Golden Triangle Tour with Kerala and Goa

Tour Duration : 15 Days / 14 Nights
Tour Destinations : Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Cochin - Periyar - Kumarakom - Goa - Mumbai

Day 1 –Arrive Delhi

You will be met on arrival at the International airport. Transfer to your hotel. Relax. Delhi is a perfect introduction to the composite culture of an ancient land and a window to the kaleidoscope - that is India. Overnight will be at Delhi.

Day 2 –Delhi

After breakfast proceed for a day sightseeing tour of the city.
OLD DELHI - Start with the sightseeing of Old Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid by bicycle rickshaws, one of Asia's largest mosques. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna was built during the years 1638 - 48 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asia's largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet. Enjoy the rickshaw ride at Old Delhi.
NEW DELHI - After visiting Old Delhi, you will be driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards. Imperial Delhi will include the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence. Overnight will be in Delhi.

Day 3–Delhi –Agra By road

Proceed by surface to Agra after breakfast. Reach and check into the hotel.
AGRA : Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat {seat of the Emperor}. Proceed for sightseeing of the Agra city.
TAJ MAHAL : Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist's visit to Agra. Built by Shah Jahan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. Proceed for sightseeing to the AGRA FORT - Built by the famed Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD, the fort is predominantly of red sandstone. Ensconced within is the picture perfect Pearl Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction.
Visit Itmadullah's Tomb built by Empress NOOR JEHAN in memory of her father (The interiors of which are considered better than the Taj). A walk down the narrow bustling streets of the city in the evening will introduce the visitor to the wafting aroma of Mughlai cuisine. Overnight will be at Agra.

Day 4–Agra –Jaipur Byraod

After breakfast drive to beautiful Pink City - Jaipur. Drive to FatehpurSikri. The deserted, red Sandstone City, Emperor Akbar built that as his capital and palace in the late 16th century is an exhilarating experience. It a veritable fairytale city and its "ruins" are in pristine condition it's not hard to imagine what the court life must have been like in the days of its grandeur. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza, the largest gateway in the world. Proceed to Jaipur and check in at hotel.
Jaipur Trip : Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. This evening, visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include images of the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Francis of Assisi. Your visit will coincide with the AARTI Ceremony, which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity. Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur. Overnight will be in Jaipur.

Day 05 - Jaipur
After breakfast drive to Amber Palace. Enjoy Elephant Back ascent to the Fort.
AMBER FORT PALACE - Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression.
Continue city sightseeing.
CITY PALACE - A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, ShriGovindDev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
JANTAR MANTAR - This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
HAWA MAHAL - The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women. In the evening enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the bustling bazaars. Jaipur is renowned for textile block printing, blue pottery, carpet weaving, semi-precious stones and local crafts which still thrive from the day of Maharaja Jai Singh's patronage when he designed special areas in the city for the 'bandhanas', the 'cheepas' and the 'meenakari' workers. Overnight will be at Jaipur.
Day 06 - Jaipur - Mumbai – Cochin by flight

Breakfast will be at hotel. Drive to the airport for flight to Mumbai and then connecting flight to Cochin. The Dutch wrested Fort Kochi from the Portuguese in AD 1663 and later in the last phase of the colonial saga, the British took over, the town in 1795. During 1660's, Fort Kochi peaked in stature as a prime commercial centre and its fame spread far and wide - variously as a rich trade centre, a major military base, a vibrant cultural hub, a great ship building centre, a centre for Christianity and so on. Today, centuries later, the city is home to nearly thirteen communities. Enjoy the harbour cruise in the evening. Watch the city as it lights up slowly at sunset and the dolphins play in the water of the harbour. Overnight will be at Cochin.

Day 7-Cochin

Breakfast will be at hotel. Today you will visit Cochin, 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 that 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 Jewtown.
Proceed for a sightseeing tour of FORT COCHIN. A few interesting sites included in the tour are the Chinese fishing nets along the Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, etc. Learn the operation of the interesting Chinese fishing nets erected on teak wood and bamboo poles which 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. In the early evening proceed for a private harbor cruise. Enjoy watching the dolphins, the fishing island and the Bolghatty Palace. Cruise till the mouth of the sea and enjoy the sunset. In the evening proceed for KATHAKALI DANCE PRESENTATION. Over night stay at hotel.

