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Cultural India Tour

  • 24 Nights / 25 Days
  • Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Tanjore - Chettinad - Madurai - Thekkady - Kumarakom - Marari - Cochin - New Delhi - Varanasi - Khajuraho -(Orchha) - Agra - Jaipur - Jodhpur - Manvar - Udaipur - Mumbai
Mansions & spices
Backwaters & houseboat
Ayurveda, yoga & leisure
Ganga, ghats & ‘aarti’
Forts, palaces & tombs
Temples & sculpture

Expect the unexpected –India a cultural shock, but pleasant and exotic one. Cultural India tour destinations and experiences have been selected after great research so that a traveler doesn’t miss the hidden treasures that are mostly overlooked. Cultural India tour covers major cultural centres of south and north India encompassing glorious landscapes, delicious & varied Indian cuisine, dynamic heritage, history and culture of India. Indian culture, intrinsically inspired by Sanatana Dharma (Hindu religion), practices Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam (world is a family) & Atithi Devo Bhav (guests are like gods). Embrace India with open mind and humility and the travelling in India becomes hassle-free. India’s great diversity, cultural practices, languages, customs and traditions are result of India’s assimilative value system prevalent from the Vedic age and continued well into Indus Valley Civilization, rise and decline of Buddhism, Golden age, Muslim rule and European colonization. The best way to enjoy cultural India tour is to travel in a small group of 6-10 pax.

Day 1 Arrival at Chennai.

On arrival at Chennai airport, you will be greeted by a representative of Optima India Tourism. You will be welcomed in traditional Indian way, by garlanding and applying ‘Tika’ on forehead. Our representative will transfer you to Chennai hotel and ensure your smooth check in at the hotel. Spend night in Chennai hotel.

Day 2 Chennai – Mahabalipuram (60 kms/01 hr & 30 min)

Have delicious breakfast in Chennai hotel and mid morning drive to Mahabalipuram. On the way to Mahabalipuram, do visit Dakshin Chitra, an exciting cross cultural living museum of art, architecture, and crafts and dance of South India. Dakshin Chitra, meaning ‘picture of South’, is about 45 kms away at the outskirts of Chennai and on the way to Mahabalipuram. Dakshin Chitra, a living museum, is aimed at preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of different communities of India, particularly the four southern states Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka. Right hand side to the entrance is ‘Crafts Bazaar’. Chettinad style houses, Tanjore paintings (gold foils are used for making Tanjore paintings), Kerala paintings, terracotta figurines, Kerala style houses and craftsmanship of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have been showcased here.

After visiting Dakshina Chitra, move for Mahabalipuram. Mahabalipuram, a sea-side village, is set in a boulder-strewn landscape, un-spoilt beach and rock-cut art. Spend evening in leisure and have overnight stay in Mahabalipuram hotel.

Day 3 Mahabalipuram sightseeing tour

Having taken delicious breakfast in Mahabalipuram hotel, you will be heading for morning sightseeing tour of Mahabalipuram along with local tour guide. The prime attractions of Mahabalipuram, Shore Temples, built in 7th century & listed amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are standing testimonial to the regal heritage of India. Having explored the rich heritage of Mahabalipuram, return to hotel to spend evening in leisure and have overnight stay.

Day 4 Mahabalipuram- Puducherry (100 kms/02 hrs)-Puducherry sightseeing- Tanjore (175 kms/04hrs)

Having sumptuous breakfast in Mahabalipuram hotel, drive to Puducherry, a Union Territory, is blessed with palm-fringed 32 kms long coastline. Puducherry is endowed with beaches, backwaters, fishing villages and beach resorts. But the beaches are not the attractions of Puducherry. Instead, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the international city of Auroville and the French boulevard town with its French heritage are the main attractions of Puducherry. On arrival at Puducherry, do a brief sightseeing tour. Reminiscent of French colonial rule, are several historical landmarks. Have lunch in a nice restaurant of Puducherry and continue on to Thanjavur (Tanjore). This district stands unique for its agricultural activities, lying in the deltaic region of the famous river Cauvery and criss-crossed by lengthy network of irrigation canals..

Day 5 Tanjore– Trichy (55 kms / 01hr)- Trichy sightseeing – Chettinad (80 kms / 03 hrs)

Having breakfast in Tanjore hotel, embark on morning sightseeing tour along with Tanjore tour guide. Tanjore has been a historical city and has lot more to display of amply glorious past. Prominent places worth visiting in Tanjore are city palace, municipal art gallery and Sri Brihadeeswara Temple (constructed in the 10th century AD & a magnificent example of Chola Temple architecture). Later, visit the Palace of Tanjore that was built through many decades.

Having seen famous monuments and places of Tanjore, proceed for Trichy. Trichy has several temples of historical and touristic importance but the most remarkable one is Rock Fort temple. The 83m high rock is said to be one of the oldest in the world, dating over 3 billion years ago. To visit the temple is a big climb, up the 437 steps cut into the stone, to the top, but well worth the effort.

After visiting Rock Fort temple and exploring Trichy, continue drive to Chettinad, located in coastal Tamil Nadu and famous for simple yet classy lifestyle of wealthy Chettiar community. Have taste of Chettinad culinary delicacies. Chicken Chettinad is a popular dish of Chettinad region.

Your stay in Chettinad will be in a heritage banglow.

Day 6 Chettinad – Madurai ( 95 kms/ 2 1⁄2 hrs)

Having enjoyed delicious breakfast in Chettinad banglow, you will be taken for a morning tour of Chettinad village. While in Chettinad, do see Chettinad Museum & Athangudi handmade patterned terracotta tiles making process. Don’t miss to walk through the lanes of Devkuttai village lined with old Chettinad mansions, renowned for its fortress like homes. Visit palaces constructed during 18th and 19th centuries showcasing architectural marvels of the Chettinad community. Chettinad mansions, a masterpiece of art and architecture, are built of marble and Burma teak in ‘thinnai’ design, characterized by a large courtyard surrounded by family rooms. The mansions are highly embellished. Do see the Chettiar Mansion, a historic home and architectural extravaganza.

Having lunch in Chettinad, later in the afternoon drive to Madurai, famous for Jasmine flowers and picturesque country side. Madurai, established on the banks of River Vaiga, is one of the oldest living cities of the world. Greeks, Romans and Arabs mention its rich and lively existence as religious, cultural and business centre. Built, organized, fortified and embellished by the Pandya kings for a larger period and later by the Nayaka kings, Madurai is known as City of Junctions, City of Jasmine, Temple City, City that never sleeps and City of Four Junctions. Madurai has historical facts of being in existence and continuous habitation since 600 BCE and is a pilgrimage of the Hindus.

On arrival at Madurai, representative of Optima India Tourism will transfer you in Madurai hotel. Relax a bit and move to visit the spectacular Sri Meenakshi Temple and witness the sacred Aarti ceremony (Closing ceremony of the temple). Later in the evening, return to Madurai hotel for overnight stay.

