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Indian Discovery Tour

Tours

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Overview

Inspired by Joanna Lumley's India, our 14 day/13 night Indian Discovery tour journeys through Cochin, Valparai, Madurai, Hyderabad, Aurangabad, Kolkata and Gangtok.

Day 1   Cochin

On arrival in Cochin, be met by an If Only... representative and transfer to The Frances Residence - Fort Cochin for check in and a two night stay.

Cochin (or Kochi) is a vibrant city situated on the south west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic state of Kerala. Often referred to as the gateway to Kerala, Cochin has been luring traders and travellers for over 600 years and remains a living homage to its various colonial past: giant fishing nets influenced by Chinese merchants, a 16th Century synagogue, ancient mosques, Portuguese houses and the crumbling residuum of the British Raj. It's a delightful place to spend some time, soak in the history and peruse art galleries.

Experience traditional Indian life with a homestay at The Frances Residence - Fort Cochin, where tastefully designed rooms and suites blend the traditional with the modern to provide both comfort and luxury.

Overnight stay at The Frances Residence - Fort Cochin in a Luxury Room

Day 2   Cochin

After breakfast at the hotel, embark on a half day sightseeing tour of Cochin, visiting the charming Fort Cochin, Dutch Palace, Jew Town and St. Frances Church.

In the evening enjoy a Kathakali show. This traditional dance drama of Kerala dates back to the 17th Century and is rooted in Hindu mythology. Kathakali is one of the most complicated, highly stylized Indian art forms and is well known for its bright make up, elaborate costumes, detailed body movements and thematic presentation of stories with rhythmic steps.

Overnight stay at The Frances Residence - Fort Cochin in a Luxury Room.

Day 3   Cochin - Valparai

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Valparai (approximately 4 hours) and check in to Briar Tea Bungalows for an overnight stay.

In the afternoon, visit Nature Conservation Foundation and explore the secrets of the natural world.

Overnight stay at Briar Tea Bungalows in a Bungalow

Day 4   Valparai - Madurai

After breakfast at the hotel, drive to Madurai (approximately 6 hours) and check in to Heritage Madurai for a two night stay.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying the facilities in this 17 acre resort.

Overnight stay at Heritage Madurai in a Luxury Villa

Day 5   Madurai

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a half day sightseeing tour of Madurai.

First visit Sri Meenakshi Temple, a vast temple of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati which dates back to 2,500AD. The wonderful architecture of the temple is simply mesmeric and the construction is impeccably detailed with great works of art incorporated into the walls and pillars of the temple.

Next visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace, built by Thirumalai Nayaakar in 1636 as a residence for the king of the Nayak Kingdom when their capital was Madurai. The Gandhi Museum and a local market are the final stops on the tour. In the evening, witness the 'Going to Bed Ceremony'.

Return to the hotel and enjoy a typical south Indian banana leaf dinner.

Overnight stay at Heritage Madurai in a Luxury Villa

Day 6   Madurai - Hyderabad

After breakfast, transfer to Madurai Airport for the flight to Hyderabad.

Arrive at Hyderabad, endearingly called the Pearl City, and be met and transferred to Taj Deccan for check in and a two night stay.

Located in Hyderabad's elite Banjara Hills, this elegant hotel offers a welcome respite from the busy city and is spread over six acres of landscaped gardens.

Overnight stay at Taj Deccan in a Superior Room

Day 7   Hyderabad

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a full day tour at Ramoji Film City, one of the largest and most glamorous film studios in the world.

Overnight stay at Taj Deccan in a Superior Room

Day 8   Hyderabad - Aurangabad

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Hyderabad and explore the Golconda Fort, Qutub Shahi Tomb, Salar Jung Museum, Char Minar, Mecca Masjid and Laad Bazaar.

Late afternoon, transfer to Hyderabad Airport for the flight to Aurangabad.

Arrive at Aurangabad, named after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, and be met and transferred to Vivanta by Taj - Aurangabad for check in and a two night stay.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight stay at Vivanta by Taj - Aurangabad in a Premium Indulgence Room

Day 9   Aurangabad

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a full day excursion to Ellora Caves.

Ellora Caves are a World Heritage Site located 29km west of Aurangabad. These caves represent the pinnacle of indian rock-cut architecture. There are a total of 34 caves extending over more than 2km - 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain caves built between the 5th Century and the 10th Century.

Overnight stay at Vivanta by Taj - Auragabad in a Premium Indulgence Room

Day 10   Aurangabad - Kolkata

Transfer early morning to Aurangabad Airport for the flight to Kolkata.

Arrive at Kolkata, once the capital of the British Raj, and be met and transferred to The Corner Courtyard for a two night stay.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight stay at The Corner Courtyard in a Standard Room

Day 11   Kolkata

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a half day sightseeing tour of Kolkata, visiting Dalhousie Square, the flower market, Howrah Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, Victoria Memorial and more.

Later, explore the famous street food joints of Kolkata on a food walk. The kiosks along Dacres Lane are the ultimate destination for foodies. This tour teaches guests how to cook without a kitchen and how to make the most out of not very much while experiencing the flavours of Kolkata's street food.

Overnight stay at The Corner Courtyard in a Standard Room

Day 12   Kolkata - Bagdogra - Gangtok

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Kolkata Airport for the flight to Bagdogra.

Arrive at Bagdogra and transfer to Gangtok (approximately 5 hours) and check in to The Elgin Nor-Khill, Gangtok for a two night stay.

At an altitude of 1,750m, Gangtok became the state capital in the mid 19th Century and has undergone rapid development since then. The downtown area is dominated by huge government buildings decorated with traditional Buddhist symbols. Surrounded by monasteries and orchids, Gangtok is truly a travellers delight.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight stay at The Elgin Nor-Khill, Gangtok in a Deluxe Room

Day 13   Gangtok

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy an excursion to Rumtek Monastery.

Later, visit Do Drul Chorten (stupa), Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Enchey Monastery and Project Denjong.

Overnight stay at The Elgin Nor-Khill, Gangtok in a Deluxe Room

Day 14   Gangtok - Kolkata

Transfer to Bagdogra Airport (approximately 5 hours) for the flight to Kolkata.

On arrival in Kolkata connect with return flight to the UK.

Prices include accommodation and breakfast daily, entrance fees, all transfers and English speaking guides for sightseeing in each destination as well as full programme as specified and transportation in private chauffeur driven air conditioned vehicle.

Travelling times, mode of transport and visits to attractions may be subject to change depending on opening times and local conditions.

Please call our specialists on 0141 955 4000 for more information and a tailor-made quote.

Facilities

Climate

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Sun Hours
per day (hrs)
9 9 9 8 7 5 5 5 6 6 6 7
Average Monthly
Rainfall (mm)
20 34 50 141 387 727 706 375 305 306 165 49
Average Daily
Temp (°C)
32 32 33 33 32 29 29 29 29 30 31 32

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