This tour is a fascinating journey of discovery into the history, culture and natural beauty of the relatively unknown eastern seaboard of India, with time to relax and enjoy some of the country’s finest beaches. We’ll explore Kolkata, with its pulsating mix of ancient and modern India – plus echoes of the British Raj – and the amazing temples of Orissa, which rank as some of India’s greatest architectural ensembles. This exciting trip concludes with a visit to the world’s largest mangrove forest, where the great Ganges river empties into the sea.
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Setting out from vibrant Kolkata, where we’ll spend two nights and enjoy a sightseeing tour, an overnight train ride takes us south to the city of Bhubaneswar in the state of Orissa – a colourful and historic part of India that seldom features on tourist itineraries.
From Bhubaneswar it’s a short road trip to the seaside town of Puri, one of India’s major religious centres and home to the amazing Jagannath Temple. We’ll make time to visit the town’s fine sandy beach, lapped by the warm tropical waters of the Bay of Bengal. A highlight of our itinerary is a tour of nearby Konark with its remarkable Sun Temple, a stunning collection of architectural wonders.
We’ll continue south along the coast to the resort of Gopalpur-on-sea, stopping to see the vast flocks of flamingos, cranes and other indigenous and migratory birds at Chilika lake on the way. Our two-night stay at Gopalpur gives plenty of opportunity to make the most of the attractive beach. There’s a trip inland to hot springs at Taptapani in the hills of the Eastern Ghats, before we return north to Bhubaneswar where we’ll visit more spectacular Orissan temples and the sacred Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves.
After a night in Kolkata, this varied itinerary ends with a visit to the biggest mangrove forest in the world at Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. In addition to the magnificent tigers, this remote area is full of reptiles (notably gharial crocodiles), colourful tropical birds, and various species of monkey, deer and other wildlife.
Please note: You can use this itinerary as a guide to fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have.
DAY 01 - Kolkata
Arrive Kolkata, day free
Arrive Kolkata, our KVT’s representative will welcome you at the airport and will transfer you to the hotel for check-in. Later in the evening you are free to explore the surrounding areas.
DAY 02 - Kolkata
Afternoon sightseeing of Kolkata and overnight train from Kolkata to Bhubaneswar
Morning free to explore on own and during afternoon we visit Victoria Memorial Hall. It is one of the most fascinating landmarks of Kolkata. Built entirely of white marble, Victoria Memorial, one of India's most beautiful monument, which represents a unique combination of classical European architecture and Mughal motifs. The Victoria Memorial blends the best of the British and Mughal architecture. In evening we visit Kali Temple, It is located on the banks of the river Hooghly (Bhagirathi). The temple is on the banks of a small canal called Adi Ganga which connects to the Hooghly. Evening we will transfer to railway station to catch the overnight train to Bhubaneswar.
DAY 03 - Puri
Morning arrive Bhubaneswar then drive to Puri. Afternoon visit Puri beach
Morning arrive Bhubaneswar and later drive to Puri (Distance: 65Km appx), upon arrival check into hotel and relax. One of the four celebrated religious centers of India, Puri, is the abode of Lord Jagannath. According to tradition Puri was once a thickly wooded hill inhabited by the Sabaras (Pre-Aryan and Pre-Dravidian tribes of the Austric linguistic family). The sunny beach at Puri is one of the finest in the world. During afternoon, we visit the beach in the city of Puri. It is on the shore of the Bay of Bengal.
DAY 04 - Puri
Visit Sun temple at Konark and later visit Jagannath temple at Puri
Today we drive from Puri to Konark (Distance: 40Km appx). We visit Sun Temple; it has been built in the form of a giant ornamented chariot of the Sun God, Surya. It has twelve pairs of elaborately carved stone Kalinga architecture, later we return back to Puri and visit Jagannath Temple, sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath and located on the eastern coast of India. The name Jagannath comes from the word Jagat-Nath which means 'Lord of the Universe'.
DAY 05 - Gopalpur
Drive from Puri to Gopalpur on sea, en-route visit Chilika Lake
Morning drive south to Gopalpur-on-sea, (Distance: 180Km appx) en-route visit Chilika Lake. Chilika is recognized as one of the most important wetlands in the world. Chilika Lake offers visitors a spectacular display of its colorful avian charms in a thousand different hues presented by over 160 species. Located on an island of lake, Kalijai temple is one of the famous attractions.
DAY 06 - Gopalpur
Gopalpur-on-sea, excursion to Taptapani hot springs
This day we drive from Gopalpur-on-sea to Taptapani hot springs (Distance: 70Km appx). Taptapani excursion is about taking a bath in the hot water spring. Enjoy this fantastic spring with medicinal merits. A bath in the spring will surely rejuvenate your zeal and will stuff you with enough energy. Later we return to Gopalpur, evening at leisure on beaches of Gopalpur-on-sea.
DAY 07 - Bhubaneswar
Drive to Bhubaneswar, en-route visiting the Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves
Today we drive from Gopalpur on sea to Bhubaneswar (Distance: 180Km appx) en-route visiting Khandagiri and Udaygiri caves, one of the earliest groups of Jain rock-cut shelters, the caves of Udaygiri (Hill of Sunrise) and Khandagiri (Broken Hills) command a unique position in the field of history, rock-cut architecture, art and religion. The two hills rise abruptly from the coastal plain, about six km west of Bhubaneswar, separated by a highway. Later we reach Bhubaneswar, upon arrival check into hotel.
DAY 08 - Bhubaneswar
Free day to explore the city and evening overnight train to Kolkata
Morning and afternoon free to explore the city, then evening train to Kolkata. Today we have free day to explore the city. Bhubaneswar is famous for its ancient temple, shopping, famous cactus garden, with its huge collection of Cactii should not be missed. In evening, we will transfer to railway station to catch the overnight train to Kolkata.
DAY 09 - Kolkata
Arrive Kolkata and check into hotel, day free
Morning we arrive at Kolkata, upon arrival transfer to hotel and relax. Today we have a day free, to explore the town and nearby surroundings. Kolkata is one of the largest cities in India. Long known as the Cultural capital of India and home to the Bengal Renaissance, Kolkata continues to spawn generations of poets, writers.
DAY 10 - Sunderbans
Drive from Kolkata to boat jetty and transfer to Sunderbans National Park by boat
Early morning you will be transferred to port (Jetty). From port you will board the motor fitted country boat and will be transferred to the lodge located in the Sunderbans. Sunderbans has the world’s largest mangrove forest & it is home to Royal Bengal tigers, saltwater crocodiles, deer, birds & many other wildlife species. In the afternoon, we set out to explore the wildlife from the watchtower near the hotel.
DAY 11 - Sunderbans
Explore Sunderbans National Park by boat or foot
This National Park is a Tiger Reserve, UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Sunderbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is also the habitat for variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrate species, including the saltwater crocodile. It is the largest mangrove forest in the world where one can find twenty-six of the fifty mangrove types. The best part of this national park is the boat safari where tourists float down through the various river sublets or by foot and closely encounter several wild species.
DAY 12 - Kolkata
Return to Kolkata by boat, evening free.
In the morning, we will return back to port touring through the river. Upon arrival, we will board the vehicle & drive to Calcutta (Kolkata) and check into our hotel. Upon arrival check-in to hotel and relax. Evening we can do some shopping.
DAY 13 - Kolkata
Departure transfer to international airport
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Flexibility Guaranteed! Using the above itinerary as a guide you can fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have. On receiving your enquiry we will respond with prices and work with you to create a truly personalised holiday experience that is in your budget and personal style.