Grand Tour Of India
11 nights. November 2018 - November 2020. From £1999.00.
SAVE £100 PER PERSON* - BOOK BY 31st AUGUST WITH PROMO CODE EARLYLH
Explore the Golden Triangle and Kerala
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.
Tour Highlights And InclusionsDiscover 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 visit to the wondrous Taj Mahal
Explore Kochi with its famous Chinese fishing nets
A cruise on a traditional houseboat
A visit to Periyar's Wildlife Sanctuary, with a lake cruise
11 nights' half-board accommodation staying in Delhi (1 night), Jaipur (2), Karauli (1), Agra (1), Kochi (2), Periyar (2) and Kerala (2)
Return flights from your chosen airport to Delhi, returning from Kochi via Mumbai or Delhi
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)
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day OneBoard your overnight flight from the UK to Delhi - the teeming, colourful, enthralling heart of India, where the ancient and modern worlds collide.
Day TwoArriving in Delhi you'll be met by your Tour Manager and transferred to your first hotel for an included lunch. Freshen up, then join a guided tour of New Delhi, built by the British Raj to reflect the glories of the Empire. Highlights include the historic India Gate war memorial and the vast boulevard of the Rajpath. You'll also see the impressive the ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and the ornate Qutb Minar tower before returning to your hotel for dinner.
Day ThreeToday we'll explore the grandeur of Delhi's Old City. Discover the historic Red Fort, the Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat, Gandhi's cremation site. You'll also have time for an exhilarating rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk's narrow lanes before we leave the Indian capital and travel to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, this afternoon.
Day FourThis morning we'll visit Amber for the chance to discover the opulent Royal Halls and sweeping rampart-top views of this 16th-century fort. In the afternoon, we'll tour Jaipur itself, exploring the City Palace complex with its museums and ancient observatory, and the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace of the Winds', with its innumerable windows and screened balconies. This evening, enjoy the special experience of dinner with a Rajasthani family in their welcoming home.
Day FiveToday you’ll journey across Rajasthan, through a landscape studded with exotic temples and lavishly decorated mansions (havelis) to the ancient city of Karauli. Here you’ll spend the night in a heritage hotel that was once the home of a maharaja, and take a camel-cart ride to the crumbling ruins of Karauli’s 17th-century City Palace. Back at your hotel, this evening, you'll be treated to a cookery demonstration by the hotel chefs before dinner is served.
Day SixThis morning we journey to Agra, the City of Love and home of the iconic Taj Mahal. See the royal pavilions, palaces and courtyards of majestic Agra Fort, and then enjoy your first visit to the exquisite Taj Mahal, bathed in glorious evening light, at sunset.
Day SevenToday you'll return to Delhi. From there, you'll fly south to Kochi, on the shore of the Indian Ocean.
Day EightAnother early morning start will be rewarded by the sight of the day’s catch being landed at local fishing village, a tuk-tuk drive and a tranquil canal crossing on a small boat as we make our way back to the hotel for lunch. This afternoon, discover Mattancherry Palace's exquisite murals, the ancient Jewish synagogue, and enchanting Fort Cochin, where Chinese fishing nets line the shore, on a guided tour of Cochin. And, this evening, experience a traditional Kathakali dance performance - a colourful spectacle that combines elaborate costumes with literature, music, painting and dance.
Day NineJourney into a lush landscape of tea and spice plantations as you head to Periyar, pausing for a colourful traditional lunch at welcoming Saddya Plantation. Arriving in Periyar we'll join our guide to explore the Spice Plantation, and learn about the mystery and history of the Indian tea and spice industry.
Day 10See elephants and colourful birds - and just maybe rarely glimpsed tigers and leopards - on an optional, guided trek this morning through Periyar's Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is home to several species of endangered mammals and over 250 bird species. This afternoon, enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the lake at the sanctuary's heart before the evening culminates with a Keralan Kalaripayattu martial arts performance, followed by dinner back at the hotel.
Day 11Today we'll head to Alleppey and board a traditional, thatch-roofed kettuvallam houseboat for a lazy cruise along the labyrinthine canals and waterways that run between the region's coconut groves, rice fields, hidden temples and tiny islands. The houseboat chef will prepare a delicious traditional meal during your voyage, after which you'll transfer to your final hotel.
Day 12Round off a wonderful holiday lazing by the hotel pool or on the lakeside. And later enjoy a farewell dinner with your newfound friends and travelling companions, and relive the many memories and experiences of the past two weeks.
Day 13Make an early start today (a packed breakfast will be provided) as we head to Cochin Airport for the return flight, via Mumbai or Delhi, back to the UK. Back to top
AccommodationGrand 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- and coffee-making facilities.Back to top
Taj Mahal restoration workThe 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.
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Passports and visasBritish 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 $100 (US) per person. Other British passport holders, who are not British CITIZENS, must apply for a full visa which costs GBP112. 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.
Foreign Office Travel AdviceVisit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
On your flightAll 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.
Luggage allowanceYou are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
Special requirementsIf 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.
Disabled accessThe 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. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
Travel vaccinationsRequirements 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.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, 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 & itineraryShould 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 alcoholPlease note that local restrictions do not permit some hotels in Kerala to serve alcohol.
Road ConditionsIn developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can mean that, from time to time, roadworks and rough road surfaces can extend journey times. Some journeys are made on winding mountain roads and passes, which may also make for slow travelling - although the scenery is usually worth it! Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads.
Terms and conditions*This offer applies to new bookings on selected air-inclusive holidays to destinations outside Europe, made between 10th and 31st August 2018 (inclusive), only. Prices shown when booking do not include the discount. The discount will be applied to your booking once the promo code (EARLYLH) has been entered and will be confirmed before purchase. This offer may not be used in conjunction with any other offer, is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Exclusions apply. Back to top