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India - the Great India Tour

Trip No. 3788

Why do you go to India? Because you love curries and find Hinduism exciting? Because you've always wanted to see whether Delhi is really so lively, Mumbai so colorful and the landscape so diverse? Reasons for this extraordinarily comprehensive Studiosus trip from north to south are a dime a dozen. We'll give you a few more: the Taj Mahal, pink-red Jaipur, palace and temple cities, a tropical feeling, white beaches, tea plantations and spice gardens. You could watch a Bollywood film to get in the mood. Or go to the Indian around the corner.

India - the Great India TourIndia - the Great India Tour

Itinerary:

Day 1: Flight to India

Afternoon flight from Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Vienna, Zurich or Geneva with Emirates to Dubai (non-stop, flight time approx. 6 hours). According to German time around 1.30 a.m., according to local time around 4.30 a.m. onward flight to Delhi (non-stop, approx. 3.5 hours). Or in the afternoon departure with Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Delhi (non-stop, flight time approx. 7 hours). Arrival shortly after midnight (local time). Drive to the hotel.

Day 2: Delhi

In the case of a flight with Emirates, arrival in the morning and transfer to the hotel. The joint sightseeing program with your Studiosus tour guide begins after the arrival of the Emirates guests in the morning. Welcome to the colonial era! But somehow also completely in the now. In Delhi, the past and the present are one. We first travel by bus through the government district to acclimatize, very British, and then stroll through the narrow streets of Old Delhi in the midst of exciting everyday life. Then we enjoy the tranquility at the Humayun's tomb (UNESCO cultural heritage). At the end of the day we stroll through the ruins at Qutub Minar (UNESCO cultural heritage), once the tallest minaret in the world.

Day 3: Varanasi and Sarnath

In the morning we fly to the holiest city of Hinduism, Varanasi (Benares). And Sarnath, very close by, is a center of Buddhism. Buddha is said to have given his first sermon here. The symbol of his teaching, the Dharma wheel, can still be seen today in a slightly modified form on the Indian flag. Remnants of stupas, Buddhist monuments, and monasteries attract pilgrims from all over the world. U.S. as well. 30 km.

4th day: The holy Ganges

Sunrise. Devout Hindus are already at the river. They bathe, cleanse themselves of their sins, worship the sun. The goal of the believers is to die here too, to be burned and scattered in the Ganges. We limit ourselves to a boat trip and make a pilgrimage through the old town in the midst of the colorful crowd of believers. At noon we fly on to Khajuraho. And right into the middle of the Kama Sutra, or better said: into the famous erotic sculptures of the masterful temples (UNESCO cultural heritage).

Day 5: The temples of Khajuraho

Because yesterday was so beautiful: Khajuraho temple tour the second. And again a lot of eroticism, artfully staged by stonemasons. The representation of the Hindu world of gods is also very detailed and no less attractive. However, India is not only shaped by Hinduism. As you continue to Orcha, ask the guide about other religions such as Islam, Jainism, and Buddhism. 180 km.

Day 6: Princely Orcha

A whole palace just so that the Mughal might reside for one night? Is there. In the former princely city of Orcha we feel very much like Maharajah and Maharani personally when we walk through “our” palaces, temples and fortresses. Back to the present: In the afternoon we first go to a paper mill in Taragram, then to the city of Jhansi. 20 km. In the afternoon we leave the bus and travel with the Indians: We speed to Agra by express train (travel time 2.5 hours).

Day 7: Taj Mahal - Marble fairy tales

A day full of highlights! The most famous building in India, the Taj Mahal (UNESCO cultural heritage), was built by Shah Jahan as a tomb for his favorite wife. Also a kind of token of love, gentlemen! Especially the filigree inlays made of precious and semi-precious stones. Almost as impressive: the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah with its Pietra-dura mosaics. We see how this art is still cultivated today when we stop for shopping in a marble factory. In the Red Fort (UNESCO cultural heritage) we then feel the former power of the Mughals. They too enjoyed filigree flowers made from carnelian and lapis lazuli.

Day 8: Akbar's capital, Fatehpur Sikri

Almost in vain, Mughal Akbar built his seat of residence Fatehpur Sikri (UNESCO cultural heritage) in the 16th century, because it was abandoned 15 years after its completion. It's a shame about the magnificent, empty palaces and women's apartments. Nowadays, however, the complex is lively due to the large number of visitors. We continue through rural Rajasthan to the Maharajah city of Jaipur. 260 km.

