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North to South India on a Shoestring
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Until Dec 17 From Jan 18

From the hectic pace of northern Delhi to the beaches of Goa and the fishing nets of relaxed Kochi, this epic journey packages the subcontinents highlights into three well-paced weeks. Watch the sunrise at Savitri temple in Pushkar and explore the canals of Alleppey on your way to a homestay with a local family. With your accommodation and transport arranged by our CEOs, you can concentrate on choosing your own adventure. Pack your trip with everything you want and nothing you don't. What are you waiting for? Lush hills, bustling cities, and mouth-watering curries await!

  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, Sightseeing, Walking Tour
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 100%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: AHDC.B/201395
  • Starts: Delhi, India
  • Finishes: Kochi, India
You will Visit
  • Delhi
  • Āgra
  • Jaipur
  • Tordi Sāgar
  • Pushkar
  • Udaipur
  • Mumbai
  • Goa
  • Kochi
  • Alleppey
  • Kollam
  • Varkala

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Delhi

Arrive any time.
If you arrive early, wander through the heart of India's capital city and explore Old and New Delhi. Travel by the new metro or auto rickshaws and visit the famous Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) where you could climb the minaret for a bird's eye view of the old city. Explore Chandni Chowk, one of India's oldest and busiest markets or head to the colourful spice market -- a great photo opportunity.

02

Day 2: Delhi/Āgra

Take a morning train to Agra, then a guided tour of the impressive Taj Mahal. Opt to visit Agra Fort and Baby Taj.
Agra is best known as the site of India's most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. Enjoy a guided visit to this icon of Mughal architecture either in the morning or late afternoon for the best light (this depends upon your arrival time). You also have the option to visit the Agra Fort, the Taj's less famous—but no less impressive—sister monument.

03

Day 3: Āgra/Jaipur

Take an orientation walk around town, then enjoy free time to explore other sites around town. Opt to see a Bollywood film.
Today we take a bus ride—always an adventure itself in India— to the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, the former capital of a princely state of the same name. Clothed in pink stucco (in imitation of sandstone), Jaipur is known as the "Pink City" and is one of the most important heritage cities in India. It is home to India's second most visited site, the Hawa Mahal, or "Palace of the Winds".

Take a cycle rickshaw to the markets and enjoy an orientation walk through the stalls. If you haven't tasted one yet, this is a great place to try a delicious masala chai (Indian chai tea).

In your free time, opt to visit the City Palace, the observatory, or check out a song-and-dance Bollywood film in India's largest movie theatre.

04

Day 4: Jaipur

Enjoy a guided tour of the Amber Fort before having a free afternoon in Jaipur to explore the city.

05

Day 5: Jaipur/Tordi Sāgar

Dive into rural life by visiting potters, cobblers, and markets. Opt to take a jeep safari or camel cart ride to the dunes for sunset. Head out for a hike in the hills or get a henna tattoo from local women.
Go on an included guided walk through the local village and opt to participate in a cricket match with some locals.

06

Day 6: Tordi Sāgar/Pushkar

Enjoy a local lunch prepared by traditional methods at a village hamlet. Go on an orientation walk upon arrival to Pushkar.
Have a final taste of rural village life with a traditional lunch before travelling to Pushkar.

This morning, travel to Ajmer and over Snake Mountain to Pushkar. The site of the world's only temple to the Hindu god of creation, Brahma, Pushkar is often called "Tirth Raj," the Raj (king) of pilgrim centres.

After settling into our accommodation, we will take an orientation walk around Pushkar.

07

Day 7: Pushkar

In the morning, climb Savitri Temple, perched atop a hill, and catch the sunrise. Enjoy some free time for shopping or yoga. Opt to partake in a traditional dinner in the desert cooked by cameleers, with local entertainment.
Before dawn today, we climb to the hilltop Savitri temple. After the morning walk, there is nothing better than spending time at one of the many cafés in town.

08

Day 8: Pushkar/Udaipur

Take an orientation walk and an optional boat ride.
Continue south to lakeside Udaipur, famous worldwide for its plethora of breathtaking lakes and Raj-era palaces. It certainly lives up to its reputation as India's most romantic city.

With its own famous style of painting and plenty of artisans, Udaipur is a great place to stroll through.

09

Day 9: Udaipur

Free time to explore the "Venice of the East" with its lakes, palaces, and narrow lanes.

