Holi – Kama Sutra – Ganges Experience 15 Days – March Itinerary

Holi – Kama Sutra – Ganges Experience 15 Days – March 2017 Itinerary

Holi Kama Sutra Ganges Experience –
Holi – The Festival of Color, Food & Drinks. Toss that in with bonfires, good defeating evil & welcoming spring!       ‘If you practically wish to witness happiness, jovial exuberance, unconditional human spirit & an entire country drenched in fun-smashing colors, accompanied with scrumptious food & drink you must visit India during the festival of Holi.’ All people irrespective of their color, sex, caste, creed, or religion get together for this enchanting festival in India.

Exhilarating lasting memories……We are off to visit Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh & Uttrakhan criss crossing over India’s religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism & the Muslim faith, over the sacred river Ganga & Yamuna, onto golden sands of the Thar Desert in the glowing shimmering rays of sunset &  sunrises.

On arrival to India your cultural immersion begins in New Delhi, a city of stark contrasts & once my home for 4 years. Out of New Delhi we travel west to Jaipur the Pink City to experience Rajasthan’s royal Amber Fort via elephants & Hawa Mahal. Over 4 days in Jaipur you have options to enjoy; cooking class followed by feasting, relax & pamper with a ayuverda massage at our beautiful boutique abode or be out & about in Jaipur visiting Palaces, Forts, getting lost in old Jaipur & shopping…textiles jewels or both! Morning visit to a village school, later we get a hands on textiles experience in block printing, vegetable dying & the unique dabu print technique in Bagru outside Jaipur. All that with the celebration of Holi too! Festival of Color, Food & Drinks. Returning by air to New Delhi to enjoy an evening feast as my guest of north west frontier Peshawari cuisine at, in my opinion & Bill Clintons, one of New Delhi’s best restaurants.

We travel on the infamous Indian Railway, this institution moves nearly 20 million people every day through out all India. Traveling on Indian Rail will add a fascinating dimension to your experience of being amongst the locals. Our return day train trip will take us south to Agra visiting Agra Fort & to experience the mystery of the beautiful Taj Mahal built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz in 1653. Taj Mahal      ‘ the epitome of love ‘ has charismatic energy & imposing beauty. It is the immense love behind this outstanding monument that has given life to this masterpiece, nothing short of an architectural marvel, no wonder it stands proud as being one of the ‘ Seven Wonders of the World ‘.

We journey to The Life Source of India, Varanasi also known as Benaras. Mark Twain was enthralled by the legend & sanctity of Benaras, he wrote : “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together”.  Take time, sit on one of the many ghats, become aware amongst soul stirring hymns & mantras along with the fragrance of incense filling the air & holy waters gently splashing the Ghats.

Kama Sutra – we move onto the small town with a big history, Khajuraho. A UNESCO World Heritage site known for its ornate temples that are spectacular examples of human imagination, artistic creativity & magnificent architectural work deriving spiritual peace through eroticism & daily activities. Viewing a Sound & Light show is an evening option here. We have another option, exploring the wilderness of the Panna National Park http://www.pannanationalpark.com with a guide, seeing the tigers & many others animals in their natural habitat while enjoying the forests beauty. The Tiger Reserve is situated inside Panna National Park in the Vindhya Hills in a tropical forest along the tranquil Ken River. The forest has cascading waterfalls & it is one the country´s largest tiger reserves. The park contains more than 200 species of wildlife, including a host of migratory birds, its big cats like tigers, leopards, wolves, chinkara, chital & sambar (deer species) & sloths inside this extremely rich bio-diversity area.

To close this fascinating trip we fly to the foothills of the Himalayas. Our internal flight takes us north to enjoy this experience, the peace & tranquility of Rishikesh. Nicknamed ‘The yoga capital of the World’  it is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy Ganges River that flows through this small town in an area abounding in natural beauty. Our stay here is in a magical natural spot river side of the Ganges with a sandy bank enabling you easy access to the holy waters, set amongst a lychee & mango orchard.  Blend that with in house Ayurvedic treatments that will leave your skin fresh, lightly scented & drenched with moisture. You can have a lesson  playing the sitar or tabla, try hasya yoga (laughter therapy), practice a humming or maybe gong meditation. In 1968, The Beatles visited the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, John Lennon recorded a song titled, ‘The Happy Rishikesh Song’, the group composed nearly 48 songs during their time at the Maharishi’s ashram, many of which appear on the White Album. A short internal flight returning to New Delhi.

