Total Days : 16 Days
Tour Destination : Chennai / Madurai / Periyar / Alleppey / Houseboat / Kumarakom / Cochin / Mumbai / Varanasi / Delhi / Agra / Jaipur
Namaste! - We welcome you with folded hands
So far I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked - Mark Twain, from following the Equator
Day 01: Arrival / Chennai
Welcome to India, or as we say ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ (The guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you!!
Late night arrival, meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car.
Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you.
Overnight at Radisson Blu, Chennai (Superior Room)
Day 02: Chennai
After breakfast, we will proceed on a guided tour of one of India’s largest cities. Madras is the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The Tamillians are the proud inheritors of a rich cultural heritage, which is one of the main reasons for their beliefs of superiority over the hybridized culture of North India. Fort St. George (1653), built by the British, presently houses the State secretariat and the legislative assembly. The Fort has an interesting museum with fascinating collections of memorabilia from the early days of the British Raj. St. Mary’s Church (1678-80), was the first English church and the oldest surviving in India. The High court building, built of red sandstone has an interesting archaeological section and a bronze gallery. The former has an interesting collection of all major and ancient south Indian dynasties. The bronze section has interesting collections of Chola (9th century) bronze art. The High Court, built in Indo-Sracenic style is supposed to be the largest judicial building in the world after the Court Of England. Near the temple, the San Thome Cathedral (originally built in 1504), is a Roman Catholic Church believed to have the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle.
This evening, we experience and witness a typical marketplace in the heart of Georgetown for an everlasting feel of South Indian culture, and a true glimpse of the real India. Besides, this is the market for all seasons and reasons – for products of daily use like dusters, buckets, and screwdrivers to exotic stuff like assorted nuts, peacock feathers, as well as aromatic spices; everything is sold here in Georgetown. You will be stunned by how one market caters all? But, we assume in a country as diverse as India, it is not a big deal. Also, the best part of shopping in the streets lies in the opportunity to explore the various mouthwatering delights of the region - like freshly- fried Kachoris, hot jalebis, and Burmese noodles to just name a few. While you are here, also take a moment to admire the gorgeous view of the High Court. Built in Indo-Sarsenic style, it is the second largest court in the world, next only to the Courts of London.
Overnight at Radisson Blu, Chennai (Superior Room)
Day 03: Chennai / Madurai (6E 7187 - 1000 / 1125 Hrs)
Morning, we will transfer you to Chennai airport to board your flight to Madurai.
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and our representative will welcome you and transfer you to hotel, Heritage Madurai.
(Though the check in time is 2 PM every effort would be made to retain rooms till as late as possible without additional charges - subject to availability)
After rest and relaxation, we will proceed to the sightseeing of Madurai one of the oldest cities of southern India. It has been a center of pilgrimage, for centuries. The Meenakshi temple, the main architectural attraction here, is an excellent example of Dravidian architecture, with gopurams or multi pillared halls, covered from top to bottom, in a profusion of multicolored images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical figures.
However, besides the temple, our tour includes a walk along the main street leading to the temple. The well-organized confusion caused by pilgrims in traditional clothes, pavement shops of all shades, holy men in robes of different colors etc add an unmistakable color and atmosphere to this fascinating Temple City.
Later, we will visit the TirumalaNayak Palace - A gracious building in the Indo saracenic style, famous for the Stucco work on its domes & arches. Also visit the Alagar Hills and TiruparaKundan Rock temple.
Evening, we will experience the Bed Chamber ceremony. During the final prayer of the day, God Siva, husband of Meenakshi would typically be carried in a palanquin from his shrine and escorted to his residing place, where Goddess Meenakshi waits in her shrine for her husband to come home. This lively divine procession followed by a piece of music along with a gathering of devotees. Once the God Siva reaches his home, they rest in their bed chamber is made of pure silver.
Overnight at Heritage Madurai, Madurai (Deluxe Club Room)
Day 04: Madurai / Periyar (141 Kms) (03 ½ Hrs Drive)
Morning, we will drive to Periyar.
Upon arrival in Periyar, we will check in to hotel, Poetree Sarovar Portico.
