North India Experience Tour Itinerary
Inspiring, unforgettable, enriching……We are off to visit Rajasthan, Utter Pradesh criss crossing over India’s religions – Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism & the Muslim faith, golden sands of Thar Desert, in the glowing shimmering rays of sunset & sunrises. Old & New Delhi the glorious capital of India has seen the battle between many Hindu & Muslim rulers. Modern Delhi a colonial-era city with mega malls blended with a chaotic tapestry made up of Old Delhi medieval fortifications, Mughal mausoleums & dusty bazaars. My favourite state Rajasthan is the most exotic & historical part of North India, vibrant with colour everywhere you turn, reflecting the golden past of Rajasthan, forts & grand palaces, endless desert, mesmerizing lakes, colourful bazaars amongst enchanting temples are the jewel of royal state of Rajasthan. The state Uttar Pradesh has the beautiful monument, Taj Mahal a Wonder of the World.
Old & New Delhi, we explore this city of stark contrasts, my home for the past 4 years, earliest architectural relics date back to the Maurya Period c. 300 BC, blend that with 1920’s designed tree lined boulevards of Luytens New Delhi.
Following day drive west to immerse ourselves in this exotic state Rajasthan, The Pink City Jaipur is the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, world famous for the wonderful examples of Rajasthan royal history, Hawa Mahal, City Palace & Amber Fort where we take an elephant ride up the huge ramparts thru gates into the Fort. Time to visit an elephant care village that promotes the well being of these giant creatures. In Jaipur you can choose the optional add on to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival as often as you like over the 5 day Festival www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org . We blend the Festival, Jaipur’s historical sites, Bollywood cinema, a day out into the country to visit a village school, getting lost in Jaipur chaos inside the old walled city amongst fresh food sellers, home wares & precious jewels… unbelievable! For those who choose the Jaipur Literature Festival Delegate Pass will give delegates exclusive access to lunches & dinners, to all evening music concerts at Hotel Clarks & access to an exclusive interactive session with a festival author. The Festival programme each evening at Clarks Hotel is fun, music & feasting giving you a chance to mix with visitors from all over India & Internationally, on the final evening of the ‘the greatest Literature Show on earth’ – Tina Brown- attend the Writers Ball Dinner.
South onto romantic Udaipur 3 nights soaking in beautiful sunrise & sunsets over Lake Pichola from our historic lakeside haveli & the world famous Udaipur Taj Lake Palace Hotel, travel onto the peace of the farming community of Samode, staying amongst the 16th-century Mughal style garden spread over an area of 8 hectors. We journey eastward via the imposing ancient now deserted city Fatepursekri, onto Agra visiting Agra Fort & experience the mystery of the beautiful Taj Mahal built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz 1653.
Return to New Delhi, the following day free to enjoy your choice, city sights, Ayurvedic spa treatment, shopping or relaxing in our small guest house, from where a 5 min walk 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. Final evening a feast of north west frontier Peshawari cuisine at, in my opinion & Bill Clinton’s, one of New Delhi’s best restaurants. Full itinerary below.
19th January 2016
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.
20th January, New Delhi.
We 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 & Spice Market. Afternoon is away from the crowds, we go to Gandhi’s Remembrance Museum, after we will explore the fascinating area of Nizamuddin my home away from home base in New Delhi. Overnight New Delhi.
Early hotel breakfast then drive west 6 hours to Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur the Pink City. Why Pink City? In 1879 the city was painted terracotta pink to welcome Prince Albert & Queen Victoria. For those who have taken the Literature Festival option this afternoon we attend the Jaipur Literature Festival opening day within Diggi Palalce, a chance to become familiar with the location of the Literature Festival held over 5 days. A lot to see & do in Jaipur away from the Literature Festival, 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.
Option of early morning yoga to suit all levels in the hotel, time for a leisurely breakfast. For our days in Jaipur there is the option of the ‘the greatest literary show on earth’ festival programme &/or seeing the historic side of Jaipur, take a morning elephant ride up the huge ramparts thru gates along cobbled paths into Amber Fort an opulent palace fort. Then onto 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. As part of the Literature Festival each evening there is fun, music & feasting around Jaipur giving us all a chance to mix with visitors from all over India & Internationally.
Early morning yoga to suit all levels in the hotel is an option. Time for a leisurely breakfast. For Our days in Jaipur has the options, the very full festival programme &/or we can escape Jaipur & drive west to visit the small village of Dudu 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. As part of the Literature Festival there is evening fun, music & feasting open to all. Overnight Jaipur.
Option of early morning yoga to suit all levels in the hotel. Time for a leisurely breakfast. For this day there is the option of the Jaipur Literary Festival programme for some &/or we can catch a Bollywood film in the famous Raj Mandir cinema, spend part of the day in a cooking class &/or get ‘hands on’ printing in a local textile print shop. As part of the Festival there is evening fun, music & feasting giving all a chance to mix with visitors from all over India & Internationally. Overnight Jaipur.
Early morning yoga to suit all levels in the hotel if you wish. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast. The final day of the Jaipur Literature Festival, still a lot to see in Jaipur, a must is wondering for a few hours thru the old walled city, amongst fresh food sellers & stores bursting with household items we cannot imagine. Perhaps a visit to the elephant farm in an elephant care village that promotes the well being of these giant creatures, no performances just elephants being elephants. This evening for those who have taken the option we are attending the Writers Ball dinner, culmination of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2016. Overnight Jaipur.
