Experience the mystic charm of a hidden India like never before, as we take you on an offbeat journey to hidden gems and lesser-known destinations that even experienced travelers have yet to discover.
Embark on a sensational 13-day odyssey through the enchanting landscapes of "Hidden India", where the ancient treasures and vibrant traditions of this mesmerizing country come alive.
On this tour to India, visit their last remaining jungle royalty, the endangered Asiatic lions amongst their abundant subjects of diverse wildlife in Gir National Park.
Explore Chennai and unlock the secrets of the picturesque Pondicherry, where the salty breeze is adorned with the fragrant blossoms of jasmine and exotic spices.
Delight your taste buds with the tempting flavors of Gujarat's culinary delights, as the aromatic aromas of freshly ground spices dance in the air.
Marvel at the astonishing grandeur of the Taj Mahal, a monument that stands as a testament to eternal love.
With Margaret Freebairn as your guide on this tour to India, you'll feel a sense of security and excitement with her infectious passion for India's rich culture, history and diverse people.
Let the hidden gems and lesser-known destinations unfold before your eyes, leaving you with everlasting memories.
Single supplement of AU$2,495
Continue after this tour with Margaret and others from the group as they go to Varanasi for 3 nights
|Number Of Days
No age restriction
6 to 12
Adventure, Small group
Easy to Moderate
Later, Dinner arrangement will be made at your Hotel.
After Breakfast/Checkout, we drive to the French city Pondicherry (250 Kms drive). Upon arrival Check in to your hotel.
Rest of the day is at leisure in this colonial rich French city of India.
Pondicherry (or Puducherry), a French colonial settlement in India until 1954, is now a Union Territory town bounded by the southeastern Tamil Nadu state. Its French legacy is preserved in its French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas and chic boutiques. A seaside promenade runs along the Bay of Bengal and passes several statues, including a 4m-high Gandhi Memorial.
Today you will have the opportunity to visit the Chola Temples.
The Great Living Chola Temples were built by kings of the Chola Empire, which stretched over all of south India and the neighbouring islands. The site includes three great 11th- and 12th-century Temples and are still in use today.
The great Cholas established a powerful monarchy in the 9th CE at Thanjavur and in its surroundings. They enjoyed a long, eventful rule lasting for four and a half centuries with great achievements in all fields of royal endeavour such as military conquest, efficient administration, cultural assimilation and promotion of art.
After breakfast, our Vehicle is at your service for a Sightseeing Tour. Welcome to ‘Cote d’Azur’ of India aka the Indo-French city of Pondicherry. Influenced by 1674s French East India Company, we explore an existing French Colony with a unique heritage, architecture and lifestyle. Enjoy a Heritage Walk in colonial streets of Old Pondicherry Town to discover Indo-French heritage evident all around, from mustard-coloured houses, chic shops to quaint boulevards.
Witness Green Muslim Quarter, Ville Noir aka Tamil and French living Quarters.
Later visit Auroville, an experimental community founded in 1968 by the spiritual leader Mirra Alfassa as a town where people from all over the world could live in harmony. The philosophy of Auroville is based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, a pt, philosopher, visionary and guru, who left his body in 1950.
Return back to hotel.
After Breakfast and check-out we drive to Chennai (250 Kms drive) to catch a flight to Mumbai.
Transfer to hotel.
If time permits we take a stroll at Chowpatty Beach area to enjoy the sunset and return to the hotel with a drive past the popular Marine Drive, that illuminates at night and resembles a Queens Necklace when viewed from above.
Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is India’s dream city and often related to New York of India. Mumbai has lots to offer to the modern traveller, from its renowned Bollywood film industry, a fashion epicenter, colonial-era architecture, Gateway of India by waterfront, a home to Asia’s largest slums and to the world’s most expensive homes.
Mumbai, with its Colonial and Art Deco buildings, tall skyscrapers, wild traffic and frenetic pace of life, is one of India’s most intriguing cities.
After Checkout/breakfast you will be driven to the Tower of Silence and thereafter transferred to Mumbai airport to catch the flight to Diu.
In Diu, transfer to hotel and check in.
Diu is a medieval fortified town at the eastern end of Diu Island, the island was a Portuguese colony for over 400 years and there is still strong evidence of this as one wanders around.
Overlooking the Arabian Sea, Diu Fort was built in 1535 and maintained as an active garrison until 1960.
Away from the waterfront, the streets are clean, quiet and colourful.
A bridge connects the island to the state of Gujarat.
After breakfast and checkout, we drive to the home of the Asiatic lion - Gir National Park (60 Kms drive).
The Gir National Park, the last home of the Asiatic lion, and Gujarat's most applauded wildlife park. Coming here on a safari is an unforgettable experience. The park was set up in 1965, and a 259-sq-km core area was declared a national park in 1975. Since the late 1960s, lion numbers have increased from under 200 to over 650 (not all of these lions live within the park).
Upon arrival at your lodge, you will be met for your Check-in formalities and safari timings/briefings.
