Let India conquer you with its immense and charming spirituality. With this tour group in India, you'll experience a mystical journey that will let you explore the most ancient traditional temples.

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Let India conquer you with its immense and charming spirituality. With this tour group in India, you'll experience a mystical journey that will let you explore the most ancient traditional temples.

Your journey will cross India from North to South, starting from the City of Life, Varanasi. You'll cross the river Ganges to see ancient purification rituals, you'll visit known monuments like the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Explore the Hindu temples in ChennaiMammalapuram or Pondicherry. Enter in the temple-city in Trichy and discover the ancient religious traditions which are a fundamental element of indian culture.
You won't just see hindu temples, but also buddhist worship sites and christian churches from the colonial era, like the ones in Alleppey and Kochi.
You will end your amazing journey in Bangalore, once an ancient city, now bustling metropolis of the modern day.

You will experience this and much more in this unique and fascinating tour, into the heart of India's history and religious traditions.

Trip offered by Francesca Travel expert in India

Trip summary

  • Departure Delhi
  • End Bangalore
  • Countries
    • India
  • City
    • Varanasi
    • Sarnath
    • Delhi
    • Agra
    • Chennai
    • Pondicherry
    • Trichy
    • Chettinad
    • Periyar
    • Alleppey
    • Cochin
    • Mettupalayam
    • Ooty
    • Mysore
    • Somnath
    • Srinagar
    • Bangalore
  • Theme Religious and mystic places
  • Travel style Group departure
  • Accommodation Standard
  • Flight Excluded
  • Guide Included
  • The tour has met our standards

Detailed itinerary

  • 1
    Delhi - Varanasi
    Day 1 Transfer by airplane

    Arrival with your international flight to Delhi, immediate transfer with national flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival in Varanasi, meet up with our local organization. Transfer to the hotel.

    Varanasi, one of the most ancient cities on the planet, and one of the seven holy cities of Hinduism, is also known as the "city of life". According to legend, Varanasi was founded by Shiva. Its first settlements date back to the 11th century B.C.. It is located on the shores of river Ganges, and it's a sacred place where everything has its origins and its end.
    To the Hindus, Varanasi is the place where you can rejoin the divine, where it's possible to clean yourself from sin, where you can rid yourself of the infinite reincarnation cycle.
    During the evening, you'll ride a boat on the ghats to attend the Aarti Puja, a light ceremony on the shores of river Ganges, during which the brahmins celebrate the river and thank the deities with sacred chants and music.
    Overnight at the hotel.

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  • 2
    Varanasi and Sarnath
    Day 2 Transfer by car

    At dawn, trip by boat on the sacred river Ganges, sailing along the coasts of the Bathing Ghats, the stone steps where the pilgrims greet the sun with their ritual ablutions. 
    You'll visit the most significant places of the city: the ghats on river Ganges, the temple of Durga (also called "Temple of the Monkey God") and the golden temple of Vishvanath. During your visit you'll walk through the labyrinthic alleys in the Chowk, the most lively bazar of the city, famous for its perfumes and incense, the embroidered silk, the copper and brass.
    Return to the hotel and breakfast.
    You'll visit the buddhist site of Sarnath (15 km - about 30 minutes), one of the most worshipped places of buddhism. In its Gazelle Park, the Buddha Sakyamuni (the Englightened One) revelead the teachings of the buddhist knowledge for the very first time. 
    Afterwards, visit of the center of silk and spare time for your shopping.
    Overnight in Varanasi.

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  • 3
    Varanasi - Delhi - Agra
    Day 3 Transfer by airplane

    You'll have free time in the morning to relax or choose an optional excursion.
    Afterwards, transfer to the airport and national flight to Delhi.
    Arrival in Delhi and visit of the Sikh Temple.

    Transfer to Agra and overnight at the hotel.

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  • 4
    Day 4

    Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Agra.
    Arrival in Agra and visit of the Taj Mahal, one the seven wonders of the world.
    It was built by Moghul Emperor Shahjehan in 1631, a memorial for his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal. To build it, a huge number of precious stones, pearls and corals was amassed and 20.000 among the best artisans contributed to its creations. It took them 22 years to finish this wonderful building.
    You'll then visit the Red Fort of Agra, house of Moghul emperors and one of the royal family's ancient residence. 
    Spare time for yourselves to visit the local artisan shops.
    Dinner is offered by our partner. 
    Overnight in Agra.

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  • 5
    Agra - Delhi and flight to Chennai - Transfer to Mahabalipuram
    Day 5 Transfer by airplane

    Breakfast at the hotel.
    Transfer to the airport of Delhi (about 4 hours) and national flight to Chennai (2 hours and 30 minutes). Upon your arrival at the international airport of Chennai, our local representative will welcome you and accompany you to the hotel of Mamallapuram.
    Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram is rich in 7th-8th century bas reliefs, stone temples, temples in grottoes, the so called "chariot" temples sculpted in the golden stone of the Coromandel coast. These buildings are an impressive Unesco heritage site. 
    The city has an important temple dedicated to Vishnu on the sea, as well as the famous Descent of the Ganges relief.
    The city was founded in the 7th century, and has one of the most significant examples of dravidic architecture.

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  • 6
    Mahabalipuram - Pondicherry - Tanjore (264 km, 5 hours)
    Day 6 Transfer by car

    After breakfast, you'll continue your trip in Pondicherry, an intermediate stop.
    Its picturesque position on the Bengali bay with its wonderful beaches, reminds the visitor of the colonial era, when it used to be a french colony. Right now, it blends perfectly with the Tamil culture. During your trip, you'll discover the Auroville community.
    You'll visit the Shri Aurobindo Ashram, built by a disciple of Aurobindo in his memory, one of the most evocative ashram in India. You'll visit the Church of Immaculate Conception, one of the most beautiful french churches, and the temple-city of Ganesh, whose walls are embellished with a series of paintings depicting the god.
    Continue your journey to Tanjore.
    Tanjore was once the capital of the Chola empire, and although many of the old buildings disappeared, the city still preserves many temples. In case of spare time, you can visit the Darasuram temple and the village of the silk weavers. The temple is a Unesco world heritage site and it's a magnificent example of art and architecture.
    Arrival in Tanjore and overnight.

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  • 7
    Tanjore - Trichy
    Day 7

    During the morning, excursion in Trichy.
    You'll visit the temple-city of Srirangam, where pilgrims celebrate ancient rituals on the shores of river Kaveri. Its foundation dates back to the 14th century: the complex is made of seven concentric walls called prakara, with entrances on the four cardinal points, on top of which are tall gopuram. At the center of the isle you'll find the sancta sanctorum with the image of Vishnu Ranganatha.
    In the afternoon, you'll visit Tanjore, with its temple of Brihadeshwara dedicated to the God Shiva. The complex is a Unesco world heritage site. It preserves the classic dravidic architecture with a mandapa and a broad hall that reaches the sancta sanctorum, built from a single piece of granite weighing 80 tons.
    After the visit, you'll continue your trip at "The Raja Museum and Art Gallery".
    Overnight in Tanjore.

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  • 8
    Tanjore - Chettinad - Madurai (100 km, 3-4 hours)
    Day 8 Transfer by car

    Breakfast at the hotel.
    During the transfer to Madurai, you'll stop in Chettinad.
    You'll walk through the village to admire the ancient palaces, visit the center of cotton weaving and a factory where tiles are hand-made.
    Arrival in Madurai, also called Madhurapuri (city of madhu, divine nectar fallen from Shiva's hair) and considered the Tamil Nadu cultural capital. It's a pilgrimage site and an artistic city. It used to be called the "Athens of the East".
    For centuries, it posessed a long cultural, poetic and literary tradition, thanks to its ancient academy: the Sangam.
    During the evening, you'll attend a religious ceremony with the brahmin's parade to the temple of the Goddess Meenakshi: the bronze statue of God Shiva will be brought to the chambers of the Goddess Parvati for the night, accompanied by chants, music and prayers.

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  • 9
    Madurai - Periyar (115 km, 3-4 hours)
    Day 9 Transfer by car

    Breakfast at the hotel and visit of the city.
    The first visit of the day is at the Tirumala Nayak Palace, a refined building in hindu-saracenic style. It's famous for its stucco decorations, its domes and archways. 
    Ride on rickshaw through the traditional fruit and vegetables markets of Madurai.
    You'll then visit the temple of the Goddess Meenakshi, consort of Shiva, built by Nayak kings in the 7th century: its walls and stone pillars stand out from the city center's alleys. Every pillar is decorated in dravidic style and there are some of them that produce different sounds when hit.

    Departure to the Periyar National Park, located in the heart of the West Ghat mountains, which separates the Tamil Nadu state from the Kerala state.
    In the afternoon, you'll visit a spice plantation.
    Eventually, you'll participate in a traditional Kalaripayattu show, an ancient martial art of Kerala.

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  • 10
    Periyar - Alleppey (125 km, 3,5 hours)
    Day 10 Transfer by car

    Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Alleppey.
    After your arrival, you'll set sail on a Houseboat to the Backwaters: these are water channels populated by fishermen's villages and coconut palm plantations. Its unique characteristic is that it's located 50 to 200 cm under the sea level, which makes it rich in water and gives life to a "fluvial city" called backwaters. In its channels, you'll see traditional boats called kettuvallam.
    During your experience on the backwaters you can travel through the narrow channels on a canoe.
    Meals and accomodation on board of a Houseboat during the whole trip.

