Icons of India: The Taj, Tigers, & Beyond Including Southern India

Departure Dates:                                                Return Dates:
Thursday, October 12                                          Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Thursday, October 26                                          Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Thursday, November 2                                        Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Thursday, November 30                                      Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tour Length: 14 Days/13 Nights (G)

Discover India, a diverse country filled with a long history, a variety of languages, amazing monuments, and a rich cultural heritage. On this India tour, visit some of its most famous sights and get to know the culture through special experiences. Of course, you’ll visit the Taj Mahal, built by Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife. Built from 1631-1648 AD, he employed thousands of artisans and craftsmen as well as a labor force of 20,000. You’ll get the chance to see this amazing structure at sunrise plus Agra Fort, the 16th-century red sandstone fortress where Moghul rulers lived. In 1876, Jaipur was painted pink to welcome the Prince of Wales, and it has been known as the “Pink City” ever since. Here, visit the Amber Fort, built in 1592 with white marble and red sandstone.

Day One: Arrive in Mumbai, India

Your hotel room is available for mid-afternoon check-in.

Day Two: Mumbai

gateway-of-indiaThis morning, enjoy sightseeing in Mumbai, a multicultural metropolis with a colorful history. This vibrant city is now India’s premier seaport, center of culture and industry, and home to “Bollywood.” Start at the Gateway of India, Mumbai’s most famous monument commemorating the visit of Queen Mary. Then, drive along Marine Drive, a seafront promenade, and see a traditional Dhobi Ghat (open-air laundromat). You will also visit the Hanging Gardens, Mumbai Museum, and Mani Bhavan, the former residence of Mahatma Gandi. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.

(Breakfast and Lunch)

Day Three: Mumbai–Cochin
Fly to Cochin, the “Gateway to Kerala.” Located on the Arabian Sea in Kerala, India’s southernmost state, Cochin is the perfect starting point to explore the region’s natural beauty.
(Breakfast)

Day Four: Cochin

chinese-fishing-netsStart your sightseeing tour at the Hill Palace Museum, once the home of the Kochi royal family. Next, visit the Dutch Palace and take a walking tour through the Jewish quarter. After lunch, visit the Chinese fishing nets, the livelihood of many fishermen in the area and St. Francis Church. Afterward, take an unforgettable cruise on the backwaters of Kerala. Explore and witness local life along these serene waterways surrounded by lush palm trees and paddy fields.

(Breakfast and Lunch)

Day Five: Cochin–Delhi

Fly to Delhi, India’s capital city! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.

(Breakfast)

Day Six: Delhi

Today’s sightseeing starts with an orientation to see the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, India Gate, and the Presidential Palace. Afterward, take a rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk, a captivating local bazaar. Here, ancient alleyways are lined with quaint shops selling all sorts of goods and souvenirs—from silver and saris to spices and electronics. After lunch in a local restaurant, enjoy a bit of leisure time. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a lavish welcome dinner that includes a cooking demonstration and talk on Indian cuisine with a local chef.

(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

Day Seven: Delhi–Agra

This morning, visit Qutab Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret, dating back to the 11th century. Next, visit Humayan’s Tomb and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Delhi’s largest and most prominent Sikh gurudwara (house of worship). After lunch, drive to Agra and settle in for the evening.

(Breakfast and Lunch)

Day Eight: Agra

taj-mahalStart your day with a sunrise visit to the incomparable Taj Mahal, an extravagant marble monument to love. Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan built it as a memorial to his beloved wife, who died during childbirth. To add to this memorable experience, you’ll also travel by tongas (horse-drawn carriage) during your visit. Later, visit the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by the Moghul Emperor Akbar. This impressive fortress of red sandstone conceals the imperial city of the Moghul rulers and its many palaces.

(Breakfast)

Day Nine: Agra–Fatehpur Sikri–Ranthambore National Park

Today, stop at Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by Emperor Akbar in the 16th century, it was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years before it was completely abandoned due to the lack of adequate water. After lunch in Bharatpur, board a train bound for Ranthambore National Park, one of the best places in India to spot the elusive Bengal tiger!

(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

tigerDay Ten: Ranthambore
Today, explore the park on morning & afternoon game drives in open-air, 4-wheel-drive safari vehicles. In addition to Bengal tigers, the park is home to leopard, sambar deer, sloth bears, marsh crocodiles, striped hyena, and more. Between game drives, enjoy free time to relax.

(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

Day Eleven: Ranthambore–Jaipur

Rise early this morning for one last game drive in this magical land. Then, travel to Jaipur. In 1876, the city was painted pink to welcome the Prince of Wales, and it has been known as the “Pink City” ever since. Tonight, enjoy a home-hosted dinner with an Indian noble family, followed by a sari- and turban-tying demonstration.

(Breakfast and Dinner)

Day Twelve: Jaipur

Today, visit the amazing Amber Fort, built entirely of white marble and red sandstone. Tour the interior with its intricate mosaics, carvings, paintings, and mirror works. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this bustling city. This evening, join your Tour Director for a festive farewell dinner to celebrate an unforgettable journey through India.

(Breakfast and Dinner)

Day Thirteen: Jaipur–Delhi

This morning, visit the City Palace and the adjoining Museum, which houses a collection of rare manuscripts, and stop at the famous Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds). You will have some free time prior to flying back to Delhi in the early evening.

(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

Day Fourteen: Delhi

Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.

(Breakfast)

Details:

Departure Dates:                                                Return Dates:
Thursday, October 12                                          Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Thursday, October 26                                          Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Thursday, November 2                                        Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Thursday, November 30                                      Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tour Length: 14 Days/13 Nights (G)

Your Package Includes:

  • 13 Nights accommodations
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • 7 Lunches
  • 6 Dinners
  • View the Gateway of India
  • Scenic drive along Marine Drive
  • Admission to the Hanging Gardens
  • Admission to the Mumbai Museum
  • Visit Mani Bhavan
  • Flight to Cochin
  • Visit the Hill Palace Museum
  • Visit the Dutch Palace
  • Enjoy a walking tour through the Jewish Quarter of Cochin
  • Visit the Chinese Fishing Nets
  • Experience St. Francis Church
  • Cruise the backwaters of Kerala
  • Flight to Delhi
  • Orientation tour of Delhi
  • Experience a rickshaw ride through a local Bazaar
  • Time to explore Delhi
  • Indian cooking demonstration
  • Visit Qutab Minar, the worlds largest brick minaret
  • Explore Delhi’s largest house of worship
  • Take a horse drawn carriage ride
  • Visit the Taj Mahal
  • Explore Agra Fort
  • Stop at Fatehpur Sikri
  • Train ride to Ranthambore National Park
  • 3 Safari rides looking for local wildlife
  • Enjoy a turban tying demonstration
  • Explore Amber Fort
  • Free time in Jaipur
  • Admission to the City Palace and Museum
  • Visit the Hawa Mahal
  • Full-time Tour Director
  • Private transportation
  • Small coach touring
  • Taxes and Gratuities (Note: Taxes and Gratuities are not included for local guides, coach drivers or your tour director and are at your discretion based on service).
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Pricing Information:

Per person double occupancy: 3499.00

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange airfare as well as pre and post night stays upon request.