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Rajasthan Tour with Kerala Backwater
No doubt Rajasthan & Taj mahal is offering best cultural heritage sightseeing places in North India and Kerala is best tourist destinations of South India. Apart from Backwater kerala offers theme based packages of amazing wildlife, heritage, beaches, houseboat and ayurveda too. 14 Days Rajasthan & Kerala Backwater Tours start from Delhi and cover the fscinating destinations of colourful Rajasthan along with The Taj mahal in Agra India and followed by backwater tourist attractions of Green Kerala. These 2 sector are probably the best tourist destinations to explore in India.
One can ask to add other destinations and theme according their time scheduled and budget.
Day 1: Arrival / Delhi
Late night arrival. Meeting and assistance upon arrival as our representatives welcome you and escort you to your car. Whilst the room keys and check-in is organized, our representative would introduce the tour to you and hand over the documents to you. Welcome to India, or as we say atithi devo bhava (the guest is an incarnation of God). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you! Overnight at Delhi hotel.
Day 2 : Delhi
Following breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of New Delhi, Visiting such sights as Bahai Temple, Humayuns Tomb (1586), the Qutab Minar 72 meters high and one of the most perfect towers in the Persian world. The Iron Pillar which has survived the vagaries of weather for over 1500 years. Continue with a drive through Embassy area, the Government buildings (1921-1930) and Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital. Afternoon we cross the city and into the walled gates of the Old city with visits to the Jamma Mosque (1650) and drive through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk (aptly translates to Moonlight Square) where the throngs of shoppers and vendors meet in the oldest area of Delhi. Visit the Red Fort (1639-1648 built by Shah Jehan the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra) to view the inlaid and carved Royal Chambers, on to Raj Ghat and nearby ghats where the founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi and thereafter Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were cremated. The highlight of this tour would be a ride on cycle rickshaws. Now these are 3-wheel cycles with a sofa seat at the back. The Rickshawalla (Rickshaw driver) sits on a small cushion in the front and two passengers on the sofa seat behind. This is a remarkable way to explore and picture the hustle and bustle as well as the colour of the narrow winding streets bursting with people and pavement shops selling wares of all description - including a laughing set of dentures. The ride would be accompanied by peals of laughter both from the passengers as well as the onlookers. Home Visit & a Welcome Dinner: This evening we would visit an Indian family for an Indian home experience. The evening is designed to give you a feel and insight into Indian family life as well as experience typical Indian hospitality and home made Indian food. Overnight at Delhi Hotel.
Day 3 : Delhi / Agra (205 Kms)
Following a leisurely breakfast, we drive to Agra. We would have opportunities to stop en route at well-appointed restaurants for refreshments as well as washroom facilities. Upon arrival, check into hotel Howard Park Plaza. After wash & change, we ride to the massive Agra Fort. The elegant buildings inside reflect an interesting synthesis of Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles. Built by Emperor Akbar, the maze of the courtyards, mosques & private chambers of the fort echo the story of the Mughal Empire. The Moti Masjid & other magnificent buildings reflect the skill of the ancient Indian architects. Agra is the city of the Taj Mahal, perhaps the most photographed monument in the world. However, there is a degree of enigma about the Taj. Once you hear about a building so much and once you see so many pictures of a building your expectations are real high; and this is the enigma about the Taj Mahal. No matter how many pictures you have seen or no matter how high your expectations are the Taj never lets you down - the unparalleled glory and beauty of the building surpasses beyond all human imaginations. At sun set we visit the Taj Mahal to witness this spectacular monument built for love. Besides perfect symmetry in every aspect of its construction, the inlay work of semi precious stones into marble in pietra dura style is absolutely remarkable. Overnight at Howard Park Plaza First class Hotel (Standard room)
Day 4 : Agra / Fatehpur Sikri / Jaipur
This morning, we drive to Jaipur, stopping at Fatehpur Sikri (ghost capital) for a tour of these magnificent and world heritage buildings, which are still in a state of perfect reservation. The city is divided into religious and secular sections. The profusion of sculpture is breathtaking. Also, the white marble mosque in the secular section is incredible. It is a very sacred mosque and pilgrims from far and near arrives here to pay their respects. Following the tour of Fatehpur Sikri we continue our ride to Jaipur. In a land steeped with heritage, picturesque with to a vast open-air museum. Pink turbans jostle with saffron odhinis (ladies exquisite architecture, in a state vibrant with heroic memories and romance, lays the dream city of Jaipur. The people are dynamic, martial and, need we say it, colourful. Here every