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Iconic India

14 Days, New Delhi to Vypin Island
Iconic India

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Why decide between India's north or south when you can do both on this unforgettable two-week introduction to this incredible country? Explore Rajasthan's read more...

What's Included
  • Overseas Medical Insurance for the duration of the tour (Sum of US$ 2,50,000 covered).
  • 13 nights accommodation Hotels (11 nts), heritage hotel (1 nt), homestay (1 nt).
  • 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners.
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities (Private van/bus, auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaw, walking, plane, boat, canoe.).
  • Arrival transfer.
  • Tour of Old Delhi.
  • Walking tour and project visit in Delhi.
  • Tour the Taj Mahal, the Baby Taj, and Agra Fort.
  • Visit Fatehpur Sikri and Abhaneri step wells.
  • Explore Jaipur.
  • Talk with a local historian/scholar.
  • Visit the village of Sawarda and overnight in a heritage home.
  • Walking tour of old Kochi.
  • Spice market tour with a local expert.
  • Kathakali cultural show.
  • Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace.
  • Kumarakom canoe ride.
  • Walking tour of the paddy fields and Chempu village.
  • Houseboat day trip along the Kerala backwaters.
  • Homestay with cooking demonstration and meal with a local family.
  • Services of Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
  • Interesting articles, helpful tips, and photography advice from National Geographic before you depart.
Please ensure that you print a final copy of your trip details provided by Cox & Kings as pdf format.
Important Notes
We recommend you to have a meal budget of USD 300-390 for food and drinks which are not included in the programme.
Day 1 Arrive Delhi
Day 2 Delhi/Agra
Day 3 Agra
Day 4 Agra/Jaipur
Day 5 Jaipur
Day 6 Jaipur/Sawarda
Day 7 Sawarda/Delhi
Day 8 Delhi / Kochi
Day 9 Kochi
Day 10 Kochi/Kumarakom
Day 11 Kumarakom/Kerala Backwaters
Day 12 Kerala Backwaters/Vypin Island
Day 13 Vypin Island
Day 14 Vypin Island
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  • Start
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  • Sun, 29 Oct '17
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Cox & Kings takes all reasonable measures to ensure your safety and enjoyment while travelling with us. The aim of this document is to give you an insight into ways you may further enhance your own personal safety while abroad.

Places Visited
  • New Delhi
  • Agra
  • Jaipur
  • Sawarda
  • Kochi
  • Kumarakom
  • Alleppey
  • Vypin Island
  • DAY 1 Arrive Delhi

    Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included through Women on Wheels, a G Adventures-supported project.

    There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting, so check into to the hotel (check-in time is 12 noon) and enjoy the city.

    Women on Wheels Transfer
    Indira Gandhi International Airport - Delhi 1h 1h 30m
    Transfer by a G Adventures-supported project, Women on Wheels. This program provides safe and reliable transport for travellers, while providing a dignified livelihood for a local woman from a resource poor community.

    Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
    The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. (None (Meals on your own))

  • DAY 2 Delhi/Agra

    Walk through the backstreets of Delhi with a young adult taking part in the G Adventures-supported New Delhi Streetkids Project.
    Later, explore Old Delhi with your CEO before an afternoon drive to Agra.

    Guided Walking Tour with New Delhi Streetkids Project
    Delhi 1h-2h 3-5km
    Explore the streets of Delhi with an adolescent tour guide from the G Adventures-supported New Delhi Streetkids Project. As a former street child, your local guide will have a unique perspective on the city and can provide more information on the life of a child in India. The guided tour helps support the guide's college or university tuition.

    Old Delhi Guided Walk
    Delhi 1h
    Visit historic Old Delhi through this guided walk. Explore Jama Masjid, the "Great Mosque," and enjoy its massive courtyard, which can hold up to 25,000 worshippers. Pick up trinkets and textiles or do some window shopping at Chandni Chowk market. Visit the ancient Sikh temple of Gurdwara SisGanj, which was established in 1783.

