Golden Triangle and Kerala Backwaters

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Run by: TransIndus

Reference number: Group Tour

From: £1785.00

One of the questions we’re most frequently asked by clients contemplating their first trip to India is ‘whether to go north or south’? This two-week group tour neatly sidesteps the dilemma by combining the highlights of both. Beginning with a whistle-stop round of the Golden Triangle and Rajasthan’s monuments – including the Taj Mahal, Delhi’s Jama Masjid and “Pink City” of Jaipur – it uses Mumbai’s ultra-efficient flight connections as a stepping stone to the far southern state of Kerala, whose lush, tropical backwaters and tea plantations provide the perfect counterpoint to the Mughal grandeur and desert vistas of the previous week. As ever with our Group Tours, accommodation is luxurious and reflective of the variety of different landscapes and cultures you’ll experience on this trip of a lifetime through India’s top sights.


Day 1 Delhi

On arrival in Delhi, you’ll be met by your TransIndus team and transferred to the Suryaa hotel or similar, where you’ll be staying for two nights. Spend the remainder of the day recovering from your journey with a leisurely swim in the hotel pool, and perhaps a stroll around the local neighbourhood later. In the evening there will be a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2 Delhi

Explore Delhi today starting with Old Delhi in the morning: enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride in the bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk followed by the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, and the Raj Ghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. In the afternoon, drive past Lutyen’s New Delhi and visit the tomb of Humayun and the Qutb Minar.

Day 3 Delhi, Agra

Drive to Agra (4-5 hours) for an overnight stay in the ITC Mughal hotel or similar. In the afternoon, visit the impressive Agra Fort, a mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture followed by a visit to the ornate tomb of Itamud-ud-Daula. Enjoy a visit to the Taj Mahal at sunset.

Day 4 Agra, Jaipur

Drive to Jaipur (6-7 hours) visiting Fatehpur Sikri enroute. Closer to Jaipur we stop at the impressive 9th century step well at Abhaneri. Stay at The Lalit hotel or similar for two nights.

Day 5 Jaipur

Visit the 17th century hilltop fort of Amber and the sparkling Mirror Palace. In the afternoon visit the City Palace complex including its museum and the 18th century Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory. Drive through the busy bazaars for a photo stop at the Hawa Mahal Palace, one of Jaipur iconic locations.

Day 6 Jaipur, Mumbai

Take an early morning flight to Mumbai and transfer to the hotel Trident Nariman Point or similar for an overnight stay. This afternoon visit the Gateway of India. Drive past Mumbai High Court and the ornate Victoria Terminus. Drive along the Marine drive and visit the Hanging Gardens, offering a splendid view of the city.

Day 7 Mumbai, Cochin

Take a morning flight to Cochin. Transfer to Killians Boutique Hotel or similar for two nights. Later, visit the Dutch Palace, with its murals of the Ramayana, and the Jewish Synagogue (time permitting).

Day 8 Cochin

Visit the Kumbalangi village in the morning, where you will have the chance to interact with fishermen as they demonstrate local techniques used to harvest prawns, crabs, oysters and small fish. In the evening, enjoy a sunset cruise on the harbour, a signature Kerala experience, for views of the landmark Chinese fishing nets, which provide a spectacular photo opportunity at dusk.

Day 9 Cochin, Periyar

Drive along meandering roads through lush, green countryside ascending into the ‘Western Ghats’ at Periyar (5 hours). Enjoy lunch at a rubber plantation. Stay at the Cardamom County Resort or similar for two nights. In the evening attend a Kathakali performance, a traditional dance drama in which the dancers wear elaborate costumes and make up.

Day 10 Periyar

In the morning, take a walk in Periyar Nature Reserve with tribal trackers, in search of wildlife. In the afternoon visit a spice plantation which offers an interesting insight into how various spices such as cardamom, cloves and cinnamon are grown, cultivated and processed.

Day 11 Periyar, Riceboat

Drive down through the hills and plantations towards the backwaters to board a rice boat for an overnight cruise through Lake Vembanad. This is a region that not only shelters some unique animal and bird life, but also lush paddy fields. This is one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level.

Day 12 Riceboat, Kovalam

Drive to the southern extremity of Kerala today for a two-night stay at the beautiful Travancore Heritage Hotel, near the resort of Kovalam. The hotel overlooks its own secluded cove, providing the perfect place to unwind at the end of your tour.

Day 13 Kovalam

On this penultimate day of the tour, you’ll be free to enjoy the beach and hotel facilities at your own pace – though a number of optional excursions are on offer should the lure of the ocean start to wane.

Day 14 Kovalam, Trivandrum

Time to bid farewell to India as you transfer to the airport for your onward journey.


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This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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