Live like a maharaja on travels from northern India to its southern tip, while taking in cultural treasures and staying in lavish palace hotels. Two-night stays in luxurious Agra accommodations with views of the spectacular Taj Mahal, and in Udaipur at one of the world’s top-rated hotels, are just a few of many highlights on Windhorse’ s comprehensive India tour. Explore Old Delhi aboard a trishaw through back streets and bazaars, view the temples of Khajuraho, and cruise by houseboat through Kerala’s canals. Unique experiences on your India tour include a private ceremonial dinner and boat ride on the Ganges River to witness spiritual rituals in Varanasi, a cooking demonstration and traditional dinner in the home of a Kerala chef, and an unforgettable holistic martial arts demonstration.
Day 01: Arrival in Delhi:
Upon arrival at Delhi International Airport you will be met by Windhorse representative and transferred to Hotel The Oberoi New Delhi. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 02: Explore New Delhi Delhi (B/L/D)
After breakfast city tour of New Delhi visiting the fabulous sights- Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace), India Gate and other palatial government buildings. Visit Humayun tomb,Qutub Minar with a historic Iron Pillar that has survived the ravages of time for over 1500 years. You will also visit modern day landmarks of the city, its new shopping arcades in Connaught Place. Overnight at The Oberoi New Delhi.
Day 03 : Explore Old Delhi (B/D)
After breakfast at the hotel tour of the city takes you to the sumptuous Mughal monuments Red fort visit India’s largest mosque Jama Masjid with its black and white onion domes, minarets and white marble, and take a cycle rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk, the bustling old bazaar (market). Later on you can pay your respects at the final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, the Raj Ghat. Overnight at The Oberoi New Delhi.
Day 04: Excursion to Sarnath (B/L/D)
Board flight for Varanasi. The city is the oldest living city of the world an excursion to Sarnath, the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first sermon about the basic principles of Buddhism. It has been a premier centre for Buddhism & has a rich collection of ancient Buddhist relics & antiques comprising numerous Buddha & Bodhisattva images on display at the Archaeological Museum. In evening enjoy the famous Aarti (prayer) ceremony at the bank of river Ganges. Overnight at hotel at Gateway Hotel Ganges.
Day 05: River cruise and fly to Khajuraho (B/L/D)
Morning cruise on the river Ganges. Witness the daily miracle to unfold, as the Sun appears triumphantly over the horizon. The sound of conches & temple bells add to the delicate pink fabric of dawn. Later we explore the city by foot to get the feel of this oldest living city of the world.
Board flight for Khajuraho:
Explore temples famous for the magnificent carvings depicting numerous exotic postures of the famous Kamasutra. Only 22 temples survive of the 85 originally built. Overnight at hotel at Grand Temple View.
Day 06: Orchha / Train to Agra (B/L/D)
Morning proceed to Jhansi train station. En route visit the beautiful Orchha village visit Jahangir Mahal, built by Raja Bir Singh Ji Deo in the 17th century to commemorate the visit of Emperor Jahangir to Orchha with visit to Raj Mahal, built in the 17th century by Madhukar Shah. You also visit Ram Raja temple. Board train to Agra.
Overnight at The Oberoi Amarvilas.
Day 07: Experience Taj Mahal & Agra Fort (B/L/D)
Early morning at sunrise visit to Taj Mahal – the monument of love, which was built in 1630 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal. Back to hotel and after breakfast visit the Red Fort of Agra built by Akbar the great. a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside, witness the medieval lifestyles of 16th- and 17th-century Mughal emperors. Overnight at The Oberoi Amarvilas.
Day 08: Jaipur:Ghost city (B/L/D)
Drive to Jaipur en route visit to ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri built in 1569 by the Mughal emperor Akbar. Here you can visit the complex built for the Akbar’s Hindu wife called Jodha Bai Palace. Mariyam Palace and Panch Mahal. Visit the famous Dargah with the highest entrance gate in Asia. Arrive in Jaipur for a two-night stay at the former palace home of a Maharaja, the Rambagh Palace. Overnight The Rambagh Palace.
Day 09: Palaces and Pavillions of Jaipur (B/L/D)
Morning after breakfast enjoy half-day excursion to Amber fort with Elephant Ride (subject to availability). Enjoy the sights of the Shish Mahal, built in the 17th century a perfect blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture will surely hypnotize you. Also see the hall of public audiences and Maharaja Man Singh’s Palace who had 12 queens. Later on visit the city palace Museum, the royal residence and Jantar Mantar (astronomical observatory).
