South Asia Explorer – India & Sri Lanka (18 days)

18 days from just £3,050 pp
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flag Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Colombo - Anuradhapura - Habarana - Sigirya - Polonnaruwa - Dambulla - Kandy - Pinnawela
What's included?
+ included - not included
  • International Flight
  • Accommodation
  • Water
  • Meals
  • Escorted Tour
  • Domestic Flights
  • Airport Taxes Charges
  • Visa
  • Insurance
  • Tipping

Discover the Rajasthan kingdom of India, with iconic sites such as the Taj Mahal, the flower and vegetable markets of Jaipur, the city palace of Udaipur and many more. Then continue south to the island of Sri Lanka, with its Buddhist temples, stunning scenery and tropical wildlife. Two beautiful countries in one complete package!

 

Day 1 - UK departure

Depart the UK with international economy flight to Delhi. We can also arrange departures from your local airport at no extra cost.

Day 2 - Delhi arrival

Upon your arrival in New Delhi, the capital city of India, you will be met by our representative at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. After a warm welcome, transfer to your hotel for 2 nights stay.

Day 3 - Delhi

Today, enjoy the day discovering Delhi, pacing through the city which is as historic as modern, like 2 sides of the same coin! Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, which includes a visit to Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India; a rickshaw ride through narrow alleys and lanes in Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and largest trading markets of the country; and drive past Red Fort, the place that marked the announcement of India’s freedom from the British Raj. While returning back to New Delhi make a brief stop at Rajghat, the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi.

Later in the afternoon, discover the modern city of New Delhi, visiting Humayun’s Tomb, the first tomb in India with beautiful gardens, continue visit to Qutab Minar, a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture and the world’s tallest brick minaret and Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the largest Sikh temple of Delhi, with a gold dome, still in active worship. Drive past President’s House, Parliament House and other Government Secretariat Buildings, the most imposing features of Lutyen’s Delhi and take a photo stop at the iconic war memorial arch, the India Gate.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 4 - Delhi to Agra

After breakfast, embark on a leisurely drive to Agra, city of the world famous Taj Mahal

This afternoon visit the splendid Agra Fort, built in red sandstone, encapsulating magnificent palaces, halls of public and private audience and beautiful gardens. Then, witness the surreal views of the Taj Mahal. Step inside this eternal symbol of love and appreciate the intricate designs and symmetries that rhyme as a poem written in marble. Taj Mahal is an extravagant display of love, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. You may choose to stay back to see the glistening white marble beauty at sunset.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 5 - Agra to Jaipur

After breakfast, embark on a leisurely drive to Jaipur – land of the Rajputs. Jaipur is an exuberance of colour, dance and traditional arts and crafts. Known, as the ‘Pink City’, Jaipur is home to ancient forts and palaces and is one of India’s most well planned cities. En route to Jaipur, visit Fatehpur Sikri, the capital city of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. Continue drive to Jaipur and upon arrival check in at your hotel for 2 nights stay.

This evening explore the many facets of Jaipuri crafts such as semi precious jewels, pottery, colourful embroidered fabrics with mirror work, woven carpets etc – watch artisans at work and enjoy souvenir shopping in this colourful city of Jaipur.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 6 - Jaipur

Rise early this morning to visit Jaipur’s famous Amber Fort. En route, take a guided walk through the flower market of Jaipur seeing the beautiful yellow and orange marigolds and other seasonal flowers being traded. In close vicinity is also the wholesale vegetable marketwhere farmers bring fresh produce to begin the days trading. Walking through the markets brings you to a junction where you will find the interesting and unusual milk traders of Jaipur, who bring their cattle’s fresh milk to be tested for quality, priced and traded on the spot. Be amazed at the primitive technique of testing quality of milk by dipping hands into large metal milk containers and evaluating the creaminess of milk supplied! After a brief walk through the local trading markets, drive onwards to visit Amber fort, built in the 16th century. The fort is a mesmerizing blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. The Amber Fort was used by the Rajputs for the dual purpose of defense and private residence. The fort encompasses charming gardens and magnificent palaces made from marble and precious stones, richly decorated with intricate stonemason works and paintings, which represented royal splendor and luxury of the Rajput era. To ascend up the fort, you may choose to walk, drive or take an elephant ride.

