This honeymoon tour will bring you to experience all the most famous attractions in India: Rajasthan and Kerala. The two states are most probably the most known tourist destinations of the Country: Rajasthan for its royal cultural, majestic monuments and sand dune desert, and Kerala for its uncontaminated forest, its cultural heritage and Ayurveda, its famous and traditional health system… This trip gives you an opportunity to explore the most famous cities of Rajasthan and simultaneously discover the real Rajasthan through visit of rural villages and off- beaten destinations on spirited journeys set to open your eyes, heart and soul. The tour starts in the Indian capital of Delhi, where you will have the opportunity to opportunity to discover the main sites of the old Delhi. On the way to Rajasthan, you will enter the desert of Thar with a first visit to Mandawa, a beautiful city also known as the “Open Art Gallery” for its incredible cultural and historical heritage. After 1 day spent in the local athmosphere of traditional Rajasthan you will head to a beautiful and suggestive sand dune fort of Khimsar. Here the Royal Family of Khimsar is delighted to host you in their ancestral home, which is a true reflection of their legacy. From here you will reach the desert forteress of Jaisalmer. Here you will have a chance to experience an adventurous camel safari, observing native wild life and villages as you ride your camel through the isolated sand dunes. You will also assist at a magical sunset in a campsite in the desert, where you will have a delicious dinner by a camp fire and sleep under the clear starry sky. From the thar desert you will move to discover the main cities of Rajasthan, starting from the the blue city of Jodhpur and ending to the the pink city of Jaipur. As you last visit before heading to the South India, you will have the chance to dicover the famous building of Taj Mahal, an UNESCO world heritage site, which was originally built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, in the loving memory of his wife, From the desert of Rajasthan this tour will continue to South India. Wedged between the Western Ghats on the East and the Arabian Sea on the West, the narrow strip of land known as Kerala is a destination of a lifetime. The timeless beauty of the palm fringed beaches of Varkala, the majesty of the undulating hills of Wayanad, the serenity of the pristine backwaters of Kumarakom and Alleppey, the rich cultural historical heritage of Fort Cochin. That such a small terrain can hold diverse geographical features and cultures is a wonder in itself. Kerala tourist places are the most popular destinations in India. Kerala is well known for its backwaters, beaches, wild life sanctuaries, Hill stations and Ayurvedic treatments. Kerala Beaches are spread along the 900 km Arabian Sea coastline and it became one of the main attraction in Kerala Tourism. The Kerala backwaters are a network of interconnected brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast. This journey will start from the ancient town of Kochi, also known as the “Queen of Arabian Sea”, the most important commercial place of this beautiful State of Kerala. The Chinese fishing nets, Dutch buildings, Portuguese artistic, British monuments, etc. add the beauty of Kochi. From Cochin the journey continues to one of the most idyllic tropical paradise of south India, Kumarakom. On the banks of Vembanad Lake is interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals. In the area will experience a full day (and night) cruise on the romantic charm of Kettuvaloms (traditional houseboats) towards the city of Alleppey, having an authentic experience of village life of the backwaters. From here you will reach your final destination: the beach of Varkala, where to unwind before returning back home.
DAY 1: VISIT TO DELHI
Arrival at Delhi airport. Transfer to hotel for some rest. Around 10 am after breakfast you will start your guided tour of Old Delhi. In particular, you will visit the Red Fort (visit only from outside), a UNESCO World Heritage since 2007, built in 1639 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (the creator of the Taj Mahal), the the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, where an ancient copy of the holy Quran written on Deer skin is preserved. Visit small lanes of this part of the city such as Chawri Bazar, one of the busiest street of Old Delhi. Later visit Raj Ghat, the site of Mahatma Ghandi cremation. After lunch you will visit new Delhi with its Government buildings such as the India Gate, an arch erected in memory of the Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during World War I, and the Parliament House. In the late afternoon we will continue the visit with the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, one of the most prominent Sikh gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship in India, known as the “Sarovar.” Then trasfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Delhi (D)
DAY 2: TRANSFER TO MANDAWA
After breakfast transfer by car to Mandawa (about 5,5 hours). Mandawa is surely famous for its iconic artistic Havelis that preserve the Rajasthani as well as Indian History of the late 18th and the early 19th Century in the best way possible. On arrival check in into the hotel, which has been converted from a part of the fort into an heritage hotel and is famous for its painted arched gateway, beautiful frescoes, exquisite carvings, paintings of Lord Krishna and mirror work. Later you will start your guided tour of Mandawa. Visit the Mandwa Fort, built by Newal Singh, the first descendant of the Shekhawati rulers. Ensconced in the Aravallis, the fort was established to protect the flourishing trading outpost of Mandawa in the Shekhawati region.
Overnight in Mandawa. (B, D)
DAY 3: TRASFER TO KHIMSAR
After breakfast, drive to Kihimsar (around 4 hours). Arival anch check in in the hotel. Nestled among the mysterious, Khimsar sand dunes is the royal fort of Khimsar, which has stood the test of time. Built by Rao Karamsiji, son of Maharaja of Jodhpur Rao Jodha, the heritage palace radiates elegance, honour and luxury. The Royal Family of Khimsar is delighted to host you in their ancestral home, which is a true reflection of their legacy. The 15th-century fort, surrounded by sand dune villages and sprawling foliage, offers you a chance to experience a once-in-a-lifetime ‘royal’ escape. Resting on the edge of the Thar Desert, the redefined Rajasthani hospitality of the heritage hotel will make your stay unforgettable. In the late afternoon you will visit the Ethereal Sand Dunes village Of Khimsar, where you can savour the magnificent Thar Desert in all its glory. The exclusive haven is home to Rajasthani ‘Dhani’ (dwellings) huts that surround a tranquil blue lake, which is an integral part of the local Rajasthani community.Experience the golden sunrise or the colourful sunset, dine near the picturesque lake under the twinkling stars of the night sky, or embark on a desert safari – the village will surprise you at every turn.
Overnight in Khimsar (B, D)
DAY 4: TRANSFER TO JAISALMER
After breakfast drive to Jaisalmer (5 hrs drive), en route visit Pokaran and visit Shikarpura village in Luni tehsil, famous for its terracotta pottery. The most western desert town of India. The Golden City!! Check in hotel near the Fort. explore the city with a guided tour of the Golden Fort, Jain Temple, Gadisar tank and Havelis.
Overnight in Jaisalmer (B).
DAY 5: JAISALMER- DESERT SAFARI
The tour departure is early in the morning at 6:00 am by jeep to the campsite, 60 km outside of Jaisalmer, where breakfast is served in time to watch the stunning sunrise at the camp. The adventurous camel safari starts with a visit to Unda village (a traditional Rajput village) after which the ride continues, also paying a visit to Bheelo ki Dhani (a village of tribal people). Lunch and rest in the shade of some trees near the oasis as the sun is fierce at this time of the day. Later the camel trek sets out again from Koda village (Mixed caste village). You can watch native wild life and villages as you ride your camel through the isolated sand dunes (Khayala). You continue your trek across the desert, stopping on the way to watch the magical sunset before arriving at the campsite for your first night. After experiencing the desert you can start your evening by watching a delicious dinner being prepared for you over the camp fire and you can conclude your first day with the dreams of the desert while sleeping under the clear starry sky on your clean bed roll. Overnight in the camp site (B, L, D).
DAY 6: DESERT SAFARI – JAISALMER- JODHPUR
Drive to Jodhpur (270kms, approx. 5,5 hrs. drive). Arrive in Jodpur and proceed to hotel. Jodhpur, the second largest city in Rajasthan is popularly known as the Blue City. The name is clearly befitting as most of the architecture – forts, palaces, temples, havelis and even houses are built in vivid shades of blue. The strapping forts that tower this magnificent city sum up to a spectacle you would not want to miss. You will start with the visit with the Jaswant Thada (Cenotaph), the clock tower and the bazaars in the narrow lanes of city. Return to the hotel.
Overnight in Jodhpur (B)
DAY 7: JODHPUR
In the morning visit the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort and the bazaar. In the afternoon later go for a jeep safari in a Bishnoi village. Bishnoi village of Jodhpur, Rajasthan is scenic beauty marked with Khejri trees and deers. The villagers are staunch worshippers of nature in all its forms, especially the sanctity of plant and animal life. During the safari will visit families of shepherds. You will see how shepherds live in traditional way, working with animals like goat, sheeps, Camel etc. Here you will have the chance to spot wild animals in their natural habitats, many species of desert animals are found there some of them our Antelopes, Gazelle, Dumessille Crane, Rabbits, Blue Bulls, Migrated Birds, Peacocks etc. Later return to the hotel.
Overnight in Jodhpur(B)
DAY 8: TRANSFER JAIPUR
After breakfast drive to Jaipur (5,5 hrs drive), the largest city of Rajasthan and an epitome of magnificence and vibrancy. On the way you will visit the holy city of Pushkar; you may meet citizens from the most part of world in quest of finding the inner self. Hinduism is a thought process and this you can see it in Pushkar. Enjoy a meal overlooking the lake. Spend time visiting the Brahma temple, Jagatpita Brahma Mandir, and if you are lucky meet a Yogi meditating near the lake. The temple is one of very few existing temples dedicated to the Hindu creator-god Brahma in India and remains the most prominent among them. Although the present temple structure dates to the 14th century, the temple is believed to be 2000 years old. The temple is mainly built of marble and stone stabs. It has a distinct red pinnacle (shikhara) and a hamsa bird motif. The temple sanctum sanctorum holds the central images of Brahma and his second consort Gayatri. Later transfer to Jaipur and check into the hotel.