Overnight The Rambagh Palace.
Day 10: Scenic lake cruise and a world-renowned resort stay (B/L/D)
Fly to Udaipur – the city of Lakes. Enjoy a two-nights stay amidst the romance and splendor of your palatial lakefront resort, rated the “number one hotel in the world” by the readers of Travel + Leisure.In evening enjoy cruise at lake pichola. Overnight at The Oberoi Udaivilas.
Day 11: Discover Udaipur (B/L/D)
After breakfast enjoy the city tour of Udaipur – the beautiful 16th century city is considered to be the most romantic spot in India. Visit city palace, here you will see rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the peacock courtyard. Also visit the lovely Sahelion- ki- Bari (royal maid garden), the jagdish Temple and the local folk museum. Overnight at The Oberoi Udaivilas.
Day 12: Arrive Cochin / Sunset cruise + Kathakali dance visit (B/L/D)
Fly to Kochin (Cochin) Cochin (Kochi) a cosmopolitan city in the federal state of Kerala, is known as the gate way to Kerala for tourist as well as business travelers. It is the ideal starting point for exploring the diversity and beauty of Kerala – the god own country, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler’s ’50 greatest places of a lifetime’. At 1700hrs enjoy a sunset cruise on private motorboat on the Arabian sea. Later for a visit to 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 at hotel Le Meridien Cochin.
Day 13: Cochin sightseeing + Cooking demo/Cooking Traditional Syrian Christian Cuisine (B/L/D)
Explore Cochin visiting: ‘The Jewish Synagogue’ at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town, The Dutch Palace, Spice market at the narrow streets, ‘The St. Francis Church’, the oldest European Church in India, ‘The Santa Cruz Basilica’ originally built in 1557 by the Portuguese.In the evening hand on cooking by one of the most famous cookery demonstrator from Kearla MS. NIMMI PAUL. The cooking demo in traditional kerala home ambiance followed by Dinner with one of those dishes on the demo is definitely an experience must during your visit to Kerala.
Overnight at hotel Le Meridien Cochin.
Day 14: Cochin to Kumarakom – Kumarakom Lake Resort (B/L/D)
Check out from the hotel and drive the back roads to reach the Unique backwater destination of Kumarakom. On the back roads you will come across with every turn a new feast for eyes that includes the real village of coastal kerala, people of work at coir/rope, fisherman etc..etc… In the evening enjoy the cultural evening folowed by Dinner at residing hotel. Overnight at Kumarakom Lake Resort.
Day 15: Kerala Backwater Cruise on “Kettuvallom” (Houseboat) (B/L/D)
Morning at leisure in the hotel or enjoy a nice ayurvedic general body massage at the resorts Ayurveda centre. At 1230hrs embark a private House Boat which will take you on a tour through the backwaters, a splendid area full of canals, lakes and coves. You can sunbathe on the deck or observe the landscape from the protection of the cabin. The people sail, fish, swim and do their washing and their washing up. They are so adapted to the water that you can see people talking for long time while they are up to their necks in water. Country boats/canoes take care of the supplies and the public transport by government is also the major mode of transport for people living on backwater lands. The trip goes through a wonderful area full of coconut palms, Rice fields and floating water plants that surround the boat like emerald Green Island. The trip ends by Sunset and you disembark at the hotel of stay. Just before dinner enjoy the most spectacular show of the seldom available “Kalaripayat” – traditional martial art form of Kerala. Dinner at residing hotel. Overnight at Kumarakom Lake Resort – Kumarakom
Day 16: Welcome Mumbai (B/L/D)
Fly to the “City of Gold surrounded on three sides by the Arabian Sea. Upon arrival, an introductory sightseeing tour maps out the city for you. Your accommodations for the next two nights are at the five-star deluxe Taj Mahal. Overnight the Hotel Taj Mahal.
Day 17: Excursion to Elephanta (B/L/D)
In today’s visits include the towering Gateway of India and sweeping Marine Drive, resplendent with a thousand glittering lights. Drive on this avenue known as the Queen’s Necklace, serving as the main thoroughfare that links Malabar Hill with the rest of the city. Continue to Mani Bhawan, the small museum dedicated to the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi; Kamla Nehru Park; Dhobi Ghat, a sprawling, colorful outdoor laundry; and the Prince of Wales Museum. Overnight at Taj Mahal Mumbai
Day 18: Journey Home Tour ends: Mumbai (Bombay).
Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from your hotel in Bombay International Airport.
Starting from USD$ 2340 , however it depends on group size, travel date, hotel. Contact us for details.
- Acommodation in listed hotels
- Meals at shown in the itinerary (B/L/D)
- Private chaffeure driven car through out the tour
- Personal accompaying Windhorse Tour escor cum guide.
- Admission fees visitng monuments
- Private boat cruise on river ganges in Varanasi (on day 5)
- Train Ticket from Jhansi -Agra (on day 6)
- Ride on Elephant at Amber Fort in Jaiour (on day 9)
- Common boat cruise at Lake Pichola in Udaipur (on day 10)
- Sunset cruise in Kochi (on day 12)
- Kathkali dance show in Kochi (day 12)
- Cooking demonstration in Kochi (on day 13)
- Backwater river cruise (on day 15)
- Excursion to Elephanta Caves (on day 17)
- All internal flights as mentioned in the itinerary
- Any kind of personal expenses
- International flight
Everything was well organised,the hotels were all good (some really good, others just good, as one expects making such a long tour). Just at Badami Court it didn’t work out as foreseen, because the hotel was overbooked and Christian was sent to very poor premises. But to excuse themselves they offered compensations, so it was no tragedy. The Hotel Dewachen in Buthan was lovely in it simplicity, but the nice people who manage it still have to learn a lot about receiving guests; when we arrived every place was very cold, both dining room and bedroom (and temperature outside was very cold!). They started heating after our arrival, which resulted in freezing for at least an hour in the dining room and far more in the bedroom, where the stove was small and heathing for no longer than an hour without being fed new logs!! We washed ourselves very little that evening/morning, too cold to undress!! On top of that, it seemed very evident to me that the bed sheets had already been used by other people: inside the bed I found several body hairs,which presence I can’t explain in any other way. But finally we took the whole thing as a new experience, laughed about it and made no problems. I’m just telling you because I think you should be aware of these disfunctions.
The other hotels in Buthan were all very good, we can only recommend them. The Amankora was extremely nice, but overpriced, it’s true. Anyway Christian wanted to see it, a study visit, so we were happy to be there one night. Also in Karnataka the hotels were fine. The Aiswara Fort Hotel was at the limit, but probably in this town they have nothing better to offer. On Havelock Island we had a very nice time, nature is do beautiful and the coral barrier so beautiful. We so a lot just by snorkelling. The Silver Sand was ok, but surely the Barefoot Resort would have been better for us, especially for the food (in our resort it was too indian for our bellys!). We went to Barefoot for dinner once and we can only recommend it. The only little problem we had on Havelock was that we had understood from the program that we would be met by somebody both at Port Blair Airport and at Havelock’s harbour. So we waited quite a bit, before organising ourselves on our own. If we had known that from the beginning, it would have made it easier. In reality it’s nothing complicated, just take a taxi.
The guides and drivers were all very good: Tandin Tshering, a specialist of Buddhism, and Gudu, perfect driver, in Buthan, Sridhar in Karnataka, very nice, competent and helpfull people. We remember them with a lot of pleasure. The one-day guide in Kolkata, Mr. Samik Kumar Ray, was extremely competent, it was really interesting to spend some time with him. We wish to thank you for having arranged so well this tour for us, which will leave a strong print in our memories and hearts. Please,extend our thanks to all the guides and drivers, who made all what they could to make us happy.Friendly regards,
Actually I hadn’t thought you would want to put our comments on your website, we had meant them for your business only, especially the critics. But if you wish I’ll rearrange the text so it will be suitable for the website.I think I forgot to underline how perfect the agent’s representatives were both in Kolkata and in Bangalore. When I suddenly had to go back to Italy, the representative of the local agency insisted to accompany me to the airport, find the flight, find a hotel where to spend the waiting time, he was really great. Although I’m used to travel a lot on my own, I realized how things in that occasion would have been much more diificult without his help. And all that was not included in the package !!
– Cecilia and Christian Bauer
Cecilia R & Christian B20091029
Rajasthan and north India Tour ( 10 Feb- 04 March 2009)
Dear Amit, Things have been very busy since we have returned. Today is really the first change I’ve had to write to you. I promised to provide you with feedback about our trip. In short, the trip was sensational! Every detail was planned and executed to perfection.
Windhorse: Windhorse Tours did an outstanding job of planning our trip every step of the way. We travel internationally annually. This was the best planned of any trip we have ever taken. Ugen Tshering was a wonderful help to us as we began putting the details for the trip together. It certainly was an asset for us to be able to deal with someone in the US who we could talk to on the phone.
Our hotels: All 13 of our hotels were pleasant, clean and well appointed. Check-in and check-out was always smooth and obviously well planned. We do have some favorites –
The Lalit in Delhi was a beautiful and welcoming spot after a grueling trip. It refreshed us and was very beautiful. The Laxmi Niwas Palace in Bikaner is fantastic. Our room was out of a fairy tale. Khimsar Fort was probably our favorite. The setting is so fantastic and every detail makes you believe you are living the life of a maharajah. Shiv Niwas Palace in Udaipur was fabulous. Our room was very large, well located and lovely. Taj Hai Mahal in Jodpur. Thank you for recommending this change to our plan. We thought the hotel was first rate. Transfers and and city guides: Flawless. We never had a moment’s concern. We were always aware that Windhorse was looking after us.
Vikas Chauhan. Vikas had been recommended to us by our friends Dick and Joan Keiser who had traveled with Windhores in September 2007. Vikas was our guide and companion for 17 wonderful days. He enriched the trip immeasurably. He provided us with so much incredible information, not only about the sites, but also about Indian history, society and culture. Every long car ride was an opportunity for learning. Each day had a specific theme. One day the caste system; another marriage customs; Hindu deities; Jainism…. I could go on and on.
We enjoyed every day we spent with Vikas. He took extremely good care of us. He also surprised us with several unanticipated and interesting stops along the way such as the Karni Mata Temple, Osian, Chittorgarh Fort, Akbrar’s Tomb and Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb among others. We were surprised and delighted when Vikas picked us up at the airport upon our return from Varanasi and had more treats in store for us as we awaited our late night flight home. We feel extremely lucky to have had him as our guide and would recommend him highly to anyone interested in travel in India. Our driver for the Rajasthan portion, Budh Ram, was very accomplished and professional. We knew we were in good hands. Dr. Shailesh Tripalthi was our guide in Varanasi. Also recommended to us by the Keisers. We appreciate your efforts in arranging for him to guide us. He is an archaeologist, a priest, a palm reader and an astrologer. A very interesting character who has guided celebrities in the past. He enriched our trip to Varanasi a great deal.
Thanks again for your wonderful work. Please feel free to use our names as references. We’d be happy to talk to anyone who has an interest.
Linda and Mark LuftigFeb 10 - March 04,2009
We just wanted to say a very big ‘thank you’ on behalf of ourselves and the other intrepid explorers. We really had a fantastic trip and everyone said that it really has been an experience of a life time.
You did an excellent job putting it all together and everything just ran like clockwork.
What can we say about our Tour Director except that he was just wonderful. He did a first class job, under difficult circumstances sometimes. One of our travellers was not the easiest to deal with. Good hearted but almost always cantankerous, in America never mind India. You did a good job for your company when you found him and I am sure he will promote and enhance your business in the years ahead Nothing was ever too much trouble and whatever anyone needed he dealt with it, no matter what it was. He has a great sense of humour and we all felt a little sad at having to say goodbye to him.
If we had any complaints at all, it was the bus .The seating was not really wide enough for two to sit comfortably and its suspension left a great deal to be desired. Having said that the driver and co-driver were just excellent and took great care of us all.
Santosh, if you do as good a job for everyone travelling with you, then the future success of your business is assured. Many thanks again and if you need any testimonials, just let us know. We will pass your card to our travel consultant here and if she has anyone wanting to travel to India she can make contact with you.
We will be back again in October/November and we are not sure at the moment whether we will just come for the wedding or stay a while and see the South. Maybe take a driver and just have a general look around or arrange with you a tour. Either way, we will see you in Delhi on our way through.
Oh, I must remember to thank you for the wonderful accommodation you provided in the Oberoi. It was truly magnificent and really made our anniversary one never to be forgotten. It is in my future calendar to make a another visit to the Oberoi and of course the Taj Mahal. I expected it to be beautiful but I think you have to see it to believe it. Photographs are one thing but they can’t even begin to match the spectacle of seeing it with your own eyes.
We will stay in touch and let you know our travel arrangements when we have a firm date for the wedding.
Our very best wishes to you and to your family