    Private Vehicle
    Delhi - Agra 3h-4h 200km
    Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride. (Breakfast)

  • DAY 3 Agra

    Spend the day visiting the highlights of the walled city of Agra including the famed Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort.

    Taj Mahal Visit
    Taj Mahal
    Cross one off your bucket list as you visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Explore the gorgeous white marble mausoleum, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a testament of his love for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

    Baby Taj Visit
    Visit this mausoleum that looks like a jewel box, built before the Taj Mahal by Queen Nur Jahan for her father. Enjoy the intricate details of the structure; it was the first Mughal building faced with white marble and where "pietra dura" (precious stones inlaid into marble) was first used.

    Agra Fort Visit
    Agra 1h-3h
    Enjoy your visit to this impressive Mughal fort made of red sandstone and white marble. (Breakfast)

  • DAY 4 Agra/Jaipur

    Drive to Jaipur, visiting the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri and the village of Abhaneri, which has one of India's deepest and largest stepwells (tank gardens).

    Private Vehicle
    Agra - Jaipur 5h-6h 240km
    Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.

    Fatehpur Sikri Visit
    Fatehpur SIkri
    Explore the magnificent red sandstone fort city that was once the capital of India's Mughal Empire and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Keep an eye out for elements of different religions, as King Akbar built three palaces for each of his favorite wives-a Hindu, a Muslim, and a Christian-in the city.

    Abhaneri Stepwell Visit
    Abhaneri 30m-1h
    Walk around the amazing Chand Baori, a tenth century water tank that's an impressive 6.1m (2 ft) deep. Learn about ancient Indian environmentalism-a "baori" is a unique Indian invention for harvesting rainwater. (Breakfast)

  • DAY 5 Jaipur

    Explore the "Pink City," known also as Jaipur, including the Amber Fort, City Palace, and the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds).
    Listen to a local historian/scholar discuss the spirituality, social fabric, customs and traditions of India.

    Consider treating yourself to a night at the cinema. Going to see a Bollywood film in India is much more than what we are accustomed to in the west. The atmosphere, energy, and pure fun (not to mention volume!) has to be experienced to be believed.

    Amber Fort Visit
    Enjoy the Hindu and Muslim architecture of the beautiful Amber Fort.

    City Palace Visit
    Jaipur 1h
    Explore the courtyards, gardens, and buildings that make up the City Palace. Located in the heart of the Old City, it is a striking blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. Visit the palace's museum to look at ancient carriages and the former maharaja's gold-embroidered wedding outfit.

    Meet a Local Historian
    In Jaipur, known as the "Pink City," meet with a local historian and sociology scholar to learn about India's complex social fabric and traditions, and discuss a range of topics from the country's belief systems to its architecture.

    Optional Activities
    Raj Mandir Cinema and Movie

    150INR per person
    Visit this spectacular cinema and watch a song-and-dance Bollywood film. (Breakfast)

  • DAY 6 Jaipur/Sawarda

    Drive to the rural village of Sawarda where we stay in a heritage home. Exploring this traditional village is like stepping back in time.
    Walk and meet with elders, teachers and elected representatives of the village governing council, called the Panchayat. Topics of discussion include: how urbanization affects village life, information technology and modernization and its benefits and disadvantages, as well as simple village customs and traditions.

    The village is about 60km (37 mi) from Jaipur and has beautiful temples dedicated to different religions, including a unique sikh temple. The residents of the village are still involved in traditional commercial activities. You'll see pottery wheels, silversmiths, cobblers, traditional huts, old temples, and small stepwells.

    Private Vehicle
    Jaipur - Snwarda 1h55km
    Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.

    Local Village Immersion
    Step back in time and explore the traditional village of Sawarda to get a glimpse of life in rural India. On our walk we meet elders, teachers and elected representatives of the village governing council, called the Panchayat. Topics of discussion include how urbanization affect village life, information technology, and modernization in its benefits and disadvantages, as well as simple village customs and traditions. (Dinner,Breakfast)

  • DAY 7 Sawarda/Delhi

    Drive back to bustling Delhi.