Day 9: Jaipur, the Pink City

The pink panther would probably like it here - he could camouflage himself excellently. We think Jaipur is fantastic too. The old fortress Amber towers impressively on the mountain. We go up by jeep. Back in Jaipur we chat with an artisan in a carpet weaving and fabric printing shop. Would you like a curry at lunchtime? Strengthened, we rush to another palace wonder, the city palace of Jaipur. Many interesting measuring devices act like modern sculptures in the Jantar Mantar, the old observatory (UNESCO cultural heritage).

Day 10: Deogarh Palace

In the vicinity of Jaipur, the Studiosus Foundation, together with Magic Bus, is currently setting up a new project that supports socially disadvantaged children and young people through sport. We see for ourselves what the current state of affairs is. Then it goes through the semi-desert to Deogarh. 260 km. In 1670 the local royal family built a magnificent residence here. Especially for us - because now this is a princely hotel, run by descendants of the ruling family. Our palace hotel is so centrally located in the town of Deogarh that there will certainly still be time for a short walk to the bazaar. Or you can take a lap in the hotel pool at the end of the day.

Day 11: Delights in Deogarh

1001 ideas for your free morning: enjoy an Ayurvedic massage, do a few laps in the hotel pool, walk the small lake just outside Deogarh, take a stroll through the lively town, doze off for two hours, write postcards to loved ones at home ... In the afternoon we invite you to a jeep safari. Goals: a cave temple, a small lake, a sunset. Culinary cravings will later be satisfied with the live cooking of Indian delicacies in the hotel.

Day 12: The Temple of Ranakpur

Pillar after pillar and no two are alike. The Jaina temple in Ranakpur is one of the largest and most lavishly decorated temples of the Jaina, a particularly devout religious group. Breathtaking! Nevertheless, we have to tear ourselves away at some point and continue through the rocky Aravalli Mountains, past biblical-looking wells, to Udaipur. Musically, we are accompanied by Indian diversity: whether Ravi Shankar - father of the American soul great Norah Jones - or Oscar winner A.R. Rahmann, famous for his film music for "Slumdog Millionär", your guide knows his way around. 240 km.

Day 13: The palace city of Udaipur

Did you think you had already seen the most beautiful thing? We haven't even been to Udaipur, one of the most beautiful cities in India. Will change today. And clearly who has already been here with “Octopussy”: Roger Moore aka James Bond. However, since we don't have to fear any killers, we walk casually through the old town to the city palace, visit a school for filigree miniature painting and - depending on the water level - enjoy the romance of Udaipur on a boat trip on Lake Pichola.

Day 14: Salaam, Mumbai!

Flight to Mumbai (Bombay). During the city tour, we are fascinated by people and monuments. The Dhobiwallahs, the washerwomen, are a particularly pure attraction. How does the contrast between the largest slum in Asia and the most expensive private house in the world work within a city? Your guide will know more about this. We take a look at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station, a Victorian work of art and UNESCO cultural heritage, mingle with the Indian tourists at the imposing Gate of India and marvel in front of the Taj Hotel, which shines as if the 2008 attack never happened. In the early afternoon we take the ship to Elephanta Island (UNESCO cultural heritage) with the interesting Hindu cave sanctuaries.

Day 15: From Mumbai to Kochi

Flight to the state of Kerala. In the port city of Kochi (Cochin) we feel that we are in the tropics. Besides us, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British have already been here and have shaped the city with their respective colonial styles! Passing numerous antique shops, we reach the synagogue in the old Jewish quarter and visit the Mattancherry Palace with its impressive wall paintings.

Day 16: Historic Kochi

Chinese fishing nets in India? Yes, of course, the Chinese were here once and acted like world champions. Today the locals trade in the fish market, our first destination after a boat trip through the port of Kochi. We walk past colonial houses and visit the venerable St. Francis Church with the tombstone Vasco da Gamas. The afternoon includes a performance of the classic Kathakali dances, a colorful mix of drama, dance, singing and make-up. We learn the details from the artists themselves.

Day 17: In the Western Ghats

Tea lovers get their money's worth today: Huge tea plantations line our way into the mountains of the Western Ghats to Thekkady. 150 km. And coffee plantations. And rubber trees. Pleasant temperatures await us on mountainous heights. It is not without reason that the mountains here are called cardamom mountains: all the spices in Indian cuisine grow here like weeds. In an excellent garden we get to know cinnamon, carnation, allspice and other trees.

Day 18: Madurai Temple City

We say goodbye to Kerala and drive to Tamil Nadu to the city of Madurai. 150 km. Omnipresent in Madurai is the Minakshi Temple, which dominates the cityscape with its colossal presence, large pillared halls and lavishly painted gate towers. Shiva is said to have married the "fish-eyed goddess" here. Pilgrims from all over India arrive. We mingle with them in the afternoon and experience the temple city up close.

