India: The Golden Triangle to Kerala 14 days
84.1% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
About This Experience
Conjure up India at its most alluring—the mystique of Eastern religions, the swirl of colorful saris, and of course, the magic of the Taj Mahal. On this grand tour, you’ll experience it all—the sights, sounds and spiciness of the subcontinent. Hit the highlights of the Golden Triangle, with its exotic architecture and prolific wildlife. Then, travel south to Kerala to float on a houseboat through the swampy backwaters and feel the vibe of multicultural Mumbai.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
10 nights in handpicked hotels & 1 night aboard a river houseboat
Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 8 three-course dinners with beer
Multilingual Tour Director
Private deluxe motor coach
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
Evocative Mughal architecture
Taj Mahal at sunset
Tigers & elephants—India’s most regal creatures
Shopping the bazaars
Sadya—a feast on a banana leaf
Overnight Flight1 night
Delhi3 nights - hotel info
Discover Mughal heritage and pay your respects to Gandhi in Old Delhi
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb, Jama Masjid
Enjoy a restful morning to prepare for your explorations. After an included lunch, a guided tour introduces you to Old Delhi today. Visit the Red Fort, a magnificent sandstone fortress built during the peak of Mughal power, and the Raj Ghat, Delhi’s tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Opposite the fort are the black-and-white onion dome and minarets of the Jama Masjid, one of the most elegant mosques in India. Later, join your fellow travelers at tonight’s Welcome Dinner.
Pass through the India Gate and climb the Qutub Minar
A local guide introduces you to New Delhi. Proclaimed the capital of India by British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, New Delhi home to the Government buildings and Qutub Minar. Your guided tour takes you to all the major monuments, including The India Gate, the most famous war memorial in India. Later, enjoy free time. For shopping, consider visiting the Select City Walk Mall. It also has several international coffee houses and restaurants to choose from.
Agra1 night - hotel info
Take in the perfect symmetry and artistic mastery of the Taj Mahal
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Taj Mahal, Sikandra
Travel by private motor coach to Agra. On the way, stop to visit Sikandra, the mausoleum of Akbar The Great. Started by Akbar and later completed by his son, the tomb is a splendid monument and example of Mogul architecture. Enjoy an included lunch before visiting the Taj Mahal at sunset. Dinner is included tonight. Please note: Depending on weather, your visit to the Taj Mahal may take place at sunrise on Day 6.
Ranthambore (Swai Madhopur)2 nights - hotel info
See the world through rose-tinted glasses at Fatehpur Sikri
Transfer to Ranthambore today, stopping en route in the abandoned red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri. Ranthambore is famous for its tigers and for its association with Project Tiger, an organization dedicated to protecting of India’s tigers. Tonight, enjoy an included group dinner.
Spy on the Indian Tiger, revered for its power and beauty
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ranthambore National Park
Spend the day at Ranthambore National Park on morning and afternoon game drives through wildlife terrain. Keep your eyes open to see the big cats and other large predators, like the Sloth Bear, Striped Hyena, Jackal and the Common Indian Mongoose. Lunch and dinner are included today. Please note: Tigers are elusive animals, and sightings cannot be guaranteed.
Jaipur2 nights - hotel info
Explore blooming gardens and ornate palaces in the Pink City
Jaipur City Palace
Journey to Jaipur, known as the “Pink City” for its distinctive terra cotta hue. Upon arrival, a local guide shows you Jaipur’s historic sites, like Hawa Mahal—known as the Palace of Wind—and the Jantar Mantar Observatory.
Travel in regal Indian style—on the back of an elephant
This morning, climb on the back of an elephant to ascend the slope to Amber Fort and Diwan-i-Khas, the Hall of Private Audience. This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore Jaipur’s many markets and bazaars. Please note: The availability of elephants is limited and cannot be guaranteed.
Cochin2 nights - hotel info
Indulge in coconut-flavored cooking and Kathakali dance in Kerala
This morning, fly from Jaipur to Cochin, by way of Mumbai. Lunch is included during your transfer to Cochin, a vibrant city situated on the southwest coast of the Indian subcontinent in the and prosperous state of Kerala. Tonight, join your group for dinner and a spellbinding Kathakali performance.
Investigate Cochin’s unexpected European ambiance
St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica, Pardesi Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace
On today’s guided tour of Cochin, discover why the city is considered the jewel in the crown of Kerala, as you explore the European heritage and cosmopolitan temperament of a city whose harbor once teemed with merchant ships. Visit Fort Cochin, home to some of the oldest European architecture in India. Marvel at the St. Francis Church—the oldest European church in India—and Paradesi Synagogue, where you’ll see Hebrew-inscribed gravestones and wrought iron gates.