Day 7 Madurai sightseeing – Thekkady (140 kms / 04 hrs)

Having sumptuous breakfast in Madurai hotel, move to see Meenakshi Temple, visited last evening to attend ‘evening worship ceremony’, Dravidian style of Hindu temple architecture in its exuberant baroque phase. Hereinafter, visit Tirumal Nayak’s Palace. Leisurely explore local market and bazaar as well.

Having visited Madurai, depart for Thekkady (Periyar) serves as the main entrance to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, known for elephants in the wild and natural habitat of a wide variety of animal species. Spread over 777 sq kms area, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, offering great opportunities for trek and mountain walk, is famous for Asiatic Elephant, unending chain of hills and spice plantations. 25 kms long artificial Periyar Lake presents an opportunity to view wildlife while moving on a boat in the lake.

On arrival at Thekkady, you will be directly transferred to the pre-booked forest resort. Late afternoon, you will be witness to Kalaripayattu. Kalaripayattu is a martial art, created and developed by martial saint Parashuram and patronized by saint Agastya. History of Kalaripayattu dates back to the Vedic era and at least 2000 years historically proven existence is in the records. A Buddhist saint Bodhidharma took it from Kerala to China where it got preserved, spread and flourished in present days Judo & Karate etc. You will experience the Kalaripayattu show. Kalaripayattu martial art emphasizes on footwork, movement and the ability to strike at vital points or 'marmas' in the opponents body of which 108 points are considered lethally vulnerable.

Spend evening in leisure and have overnight stay in forest resort.

Day 8 Thekkady – Kumarakom (130 kms / 3 1⁄2 hrs)

As per the schedule of cruise services, have morning boat ride in Periyar Lake along the wildlife sanctuary to view wildlife especially the Asian Elephants. After boat cruise, return to Thekkady resort. Have breakfast, check out from Periyar resort and drive to Kumarakom. Kumarakom is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Kerala, ‘God’s Own Country’. Situated on the bank of Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom presents a landscape of paddy fields, mangrove forests and lush greenery. On arrival at Kumarakom, a representative of Optima India Tourism will give you transfer into a luxurious backwater resort. Rest of the day has been kept free for leisure which you can enjoy by dint of marveling at the beautiful and unending backwaters or enjoying the sunset or indulging in the Ayurvedic therapies at the Spa.

Overnight stay has been planned in Kumarakom backwater resort.

Day 9 Kumarakom – Marari

Have breakfast in Kumarakom beach resort, spend morning in leisure and, thereafter, check out from the resort and board a luxury houseboat to traverse through the backwaters. Your lunch has been scheduled in the houseboat. Get indulged into Kerala cuisine specialties. In the evening, leave the houseboat and check in at Marari beach resort for overnight stay.

Day 10 Day 10: Marari – Cochin (Kochi) (45 kms / 01 hr)

Have breakfast in Marari hotel and spend morning hours (kept free) for independent activities. Later in the morning, depart for Kochi (Cochin), the commercial capital of Kerala. Cochin, known as Queen of Arabian Sea, is one of the finest harbours on the Arabian Sea coast and boasts of lording over trading of spices & seafood.

On arrival at Cochin, you will be transferred to Kochi hotel. Kochi tour guide will be introced with you in the hotel lobby. Along with the tour guide, proceed for visiting interesting places and monuments of Cochin that include Mattancherry Island, the oldest Jewish Synagogue in India (built in 1568), the Dutch Palace (built in 1555), Chinese fishing nets & St. Francis Church. Evening, you will be taken to a Kathakali Dance Centre to witness the most elaborate 300 years old classical dance form, which combines facets of ballet, opera, masque and pantomime.

Later in the evening, return to Cochin hotel for overnight stay.

Day 11 Cochin

The 11th day of cultural India tour is kept reserved for the activities to help you explore exotic aspects of Cochin. Having breakfast in Cochin hotel in the morning, you will be taken to Kumbhalanghi, a model fisheries and tourism village. You will observe, explore and experience various facets of the village life by mingling with the local people. You will ride in auto-rickshaws through narrow country roads seeing the village folk engaged in different activities. You may partake in various activities here such as Coir and Copra processing, Mat making, Crab catching, Fish flipping (fish acrobatics). Late afternoon, return to Cochin hotel. Evening is free and overnight stay has been scheduled here itself.

Day 12 Cochin – New Delhi (by flight)- Half-day Delhi sightseeing tour

The 12th day of cultural India tour will now take you to north India. Having feasted on delicious breakfast, check out from Cochin hotel to proceed for Cochin airport to board flight for New Delhi, capital of Republic of India. On arrival at New Delhi airport, a representative of Optima India Tourism will greet you and transfer you to the pre-booked hotel. He will ensure your smooth check in. Having relaxed for an hour or so, you will be enjoying half day sightseeing of Delhi along with Delhi tour guide. The places to be visited include Qutub Minar (the tallest stone tower in India), Humayun’s Tomb (an outstanding monument in Indo-Persian style). The tour concludes after driving past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament buildings and the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President’s residence. Later in the evening return to Delhi hotel for overnight stay.

Day 13 Delhi sightseeing tour

The second day in Delhi will be devoted to visit the Old Delhi that is happily chaotic. The sightseeing will include Raj Ghat (a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi), the Red Fort (not much of olden times is preserved) and Jama Masjid (the largest mosque of India). One of the most memorable experiences will be that of a rickshaw ride in 400 years old Chandni Chowk market, formed of narrow alleys buzzing with activity). In the afternoon, a shopping and browsing tour of Delhi will be conducted.

Later in the evening, after sightseeing and shopping activities, return to Delhi hotel for overnight stay.

Day 14 New Delhi – Varanasi (flight)- Sarnath sightseeing & Ganga Aarti.

By morning flight, you shall be landing at Varanasi airport where representative of Optima India Tourism will greet and transfer to the designated hotel by ensuring smooth check in. Varanasi is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike. Varanasi tour guide, waiting to be introduced with you, will take you on Sarnath sightseeing tour. Sarnath will not only display civilizational zenith achieved by the Hindus but also help you feel and appreciate the continuum of civilization against various odds scripted in history. Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon and taught the Dharma after his enlightenment here in Sarnath. It was the 6th century BC then, when he also set in motion the wheel of law, the Dharmachakra. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. At Sarnath, see a decent museum and also a Tibetan Buddhist Temple.

After visit of Sarnath, at dusk, you will be driven to Dashaswamedh Ghat of Varanasi that is the site of splendid and magnanimous Ganges Worship Ceremony (called Ganga Aarti) on the banks of the Ganges. Head to the banks of the sacred Ganges River to witness the Aarti (prayer) ceremony with sounds of chanted prayers. After visiting Sarnath and enjoying Ganga Aarti, return to Varanasi hotel for overnight stay.