Travel starts & finishes in New Delhi. Full itinerary below.

ARRIVAL DAY

8th March Wednesday

Arriving into New Delhi I will meet you. Transfer arrangements will be made for you to our guesthouse where you will have time to relax after your long flight.
Overnight New Delhi 2 nights.

DAY 1

9th March Thursday

Holi Kama Sutra Ganges ExperienceWe meet 8am, make our way for breakfast at New Delhi’s famous landmark Imperial Hotel known for it’s heritage & legacy. Tour Old Delhi, see Red Fort, travel thru on rickshaw Chandi Chalk &  & the bustling aromatic spice market where spices can be purchased to take back home, packaged to pass strict Australian Customs rules. Afternoon is away from the crowds, we go to Gandhi’s Remembrance Museum, later we will explore the fascinating area of  Nizamuddin my home away from home base in New Delhi. Overnight New Delhi.

DAY 2

10th March Friday

Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur the Pink City.
We take a picnic breakfast on our early morning train trip to Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur the Pink City. Why the Pink City? In 1879 the city was painted terracotta pink to welcome Prince Albert & Queen Victoria. Early afternoon out & about. We drive west to visit the small village of Sawarda where I have connections with a local a school. Visiting this rural school gives us a chance to interact with very keen English speaking young students, the future of India can be seen in the faces & smiles of these enthusiastic children. If you have any second hand children’s english reading books please bring them along for their english book collection. A lot to see & do in Jaipur, catch a Bollywood film in the famous Raj Mandir cinema, see the historic side of Jaipur, visit the many Jewellery stores, you are in the gem stone capital of the world.         Overnight Jaipur 4 nights.

DAY 3

11th March Saturday

 We walk through Hawa Mahal & City Palace built in 1799 inside the old walled Pink City. Option of morning yoga to suit all levels in the hotel. Morning free. Options for you to choose today: hot air ballooning is available as well a mid day feast/ cooking lesson or reflection in a local temple. Afternoon of history & everyday Jaipur bustle. We walk through Hawa Mahal & City Palace built in 1799 inside the old walled Pink City. We explore the imposing Palace of Winds formally known as Hawa Mahal. The many small windows decorated with intricate stone lattice allowed Royal ladies observing strict “purdah” (face cover) to view everyday life in the street below without being seen. After City Palace we explore Old Jaipur city, inside the 6 meter high 3 meter thick walls, are a series of bazaars for local residents as well tourists.
Overnight Jaipur. 

DAY 4

12th March Sunday

elephant ride up the huge ramparts thru gates along cobbled paths into Amber Fort an opulent palace fort. Option of early morning yoga to suit all levels in the hotel. Hotel breakfast. Today we take a morning elephant ride up the huge ramparts thru gates along cobbled paths into Amber Fort an opulent palace fort. Afternoon is free. Plenty to choose from; visit an elephant farm in an elephant care village that promotes the well being of these giant creatures & shows tourists that not all of them are mistreated, exploring the bazaars, Bollywood cinema, our beautiful boutique hotel has Ayuverda treatments available, why not have a day ‘in house’, total relaxation. The start of Holi ceremonies commence this evening, all neighbourhoods erect bonfires in the street as a symbol of good defeating evil. The origins of this famous festival are due to the miraculous event that saved the life of a God’s devotee & killed the demoness named Holika in a bonfire. Holi celebrated on one of the full moon days also marks the end of winter & the beginning of spring.
Overnight Jaipur. 

DAY 5

13th March Monday

Let Holi begin! During the festival, all people irrespective of their color, sex, caste, creed, or religion get together for this enchanting time in India.Optional morning yoga to suit all. Relaxed breakfast then …Let Holi begin! During the festival, all people irrespective of their color, sex, caste, creed, or religion get together for this enchanting time in India. They rejoice with colors, foods & drinks to express happiness & symbolically celebrate life with the victory of good over evil, spreading the message of love, unity & peace. Overnight Jaipur.

DAY 6

14th March Tuesday

Holi Tour 2017Morning yoga in our hotel. Relaxing breakfast then we take a flight back into New Delhi. This evening I invite you as my guest to join me feasting at one of my favorite restaurants, savoring North West Frontier foods. Before India was partitioned 1947, the Province of North West Frontier included parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan & Punjab. This restaurant is popular with former President of United States Bill Clinton, he is often in New Delhi working with NGO’s involved with the Clinton Foundation.
Overnight New Delhi 2 nights.

