Why decide between Indias north or south when you can do both on an unforgettable two-week introduction to this incredible country? Explore Rajasthans grand forts and palaces, discover a new level of relaxation on a houseboat in Keralas backwaters, and learn about traditional culture in the small village of Sawarda. Throw in the glorious Taj Mahal, the Pink City of Jaipur, and Kochi's fishing markets and you've got two weeks youll remember forever.
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.
Enjoy a youth-led walk through Delhi with G Adventures-supported City Walk project. Later, explore Old Delhi with your CEO before an afternoon drive to Agra.
Spend the day visiting the highlights of the walled city of Agra including the famed Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort.
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).
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.
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.
Drive back to bustling Delhi. Opt to join the CEO for a group dinner.
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.
Enjoy a walking tour in old Fort Kochi, including the fish market, Chinese fishing nets, Dutch Palace, and Jewish Quarter. Meet a local spice 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.
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.
Spend the day cruising the Kerala backwaters on a comfortable houseboat while observing local village life and bird watching. Later, visit a local home in Alleppey and enjoy a cooking demonstration of traditional Kerala cuisine and dine in the family's home.
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.
This morning, meet with a representative of the Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme to learn about the ongoing work by local communities to conserve the lake and surrounding wetlands. This project was created by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), an organization National Geographic has collaborated with on many conservation projects across India over the past decade. Continue by boat to a fish sanctuary established by traditional fishermen through the program. Meet with some of the fishermen and see firsthand how their traditional way of collecting and processing clams are models for the management of lake resources. After, continue to the beach to relax in paradise with free time to explore.
Free time on Vypīn Island.
Depart at any time.
Depart at any time. Hotel checkout is at 12:00pm. It is very easy to arange a transfer from the resort to the Cochin airport - your CEO will be happy to assist.
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Trip Name: Iconic India
Duration: 14 Days
From Price: $2,599
Supplier Tour ID: AHNNG/155174
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