Easy Tours India India Tour Packages The Best Tour Of India With Two Festivals

The Best Tour of India with Two Festivals

- Small Group Tour
12 Guest Maximum - No Minimum
23 DAYS - Activity Level : Easy
  • Delhi - 3 Days
  • Agra - 1 Day
  • Ranthambore - 2 Days
  • Jaipur - 3 Days
  • Pushkar - 1 Day
  • Udaipur - 2 Days
  • Delhi Airport - 1 Day
  • Varanasi - 2 Days
  • Mumbai - 1 Day
  • Aurangabad - 2 Days
  • Mumbai Airport - 1 Day
  • Cochin - 2 Days
  • Backwaters - 2 Days


Highlights

  • Eleven UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Guided Walk Through Three Ancient Bazaars
  • Cycle Rickshaw and Tuk-Tuk Ride Experience
  • Two Amazing Museums and an Art Gallery
  • Kathakali Dance Performance
  • Backwaters Houseboat Cruise in Kerala
  • Cooking Lesson and Home Dining Experience
  • Pushkar Camel Fair
  • Elephant and Camel Back Rides
  • Rajasthani Village Walk
  • Dev Diwali Festival
  • Sunrise and Sunset Boat Cruises on the Holy River
  • Ancient Aarti Prayer Ceremony at Varanasi
  • Sunrise and Sunset Visits to the Taj Mahal
  • Three Wildlife safaris at Ranthambore Tiger Park
  • Boat Ride on Lake Pichola
  • Fisherman's Village Walk at Cochin

Detailed Itinerary

All tours are not created equal. If you are searching for great value on an excellent tour that includes top rated boutique lodging, we strongly recommend that you take the time to read the detailed itinerary below.


Day 1: Arrive at Delhi - most flights arrive either in the evening or at night, and we strongly recommend that our guests consider arriving a day earlier as this allows you to recuperate from jetlag, and serves as insurance against international flight delays and cancellations. The cost of an additional nights Hotel stay can be quoted upon request.
Our services begin here. You are greeted at the airport by an Easy Tours Travel Facilitator or your Tour Director, and ushered to a chauffeur driven vehicle. You are then driven to your heritage luxury hotel and assisted with your check-in. Your hotel is located on iconic Janpath, right next to very interesting bazaars and Connaught Place. The next day’s plans are briefly reviewed and you are presented with your welcome package. This package includes travel documents such as your air tickets and hotel vouchers, as well as copies of documents (such as our General Travel Guide) that were sent to you earlier.




Day 2: Delhi. (B,L) Begin your exploration of India with a guided city tour of New Delhi.
This excursion begins with a drive through Lutyens’ New Delhi. This drive will include photo opportunities at the following attractions - the exterior of the massive and awe-inspiring Rashtrapati Bhawan (known as Viceroy’s House during the British era) and Delhi’s landmark structure India Gate. From here you will be driven to visit the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara. This gold domed Sikh Temple is the most prominent Gurudwara in Delhi and is associated with the eighth Sikh Guru, Guru Har Krishan. It was first built as a small temple by Sikh General Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783, who supervised the construction of nine Sikh shrines in Delhi during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam. The campus includes the temple, a kitchen, a school, an art gallery, and the holy pond (Sarovar), whose water is called Amrit (Holy Nectar). Qutab MinarAs with all Sikh Gurudwaras, the concept of langar (community meal) is practiced here and anyone may eat in the Gurudwara’s Kitchen. Thousands of meals are prepared daily and served to all visitors, regardless of race, religion or other status. The food is prepared by the religious leaders who are assisted by scores of local volunteers. You will witness the fascinating processes of cooking, serving and cleanup for these countless meals. Only vegetarian food is served, so that no religion’s dietary restrictions are violated. After the langar ceremony, you will drive through Connaught Place, which is New Delhi’s downtown.
There is a break for lunch (included).
After lunch, you will drive to the nearby National Museum, the crown jewel of India’s Museums, for a very short tour. There is a plethora of exhibits and artifacts and a comprehensive tour would take well over a day. Our visit will be brief, and your Tour Director will guide you through the Pre History Gallery’s Harrapan Collection and its displays from the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished on the banks of the river of the same name. Most visitors to India are unaware of the fact that this was the most advanced and widespread of the world’s three oldest civilizations, and that the nation of India derived its name from this magnificent river. You will be amazed by the sophistication of the exhibits of pottery, tools, coins, jewelry and other artifacts that range from 10,000 BC to 1000 BC.
The last part of this excursion is the awe-inspiring Qutab Minar (1193 A.D.). This 239 ft tall medieval tower is a symbol of victory and a beautiful example of Persian architecture from that period. There is a winding stairway inside the tower that goes up all the way to the balcony at the very top of the tower – unfortunately they are no longer accessible for visitors. The Qutab Minar and its Monuments are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the Qutab complex, amidst the ruins of the Quwat-ul-Islam Mosque, stands one of the legendary Ashoka Pillars. This large iron pillar has withstood the ravages of Delhi’s weather (and recent pollution) and has not rusted in over 1500 years.
After exploring the Qutab Minar you will be driven back to your hotel.