walk through the by lanes is a walk through history. Indeed, Jaipur could be compared scarves). Camels buggies and elephants are as commonly found as motorcars and buses Upon arrival check into hotel Alsisar Haveli. This is the flagship hotel in a bouquet of heritage hotels. The Haveli lies tucked away in the heart of pink city, Jaipur. It brings back to life the grandeur of the old days and is a memorable regal Rajasthani experience for the guests. Refurbished in 1982, the Haveli incorporates the finesse of traditional Rajput architecture and a site to behold. The large elevated platform that dominates the central area of the ground floor and once used for get-togethers by the gents of the house is now open to guests who can witness puppet shows and folk dances while enjoying their snacks or drinks. The spacious lobby which opens into the chowk (inner courtyard), was a century ago used by the ladies of the house and is now open to guests Afternoon, we explore the unending shopping options of Jaipur along with our Guide. An essential starting point for Rajasthan craftwork is block making and block printing and we will be exploring the process from start to finish in some of the popular stores here. The opportunity also exists here to tailor make outfits to your design and size. We also explore one of the chief attractions of Jaipur - its jewelry, which offers a variety that ranges from chunky tribal jewelry to enameled gold to modern diamond jewelry. Kundan (art of stone setting) and enamel jewelry has been a specialty of Rajasthan, particularly that of Jaipur. The stones are embossed into decorative shapes & patterns and embellished with delicate enamel ornamentation in the champeve (raised field) technique. Jaipur is well known for its gold and silver enameling. Colorful bangles made of lac and set with semiprecious stones make an inexpensive buy. The craftsmen take great pains to embed the hundreds of stones into the lac. The skilled gem-cutters of Jaipur carve enchanting little animals and birds from rock, crystal, jade, smoky topaz and amethyst. Intaglio beads & buttons and crystal scent bottles are also available. Overnight at Hotel Alsisar Haveli (Standard Room)
Day 5 : Jaipur
Following a leisurely breakfast we visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal Jaipurs. Few fail to be moved by the dramatic Rajput grandeur of this hilltop fortress-palace 11 km north of Jaipur. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, and surrounded by fortified battlements, the palace straddles two sepia-hued tundra hills overlooking Maota Lake, and its sprawling crenellated walls lattice the surrounding hills. We ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years. Our guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics and water-cooled swings that delight todays visitors as they did their former royal residents. We visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens. Following lunch, we precede a tour Of City Palace & Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The center of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine vies over the gardens and the city. The palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall has seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and animals that lived in jungles, which surrounded the wall that time. Next, we visit the Solar Observatory - an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till date. The Palace Of Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone has semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. Overnight at Alsisar Haveli (Standard Room)
Day 6 : Jaipur / Rohet (330 Kms)
Following a leisurely breakfast drive to Rohet. Upon arrival check into the Rohetgarh fort. At Rohet, one is transported in to a world of the past, a world of honour and of chivalry, of glory and of pride; a world of vibrant colours and spectacular magnificence. Past centuries come to life at the historic boundary walls of Rohet- the 16th century fortified deserted home of a Rajput clan. Within the precincts of these time weathered walls is our hotel, the impressive Rohetgarh Fort- a bastion of proud Rajput traditions bathed in the ambience of unmistakable Rajasthani culture where one can, even today experience the famed warm and courteous Rajput hospitality. Frescoes on the tall gateway, brightly painted in the traditional style, using traditional motifs and colour schemes herald your entry to this charmed world the bygone era. The gateway leads to a compound where a profusion of flowers frame the archways in welcome. The portico is a warm and informal place decorated with the artifacts and trophies of many years. Exquisitely carved furniture, delicate hand block prints, original paintings and photographs decorate your rooms, which though redolent with the romance of a bygone era, provide all the modern amenities. Antique hunting riffles, shields & spearheads, daggers and original paintings form the backdrop of the dinning room. The swimming pool here is in beautiful settings and is an oasis in a dessert. The food at Rohetgarh is special; each recipe is both traditional and typical, handed down the generations and jealously guarded to retain its pristine flavours. You savour only the very best of Rajasthani cuisines, food favoured by the Royalty. The 16th century descendants of the Rathore ruling family still live here and host the guests. The members of the Royal family interact with the guests and interesting stories