This afternoon take a photo stop at the Hawa Mahal, Palace of the Winds, with its unique layer-cake honeycomb windows designed to enable erstwhile women of the royal court to observe passing life without being seen; Jantar Mantar, the largest astronomical observatory built in stone, and the City Palace complex with its impressive gardens and museums.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 7 - Jaipur to Jodhpur

This morning, drive to Jodhpur, a city ringed by high stone walls with seven gates and several bastions. This second largest city of Rajasthan was founded by RaoJodha in 1459 A.D. Owing to its unique pale blue architecture, Jodhpur is often referred as the ‘blue hued city’ of Rajasthan. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and freshen up.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 8 - Jodhpur

Today, visit the rock-solid Mehrangarh Fort, and the grand palaces within the fort – MotiMahal, Sheesh Mahal, PhoolMahal, SilehKhanaand DaulatKhana, which are impressive examples of architectural excellence. Near the fort complex stands the JaswantThada, and a group of royal cenotaphs made of white marble. While in Jodhpur shop for the exquisite handcrafted articles such as embroidered shoes, metal curios, silverware, paintings and tie and dye fabrics.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 9 - Jodhpur to Udaipur

This morning, drive to Udaipur, a serene city set in the scenic valley of Aravalli hills, surrounded by three lakes – Lake Pichola, FatehSagar and UdaiSagar. En route visit the famous Jain Temples at Ranakpur. Built in the 15th century, Ranakpur temples are one of the largest Jain temples in India. The temples are known for their architecture, grand structures and exquisite sculptures.

Continue drive to Udaipur. Upon arrival at Udaipur, check in at your hotel for 2 nights stay.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 10 - Udaipur

After breakfast, visit the 16th century City Palace, one of the largest palace complexes in Rajasthan comprising residence of the current Maharaja, heritage hotels, museums and galleries, courtyards and reception halls where royal events take place even today; Jagdish Temple, the 17th century Indo Aryan temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Laxmi Narayan), the preserver of the Universe; Saheliyon-Ki-Bari, garden of the maids of honour, with beautiful green lawns, flower beds, water pools, marble elephants and bird fountains.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. In the evening we take a boat cruise on the serene Lake Pichola (boat ride is subject to water level).

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 11 - Udaipur to Colombo

Enjoy the morning at leisure at your hotel in Udaipur. This afternoon, transfer to the airport to catch your flight to New Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi airport, connect to flight for Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Upon your arrival at Colombo airport, you will be met by our representative and escorted to your hotel for overnight.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 12 - Colombo

Today, take a city tour of Colombo visiting Kelaniya Buddhist temple, believed to have been hallowed during the third and final visit of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka, eight years after gaining enlightenment. The temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Buddha and paintings which depict important events in the life of the Buddha.

Then visit the commercial city center area known as the “Fort” built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. See the busy markets and bazaars of Pettah and visit the Hindu temple with magnificent stone carvings. Also visit the old Dutch church built in the 18th century and drive past the Town Hall, Independence Square and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall to see the replica of Avukana Buddha.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 13 - Colombo to Habarana via Anuradhapura

After breakfast embark on your drive to Habarana in north central Sri Lanka.

En route visit Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated on the banks of the historic Malvathu Oya River. Anuradhapura, an ancient city founded in the 05th century B.C., is home to the largest number of monuments of the great Sinhala civilisation. Visit the ancient royal palaces, shrines, dagobas and Sri Mahabodhi. Also visit the “Bodhi tree” which is over 2200 years old, grown from a branch of the tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.

Afterwards continue your drive to Habarana.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 14 - Habarana - excursion to Sigirya & Polonnaruwa

After breakfast visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sigiriya Rock, built by King Kassapa in the 5th century AD. Today the rock is a treasure trove of rare art. In a pocket of the giant rock are the famous frescoes of the heavenly maidens of Sigiriya. Also called ‘the Lion Rock’ or the ‘Rock Fortress’ this citadel rises more than 1000 ft from the jungles below. If you wish to climb Sigiriya Rock, there are approx. 1200 steps and on an average it takes approx. 1.5 hrs to climb the rock (actual time varies from person to person).

Later embark on your scenic drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa, the 2nd capital of Sinhala kings dating back to 11th & 12th century A.D. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs, the most famous of which is the ‘Parakrama Samudra’. Numerous monuments are found in this city & ‘Gal Vihara’ complex is one of the best among them with fine sculptures of standing and seated Buddha. Also visit the Polonnaruwa museum here.

Return back to Habarana for overnight.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 15 - Habarana to Kandy via Dambulla

After breakfast, embark on your drive to Kandy.

En route visit another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Rock Cave Temple of Dambulla, which dates back to the first century BC. The temple consists of a series of 5 caves of statues and paintings, including a 47 ft. long statue of Lord Buddha. This is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. (approx. 27 Kms / 45 Mins from Habarana)

Continue drive to Kandy, en-route visiting the Spice Garden at Matale.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 16 - Kandy

After breakfast, explore the sacred city of Kandy, one of Sri Lanka’s 8 UNESCO World Heritage site.

Today we will visit the Temple of Tooth Relic of Buddhalocated in the royal palace complex which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Visitors are not allowed inside the inner chambers and cannot see the tooth relic.

Also visit Natha Devale, located in front of the Palace complex of Kandy. Natha Devale, built in the 14th century, is said to have been in existence even before the Tooth Relic was brought to Kandy.

This evening enjoy a cultural dance show to see the popular Kandyan dancing and drumming of Sri Lanka.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 17 - Kandy to Colombo via Pinnawela

After breakfast embark on a drive to Colombo

En-route to Colombovisit the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, which are spread over 67 hectares of exquisite beauty and contain more than 4000 species of flora, a haven for Scientists and nature lovers.