Day 3: Delhi. (B,L) Continue your exploration of Delhi with a guided city tour of Old Delhi. This tour begins with the amazing Red Fort. Both the Jama Masjid (Mosque) and this massive structure were built by Shah Jahan, the emperor who created the Taj Mahal. The great city inside the massive sandstone walls of the Red Fort offers visitors a large number of architectural and historical attractions. The Red Fort was the seat of the Mughal Empire for more than two hundred and fifty years and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an amazing example of a blend of Persian, Indian and European architecture.
One of your most enduring memories of India will be your next experience as you drive, Rickshaw Ridewalk and ride through the ancient city's streets and alleys. You will enjoy a fascinating rickshaw ride, and an extended walk with your Tour Director, through the crowded ancient alleys of Chandni Chowk. The cacophony of sounds, from the cries of hawkers and the animated bargaining, sounds which have echoed through the centuries, to the modern motor horns, all combine to make for a unique experience. The riot of colors further adds to the sensory overload, as do the diverse smells emanating from the street food stalls and spice markets that form part of the bazaar.
Next is an exploration of the Jama Masjid (1650 A.D.), the largest mosque in India. The Masjid is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture and is constructed of red sandstone and white marble. It is an active place of worship and its courtyard can hold 25,000 worshippers.
There is a break for lunch (included).
After lunch a short drive will deliver you to an oasis of calm and serenity, which also happens to be your last destination in Old Delhi. The cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi (Raj Ghat) is a simple yet stirring memorial to the father of the nation. Lush lawns extend beyond the enclosure surrounding the black marble platform occupying the spot where the Mahatma was cremated. An eternal flame burns next to the platform.
From here you will drive to visit the magnificent tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. Delhi has such an abundance of amazing monuments that this Tomb Complex (1562 A.D.) does not quite get the acclaim that it deserves. It is Delhi’s third UNESCO World Heritage Site and its amazing architecture and the elaborate gardens will captivate you as your Tour Director explains the unique architectural and historic facets of this monument.
After exploring the tomb you will be driven back to your hotel.




Day 4: Delhi - Agra. (B,L) You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel in the mid-morning and you are driven to Agra on North India’s newest highway. Arrive at Agra and there is a break for lunch (included) at a popular local restaurant - you can choose to enjoy their buffet, or order ala-carte. 
After lunch, you will be driven to your hotel, where you will Taj Mahal, Agra be assisted with your check-in.
Afternoon - you will visit the first red sandstone fort of North India, the Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in 1565 by India’s greatest Mughal ruler, Emperor Akbar. Its royal audience halls, immense stone courtyards, marble mosque and the private royal chambers give us a glimpse of the grandeur of the Mughal Empire.
Enjoy a sunset visit to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the incomparable Taj Mahal. The world’s greatest monument dedicated to love is obviously a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Taj Mahal was completed by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 A.D. as a memorial to his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. This spectacular white marble mausoleum was created by about 22,000 skilled craftsmen and it took twenty two years to complete. When you experience the Taj Mahal with an Easy Tours Tour Director who shares unique insights into its innumerable facets, some of their passion for this masterpiece may rub off on you. Explore the amazing Taj and its surroundings until it is time to admire the sun’s rays setting on the façade of the world’s finest monument.




Day 5: Agra - Ranthambore. (B,L,D) Enjoy a visit to the magnificent Taj Mahal at sunrise - the best time to see it during most of the year! Due to it being more expensive for Indian tourists at that time, and the early hour, the massive monument and its surrounding Mughal gardens are a lot less crowded than in the afternoon. As the rising sun’s rays illuminate the precious stones inlaid in the marble, they will gleam momentarily as the marble’s color changes. You will return to your hotel to freshen up and have breakfast after the excursion.
You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel and then you are driven to the Chand Baori stepwell at Abhaneri, located just off the Agra - Jaipur highway. You will stop for lunch (included) at a nature resort in Abhaneri that serves locally sourced Indian food just before your arrival at Chand Baori in Abhaneri.
After lunch you will proceed to a very unique monument that is located nearby, next to a charming Rajasthani village. The massive 10th century Chand Baori stepwell is one of the most impressive in all of India. The depth of the stepwell is that of a modern 7 storey building, and there are stairs leading down to the bottom from three of the 100 foot plus (35 meters) four sides of the opening. Enjoy a guided exploration of the stepwell and then you will walk through the small village to get a glimpse of the lives of the simple but proud Rajasthani villagers. There will be young boys and girls herding goats, sheep, and cows around the area, camels carrying loads for their owners, and many other experiences that are only found in rural India. There are potters huts that you can stop at, as well as ladies weaving traditional garments, as well as opportunities to view many other indigenous activities. This is not a disguised effort to sell local wares, as is often found in tourism destinations. These are real villagers, and their simplicity, warmth, and hospitality will captivate you.
After this you will continue on with your journey to Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambore National Park). The second half of this drive is through rural Rajasthan and there are multiple photo opportunities of the colorful villagers as they go about their daily activities. You will also encounter many camels and other livestock on this drive. You are greeted on arrival at your jungle lodge and assisted with your check-in. All meals will be at your lodge during your stay at Ranthambore.
Since 2006, Easy Tours of India has tracked the percentage of tiger sightings for our guests in Ranthambore National Park. More than 85% of our guests have had tiger sightings during this period, with many of them getting multiple sightings.




