Easy Tours India India Vacation Packages India And Nepal Highlights Vacation

India and Nepal Highlights Vacation

Private Tour with Personal Guide and Chauffeur Driven Vehicle

19 DAYS - Activity Level : Easy
  • Kathmandu - 2 Days
  • Nagarkot - 1 Day
  • Delhi - 3 Days
  • Agra - 1 Day
  • Jaipur - 2 Days
  • Udaipur - 2 Days
  • Mumbai - 2 Days
  • Aurangabad - 2 Days
  • Cochin - 2 Days
  • Backwaters - 2 Days


Highlights

  • Sixteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Visit the three Queen Cities in the Kathmandu Valley
  • Guided Walk Through Four Ancient Bazaars
  • Cycle Rickshaw and Tuk-Tuk Ride Experience
  • An Amazing Museum and an Art Gallery
  • Kathakali Dance Performance
  • Backwaters Houseboat Cruise in Kerala
  • Cooking Lesson and Home Dining Experience
  • Five of Earth’s Ten Highest Peaks, including Everest
  • Everest Flight Option
  • Sunrise and Sunset Visits to the Taj Mahal
  • Elephant and Camel Back Rides
  • Rajasthani Village Walk
  • 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 Kathmandu. Upon your arrival at Kathmandu you are greeted by an Easy Tours Facilitator or your guide, and your chauffeur. This itinerary assumes an arrival at Kathmandu by the early afternoon, at the latest. If your arrival is later, an additional night can be arranged at Kathmandu and your touring will begin the next day.
Welcome to an ancient Himalayan nation that offers a fascinating culture, incredible scenery, very warm and friendly people, great trekking opportunities, and a whole lot more. With the exception of congested Kathmandu, Nepal has charming, laid back cities and towns, along with picturesque wildlife parks that are home to many endangered species. Mount Everest The unfortunate picture (of the effects of the 2015 earthquake) painted by the media, like much of what they do, is severely exaggerated. For example, the three ancient temples, all UNESCO World Heritage sites, in Kathmandu received very little, or no, damage. The three Durbar Square’s (all of which are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites) in the queen cities of the Kathmandu Valley did receive fairly heavy damage, but most of their monuments are still standing and still provide wonderful insights into the local culture over the last millennia.
You are driven to Bhaktapur for a guided exploration. Bhaktapur lies on the way between Kathmandu airport and Nagarkot.
Bhaktapur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Kathmandu Valley’s three queen cities, literally meaning The City of Devotees. Although this queen city received extensive damage during the 2015 earthquake, there still is enough remaining to marvel at as you walk around the ancient square with its unique architecture and charming temples. The architecture and culture here is different from what you will experience in most of Kathmandu, as ancient Newari architecture and culture are found here in their purest form.
After this exploration you will be driven to Nagarkot, which is located about an hour and a half drive to the east of Kathmandu. Nagarkot is situated at an elevation of 7135 feet (2175 meters) and offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas. On a clear morning you can see five of the world’s ten highest mountains - Everest 29,028 feet (8848 meters), Lhotse 27939 feet(8516 meters), Makalu 27,765 feet (8463 meters) and Manaslu 26,781 feet (8163 meters), as well as many other summits.
Check-in at the Mountain Resort on your arrival at Nagarkot. Your room will have a balcony with a direct view of the Himalayas. We recommend that you turn in early this evening. Please note that the best time for good visibility of the distant Himalayas is at sunrise.




Day 2: Nagarkot - Kathmandu. Awaken before sunrise in the morning so that you can take in the amazing vista of the Himalayas. Besides your balcony there are various Boudhanath Templeother locations at the resort that provide a great view, including the large rooftop that is adorned with local plants. Check-out of the resort after you freshen up and have breakfast. Join your chauffeur for the drive to Kathmandu. Arrive at Kathmandu where you are assisted with your check-in to your hotel.
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon - After lunch you will visit the Swayambhunath Temple  and Pagoda, Kathmandu’s signature monument. With a history that may go back as far as 2500 years, this ancient complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple and stupa are built on a hilltop and are visible from most of the Kathmandu Valley. The devout walk up the hill from the base (365 steps), but most tourists prefer to drive up almost all the way up and then use the few steps on the other side of the hill. Although a couple of the surrounding monuments were destroyed/damaged during the 2015 earthquake, the main structure still stands, along with other smaller shrines and monasteries surrounding it.
From here you will proceed for a tour of Pashupatinath Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most sacred Hindu shrines in the world. Originally built around 2400 years ago, the (now) spectacular temple was reconstructed by a Nepalese king in the 15th century after the original wooden structure was (purportedly) consumed by termites. A lesser known fact among western visitors is that Nepal’s natives are primarily Hindus (over 80%), and Pashupatinath’s surrounding area is dotted with ancient Hindu shrines and ashrams, as well as a steady stream of pilgrims and worshippers. Nepal’s holy river, Bagmati, flows through here and its banks are constant witnesses to Hindu ceremonies for the dead and the living. There is a cremation area where pyres are always present, and our guides will ask you for a mindful approach in these areas. The main temple and most of the surrounding shrines received no damage in the 2015 earthquake. You will return to your hotel after this exploration.