Day 8-Cochin -Periyar by road

Breakfast will be at the hotel. Drive to Thekkady. Check in at hotel on arrival.
The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 777 sq km, of which 360 sq km is thick evergreen forest. The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978. Noted for its geomorphology, diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty, the Reserve attracts visitors all over the world and is one of the world's most fascinating natural wildlife reserves. The pride of Kerala and a testimony to nature's splendor and human innovation, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Periyar Lake - an artificial lake, at Thekkady. Here the high ranges of the Western Ghats are clothed in dense evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savannah grass lands. Below this thick green canopy roam herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgirilangurs.In addition to elephant rides, cruises on the lake and treks to the ruined Mangala Devi temple - a beautiful old stone temple situated in the heart of the Thekkady forest, this sanctuary offers the unique opportunity to watch and photograph wild elephants at close quarters.The splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar River adds to the charm of the park. Proceed for enjoying a boat cruise in Periyar Lake with lunch break. The most enjoyable part of seeing the wildlife is going around the lake in a boat. From the safety of a boat you can witness herds of wild elephants coming down to water and swim. The other prominent fauna to be seen are Tiger, Sambar, Barking deer, Mouse deer, NilgiriTahr, Wild Pigs, Wild dogs, Porcupine, Lion-tailed macaque, Malabar Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, Sloth Bear, Gaur and Black Langur (Monkey). Tigers and Leopards seldom come to the lakeside by day. Overnight stay will be at Periyar.

Day 09 - Periyar

Breakfast will be at the resort. Proceed for a nature trek into the National Park. In the afternoon visit spice plantations like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, coffee, tea estates etc. on your way back to the hotel, you could stop at the local market and pick up some fragrant spices. Overnight stay will be at Periyar.

Day 10- Periyar –Kumarakom by road

In the morning proceed to Kumarokom after breakfast. Arrive at Kumarokom, after a journey of approx. 5 hours enjoying the beauty of the traditional Keralian houses. The village of Kumarokom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live there in flocks are a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarokom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands.
An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarokom offers visitors many other leisure options. Boating and fishing facilities are available at Kumarokom. Holiday packages on the houseboats, traditional Kettuvalloms, are an out-of-this-world experience at Kumarokom.
Visit THE BIRD PARK of Kumarokom. Later, check into 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. Lunch and dinner will be served on the houseboat. Overnight will be at Houseboat.

Day 11- Kumarakom –Cochin by road –Goa By flight

Breakfast will be on houseboat. And drive to Cochin and then take a flight to Goa . Goa, variously known as "Rome of the East", "Tourist Paradise" and "Pearl of the Orient", the state of Goa is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan. The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendors of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favorite with travelers around the world. Nestled on the slopes of the Western ghats (Sahyadri ranges), Goa is bounded on the North by Sindhudurg district of Maharasthra, on the East by Belgaum, on the South by Karwar Districts of Karnataka, and on the west by Arabian Sea. Reach and transfer to hotel. Relax at the beach in the evening. Overnight will be at Goa.

Day 12- Goa

After breakfast proceed for a day sightseeing tour of Goa. Situated on the Mandovi River, it still shows a strong Portuguese heritage in its plazas, cathedrals and architecture. Although it is best known for its 65 miles/105 km of magnificent, palm tree - lined beaches along the Arabian Sea, Goa has other attractions of significance. Among them are the Portuguese Catholic Church of Old Goa and the Basilica of Bom Jesus (most of the mummified body of St. Francis Xavier is exhibited there on occasion.) The tour includes visits to Mapusa town, Mayem Lake, Vagator, Anjuna, Calangute beaches and Fort Aguada in North Goa and the South Goa tour covers Old Goa Churches - Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Margao, Colva and Mormugao. Return back to the resort and spend evening by the beach. Overnight will be resort.