Day 15 Udaipur sightseeing tour

A view of Varanasi, especially the ghats of Varanasi, in morning hours will definitely be a lifetime experience for a foreigner. It will be a pleasant cultural shock. Colourful Indian culture will be evident in its great vitality. The morning in Varanasi will unfold numerous exotic aspects of India and more particularly Varanasi. To acquaint you with the traditional and perennial Varanasi, you will be taken to the Varanasi ghat in the dawn-hours and a long boat-ride alongside the various ghats of the Ganges will be carried out. Early in the morning, proceed for viewing the panoramic view of ghats on boat. See the sun rise with a boat ride on River Ganges. See Varanasi come alive along the banks of the river and people bathing and worshiping the rising sun. Ghats of Varanasi, embankments with long flights of stone steps leading down to the Ganges, are true podia displaying vital aspects of lifestyle of the people of Varanasi. After visiting ghats, return to your Varanasi hotel. Get refreshed, relax and have delicious breakfast. Thereafter, proceed to visit famous temples of Varanasi. Varanasi is known as the city of Lord Shiva. Presence of the Ganges adds to the piousness of the city of Varanasi. The temples of Varanasi, the religious capital of India and world's one of the oldest living cities, are said to be as old as the city itself. The temples of Varanasi contain a special aura of spiritual mystery and thus evoke a huge sense of spirituality. Experience the all pervasive aura of ethereal spirituality in Varanasi firsthand on Incredible India Tour. You shall be visiting today Banaras Hindu University (B.H.U.) in the afternoon and, later in the evening, explore local market for picking ethnic articles. After visiting Ghats, temples and market of Varanasi, return to Varanasi hotel for overnight stay.

Day 16 Varanasi-Khajuraho (By Flight).

As the flight from Varanasi to Khajuraho is in the early noon, have breakfast in Varanasi hotel and spend morning in leisure. Late in the morning, check out from Varanasi hotel and head for Varanasi airport to board flight for Khajuraho, Khajuraho, where you will discover its exquisitely carved legendary temples. Built between 9th & 12th century only 20 of the original 85 temples survive. The facades of these temples are replete with erotic sculptures & depictions of dance, music & other creative arts. Optima India Tourism representative will receive you on arrival. Along with Khajuraho tour guide, proceed to visitKhajuraho temples , a zenith of sculptured architecture. Passion, eroticism, dance and music and other finesses of creative arts are hallmarks of the sculpture and images of the temples of Khajuraho.

After visiting famous temples of Khajuraho, enjoy the evening by either attending fascinating cultural performance or Sound & Light show. Later in the evening, return to Khajuraho hotel for overnight stay.

Day 17 Khajuraho-Orchha- Jhansi-Agra (By Car & Train).

A bit early in the morning, having breakfast in Khajuraho hotel, move for Agra. Stop en route at Orchha, passing small villages, arriving at the 17th century Orchha Palace , a historical medieval town on the banks of river Betwa. Have lunch in restaurant on the bank of the river and visit Orchha Fort, Raja Ram Temple and Jahangir Palace .

After visiting Orchha, move for Jhansi railway station to board train for Agra. On arrival at Agra, you will be received by representative of Optima India Tourism. You will be taken to the designated hotel for overnight stay in Agra.

Day 18 Agra sightseeing- Fatehpur Sikri- Jaipur (240 kms/ 04 hrs).

It’s time for sunrise visit to Taj Mahal. Tourists gather at Taj Mahal during dawn hours to watch Taj Mahal at the time of sunrise when Taj Mahal looks stunningly beautiful. A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE and one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ Taj Mahal is the prime tourist attraction of Agra. Along with Agra tour guide, visit Taj Mahal leisurely and enjoy a feast to the eyes. After viewing Taj Mahal, come back to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, move for visiting another famous monument of Agra - Agra Fort.

Early afternoon, push off for Jaipur. On the way to Jaipur, at the outskirts of Agra, about 35 kms away, stop at Fatehpur Sikri. This deserted red sandstone city built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century was abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. The palace complex of Fatehpur Sikri contains several historical buildings. The architecture of various buildings and monuments speaks a lot about evolving discreetly Mughal style of architecture. The prominent monuments of Fatehpur Sikri are Jama Masjid, Buland Darwaja, Panch Mahal, Jodha Bai Palace, Birbal Bhawan, Shrine of a Sufi saint Salim Chishti.

Having visited Fatehpur Sikri, resume your drive to Jaipur. You will be directly transferred to Jaipur hotel where representative of Optima India Tourism will receive you and ensure your smooth check in at Jaipur hotel. Jaipur, known as Pink City of Rajasthan owing to pink-painted buildings of old town, is capital city of Rajasthan. Jaipur is the most visited tourist destination of Rajasthan due to rich cultural heritage, bustling market and good connectivity with Delhi and Agra. Overnight stay is planned in Jaipur hotel.

Day 19 Jaipur sightseeing tour

The Jaipur city tour will commence a bit early in the morning as an exotic experience of cultural Jaipur- ‘maharaja-like’ elephant ride at Amber Fort- awaits you. Having delicious breakfast in Jaipur hotel, drive for Jaipur city tour. Take an excursion to Amber Fort. Enjoy an elephant ride. On the back of a caparisoned elephant, you will be taken from ground to the main gate of Amber Fort at the hill top. See the Palace of Mirrors in Amber Fort, originally built as the royal family’s private residence, which is covered with countless inlaid mirrors. After visiting Amber Fort, you will be taken to other famous monuments of Jaipur- Jal Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar (a large open-air array of astronomical instruments that includes the world’s largest sundial) and Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds- the high sandstone facade whose ornately screened windows allowed women of the palace to gaze out unobserved). Early evening, move to the bustling market of Jaipur.

After visiting famous monuments of Jaipur and exploring vibrant and bustling local market known for handicraft products namely carpets, printed clothes and jewellery; return to Jaipur hotel for overnight stay.

Day 20 Jaipur –Pushkar- Jodhpur (330 kms / 07 hrs)

Relish delicious breakfast in Jaipur hotel, check out in time and drive to Jodhpur. On the way, stop at Pushkar, a pilgrimage of the Hindus and a prominent tourist destination in Rajasthan, to see Pushkar Lake and Brahma Temple. Embanked by 52 ghats, Pushkar Lake is semi-circular in shape. Pushkar is famous for having the lone temple of Lord Brahma, one of the three gods of Hindu Trinity- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Brahma Temple houses four-headed idol of Lord Brahma. It's decorated with silver coins and a silver turtle on its black and white chequered floor. Have lunch in a nice restaurant on the banks of Pushkar Lake and depart for Jodhpur. Jodhpur also referred as the “Blue City” due to the vivid blue clay washed houses around the Mehrangarh Fort. The famous ‘blue pottery’ of Jodhpur is well known.

On arrival at Jodhpur, get transferred directly to Jodhpur hotel where Optima India Tourism’s representative will ensure smooth check in. Spend the evening in leisure and have overnight stay in Jodhpur hotel.

Day 21 Jodhpur – Manvar Desert Camp (120 kms/ 03 hrs)

Having enjoyed delicious breakfast in Jodhpur hotel, check out and proceed for visiting monuments and market of Jodhpur. Prominent monuments of Jodhpur include Mehrangarh Fort Palace, Jaswant Thada and Umaid Bhawan Palace. Known for traditional Rajput culture and beautiful and gigantic monuments, Jodhpur was an erstwhile prominent principality of Marwad region of Rajasthan during India's pre-independence era.

