Passage to India 7 Days

$1,599.00

Delhi, Agra & Jaipur

From the sacred waters of the Ganges River to the dreamy façade of the majestic Taj Mahal at the break of dawn, the Indian sub-continent from its vast geographical terrain to its cultural diversity is extraordinary, and as captivating as it is inspiring.

India's cities teem with an incredible melting pot of cultures steeped in millennia of history and age-old traditions. This tour starts with a drive through Delhi to get a taste of the lifestyle, before heading to Agra to view the incomparable Taj Mahal. Then on to Rajastan province's Jaipur city to explore the incredible architectural and astronomical achievements of past rulers of northern India. Head back to Delhi, taking in highlights such as the Bahai'i Lotus Temple, the Mahatma Gandhi museum, and Humayun's tomb – which inspired the Taj Mahal.

This tour can be combined with a seven day pre-tour extension to take in Sri Lanka, a two day extension to explore Ranthambore wildlife park, an additional four days to take in Kerala's beautiful backwaters, and/or an additional five days in Nepal before heading home.

Highlights

  • Behold the dreamy façade of Taj Mahal upon the break of dawn
  • Ascend the beautiful Amber Fort overlooking Maota Lake
  • Marvel at the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site Qutub Minar
  • Walk in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi Smriti

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Departures

2017 Package Price
05 Mar (SAF) 23 Jul* (KER)

From $1,599
Land only from $999
per person twin share

Single Supplement $400

Book Now

02 Apr** (SAF) 20 Aug* (KER)
30 Apr* (SAF) 17 Sep** (KER)
28 May* (SAF) 15 Oct* (SAF)
25 Jun* (KER) 29 Oct* (SAF)
* Peak Season Surcharge: $300
** School Holiday Surcharge: $500
(SAF) Ranthambore Wildlife Safari Extension available
(KER) Kerala Backwaters Extension available

Package Inclusions:

  • China Southern Airlines economy class international airfares, taxes and fuel surcharges departing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth
  • 5 nights hotel accommodation
  • Transportation & transfers
  • Daily breakfast
  • Admissions to scenic attractions
  • Local English-speaking tour guide(s)

Package Exclusions:

  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $90
  • India visa
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Hotel Accommodation

Delhi Crowne Plaza Gurgaon or similar local rating
Agra Ramada Plaza or similar local rating
Jaipur KK Royal Hotel or similar local rating

Optional Pre-Tour Extension

Sri Lanka 7 Nights

Sri Lanka, like a small teardrop in the ocean, is where terraced Ceylon tea plantations are enveloped by misty highlands, herds of elephants criss-cross the lush wilderness, and balmy palm-fringed beaches are blessed by tranquil cerulean waters of the Indian Ocean.

2017 Departures Package Price
26 Feb 18 Jun 08 Oct

From $1,499

per person twin share

26 Mar 16 Jul 22 Oct
23 Apr 13 Aug
21 May 10 Sep

Tour Highlights:

  • Get up close and personal with elephants at Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage
  • Observe Sri Lanka’s vibrant wildlife on a safari at Yala National Park
  • Climb the astonishing Sigriya Rock Fortress and see the remnants of an ancient city
  • Discover Sri Lanka’s most famous export at a tea factory & plantation
  • Retreat to the timeless seaside harbour and town of Galle

Inclusions:

  • Malaysia Airlines economy class international airfares, taxes and fuel surcharges departing Sydney or Melbourne
  • Internal flight (Colombo > Delhi)
  • 7 nights hotel accommodation
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • Coach transportation & transfers
  • Admissions including Yala National Park Jeep Ride
  • Local English-speaking tour guide

Exclusions:

  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $120
  • Sri Lanka visa
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Price Guide:

  • Single supplement: $500
  • Interstate surcharge: Brisbane/Adelaide/Perth $300 (flights may be via Sydney or Melbourne)
  • Airline upgrade (economy class long haul int’l sectors): Singapore Airlines from $400
  • Child price: Same as adult

Accommodation:

Area Hotel Local Rating
Colombo Pegasus Reef Hotel or similar
Dambulla Habarana Village by Cinnamon or similar
Kandy Earl’s Regent Hotel or similar
Nuwara Eliya Araliya Green Hills or similar
Yala Chandrika Hotel or similar
Bentota Centara Ceysands or similar

Optional Mid-Tour Extension

Ranthambore Wildlife Safari 2 Nights

Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve is home to the largest population of the elusive and endangered Bengal tiger, as well as a host of exceptional species of flora and fauna. This was once the preferred hunting grounds of the royal Maharajas of bygone days, but is now an attraction for many nature, wildlife, and photography enthusiasts.

