Day 01 Arrival at Delhi
ADHVAN representative will be meeting you upon arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in and relax.
DELHI, the capital of India has a great historical background. It was ruled by some of the most powerful emperors in Indian history. The history of the city is as old as the epic Mahabharata. The town was known as Indraprastha, where Pandavas used to live. In due course eight more cities came alive adjacent to Indraprastha. Delhi has been a witness to the political turmoil for over five centuries. It was ruled by the Mughals in succession to Khiljis and Tughlaqs. In 1192 the legions of the Afghan warrior Muhammad of Ghori captured the Rajput town, and the Delhi Sultanate was established (1206). The invasion of Delhi by Timur in 1398 put an end to the sultanate; the Lodis, last of the Delhi sultans, gave way to Babur, who, after the battle of Panipat in 1526, founded the Mughal Empire. The early Mughal emperors favoured Agra as their capital, and Delhi became their permanent seat only after Shah Jahan built (1638) the walls of Old Delhi. In the year 1803 AD, the city came under the British rule. In 1911, British shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi. It again became the center of all the governing activities. But, the city has the reputation of over throwing the occupants of its throne. It included the British and the current political parties that have had the honor of leading free India.
Overnight will be in Delhi.
Day 02 Delhi
Have breakfast at the hotel.
Start for a guided tour of Delhi.
Jama Masjid This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort.
Humayun’s Tomb It was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome.
There are several graves of Mughal rulers located inside the walled enclosure and from here in 1857 A.D.; Lieutenant Hudson had captured the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II.
Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. An inscription over its eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing ’27 Hindu temples’. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.
Then visit the Lotus Temple (closed on Mondays) located in south of Delhi. This temple is built in the shape of a lotus flower and is the last of seven Major Bahai’s temples built around the world. Completed in 1986 it is set among the lush green landscaped gardens.
Also drive past India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rashtrapathi Bhawan (the President’s residence).
Overnight will be in Delhi.
Day 03 Delhi – Agra By road 230 km in 04 hrs
Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel.
Drive to Agra. Arrive and check-in at the hotel.
Agra has a rich historical background, which is amply evident from the numerous historical monuments in and around the city. The earliest reference for Agra comes from the epical age, when Mahabharata refer Agra as Agravana. In the sources prior to this, Agra has been referred as Arya Griha or the abode of the Aryans. The first person who referred Agra by its modern name was Ptolemy.
Though the heritage of Agra city is linked with the Mughal dynasty, numerous other rulers also contributed to the rich past of this city. Modern Agra was founded by Sikandar Lodhi (Lodhi dynasty; Delhi Sultanate) in the 16th century. Babar (founder of the Mughal dynasty) also stayed for some time in Agra and introduced the concept of square Persian-styled gardens here. Emperor Akbar built the Agra fort and Fatehpur Sikri near Agra. Fatehpur Sikri remained his capital for around fifteen years after which the city was left isolated in mysterious circumstances. Jahangir beautified Agra with palaces and gardens despite spending most of his time in Kashmir with which he was passionately attached.
Agra came to its own when Shahjahan ascended to the throne of Mughal Empire. He marked the zenith of Mughal architecture, when he built the Taj in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. In his later years, Shahjahan shifted his capital to the new city of Shahjahanabad in Delhi and ruled from there. Shahjahan was dethroned in 1658 by his son, Aurangzeb who imprisoned him in the Agra Fort. Aurangzeb shifted the capital back to Agra till his death. After the death of Aurangzeb, Mughal Empire could not touch its peak and many regional kingdoms emerged. The post-Mughal era of Agra saw the rule of the Jats, Marathas and finally the British taking over the city.
Later proceed for the sightseeing of Sikandra.
Sikandra Located centrally in the square plan, at the junction of four causeways dividing the garden into four quarters, the main tomb building has five storeys built in the shape of a truncated pyramid. It stands on a high stone platform. There are massive iwans in the centre of all sides that are as high as the tomb and have beautiful panels adorned with inlaid mosaic work. Inlaid arabesque work graces its spandrels, semi-soffits boast of paintings and turrets have chevron designs. They are crowned by white marble chhaparkhat with eight pillars. The mortuary chambers are on the ground floor. The vestibule leading to the Akbar’s tomb is decorated with floresque, arabesque and calligraphic designs. The chamber itself is simple and paved with stone. The other chambers entomb graves of Aram Banu and Shukru-n-nisa (daughters of Akbar), Zebu-n-nisa (daughter of Aurangzeb) and Sulaiman Shikoh (son of Shah Alam). The first storey houses a large platform and corridors roofed by stone arches in each façade. The second storey is built of red sandstone and has arched verandah with twenty-three bays. These bays are crowned by cupolas and white marble pyramidal roofs decorated with glazed tiles arranged in geometrical designs. The third and fourth storeys follow similar plans, though they reduce in size with the ascending storeys. The fifth and the top most storey is entirely in white marble and has no roof. It has delicate marble screens as its walls.
