Day 1: Depart from origin
(you can ask us to include international flights if you choose).
Day 2: Arrive at Delhi
(most flights arrive either in the evening or at night). Our services begin here.
You are greeted at the airport by our travel facilitator or Tour Director, and then ushered to a chauffeur driven vehicle. You are then driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check in. The next day’s plans are briefly reviewed and the travel facilitator or Tour Director hands over travel documents such as your air tickets and hotel vouchers to you.
Day 3: Delhi.
Start your exploration of India with a city tour of Old Delhi that includes visits to the Jama Masjid (1650 AD) which is the largest mosque in India, and the amazing Red Fort (1639-48) which was the seat of the Moghul Empire for more than 250 years. Enjoy a rickshaw ride along the alleys of the ancient bazaar at Chandni Chowk. You also visit the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi (Raj Ghat).
There is a break for lunch
enjoy a city tour of New Delhi that begins with a drive past Safdarjang’s Tomb (1753 AD) while driving to the Qutab Minar (1193 A.D.) which is a striking medieval tower of victory of Persian architectural style and is 239 ft high. Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of Quwat-ul-Islam mosque, stands the famous Ashoka pillar. This large iron pillar has withstood the vagaries of Delhi’s weather and has not rusted in over 1500 years. Later, visit the tomb of the Moghul Emperor Humayun and then drive through Lutyens New Delhi which includes the Embassy area (Diplomatic enclave), Government buildings, India Gate, a golden domed Sikh Temple (Bangla Sahib Gurudwara), Birla Temple and Connaught Place, which is New Delhi’s main shopping area.
Day 4: Delhi - Agra.
Board the early morning (6 am) Express train - two hour journey - to Agra. Half day tour of Agra - The tour includes a visit to Itmad -Ud -Daulah’s tomb, built by the Mughal Emperor Jehangir’s queen as a memorial to her father. It has beautiful ornamentation with ‘Pietra Dura’ inlay
and lattice marble screens. The mausoleum rests in a walled garden with a view of the river Yamuna. Constructed in the year 1628, most historians believe that its design provided the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. You then visit the original red sandstone fort in North India, the Agra Fort. It was built in 1565 by Emperor Akbar, the greatest Mughal ruler of India. Its maze of courtyards, marble mosque, and private chambers all serve as reminders of the grandeur of the Mughal Empire.
There is a break for lunch.
- Visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the incomparable Taj Mahal. The world’s greatest monument dedicated to love, the Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 AD as a memorial to his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal. This pure white marble mausoleum took 22 years and 22,000 craftsmen to build.
Tour the amazing monument and its surroundings till it is time to admire the sun’s rays setting on the Taj Mahal’s façade.
Agra is famous
for its marble art & manufacturing of the same.
Day 5: Agra - Ranthambore.
You have the option (no charge) of a sunrise visit to Mehtab Bagh, which is a 500 year old Mughal garden located across from the Taj Mahal on the other side of the Yamuna River. You also have the option of visiting the Taj Mahal again for a sunrise visit (entry fee surcharge applies). If you select either of the two options, you will return to your hotel to freshen up after the visit.
You are assisted
with your check-out from your hotel and then you are driven to Fatehpur Sikri.
Enjoy a guided exploration of this beautiful uninhabited city. It was built by Emperor Akbar between 1570 and 1585 and is constructed primarily out of red sandstone. The Emperor moved his capital from Agra to this city and then abandoned it, returning back to Agra. Visit the tallest gateway in the world, the towering Bulund Darwaza (The Gate of Victory). In the northern part of the courtyard is the superb white marble tomb of Shaik Salim Chishti, built in 1570.
Proceed on the drive to
Ranthambore National Park. The second half of this drive is through rural areas where you will have multiple photo opportunities of villagers engrossed in their daily activities, as well as their dwellings and livestock. You are greeted on arrival at your jungle lodge and are assisted with your check-in.
Since 2006, Easy Tours of India
has tracked the percentage of tiger sightings for our guests in Ranthambore National Park. Over 85% of our guests have had tiger sightings during this period, with many of them getting multiple sightings.