Available for the following core tour dates only: Package Price
05 Mar 28 May

From $899

per person twin share

02 Apr 15 Oct
30 Apr 29 Oct

Inclusions:

  • Entrance fee to Ranthambore National Park
  • Transportation by Jeep
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary

Exclusions:

  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $45
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Price Guide:

  • Single supplement: $250

Accommodation:

Area Hotel Local Rating
Ranthambore Ranthambore Regency or similar

Notes:

  • This extension cannot be combined with Nepal 5 Nights Post-Tour Extension

Optional Mid-Tour Extension

Kerala Backwaters 4 Nights

Kochi is home to the famed backwaters of Kerala, aptly nicknamed the Venice of South Asia due to its labyrinth of meandering streams, lakes, rivers, and lagoons. Here, an interesting mix of Portuguese, Dutch and English influences is manifest in Jewish synagogues, historical churches and buildings, as well as giant fishing nets from China.

Available for the following core tour dates only: Package Price
25 Jun 20 Aug

From $999

per person twin share

23 Jul 17 Sep

Tour Highlights:

  • Float down the serene backwaters of Kerala in a houseboat
  • Watch the intriguing Kathakali cultural dance performance unique to South India
  • Marvel at the majestic Chinese fishing nets
  • Indulge in a complete and rejuvenating Ayurveda experience

Inclusions:

  • Domestic internal flight(s): Jaipur > Kochi (via Mumbai)
  • 4 nights hotel accommodation
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • Transportation & transfers
  • Site entry fees
  • Local English-speaking tour guide

Exclusions:

  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $125
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Price Guide:

  • Single supplement: $400

Accommodation:

Area Hotel Local Rating
Kochi Crowne Plaza Kochi or similar
Alleppey Cosy Houseboat or similar
Changanssery Contour Backwater Resorts or similar

Notes:

  • This extension cannot be combined with Nepal 5 Nights Post-Tour Extension
  • There will be a slight deviation to the Delhi sightseeing portion of the Passage to India 7 Days tour itinerary for all travellers taking up the Kerala Backwaters 4 Night extension. Lotus Palace, Gandhi Smriti and Humayun’s Tomb which are normally offered as part of the Passage to India 7 Days tour package will be replaced with a visit to India Gate, a drive by the Parliament House and the President’s House capped off with a special farewell dinner.

Optional Post-Tour Extension

Nepal 5 Nights

Landlocked by China in the north and India in the east, south and west, Nepal’s façade is dramatically given away by the magnificent mountain range of the Himalayas, with the jagged snow-capped summit of Mount Everest soaring skywards into the heavens above. Down below, cities are like painted canvasses of labyrinthine streets, flecked with a stunning array of medieval-style pagodas, stupas and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.

Package Price Single Supplement
From $999
per person twin share

$400

Tour Highlights:

  • Gaze up at the Himalayan mountain range, with stunning views of Mt. Everest
  • Marvel at Boudhanath Stupa adorned with colourful prayer flags
  • Stop by a Tibetan refugee camp and observe the life of Tibetans in exile
  • Retreat to the beautiful Phewa Lake in the lakeside city of Pokhara

Inclusions:

  • Flights (Delhi > Kathmandu > Australia)
  • 5 nights hotel accommodation
  • Meals as indicated
  • Transportation & transfers
  • Admissions to scenic attractions
  • Local English-speaking tour guide

Exclusions:

  • Tipping prepaid in Australia: $90
  • Nepal visa
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenditure and anything not stated

Price Guide:

  • Stay behind surcharge: From $250
  • Child price: Same as adult

Accommodation:

Area Hotel Local Rating
Kathmandu Royal Singi or similar
Nargarkot Country Villa or similar
Pokhara Da Yatra Courtyard or similar
Fly to India via connecting cities. You will be greeted on arrival by a tour representative at Delhi International Airport and transferred to the hotel.