and anecdotes are narrated. This afternoon, we would explore Rohet, which is a fascinating small feudal town, which seems to be straight out of the Arabian Nights. There is no proper road here - only one main dust trail. On either side are typical thatched houses and shops of all kinds - colourful bangles, silver jewellery, potters, fruit vendors on carts, dress shops, tailors etc. Later, we enjoy jeep safaris to visit the heart of Rajasthan villages where tradition centuries old still permeate life styles. One can witness the opium ceremony - a ritual by which guests are welcomed. Gaily attired men and women carry on their chores and one can catch a glimpse of their norms and customs. The smoothened mud floors of the village huts remind one of the simple and traditional living here. Later, we drive to Jodhpur. As evening descends upon our hotel, the darkness of the night is lit up by the flickering flames of fire around which the rhythmic movements of the folk dancers assumes shape in brilliant colours; truly an electrifying experience. Overnight at Rohetgarh (Heritage Hotel)
Day 7 : Rohet / Ranakpur / Udaipur
After a leisurely breakfast we drive to Udaipur en route we visit Ranakpur. The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built during the reign of the liberal and gifted monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The basement is of 48, 000 sq. feet area that covers the whole complex. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty-four pillared halls and eligibly domes supported by over four hundred columns. The total number of columns is 1,444 all of which are intricately carved with no two being alike. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an engrossing sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 kg whose sound echoes in the entire complex. The main temple is of Chaumukh or four-faces temple dedicated to Adinath. From here we continue our ride to Udaipur. Welcome to Udaipur, the famed City of sunrise. Founded in 1567 by Maharana Udai Singh, from the lineage of the legendary Sisodias of Mewar - the decedents of the sun God. A city where the sun truly never set, where tradition and a strict code of heroism were happily united with a love of fine living. A city that has come to be an oasis of romance in the warrior state of Rajasthan. Upon arrival check into the hotel Jagat Niwas, a modern heritage hotel replete with character and charm, besides all comforts discerning tourists would seek. Afternoon is at leisure for your independent activities Evening we enjoy a boat cruise on the serene and beautiful Lake Pichola. The island palace on the Lake called Jagmandir Palace is quite fascinating. The Palace provided inspirations and ideas to the builder of the Taj Mahal. The banks of the lake provide interesting glimpses of the daily bathing and the laundry that takes place here. Looking across the lake, with the city and its great palace rising up behind the island palace, is a scene of rare beauty. Overnight at Hotel Jagat Niwas Palace (Deluxe Lake View Room)
Day 8 : Udaipur
Following breakfast, we proceed on a tour of this "Lake City". Udaipur is a cool oasis in the dry heart of Rajasthan. It is probably the most romantic city in a state where every city has some romantic or exotic tale to tell. The huge city palace towering over the Lake Pichola is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Though it is a conglomeration of buildings built by successive rulers, it manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design and affords very fine view of the lake and the city from the upper terraces. The Jagadish temple next to the city palace enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu and his vehicle- a mighty bird called garuda - in a brass image. The temple is a very fine example of Indo-Aryan Art. This afternoon we explore the bustling bylanes of Udaipur, which have artisans practicing their traditional crafts handed down to them by their elders. Khari printers do decorative floral patterns in gold and silver on plain or printed fabric. Block printers print various designs and patterns in different colours with the help of wooden blocks. Youll also find artisans carving furniture, making puppets and traditional wooden toys. Along with engraving and embossing on brass, silver, jewellery, copper and even pottery, Meenakari is a specialty of this region. Udaipur also specializes in stone carving, especially in marble and sandstone, with artisans working hard at chiseling their finest filigree work. Colour as usual plays an important role in the life of Udaipur as in Rajasthan. It is wonderfully evident in ghagharas (long flowing skirts), cholis (blouses), and odhnis (long scarves) of the women as well as the turbans of the men. Overnight at Hotel Jagat Niwas Palace (Deluxe Lake View Room)
Day 9 : Udaipur / Mumbai (9W 3410 0840 /1020) Mumbai /Cochin (9W 403 1325 /1510)
Upon arrival check in to hotel Casino, a fascinating 4* hotel replete with character. The sea food restaurant here is a tremendous place in case you are fond of eating fish. The restaurant is open sided and the manager walks up to you with a cart of fish (dead, mercifully !). You make the pick and he cooks. The food here would be WOW stuff ! Cooked in typical Kerala style and marinated with coconut and mild herbs, the food leaves a refreshing tingle on your taste buds! Kathakali Dance: A special treat awaits us this evening as we proceed to witness the strength and vigor of Kathakali dance drama, as it enacts episodes from great Indian epics. The extremely stylized gestures, the elaborate make-up, the masks and the splendid costumes of these all-male dancers, recreates an incomparable sense of pageantry. Overnight Hotel Casino (Standard Room)