After rest and relaxation, we will proceed to visit the spice plantation in Periyar, which is one of the major spice plantations in Kerala. The spice plantations in Kerala are captivating farms to wander in, since different spices are cultivated in different sections of each plantation. The spice plantation in Periyar is a prime attraction of this beautiful land. Though sprawling tea estates cover much of the landscape of Periyar, plantations of cardamom, rubber, vanilla and coffee are also aplenty. We have the option for nature walks, bird watching, taste the various spices and breathe in the fragrant air while exploring the spice plantation in Periyar. Pick up a few packets of the tea and spices grown here that make for a good buy. There are various kinds of spices cultivated in Periyar. The most abundantly found spice in Periyar is pepper. However, there is a variety of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric and curry leaves on the slanting slopes of the spice plantation in Periyar. We will also visit the Sahyadri Organic tea factory in Peer made, a recent venture of the PDS. There are specially designed vantage points for you to view this factory housed in a white-washed building.
Evening, we visit a theatre to witness a special martial arts performance unique to the region. The performance involves a holistic approach afimed at the ultimate co-ordination and control over mind and body as the weapons become an extension of the boady, controlled by the mind to achieve high degree of protection in both offensive and defensive combats. The inherent beauty of this art from lies in the harmonious synergy of art, science and medicine. Kalaripayattu is a traditional psycho-physiological discipline emanating from Kerala’s unique mytho- historical heritage as well as a scientific system of physical culture training.
Overnight at Poetree Sarovar Portico, Periyar (Club Room)
Day 05: Periyar / Alleppey / Houseboat
After breakfast, we will proceed for the houseboat experience through the narrow canals and channels of the backwaters of Kerala
The materials that go into the making of houseboat are all local and Eco-friendly; bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats carpets etc. The main wood used is "Anjali ". The Houseboat provides all comforts - Beds, a kitchen, western toilets and an upper deck. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. The cuisine is of traditional Kerala flavour along with the local Specialities - delicious fish and prawns.
We spend rest of the day cruising on our boat through remote tribal villages along the tranquil backwaters of Kerala is a superb experience. Sensational in its own silent way, the cruise takes you along snake boat docks, friendly cheering villagers, coir (Jute) making communities, toddy (local spirit) shops, fishing nets pitched for the day's catch, bunded paddy fields and manual canoes of different sizes criss- crossing each other. The experience enables you to reach beautiful untouched areas.
Overnight at aboard Spice Coast Cruise (Single Cabin House Boat) (B, L & D)
Day 06: Houseboat / Alleppey / Kumarakom (32 Kms) (01 Hr Drive)
Following the breakfast, we will disembark at Alleppey and drive to Kumarakom.
Upon arrival in Kumarakom, we will check in to hotel, Lake Song.
Overnight at Lake Song, Kumarakom (Punnamada Room)
Day 07: Kumarakom / Cochin (48 Kms) (01 ½ Hrs Drive)
Morning is at leisure. You can also enjoy the optional Ayurvedic body massage at the resort. You could also choose to explore the surrounding tribal villages, visit the nearby water bird sanctuary or ride through the narrow backwater channels through back of beyond Kerala.
Late afternoon, we will drive to Cochin.
Upon arrival in Cochin, we will check in to hotel, Tea Bungalow.
Overnight at Tea Bungalow, Cochin (Heritage Deluxe Room)
Day 08: Cochin / Mumbai (G8 345 - 2005 / 2215 Hrs) (Mattancherry is closed on Friday and Jew Town is closed on Friday and Saturday)
Morning, we proceed on a guided tour of the City. The true character of the city is to be found in the older parts of the Fort Cochin area. It more or less exists as it used to be a 1000 years back, when it was first built. The roads have not been widened because the old haggard buildings, through patchwork repairs over the centuries, still stand on the edges. This part of the city reflects an unusual blend of medieval Portugal, Dutch and English country life grafted on to the tropical Malabar Coast. The fishing community of Cochin is also very interesting. They ancient cantilevered fishing nets called Chinese Fishing Nets. The net is fixed to a pole on the shore. While fishing, the entire net is lowered by a primitive fulcrum mechanism using long bamboo poles. By the same mechanism the pole is lifted along with the catch. We will explore the sights of Photographic as well as cultural interest. We would also visit the 16th century Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace since the Dutch substantially renovated the palace in the 17th century. The double storied quadrangular building surrounds a courtyard containing a Hindu temple. The Central Hall on the first floor was the coronation hall of the Rajas of Cochin; on display are their dresses, turbans and palanquins. The most important feature of this palace, however, is the astonishing murals in the bedchambers and other rooms, which depict scenes from the Ramayana and other religious legends. These murals are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful and extensive anywhere to be seen in India. The unique feature here is the unexpected and isolated Jewish community, whose origins date back to AD 52. They are self-contained and have their own Synagogue.
