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Central India & Assam

Camel Fair Pushkar 1-453
Including a seven-day Brahmaputra River Cruise

25 October – 16 November 2017

For centuries people from many distant lands have wanted a piece of India and its treasures and strangely India has accepted these foreigners into the Indian way of life.
India is a country that weaves races, cultures and philosophies into a tapestry that becomes more intricate by the day. Delhi, Agra and Jaipur are known as the jewels of India and we have added the Thar Desert – also known as the ‘Land of the Maharajas.’
This tour immerses you in North Rajasthan and Assam, the latter stretching out in the shadow of the Himalayas.
The seven-day cruise along the mighty Brahmaputra River allows us to experience this North-Eastern state of golden-green vistas of jigsaw like rice fields and manicured tea estates framed in the distance by the mountains that feed the Brahmaputra River.
The option to visit the mountain state of Bhutan is an added adventur
e.

Itinerary

2017

October

Wednesday 25 Auckland – Singapore

Depart Auckland on Singapore Airlines Flight. Overnight in Singapore

Land Only available – join group in Delhi – depart Kolkata

 

Thursday 26 Delhi D

Arrive in Delhi and transfer to your hotel. Later enjoy an evening get- together and an included Welcome Dinner.

 

Delhi is a dynamic city of two parts where the past coexists with the present. In 1911, the British decided to make it the capital of India and commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to draw up the plans. The result is slightly surprising, with spacious tree-lined avenues punctuated with architecture that is amongst the most striking in the world.

 

Friday 27 Delhi B L D

This morning experience the combined charm of Old and New Delhi beginning with a drive past the Red Fort, Jama Masjid followed by a Rickshaw Ride through the bazaars of Chandni Chowk. Visit the Sikh temple Bangla Sahib

 

The place of ‘Sikh’ worship is open to people of all faiths, castes or creeds. The ‘Langars’ or the community kitchens proves to be the ideal example of prodigious hospitality of the Sikhs where anyone and everyone can have scrumptious meal.

Continue past the historical India Gate, the Presidents estate and the Parliament House and visit Gandi Smriti.

 

Saturday 28 Delhi – Jodhpur - Jamba   B L D

A morning flight to the 'Blue City' of Jodhpur and the gateway to the desert.

On arrival, lunch is at a local restaurant.  This afternoon drive to Jamba and the Dera Dunes Retreat - the worlds first resort on top of a high sand dune.

 

Sunday 29   Jamba   B L D

This morning ride in 4WD vehicles to visit Kheecham Village.  The Bishnoi tribe live a simple life and are the natural convervators of the region and the Demoiselle cranes that inhabit the region.  We also visit the Raikas and carpet weavers.

 

Monday 30  Jamba - Jodhpur   B L D

Drive to Jodhpur, arriving around lunch time.  This afternoon see the 'Blue City' and visit the Meherangarh Fort and Jaswant  Thada, a graceful marble cenotaph.  

Time this evening to explore the lively markets.

 

 

Tuesday 31   Jodhpur - Jaipur   B D

Todays drive journeys through Northern Rajasthan. On arrival in Jaipur, time to relax at the hotel with dinner included.

 

November

Wednesday 01 Jaipur  B L 

A full day sightseeing tour of Jaipu including the Amber Fort - a palace complex built from pale yellow and pink sandstone and white marble.  Time for a photo stop at the Palace of the Winds, the Hawa Mahal.  Lunch is at a local restaurant before the afternoon tour that includes the City Palace, now museums with fine textiles, costumes, an armory, manuscripts and paintings.  Visits Jantar Mantar to see a collection of architectural astronomical instruments dating from 1734.

 

Thursday 02 Jaipur - Agra va Abhaneri   B L 

An early start today for the drive to Abhaneri step wells (Chand Baori) - more than 1000 years old.  Continue onto Agra for a late lunch.

This afternoon visit to the Jaj Mahal - one of the wonders of the modern world, completed in 1652 as a mausoleum for the beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal.
 

Friday 03 Agra  B L 

Morning visit to the Mehtab Bagh, a garden built on the banks of the Yamuna River and an ideal place from which to view the Taj.  Enjoy a home-hosted lunch with local families.

Later driver to the red sandstone Agra Fort which stands like a crescent on the banks of the Yamuna River.  Three successive Mughal emperors helped create the massive structure.  Evening at leisure to explore the city.
 

Saturday 04 Agra - Deli   B L

After breakfast, a morning drive to Delhi.  Check into hotel with the evening at leisure.

 

Sunday 05 Delhi – Jorhat B D

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Jorhat. On arrival, drive to Neamati Ghat to board the MV Mahabaahu in time for lunch and a seven night cruise.

 

This evening raise a traditional toast to the mighty Brahmaputra River that carves the valley of Assam. This afternoon keep watch for a fleeting glimpse of the Gangetic dolphins, bar headed geese, egrets and cormorants returning to their abodes on deserted islands as the sun lowers itself in the western horizon. Talk of ‘Sibsagar, the seat of Ahom Civilization’ that ruled the north eastern region of India for six centuries. Short talk of ‘Tea in Assam’ continues over High Tea.

 

Monday 06 Sibsagar B L D

A day-excursion to 13th century Sibsagar. Drive to a tea estate for a relaxed afternoon for a traditional Assamese lunch with the tea-estate family who have been involved in the tea business for more than a century.

Return to MV Mahabaahu by sunset.

 

Tuesday 07 Majuli Island Visit B L D

Begin the day with Yoga or a walk along the swamps to catch a sight of owls, eagles, adjutant storks, sea gulls, king fishers and swallows.

Enjoy a talk of ‘Majuli, the seat of Vaishnav culture’ later drive to ‘Satra’ (monastery) for a cultural performance by singers and dancers.

Sail towards the Mishing Village whose people live on the banks of the river in houses with raised platforms and are expert weavers. Opportunity to buy ethnic colourful cotton weaves and indulge in a dhoti tying and a Mekhela Chaadar wearing demonstration.

Evening under the stars on a deserted island for dinner.

 

Wednesday 08 Boat Safari B L D

Enjoy a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the life that exists alongside.’

On our safari, one may see roof turtles on drift wood, water lizards, otters, elephants, wild buffaloes, rhinos, darters, herons, king fishers, serpent eagles and more. This evening enjoy a Chef’s Cooking Demonstration followed by a talk on ‘Tea, Silk and Jute in Assam’.

Another evening on a deserted island with a bonfire.

 

Thursday 09 On Board B L D

A talk on ‘Kaziranga and the wild life in India, then go ashore to the Bishwanath Ghat and walk through the village to see how this suburban village thrives.

An afternoon drive to the Kalibore tea estate and the tea factory to see the process of finally producing Assam Tea. Then visit a jute mill At sunset, we enjoy a cultural evening on board.

 

Friday 10 On Board B L D
An early morning drive to the Kaziranga National Park - home to the Greater One

horned Indian Rhinoceros, wild elephants, tiger, deer, Asiatic wild buffalo and a rich variety of birds.

After breakfast drive to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga for an open jeep wild life adventure.

Return to our boat for a leisurely lunch. This evening a traditional Assamese theme dinner.

 

Saturday 11 On Board B L D

This morning visit an island that is occupied predominantly by a bangla- speaking Muslim community involved in extensive farming.

Later sail towards Pandu Port and anchor at a jetty before dinner ‘Alvida Bhoj’.

 

Sunday 12 Guwahati – Kolkata B L D

Disembark and drive to the Kamakhya Temple, devoted to the eternal feminine, Kama Khya before a transfer to the airport for your flight to Kolkata.

Check in to your hotel with the rest of the day at leisure.

 

Kolkata mainly gained importance in the times of British rule as it had been the capital of India till the year 1912. At present, it is the capital of West Bengal and is one of the most important places of cultural workshop and industrial center.

 

Monday 13 Kolkata B

Visit Mother Theresa’s House called ‘Nirmal Hriday’ and Shishu Bhawan. Mother Teresa’s great work caring for abandoned children is carried out at this centre.

Afternoon at leisure to shop

 

Tuesday 14 Kolkata B D

This morning there is an optional early morning visit to the flower market – Eastern India’s largest flower market with hundreds of stalls where 2,000 flower growers from the surrounding areas sell their flowers and garlands.

Afterwards visit the Victoria Memorial. This marble white monument is one of the most fascinating landmarks of Kolkata. Afternoon at leisure.

This evening we have our farewell dinner then transfer to the airport for a late evening flight

 

Wednesday 15 Kolkata - Singapore B

Change planes and continue on to Auckland, arriving midnight.

