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Indian Golden Desert and Beaches Tour

Delhi – Jaipur – Agra – Delhi – Goa –Cochin - Munnar - Periyar – Alleppey – Kumarakom – Kovalam – Trivandrum – Hometown
18 Nights & 19 Days

Details of Indian Golden Desert and Beaches Tour

Day 01 : Arrival Delhi
Meeting and assistance on arrival at the International airport, our representative welcome and escort you by a private car and transfer to the hotel, whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would hand over the documents and brief the tour programme to you. If you wish you can do the half day sightseeing of Delhi today. Overnight stay in Delhi.

Delhi, capital city of the Federal Republic of India. It is one of India's fastest growing cities. It has sprawled over the West Bank of the river Yamuna, straddling the river. Delhi blends an historic past and a vibrant present. Delhi has some of the finest museums in the country. New Delhi was proclaimed the capital of India by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) & is tree-lined & spacious. Legend has it that the Pandavas, the august heroes of the epic Mahabharata, originally founded Delhi, then called Indraprastha, around 1200 B.C. Present day Delhi is built around the ruins of seven ancient cities.

Day 02 : Delhi
After breakfast take sightseeing tour of historic city visiting Old Delhi: the majestic Red Fort, a marvel in red sandstone, Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, both built by emperor Shah Jahan of Taj Mahal fame, Rajghat - memorial of Mahatma Gandhi & a Rickshaw ride past through the silver street in Chandani Chowk, Later New Delhi to include Rashtrapati Bhawan, one-time imperial residence of the British viceroys; the India Gate, a memorial raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war; the Laxmi Narayan Temple, built by the Birlas, one of India’s leading industrial families; Humayun’s Tomb, lotus shaped Bhai’s Temple , Qutub Minar , built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty; in the evening you can visit to see light an sound show at Red fort. Return to the hotel for overnight at the hotel.

Light and Sound Show: A spectacular sound and light show at the Red Fort. Which makes the 5,000 years old history of the city come alive. Amidst the tranquility of the splendidly panoramic and historic environs of the Red Fort, select episodes from the annals of Delhi's historic and legendary past are vividly brought to life. Special effects combine with the unique ambience to make this show a hauntingly unforgettable experience.

Day 03 : Delhi - Jaipur (260 kms: 5 ½ hrs)
Morning after breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Jaipur en route visit to magnificent Neemrana Fort at almost mid way of Delhi and Jaipur route you can have lunch there. On arrival transfer to the hotel. After a relaxation in the evening visit to Birla Temple, speculator white marble temple, glitters in the in the night, at the time of dinner visit to Chokhi Dhani - an ethnic 5 star resort serving Rajasthani & Continental cuisine with live music, astrology, games, folk dances and music, puppet shows in an ambiance of an ethnic village. Return to the hotel for overnight.

Neemrana Fort- It was a tributary chiefship of the former Alwar state. The track is sandy and bleak and is known as Rath. The place is said to be the home of chauhan Rajput claiming descent from Prithvi Raj the last Hindu emperor. One of the descendents of Prithvi Raj the, embraced Islam and settled here. That is why the old lineage is shown by the title Rao and was recognized so by the ruler of Alwar. Lord lake in 1803, as a punitive measure for the shelter and assistance given by then chief to the Marathas, confiscated the villages of the estate and made them over to Alwar. However, about one third of state was subsequently restored to the cheif, Who remained a tributary of Alwar state. This subordination of Nimrana to Alwar had been the subject of many disputes and controversies which came to an end in 1861 when the chief refused to accept the supremacy of Alwar ruler. The latter took this as an act of rebellion and took possession of the estate. The chief fled to Jaipur. However, the dispute was settled by the Vicerory in Council in 1868. It is an insignificant place today.

Day 04 : Jaipur
Early morning after breakfast explore the Pink City with an excursion to Amber Fort, situated just outside the city, enjoy the experience of ride on elephant back to and from the top of the hill on which the fort is situated. Afternoon sightseeing tour of City Palace in the heart of Jaipur is known for its blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Not far away is the Central Museum. Jantar Mantar is the largest of the five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh. The Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds was constructed for the royal ladies to watch the royal processions without being seen, all monuments are located in the vicinity of City Palace Complex of Jaipur. Later late afternoon is kept free to visit the famous Markets of Textiles, Gems, Carpets, and handicrafts. Jaipur is an ideal place for buying souvenirs. One can also visit Nahargarh Fort to see it illuminated over the floodlights. Return to the hotel for overnight.