Day 3: Kathmandu. Weather permitting, you have the option of experiencing the Everest flight this morning - you can have us facilitate this with private assisted transfers between the hotel and the airport, or you can save a little money by having your hotel travel desk arrange this as part of their daily group airport transfers. If you decide to take this flight, on your return you will freshen up and have breakfast. If weather conditions result in the flight getting cancelled,  this can be substituted for the following day.
Continue your tour of Kathmandu city with the Boudhanath Stupa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of Kathmandu’s two landmarks. This is the largest stupa in Nepal and akathmandu major pilgrimage destination for Buddhists. Said to have been built just after Lord Buddha’s departure from the world about two and a half millennia ago, the stupa has multiple legends associated with it in both Nepalese and Tibetan Buddhism. The influx of Tibetan Buddhists escaping China’s control over the last six decades has influenced the area around it as many of them have settled here, and have also built over 50 Gompa’s (monasteries) around the Stupa. Exploring the stupa and its colorful surrounding areas is a highlight for any visitor to Kathmandu. The spire of the stupa and a few other areas received some damage in the 2015 earthquake and repair work is ongoing.
After the Stupa you will enjoy a walk in Thamel, the main bazaar area of Kathmandu. Thamel is also where a lot of the inexpensive hostels and other budget lodging options are located, and its colorful alleys are always abuzz with activity. Locals and backpackers flock to this area to shop for a vast range of products, from daily requirements to souvenirs, from clothing to footwear to toys. There are also a large number of dining and street food options, ranging from local Nepalese delicacies to western fare.
There is a break for lunch.
Afternoon - Experience a tour of Patan City, one of the three queen cities of the valley. Another UNESCO world Heritage Site, Just like other parts of Kathmandu, although some structures here were damaged or destroyed by the 2015 earthquake, much of the amazing historic site remains, and is more than well worth a visit. Patan is the city of fine arts, and you will start with an exploration of the Durbar Square. The museum here houses a collection of ancient bronzes and religious objects. Other noteworthy monuments are the impressive carvings at the 17th century Krishna Mandir and Mahavihar, and the 12th century Golden Temple of Lord Buddha.




Day 4: Kathmandu - Delhi. You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel and driven to the Kathmandu Durbar Square, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the ancient monuments here were also damaged/destroyed during the earthquake, but much of it remains intact. The monuments in the Square were built between the 12th and 18th centuries, and this is where most of the state ceremonies are performed up until today. Start with a visit to Kumari Ghar, the abode of the Living Goddess, a beautiful 17th Century three-story building. If you are fortunate, you may be graced with her appearance in an upstairs window. You will explore the ancient square and its many monuments, possibly stopping for a photo opportunity in front of the Kal Bhairav, an ancient and impressive stone relief of Lord Shiva in one of his fearsome manifestations. 
There is a break for lunch.
After lunch you are driven to the airport where you are assisted with boarding your flight to Delhi (Your flight e-ticket is presented to you by an Easy Tours Facilitator).Upon your arrival at Delhi you are greeted at the airport by an Easy Tours Facilitator and your chauffeur. You are then driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check-in. The next day’s plans are briefly reviewed and you are presented with your India Welcome Package. Among other things, this package includes a beautiful journal for your explorations of India, 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 5: Delhi. 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 Qutab Minar 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). As with all Sikh Gurudwaras, the concept of langar (community meal) is practiced here and anyone may eat in the Gurudwaras 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.
After lunch, you have the option to drive to the nearby National Museum, the crown jewel of India’s Museums, for a very short tour. If museums are not your cup of tea, your Guide will offer alternatives to this highly recommended experience.
The museum is charged in its mission statement with being “the epitome of national identity”, a goal that it undoubtedly achieves. 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 Guide will walk 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.
Please let us know if you would like a more extended visit while finalizing your tour reservation process.
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.
From the Qutab Minar you will be driven back to your hotel.