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  • 11
    Alleppey - Cochin (65 km, 1,5 hours)
    Day 11 Transfer by car

    After disembarking from the Houseboat, you'll be transferred to Cochin.
    Cochin has one of the best natural ports of the country.
    In the afternoon you'll visit the Dutch palace museum, the synagogue, the Francis church and the chinese fishing nets. During the evening you'll participate in a southern India's traditional dance show known as Kathakali.

    Overnight at the hotel.

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  • 12
    Cochin - Mettupalayam (220 km, 5-6 hours)
    Day 12 Transfer by car

    In the morning you'll leave for Mettupalayam.
    The alternative trip to the Athirapalli falls is available (if possible, with a ferry boat crossing the river).
    Afterwards, you'll continue your journey to Mettupalayam crossing a wild natural landscape, rich in banana trees and areca trees known for "paan", the red digestive chewed by men.

    Overnight in Mettupalayam.

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  • 13
    Mettupalayam - Ooty - Masinagudi (Blue Mountain Train)
    Day 13 Transfer by train

    At 7.10 am you'll leave with the "Blue Mountain" train to Ooty where it will arrive at 12.30 pm. (You can get on the train on the next stop)

    Upon your arrival in Ooty, a driver will expect you on the car to bring you to Masinagudi. In this area there are many natural parks. During you ride to Mysore, you'll be able to pass through the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and the Bandipur National Park. In this park there are wild elephants and 66 tigers you can admire during a jeep safari.

    Overnight in Masinagudi.

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  • 14
    Masinagudi - Mysore (100 km, 3 hours)
    Day 14 Transfer by car

    Departure to Mysore.
    Mysore, the second biggest city in Karnataka and cultural capital of the State, is also called "city of perfumes" because of its great production of sandalwood.

    Overnight in Mysore.

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  • 15
    Mysore - Somnathpur
    Day 15 Transfer by car

    Our whole day is dedicated to visit the city, a charming destination known as the "city of palaces". It was the center of a powerful reign and seat of the Maharaja Wodeyar dynasty.
    Among the most important monuments, you'll visit the Mysore Palace, built in the typical hindu-saracenic style with domes, towers, archways and columns. You'll make a brief trip out of city in Somnathpur, an exquisite temple from the 13th century dedicated to Vishnu.

    Overnight in Mysore.

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  • 16
    Mysore - Srirangapatna - Sravanabelagola - Bangalore (228 km, 5 hours)
    Day 16 Transfer by car

    Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Bangalore.
    Along the road you'll stop to visit the temple of Srirangapatna, dedicated to Vishnu and then to the village of Sravanabelagola and the Jain sanctuary located on top of a hill, where a long stairway will bring you to the spectacular statue of Gomateshwara (7th century).
    According to legend, Gomateshwara was son of a king, like the Buddha was, and he willingly gave up his riches to dedicate his life to meditation and self reflection. Sravanbelgola is a pilgrimage site and very important to the Jainists. Its 17 meters tall statue is considered the tallest monolithic statue in the world.

    You'll continue your trip in Bangalore. It's a metropolis with an ancient soul, built in the 9th century B.C.. Today, it's considered "India's Silicon Valley". It's located on the central southern part of India, and it's also called "garden city" because of its many parks.

    Overnight in Bangalore.

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  • 17
    Day 17

    Breakfast at the hotel.
    The whole day is dedicated to the visit of the city.
    You'll se the Botanical Garden and the Bull Temple.
    Walk through the local market called Krishnarajendra Market.
    You'll have some spare time to relax or participate in optional excursions.

    Overnight in Bangalore.

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  • 18
    Departure back to your country
    Day 18

    Transfer to the airport and flight back to your country.

    End of the tour.

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  • Prices and conditions

    Price includes
    • National flight from Delhi to Varanasi in economy class, baggage allowance 15 kg
    • National flight from Varanasi to Delhi in economy class, baggage allowance 15 kg
    • National flight from Delhi to Chennai in economy class, baggage allowance 15 kg
    • Accomodation in pre-selected hotels, standard category
    • Bed and breakfast every day
    • Full board during accomodation in houseboat
    • One dinner is offered by our partner in Agra
    • All transfers and visits mentioned with private car with air conditioned and English speaking driver
    • Train ride from Mettupalayam to Ooty
    • English speaking tourist guide for the whole group
    • Entrance to all monuments and visits according to program
    • Boat ride at dawn in Varanasi
    • Rickshaw ride in Varanasi
    • Tuk tuk ride in Madurai
    • Jeep ride in Masanagudi
    • Boat ride in Varanasi
    • Two bottles of water per person a day
    • Airport to hotel transfer and vice versa
    • A souvenir picture at the Taj Mahal
    • Local support
    • Governement taxes, parking fees, road tolls and driver fees
    Price does not include
    • International flights and visas (our local partner can provide them upon request for an additional fee)
    • Travel insurance (our local partner can provide them upon request for an additional fee)
    • Tourist guide's tips, driver's tips and personal expenses
    • Everything that is not explicitly mentioned