Delhi and Cochin
Trip Code: AITDAC
Double / twin share room: AU$5,200
Single room: AU$6,785
Prices are valid until 30 September 2016, excluding the Christmas / New Year period.
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and current prices.
– Accommodation with daily breakfast
– Air conditioned 18 seat mini-coach for all transfers and sightseeing, plus auto-rickshaws for local sightseeing, Cochin (2 people per auto)
– Dinner at Spice Route restaurant at The Imperial in Delhi
– Masterji Kee Haveli walk in Old Delhi with lunch
– Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi
– Excursion to villages near Ghaziabad for “Bed sheet tour”
– 4 hour Alleppey backwater cruise, 1-5pm, with lunch
– Plantation tour and lunch at Mundackal Estate
– Cooking class with lunch at Nimmy Paul’s
– Kathakali Dance in Cochin
– Monument entrance fees in Delhi, Agra and Cochin
– Train trip Delhi – Agra – Delhi in Air Conditioned Chair car
– English speaking guides in Delhi , Agra and Cochin
– 24 hour support through our local representative offices
– Assistance on arrival/departure at airports and train stations
– Complimentary mineral water in the vehicles (and with all included lunches/dinners)
– All land and vehicle taxes
– Internal flight: Delhi – Cochin
– 5 rooms for day use in Cochin before evening departure on Day 14
– Activities other than those specifically mentioned as included
– Any meals not specified
– Camera fees at sightseeing places
– Tips, drinks, porterage and personal expenses
– Visa fees
– Flights other than those specified
This itinerary offers you an in-depth experience of two of India’s most interesting cities: Delhi and Cochin. With a unique ‘unpack twice’ format, you’ll get to know each destination well and have time to relax and enjoy the atmospheric heritage hotels of offer.
Delhi and Cochin are the two stops we have selected for this tour: Delhi, because of its amazing history and the sightseeing on offer (including a day trip to Agra and the Taj Mahal); and Cochin, which offers a taste of laid back south India, highlighted by the special activities we have arranged – a cooking class, a rubber and spice plantation visit and a walking tour of Fort Kochi, as well as a cruise on a houseboat through the beautiful Kerala backwaters.
Day 1 Delhi
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation, the Maidens Hotel. Opened in 1903, this is one of Delhi’s oldest and most charming hotels, having retained its colonial ambience and architecture. Located in the North Delhi residential area, it is set amidst eight acres of lush gardens and shady trees, offering a serene haven from the hustle and bustle of this ‘eternal city’.
Day 2 Delhi
Begin your exploration of Delhi today. Take a half-day sightseeing tour of New and South Delhi with a local guide, including viewing the imposing government buildings and the Presidential Palace, designed by Lutyens; visit the beautiful lotus-shaped Ba’hai temple and Humayun’s Tomb, an excellent example of early Mughal architecture which reached its full glory in the Taj Mahal; end the tour at the towering (72.5 metre) red sandstone minaret of Qutab Minar.
Day 3 Delhi
After breakfast begin a half-day sightseeing tour of Old Delhi with a local guide. The former centre of Mughal Power, Old Delhi is a mix of ancient monuments and modern commerce. Visit Jama Masjid, the greatest mosque in India, constructed in 1656 by Emperor Shah Jahan; take a cycle-rickshaw ride through the crowded bazaars to the famous shopping street of Chandni Chowk; and visit the moving memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, Raj Ghat.
Day 4 Delhi
Transfer to the station to board the morning train to Agra. Agra achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. It is a major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Spend the day sightseeing with a local guide who will fill you in on the city’s intriguing and ruthless royal past. Return to Delhi by train.
Day 5 Delhi
Take a fascinating walk through the inner city of Paharganj this morning. Developed by a NGO, Salaam Baalak Trust, it covers the living and built heritage of the area, taking you down back streets to find hidden cultural practices. A non-intrusive walk, it is given by young people, fully trained as guides, who will share with you the stories of their lives whilst giving you an insight into the city from their perspectives. Afternoon free.
Day 6 Delhi
Enjoy another walking tour today. Begin in the Sitaram Bazaar area with its colourful, crowded old shops, temples, shrines, mosques and historical monuments. Delhi’s best street food can be had here; you may like to sample some snacks. After the walk, visit a traditional Hindu home; this is a chance to see what life is really like in this narrow, crowded part of Old Delhi. Whilst here you will be given a demonstration and tasting of traditional home-style Indian vegetarian cooking.
Day 7 Delhi
Our representative will be available to assist you with shopping today. For modern / western items, Connaught Place is good, or Khan Market, where there are several bookshops and a mix of clothing outlets and shops. Slightly further afield in south Delhi is Hauz Khas Village – a quiet area of designer clothes and homewares shops set amongst 15th century ruins. If you want handicrafts and traditional Indian goods the government run emporiums are a good choice.
Day 8 Delhi
Today visit Pilkhuwa, a village approximately 35 kms from Delhi. Once a centre for producing Ghandi’s hand-spun cloth, today it mostly produces bed sheets on power looms. As well as textiles, many other crafts are practised here, such as wooden block carving, bamboo craft, paper mache, wood inlay and needle work. You will have the chance to see these cottage crafts in action, interact with artisans and learn about their work.
Day 9 Cochin
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cochin. You will be met on arrival and transfer to your hotel, Brunton Boatyard, in the Fort Kochi area. Built on the site of a former boat building yard, this handsome hotel was designed in the style of Fort Kochi’s early 16th – 17th century Portuguese and Dutch architecture. Taking advantage of a stunning setting along an historic stretch of Cochin’s famed harbour, all rooms overlook the water.
Day 10 Cochin
This morning a guide will arrive at your hotel and take you on a tour (by three wheel auto-rickshaw) of Fort Kochi, including visits to the Dutch Palace, St Francis Church (India’s oldest), and the iconic Chinese fishing nets. Afternoon free – the quiet streets around the Chinese fishing nets are filled with shops and restaurants, while a short auto-rickshaw ride away is Jewtown, which is full of antique shops and cafes.
Day 11 Cochin
Drive 2 hours to Alleppey jetty, where you will board a kettuvallum – a rice barge converted into a houseboat, traditionally constructed without nails, using only coir (coconut) rope. Lunch – prepared in traditional Kerala style from local ingredients – will be served shortly after you board. Spend the afternoon cruising through small canals and lagoons, sitting back on cane deck chairs and observing life in this unique environment. Disembark late afternoon and return to your hotel.
Day 12 Cochin
Drive to Mundackal Plantation today, where you will be served a home cooked lunch. Syrian Christians, one of the oldest sects in India, form a large community in Kerala and have a very distinctive cuisine. After lunch your host will take you on a tour of the plantation, comprising spices, fruits and vegetables; he will also take you through the rubber plantation and explain the process for producing rubber. Afterwards return to your hotel.
Day 13 Cochin
This morning visit the home of highly regarded cook and author, Nimmy Paul for a cooking demonstration. She will explain a range of dishes, which you will then eat for lunch! This will be a traditional sadhya, which comprises several dishes served on a banana leaf and is typically prepared for marriages and festivals. Return to your hotel afterwards and afternoon at leisure. This evening you will have a special seafood ‘farewell dinner’ at your hotel.
Day 14 Cochin
Day free to enjoy your lovely accommodation – perhaps try an aryuvedic massage – or for any last minute shopping. You may like to visit Ernakulam city, the busy modern half of Cochin, – great for souvenirs and traditional Indian goods such saris and lively south Indian shirts. The short journey from Fort Kochi to Ernakulam is by local ferry – an interesting experience in itself! Later transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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