Riff Experience India Travel Itinerary- SOLD OUT

Riff Experience India Travel Itinerary

Songlines, UK magazine, regarded Jodhpur RIFF www.jodhpurriff.org as one of the best 25 international festivals. In Jodhpur we attend this favourite festival of mine for the day & evening, taking away with us an unforgettable experience that cannot be repeated anywhere else in the world.

Created in 2007, by international standards this is a small festival of only 1200. The quality & depth of musicians from India & around the globe, the stunning intimate setting inside Merangarh Fort, fully catered by Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces makes this a 5 star event. You party with peoples from all over India & the world with a passion for music, art & culture under the October full moon. Always in attendance is the chief patron of the festival Maharaja Gaj Singh & when his schedule allows International patron Sir Mick Jagger.

On arrival to India we explore New Delhi, a city of stark contrasts & once my home for 4 years past. Following day we take an internal air flight far into the northern state Punjub, food bowl of India & sense the awe of the Golden Temple Amritsar, train 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 Indian experience.Our train will take us onto Haridwar to view devotions & rituals on the Ganges Haridwar, not just a sacred river, a goddess & the Life Source of India. After returning to New Delhi for a night we move onto Agra visiting Agra Fort & learn the mystery of the beautiful Taj Mahal built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz 1653.

Travelling west via the ancient now deserted city Fatepursekri & onto Jaipur the Pink City to experience Rajasthan’s royal Amber Fort via elephants & Hawa Mahal. We rest in the charming village of Samode, take a camel ride to Samode palace for sunset drinks, next day we are off, travelling north west to Jodhpur “Blue City’ to delight at Riff’s global music in magnificent Mehrangarh Fort. Onto Udaipur soaking in beautiful sunsets over Lake Pichola, boats take us across to the famous & one of the finest hotels in India, Taj Palace Lake Hotel. Returning by air to New Delhi for a final night. A farewell evening feast of north west frontier Peshawari cuisine at, in my opinion & Bill Clintons, one of New Delhi’s best restaurants. Full itinerary below.


4th October 2016 Tuesday

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.


5th October Wednesday

Riff Music Festival 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 Chowk & 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.


6th October Thursday

Today we to fly north to the State of Punjub, food bowl of India, into the capital city Amritsar.Early breakfast. Today we to fly north to the State of Punjub, food bowl of India, into the capital city Amritsar.
In this area we experience the spectacular patriotic energy at the Pakistan India Wagah Border for the sunset Changing of the Guards then onto the Golden Temple, soak in the awe & beauty of this sacred holy place for India’s 20 million Sikhs.                        Overnight Amritsar.


7th October Friday

Arti Haridwar daily sunset devotion Hindu beauty colour candlelight spiritual devotionEarly morning we depart Amritsar by day train with a picnic breakfast to arrive in Haridwar on the Ganges. Viewing sacred devotions & rituals on the Ganges gives 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.            Overnight Haridwar.


8th October Saturday

day6-shoppingEarly morning yoga followed by partaking in a priest lead Havan – worship thru a sacred fire -on the edge of the Ganges if you wish this is an option. Hotel breakfast. We drive away from the ‘ Land of Gods’ this name refers to the many holy Hindu temples & pilgrimage ashrams found throughout Uttarakhand. Arriving back to New Delhi late afternoon. Overnight ­New Delhi.


9th October Sunday

day7-lake-palaceEarly breakfast, we leave New Delhi driving south to the state of Uttar Pradesh, into the city of Agra to visit the world’s 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 & mystic of the Taj we explore Agra Fort where in the final years of Shah Jahan’s life he was imprisoned by his son. Late afternoon we arrive at our heritage hotel for a cooling off swim. We are in the small town of Bhrataphur home of the world famous bird watching Keoladeo National Park, previously the private duck shooting reserve of the Maharaja of Bhratapur since the 1850, now a world heritage Site. Our heritage hotel is first & foremost still a Royal residence with 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 Bhratapur.   


10th October Monday

Step well Rajasthan Abhaneri stone carvings 800 AD travel by road Jaipur to ArgraEarly morning yoga to suit all levels in our hotel is an option. Hotel breakfast. On our travels today we pass into the state of Rajasthan, on the way we visit the remarkable Abhaneri Step Well built around 800AD. This afternoon we arrive at 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. A lot to see & do in Jaipur, catch a Bollywood film in the famous Raj Mandir cinema, see the historic side of Jaipur, visit an elephant farm in an elephant care village or visit the many Jewellery stores, you are in the Gem Stone capital of the World. Overnight Jaipur 3 night.


11st October Tuesday

Wind Palace IndiaOption of morning yoga to suit all levels in the hotel if you wish. Morning free. Afternoon of histroy & everyday Jaipur bustle. We walk through Hawa Mahal the imposing Palace of Winds & City Palace built in 1799 inside the old walled Pink City. 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. 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 in Jaipur. 


12nd October Wednesday

eleOption of early morning yoga to suit all levels in the hotel if you wish. 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, like shopping, Bollywood cinema, massage or relaxing at our hotel.
Overnight in Jaipur.



