Enlightened India (23-Day)

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $10,990
  • Length: 23 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260
    Destinations: South and Southeast Asia, India
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Tour Description

Experience the fascinating subcontinent in absolute luxury on this journey to the heart of India. See the Taj Mahal from your deluxe room and tour the famous mausoleum in both morning and evening light. In the temple city of Khajuraho, spend a day with an expert among elaborately carved Hindu and Jain monuments. Witness the sacred rites of Hindu pilgrims performed on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world. Outside the “Pink City” of Jaipur enjoy an elephant safari. Explore the colonial architecture and bustling city life of cosmopolitan Mumbai. Heading south to Cochin, savor a private dinner and special presentation of classical Indian dance. Then cruise Kerala’s serene backwaters and lagoons on a private houseboat before ending your journey at a lovely beach resort on the shores of the Indian Ocean.

Travcoa has been a pioneer in small group escorted journeys around the world since 1954. There are many things that make Travcoa different than the typical “tour” that provide sophisticated travelers with a complete, enriching, personal experience along with excellent value. to see how the 21-day itinerary of this journey compares.

Special Note: the 2011 departure dates for this journey feature a 21-day itinerary while the 2012 departure dates feature a new 23-day itinerary.

  • Take in the fantastic colors of the Taj Mahal at sunset and sunrise from your balcony room
  • Cruise the winding rivers and colorful lagoons of the Kerala backwaters on a private houseboat
  • Enjoy an elephant ride outside Jaipur ending at a private gala dinner in the Aravali Forest

Itinerary

DAYS 1 - 4

New Delhi, India

Arrive in New Delhi, a magical fusion of ancient and modern cultures, in the late evening of Day 2. In New Delhi visit the landmark Qutb Minar tower, Parliament House, and the official residence of the President of India. Reflecting the city’s Mughal past, Old New Delhi takes you through the labyrinthine streets passing by elaborate mosques, majestic monuments and colorful bazaars. Visits include the 17th-century Red Fort, India’s largest mosque, Mahatma Gandhi’s Memorial and the National Museum.

Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi

DAY 5

Varanasi

Explore Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world. Varanasi is known for being the site where Buddha preached his very first sermon. The holiest of all the Indian rivers, the Ganges, flows through here, and you will witness the sacred cleansing rituals of thousands of pilgrims on the west bank of the river.

Taj Ganges, Varanasi

DAYS 6 & 7

Khajuraho

Experience an early morning Varanasi boat cruise on the Ganges and witness the rituals performed on the banks of this sacred river. In Khajuraho, you will visit the Eastern and Western Group of Temples, including the Ghantai Temple; the Vamana Temple, dedicated to the “Vamana,” or dwarf incarnation of Lord Vishnu; and the Javari Temple. There are also three Jain Temples here, featuring beautiful carvings and sculptures of Vaishnav deities. In the evening, enjoy a sound and light show.

Taj Chandela, Khajuraho

DAYS 8 & 9

Agra

Travel by road to Orchha, a well-preserved medieval city with palaces and temples built by the Bundela Rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries. A highlight will be Jahangir Mahal, a tiered palace crowned by graceful Chhatris, which commands a spectacular view of soaring temple spires and cenotaphs. Later, board the Shatabdi Express to Agra.

Agra’s renowned Taj Mahal is the ultimate requiem to love. This perfectly proportioned masterpiece in white marble was built by 20,000 craftsmen from all over Asia and Europe and took 17 years to complete. Experience the Taj Mahal at sunrise and sunset from your room.

Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

DAYS 10 & 11

Ranthambhore

In the morning drive to Fatehpur Sikri. This magnificent fortified city was the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1571 and 1585. You will see the Halls of Public and Private Audiences, the Tower of Victory, and the Tomb of Salim Christi, which is laced with mother-of-pearl. Continue driving to Bharatpur and the rail station for your train to Sawai Madhopur, near to Ranthambhore, which is hailed as one of India’s finest wildlife destinations.

Ranthambhore National Park derives its name from an 11th-century fort, of which the remnants of summer palaces and temples still stand. It is famous for its elusive tigers and is a favorite with photographers. Tigers may be spotted during the day while stalking, hunting, or taking care of their young. On Day 11 you will have morning and afternoon game drives. The park has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. In addition to the tiger, other predators found in the park include leopards, striped hyenas, jackals, caracals, jungle cats and more.

Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore

DAYS 12 & 13

Jaipur

Continue by road to the famed “Pink City” of Jaipur - universally renowned for its beautiful palaces and buildings - and enjoy a visit to the spectacular Amber Fort. A highlight of your stay in Jaipur is an elephant safari conducted in the natural and serene area surrounding the camp of Dera Amer. After a welcome drink and feeding the elephants, guests are seated with a maximum of two per elephant and sent on a picturesque track following a local tribal guide passing by village hutments, fields, medieval fortress (lit by mashals at night) and monuments. Finally, arrive at the camp situated in the middle of the forest to a grand welcome and private dinner.

The Rambagh Palace or Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

DAYS 14 & 15

Udaipur

One of the most romantic cities in the world, Udaipur is known as “the Venice of the East.” Visit the City Palace built on the banks of Lake Pichola, a complex of palatial splendor that blends Rajput and Mughal influences. Stroll around Shaelion-ki Bari, an ornamental pleasure garden designed for the ladies of the palace in the 18th century, with beautiful fountains, trees and flowers. Enjoy an evening cocktail cruise on Lake Pichola.

Taj Lake Palace or Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

DAYS 16 & 17

Mumbai

Once a sultry archipelago of seven islands, today Mumbai is an exciting metropolis that blends the old and the new. Take a cruise to Elephanta Island across the harbor. Inside the island’s caves are fascinating sculptures of various gods of Hindu mythology. In the afternoon, take a tour of Mumbai city, a rich blend of east and west. You will see the landmark “Gateway of India,” the Hanging Gardens of Kamla Nehru Park and the Mani Bhawan house where Mahatma Gandhi used to stay.

Taj Mahal Palace Tower, Mumbai

DAY 18

Cochin

Known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea,” the Cochin harbor was once a major center of trade and commerce for the Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British - all cultures which have left their mark on these beautiful islands. Highlights today will include a tour of Fort Cochin and a private dinner and special presentation of Kathakali - a dramatic mask dance, one of the four major classical schools of Indian cultural dance.

Taj Malabar, Cochin

DAYS 19 & 20

Kumarakom

Take a city tour of Cochin, visiting St. Francis Church and the Mattancherry or “Dutch” Palace. The central hall of the Dutch Palace was the coronation hall of the rajas of Cochin. Rooms in the palace feature artwork depicting Hindu legends and gods. Then spend a few leisurely days in Kumarakom. Situated on the banks of the renowned Vembanad Lake, it is famous for being one of the finest watery destinations in the state.

Taj Garden Retreat, Kumarakom

DAYS 21 - 23

Kovalam Depart for Home

Embark on your kettuvallam (houseboat) and cruise through the back waters of Kerala to Toddapully and then drive to Kovalam, one of India’s most popular beaches. Enjoy leisure time to explore and take advantage of independent activities such as an Indian aromatherapy treatment at the hotel’s excellent spa. On Day 23 transfer to the Trivandrum Airport for your return flight home or onto your next destination.

Taj Green Cove, Kovalam

Departures

Pricing Information

October 19, 2011

From $10,990.00 per person double occupancy.

From $4,200.00 single room supplement.

November 16, 2011

From $10,990.00 per person double occupancy.

From $4,200.00 single room supplement.

January 24, 2012

From $11,995.00 per person double occupancy.

From $5,200.00 single room supplement.

January 29, 2012

From $11,995.00 per person double occupancy.

From $5,200.00 single room supplement.

February 12, 2012

From $11,995.00 per person double occupancy.

From $5,200.00 single room supplement.

October 9, 2012

From $12,495.00 per person double occupancy.

From $5,700.00 single room supplement.

October 16, 2012

From $12,495.00 per person double occupancy.

From $5,700.00 single room supplement.

November 13, 2012

From $12,495.00 per person double occupancy.

From $5,700.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Deluxe rooms in the best available hotels
  • Three meals per day, including our unique Dine-Around program that lets you enjoy any restaurant you choose with à la carte dining, or relax with room service when available*
  • A professional Travel Director as your personal concierge
  • Local sightseeing with professional English-speaking guides with unparalleled knowledge, including entrance fees for places visited
  • Active participation and up-close encounters to experience the cultures of your journey
  • Bottled water, soft drinks, coffee and tea included with meals; bottled water during sightseeing excursions
  • All gratuities to hotel and restaurant staff and local guides and drivers
  • Group or individual airport transfers on arrival and departure flights
  • TheTravcoAssist Travel Protection Plan, including emergency medical evacuation insurance coverage for injury or illness, and 24-hour Worldwide Live Travel Assistance through Travel Guard Assistance

*Due to remote or undeveloped locations on some journeys, accommodations may not always meet Western standards. Dine-Around opportunities will be limited in remote or unsecured locations.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes