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A Portrait of India – Tauck 2018

Prices from $9,940 plus on air for 18 Days – Tauck World Discovery

Priced in Australian Dollars, per person based on double occupancy

OVERVIEW

You’ll be amazed by all that’s included on A Portrait of India. Our popular India tours give you a complete look at this complex country from north to south. Live like a maharajah at some of the world’s top-rated hotels – including a two-night stay at the award-winning The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, featuring views of the Taj Mahal, and three nights in Udaipur at The Oberoi Udaivilas. Cruise by houseboat in southern India through Kerala’s beautiful c anals. A boat ride witnesses spiritual ceremonies along the River Ganges in Varanasi, and a cooking demonstration features a taste of hospitality on an exclusive insider visit to a chef’s private home in Kerala. Enjoy a special Maharajah evening with dinner and entertainment… a traditional dance performance… with special insights from Tauck’s local experts and much more. Our India tours are a must for any world traveller!

ITINERARY

Day 1 Welcome to India!

Tauck’s ultimate India tour begins at The Leela Palace New Delhi. A transfer is included from Indira Gandhi International Airport to your luxury hotel, The Leela Palace New Delhi, renowned for gracious service in the heart of the city. Due to flight schedules, you will probably arrive at the hotel after midnight local time. You may want to travel a day early to ease the effects of jet lag and relax a bit before Tauck’s India tour begins – just mention this at the time of booking; Tauck can arrange an extra night at The Leela Palace New Delhi.

LODGING : THE LEELA PALACE NEW DELHI

Day 2 New Delhi, where old & new converge

Explore India’s capital city with an insider guide; a sightseeing excursion shows you the Secretariat buildings, Parliament House, Presidential Palace, and India Gate, commemorating Indian and British soldiers. Visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the five-story sandstone Qutb Minar Victory Tower, built over 8 centuries ago, and Humayun’s Tomb, set in beautiful gardens. This Mughal creation popularized Persian-influenced architecture and was an inspiration for the Taj Mahal. After lunch, stop at the Gandhi Smriti Museum, paying tribute to the inspiring leader Mahatma Gandhi who forced change through non-violent protest. You’ll have much to discuss this evening at the welcome cocktail reception and dinner.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : THE LEELA PALACE NEW DELHI

Day 3 Delving into the past in Old Delhi

Check out the colourful bazaars, sacred temples, 17th-century havelis (mansions) and colonial monuments in the winding streets of Old Delhi, the capital of Muslim India from the 12th through the 19th centuries. See the sumptuous Red Fort palaces, the symbol of Indian nationhood, and Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial and cremation site. Spend the afternoon and evening as you wish in this fascinating city.

MEALS : B

LODGING : THE LEELA PALACE NEW DELHI

Day 4 Rituals on the River Ganges in Varanasi

Fly to the ancient city of Varanasi, built on the banks of the sacred River Ganges. Since the 6th century BC, this city has been a key destination for pilgrims who seek blessing and purification in the river’s holy waters. A sightseeing tour visits Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon, and the National Museum, home to a priceless sculpture collection dating back to the 3rd century BC. Tonight, take a journey by boat along the River Ganges to witness ceremonies “putting the river to sleep.” Amidst hundreds of lighted candles and flower offerings, tonight will be a special highlight of Tauck’s India tour.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : THE GATEWAY HOTEL GANGES VARANASI

Day 5 Ganges cruise & off to Agra & the Taj Mahal

Tauck’s India tour continues as you rise early for a cruise on the River Ganges to view the Varanasi sunrise ceremonies, then fly to Agra for a two-night stay and tomorrow’s visit to one of the world’s most famous and recognizable buildings, the Taj Mahal. An incredible domed mausoleum complex of white marble, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to memorialize and house the tomb of his beloved third wife and completed in 1653, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture – and yes, you’ll have a view of it from your room in your award-winning luxury hotel, The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : THE OBEROI AMARVILAS, AGRA