13rd October Thursday

Sarveshwar School in the Dodo district IndiaMorning yoga in our hotel to suit all levels, breakfast. This morning we visit the small farming village of Savadar 1 hour outside of Jaipur where I have connections with the local 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. Afternoon we arrive at the peaceful surrounds of Samode Bagh with time for a swim to cool off. We stay in tented cottages amongst the 16th-century Mughal style garden spread over an area of 8 hectors, enclosed by a 14 meter high wall. Overnight Samode 2 nights.

DAY 10

14th October Friday

village of Samode thru dusty country lanes past farmer families tending their crops, goats & bullocks grazing. A day to go about at your own pace. Yoga if you wish, breakfast, have the day by the pool relaxing or walking onto the village of Samode thru dusty country lanes past farmer families tending their crops, goats & bullocks grazing. 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. Overnight Samode.

DAY 11

15th October Saturday

 we drive north west to Jodhpur 'Blue City' approx. 6 hours. Wash the Thar Desert dust off then into the bustle of the old city for a fantastic roof top dinner at one of my favourite locations. Optional early morning yoga to suit all levels if you wish. Time for a leisurley hotel breakfast, maybe a morning swim then we drive north west to Jodhpur ‘Blue City’ approx. 6 hours. Wash the Thar Desert dust off then into the bustle of the old city for a fantastic roof top dinner at one of my favourite locations.                              Overnight Jodhpur 2 nights.

DAY 12

16th October Sunday

Mehrangarh-Fort1Morning yoga in our hotel if you wish. Relaxing breakfast. We visit the stunning 17 century Mehrangarh Fort standing on a perpendicular cliff four hundred feet above Jodhpur. Afternoon relax by the pool or explore Jodhpur town, famous for antique Indian furniture, buyers from all over the world come to purchase container loads. In the evening enjoy fun, music & feasting at the open air Riff Music Festival set inside majestic Mehrangarh Fort with former Maharaja of Jodhpur, former Maharini & Foreign Embassy officials from New Delhi along with music enthusiasts from India & Internationally. Overnight Jodhpur.

DAY 13

17th October Monday

Udai sunsetOptional early morning yoga to suit all levels in our hotel if you wish. Hotel breakfast. Driving south west 6 hours on our travels we view the holy Jain Temple, Ranakpur, a great example of the refined skills of Rajasthani craftsman of a bygone era. Arriving to soak up the beautiful sunset view, 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.

DAY 14

18th October Tuesday

street artThis morning a relaxed breakfast lakeside in our haveli. Free day sight seeing, walking in the old city great for photography,  loose many hours in the flamboyant City Palace, palaces within the Palace & viewing the ‘forgotten’ amazing crystal gallery. Excellent textile shopping in this small vibrant city. Overnight Udaipur.

DAY 15

19th October Wednesday

Lit-Day5-Udai-city-viewOptional 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. Morning free, relax or go wandering about the nearby markets & taking time to speak with local artisans. Midday 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.

DAY 16

20th October Thursday

ayurveda_basti_lOption of morning yoga to suit all levels in the  beautiful setting on the roof top terrace Taj Palace Lake Hotel if you wish. Relaxed breakfast & morning, you have time for a invigorating Ayurvedic treatment in the Palace Spa. Midday we depart our hotel, onto Udaipur airport to fly back to New Delhi. Celebrate India dinner as my guest this evening, we feast on North West Frontier Peshawari cuisine at Bill Clinton’s favourite New Delhi restaurant.  Overnight New Delhi.


21st  October Friday

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





view: Map of Riff Tour 2016
view: RIFF 2016 Itinerary

(PDF Downloads)


Few more details . . .

[su_tab title=”Accommodation“]

The accommodation I have selected has a story to it, meaning some places with long history’s & royal connections in Rajasthan. In Delhi a modern private guesthouse with an Indo Western ambience, in the northern city Amritsar a modern chic hotel followed by in Haridwar a heritage haveli. All places I have stayed at before & always found them clean & safe with air conditioning.

[su_tab title=”Costs“]

The cost of $5000 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 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, $5000 covers:

  • Ros to welcome you on arrival in New Delhi at Indira Ghandi International Airport
  • 12 days bus, driver
  • 2 internal flights
  • 1 day train trip
  • 17 nights Accommodation. 1 night arrival + 16 nights Riff Experience India Tour 2016 – twin share with breakfast
  • Riff Music Festival ticket
  • Celebrate India dinner final evening New Delhi

[su_tab title=”Deposits“]

A deposit of $900 with the Booking Form is required to confirm your booking. Final payment due on or before 12th August. Receipts will be issued at all times. See Terms & Conditions for details.


[su_tab title=”Extra Costs“]

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 farewell dinner on last day] & drinks [other than the farewell dinner 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 13 days approx. $35 per person.
  • Entry & guides to/at all sites – approx. 11 sites -. Entry cost per person can range $5 up to $25 for the Taj Mahal. Guides 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.


[su_tab title=”Suggestions“]

  • Depending on your departure times out of New Delhi you may need a hotel on 21st  October, I can assist
  • If you want to do more in India I suggest to add extra days after our trip finishes on 21st October. I am happy to pass on what I know of the places you may wish to visit.

[su_tab title=”Booking Form & Terms and Conditions“]

Riff Experience Booking Form ( PDF Download)
Riff Experience 2016 TERMS