 

Today the Optional Five Day tour to Bhutan departs from Kolkata

 

Wednesday 15 Arrive Auckland

 

*Itinerary subject to change and currency fluctuations

Inclusions

  • Return economy airfares Auckland / Singapore / Delhi // Kolkata – Singapore – Auckland
  • Domestic air flights Jodhpur – Delhi / Guwahati - Kolkata
  • Travel in air conditioned coaches
  • Accommodation in 4 star hotels with private facilities
  • Breakfasts daily, lunches and dinners as specified
  • Entrance fees at monuments outlined in the itinerary
  • Shared boat ride on Lake Pichola
  • Jeep safari
  • Seven day river boat cruise with included meals
  • Excursions off the boat
  • One home-hosted meal
  • Two bottles of mineral water per person, per day
  • Government Service Tax @ 4.5%
  • English speaking guide for the 10 days prior to the cruise
  • Services of English speaking naturalist / destination manager during all the included boat excursions
  • Pukekohe Travel tour escort (subject to 15 people travelling
Exclusions
  • Airport and security taxes (approx. $142 per person)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Camera / video fees at monuments
  • Indian visa (approx. NZD115 per person) - NZ Passport holders. All other passport holders please ask
  • Travel Insurance (Please ask us for a quote)
  • Gratuities and tips

mv Maabaahu

The Brahmaputra River – 2900km long - one of the major rivers in Asia – flows through Tibet, the Himalayas, India (the Assam Valley), Bangladesh into the Bay of Bengal - possibly one of the holiest rivers of the World! - the only river of the world which is considered holy by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bonpas, amounting to four religions!

 

Assam - a rich, green land of rolling hills, plains and dense forests, is the gateway to north-east India. The mighty Brahmaputra River that has its origin near Lake Mansarovar and Mount Kailash, charts its course through Tibet, Assam and Bangladesh.
Assam, the mystic land of blue hills and beautiful rivers, is renowned for its tea, rich flora and fauna.
70% of the population are involved in agriculture.

MV Mahabaahu-967
MV Mahabaahu Facts

Year Built 2011 Length 55m

Speed 12 knots / 22 kph Cabins 23

Passengers 46 Crew 30

Life on Board

Guests on board will be treated to an unforgettable journey on the beautiful Brahmaputra River under the shadows of the Himalayan Mountains and surrounded by abundant wildlife.
The stunning countryside of North-Eastern India and its tribal cultures are sure to captivate.

Nightly entertainment in the form of local tribal dances or guest lectures are held in the theatre.

Recreational facilities on board include a swimming pool. Sports room, spa, hair salon, sundeck, a well-stocked library, internet café and various board games.

Features
All cabins incorporate satellite TV, personal safe, mini bar, in-house telephone and an ensuite.

Air Conditioning
All cabins and the restaurant / lounge are centrally air-conditioned

Dining
The chefs devise local / Indian and continental menus, sourcing local ingredients

Shore Visits
Two supervised excursion tenders ferry guests safely to and from the ship. All shore excursions are escorted.

Currency onboard
Indian Rupees only

Cruising Times
All cruising takes place between 6am and 6pm to take full advantage of the spectacular scenery

deck plan

 

 

Cost

Cost Per Person *NZD
  Twin share Single supplement
Superior Cabin - Deck One   New Picture (1)-986
with Balcony (86 sq m)
$10,273 +$4,582

Superior Cabin - Deck Two
(32 sq m)   Two left
$ 9,777 +$4,267
Premium Economy Upgrade(Singapore Airlines only)    
Business Class Upgrade
(Singapore Airlines Only)
   
Early Booking Discount (if deposit paid by 31 March 2017)   $100
Previous International Tour Client Discount   $100
     
     
* This is a cash / cheque price. Credit cards incur a 2% fee

Booking Conditions

Booking Conditions

  • A non-refundable deposit of $1000 per person will secure a place on the tour
  • Full payment due no later than 29 July 2017

Cancellations and Refunds

  • From the date of booking until 29 July – loss of deposit
  • After 29 July – no refund

Documentation

  • A current New Zealand passport is required valid six months beyond the date of travel.
  • New Zealand passport holders require a visa for India (approx. NZD115 per person)
  • All other passports please ask

General Conditions

  • There are no obligatory inoculations required
  • The tour stays in 4 Star hotels and included meals will be at recommended restaurants which will minimise health risks
  • Hepatitis should not be an issue but precautionary measures are you choice
  • Ciprofloxim is an antibiotic for stomach upsets and we strongly recommend everyone takes this medication on tour
  • Update your tetanus and polio
  • Assam is a Malaria-risk area. A good Deet insect repellent is recommended and long sleeved trousers and shirts early morning and evening are advised • Malaria prevention varies considerably. Check with your medical professional
  • The streets of India are busy and pavements crowded and rough. A good standard of health and mobility are required with the ability to climb steps and walk up hills​​​​​

Temperatures
  Min Max
Delhi 18 31
Jorhat -07 11
Kolkata 18 29
Bhutan -06 11
 
  • Clothing Comfortable clothes are the order of the day – the laundry service in the hotels is inexpensive and efficient. Hats, sunglasses and comfortable sandals are a must. A scarf or pareu is handy for temples etc or for sun protection. A small umbrella is great for rain showers or sunshade. Photographic opportunities are plentiful – respect the local people and ask before taking photos.
 