Jaipur Widely known as the ‘Pink City. This city is color washed pink to welcome Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria of England who visited India in 1883 A.D. The city was founded in 1727 A.D by one of the greatest ruler Jai Singh II. Jaipur is surrounded by hills on three sides, crowned by formidable forts and majestic palaces, mansions and gardens. Jaipur is the only city in the world, which is sub-divided in to nine rectangular sectors symbolizing nine divisions of universe. Jaipur is the first planned city designed in accordance with ‘Shilpa Shastra’- epochal treatise of Hindu architecture.

Day 05 : Jaipur - Agra (240 kms: 5 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Agra en route visit the Old Deserted Town of Mughal Dynasty – Fatehpur Sikri built in red sandstone in honour of Saint Salim Chisti who foretold the birth of 3 sons to Emperor Akbar, is an example of robust stability combined with originality. Each important edifice here represents a type by itself. Notable among them is Diwane Khas, Punch Mahal, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, and the Buland Darwaza.. Later continue to proceed to Agra. On arrival check in to the hotel. In the evening you may visit to the souvenirs market of Agra, one should visit Oswal Emporium where they have built a Mini Taj Mahal inside their showroom and it took 10 years for the artists to complete the mini replica of the Taj. Overnight at the hotel.

Agra is famous as being home to one of the seven wonders of the world-the Taj Mahal. A pleasant town with comparatively slow pace, craftsmen who are descendant of those who worked under the Mughals know Agra for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shoes. Agra, and the nearby city of Fatehpur Sikri, is conveniently close to Delhi. Besides the Taj Mahal are Agra Fort, Sikandra, Ram Bagh and Itmad-Ud-Daulah-35 kms away are the imperial ruins of the Mughal city, Fatehpur Sikri. Agra is an old city and it is said that its name was derived from Agrabanad, a forest that finds mention in the epic Mahabharata.

Day 06 : Agra
Early visit to witness incomparable Taj Mahal with its’ speculative view at the time of Sunrise. Taj Mahal, the architectural modern day wonder of the world; this monument is a fine example of the fusion of many architectural styles is one of the wonders of the modern world. Taj, endowed it with some of the loveliest buildings in the world. The tour continues with a visit Agra Fort, designed and built by Akbar in 1565 A.D., built with barricaded wall of red sand stone; it houses the beautiful Pearl Mosque and numerous palaces including the Jahangir Mahal, Diwan-i-Am, Macchhi Bhawan, Nagina Masjid, Meena Bazar, Moti Masjid, Sheesh Mahal, Musamman Burj where from Taj Mahal is visible in all its beauty from one side of the fort. So very ironically, Emperor Sahahjahan, prisoner of his son Aurangzeb in his old age was put in a cell from where he could gaze at the Taj Mahal at a distance, from his cell in the fort. Evening free for leisure. Overnight stay at the board.

Note: Taj Mahal closed on every Friday.

Day 07 : Agra - Delhi (200 kms: 5 hrs)
Morning after breakfast check out the hotel and drive to Delhi en route you can visit Sikandra to see the Tomb of Mughal Emperor Akbar. If time permits you can also visit to Mathura birth land of Lord Krishna. Visit the temple in Mathura followed by a visit to Krishna Janam Bhumi and the museum. Also visit the Bankey Bihari temple, ISKCON temple and other temples in and around Vrindavan. After visit continue to drive to Delhi, on arrival transfer to the hotel for overnight stay.

Day 08 : Delhi - Goa (By Air)
After breakfast morning free for leisure, later check out the hotel and transfer to the airport to board the flight for Goa. On arrival transfer to the beach resort. Rest of the evening free for leisure on beach resort. Over night at the resort.

Goa: A Portuguese explorer, Afonso de Albuquerque sailed up the river Mandovi, defeated the Bijapuri army and rode into the capital triumphantly bearing a Portuguese Standard in one hand, and a Gold Crucifix in the other. A curious blending of cultures took place, affecting every sphere of Goa life, from religion to architecture, cuisine to art. The chapter of Goa's history ended 451 years later when Goa ceased to be a Portuguese colony, and became a part of the Indian Union. Parasailing, yachting, windsurfing, and deep sea diving are some of the more popular water sports, facilities for which are available. 451 years of Portuguese rule has imbued Goa’s towns and villages with a unique culture. Whitewashed chapels and churches that dot the landscape are surrounded by sleepy villages and rice fields.