Note: Depending on the city and airline chosen, you may be required to depart a day earlier on an overnight flight.
Begin your journey with a city drive through the bustling streets and winding alleyways of Delhi to see the ancient Qutub Minar. This complex is a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture with its alternating angular and circular fluting and verses from the Quran inscribed on the sandstone exterior. Leave Delhi and journey on to the historic city of Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Explore Agra Fort, a massive red sandstone monument built on the banks of Yamuna River in 1565. The fort served as a military base and royal residence during the Mughal reign over India.
Rise early this morning to catch the breathtaking Taj Mahal graced by the light of the morning sun. Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the quintessential monument of India, this exquisite white-marble and inlaid semi-precious stone mausoleum complex was commissioned by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, as a memorial for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Leave Agra and cross over to the colourful state of Rajasthan and the mesmerising pink city of Jaipur where many of the buildings here are flushed with a vibrant pink hue. Stop by Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), an enchanting five-storey pink sandstone palace built in the 18th century by the king of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. The purpose of this building’s ingenious design was to enable the ladies of the royal palace to observe city life from the palace windows.
Ascend to the Amber Fort this morning by jeep. This massive fort sits on a hill overlooking the beautiful Maota Lake. Although the fort is in ruins, the royal palaces, gardens and temples housed inside still retain much of their grandeur. Later, visit the City Palace, a stunning palace complex divided into a series of regal courtyards, gardens and buildings. Afterwards, head to the fascinating Jantar Mantar Observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in early 18th century and behold an impressive collection of enormous astronomical instruments that were once used to measure time, chart constellations, and observe the planets and stars.
Return to Delhi this morning. On arrival, visit the Lotus Temple, a Baha’i House of Worship, which welcomes visitors of all faiths. This astonishing modern architectural wonder features 27 white-marble petals styled in the shape of a lotus. Thereafter will be a special visit to Gandhi Smriti, a museum and memorial dedicated to independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated on 30 January 1948. Walk in the footsteps of Gandhi and discover the life and death of one of the most influential figures of India and how his spirituality and belief went on to inspire people around the world today. The final stop will be at Humayun’s Tomb, one of the earliest Mughal monuments. Its design was heavily influenced by Persian architecture and served as an inspiration for the iconic Taj Mahal.

Hotel envisaged: Welcom Hotel Dwarka, New Delhi

Transfer to the airport today for your homebound or onward flight via a connecting city.
Arrive home today.

Optional Pre-Tour Extension

Sri Lanka 7 Nights

Sri Lanka, a small teardrop in the ocean, is where you will find terraced Ceylon tea plantations enveloped by misty highlands, herds of elephants criss-crossing the lush wilderness, and balmy palm-fringed beaches blessed by the tranquil cerulean waters of the Indian Ocean.

Tour Highlights:

  • Get up close and personal with elephants at Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage
  • Observe Sri Lanka’s vibrant wildlife on a safari at Yala National Park
  • Climb the astonishing Sigriya Rock Fortress and see the remnants of an ancient city
  • Discover Sri Lanka’s famous export at a tea factory & plantation
  • Retreat to the timeless seaside harbour and town of Galle
Fly to Sri Lanka via connecting cities. You will be met by a tour representative and transferred to the hotel.
Leave for Pinnawala this morning and visit Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. The orphanage was established in 1975 to house abandoned and injured elephants. Today, the number of elephants in the orphanage has increased to more than 40, including baby elephants brought in from various parts of the country and those born as a result of the captive breeding program. Drive onwards to the UNESCO World Heritage Dambulla Cave Temple, which was once the spiritual heart of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. This massive complex houses five sacred cave temples enamoured with intricate Buddhist mural paintings and hundreds of statues of valuable significance.
Journey on to the ancient city of Sigiriya this morning and climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress (or Lion’s Rock) passing by a sheltered gallery of elaborate painted frescoes as well as a pair of massive lion’s paws. En route to Kandy, spend time in a spice garden in Matale and discover the variety of plants being cultivated, from cinnamon to cardamom, and nutmeg to pepper vines. Drive to Kandy and visit The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is said to house one of the Buddha’s teeth. Enjoy a lively cultural dance performance tonight.
Spend some time at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya this morning, the largest botanical wonderland of Sri Lanka. The lush botanic garden houses tropical vegetation from climbing and flowering plants unique to a giant Javan fig tree. Proceed to Nuwara Eliya (City of Light) and visit a Tea Factory & Plantation en route. The tea here is famous for its distinct flavour and aroma. Nuwara Eliya is known as the ‘Little England of Sri Lanka’ as it was first established in 19th century by the British. This charming city is set against a backdrop of misty mountains and valleys, cascading waterfalls and acres of fragrant tea plantation.
Today’s highlight is an afternoon safari at Yala National Park by Jeep. Yala National Park was established in 1938 originally as a sportsman’s shooting reserve and is home to the world’s largest population of leopards. Get up close to elephants, wild boars, buffaloes, crocodiles, peacocks, jackals, sloth bears and more. You can also spot many colourful resident and migratory birds that are scattered along the national park.
Bid farewell to the wilderness this morning and retreat to the timeless seaside town and harbour of Galle. On arrival, explore Galle Dutch Fort, which was once the port of call for ships that sailed in from Europe. Leave Galle this afternoon for Bentota, a quiet and soothing coastal town bordered by sun-baked sandy beaches and beautiful coconut palm trees affording dreamy views of the Indian Ocean.
Full day at your own leisure. You may choose to participate in some water sports, wildlife watching or sample the mouth-watering local cuisine – the perfect way to end your journey in Sri Lanka.
Return to Colombo this morning. Transfer to the airport for your onward flight to your next destination.

