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India Unveiled
Houseboat Overnight on Kerala Backwaters
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Tour Dates February 14th - March 6th, 2018 (21 days)
Included meals 18 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 18 dinners
Tour Host(s) Rostad Tours or Tour Host
Pricing from $7,695 CAD
India is not just one of the world's oldest civilizations, it is also the world's largest democracy. A continent-sized country, India possesses an amazing wealth of sights and sounds, tastes and textures. The pulsating city of Delhi is an eclectic mix of old and new. Visit the Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial site. No tour to India would be complete without a tour to the breathtaking Taj Mahal in Agra. Enjoy a guided walk of the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur and see its most distinctive landmark, the Hawa Mahal. At Ranthambhore delight in the search for the Bengal Tiger, and admire Cochin's intriguing mix of giant Chinese fishing nets. Visit a spice plantation near the popular wildlife sanctuary of Periyar, and take an overnight cruise along the Kerala backwaters. Finally, enjoy a wonderful beach stay to enjoy the many leisure options available.
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Departure Day

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

Today we board our flight to exotic India. Our journey will be a discovery of impressive history and diverse culture with an amazing wealth of sights, sounds, tastes and textures!

Day 2 - Arrive Delhi

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

CityScape SunsetLate this evening we arrive in the capital of Delhi. This monumental city is a vibrant tapestry of ancient and new. After arrival formalities, we will be transferred to our hotel.

Day 3 - Delhi Afternoon Tour

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Qutab MinarAfter a relaxing morning, we begin our tour of the vibrant city of Delhi. Enjoy a guided drive through central Delhi along the ceremonial Rajpath, past the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan, the India Gate and the Parliament House. A visit to Humayun's Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) reflects the unique geometric perfection of India’s renowned Mughal architecture. Next we stop at Qutab Minar (WHS), a stunning 240 foot minaret, the tallest in the world. Tonight, we dine at one of Delhi’s elite restaurants.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 - Old Delhi Sightseeing

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

ChandniChowkOld Delhi is the Mughal capital established by Shah Jahan in 1638. We begin our tour with a stop at Jama Masjid, one of India’s oldest and largest mosques. Then we enjoy a tricycle rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk - the spine of Old Delhi that houses the spice market and jeweller’s lane. Next, we have a quick photo stop at the famous Red Fort (WHS), followed by a visit to Raj Ghat which is Mahatma Gandhi's serene cremation site. We conclude the day at Swaminarayan Akshardham Hindu complex, and then return to our hotel for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 - Delhi to Agra

Sunday, February 18th, 2018

TajMahalOneAfter breakfast we travel to Agra, home of the mesmerizing Taj Mahal (WHS). This mausoleum was created by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal. Along with its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is noted for elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. Before we check-in to our hotel we stop at Moon Garden (Mehtab Bagh) to view the Taj Mahal from across the river. Tonight we relax at the hotel to rest up for our early morning visit to the monument.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 - Taj Mahal - Agra Fort

Monday, February 19th, 2018

Taj Mahal at SunriseWe begin our day very early with a ride to the stunning Taj Mahal monument in decorated horse driven carriages called "Tongas". We return to the hotel for breakfast and then continue our sightseeing at the Agra Fort (WHS) with its imposing walls of red sandstone. The fort is almost two miles long and contains palaces, audience halls and mosques. Later, we will observe the art of Marble Inlay work at a local workshop.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 - Agra to Ranthambhore

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

FortAfter breakfast we travel overland to Ranthambhore National Park. The park is a former hunting ground of the Maharajahs of Jaipur, situated in an area of dry, deciduous forest, and dotted with several small lakes. This vast park is dominated by an 11th century fortress of the same name. On our drive today we will visit the pristinely preserved ruins of the abandoned red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri (WHS). Next, our lunch stop is at Laxmi Niwas Palace, a heritage hotel in Bharatpur and includes a cooking demonstration. Later we arrive at our hotel and have a little time to freshen up before dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 - Ranthambhore

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

TigerJeepToday is an exciting day as we take early morning and afternoon game viewing excursions by canters (large safari vehicles) accompanied by expert naturalists. As we navigate the park we can search for the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger. The endangered tiger numbers are being restored and guests have a good chance of encountering the largest and most powerful of the world's big cats. The sanctuary is also home to other wild animals and a wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 - Ranthambhore to Jaipur

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

PinkCityWe depart this morning for Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, also known as the Pink City. After we arrive and check in to our hotel we have the opportunity to learn about Henna design from a professional artist. If we desire, we can get a beautiful adornment for ourselves. The rest of the day is at leisure, or perhaps enjoy an optional excursion to learn about elephants including their bathing and feeding; plus you can take a ride.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 - Jaipur

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

PalaceofWindsWe will drive a short distance to the Amber Fort and Palace, perched on a hillside on the outskirts of town and make our ascent by jeep! This is a beautiful and well preserved structure, built on four levels and surrounded by ruins. In the afternoon we return to the city for a look at the grand Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), the City Palace and the impressive Jantar Mantar (WHS), an astronomical observatory built in the early 1700's. This evening we will have a demonstration of the Rajasthani style of dress and even try it ourselves.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11 - Fly Jaipur to Kochi