Afternoon open-jeeps will be ready to welcome you and begin your Afternoon Safari for sunset into the Gir National Park, with an expert naturalist and jeep driver. (safari on shared basis). You will be transferred back to your retreat/lodge in the evening.
Dinner arrangements at the lodge.
After an early breakfast, open-jeeps will be ready to welcome you and begin your morning sunrise safari into the Gir National park.
Return to the lodge for lunch.
Afternoon open jeep safari.
After breakfast and checkout, drive to Rajkot airport (170 Kms drive) to catch a flight to the capital city Delhi.
Upon your arrival at Delhi Airport, you will be met and transferred to your Hotel for Check-in with welcome briefing.
Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
founded as Shahjahanabad in 1639 as the capital of the great Mughal Empire, and Lutyens City - New Delhi, designed by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and set-up in 1931 by viceroy of India Lord Irwin.
Our first stop will be old walled-city of Delhi.
We will visit the marvellous red-sandstoned Jama Masjid Mosque built by Mughal emperor and maker of taj mahal – Shah Jahan in 1644 AD showcasing finest indo-islamic architectures.
Afterwards, we hop-on a traditional Rickshaw Ride tour exploring real life, tangy flavours and buzz of old city thru maze-like streets of the iconic wholesale bazaar Chandni Chowk and Asia’s largest spice trading markets Khari Baoli. Our ride ends with a photo-stop outside the imperial residence of Mughal empire and unesco heritage site The Red Fort, built in 1638 and rumoured to have the decapitated bodies of prisoners built into its foundations for luck.
Next stop is at Raj Ghat, the memorial dedicated to father of India - Mahatma
In the afternoon we will arrive at the infamous Lutyens Delhi aka the New Delhi City, known for its innovative architecture from the 1930’s British raj, and now the political heart of independent India.
This colonial city with its European influences was a power symbol of the British Empire.
We will explore fine works of Sir Edwin Lutyen, that later became the fabric and features of modern India.
We cover New Delhi’s most imposing sites such as Gandhi Smriti, the remembrance home - museum of Mahatma Gandhi; here on 30th Jan 1948 the father of India was assassinated.
Ceremonial boulevard Raj Path designed by Lutyens in 1921 taking similarities from the “Champs Elysee of France”. Here we explore princely State Houses and architectures of North - South Block including India Gate, a 42m-high stone memorial arch pays tribute to 70,000 soldiers of British Indian Army who died in the first world war.
Presidents estate Rashtrapati Bhawan, former home to the British viceroy and today the largest residence of any head of state in the world.
The House of Parliament, designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1912 to construct a new administrative capital of British India.
Afterwards, we journey to central parks of Delhi surrounded with downtown markets Connaught Place named after the duke of Connaught. This horse-sh shaped market was built in the spirit of British colonial rule, as a grand shopping place where the new imperial city and the older native settlement would participate in trading.
We will also cover the sacred Gurudwara Bangla Sahib that is one of the most prominent Sikh houses of worship in Delhi. Here we will experience a traditional Sikh Kitchen and its Langar Ceremony, where sacred meals are served regardless of caste, creed or religion. We will witness or if preferred we participate in the cooking ceremony to feed over 10,000 people a day. Imagine massive cooking pots stirred by strong-armed men with spoons the length of oars.
Later return back to the hotel.
After breakfast / checkout you will be transferred to Hazarat Nizamuddin train station (South Delhi Train Station) to catch the fastest train to the city of Taj Agra.
Depart Delhi (ETD: 0810 hrs by Train 12050 Gatimaan Express)
Arrive Agra Cantt. (ETA: 0950 hrs)
(Air conditioned Executive Class)
Upon arrival at Agra Train Station, we visit the marble Tomb Sikandra. This outstanding sandstone and marble tomb commemorates the greatest of the Mughal emperors. The huge courtyard is entered through a stunning gateway decorated with three-storey minarets at each corner and built of red sandstone strikingly inlaid with white-, yellow- and blue-marble geometric and floral patterns. The interior vestibule of the tomb is stunningly decorated with painted alabaster, creating a contrast to the plain inner tomb.
The unusual upper pavilions are closed.
Look for deer in the surrounding gardens.
Lunch, at your own expense, at The Mughal restaurant of Hotel Clarks Shiraz Agra and after lunch check in at your hotel Trident.
In the afternoon we will experience a sunset grand tour of The Taj Mahal. You will be met by our expert Taj Mahal guide who will arrange eco-friendly pollution-free vehicles for you, to journey to the main gates of the Taj.
Spanning an area of about 1,000 acres (400 hectares), this majestic architectural wonder offers incredible sights. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and combines Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.
On your guided tour, admire the structure’s magnificent construction, the intricate exterior and interior decor, the beautiful garden and the outlying red-sandstone buildings.
Capture the changing faces of the Taj in different light conditions. Our expert guides will also help you find special vantage points for perfect photography moments of Taj.
In Agra, the architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal empire, of which Agra was the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries. A pleasant town with a comparatively slow pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendants of those who worked under the Mughals. The city is also famous for its carpets, gold thread embroidery and leather shs.
Dinner tonight is included at a local restaurant.