Day 10 : Cochin
After Breakfast we proceed on a guided tour of the City. The true character of the city is to be found in the older parts of the Fort Cochin area. It more or less exists as it used to be a 1000 years back, when it was first built. The roads have not been widened because the old haggard buildings, through patchwork repairs over the centuries, still stand on the edges. This part of the city reflects an unusual blend of medieval Portugal, Dutch and English country life grafted on to the tropical Malabar Coast. The fishing community of Cochin is also very interesting. They ancient cantilevered fishing nets called Chinese Fishing Nets. The net is fixed to a pole on the shore. While fishing, the entire net is lowered by a primitive fulcrum mechanism using long bamboo poles. By the same mechanism the pole is lifted along with the catch. We will explore the sights of Photographic as well as cultural interest. We would also visit the 16th century Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace since the Dutch substantially renovated the palace in the 17th century. The double storied quadrangular building surrounds a courtyard containing a Hindu temple. The Central Hall on the first floor was the coronation hall of the Rajas of Cochin; on display are their dresses, turbans and palanquins. The most important feature of this palace, however, is the astonishing murals in the bedchambers and other rooms, which depict scenes from the Ramayana and other religious legends. These murals are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful and extensive anywhere to be seen in India. The unique feature here is the unexpected and isolated Jewish community, whose origins date back to AD 52. They are self-contained and have there own Synagogue. The area around the Synagogue, known, as Jew Town is one of the main centres of spice trade. Scores of small firms huddle together in old dilapidated buildings and the air is filled with the aroma of ginger, cardamom, cumin, turmeric and cloves. The area is very busy. The potters are loading gunny bags of spices on to carts, which keep running up and down the narrow lanes. We would visit Jew Town, in the Mattancherry section and a short walk from the ferry, is one street long. Jews used to occupy virtually all the houses on Jew Town Road, where they sold fruits, vegetables and spices or worked as oil pressers or carpenters. The spice markets are still located on the narrow street. Overnight Hotel Casino (Standard Room)
Day 11 : Cochin /Alleppey / Houseboat
Following a leisurely breakfast this morning we will take a ride to Alleppey for a houseboat experience through the narrow canals and channels of the backwaters of Kerala. The materials that go into the making of houseboat are all local and Eco-friendly; bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats carpets etc. The main wood used is "Anjali ". The Houseboat provides all comforts - Beds, a kitchen, western toilets and an upper deck. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. The cuisine is of traditional Kerala flavour along with the local Specialities - delicious fish and prawns. We spend the day Cruising on our boat through remote tribal villages along the tranquil backwaters of Kerala is a superb experience. Sensational in its own silent way, the cruise takes you along snake boat docks, friendly cheering villagers, coir (Jute) making communities, toddy (local spirit) shops, fishing nets pitched for the day's catch, bunded paddy fields and manual canoes of different sizes criss-crossing each other. The experience enables you to reach beautiful untouched areas. Overnight and meals aboard Air - Conditioned Houseboat (B, L, D)
Day 12 : Houseboat / Kumarakom
Following a leisurely breakfast our houseboat travel through narrow canals and reaches Kumarakom, upon arrival check in to Coconut Lagoon, which has rightly carved its place among the top 10 heritage resorts of the world. The resort is on a small island and can be reached only by boat. The accommodation consists of individual cottages built in the traditional Kerala style, relying heavily on wood and some with private pools. . Overnight Coconut Lagoon - Mansion Room (B)
Day 13 : Kumarakom
Day free for independent activities. You can also enjoy the optional ayurvedic body massage at the resort. You could also to visit the adjacent Kumarakom Bird sanctuary, situated on the banks of the Vembanand Lake is known for its varied avian population. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork that live there in flocks are a fascination for visitors. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarokom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands. The main attractions are local birds like the water fowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron and the water duck, as well as the migratory Siberian cranes.Parrots, teal, larks, flycatchers, wood beetle, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Overnight Coconut Lagoon Mansion Room (B)
Day 14 : Kumarakom / Cochin /Departure
Following a leisurely breakfast we drive to Cochin. On time transfer to airport to board your flight back home.
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