After relaxed sightseeing and exploration of local market and local culture, proceed for Manvar Desert Camp. Manvar tourist destination can be segregated into two parts- resorts and camps. The camps area, being aloof from in-habitation or traffic, offers amazing ambiance. Stay in luxury tents with views of serene sand dunes imparts one a feel of luxurious nomadic life. Ancient village of Manvar is the gateway into the merciless Thar Desert, the legendary 6th- 8th century temples, sand-dunes and diversity of Rajasthani culture and tradition. Camel rides in the evening, followed by traditional music performance and dinner, are main attractions of Manvar. Overnight stay is scheduled in desert camp.

Day 22 Manvar-Ranakpur -Udaipur (By Car 340 Kms/ 07 Hours).

The 22nd day of cultural India tour has been assigned for leisurely travel and enjoying the oasis in the desert state of Rajasthan India. Having taken delicious breakfast in Manvar desert camp, drive to the city of lakes, palaces, and rising sun – Udaipur. En route Udaipur, visit Ranakpur temple one of the most famous cities of Rajasthan, India. Ranakpur Temple belongs to people of Jain community but it is open to all faiths. Earlier visit of Ranakpur Temple was free for all but, now- a- days, having seen large cache of foreign tourists' inflow, entrance fee has been introduced. Ranakpur Temple, built of light colored marble, consists of 1444 marble pillars and is spread in about 4000 sq meter area. The carvings on marble are exquisite.

Visiting Ranakpur temple, drive to Udaipur which is almost 95 kms away from here. Possibly no city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic as Udaipur, even though the state is replete with fantastic hilltop fortresses, exotic palaces and gripping legends of medieval chivalry and heroism, it’s not without justification that Udaipur has been called “the Venice of the East”.

On arrival at Udaipur, you will be received by a representative of Optima India Tourism and transferred to Udaipur hotel. Evening of Udaipur today is kept for relaxing leisurely in the hotel. Have overnight stay in Udaipur hotel.

Day 23 Udaipur Sightseeing.

Have delicious breakfast in Udaipur hotel and then embark on Udaipur city tour. Udaipur tour guide will take you to visit the City Palace Complex, the Jagdish Temple, the Jag Mandir, Saheliyon-k-Bari, the Lake Pichola & Jag Niwas Palace (Lake Palace) and other picturesque spots of tourist interests. Udaipur City Palace is the grandest palace of Rajasthan. Located on the banks of famous Lake Pichola, City Palace was built in 1725 of granite and marble with filigreed balconies, ornate windows and craftsmanship in glass with a visit to the Crystal Gallery. This most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur is testimony to glorious past of Udaipur. City Palace of Udaipur is characterized by insurmountable fortification, vast courtyards, 11 palaces within the walls, superb museum, beautiful temples and wide terraces. Jag Mandir Palace is also a very beautiful palace, located on the southern end of Lake Pichola. Saheliyon Ki Bari is a nice garden, meant for the royal maids.

After watching these magnanimous monuments, you will be taken for a boat cruise in Lake Pichola. During the course of this boat ride, you will be witnessing majestic palace called Jag Niwas. Jag Niwas has been leased to Taj Group of Hotels which has converted it into a heritage hotel.

After relaxed sightseeing and exploration of local market and local culture, return to Udaipur hotel for overnight stay.

Day 24 Udaipur- Mumbai (flight)- Mumbai sightseeing

After having breakfast in Udaipur hotel, proceed for Udaipur airport to board flight for Mumbai. On arrival at Mumbai, you will be transferred to Mumbai hotel. Relax a bit and after having relished sumptuous lunch in Mumbai hotel, move on for Mumbai sightseeing. Mumbai, also known as Bombay is a major metropolitan city and the business capital of India. Afternoon, explore classic “Bombay” sights. The Mumbai tour guide will meet you at the lobby of the hotel and take you on guided tour of Mumbai. The Mumbai sightseeing will include Gateway of India, Prince of Wales Museum (closed on Mondays), Mani Bhawan, Hanging Garden and Chowpatty Beach. Also drive past Afghan Church, Flora Fountain (Bombay nerve-centre), colourful Crawford Market and Marine Drive. After visiting famous places of Mumbai, return to Mumbai hotel for overnight stay.

Day 25 Mumbai-Departure to final destination

This morning at leisure, shopping, and enjoying Mumbai before transfer to airport for flight back home.


Present day capital city of Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India, is Chennai. Since the advent of the British, it was known as madras but very recently it is re-christened as Chennai. Comparatively Chennai is a new city with history of 350 years. Initially, few hamlets integrated emerged as a town and later developed into a city but today’s Chennai, the fourth largest city of India, is the result of phenomenal growth over the past few decades. With best modern infrastructure and amenities like thriving sea harbor & port, international & domestic airports, a sprawling railway station and excellent road connectivity with all major towns and cities, Chennai serves as a convenient starting point for a tour of South India. With all modern infrastructure and development Chennai charms one with its allegiance to ancient traditions. Chennai in true sense retains the culture, the customs, the charm and the courtesies of the ages. It reflects in an airy city with several vestiges of its rural past. The lifestyle of the people of Chennai is more of a laid-back sort without compromising with their professional city of Chennai adheres to the leisurely tempo of life of a world of yesterday.


Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram), situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, was a thriving ancient port of the Pallavas. This port town had flourishing trade with many distant nations in past. During Pallava regime, this port town emerged to unparalleled glory which is self evident from the many marvelous monuments with sculptural panels, caves, monolithic Rathas and temples. These temples are Mahabalipuram's signature symbol. The name Mamallapuram is derived from the title Mahamalla (meaning a great warrior) Narsimha Varman. The port was constructed by King Mahendra Varman in the 7th century. The glorious zenith of Dravidian art and architecture can be seen in the monuments of Mahabalipuram. Though sculpted in stones, the idols seem lively. The richness of monumental splendor and charming beaches make Mahabalipuram a distinguished tourist place in India.


Though Puducheri is situated on sea shore, it is not known for its beaches. Rather, Pondicherry earned its reputation for tranquil beach town with a unique mix of two cultures- French and Hindu. Puducheri, earlier called as Pondicherry, was a French colony and hence offers a unique amalgam of Indian and French cultures. The traces of French rule and its cultural influences can easily be noticed in the red kepis of the police officers, French spelling on signboards and traffic signs and some buildings and old stones. Explore Pondicherry and must visit old churches and Ashrama of Maharshi Aurobindo Ghosh, Auroville.


Tanjore (Thanjavur) was once the capital of the Chola, Nayak and Maratha rulers and is situated in the delta of rivers Cauvery. Thanjavur, named after demon Thanja who was killed by Lord Vishnu, is also called as the City of Refuge, derived from the word Thanjan. The place is called as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. Tanjore, far older than the Chola period, rose to glory during the later Chola reign between the 10th and 14th centuries and reached its zenith becoming the centre Tamil learning and culture during the Chola rule. It continues to enjoy the important even today due to its cultural and contribution to music and dance. In the city, there are rare specimens of old art and architecture, inscriptions and paintings created centuries ago. It is known for its exquisite handicrafts, bronze casting and articles and South India musical instruments. Raja Rajendra Chola conquered the Pandyas and the eastern Chalukyas in about the middle of the 10th century and founded a mighty kingdom with Thanjavur as his capital. He and his successors in the dynasty enriched the places with grand temples and places.