Day 13- Goa

Relax at the beaches of Goa. You would also take a tour of the churches and beaches on one of the mornings. Overnight will be in Goa.

Day 14 - Goa - Mumbai by flight

Breakfast will be at the resort. Spend the morning at leisure and then in the afternoon take flight to Mumbai. Its young, its lively and a confluence of varied cultural currents and cross currents have given Mumbai a unique position of the most multi-ethnic city of India. The capital city of Maharashtra State formerly known as Bombay lies in the southwestern part of India and occupies a peninsular site originally composed of seven islets lying off the KONKAN COAST of western India. Oozing with the cocksure self-confidence of a maverick moneymaker and "Bindass" (carefree) attitude, Mumbai is also country's financial and commercial hub and has a principal port on the Arabian Sea. Yet, there's another face of Mumbai too that is of the most densely populated cities in the world. Mumbai is located on a site of ancient settlement and took its name from the local Goddess "Mumba" - a form of Parvati, the consort of Shiva, one of the principal Gods of Hinduism - whose temple once stood in what is now the southeastern section of the Mumbai city. Enjoy the CHOWPATTY BEACH area in the evening. Chowpatty beach situated at the end of Marine Drive has a moderate expanse of sand and is the only beach in the central part of Mumbai. One can witnesses many Hindu religious ceremonies taking place at Chowpatty like the Annual Thread-Tying Ceremony initiating young boys into the Brahmin caste, 'Nariel Purnima' towards the end of the monsoons and 'Ganesh Chaturthi' immersions. Overnight will be in Mumbai.

Day 15- Departure Mumbai

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Proceed for sightseeing tour of Mumbai. Gateway of India: Mumbai's principal landmark, the Gateway of India is a huge archway on the water's edge at Apollo Bunder. It is the starting point for most tourists who want to explore the city. This famous monument was built to commemorate the visit of the first ever British Monarch, King George V and Queen Mary in 1911.
Mumbai Fort : The area north of Colaba is known as Mumbai Fort, since the old British fort was once located here. There are a lot of impressive buildings from Mumbai's golden period here. St. John's church, dedicated to the soldiers, who laid down their lives in the Sindh campaign of 1838, and the first Afghan war of 1843, is also worth a visit. Marine Drive in Mumbai: Marine Drive located in the central Mumbai, built in the 1920s and 30s on land reclaimed from the sea, is Mumbai's most famous thoroughfare. It is also referred to as the Queen's Necklace because of the dramatic line of street lamps lit up at night. Recently it has come to known as Netaji Subhashchandra Bose Road with Nariman Point on one end to Babulnath, at the foot of Walkeshwar on the other.
Flora Fountain/ Hutama Chowk: This fountain situated in the heart of the city was erected in 1869 in honour of a British Governor of Bombay. Sir Brtle Frere. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and known as the 'Picadilly Circus 'of Mumbai, which is decorated at its four corners with mythological figures, the Fountain is a structure in dull stone with a figure the Roman Goddess of flowers, at the top.
Victoria Terminus/Western Railway Station: At the site of the Koli's original temple to Mumba Devi now stands ChatrapatiShivaji Terminus - one of Mumbai's most prominent buildings and architecturally one of the finest stations in the world. It is built in a style that combines Gothic and Indian influences. It was completed in 1885. Designed by F.W. Stevens the building commenced in 1878. This Italian gothic Building has a frontage of over 1500 feet. The administrative offices form three sides of a rectangle enclosing an ornamental garden, the entrance gate guarded by a massive stone Lion and Tiger. The most prominent feature of this building is the high 160 feet dome crowning the centre.
Mumbai High court: An attractive building in early English Gothic style, situated next to the Oval Ground is well worth a visit for its impressive architecture. Statues representing Justice and Mercy surmount the Central structure.
Rajabai Clock tower: Rajabai Clock tower, situated at the gardens of the Bombay University building rises above the portion of the library section. Consisting of five elaborately decorated storeys the tower is height. The top of the cupola is ornamented with sixteen statues depicting various Indian castes. Enjoy the shopping in the city. Drive to the airport for flight home in the evening with sweet memories of India.

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