Wildvoyager
 First Timer India   First Timer India  tour

First Timer India 

Overview

India is a land of diverse cultures, traditions, and geographies. Every part of the country, be it Delhi and Rajasthan in the north, Mumbai in the west, Madhya Pradesh in the center, and Cochin in the south, has something unique to offer to tourists on vacations in India. This wide array of attractions, besides offering plenty to see, do, and experience, also demands a well-planned itinerary.

In our immaculately designed itinerary, we take you on a seamless joyride through the country as you fill your hearts with the elation that India brings to you. We start in the capital city of Delhi, move to Agra, Rajasthan, and then to Mumbai. From Mumbai, we take you to Kerala for the final leg of our journey. The detailed itinerary and highlights of the tour follow in this article.



Trip Highlights

  • Rickshaw ride through historic lanes of Old Delhi on a rickshaw.
  • Evening prayer ceremony in Varanasi by the ghats.
  • Visit the ancient town of Orchha.
  • Heritage walk in Agra- Travel back in time to the Mughal period
  • Visit the beautiful, deserted fortified Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Immerse yourself in the prayer ceremony at Jaipur’s Birla temple.
  • Walking tour of Jaipur’s old bazaars exploring Jaipur’s art and craft heritage
  • Mix with the villagers during the Village walk in Chhatra Sagar .
  • Boat cruise in Udaipur- Cruise through the placid waters of Lake Pichola on a motorboat.
  • The famous and splendid backwater cruise in a houseboat in Alleppey and Kumarakom



ITINERARY - 19 Days

Day 1

Delhi Arrival

Our REPRESENTATIVE will receive you on arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

Delhi is a city where time travel is feasible. Step aboard your time machine (the sleek and efficient metro) and you can go from Old Delhi, where labourers haul sacks of spices and jewellers weigh gold on dusty scales, to modern New Delhi, with its colonial-era parliament buildings and penchant for high tea. Then on to the future: Gurgaon, a satellite city of skyscraping offices and glitzy malls. Delhi is a city that has been repeatedly ravaged and reborn, with vestiges of lost empires in almost every neighbourhood. There's so much to experience here, it's like a country in itself.

Evening – enjoy the visit to Nizamuddin Dargah and listen to Sufi Music. (Only on Thursdays)

To escape from the frenetic city life, people from all walks of life to seek solace and blessing of God visit the Nizamuddin Dargah. Situated in the Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin is the dargah (mausoleum) of one of the world's most famous Sufi saints, Nizamuddin Auliya (1238 - 1325 CE). Inside the dargah complex, one can find the tombs of poet Amir Khusro, Mughal princess Jehan Ara Begum, and Inayat Khan.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 2

Delhi

After breakfast at the hotel, a guided tour of Old Delhi.

The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia’s largest mosques. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside.

People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.

Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi peddling through the narrow by lanes of Chandni Chowk.

After lunch proceed for a sightseeing tour of New Delhi, which reflects the legacy of the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colors and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.

Imperial Delhi will include the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President’s residence. If time permits then visit the Lotus temple located in south of Delhi. It is lotus shaped and has rightly been given the name. It is made of marble, cement, dolomite and sand. It is open to all faiths and is an ideal place for meditation and obtaining peace and tranquility. Its founder, Bahaullah (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahai as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.

Evening – visit to Akshardham Temples.

Overnight will be at Delhi.

taj mahal hotel palace in mumbai, maharashtra

Day 3

Delhi – Varanasi

By air

Breakfast will be at the hotel.

Transfer in time to airport for flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival at Varanasi, you will be met and transferred to hotel.

Varanasi, or Benaras, (also known as Kashi) is one of the oldest living cities in the world. Varanasi`s Prominence in Hindu mythology is virtually unrevealed. Mark Twain, the English author and literature, who was enthralled by the legend and sanctity of Benaras, once wrote: “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”

The land of Varanasi (Kashi) has been the ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the land of Varanasi would attain salvation and freedom from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati, the origins of Varanasi are yet unknown. Ganges in Varanasi is believed to have the power to wash away the sins of mortals.

