2018 - The Taj, Southern India and Sri Lanka - 25 Days Departing 19th October

Date: 
Friday, 19 October 2018 to Monday, 12 November 2018

Kerela  sri lanka elephants  MaduriJoin us as we explore and visit forts and palaces of days gone by as we travel throughout Southern India and explore the magnificent Kerala Backwaters before flying to Sri Lanka to explore Colombo, Sigriya, Negembo, Kandy and Galle.

Friday 19 October 2018
DEPART AUSTRALIA - DELHI (1 night)
Upon arrival in Delhi transfer to hotel for check in.  Welcome to India! (D)

Sat 20 Oct - DELHI - AGRA (1 night)
Transfer to train station for journey to Agra onboard the Gatiman Express.  Lunch at hotel in Agra followed by afternoon visit to Unesco World Heritage Taj Mahal.  Tonight a traditional show and dinner.  (BLD)
 
Sun 21 Oct - DELHI (2 nights)
A sunrise visit of Taj Mahal before breakfast then a morning visit to the magnificent Agra Fort.  Lunch at a local restaurant before our train journey back to Delhi in the afternoon.  Dinner at hotel on arrival.  (BLD)

Mon 22 Oct - DELHI
After breakfast we will enjoy a city tour of Old Delhi.  A short rickshaw ride through the old town is a highlight.  We’ll visit Raj Ghat where the father of the nation of India, Mahatma Gandhi was cremated before visiting the iconic Red Fort and historic Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India.  (BLD)
   
Tue 23 Oct - BANGALORE(2 nights)
Upon arrival in Bangalore we transfer to our hotel where the balance of the day is free to relax.  (BD)

Wed 24 Oct - BANGALORE
A morning city tour of Bangalore including a visit to Tip Sultan Palace, Bull Temple, Vidhan Soudha, Cubbon Park and more.  Lunch at a local restaurant before an afternoon visit of Iskcon temple and the local markets.  (BLD)

Thu 25 Oct - MYSORE (2 nights)
We leave Bangalore by road today driving to Mysore, one of Southern India’s most enchanting cities.  On the way we will visit Srirangapatna a royal palace of days gone by.  An evening visit of the local markets in Mysore will awaken your senses.  Dinner is at the hotel.  (BLD)

Fri 26 Oct - MYSORE
A city tour today of Mysore including a visit of Maharaja Palace, St Philomena’s Cathedral and in the afternoon Chamundeshwari temple and Brindavan Gardens.  (BLD)
 
Sat 27 Oct - OOTY (1 night)
We travel by road from Mysore to Ooty, ‘Queen of Hill Stations’, a mix of Indian bustle and Hindu temples with beautiful gardens.  Memorably nicknamed ‘Snooty Ooty’, it was established by the British in the early 19th century as the summer HQ of the Madras government.  Parts of old Ooty survive if you know where to find it.  (BLD)

Sun 28 Oct - MADURAI (2 nights)
A long driving day today as we make our way to the second largest city in Tamil Nadu, known for its world renowned Meenakshi Temple.  Madurai presents a beautiful blend of art, culture, spirituality, technology and entertainment.  A night ceremony at Meenakshi temple is a highlight of today.  (BLD)

Mon 29 Oct - MADURAI
A city tour of Madurai including a visit of Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Gandhi Museum and the crowning glory of Southern India, Meenakshi Temple. (B)

Tue 30 Oct - COCHIN (1 night)
Our drive today will take us to serene Kochi which as been drawing traders, explorers and travellers to its shores for over 600 years.  Nowhere else in India could you find such an intriguing mix: giant fishing nets from China, a 400 year old synagogue, ancient mosques, Portuguese houses and the crumbling remains of the British Raj.  Tonight we enjoy a Kathakali dance performance and dinner.  (BLD)

Wed 31 Oct - ALLEPPEY (1 night)
A morning tour of Cochin with its wealth of historical sites blending Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Jewish traditions.  A big highlight of our tour today as we drive to Alleppey and check in at our houseboat to explore the Kerela backwaters. Lunch and dinner on board our houseboat today.  (BLD)
 
Thu 1 Nov - KUMARAKOM (2nights)
After disembarkation we drive to Kumarakom, a sleepy little village on Vembanad Lake in Kerela.  The lake offers a wide variety of flora and exotic sightseeing to mesmerize your senses and is the crown jewel of Kerala tourism.  (BLD)

Fri 2 Nov - KUMARAKOM
Today is a day at leisure for you to relax or explore one of the foremost travel destinations on the planet.  (BLD)

Sat 3 Nov - NEGEMBO, SRI LANKA
A drive today from Kumarakom to Cochin to board our flight to Colombo in Sri Lanka.  Our final destination today is the port city of Negemobo, once a trading port for the Dutch and British and now a bustling modern town with some stunning reminders of its colonial past.  (BD)

