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zKerala, Rajasthan & the Taj Mahal

14 days

Never more than 16 guests. Guaranteed.

Small Group Discoveries for our World Travelers

  • Our most extensive journey showcases the lush scenery and Colonial-era history of the south and the impressive Mughal monuments of north India.
  • Spend the day on a private houseboat exploring the quiet waters and timeless fishing villages of Kerala.
  • Experience authentic facets of local life when you dine with a resident family in Cochin and explore the bustling night markets of Old Jaipur.

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Day
1

Welcome to Kochi (Cochin)

Check in to the deluxe Brunton Boatyard Hotel. Settle in to your inviting seaview room and enjoy the balance of this day at leisure.

Day
2

Discover Historic Cochin

After breakfast, set out with your in-the-know guide to discover the captivating spirit and architectural highlights of Cochin, hailed by long-ago seafaring merchants as the Queen of the Arabian Sea! You’ll tour the historic Dutch Palace and the 16th-century Jewish Synagogue. Traveling along the picturesque harbor of the first European settlement in India, you’ll have a chance to see fishermen at work with their traditional Chinese fishing nets. Continue to the area around Fort Kochi, founded nearly 500 years ago and still home to centuries-old landmarks built by the Dutch and Portuguese. Then visit historic St. Francis Church, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco De Gamma died in 1524, before returning to your hotel. This evening, we’ve made special arrangements for you to spend time with a local family. Watch as the evening meal is prepared and then sit down with your hosts for a congenial meal. It’s a unique and fascinating look into the enduring traditions and modern spirit of south India.  Meals B,L,D 

[For guests on a “Go Any Day” Private Tour, please note that the Dutch Palace is closed on Friday. The Jewish Synagogue is closed on Friday, Saturday and all Jewish Holidays.]

Day
3

The Backwaters of Kerala

Depart your hotel this morning and visit a small factory where coir is manufactured. This is an important part of the region’s socio-economic landscape and offers an insightful look into local life. Continue to Alleppey, a charming town of shady streets and canals that captures the magic and romance of South India! Here you’ll board our privately chartered houseboat for a delightful cruise along the tranquil waters of Kerala. Enjoy a delightful lunch of traditional Kerala-style cuisine prepared by your attentive onboard staff and witness timeless scenes of daily life including fishermen in their cockleshell boats, cattle grazing quietly in lush pastures and women neck-deep in the water searching for fish! As you make your way toward Lake Vembanad, you’ll get another look into the daily rhythms of local life when you step ashore for a walking tour in a waterfront village. Continue to Kumarakom on the shores of Lake Vembanad where you’ll disembark and check in to the enchanting Kumarakom Lake Resort.  Meals B,L,D

Day
4

Along the Shores of Lake Vembanad

This entire day is at leisure so you can enjoy the idyllic lakeside setting and fine amenities of your resort.  Meals B,L,D

Day
5

Onward to Udaipur

Transfer to the airport in Kochi for your included flight to Udaipur. Founded in 1568 by Maharaja Udai Singh, India’s “City of Dreams” is home to some of the country’s most lavish palaces and architectural monuments, a legacy of an artistic renaissance that began here in the 16th century. Upon arrival, you’ll be escorted to The Leela Palace, a stylish luxury hotel with an enviable location overlooking romantic Lake Pichola.  Meals B,D

Day
6

Experience the Romance of Udaipur

Your expertly guided exploration of Udaipur begins this morning at the City Palace. Built nearly 300 years ago and opulently decorated in a variety of styles encompassing everything from glittering Belgian mirrors to finely detailed Mogul paintings, this is one of the largest palace complexes in the world! You’ll also explore the charming and bustling lanes of the city on our specially arranged Tuk Tuk adventure and visit the impressive Jagdish Temple, constructed in 1651 and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. In the afternoon, set out across the tranquil waters of Lake Pichola on a delightful boat excursion; it’s the perfect way to appreciate the romance and beauty of the city and its many fine palaces and landmarks. This evening’s Sound & Light Show at Manek Chowk brings history to life in a most entertaining and dramatic way.  Meals B,D

Day
7

Journey to Jodhpur

This morning’s scenic drive brings you to beautiful Ranakpur Temple, one of the biggest and most important Jain temples in all of India, set in a remote and peaceful valley of the Aravalli Hills. The main temple is the Chamukha Temple with its 29 halls supported by 1,444 pillars, no two of which are alike! Continue your journey to Jodhpur and check in to the luxurious Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, set in a magnificent palace perched high above this desert capital.  