Mumbai1 night - hotel info
Extend Your Stay
Add Mumbai $549*
Immerse yourself in color in Mumbai, a city awash with swirling saris, bustling bazaars and natural sunlight. Marvel at the vibrancy of this high-energy city as you discover its fascinating history and contemporary culture.
Mumbai2 nights - hotel info
Passport & Visa
In order to enter India, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of your return home. A visa is also required for U.S. and Canadian passport holders to enter India. You can obtain an individual visa through our recommended provider VisaCentral (www.visacentral.com/goaheadtours) or apply directly to the Indian consulate. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Indian consulate for your specific entry requirements.
There is some risk of the following diseases in India: malaria, rabies and dengue fever, among others. Travelers should make sure to wear protective clothing and insect repellent when outside, particularly in forested/rural areas. Sun protection is also highly advisable. No vaccinations are required for entry, but we strongly recommend that you check with your doctor at least eight weeks prior to departure for recommended vaccinations and the latest updates on requirements. In order for you to stay healthy throughout your tour, we recommend the following:
• Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing teeth.
• Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
•Bring a small first-aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication and any prescription medications.
More information on vaccinations and other health precautions can be found via the CDC website.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Round-trip flights arrive in Delhi and depart from Mumbai. All other included transportation on your tour is by private motor coach, along with internal flights: Jaipur to Cochin and Cochin to Mumbai.
Clothing & Packing Tips
Temperatures throughout India can at times be exceedingly high, so it is a good idea to dress in light, breathable materials. Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sturdy pair of walking shoes is recommended for exploring the cities. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality— a lightweight sports jacket and rainwear are advised. Remember that it’s preferable not to visit religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis).
Please note: The weight limit for the internal flights on this tour is one checked bag (max 44lbs) and one hand luggage (max 15lbs). An excess baggage fee of $150 USD may be imposed for luggage over this weight. Please click below for more information: http://www.jetairways.com/EN/US/Baggage/FreeBaggageAllowances.aspx
The Indian rupee is the currency you will be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards, which can be used to access cash at local banks, as needed. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges. Please note:?It has been increasingly difficult to exchange traveler’s checks outside of major cities—both at banks and shops—and they often attract higher fees.
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency at the equivalent of $3 USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6 USD/CAD to $9 USD/ CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $ 2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
When exploring on your own, consider taking a rickshaw ride to acclimate yourself. Not only is this a more traditional approach to touring the cities of India, but some of the more medieval and intricate neighborhoods are more easily accessible by rickshaw than other mode of transportation.
84.1% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
India Adventure 2013
I love a great adventure and the trip to India far exceeded my expectations! I had always wanted to travel to India and wasn't quite sure what to expect. This north to souh tour highlighted several cities and destinations which fascinated and intrigued me. The extreme poverty in Delhi was something to behold. The people were delightful, friendly and as interested in us as we were in them. Our tour director, Rajeev, was an unending source of knowledge on all aspects of the Indian culture and history. He deftly guided us through the buy streets, temples, places and markets. Wherever we went he made sure the day was fascinating and colorful. His spontaneity was fun and unexpected as we experienced many events and moments in the lives of the Indian people the average traveler would not be able to enjoy. If I had to choose a favorite city or experience, I would not be able to. Each day was more fascinating thn the day before! Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it did! We were most fortunate to see the famous tigress, "The Lady of the Lakes" at Ranthambore National Park. How exciting! I would highly recomend this trip to anyone who enjoys adventure and experiencing this world we share.
India golden Triangle
I presume you have seen what was written on the evaluation requested in India. The highlights were shared by everyone and are clearly obvious. We had a great group of fellow travelers. The two suggestions I have and feel strongly about are the following: 1. I know you are committed to sharing history and that is the guides forte; however with very foreign names and many sites to see I believe it would be better to distribute on the bus or prior to our trip a very basic sheet of facts about what we will be seeing. How much mythology can be internalized walking around elephanta? Also our tour guide was excellent and very personable but less focused on the social and present day issues and life of the Indian population and the hot trends in the city of interest. I suspect he was trying to be neutral but most tourists I imagine are interested in these facts - not to judge but rather to have something to understand and remember about the country being visited. He did respond when asked but we had much more past history than understanding of the thoughts of everyday Indians in each area visited. For example, What areas within India do Indian's migrate from and to. How does one present or hide ones caste status. How do the brightest students in the slums move beyond their situation. How does religious or ethnic tension impact growth economic, social, cultural. Our guide in Mumbai was superb in responding to any question we asked but we were only with her for one day and there was so much to absorb. Given the time and expense of traveling to India I truly believe at least a one day add on to tour Mumbai would have been a major enhancement to the trip - not just for those who chose the extension. Spending time in the church and synagogue in Cochin area could have been shortened so that everyone on the tour could have a day in Mumbai. Guide in Mumbai was really not necessary and repeated facts twice on the bus and once while touring. Overkill. One of the things which attracted us to Go Ahead when we wnt to Turkey is that you allow three in a room, saving the single supplement. Since I often travel with 2 others this was a bonus for us and we like rooming together. Also, including as many meals as possible is a feature go Ahead has which others do not. I know guides have our safety concerns in mind so try to orient us to what's coming next. I shared with Rajeer that only telling us what was next for that day was enough. It was too much to take in what we were doing the next day and he would need and did repeat information when it was next to explore. That might save his energy and improve group knowledge of what next. This tends to diminish when you hear too much because you are overloaded with information. I hope you find these comments helpful and would be glad todiscuss them further should you desire. i live in Lincoln MA so distance is not a problem. Tourism is a growing and competitive business and I like what Go Ahead Tours does so any enhancements might be helpful to continue to attract travelers
India: Urban and Rural
Our tour of India was an excellent blend of urban and rural sights. The urban portion was fast paced and the rural pleasantly relaxing –a good balance. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and provided a great deal of enrichment, including taking us to his own home for afternoon tea which was a highlight for most of us. The tour of Ranthambhore Tiger reserve was probably my personal favourite event. On two treks, one starting just before dawn, the other in the late afternoon going into dusk, we were able to a huge variety of animals and birds. We were able to see a crocodile crossing the lake, aiming for a large deer grazing on water plants near the shore. We sat transfixed for about five minutes as the croc swam toward the seemingly oblivious deer. At nearly the last second, the deer adroitly leaped out of the water thwarting the croc. In the park, monkeys,tropical birds and parrots abounded. The park excursion, about a third of the way through the trip, provided a relaxing break from the hustle of the main tour. We also loved the overnight houseboat tour of the backwaters of Kerela. The scenery was spectacular and we were able to see many of the river families as they went about their daily routines –children canoeing to school, women doing laundry on large flat rocks at the river’s edge and even tractors, pigs and chickens and produce being ferried along the river on a variety of styles of barge and boat. One issue there, though, was that the normal provider of the houseboats (Marvel) did not have enough boats available for our group (perhaps because it was the week of Diwali) and subcontracted to another provider whose boats were in poor repair and less well-appointed than the Marvel boats. In four of our group’s six boats, we spent the night in 88F degree temperatures and 82% humidity without the benefit of air-conditioning (broken) and with cabin doors and windows closed due to mosquitoes. So it was an uncomfortable night. It was certainly still worth the experience though. Kochi (Cochin) was a wonderful town and well worth exploring during free time. I could have used more time there, well more time everywhere. I looked up Go-Ahead’s upcoming tours hoping to find tours to other regions of India but I guess there are no others listed at the moment. I’d love to spend more time in the south and see also Bangalore, Goa and Tamil Nadu. Any chance of other tours of India being created?
India review thoughts
I would have liked a little more free time to wander. We didn't have any. We spent much too much time on the expensive shops. I think we spent at least three hours at the rug place (maybe more) and an equal amount of time at marble, jewelry etc. I also would have liked to have cut short the Kerala cruise and spend a little time in Mumbai.
This was an excellent tour with an excellent tour director. It was packed with great experiences every day. All the hotels were nice and very well ran; with very friendly and helpful staff. I learned a great deal about India and the people there. The people that I met in India had a great deal in common with people everywhere. They were trying to make a decent living and to get their children through college and a degree. The sights I saw were truly amazing to include the Taj Mahal. The pace is fast and India is truly the most colorful place I've ever visited. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and would recommend it highly to fellow travelers.
Grand Tour India: North to South
Excellent overview of India
If one takes the definition of poetry as "seeing the old through new eyes," then India is poetry. One cannot be unmoved with India. It is a total immersion of the senses in a wonderful experience. This trip was all that I expected and more.
Everywhere you look there is a picture!
India is a fascinating place to visit-a land of so many contradictions. One truly does see India from North to South. I took way too many pictures; but there is so much to see. Our tour guide, Rajeev Kapoor, made the tour so much fun and helped us to not only see the beautiful monuments but also get to know and appreciate the people. The only negative was the trip to Ranthambore-the roads on the game drives are brutal and we saw very little game.
very interesting people
I found it was too fast a pace. Some things should have been eliminated such as the boat cruise. Since they were on stuck we could not cruise and all we could do for that afternoon was just sit on the boat. We should have been able to stay in the hotel and maybe gone swimming or to the Spa but we had to sit on a very hot boat for the day! I found the Safari not good at all. We never really saw any animal of interest and if there was one in the area it was so far away could not see it. Take the Safari off , not worth seeing.
Taj Mahal and More
I mainly went to see the Taj Mahal, since it is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. But I got so much more out of it. Seeing the people in the villages, everyday rural life, driving on a road along with camels, elephants, sheep herds, cows, overloaded trucks, women working in colorful saris in the rice fields, and many more unexpected things along the way. It was truly an incredible adventure.