GRAND INDIA
January 2019

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  • IND19 spices
  • Red Fort Delhi IND16
  • Udaipur IND16

GRAND INDIA

Starting our journey in the ancient city of Delhi, we explore the first of many UNESCO World Heritage sites. At ancient Varanasi, we cruise past the Ghats on the sacred Ganges River, before heading to the famous Hindu and Jain temples at Khajuraho. No trip to India would be complete without visiting the majestic Taj Mahal in Agra and then in Rajasthan, known as the jewel in India’s crown, we stay at the Ranthambhore National Park wildlife reserve, sanctuary to the iconic Bengal tigers.

We travel to the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur, home of painted elephants and the mighty Amber Fort while in Udaipur, renowned for its scenic lakes and royal palaces, we relax with a sunset cruise on Lake Pichola. Arriving in Maharashtra, we explore the extraordinary Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves of Aurangabad and the bustling sites of Mumbai.

Heading south to picturesque Kerala, we visit the colonial trading port of Kochi before leisurely cruising the tranquil backwaters at Alleppey. Bring a sweater for overnight stays at Munnar (1,532 metres), hill station of the British Raj, and the Periyar National Park, sanctuary to tigers and elephants. Descending into Tamil Nadu, we wander through the Dravidian style temples and forts of Maduari, Trichy and Pondicherry, before reaching our final destination at Chennai.

Fully escorted by Dr Judy Chant, this is your opportunity to create magical memories and discover the spiritual soul of India.

YOUR TOUR LEADER: Dr Judy Chant studied at the University of Sydney (PhD). A cultural anthropologist and a keen traveller, Judy has specialized in international development aid, education and student recruitment, with an emphasis on the Asian region in general and India in particular. Apart from being immersed in international engagement at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Judy has worked as a casual lecturer at UTS, Macquarie University, Western Sydney University and the WEA, delivering numerous seminars on inter-cultural interaction and sociology to adult and student audiences.
Judy has been travelling to India for over 25 years, working and living with locals across the subcontinent, with a strong sense of participation in local communities. The world’s largest democracy stretches from the Himalayas to the Tropics and is known for its cultural, religious and environmental diversity. India is one of the oldest civilisations on earth and arguably, home to the world’s most beautiful building, the Taj Mahal. Judy has witnessed the emerging socio-economic development of the Indian subcontinent and she loves showing people the cultural and historic richness that defines the Republic of India.

DETAILED ITINERARY

THU 10 JAN     ARRIVE DELHI

Arrive Delhi. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel. Rest of the day free to rest. (Meals in flight)

FRI 11 JAN     DELHI

Today we have a full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi visiting Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Rajghat, India Gate, President’s House, Birla Temple, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

SAT 12 JAN     DELHI – VARANASI

Morning transfer to the airport for our flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel. Afternoon excursion to Sarnath. (B)

SUN 13 JAN     VARANASI – KHAJURHAO

Early morning excursion to River Ganges for boat ride. Return to hotel for breakfast, then we transfer to the airport for our flight to Khajurha. Arrive Khajurhao, and transfer to our hotel. (B)

MON 14 JAN     KHAJURHAO

Today we enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Khajurhao, visiting Eastern and Western Group of Temples. (B)

TUE 15 JAN     KHAJURHAO – ORCHHA – JHANSI – AGRA

Morning visit to Jahangir Mahal, Raj Mahal and Lakshminarayan temple. Then drive to Jhansi Train Station in time to board the train to Agra 1840/2110hrs (290 km by train). Arriva Agra, and transfer to your hotel. (B)

WED 16 JAN     AGRA

After breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour of Agra visiting Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Rest of the day free to visit local bazaar. (B)

THU 17 JAN     AGRA – FATEHPUR – SIKRI – RANTHAMBHORE

Today we drive to Ranthambhore (300 km), en route visit Fatehpur Sikri. Evening Canter Ride in Ranthambhore National Park for Game viewing. Overnight at Kipling Lodge. (B,D)