Afternoon - Proceed for day guided tour of Varanasi including the Bharat Mata Temple, which features a big relief map of Mother India engraved in marble. Also visit the 18th century Durga Temple, commonly known as the Monkey Temple due to the huge population of the monkeys. Proceed to the Tulsi Manas Temple, crafted from white marble which features the entire Ramayana inscribed on its walls. Also visit the BHU considered as the biggest residential university in Asia. The University Campus houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Enjoy the evening AARTI at the GHATS. The guide will be giving a commentary to you on the proceedings and meanings of the chants during the AARTI of the river.

Overnight will be spent at Varanasi.

Day 4

Varanasi

In the early morning drive to Daswamedh Ghat and take a boat ride on the sacred river Ganges to see the cremation Ghats and witness the living traditions of one of the world's oldest and most important religions. (To start at 0500 hrs. for the best lifetime experience) For you to appreciate this remarkable city, we'll transfer you to the banks of the River Ganges before the sun rises. Board a boat with your guide and proceed to the middle of the river, where at sunrise the sight unfolds before you. Thousands of faithful come daily to the banks to bathe and pray while in the background, temples and palaces rise in tiers from the water's edge. Then return for a walk through the cobblestone streets along the banks of "Ganga". As shops are opening, the place now becomes a beehive of activity as the faithful are coming and going. Visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple while returning to the hotel.

Return for breakfast to the hotel.

After breakfast, proceed to visit Sarnath 5 miles out of Varanasi for a day excursion: Buddha came to Sarnath to preach his message of the middle way to nirvana after he achieved enlightenment at Bodhgaya, and gave his famous first sermon here. Today it’s one of the four key sites on the Buddhist circuit and attracts followers from around the world, especially on Purnima (or, informally, Buddha's birthday), when Buddha's life, death and enlightenment are celebrated, usually in April or May.

Return to the city to experience the Street Food Tour.

This food tour samples locally made historical and traditional food joints. Join us for a culturally interesting lane of Banaras walk to taste traditional chaat, the small sweet or savory hot street snacks, also Banaras samosa, British Raj-inspired tea & toast and a vast array of mithai, the traditional grain, lentil or milk based sweets of India. From kathai biscuits to rich saffron milk thandai, creamy winter malaiyyo or summer yogurt lassi… Banaras has tastes and textures of all shapes and sizes that change from season to season. The tour finishes off with vegetarian Banarasi Bathi Choka, chickpea infused roasted bread, soaked in ghee and served with potato chutney. The non-vegetarian end point is a visit to the weavers’ alleys for Banaras biryani & kebab

Overnight will be at Varanasi.

Day 5

Varanasi – Khajuraho

By air

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Transfer in time for flight to Khajuraho. Reach Khajuraho. Transfer to hotel and relax.

Khajuraho is a small town located in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh and is famous for groups of Hindu and Jain temples. These temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their beautiful and erotic rock carvings. Khajuraho has the Vindhya range of mountains as its beautiful backdrop. This makes Khajuraho a more fascinating destination to visit. Khajuraho's art is a manifestation of the essence of the philosophy of Indian aesthetics. The erotic sculptures of Khajuraho depicting Kama Sutra are unique in the world. These sculptures representing the Indo-Aryan architecture, congeal in stone a lyrical paean to love and passion and reflect the Chandela dynasty's passion and immense appreciation for the forbidden art, paradoxically, in the land of Kama Sutra. They cannot be passed off as just erotic sculptures; the temples have some of the most revered Gods of Hinduism.

Later - Visit the Western & Eastern Group of Temples.

The Eastern Group of Temples of Khajuraho can be divided into two, the temples dedicated to the Jain pantheon and the temples dedicated to Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The Eastern Group of Temples include:

Parsavanath Temple - it is dedicated to Parsavanath, the Jain Tirthankara. It is the largest Jain Temple present there. It is a well decorated temple.

