Essence of India Tour programs with Singapore Airlines

 
 
 

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Trip cost includes:

- Round trip air, including fuel surcharges and taxes from New York or Los Angeles

- Accommodation on a twin share basis

- Daily breakfast

- Airport / railway station transfers in India

- Sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned vehicles, with English speaking local guides

- Entrance fees to all monuments listed in the itinerary

- Local taxes & service charges on the above

Not included are visa fees, personal expenses of all kinds, travel insurance, meals other than breakfast.

 

Private Journeys in India

Encounter India - 9 Days

Prelude to India - 11 Days

Glimpse of India & Nepal - 11 Days

Spices & Sandalwood - 14 Days

The Tiger's Den - 15 Days

Temples, Taj & Turbans - 15 Days

Royal India - 16 Days

Treasures of India - 16 Days

India in Style - 17 Days

Coast to Coast - 18 Days

Walk on the wild side - 18 Days

Rhinos, Tea & Monasteries - 18 Days

Indian Potpourri - 23 Days

Passage to India - 27 Days

 

Private Journeys in Bhutan

Small Group Tours

Customized Trips

Baggage Allowances & Fees

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Explore all corners of this fascinating sub-continent on your very own Passage to India! Travel by train, on elephant back and even on cycle-rickshaws as you experience the soul of India. Visit not only famous places like the Taj Mahal, the Hindu holy city of Varanasi or the erotic temples of Khajuraho, but also many places off the beaten track which are no less fascinating, such as the incredible city of Calcutta or the Kaziranga National Park, home of the one horned Indian rhinoceros

Meenakshi temple, Madurai, South India
Meenakshi temple, Madurai

Spotting rhinos in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India
Spotting rhinos in Kaziranga NP

Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Lake Palace, Udaipur

Trip Highlights include:

  • 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • Cochin, spice trading port since the 15th century

  • Backwaters of Kerala

  • Periyar National Park, wildlife reserve in Kerala

  • Tea and Cardamom Plantations in Munnar

  • Madurai with the Meenakshi Temple

  • Bangalore, garden city and hi-tech center

  • Belur & Halebid – home of magnificent temples & shrines

  • Wildlife spotting in Kaziranga National Park

  • Calcutta, so much more than what you thought

  • Varanasi, the Hindu holy city on the Ganges

  • Erotic sculptures on the temples of Khajuraho

  • Romantic Taj Mahal

  • Fatehpur Sikri, abandoned 16th century town

  • Keoladeo National Park, bird sanctuary

  • Bazaars and palaces of Jaipur, Rajasthan

  • Udaipur with its famous Lake Palace

  • Bombay (Mumbai), India’s Gateway by the Arabian Sea

  • Ancient Elephanta caves off the coast

  • Stopover in Singapore

Day 1: USA to Singapore Shortly after noon today, catch your Singapore Airlines flight to Asia. Arrive in Singapore two days later after crossing the International Dateline.
Day 3: Singapore to Cochin After a good night’s sleep at your hotel, the day is free for you to enjoy Singapore, a modern city and yet distinctly Oriental. Your special visitors’ pass includes entrance fees and transportation to important sights around the city. Early this evening, take the short flight from Singapore to Cochin.

Day 4: Cochin
Set on a cluster of islands, Cochin has an eclectic past and you can visit a Jewish Synagogue, a Christian Church where Vasco da Gama was initially buried, a Dutch Palace built by the Portuguese and the Chinese fishing nets which line the seafront.
Day 5: Cochin to Kumarakom Travel to Alleppey, where you embark on a cruise through the scenic backwaters, past coconut plantations, rice fields and waterfront villages until landing at your lakeside resort hotel.
Day 6: Kumarakom Enjoy a free day at your resort.
Day 7: Kumarakom to Periyar Drive past miles of rubber and coffee plantations as you head towards the wildlife reserve of Lake Periyar. During a late afternoon boat ride on the lake you may see herds of wild elephants and lots of exotic tropical birds.
Day 8: Periyar to Munnar Wake up early this morning for another wildlife spotting cruise on the lake. Later head for the hills of Munnar, a favorite summer resort of the colonial British. With its expanse of tea and spice plantations, pristine valleys and forests, this is a haven of peace and quiet.
Day 9: Munnar to Madurai Leaving the highlands of Kerala continue overland through the charming countryside to Madurai, in the plains of Tamil Nadu.
Day 10: Madurai Visit the landmark Meenakshi Temple with its 985 pillars, each exquisitely carved. Many of these are hewn from a single block of granite, and each produces a different musical tone when tapped! A major pilgrimage center, the city is crammed with shops and street markets, famous for its traditional handicrafts in bronze and brass.
Day 11: Madurai to Bangalore and Hassan Catch an early morning flight to Bangalore and continue overland to Hassan, the gateway for the amazing 12th century temples of Belur and Halebid . On the way stop at Sravanbelagola, a Jain pilgrimage center with a remarkable statue.
Day 12: Belur & Halebid Belur is famous for its temples with intricate sculptures and friezes that took 103 years to build! The walls of the Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebid are covered with endless sculptures of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls, no two of which are the same. This magnificent temple - guarded by a Nandi bull - was never completed, despite 86 years of labor. Return to Bangalore late afternoon and fly to Calcutta.
Day 15: Calcutta (Kolkata) to Gauhati Morning flight to Gauhati in India’s eastern state of Assam. Drive to Kaziranga National Park.
Day 15: Kaziranga National Park The mighty Brahmaputra River runs through the reserve, home of the One-horned Rhino, as well as buffalo, swamp deer, wild boar and the tiger. Go wildlife spotting during a morning Elephant Safari and a jeep excursion in the afternoon.
Day 16: Kaziranga to Calcutta (Kolkata)
 