Day 6: Ranthambore. (B,L,D) Covering an area of 410 square kilometers, Ranthambore National Park runs along the eastern spur of the Aravali mountain range until it Tigermeets with the Vindhya ranges. Ranthambore was once the Jaipur rulers’ private  hunting ground. In 1972 it was declared a Sanctuary and was brought under the Project Tiger Conservation platform. Dry deciduous forest covers most of the park, and the vegetation is lush around the many small lakes and ponds. The open grasslands that are the tiger’s favorite terrain account for much of the land on the higher slopes. This varied flora supports a large number of animals including a variety of deer, the sloth bear, the shy caracal, leopards and of course, the tiger. 
Enjoy wildlife safaris into the park in the morning and evening.
In between safaris, you have the option of a guided visit to the Ranthambore Fort. This excursion does have a fairly steep climb with approximately 700 feet of stairs. The massive Fort is one of the finest examples of the ancient Hindu concept of Vana-Durg, or a fort protected by a jungle.  The history of this Fort (originally built in 944 A.D.) is a chronicle full of tales of blood and valor. Successively occupied by the Muslims, Rajputs and Mughals, the insides of the fort today lie partly in ruin. There are superb views of the park to be had from its ramparts. There is also an ancient temple located in the fort which attracts a continuous stream of pilgrims from the surrounding villages. A little note of caution - a large number of aggressive langurs (South Asian monkeys) have made the Fort area their home and it is not advisable to have food or shiny objects visible in your hands as you tour the fort as they will be snatched away.




Day 7: Ranthambore - Jaipur. (B,L) Enjoy your last safari into Ranthambore in the morning. Return to your lodge after the safari to freshen up and have breakfast. You are at leisure for a while so that you can freshen up, after which you are assisted with your check-out from your jungle lodge and then there is a break for lunch (included). After lunch you are driven to Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur itself (the community located next to Ranthambore) is a rural small town, and you will drive through it to get a glimpse of life here before you head for Jaipur. The first half of this drive is also through rural Rajasthan and there are multiple photo opportunities. You are assisted with your check-in at your gorgeous hotel upon your arrival at Jaipur.




Day 8: Jaipur. (B,L) Start your day with an excursion to the Amber Fort and Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located a short distance from the walled city. Just like the Emperors of a few centuries ago, enjoy the ascent up to the ramparts of the fort on top of a colorfully caparisoned elephant. If you prefer not to ride the elephants, you can be driven to the rear entrance of the monument. The massive Fort complex was originally built by Raja Mansingh and is one of India’s finest examples of Rajput architecture. Explore the chambers and hallways, which are famous for their exquisite designs and handcrafted embellishments.  Return to the valley beneath the Fort and there is a break for lunch (included).  
You are now driven to the outskirts of Jaipur to the ancient Hindu pilgrimage site of Galtaji in the Aravalli Hills. The complex of temples here is collectively known as the Monkey Temple because a large tribe of monkeys lives here and believes they own all the monuments. We recommend that you don’t carry any food in your hands, as it may be snatched away. The complex of temples has several ponds that are fed by springs on the hill tops, and Hindu pilgrims consider taking a dip in these to be purifying. The monkeys agree and swim around the main pond with reckless abandon, and many of them can be seen diving into the pool from various vantage points.
Enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful Galtaji Temple, which is crafted in pink stone. There are other ancient temples in the complex, such as the Balaji Temple. Monkeys are everywhere, and they are obviously in-charge! For someone not used to their social behavior and grooming practices and rituals, observing them can be fascinating.
After this excursion, you will be driven back to your hotel.