The area around the Synagogue, known, as ‘Jew Town’ is one of the main centres of spice trade. Scores of small firms huddle together in old dilapidated buildings and the air is filled with the aroma of ginger, cardamom, cumin, turmeric and cloves. The area is very busy. The potters are loading gunny bags of spices on to carts, which keep running up and down the narrow lanes. We would visit Jew Town, in the Mattancherry section and a short walk from the ferry, is one street long. Jews used to occupy virtually all the houses on Jew Town Road, where they sold fruits, vegetables and spices or worked as oil pressers or carpenters. The spice markets are still located on the narrow street.
In time, we will transfer you to Cochin airport to board your flight to Mumbai.
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and our representative will welcome you and transfer you to hotel, Le Sutra.
Overnight at Le Sutra - The Ideal Art Hotel, Mumbai (Art Room)
Day 09: Mumbai (Prince of Wales is closed on Monday)
Morning, we will proceed on a city tour of Mumbai. Our highlights for the day would be as below:
GATEWAY OF INDIA :- Gateway of India (Apollo Bunder, Colaba) designed by Scotland-born architect, George Wittet. Sporting exquisite Mughal-style design elements, this imposing basalt arch overlooks the Mumbai Harbor. The arch was completed in 1924, during the British Raj, to commemorate England’s King George V and Queen Mary’s 1911 visit to India.
TAJ MAHAL HOTEL :- Diagonally opposite the Gateway of India is the grand Taj Mahal Palace & Tower (Apollo Bunder, Colaba, www.tajhotels.com) now a deluxe hotel. A blend of Islamic and colonial-influenced architectural styles, this magnificent building was constructed in 1903 by the wealthy Indian industrialist, J.N. Tata.
PRINCE OF WALES MUSEUM :- Diagonally opposite the art gallery is the ChhatrapatiShivajiMaharajVastuSangrahalaya Museum (11) (Prince of Wales Museum;159-161 Mahatma Gandhi [MG] Road, www.bombaymuseum.org). Designed by George Wittet, it sports Indo-Saracenic (also known as Indo-Gothic) architecture, a Mughal-Gothic style adopted by the British in the late 1800s. Formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum, the gracefully domed building opened its doors in 1922 in honor of Britain’s King George V (who first visited India in 1905 as then Prince of Wales). Mumbai’s largest museum, it has a superb collection of Indian artifacts and warrants an unhurried browse. Step into the front gardens to admire this grand building.
MUMBAI UNIVERSITY :- The original campus is in Fort, Mumbai, near the southern end of the city of Mumbai. It houses the administrative division of the university. It is built in the Gothic style of architecture and also includes a library which holds many original manuscripts. The University of Bombay was established at the Fort Campus in 1857.
HIGH COURT :- Retrace your steps back to Flora Fountain and continue west past the Venetian Gothic-style State Public Works Department (21). Turn south onto BhauraoPatilMarg to see the august High Court (22) and the equally venerable and ornately decorated University of Mumbai (23). The façades of both buildings are best observed from within the Oval
FLORA FOUNTAIN :- Cross back over to Forbes St to visit the KenesethEliyahoo Synagogue (15) before returning to MG Rd and continuing north along the left-hand side so you can admire the vertical Art Deco stylings of the New India Assurance Company Building (16). In a traffic island ahead lies the pretty Flora Fountain (17), named after the Roman goddess of abundance, and erected in 1869 in honour of Sir Bartle Frere, the Bombay governor responsible for dismantling the fort
CRAWFORD MARKET :- The market was built in 1871 and is also known as JyotibaPhule Market. It is a wholesale market that deals with food items. Crawford Market is famous for flowers, fruits, meat and fish. There are certain stalls in the market that sell smuggled cheese and chocolate. Crawford Market in Mumbai offers a good photo opportunity for photo enthusiasts.
