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HOT Hosted Journeys
Magical India
A 21 Day Escorted Small Group Journey

21 day tour from $8800 per person share twin
Economy Class flights included
Departs 09 April 2020

Sale Period

until sold out

 

21 day tour from
$8800
per person share twinEconomy Class flights included Departs 09 April 2020

Magical India
A 21 Day Escorted Small Group Journey

We offer a magical and immersive blend of temples, forts, village life, wildlife, waterways, exotic accommodations and of course incredible food as we journey through the South and North of India. Couples, friends and single travellers welcome. Word of mouth from our 2019 journey has already half filled our next Indian Adventure so get in quick for 2020!

 wendy Wendy has been a traveller all her life. She spent her first 7 years in East Africa and then the next 20+ in Asia. After arriving in New Zealand, she's lived in Wellington and Auckland, and has now settled in KeriKeri. As an enthusiastic Geography teacher, Wendy has shared her passion for India with many senior students and adults on her regular trips there over the past 10 years. Wendy's professional attention to detail, and her sensitivity to local culture makes her an ideal tour guide for this destination. Wendy's endless positive energy and depth of experience ensure a fun, magical adventure. Wendy will meet everyone before the trip to assist you with all those challenging questions. Her enthusiasm will have you counting the days to departure. It will be an adventure full of laughter and will ignite all your senses.


Deal Includes
 International flights from Auckland to Chennai and return New Delhi to Auckland (economy)
 New Zealand guide Wendy Malone for the duration of the trip
  Lots of laughs with a like minded group.
 Visa advice
 Domestic flight from Cochin to Udaipur
 Accommodation with private facilities
 Travel, transfers and sightseeing by private airconditioned coach
 Meals as specified (B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner)
 Service of English-speaking local guide during excursions and sightseeing
 Entrance fee to the monuments as per the Program (one visit per monument)
 Mahabalipuram Excursion
 Explore French colonies in Pondicherry
 Kathakali Dance Show
 01 Boat ride (shared boat) on lake Pichola
 Bishnoi Village excursion in Jodhpur
 Traditional evening in Jaipur with Dinner at famous local restaurant “Once upon a time”
 01 Jeep ride (shared jeep) at Amber Fort in Jaipur
 Authentic cooking experience in Jaipur
 Morning visit to Taj Mahal
 01 Rickshaw ride in Delhi
 Bottled water (during drives and sightseeing only)
 Assistance on arrival and departure transfers

Exclusions
• Travel Insurance
• Indian evisa – approx. US$80 based in NZD for NZ passport holders
• Tipping – approx. US$100
• Items of personal nature – laundry, drinks etc
• Lunches – approx. NZ $20 per lunch
• Extra nights in Delhi staying at Claridge’s

21 day escorted tour
From $8800 per person twin share
Including economy flights from Auckland with Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines. Business class upgrades available.
Travel dates: 9th April - 30th April 2020

Additional pricing options
Single supplement from only $99 per day

Extra night in Delhi at Claridges $300 pp based on twin share
3 Night Tiger Safari extension from $890 pp based on twin share
 

Itinerary 2020
Chennai • Pondicherry • Tanjore • Madurai • Thekkady • Cochin • Udaipur • Jodhpur • Jaipur • Agra • Delhi