Adinath Temple - it is dedicated to Adinath, a Jain Tirthankara. The sculpted figures of Yakshis are particularly famous here.

Ghantai Temple - it is well known for the sculpture of a Jain goddess on a winged Garuda and for the sixteen dreams of Mahavira's mother.

The Brahma Temple - the granite stone temple has a four-faced idol of Brahma which is very popular in this temple.

The Vamana Temple - the sculptures and carvings of celestial beauties are famous.

Hanuman Temple - this temple has a statue of Hanuman which is about 8 feet tall.

The western complex of the Khajuraho group of temples houses the most important temples in Khajuraho. The Kandariya Mahadeva dedicated to Lord Shiva is the largest temple at Khajuraho. The Lakshmana temple dedicated to vishnu is located near the Kandariya Mahadeva temple. Devi Jagdamba Temple Chitragupta Temple Chaunsath Jogini Temple etc are the other major temple in the western complex.

Enjoy the SOUND & LIGHT SHOW at the Western Temples.

Overnight will be at Khajuraho.

Day 6

Khajuraho – Orchha – Jhansi

By road 170kms in 04hrs

Jhansi – Agra:

By deluxe train

After breakfast drive to Jhansi visiting Orchha enroute.

The historic town of Orchha, nestled on the banks of river Betwa, was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela Rajput Chief, Rudra Pratap. The ancient town seems frozen in time, with its many monuments continuing to retain their original grandeur even to this day. Here you will find some of the most fascinating temples and palaces ever seen.

Proceed for sightseeing of ORCHHA sites within the Fort Complex.

Later proceed to Jhansi railway station to take train for Agra. Reach Agra and transfer to hotel.

Agra is a city of fascinating attractions and was once the capital of the Mughal Empire. As Shah Jahan found himself unable to stay on in the land after the death of his beloved wife, he shifted the capital to Delhi. Agra is located on the banks of the Yamuna River, about 200 kilometres away from the country’s capital. People think that Agra is best known for the Taj Mahal. While that is true to a certain extent, Agra is also home to various Persian architectural marvels, as it was an important city during the Mughal era. Some of these monuments include the Red Fort, which is considered the second most important historical monument in Agra. It is said that when Emperor Shah Jahan was imprisoned in this fort, he was able to view the reflection of the Taj Mahal in a precious diamond built strategically in one of the Fort Walls. Another such place is the Jama Masjid, built by Shah Jahan and dedicated to his beloved daughter, Jahanara Begum. The mosque (also called the ‘Friday Mosque’) is one of the largest mosques in India and also one of the most sought after sites by pilgrims. Agra is a very colourful place and still has a very medieval look about it. The narrow lanes and modern day hustles are also known to attract visitors. Therefore, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Agra is known to get the most number of tourists every year.

Overnight will be at Agra.

musamman burj or agra fort, agra, uttar pradesh

Day 7

Agra

Have a leisurely breakfast at the hotel.

Proceed for day sightseeing of Agra.

The Taj Mahal is of course one of the most famous wonders of the world and an elegy created in marble. It was built as an ‘expression of true love’ by Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. From the moment you step through the outer courtyard and get your first glimpse of the infinity pools and the silhouette of the Taj you are dumbstruck by the magnificence of its perfection. The Mughal architecture is symmetrical in every way and the quality of the workmanship is beyond compare.

The Agra Fort was built under Akbar’s reign in 1573. It took more than 4000 workers and 8 years of toil to complete the fort. Akbar chose to make this fort the main residence of the Mughals due to the significance of its location. It remained the primary residence of the Mughal dynasty until 1638. The fort houses numerous impressive structures like the Jahangir Mahal, Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Khass, Diwan-i-Am, Machchhi Bhawan and Moti Masjid. In 1638, the capital of the Mughal dynasty was moved from Agra to Delhi, causing the Agra Fort to lose its status as the main residence of the Mughal emperors. The fort is separated from its sister monument Taj Mahal by just 2.5 kilometers. Often described as the walled city, Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

After lunch, proceed for a HERITAGE WALK to the other side of River YAMUNA with your guide.

