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India Holidays

Golden Triangle & Kerala Tour

18 Night Itinerary from £3,495

Private Individual Tour

 

Explore the famous Golden Triangle and head south to explore easygoing Kerala.

Select your preferred departure date

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Tour Route

Travel Highlights

  • Explore Delhi including the Red Fort, colourful bazaars and India gate.
  • Visit Agra Fort and the mesmerising Taj Mahal.
  • Admire Fathepur Sikri, another incredible world heritage site.
  • Enjoy three 4 x 4 vehicle safaris in Ranthambore National Park in search of the Bengal Tiger.
  • Visit the 'Pink City' of Jaipur including the imposing Amber Fort.
  • Explore Kochi and experience an authentic Kathakata dance performance.
  • Visit a colonial tea plantation in Munnar.
  • Explore the wildlife and nature in beautiful Periyar.
  • Take a cruise on Kerala's famous backwaters.

This itinerary can be modified and adapted to your preference with a specialst advisor, who can provide a guaranteed price, based on hotels, transport, excursions and flights.

Tour Itinerary

Red Fort Delhi Pixabay

Delhi - 2 Nights

Day 1 - Depart the UK on overnight flight to Delhi

Day 2 - Arrive in Delhi

Day 3 - Guided city tour of Delhi

 

  • Full Description
  • Accommodation

Day 1

Depart the UK to Delhi

Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Delhi.


Day 2

Arrive in Delhi

Arrive at Delhi Airport where you will be met by our local Veloso guide and taken to your chosen hotel for a 2 night stay. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Delhi is often distinguished as the old and new, the old referring to the pre–British control and the new is Lutyen’s Delhi, built to suit British sensibilities and the rapidly expanding city of independent India. However as we explore the city you will see that these demarcations are fluid with an intermixing of the old and new Delhi’s produce a fascinating city life.


Day 3

Guided tour of Delhi

Chandini Chowk in Old Delhi is a busy market selling an extraordinary variety of items – silver, jewellery, aromatic spices, leather, fruit and vegetables.  Apothecaries sell home grown medicinal items, and roadside dentists display their bizarre array of equipment and false teeth. Here, you will enjoy the walking tour near Chandini Chowk. We also visit India’s largest Mosque, Jama Masjid. This mosque is the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan. Begun in 1644, the mosque was not completed until 1658. 

Your next stop is the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the temple of the followers of the Sikh religion.

The Sikhs, which means “disciples”, are one of the country’s most recognisable groups.  Beards and turbans give them a distinctive look.  Unlike Hinduism, they believe in one god, and that everyone, regardless of their station in life, should do “sevak” or rendering social services.  

In the afternoon we visit Humayun’s Tomb, the earliest example of Mughal architecture in India.  Recently renovated with the gardens restored to their former splendour and the working fountains, it is a very attractive site.   Architecturally, the mausoleum drew its inspiration from the styles prevalent in Samarkand, and the design of the Taj Mahal is based on this tomb. 

From here drive to Qutb Minar complex which has many historic monuments. The first mosque in India – The Quwwat-Ul- Islam – built from the dressed and carved stones of demolished temples lies in this complex.  It establishes the political victory of Islam in northern India.

Sheraton New Delhi

Delhi - First Hotel

Located in the centre of New Delhi, the Sheraton offers spacious rooms and an excellent choice of restaurants.

There are 220 air-conditioned rooms and suites, each with private bathroom, hair dyer, minibar, bottled water, coffee and tea maker, safe and sitting area. Rooms have panoramic views of the city.

Public facilities include a swimming pool, spa, gym and an Indian and Chinese restaurant. There is also a wide choice of Indian and International restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. as well as a major shopping mall.

The rates are on a bed and breakfast basis.

 

 

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Maidens Hotel, New Delhi

Delhi - Luxury Hotel

The Maidens Hotel was established in 1903 and remains a stately survivor of the golden age - the sweeping driveway and the grand façade give an inkling of its star-studded past. Its architecture is the most glorious illustration of old-world European charm with its colonial impressions. A stay at Maidens Hotel is a historically and culturally enriching experience! Every corner in the hotel has a story to tell, whether it's unraveling the majestic royals of the princely states, the Delhi Durbar with its pre-independence coronation, or the ruling times of The British Raj.

The hotel is located in North Delhi within close proximity to the major attractions and has 54 rooms and suites all with high ceilings, air-conditioning, mini bar, tea-coffee maker, LCD TV, satellite channels, safe, hair dryer, FREE Wi-Fi and telephone.

Public areas include lush gardens, a gym and classic wining and dining in the Cavalry Bar, the elegant Curzon Room restaurant serving Indian dishes and the Garden Terrace restaurant.

The rates are on a room and breakfast basis.

 

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Oberoi, New Delhi

Delhi - Deluxe Hotel

The Oberoi, New Delhi is located in the centre of New Delhi, close to the major attractions including India Gate.

The hotel has 220 air-conditioned and spacious rooms and suites with marble bathrooms, teak floors and oak desks. Each room has a safe, FREE Wi-Fi, TV, telephone, 24 hour butler service, goose pillows (with choice), Nespresso coffee machine, tea making facilities and hair dryer.

Public facilities include all day dining at 360 degrees signature restaurant serving international dishes, Omya serving contemporary Indian cuisine, Baoshuan serving chinese fayre and the magical Cirrus 9, a famous rooftop bar with panoramic views of Delhi. There is also a club bar and cigar lounge, patisserie and delicatessen. The hotel also has a luxury spa, gardens and outdoor swimming pool.

The rooms are on a bed and breakfast basis.

 

Image for: Delhi Oberoi
Taj Mahal 2

Agra & the Taj Mahal - 1 Night

Day 4 - Drive to Agra and visit the Taj Mahal

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  • Accommodation

Day 4

Agra & the Taj Mahal

We drive to Agra for a 1 night stay. Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire). 

In the afternoon we visit Agra Fort. When the Mughal Emperor Akbar established his supremacy in Northern India, he began his first architectural venture, rebuilding the fort as a beautiful fort palace.  The work was completed by his son and grandson, highlighting the Mughal’s ability to blend defensive and decorative architecture. Richly decorated with marble and mosaic, it was in a part of this fort that Shah Jahan spent the last years of his life, imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. His private quarters, where he was confined, has a magical view of the Taj Mahal across the river Yamuna.

After High Tea at Taj Khema, we drive to the Taj Mahal, aptly described by the poet laureate Tagore as “A tear on the face of eternity”. Decorated with a mosaic of semi-precious stones and Persian calligraphy recreating verses from the Koran, the mausoleum is an important place of pilgrimage since the empress died in childbirth making her a martyr.

Tajview Hotel

Agra & the Taj Mahal - Tourist Hotel

Spread over six acres of manicured gardens, the Tajview, Agra is a relaxing base to explore and sightsee. For those who want the best vantage point, some with direct views of the Taj Mahal. 

The rooms are a combination of superior, deluxe, Premium and suites. All are air-conditioned with private bathroom, tea/coffee making facilities, safe, hair dryer, tv, telephone and sitting area.

Public facilities include a swimming pool, fitness centre, shopping arcade and spa. There are 2 restaurants serving Indian, Chinese and International cuisine.

The rates are on a room and breakfast basis.

 

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Grand Imperial

Agra & the Taj Mahal - First Hotel

The Grand Imperial Hotel was built in the early 1900s by the British. It remains the only grand heritage boutique Hotel in Agra and as such will add a sense of occasion to your stay here. The hotel is central Agra with views, from the rooftop bar and cafe, of the Taj Mahal, Red Fort and other Agra landmarks. Every corner in the hotel has a story to tell , whether it’s unraveling the majestic royals of the princely states, with its pre-independence coronation, or the ruling times of the British Raj.

The hotel has 15 spacious deluxe rooms and 30 suites, each elegantly furnished with private bathroom, safe, minibar, hairdryer and sitting area.

Public areas include a swimming pool, spa, lounge, bar and evening entertainment. The hotel has an elegant restaurant, plus you can enjoy drinks and snacks on the rooftop terrace.

The rates are on a bed and breakfast basis.

 

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ITC Mughal

Agra & the Taj Mahal - Luxury Hotel

The ITC Mughal, Agra is a fitting tribute to the great Mughal builders of the past. With 23 acres of luxurious gardens and located close to the Taj Mahal, it is the only Indian hotel to have won the prestigious Aga Khan Award for its excellent representation of Mughal architecture. You will feel this as soon as you step into the grand lobby, dedicated to the great King Akbar.