Day 9: Jaipur. (B,L) Continue your adventure with an exploration of the walled pink city of Jaipur, including its magnificent City Palace. You will start with a visit to Jantar Mantar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), a fascinating stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728. Among other instruments, it includes a massive stone sun dial that is accurate to within 2 seconds. After the observatory comes a photo opportunity at the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind). This intriguing facade was built in 1799 so that the ladies Amber Fort of the court could use its unique windows and observe the bustling bazaar without being visible to the people on the streets. Continue the tour with an exploration of the City Palace, the former royal residence (a part is still occupied by the Royal family and is not accessible to the public), built in a delightful blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. Your Tour Director will regale you with stories of royalty as you admire their trappings. This immense complex also houses a number of museums that offer a large and impressive collection of costumes, armory and miniature paintings.
Lunch today is at the Trident Hotel (owned and operated by the Oberoi Group). The buffet here includes western and Indian cuisine options.  
During the early afternoon you will enjoy an extended guided walk through the “pink” bazaar in the heart of the old town, and watch the locals as they bargain for their everyday necessities. You will walk through spice, vegetable, fruit and flower markets which are interspersed with street food stalls, displays of clothing and footwear spread all over the sidewalks, an alley full of artisan’s hawking local jewelry and accessories, and a lot more.  
In the bazaar area you will also enjoy a brief stop for a tour of a collection of vibrant Rajput turbans. A turban tying demonstration is included, as are turban and Sari tying lessons for those that are interested.
In the latter part of the afternoon you are driven to a very scenic location in Jaipur adjacent to a public park, for a guided exploration of The Albert Hall Museum, which was completed in 1887 by the architect Samuel Swinton Jacob. Its origins lie in the suggestion to open a museum of the Industrial Arts, which would acquaint local craftsmen with the best examples of art work and handicrafts of India. It was hoped that this would inspire them to improve their own skills, thereby protecting and preserving traditional arts, while providing greater employment for artisans. It was also the intention that the display would help to educate youth in a wide variety of fields, entertain and inform the people of Jaipur. Rudyard Kipling (himself the son of a curator) on a visit was so impressed by the architecture, woodwork, display, exhibits, cleanliness, and not least the curator’s office that he wrote "it is now a rebuke to all other museums in India from Calcutta downwards".
Return to your hotel in the evening.




Day 10: Jaipur - Pushkar. (B,L,D) You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel after breakfast and then you are driven to Pushkar. Arrive at Pushkar around noon and you are assisted with check-in at your desert lodge. Please note that, Pushkar Camel Fair although it is one of the best adjacent to the Pushkar Festival Fairgrounds, your lodging for this night is basic and will not have anywhere near the luxury of your other hotels in India. There will be a staffed Easy Tours Facilitation Center in the lobby of the desert lodge to assist you for any needs that may arise.
There is a break for lunch. All 3 meals are at your lodge while you are at Pushkar.
Afternoon - Experience a camel cart ride to the cattle trading fairgrounds. Walk through the Fair camp grounds with Easy Tours guides and Tour Directors to experience the cattle trading and everything else that goes on at this massive fair. The trading activity is at its peak during this part of the fair and you will experience rural Rajasthan as one can only do during this massive cattle fair - photo and video opportunities are endless. Thousands of camels, horses, and other cattle will be traded within a few days. The cattle are groomed and decorated, their skills and strengths are demonstrated in various ways, and there is intense haggling. A plethora of street vendors are mixed in with all this activity, selling food to the villagers and fodder for the various cattle.
At the end of the day the trading ceases and the thousands of villagers settle down to discuss the day’s exploits, and to prepare for their evening meal. At this time, as the sun sets in the desert, you will return to your lodge by camel cart.




Day 11: Pushkar - Udaipur. (B,L) Guests who are interested will join your Tour Director and in the early morning and head for the fairgrounds, where you will walk through the awakening campground and observe the villagers as they prepare for the day.
Other guests will depart a little later in your vehicle, which will stop near the fairgrounds to pick up the early risers, for the small town of Pushkar.
Enjoy a walk through Pushkar’s crowded and colorful alleys. This is a pilgrimage destination and you will see temples that are a hubbub of activity during this auspicious period. There is usually a colourful religious procession that goes through the alleys this morning, but this events schedule can change and so it is not guaranteed. Visit the holy lake in the middle of town where pilgrims are taking a dip to wash away their sins.
Board your vehicles again and you are led to a spot where your caravan of camels awaits. You are assisted in climbing on your personal camel (camel carts are also available) and then you proceed on a camel safari through the semi-arid region near Pushkar. Your safari ends at a venue where you are the guests of honor at an Easy Tours sponsored Camel Race.
Experience the fascinating race where some camels will develop a mind of their own and head in every other direction but the finish line. You will be amazed by the speed and grace of these awkward looking animals as they fly over the sand.
Return to your lodge and freshen up.
You are assisted with your check-out from your desert lodge and then you have your last meal at Pushkar.
Proceed on the drive to Udaipur. This is one of the most picturesque drives in all of India as you drive through the pastoral regions of the Aravalli hills. Arrive at Udaipur in the evening and you are assisted with your check-in to your boutique hotel.