The other side of the TAJ MAHAL across the river Yamuna where Mughal History has been written in edicts of stone, the river Yamuna lined with the residences of mobility was the artery, the very lifeline, which fostered the development of Mughal Agra. These heritage relics have been weaved together for a historic experience of Mughal Agra. You would walk through the various monuments in midst of rural setting intertwined with the communities along with stunning view of the TAJ MAHAL.

Enjoy the extended hospitality of the local villagers sipping a cup of Masala Chai on the Tea Terrace with standard, comfortable, clean, affordable, and safe facilities. The whole village walk through India’s Mughal History and amiable people is an unforgettable experience.

Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 8

Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur

By Road 221 kms in 5 hrs

Drive to Jaipur after breakfast visiting Fatehpur Sikri en-route.

Fatehpur Sikri is a magnificent, fortified ancient city, 40 kilometres west of Agra. It was the short-lived capital of the Mughal Empire between 1572-1585; during Akbar’s reign. According to history, Akbar had visited the village of Sikri to meet Sheikh Salim Chisti, who predicted the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne. When this prophecy came true, Akbar built his new capital here, along with a mosque (that is still used) and three palaces for his three favourite wives. The city was an Indo-Islamic masterpiece, but erected in an area that supposedly suffered from water shortages and so was abandoned shortly after Akbar’s death.

Continue your drive to Jaipur and on arrival check-in at Hotel.

Enthralling, historical Jaipur (also known as the Pink City, due to the colour of its buildings), Rajasthan’s capital, is the gateway to India’s most flamboyant state.

The city’s colourful, chaotic streets ebb and flow with a heady brew of old and new. Careering buses dodge dawdling camels, leisurely cycle-rickshaws frustrate swarms of motorbikes, and everywhere buzzing autorickshaws watch for easy prey. In the midst of this mayhem, the splendours of Jaipur’s majestic past are islands of relative calm evoking a different pace and another world.

This evening, visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The temple was constructed with white marble and seems to be enveloped in serenity by the Birlas in 1988, who are responsible for constructing many other famous temples in India. The temple is an abode to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. For this reason, the temple was formerly known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple.

Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur.

Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 9

Jaipur

Breakfast will be at hotel. Proceed for a morning excursion will be taken to the Amber Fort. Enjoy the fort ascent on elephant back in a royal manner.

The City Palace: The palace was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. As most structures in Jaipur this palace also reflects the fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture. The City Palace complex is spread over a large area occupying one seventh of the old city of Jaipur. It has a sequence of gardens, buildings and courtyards, temple and museum to give it a grand view that reflects its historical importance and magnificent royal grace.

Jantar Mantar: The Jantar Mantar, in Jaipur, is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. It includes a set of some 20 main fixed instruments. They are monumental examples in masonry of known instruments but which in many cases have specific characteristics of their own. Designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye, they embody several architectural and instrumental innovations. This is the most significant, most comprehensive, and the best preserved of India's historic observatories. It is an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period.

Hawa Mahal: This beautiful structure is predominantly a high screen wall made of pink and red sandstone that facilitated royal women to get an eyeful of the street festivals and busy city life while remaining out of the view of public. This five-storey building was built in the shape of a crown of Lord Krishna with 953 windows and a beautifully decorated façade that resembled a honeycomb of a beehive, giving one a feel of the rich heritage of the Rajputs.

Later in the afternoon, our local expert will take you on the walking tour of Old Bazaar of Jaipur with focus on Evening Bazaar, Cuisine & Crafts of Old Jaipur – From its creation in 1727 the royal families and nobles of Jaipur patronized the craftsmen and artisans of the city. These traditions continue to this day and as a result day Jaipur is considered by many as the craft capital of India. Traditional methods are still used to produce many valuable and highly prized items. Using skills passed down through generations, artisans and master craftsmen can be seen in the areas of Ghat Darwaza and Vishveshwar ji. On this fascinating evening walk mingle and talk with the locals whilst sampling some of the regions culinary delights; try pakoras, aloo tiki, samosa and sweets from some of the city’s most popular street food vendors. Observe local artisans in their workshops; jewellers and silversmiths, gold and silver foil makers. The iconic Hawa Mahal also called the Palace of the winds is the meeting point at which this two and a half hour walk begins.

