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Sacred Temples & Natural Wonders: India’s Diverse Charms

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Duration

22 Nights / 23 Days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

10 people

Languages

English

Overview

“Sacred Temples & Natural Wonders: India’s Diverse Charms” invites you on an extraordinary journey through India’s cultural and natural treasures. Begin in Delhi, where the ancient echoes of the Red Fort and Jama Masjid set the stage. Marvel at the ethereal beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra before exploring the medieval splendor of Orchha and the intricate temples of Khajuraho. Experience spiritual enlightenment in Varanasi along the sacred Ganges, then delve into Mumbai’s bustling energy. Witness the rock-cut marvels of Ajanta and Ellora, before discovering the serene temples of Tamil Nadu. End your odyssey in Kerala, amidst tea gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, and the tranquil backwaters of Alleppey. This journey promises an unforgettable blend of spiritual discovery and natural beauty, unveiling India’s timeless allure.

Highlights

  • This is a private tour/activity only for your group.
  • Enhanced cleaning/ traveler safety.
  • In-depth cultural experience.
  • Flexible sightseeing & stopover.
  • Most travelers can participate.

Bulk discount (by Percent)

Bulk discount adult
# Discount group From adult To adult Value
1 Discount on 2-person group 2 2 %
2 Discount on 3-person group 3 3 %
3 Discount on 4-person group 4 4 %
4 Discount on 5-person group 5 5 %
5 Discount on 6-person group 6 6 %
6 Discount on 7-person group 7 7 %
7 Discount on 8-person group 8 8 %

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Delhi

Arrive in Delhi and transfer to your hotel, where you can relax and prepare for the journey ahead.

Day 2: Delhi

After breakfast at the hotel, begin your exploration of Delhi. Red Fort: Explore this imposing fort complex that served as the residence of Mughal emperors for nearly 200 years. Marvel at its intricate architecture, including the Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience) and Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience). Jama Masjid: Visit India's largest mosque, commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan. Climb the minarets for panoramic views of Old Delhi's bustling streets.

Day 3: Delhi - Agra (204kms)

Enjoy breakfast before departing for Agra, home to one of the world's most iconic landmarks. Taj Mahal: Arrive in Agra and visit the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an eternal symbol of love. Explore the white marble mausoleum and its gardens, best experienced at sunrise or sunset. Agra Fort: Discover the red sandstone fortress that showcases Mughal architecture at its finest. Highlights include the Jahangir Palace, Khas Mahal, and views of the Taj Mahal from the fort's ramparts.

Day 4: Agra - Orchha (220kms)

After breakfast, depart for Orchha, a town frozen in time with its medieval charm and architectural wonders. Orchha Fort Complex: Explore the impressive fort complex overlooking the Betwa River. Visit Jahangir Mahal, a blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture, and the towering cenotaphs (chhatris) of Orchha's rulers.

Day 5: Orchha - Khajuraho (178km)

Depart Orchha after breakfast for Khajuraho, renowned for its stunning temples adorned with intricate erotic sculptures. Khajuraho Group of Monuments: Explore the Western and Eastern group of temples, showcasing exquisite artwork and intricate carvings depicting various facets of life, mythology, and the Kama Sutra.

Day 6: Khajuraho - Varanasi (flight)

Enjoy breakfast before flying to Varanasi, one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities and a major center of Hinduism and spirituality. Ganga Aarti: Witness the mesmerizing evening aarti ceremony on the ghats of the Ganges River. Experience the spiritual fervor as priests perform rituals with fire, incense, and chants.

Day 7: Varanasi

Start the day with breakfast at the hotel before embarking on a spiritual journey in Varanasi. Boat Ride on the Ganges: Experience the ethereal beauty of sunrise on the Ganges. Witness devotees performing morning rituals and see historic ghats like Manikarnika and Dashashwamedh. Sarnath: Visit the deer park where Buddha delivered his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. Explore the Dhamek Stupa, Chaukhandi Stupa, and Sarnath Museum, housing ancient artifacts and sculptures.

Day 8: Varanasi - Mumbai (flight)

After breakfast, fly to Mumbai, India's bustling financial and entertainment capital. Gateway of India: Visit this iconic monument overlooking the Arabian Sea, built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai in 1911. Stroll along the waterfront promenade and enjoy views of the harbor.

Day 9: Mumbai

Enjoy breakfast before exploring Mumbai's diverse attractions. Elephanta Caves: Take a ferry to Elephanta Island to explore the UNESCO-listed cave temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Admire the intricately carved sculptures depicting Hindu mythological themes. Prince of Wales Museum (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya): Discover a rich collection of art, archaeology, and natural history exhibits, including rare artifacts from across India and beyond.

Day 10: Mumbai - Aurangabad (flight)

After breakfast, fly to Aurangabad, gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Ajanta and Ellora Caves. Ajanta Caves: Explore the ancient Buddhist cave temples carved into a horseshoe-shaped cliff. Admire the exquisite frescoes and sculptures depicting the life of Buddha and Jataka tales.