Chettinad is a sub-region within Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu. Karaikudi and Devakottai are two prominent towns of Chettinad region with lot of representative historical monuments, customs, traditions, rituals and lifestyle still intact and prevalent. The people of Chettinad speak Tamil. Chettinad is inhabited by Nattukottai Chettiars (Nagarathar). The Chettiars, reputed as banking and business community, had evolved their unique cuisine, architecture and religious temples. The term Chettinad is also coined to denote a caste specialized in cooking and preparation of cuisines. As the Chettinads are regarded as master chef, the Chettinad cuisines are known for their deliciousness. Many of the dishes are pungent and topped with boiled egg. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are equally tasty and famous. Among vegetarian dishes, cooked lentils, Brinjal curry, drumstick sambar, Kara Kolambu (south Indian sambar), payasam, Aadi Kummayam and Paal Paniyaram are most loved. Chicken Chettinad (spicy chicken curry) is a famous non-vegetarian Chettinad dish.

After the decline of the patron kings, the traditional architects found resort in the wealthy Chettiyars. All architectural landmarks, including houses and temples, were built on the basis of Vaastu Shastras & Agama. Every temple, constructed in Dravidian style of temple architecture, necessarily consists of a water pool (‘kund’) with water lilies are grown in it for worshipping rituals. Temples are the centre of major religious and social festivals and fairs. Even today, much of Chettinad's daily activities are centered around the festivities of the temple.

The Chettinad mansions, built in 18th century, are also of immense historical, architectural and touristic importance. The Chettinad mansions are characterized by wide courtyards, spacious rooms, sumptuous use of marble and teak and various decorative items from different parts of the world. Italy was the source of finer marbles. Chandeliers and teak from imported from Burma (present day Myanmar). World renowned wall-to-wall mirrors were sourced from Belgium. Indonesian crockery and European crystals made their way to Chettinad kitchen.

Handmade Aathangudi tiles and Chettinad cotton sarees known as ‘kandaangi’ are famous articles, hallmarks of Chettinad.


Next in importance to Chennai, Madurai, known as Athens of the East, with its 2500 years old history, is a place of great antiquity, historic importance and Tamil culture. History attributes the foundations of Madurai to the Pandyan kings. Kulasekhara, who flourished in the 6th century AD. The city improved after the 7th century and there was another golden age in the 13th century AD. The Pandyan splendor was extinguished by the invasion by Malik Kafur in the 14th century AD. After seventh years of Muslim rule, the Pandyan rulers re-established themselves and built the temple and tower that we see today. After the decline of Vijayanagar, the Nayak dynasty becomes the supreme master of Madurai. The greatest among the Nayaks, Tirumala Nayakan added several monuments to its splendors and pomp. Madurai, situated on the bank of the river Vaigai, has spread over a large area. The fabulous temples embellish the southern bank of the river. The many religious festivals celebrated with elaborate rituals and pageantry have earned for it the name of City of Festivals.


Thekkady in Idukki district of Kerala is famous for Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, spread across 777 sq kms. Monsoon first reaches Kerala and heavy water shower results great variety of bio-diversity. This biodiversity can be easily seen and experienced in Thekkady. In addition to a great pool of flora and fauna, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thekkady offers opportunity to spot elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed Macaques and Nilgiri Langurs. The main attraction of the Wild Life Sanctuary, declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978, is viewing the herds of wild elephants in the lake while having a boat ride in Periyar Lake. Thekkady is considered a heaven for natural spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and clove.


Kumarakom is at a distance of merely 10 kms from Kottayam district of Kerala. The serene hamlet turned town is home to large variety of birds and migratory birds can be spotted here. The nearby islands also provide a haven for these birds. Kumarakom, a typical Kerala village, has sprouted on the eastern bank of the Vembanad Lake. Kumarakom is just 85 kms away from Cochin. Kumarakom is bound by the Vembanad Lake on two sides, the swaying paddy fields on one side and a bird sanctuary on another. Kumarakom is a perfect two day stopover on the way between Cochin and Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary or vice versa. Kumarakom has gained tremendous prominence on the map of Kerala tourism. All kinds of hotel accommodations- budget to luxury- are available here.


Marari beach of Kerala is located about 11 kms from Alleppey town. Marai is a popular short name for Mararikulam. Marari beach is a sleepy, quiet village. With several resorts and hotels, equipped with all modern amenities and facilities of Ayurveda herbal rejuvenation therapy, Marari beach offers a unique experience of living in complete solitude and a preferred destination for those tourists who are interested to enjoy a beach sojourn after backwater tour of Kerala. Marari beach is a perfect destination to unwind you completely without even trying anything.


Cochin is also termed as Kochi. Cochin is a fabulous city, culturally rich and commercially vibrant. It is divided into two parts – Ernakulum and Kochi. Come into Cochin to visit Kochi. Kochi is aptly termed as Queen of the Arabian Sea, being the finest natural harbor in the world. Enjoy Kochi with ferry rides commanding its breathtaking view as you cruise around man-made islands with lush green lawns sloping down to the water's edge. These ferries offer luxurious environment on board. Aboard, you can relax with a drink watching the Arab dhows in the foreground, and behind, the tree shaded buildings of the families who sold gold, ivory, timber and peacock to King Solomon, 19 centuries ago. Kerala, the God's own country, beckons you with the best of natural beauty. Cochin is gateway to Kerala. Pleasant ambience, simple people, delicious cuisines, rich past, giant Chinese fishing nets that billow from massive teak and bamboo poles dot the entrance to the harbor. Silhouetted against the setting sun, they present a magnificent sight of the waterfront. Cochin is the oldest European settlement in India. Recording a history of visitors who came, saw and stayed for hundreds of years. Layered impressions of Chinese, Arab, French, Jewish, British and Portuguese are contained within its environment.

Enjoy Cochin during Cochin Carnival. Ring in the New Year with great festivity and cheer at the Cochin Carnival. This week long extravaganza presents to you colourful parades, variety programmes and events to enjoy. And, of course, cherish December 25th to 31st every year.


Delhi is enriched with long historical past, glorious culture, an enviable treasure of monuments and modern infrastructure. Delhi, currently thecapital of Indian Republic , has passed through several upheavals during its thousands of years of existence and has witnessed many ups and downs of history with many dynasties flourishing and diminishing with the passage of time.

