai is named after the Goddess of the indigenous fishermen, Mumba Devi.

     

    Proceed for sightseeing later in the day.

     

    The Gateway of India, built in 1911 as a symbol of welcome for King George V and Queen Mary stands in grandeur till date, facing the Arabian Sea and acting as a prominent city landmark and tourist site. The Gateway is abuzz with vendors, hawkers, locals and tourists soaking in the sea breeze and the motor boat or launch rides are excellent ways to take a cruise along the waters and watch the stark monument stand in control at the helm of the shore. The Apollo Bunder area lies towards the east and is popular for its vendors, walkers, tourists and fortune tellers. 

     

    The region north of Kolaba is a popular area and is often also referred to as the Fort. A fort that no longer exists was built here by the East India Company after the Maratha Wars, however, the typical architecture of the time still remains to be seen in the colonial buildings of the area. Some noteworthy ancient buildings that should be acknowledged for their colonial architecture include the St. John’s Church built in the 19th century in the memory of the British soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Sind.

     

    Flora Fountain, a magnificently carved structure stands quite literally at crossroads. The road intersection where it is erected is today called Hutatma Chowk or Martyr’s Memorial, named after the martyred that fought for the creation of the state of Maharashtra. Carved from the stone shipped from England, the Flora Fountain has the statue of the Roman Goddess of abundance and fertility at its center, with carvings and adorable embellishments of sea creatures and mythical beings.

     

    The Victoria Terminus, now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an excellent demonstration of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India. The 160-foot high dome is the major architectural talking point; however, the terminus is not only a great example of fine architecture but also, is considered to be one of the busiest railway terminals in the world. The constant frenzy of activity, porters and travelers make it a heritage site with contemporary exemplary value.

     

    The Mumbai High Court building built by Col. J. A. Fuller in 1878 is built in English Gothic style of architecture. On the western side of the building are the statues of Justice and Mercy.

     

    The Rajabai Clock Tower made from local Kurla stone is a 280 feet tall monument that merges the Venetian and Gothic architectural styles together. The stain glass windows are its main attractions. The tower currently acts as the library of the University of Mumbai.

     

    The Hanging Garden on Malabar Hill built in 1880 provides for some excellent views of the city.

     

    In the evening make way to Marine Drive

     

    The Marine Drive is probably the most iconic landmark of the city, the arching promenade that begins from Nariman Point to Malabar Hill. Facing the mighty Arabian Sea, the drive is lit up at night to create the famous ‘Queen’s Necklace’. In fact, for those who have been fortunate enough to take a peep outside their airplanes when nose-diving towards Mumbai may have seen the shimmering pearls of lights of the magnificently ornate Marine Drive.

     

    Overnight stay will be in Mumbai

     

  • Day 7: Excursion to Elephanta Caves, sightseeing in Mumbai

    After breakfast proceed for the day excursion to the Elephanta Caves.

     

    The Elephanta Island or Gharapuri or City of Caves is an island east off Mumbai city. The island is a couple of hillocks separated by a narrow valley and is dotted with archeological wonders of the rock carvings and sculptures dedicated mainly to Lord Shiva. The massive Sadashiva stands at the entrance of Cave 1 manifests the three different aspects of Shiva, namely the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer.  The Ardhanarishvara, a figure which has both the male and female features is another artistic feat found in one of the caves. The layout and planning or the caves, the rock-cut architecture and stunning sculptures are highlighted by the play of light that enters from all three sides of the caves, giving an illusion of movement to the carvings and sculptures.

     

    The remains date back to the 2nd century BC and the caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

     

    There are steep flight of steps that lead to the caves, and chairs are available for those who do not wish to make the steep climb by foot. Our representative will be happy to arrange for the chair to be carried to the caves in case required.

     

    Back in Mumbai visit the Dhobi Ghat.

     

    Dhobi Ghat, an area that is associated with laundry, drying and washing of clothes is a famous landmark area of the city. The perfect motions of the dhobis who wash the dirty city clothes as they thrust them against the stones to remove the dirt in synchronized movements is one of the most iconic views of the city, that also takes a subtle dig at the lifestyle and way of living of this fast-paced urban mass. Used in a number of movies for its sheer visual delight, the washing as well as the fluttering linens lined out to dry makes Dobhi Ghat a major tourist attraction.

     

    Overnight stay will be in Mumbai.