 DAY 7

15th March Wednesday 

Holi Tour 2017Early morning we take off with a picnic breakfast on a fantastic return day trip on India Railways to Agra, visiting the worlds most grand monument to love, a Wonder of the World, built by Shah Jahan in loving memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz in 1653. After soaking in the beauty of the Taj we explore Agra Fort where during the final years of Shah Jahan’s life he was imprisoned by his son. For those who already have had the delight of experiencing Taj Mahal & wish to stay in Delhi a 5 min walk from our small guest house takes you to Humayun’s Tomb built by Mughal Emperors, absorb the everyday life style of locals in Nizamuddin West, walk through food markets, visit the local mosque & dargah- burial site- of one of the world’s most famous 14th century Sufi saints. Overnight New Delhi.

 

DAY 8

16th March Thursday

Holi Kama Sutra Ganges ExperienceThis morning we’re off flying south east to the Life Source of India, The Ganges,  Varanasi, also known as Benaras. Our stay begins with a 15 minute boat ride upstream along the famous ghats of Benaras to reach our Haveli  which is connected by small alleys &  streets leading to the Famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple (15 minutes walk). The Haveli traces its history back to the early 20th century built by the Royal Family of Nepal as a retreat. It has now been painstakingly put together again to provide the best ghat stay experience in Benaras. Mark Twain was enthralled by the legend & sanctity of Benaras, once wrote : “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together”. Varanasi offers a breathtaking experience. Overnight Varanasi 2 nights.

DAY 9

17th March Friday

Varanasi- BenarasiRelaxed breakfast. Yoga to suit all levels is an option. Today we explore Varanasi- Benaras- at our leisure. Rise early & catch the rays of dawn shimmering across the Ganges & the high-banks opposite. This is your time…sit & absord the ambience, temples & shrines along the banks bathed in a golden hue, soul stirring hymns & mantras along with the fragrance of incense filling the air & the holy waters gently splashing the Ghats. An option during our stay in Varanasi is to partake in a guided meditation session at a time that suits you.  Overnight Varanasi. 

 
DAY 10

18th March Saturday

Mid morning we depart Varanasi flying to UNESCO World Heritage town Khajuraho, small town with a big history.Relaxed breakfast & yoga to suit all levels is an option. Time for a last morning devotion on Mother Ganga. Mid morning we depart Varanasi flying to UNESCO World Heritage town Khajuraho, small town with a big history. Here we can take hotel bycyle’s around town & walk thru the ornate temples that are spectacular examples of human imagination, artistic creativity & magnificent architectural work deriving spiritual peace through eroticism & daily activities. Sound & Light show this evening an option. Overnight Khajuraho .

DAY 11

19th March Sunday

jungle safari at Panna National Park approx 1 hour 45 mins out of KhadjurahoOption of  morning yoga & a relaxed breakfast. Further option is a early morning Tiger Safari to Panna National Park. Picked up early morning from your hotel &  driven to your jungle safari at Panna National Park approx 1 hour 45 mins out of Khadjuraho. Situated in the Vindhya Hills in a tropical forest along the tranquil Ken River. The forest has cascading waterfalls & it is one the country´s largest tiger reserves. The park is famous for its big cats like tigers & leopards & its extremely rich bio-diversity. Apart from the tigers & leopards the park also has wolves, chinkara, chital, sambar (deer species), sloths & a host for migratory birds. Mid afternoon we fly back into New Delhi. Overnight New Delhi.

DAY 12

20th March Monday

We are in Rishikesh, where over the next 2 days, we view sacred devotions & rituals on the GangesMid morning after hotel breakfast we fly north & drive an hour up the famous Ganges River to our heritage hotel that sits where the Ganga/Ganges turns around & flows north towards its source. It is a magical natural spot with a sandy riverside. Set amongst a lychee & mango orchard of the Maharajas of Tehri Garhwal, with a garden of tropical plants, full of rare birds & butterflies. We are in Rishikesh, where over the next 2 days, we view sacred devotions & rituals on the Ganges, giving you an insight to the depth of belief Hindus have for the Ganges, not just a sacred river but a goddess & the life source of India. Some Hindus believe that life is incomplete without bathing in the Ganges. This evening we partake in the dusk arti performed nightly at hotel’s riverside on the Ganga.                      Overnight Rishikesh 2 nights.

