Day 1: 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 and then ushered to a chauffeur driven vehicle. You are then driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check in. Our travel facilitator hands over travel documents such as your air tickets and hotel vouchers to you.
Scholars have traced Delhi's roots as a city to as far back as 1000 BC. Today, the city is divided into two sections, simply called Old Delhi and New Delhi. Currently, the metropolis has an approximate population of about sixteen million inhabitants. There has been a tremendous increase in the living standards of the average 'Delhite' in the past couple of decades, and every conceivable western luxury is easily available here. Luxury hotels, restaurants, and boutique stores abound, and emporiums offer handicrafts and other treasures from all corners of the nation.
There is amazing art and architecture all over Delhi; from the awe inspiring 16th century Mosques, palaces, forts, & other monuments of the Moghul Empire, to the magnificence of countless other buildings and structures. These can range from structures many thousands of years old, to the numerous impressive bureaucratic buildings constructed during the "British Raj". Just a few examples are Moghul achievements like the massive Red Fort (and the city inside it) and the towering Qutab Minar; classic British era structures India Gate and Rashtrapathi Bhawan; modern edifices like the magnificent Bahai Temple; as well as numerous gardens designed and laid out many centuries ago.
New Delhi is the capital of India and the home of the largest bureaucracy in the democratic world. It is also the nations primary center for fine arts and other cultural endeavors. Architecturally and socially, the city is a diverse mosaic, woven with the tapestries of the cultures that have ruled and/or inhabited Northern India over the last eight centuries.
Day 2: Delhi. You are at leisure on these days. The only services provided by ETI are hotel room (including breakfast and taxes).
Day 3: Delhi. You are at leisure on these days. The only services provided by ETI are hotel room (including breakfast and taxes).
Day 4: Delhi – Agra. Board the early morning (6 am) Express train - two hour journey - to Agra.
Because it is the city of the incomparable Taj Mahal, Agra's many other historical and architectural monuments get far less attention than they deserve. There are magnificent palaces, forts, mausoleums, as well as various other similar structures. Spectacular historical reminders flourish all over this area, and you can choose how many of them you want to visit.
Visit four hundred and forty year old massive sandstone Agra Fort and it's many monuments; Jehangir Mahal, Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, among others. Near there, tour the Itmad-Ud-Daulah and Agra's Jama Masjid. Just outside Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is a remarkably well preserved ghost city from the same time in history.
Agra is famous for its marble art & manufacturing of the same.
Day 5: Agra – Jaipur. Check out of your hotel and proceed on the drive to Jaipur. Arrive at Jaipur and check in to your hotel.
Rajput culture considers pink to be the color of hospitality; hence the pink walls of the Old City in Jaipur. Constructed in the early 18th century, Rajasthan's capital has broad and open streets and is very well laid out. Maharaja Jai Singh II, after whom it is named, was a great astronomer who also had Jaipur's Jantar Mantar designed and constructed. The king and his architect built Jaipur using ancient Hindu principles of civic planning and design, and created a city full of magical color and beauty.
A visit to Jaipur should be a must for every visitor to India; the multi hued garments and jewelry of the locals, the profusion of camels in everyday traffic, and the play of the sun's rays on the brightly colored walls of the inner city all combine to create an atmosphere unique to this city. Magnificent palaces, the seven city gates, forts, and other monuments sit unchanged amidst the bustle of a busy metropolis. Just outside Jaipur, the Royal Cenotaphs provide for an interesting visit.
Astonishing in it's simple ingenuity, the Jantar Mantar (Jaipur Observatory-built 1728) is a must see for anyone with an interest in astronomy. Maharaja Jai Singh was a great conqueror and an equally adept astronomer. The observatory he had designed and built is a marvel that, even today, intrigues and fascinates visitors to Jaipur.
Jaipur is famous for its carpets, jewelry, & handicrafts.
Day 6: Jaipur. You are at leisure on these days. The only services provided by ETI are hotel room (including breakfast and taxes).
Day 7: Jaipur. You are at leisure on these days.The only services provided by ETI are hotel room (including breakfast and taxes).
Day 8: Jaipur – Cochin. Check out of your hotel and board the morning flight to Mumbai. Connect with the flight to Cochin. Arrive at Cochin and check in to your hotel.
One of the least acclaimed tourist destinations in India, Kochi has something to delight every explorer. It is know as "The Queen of the Arabian Sea", among other names, and is a scenic and lush collection of islands, capes, and mainland; connected by an elaborate yet intricate system of ferries and bridges.