VICTORIA TERMINUS :- Photo stop from outside
Victoria Terminus in Mumbai was modeled on St Pancras Station in London. Mr Frederick William Stevens, an architect designed the railway station in Mumbai in 1887-88 at a cost of Rs16.14 lakh. Later Stevens, went to Europe for 10 months so that he could study the railway stations across the European countris in detail. Victoria Terminus was completed in 10 years, named to honor Queen Victoria and then opened to all. Only recently in 1996, it was renamed after ChhatrapatiShivaji, a famous Maratha king of 17th century y the state government of Maharashtra
DHOBI GHAT :- A dhobi is a traditional Indian laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it and return it neatly pressed on your doorstep. The Dhobi Ghat is a huge open-air Laundromat consisting of row upon row of concrete wash basins, all with a flogging stone
Around 200 dhobi families work together here, relentlessly pounding the dirt from the cities garments as they did hundreds of years ago in exactly the sameway.
MANI BHAVAN :- The Mani bhavan is situated at 19, Laburnum Road, Gamdevi. It is one of the more important Gandhi Memorial Museums in the country. It’s a pretty, two-storied structure that now houses a reference library .Gandhiji stayed and worked here on many occasions between 1917 and 1934. Thus Mani bhavan is a place where Gandhiji lived and conversed with his colleagues. Once a Residence of the father of the nation, it is now a source of inspiration and freedom to everyone. It was from Mani Bhavan that Gandhi initiated the Non-Cooperation, Satyagraha, Swadeshi, Khadi and Khilafat movements.
Gandhi’s association with the charkha or spinning wheel began in 1917, while he was staying at Mani Bhavan.You can also see Gandhi’s old charkha (spinning wheel), which in many ways symbolized the struggle for independence, and which now appears on the Indian flag.
Hanging Gardens :- The Hanging Gardens makes another must see site in Mumbai. The park was built during the early 1880s over Mumbai's main reservoir at the top of the Malabar Hills. The reason of its location being to cover the water from the potentially contaminating activity of the nearby Towers of Silence. Located just opposite the Kamala Nehru Park, this terraced garden, also known as Ferozeshah Mehta Garden, is famous among the locals as well as tourists. The garden provides lovely sunset views over the Arabian Sea.
Overnight at Le Sutra - The Ideal Art Hotel, Mumbai (Art Room)
Day 10: Mumbai / Varanasi (6E 6543 - 0850 / 1055 Hrs)
Morning, we will transfer you to Mumbai airport to board your flight to Varanasi.
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and our representative will welcome you and transfer you to hotel, Rivatas by Ideal.
Evening, we will visit the Ghats of Varanasi to witness the performance of Ganges Aarti. We enjoy a special evening cruise on the Ganges. See the Hindu devotees performing the Puja with lighted lamps. The view is very mesmerizing and the ambience is spectacular in the backdrop of the beating of cymbals and bells as well as the incessant chanting.
Overnight at Rivatas By Ideal, Varanasi (Deluxe Room)
Day 11: Varanasi
At dawn we visit the sacred Ganges for a boat ride. Every morning at dawn hundreds of worshippers can be seen bathing in the sacred waters. The great river banks are lined with an endless chain of stone steps—the ghats—that stretch from one end of the city to the other. The Ghats form an impressive part of the religious landscape of the city. Proceeding downstream at a leisurely pace, you would be pointed out the significant temples and buildings as well as the changing architectural style. Life and death go hand in hand in Varanasi. While young people seek prosperity and protection from harmful influences, the older generation comes to Varanasi to cleanse their souls in the forgiving waters in preparation for their ultimate dissolution. Believing that anyone who dies in the river of life in Varanasi gains freedom from the cycle of birth and death, the City of Light has become a haven for the sick and aged waiting out their final days. The smoke that billows from the crematoriums on the edge of the river gives testimony to their final release from life’s earthly confines. We would dock our boat at Manikarnika (Cremation) Ghat. On any given day, anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred corpses are cremated here; the ghat is assiduous with activity as the cremated bodies threw up smoke and fire.
Following the boat ride, we set off on foot to explore the inner city. Through a twisted maze of narrow alleys, home to numerous shrines and pilgrim shops, we walk back a few centuries. Life here has stood still for years. The homes, the shops and even the cattle have not changed over the centuries. It is a brilliant nostalgic experience of timelessness! Later we return to hotel for breakfast
Afternoon, we will visit several temples and the Hindu University at Benares. First stop would be the Bharat Mata (temple of Mother India). Inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi, it features a huge marble map of India on the ground floor. Next up, the Durga Temple. Known for its bright red color and the playful, if sometimes aggressive, monkeys that run amok there, the Durga Temple is one of the most imposing architectural monuments in Varanasi.