Delhi has been built nine times over the years and accordingly named in the scriptures. Indraprastha, known as first Delhi, was founded by Pandavas of Mahabharata in around 1500 BC. Qila Rai Pithora, termed as second Delhi, was built by Raja Anang Pal and later re-christened by Prithviraj Chauhan as Lal Kot. Siri, the third Delhi, was founded by Ala-ud-din Khilji. Siri Fort, a major tourist attraction, is a famous monument of that time. Tughlaqabad, called as fourth Delhi, had been founded by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq. Tughlaqabad Fort is a testimony to that. Jahan Panah, the fifth Delhi and a walled city, was constructed by Muhammad bin Tughlaq to address the constant threat of Mongols. The sixth Delhi, Ferozabad, was founded by Feroz Shah Tughlaq and its testimonial evidence can be seen in the form of 13-metre high tapering quadrangular pillar adjacent to Ashokan pillar. Din Panah, the seventh Delhi, was rebuilt afresh by Humayun and later razed and constructed by Sher Shah Suri. Earlier this Old Fort or Purana Qila was seat of legendary ruler Prithviraj Chauhan. The walled city of Shahjahanabad, known as eighth Delhi, had been founded by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who built Taj Mahal as well in Agra. Modern and present day Delhi, the ninth Delhi and known as Lutyens' Delhi or New Delhi has been laid down by the British.


Situated on the banks of holy river Ganga (the Ganges), the spiritual capital of India- Varanasi is known by several names like Banaras (as local people call it), Kashi (desrived from 'Kashika' meaning the shining one referring to the light of Lord Shiva), Avimukta (meaning never forsaken by Lord Shiva), Rudaravasa (meaning abode of Lord Shiva) and Anandavana (meaning forest of bliss). Varanasi is one of the holiest of the pilgrimages of the Hindus. Being on the banks of the Ganges, the most sacred and venerated river in India, Varanasi becomes all the more pious spiritual centre among religious Hindus. Its name Varanasi is derived from its being on the confluence of two rivers- Varuna and Asi. Though Varanasi is the world's oldest living city but its oldest monument is not older than 300 years because of inimically destructive invasions of Muslims. Varanasi is a prominent business and trade centre as well since the ancient times.

Ghats of Varanasi along the western bank of the Ganges are special as these epitomize various aspects of Hindu way of life. Watch out people having early morning bath followed by ablutions, puja by Brahmin priests, people practicing meditation & yoga, cremation process on Manikarnika ghat and Harishchandra ghat, people consulting the astrologers under their palm leaf parasols, buy offerings for rituals, trades selling silk apparels and brassware etc.


Located 10 kms from Varanasi, Sarnath is one of the four pilgrimages of the Buddhists. It was Sarnath where Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon and declared the birth of a different 'dharma' (religion) - Buddhism. From Sarnath, the 'dharmachakra pravartan' commenced. In around 234 BC, Emperor Ashoka, a great follower of Buddhism, built a grand stupa- Dharmarajika Stupa, here. Later on Sarnath developed as a prominent Buddhist centre with a grand monastery. Between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD, several Buddhist structures were built here in Sarnath. The Muslim invaders in medieval period ransacked and destroyed it. But an inquisitive traveler may still experience the rich past in the remnants of monastery, Dhamekh stupa, Dharmarajika stupa and Emperor Ashoka's pillar. Also, visit Sarnath museum. Sarnath museum also has the figures and the sculptures from the Mauryan, Kushana and Gupta periods discovered during the excavations at Sarnath.


Khajuraho is well known for its temples. Of Indo-Aryan architecture, the temples of Khajuraho are embellished with superb decorations. Fine and artistic stonework is to be found around these temples. Many aspects of Indian life, as it existed 1000 years ago, have been depicted by the sculptors; curiously women and sex have been depicted in more detail. Owing to the subject of the sculptures, Khajuraho temples are also called Kamsutra Temples. These temples were built in Chandela period. A Dance festival is held in March. The festival lasts for 10 days and some of the best classical dancers of India perform during the Khajuraho Dance Festival against the backdrop of Khajuraho temples which are floodlit.


At Orchha, one can see the palace of Bir Singh Deo and also the Jahangir Palace. The palaces are impressive and offer pleasant views of the countryside and are worth a visit. There many other ruined buildings here and the seven storey Chaturbhuj Temple is close by.


Agra finds its mention in epic of Mahabharata as ‘Agravana’. Agra is traditionally and culturally part of Brijbhumi, associated with legendary Lord Krishna. Strategically located on the banks of river Yamuna, the city of Agra has seen many upheavals due to intermittent attacks of the invaders to take control of it. Agra remained under control of the Rajputs, the Muslims, the Marathas and the British. Though the influences of these regimes are quite visible in art, architecture and culture of the city but the Mughal impact is more pronounced, especially in old Agra. Now-a-days, Agra has been synonymous with Taj Mahal from tourism perspective. Taj Mahal can easily be termed as a feather in the cap of India, particularly Agra, which also possesses the most precious jewel in the country’s crown the “Taj Mahal”. Sikander Lodhi, Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan ruled with Agra as capital of their kingdoms. Babur was the first Mughal king who built first Islamic monument in Agra i.e. Gul-e-Afgaan or the Aram Bag -a planned garden. During the rule of Akbar, famous monuments of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort, were constructed. Sikandara and It-mad-ud-Daula are the famous buildings of Jahangiri period. World renowned Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan in fond memory of Mumtaj Mahal, is now one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. Agra is also known for its fabulous handicrafts, made of marble and soft-stone inlay work. Agra's major handicraft products besides inlay work are: leather-ware, brassware, carpets, jewellery and embroidery work.

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri, a historical place with nicely preserved monuments of Mughal era, is a must see place while visiting Agra. Located some 37 kms from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri of Buland Darwaja fame was founded by Akbar in 1569 to express his gratitude for Sufi mystic Salim Chishti, who was born in Sikri village. Many historians believe that Fatehpur Sikri was established as a joint capital with Agra but due to paucity of potable and drinking water, the plan to shift a section of imperial officials there had been reversed. Even today, its red stone architecture, richly ornamented with carvings & firework, is in a perfect state of preservation. Buland Darwaja is 15-storied, stands 140 feet on the pedestal and is 54 feet above the ground. A steep flight of 42 steps leads one to the massive gateway and makes it as one of the tallest gateways in the world is made of red-sandstone with marble decoration on it. With Quranic inscription on the front and cenotaph on the heights of the gateway, Buland Darwaja is a splendid blend of Hindu and Persian architecture. The calligraphy work done on the inner façade of Buland Darwaja has very less parallels in India.


Jaipur, present day capital city of India’s largest state Rajasthan, is representative of typical Rajasthani culture, art, architecture and lifestyles. Known as ‘Pink City’ or ‘Gulabi Nagar’ of Rajasthan, Jaipur attracts tourists towards its gargantuan forts, marvelously built palaces, lively market of handicraft products and intricately carved out temples. The sprinkling beauty, the edifices, big havelis and stupendous sky-touching forts of Jaipur attract the tourists immensely. Jaipur is the only city in the world which has been built as per India’s Vaastu Shastra and segmented as per astrology. Jaipur has been laid according to the conventional nine-grid pattern that astrologers believe to be lucky and which has been recommended in the ancient Indian treatise on architecture. Its nine rectangular sectors represent nine levels of universe. A boundary wall with eight gates surrounds the city.