Optional Mid-Tour Extension

Ranthambore Wildlife Safari 2 Nights

Vast rugged terrain of dry deciduous forests populated by ancient Dohk and Banyan trees is punctuated by placid lakes and spectacular mountain vistas. Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve is home to the largest population of the elusive and endangered Bengal tiger, as well as a host of extravagant species of flora and fauna. This was once the preferred hunting grounds of the royal Maharajas of bygone days, but is now the calling for many nature, wildlife, and photography enthusiasts alike.

Leave Jaipur this morning and travel onwards to Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve. Other than wildlife, the park contains abandoned fortresses, thick forested regions, and three picturesque lakes: Padam Talao, Rajbagh Talao and Malik Talao. Stay overnight at Ranthambore to allow ample time for your morning and afternoon game drives tomorrow.
Rise early for a morning game drive. Observe wildlife such as macaque monkeys atop tree branches and herds of spotted deer grazing in the grassy plains. If you are lucky, you may be able to sight the elusive royal Bengal tiger. There will be free time at leisure before you embark on another exhilarating game drive before dusk.
Bid farewell to the wilderness and return to Delhi. On arrival, visit the Lotus Temple, a Baha’i House of Worship, which welcomes visitors of all faiths. This astonishing modern architectural wonder features 27 white marble petals styled in the shape of a lotus. Thereafter will be a special visit to Gandhi Smriti, a museum and memorial dedicated to independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated on 30 January 1948. Walk in the footsteps of Gandhi and discover the life and death of one of the most influential figures of India and how his spirituality and belief went on to inspire people around the world today. The final stop will be at Humayun’s Tomb, one of the earliest Mughal monuments to date. Its design was heavily influenced by Persian architecture and served as an inspiration for the iconic Taj Mahal.

Hotel envisaged: Welcom Hotel Dwarka, New Delhi

Transfer to the airport today for your homebound or onward flight via a connecting city.
Arrive home today.

Optional Mid-Tour Extension

Kerala Backwaters 4 Nights

Tour Highlights:

  • Float down the serene backwaters of Kerala in a houseboat
  • Watch a special traditional folk dance performance – Kathakali
  • Marvel at the majestic Chinese Fishing Nets
  • Indulge in a complete and rejuvenating Ayurveda experience
Transfer to the airport this morning after breakfast. Board your flight to Kochi via Mumbai. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to rest.

Enjoy the sunset by the seashore and see the extravagant Chinese Fishing Nets. These giant nets are unique and it has been said that they were brought to India by traders of the Yuan Dynasty court of Kublai Khan in the 14th century. Behold a special Kathakali performance this evening. Kathakali is a traditional folk dance specific to the Kerala region and features actor-dancers dressed up in extravagant colourful make-up, costumes, face masks and vivid face painting.
Relax in the hotel after breakfast. You may wish to relax at the spa (at your own expense) before the city sightseeing commences. Kochi is a major port city on the south-west coast of India. Visit the Jewish Synagogue this afternoon, a synagogue adorned with several objects of antiquity, such as elaborate Belgian glass chandeliers, giant scrolls from the Old Testament and hundreds of hand-painted 18th century Chinese porcelain tiles. Stop by St. Francis Church, well-known for its magnificent architecture and its Portuguese influence dating back to the 15th century. Then, see the Dutch Palace (or Mattancherry Palace) and museum where large elaborate murals depicting scenes from great Indian epics, and an impressive collection of items formerly owned and worn by the royal family are on display.
Head to Alleppey after breakfast. On arrival, board a houseboat for a luxurious day cruise through the serene backwaters of Kerala. Observe charming village life along the banks as you cruise along in style. Enjoy a special lunch on board and soak in the warm sunset glow before journeying back to Changanssery for a complete and rejuvenating Ayurvedic experience. Ayurveda is the Indian medical science of life and longevity involving the harmony of mind, body and soul.
Indulge in a full day experience of Kerala Ayurvedic treatments after a thorough check of your individual physical requirements.
Early breakfast before you check out of the hotel. Return to Kochi this morning for your flight to Delhi. On arrival, enjoy some free time for last minute shopping before you visit India Gate, passing by Parliament House and the President’s House. Enjoy a special farewell dinner before you are transferred to the airport for your homebound or onward flights via a connecting city.