Overnight will be in Agra.
Day 04 Agra
Wake-up early and proceed for sunrise visit of the monument of love – TAJ MAHAL (closed on Fridays).
Taj Mahal was known as the tomb of Begum Mumtaz Mahal. Actually this was the title conferred on the first lady, which means “the exalted of the Palace” and whose actual name was Arjumand Banu Begum. Mumtaz Mahal died on June 17, 1631. The whole nation and Mughal Empire was shrouded in grief on the death of this noble lady. Shah Jahan soon announced a memorial to be erected for the Begum and invited designs and layouts from famous architects. Innumerable designs were presented to the Emperor but he one finally selected was that of Ustad Isa Khan Effendi. On her death Mumtaz Mahal was first buried in Burhanpur. Six months later, her remains were temporarily reburied in a garden on the Bank of river Jamuna. The remains of Mumtaz was finally buried inside Taj Mahal. After the death of Shah Jahan on 1st February 1666, he was also buried beside Mumtaz in the Taj Mahal. The end of Shahjahan brought a golden chapter of Mughal Empire to a close, which portrayed magnificence, colour and elegance of those days. He left his memory behind in the Taj Mahal which serves as a pleasant symbol of dedicated love, conjugal harmony and mutual respect of two lovers. The Taj Mahal is unparalleled in beauty. Millions of people have visited it since centuries, but none has had doubts regarding its all-round supremacy. Their methods of compliments are varied but emotions behind them are essentially the same. Shah Jahan by constructing the world famous Taj Mahal has made this period of Mughal history immortal in the minds of art lovers.
Return to the hotel and have relaxed breakfast.
Start for a guided tour of Agra.
Agra Fort is also known as Lal Qila. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its much more famous sister monument the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled palatial city Agra Fort built by Akbar In Red Sandstone when he was through with the consolidation of his power after accession to power in 1654. Agra Fort worked both as a military strategic point as well as the royal residence. Ever since Babur defeated and killed Abraham Lodi at Panipat in 1526, Agra played an important center of Mughal Empire it was in a ruined condition and Akbar decided to make it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558 Akbar had it rebuilt with red sandstone Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 1,444,000 builders worked on it for eight years completing it in 1573.
Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb is as interesting as the life of the person for whom it was built. Mirza Ghiyas-ud-din was a poor merchant and lived in Persia. While on his was to India for business, his wife gave birth to a baby girl. As th family was extremely poor and had nothing to eat, the parents decided to abandon the child. However, the wails of the baby girl forced the parents to come back and take her with them. The baby girl brought a strok of good luck to her parents, for Ghiyas Beg found a caraven the straightaway took him to the court of the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar. In the course of time, Ghiyas Beg rose to become a minister and a trusted treasurer in Akber’s court. After Akber’s death in 1605, his son Jahangir became the Mughal emperor, who made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister or Wazir. Ghiayas Beg’s daughter grew up to be a beautiful lady and come to be known as Mehr-un-Nissa or the sun of womankind. In the course of time, the fame of her beauty spread. She was married off, but she soon became a widow. She returned to the court of Jahangir where he father was employed. Emperor Jahangir fell in love with her and married her. She soon became a powerful personality in Jahangir’s court and was called Mur Mahal, the light of the palace, and Nur Jahan, light of the world. When Ghiyas Beg died in 1622, Nur Jahan undertook the project to build his mausoleum. Later she built the tomb of her husband (in a similar style) in Lahore. Nur Jahan had a brother whose daughter was married to Jahangir’s son, Shahjahan. She was known as Mumtaz Mahal in whose memory Shahjahan built the world famous Taj Mahal.
Proceed for a HERITAGE WALK to the other side of River YAMUNA with your guide.