The hotel has 233 opulent rooms and suites, each designed in the style of the great Mughal architecture of the past. All room are air-conditioned, very spacious and include a private bathroom, tv, safe, hair dryer, sitting area, minibar and luxury amenities.

The public areas including beautifully maintained gardens, a stunning swimming pool, spa, fitness centre and a salon. The excellent 3 restaurants serve Indian and international cuisine and there are lounges and 2 bars in which to relax.

The rates are on a room and breakfast basis.

Image for: Pool
Fetiphur Sikri Bee 2

Fatehpur Sikri and Sawai Madhopur - 1 Night

Day 5 - Fatehpur Sikri and Sawai Madhopur

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Day 5

Fatehpur Sikri and Sawai Madhopur

This morning we visit the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, in honour of the great Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti who blessed Akbar and prophesized the birth of three sons to the heirless Emperor. Akbar used Fatehpur Sikri as his capital and the city was fully occupied for 14 years but slowly became deserted and ruined after Akbar left the city. Scarcity of water was the prime factor for the abandonment of this beautiful city. Visit the remarkably well-preserved, graceful buildings within the 'Ghost City' including the Jama Masjid, tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal Palace and other palaces that speak of the grandeur and splendor of the Mughal empire at the height of its power.

In the afternoon, take the train to Sawai Madhopur where we overnight at your chosen hotel.

Indian Tiger Pixabay

Ranthambore National Park - 1 Night

Day 6 - Ranthambore National Park

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Day 6

Ranthambore National Park

This famous national park is the best place to spot wild tigers in Rajasthan. Comprising 1334 sq km of wild jungle scrub hemmed in by rocky ridges, seeing a tiger (around 52 to 55 in 2016) is partly a matter of luck; but remember there’s plenty of other wildlife to see, including more than 300 species of birds.

The morning safari starts at 6:30 AM and the afternoon safari is at 2:30 PM. Both safaris last approximately three and a half hours.

Udaipur

Drive to Jaipur - 2 Nights

Day 7 - Drive to Jaipur

Day 8 - Guided tour of Jaipur

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  • Accommodation

Day 7

Drive to Jaipur

This morning we drive to Jaipur, known as the ‘Pink City’, because of the terra cotta coloured lime plaster that coats the old part of the city's walls, buildings and temples. The reasons for painting the town pink are unknown; some say it is because Maharaja Jai Singh II’s was a devotee of Lord Shiva and pink was his favourite. The most popular reason is that pink is the traditional colour of hospitality, and the old part of the city was freshly painted and paved with pink gravel to warmly welcome Edward VII for his visit here in 1876.

We check into your chosen hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.


Day 8

Guided Tour of Jaipur

We start your full day guided tour with a drive to the famous Hawa Mahal, the ornate pink façade an icon of the city for a quick photography stop. This five-storied high “screen” composed of projected windows and balconies protected by fine latticed screens, was destined to enable the ladies of the harem to observe the lively street scenes of the city from a position of privacy. Next, visit Jantar Mantar. It’s the world’s largest observatory carved in stone and marble. Many of the huge ancient instruments here are still in working condition.

We continue to the Maharaja's City Palace. This sprawling palace is a superb marriage of the Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture.  The seven storied Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) is a sprawling complex with multiple courtyards, public buildings, astronomical observatory and zenana mahals (harems).  Within the palace complex are several museums; including an interesting textile gallery exhibiting a fine selection of textiles and costumes from the royal collection.

In the afternoon, we visit Agra Fort. Hill forts were always important to the Rajput rulers.  Belonging to the Hindu “Kshatriya” or warrior class, they believed that “a fort is the strength of a king”.  They built a number of such forts all over the state of Rajasthan; some made for purely defensive purposes, but most built as fort palaces.  Amber is one of the finest examples of a fort palace, built similar in style to the surrounding richly decorated Mughal courts. 

Trident Hotel, Jaipur

Jaipur - Tourist Hotel

The Trident Hotel is an excellent tourist class hotel in Jaipur with views of Mansagar Lake and Jal Mahal. Ideal for couples and families.

The 132 air conditioned rooms and suites are well appointed, including private bathroom, TV, minibar, FREE Wi-Fi and panoramic views of the lake or the landscaped gardens, with the Aravalli mountain range forming a dramatic backdrop.