Day 09 : Goa
After breakfast, the day free to enjoy the beaches and amenities available at the resort. You can take a sightseeing tour of Old Goa –10 km from Panjim, the basilica of Bom Jesus; the 16th century church dedicated to infant Jesus and enshrining the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier is one of the most important sight of Goa. The other Churches in the same area are St. Cathedral, with its vaulted interior, Church of our Lady of Rosary and Nunnery of St. Monica. The Aguada Fort built by the Portuguese commands the mouth of the Mondovi River and houses a lighthouse. And in the evening enjoy Cruise over Mondovi River. Overnight stay at the resort.

Day 10 : Goa
The day is free for leisure and relax as per the hotel packages, entertainment, sightseeing, recreations. Overnight at the resort. Today you can go (on your own) for Carville cruise for casino and entertainment. Return to the resort for overnight stay.

Day 11 : Goa - Cochin (By Air)
After breakfast check out the hotel and transfer to the airport to board the flight for Cochni. On arrival transfer to the hotel. After some rest and relaxation take a sightseeing tour of Cochin: Oasis state of Kerala & on to the Malabar Coasts & Kochi (formerly Cochin), one of the India's most colourful cities. This inter, connected series of Islands & shoreline presents a vivacious blend of Cultures & Religions; Visit to Fort Cochin & St. Frances Church to see the town of Vasco da Gama. We also see the Jewish Synagogue & the Mattancherry "Dutch" Palace. This evening a memorable experience in any journey in Kerala is a Boat Trip along the Palm Fringed Lakes & Backwaters of the Area; we enjoy this extraordinary excursion today. As we sail along the shady canals we see cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. From our launch, we enjoy use of narrow produced - Laden dugouts & the everyday life of families living on narrow spits of land between the waters. In the evening enjoy the Kathakali, one of India's most famous Classical dances. Lavish Costumes & Exotic makeup & Masks intensify the beauty of the dancers, intricate moments. Overnight at the hotel.

Kochi: (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay). Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide. This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate. Cochin is situated in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.

Day 12 : Cochin – Munnar (140 kms: 4 hrs)
After an early breakfast drive to Munnar, on arrival transfer to the hotel, Munnar is located at the Idukki district of Kerala State in India. The word "Munnar" means three rivers. 3 mountain streams (Madurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala) are joining together here. 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. There are about 30 tea plantations in and around Munnar. The tea estates, hills, lakes and forests inside Munnar range exposes it's beauty. The Munnar hills are covered by tea plants, which make Periyar the feeling of seeing a wide green carpet. Later visit at Eravikulam National Park (15 km from Munnar,) The Nilgiri Tahr can be observed at close quarters here. This park is established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiri Ibex). The park is breathtakingly beautiful and is easily comparable to the best mountain ranges found anywhere in the world. Enjoy the tea plantation and Munnar Lake site. Return to the hotel for overnight stay.

Munnar, the erstwhile 'summer capital of the British', has become the most sought after holiday destination in South India. It is the luxuriant gift of nature to the Western Ghats, the eastern border of Kerala, 5000ft above sea level. Dense forests, wildlife sanctuaries, and major cash crop plantations cover most of this region. Munnar abounds in animals like elephants and Nilgiri Thar and rich biodiversity teeming with flora and fauna.

Day 13 : Munnar
After breakfast you can opt to visit to Mattupetty is famous for its highly specialized dairy farm, the Indo-Swiss live stock project. Over 100 varieties of high yielding cattle are reared here. Visitors are allowed into three of the eleven cattle sheds at the farm, followed by visit to Pothamedu which offers an excellent view of the tea, coffee and cardamom plantations in Munnar. The rolling hills, the lush mountain and the breathtaking scenery here is ideal for trekking and Long Mountain walks. Later visit at Devikulam (7 km from Munnar). This idyllic hill station with its velvet lawns, exotic flora and fauna and the cool mountain air is a rare experience. The Sita Devi Lake with its mineral waters and picturesque surroundings is a good picnic spot. The lake is also ideal for trout fishing. Return to the hotel for overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 14 : Munnar – Periyar (110 kms: 3 hrs)
After breakfast check out the hotel and drive Periyar through tranquil countryside, rich plantations & thick jungles. On arrival transfer to the jungle resort. Later visit Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary discover the park, animals found here include elephant, sambar, gaur and wild boars and birds like ibis and grey heron. The visit is done in a boat to view animals with a bit of extra luck we may be able to see the rare tiger as well. Later in the evening take a spice plantation tour to see crops of cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Overnight at the resort.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of India's biggest wildlife sanctuaries covering 777 sq. Km (300 Sq.miles) is a Tiger Reserve. Its centerpiece, the man-made Periyar Lake at the height of 2000 ft. covers 26 sq.km, running through the forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala. The lake is an important source of water for the many wild animals. The Best time to visit Periyar is between OCTOBER and MAY. The best chance of watching animals is during the hot months of march, April and May, when water gets low and the grass dries out, animals especially elephants come down to the Periyar lake to bath & frolic in the water with the young ones.

