India – 12 Nights/13 Days from Golden North to Irresistible South Tour

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13 days 12 nights


North India, South India, Kerala

Tour Type

Cultural Tour Wildlife Tour Beach Holiday

Travel Style

Group & Private

Group Size

01 Pax onwards

About this tour

See the best of India with a combination of the Golden North and Irresistible South. Enjoy the culture, history and magnificence of the Golden Triangle in the North then fly South to Kerala. Relax on a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala, take a trip to Periyar and finish off your holiday with 2 nights on a palm fringed tropical beach.


  • Delhi – Visit Jama Masjid, Humayun’s Tomb and the India Gate and enjoy Rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Old Delhi
  • Agra – Visit the impressive Agra Fort and India’s legendary Taj Mahal
  • Jaipur – Visit the famous Pink City including the City Palace and Jantar Mantar – a space observatory made centuries ago
  • Amber – Explore the iconic 16th century Amber fortress and also enjoy birds eye view of Jaipur city
  • Cochin – Walk though the old Portuguese town of Fort Kochi, Jewish Synagogue, Traditonal Kathakali Dance performance
  • Periyar – Experience the wild side of Kerala with a nature walk and boat cruise on the Periyar river looking at the birdlife and wildlife.
  • Alleppey – Enjoy cruising in the labyrinthine waterways in the backwaters of Kerala on a traditional “Kettuvallam” (Houseboat) and experience local village life.
  • Marari – Spend relaxing time enjoying a massage or just relaxing on this beautiful palm fringed each of Kerala.
  • Food – Experience the best of North Indian and Keralan cuisine – from Mughlai to Punjabi and Rajasthani and then to the delicacies of Kerala.

NOTE:- This tour has few group departures with fixed dates and can also be booked as a private tour for couple or a family or group of friends with your own private vehicle and personal guides and drivers. Please raise a request for the same to us and we will revert to you.


Your journey begins in Delhi. With a colourful mix of history, culture and modernisation, Delhi is a fantastic place to explore. On arrival in Delhi you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for check in.

If your arrival is during the day, your guide will hand over all your documents including hotel vouchers, flight and train tickets, discuss the whole tour with you, answer any questions you may have and arrange the meeting time for the next day. If your arrival is late we give you a chance to rest first and go through the handover the next day followed by your first sightseeing tour.

Overnight in Delhi

Meals included: Dinner

A special opportunity to soak in the sounds and aromas of Delhi and discover why it is known as the heart of India...

In the morning enjoy a guided tour of Delhi. Explore Old Delhi's heritage walking through the narrow lanes and experience a rickshaw ride.

Visit key places such as: Jama Masjid – one of the largest mosques in India, Raj Ghat – Mahatma Gandhi's monument, Sikh Gurdwara – an important Sikh temple and quiet refuge in the busy city and the iconic Lotus Temple.

Later drive to India Gate, the President's House and Lutyen's buildings and have the opportunity to shop at some local markets.

Overnight in Delhi

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

After breakfast you will be driven to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal (approximately 5 hours drive). In the afternoon, visit the majestic Agra Fort. Step back to an era of great palaces and grand forts. The fort itself is magnificent and has wonderful views of the Taj Mahal in the distance.

At sunset, enjoy a visit to the Taj Mahal. Watch as the marble changes colour as the sun rises and wander the grounds of the Taj Mahal with your guide marvelling at its wonder.

Later visit a Marble factory where you see the fascinating inlay work of local artisans whose forefathers built the Taj Mahal.

Overnight in Agra

Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

This morning you have the option of visiting the Taj Mahal at sunrise (at your own expense).Later, on the drive to Jaipur (around 5 hours) visit the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri.

Walk through the city with your guide hearing the intriguing story behind the abandoning of the city and learn about its great architecture.

Have lunch at a local restaurant before stopping at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.

Located in the Keoladeo National Park, a world heritage site and protected sanctuary, it is home to thousands of birds.

Enjoy thescenery and wildlife as you ride through the park on a rickshaw. Before reaching Jaipur also visit a local school (subject to the school being open) and village.

Jaipur is a bustling and fascinating city that has some of the finest examples of Rajasthani architecture and whilst it is a growing city with a modern outlook, camels can be found wandering the streets and rickshaws blend in with the traffic.

You will be driven to your hotel on arrival. In the evening you will be taken to a lovely but simple cafe located in Naharagarh Palace, perched on top of a hill, it offers a superb bird’s eye view of the city. Enjoy watching the sun going down over the city.

Overnight in Jaipur

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

After breakfast visit the ancient palace of Amber Fort*, which is exquisite in many ways – size, scale, craftsmanship, history and sits on a hilltop with stunning views. One of the most spectacular buildings contained in the fort is the Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors), with its walls completely covered with tiny mirrors. It has been designed so that even if a single ray of light enters the hall, this light is reflected in all the mirrors and the entire hall lights up.