Drive further to visit Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, set up by the Sri Lankan government to rehabilitate orphaned elephants. Spend some time at the orphanage, seeing elephants being fed and bathed by the orphanage staff (Open from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m daily. Feeding times – 9.15 a.m., 1.15 p.m. 5.00 p.m. Bathing times – 10.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m., 4.00 p.m.). 

Upon arrival in Colombo, check in at your hotel for overnight stay.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 18 - Colombo departure

Today we goodbye to Sri Lanka and transfer to the airport for international economy flight back to UK.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
Delhi - 5* Le Meridien

5* Le Meridien

Located in the heart of the city , the iconic glass building of Le Meridien New Delhi has been recognised as one of the 100 Icons of Delhi. The hotel is located close to the institutions of both power and pleasure.

For more information click here

Agra - 5* ITC Mughal

5* ITC Mughal

Sprawled over 35 acres of luxurious gardens, and in close proximity to the Taj Mahal, ITC Mughal, a luxury hotel in Agra is a fitting tribute to the great Mughal builders of the past. The only Indian hotel to have won the prestigious Aga Khan Award for its excellent representation of Mughal architecture, it now boasts of a brand new Royal Mughal Suites.

For more information click here

Jaipur - 5* Jaipur Marriott Hotel

5* Jaipur Marriott Hotel

Experience a winning combination of traditional luxury and modern convenience at the Jaipur Marriott Hotel. Entrenched in the cultural legacy of India’s Pink City, our hotel welcomes guests with refined elegance, contemporary amenities, and a prime location near Jaipur International Airport.

For more information click here

Jodhpur - 5* Welcom Hotel Jodhpur

5* ITC WelcomHotel Jodhpur

WelcomHotel Jodhpur endeavors to bring about an element of grandeur through food, music, colour and an ethnic mélange of unique experiences. This hotel offers a range of accommodation options including elegantly appointed rooms and villas with bespoke services and facilities to make your stay more comfortable, spacious and splendid, the rooms at WelcomHotel Jodhpur offer a world of luxury complemented with effortless hospitality.

For more information click here

Udaipur - 5* Radisson Blu Udaipur Palace Resort & Spa

5* Radisson Blu Udaipur Palace Resort & Spa

Set on the shores of Fateh Sagar Lake, this elegant, palatial resort hotel with a dome-accented roof is 2.9 km from City Palace and 4 km from the Saheliyon-ki-Bari gardens. Featuring lake or jungle views, the plush rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and desks. Room service is offered 24/7.

For more information click here

Colombo - 5* Cinnamon Grand

5* Cinnamon Grand

The hotel brings together a curated city experience from fine dining to seafood markets, old English pubs to a Sri Lankan village the epitome of exquisite living; creating an eclectic mix for diverse tastes. In fact, every aspect of Cinnamon Grand Colombo, from our service to our amenities are all designed for grand experiences, fun moments and great memories.

For more information click here

Habarana - 5* Cinnamon Lodge

5* Cinnamon Lodge

A haven for the time traveller, the nature lover, the escapist, and the explorer, Cinnamon Lodge Habarana is a 5-star resort nestled in nature’s serenity right in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. A place that soothes the soul, rejuvenates the senses, and awakens the mind with heavy doses of nature’s tranquillity and centuries-old hospitality.

For more information click here

Kandy - 5* Cinnamon Citadel

5* Cinnamon Citadel

Fancy waking up to a picture-postcard view of a river, set against a backdrop of mountains shrouded in varying degrees of mist? Revelling in a soundtrack written and performed by Mother Nature herself? Then travelling back in time for a history lesson? That’s exactly what you’d get, and more, at the Cinnamon Citadel Kandy.

For more information click here

Tour Prices include:

  • International economy flights;
  • Hotel accommodation as shown (based on twin occupancy);
  • Meals as described (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner);
  • Meeting and assistance on arrivals and departures;
  • Sightseeing excursions with English speaking guides;
  • All transfers and road transportation in air-conditioned vehicles;
  • Monument entrance fees for visits mentioned in program;
  • Train/Boat journeys where mentioned in program;
  • Domestic flights where mentioned in program;
  • All currently applicable taxes.

Tour Prices exclude:

  • India & Sri Lanka visa fee;
  • Transfer for meals if not included in itinerary;
  • Drinks during meals;
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, souvenirs etc;
  • Travel insurance (can be arranged, please ask for details);
  • Tips to guides and drivers;
  • Optional tours;
  • Early check-in or late check-out;
  • Flight and accommodation upgrades.
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Book now...
17 nights
10/09/2018
27/09/2018
£3,050(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
17 nights
08/10/2018
25/10/2018
£3,300(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
17 nights
05/11/2018
22/11/2018
£3,600(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
17 nights
03/12/2018
20/12/2018
£3,600(pp)
N.B. There is an additional surcharge for single supplement applied for travellers occupying a room on their own. Please select below if this applies.
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