Day 15 : Periyar - Alleppey (114 kms: 2 ½ hrs) Backwaters tours through sailing boat to Kumarakom:
After breakfast checkout and drive for Alleppey, on arrival embark at the houseboat. The day for the journey of backwaters in the boat, through the tropical countryside enchanting backwaters of Alleppey by regattas (snake boats) for which Kerala is very famous, 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 are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land, you also enjoy fishing from the houseboats, evening enjoy sunset from the sun-deck of the houseboats, moving towards Kumarakom. The Houseboats have generated electricity; sitting cum dinning area, separate bedroom with attached English toilets, sun deck and fully loaded kitchen with a Chef, and Srank (Driver). Overnight at the houseboat.

Alleppey situated in south of Cochin, is the center for backwater cruises in Kerala. It has a large network of canals, which passes through the town, provides its lifeline & has a long sandy beach. It is also the center of the famous coir products of Kerala. Nehru Trophy Boat Race - the most colourful snake-boat race in Kerala - is held here on the second Saturday of August every year.

Alleppey A glide in a "Kettuvalam" (Houseboat) through the enchanting backwaters of Alleppey is sure to rob your heart. 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 are panoramic sights one can never forget. The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of duck swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this tourist land.

Day 16 : Kumarakom
After breakfast, disembark from the houseboat and drive to Kumarakom - for the nature-lover. Here in this backwater town, you can laze in a canoe amidst sylvan surroundings where the only presence is yours and the egrets. Later visit at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, to see bird viewing where numerous species of birds, including Darters, Bitterns, Brahminy kites, Marsh Harries, Teals and several varieties of Herons roost are found. For an inquisitive bird watcher, it is always advisable to carry their binoculars at all times. Return to hotel, Make sure you do not miss out on Karimeen and fresh toddy the favourite fresh water food and the local wine. Overnight stay at thye hotel.

The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live there in flocks is a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.

Day 17 : Kumarakom - Kovalam (140kms: 2 ½ hrs)
After breakfast drive to Kovalam, on arrival transfer to beach resort. Rest of the day is free for leisure at Resort, Ayurveda massage and beach activities. Overnight at the resort.

Kovalam: On the Malabar Coast along the Kerala shoreline is a small village; called Kovalam is 16 kms away from Trivandrum, a sheltered bay endowed with unusual beauty. This natural bay is a safe sea-pool free from high waves and surge. The beach resort here is of international standard. Today Kovalam has become one of the most popular beach hangouts in India. Kovalam means a grove of coconut trees and truly the coconut trees along the beaches gives it a paradise of nature.

Day 18 : Kovalam- Cape Camorin - Kovalam (Excursion 84 kms one way)
After breakfast time is free to spend on beaches optionally you can take sightseeing tour of Trivandrum city, (16 kms) the capital of the state of Kerala is a beautiful seaside city built on seven hills. The famous Sri Padmanabhaswamy Swami Temple is dedicated to Vishnu and is a landmark in the city. Later drive to Cape Camorin also known as Kanya Kumari, this place is at the tail tip end of India, one can see the 3 seas meet over here (Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean & bay of Bengal) on arrival visit Kumari Amman Devi Temple, Vivekananda Rock & Ashram, enjoy sunset over here & drive back to Kovalam for overnight.

Trivandrum: Thiruvananthapuram shot into prominence in the 18th century when the capital was shifted here form Padmanabhapuram, a little down south. The erstwhile kings of the then Travancore State, taking on the title of Padmanabhadas (servant of Lord), had dedicated themselves completely to the service of the Lord residing in the temple here. By the terms of this dedication, the deity owns the kingdom while the king is the mere executor of the trust. The temples in the city are believed to be several thousands years old. After independence, the city was designated as the capital of Kerala.

Kanyakumari - Referred to by the British as Cape Commorin, Kanyakumari in the state of Tamil Nadu is located at the southern most tip of the peninsular Indian. The small temple dedicated to Kanyakumari, or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess) is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name. Kanyakumari is the point of confluence of three oceans - the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. This well-known Hindu pilgrimage center is famous for its beautiful sights of sunrise and sunset over the waters.

Day 19 : Kovalam – Trivandrum – Hometown (By Air)
**** Back home with great memories. ****


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