Later visit the key sights and wonders of the Pink City in the heart of Jaipur. Visit the Observatory, the Maharaja's City Palace and Hawa Mahal (also known as Palace of the Winds and viewed from the outside only). Built of red and pink sandstone it is said to resemble the honeycomb structure of a bee’s nest. It was called the Palace of Winds as in the original design it had a clever cooling system that allowed a gentle breeze to pass through the Palace – very welcome in the hot Rajasthani summers.It is said to have been built as an observatory where the women of the Maharaja's City Palace could observe the outside world whilst remaining inside the palace.

The bustling bazaars of the old city are a great place to shop and explore and are some of the most vibrant in Asia – Rajasthan is known for its colour!

*You have the option to take an elephant ride to Amber Fort. The cost of this is USD 12 per person (2 people on an elephant) or USD 24 (one person atop an elephant).

There are strict regulations in place to limit the total number of journeys each elephant can do in a day, and they are only allowed to carry 2 passengers at a time to prevent any over-working of elephants.

Overnight in Jaipur

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

After breakfast you will be transferred to Jaipur Airport for your flight to Kochi (you will need to change planes in Mumbai).

On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for check in. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Overnight in Kochi

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Enjoy a tour in the morning and discover what an interesting mix and blend of cultures Kochi is home to. Chinese, Judaism, Portuguese, Dutch and of course the British have all left their mark on this tropical port of the Malabar coast.

It makes for a wonderful city to explore.Some of the main sights covered will be the Chinese fishing nets, the Vaniar Dhobi unit, the Dutch Palace*, the Paradesi Synagogue* (the oldest in India, built in 1568) and the vibrant spice markets, still going strong after hundreds of years. The quaint Old Dutch houses around Jew Town are now home to boutiques and antique shops.

Spend the afternoon at your leisure. In the evening see a Kathakali dance performance, the ancient pantomime dance drama of Kerala. Arrive a little early to see the performers applying their make-up and preparing for the performance.

Optional extra: This evening, rather than having the usual dinner, you can choose to partake in a cooking demonstration followed by dinner with a local culinary expert where you will learn the intricacies of cooking Keralan cuisine. The cost of this is AUD $50 per person.

*Please note: The Dutch Palace is closed on Saturdays and the Paradesi Synagogue is closed on Fridays and Saturdays. We recommend starting this tour any day of the week except for Thursdays and Fridays.

Overnight in Kochi

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Today you will be driven inland to Periyar (around 4 hours).Along the way enjoy the gorgeous views of the surrounding tea fields. In the afternoon visit a spice plantation and learn all about how spices are grown.

Enjoy the aromas of cinnamon and discover the beauty of the cardamom flowers and the pepper plant leaves.

Overnight in Periyar (Thekkady)

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Periyar National Park is a thick forest located in the Cardamom Hills of Thekkady. Discover the many birds and watch out for elephants, sambar, Malabar giant squirrels and wild boars all of which are common sightings.

The area is also home to tigers but sightings of these are more rare. This morning enjoy a nature walk in the park with a guide from a local tribe. Spot squirrels, birds and other wildlife as you explore this magnificent wildlife sanctuary. You will need long pants and enclosed shoes for this walk.

In the afternoon take a boat ride on Lake Periyar. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the National Park this boat trip is a great way to spot more wildlife and take in the scenery at the same time.

Overnight in Periyar (Thekkady)

Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Drive down the hills of the Western Ghats (mountain range) for around 4 hours to the backwaters of Alleppey.

Set on Vembanad Lake, this is one of Kerala’s most beautiful spots and where you board your Houseboat.

Enjoy cruising in the labyrinthine waterways and see local village life as it has been for years - fisherman casting their nets, children coming home from school by canoe, and ‘toddy tappers’ men who can scale the tallest coconut palms in order to extract the sap.

A note on the houseboats or kettuvallam as they are called: These are traditional boats made out of wood, bamboo, coconut fibre, jute, coir etc. and have air-conditioned rooms with an ensuite toilet and shower. They are 1 - 4 bedrooms depending on the size of your group. Each boat has a kitchen where the cook prepares the meals, plus an open area with a dining table and sitting area with sofas and chairs.

After you board the boat there is usually a short cruise before the boat is moored and lunch is served. After lunch continue cruising through the narrow canals. Around sunset the boat is moored again and dinner is prepared and then served. Overnight the boats stay moored in the same place to give you a restful night’s sleep.

In the morning after breakfast cruise back to where your car and driver will be waiting for you.

Overnight in Alleppey

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After a leisurely breakfast cruise through the narrow backwater canals towards your boat jetty. Along the way watch the locals go about their daily activities, with villagers working in the rice fields, ferries plying their trade and local fisher folk fishing.

When you reach the boat jetty disembark your boat and drive to Marari one of the beautiful palm fringed beaches of Kerala (around a 40 minute drive).

Overnight in Marari

Meals included: Breakfast

Spend today at your leisure. Relax by the beach, take a stroll or if you are feeling a little more active explore the village and surroundings of the resort by bicycle and discover local fishermen at work as you meander along the sleepy lanes. Or if you wish you can enjoy the interesting process of coir (coconut fibre) making in nearby villages. Whatever you choose Marari is simply a delightful place to be.

Overnight in Marari

Meals included: Breakfast

This morning you will be driven back to Kochi (around a 2 hour journey) and taken to the airport in time for your flight home or on to your next destination.