Note: There will be a slight deviation to the Delhi sightseeing portion of the Passage to India tour itinerary for all travellers taking up the Kerala Backwaters 4 Night extension. Lotus Palace, Gandhi Smriti and Humayun’s Tomb which are normally offered as part of the Passage to India tour package will be replaced with a visit to India Gate, a drive by the Parliament House and the President’s House, capped off with a special farewell dinner.
Arrive home today.

Optional Post-Tour Extension

Nepal 5 Nights

Landlocked by China in the north and India in the east, south and west, Nepal’s façade is dramatically given away by the magnificent mountain ranges of the Himalayas, with the jagged snow-capped summits of Mount Everest soaring skywards into the heavens above. Down below, cities are like painted canvasses of labyrinthine streets flecked with a stunning array of medieval-style pagodas, stupas, and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.

Tour Highlights:

  • Gaze up at the Himalayan mountain range with stunning views of Mt. Everest
  • Marvel at Boudhanath Stupa adorned with colourful prayer flags
  • Stop by a Tibetan refugee camp and observe the life of Tibetans in exile
  • Retreat to the beautiful Phewa Lake in the lakeside city of Pokhara
Fly to Nepal. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel.
Begin your journey with an introductory tour of Kathmandu City. Visit Durbar Square, an intricate network of palaces, courtyards and temples. This was once the seat of the ancient Malla kings of Kathmandu. Head to Swayambhunath Stupa or Monkey Temple, which is perhaps Nepal’s most iconic temple complex. Afterwards, continue on to the colourful Boudhanath Stupa. This is the largest and most popular Buddhist complex of Nepal, drawing in many Buddhist pilgrims from around the world. At the top of the temple, a pair of giant painted eyes recalling those of the Buddha keep a watchful gaze over the surrounding town. Proceed to Nagarkot and step back in time in Bhaktapur City, a living museum of remarkable medieval pagodas carved with elaborate Buddhist and Hindu symbols, and cobblestone streets and alleys peppered with redbrick homes.

Note: Some major and significant historical sites in Kathmandu were extensively damaged by the earthquake in 2015 and are currently being restored.
Rise early today for your chance to observe one of the best sunrise views of the Himalayas. Enjoy a picturesque drive to Pokhara with breathtaking views of snow-capped Himalaya mountain ranges from afar. Pokhara is an idyllic lakeside city and the gateway to the Annapurna Circuit – one of the most popular trekking circuits with excellent vantage points of the mighty Mount Everest. At the borders of Pokhara is Phewa Lake where it is possible to see Macchapucchre and Annapurna mountain ranges reflected on the surface of the crystalline water.
Visit Sarangkot this morning from where you can see the Annapurna Massif and the peaks Dhaulagiri (8167m) in the west, and Maccapuchhare (6997m), and the rounded peak of Annapurna II (7937m) in the east. Thereafter, visit a Tibetan refugee camp. Many Tibetan refugees fled to this city in the 1960s and now live here in exile. Most are self-sufficient earning their living selling souvenirs around the lakeside or producing and trading woollen carpets and other handicraft items. Travel onwards to Gupteshwor Mahadev Cave, a cave dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu trinity along with Brahma and Vishnu, and considered as the one who creates, protects and transforms the universe
Return to Kathmandu. From there, make a stop at Thamel, a shopping mecca in Nepal. Meander through shops for souvenirs such as handicrafts, jewellery or clothing, or relax and unwind at a local café. Dine on authentic Nepalese cuisine this evening, followed by a dance show.
Transfer to the airport today for your homebound or onward flight via a connecting city.
Arrive home today.