Day 12: Udaipur. (B,L) Proceed for a city tour, including a tour of the fabled City Palace. At this Palace complex, explore the beautifully decorated rooms with thousands of exquisite, handcrafted mirrors that cover the walls, City Palace the ancient ivory doors (a dark reminder of Indian royalty’s passion for hunting), the brightly colored stained glass windows, expansive inlaid marble balconies and the unique peacock courtyard. There are amazing views to be had from this structure, especially of Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace hotel and Jag Mandir Island. Enjoy a private tour of the amazing Crystal Gallery, which houses the world’s largest collection of priceless crystal. Marvel at pieces like the complete bedroom furniture set in crystal and the gorgeous crystal fountains in the courtyards.
Lunch today is included at the Sunset Terrace restaurant at City Palace. Enjoy spectacular views as you dine on fine cuisine.
After lunch you will enjoy a cruise on Lake Pichola and visit the historical and beautiful monuments at Jag Mandir Island (if available – the royal family at Udaipur will occasionally rent out the island for large celebrations, and on those occasions the island cannot be visited by tourists).
Late afternoon: you are driven to visit the Monsoon Palace, a small hilltop structure that offers amazing views of the picturesque city of Udaipur and its lakes and palaces. The short drive up the hill takes you through a protected wildlife sanctuary and occasional wildlife sightings can be experienced. Enjoy the spectacular sunset from this vantage point before returning to your hotel.




Day 13: Udaipur - Varanasi. (B,L) You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel in the morning and you will now enjoy a three-wheeler (Tuk Tuk) ride through the streets, and then a guided walk with your Tour Director to explore some of the markets in this charming city with a small town atmosphere.
There is a break for an early lunch at a lake front restaurant (included).
After lunch you are driven to the Udaipur airport in time to board your mid-afternoon flight to Varanasi. You are greeted on arrival at the Varanasi airport and then driven to your resort where you are assisted with your check-in.
Flexible Schedule for Dev Diwali at Varanasi – Since the actual festival dates can change at the last minute between two dates (11th or 12th Nov. for 2019) the activities scheduled on this itinerary will be adjusted to accommodate any such change)




Day 14: Varanasi. (B,L) Experience Dev Diwali, the Diwali of the Gods. The festival of Diwali is the premier festival in India and is celebrated with great passion throughout most of the nation. Remodeling of homes and business premises (especially fresh coats of paint) is often timed to finish just before the festival. Gifts are exchanged between friends and family. On the day itself people decorate their houses, at night they light oil lamps and candles on the façades of their homes and businesses. A plethora of firecrackers illuminate the night, and a prayer ceremony is conducted in virtually every home.
Dev Diwali is celebrated in Varanasi fifteen days after the rest of the country celebrates Diwali, on the occasion of Kartik Purnima, the most auspicious full moon of the year in Hinduism. Varanasi The ancient holy city is always full of pilgrims and on this occasion the number exceeds two million visitors that are here to celebrate. Processions of decorated deities are taken out into the streets of Varanasi, and the locals and pilgrims decorate the Ghats with designs in flowers and powdered colors. Millions of oil lamps and other lights decorate the Ghats as Hindu’s perform rituals of prayer. All day the banks of the holy river are awash with these and other activities.
Varanasi is fascinating on any day of the year as tens of thousands of pilgrims visit here daily; during Dev Diwali they number in the millions. Due to this influx our boarding and disembarking for the river cruises today takes place at a different location than our usual spot.
Start your Dev Diwali with an early morning boat cruise on the Ganga. The best time to visit the Ghats is at dawn, as that is when the pilgrims take their morning dip. It is also the ideal opportunity to experience some of Hinduisms ancient and iconic rituals. The most famous Ghat is the Dasadwamedh Ghat, which is where the amazing ceremony will take place this evening. During your morning excursion you can simultaneously witness the ceremony of a recently deceased Hindu's ashes being immersed in the river, while nearby, another Brahmin priest orchestrates the naming ceremony of a newborn. Just like this evening, your boat offers an excellent view of all the activity on the Ghats - women bathing discreetly while still wearing their sarees, priests offering prayers as they immerse themselves in the holy water, men that are oblivious to their surroundings as they practice yoga or meditate on the banks of the Ganga.
Return to your resort for breakfast and to freshen-up.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Buddhist Pilgrimage destination of Sarnath. Explore the monuments of this holy city, including the ancient Dhamekha Stupa that is located near the spot where the Buddha preached his first few sermons. This Stupa was constructed by Emperor Ashoka in 249 BCE. Sarnath was also where the first Sangha was formed and the area is home to a number of other Buddhist monuments that you will briefly visit, including the Chaukhandi Stupa and the Mulagandhakuti Vihara temple. A highlight of the visit to Sarnath is the Archaeological Museum, with its small but impressive collection of local artifacts.
There is a break for lunch (included).
In the early afternoon you will experience a walking city tour of Varanasi that includes visits to some of the ancient temples that lie along the banks of the holy river. You will walk through the narrow lanes and through the crowded bazaars to discover a way of life that has not changed much over the past few millennia. You will also enjoy a walk on some of the less crowded Ghats and observe as the pilgrims prepare for this evenings celebrations. The devout are conducting prayer ceremonies, creating floral designs on Ghats with flower petals and colors, setting up millions of oil lamps and light strings, all in preparation for this evenings celebrations. Your walk will end at a spot where your boat awaits you for your sunset cruise.
Sunset cruise and Aarti Ceremony on the Ganga - on the occasion of Dev Diwali there is an elaborate and extended Aarti ceremony on the most auspicious of Varanasi's Ghats, the Dashashwamedh Ghat. Over a dozen priests plus their assistants perform this ritual on the colorfully decorated and illuminated Ghat, honoring the Gods with flaming trays while chanting prayers in Sanskrit, against a backdrop of firecrackers illuminating the sky. Our guests get to observe this ceremony from our boats that are located near the banks of the Dashashwamedh Ghat. This event attracts many of India's famous and influential people as guests of honor, and special temporary seating arrangements are made for these VIP's. It is hard to describe the ceremony in words and we recommend that you watch this video to get an idea.
Your boat enables you to enjoy a great view of the hundreds of lamps as they are sent floating on the holy river. Your Tour Director will be happy to provide you with your own oil lamps, if you desire to float them in the holy river.
After the ceremony you will return to your resort.