    Private Vehicle
    Sawarda - Delhi 6h 310km
    Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.

    Opt to join the CEO for a group dinner. (Breakfast)

  • DAY 8 Delhi / Kochi

    Fly to Kochi. In the evening, meet your South India CEO and some new group members.

    Transfer to the airport and fly to Kochi. In the evening, there will be a welcome meeting for new travellers joining the group.

    Delhi - Kochi 3h-3h 30m
    Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually. (Breakfast)

  • DAY 9 Kochi

    Enjoy a walking tour in old Fort Kochi, including the fish market, Chinese fishing nets, Dutch Palace, and Jewish Quarter. Explore the bustling wholesale spice market with a local expert, learning the medicinal and culinary uses of spices and their importance in the life of Kerala and all of India. This evening, enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance performance.
    After breakfast, explore the old part of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. Visit the Dutch Palace, which was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin King in the 16th century, the St. Francis Church (the oldest European church in India), and Santa Cruz Basilica, built by Portuguese in the 16th century. Walk through the fish market and the famous Chinese fishing net, believed to have been brought by traders from Kubla Khan's court in China. In the evening, attend the popular classical dance-drama of Kerala called "Kathakali," which combines literature, music, painting, acting, and dance.

    Orientation Walk
    Kochi 1h-2h
    Get to know the delightful city of Cochin through this guided walk. Visit the Dutch Palace and Jewish Quarter, with its 400-year-old synagogue. Explore a spice market and St Francis Church, the oldest church in India.

    Spice Market Tour with a Local Expert
    Kerala is considered the spice capital of the world, famed for pepper, cloves, dried ginger, bay leaf, and cinnamon. Visit the bustling wholesale spice market of Kochi with a local expert learning the medicinal and culinary uses of spices and their importance in the life of Kerala and all of India.

    Kathakali Dance
    Kochi 2h
    Considered one of the oldest dance forms in India, Kathakali is a combination of drama, dance, music, and ritual. Characters with vividly painted faces and elaborate costumes re-enact stories from the Hindu epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana. This dance drama is famous for amazing costumes, extensive makeup, and explosive body movements, and is performed exclusively by men. (Breakfast)

  • DAY 10 Kochi/Kumarakom

    Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace then continue to Kumarakom on Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala.
    Enjoy a canoe paddle along the narrow canals and take a walking tour through the paddy fields and Chempu village.

    Private Vehicle
    Kochi - Kumarakom 1h 30m-2h
    Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.

    Tripunithura Hill Palace Visit
    Kochi 1h
    Enjoy the impressive architecture and beautiful grounds of the Tripunithura Hill Palace. Built in 1865, it is now the largest archaeological museum in Kerala, though it was originally the administrative office for local royalty. There is also a heritage museum, deer park, and children's museum in the complex. Make sure to check out its collection of rare species of medicinal plants.

    Enjoy a canoe paddle through the narrow canals in Kumarakom.

    Walking Tour
    Enjoy a walk through the green paddy fields of Kumarakom and the delightful little village of Chempu. (Dinner,Breakfast)

  • DAY 11 Kumarakom/Kerala Backwaters

    Spend the day cruising the Kerala backwaters on a comfortable houseboat while observing local village life and bird watching. Later, arrive at our homestay in Alleppey and enjoy a cooking demonstration of traditional Kerala cuisine and dine with a local family.

    This morning we travel to Allepey, a golden streak of land surrounded by rivers, lakes, lagoons and canals, where we board our private houseboat. You can sunbathe on the deck and enjoy the scenery, watching daily life take place along the water. The trip goes through a wonderful area full of water birds, palm trees, rice fields and floating water plants.

    Private Vehicle
    Kumarakom - Alleppey 1h-1h 30m
    Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.

    Kerala Backwaters Houseboat Excursion
    Kerala Backwaters 6h-8h 20km
    Lay back and relax on a houseboat as it takes you through the the Kerala backwaters. Look around and enjoy the stunning scenery, dotted with coconut trees and reminiscent of a paradise lost.