A small town of Ajmer district of Ajmer in Rajasthan, Pushkar is a religious and historical site. For the Hindus, Pushkar is one of the holiest pilgrimages with lone Brahma Temple. Pushkar Fair, organized every year, is a world renowned gathering of foreign and Indian tourists to enjoy traditional celebration of festivity. Pushkar Lake, religious rituals, activities in normal Indian fairs, folk music and dances, delicious cuisines, camel cart races etc. are prime attractions of Pushkar.


Jodhpur, situated on the edge of Thar Desert & known as ‘Blue City of Rajasthan’, is the second largest city of Rajasthan. The quintessence of Jodhpur has been its valour and equestrian skill. Jodhpur is also known as the "Sun City" for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all the year round. Founded by Rao Jodha in 1549 AD, Jodhpur was an old capital of Royal Marwar. The impressions of rich past, valour and flourishing trade can be seen in the existing monuments and bustling market. Mehrangarh Fort tops the repertoire of magnificent tourist attractions of Jodhpur. One of the largest forts of India, the impregnable Mehrangarh Fort is well preserved till date and houses excellent museum along with the only professional museum shop of India. Tourists interested in adventure may opt for six circuits of ropeways (zip-linings) at the back side of Mehrangarh Fort. Known as ‘Taj Mahal of Rajasthan’, Jaswant Thada is an ornately carved cenotaph. Built of white marble, Jaswant Thada is a must-see monument of Jodhpur. Umaid Bhawan Palace is another tourist attraction of Jodhpur.


Manvar is about 120 kms from Jodhpur on the way to Jaisalmer. Manvar, a recently explored desert destination for the tourists, is one of the best places to observe, experience and relish the desert heritage, culture, flora and fauna. Manvar, evocative of glorious tradition of adventure, valour, romance and glamour, is a preferred place to explore the real way of life in the desert. Far away from urban chaos, Manvar presents the captivating quietude of rural Rajasthan.


Constructed in an area of 60X62 metres, Ranakpur Temple in Pali district of Rajasthan is one of the five most auspicious places of Jain community. Ranakpur is known as 'the tranquil pilgrimage town'. Ranakpur is a village is on Jodhpur- Udaipur route, about 95 kms from Udaipur and 165 kms from Jodhpur. As ancient Sanskrit text Soma-Saubhagya Kavya suggests, construction of Ranakpur Temple, built on ‘chaumukha’ style, had commenced in 1437 and continued till 1458. Intricately sculptured and equipped with 29 halls and 1444 pillars, Ranakpur Temple was built under the supervision of architect Deepaka during the regime of Rana Kumbha of Mewar. Nearby Ranakpur Jain Temple is a ‘Sun Temple’. Sun temple is gracefully sculptured and endowed with elegantly carved polygonal walls and images of warriors, horses and celestial. The Sun God has been shown riding its vehicle, the chariot. For the tourism buffs a ride to the outskirts like Sadari, Desuri, Ghanerao, Narlai etc will be found to be exciting.


Previous capital of erstwhile princely state of Mewar, Udaipur showcases pristine Rajput architecture, traditional Rajasthani culture, colourful market, ancient and highly auspicious temples and several beautiful lakes. Owing to its beautiful locale, Udaipur is known as ‘City of Lakes’ and ‘Venice of East’. Udaipur is also called as the most romantic city of India. The foundation stone of Udaipur was laid by Maharana Udai Singh on 16th March 1559. The old city had initially had 11 gates, out of which only 5 gates in the city walls remained. Main gate and hence the main entrance to Udaipur city id Suraj Pole. Udaipur is famous for Lehariya, the delicate striped sarees and turbans in various shades, colours and designs. Udaipur offers a lot to the tourists. The Lake Palace of Udaipur in Lake Pichola, now converted into a heritage palace hotel being run by India’s premier industrial group TATA under the brand Taj Hotels, is a treat to eyes.

Though major tourist attractions are shown by Indian tour operators and local tour guides of Udaipur, but there are many interesting places and monuments in Udaipur to be explored. Bagore Ki Haveli is one of them. The large mansion of erstwhile Prime Minister of Mewar kingdom Amir Chand Badwa, Bagore ki Haveli, having more than 100 rooms and built in 18th century, has been converted into a museum showcasing various aspects of Mewar royalty’s lifestyle. Ambrai Ghat at Lake Pichola is the best place to capture photographs of Lake Pichola and Lake Palace at the time of sunset. For seekers of old world charm, Monsoon Palace, previously a favorite retreat of Mewar royalty, is a popular sunset spot owing to unparalleled view over Udaipur. During 10 days of December, Shilpgram Arts and Crafts Fair is organized every year. Shilpgram, meaning ‘Village of Craftsmen’, had been established to showcase rural life and traditions from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa. This attempt by the government though has not elicited the expected results but its objectives to protect Indian craftsmanship and provide the craftsmen a better and organized marketplace have been achieved to some extent.


Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra and financial capital of India. It is a sprawling metropolis which traces its history to a set of seven islands given to the British monarch Charles-II as part of the dowry, when he married Princes Catherine of Portugal in 1661. The name Mumbai has been derived from MUMBA AAI or MAHA AMBA AAI- the patron goddess of Kolis of fishing community.

Mumbai's two main land marks, the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Hotel are at Colaba. Nariman point is at the southern end of Marine Drive. At the other end of Marine Drive is Malabar Hills, a posh residential area. Today, it is a hub of activity, trade, industry and finance. As the commercial capital of India and the world's largest textile market, Mumbai ports handle around 40 percent of India's maritime trade. Some areas in Mumbai like Dharavi are amongst the most thickly populated in the world. Mumbai has diverse population, where the extra-ordinarily rich exist side by side the appallingly poor, and yet, co-exist.

  • Accommodation in the mentioned hotels on double sharing.

  • Daily breakfast basis on all places.

  • Total Meals: 28 (Breakfast-24; Lunch-02 & Dinner-02).

  • Total night stays: 24 (Chennai-01; Mahabalipuram-02; Tanjore-01; Chettinad-01; Madurai-01; Thekkady-01; Kumarakom-01; Marari-01; Cochin-02; New Delhi-02; Varanasi-02; Khajuraho-01; Agra-01; Jaipur-02; Jodhpur-01; Manvar-01; Udaipur-02; Mumbai-01).

  • Well-appointed upgraded air-conditioned rooms at all places.

  • Along with breakfast at all places, 01 lunch in Orchha, 01 dinner in desert camp in Manvar, 01 dinner in houseboat and 01 lunch in houseboat.

  • Monument entrance charges.

  • A traditional Chettinad village’s tour on bullock art.

  • Dakshin Chitra visit near Chennai.

  • Son-et-Lumiere shows in Madurai and Khajuraho.

  • Boat ride on Lake Periyar.

  • Kalaripayattu (Martial Arts) show in Thekkady.

  • Kathakali dance show in Cochin.

  • Camel ride in desert area of Manvar.

  • Morning boat ride in the Ganges along the ghats of Varanasi.

  • Ride a caparisoned elephant like a king at Amber Fort in Jaipur.

  • Evening boat cruise in famous Lake Pichola to watch Lake Palace and traditional Udaipur city while having boat ride in Lake Pichola.

  • Tonga (horse carriage) ride in Agra- from hotel to Taj Mahal gate.

  • Rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

  • English speaking & destination-specific guides at all destinations for mentioned sightseeing tour.

  • Meet & assist at the airport on arrival & departure.

  • Sightseeing tours as mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Air-conditioned private car for the whole sightseeing tour.

  • Driver for the whole tour.

  • All prevailing taxes like luxury tax, service tax etc.

  • All transfers, city tours, excursions & drives by air-conditioned transport.

  • Interstate road tax, toll tax, parking charges, driver’s wages, fuel charges etc.

Optima Special:
  • A traditional Chettinad village’s tour on bullock art.
  • Dakshin Chitra visit near Chennai.
  • Son-et-Lumiere shows in Madurai and Khajuraho.
  • Boat ride on Lake Periyar.
  • Kalaripayattu (Martial Arts) show in Thekkady.
  • Backwaters River/Lake boat cruise in Alleppey with traditional houseboat called ‘kettuvalam’.
  • Kathakali dance show in Cochin.
  • Camel Ride at Desert Camp.
  • Visit and exploration of narrow alleys, humming with social activities, while riding on man-pulled tri-cycle rickshaw.
  • Morning boat ride in the Ganges along the ghats of Varanasi.
  • Ride a caparisoned elephant like a king at Amber Fort in Jaipur.
  • Evening boat cruise in famous Lake Pichola to watch Lake Palace and traditional Udaipur city while having boat ride in Lake Pichola.
  • Tonga (horse carriage) ride in Agra- from hotel to Taj Mahal gate.
Don't miss on Cultural India Tour:
  • Do taste a variety of sea foods in Kumarakom.
  • Spend few hours leisurely in Auroville, Pondichery to learn few tips regarding meditation.
  • Do explore world-famous spice-market in Cochin.
  • Stay in heritage hotels of Rajasthan to experience modern yet royal hospitality.
  • Houseboat stay and cruise in Kerala backwaters.
  • Magnanimous Ganga Aarti (Ganges Worship Ceremony) in the evening on Dashashwamedh Ghat of Varanasi.
  • If you are handicrafts-freak, do squeeze out time visit Shilpgram in Udaipur.
  • Have late-night dinner in an open-restaurant on the banks of Lake Pichola in romantic mood.
  • For the sake of feel and enjoyment, do street-shopping in at Janpath & Connaught Place market.
  • In the evening, hire an auto-rickshaw and move out to catch a Bollywood blockbuster in Jaipur.

Cochin: Explore curio shops, small and quaint, for ethnic articles like colorful bead jewelry, mat and bangles made of coir, wood, bamboo, shells, brass, ivory and sandalwood.
Varanasi: Rudraksha, Banarasi sarees, carpets and clay artefacts.
Agra: Marble souvenirs.
Jaipur: Environment-friendly printed clothes, jewellery and ethnic goods.
Jodhpur: Handicraft goods in Sadar market.
Udaipur: Pieces of Mewar school of paintings.


Kumarakom: Appam (prepared of fermented rice and coconut dough) & Karimeen (prepared of freshwater fish).
Cochin:Meen Mollagitta curry (prepared of freshwater fish) & Kurukku Kalan ( a vegetarian specialty prepared of yoghurt, curry, toasted banana & rice).
Delhi: Street foods of Delhi in Chandni Chowk.
Varanasi: Thandai- a local, nutritious and delicious milk-product of Varanasi.
Jodhpur: Ghevar- a sweet prepared of milk.
Goa: Do taste Feni- a local Goan alcoholic beverage

Is This Trip For Me:
Travel Style Service Level TPhysical Demands Trip Type Trip Rating
Classic Standard FIT/Small Group 4.5/5
ChennaiHotel VictoriaHablis ChennaiTaj CoromandelTaj Clubhouse
Mahabalipuram Hotel Indeco Blue Bay Beach ReasortChariot Beach Resort Radisson GRT Temple Bay Resort
Tanjore Hotel Star ResidencyHotel SangamHotel SangamHotel Sangam
ChettinadHeritage Chettitiyar Banglow Heritage Chettitiyar Banglow Heritage Chettitiyar Banglow Heritage Chettitiyar Banglow
MaduraiMetropole Hotel Park Plaza Fortune PandyanThe Gateway by Taj
ThekkadyHotel Tree TopHotel Spice Village Cardamaom CountyElephant Court
KumarakomWater ScapeBackwater RipplesCoconut LagoonZuri Kumarakom
Marai Abad Turtle BeachMarari Beach ResortPurityPurity
CochinHotel Sea LordRenaissance Hotel TridentVivanta by Taj-Malabar Cochin
DelhiJiviteshHiltonShangri LaHotel Imperial
VaranasiHotel IndiaRamada PlazaRadissonNadesar Palace
KhajurahoUsha BundelaClarks KhajurahoTaj ChandelaLalit –Temple View
Agra Siris 18 Mansingh Palace ITC Mughal Oberoi Amar Vilas
Jaipur Paradise Shahpura House ITC Rajputana Oberoi Raj Vilas
JodhpurRatan PalaceDevi BhawanTaj Hari MahalUmmed Bhawan Palace
ManvarTented AccommodationTented AccommodationTented AccommodationTented Accommodation
UdaipurHotel Jagat Niwas Hotel Karohi HaveliLaxmi Vilas Palace- The LalitOberoi Udai Vilas
Mumbai Juhu Plaza Kohinoor ContinentalTrident Taj Mahal Palace
  • Price is per person twin/ double sharing basis.

  • Airfare not included.

  • Additional conditions may apply, please enquire for further details.

  • Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes.

  • Additional levies, government charges & other applicable fees, including additional taxes and surcharges on flight routing, may apply and are beyond our control.

  • Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel.

  • Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.

  • Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store or through normal bank transfer into our accounts.

  • These prices are a guide to the best price and are subject to change without notice.

  • Prices are subject to change without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases, please enquire for further details.

  • Please provide your passport details to Intrepid at least one month before travelling. Please note that if you do not provide your passport details you may be denied entry to any National Parks that are visited along this itinerary, or you may be charged a fee by the local government as passport details are now a requirement for entry into all national parks in India.

  • Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

  • In India normally the check in time is 02:00 PM and check out time is 10:00 AM.

  • Meals other than breakfast and as specified above.

  • Video camera/ still camera fee applicable at various monuments. The same will be paid by you direct on spot on actual basis.

  • Items of personal nature like telephone calls, laundry, tips, hard/soft drink etc.

  • Any expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like flight delay/cancellation/hike in fare, strike or any other natural calamities.

  • Indian visa fees.

  • Any compulsory meal supplements during festive season is not included.

  • Early check in & late check out at the hotels.

  • Any other Items is not included in " Inclusions" heading.

*Important Notice: The following information has been obtained from the relevant suppliers and should be considered an indicative guide only as to the prices that may be available for these products. Optima India Tourism cannot guarantee that any particular product will still be available at the following prices, or for your exact dates of travel. At time of making your booking, prices may differ to that price displayed on this website. Please contact an Optima India Tourism travel consultant to obtain the latest up to date information regarding applicable prices, fees and charges, availability and other terms and conditions which may apply.

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