10

Day 10: Udaipur

Free time to explore the "Venice of the East" with its lakes, palaces, and narrow lanes.

11

Day 11: Udaipur/Mumbai

Take a local bus to Ahmedabad and explore the famous Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati. Overnight train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai.

12

Day 12: Mumbai

Arrive to Mumbai and take an orientation walk of Colaba and Fort Area. Enjoy free time to explore the bustling metropolis of Mumbai.
Opt to shoot a picture of the Gateway to India, facing westward out to sea, and stop in for a cup of tea at the famous Taj Hotel next door. From here boats leave for Elephanta Island (also called Gharapuri Island or place of caves), famous for is cave temples carved straight from the rock.

People-watch on Chowpatty Beach or visit Crawford Market, one of South Mumbai's most famous markets. Try some of the many local specialties at one of Mumbai's many top-notch restaurants, or go out on the town and sample the city's famed nightlife firsthand.

13

Day 13: Mumbai/Goa

In the morning, hop on a short flight to Goa. Head to the beaches of North Goa, sample tasty treats at the night markets, and take in the nightlife of this coastal state.
Relax on a beach, visit the many Portuguese-built monuments, wander around the old churches of Old Goa (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and discover Panjim, the capital.

14

Day 14: Goa

Enjoy a free day to wind down in North Goa. Visit nearby beaches, scour the markets, and be sure to try to some delicious Goan cuisine and fresh seafood.

15

Day 15: Goa/Kochi

Fly to southern India and explore this major port city.

16

Day 16: Kochi/Alleppey

Check out the Jewish Quarter and the spice markets before continuing to Alleppey. Explore Alleppey with an orientation walk. Experience local life at a homestay, and enjoy a guided walk along the lagoon.
Leaving early to avoid the heat, enjoy the Jewish Town with its old curio shops and the more than 400-year-old synagogue.

Travel afterwards to Alleppey, a golden streak of land woven with rivers, lakes, lagoons, and canals.

In the afternoon, we check out the island with a local English-speaking guide and learn about the way of life here. Afterwards, settle into a homestay and get to know your hosts.

17

Day 17: Alleppey/Kollam

Explore the backwaters and its unique ecosystem on a ferry cruise. Transfer to Kollam.
Travel to Kollam by bus after enjoying a morning ferry cruise.

18

Day 18: Kollam/Varkala

Enjoy lots of free time to explore the town, relax with an Ayurvedic massage, get treated by local healers, or visit the Varkala Temple.

19

Day 19: Varkala

Spend time wandering the peaceful gardens of an ashram devoted to Kerala's most eminent spiritual and social reformer and the mystical Janardhana Swamy Temple, or just head to the beach to relax and watch the Arabian Sea.

20

Day 20: Varkala/Kochi

Return to Kochi. Take an orientation walk to Fort Kochi, St Francis Church, and the Chinese fishing nets. Opt to take in a local Kathakali dance performance.
Travel to Kochi and take an orientation tour visiting Fort Kochi, St Francis Church, the Dutch cemetery, and the Chinese fishing nets.

In the late afternoon/early evening, opt to watch Kathakali dancing (a Kerala traditional dance form).

21

Day 21: Kochi

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Entrance and guided tour of the Taj Mahal (Agra)
    • Rural Tordi Sagar tour with local guide
    • Allepey Homestay
    • Sunrise at Savitri Temple (Pushkar)
    • Gandhi Ashram visit (Ahmedabad)
    • Guided Kerala boat tour and homestay
    • Morning ferry cruise on Kollam's backwaters
    • Neendakara Fishing Harbour visit
    • Orientation walks in Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur, Mumbai, Kochi, and Kollam
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Simple hotels (18 nts), overnight train (1 nt), homestay (1 nt)
    • 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
    Transport
    • Train, metro, local bus, charter bus, jeep, tuk tuk, boat, plane, private vehicle
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Be awed by the Taj Mahal and Amber Fort
  • Capture colourful Rajasthan in your viewfinder
  • Relax on quiet beaches in Goa
  • Connect with the locals at a homestay
  • Savour delicious Indian cuisine


Reviews (1)
Thomas O Posted on: 

A good mix of historical, transport, local, cultural and geographic highlights of India from Delhi to the south of India showing a great cross section of the country.

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