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A tour of India: following in The Beatles' and Prince Charles and Camilla's royal footsteps

07 NOVEMBER 2013 Wearing garlands and huge smiles Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall began their nine-day tour of India on Wednesday.

As the royal couple make their way across the length and breadth of the exotic Asian country, we'll take you on a journey of the key destinations Charles and Camilla will visit during their trip. Follow in the Beatles' footsteps, see one of the world's largest Hindu temples, take a trip into an elephant corridor an take a boat ride in Kerala's beautiful Backwaters…

 

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Following in The Beatles's footsteps...
First stop for Charles and Camilla was the holy city of Rishikesh. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the city rose to international fame when The Beatles visited in 1968.

Since then backpackers have followed in the iconic band's footsteps, visiting one of Hinduism’s most sacred pilgrimage and teaching ashram, Parmarth Niketan Temple, where The Beatles were taught transcendental meditation by the famous yogi, Maharishi Mahesh. Like the royals, don't miss the sacred moonlight ceremony, Aarti, that takes place every evening come rain or shine on the banks of the River Ganges.

 



The Beatles in Rishikesh in 1968


Delhi
India wouldn't be India without its wealth of glorious, historic temples, and of course the royal couple will be heading to one of the world's largest Hindu temples in New Delhi.

Swaminarayan Akshardham, meaning "temple of the God", is a grand, ancient-style, ornately hand-carved stone temple sprawling 100 acres that was opened as recently as 2005. In just eight years it has become a popular landmark of India's cultural and religious landscape, showcasing the essence of its ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual messages and attracting more than five million visitors a year.

 

The Swaminarayan Akshardham temple

Mumbai
Charles and Camilla will be busy visiting a mobile crèche in Mumbai. But you should make sure you try out Mumbai's street food, preferably while enjoying the breathtaking sunset at the beaches of Juhu or Marine Drive. Take a Bollywood tour in the centre of India's booming Bollywood film industry and don’t miss Mumbai's most recognised monument, The Gateway of India.

Kerala
After stopping in Pune, the new grandfather and his wife will continue to Kochi, to the south west of the country, where they will visit one of the oldest synagogues in the Commonwealth, Paradesi Synagogue.

 

Elephants pictured in Kerala

The 'elephant corridor'
Then the pair will take an off-road excursion into an "elephant corridor", a 2,200-acre strip of land within the largest stronghold of Asian elephants in the world. There, wildlife groups are working to secure a continuous area of land between two immediately adjacent protected areas within the larger Nilgiri Landscape, home to the largest population of Asian elephants in the world.

 



Kerala's breathtaking backwaters are a must-see



Backwaters and beaches in Kerala
Charles and Camilla will spend one day in private the day before his landmark 65th birthday on 14 November, enjoying the breathtaking scenery in picturesque Kerala. Options for a relaxed day in India's south west include a boat trip along the palm-fringed Kerala canals, known as the Backwaters, a visit to the sprawling tea plantations of Munnar and an afternoon lying back on one of India’s most beautiful beaches, Varkala, which is nestled at the bottom of the cliff offering breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea.
 
 
 

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