The other side of the TAJ MAHAL across the river Yamuna where Mughal History has been written in edicts of stone, the river Yamuna lined with the residences of mobility was the artery, the very lifeline, which fostered the development of Mughal Agra. These heritage relics have been weaved together for a historic experience of Mughal Agra. You would walk through the various monuments in midst of rural setting intertwined with the communities along with stunning view of the TAJ MAHAL.
Enjoy the extended hospitality of the local villagers sipping a cup of Masala Chai on the Tea Terrace with standard, comfortable, clean, affordable, and safe facilities. The whole village walk through India’s Mughal History and amiable people is an unforgettable experience.
Overnight will be in Agra.
Day 05 Agra – Delhi By road 230 km in 04 hrs Delhi – Cochin By air
Have breakfast at the hotel.
Drive to Delhi. Reach and transfer to the airport to board the flight for Cochin.
Reach Cochin and you will be transferred to the hotel. Check-in to the hotel and relax.
Enjoy the evening at leisure or you can walk around exploring the local culture.
Overnight will be in Cochin.
Day 06 Cochin
Have breakfast at the hotel.
Embark on a guided tour of Cochin.
Old Cochin Area: This is one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. The Jewish community traces its history to nearly 2000 years ago. In 1948 the community numbered 2500 and today there are fewer than 30 people. The community is still centered round JEWTOWN where you will visit its crown Jewel, the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568 and reconstructed after a Portuguese bombardment in 1662, the synagogue is distinguished by its tile roof and bell tower. The small synagogue is also known for its hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue and white Chinese floor tiles, and the many brass and crystal lamps that hang from the ceiling. Later visit the interesting International Pepper Exchange, also located in Jew town.
Chinese Fishing Nets: The Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles work on the principle of balance. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square, the narrow promenade that parallels the beach, is the best place to watch the nets being lowered and pulled out of the sea. Learn the operation of the interesting Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles working on the principle of balance.
The other important places are the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Records say they were first set up here between AD 1350 and 1450.
Folklore Museum: Kerala Folklore Museum is the key place to experience the whole of Kerala, her people, art, culture and heritage. This is the biggest biennale and best life style museum in India. It is basically an architectural museum, combining three architectural schools of Kerala – Cochin, Malabar and Travancore architecture. To provide art education to the society, the museum is adorned with 5000 ethnic artifacts, to project the vibrant tradition of Kerala and other parts of south India. British government selected this museum as the venue to visit and experience the culture and heritage of Kerala for Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall in last Nov’13.
Overnight will be in Cochin.
Day 07 Cochin – Thekkady (Periyar) By road 160 km in 04 hrs
Enjoy the breakfast at the hotel.
Drive through the plantations and small Kerala villages. The whole of Kerala including the towns are like villages and the simplicity of the state can be felt while driving. All around would be scenic beauty.
Reach Thekkady (This place is also referred as Periyar because of the Lake Periyar) and check in at the hotel.
The river Periyar is the longest river in Kerala. This is the only perennial river in South India with clean water. The river occupies an important place in the history of Kerala. In the Sangam age Tamil epics such as Chilapathikaram, ‘Akananuru’, ‘Purananuru’ etc much has been said about this mighty river, formerly known as the ‘Choorni Nadi’ or ‘Thamraparni Nadi’. A land route existed in the Sangam age from Mussuris (present-day Kodungalloor) to Madurai, which passed near the banks of the river Periyar. The capital of the old Chera Empire presumably existed on the banks of the river Periyar. It is believed that there was a flood in the 4th century AD that severely damaged the areas along the Periyar and the people living there had to escape to safer locations, abandoning their homes and livelihoods. The flood of AD 1341 resulted in the closing of Kodungalloor port and the opening of a new port at Kochi. The huge landslide that began in the high ranges as a result of the heavy downpours sent massive flows of mud and sand which created an Island at the ‘Azhimugham’ of the Periyar, which is now known as the Vyppin Islands. Periyar wildlife sanctuary is home to nomadic tribes of wild elephant, boar, deer, the great Indian tiger and more.
In the afternoon; visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. Also visit Kumily spice market (Asia’s largest spice market) and pick up the best spices and fragrant spices available.
Overnight will be in Thekkady.
Day 08 Thekkady – Kumarakom By road 135 km in 04 hrs
Have breakfast at the hotel.
Proceed to Kumarakom passing through rolling tea gardens and rubber plantations.
