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Grand Tour of India with Kovalam Beach add-on

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Grand Tour of India with Kovalam Beach add-on

Day 1: UK/Delhi
You’ll depart on your scheduled flight to Delhi today.

Day 2: Delhi
You will arrive in Delhi this morning and transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay. There’s time to freshen up before this afternoon’s included sightseeing in New Delhi. This spacious, imperial city was created by the British in 1911. Drive through elegant boulevards and lush green parks where the iconic India Gate and imposing Parliament House are both reminders of a colonial past. Step back in time at the ancient Qtub Minar, a soaring tower of sandstone, and visit Humayan’s Tomb.

Day 3: Agra
A morning included sightseeing tour will introduce you to the 17th century walled city of Old Delhi. Delve into a maze of crowded narrow streets and thronging markets and stroll through the fabled street bazaar of vibrant Chadni Chowk. Admire the impressive marble domes of Jama Masjid Mosque and visit Raj Ghat, the simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.

Later you’ll be joined by former street children who work with the Salaam Baalak Trust, a non-profit-making organisation which supports them and teaches them a range of skills that help them to better their lives. They will take you on a short guided tour of Paharganj and the New Delhi railway station, taking you on a fascinating journey into their world, uncovering hidden pockets of history in places you’d least expect.

This afternoon you will travel by road to Agra for a two-night stay.

Day 4: Agra
The highlight of today is an included visit to the world-famous Taj Mahal. You will travel to the banks of the Yamuna River where this magnificent mausoleum, built by the Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, is located. Nothing quite prepares you for the reality of this glorious building. Set in classical gardens with shimmering pools, its white-marble walls inlaid with semiprecious stones are truly breathtaking.

A visit to the red sandstone Agra Fort where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son is also included before you return to your hotel for some time at leisure.

Day 5: Ranthambore
This morning you’ll travel by road to the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by an emperor in 1569 to celebrate the birth of his son. Stroll through the pink and red sandstone pavilions and palaces before boarding the train bound for Modhopur. On arrival, transfer by road to Ranthambore where you will stay for two nights.

Day 6: Ranthambore
We have included morning and afternoon safaris today in Ranthambore, which is considered to be the best game reserve in India. Thick forest and sparkling waterfalls provide the perfect environment for over 300 species of birds. With the help of your Local Guide you may even spot the elusive tiger. Even if you don’t, there are many other residents of the park for you to see including crocodile, hyena and jackal, as well as the rarer leopard.

Day 7: Jaipur
This morning your journey continues by road to the famous ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, where you will stay for two nights. Sandstone buildings tinged with pink and ochre will greet you as you arrive in the capital of Rajasthan – India at its most colourful and exotic.

Day 8: Jaipur
This morning you will take a short drive to the spectacular Amber Fort, a 17th century battle-scarred stronghold set on a hill high above the parched desert and surrounding valley. Step inside the eerie Temple of Kali, the jewel-like Palace of Mirrors and experience the Hall of Pleasures.

Get to know the old city of Jaipur on our included tour this afternoon. All the buildings here are painted pink by Maharaja’s decree. Explore the City Palace and discover Mughal treasures in the museum. Linger at the elaborate facade of the Palace of the Winds and seek out colourful ceramics and textiles in the old town’s bustling markets. You will also visit Jantar Mantar, home to an incredibly accurate observatory that was built in 1726.

Day 9: Bangalore
Today you will fly south to Bangalore via Mumbai. Bangalore, the state capital of Karnataka, represents the modern face of India, and here you’ll find many western-style bars and restaurants. Traces of a former British colonial past are still evident in the parks and tree-lined avenues though. You will stay overnight in Bangalore.

Day 10: Hassan
A short morning orientation tour will introduce you to the highlights of Bangalore. This afternoon travel west by road to Hassan, the oldest town in Karnataka and located close to one of India’s coffee-growing regions. You’ll stay here for two nights.

Day 11: Hassan
A morning included excursion will take you to two of the finest ancient capitals of the Hoysala empire – Halebid and Belur. In both you will find 12th century ruined temples decorated with complex carvings. The unique architecture is perhaps the richest repository of Hindu art in India. This afternoon is free for you to make your own discoveries or maybe you will choose to relax by the pool with a cool drink.

Day 12: Mysore
This morning you’ll travel by road to the fabled city of Mysore where an afternoon tour is included. Discover the opulent city palace which dominates the skyline and is home to the current Maharaja. Mysore is famous for local crafts and aromatics, especially incense, sandalwood and jasmine, so you could shop for a fragrant souvenir of your visit. You will stay overnight in Mysore.