Optional early morning yoga to suit all levels in our hotel. Hotel breakfast. Driving south west 6 hours we reach Udaipur, in former days the historic capital of the kingdom Mewar world famous for the Rajput- era palaces. On our travels we view the holy Jain Temple in Ranakpur, a great example of the refined skills of Rajasthani craftsman of a bygone era. On arriving in Udaipur we relax to view the sunset lakeside from our historic overnight Haveli, what is a Haveli? Haveli is the private mansion of rich merchants this one dating back to 1750’s. Overnight Udaipur 3 nights
Optional morning yoga in a local studio to suit all levels. Time for a relaxed lakeside breakfast. Udaipur sight seeing, you can loose many hours in the flamboyant City Palace, palaces within the Palace & viewing the ‘forgotten’ amazing crystal gallery. Antique textiles are available & very well presented for purchasing or for the joy of viewing.Overnight Udaipur.
Optional early morning walk up to the vista point of Neenach Mata Temple, 850 meters up hill walk above Udaipur. On return to our haveli time for a relaxed breakfast. Enjoy wandering about the nearby markets & taking time to speak with local artisans. Mid-day we transfer to boats on Lake Pichola to take us across to the famous & one of the finest hotels in India, Taj Palace Lake Hotel for 1 night stay. A sunset boat cruise on the lake is an option available. Overnight Udaipur.
Option of early morning yoga in the beautiful setting on Taj Lake Palace roof top to suit all levels, time for a leisurely breakfast. After a full day traveling north we arrive late afternoon at the peaceful surrounds of Samode Bagh. We stay overnight in tent/cottages amongst the 16th-century Mughal style garden spread over an area of 8 hectors, enclosed by a 14 meter high wall.
A day to go about at your own pace. Yoga if you wish, breakfast then walking onto the village of Samode thru dusty country lanes past farming families tending their crops, goats & bullocks grazing. Visit the village or have the day by the pool relaxing. Our heritage hotel offers desert camel & cart rides into the sand hills where we can enjoy the sunset. A tour of nearby Samode Palace & if you wish stay on for dinner in their beautiful elegant dinning room. A day at your pace & your choice. Overnight Samode.
After an early breakfast we drive west we visit the remarkable Abhaneri Step Well built around 800AD. Then onto the World Heritage site of Fatepursekri. A now deserted city, built in 16th Century as the capital of the Mughal Empire by Akba the Great. Leaving Fatepursekri we drive out to the small town of Bhrataphur home of the world famous bird watching Keoladeo National Park, previously the private duck shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bhratapur. Time for a late afternoon swim. Our Heritage Hotel is still a Royal residence, the family of Raja Raghunath Singhji in residence. Restoration of the Palace occurred in 1994, care was taken to preserve the “Royal” character & the spirit of the property, reminding us of the gracious days of the Raj. Overnight Bharatpur.
Option of yoga early morning in our hotel. Early breakfast today then off to Agra to visit the worlds most grand monument to love, a Wonder of the World, built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz the Taj Mahal. After soaking in the beauty of the Taj we explore Agra Fort where the final years of Shah Jahan’s life he was imprisoned by his son. Driving on to New Delhi. Overnight New Delhi 2 nights.
Free day to enjoy your choice. New Delhi Museum, Modern Art Gallery, culture sights, Ayurvedic spa treatment, shopping or relaxing in our small guest house. A 5 min walk 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 of one of the world’s most famous 14th century Sufi saints. Our final evening we enjoy feasting on north west frontier Peshawari cuisine at, in my opinion, one of New Delhi’s best restaurants. Overnight New Delhi.
Breakfast on your final day, free to fill the hours before your departure.
view: North IndiaTourIndia2016-Map
Few more details . . .
The accommodation I have hand-selected has a story to it, meaning historic award winning havelis & the most luxurious palaces places all with long history’s in Rajasthan. I blend that with small modern chic & boutique places, New Delhi a modern private Guesthouse with a Indo Western ambience. All places I have stayed at before & always found them clean & safe with air conditioning.
Maximum of 8 people on tour plus myself, your companion.
The 15 night -14 nights + 1 arrival night- cost of $4159 per person in twin share accommodation. The costs would be higher for 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 January weather is cold, clear cool to cold sunny days followed by cold evenings & cold mornings.
Your 16 day tour – cost is, $4159 covers:
Ros to welcome you on arrival in New Delhi at Indira Ghandi International Airport & escorting you to your New Delhi boutique hotel
14 days bus & driver
15 nights Accommodation twin share with breakfast
Group evening dinner New Delhi
With OPTIONAL ADD ON your 16 day tour – costs is $4444 covers:
5 day Literature Festival delegate pass including:
- Exclusive access 5 days to lunches & dinners at the festival venue.
- The Writers’ Ball Dinner (25th Jan 2016)
- Access to 5 nights all music concerts at Hotel Clarks
- A delegate bag with goodies
- Access to an exclusive interactive session with a festival author
Extras costs for you
- Taxi cost at end of your Experience India trip from your hotel to Indira Ghandi International Airport. Approx. $25 per car
- Meals (other than all breakfasts & the farewell dinner on last day) & drinks (other than the farewell dinner drinks). Meals can vary from $7 to $27 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] & guide tipping.
- Tip for our driver at the end of 14 days approx. $25 per person.
- Entry & guides to/at all sites – approx. 11 sites – Entry cost per person can range $4 up to $18 for the Taj Mahal. Guides max $5 per person
- Shop around for specials on return flights, approx. $1150 – $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. Do NOT arrange ‘Visa on Arrival’. I can give direction with the Visa process. Allow 20 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 detail on compulsory Insurance.
Depending on your departure times out of New Delhi you may need a hotel on 3rd February, I can assist.
If you want to do more in India I suggest to add extra days after our trip finishes on 3rd February. I am happy to pass on what I know of places in India you may wish to visit.
A deposit of $900 with the Booking Form is required to confirm your booking. Final payment is due on or before 15th November. Receipts will be issued at all times. See Terms & Conditions for more detail on payments.