     

  • Day 8: Mumbai to Cochin by air, to Alleppey by road, backwater cruise begins

    After breakfast proceed to the airport to board your flight to Cochin. At Cochin, our representative will meet you and help you settle in a comfortable vehicle for your road journey to Alleppey.

     

    Alappuzha means ‘land between river and sea’ and hence is also often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East.’ The waterways have been a lifeline of sorts for Alleppey, which is also famous for the boat races, especially the Nehru Trophy Race on the Punnamada Lake.

     

    Some other tourist attractions in Alleppey include the Alleppey beach, the Sri Krishna Temple, Krishnapuram Palace and the Edathua Church.

     

    Alleppey is the also the entry point to the Backwater experience. The Kerala backwaters are a complex interconnecting system of canals, streams and lakes, where the waters from the Arabian Sea and the fresh water from the inland mix and merge to form a network of waterways. These backwaters are a wonderful surviving ecosystem for wildlife and humans alike. Fish, crabs, turtles, mudskippers and otters also make a home of the waters and marine vegetation as do birds, such as cormorants and terns.

     

    The backwaters are edged with the cultivation of rice and dotted with coconut trees and at times act as the only means of transportation. This endearing ecosystem is unlike any other, making a boat ride along them a delightfully wonderful experience.

     

    To experience the true essence of the backwaters, we help you check into a traditional thatched houseboat for your backwater cruise. Enjoy your stay on the houseboat, equipped with modern amenities yet floating over the quiet splash of the calm waters surrounded by tiny hamlets and the lush green carpets of vegetation and nature.

     

    In the evening attend a traditional cooking class with your chef on board.

     

    Overnight stay will be in the houseboat. 

     

  • Day 9: Alleppey to Kumarakom by houseboat, Kumarakom to Cochin by road

    After breakfast cruise towards the last stop on the houseboat expedition, Kumarakom, passing by the lush green paddy fields and coconut trees along with quaint settlements.

     

    Kumarakom is located on the banks of Kerala’s famous and largest freshwater lake Vembanad. Vembanad is popular for the boat races that peak during the Onam season. It is a sporting delight to watch the sleek boats competing with each other in the massive expanse of the lake.

     

    The Kumarakom bird sanctuary is home to a number of bird species and a must visit attraction for nature lovers.

     

    Disembark at Kumarakom where our representative will be waiting for you to be seated in our comfortable on-road vehicle to go to Cochin.

     

    Cochin or Kochi is one of those rare places which has been touched and influenced by various settlements over the years. The arching Chinese fishing nets, Portuguese homes, palaces, churches and synagogues are as endearing as the seafood, spices and surrounding scenic beauty. Often acting as the gateway for exploring the other interior parts of the state, Cochin nevertheless enthralls with a charm of its own.

     

    The Chinese fishing nets that are almost synonymous with Cochin, silhouetted against its skyline that are the favorite attractions of tourists and locals alike. The nets that stand against the port and seafront are mounted on bamboo and teak poles and though its origins are debatable, these fishing nets nonetheless, make for the most beautiful postcard moments in Cochin.

     

    End the day with a Kathakali performance. This dance form with its elaborate costumes and mesmerizing expressions will leave you entranced and enthralled.

     

    Overnight stay will be in Cochin.

  • Day 10: Cochin Attractions

    After breakfast, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Cochin.

     

    The Old Cochin area is home to the Jewish community and has been in existence for hundreds of years. The Paradesi Synagogue built in 1568, famed for its bell towers and tiled roof along with the unique hand painted Chinese tiles, exquisite chandeliers, rugs and gold crowns gifts in the interiors makes it a must visit tourist attraction of this area.

     

    The St. Francis Church built in 1503 is the oldest European church in India and the mortal remains of Vasco de Gama were originally buried here until after 14 years they were moved to Lisbon. The Vasco de Gama square and the architecturally and artistically grand Santa Cruz Basilica are also noteworthy visits on our sightseeing tour. Other historically significant structures that date back to the 14th and 15th century include the VOC Gate and Bastion Bungalow.

     

    The International Pepper Exchange is an interesting attraction since it deals with the trade of black pepper globally.

     

    Overnight stay will be in Cochin.

     

  • Day 11: Cochin to Chennai, end of tour

    After breakfast proceed to the airport for your connecting flight to Chennai. Hope you had a good tour.

     

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