Meals included: Breakfast

Hotel Information


  • 12 nights' accommodation
  • Check-in & check-out time: generally, check in is after 2 pm and check out before12 pm. Early check-in and late check-out FOC are subject to room availability at the discretion of hotel. Guaranteed early check-in and late check-out may generate additional charges .
  • 3 meals as per itinerary - 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 8 dinners.
  • All airport transfers - by private vehicle.
  • Assistance by rep/driver at the airport during International arrival and departure.
  • All transportation throughout the tour in a private air-conditioned vehicle. The vehvehicle usedll depend on the size of your group and will range from an air-conditioned car for groups of 2, a Toyota Innova for groups of 3, a minivan for groups of 4-10 people and for groups over 10 a coach will be used.
  • Assistance at airports, railway stations and all major cities.
  • English speaking guides. Private or small group tour you will have a local guide in each location but for large group of 8 pax or more will have an accompanying guide/escort for the trip .
  • Entrance and sightseeing fees as stated in the itinerary.
  • Domestic flight from Jaipur to Kochi (via Mumbai) in economy class (Luggage allowance onboard flights are usually15kg checked in baggage, 7kg carry on baggage. If your luggage exceeds the allowed rate then you pay excess charges which are around USD 7* per kg *can vary depending on flight and airline carrier)
  • Free Wi-Fi available at the hotel lobby or room (as per availability in hotels).
  • Mineral water on tour days with our compliments.
  • Taxes and service fees.

  • International airfares to and from India.
  • Meals not outlined in the itinerary.
  • Drinks for all meals.
  • Elephant ride at Amber Fort - The cost of this is approximately USD 12 per person (based on 2 people sharing) or USD 24 per person (single person on elephant)
  • Cooking demonstration in Kochi. If you would like to participate the cost is USD **TBA*** and payable directly when you are in Kochi.
  • Travel insurance. (Note: We strongly recommend that you carry Travel insurance from your country).
  • Indian visa.
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
  • Any additional taxes levied by the Government of India on the tourism sector before or during travel will be payable by the guest.
  • Any sudden increase in the entrance fee. The price is based on the presently applicable fee.
  • Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
  • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

Booking Process & Information

Upon raising request for quote of your tour online, Travelbay will go through your request and will contact you with details regarding price, availability or any other details that you have requested. Our response is typically with-in 24 hrs . Once you give us a go ahead, we will request you to send us a booking advance and start holding accommodation and transportation for your tour.

As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 48 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation. 

We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as  dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements. We will also request a copy of each traveller’s passport and the arrival and departure details.

India Facts

Capital City: New Delhi

Population: 1.366 billion

Languages: There is no national language in India. Hindi and English are both official languages. India has over 1,000 spoken languages. The languages with the most number of speakers are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi and Tamil.

Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)

Time Zone: (GMT+05:30) Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi

Dialling code: +91

Religion: Hinduism is the predominant followed by Islam, Christianity, Sikh, Buddhism and Jainism

India weather

The best time to visit India is from October through to March. At this time, the weather across India is mostly warm and dry.

India is a large country with a huge range of varying climates. Most of the country is sub tropical with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Below is a very general overview to give you some idea of what to expect.

North India

  • Winter (October to March): The weather in the winter time in North India makes it a pleasant time to travel. It is not too hot nor is it too cold – although in some of the more alpine places it can get chilly – take some warm layers.
  • Summer (April to July): Summers can be hot in North India, particularly in May, June and July. The highs can reach 40°C and the lows drop to around 27°C.
  • Monsoon (July to September): This is when the North sees the most rain.

South India:

  • Winter (October to February): The temperatures are cooler at this time of year on the coastal regions (23°C to 32°C). The areas in the hills can be much cooler (15°C to 21°C).
  • Summer (March to May): Summers can be hot and humid in the South but sea breezes bring down the temperature and it’s a great time to visit the hill stations and tea plantation areas.
  • Monsoon (June to September): The rains start in June and bring the temperatures down. The areas in the hills become misty and lush. The beaches in the South can get choppy.

How to get there

This tour starts and ends in Delhi.

Flights from Australia to India are approximately $900 – $1,200 per person return. The actual price varies depending on departure city, time of year and luck of the draw!

Travelbay works together with an excellent corporate flight booking company and we would be happy to provide you with a free quote.

If you choose to book your flights with Travelbay, we charge a $50 booking fee for this service.

Interesting facts on India

  • India, Pakistan and Bangladesh used to be one country. After British rule ended in 1947 these countries eventually became independent.
  • Delhi is the capital of India but Mumbai is the most populated with a population of over 20 million.
  • India prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy. In the 2009 election there were over 417 million voters.

Visa information

Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to India. You need to apply for and receive your visa before you depart.

You can apply for an e-visa online or you can apply for your visa via VSF Global who works in conjunction with the Indian embassy. For more information you can visit our visa information page.

To find out the visa requirements for India, you can also check here with Visalink.

Please note: We attempt to provide you with the latest information and links. However, please be aware that it is each traveller’s responsibility (and not Travelbay’s) to ensure that you have a valid visa if required for any country you visit.



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