FRI 18 JAN     RANTHAMBHORE – JAIPUR

After early morning breakfast proceed for Morning Jeep Ride in Ranthambhore National Park. Afternoon drive to Jaipur (170 km). (B)

SAT 19 JAN     JAIPUR

Morning excursion to Amber Fort with Elephant/Jeep ride to the top of the Fort. Afternoon city sightseeing tour of Jaipur visiting City Palace, Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar. (B)

SUN 20 JAN     JAIPUR – UDAIPUR

Today we drive to Udaipur (393 km). On arrival we check-in to our hotel. Rest of the day free. (B)

MON 21 JAN     UDAIPUR

Morning city sightseeing tour of Udaipur visiting City palace, Jagdish Temple and Lady Garden. Afternoon enjoy sunset cruise at Lake Pichola. (B)

TUE 22 JAN     UDAIPUR – MUMBAI – AURANGABAD

Free morning then transfer to the airport for our flight to Aurangabad via Mumbai. Arrive Aurangabad and transfer to our hotel. (B)

WED 23 JAN     AURANGABAD

Today we enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Aurangabad. Excursion to Ajanta Caves & Ellora Caves. (B)

THU 24 JAN     AURANGABAD – MUMBAI

This morning is free for independent activities. Afternoon transfer to the airport for our flight to Mumbai. (B)

FRI 25 JAN     MUMBAI

After breakfast proceed for sightseeing tour of Mumbai visit Elephanta Caves, Gateway of India, Crawford Market, Dhobi Ghat and Hanging Garden. (B)

SAT 26 JAN     MUMBAI – KOCHI

This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Kochi. Arrive Kochi mid-afternoon. (B)

SUN 27 JAN     KOCHI

Morning half day sightseeing tour of Kochi visit Jewish Synagogue, Dutch Palace, Chinese Fishing Nets and St. Francis Church. Evening witness Kathakali dance. (B)

MON 28 JAN     KOCHI – ALLEPPEY

After breakfast we drive to Alleppey (55 km) to board your House Boat. Cruise through the backwater. Overnight on the House Boat. (B,L,D)

TUE 29 JAN     ALLEPPEY – MUNNAR

Today we drive to Munnar (175 km). Arrive Munnar and check-in at Hotel. Afternoon excursion to Tea Gardens and Eravikulam Sanctuary. (B)

WED 30 JAN     MUNNAR – PERIYAR

This morning we drive to Periyar (97 km). This afternoon we visit Periyar National Park. We take a boat trip on Periyar Lake to see wildlife.

THU 31 JAN     PERIYAR – MADUARI

Morning visit spice plantation. After visiting return to hotel for breakfast. Afternoon drive to Maduari (147 km). Evening witness closing ceremony at Meenakshi Temple. (B)

FRI 01 FEB     MADUARI

After breakfast proceed for half day sightseeing tour Maduari visit Meenakshi Temple and Thirumala Nayak Palace. Rest of the day free. (B)

SAT 02 FEB     MADUARI – TRICHY

Today we drive to Trichy (132 km). On arrvial we take a sightseeing tour visiting Rock Fort Temple, Jambukeshwara Temple and Srirangam Temple. (B)

SUN 03 FEB     TRICHY – TANJORE – PONDICHERRY

Today we drive to Pondicherry (225 km) en route visiting Tanjore. (B)

MON 04 FEB     PONDICHERRY – MAHABALLIPURAM – KANCHEEPURAM – CHENNAI

Today we drive to Chennai (241 km). En route we visit Mahaballipuram and Kancheepuram. Afternoon arrive Chennai and check-in at our hotel. (B)

TUE 05 FEB     CHENNAI

Half day sightseeing tour of Chennai visit Fort St. George, Kapaleeswarar Temple and The Fort St. George Museum. Rest of the day is free. We meet tonight for a farewell dinner. (B,D)

WED 06 FEB     DEPART CHENNAI

Transfer to the airport for return flights to Australia. (B, meals in flight)