Overnight in Jaipur. (B)
DAY 9: VISIT AMBER FORT
After breakfast visit the Hawa Mahal on way to Amber fort. Jeep ride to the ramparts of Fort. After lunch visit the Anokhi museum and understand how handicrafts plays such a big role in rural India’s economy. In the afternoon visit the Royal palace and the ancient city. This royal place is rich in heritage, culture and architecture. With splendid fortresses, majestic palaces, tranquil temples and beautiful havelis; Jaipur turns out to be an ideal tourist destination. It is not just the royal buildings and palaces that this city offers. Other than these captivating attractions, Jaipur displays exquisite handicrafts and spectacular jewelry. These intricate works of art add life and color to this Pink City’s uniqueness. Also, the serenity of lush gardens and floral array acts as the cherry on the cake of fabulous landscapes. All this make a picturesque view that tends to enthrall any visitor. Walk around the uniquely constructed city, observatory, bazaar and understand the history of the place.
Overnight in Jaipur. (B)
DAY 10: TRANSFER TO AGRA
After breakfast you will be transferred to Agra (around 4 hrs). On arrival check in the hotel and later enjoy a lunch in a small restaurant supported by a local NGO that helps women victims of acid attacks. After lunch you will start to discover the most unknown parts of the Agra. Explore the old city on a walking tour led by a local guide who shows you daily life away from the typical tourist attractions. Learn about Agra’s history, architecture, and traditions as you discover the old market and its surroundings. The first stop will be the Jama Masjid, a big mosque opposite to Agra Fort. You will continue walking along the narrow lanes of old Agra, meeting a local families living in the area. Later you will visit the ancient Manka Meshwar temple (Shiva temple), followed by the wholesale spice market, Rawatpara, where you can find Agra petha, a candy made from ash gourd. You will also observe the bustle at the shoe mandi in Johri Bazar, the only street of Ayurvedic doctors, the paan (betel leaf), and the food street of Seth Gali..
Overnight in Agra (B,L)
DAY 11: VISIT TAJ MAHAL
In the morning visit the Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays), one of the most famous and visited monument of all over India, a real epitome of love and romance… The Taj Mahal, is a UNESCO world heritage site, which was originally built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, in the loving memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is built in white marble as a mausoleum for his queen Mumtaz Mahal. It is now a universal symbol of love, and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Taj Mahal was built in the year 1653, which is symbolized by the fact that there are 16 gardens and 53 fountains. It took 16 years for this symbol of love to be completed, and thousands of artisans contributed in the making this monument. Transfer to Delhi domestic airport for your flight to Cochin. Arrive and check into Hotel in Fort Cochin. Fort Cochin is a jewel in the crown of Kerala with its European heritage and true cosmopolitan temperament. A leisurely walk through its streets is one of the best ways to discover all that the city has to offer – its natural harbor and historical sites. Free for walks around… Overnight in Cochin. (B)
DAY 12: FORT COCHIN
After breakfast join our guide for a half day guided tour of Fort Cochin exploring the Jew town, Synagogue, Spice Markets, Dutch Palace, St Francis Church, Chinese Fishing nets (Jewish Synagogue is closed on Fridays and Saturdays; Dutch Palace is closed on Fridays).Return to the hotel by afternoon. Rest of the time free for shopping, cycling or just shopping. In the evening attend cultural and dance performance at Greenix village. The Village, Kerala’s only cultural art village is a pioneer establishment in the promotion of art & culture since 2006. The village covers an area of 45,000 sq. ft. and is dedicated to present various facets of Kerala’s rich culture. The evening cultural programme (starts at 5 pm and ends at 7,30 pm.) comprises of 7 different art forms: traditional Welcome dance of Kerala, Mohiniyattom, the classical dance of Kerala, Bharathanatayam, the south Indian classical dance; Martial arts of Kerala, Kalaripayattu; Demo as well as the episode of Kathakali; Theyyam, a temple ritual; final programme with a fusion of all the dance forms. Overnight in Fort Cochin. (B)
DAY 13: FORT COCHIN-KUMARAKOM – ALLEPPEY
Early morning transfer to Kumarakom and proceed to Jetty to board the houseboat. Backwater Cruise. All meals on board. View the village life while on boat cruise. Day and sunset cruise on the houseboat exploring the paddy fields and villages life along the backwaters. Small stop over to explore the coconut plantations, toddy tapping etc will be provided on request. The boat will anchor after sunset cruise. Overnight on the Houseboat. (B/L/D)
DAY 14: ALLEPPEY –VARKALA BEACH
Disembark the houseboat at Alleppey after a short morning cruise and transfer to beach resort in Varkala (3 hours’ drive). Varkala, a calm and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It has several places of tourist interests like a beautiful beach, a 2000-year-old Vishnu Temple and the Ashramam – Sivagiri Mutt a little distance from the beach. Unwind on the beach, walk on the cliff Full or go for Ayurveda. Overnight at the beach resort. (B)
DAY 15: Varkala
Visit Varkala village with the temple and the beach. In the afternoon go for swimming to Papanasam beach. Papanasam beach (also called as Varkala beach), which is ten kilometers away from Varkala, is renowned for the natural spring. It is considered to have medicinal and curative properties. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name ‘Papanasam beach’. Overnight at the beach resort. (B)
DAY 16: VARKALA – TRIVANDRUM AIRPORT
Checkout and transfer to Trivandrum airport airport for your international flight.
Best time to do this tour is from October to March (summer). From June till September heavy rains (monsoons) are expected in Kerala, which however it is considered an ideal time for ayurvedic treatments.