Overnight will be at Jaipur.

Day 10

Jaipur – Chhatra Sagar

By Road 220 km in 4 hr

After breakfast – drive to Chhatra Sagar en-route visiting Pushkar. For Hindus, Pushkar is a very important pilgrimage center and you'll see plenty of Sadhus (individuals on a spiritual search).

Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site, since many were deserted by Aurangzeb and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous is the Brahma Temple, said to be one of the few temples in the world dedicated to this deity. It's marked by red spire, and over the entrance gateway is the hans, or goose symbol, of Brahma, who is said to have personally chosen Pushkar as its site.

Drive further to NIMAJ. (Chhatrasagar)

The fort of Nimaj was built in 1733 by the valiant ruler- Thakur Jagram Singh. Situated in the heart of the town, it is a massive structure built in traditional Rajput style with courtyards and separate wings for men & women. The little township is surrounded by places of historical interest, like the 9th century temple Magar Mandi, 3 kms away. Visit nearby villages to see local craftsmen at work & a little further see blackbucks, blue bulls etc.

Watch the birds, go for nature walks, soak in the fresh air, sit around the bonfire and listen to old folk lore - or be more adventurous and take one of the many safaris on offer. Experience the warm hospitality, and enjoy some truly delicious Indian and traditional Rajasthani meals cooked with farm fresh vegetables in the family kitchen.

Relax in the tastefully designed and well-appointed tented accommodation. Each tent has an attached bath with running hot and cold water, and its own private sit out overlooking the lake.

Overnight will be at the camp.

city palace on pichola lake at night in udaipur, rajasthan

Day 11

Chhatra Sagar

Watch the birds, go for nature walks, soak in the fresh air, sit around the bonfire and listen to old folk lore - or be more adventurous and take one of the many safaris on offer. Experience the warm hospitality, and enjoy some truly delicious Indian and traditional Rajasthani meals cooked with farm fresh vegetables in the family kitchen.

Go for a village walk with a packed lunch and interact with the local people.

Evening enjoy Cooking class and menu tasting.

Overnight will be at Chhatra Sagar.

Day 12

Chhatra Sagar – Udaipur

By Road 245 kms in 5 hrs

After breakfast, start for Udaipur.

En-route, visit Nathdwara and Eklinji Temples.

Continue drive to Udaipur. Reach and check into the hotel.

Udaipur has a romantic setting unmatched in Rajasthan and arguably in all India. Fantastical palaces, temples, havelis and countless narrow, crooked, timeless streets add the human counterpoint to the city’s natural charms. For tourists, there's the tranquility of boat rides on the lake, the bustle and colour of ancient bazaars, a lively arts scene, the quaint old-world feel of its better hotels, endless tempting shops and some lovely countryside to explore on wheels, feet or horseback.

Evening - Proceed for Motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - the other island palace in the middle of the lake. Spend some time at the Jag Mandir Palace.

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 13

Udaipur

Breakfast will be at hotel.

Proceed for sightseeing tour of Udaipur, stopping first at City Palace.

City Palace: The imposing City Palace is Rajasthan’s largest palace, with a facade 244m long and 30.4m high. Construction was begun in 1599 by Maharana Udai Singh II, the city’s founder, and it later became a conglomeration of structures (including 11 separate smaller palaces) built and extended by various maharanas, though it still manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design.

Saheliyon ki Bari was built by Maharana Sangram Singh in the 18th century to please his princess. The garden has four pools ornated with delicately chiselled kiosks, elephants in marble (each elephant sculptured out of a single piece of stone) and lions carved out of marble serving the purpose of the fountain which creates the royal picture of the bygone era. There is a small museum within the garden which exhibits soft toys, classic pictures, etc. Saheliyon ki bari is the place where all the kings used to enjoy some leisure time far away from their political and social duties.

Bagore ki Haveli: Bagore Ki Haveli is an ancient building that stands on the platform of Gangori Ghat in the vicinity of Pichola Lake. The splendid architecture of the mansion boasts of delicate carved work and excellent glass work. In the eighteenth century, Bagore Ki Haveli was built by Amir Chand Badwa, who was the Chief Minister at the Mewar Royal Court in earlier times. When Amar Badwa died, the building came under the possession of Mewar State.

Jagdish Temple: Jagdish Temple is one of the most famous temples of Udaipur. Located in the City Palace complex of Udaipur, this temple is made in the Indo-Aryan style of architecture. In 1651, Jagdish temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh, who ruled Udaipur during 1628-53. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Universe. It is celebrated for being the largest temple in the city of Udaipur.

Early evening - proceed to Monsoon Palace for sunset experience.

Named after Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Monsoon Palace is also known as Sajjan Garh Palace. Posted at the top of a hill, the Monsoon Palace was originally built to overlook Maharana Sajjan Singh’s hometown, Chittorgarh. The Monsoon Palace offers a panoramic view of Udaipur which had risen to prominence under the rule of Maharana Sajjan Singh.

Overnight will be at Udaipur.

Day 14

Udaipur – Mumbai

By Air

Early morning – take a flight to Mumbai.

Reach and check in to the hotel.

Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is big. It’s full of dreamers and hard-labourers, starlets and gangsters, stray dogs and exotic birds, artists and servants, fisherfolk and crorepatis (millionaires), and lots and lots of people. It has India’s most prolific film industry, some of Asia’s biggest slums (as well as the world’s most expensive home) and the largest tropical forest in an urban zone. Mumbai is India’s financial powerhouse, fashion epicentre and a pulse point of religious tension.

Afternoon – proceed for a half day city tour visiting…

Gateway of India: This bold basalt arch of colonial triumph faces out to Mumbai Harbour from the tip of Apollo Bunder. Incorporating Islamic styles of 16th-century Gujarat, it was built to commemorate the 1911 royal visit of King George V, but wasn’t completed until 1924. Ironically, the British builders of the gateway used it just 24 years later to parade the last British regiment as India marched towards independence.

Marine Drive: Built on reclaimed land in 1920, Marine Drive arcs along the shore of the Arabian Sea from Nariman Point past Girgaum Chowpatty and continues to the foot of Malabar Hill. Lined with flaking art deco apartments, it’s one of Mumbai’s most popular promenades and sunset-watching spots. Its twinkling night-time lights have earned it the nickname ‘the Queen’s Necklace’.

Queen Victoria Terminus: Imposing, exuberant and overflowing with people, this monumental train station is the city’s most extravagant Gothic building and an aphorism for colonial-era India. It’s a meringue of Victorian, Hindu and Islamic styles whipped into an imposing Daliesque structure of buttresses, domes, turrets, spires and stained glass.

Mani Bhavan: As poignant as it is tiny, this museum is in the building where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during visits to Bombay from 1917 to 1934. The leader formulated his philosophy of satyagraha (nonviolent protest) and launched the 1932 Civil Disobedience campaign from here.

The Prince of Wales Museum: Mumbai’s biggest and best museum displays a mix of India-wide exhibits. The domed behemoth, an intriguing hodgepodge of Islamic, Hindu and British architecture, is a flamboyant Indo-Saracenic design by George Wittet (who also designed the Gateway of India). Its vast collection includes impressive Hindu and Buddhist sculpture, terracotta figurines from the Indus Valley, Indian miniature paintings and some particularly vicious-looking weaponry.

Enjoy beach in evening.

Chowpatty Beach: This city beach is a favourite evening spot for courting couples, families, political rallies and anyone out to enjoy what passes for fresh air. Evening bhelpuri at the throng of stalls at the beach’s southern end is an essential part of the Mumbai experience.

Overnight will be at Mumbai.

houseboat on backwaters of cochin, kerala

Day 15

Mumbai

Morning after breakfast – proceed to Elephant caves excursion.

