Travel north to south through India from Delhi to Kovalam Beach

Experience the real India on this comfortable introduction to the cultures of the north and the lush beauty of the south. Highlights and hidden jewels are revealed against a backdrop of green in Kerala and within the vibrant towns of Rajasthan. Encounter the flamboyance of major cities and the quiet repose of tiny fishing villages, and wander through tranquil tea gardens, tribal homes and colonial enclaves. Discover the culinary delights of each region and stay in colorful hotels, heritage accommodation and even a palace!

Start
New Delhi, India
Finish
Kovalam, India
Countries
India
Themes
Explorer
Code
HHKZC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 16
Carbon offset
1 170kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Spot exotic creatures on a safari in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Witness traditional dance performances in Kochi
  • Unwind at the Kovalam Beach
  • Cruise the waterways of Kerala
  • Visit India's sacred sites in holy Varanasi
  • Discover the delights of bustling Delhi
  • Admire Khajuraho's erotic temple carvings
  • See the dazzling Taj Mahal of Agra and the majestic Red Fort

Itinerary

Travel by the city's modern metro system to Old Delhi to see India's largest mosque and explore timeless bazaars and scented spice markets.
Visit Jaipur and experience the irresistible charms of the 'Pink City'. Climb to the hilltop Amber Fort before visiting magical Hawa Mahal, or 'Palace of the Winds'. Enjoy some free time to admire the Jaipur's bustling bazaars and perhaps explore the impressive City Palace. End the day with an optional Bollywood blockbuster experience.
Described as a 'teardrop on the face of eternity', the story of the gleaming Taj Mahal is as tragic as it is beautiful. The building's exquisite marble inlay work produces a mesmerising shimmer effect that is truly breathtaking to behold. Visit the enormous Red Fort that looms over the city from high and looks out over the banks of the Yamuna River.
Nestled on the banks of the emerald Betwa River, charming Orchha is the perfect spot to learn the art of Indian cooking at a culinary class. Take a tour of the town's temples and palaces, where the superb architecture is a legacy of raja rule. Stop by a sustainable paper making plant and see how local women use recycled clothing and wood pulp to create products.
Travel to the remote plains of central India and be captivated by Khajuraho temples. Admire carvings that depict ancient Hindu legends and the mysterious Kama Sutra. In the evening, perhaps take the opportunity to enjoy a traditional dance performance or a home-cooked vegetarian meal.
One of India's most sacred cities, Varanasi is awash with temples and shrines. Witness devotions of faith along the banks of the Ganges and experience the magic of a sunset candle flower ceremony.
Haggle with locals in colourful bazaars before catching a flight to the capital. Spend free time unwinding in the grounds that envelope Humayun's Tomb or exploring the legendary Connaught Place.
Jet into India’s fourth largest city, Chennai. The site of the East India Company’s first settlement, the city is full of interesting historic buildings – such as Fort St George – that are ripe for exploration.
Embrace the relaxed fishing-village vibe of Mamallapuram. Visit the famous Shore Temple overlooking the Bay of Bengal. During free time, perhaps watch stone carvers practising their craft, inspect the many fascinating carved pillars in front of temples or make the most of the setting by enjoying a meal at a beachside restaurant.
Soak up the distinctly European feel of Pondicherry on a walking tour. Visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram, one of the most popular ashrams in India, along with local temples and the Old French Quarter.
Discover the stunning temple complexes of Madurai. Explore the bustling bazaars, and wind through the labyrinth of lamp-lit corridors that make up the mysterious and ancient Sri Meenakshi temple.
Cruise through lush pineapple plantations on the way to Periyar. Savour the heady aroma of spices at a local spice garden before venturing into the acclaimed Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Wander amid colourful flowers and lush trees and keep an eye out for bison, elephants, deer and even tigers and leopards.
Craggy mountain peaks, tropical forests and green fields surround the hill station of Munnar. Visit the local tea fields and sip a local brew while admiring the impressive landscape.
Encounter Chinese, Portuguese and Dutch influences in Kochi. Explore Fort Cochin, witness a dramatic and powerful Kathakali dance performance and visit the spectacular Mattancherry Palace.
Cruise through the backwaters of Kerala to Alleppey and discover one of rural India’s hidden treasures; this pleasant market town sits on the banks of palm-lined canals. Enjoy a leisurely cruise through the winding waters and meet locals on a walk through a village. After an action-packed day, settle down for a relaxing Ayurvedic massage.
Sitting on the Arabian Sea, Kovalam Beach is the perfect spot to unwind. See Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Achuthengu Fort or use free time to relax on palm-fringed beaches, sample fresh seafood or shop for souvenirs before heading home.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
25 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners
Transport
Boat, Cycle rickshaw, Metro, Plane, Private vehicle, Train
Accommodation
Heritage Property (2 nights), Hotel (22 nights), Houseboat (1 night)
Included activities
  • Agra - Agra Fort
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Chennai - Government Museum
  • Chennai - Kapileshwar Temple
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort guided tour
  • Jaipur - Walking tour
  • Khajuraho - Home-cooked lunch & family visit
  • Khajuraho - Kama Sutra temples
  • Khajuraho - Traditional dance performance
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Fort Kochi sightseeing
  • Kochi - Jewish Synagogue
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Kovalam - Attukal Temple
  • Madurai - Gandhi Museum
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • Madurai - Walking tour
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temple
  • Munnar - Mattupati Dam
  • Munnar - Tea Musuem
  • Munnar - Town Walk
  • Orchha - Cooking demonstration
  • Orchha - Orchha Palace
  • Orchha - Ram Raja Temple puja (prayer) ceremony
  • Orchha - Taragram visit
  • Periyar - National Park Green Walk
  • Periyar - Spice farm tour & dinner
  • Pondicherry - Auroville
  • Pondicherry - Walking tour and Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • Varanasi - Old city walking tour
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat ride
  • Varanasi - Sunset candle flower ceremony

Dates

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Important notes

1. The internal flight from Delhi to Chennai is included in the price of your trip.
2. A Single Supplement is available on this trip. See under the Single Traveller section of your Trip Notes for more information.
3. An airport Arrival Transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
4. Please note that due to ongoing construction works at Khajuraho Airport, many airlines have reduced the number of flights into and out of this airport. As a result we have had to reroute some trips between Khajuraho and Varanasi to an overnight train replacing the flight. Please be aware that while we will continue to do all we can to secure tickets on the limited flights available, this change may need to be made last minute to your itinerary. Your leader will notify you at the Group Meeting of any changes. All activities will continue to be included.
5. This trip is operated by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes