- Tourcan Vacations
22 Day Hosted India & Nepal
CruisePlus Hosted Journey
Kathmandu to Cochin
October 27, 2019
Tourcan Vacations Land Tour
“Last year I had the incredible good fortune to take 17 people on my second trip to India and Nepal! This trip is so inspiring and enlightening – I want to keep sharing it with people who have this destination on their bucket list! If you have been wanting to see Nepal and India, please consider joining us on this, another adventure of a lifetime.” – Fiona
- 2-day cultural extravaganza at the Annual Pushkar Camel Fair with luxury tent accommodations
- An enchanting overnight experience in a houseboat on the Kerala Backwaters
- Speak with an exclusive guide from Ranthambhore’s Tiger Expedition Team
- So much more!
What we are Including
- 22-day guided tour with fun hosts Fiona & Gary
- 17 nights deluxe accommodation, 2 nights in a luxury tent, 1 night on a houseboat
- All transportation, including inter-tour flights
- 37 meals (19 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 8 dinners)
*Ask us about arranging your international flights!
Please note: Optional excursions, additional meals, additional nights, and gratuities, porterage are extra and are not included. Tour requires a minimum of 16 participants.
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Kathmandu to Cochin
Day 1 - Canada/KathmanduToday you will board your flight.
Day 2 - Arrive KathmanduWelcome to Nepal! Upon arrival at the airport, collect your luggage, clear immigration, clear and proceed towards the exit gate, where you will be met by our local representative and assisted transfer to the Hotel and check in. At the hotel, you are given a briefing about the program by our representative. Overnight: Hotel
Day 3 - Kathmandu - Nagarkot - KathmanduAfter breakfast depart to visit Boudhanath Stupa (UNESCO World Heritage Site) - it lies about 6 km to the east of downtown Kathmandu and is the largest stupa in the Valley. It looms 36 meters high and presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design. Boudhnath, a world heritage site, is also known as Khasti, or dew drops, after an account that says builders had to use dew to mix the mortar, as Kathmandu was suffering from a severe drought during its construction. Lunch will be served at Wutshala Garden Bhaktapur or similar. In the afternoon you will depart for an excursion to Nagarkot, and enroute visit Bhaktapur City/Durbar Square: Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a conglomeration of pagoda and shikhara-style temples grouped around a fifty-five window palace of brick and wood. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the Valley as it highlights the ancient arts of Nepal. The golden effigies of kings perched on the top of stone monoliths, the guardian deities looking out from their sanctuaries, the wood carvings in every place-struts, lintels, uprights, tympanums, gateways and windows - all seem to form a well-orchestrated symphony. The main items of interest in the Durbar Square are: The Lion Gate, The Golden Gate, The Palace of Fifty-five Windows, The Art Gallery and The Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla. Later arrive in Nagarkot. It is located 32 kms east of Kathmandu and is one of the most scenic spots in Bhaktapur district and is renowned for its spectacular sunrise view of the Himalaya when the weather is clear. It offers an excellent view of the Indrawati river valley to the east with an elevation of 2,195 meters. The panoramic views are described by visitors as a place whose beauty endures year round. Post sunset, enjoy dinner at the Fort Resort in Nagarkot - under the stars with bonfire. After dinner drive back to Kathmandu for overnight stay. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4 - KathmanduBreakfast at the hotel. Later depart for guided sightseeing tour to visit Kathmandu Valley. This day you will visit: Khokana: Khokana was seriously damaged in the 1934 earthquake, but it has retained many traditional aspects of Newari life. It is famous for producing mustard oil. There is no central square, as in the Bungamati, but there's plenty of action in the main street, village main temple is a two tiered construction of little interest, dedicated to Shekali Mai a mother goddess. Patan Durbar Square: is an enchanting mélange of Palace buildings, artistic courtyards and graceful pagoda temples. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the former Royal Palace complex is the center of Patan's religious and social life, and houses a museum containing an array of bronze statues and religious monuments. One remarkable monument here is 17th century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna, built entirely of stone. Tibetan Refugee Camp: This camp was set up in 1960 under the initiative of the International Red Cross & the Swiss Development Corporation in conjunction with HMG of Nepal. Its main objective is to help the Tibetan Refugees to do something to support themselves & get involved in the carpet & handicrafts fields. Lunch will be served at the Patan Museum café followed by visit to: Swayambhunath Stupa (monkey temple)-UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Buddhist shrine believed to be more than 2000 yrs old on a hillock on the western part of Kathmandu. The Tibetan Centre or Tibetan Refugee Camp was established by the then King of Nepal, King Mahendra, to accommodate Tibetans who fled the Chinese invasion of Tibet in the late 1950s., It is an interesting place where one can observe Tibetans in their daily lives, (though the place is quite commercial now - with shops of Tibetan carpets and other souvenirs). Later enjoy a rickshaw ride around the Thamel area for an hour. Thamel: Still in the seventies all the travelers guest houses were in the Freak Street area. Thamel was outside the proper town boundaries and there where many fields, scrubs and trees. Today, the entire area is clustered with houses with several floors and the streets are full of vibrant life. This evening enjoy traditional Nepalese Dance and dinner at one of the local restaurant (Utsav Restaurant/Nepali Chulo/Bancha Ghar). Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Meals: Breakfast
Day 5 - Kathmandu - DelhiBreakfast at the hotel. Check out and meet your local guide and depart to visit Pashupatinath Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site) of Lord Shiva, the holiest temple for Hindus, located in the bank of the River Bagmati (entrance inside the temple for Hindus only). Non-Hindus are allowed to see the temple from outside/across the river and also witness cremations taking place in the riverside Ghat). Continue to airport to board flight for Delhi. Arrive Delhi, clear immigration and proceed towards exit gate, where our local representative will meet you and transfer to hotel. Delhi is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. In contrast, the imperial city of New Delhi, created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi has been the seat of power for several rulers and many empires for about a millennium. Many times the city was built, destroyed and then rebuilt. Interestingly, a number of Delhi's rulers played a dual role, first as destroyers and then as creators. The city's importance lies not just in its past glory as the seat of empires and magnificent monuments, but also in the rich and diverse cultures. No wonder chroniclers of Delhi culture from Chand Bardai and Amir Khusro to present day’s writers have ever been at a loss for topics. In Delhi, you will discover that the city is sprinkled with dazzling gems: captivating ancient monuments, fascinating museums and art galleries, architectural wonders, a vivacious performing-arts scene, fabulous eating places and bustling markets. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast
Day 6 - DelhiBreakfast at the hotel. Later, meet your guide in the lobby and depart for sightseeing of Old and New Delhi and visit: The Jama Mosque (1656) and drive through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk. Then we drive past the Red Fort (1639-1648). Later visit Raj Ghat to pay homage to the Father of India's Nation-Mahatma Gandhi. The Jama Masjid: The great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It began in 1644 and ended in 1656 being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. Drive through the fabled area of Chandani Chowk and then drive past the Red Fort. Raj Ghat: The simple square platform of black marble marks the place where the father of the Nation, Mahatama Gandhi was cremated. Here you pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation. Lunch will be served at the Royal China Restaurant. After lunch, continue on your sightseeing and visit: Qutab Minar: Built in the early 13th century a few kilometres south of Delhi, the red sandstone tower of is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak to 14.32 m at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311), and two mosques, including the Quwwatu'l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples. Humanyun’s Tomb Located near the crossing of Mathura road and Lodhi road, this magnificent garden tomb is the first substantial example of Mughal architecture in India. It was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by a double dome. There are several graves of Mughal rulers located inside the walled enclosure and from here in 1857 A.D; Lieutenant Hudson had captured the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 7 - Delhi - VaranasiEarly breakfast at the hotel. Later check out, meet our representative at the hotel lobby and you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight to Varanasi. Arrive Varanasi, where our local representative will transfer you to your hotel and check in. Varanasi is the world's most ancient city and the home of Hinduism. The present name is derived from the fact that it is at the confluence of the two rivers Varuna and Asi that flow across the city. To the Hindus, Varanasi is the holiest city, with its array of shrines, temples and palaces rising in several tiers from the water’s edge. Varanasi is one of the most fascinating cities in the east. It is also a city of fairs and festivals, celebrating about four hundred of them during the year. Since time immemorial, Varanasi has been a center of learning and the tradition is kept alive today by the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founded in 1916. In the afternoon, meet our local guide in the lobby and depart for sightseeing to visit to Bharat Mata or Mother India Temple. The temple is located at the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth campus and dedicated to the Bharat Mata (Mother India). It was constructed by the Babu Shiv Prasad Gupt and inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1936. The statue of the Mother India is made up of marble and looks like a model which symbolizes the whole of India, representing the mountains, plains and oceans of the India. The Bharat Mata temple does not have a traditional statue of Gods or Goddess but it has a real map of the Mother India. Then visit Durga Temple, better known as the Monkey temple because of the large number of monkeys residing there. The temple was built in the 18th century. According to legend, the present statue of Goddess Durga was not made by man but appeared on its own in the temple. The architecture is of a Nagara Style, which is typical of North India. The temple has a rectangular tank of water called the Durga Kund ("Kund" meaning a pond or pool.) The temple has multi-tiered spires and is stained red with ochre, representing the red colour of Durga. The Kund was initially connected directly to the river thus the water was automatically replenished. This channel was later closed, locking off the water supply, which is replenished only by rain or drainage from the Temple. Enjoy a rikshaw ride on your way to the riverfront (Ghat) to witness the Ganga Aarti. Ganga aarti is a group of priests daily in the evening at this ghat perform "Agni Pooja" (Worship to Fire) wherein a dedication is made to Lord Shiva, River Ganga (the Ganges), Surya (Sun), Agni (Fire), and the whole universe. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast
Day 8 - Varanasi5:00 am depart for a boat ride on holy river Ganges to see the ritual bathing and cremation. It is worth the effort of waking up before sunrise and experiencing direct contact with life on the banks of the Ganges. This is a soul stirring experience as you witness the performance of various rituals, laundry & cremations in the background of the rising sun. We also have an opportunity to walk the narrow streets which are preserved as they were 100s of years back in time. Following your visit, you realize why Varanasi is described as the ‘eternal city! Return back to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast depart for an excursion to “Sarnath” – The ancient Buddhist learning center of Sarnath. Here, Gautama Buddha preached his first sermon to his disciples as portrayed in Bernardo Bertolucci’s film “Little Buddha.” We then visit the Sarnath Museum which houses some of the greatest treasures of Indian Buddhist art, including Lion Capital of Ashoka, the Sarnath museum has a small but awe-inspiring collection of Buddhist artifacts. Among the things to see is a beautiful sculpture of the Buddha from the fifth century. Return to the hotel and en route visit Benares Hindu University. Lunch will be served at the Gateway Hotel. Rest of the day is free for independent activities. Dinner will be served at The Great Kabab Factory at Hotel Radisson Overnight: Hotel Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9 - Varanasi/AgraBreakfast at the hotel. Check out and meet your driver in the hotel lobby and you will be transferred to the airport to board the flight for Agra. Arrive in Agra and proceed towards the exit gate and you will be met by our local representative to assist and transfer you to the hotel. Agra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India and is situated on the west bank of the river Yamuna, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Marked on the globe due to its architectural wealth Agra boasts some of the finest architectural splendors in the world. Agra holds some of the finest monuments of Indian history. After checking in at the hotel, proceed to visit Agra Fort. Agra is not only famous for Taj Mahal but the impressive Mughal Red Fort known as the Agra Fort. The Red Fort of Agra is a powerful fortress founded in 1565 by the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) on the right bank of the Yamuna; it is placed today on the north-west extremity of the Shah Jahan Gardens which surround the Taj Mahal and clearly form, with them, a monumental unity. This bastioned fortress, with walls of red sandstone rising above a moat and interrupted by graceful curves and lofty bastions, encompasses within its enclosure walls of 2.5 km, the imperial city of the Mogul rulers. Like the Delhi Fort, that of Agra is one of the most obvious symbols of the Mogul grandeur which asserted itself under Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. The citadel comprises a large number of fairy-like palaces: the Khas Mahal, the Shish Mahal, the octagonal tower of Muhammam Burj, as well as reception rooms: Diwan-e-Khas, built in 1637 and the many pillared Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience), constructed in 1628, under the reign of the luxury-loving Shah Jahan (1630- 55). Within the palatial complex, there are two very beautiful mosques of white marble, the Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque, constructed in 1646-53 by Shah Jahan and the Nagina Masjid built under the reign of Aurangzeb (1658-1707). Several of the buildings are made from pure marble with beautiful carvings; all of these monuments mark the apogee of an Indo-Muslim art strongly marked by influences from Persia which already manifested itself in Timurid art. Overnight: Hotel Meal: Breakfast
Day 10 - Agra/Ranthambhore via Fatehpur SikriEarly morning proceed to visit Taj Mahal at sunrise. **the visit will be after breakfast on a foggy weather** Taj Mahal (remains closed on Fridays), symbol of eternal love, which stands on the banks of River Yamuna. It was built by the 5th Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in the year 1631 in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took 22 years to complete. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". It is regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian and Indian architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return back to hotel for breakfast. After breakfast, check out and depart by road to Ranthambhore enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri (Ghost Capital), the political capital of India's Mughal Empire under Akbar's reign, from the year 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned, ostensibly due to lack of water. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. We visit Emperor Akbar's Residential complex, Mosque & Tomb of Salim Chisti. After the visit, drive to Bharatpur for early lunch. After lunch continue driving to Ranthambhore and upon arrival, check in at hotel. Ranthambhore National Park (Sawai Madhopur): Earlier the hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur, the Park at Ranthambhore was once the scene of royal hunting parties. Atop a 600 meter high range, covered in thorn trees, scrub and grasslands, it is beautiful with ponds, streams, lakes and old ruins. The shy tigers of Ranthambhore have often been photographed by visitors. Sambar, largest of all Asian deer are easily seen, as are Nilgai (blue bull) and Chinkara, the largest and smallest Indian antelope. Ranthambhore is also excellent for bird watching: peafowl, grey partridge, quail, sand grouse, flocks of parakeets, eagles, shorebirds and water birds. Overnight: Hotel Meals; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11 - RanthambhoreEarly morning depart for your first park safari by jeeps/canter. Return to hotel for breakfast. Rest of the morning is at leisure. Lunch will be served at the hotel. After lunch, depart for your second park safari by jeeps/canter. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 12 - Ranthambhore/JaipurBreakfast at the hotel. Check out and meet your driver in the hotel lobby for your overland journey to Jaipur. Arrive Jaipur and and check in at hotel. Jaipur, popularly known as the Pink City is the flamboyant and colorful capital of Rajasthan. With its rich & colorful past, resplendent with tales of valour and bravery, it is now one of the most important heritage cities in India. The city was founded in the year 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. It remains the only city in the world symbolizing the nine divisions of the universe, through nine rectangular sectors. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast
Day 13 - JaipurBreakfast at the hotel . 8:00 am meet your local guide in the hotel lobby and proceed to visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal Rajputs. Amber Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I. Amber Fort is known for its artistic style of Hindu elements. With its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks the Maota Lake, at its forefront. The aesthetic ambiance of this formidable fort is seen within its walls on a four level layout plan (each with a courtyard) in a well turned out, opulent palace complex built with red sandstone and marble, consisting of the Diwan-e-Aam or the "Hall of Public Audience", the Diwan-e-Khas or the "Hall of Private Audience", the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace) or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over the water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amer Fort is also popularly known as the Amber Palace. The palace was lived in by the Rajput Maharajas and their families. At the entrance to the palace near the fort’s Ganesh Gate, there is also a temple dedicated to Sila Devi, a goddess of the Chaitanya cult which was given to Raja Man Singh when he had defeated the Raja of Jessore, Bengal in 1604. (Jessore is now in Bangladesh). This fort, along with Jaigarh Fort, located immediately above on the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the same Aravalli range of hills, is considered as one complex, as the two are well connected by a subterranean passage. This passage was meant as an escape route in times of war for the royal family members and others in the Amber Fort to shift to the more redoubtable Jaigarh Fort. Ascent to the fort on Elephant / Jeep ride, and take a Jeep ride on the return (Elephants subject to availability; 4 – 6 people in one jeep). Lunch will be served in Samode Haveli. In the afternoon, proceed on a Jaipur City sightseeing tour and visit: Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal woman could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens. Later, proceed on a guided tour of the City Palace Museum. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The center of the palace is a seven storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine views over the gardens and the city. The City Palace includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces and other buildings. The Chandra Mahal Palace now houses a museum but the greatest part of it is, that it’s still the royal residence. The palace complex, which is located northeast of the centre of the grid patterned Jaipur city, incorporates an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732, initially by Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. He planned and built the outer walls, and later additions were made by successive rulers right up to the 20th century. The credit for the urban layout of the city and its structures is attributed to two architects namely, Vidyadar Bhattacharya, the chief architect in the royal court and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, apart from the Sawai himself who was a keen architectural enthusiast. The architects achieved a fusion of the Shilpa Shastra of Indian architecture with Rajput, Mughal and European styles of architecture. After that, visit the Solar Observatory - an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that gives accurate predictions to date. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 14 - Jaipur/PushkarBreakfast at the hotel. Check out and depart by road to Pushkar and upon arrival, check in at Hotel/tented accommodation. Lunch will be served at the hotel/camp. After lunch, depart to explore the famous Pushkar Camel Fair by camel cart (2 hr) and walk. Camel carts are exquisitely designed and decorated in the traditional manner. The carts reflect the designs that were prevalent during different periods of history. The carts are double as well as multi seated with their own exclusive camel driver. PUSHKAR- the holy town in Rajasthan is located 11 kms from Ajmer and 130 kms from Jaipur. It is known for its sacred lake. This little town is dotted with temples and is the only place in the country with a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma - the creator of the Universe. Legend has it that this lake was formed where Lord Brahma - the lord of creation - dropped a lotus on the day of the full moon. Every October/November, the famous Pushkar Fair is held for 9 days, finishing on Kartik Poonima (Full Moon). The Fair is predominantly a gathering with thousands of camels, cattle and horses for trade, with added attraction of games, races, local folk dances, song and entertainment. This is one of the oldest continuous socio-religious gatherings in the history of mankind. Dinner will be served at the Hotel /Camp. Overnight: Tents/Hotel Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 15 - PushkarBreakfast at Camp. Full day exploring the famous camel fair (walk). You may also visit bathing ghats of Pushkar Lake in the morning, where thousands of pilgrims take their holy bath. After breakfast, witness the biggest camel market in the world. Different varieties of camels are sold here and people can be seen bargaining to strike a good deal. Besides camels, horses and bullocks are sold here. Not only animals but riding equipment, jewelry, brassware, as well as bangles and ethnic handicrafts are also sold at the fair. The excitement touches the peak when the camel and cart races begin. Examining the animals for their different attributes, haggling over their prices and cheering the participants in the races are the major activities at the Pushkar Fair. Lunch and Dinner will be served at the Hotel / Camp. Overnight: Tent/Hotel Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 16 - Pushkar/UdaipurEarly breakfast at the hotel. Check-out from hotel and depart by road to Udaipur. Arrive and check in at the hotel. Udaipur is an oasis in the desert state of Rajasthan. The city of Udaipur, also known as the ‘White City’ or the ‘City of Lakes’ is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Rajasthan, the desert-adjoining state of India, surrounded by the verdant lushness of the Aravalli range. Established by Maharana Udai Singh in 1599 AD, ‘Udaipur’ literally means the ‘Sunrise City’ and lies around the soothing and tranquil waters of Lake Pichola. In the evening enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola: Fringed with hills, gardens, havelis, ghats and temples, Lake Pichola is the scenic focus of Udaipur. Set in it are Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir Palaces. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast
Day 17 - UdaipurBreakfast at the hotel. Meet your local guide in the hotel lobby and proceed for your city tour of the "Lake City Udaipur". Udaipur is probably the most romantic city in a state where every city has some romantic or exotic tale to tell. City sightseeing covering The City Palace and Museum, it is considered as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Pratap Memorial has the bronze statue of Maharana Pratap, the legendary warrior king of Udaipur. Jagdish Temple which was built in 1651 AD, and Saheliyon Ki Bari a small ornamental garden. In the evening take a walking tour through the narrow lanes and back streets of Udaipur up to the Washing Ghats at Lake Pichola. Rest of the day is kept free for independent activities. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast
Day 18 - Udaipur/Mumbai/CochinEarly morning transfer from hotel with a packed breakfast to airport in time to catch connecting flight for Cochin (via Mumbai). Arrive Cochin, meet upon arrival and transfer from the airport to your hotel. Cochin City: With its wealth of historical associations, and its magnificent setting on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, Cochin is one of the most fascinating cities of coastal South India. It is a city with indelible marks of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Jewish traditions. Of special mention is the older parts of the Fort Cochin area. It more or less exists as it used to, 1000-years behind our times. This part of the city reflects an unusual blend of medieval Portugal, Dutch and English country life grafted on to the tropical Malabar Coast. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast
Day 19 - CochinBreakfast at the hotel. Later depart for your sightseeing tour of Cochin. The 16th century Mattancherry also known as the Dutch Palace is a fascinating fort with elegant buildings and interesting collections from the Royal traditions of the region. The unique feature of Cochin is the unexpected and isolated Jewish community, whose origins date back to AD 52. They are self-contained and have their own Synagogue. The area around the Synagogue, known as 'Jew Town' is one of the main centers of the spice trade. Scores of small firms huddle together in old dilapidated buildings and the air is filled with the aroma of ginger, cardamom, cumin, turmeric and cloves, the area is very busy. Adjacent to the Synagogue is Cochin’s ancient and colourful Jew Street with its antique stores and souvenir shops and innumerable spice shops. Stop by at the Church of St. Francis established by the Portuguese Franciscan Friars in 1503. This is the first European Church built in India. Vasco Da Gama the Portuguese sailor who discovered the sea route to India was buried in this church and whose mortal remains were shifted to Portugal a few years later. We will then tour of The Fish market and Chinese Fishing Nets. Enormous nets (or their design) were brought here by the Chinese explorer Zhang almost six centuries ago. These nets are still in use. Lunch at Podua House/Nimmi House. In the evening depart to witness the famous dance drama of Kerala, The Kathakali. This dance can be characterized by grotesque gesticulations, amazing costumes and very extensive make-up. The stories are mostly taken from the epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 20 - Cochin/Alleppey/Backwater CruiseBreakfast at your hotel. After, drive to Alleppy ( 65 Kms/2 hrs) and board your Backwater cruise. Enjoy Houseboating, for a unique experience through the narrow canals and channels of the backwaters of Kerala. The materials that go into the making of houseboats are all local and Eco-friendly; bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats carpets etc. The main wood used is "Anjali ". The Houseboat provides all comforts - beds, a kitchen, western toilets and an upper deck. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. The cuisine is of traditional Kerala flavor along with the local specialties - delicious fish and prawns. Cruising on a boat through remote tribal villages along the tranquil backwaters of Kerala is a superb experience. Sensational in its own silent way, the cruise takes you along snake boat docks, friendly cheering villagers, coir (Jute) making communities, toddy (local spirit) shops, fishing nets pitched for the day's catch, bonded paddy fields and manual canoes of different sizes criss-crossing each other. An unforgettable experience. Lunch on the houseboat. Overnight: A/C Premium Houseboat, Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 21 - Alleppey/CochinIn the Morning breakfast will be served on board. Later check out and drive to Cochin. Arrive and check in to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight: Hotel Meals: Breakfast
Day 22 - Depart CochinBreakfast at the hotel. Farewell to India. Check out and transfer to Cochin airport to connect flight for onward destination.
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