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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This journey across India brings you close to the vibrant and colorful cultures of Rajasthan and the Ganges plains in northern India, before taking you to the compelling sights of Calcutta. Experience the living culture and rituals of Hinduism in the temples of southern India, practiced today in much the same fervor as it was a thousand years ago. Visit Kerala, where you can cruise in a slow boat through palm fringed backwaters and spot herds of wild elephants in the jungle. Flood your mind and senses with a potpourri of extraordinary sights and sounds from this diverse sub-continent.

Trip Highlights include:

  • 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • Rickshaw ride in Delhi

  • Romantic Taj Mahal

  • Fatehpur Sikri, abandoned 16th century town

  • Keoladeo National Park, bird sanctuary

  • Bazaars and palaces of Jaipur, Rajasthan

  • Varanasi, the Hindu holy city on the Ganges

  • Calcutta, so much more than what you thought

  • Mahabalipuram, ancient rock sculptures on the beach

  • Pondicherry, once a French colony in India

  • Medieval temples of Tanjore and Madurai

  • Periyar National Park, wildlife reserve in Kerala

  • Cochin, spice trading port since the 15th century

  • 2 train journeys in India

  • Stopover in Singapore

Trip Itinerary

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 The day is free for you to enjoy Singapore, a modern city and yet distinctly Oriental. A special visitors’ pass is included for transportation and entrance fees to important sights around the city.
Day 4: Singapore to Delhi Leave Singapore this evening and fly to Delhi, India’s capital.
Day 5: 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 6: Delhi to Jaipur Leave Delhi this morning and visit the towering Qutab Minar , before continuing onwards to Jaipur, Rajasthan’s famous ‘pink city’, built in 1728 from local sandstone. Just before entering Jaipur, stop at the Amber Palace – a hilltop fortress, accessed in appropriately royal style on elephant back!
Day 7: 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 8: Jaipur to Agra Visit Keoladeo National Park , once a Maharajah’s private duck shooting grounds and now a haven for migratory birds from Central Asia and the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri , on the way to Agra. Another highlight of your trip awaits you this afternoon, 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.
Day 9: Agra to Varanasi Stop at the majestic Agra Fort this morning, before enjoying some free time in the afternoon for shopping etc. This evening, take an overnight train to Varanasi, the holy city of the Hindus, on the river Ganges.
Day 10: Varanasi After breakfast, take a walking tour through the narrow lanes of this ancient town, reputed to be the world’s oldest continually inhabited city! Later today visit Sarnath, on the other side of the river Ganges, where the Buddha preached his first sermon.
Day 11: Varanasi to Calcutta 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. In the evening, board an overnight train bound for Calcutta.
Day 12: Calcutta (Kolkata) Arriving early this morning, you first encounter Calcutta as you cross the busy Howrah Bridge, teeming with pedestrians and all kinds of traffic – an amazing sight! Later, take an orientation tour of the city, well known for its colonial era buildings, museums and art galleries.
Day 15: Calcutta to Madras The morning is free for shopping or optional tours, before taking an afternoon flight from Calcutta to Madras.
Day 15: Madras (Chennai) to Pondicherry Start exploring South India by visiting Mahabalipuram , famous for its temples with ancient rock sculptures just next to the beach. Although the sculptures have been eroded by the winds and waves for more than a thousand years, they still remain very impressive. Later, arrive in Pondicherry, the former French colony with its distinctive streets, houses and ornamental gardens as well as the Aurobindo Ashram, a center for international living.
Day 15: Pondicherry to Chidambaram and Tanjore The Nataraja Temple at Chidambaram is significant, for its architectural splendor, rich traditions of worship and ceremony and its association with classical Indian music and dance. Continue onwards to the ancient temple at Darasuram, well known for its exquisite stone carving. Later arrive in Tanjore, another major temple city in the South.
Day 16: Tanjore (Thanjavuram) Famous for another spectacular, thousand year old Shiva temple , Tanjore is a witness to the period’s brilliant achievements in architecture, sculpture, painting, and bronze casting.
Day 17: Tanjore to Trichy and Madurai Leaving Tanjore head towards Trichy for a visit to the famous Rock Fort Temple, a spectacular monument perched on a rocky outcrop. Continue to Madurai, and its landmark Meenakshi Temple with 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! The city is crammed with shops and street markets, famous for its traditional handicrafts in bronze and brass.
Day 18: Madurai to Munnar Leaving the plains and temples behind, travel through the highlands to Kerala. Set at an altitude of 6000 ft, Munnar was a favorite summer resort of the colonial British. With its expanse of tea and spice plantations, pristine valleys and forests, this was a haven of peace and quiet, then as now.
Day 19: Munnar to Periyar Continue through the verdant countryside to the wildlife reserve of Lake Periyar; here, during an afternoon cruise on the lake you may see herds of wild elephants, exotic birds and other animals.
Day 20: Periyar to Kumarakom After another boat ride through the National Park early this morning, head for the coast. Drive past miles of rubber and coconut plantations before arriving at Lake Vembanad, with its meandering lagoons, mangroves and backwaters – a truly unique landscape. A boat ride takes you to your lakeside hotel.
Day 21: Kumarakom to Cochin Enjoy another cruise through the tranquil backwaters today, before continuing to the port city of Cochin, one of the oldest European settlements in India. History comes alive as you visit a Jewish Synagogue originally built in 1544, a Catholic church where Vasco da Gama was buried in 1524 and a Dutch palace built by the Portuguese!
Day 22: Cochin to Singapore The morning is free for you to enjoy Cochin, before heading to the airport this evening for the overnight flight to Singapore.
Day 23: Singapore to USA Land in Singapore early this morning for your connecting flight to the US, arriving the same day.

Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal), Jaipur, Varanasi, Calcutta, Madras, Tanjore, Madurai, Periyar, Kerala, Cochin

23 Days from $4,830

23 Day Indian Vacation to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi, Calcutta (Kolkata), Madras (Chennai), Pondicherry, Tanjore, Madurai, Munnar, Periyar and Cochin (Kochi)
1/1 - 3/31/17 $4,830 $5,250
4/1 - 5/31/17 $4,710 $5,070
6/1 - 8/31/17 $4,830 $5,190
9/1 - 9/30/17 $4,699 $5,125
10/1 - 11/30/17 $5,190 $5,490
12/1 - 12/31/17 $5,550 $5,910
1/1 - 3/31/18 $5,155 $5,455
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 30 days of the departure date.

Street scene in Jaipur, Rajasthan
Street scene in Jaipur, Rajasthan


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



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