    Family Homestay Experience
    Enjoy a homestay with a local family in Alleppey and get a real taste of culture and what life in the backwaters is like. We visit a local fish market to pick out our main course and learn how to cook some delicious dishes, intrinsic to Southern Indian cuisine. After dinner, kick back and relax, getting to know our local hosts and what daily life in Kerala is like. (Breakfast,Dinner,Lunch)

  • DAY 12 Kerala Backwaters/Vypin Island

    Meet with a representative at the Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme and learn about the ongoing efforts by local communities and National Geographic to conserve the Vembanad Wetlands. Also visit a fish sanctuary and meet local fishermen.
    After, continue to the beach to relax in paradise with free time to explore.

    Private Vehicle
    Kerala Backwaters - Vypin Island 1h 30m-2h
    Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.

    Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme
    Meet with a representative at the Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme to learn about the ongoing work by local communities and National Geographic to conserve the lake. This conservation project was created by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), an organization that National Geographic has been working with for decades. After learning about the Vembanad Wetlands, travel by boat to a fish sanctuary (established by the lake protection forum and ATREE).
    Meet with some of the fishermen and see firsthand how their traditional way of collecting and processing clams are helping in the management of lakes resources.

    Optional Activities
    Ayurvedic Spa
    Vypin Island
    Kerala is famous for its Ayurvedic spas. Visit one and choose from a number of treatments available, like a full body massage.

    Vypin Island
    Jump on a bike and enjoy the ride! (Breakfast)

  • DAY 13 Vypin Island

    Free time on Vypin Island.

    Free Time
    Vypin Island Full Day
    Enjoy some free time, relax on the beach, visit the spa, or go cycling.

    Optional Activities
    Ayurvedic Spa
    VypIn Island
    Kerala is famous for its Ayurvedic spas. Visit one and choose from a number of treatments available, like a full body massage. (Breakfast)

  • DAY 14 Vypin Island

    Depart at any time.

    Depart at any time. Hotel checkout is at 12:00pm. It is very easy to arrange a transfer from the resort to the Cochin airport - your CEO will be happy to assist.

    Departure Day
    Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure. (Breakfast)

  • Meal basis

    As per itinerary - B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals


    If you have booked this trip or are curious about all of the details, you can download this trip's information as a PDF.

    Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

  1. We recommend you to have a meal budget of USD 300-390 for food and drinks which are not included in the programme.

  2. This programme is operated on a Coach tour. Maximum Group size is 16 passengers, at an average there are 12 passengers travelling on this tour. Itinerary descriptions are guaranteed with the exception of unforeseen conditions which include, but are not limited to, road closures due to weather, acts of God, safety concerns, changes to highway legal restrictions, and acts by third parties beyond the control of Service Provider.

  3. There is no refund for any non-utilization of any services.

  4. All holiday prices are subject to Govt. Service Tax of 5% payable to Govt of India.

  5. At this point of time no services are confirmed and the same is subject to availability.

  6. Request for an early hotel check in or late checkout is at the discretion of the accommodation unless pre-booked and pre-paid in advance.

  7. All payment to be made strictly by cheque / Demand Draft / Direct bank transfer in favour of 'COX AND KINGS LIMITED'.

    India is a country which is very different to anything you will have experienced before. Although this means it is not the easiest place to travel, this is also what makes it so special. Pollution, poverty and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this large and wonderfully different country but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way.
    In India there are very different attitudes to time keeping, public cleanliness, privacy and service. Trains will sometimes be late, plumbing can sometimes be temperamental and power will often just vanish. Optimistic menus turn out to have only one dish available and everyone, just everyone, will want to know your name. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a healthy sense of humour, then we know that you - like all of us - will be captivated by what India has to offer.

    Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.

    Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between June 18 and July 17, 2015. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. Only about 20% of Indians are Muslim, but it is important to note that there may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan. Generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day. It is important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan in predominately Muslim areas of India. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.

    Please Note: Only 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 15kgs will be permitted on our internal flights in India. For any extra weight the airline may charge an additional fee at the time of check-in.

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