Day 6 Wonders in Agra – the Taj Mahal & Agra Fort

Guests who wish may visit the Taj Mahal in time for sunrise – the gates open at sunrise. Those not going quite so early will join your Tauck Director a little later than sunrise (but still early morning) for a guided visit to the spectacular Taj Mahal, which reveals the love story behind the white marble wonder and UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its unique design and relief work in marble and inlay with precious and semi precious stones; your visit also includes time to explore on your own and take photographs. A guided tour of the massive red sandstone Agra Fort, yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site, follows. Inside, you’ll get a very good look at medieval lifestyles of 16th- and 17th-century Mughal emperors. Following an afternoon spent at leisure, dine as you please this evening from among a selection of your hotel’s fine restaurants.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : THE OBEROI AMARVILAS, AGRA

Day 7 Enjoy the royal treatment in Jaipur

Travel to Jaipur for a two-night stay at The Oberoi Rajvilas, reflecting the gracious lifestyles of India’s legendary Rajput princes. A sightseeing tour of Jaipur includes the City Palace Museum and the Jantar Mantar Observatory – a collection of architectural astronomical instruments for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, figuring out the declinations of planets and determining the celestial altitudes – all built by Maharajah Jai Singh II in the 18th century. Attend a special evening fit for Maharajah royalty tonight, celebrating India’s cultural traditions, music, dance and cuisine.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : THE OBEROI RAJVILAS, JAIPUR

Day 8 Jaipur’s glittering palaces & Amber Fort

A highlight of your India tour, today’s sightseeing includes the many gems of Jaipur, from the massive gateways and pillared pavilions inside Amber Fort to a tour of Amber Palace, with its magnificent domes, massive ramparts and glittering hall of mirrors. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Jaipur, pursuing what interests you most.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : THE OBEROI RAJVILAS, JAIPUR

Day 9 On to romantic Udaipur

A flight from Jaipur to Udaipur today is rewarded with a three-night stay at your luxury Oberoi hotel, nestled along the banks of Lake Pichola and spread over fifty acres, which includes a twenty-acre wildlife sanctuary with deer and wild boar. Consistently voted among the top luxury hotels in the world, The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur is a destination experience unrivaled anywhere – while Udaipur itself is a Rajasthan city of palaces and lakes, often called the “Venice of the East” and the “Most Romantic City in India.” Dinner is at your leisure in your hotel, named India’s best hotel by Condé Nast Traveller and 4th in the world’s top 100 hotels.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : THE OBEROI UDAIVILAS, UDAIPUR

Day 10 Lake Pichola cruise & Udaipur’s treasures

A leisurely cruise on Lake Pichola sets the stage for an Udaipur sightseeing tour with our local guide. Visit the 18th-century fountain gardens of Saheliyon Ki Bari, and the Jagdish Mandir Temple. View the City Palace, a labyrinth of richly decorated courtyards, frescoed galleries, and marble temples that was once home to the Maharajah of Udaipur. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, then join us for a demonstration in the art of donning a sari and a turban before dinner at Royal Repast, hosted by descendants of the caterers to the Royal Family.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : THE OBEROI UDAIVILAS, UDAIPUR

Day 11 Udaipur’s markets & the city at leisure

As Tauck’s India tour continues, today’s sightseeing begins in Udaipur with an auto-rickshaw ride around the city’s bustling spice and vegetable markets, for an insightful glimpse into everyday life in Udaipur. In the vegetable markets, women in brightly colored saris sit amongst the stalls, surrounded by baskets brimming with their fresh and equally colourful produce, while burlap bags or metal pans entice with a kaleidoscopic array of curries and spices. The rest of the day and evening are free to explore more of this “City of Lakes” as you wish. Due to its many picturesque locations, Udaipur has supplied scenic backdrops to many a film or television show over the years; portions of movies including Darjeeling LimitedOpening NightHeat and DustOctopussy and Gandhi, plus the TV miniseries The Jewel in the Crown, were filmed here. Enjoy dinner at the hotel tonight.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : THE OBEROI UDAIVILAS, UDAIPUR

Day 12 To Kochi & a sunset cruise on the Arabian Sea

Fly via Mumbai to Kochi (known as Cochin during colonial times) in the state of Kerala, on the southern tip of India, home to coconut groves, paddy fields and wide beaches. Cruise its tropical inland waterways before setting off on a spectacular sunset cruise on the Arabian Sea. Enjoy a performance of the renowned Kathakali Dancers prior to dinner tonight at your hotel.