Sun 4 Nov - SIGRIYA (2 nights)
We drive today to the ‘Cultural Triangle’ of Sri Lanka.  On our way we visit the Government owned Pinnewala Elephant orphanage.  Our next visit is Sigiriya, The Rock Fortress, one of Sri Lanka’s major attractions.  The origins of the remains are disputed and thought to have been either a royal fortress built under the reign of King Kashyapa or a Buddhist monastery.  (BLD)

Mon 5 Nov - POLONNARUWA VISIT
We head out into the countryside this morning to experience a traditional Sri Lankan village walking through the peaceful village where our guide will talk about the daily lives of the local people.  Afterwards we will proceed to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s kingdoms.  (BLD)
 
Tue 6 Nov - KANDY (1 night)
Early this morning we visit the Ritigala monastery, home to 70 rock caves that were believed to have been inhabited since the first century BC.  We depart Sigriya by road for Kandy stopping along the way at one of the spice gardens in Matale.  We will explore the gardens learning about the plants and spices that are native to Sri Lanka.  On our arrival in Kandy we will visit the most sacred temple in the whole of Sri Lanka, Sri Dalada Maligawa (also known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic).  (BLD)

Wed 7 Nov - NUWARA ELIYA (1 night)
A brief city tour of Kandy this morning including a visit to the Temple of the Tooth.  Nuwara Eliya is located in the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country at an elevation of 1900m and was once the favoured retreat of the British in the 19th century thanks to its cool climate.  The surrounding mountain slopes and valleys are carpeted with lush green tea plantations, gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls.  (BLD)

Thu 8 Nov - GALLE (2 nights)
We drive to Galle today stopping on the way at a turtle hatchery.  Sri Lanka is home to five endangered species of turtle.  To aid conservation, hatcheries have sprung up along the southwest coast.  On our arrival in Galle the rest of the day is yours to relax or explore.  (BLD)

Fri 9 Nov - GALLE
After breakfast we enjoy a city tour of Galle including Galle Fort.  The 17th Century Dutch fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is set on a promontory on the southwest tip of Sri Lanka.  Stroll the winding streets of this charming town and discover its decaying colonial buildings, grand fort walls and numerous boutiques and cafes.  (BLD)

Sat 10 Nov - COLOMBO
After breakfast we will drive to our hotel in Colombo a city with a rich history.  With amazing cuisine and luxury hotels, Colombo has been earning itself a well-deserved reputation as a top destination for international travellers.  Known to the Greeks, Arabs and Chinese for over 2,000 years because of its natural harbour and as a centre of trade, it was colonised by the Portuguese, the Dutch and then the British between 1505 and 1948.  Each colonial power left a distinctive mark and contributed greatly to the character of the city.  Enjoy an afternoon city tour of Colombo.  The amazing Pettah district still exudes its 19th century energy when the streets were teeming with ox carts and alive with the sound and whiffs of the sea, as rubber, tea, cinnamon, kittul treacle, rope and peacocks were loaded aboard ships.  Our rooms are ours today until our late night departure for the airport for our outbound flight in the early hours of tomorrow morning.  (BLD)

Sun 11 November 2018 - DEPART
After a late night transfer to the airport we depart for home via Singapore.

INCLUSIONS
• International flights from Australia flying Singapore Airlines
• Internal flights , train travel Delhi / Agra / Delhi
• Flights India to Sri Lanka
• Full time tour escort
• Accommodation in 4 star hotels
• Breakfast daily.  19 lunches, 22 dinners including shows.
• All touring and transfers in air-conditioned transport
• All entries, tours and entertainment as shown on itinerary.
• Professional guides
• Information Kit and pre-departure advice.

EXCLUSIONS
• Tips, gratuities. Visa approx. $210
• Air and departure taxes
• Other meals not on itinerary
• Personal items, travel insurance

DEPOSIT / PAYMENT
$1,500 deposit is required along with a completed and signed booking form.  Please read terms and conditions before completing form and paying deposit.

Final payment due on or before 4th August, 2018.  

NOTE: It may be possible to upgrade your flights from economy to business class at your own cost.  If you would like to request a quote to upgrade please contact Judy on the email address shown below.

Please note that this tour involves quite a lot of walking and a reasonable level of fitness is required.  Walking tours of 2 hours plus are included on some days.

Contact Judy on 0409 057 417 or info@girlsontour.com.au for bookings or more details. 

Website: www.girlsontour.com.au

Cost - $11,225* pp twin share ex Brisbane, other capital city departures on request may incur additional taxes.
Single supplement $2,260
* based on minimum group of 10 and subject to major currency fluctuations