Day 6: Delhi. 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; it was once known as the 8th wonder of the world. The Red Fort was Rickshaw Ride 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 vibrant and enduring memories of India will be your next experience as you drive, walk and ride through the ancient city's streets and alleys for a couple of hours; enjoy a fascinating rickshaw ride, and extended walk with your guide through the crowded ancient alleys of Chandni Chowk. The cacophony of sounds both ancient and modern from the cries of hawkers and the animated bargaining that have echoed through the centuries, to the modern motor horns, the riot of colors from spices to saris, and the equally diverse smells emanating from the street food stalls and spice markets that form part of the bazaar, this is truly an assault on the senses at every level. Next is an exploration of the Jama Masjid (1650 A.D.), the largest mosque in India. The Masjid (Mosque) 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.
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 guide explains the unique architectural and historic facets of this monument.
After exploring the tomb you will be driven back to your hotel.




Day 7: Delhi - Agra. 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 lunchTaj Mahal at a popular local restaurant. After lunch, you will be driven to your hotel, where you will 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 Guide 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 8: Agra - Jaipur. 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.
Check-out from your hotel and then you are driven to Abhaneri. You can either get a packed meal from your resort, or, before your arrival at Abhaneri, you have the option to stop for lunch at a reasonably priced nature resort that serves organic and all natural food, most of which is freshly picked from their estate. Chand Baori is a unique monument that is located next to a charming Rajasthani village. Please note that the local guides in Abhaneri are not as proficient in the English language as the guides you will have in other destinations, and their accents can be hard to understand. 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 Jaipur. Check-in at your hotel upon your arrival at Jaipur.




Day 9: Jaipur. 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 you are driven to the historic Samode region for a unique Rajasthani experience. The custodians will give you a guided tour of the unique Samode Palace, presently operating as a luxury boutique hotel.
Amber Fort The famous Rajasthani lunch is included at the Palace.
After lunch you will experience a camel back (camel-drawn cart is an option) safari through surrounding rural area, which is also dotted with historic monuments. A village walk will take place, when you can observe how the locals go about their daily lives and work. Please bear in mind that this is a semi-arid locale and there are no large sand dunes. You are driven back to your hotel in Jaipur after the camel safari.




Day 10: Jaipur. Continue your adventure with an exploration of the walled city of Jaipur, including the magnificent City Palace. You will visit Jantar Mantar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), which is the fascinating stone observatory built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728. Among other instruments, it includes a giant sun dial that is accurate to within 2 seconds. After the observatory comes a photo opportunity of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind). This intriguing facade was built in 1799 so that the ladies 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 of which is still occupied by the Royal family and is not accessible to the public), built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. This immense complex also houses a number of museums that offer a large and impressive collection of costumes, armory and miniature paintings. You will also take a stroll with your guide through the “pink” bazaar in the heart of the old town, and watch the locals as they bargain for their everyday necessities.
There is a break for an early lunch.
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 11: Jaipur - Udaipur. You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel and driven to the airport. You are assisted with boarding the morning no-frills flight to Udaipur.You are greeted on arrival at the Udaipur airport and driven to your boutique hotel, where you are assisted with your check-in, if an early check-in is available. If it isn’t, you can drop your bags off and use the facilities to freshen up.City PalaceProceed 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, 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, discovered recently in a store room off the palace.
There is a break for lunch.
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 12: Udaipur - Mumbai. You are at leisure this morning to enjoy the facilities at your hotel. You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel just before noon and then there is a break for an early lunch at a lake front restaurant. After lunch you will enjoy a three-wheeler (Tuk Tuk) ride through the streets, and then a guided walk with your guide to explore some of the markets in this charming city with a small town atmosphere. After the walk you are driven to the airport in time to board your early evening flight to Mumbai. You are greeted upon arrival at the Mumbai airport and driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check-in.