Day 6: Ranthambore.
Covering an area of 410 sq. km, Ranthambore runs along the eastern spur of the Aravali mountain range until it meets with the Vindhya ranges. Ranthambore used to be the private hunting ground for the Royal family of Jaipur. In 1972 it was declared a Sanctuary and was brought
under the Project Tiger Conservation platform.
Dry deciduous forest covers open valleys with lush vegetation around the lakes in this park, and there are open grasslands on the higher slopes. This varied flora supports a large number of animals including a variety of deer, the sloth bear, the shy caracal, leopards and of course, the tiger.
Enjoy wildlife safaris’
in to the park in the morning and evening.
In between safaris, you can visit the jungle fort at Ranthambore. This is one of the finest examples of the ancient Hindu concept of “vana-durg”,
or a fort protected by a jungle. The history of this Fort (first built in AD 944) is a chronicle full of tales of blood and valor. Occupied by the Muslims, Rajputs and Mughals, the insides of the fort today lie in ruins, but there are superb views of the park to be had from the ramparts.
Day 7: Ranthambore - Jaipur.
Enjoy your last safari into Ranthambore in the morning.
Check out of your hotel
and proceed on a drive to Jaipur. Arrive at Jaipur and check into your hotel.
There is a break for lunch.
Proceed for a half day city tour of the walled city of Jaipur, including the magnificent City Palace. Visit the unique Jantar Mantar magnificent stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728. View the ‘Hawa Mahal’ (Palace of the Wind), the intriguing facade built in 1799 to allow royal ladies to view the city and bazaar from the windows. Continue the tour to visit the City Palace, the former royal residence (a part of it is still occupied by the Royal family and is not accessible to the public), built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. This immense complex also houses a number of museums that offer a large and impressive collection of miniature paintings, costumes, and armory.
Jaipur is famous
for its carpets, jewelry, & handicrafts.
Day 8: Jaipur.
Start your day with an excursion to Amber Fort & Palace, located 12 kilometers from the center of the City. Arrive at the complex well before 9 a.m. so as to be able to partake in the elephant back ascent. The Fort was originally built by Raja Mansingh and is one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture. Enjoy the ascent to the palace on the back of a brightly caparisoned elephant.
Visit the chambers and hallways of the Palace which are famous for their design and decorations.
There is a break for lunch
- you are at leisure with your guide and chauffeur, who are available to you till 5 pm. This is a good time to shop for Rajasthani specialties if you are so inclined. There are enough other options that your guide/chauffeur can offer you.
- Watch the show at your hotel and then drive to have dinner with a Traditional Rajasthani family at their home. Or drive to a cultural show and dinner.
Day 9: Jaipur - Udaipur.
You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel in the morning and then you proceed on the drive to Udaipur, via Ranakpur. Arrive at Ranakpur around noon and enjoy a guided excursion to the awe-inspiring Jain Temple Complex. Tour the famous 15th Century marble temple that is still an active place of worship. The main temples 29 halls are supported by 1444 massive yet intricately carved marble pillars, and no two are of the same design. There is an abundance of exquisite sculptures and friezes and the enormous scale of the monument and the exquisite details of its design have to be experienced to be believed. Lunch is included at Ranakpur this afternoon.
Continue on the drive to Udaipur. This is a picturesque drive through the Aravali hills with multiple photo opportunities of village life and local livestock, including many camels. Arrive at Udaipur in the late afternoon and you are assisted with your check-in to your hotel.
Udaipur is famous
for its artists and paintings, including exquisite miniatures.
Day 10: Udaipur.
Proceed for a city tour, including a tour of the fabled City Palace. At this Palace complex, explore the beautifully decorated rooms with thousands of exquisite, handcrafted mirrors that cover the walls, the ancient ivory doors that are a dark reminder of royalty’s passion for hunting, the brightly colored glass windows, expansive inlaid marble balconies and the unique peacock courtyard. Enjoy a private tour of the amazing Crystal Gallery which houses the world’s largest collection of priceless crystal. Marvel at pieces like the complete bedroom furniture set in crystal, discovered recently in a store room in the palace. There are amazing views to be had from this structure, especially of Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace hotel and Jag Mandir.