Stop at a tea factory and watch the tea making process. There is a beautiful solitary church you pass by and it is a nice place to stop for photography.
Reach Kumarakom and proceed to the boat jetty in Vembanand Lake.
The backwaters of Kerala are a unique product of Kerala and are found nowhere else in the world. Backwaters are a network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. The backwaters of Kerala are a self-supporting Eco-system teeming with aquatic life. The canals connect the villages together and are still used for local transport. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine water world is navigable.
Check-in to a traditional houseboat of Kerala Style and go on a leisurely backwater cruise along the lake on a thatched houseboat. The houseboat with all modern comforts lets you discover the countryside at your own pace. You will have lunch, dinner and breakfast in the Houseboat. A ride on the houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.
Cruise through the backwaters towards Alleppey. Lunch will be served on the boat. The menu is simple and traditional. The cook (chef) of the boat prepares the lunch from fresh materials and even you can have a peek at the recipe.
Tea and snacks would be served in the evening. In the evening the boat will anchor in the backwaters by the lush paddy fields and enjoy the tranquility of the water around on the houseboat. You can also go for a stroll into the village to witness local life and culture.
Dinner will be served on the boat.
Overnight will be on the houseboat.
Day 09 Kumarakom – Alleppey By houseboat Alleppey – Cochin By road 55kms in 1.5hrs Cochin – Delhi By air
Delhi – departure
Enjoy breakfast on the houseboat.
The houseboat will sail to Alleppey. Cruise through the backwaters watching the children going to school and the village markets opening.
Alappuzha is famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fish and lakes. Alappuzha remains prominent on the tourist trial of Kerala as one of the major centres for backwater boat trips. “Kuttanad” in Alappuzha is one of few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Kuttanad is a land of lush paddy fields and is called the ‘Rice Bowl’ of Kerala. Kuttanad stretches for 75 Km sandwiched between the sea and the hills.
Disembark the boat at boat jetty where your driver will be waiting for you to arrive. Drive to Cochin.
Reach Cochin and as per your flight timings, you will be transferred to Delhi airport to take flight back home / onward destination with pleasant memories of your tour.
END OF THE JOURNEY
- ACCOMMODATION AT SUGGESTED HOTELS
- DAILY BUFFET BREAKFAST AT HOTELS
- SIGHTSEEING TOURS AS STATED IN THE ITINERARY
- AC VEHICLE FOR ALL TRANSFERS & SIGHTSEEING AS PER THE ITINERARY
- MONUMENT ENTRY FEE
- LOCAL ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDES FOR ALL TOURS AS PER ITINERARY
- ASSISTANCE AT THE AIRPORTS ON ARRIVAL / DEPARTURE
- INTERNAL AIRFARE AS PER ITINERARY IN NORMAL CLASS
- OLD DELHI RICKSHAW TOUR
- WALKING TOUR OF SPICE MARKET IN OLD DELHI
- HORSE CART RIDE AT AGRA
- KATHAKALI DANCE PRESENTATION IN COCHIN
- JUNGLE WALK / NATURE TREK IN THEKKADY
- SPICE PLANTATION TOUR IN THEKKADY
- SPICE MARKET VISIT IN THEKKADY
- EN-ROUTE VISIT TO A TEA FACTORY
- OVERNIGHT BACKWATERS CRUISE WITH ALL MEALS
- VILLAGE VISIT DURING BACKWATERS
- BOTTLED WATER DURING DRIVES AND SIGHTSEEING VISITS
- APPLICABLE GOVERNMENT TAXES, ROAD TAXES, PARKING
- DRIVER ALLOWANCES AND SERVICE CHARGES
- MEALS NOT MENTIONED IN TOUR INCLUSIONS
- ANY KIND OF PERSONAL EXPENSES SUCH AS TIPS, LAUNDRY, PORTER CHARGES, TELEPHONE BILLS AND ALCOHOLIC & SOFT BEVERAGES ETC.
- CAMERA FEES (STILL OR MOVIE)
- INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE
- MEDICAL & TRAVEL INSURANCE
- VISA FEE
ANY SERVICE NOT MENTIONED IN TOUR INCLUSIONS
Prices are available upon request. Rates may vary based on the time of the year and the number of people traveling. Email us if you’re interested in this particular itinerary. This can further be customized according to your preferences and requirements.