Europeans controlled Kochi, and it's thriving trade, from the early 16th century. Their influence can be seen all over the picturesque city and the surrounding area. There are many monuments, architecture, and other reminders of the Dutch, Portuguese and British. The old world charm of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin have not changed much in the last couple of centuries. There are also many events in surrounding Kerala, such as the "Great Boat Races".
Visit Mattancherry Palace and its exquisite murals. St. Francis Church (early 16th century) is the oldest European church in India, and The Pardesi Synagogue was founded around the same time (history records Jewish settlers in this area as early as the 6th century, the guides will tell you that roots can be traced to over two thousand years ago). Fort Cochin is distinctly British Indian (with a little bit of Dutch thrown in) in it's architecture, and the Chinese fishing nets that dot it's northern end add to it's languid charm. The modern section called Ernakulam is pleasant and offers one of India's best opportunities to view classical Indian dance.
Day 9: Cochin. You are at leisure on these days. The only services provided by ETI are hotel room (including breakfast and taxes).
Day 10: Cochin. You are at leisure on these days. The only services provided by ETI are hotel room (including breakfast and taxes).
Day 11: Cochin – Backwaters cruise. Check out of your hotel in the morning, and then driven to the backwaters.
The backwaters of Kerala - meandering inland lakes networked by canals - stretch to over 900 km. Boat trips across these tranquil stretches are an experience unique to Kerala. Large kettuvalloms (traditional country crafts over 60 ft. in length) have been converted into luxury houseboats for these cruises.
Day 12: Backwaters – Kovalam. Disembark from your houseboat and you proceed on the picturesque journey to Kovalam.
Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. It has been a favorite haunt of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s.A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse-sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programs, Catamaran cruising etc. The tropical sun acts so fast that one can see the faint blush of coppery tan on the skin in a matter of minutes. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night. The beach complex includes a string of budget cottages, Ayurvedic health resorts, convention facilities, shopping zones, swimming pools, Yoga and Ayurvedic massage centers etc. Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, is just 16 km away from Kovalam and getting there is no hassle. But if you are on holiday it is better to stay in Kovalam and visit the city. Thiruvananthapuram has interesting places to see like the Napier Museum, the Sri Chitra Art Gallery, the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Ponmudi hill station etc.
Day 13: Kovalam. You are at leisure on these days. The only services provided by ETI are hotel room (including breakfast and taxes).
Day 14: Kovalam. You are at leisure on these days. The only services provided by ETI are hotel room (including breakfast and taxes).
Day 15: Kovalam – Mahabalipuram. Check out of your hotel in the morning and drive to Trivendrum Airport. Board the early afternoon flight to Chennai. Arrive at Chennai airport and drive to Mahabalipuram to check in to your hotel.
Although it has monuments left over from ancient cultures, the city of Chennai as we currently know it was founded by the British in the early 17th century. In the 2nd century AD, Greek geographer Ptolemy described Mylapore (part of modern Chennai, located south of Marina Beach) as a prosperous port. The Kapaleswara temple and San Thome Cathedral are both located in this part of Chennai, and are well worth a visit.
Chennai has more than it's share of religious, cultural, and architectural points of interest, the oldest surviving Anglican church in Asia is located here. St. Mary's Church was built in 1680 and is located inside Fort George, which was constructed by the British in 1640. San Thome Cathedral Basilica was a church many centuries before that.
Traditional dance and music flourish in Chennai, safeguarded by a culture that relishes it's Tamil roots and protects them with a quiet pride. Modern business and industry co-exist in harmony with ancient rituals and practices in this city of six million inhabitants. There are miles of clean beaches, along with interesting museums and great local shopping.
Just south of Chennai is the ancient city of Mahabalipuram, containing some of the most fascinating examples of ancient Hindu religious art and architecture. Explore the Shore Temple (built in the eighth century), Lord Krishan's Mandapa, and Arjun's Penance, just to name a few of the historical marvels located within a few minutes walking distance from each other.
Day 16: Mahabalipuram. You are at leisure on these days. The only services provided by ETI are hotel room (including breakfast and taxes).
Day 17: Mahabalipuram. You are at leisure on these days. The only services provided by ETI are hotel room (including breakfast and taxes).
Day 18: Mahabalipuram – International Flight. Check out of your hotel at leisure by noon. 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 airport.