India Air Map

Date  Location
Thu 09 Apr New Zealand – Chennai 
  Join your travel companions before jetting off via Singapore to Chennai. Welcome to India!!! Upon arrival at the airport we’ll head to the hotel. It will be very late, around midnight. Stay overnight in Chennai. (No Meals)
Fri 10 Apr Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry
  After leisurely breakfast travel to Pondicherry by private AC coach. En-route visit temple city of Mahabalipuram; once a flourishing port town of the Pallava rulers, a Dravidian dynasty that once ruled over the major portion of peninsular India. Earlier known as Mamallapuram, the city is said to be a fabulous “open-air museum” of sculpture under the vault of the burning sky. Continue your drive to Pondicherry, a charming coastal town, formerly a French colony. This city was ruled by French for about 281 years before independence, and a profound influence of Southern France is still very prominent. The medieval town of the French province, Pondicherry has managed to preserve its French aura, from its delectable restaurants offering French cuisine to streets bearing French names. The grand boulevards make Pondicherry a richly cosmopolitan city. The numerous palm-fringed beaches, splendid backwaters, fabulous tiny fishing villages and hamlets make it a beautiful town. On arrival, check-in at hotel. Evening free to explore this beautiful town. Stay two nights in Pondicherry. (B, D)
Sat 11 Apr Pondicherry
  After leisurely breakfast explore Pondicherry with your local guide. Start with the heritage section of the city – the French Quarter. Enjoy walking tour through the beautiful French Quarter (which is the area bounded roughly by NSC Bose St, SV Patel Rd and Goubert Ave). Visit the Promenade Beach and Rocky Beach. The main buildings which we will be covering will be French War Memorial, Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville. Evening enjoy an authentic cooking experience at the hotel restaurant. Stay overnight in Pondicherry. (B, D) 
Sun 12 Apr Pondicherry – Tanjore / Thanjavur  
  After breakfast travel to Tanjore / Thanjavur, known as the “Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu”. On arrival check-in at the hotel. Later visit Brihadeeswara Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site), one of the most important landmarks in Thanjavur. The 64.8 meters tall vimanam (tower over the sanctum sanctorum) is testimony to the engineering skill of the Cholas. Also visit Thanjavur Royal Palace It is a fascinating building with huge corridors, spacious halls, decorated rooms, tall observation towers, beautiful stucco works, wonderful fresco painted walls and ceilings, an underground tunnel and intricate carvings. The town is also famous for its ancient handicrafts-making of bronze icons, Thanjavur art plates, bell-metal castings, bowls and powder boxes of metal with beautiful and artistic in-laying and engraving work of motifs well known as “Tanjore swami work” and the wonderful Tanjore style of paintings, developed over multiple layers. Stay overnight in Tanjore / Thanjavur. (B, D) 
Mon 13 Apr Tanjore / Thanjavur – Madurai 
  After leisurely breakfast travel to Madurai, one of the oldest cities in India, believed to be more than 2500 years old. Madurai is called Athens of the South because of the way myth meets life here. On arrival check-in at the hotel. Evening visit the beautiful temple to witness ‘going to bed ceremony’. Experience stunning architecture as the sculpted pillars tell the story of the beautiful princess of Madurai and her marriage to Lord Shiva. The temple is lavishly decorated with colourful images and carvings of numerous deities, animals and mythical creatures. Stay for two nights in Madurai. (B, D) 
Tue 14 Apr Madurai 
  After breakfast enjoy city tour of Madurai. Highlights of the tour will be the Meenakshi Amman Temple, Gandhi Museum and Thirumalai Nayak palace. All activities in Madurai are centred around Meenakshi temple. The Tirumalai Palace, built in 1523 is remarkable for its audience hall (Swarga Vilasam), whose dome rises to a height of 20m without a kind of support. Also visit Gandhi Memorial Museum, which include photographs of Gandhi and some of his personal artefacts. Evening enjoy a walking food tour. Being a multicultural city, the food is diverse and tempting. This walk takes you into the by-lanes which serve the most authentic dishes and drinks of Madurai. After scrumptious experience return to hotel. Stay overnight in Madurai. (B, D) 
Wed 15 Apr Madurai – Thekkady 
  After breakfast travel to valley of spices. Thekkady, with its bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna is the ultimate reservoir of many an endangered species and a rich tribal culture. On arrival check-in at hotel. Stay for two nights in Thekkady (Periyar). (B, D)
Thu 16 Apr Thekkady
  Early morning proceed for a guided (local national park guide) boat cruise on the lake, which show cases a kaleidoscope of activities that incur around the lake and jungle. Evergreen moist deciduous forests and savannah grass lands characterize Periyar. Explore the wildlife sanctuary on the boat, the sanctuary centre piece the man-made Periyar Lake, running through the forests of the Western Ghats in Kerala and is a home to tiger, bison, wild boar, sambar, monkeys, wild elephant, antelopes and a wide variety of birds. Later a guided visit to the rare species of plantations. Visit a spice plantation growing cardamom, pepper, coffee, and tea estate. Walk amidst the palette displaying variant shades of green, neatly arranged into terrace farms, the symmetry broken only by the sudden appearance of a gurgling stream. It is believed that the spice trade dates back three thousand years in Kerala and many spices find their home here. On the way back, you could stop at the local market and purchase some fragrant spices. Stay overnight at Thekkady (Periyar). (B, D)
Fri 17 Apr Thekkady – Cochin
  After leisurely breakfast travel to Cochin. On arrival check-in at the hotel. This afternoon we visit the Old quarter of Fort Kochi, exploring the quaint streets of this city. Next stop will be St. Francis Church, Dutch Cemetery, the oldest European cemetery in India, before heading to Fort Kochi’s seaside promenade, and get a glimpse of daily life in Kochi. Head to the waterfront to see the Chinese Fishing Nets, undoubtedly Kochi’s most recognizable sights and which have been there since the 14th century and are remarkably still in use today. Rest of the day free to explore surroundings. Stay overnight in Cochin. Stay for three nights in Cochin. (B, D)
Sat 18 Apr Cochin
  After breakfast visit to Broadway Market where you can sight local trading of spices and vegetables. Broadway, whose sloping-roofed buildings preserve its old-world charm, is one of the shopping hubs of Kochi. Wholesale and retail shops line the street and have on sale an incredible variety of products. Evening enjoy a Kathakali Dance Performance. Kathakali is a ritualized dance form that is native to Kerala, with elaborate costumes and makeup. Male dancers portray both male and female roles that tell the stories taken mostly from the epics of the Mahabharatha and Ramayana. Stay overnight in Cochin. (B, D) 
Sun 19 Apr Cochin 
  Free day to explore Cochin, wander the quaint streets, explore the markets, take a canal boat or just chillax in the roof top pool. Later this evening we will meet up to have dinner and swap stories about our day. (B, D)  
Mon 20 Apr Cochin I Udaipur
  After breakfast transfer to Cochin Airport to board flight for Udaipur. Assistance on arrival at Udaipur Airport and transfer to hotel. Stay for two nights in Udaipur. (B, D) 
Tue 21 Apr Udaipur 