MEALS : B, D

LODGING : VIVANTA BY TAJ MALABAR

Day 13 Traditional cuisine & more in Kochi (Cochin)

Kochi (Cochin) dates back to the 15th century, boasting myriad historic sites reflecting its founding by the Portugese, as well as the influence of Dutch and British settlers. After a lecture on southern India’s unique heritage and cultural diversity, Kochi sightseeing includes Fort Cochin, the oldest European settlement in India, the Dutch Palace and the 16th-century St. Francis Church. Later, visit the private home of an acclaimed Kerala chef for a cooking demonstration and dinner this evening. Lively conversation, lively spices and delectable dishes await!

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : VIVANTA BY TAJ MALABAR

Day 14 Kerala houseboat cruise & Mohiniattam dancers

Travel through the small villages of coastal Kerala as you make your way to the picturesque island of Kumarakom in Lake Vembanad to continue your Tauck India tour with a two-night lakeside stay at Kumarakom Lake Resort. En route, board a thatched-roof rice boat that’s been converted into a luxury houseboat for a cruise through Kerala’s palm-fringed canals; this region is often referred to as another “Venice of the East.” Tonight at your resort, you’ll be treated to a program featuring dancers performing the classical Indian dance form known as Mohiniattam, dating to the 16th century.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : KUMARAKOM LAKE RESORT

Day 15 Kerala villages & Kumarakom resort leisure

After an exclusive morning walk for Tauck guests only in one of Kerala’s villages, spend the entire afternoon enjoying the many activities and amenities offered by your beautiful lakefront resort. An unforgettable martial arts demonstration this evening is both educational and entertaining; there is no other ancient martial practice in the world that can compete with its training system and application techniques. Have dinner at your leisure at the resort.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : KUMARAKOM LAKE RESORT

Day 16 Welcome to Mumbai (Bombay)

Fly to the “City of Gold,” Mumbai (known in earlier times as Bombay), surrounded on three sides by the Arabian Sea. Upon arrival, an introductory sightseeing tour maps out the city and its landmark sites for you. Your accommodations for the next two nights are at The Oberoi, Mumbai; dine tonight at your choice of selected restaurants.

MEALS : B, L, D

LODGING : THE OBEROI, MUMBAI

Day 17 Treasures of Mumbai & a Heritage Walk

Explore Mumbai today, including the Gateway of India – erected by the British to commemorate the landing of the King and Queen in 1911 – and a Heritage Walk through some of the city’s historic sites. Following lunch in Mumbai and an afternoon spent as you please at the hotel, join us this evening for a farewell cocktail reception as your Tauck India tour comes to an end.

MEALS : B, L

LODGING : THE OBEROI, MUMBAI

Day 18 Journey home

Tauck’s comprehensive India tour ends: Mumbai. Fly home anytime.A transfer is included from your hotel in Bombay to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Most international flights depart between 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM.

DATES & PRICES

Date Land Price + On-Tour Air = Price Per Person
January 4, 2018 $11,360 + $1,380 = $12,740
January 16, 2018 $11,360 + $1,380 = $12,740
February 6, 2018 $12,590 + $1,380 = $13,970
February 8, 2018 $11,360 + $1,380 = $12,740
March 1, 2018 $9,940 + $1,310 = $11,250
October 11, 2018 $12,590 + $1,380 = $13,970
October 18, 2018 $11,360 + $1,380 = $12,740
October 25, 2018 $12,590 + $1,380 = $13,970
November 8, 2018 $11,360 + $1,380 = $12,740
December 20, 2018 $11,360 + $1,380 = $12,740

Small Group Departures – Select small group departures averaging 24 Tauck guests, priced from AUD $11,180 per person double plus on-tour air; specific dates apply

Special Solo Traveller Savings – save AUD $750 on the single room price of select departure dates; specific dates apply

Please be aware that there are a number of internal flights on your India journey, some of which are made longer by a lack of non-stop flights between some Indian cities. While these flights often make for long travel days, please keep in mind that they are necessary to enable us to visit and explore as much of this remarkable country as we do.

For further detail on this or any other packages, please contact us on 1300 968 787

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