Then join your guide to explore the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, built in 1459 atop a sandstone hill with spectacular views of the Old City and Jaswant Thada, an imposing 19th-century marble cenotaph dedicated to the Maharajah Jaswant Singh II. The Fort also houses a museum highly acclaimed for its extensive collection of Jodhpur’s royal memorabilia including jewelry, miniature paintings, Imperial saddles and colorful festival tents.  Meals B,L

Day
8

Through the Rajasthani Countryside to Jaipur

This morning’s journey takes you though the fascinating and colorful countryside to the Rajasthani capital of Jaipur, founded in 1727 and fondly known as India’s Pink City. Upon arrival, check in to the 5-star Fairmont Hotel. You’ll have time to refresh and relax before joining your guide this evening for a walking tour in Jaipur’s Old City. Explore bustling lanes overflowing with shops and market stalls, and visit a colorful saree emporium where you’ll learn how to don this traditional garment and how to tie a turban. Meals B,L,D

Day
9

Explore Jaipur

An unforgettable experience awaits you this morning as you ascend to the Amber Palace! Upon reaching the hilltop, you’ll join your guide for a tour of this grand monument, a legacy of the never-conquered Rajput Kingdom. Admire its lavish courtyards, beautifully decorated halls and the lovely Chamber of Mirrors. Then return to the city to marvel at the lovely Palace of Winds, built at the end of the 18th century so that women of royal families could conceal themselves behind its latticed façade as they watched the hustle and bustle of the street activity below. This is the heart of Jaipur’s celebrated shopping district, so you’ll have some free time to browse for gifts and mementos.  

In the afternoon, you’ll visit the City Palace Museum, highly regarded for its extensive collection of miniature paintings, weapons and traditional Rajasthani royal costumes. Before returning to your hotel, you’ll also visit Jantar Mantar c, an observatory built in 1726. You’re sure to be astounded by these architectural stone instruments - ingeniously designed and meticulously constructed to measure time, predict eclipses and track the movements of the stars and planets. The largest instrument stands 90 feet tall and all are amazingly accurate!  

This evening, a thrilling adventure awaits as you embark on an exclusive safari through the forests outside of town! Meals B, L,D

Day
10

Onward to Agra

Depart Jaipur after breakfast and visit the legendary “ghost town” of Fatehpur Sikri c. Built in the 16th century and mysteriously abandoned not long afterward, this veritable fairy tale city and its “ruins” are still in pristine condition, making it easy to imagine the opulence of long-ago court life. Continue to Agra and check in to your Taj-view room at the luxurious Oberoi Amarvilas. 

This evening, you’ll visit the Taj Mahal c to watch as this celebrated landmark reflects the rose and golden tints of sunset. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the mid 1600’s as a memorial to his beloved wife, a work force nearly 22,000 strong spent more than 20 years on its construction. As the day wanes, your guide will share the wrenching tale of this everlasting tribute to an undying love.  Meals B,L,D 

[For guests on a “Go Any Day” Private Tour, please note that the Taj Mahal is closed on Friday.]

Day
11

Out and about in Agra

Arise early this morning for a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal! Gaze in awe as the translucent white marble of this monument-to-love catches the first golden light of the morning! Return to your hotel for breakfast and then set out once again with your guide to visit the impressive Agra Fort c, an enormous hilltop citadel with fabulous courtyards, fountains and gates. Tour the opulent chambers of this erstwhile royal residence and then return to the city, where you’ll be captivated by the colors and rhythms of everyday life in India. This evening, you’ll attend a special performance where the dramatic love story behind the Taj Mahal will be presented in a dance-filled theatrical spectacle.  Meals B,D  

[For guests on a “Go Any Day” Private Tour, please note that the Taj Mahal is closed on Friday.]

Day
12

Travel to Delhi

Early this morning, we’ve arranged for an exclusive Yoga class on the lovely landscaped grounds of a private home belonging to a renowned family here in town. Return to your hotel for breakfast and check-out, and then embark on the scenic drive to Delhi. Upon arrival, check in to the elegant Leela Palace Hotel, where you’ll have time to refresh and relax before dinner.  Meals B,D

Day
13

Delhi… Old and New

Your expertly guided exploration of Old Delhi begins this morning at Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Marvel at the imposing façade of the Red Fort c, a powerful symbol of the Mughal Empire, and then hop aboard a traditional pedicab to explore the bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk, home to Asia’s largest wholesale spice market and the tightly packed stalls of the colorful Kinari Bazaar which specializes in colorful decorations and glittering accessories for weddings and festivals. Visit the Arts & Crafts Museum and then sit down to lunch at Veda; owned by one of India’s top fashion designers, this stylish restaurant is highly regarded for its haute Indian cuisine.   