  After leisurely breakfast proceed for a guided tour visiting City Palace & its complex. The City Palace boasts of the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture and has various towers, domes and arches, which add to the flavour of heritage site. Also visit Jagdish Temple, dating back to 1651 AD, it is an exquisite example of Indo Aryan architecture. Visit the Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandir, an Indian folk arts museum which has interesting exhibits that include folk’s dresses, ornaments, puppets, masks, dolls, folk’s musical instruments, folk deities. Conclude your day enjoying a boat ride on Lake Pichola. Created in the year 1362 AD, named after the nearby Picholi village. Evening explore on your own visiting the numerous shops that dot the narrow windings streets of Udaipur for souvenir to take back home. Stay overnight in Udaipur. (B, D) 
Wed 22 Apr Udaipur – Jodhpur
  After breakfast travel to Jodhpur, En-route pass lush green valleys, streams and heart capturing views before visiting Ranakpur, with intricately carved marble Pillars and Domes. Ranakpur is amongst the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. Tucked away in a remote valley in the Aravalli ranges, it boasts of one of the largest and most important Jain Temples in the country. Continue your drive to Jodhpur, where you will experience the feeling of travelling back in time with a journey to Jodhpur, while you catch a glimpse of the splendour and magnificence of this ancient desert city built on the edge of the Thar Desert. Stay for two nights in Jodhpur. (B, D)
Thu 23 Apr Jodhpur 
  After breakfast proceed for guided sightseeing tour of Jodhpur and visit Mehrangarh Fort; one of the largest forts in India. Jaswant Thada, a cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in the year 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. It is an architectural landmark of Jodhpur. Also visit (if time permits) Old city; surrounded by a 10km long wall, has 8 gates serving as entrances, the winding streets offer colourful street markets with blue houses alternated with white houses and Clock tower; a prominent landmark. Later proceed for a jeep safari to Bishnoi village a rural Rajasthani village to experience the amazing world of the Bishnoi tribe. Amazing because they live rigidly and prosperously by 29 tenets lay down by their founder in the early 15th century. Prepare yourself for an adventure ride through encounters, shot opportunities and contrasts that will flatly astonish you. Learn about the region’s nature and wildlife, as well as what daily life is like in these villages. It is the perfect place to experience the traditions and customs of tribal life. Stay overnight in Jodhpur. (B, D)
Fri 24 Apr Jodhpur – Jaipur 
  After breakfast travel to Jaipur, the first planned city of India, is a treasure-trove of culture, art and history, famous for its colour, lifestyle and Rajasthani cuisine. It is a city exuding royal heritage and extravagant richness. The historic city also has many temples and shrines. On your arrival at Jaipur, check-into the hotel. Evening experience an interesting session of Heena Painting (a Tattooing art with green herbs over legs and palms) For over five thousand years, henna has served as a symbol of good luck, health and sensuality in the Indian sub-continent. Also learn the art of wearing the Indian Saree for ladies. Sarees are worn in different ways at different parts of India; you will be learning the tying of Saree in the most popular form. Meanwhile, women are busy with Heena painting, Men will learn the traditional Rajasthani Turban tying. In some areas, especially in Rajasthan, the turban’s size may indicate the position of the person in society. Later head to Nahargarh Fort to have your Dinner at famous restaurant “Once upon a time” from where you will have an amazing night view of the pink city “Jaipur”. The food is also sumptuous, presenting the best of local culinary traditions. After dinner return to the hotel. Stay two nights in Jaipur. (B, D) 
Sat 25 Apr Jaipur
  After an early breakfast proceed for a guided visit of Amber Fort, En-route photo stop at Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace); Admire the facade of the Hawa Mahal, poetically known as the “Palace of Winds”. Continue to Amber Fort, the former ancient capital of Jaipur state built by Raja Man Singh, the Rajput commander of Akbar’s army, which is a superb example of Rajput architecture. Later proceed for guided tour of Jaipur city starting with City Palace Museum; boasts to have some of the priceless handwritten Hindu scriptures of the ancient past, miniature delicate paintings, preserved painted ceilings and the elephant saddles (haudas), and is registered in the Guinness Book of Records to contain the biggest silver objects in the world. Conclude your sightseeing with a visit to Jantar Mantar; one of the famed observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh is a complex of astronomical instruments, chiselled out of stone which provides fairly accurate information to this day. The evening we will enjoy an authentic cooking experience at the hotel in-house restaurant. Join the Kitchen and learn the art of Indian Cooking. It’s all about authentic Indian cooking where you can choose to participate in the cooking or merely watch, take pictures, note down the recipe and learn. Indian cooking is a diligent process involving a unique combination of various ingredients such as spices, pluses, grains and oils. Enjoy the delicious meals cooked by you. Overnight in Jaipur. (B, D) 
Sun 26 Apr Jaipur – Agra 
  After breakfast travel to Agra; home to India’s most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. On arrival check-in at the hotel. Later proceed for guided sightseeing of Agra city visiting Agra Fort, built by Emperor Akbar, which is a mixture of the Islamic and Hindu styles of architecture and Mehtab Bagh; a garden located along the western side of bank of the river Yamuna and facing the glistening Taj Mahal. This garden is known for a picture-perfect view of Taj Mahal. While returning, visit the Petha Shop (Famous Local Sweet) made of white pumpkin, native to Agra. Stay overnight in Agra. (B, D)
Mon 27 Apr Agra – Delhi
  Early morning visit Taj Mahal (closed on Friday’s) – the epitome of love, stands on the banks of the river Yamuna built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. The white marble building changes its hue with the variations in the daylight. Made entirely of white marble and decorated with exquisite pietra dura (stone inlay) work, different types of precious and semi-precious stones were used in the intricate inlay work done on the interiors. This magnificent monument is built around a Charbagh or ’four garden’ plan, split by watercourses – reflects the influence of Persian architectural style. Return to hotel for breakfast Later travel to Delhi. On arrival check-in at the hotel. Stay overnight in Delhi. (B, D)
Tue 28 Apr Delhi
  After breakfast proceed for guided sightseeing tour at Old & New Delhi. Begin with Old Delhi with a drive past Red Fort Palace to reach Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in India built in red sandstone. Between the mosque and Chandni Chowk is a narrow shop-lined street along which you will be transported by cycle rickshaws on your most photogenic journey of the tour. Take cycle rickshaws and visit the famous Khari Baoli (spice market) – Asia’s largest wholesale market selling all kinds of spices and nuts continue your drive to Dariba Kalan and Kinari Bazar. See the contrasts with New Delhi with its Baker and Lutyens architecture. The ultimate purpose built city by the British Conclude your day with a visit to Qutub Minar; being one of the most important landmarks of Delhi, with calligraphically decorated interiors and also inscriptions of verses of the Holy Quran. Stay overnight at Delhi for one last hurrah. (B, D) 
Wed 29 Apr Delhi Departure
  After breakfast checkout from the hotel. Tour finishes with wonderful memories and direct transfer to Delhi Airport to board your onward flight. (B) 
Thu 30 Apr Arrive Auckland