Day 15: Varanasi - Mumbai. (B,L) You are at leisure until the late-morning when you are assisted with your check-out from your hotel and driven to the airport, where you are assisted in boarding the afternoon flight to Mumbai. Lunch will be served on your flight this afternoon. You are greeted upon arrival at the Mumbai airport and driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check-in. You are greeted upon arrival at the Mumbai airport and driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check-in. Your Hotel has one of the best locations in Mumbai and the views of the massive bay, the Queen’s Necklace (Marine Drive), and the city of Mumbai, are spectacular. The area in front of your hotel is where middle class residents of Mumbai come in the evenings to enjoy the ocean breeze and socialize. It is a great place to walk on your own, as locals sit on the promenade and street vendors hawk their wares to them, from street food to toys to foot massages!




Day 16: Mumbai. (B,L) Proceed for a guided city tour of Mumbai. The tour begins at the Prince of Wales Museum, built to commemorate King George V’s first Gateway of Indiavisit to India in 1905. Designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, the museum has sections of art, paintings, archeological exhibits and natural history. After the museum tour you will visit the famous  Dhobi Ghat and observe the age old tradition of the Dhobi’s doing Mumbai’s laundry!
There is a break for lunch (included).
Continue the tour with a drive up to Malabar Hill where the hanging gardens give a panoramic view of the city and the Queen’s Necklace (Marine Drive). The tour then takes a drive through the Flora Fountain and Fort area where you can view the impressive Gothic and Victorian buildings that were constructed during the British Raj. Visit the Victoria Terminus (now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus). It is India’s finest example of Gothic architecture and one of the world’s busiest railway stations.
Drive around Horniman Circle and visit the Town Hall, right beside the docks of Mumbai. Visit the city’s signature landmark, The Gateway of India, situated overlooking Mumbai’s harbor. This structure was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai. After this touring, you are driven back to your hotel.




Day 17: Mumbai - Aurangabad. (B,L) You are at leisure this morning to enjoy the facilities and views of your hotel. You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel by noon and then there is a break for lunch (included). After lunch you are driven to Mumbai airport in time to board your early evening flight to Aurangabad. You are greeted upon arrival at the Aurangabad airport and driven to your comfortable hotel, where you are assisted with your check-in.




Day 18: Aurangabad. (B,L) The Ajanta & Ellora monuments and caves (both are, individually, UNESCO World Heritage Sites) near Aurangabad are widely recognized as India’s most amazing archeological sites. We have had many of our guests’ wonder why they are not standard on most other tours. A recent guest, who has been to over 90 countries, said that they “blow Angkor Wat out of the water”.
Enjoy a full day guided
excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ajanta. A packed lunch from your hotel is provided for this excursion. Buddhist monks and local craftsmen began excavating, sculpting, and painting at Ajanta in the 2nd century B.C. The incredible variety of paintings and sculpture were created in hard rock by using primitive yet ingenious lighting, tools and materials. These 28 caves are a testimony to the devotion of the Buddhists, as well as the talents of their skilled craftsmen.
Of particular interest is the concept of Vertical Excavation. When your Easy Tours Tour Director passionately explains this concept and describes the processes, you will be awed by the achievements of the craftsmen. Although the caves themselves are very impressive in their design and massive volume of sculpturing and excavation, it is the art inside the caves that will take your breath away. The incredible artistry and colors of the paintings and sculptures is unique - such art has not been seen anywhere else, not just in India, but anywhere in the world. Ajanta's incredible paintings are even more impressive considering that the color and texture you're admiring today was created by artists about two thousand years ago.
After exploring the caves at Ajanta you drive back to Aurangabad and your hotel.