  • Currency / Money
• Cash is king in India. Take USD, Euro or Pounds Sterling to change into Rupees ATMs are available in the cities and it is advisable to use ones located inside a bank – this can be time-consuming!
• Credit Cards, Visa and Mastercard are accepted in all the hotels we will be staying in and larger more up-market restaurants and shops


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors or omissions within this website without recourse.

Bhutan - Five night optional extension

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a country of dramatic landscapes - sub-tropical plains to steep mountains and valleys with a balance between contemporary and medieval.
Monks transcribe ancient Buddhist text onto laptops, traditionally-dressed archers use alloy-steel bows and arrows.
Its far-sighted leaders maintain Bhutan’s pristine, mountainous environment and unique culture.

 

bhutan Paro-422

Wednesday 15 Kolkata to Paro (Bhutan) B L D

Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Paro. This flight into the Himalayas reveals breathtaking views of the world’s highest peaks, taking your right into the Dragon Kingdom’s cloud scraping airstrip in the lush green valley of Paro (2350m)

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your local English-speaking guide and driven to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.

Late afternoon/evening visit Tashichodzong, the beautiful medieval fortress / monastery that houses most of the Governments office and the Kings Throne room. It is also the summer residence of Je Kehnpi, the Chief Abbot.

 

Thursday 16 Thimphu B L D

On today’s sightseeing tour of Thimphu, visit the National Library with its vast collection on ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts.

Later, drive to the Painting School where students produce intricate designs on cloth. Also visit the Traditional Medicine Institute where centuries-old healing methods are still practiced. Visit the textile and heritage museum.

After lunch, visit the Handicrafts Emporium. Drive to the Memorial Chorten, the stupa built in memory of Bhutan’s Third King who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan.

 

Friday 17 Thimphu - Punakha B L D

  1. drive to Punakha with a short stop enroute at the Dochula pass (3.050 m) that offers enchanting views. After lunch visit the Punakha Dzong, the 17th Century fortress which has played an important role in building up of modern Bhutan.

Afterwards drive to the nearby town of Wangduephodrang and visit the local market which is famous for its bamboo products, slate and stone carvings.

 

Saturday 18 Punakha / Paro B L D

Drive to Paro, visiting the Simtokha Dzong en-route - the oldest fortress of the Kingdom built in 1627.

Arrive Paro for lunch and later visit the Ta Dzong, the National Museum of the Kingdom.

Afterwards walk down the trail to visit Ringpung Dzong which has a long and fascinating history.

 

Monday 19 Paro B L D

This morning drive north of Paro village to the ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong. From this fort the Bhutanese repelled several invasions by Tibetan armies.

You have an option to trek/hike to the view point that takes about 5 hours return

Afternoon free.

 

Tuesday 20 Paro - Kolkata - Singapore B

Return to the airport for your Singapore Airlines flight to Kolkata.

Upon arrival transfer to the airport to rest at an airport hotel before the midnight flight.

 

Wednesday 21 Arrive Singapore

Change planes and on to Auckland, arriving midnight

Cost* per person
Twin Share $3228

Single Supplement +$489

* This is a cash / cheque price. Credit cards incur a 2% fee

* Itinerary subject to change

Inclusions

  • Economy air flights Kolkata – Bhutan – Kolkata
  • Five nights’ accommodation in Bhutan
  • Travel on an air-conditioned coaches
  • All meals
  • All transport and as outlined in the itinerary
  • Pony ride to the Takstang Monastery in Paro (one way up hill)
  • Services of an English speaking guide
  • Services of a Pukekohe Travel escort – subject to 10 persons travelling
  • Government Royalty Taxes & Bhutan Visa fee
  • Gratuities

Exclusions

  • Camera / video fees at monuments
  • Items of a personal nature

Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors or omissions contained within this website without recourse

 

 

Booking Form

 

Contact Us

0800 785 386 (NZ only)

1800 797 495 ( Australia only)


All other countries
+64 9 237 0013

info@pukekohe-travel.co.nz


Hours: Mon - Fri 8.30am - 5.30pm, Sat 9am - 1pm

89 King Street, Pukekohe 2120, New Zealand 
PO Box 313, Pukekohe 2340
 

About Us
Pukekohe Travel is an independently-owned and operated New Zealand travel company established in 1978

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