Delhi -Agra -Jaipur -Cochin -Alleppey -Cochin

THE CITIES OF THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE is a living microcosm of India, where multiple religions and faiths co-exist. Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Muslims still follow ancient ways of life, celebrating festivals and fairs as their forefathers did. Traditional artisans and craftsmen still work in guilds, creating both the mundane and the beautiful. The bazaars are teeming with spices, fruits, vegetables, colourful fabrics, jewellery and household wares. Vendors serve up a wide range of spicy street food, confectioners cook up traditional delicacies, and yes, cows do wander about the streets! Hailing from a land of 44 rivers, innumerable lakes and 1,500km of ‘backwaters’, the people of Kerala are chivalrous and dress immaculately in white. Kerala’s women are usually simple and unadorned. But they float on a riot of colour: the voluptuous green of the lush Kerala foliage, the rich red of the fecund earth, the brilliant blue of the life-giving waters, the shimmering gold of the beaches and riverbanks. Yet there is much more to the Kerala experience than natural beauty. One should not miss the backwaters; or going backstage at Kathakali performance, for the thiranottam (the prelude in which the dancer emerges from behind a hand-held curtain). One should also see the state’s myriad places of worship—Orthodox Christian cathedrals and the exquisite synagogue in Kochi’s Jew Town. See students learning the ancient martial art of Kalaripayattu and experience the holistic ayurvedic treatments offered.

Upon arrival you will be met, greeted with a traditional welcome and transferred to your hotel. One of the oldest cities in the world, Delhi has an excellent old town ambience in Old Delhi, and modern in New Delhi. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning tour of New Delhi visiting the Qutub Minar, a gigantic 72-meter tower and Humayun’s Tomb, the mausoleum of second Mughal Emperor Humayun. Drive past the Diplomatic Area, Government buildings, Rashtrapati Bhawan (residence of the President of India), Parliament and India Gate. Visit the Gurudwara, Sikh Temple, an architectural beauty. Afternoon tour of Old Delhi, driving past the Red Fort, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Enjoy a Rickshaw (pedi-cab) ride in Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and largest enclosed bazaars in India. Continue on your tour visiting the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque of India and Rajghat, the place where Mahatma Gandhi, "Father of the Nation," was cremated. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning travel by road to Agra, famous as being home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World-the Taj Mahal. Transfer to Hotel. Afternoon tour of the Taj Mahal, India’s most fascinating and beautiful monument. Also, visit the Agra Fort, an imposing fort on the banks of the river Yamuna, built by Mughal Emperor Akbar. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning travel by road to Jaipur visiting en route Fatehpur Sikri, a world Heritage Site. Fatehpur Sikri was the first planned city of the Mughals and was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar during 1564 AD. Continue on your drive to Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, also known as the “Pink City”. Transfer to Hotel. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning tour of Amber Fort and enjoy an elephant ride. Drive past the beautifully restored Jal Mahal, a former royal pleasure pavilion. Afternoon tour of the City Palace, it’s museum and Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds–a prominent landmark in Jaipur. Also visit, Jantar Mantar or the astronomical observatory, largest of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II. Explore the exotic ‘bazaars’ of Jaipur to discover the artistic wealth of the region. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Cochin. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Cochin has been luring wanderers and traders for over 600 years and remains a living homage to its varied colonial past. The result is an unlikely blend of medieval Portugal, Holland and an English country village grafted on to the tropical Malabar Coast. Evening witness the colourful ‘Kathakali’ dance performance. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning visit the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays and Saturdays), constructed in 1568, walk through the Jew Town Road and visit the Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays). Later, visit the St. Francis church, India’s first European Church and see the Chinese fishing nets in operation. Afternoon enjoy a Heritage Walk through Fort Cochin area and later, enjoy a demonstration of ‘Kalaripayattu’, local martial arts. Enjoy a special treat, meet a local family and participate in a culinary experience at their home followed by dinner. Overnight at the Hotel.

Breakfast. Morning travel by road to Alleppey, famous for the pristine backwaters, a chain of lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Malabar Coast. On arrival, embark on your traditional rice houseboat (Kettuvallam) journey. Each houseboat is built with wood, strong coir ropes and other natural materials. Tastefully furnished air-conditioned bedrooms, with private baths, have big sliding glass windows for uninterrupted views. Cruise on the backwaters giving us the pleasure of observing the local way of life. Travel along the “water highways” to see one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below sea level. Lunch, Dinner and overnight on the Houseboat.

Breakfast. Transfer to the Cochin airport for flight back home or fly to Mumbai or Delhi to connect flight back home.

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