A Passage Through India

Indian Peafowl
The Taj Mahal
Holy Sadhu Varanasi
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Mercury Holidays

India is a fascinating country of colour, culture and spiritualism, which we have combined to offer you a true insight into this magical land. This tour will take you through cities and landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the colonial capital of Kolkata before heading south through the interior to finish your tour in lush Kerala.

Highlights
  • Admire the Holy city of Amristar
  • Ride on the UNESCO recognised 'Toy Train'
  • City tours of Delhi, Agra, the pink city of Jaipur, Varanasi, Kolkata and Mumbai
  • Delight in the magnificent Taj Mahal
  • Explore fascinating Kerala and enjoy an overnight stay on a houseboat.
Destinations
  • Ganges
  • Cochin
  • Periyar
  • Kerala
  • Mumbai
  • New Delhi
  • Red Fort
  • Jaipur
  • Amritsar
  • Chandigarh
  • Agra
  • Backwaters
  • Kolkata
  • Darjeeling
  • Delhi
  • India
  • Asia
Departure Points
  • London Heathrow
Day 1 - UK to Mumbai
Depart London on your scheduled overnight flight to Mumbai via Dubai.

Day 2 - Mumbai
On arrival you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel. After checking in at your hotel the rest of the day is at leisure to start exploring this multi-faceted city.

Day 3 - Mumbai
An early morning start to commence your full day tour of Mumbai awaits you. Your first stop is the iconic stone arch landmark known as the Gateway of India, Next, board a motorboat to Elephanta Island and explore the ancient caves dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva which are UNESCO-listed (Please note there are 120 steps with a steep climb to access the ancient caves on Elephanta Island). Back in Mumbai you will delight in admiring such sites as the grand Jain Temple before meandering through the picturesque Hanging Gardens which offer beautiful views of the city and sea before arriving at the beach at Chowpatty. Continue to the museum of Mani Bhavan where Mahatama Gandhi stayed during his visits to Mumbai between 1917-1943.

Day 4 - Mumbai to Amritsar
Fly from Mumbai to Amritsar. On arrival you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the Sikh's holy city and its network of historic bazaars.

Day 5 - Amritsar
Following breakfast, you'll enjoy a visit to the Golden Temple, one of the most awe-inspiring and memorable sights in India. Sikhism's holiest shrine, the spectacular golden temple blends Hindu and Islamic architecture, which is set off by its stunning location at the centre of a shimmering pool, known as the Pool of Nectar. After lunch, the afternoon is yours to explore at your own pace, alternatively you can take an optional excursion to the Wagah Border. Famousfor its fascinating flag-lowering ceremony, Indian and Pakistani guards decked in full uniform lower their respective flags and close the border gates with as much pomp and fervour as they can muster.

Day 6 - Amritsar to Shimla
This morning you'll board the train to Chandigarh before taking a winding, scenic drive through lush pine forests to the former summer capital of British India. Beautifully situated on a hilltop in the snow-capped Shivalik Ranges and offering stunning views of the Himalayan mountains, the British Raj would annually transfer here to avoid the heat of Calcutta.

Day 7 - Shimla
After breakfast this morning you'll depart Shimla for the neighbouring hill station of Kufri. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, this charming town is surrounded by dense forest and snow-capped mountains, offering staggering viewpoints of the surrounding countryside and the vast mountains beyond. After admiring Kufri's natural wonders, tour the impressive Rashtrapati Niwas, former residence of the British Viceroy. Built in Jacobethan style, this fascinating glimpse into British colonial history allows you to explore the maze of corridors, grand teak-panelled rooms and sprawling lawns.

Day 8 - Shimla to Delhi
Today, you'll travel in style with a ride on the UNESCO recognised 'Toy Train' - built for the British Viceroy and his delegates, the train is hauled along by a tiny diesel locomotive which rattles at a leisurely pace through breath-taking scenery to its final destination of Dharampur Station where you will disembark for lunch. Following lunch, transfer by car to Kalka Station for your connecting train to Delhi where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

Day 9 - Delhi
The symbol of old and new India, Delhi is simultaneously a buzzing, international metropolis and a city rich in history. Today you'll discover it in all its glory on a full day tour, traversing through Old Delhi's narrow, spice-scented streets by rickshaw, yoo'll feel like you've travelled back in time while taking in sights such as the Mughal Empire's imposing Red Fort and the UNESCO listed Humanyun's Tomb, whose Persian-style elegance and landscaped garden setting makes it one of Delhi's finest historic sites. Crossing to the intricately planned colonial centre of New Delhi, you'll visit the minimalistic Mahatma Gandhi Memorial adorned in floral tributes, before exploring the ruins of Quatub Minar complex. Before falling to ruin, this red-sandstone city was built in the 13th Century by the Delhi Sultanate and housed a number of mosques and tombs, as well the intricate tower centrepiece from which the complex gets its name.