Departs: Thursday 09 Apr 2020
Returns: Thursday 30 Apr 2020

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Terms and Conditions

Pricing is correct as at 05SEP19 • Prices are valid for new bookings only • Sales are valid until sold out or withdrawn • Travel dates valid as specified on each itinerary • Prices include return economy class airfares as specified on each itinerary. Departures from other domestic NZ Airports are an additional cost • All package prices are based on Twin share and costs are per person in NZ dollars • Single pricing is subject to availability and pricing at time of booking •• Prices may vary due to exchange rates and are indicative only and subject to change until paid in full • All prices and products are subject to availability at time of reservation • Deposit of $500 per person is required within 3 days of booking • A further $2600 per person is due prior to the 5th of December. Final balance is due by the 28th of Jan 2020 • All passengers must have a valid passport with more than 6 months validity at the end of their holiday. Travel insurance should be taken out at time of booking to cover in the event of any unforeseen cancellation. Included airfares are based on special non-refundable economy fares. ESTA Visas are required for itineraries India. Visa costs are not included. If travelling on a non NZ passport other visas + NZ re-entry permits may also be required, please check with applicable Embassy. Flexible return dates only are allowed, any additional airfare or taxes are at own expense • Amendment & cancellation fees may apply • Please ask your House of Travel consultant for full details

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