Day 13: Mumbai - Aurangabad. You are assisted with your check-out from your hotel and then you proceed for a guided city tour of Mumbai. The tour begins at 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. Gateway of IndiaDrive around Horniman Circle and visit the Town Hall, right beside the docks of Mumbai, and 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. Next you will Visit the Prince of Wales Museum, built to commemorate King George V’s first visit to India in 1905. Designed in the Indo-Saracenic style, the museum has sections of art, paintings, archeological exhibits and natural history.
There is a break for lunch.
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.
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 ends with a visit to the famous Dhobi Ghat where you can observe the age old tradition of the Dhobis doing Mumbai’s laundry!
After this tour, 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 14: Aurangabad. 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 Aurangabad to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ajanta We recommend that you take advantage of the packed lunch that the hotel can provide for its guests, for both today’s and tomorrow’s excursions. 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 Guide 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 15: Aurangabad - Mumbai. 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. Explore the magnificently sculptured cave temples 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, time permitting you will stop at Daulatabad Fort. This 14th century hilltop Fort is an impressive sight but what will amaze you is your guide’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 are greeted at the airport by a hotel representative, and ushered to your chauffeur driven vehicle. You are then driven to your hotel where you are assisted with your check-in by hotel staff.




Day 16: Mumbai - Cochin. 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. 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. 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 17: Cochin. 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 (closed on Fridays and Saturdays), which was built in 1568 and is still an active house of worship for the few remaining Jews in the area. If the synagogue is closed on this day, the visit can be facilitated on one of the other days that you are in Cochin. 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.
You now visit the most Fishing Net 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 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 18: Cochin - Backwaters cruise. You are assisted with your checkout and driven to the backwaters. Arrive at Alleppey and you are assisted in boarding your Houseboat.
Take our word for this, your Backwater 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 19: Backwaters Cruise - Cochin - International/Mumbai/Delhi Flight. Disembark from your houseboat in the morning and then you are driven to Cochin airport in time for your outbound flight.
Departure Option 1: If you are boarding your international flight from Cochin, since most international flights depart late at night or very early the next morning, we recommend that we reserve a room for you at the Courtyard by Marriott at Cochin airport. This is a much more upscale hotel than most western Courtyards, priced very reasonably, and located next to the airport with a complimentary shuttle.
Departure Option 2: If you are boarding a daytime flight to Mumbai/Delhi (this can be arranged as part of your tour - the flight cost is not included in your Travel Supplement) in order to connect with your international departure from that city, you will have three 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 or 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 departure is four or more hours from your scheduled arrival time at the domestic terminal at Mumbai or Delhi, you are greeted at the Mumbai/Delhi airport by an Easy Tours Facilitator and your personal chauffeur. Your personal vehicle and chauffeur are available to you until 9 pm for your assisted check-in at the airport. This is a good time to do some last minute shopping and/or sightseeing if you are so inclined - OR
Departure Option 2C: If your flight departs early the next morning, you may want us to arrange a room for you so you can rest.
Our services end at Mumbai/Delhi/Cochin airport.



Inclusions
* All three meals on the houseboat in Kerala and during Trek in Pokhara.
* Daily breakfast at all the hotels.
* Lunch at Samode Palace (Jaipur)
* Dinner and cooking lesson at a famous Keralan chef’s home
* 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
* Camelback (or Camel cart) safari at Samode.
* Sari and Turban Tying Demonstration and Lessons
* 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
* Representative for assistance on all arrival and departure transfers
* All transfers and sightseeing by personal Crossover
* Complimentary WiFi in all vehicles, except for remote regions
* Availability of an Easy Tours Travel Facilitator at all destinations
* Services of the best English or Spanish speaking local guides at all destinations.
* Services of ETI Travel Facilitators for all airport arrivals and departures and associated hotel check in’s and check outs. 
* Bottled water during sightseeing/excursions and other drives.
* All hotel taxes and surcharges.
* 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

Kathmandu
Hyatt Regency - Boudhanath Stupa View Room
Nagarkot
Mystic Mountain - Deluxe Room
Delhi
The Imperial - Imperial Room / The Oberoi - Deluxe Room (Your Choice)
Agra
Taj Gateway - Premium Taj View Room
Or
Trident - Garden / Pool View Room
Jaipur
Jai Mahal Palace - Luxury Room
Ranakpur
Fateh Bagh - Deluxe Room
Udaipur
Trident - Garden or Pool View 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
Or
The Trident - Deluxe Room
Backwaters
Deluxe AC Houseboat
Please contact us for Specials on this Tour.
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