South & North East of India
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Some of the highlights included are:
- Discover the cultural hodgepodge that is Kolkata
- Sip delicious tea and admire the rolling plantations in Darjeeling
- Ride the UNESCO-listed Toy Train, and soak up the beautiful green landscapes
- Immerse yourself in India’s Hollywood and Bollywood scenes at the Ramoji Film City
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- International & internal flights
- 15 nights in 4-star hotels
- All breakfasts
- Visit the Shree Meenakshi temple
- Visit the palace of Tirumala Nayak
- Tour to Valparai
- City tour of Kochi
- Half day city tour of Hyderabad
- Visit Ramoji Film City
- City tour of Kolkata
- Travel on the World Heritage Toy Train
- City tour of Darjeeling
- City tour of Gangtok
- All transfers
Need to know
- Arrives: Chennai International Airport (MAA)
- Time difference: GMT+5:30
- Visa requirements: British passport holders require a tourist visa; please ask your travel consultant for more information
- Language: Hindi, English
- Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
- Flying time from UK: Approximately 11 hours, 10 minutes
- Plug type: 3 large round pins
- Voltage: 220 volts/50 cycles
Fly from UK to
Experience the delights of this ancient city with a half-day tour, where you’ll visit the Shree Meenakshi Temple. With 12 ornate monumental towers, known as gopurams, it’s less of a temple and more of a town within a town, an enormous complex of religious sculptures, shrines and bazaars. No surprise that it’s one of the biggest temple complexes in India. Check out the Hall of a Thousand Pillars, where an endless line of carved columns fades into the distance. You’ll visit the Tirumalai Nayak Palace too – this blend of Hindu and Saracen architecture is a great example of Nayak design. It’s an enormous structure, even though only a quarter of it still remains. Finish the evening by witnessing the spiritual Aarti ceremony.
Visit the Shree Meenakshi temple Visit the palace of Tirumala Nayak
On arrival, you can experience Indian village life in complete serenity and seclusion, or maybe head for the nearby Parambikulam Tiger Reserve for the chance to spot these big cats in the wild. This and other surrounding sanctuaries are home to around 36 tigers. On your second day, you will embark on a morning tour of Valparai, a verdant hill station which sits 3,500ft above sea level. Here you may spot elephants, sloth bears, civets and panthers – to name a few – while soaking up the abounding green beauty of the region. Consider walking the nearby Cotton Trail in the afternoon, or meditating in The Temple of Consciousness.
4* Coco Lagoon
Tour to Valparai
As a former spice trading port, the island city of Kochi has been visited by traders from all over the world for 600 years. It’s not surprising then that Portuguese, Dutch, Arab, Chinese and Japanese influences weave together to create an eclectic town filled with an intriguing mix of cultures. On day two, embark on a city tour, visiting St Francis Church and the Portuguese-built Dutch Palace. Its impressive murals confirm this – the name comes from Dutch renovations of the original. You’ll discover the unmissable Chinese fishing nets too – these giant nets and fixed structures over 10 metres in height. Constructed in the 14th century, they use mechanical principles far advanced for their time. In the evening, you’ll head for the theatre to watch Kathakali players perform their traditional Indian dance.
4* The Malabar House
City tour of Kochi
After checking into your hotel, you’ll embark on an afternoon city tour and discover the holy Golconda Fort, the 400-year-old Charminar monument – otherwise known as the ‘Mecca of the south’ – and the Salarjung Museum. On your second day here, visit Ramoji Film City, the largest integrated film city in the world. Perhaps take an open-top bus tour through the Live Studio, and visit iconic sets, like the avenue-esque Princess Street, the mesmerising Mughal Garden and the Japanese Garden – full of pagodas and manicured lawns.
4* The Park
Half day city tour of Hyderabad Visit Ramoji Film City
Somewhat of a cultural capital, the city has produced no less than four Nobel Prize winners, the most famous of which is Mother Teresa, whose tomb you can visit. The city also hosts numerous festivals and fetes, filled with joy and colour. Upon arrival, take a walking food tour through the city’s markets and visit a local bazaar to learn about the various spices and ingredients used so often here. The next day you’ll have a full-day city tour, taking in the Flower Market, Howarah Bridge and the iconic College Street Book Market. Here you can browse the antique books in College Street, famous for its bookshops, publishing houses, coffee shops and the largest second-hand book market in the world.
4* The Park
Full-day city tour of Kolkata
5hrs) to Darjeeling. Home to the eponymous ‘champagne of teas’, Darjeeling invites you to lie back and appreciate the serenity of the vibrant green hills and tea plantations, backed by the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. You’ll find your vantage point in the Tiger Hills on a clear day and admire the stunning views of Everest, and learn more about the numerous attempts on its summit at the fascinating Himalayan Mountaineering Institute/Zoological Park, where you can also see snow leopard, Tibetan wolf and the Himalayan black bear. You’ll also visit the famous Ghoom Monastery, take a ride on the UNESCO-listed Toy Train, and walk to Observatory Hill and Bhutia Basti. Perhaps the most unforgettable part of your journey, though, will be visiting the Tibetan Refugee Centre. Aiming to educate visitors about the Tibetan culture, this rehabilitation centre is a charitable organisation offering shelter to over 130 Tibetan families, who also sell their traditional homemade handicrafts.
4* New Elgin
Travel on the World Heritage Toy Train City tour
With its truly epic Himalayan views, the capital of Sikkim is definitely not somewhere to run out of batteries for your camera. Keep them topped up on your half-day city tour, where you’ll take a look around the lovely Enchey Monastery with its ornately carved windows, intricate prayer wheels and a large collection of masks used in dance performances. You’ll also visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. This fascinating organisation encourages the research of Tibetan culture, and its museum contains numerous Buddhist manuscripts and icons, including a kangling – a trumpet made from a human thighbone. While you’re exploring, be sure to stop and admire the lofty 8,586m peak of Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world.
4* Nork Hill Elgin
Half-day city tour
Fly to Kolkata where you will spend the night, before departing the following morning.
4* The Park