GENERAL INFORMATION AND SPECIAL BOOKING CONDITIONS

TOUR PRICE:
Land Only per person, twin-share $9,645.00
Single Supplement $3,815.00

LAND ONLY TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:
• Domestic air travel within India as stated in the itinerary
• Twin-share accommodation in comfortable hotels with private facilities
• Transport in comfortable air-conditioned coaches
• Meals as per the itinerary: B signifies breakfast; L signifies lunch; D signifies dinner
• All transfers, entrance fees and sightseeing as per the itinerary
• All applicable tipping for group arrangements to guides and driver
• Services of Tour Leader throughout the itinerary
• English speaking local guides throughout the itinerary
• Tour Booklet

LAND ONLY TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• Return international air travel from Australia to India
• Applicable passenger airport taxes
• Airport transfers if not travelling on the suggested flights
• Meals not listed in itinerary
• Beverages with meals
• Visa requirements of the tour member
• Travel Insurance
• Items of personal nature (telephone, laundry etc)

AIRFARES:
Please contact Tony for the best airfares available at the time of booking. (tony@outandabouttravel.com.au)

I’m Interested…How Do I Book?
Fill in the online Booking Form, read and agree with our Terms & Conditions, select your payment option for your deposit of $450.00 per person to Alumni Travel and Submit. Upon receipt of your Booking Form and deposit, you will receive a confirmation of your place in writing.

DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT:
The deposit is accepted as a first installment of the tour cost and will be fully refunded if the arrangements can not be confirmed or the tour is cancelled by Alumni Travel. Final payment for the tour needs to be received at least 60 days prior to tour departure. An invoice will be sent to you about a fortnight before the final payment becomes due.

CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS:
Any cancellation from the tour needs to be done in writing. The cancellation date will be taken from the day your written cancellation is received by Alumni Travel. Because of the tour cancellation charges imposed by our various suppliers, the following cancellation charges apply, per person:

Over 60 days $50.00 – Administration Fee
59 – 40 days 25% of tour cost
39 – 10 days 50% of tour cost
Within 10 days 100% of tour cost

If a difference occurs between these cancellation conditions and those imposed by our suppliers, then the conditions of the supplier shall apply.

There is no refund before or after travel has commenced or for any unused portion of the tour, either in regard to the standard group arrangements or separate independent arrangements.

CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS:
Any payments by credit card will be subject to the following non-refundable Merchant Administration Fees:
2% = Visa / Mastercard
1.9% = American Express

TRAVEL INSURANCE:
It is now standard policy with our company that all our international travellers have some type of international travel insurance, so that you are covered for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise. A comprehensive Insurance brochure is available from Alumni Travel. The insurance brochure contains the terms and conditions under which insurance cover will be offered to you.

ADDITIONAL TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS:
If you would like Alumni Travel to assist you with any additional arrangements pre or post tour, please contact our office for assistance at time of booking. All arrangements need to be finalised at least 30 days prior to your departure.

AMENDMENTS:
An administration fee of $30.00 per amendment will be charged for any changes made to any reservation within 30 days prior to your departure. Any additional charges imposed by our suppliers will also be payable.

PASSPORT AND VISAS:
It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure that they possess the necessary travel documentation for the tour, such as a valid passport and any required visas. Your passport should be valid at least 6 months beyond the end of your journey and have two clear pages for each country to be visited in your journey.

FORCED CANCELLATION:
In the event that passenger numbers do not reach the minimum number of tour participants (approximately 12, excluding the tour leader) required for the tour, it may be necessary to either surcharge or cancel the tour. If such an event does occur, you will be notified at least 60 days prior to the tour departure.

TOUR PRICES:
This tour price has been calculated on the basis of exchange rates and tariffs as at February 2018 and is subject to change up until final payment has been received. At the time of final invoicing (approximately two months prior to the tour departure date), Alumni Travel reserves the right to re-cost the tour based on actual exchange rates. This could mean an increase or decrease to the above listed prices. Should you decide to cancel your arrangements on the basis of a change in the tour price, normal cancellation charges will apply.

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