Public areas include a swimming pool, spa, kids club, bar, Jal Mahal restaurant serving Indian and International cuisine and a pool terrace serving snacks and drinks.

The rates are on a room and breakfast basis.

Image for: Entrance

Diggi Palace, Jaipur

Jaipur - First Hotel

Diggi Palace was built in 1860 by Shri Thakur Saheb Pratap Singh Ji Diggi of the then ruling family of Diggi principality. In 1991, the palace was converted to a heritage hotel. It is a wonderful place to stay for an authentic experience of Jaipur, set in large grounds away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Choose from a Heritage rooms or Courtyard or Palace suite. Each is air-conditioned with private bathroom, hair dryer, FREE Wi-Fi, tea/coffee maker and bottled water. The suites have a minibar and outdoor seating.

Public facilities include a restaurant, gardens and pool. You can also eat al fresco.

The rates are on a room and breakfast basis. 

Image for: Entrance

Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur

Jaipur - Deluxe Hotel

Built in 1745, the Jai Mahal Palace is a stunning piece of Rajasthan’s heritage, a great example of Indo-Saracenic architecture set amidst 18 acres of landscaped Mughal gardens. Jai Mahal Palace has been the residence of three Prime Ministers of the princely state of Jaipur. Painstakingly restored and recently refurbished, it is now a luxury five-star Taj heritage hotel equipped with all modern-day comforts.

The 94 rooms and six suites offer you unbeatable views of the city and palace gardens. Perfectly located in the heart of the Pink City close to the main shopping areas and prime historical sites such as Amber Fort, HawaMahal and City Palace. 

The hotel has two speciality restaurants; Cinnamon serves the most authentic Royal Indian cuisines from four princely states, while Giardino is Jaipur's finest contemporary Italian restaurant. The popular all-day-dining multi-cuisine restaurant Marble Arch offers a medley of flavours; and the fashionable Marigold Bar houses a selection of single malts and cigars alongside innovative cocktails.

The hotel also has a luxury spa, delightful gardens, lawns, a swimming pool and offers a wide range of activities including yoga.

The rates of on a room and breakfast basis.

Image for: Jai Mahal Palace
Chinese Nets Kerala Pixabay

Fly to Kochi - 2 Nights

Day 9 - Fly to Kochi

Day 10 - Guided tour of Kochi & Kathakali performance

 

  • Full Description

Day 9

Drive to Delhi and fly to Kochi

This morning we return to Delhi airport and fly to Kochi. On arrival, you will be met by our Veloso Tours guide and take to your chosen hotel for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.


Day 10

Guided tour of Kochi and Kathakali performance

This morning after breakfast, proceed for sightseeing tour of Kochi. Visit the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church and the Santa Cruz Basilica. While driving along the coastline, at the Harbour’ s mouth, one can also view the unique and still-in-use "Chinese Fishing Nets" which were introduced by the Chinese traders in the 14th Century. The tour ends in the Fort Kochi area where you can walk through the historical Dutch and Portuguese buildings. Some parts of this nearly 500-year-old Fort are still amazingly well preserved.

In the evening enjoy a Kathakali dance performance; enjoy India's most spectacular Dance Drama based on stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The dancers are elaborately made-up with paint and masks, accompanied with drummers and musicians.

Tea Picker 2466005 1920

Munnar and Periyar - 4 Nights

Day 11 - Drive to Munnar

Day 12 - Explore the tea plantations

Day 13 - Drive to Periyar

Day 14 - Periyar Lake and wildlife sanctuary

  • Full Description

Day 11

Drive to Munnar

This morning we drive inland through rolling hills to Munnar, our base for exploring the famous tea plantations. Check into your chosen hotel for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.


Day 12

Explore the tea plantations

This morning after breakfast, we visit a tea Museum. Here you will see classic bungalow furniture, typewriters, wooden bathtub, magneto phone, iron oven, manual calculators and EPABX of the1909 telephone system. A demonstration room for tea tasting is another attraction where one would come across different varieties of tea. Those eager to understand the nuances of tea processing can do so at the tea-manufacturing unit at the museum. We then continue to a tea plantation for a walk where you will meet tea pickers plucking the tea with the warm smile in their face and welcoming you. 

