A spice-infused tour of India from Kochi to Delhi

This all-encompassing tour of India takes in the highlights of north and south - revealing some of the country's wonderful secrets. Revel in the tropical climate, warm waters and lush green landscapes of the south in places like Kochi, Pondicherry and Madurai. Then be dazzled by the kaleidoscopic colors, the Mughal grandeur and the spiritual mysteries of the north in Jaipur and Agra. Travel from Kochi to Delhi and combine the slower delights of Kerala and Tamil Nadu with the rush and jumble of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on this incredible adventure.

ITINERARY CHANGES FOR 2014:
Due to recent accidents and a failed safety audit of tourist vehicles at Ranthambhore National Park we have removed this destination from our itinerary until further notice. From 1st January 2014 this tour will spend an additional night in Bundi to replace the night at Ranthambhore.

Start
Kochi, India
Finish
New Delhi, India
Countries
India
Themes
Explorer
Code
HHSZC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
864kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Visit Jaipur, India's romantic 'Pink City'
  • Admire the grandeur of the Taj Mahal in Agra
  • Trawl the bazaars of Old Delhi
  • Explore the Pushkar desert on a camel safari
  • Fall in love with Udaipur
  • Spot exotic wildlife on a safari adventure in Mudumalai
  • Ride the famous toy train in Ootacamund
  • Discover the diversity of Kochi
  • Cruise the Kerala backwaters
  • Soak up the chilled vibe of Pondicherry
  • Marvel at the Maharaja's Palace in Mysore

Itinerary

Visit fragrant spice bazaars, antique shops, Mattancherry Palace and Fort Cochin. Enjoy an exciting Kathakali dance performance in the evening.
Ride the famous Ootacamund toy train through rolling plantations and learn the secret of making the perfect brew at a tea garden.
Stay in a jungle retreat at the foot of the Nilgiri Hills. Safari into the wilds of Mudumalai National Park, home to tigers, panthers, elephants and spotted deer.
View the illuminated stained glass windows of the ornate Palace of Mysore, once belonging to the Maharaja. Dine with a long-time friend of Intrepid and travel to the Keshava Temple - a great example of Hoysala architecture.
Travel to Mamallapuram, cycle around the Shore Temple and see the massive rock carving known as Arjuna's Penance.
Follow the scenic south coast of India to French-influenced Pondicherry and visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
Witness mysterious rituals in the Sri Meenakshi Temple, a labyrinth of lamp-lit corridors and shrines in the heart of Madurai.
Travel through rubber, tea and coffee plantations, and then breathe in the fresh aroma of spices on a visit to a spice farm. At Periyar National Park, join a forest guide and try to track herds of elephants.
Share a traditional feast with a local family and take a sunset boat tour through the Kerala backwaters.
Enjoy free time to explore the vibrant streets of Kochi and admire the medieval Portuguese, Dutch and British Raj architecture.
Chaotic Delhi is awash with historical sites, museums and markets. Visit the wonderful walled city of Old Delhi and see one of its most impressive buildings, the Jama Masjid. Join the crowds to explore the bazaars; everything is for sale here from fireworks and silks to copper and spices.
Travel by train to the Mughal city of Agra. Learn the tragic love stories and mysterious legends of the Red Fort. Visit the iconic Taj Mahal - constructed from marble and inlaid with jade, crystal and sapphire, it must be seen to be believed.
Journey to rural Rajasthan to stay at a royal family residence. Explore the village, meet villagers and chat with traditional craftspeople for a unique insight into local life.
Visit the Amber Fort en route to Jaipur, Rajasthan's 'Pink City'. Jaipur is bursting at the seams with markets filled with jewellery, textiles and folk-based arts. After bargaining for souvenirs, there's an opportunity to laugh, shout and cheer with locals at a lively Bollywood film.
Safari into the heart of Ranthambhore National Park to discover lakes and ruined palaces.
Travel out to charismatic Bundi. Admire stunning murals at the palace that presides over the town's Brahmin-blue rooftops, explore the enchanting alleyways and experience life in remote India.
Journey through rural Rajasthan to the quaint city of Bassi. Spend the first night in a beautiful fortified mansion then spend the second night in a deluxe tent camping under the stars.
Rolling hills, white marble palaces and lakes come together to make Udaipur the most romantic city in Rajasthan. Visit City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India.
With India's only Brahma temple and a holy lake, Pushkar is the place to rub shoulders with pilgrims and sadhus (holy men). For a change of pace, take a camel ride into the desert and witness a magical sunset among the dunes. In free time, shop, explore or head to a hilltop temple for views over the town. A hot chai at the top makes the effort worthwhile!
Come full circle on return to the hum of Delhi.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
Transport
4x4 Safari Vehicle, Auto rickshaw, Boat, Bus, Ferry, Jeep, Metro, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Train
Accommodation
Deluxe permanent tent (1 night), Heritage Property (4 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (19 nights), Jungle resort (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included activities
  • Agra - Agra Fort
  • Agra - Motorised rickshaw tour
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Backwaters - Guided walk
  • Backwaters - Pole Boat Ride
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Heritage Stay - Village Jeep Safari
  • Heritage Stay - Village walk
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort guided tour
  • Jaipur - Walking tour
  • Kochi - Dutch Palace
  • Kochi - Fort Kochi sightseeing
  • Kochi - Kathakali performance
  • Madurai - Sri Meenakshi Temple
  • Mamallapuram - Cycling tour
  • Mamallapuram - Shore Temple
  • Mysore - Chamundi Hill temple
  • Mysore - Home cooked lunch & family visit
  • Mysore - Keshava Temple
  • Mysore - Maharaja's Palace
  • Ooty - Tea factory visit and toy train ride
  • Periyar - National Park Green Walk
  • Periyar - Spice farm tour & dinner
  • Pondicherry - Auroville
  • Pondicherry - Walking tour and Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  • Pushkar - Walking tour
  • Udaipur - City Palace guided tour
  • Udaipur - Orientation Walk

Dates

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Important notes

1. The internal flight from Kochi to Delhi is NOT included. Please see important notes for details.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip. See under the Single Traveller section of your Trip Notes for more information.
3. This trip finishes in Delhi on Day 29 at 12 midday.
4. The 23rd and 30th of November 2015 departures will be in Pushkar during the Pushkar Camel Fair.
5. In 2015 Intrepid has returned to Ranthambhore National Park after suspending our visits in 2014 due to vehicle safety concerns. The majority of vehicles have now been assessed and upgraded. Safety of our travellers is our highest concern and your tour leader has the authority to cancel or reschedule the jeep safari if they believe that vehicles available do not meet our safety expectations.

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

Reviews

Our India South & North trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

India South & North , December 2012

India South & North , December 2012