Day 11: Aurangabad

Enjoy breakfast before exploring more of Aurangabad's historical treasures. Ellora Caves: Visit the impressive rock-cut cave temples dedicated to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Highlights include the monumental Kailasa Temple, carved from a single rock, and the intricate carvings in the Dumar Lena and Jain caves.

Day 12: Aurangabad - Chennai (flight)

Fly to Chennai after breakfast, a city known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant traditions. Kapaleeshwarar Temple: Visit this ancient Dravidian-style temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Admire the towering gopurams (gateway towers) adorned with colorful sculptures depicting mythological tales.

Day 13: Chennai - Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry (150kms)

After breakfast, drive to Mahabalipuram, renowned for its UNESCO-listed rock-cut monuments and temples. Shore Temple: Explore the 8th-century temple complex overlooking the Bay of Bengal. Marvel at its Dravidian architecture and bas-relief sculptures depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and everyday life. Continue to Pondicherry, a former French colonial settlement known for its picturesque streets, vibrant markets, and serene beaches.

Day 14: Pondicherry - Chidambaram - Gangaikonda Cholapuram - Darasuram - Thanjavur (180kms)

Enjoy breakfast before embarking on a cultural journey through Tamil Nadu's ancient temples and historical landmarks. Visit the Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram, dedicated to Lord Shiva as the cosmic dancer Nataraja. Admire the magnificent architecture and experience the temple's spiritual ambiance. Explore Gangaikonda Cholapuram, an ancient Chola capital known for its grand Brihadeeswarar Temple and intricate stone carvings. Visit Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its architectural elegance and detailed sculptures depicting mythological themes.

Day 15: Thanjavur - Trichy (60kms)

After breakfast, visit Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, a masterpiece of Chola architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the towering vimana (temple tower) and the Nandi (bull) statue. Explore Thanjavur Palace and Art Gallery, once the seat of the Nayak and Maratha rulers. Discover its rich history, royal artifacts, and a collection of ancient art and manuscripts.

Day 16: Trichy - Madurai (140kms)

After breakfast, visit Rock Fort Temple in Trichy, an ancient fort complex with rock-cut temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva. Climb the rock for panoramic views of Trichy and the Kaveri River. Visit Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, one of the largest functioning Hindu temples in the world dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Explore its seven concentric enclosures (prakarams) and marvel at its intricate architecture and religious significance.

Day 17: Madurai - Munnar (160kms)

Enjoy breakfast before driving to Munnar, a hill station known for its sprawling tea plantations, lush greenery, and picturesque landscapes. Tea Gardens: Visit local tea estates and learn about tea cultivation processes. Enjoy scenic walks amidst verdant tea plantations.

Day 18: Munnar

After breakfast, explore the natural wonders of Munnar. Eravikulam National Park: Discover this wildlife sanctuary known for its endangered Nilgiri Tahr (mountain goat) and diverse flora. Trek to Anamudi, the highest peak in South India. Mattupetty Dam and Echo Point: Enjoy boating at Mattupetty Dam and experience the natural echo phenomenon at Echo Point amidst the mist-covered hills.

Day 19: Munnar - Thekkady (110kms)

After breakfast, drive to Thekkady, home to the famous Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary: Embark on a boat cruise on Periyar Lake to spot wildlife such as elephants, bison, and various bird species in their natural habitat.

Day 20: Thekkady

After breakfast, explore the cultural and natural attractions of Thekkady. Spice Plantations: Visit local spice gardens to learn about the cultivation of cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and other spices. Enjoy a guided tour and sensory experience amidst the aromatic spice gardens. Optional Bamboo Rafting or Nature Walks: Explore the pristine wilderness of Periyar Tiger Reserve on a bamboo rafting adventure or a guided nature walk, accompanied by knowledgeable local guides.

Day 21: Thekkady - Alleppey (140kms)

Enjoy breakfast before traveling to Alleppey, known as the Venice of the East for its network of backwaters, canals, and houseboats. Houseboat Cruise: Embark on a leisurely houseboat cruise through the serene backwaters of Kerala. Relax as you pass by lush green landscapes, paddy fields, and traditional villages.

Day 22: Alleppey - Cochin (60kms)

After breakfast, drive to Cochin (Kochi), a historic port city with a rich multicultural heritage. Fort Kochi: Explore this historic neighborhood known for its blend of Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial architecture. Visit the iconic Chinese fishing nets and St. Francis Church, where explorer Vasco da Gama was originally buried.

Day 23: Cochin - Departure (flight)

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Cochin International Airport for your departure flight, marking the end of your enriching journey through India's diverse culture, heritage, and natural wonders.

Included/Excluded

  • Assistance on arrival at airport.
  • 22 Night's accommodation in 4-Star hotels.
  • Daily breakfast and meal as per day plane.
  • Private air-conditioned deluxe car for airport transfer, sightseeing and excursion as per program.
  • English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.
  • Monuments entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Bottled drinking water in car.
  • Government taxes.
  • Khajuraho - Varanasi - Mumbai - Aurangabad - Chennai flight fare approx INR 25500 per person in economy class.
  • Camera charges at monuments.
  • Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
  • Gratuities & optional activities.
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions.

Tour's Location

FAQs

What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?
Can travelers upgrade the accommodation to 5-star hotels?

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