In the afternoon, only 20 minutes drive from Munnar town is the Lockhart Tea Factory. After a fresh cup of tea, we explore the tea fields and begin our make your own tea programme including a tea plantation walk, picking the leaves along with the local tea picking ladies, witnessing the weighing process, lunch at estate bungalow. After lunch we process the tea you have collected in one of the oldest factory in this region, which is operated in orthodox method, we also get a chance to work in the factory for about an hour and conclude the program with exclusive tea tasting.


Day 13

Drive to Periyar

This morning we leave Munnar and drive to Periyar where we check-in at your chosen hotel for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.


Day 14

Periyar Lake and Wildlife Sanctuary

Today enjoy an early morning guided nature walk in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The nature walk is an interpretive program offering excellent opportunity to observe birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The trails pass through evergreen and moist deciduous forests interspersed with marshy grasslands.

In the afternoon, we take a wildlife boat cruise on Periyar Lake. Boating on Periyar Lake enables you to have a close look at the wildlife that inhabits the surrounding forests. Groups of elephant, wild boar, bison and sambar can be seen moving along the banks skirting the forest. And water birds, perched on tree stumps with their wings spread, present a delightful sight while boating.

Backwaters Bee 3

Kumarakom & backwaters cruise - 2 Nights

Day 15 - Kerala backwaters cruise

Day 16 - Kumarakom village visit

  • Full Description

Day 15

Kerala backwaters cruise

Morning visit to a Spice garden to watch different varieties of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, clove, vanilla, ginger, tea and coffee growing in their natural environment. Periyar is on 1000 meters above the sea level and is rich in spice growing. 95% pepper in India is produced from here. Vasco de Gama was the first European to land at the Malabar Coast in 1498 A.D. in search of spices. Pepper in those days was exported against the equal weight of gold, so in the beginning of 15th century pepper was called black gold. Rest of the day at leisure, you can also visit the local Spice Market.

We then drive to Kumarakom via a day cruise on the Kerala Backwaters in Alleppey including lunch.

The houseboat cruise takes you through the intricate maze of backwaters, mesmerising and surprising you at every turn with its serene beauty and simple charm. Enjoy the countryside of Kerala at its best. Soak your eyes and soul with array of coconut trees & endless paddy fields.

After the cruise, we check-in to your chosen hotel in Kumarakom for a 2 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis.


Day 16

Kumarakom village visit

Kumarakom slumbers on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, which is a part of Kuttanad (‘granary’ of Kerala). The Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. The gorgeous green of the fringed palms ripple in the blue waters and blend into wavelets.

After breakfast, enjoy a local village experience starting with a tuk tuk ride and then a hand rowed boat on the smallest of the backwaters where your local guide will show you the dwellings of the local community and various local skills such as the art of weaving coconut leaves, rope making as well as toddy tapping watching the local fishermen cast their nets. This is a true insight into the local life.

20170603085707Ambeach

Kerala beach resort - 3 Nights

Day 16 - Transfer to your beach resort at Marari

Day 17 - At leisure 

Day 18 - At leisure

 

  • Full Description

Day 17

Transfer to your beach resort at Marari

After breakfast disembark and drive to Marari. On arrival, check-in to your chosen hotel for a 3 night stay on a bed and breakfast basis. You will have the balance of the day to enjoy the natural setting of the hotel on the Arabian Sea. Marari Beach, you'll find, is the one place where you can unwind completely.


Day 18

At leisure

Enjoy the facilities of your luxury resort or relax on the stunning white sandy beach.


Day 19

At leisure

Relax and enjoy your last night in Kerala with the most amazing sunsets.

Kerala Coastline Pixabay

Fly back to the UK - 0 Nights

Day 20 - Fly back to the UK

  • Full Description

Day 20

Fly back to the UK

Transfer to Kochi Airport and fly back to the UK, arriving the same day.

Price Guidelines

Season High Season
Travel Dates October 2020 - March 2021
Room Arrangement Tourist
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £3,495
Single Traveller - Own Room £3,995

Prices are a guideline and per person. Please request a quote for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve & Easter.


What's Included

  • Guidelines prices are per person based on 2 people sharing a twin room
  • 20 Days / 18 Nights
  • International flights (1 overnight)
  • Domestic flight from Delhi to Kochi
  • 17 breakfasts, 3 lunches
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport  throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides
  • Entrance fees 
  • National Park entrance fees and three 4 x 4 game drives

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