Day 10 - Delhi to Jaipur
After Breakfast, drive to Jaipur (known as the Pink city) by coach. After Check in at your hotel, the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 11 - Jaipur
Begin your day with a visit to the impressive Amber Fort, built from pink sandstone and white marble this magnificent fort is largely made up of a royal palace, home to the royal family until 1728. Spread over four vast courtyards, you'll ascend to the fort either by Jeep and experience the grandeur of a Maharaja. The tour will continue to the famous open-air observatory of Jantar Mantar with a fascinating collection of archaic astronomical instruments including the world's largest stone sun dial. Finally you'll marvel at the numerous windows of the stunning Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of the Winds.

Day 12 - Jaipur
Today is at leisure to explore this beautiful city at your own pace. Explore the colourful bazaars, temples and museums the city has to offer or simply admire this flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture. You may book an optional excursion (payable locally) to The Elephant Village. Have the opportunity to see, touch and feed the elephants the village was set up by the local Rajasthan Government in 2010.

Day 13 - Jaipur to Agra
Depart Jaipur this morning by coach for the wondrous city of Agra the former capital of the mighty Mughal dynasty, whose legacy can be seen in the colossal forts and opulent buildings. Your afternoon will be at leisure to explore the fascinating mausoleums and bustling marketplaces of this charming city.

Day 14 - Agra
This unforgettable day begins with a sunrise tour of the truly magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and widely considered to be the most beautiful building on the planet. Built on the orders of heartbroken Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan upon the death of his wife, this stunning white marble mausoleum took over 20,000 people and around 20 years to build and words simply don't do it justice. You'll return to your hotel for breakfast and a well-deserved rest before visiting the impressive, red sandstone Agra Fort. One of the finest Mughal forts in India, this colossal giant began construction in 1565 as a military structure, but was later transformed into an opulent palace for the emperor.For any further enquiries or for more information

Day 15 - Agra to Lucknow
Today's coach ride takes you from Agra to Lucknow, India's former artistic and cultural hub. On arrival, check into your hotel, you are then free to relax or explore your new surroundings.

Day 16 - Lucknow
After breakfast, a full-day city tour of Lucknow visits the city's most impressive highlights. Wander through the recently restored Hazratganj Market and visit the 1857 Memorial Museum, where the collection of old photographs, documents and objects on display offers insight into the major historical events that have shaped Lucknow. Continue on to the historic the gilded dome and intricate inlays of Chota Imambara. Pass through the imposing 18th century gateway of Rumi Darwaza, travelling past the stark red walls of Taluqdar Hall, the towering peak of Husainabad Clock Tower. Return to your hotel after this comprehensive day of sightseeing.

Day 17 - Lucknow to Varanasi
Following breakfast, you'll board a coach to Varanasi where you'll be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. One of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world; the great Hindu city of Varanasi stretches along the River Ganges, its waterfront lined with temples and pavilions, interspersed with vast stone steps or ghats used daily by thousand of pilgrims in their daily ritual ablutions. This evening you'll tour the ghats and witness a Ganga Aarti ceremony where a small lamp containing a candle and flowers representing an offering of fire is floated down the river.

Day 18 - Varanasi
Awake early this morning for a sunrise boat trip on the Ganges where you can gain a different perspective of this colourful waterfront city and the spiritual importance of the river in the Hindu religion. Returning to your hotel for breakfast and a rest you'll then spend the afternoon exploring the ancient temples of Sarnath, a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site on which the Buddha gave his first sermon after achieving enlightenment around 530BC. After exploring the many ruins you'll return to Varanasi where your evening is at leisure.

Day 19 - Varanasi to Kolkata
Today is free for you to relax in the hotel or explore Varanasi's temples and forts, before your evening flight to Kolkata.

Day 20 - Kolkata
The showpiece capital of the British Raj, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) was considered as the greatest colonial city of the Orient. You'll begin today's tour with a trip back to these times by visiting the grand imperial buildings around Dalhousie Square such as the majestic, white-domed General Post Office. Following lunch, enjoy a fascinating boat trip on the Hooghly river offering you a panoramic view of the city whilst sailing through the two spectacular Howrah and Vidyasagar bridges.

Day 21 - Kolkata to Cochin
Following breakfast, you will fly to Kerala and arrive in Cochin known as the'Queen of the Arabian Sea'. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 22 - Cochin to Alleppey
Today you will board a traditional House Boat at Alleppey for your tranquil journey through the scenic winding backwaters absorbing the stunning rural scenery and admiring the local villages. After an authentic meal served on board by your private chef spend the night on board, a once in a lifetime experience.

Day 23 - Alleppey to Thekkady
Today you will disembark from the houseboat and enjoy a drive through the spectacular countryside to arrive at the hill station of Thekkady which conjures up images of rolling lush hills and spice scented plantations. The Periyar forests of Thekkady are one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns. In the afternoon, you can choose to relax at the hotel or visit spice market. This evening you will enjoy a traditional Kathakali and Kalaripayattu show.

Day 24 - Thekkady
A highlight of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Enjoy a morning boat ride at Periyar Lake where you will have the chance to spot some elephants, or one of the park's 25 Bengal tigers amongst other birds, reptiles and mammals. This aftrernoon relax at the hotel with a complimentary Ayurvedic massage of 45 minutes per person. Later enjoy dinner at your hotel with two bottles of Indian Beer and overnight at the hotel.

Day 25 - Thekkady to Munnar
The tour will depart in the morning and travel by coach to Munnar. En route visit the spice plantation at spice garden and later proceed to Munnar, South India's largest tea growing region known for its expanse of tea plantations, rolling valleys and mountains . Today you will have a tour of Munnar, a nature lover's paradise. Listen to your own echo bouncing around the surrounding hills at Echo Point and Learn about the origins of your morning cuppa at one of the tea plantations owned by the mighty Tata corporation.

Day 26 - Munnar to Cochin
After breakfast, enjoy the last few highlights of Munnar before proceeding to Cochin. Arriving late evening at Cochin you will check in to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.

Day 27 - Cochin
Following breakfast, you will embark on a tour of the city. Marvel at Mattancherry Dutch palace, St. Francis church, the oldest European church in India and the impressive promenade lined with distinct Chinese fishing nets.

Day 28 - Cochin to the UK or extension
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to UK (Via Dubai) or continue on to your chosen extension.

  • Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights
  • All airport taxes and security charges

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
28-Apr-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
26-May-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
02-Jun-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
14-Jul-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
04-Aug-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
01-Sep-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
08-Sep-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
29-Sep-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
13-Oct-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
03-Nov-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
17-Nov-2020 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
12-Jan-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
19-Jan-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
02-Feb-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
23-Feb-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
23-Mar-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
27-Apr-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
25-May-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
08-Jun-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
13-Jul-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
03-Aug-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
31-Aug-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
07-Sep-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
28-Sep-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
12-Oct-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
02-Nov-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website
16-Nov-2021 for 28 Nights London Heathrow Flight Included Visit Website

Touring with Mercury Holidays

Established in 1980, Mercury Holidays has been providing award-winning holidays, cruises and escorted tours for nearly four whole decades. Winners of 21 British Travel Awards in just three years, the company can provide an incredible range of tour options, all-inclusive breaks, rail journeys and river cruises in some of the most popular destinations in the world, and all at affordable prices. What’s more, Mercury Holidays prides itself on its excellent customer service and high level of repeat business, which explains why it has successfully become one of the UK’s leading tour operators.

In addition to offering fantastic holidays and escorted tours in 192 destinations worldwide, Mercury Holidays handpicks every hotel to ensure your getaway is synonymous with the team’s key values; quality and price. Whether you want an unforgettable trip to Antigua or an action-packed break in Vietnam, this company can help you plan your dream holiday. The team also specialises in offering a wide range of all-inclusive holidays, all designed to take the hassle out of planning a trip to your preferred destination.

When it comes to escorted tours, Mercury Holidays provides carefully planned itineraries, packed with extras and special touches. All tours include experienced local tour guides who accompany you throughout your experience and make sure your holiday is glitch-free from beginning to end. No matter which tour you choose, you’ll be taken beyond the norm and shown the true character of your chosen destination. Plus, there are no hidden extras as all flights, hotels, transfers and entry fees are included in the price. You can even add tailored extensions to your escorted tour holiday, enabling you to create your dream itinerary.

Whether you want to uncover Cyprus, see the grand capitals of Russia or sail Turkey’s Blue Coast, there are countless escorted tours of Europe to choose from. If you want to go further afield, you can visit the treasures of Japan, see the jewels of Jordan or explore the unique wildlife in Madagascar. Alternatively, travel to North India for a city tour and to get up close and personal with Bengal tigers or head to Australia for the adventure of a lifetime.  With Mercury Holidays, your escorted tour options are endless.

This respected tour operator also offers escorted walking tours, designed with the walking enthusiast in mind and cleverly combining walking experiences with the chance to see iconic sites and cultural landmarks. All of the available walking tours are unique to Mercury Holidays and include comfortable accommodation, all meals and local English speaking guides. But if you prefer the freedom of the open road, Mercury Holidays has fly-drive tours to the stunning islands of New Zealand to enable you to tour glacial lakes, volcanic hot springs, vineyards, botanical gardens and some of the most spectacular cities on the planet.   

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Did we mention the Mercury Holidays Price Match Guarantee? If you go on to book a holiday or escorted tour with Mercury Holidays and find a cheaper deal on a like-for-like experience elsewhere within 24 hours of booking, you’ll be refunded the difference. And regardless of whether you choose to tour Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australasia, North America, Latin America, South-East Asia or Central Asia, you can book with confidence knowing that the company is a member of ABTA and your holiday is ATOL protected.

 

 

 

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tour details

This tour is operated by Mercury Holidays

28 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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