In the afternoon,  you’ll visit two of the city’s most significant World Heritage Sites: Humayun’s Tomb c and Qutab Minar c, a graceful 12th-century minaret embellished with impressive carvings. Before returning to your luxury hotel, you’ll also drive down the grand Rajpath, laid out by the British, and still graced with Victorian-era landmarks like the impressive India Gate, Presidential Palace and Parliament House.  Meals B,L,D

Day
14

Depart Delhi

Your tour with us ends this morning after breakfast.  Meals B

Extend Your Trip

Add Varanasi after your journey

3 days from $1,199

Experience evocative ancient traditions on our luxury sojourn in one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities. It’s the perfect way to finish your exploration of Southern and Northern India’s colorful highlights.

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Day
1

From Delhi to Varanasi

Transfer to the airport for your included flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the Taj Nadesar Palace, a celebrated luxury landmark on the banks of the Ganges that has been welcoming royalty, statesmen and celebrities for more than 150 years! This evening, we’ll take you to the banks of the Ganges River for the ancient Aarti Ceremony, a moving ritual of light and devotion that unfolds at twilight.

Day
2

Dawn on the Ganges, City Tour and Excursion to Sarnath

Arise early this morning and join your knowledgeable guide for one of the most powerful and evocative travel experiences you will ever have. As you enjoy a sunrise boat excursion on the sacred Ganges River, you’ll observe thousands of devout Hindus descending to the riverbanks for purification in these holy waters – just as it’s been done for centuries here in this ancient city! Continue your guided city tour with some of the most significant temples of ancient Varanasi including the Bharat Mata (Mother of India) Temple. Later this afternoon, join your guide for an excursion to Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon, revealing his doctrine and founding his first monastic community. Continue to the widely acclaimed Sarnath Museum, home to an outstanding collection of Indian sculpture and carvings from the 3rd century BC to the 12th century.  Meals B

Day
3

Fly back to Delhi

After breakfast, your private car and driver will take you to the airport for your included flight to Delhi. Our tour services end at the airport for your journey onward from the capital.  Meals B

Discover Mumbai before your tour

3 days for $999

Begin your exploration of India in Mumbai (Bombay), one of India’s most historic and vibrant cities. This complete and affordable Pre-Tour Extension even includes the world-famous Elephanta Caves, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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Day
1

Welcome to Mumbai (Bombay)

Check in to the deluxe Oberoi Hotel.

Day
2

Discover Mumbai and Elephanta Island

After breakfast, your guide will be waiting to show you the highlights of Muimbai. First you’ll cross Mumbai Harbor to Elephanta Island, home to spectacular rock-cut temples of the 7th century. Dedicated to Shiva, these ancient and awe-inspiring cave temples feature some of India’s most spectacular carvings!

In the afternoon, continue your tour of Mumbai with the iconic Gateway of India, built along the bustling waterfront during the British Raj. You’ll also marvel at the imposing Victoria Terminus, modeled after historic St. Pancras Station in London complete with carved stone friezes, stained glass windows and flying buttresses. At the Prince of Wales Museum, arguably the best museum in the country, you’ll gain an extensive and fascinating introduction to Indian history and culture.  Meals B

Day
3

Fly to Cochin (Kochi)

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your included flight to Kochi. Upon arrival, you’ll be met and escorted to the Brunton Boatyard Hotel to begin your 14-day tour From Kerala to the Taj Mahal.  Meals B

Private Tour Add-Ons

Mumbai (Bombay)

Our 3-day FreeStyle Travel package includes 2 nights hotel, daily breakfast, private airport transfers and sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide.

Varanasi

Our 3-day FreeStyle Travel package features your choice of city-center hotel, daily breakfast, private airport transfers and in-depth sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide.

Kathmandu

Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package includes a choice of fine hotels, daily breakfast, extensive sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide and chauffeured airport transfers.

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Nehru Trophy Boat Race  

Travel with us in August and witness one of India’s most thrilling spectacles, an exciting boat race in Kerala featuring traditional “Snake Boats” with 100-man teams rowing to enthusiastic chants.

Onam Festival  

Go in September for an ancient festival dedicated to a mythical king who ruled in Kerala. Join a local family to experience colorful ancient traditions including carpets of flowers to adorn their home.

Diwali Festival  

Travel in October to experience this ancient Hindu festival in Jaipur. You’ll be enthralled as innumerable candles and lanterns illuminate the roofs and streets of India’s Pink City.

Elephant Festival  

These special departures take you to Sree Parthasarathy Temple outside of Kumarakom to watch the King of Elephants lead a glittering procession of his pachyderm “subjects.”

Trip Type

Prices are per person, land only. We offer air on Emirates.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

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