DAY 13

21st March Tuesday

Beatles in Rishikesh Ganges 1968Morning yoga is an option. Hotel breakfast. This is a great area for in house ayurveda spa treatments, walking, water rafting or perhaps visiting where The Beatles stayed with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1968. The banks of the Ganga/Ganges, in Rishikesh is where they learnt the sitar & composed over 40 songs during their time at the Maharishi’s ashram, many of which appear on the White Album. In the evening,  breezes blow down the valley, setting temple bells ringing as sadhus (spiritual men), pilgrims & tourists prepare for the nightly Ganga Aarti.                          Overnight Rishikesh.

DAY 14

22nd March Wednesday

Ayurverdic Dosha Holi Tour 2017
Final morning in Rishikesh we partake in a daily priest lead Havan – worship thru a sacred fire –  & yoga to suit all levels on the edge of the Ganges if you wish. Hotel breakfast over looking the sacred river. Time for a last ayurveda treatment in house at The Spa, presenting fresh seasonal treatments specially designed according to your Ayurverdic Dosha with the purest ingredients. Early afternoon flight takes us back into New Delhi.                       Overnight New Delhi.

DEPARTURE DAY

23rd March Thursday

Final day of the tour is free to fill the hours before your departure.

 

 

 

View: Holi Kama Sutra Experience Itinerary

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Few more details . . .

AccommodationCostsDepositsExtra CostsSuggestionsBooking Form & Terms and Conditions

The accommodation I have selected has a story to it, meaning places with long history’s & royal connections in Rajasthan. In Delhi a modern private guesthouse with an Indo Western ambience, Rishikesh on the Ganges a self contained heritage hotel. All places I have stayed at before & always found them clean & safe with air conditioning.

The cost of $5788 is per person in twin share accommodation. Costs would be higher for a single traveler, invite someone to join you & have fun together. For road travel our small bus is with a professional driver who I use regularly. Our driver is not a Tour Guide. During September October weather is hot during the day with beautiful warm evenings perfect for sitting outside, bring along your swimmers. Maximum of 8 people on tour plus myself, your companion.

Your trip cost, $5788 covers:

  • Ros to welcome you on arrival in New Delhi at Indira Ghandi International Airport
  • 8 days small bus &/or car & driver
  • 6 internal flights
  • 3  train trips
  • 16 nights accommodation. 1 night arrival + 15 nights twin share with breakfast
  • Celebrate India dinner as my guest in New Delhi

A deposit of $900 with the Booking Form is required to confirm your booking. Final payment due on or before 18th January. Receipts will be issued at all times. See Terms & Conditions for details.

Extras costs for you

  • Taxi cost on your departure from Hotel to Indira Ghandi International Airport. Approx. $30 per car
  • Meals [other than all breakfasts & the dinner as my guest in New Delhi] & drinks. Meals can vary from $8 to $35 ex alcohol
  • Other than the delicious Indian Kingfisher Beer, alcohol is expensive
  • If you wish to do morning yoga, to suit all levels, that is an extra cost of no more than $20 per session
  • Tipping is expected in India, this will come from a daily kitty, amount to be decided on our first tour day together. Covering occasions such as but not restricted to, toilet stops, meal tipping [other than breakfast] & hotel tipping
  • Tip for our driver at the end of 8 days approx. $25 per person.
  • Entry & guides to/at all sites – approx. 6 sites -. Entry cost per person can range $5 up to $25 for the Taj Mahal. Guide at sites max $10 per person
  • Shop around for special return flights Brisbane to New Delhi, approx. $1150 Economy
  • You must have a Visa to visit India. Apply for a Tourist Visa online http://www.vfs-in-au.com/ or thru your Travel Agent. I can give direction with this. Allow 30 days for the process cost $110
  • Travel Insurance is compulsory on this trip. I require you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. Your policy also is to cover personal liability, cancellation, curtailment & loss of luggage & personal effects. See Terms & Conditions for more on compulsory Insurance.
  • Depending on your departure times out of New Delhi you may need a hotel on 23rd March, I can assist
  • If you want to do more in India I suggest add extra days after our trip finishes on 23rd March. I am happy to pass on what I know of the places you may wish to visit.

 

 

 

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