Early morning drive back to Gauhati and fly to Calcutta, arriving late in the afternoon.
Day 16: Calcutta (Kolkata) to Varanasi Take an orientation tour of the city, well known for its colonial era buildings, museums and art galleries. Late this afternoon drive to the railway station across the busy Howrah Bridge, teeming with pedestrians and all kinds of traffic – an amazing sight! This evening, take an overnight train to Varanasi, the holy city of the Hindus, on the river Ganges.
Day 17: Varanasi After arriving in Varanasi take a walking tour through the narrow lanes of this ancient town, reputed to be the world’s oldest continually inhabited city!
Day 18: Varanasi to Khajuraho Early this morning, take a boat ride on the Ganges – undoubtedly another highlight of your trip. Watch the old buildings lining the river bank glow bright orange in the light of the rising sun, while pilgrims come to pray and bathe in the river, in a devout act of ritual cleansing. Fly to Kharuajo in the afternoon.
Day 19: Khajuraho to Delhi Every facade-wall, window, pillar, and ceiling of the temples of Khajuraho (built around 1000 AD) is carved with figures of mythical and historical origins, often in explicit erotic positions. Later this afternoon fly to Delhi.
Day 20: Delhi This morning, enjoy a brief tour of Old Delhi, riding in a rickshaw just like the locals, through the narrow streets and teeming bazaars. Visit the grand mosque before continuing to New Delhi, for other sites such as Humayun’s Tomb and some free time for shopping etc.
Day 21: Delhi to Agra Travel via a chauffer driven car to Agra. Another highlight of your trip awaits you, the Taj Mahal ! Twenty thousand master craftsmen labored for twenty years to build this awesome memorial for one man to honor the memory of his wife. Stop at the majestic Agra Fort.
Day 22: Agra to Jaipur Visit the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri and continue to Keoladeo National Park , once a Maharajah’s private duck shooting grounds and now a haven for migratory birds from Central Asia. Visit Amber Palace just outside Jaipur – a hilltop fortress, accessed in appropriately royal style on elephant back!
Day 23: Jaipur Jaipur’s elegant buildings and palaces reflect its past wealth and grandeur. Visit the elaborate ‘Palace of Winds’, which is not a palace but merely a façade, behind which the ladies of the royal household could watch processions and street festivals without being seen themselves! Spend the afternoon walking through Jaipur’s bazaars – famous for their silver jewelry and handicrafts.
Day 24: Jaipur to Udaipur Morning flight from Jaipur to Udaipur. Often called “the city of lakes”, Udaipur is famous for its whitewashed houses with brightly decorated outside walls. Ornate doors that are entrances homes or palaces, beautifully laid out gardens and royal monuments, all lend their charm to make Udaipur a fascinating place.
Day 25: Udaipur to Bombay (Mumbai) Visit some of the city sights this morning, including the famous Jagadish Temple and the City Palace – which is actually a complex of no fewer than 11 palaces overlooking the romantic Pichola Lake. Late afternoon flight to Bombay.
Day 26: Bombay (Mumbai) Take an orientation tour some this morning, seeing the impressive Gateway of India, Crawford Market and the busy Victoria Terminus Railway Station . In the afternoon travel by boat to an offshore island, where the Elephanta Caves contain impressive 9th century sculptures, carvings and a temple of Shiva. Late this evening transfer to the airport.
Day 27: Bombay to Singapore & USA Leave Bombay just after midnight and land in Singapore early this morning for your connecting flight to the US, arriving the same day.
 

Private Journey

Cochin, Kerala, Periyar, Madurai, Bangalore, Calcutta, Kaziranga NP, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal), Jaipur, Udaipur, Bombay

27 Days from $4,990

Passage to India - Independent Tour across South, East, North and West India
2017/18
Departures
Silver
Hotels
Gold
Hotels
1/1 - 3/31/17 $5,699 $7,477
4/1 - 5/31/17 $4,990 $6,948
6/1 - 8/31/17 $5,110 $7,068
9/1 - 9/30/17 $5,022 $6,998
10/1 - 11/30/17 $5,876 $7,598
12/1 - 12/31/17 $6,167 $8,064
1/1 - 3/31/18 $6,307 $7,824
Single occupancy surcharge on request

Departs daily

We offer two categories of accommodation: Silver hotels are carefully selected for their excellent value - all  rooms have private facilities. Gold hotels are better located, offer more spacious rooms with better amenities and a higher standard of service.
 The departure date determines the price applicable. All prices are per person and based on twin-share accommodation.

A $100 surcharge applies for bookings made within 16 days of the departure date.

 

Roadside fruit and  vegetable stall, Kerala, India
Roadside fruit & veggie stall, Kerala

Houseboat on the Kerala backwaters
Houseboat on the Kerala backwaters

Wild elephants, Periyar National Park, Kerala, India
Wild elephants, Periyar NP, Kerala
 

Indian women chatting
Kaffeeklatsch?
 

Animal carts are a common sight
Animal carts are a common sight
 

Fatehsagar Palace from Lake Palace, Pichola Lake, Udaipur, Rajasthan
Fatehsagar Palace from Lake Palace, Udaipur

Victoria Terminus (Chhatrapati Shivaji) Railway Station, Bombay
Victoria Terminus Railway Station, Bombay

   

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