Day 19: Srirangam and Tanjore

On to the next highlight of the trip: Today's complex in Srirangam, the Ranganatha Swami Temple, is one of the largest, liveliest and most venerated shrines in South India. The pulsating everyday life of a lively city takes place right around the religious interior of the temple. Then we drive to Tanjore, ancient capital of the Chola kings and now a center of education in South India. The colleges and universities in the street are proof of that. 180 km.

Day 20: On pilgrimage in Tanjore

Welcome to the icons of South Indian art, the bronze figures. We deepen our knowledge of the ancient craft in a bronze gallery and foundry. The Brihadisvara Temple (UNESCO cultural heritage) from the 11th century is a must-see, especially the 80-tonne capping stone (or is it several parts?), The sculptures and paintings. You can then spend your free afternoon in the hotel or on a discovery tour to rice fields and small villages. Maybe by bike?

Day 21: From Tanjore to Mahabalipuram

Waltz, tango or rumba specialists among you? God Shiva could keep up with that, as he mastered 108 dance forms. It appears particularly cosmic in Chidambaram. As Nataraja, King of Dance. For many devout Hindus, this is the center of the world. After a stop in the former French colony of Pondicherry, we reach Mahabalipuram. Spoiled for choice for the late afternoon: pool, Ayurvedic massage, sandy beach or sea? 280 km.

Day 22: Chennai, metropolis of the south

Somewhat overwhelmed by modernity, the former colonial and today's industrial city of Chennai (Madras) is struggling with population explosion and environmental pollution. How will it be when everyone drives through the streets in their nano, the people's car invented here? The morning roll call in a school that was partly rebuilt after the tsunami with funds from the Studiosus Foundation is exemplary. Anyway: What is life like on the Coromandel Coast? Let's ask the teachers who live here! Back in Mahabalipuram, we marvel at two UNESCO cultural heritage sites: Beach Temple and Granite Temple, once known as the Five Pagodas. 120 km.

Day 23: Mahabalipuram at its best

Camera loaded? Photo motifs like sand on the sea form the crowning glory in Mahabalipuram: the 30 m long and 14 m high rock relief, the cult caves of the Pallava kings carved in granite (UNESCO cultural heritage), beach life and temple fragments exposed by the 2004 tsunami near the shore. Afternoon: Pure relaxation in our hotel on the Indian Ocean. Anyone who has booked a bathing extension can stay there right away. For the others it is time to say goodbye. After the farewell dinner together, we go to the airport in Chennai, packed with impressions and inspiration. 60 km.

Day 24: Goodbye, India!

Around 3 a.m. departure with Emirates to Dubai (non-stop, flight time approx. 4 hours). After a short stay, onward flight to Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Vienna, Zurich or Geneva (non-stop, flight time approx. 7 hours). Arrival at noon. Or around 2 a.m. flight with Lufthansa direct to Frankfurt (non-stop, flight time approx. 10 hours), arrival in the morning and connection to the other cities.

Characteristics of the trip:

The highlights of North and South India with thirteen UNESCO cultural heritage sites in one trip

India - all the highlights from north to south on one study trip

Extensive round trip, overnight stays in comfortable hotels

Flights either with Lufthansa or Emirates, with Emirates from Munich usually with Airbus A380

Included in the tour price

  • Scheduled flight (economy) with Emirates from Frankfurt to Delhi and back from Chennai
  • Domestic flights (economy) with Jet Airways according to the itinerary
  • Train ride from Jhansi to Agra in 2nd class
  • Flight / security fees (approx. 90 €)
  • Transfers / excursions / round trips in customary coaches (air conditioning)
  • 21 or 22 nights for a flight with Lufthansa, hotels mostly with air conditioning and swimming pool
  • Double room with bath or shower and toilet
  • Half board (dinner, breakfast)
  • Specially qualified Studiosus tour guides
  • Local guides
  • Rail travel to / from the point of departure in 1st class from any train station in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
  • Room on the day of departure until dinner
  • Boat trips on the Ganges, on Lake Pichola and in Kochi
  • Excursion to Elephanta Island
  • Attend a Kathakali performance
  • Entrance fees (approx. 95 €)
  • Visa fees (approx. 65 €) and visa application
  • Tips in the hotel
  • Travel cancellation / termination insurance (approx. 125 €)
  • Info package and travel literature (approx. € 30)

  • Minimum number of participants: 12
  • Maximum number of participants: 25