Best of Rajasthan and South India
A journey that in a few days allows you to travel from north to south of the country according to an itinerary that includes some of the beauties of Rajasthan and South India. In addition to visits to the capital Delhi, the Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Cochin, excursions between tea plantations, navigation in the Periyar national park and overnight on a Houseboat are planned.
Day 01: Arrival in Delhi
Upon arrival at the airport in Delhi, meeting with our staff for presentations. Transfer to the hotel and overnight stay.
Day 02: Delhi
After breakfast, tour in the Old and New Delhi. Visit from the outside of the Red Fort, built in 1639 by the emperor Mogul Shah Jahan (the one who brought the Taj Mahal into existence) and since 2007 recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Visit of the Jama Masjid, one of the most impressive Indian mosques, also commissioned by Shahjahan and completed in 1656. It crosses the characteristic and ancient Chandni Chowk market built in the 17th century by the emperor himself. Visit of the Raj Ghat, a black marble platform that marks the site of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation on January 31, 1948, one day after his assassination. Continuation to the new Delhi to the government palaces, which represent the largest liberal democracy in the world, and to Connaught Place. Stop at India Gate, the arch erected in memory of the Indian soldiers who left their lives fighting for the British army during the First World War. Visit to the Qutub Minar complex, a 73-meter high tower engraved with verses from the Koran, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak, which is one of the most beautiful monuments in India and the world. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 04: Agra / Fatehpur Sikri / Jaipur (Km. 245 - approx 5 hrs)
Breakfast and departure for Agra with a stop in Fatehpur Sikri, located 40 km from Agra and built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, who wanted it to be a magnificent witness to the power of his court. The city was abandoned 15 years later due to the scarcity of water. Its red sandstone buildings and pavilions are perfectly preserved. Continue to Jaipur, the pink city, so named for the color of the pink sandstone buildings that characterise the beautiful old city. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 05: Jaipur
Breakfast and visit to the famous Amber fortress, 11 km away. from the city. Amber, in red earth and white marble, whose construction began in 1592 by Raja Man Singh I, was the ancient capital of the state and was the seat of all Rajput dynasties until the founding of Jaipur. The austere exterior conceals highly decorated interiors with sculptures, mirrors and precious stones. We will reach the entrance of the fort by elephant or by jeep (depending on availability), walking along the ramparts of the fortress. Return to the city and stop in front of the Palace of the Winds or Hawa Mahal, built in 1799 to allow the ladies of the court to observe, without being seen, the daily life in the streets. Then begin the visit of Jaipur, the "pink city". Jaipur is the capital of Rajastan and was founded on November 18, 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, from whom the city takes its name. In 2008, the Readers Conde Nast Traveler Choice Survey classified Jaipur as the 7th best place to visit in Asia. Visit to the City Palace complex, the historic seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, whose construction began between 1729 and 1732 by Sawai Jai Singh II and which, with its courtyards, gardens and buildings, is the heart of the old city. Even today it is the residence of the royals even if part is a museum. Continue with a visit to the Jantar Mantar, the Astronomical Observatory, World Heritage site, a collection of architectural forms that serve as astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734 on the model of similar structures already erected in Delhi. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 06: Jaipur / Cochin (by flight)
Transfer to the airport to take the flight to Cochin, in South India. Arrival in Cochin, in Kerala. Meeting with our staff for presentations. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 07: Cochin
Breakfast and half-day tour of Cochin, from the multicultural population and one of the nation's main seaports and, already in the 11th century, an important center for the trade of spices on the Arabian Sea coast. It was colonised by the Portuguese, then fell under the Dutch, then under the reign of Mysore and then under English rule. His buildings today bear witness to these passages. Visit the Dutch Palace, the Mattancherri Palace, the Synagogue (closed Friday and Saturday) and the Church of San Francesco, the oldest European church in India. Visit Chinese fishing nets, used here since 1350, built in teak wood and bamboo that work with the principle of lever. We are witnessing the spectacle of the movement of the nets that are lowered into the sea and then withdrawn up. Visit of the Basilica of Santa Cruz. Free time for individual initiatives. In the evening, Kathakali dance show. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 08: Cochin / Munnar (Km. 130 - approx 4 hrs)
After breakfast, departure for Munnar, a delightful hill station in the green of Kerala and world famous for its beautiful tea plantations and lush landscapes. Upon arrival, accommodation in the Hotel. Towards evening, visit of a tea factory and local market. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 09: Munnar / Madurai (km.150 - approx 4 hrs)
After breakfast departure for the walk (about 4 hours) "Lakshmi Hills Soft Trek", inside the verdant tea plantations, in the Seven Malai hills. Proceed to Madurai, one of the oldest cities in southern India, along the banks of the Vaigai River. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Madurai
After breakfast, visit the city with the typical Indian medium, the rickshaw, through the lively streets of the old town. of which, already in the third century BC, we find traces in the writings of Megastene, a Greek historian and geographer who carried out missions to the Panyan court on behalf of Seleucus Nicator. The city in fact maintained commercial relations with the Greco-Roman world. Center of Tamil culture, it was the capital of the Pandyan dynasty until the fifteenth century. Visit the spice bazaar, flowers, vegetables. Visit will continue of the Tirumalai Nayak Palace, an immense residence in Indo-Saracen style. In the afternoon visit of the Meenakshi temple, historical Hindu temple, a Dravidian architectural masterpiece, with its magnificent gopuras (towers), dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi (Parvati) and Lord Sundareswarer (Shiva). From the temple, from as many as 15,000 visitors a day, there has been talk since ancient times in Tamil literature even though the current structure was built between 1623 and 1655. In the evening, in the temple we witness the evocative ceremony of sounds of cymbals, drums, processions and torches led by the priest of the temple because Shiva is carried in procession in the bedroom of the goddess Parvati, where he will stay until dawn and then return to his room. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: Madurai / Thekkady (Km. 140 - approx 3 hrs)
After breakfast, departure for Thekkady in Idukki district, among hills and spice plantations. The forests of Periyar and Thekkady are one of the most beautiful nature reserves in India. Upon arrival, accommodation in the Hotel. In the afternoon start of the tour among the spice plantations with an experienced naturalist. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Periyar
The morning departure for sailing in the heart of the Periyar Natural Sanctuary, one of the best wildlife reserves in India, to observe various species of animals, fallow deer, "sambar" deer, monkeys, wild boars and elephants and, for the lucky ones, the tigers. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Possibility (optional) of Ayurvedic massages, ancient tradition of Kerala. In the evening, Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial art dating back to the 3rd century BC and considered the oldest still existing.
Day 13: Houseboat cruise to Alleppey
After breakfast, depart from the Alleppey pier to set sail with a typical houseboat (kettuwallam) through the backwaters canals, between lakes and bays, palm trees, rice fields, aquatic plants and wildlife. Dinner and overnight stay on a houseboat.
Day 14: Alleppey / Cochin (km. 60 - approx 2 hrs).
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to take the flight to Cochin and, from here, the flight to Delhi. (according to scheduled flight times for each destination).
We inform you that all our trips can be modified, on request, according to your needs!