22 Day India Grand Journey

12/27/2018 through 12/07/2019
08/24/2018 through 12/31/2019
Kensington Tours

22 Day India Grand Journey

As the name suggests, an India Grand Journey requires time. Can it be done in 21 days? With artful planning, it is a reality. This is a journey that takes you around the country and covers many of its historical and spiritual centers, two of its exciting cosmopolitan cities – Delhi and Mumbai – and a delightful swing around the south around Kerala and over to Chennai on the Bay of Bengal.

Start your trip in Delhi, where tradition and modernity live happily side by side. The heart of Old Delhi is a 400-year old tangle of lanes with colorful bazaars, complemented by vibrant temples, the towering minaret of Qutab Minar, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Red Fort.

Be prepared for a genuine spiritual journey in Varanasi, one of India’s holiest cities. Hindus believe that taking a dip in the holy river the Ganges will wash their sins away, and that to die in Varanasi – and be cremated by the banks of the Ganges – will liberate them from the cycle of death and rebirth. Taking a boat ride, with your private guide, along the holy river at sunrise, exposes a fascinating variety of activities being played out along the river bank: people taking a dip fully-clothed, holy men sitting on a rock in deep meditation while hawkers are plying their trade. It’s a riot of colors and a quintessential experience. The sleepy town of Khajuraho is uniquely attractive to visitors because of its Group of Monuments. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site today, ten percent of the site’s exquisitely carved sculptures are of an erotic nature which has added to the site’s popularity among travelers.

In Agra, the Taj Mahal, an exquisite example of Mughal architecture, has captivated travelers for centuries. Crafted entirely from white marble, construction of the Taj began the year after the Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died in childbirth in 1631. Enjoy the beautiful gardens, laid out in the classical Persian design and the elaborately embellished arches and other structures. Virtually every building in the historical center of Jaipur is painted a terracotta pink, but there’s a riot of colors everywhere else. Visit the City Palace, marvel at the fascinating precision of the giant sundial next and be in awe of Amber Fort, a breathtaking construction of red sandstone and marble. Take an evening walk with your private guide, sample some of the region’s culinary delights from some of the city’s most popular street food vendors and observe local artisans in their workshops. Next, fly to Udaipur, the city of lakes. The majestic white City Palace offers a spectacular view over Lake Pichola and you can enjoy a boat ride with your private guide. At Eklingji, about twelve miles north of Udaipur you can stroll around a vast maze of 108 temples, while the collection of crystals at the Fateh Prakash Palace might just take your breath away.

India’s most populous city, Mumbai, is a vibrant swirl at any time. Visit its most famous landmark – the Gateway of India – located at the southern tip of the city and overlooking the splendid Arabian Sea, then savor street food at the many street shops that line Chowpatty Beach. The almost 2-mile long boulevard has been a Bollywood favorite for decades. Another highlight is a cruise through Mumbai Harbor, taking you to the rock-cut cave temples on Elephanta Island. This temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site, covers an area of 60,000 square feet and contains magnificent reliefs, sculptures, and a temple to the Hindu god Shiva.

From Mumbai fly to Cochin, known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea from the 14th century onwards. Your private guide is going to take you to places that show the city’s rich multi-cultural heritage with its Portuguese, Dutch, Jewish and British influences. No visit to Cochin is complete without attending a Kathakali dance performance at Greenix Village. You can watch the actors apply their make-up, a very detailed process, and well worth attending before the actual start of the show. The next two stops, Alleppey and Thekaddy, embrace wildlife, spices and the backwaters of Kerala, including privately-guided visits to a bird sanctuary, a spice garden and an overnight on a comfortable and elegant houseboat. The tranquility of the water, the enchanting landscapes and the melodies of the evening birds turn this into an incredibly delightful part of the trip.

The number of temples in India is presumed to be around six million and the Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai is thought to represent the peak of South Indian temple architecture. Because of its staggering array of gods, goddesses, and demons encrusted on many tall gatehouse towers, it is known as the Athens of the East and its history can be traced back 2,500 years.

Conclude this incredible journey around India in Chennai, the country’s fourth-largest city. The town’s famous temple is Kapleeshwarar, but just half a mile down the road is a Portuguese church, that was built over the tomb of the Apostle St. Thomas. Only two other places in the world share this notoriety; St. Peter in the Vatican and St. James in Compostela, Spain. The city also boasts the world’s second largest beach, stretching some 8 miles, with a 150-feet tall lighthouse offering a superb view over the city and the bay.

Kensington Tours creates private trips from the world’s finest ingredients. Tailor-made with care by your personal Destination Expert, your personalized trip is always a one-of-a-kind experience made just for you. Expert local guidance and 24/7 service come standard.

Itinerary

Day 1 Delhi
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Day 2 Delhi
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Day 3 Delhi To Varanasi
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Day 4 Varanasi
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Day 5 Varanasi To Khajuraho
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Day 6 Khajuraho To Agra To Jhansi
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Day 7 Agra
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Day 8 Agra To Jaipur
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Day 9 Jaipur
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Day 10 Jaipur To Udaipur
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Day 11 Udaipur
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Day 12 Udaipur To Mumbai
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Day 13 Mumbai
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Day 14 Mumbai To Cochin
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Day 15 Cochin
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Day 16 Cochin To Alleppey
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Day 17 Alleppey To Thekkady
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Day 18 Thekkady To Madurai
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Day 19 Madurai
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Day 20 Madurai To Chennai
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Day 21 Chennai
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Day 22 Chennai
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