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

Kathakali PerformanceThis morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Kochi, and begin our tour of South India. European influences are instantly apparent in the charming town picturesquely located on a number of islands squeezed between the Arabian Sea and the Kerala backwaters. This evening the epic Ramayana comes to life at a Kathakali performance - the classical dance drama of Kerala.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12 - Kochi

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Cochin Fishing NetsAfter a relaxing morning, our afternoon tour is a meander through the old districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin where the various European influences are most apparent. We will visit St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India and the famous Chinese nets that line the shore of Fort Cochin. Time permitting we will visit the local bazaar.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 - Kochi to Periyar

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Periyar Wildlife SactuaryWe drive to Periyar National Park today. On the way, we stop outside Kochi at the village of Kumbalanghi. and take an interesting tour to see the local villagers engage in traditional agriculture and fishing. Late this afternoon we arrive at our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 - Periyar

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Cruise on the Lake - Periyar Wildlife SanctuaryWe have an early start today for our cruise on the lake at the heart of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. From the tranquility of the lake, we enjoy the lush scenery and keep a look out for animals that may come down to the water’s edge - maybe a family of elephants, wild boar or the magnificent Sambar deer. Later this afternoon we visit a spice plantation where a guide will discuss the different spices, herbs, and other aromatic plants used in Indian cuisine. This evening we attend a Kalaripayatu performance which is a local traditional martial arts form.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15 - Periyar to Alleppey

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Houseboat Overnight on Kerala BackwatersWe travel to Alleppey where we board a houseboat, called a Kettuvallam - in the Malayalam language "kettu" means "to tie" and “vallam” means boat. These traditional trading vessels are constructed using the ancient principles and techniques of boat building. The hull is made of hundreds of jack-wood planks held together by coir knots (not a single nail is used). The framework is coated with a black resin extracted from boiled cashew kernels, and lasts for generations. The roof is made of bamboo poles and palm leaves. Enjoy a leisurely float through the peaceful Kerala backwaters passing palm fringed canals, lakes and villages.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16 - Alleppey to Kovalam

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Sunset at BeachThis morning we disembark the houseboat and drive to Kovalam, a renowned seaside resort with three adjacent crescent beaches. A massive rocky promontory has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for beach leisure along the Arabian Sea.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17 - Kovalam - Free Day

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

LeelaResortToday is a free day to enjoy the hotel facilities that include a swimming pool, jacuzzi, Ayurvedic Centre and of course a wonderful beach.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 18 - Kovalam - Free Day

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

2000 Year Old Janardanaswampy TempleAnother day to appreciate the resort facilities. If you are feeling adventurous, perhaps take a taxi into Trivandrum City and visit the Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 19 - Kovalam to Mumbai

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

Chow Patty BeachWe leave Kovalum and make our way to Trivandrum for our flight to Mumbai, situated on the edge of the Arabian Sea. This afternoon, we proceed to Elephanta Island (WHS) famous for its great cave shrine dating from the 6th century. Set on the cave walls, we admire the intriguing interplay of light and shade on a series of nine intricately sculptured panels depicting Shiva's paradoxical nature.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 20 - Mumbai

Monday, March 5th, 2018

DhobiGhatWe start the day with a visit to Mani Bhawan, or the Gandhi Museum which served as Mahatma Gandhi's Bombay base between 1917 and 1934. A series of tiny dioramas tell Gandhi's life story. Next we stop at Dhobi Ghat, known as the world's largest outdoor laundry. Here we admire Mumbai’s fascinating traditional washerfolk (dhobis) collect dirty laundry, wash it, and return it neatly pressed! We return to the hotel for time to relax before dinner. Later we are taken to the international airport for our flight back to Canada.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 21 - Arrive Canada

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

We arrive back in Canada, where family and friends are waiting to hear about our exciting adventure.

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Tour Information

Tour Map

Tour Map

Special Inclusions

  • Bicycle Rickshaw ride in Delhi
  • Kathakali Dance Performance
  • Overnight on Houseboat in Kerala Backwaters
  • Rajasthani Style Dress Demonstration
  • Tonga (horse cart) ride to Taj Mahal

Prices per person (CAD)

Toronto$7,695
Single supplement$2,400

Deposit

Deposit of $300 is fully refundable until November 6th, 2017

Early Booking Discount

Book now and receive an early booking discount of $300 until September 29th, 2017

Book Now!

Included

  • Return economy class airfare
  • Current airline taxes, fuel surcharges and airport fees
  • Superior Tourist class and First class hotels
  • First class motorcoach
  • Meals as shown (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • Professional tour guide
  • Sightseeing tours including entrance fees
  • Luggage handling at hotels
  • Tipping for included services
  • Rostad Tours travel gift
  • Comprehensive and personalized tour documentation

Not included

  • Any visas required
  • Meals not shown
  • Beverages
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Any airline luggage fees
  • Increases to surcharges, taxes or fees
  • Insurance
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