Three Jewels of the North
Trip Code: AITTJN
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This trip offers an in depth and out of the ordinary experience of three of north India’s most vibrant cities, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi – each uniquely rich in history and culture.
Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi each have an overwhelming wealth of sights and experiences to offer the traveller. The following descriptions of each day’s activities in these cities give a taste of this. However, they are simply examples – this trip lends itself perfectly to tailoring to each client’s individual interests; we work collaboratively with clients to create unique programs specifically suited to them.
Passionate and knowledgeable local guides help you to explore these cities’ hidden secrets. The trip concludes with an optional excursion to Agra – home to India’s most exquisite jewel – the Taj Mahal.
Day 1 Mumbai
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Take a late afternoon / early evening walking tour of traditional market areas of central Mumbai, including Crawford Market (foodstuffs), Zaveri Bazaar (gold market), Chira and Null Bazaars (mixed goods) and Chor Bazaar (Chor means ‘thieves’, this was traditionally where stolen goods turned up but now is more of an antique and bric-a-brac market).
Day 2 Mumbai
Today’s tour combines walks with private transport and local trains and taxis. Drive through some of Mumbai’s most sought after locales; visit a private historic home, filled with memorabilia; visit a traditional community housing complex and nearby market; lunch at one of Mumbai’s best known restaurants. Finish the day with a walk through the historic Fort area, including a stop for chai and cake at an ‘Irani’ café.
Day 3 Mumbai
This morning visit the Elephanta caves, a series of rock cut Hindu temples located on an island in Mumbai’s harbour. Later, visit the Dharavi slum (setting for Slumdog Millionaire); this walk employs people from the slum as guides, and part of its revenue goes into community projects. Alternatively, you could witness a Bollywood movie shoot, take a cooking class, or enjoy high tea at the famous Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
Day 4 Kolkata
Enjoy a quiet, early morning cycling or walking tour in the historic Fort Area, experiencing India’s busiest metropolis before it wakes up. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight to Kolkata. Known as a centre for culture and learning, Kolkata was the capital of India during the British Raj. It has a rich colonial heritage as well as wonderful mosques, temples, universities and museums.
Day 5 Kolkata
Begin today with a walking tour. If you have a particular interest, such as food, architecture, history, temples, etc the walk will be tailored accordingly. Some of the sights that you might like to cover include: the Victoria Memorial, Park Street cemetery, the Marble Palace, Jain temples in North Kolkata, and Hindu temples dedicated to the goddess Kali on the banks of the Hooghly River. [Image: Manjit Singh Hoonjan].
Day 6 Kolkata
In addition to its more traditional sights, Kolkata offers visitors a myriad of offbeat activities; you may like to explore the old town on a Royal Enfield motorbike, wander the fascinating cemeteries, or visit a Bengal village famous for cloth weaving. End your day with a sunset cruise on the Hooghly, sailing upriver to the Ramkrishna Mission and Dakshineswar, a unique Kali temple. [Image: Manjit Singh Hoonjan].
Day 7 Delhi
Take an early morning cruise to the pristine Belur Math, including a visit to the Botanical Gardens, before transferring to the airport for your flight to Delhi. India’s capital, Delhi is a city of dazzling gems: fascinating ancient monuments and architectural wonders, richly endowed museums and art galleries, fabulous eating places and vibrant markets. It offers its visitors an extraordinary wealth of sights and experiences.
Day 8 Delhi
This morning take a walk through Paharganj and the New Delhi railway station area. Nobody knows these streets better than the young people who once lived on them; now fully trained as guides, they delight in sharing their lives and experiences. This non-intrusive walk gives a unique insight into the lives of Delhi’s street children. All proceeds of the walk go to a trust that helps to support them.
Day 9 Delhi
Today enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and flavours of Delhi with two walking tours. Begin with an early morning walk through the main flower markets of Delhi – precious jewels set amidst the concrete jungle of the city. Later, wander the lanes of Old Delhi, in search of forgotten foods, relishing exotic delicacies from centuries ago, that are still alive in the melting pot of Delhi’s culture.
Day 10 Agra
Four hundred years ago, two great Mughal monarchs transformed the village of Agra into a city befitting the glory of the mighty Mughal Empire, one of them building a monument unrivalled for beauty – the Taj Mahal. En route to Agra, visit the deserted, red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century.
Day 11 Agra
Rise early this morning to enjoy the sight of the rising sun over the dome of the magnificent Taj Mahal, accompanied by an expert local guide to answer all of your questions. After breakfast at your hotel, visit Agra Fort (sometimes called the Red Fort); also built by Emperor Akbar, it is one of Agra’s World Heritage Sites. You may like to return to the Taj later, to view it at sunset.
Day 12 Delhi
Depart Agra this morning for the approximately 5 hour drive back to Delhi, where you will transfer to the airport for your international flight departure or to an onward Indian destination for further travel.
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