Day 19: Aurangabad - Mumbai. (B,L) You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel and then you will proceed for a guided excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ellora. A packed lunch from your hotel is provided for this excursion. Explore the magnificently sculptured cave temples Aurangabad and monasteries of Ellora. There are 34 Caves here, and any one of them would individually be considered a significant attraction in most nations. They were built between 600 - 1000 A.D. and are devoted to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. Seventeen of these caves illustrate a resurgence of Hinduism in this area, as reflected by their Hindu themes, sculpture and art. The epitome of this is Cave 16, the awe-inspiring Kailash Temple. It was finished during the 8th century and is supposed to evoke one of the abodes of Lord Shiva, Mount Kailash in the Himalayas.
The Kailash Temple is notable for its immense scale and detail; it is the most awe-inspiring of all of the amazing monuments at Ajanta/Ellora. More than 200,000 tons of rock was excavated and six generations of craftsmen worked for a hundred and twenty years to create this masterpiece.
On your way back from the caves, you will stop at Daulatabad Fort. If you are tired you can relax in the vehicle for a short while as it does require a bit of a trek. This 14th century hilltop Fort is an impressive sight but what will amaze you is your Tour Director’s illustration of the multiple ingenious architectural facets that were used to make it virtually impregnable. The once sloping sides of the massive stone hill were manually carved sheer on all sides so that no one could climb straight to the top.
After this tour, you are driven to Aurangabad airport in time to board your evening flight to Mumbai. You will bid farewell to your North India Tour Director at the airport. You are greeted at the airport by a hotel representative and ushered to a hotel vehicle. You are then driven to your hotel where you will check-in.




Day 20: Mumbai - Cochin. (B,L,D) Check-out from your hotel and then you are driven to the airport by a Hotel vehicle in time to board your morning flight to Cochin. Upon your arrival at Cochin you are greeted at the airport and ushered to your vehicle. You are driven to historic Fort Kochi and then there is a break for lunch (included). After lunch, you will be driven to your boutique hotel, where you will be assisted with your check-in.
Start your exploration of South India with a guided visit to the island of Cherai. You will be introduced to your South India Tour Director prior to beginning this excursion. Visit the 19th century Azheekkal Sree Varaha Venkateswara Temple - the temple Ratha (Chariot) is unique and very impressive. Also visit the Portuguese Fort, which was built in 1503 and is the oldest European structure in India. You will also stop at the Pallipuram Church, completed in 1577 by the Portuguese. There are some interesting artifacts in the church.
This exploration is followed by a walk on Cherai beach that allows you to experience coastal Keralan culture.
You are then escorted back to your hotel where you are at leisure for a couple of hours.
In the evening you are driven to an experience that is the highlight of many of our guests’ time in Kerala. You will be hosted by a famous Keralan Chef and her family at their home.
A delicious dinner will follow, and cooking lessons are included. At the end of dinner you will be driven back to your hotel.




Day 21: Cochin. (B,L) Start your exploration of the fascinating port city of Cochin and marvel in its culture and architecture, a result of centuries of various European influences combined with rich indigenous history The guided tour begins from the Jewish Synagogue, Fishing Net which was built in 1568 and is still an active house of worship for the few remaining Jews in the area. Next to the synagogue is Cochin’s ancient and colorful Jew Street with its antique stores and souvenir peddlers. There is evidence of a Jewish presence in Kochi from 70 A.D. After the synagogue you visit the St. Francis Church, which was established by the Portuguese Franciscan friars in 1503. This is one of the first European churches built in India, and the famed Vasco Da Gama was buried in its courtyard for a few years before his remains were returned to Portugal.
There is a break for lunch (included).
You now visit the most photogenic of Cochin’s attractions, the Chinese fishing nets. Folklore will have it that these enormous nets (or at least their design) were brought here by famed Chinese explorer Zhang He about 600 years ago. Local fishermen manipulate these massive nets with an ease that comes from centuries of practice – it is a vocation handed down by generations. The lowering and raising of the nets has a synchronicity and rhythm that is quite an amazing experience. Some of the nets are more than a century old as the fishermen patch them up and keep going. Finish your exploration with a short guided walk through Fort Kochi and experience the unique local culture and architecture - Fort Kochi is one of India’s best cities to explore on foot. You will be driven back to your hotel after your walk.
Evening - Your South India Tour Director or Easy Tours Facilitator will pick you up from your hotel and accompany you to a local theatre where you will experience Kerala’s ancient performing art - a Kathakali dance performance. Kathakali literally means the art of storytelling through dance and the dance form is an ancient forefather of many Asian dance forms.




Day 22: Cochin - Backwaters cruise. (B,L,D) You are assisted with your  check-out and driven to the backwaters. Arrive at Alleppey and you are assisted in boarding your BackwaterHouseboat.
Take our word for this, your backwaters cruise will very likely become one of your most treasured travel memories. The incredible lushness of the vegetation around the fresh water canals, rivulets and lakes, the beauty of the water bodies themselves and the abundance of coconut trees and other exotic plants create a subtropical environment not found elsewhere on this planet. When you combine this with the opportunity to be part of a unique way of life that hasn’t changed much for a few centuries, it results in most visitors’ second highest rated experience in India (after the Taj Mahal). Relax and have a great time until the next morning as you cruise the amazing backwaters. The cook and other staff make sure that all your needs are taken care of, while serving you with delicious Kerala cuisine. You have the option of taking shore excursions at one or two of the tiny rural communities as you cruise by - the locals are very friendly and communicative.




Day 23: Backwaters Cruise - Cochin - International/Mumbai/Delhi Flight. (B) Disembark from your houseboat in the morning and then you are driven to Cochin airport in time for your outbound flight. Board your international flight or your flight to Mumbai/Delhi.
Departure Option 1: If you are boarding your international flight from Cochin, since most international flights depart at night or the very early morning, you are assisted with check-in at your airport hotel – your room will have been reserved for this night (until noon on the following day), so you will have the full use of your hotel's facilities right up until it’s time to board your international flight. The Courtyard by Marriott at Cochin airport is far more upscale when compared to most Courtyards elsewhere, and is located next to the airport, with a complimentary shuttle.
Departure Option 2: If you are boarding a daytime flight to Mumbai/Delhi (flight cost is included) in order to connect with your international departure from that city, you will have two options.
Departure Option 2A: If your international flight departure is less than four hours from your scheduled arrival time at the domestic terminal at Mumbai/Delhi, you will ask the airline staff to assist you with checking in for your next flight (occasionally this may require a transfer to another terminal – airport coaches are available) -  OR
Departure Option 2B: If your international flight is scheduled to depart later, additional services/accommodation can be quoted upon request to match with your international flight.
Our services end at Cochin airport.
Inclusions
* Daily breakfast at all the hotels (22 Breakfasts)
* Lunch every day except at on arrival and departure days - (21 Lunches)
* 5 Dinners
* Dinner and cooking lesson at a famous Keralan chef’s home
* Both Sunrise and Sunset boat cruises on the Ganga
* Both Sunrise and Sunset visits to the Taj Mahal
* Guided visit to the National Museum in Delhi
* Personal Elephant ride (per couple) at the Palace in Jaipur
* Sari and Turban Tying Demonstration and Lessons
* Albert Hall Museum guided visit in Jaipur
* Dedicated Events at Pushkar
* Camelback or Camel cart safari at Pushkar (your choice)
* Cherai Island visit in Cochin
* Rickshaw Ride through Delhi’s Chandni Chowk
* Walk through the ancient Spice and Street Food Market in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk
* “Tuk Tuk” ride through the streets of Udaipur
* Boat ride on Lake Pichola in Udaipur
* Kathakali Dance performance in Cochin
* Applicable monument entrance fees as per the itinerary
* All other meals as specified
* Hotel check-in is at 2 pm and checkout is at noon for almost all the hotels
* All transfers and sightseeing by Mini Coach or personal upscale Crossover
* Complimentary Wi-Fi in all vehicles, except for remote regions
* Availability of an Easy Tours Travel Facilitator at all destinations
* Services of an accompanying Easy Tours Tour Director
* Easy Tours Facilitator for assistance on initial arrival and final departure
* All safari related costs at Ranthambore, including park entry, naturalists, vehicle fees etc.
* Bottled water during sightseeing/excursions and other drives
* All currently applicable taxes.


Not Included
* International Travel
* Expenses of a personal nature like tips, laundry, telephone calls, drinks etc.
* Meals other than those specified above
* Travel insurance, visa etc.
* Camera fees – still and video


Lodging
Delhi
The Imperial - Imperial Room
Agra
Taj Gateway - Premium Taj View Room
Ranthambore
Taj Vivanta Sawai Madhopur Lodge - Superior Charm Room
Jaipur
Raj Palace - Heritage Room
Pushkar
Easy Tours Affiliate Resort - Royal Huts
Udaipur
Trident - Garden / Pool View Room
Delhi Airport
Pullman New Delhi Aerocity - Deluxe Room
Varanasi
Taj Ganges - Deluxe Room
Mumbai
Trident Nariman Point - Premier Ocean View Room
Aurangabad
Taj Vivanta Aurangabad - Superior Charm Room
Mumbai Airport
The Lalit - Club Room
Cochin
CGH Eighth Bastion
Backwaters
Deluxe AC Houseboat


Tour Calendar
(Click on a date for details)
 


Dates & Prices
Annual Fall Sale - Exp. Oct 25th
Arrival Date Room
Land Cost
Per Person
On-Tour Flights Total Availability
Oct 30th, 2019 $8693    $7434 $664 $8098
Sold Out

 
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