After your tour of the City Palace you have the option (no charge) of a visit to the lovely Sahelion-ki-bari gardens and the local Museum.
Late afternoon/Early evening
: Enjoy a cruise on Lake Pichola and visit the historical and beautiful monuments at Jag Mandir Island (if available - the royal family at Udaipur will occasionally rent out the island for large celebrations and on those occasions the island cannot be visited by tourists).
Day 11: Udaipur - Mumbai.
Board the morning flight to Mumbai. Arrive at Mumbai and proceed for a half day city tour of Mumbai. The tour begins at the Prince of Wales Museum, built to commemorate King George V first visit to India in 1905. Designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, the museum has sections of art, paintings, archeological exhibits and natural history. Visit the famous ‘Dhobi Ghat’ & observe the age old tradition of the Dhobi’s doing Mumbai’s laundry!
Continue the tour with a drive up to Malabar Hill, where the hanging gardens give a panoramic view of the city and the "Queens Necklace" (Marine Drive). The tour then takes a drive through the Flora Fountain and Fort area, where you can view the Gothic and Victorian style buildings. Visit the Victoria Terminus (now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) India’s finest Gothic building and a bustling Railway Station. Continue drive around Horniman Circle and visit the Town Hall, right besides the docks of Mumbai. Visit “The Gateway of India”, Mumbai’s foremost landmark overlooking the harbor. This structure was conceived following the visit of King George V in 1911 and officially opened in 1924.
Check in to your hotel after the tour.
Day 12: Mumbai - Cochin.
You are assisted with your check-out by an ETI Travel Facilitator and then driven to the airport. Board the morning flight to Cochin. You are greeted at the airport and
ushered to a waiting vehicle and your chauffeur.
Enjoy a Cochin City tour
after your assisted check-in at your hotel. The tour begins from the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays and Saturdays) built in 1568, and next to the synagogue is Cochin’s fascinating Jew Street with its antique stores. Also visit the St. Francis Church, established by the Portuguese Franciscan friars in 1503. Vasco Da Gama was buried in the courtyard of this European church, of the first, built in India. Visit the Chinese fishing nets. More than a century old and still in use, they are a great part of this tour.
You are driven to a local theatre to watch a Kathakali dance (the art of storytelling through dance) performance. Cap off your evening by having a delicious dinner at the home of a famous Keralan Chef. Cooking lessons are included.
Day 13: Cochin - Backwaters cruise
. You are assisted with your check-out by an ETI Travel Facilitator, and then driven to the backwaters. If day 4 was a Saturday, you can visit the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays & Saturdays) this morning. Proceed on the drive to Alleppey in the morning & board your houseboat. Take our word for this, your backwaters cruise will be a beautiful memory that you will cherish forever. Relax and have a great time till the next morning as you cruise the amazing backwaters. The cook and other staff make sure that all your needs are taken care of, while serving you with delicious Kerala cuisine.
Day 14: Backwaters - Munnar.
You are assisted with your disembarkation from your houseboat and then you proceed on the incredibly picturesque drive to Munnar, stopping along the way to explore the sights. Stop at Pothamedu and experience breathtaking views of the hills with their tea, coffee & cardamom plantations. Pallivasal has a Hydro Power Plant nestled among the lush hills. Definitely stop by at the beautiful waterfalls at Cheeyappara and Valara if time permits.
Arrive at your destination
and you are assisted with your check-in at your hotel.
Day 15: Munnar - Madurai.
In the morning you are at leisure to experience Munnar - there are various opportunities for trekking and mingling with the friendly locals.
- You are assisted with your check-out and then you drive to Madurai,
Arrive at Madurai
where you are assisted with your check in to your Hotel. Over 2500 years old, Madurai is the second largest city of Tamil Nadu. It is an important cultural and commercial centre. It was once the seat of Tamil learning and still the place where the Tamil language is spoken in its purest form. The city is planned in the shape of a lotus. Modern Madurai is a burgeoning industrial centre, even though the vast stretches of paddy fields, dusty roads and crowded bazaars make it seems like an overgrown village.