The university, which occupies a large piece of land at the southern end of town, is also home to the New Vishwanatha Temple. The New Temple is modern in design and open to Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Surrounded by palm trees, it is a splendid white marble structure that shines in the afternoon sun against a pale blue sky. Inside, the temple is spacious and airy. The interior walls are covered with Vedic art above inscriptions from the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. In the center of the first floor is the Shiva linga
Next, we will visit a Widows Ashram where we will have a different view of life, and how it can be so unfair to some. Since Varanasi is a religious city many Widow Ashrams are constructed by people who want to make charity, NGOs and government to give shelter to dying, helpless and old widows. Reason of such a big number of Widow Ashrams is also that widows are abandoned in Varanasi to die as it is believed that one who dies in Varanasi gets salvation. What will surprise you after meeting these widows is that they are not all from poor families. Some of them are from good middle class families who have been sent to Varanasi because of social beliefs related to the death of a women’s husband. The widows here have been rehabilitated, and are offered training in various crafts and skills. Hence, they have a feeling of worth and all is not lost.
Later, We will also visit the Matri Bhawan. This is the place where people arrive to die. People often take the “last train to Varanasi”. When people are old, sick or about to die, they arrive on their last leg on a train to Varanasi. Here, there are volunteers and NGOs who collect them at the station, and , bring them to places as MatriBhawan. Matri means “Mother” and, Bhawan means “Home”. The old arrive at their Mother’s Home awaiting acceptance to paradise. This should be a unique aspect to your India tour.
Overnight at Rivatas By Ideal, Varanasi (Deluxe Room)
Day 12: Varanasi / Delhi (6E 6362 - 1305 / 1440 Hrs) (Sarnath is closed on Fridays)
Morning, we take a short trip to the Buddhist city of Sarnath. It is here that the Buddha preached his first sermons after attaining enlightenment.
Following the tour, we will transfer you to Varanasi airport to board your flight to Delhi.
Meeting and assistance upon arrival and our representative will welcome you and transfer you to hotel, Colonels Retreat.
Overnight at Colonels Retreat - Defence Colony, Delhi (Standard Room)
Day 13: Delhi
After breakfast, we will proceed for the guided tour of Old Delhi. We cross the city and into the walled gates of the Old city with visits to the Jamma Mosque (1650) and drive through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk (aptly translates to Moonlight Square) where the throngs of shoppers and vendors meet in the oldest area of Delhi. We also visit the Raj Ghat and nearby ghats where the founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi and thereafter Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were cremated.
The highlight of this tour would be a ride on cycle rickshaws. Now these are 3-wheel cycles with a sofa seat at the back. The Rickshawala (Rickshaw driver) sits on a small cushion in the front and two passengers on the sofa seat behind. This is a remarkable way to explore and picture the hustle and bustle as well as the color of the narrow winding streets bursting with people and pavement shops selling wares of all description - including a laughing set of dentures. The ride would be accompanied by peals of laughter both from the passengers as well as the onlookers. (Please expect some shops to be closed on Sundays)
Next, we will embark on a city tour of New Delhi. Our tour includes a visit to the QutabMinar - 72 meters high and one of the most perfect towers in the Persian world. The Iron Pillar which has survived the vagaries of weather for over 1500 years. Then, we will continue our expedition with a drive to the Lutyens Delhi which is considered to be the corridors of power and serenity. Our tour includes a drive pass through the Rashtrapati Bhawan, this vast, intricate work of mixed Mughal and Western architecture is one of the largest presidential residences in the world we will also visit the Parliament House as well as witness the majestic India Gate – a powerful tribute to our brave soldiers.
Following our drive pass to the Lutyens Delhi area, we will now visit the Humayun’s Tomb (1586), built by the Emperor’s widow Hamida Banu Begam, also known as Haji Begam, and commenced the construction of his tomb in 1569, fourteen years after his death. It is the first distinct example of proper Mughal style, which was inspired by Persian architecture.
Overnight at Colonels Retreat - Defence Colony, Delhi (Standard Room)
Day 14: Delhi / Agra (243 Kms) (04 ½ Hrs Drive)
Morning, we will drive to Agra.
Upon arrival in Agra, we will check in to hotel, Crystal Sarovar.
After rest and relaxation, we ride to the massive Agra Fort. The elegant buildings inside reflect an interesting synthesis of Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles, built by Emperor Akbar, the maze of the courtyards, mosques & private chambers of the fort echo the story of the Mughal Empire.
Evening, we will visit Mehtab Bagh. The Moonlight Garden was an extension of the Taj Mahal Garden - on the other side of the river. In 1652 Aurangzeb wrote to his father telling of a visit to 'the blessed tomb and commenting that the Mehtab Garden was completely inundated and has los t its charm, but soon it will regain its verdancy. The octagonal pool and the pavilion around it are in splendid condition. The Mehtab Bagh was lost under the mud but re-excavated in the 1990s. Originally, the garden was planted with fragrant flowers and used in the cool of the night as a place from which to view the Taj Mahal reflected in the octagonal pool and in the river.
Overnight at Crystal Saroval, Agra (Deluxe Room)
Day 15: Agra / Fatehpur Sikri / Jaipur (243 Kms) (06 Hrs Drive) (Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays)
Agra is the city of the Taj Mahal, perhaps the most photographed monument in the world. However, there is a degree of enigma about the Taj. Once you hear about a building so much and once you see so many pictures of a building your expectations are real high; and this is the enigma about the TajMahal. No matter how many pictures you have seen or no matter how high your expectations are the Taj never lets you down - the unparalleled glory and beauty of the building surpasses beyond all human imaginations. At sunrise we visit one of the greatest sights of one’s lifetime – TajMahal. A dawn visit to the fabled TajMahal to witness the magical effects caused by the reflections of the changing colours of the rising Sun on this brilliant white marble building. Following, we return to our hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, we will drive to Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri.
We will stop at the deserted capital city of Fatehpur Sikri. This abandoned capital of the Mughals is a perfectly preserved city at the height of the empire’s splendor. The city divided into religious and secular parts has interesting well-sculpted buildings.
Following the excursion, we will continue our drive to Jaipur.
Upon arrival in Jaipur, we will check in to Jas Vilas.
After rest and relaxation, we will proceed on a special tour. We have an interaction with women who are rubbing shoulders with men and are doing activities that were in India an area only for men. Do not be surprised if pretty and smartly dressed women take you through the old pink city on a memorable rickshaw ride. The Pink City Rickshaw group is a non-profit organization that aims to provide a new and unique form of employment opportunity to several women from low income households in Jaipur. Women are no longer prepared to sit in the home and be served by the male members in the family. The new Indian girl power is visible at its best where women are transformed from being inside their homes to making a living outside and in full public view. Ride on your rickshaw with your women drivers and see the highlights of the city. Also, get to know your driver at the same time as you travel through the streets. We will visit a local temple where we will participate in the evening Aarti (prayer) ceremony, visit the flower market and immerse you in the aroma of beautiful fresh flowers. Also, we will make a stop to meet the local tea seller and have a cup of hot tea (chai) as well as witness the whole process of making tea whilst the Indian way. Our Rickshaw tour also includes a visit to the Albert hall.
Overnight at Jas Vilas, Jaipur (Standard Room)
Day 16: Jaipur / Delhi (310 Kms) (06 Hrs Drive)
Morning, we will visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens.
Next, we will visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal Jaipurs. Few fail to be moved by the dramatic Rajput grandeur of this hilltop fortress-palace 11 km north of Jaipur. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, and surrounded by fortified battlements, the palace straddles two sepia-hued tundra hills overlooking Maota Lake, and its sprawling crenellated walls lattice the surrounding hills.
We will ride up to this hilltop palace on a Jeep. Our guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics and water-cooled swings that delight today’s visitors as they did their former royal residents.
Later, we will visit the Panna Meena ka Kund. This beautiful place was constructed during sixteenth century. The place was mainly utilized as a place of social meetings. People from nearby places come here for getting water, swimming or just to hang out with their loved ones. During ancient times, this place was utilized mainly as water protects pool. This beautiful Kund has a unique architecture and styling. This Kund was designed by a Brahmin and constructed by craftsmen and engineers.
We would also stop at Jal Mahal palace for photos. (From Outside Only)
Then, we will proceed on a tour Of the City Palace & Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall has seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and animals that lived in jungles, which surrounded the wall that time. Next, we visit the Solar Observatory - an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till date.
At 3 PM, we will drive to Delhi.
Upon arrival in Delhi, we will check in to hotel, Colonels Retreat.
Overnight at Colonels Retreat - Defence Colony, Delhi (Standard Room)
Day 17: Delhi / Departure
In time, we will transfer to the international airport to board the onward flight.
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