Northeast of the Gateway of India in Mumbai Harbour, the rock-cut temples on Gharapuri, better known as Elephanta Island, are a Unesco World Heritage Site. Created between AD 450 and 750, the labyrinth of cave temples represent some of India’s most impressive temple carving. The main Shiva-dedicated temple is an intriguing latticework of courtyards, halls, pillars and shrines; its magnum opus is a 6m-tall statue of Sadhashiva, depicting a three-faced Shiva as the destroyer, creator and preserver of the universe, his eyes closed in eternal contemplation.

It was the Portuguese who dubbed the island Elephanta because of a large stone elephant near the shore (this collapsed in 1814 and was moved by the British to Mumbai’s Jijamata Udyan). There’s a small museum on-site, with informative pictorial panels on the origin of the caves.

Afternoon enjoy the Kebab, Curry Walk Tour (Street Food tour)

The holy precinct of Mumbai Street Food, Mohammad Ali Road and the Bohri Mohulla has created an insignia of non-vegetarian street food. Skewered Kebabs, spicy curries and colourful sweets dot these areas aplenty.

A walk through Bohri Mohulla, introduces you to quintessential Bohri delicacies such as the 12 pot curry, sherbets, Chana Batata, Boti Kebab, Seekh Kebab stalls line up, attracting hungry revellers. Another stop is at Taj Ice-cream - an ice-cream parlour that has been churning handmade ice-cream for over a century.

Enter the famous hole-in-the-wall restaurant that most Mumbaikars swear by – Noor Mohammadi. Here have a tryst with Bollywood and try the 'Chicken Sanju Baba', a dish named after the Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. Finally the last stop would be Minara Masjid, which is a sweet lover’s dream come true. Colourful and flavourful barfis, delectable firnis to a classic called aflatoon, Minara has it all.

Evening – free to explore.

Overnight will be at Mumbai.

Day 16

Mumbai – Cochin

By flight

Cochin – Kumarakom

By Road in 1.5 hours

Morning – take a flight to Cochin.

Reach and our representative will receive you at the airport. Your driver will then take you to Kumarakom for the backwaters experience.

Reach Kumarakom and check into a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat. The houseboat with all modern comforts lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. You will have lunch, dinner and breakfast in the Houseboat. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.

Cruise through the backwaters of Alleppey. Lunch will be served on the boat. The menu is simple and traditional. The cook (chef) of the boat prepares the lunch from fresh materials and even you can have a peek at the recipe.

Tea and snacks would be served in the evening. The boat will be anchored in the backwaters along a paddy field and you can go for a stroll into the village or relax at the deck of the boat.

Dinner and overnight will be at Houseboat.

Day 17

Alleppey – Cochin

By Road 65 kms/1 hr

Morning – enjoy breakfast on the houseboat.

Cruise towards Alleppey. Disembark at a jetty and drive back to Cochin.

Reach and check in to your hotel.

Cochin is a diverse and colorful port/city, spreading over 4-5 islands and peninsulas. The main town of Ernakulam is on the mainland. All the islands are connected by a ferryboat network and therein lay the charm of an exploratory two days here. Around the headland of Fort Cochin, a phalanx of cantilevered Chinese fishing boats dips into the sea at high tide. In its back streets, there is an aroma of ginger, cardamom and other spices, piled high in every nook and cranny.

Relax. The day is free at leisure.

In the evening proceed for the Harbour Cruise.

Overnight will be at Cochin.

Day 18

Cochin

After breakfast - Proceed for the sightseeing.

Old Cochin area – this is one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer that 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portuguese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jew town.

Chinese fishing nets – The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea. Learn the operation of the interesting Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles which work on the principle of balance.

The other important places are the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450.

In the evening proceed for KATHAKALI DANCE PRESENTATION.

Overnight will be at Cochin.

albert hall central museum at night in jaipur, rajasthan

Day 19

Departure

Today, as per the flight timings you will be transferred to the international airport to take flight back home with sweet memories of the India tour.



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