Grand Tour of India
Uncover the mystery and majesty of one of the world's oldest civilisations. From ancient cities and mighty temples to tropical backwaters plied by traditional 'houseboats', and from forested uplands dotted with colonial tea plantations to dusty plains and breathtaking temples, this wonderful Indian exploration has it all.
- Discover Delhi's historic Red Fort and Jama Masjid Mosque, the India Gate war memorial and the ruins of the Quwwat‑ul-Islam
- Enjoy a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi
- A visit to Jaipur's Palace of the Winds and the Amber Fort
- A journey to Ranthambhore National Park to search for tigers
- Enjoy a village visit and a cookery demonstration in Dholpur
- A visit to the wondrous Taj Mahal
- Explore Kochi with its famous Chinese fishing nets
- A night on a traditional houseboat
- A visit to Periyar's Wildlife Sanctuary, with a lake cruise
- A night time cycle-rickshaw ride in the temple-town Madurai
- Visit the Munnar tea plantations and Tata Tea Museum
- 15 nights' half-board accommodation staying in Delhi (1 night), Jaipur (2), Ranthambhore (2), Dholpur (1), Agra (1), Kochi (3), Periyar (2), Madurai (2) and Munnar (1) in hotels and on a traditional houseboat (1) sharing a twin/double room
- Nine lunches, enjoying cuisine typical to the region
- Return flights from your chosen airport to Delhi, returning from Kochi via Mumbai
- An internal flight from Delhi to Kochi
- Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
- Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager in India
- Single rooms are available for a supplement
- N.B. Visas are required for travel on this tour (see Further Information)
You'll also have time to see the impressive Agrasen ki Baoli stepwell, the ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and the ornate Qutb Minar tower before you travel to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, this afternoon.
This evening, experience a traditional Kathakali dance performance - a colourful spectacle that combines elaborate costumes with literature, music, painting and dance.
This evening the houseboat chef, who will prepare a series of traditional meals during your voyage, will give a cooking demonstration, and you'll enjoy a guided walk through a traditional Keralan village.
This evening, head out from your hotel once more for a cycle-rickshaw ride through the streets and local markets of old Madurai.
Grand Tour of India Touring Hotels
You will be staying in a series of four-and five-star standard hotels. All hotels have a restaurant and bar, and most have a swimming pool. All bedrooms offer private facilities and are very well-appointed, with air conditioning, TV and tea/coffee-making facilities.
Suryaa Hotel, Delhi (night 2)
This hotel has a lovely outdoor swimming pool area, a gym, a bar, a coffee shop and two restaurants. Each guestroom has air conditioning, satellite TV, a safe, a hairdryer, an iron and an ironing board, and a mini-bar.
Shahpura House, Jaipur (nights 3 to 4)
A gem in downtown Jaipur, this heritage hotel has beautiful lawns and gardens, a restaurant and a bar, an outdoor swimming pool and a gift shop. Each room has air conditioning, a mini-bar, tea- and coffee-making facilities and a safe.
Ranthambhore Regency (nights 5 to 6)
The perfect place to enjoy the area s wildlife to its full extent, this hotel boasts spacious gardens with a swimming pool, and a restaurant with a bar. All the rooms have air conditioning, telephones and satellite TV, and are furnished with modern amenities.
Raj Niwas Palace, Dholpur (night 7)
Look out for peacocks in the 13 acres of green, extensive grounds as you explore the original red sandstone palace, which now houses a restaurant, a coffee shop and a collection of pool villas, each with TV, a minibar, air conditioning and a private plunge pool.
Trident, Agra (night 8)
Close to the Taj Mahal and laid out around its swimming pool and beautifully landscaped garden. The hotel has a bar and two restaurants, a spa and a fitness centre. Each room has air conditioning, TV, a mini-bar, and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Trident Hotel, Kochi (nights 9 to 10)
Set around a central courtyard, the hotel has spacious grounds and a swimming pool. There is a restaurant and bar, and, as the hotel also has an Ayurveda Centre whose traditional therapies form an important part of Indian life, perhaps relax with a treatment or massage. Rooms here are light and airy.
Deluxe Houseboat, Kumarokom (night 11)
Stay in a traditional thatched houseboat with two or three cabins, all with private facilities. Three crew members (including one chef) will take care of you throughout your stay on board. Cruising will take place during daylight hours and the vessel is moored at night.
Greenwoods, Periyar (nights 12 to 13)
This property is very close to the wildlife park, and has a restaurant and bar as well as a swimming pool and spa. There is even a coffee-shop set high in a tree-house. Rooms are in small blocks around the grounds and have good facilities.
Heritage Hotel, Madurai (nights 14 to 15)
This historic 17-acre resort makes for a quiet haven in this bustling city. Developed from the original Madurai Club, the now luxurious hotel has a restaurant, a bar and a coffee shop. Relax in the spa or the large outdoor swimming pool. All rooms have excellent facilities.
Tea Country Resort, Munnar (night 16)
Located on a hillside amid the greenery of Munnar, this new hotel offers tremendous views of the mountain landscape. The rooms are spacious and housed in separate cottages. Each has a balcony or terrace.
Courtyard Marriott, Kochi (night 17)
A comfortable, modern base with a restaurant, a gym and indoor/outdoor swimming pool.
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in a conveniently located, alternative hotel of a similar standard.
Taj Mahal restoration work
The white marble of the Taj Mahal is being gradually cleaned in a process that will take up to four years. Parts of the monument's surface may be covered during this process though your visit and access to the main dome is not likely to be restricted.
On some departure dates the order of the itinerary between days three and eight may be reversed.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.
Passports and visas
British citizens require machine-readable passports when travelling overseas. Your passport must contain two blank pages and be valid for 180 days after your return date from India. A visa is also required for entry to India. Full details of how and when to apply will be sent out about eight weeks before departure. British CITIZENS and some other European nationals satisfying certain conditions may use the online e-Tourist Visa application process at a cost of $62 (US) per person. Other British passport holders, who are not British CITIZENS, must apply for a full visa which costs £112. You may also, at extra cost, use the services of CIBT, our recommended visa handling partner, who will handle the whole process for you. Note that all travellers of Pakistani descent, regardless of citizenship, will generally be subject to more detailed processing by the Indian authorities, which can take up to four months from application.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 20kg.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Requirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Changes to your hotels & itinerary
Should circumstances require, the routing of days three to eight may be reversed without affecting the overall content or duration of the tour. We also reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
Restrictions on alcohol
Please note that local restrictions do not permit some hotels in Kerala to serve alcohol.
*Low deposit of £149 per person applies to new bookings made between 5th and 30th April 2017 (inclusive) only. This offer only applies to selected air-inclusive holidays. This offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.
Chambal River cruise
Cruise is dependent on river water levels.
On your flight
All outbound flights leave in the evening and land at your destination the next day. All return flights leave in the morning and land in the UK on the same day. On-board meals will usually include dinner and breakfast on outbound flights, and lunch and a snack on the flight home. Drinks are complimentary.
Holiday Provided By
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