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Highlights of India
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Delhi.
Arrive in Delhi and meet your guide and the rest of your group. Delhi is a heady mix of sights, sounds and smells, so uncover its secrets with a Streetkids Project guide, who, as a former street child themselves, will give you a different perspective on the city and can tell you about life on the streets. Your guide will also show you around the Old Town, including the enormous Jama Majid, the bustling Chandni Chowk market and the historic SisGanj Gurdwara, established in 1783.
Uncover the beautiful architecture of Agra and gaze in wonder at the gleaming marble façade of the Taj Mahal, the most beautiful structure in India, if not the world. This exquisite marble mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. But it’s not just about the Taj – you’ll also pay a visit to the Baby Taj, a small Mausoleum with some beautiful inlaid stones, and the impressive Agra Fort, made out of red sandstone and affording some particularly photogenic Taj Mahal views.
On your way to Jaipur, swing by the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri and Abhaneri, a small village with a very impressive step well, over 6 metres deep, which was used as a filming location in The Dark Knight Rises film. In Jaipur itself, explore the city palace, glittering with ornate arches and mirrored mosaics, before heading up to the imposing Amber Fort to admire the views over the countryside. Why not get a true taste of India at Jaipur’s impressive, Art Deco style Raj Mandir Cinema, where you can watch a lively Bollywood movie (optional, extra cost).
Step back in time and enjoy a walk through the traditional village of Sawarda where you’ll have the chance to observe a family prayer session and watch a shimmering golden sunset. The village is filled with friendly children (who just love to have their photo taken), beautiful temples and locals still practising traditional crafts such as pottery on the wheel, gold work and cobbling. There’s even a small step well. Stay the night in a heritage hotel, a mansion that used to be a fort, which gives you a flavour of life in rural India. Enjoy the local cuisine with a home cooked touch.
Drive back to Delhi, from where you’ll catch a flight to Kochi.
Arrive in Kochi and meet your new guide and any additional members of your group. Enjoy a walking tour of the old fort, admire the impressive Chinese fishing nets and call in at the Dutch Palace. Confusingly, the Dutch Palace was actually built by the Portuguese, and it was later Dutch amendments and renovations that gave it its name. Visit the oldest European church in India, St Francis, and the 400-year-old synagogue in the lively Jewish Quarter. In the evening, witness an exciting Kathakali Dance performance, with elaborate costumes and dramatic dance movements.
Walk through the grounds of the beautiful Tripunithura Hill Palace, built in 1865 and now an archaeological and heritage museum with a deer park, children’s museum and a collection of rare medicinal plants. Head on to Kumarakom and take an informative walk through the emerald green rice paddies. Jump in your canoe and paddle through the canals past pretty villages such as charming Chempu, and admire the reflections of the palm trees in Kerala’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Vembanad.
Kerala Backwaters / Alleppey
Continue on to Allepey, surrounded by rivers and lagoons, and board your houseboat. Spend the day on board – enjoy some down time in the sunshine on the deck, look out for birds, rice fields and floating water plants, and watch life on the river drift by. The scene is particularly tranquil and bursting with life and activity so get your camera ready. On return to Alleppey, you’ll watch a cooking demonstration and feast on local cuisine with your homestay family before spending the night.
Finish your Indian adventure among the villages and pristine beaches of Vypin Island, one of a small group of islands that make up Kochi. Vypin Island is 27 kilometres long and is connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. Test out the Ayurvedic spas (optional, extra cost), hire a bike or just relax in the local village or on the beach, it’s up to you - the soft sands of Cherai Beach are particularly popular. Lighthouse-covered Vypin retains a village-like character and a mix of Portuguese, Dutch and Keralan architecture, just like Kochi.
Transfer to Kochi and return to the UK.
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