Day 13: Cochin
This morning you’ll return to Bangalore by road to connect with your flight to Cochin, located in Kerala. En route you will visit Srirangapatnam the island fortress of the warrior King Tipu Sultan. This beautiful state offers up a feast for the senses – a fusion of cultures and colourful history, majestic elephants, sprawling tea plantations, teeming backwaters and palm-fringed beaches. Two nights’ accommodation has been arranged for you in Cochin.

Day 14: Cochin
An included morning sightseeing tour of Cochin will introduce you to the ‘Queen of The Arabian Seas’. Visit the Jewish Quarter, home to the 16th century synagogue, see the Dutch Palace and visit St Francis Church where Vasco da Gama was originally buried. A cooking demonstration followed by lunch is included before an afternoon harbour cruise which will give you a close-up view of the amazing Chinese fishing nets which are still in use. Round off your day with an included display of Kathakali classical dancing.

Day 15: Kovalam Beach area
You’ll depart Cochin this morning for the drive to Alleppey, where you join a traditional boat for an unforgettable cruise through Kerala’s famous backwaters. This vast area of canals, lakes and channels are separated by narrow spits of land where communities live and farm. Shopping, the school run and daily delivery of post are all conducted by boat. On arrival in Trivandrum via Totapally, drive to the Kovalam Beach area where you will stay for six nights.

Days 16 – 20: Kovalam Beach area
Sat on the Arabian Sea, the crescent-shaped beaches of Kovalam are the perfect spot for some rest and relaxation at the end of your India holiday.

The most famous resort in southern India, Kovalam, first came to prominence in the 1960s as part of the hippy trail, and has since gone from strength to strength. Here you’ll find a charming mix of hotels and a traditional way of life, with fishermen still bringing in their catches on the beach. Enjoy the sun, sea and famous Keralan seafood on your stay here at Chowara beach.

Day 21: Kovalam Beach area
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. Enjoy a city tour of Mumbai and an early dinner before flying back to the UK.

Day 22: UK
Arrival in the UK.

Please note

Accommodation throughout is in hotels of a comfortable standard, typical of the hotels you will stay in are:

5-Star Hyatt Regency or similar in Delhi
5-Star Jaypee Palace Hotel in Agra
Nahargarh Hotel or similar In the Ranthambore National Park
5-Star Country Inn and Suites in Jaipur
5-Star Lemon Tree Premier Hotel in Bangalore
4-Star Hoysala Village in Hassan
5-Star Fortune JP Palace in Mysore
5-Star Trident Hotel inn Cochin
In the Kovalam Beach area you will stay at the:

4-star Travancore Heritage Hotel
Overlooking a long, wide stretch of Chowara beach backed by swaying coconut palms. Features include two swimming pools, restaurant, beachside ocean grill specialising in seafood and an Ayurveda Centre. Comfortable guest rooms are equipped with en suite facilities, satellite TV, telephone, mini-bar and coffee-maker.

Hotels will be confirmed in your final documents.


Included excursions and visits
Old Delhi (half day)
New Delhi including a walk with former street children (half day)
Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Jasmine Tower (half day)
Fatephur Sikri
Ranthambore morning safari (half day)
Ranthambore afternoon safari (half day)
Jaipur sightseeing (half day)
Amber Fort (half day)
Bangalore orientation tour
Halebid and Belur (half day)
Srirangapatnam and Mysore (full day)
Cochin sightseeing (half day)
Cochin harbour cruise (half day)
Kathakali classical dance
Kerala backwater cruise (half day)
Nimmy Paul cookery demonstration and lunch

Your holiday includes
The services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager and Local Guides
15 nights’ accommodation
Half-board basis – plus 3 lunches
4 nights’ bed & breakfast accommodation in Kovalam
Scheduled flights and internal flights
Overseas transfers and other transportation
The services of a Local Representative (add-on)
Hotel porterage (one bag per person)
All airport taxes and security charges
UK Airline Passenger Duty
All state and local taxes

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TravelsphereWith 50 years’ experience in arranging escorted tours to exciting destinations across the globe, Travelsphere have built an excellent reputation founded on quality and value.

By choosing a Travelsphere escorted holiday you can travel with confidence, knowing that every aspect of your holiday has been carefully planned and arranged from start to finish. Further to this they are ATOL bonded and members of ABTA.

Travelsphere’s thorough planning of travel arrangements, itineraries and accommodation combined with the unique insight of their knowledgeable Tour Managers and Local Guides will enable you to experience the culture, traditions and hidden away places less accessible to other travellers.

Our Opinion
“Travelsphere are one of the biggest names in the Escorted Tour market. Finely tuned over the last 50 years their tours have been tried, tested and refined by thousands of customers.”

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