- attend the ancient & impressive evening “Palli Arai” ceremony at Sree Meenakshi Temple with your guide.
Day 16: Madurai - Mahabalipuram.
Proceed for a half day city tour of Madurai. The primary attraction is the great Meenakshi Temple, where Dravidian temple architecture may be considered to be at its best. Its Hall of a Thousand Pillars is fabulous and is filled with worshippers at all hours of the day. You will witness various ceremonies as you explore this huge structure, possibly including parts of traditional weddings. The great Meenakshi temple is dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva.
The tour of Madurai also includes a visit to the Thirumalai Nayak Palace & Thiruparangundram temple.
- You are assisted with your check-out and then you are at leisure with your guide and
chauffeur till your evening flight to Chennai.
Upon your arrival at Chennai you are greeted at the airport by an ETI Travel Facilitator, and then ushered to a waiting vehicle and your chauffeur. You are driven to your hotel in nearby Mahabalipuram where you are assisted with your check in.
Day 17: Mahabalipuram.
Proceed for a tour of the ancient port of Mahabalipuram. This laid back coastal town south of Chennai is world famous for its 8th century shore temple & other historical marvels. Mahabalipuram was the second capital (and sea port) of the Pallava Kings of Kanchipuram, the first Tamil dynasty after the fall of the Gupta Empire. The massive rock sculptures carved into softly sloping hills, monolithic shrines, ancient manmade caverns with incredible sculptures, and the world’s largest bas relief in stone all combine to make much of Mahabalipuram a fabulous open-air museum. Vying with this splendor is a beach and the picturesque Bay of Bengal. The famous temples of the Rathas, the Penance of Bhagirath, the Shore Temple and the eight Mandapams (Shallow halls carved out of sheer rock) are located right at the edge of the waterfront. As a background to this you will observe the local fisherman ply their trade.
Late afternoon -
you are at leisure to explore the surroundings or relax at your oceanfront resort.
Day 18: Mahabalipuram - Kanchipuram - Chennai - Mahabalipuram.
Explore the ancient holy city of Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is known as the golden city of a thousand temples and is one of the seven sacred cities of India. Its many gopurams (temple domes) can be seen from a long ways away as you approach the city. Kanchipuram was successively the capital of many South Indian dynasties, including the Pallavas, the Cholas and the Rayas of Vijaynagar. Enjoy this ancient city and its culture that
has not changed much over the last millennium.
After touring Kanchipuram you will drive to Chennai so as to tour India’s third largest city. The tour begins from the ‘St. Mary’s Church’, built in 1678 - 80, this was the first English Church in Chennai. Continue to visit the Saint Thomas Cathedral, built in 1504, then re-built in neo - gothic style in 1893, this Roman Catholic Church is said to house the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle. Visit the National Art Gallery & Museum and explore the beautiful temple friezes, the bronze gallery, and the Archaeological section. End the tour with a drive by the High Court, Fort St. George, and the Tamil film studios that come second only to Bollywood as they put out hundreds of movies a year.
Return to your ocean
front hotel at the end of the day.
Day 19: Mahabalipuram - International Flight (OR Mumbai/Delhi).
You are assisted with your check-out by an ETI Travel Facilitator and then driven to Chennai airport. Board your international flight or your flight to Mumbai/Delhi. Upon your arrival at Mumbai/Delhi you are greeted at the airport by an ETI Facilitator & your chauffeur. You are provided with a personal vehicle for yourself (if Single traveler), for both of you (If Couple or Two people) or for your family (if a family is traveling). Do any last minute shopping and sightseeing that you feel you may have left for the end.
Your vehicle and chauffeur
stay with you till your (usually late evening) assisted check in at the airport.
Our services end
at Chennai/Mumbai/Delhi airport.
Day 20: Arrive at your next destination.