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India with Diwali

Essence of India
October 22nd  –  November 3rd 2024
3180 USD Single

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.

There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”          Jawaharlal Nehru

OVERVIEW

Welcome to Incredible India!

This 13 day tour sampler takes in some of the most popular and interesting parts of India. I have included my favourite (and off the track) spots so that you can fully experience this unique country.

We will stay in a beautiful heritage property, comfortable home stays and a special spot in a Rajasthan desert community outside of Jodhpur.

 

Join fellow your fellow travellers for this amazing small group journey "The Essence of India - Diwali“. We'll explore Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar and Jodhpur on this select trip of India's most popular Unesco sites.

 

Travel in safety and comfort with local guides and dedicated driver, stay in charming local hotels and eat amazing food.

 

The tour starts and ends in Delhi - India's teeming capitol - as you experience an insider view of the incredible contrasts of India. 

 

You will see the fabulous wealth of the early Moghuls - the palaces and forts dating back to the 1500's and the famous Taj Mahal, in Agra, Amber Fort in Jaipur and the Red Fort in Delhi.

 

Marvel at Akbar's Buland Darwaza, or the "Gate of Magnificence", built in 1601 at Fatehpur Sikri - a testament to the architectural daring of the great ruler. Visit the fabulous Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.

 

Overnight in mystical Pushkar with its ghats, lake and beautiful temples.

 

You’ll stay in a rural village of weavers and experience a visit to the Bishnoi people of Rajasthan - the original green keepers and celebrate the Festival of Lights - Diwali.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 - Tuesday, October 22, 2024 - Delhi

Pick up at the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Time to be arranged but likely late morning.

Check-in before visiting the Red Fort.

Welcome refreshments with your guide and driver in the evening. 

Overnight Delhi - Bloom Rooms Link Road

DAY 2 - Wednesday, October 23, 2024 - Delhi

Breakfast

Start your city tour including Jama Masjid, Qtub Minar,

and Humayan's Tomb. Light lunch at your leisure followed by Lodi Gardens walk. Free time late afternoon.

Street food walk in Old Delhi and rickshaw through Chandni Chowk

Overnight Delhi - Bloom Rooms Link Road

DAY 3 - Thursday, October 24, 2024 - Delhi - Agra

Leave Delhi after breakfast and travel to Agra. (3.5 hrs.)

On the outskirts of Agra, is Sikandra and the Tomb of Akbar the Great.

Also called Akbar's Mausoleum, this masterpiece of architecture was constructed in the 1600's. It's noteworthy for the beautiful sandstone buildings inlaid with marble and slate and the surrounding grounds. One of the greatest Mughal rulers, Akbar's tomb is a fitting monument to his life and accomplishments. Covering over 119 acres, it hosts a wildlife park, expansive gardens and several tall minarets.

Break for lunch before we travel to the lesser known, but still impressive, tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, called the “Baby Taj”. The buildings are smaller but wonderfully decorated with inlaid, painted and raised plaster designs.

Dinner at Pinch of Spice

Overnight Agra - Coral Court Homestay

DAY 4 - Friday, October 25, 2024 - Agra

In the early morning we'll watch the sunrise across the Jumana River illuminate the beautiful Taj Mahal.

We'll take in the view from the Moon Garden or Mehtab Bagh at the riverfront.

Then back to our hotel for breakfast before we see more of Agra.

The first monument we’ll visit next is the Agra Fort. This was built as the summer palace of Shan Jahan and from the high terrace you can view the Taj Mahal in the distance. Built of intricately embellished red sandstone by Persian architect Ustad Isa, it stands forever as a testament to the heart-broken Shah’s undying love. 

Lunch stop then we’ll travel back to the Taj Mahal and explore in-depth with our guide.

Nature walk at back of the Taj - wonderful photo opportunities!
Dinner at your leisure.

Overnight Agra - Coral Court Homestay

DAY 5 - Saturday, October 26, 2024 - Agra - Bharatpur

Breakfast - leave for Bharatpur - (2 hours)

On our way, we will stop at Fatehpur Sikri, the city Akbar built in 1570 and abandoned 10 years later.

This Unesco site has been well preserved with the palaces, gates and sandstone exteriors. Overnight Iora Guest House.

The guesthouse is managed by Devendra Singh. He is a guide and naturalist approved by the Department of Tourism, State of Rajasthan and has been working as professional naturalist and photographic field guide since 2002. Previously, he worked for five years with wildlife resorts in Bandhavgarh National Park and Jim Corbett as a resident Naturalist engaged in interpretative safaris.

 

DAY 6 - Sunday, October 27, 2024 - Jaipur

Breakfast

Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur is beautiful in the morning. The former duck hunting preserve of the Maharajas is an important overwintering area for thousands of migrating water birds as well as home to over 300 endemic species.

Quiet trails surround man-made lakes and wetlands interrupted by grassy savannah and dry tropical forests. This Unesco World Heritage site spreads over 29 square kms and we will enjoy a naturalist guided hike and rickshaw ride for approx. 1.5 hrs.

Later we'll pass by the small town of Abhaneri, famous for Chand Baori. This is the deepest stepwell in the world at 100 feet deep.

Dinner at the inn. Overnight Jaipur - Dera Rawatsar Heritage Hotel

 

DAY 7 - Monday, October 28, 2024 - Jaipur

Breakfast.

The grand Amer or Amber Fort, built by Raja Man Singh in the 1600’s, awaits our morning arrival. 

Walk the scenic route to the Sun Gate overlooking Maota lake.

The huge enclosure holds the stunning Palace of Mirrors (Sheesh Mahal), Hall of Public Audience (Diwan-e-am), the Hall of Private Audience (Diwan-e-Khas) and the innovative Sukh Niwas.

The Sukh Niwas is notable for the use of early “air conditioning”. This space was cooled by the wind that blew over water-soaked reeds within the palace.

On our way back to Jaipur, we view the Jal Mahal - the lovely Water Palace set in Man Sagar Lake. Now abandoned, it floats like a mirage surrounded by the lake and mountains. Afternoon free time

Rooftop Rajasthani Thali dinner at The Peacock Restaurant.

Overnight Jaipur - Dera Rawatsar Heritage Hotel

 

DAY 8 - Tuesday, October 29, 2024 - Jaipur

Breakfast

Today we explore the City Palace built by Raja Man Singh during 1729-1732. The complex includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces as well as a colourful bazaar.

There is a wonderful museum and opulent palace rooms decorated with antique carpets and furniture.

Parts are still inhabited by the royal family members today and we may view a prince or princess during our visit! Light lunch before we see the iconic Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds). The best kept secret is behind the famous pink walls - we’ll tour the palace behind and the hidden rooms.

Free time to explore the bazaars and shops before we visit the beautiful palace and gardens of Sisodia Rani ka Bagh a romantic 18th-century palace with formal gardens, fountains, temples & pavilions.

Dinner at your leisure.

Overnight Jaipur - Dera Rawatsar Heritage Hotel

DAY 9 - Wednesday, October 30, 2024 - Pushkar

Breakfast and travel to the holy city of Pushkar (3.5 hrs.) with its beautiful lake, temples and bazaars.

Known as 'the rose garden of Rajasthan', the essence of the famous Pushkar Rose is exported all over the world. Along with an interesting mythological history, a legacy of timeless architectural heritage makes Pushkar a fascinating city. City walk around the lake and temples. Sunset viewing of the ghats.

Dinner following at Mystic Lotus.

Overnight Pushkar - Pushkar Retreat Resort

DAY 10 - Thursday, October31, 2024 - Jodhpur

Early breakfast and then goodbye to Pushkar.

We’ll be on our way to Jodhpur (4.5 hrs) where we’ll stay in a small village on the outskirts of town.

Chhotaram Pratap is a beautiful family homestay in a village of weavers and we will celebrate Diwali with the family in their Haveli compound the next evening.
Visit the Bishnoi tribe and their village. The original green conservationists, they believe all trees, plants and animals are sacred and have risked their lives protecting the environment.

Demonstration of their weaving studio of Dhurri rugs.

Dinner at the homestay.

Overnight Jodhpur - Chhotaram Pratap

DAY 11 - Friday, November 1, 2024

After breakfast we’ll visit Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhawan Palace museum and Jodhpur old town. Light lunch at Nirvana Restaurant and hotel - formerly a temple

Dinner in the old city at Indique Restaurant, Pal Haveli.

Overnight Jodhpur - The Almond Tree

DAY 12 - Saturday, November 2, 2024

Breakfast and transfer to airport for flight to Delhi. (1.5 hr)
Transfer to hotel and optional shopping on Janpath Road
Farewell dinner together

Overnight Delhi - Janpath Bloom Rooms

DAY 13 - Sunday, November 3, 2024

Breakfast
Transfer to airport for onward travel.

Time - late morning.

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HOSTED BY:

LOUISE ORPIN

On Her Own | But Not Alone

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Tourist Place
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WHAT'S INCLUDED:

  • All transportation and transfers in exclusive chauffeur driven a/c Tempo Traveller

  • All fuel, parking and taxes

  • Jodhpur to Delhi flight

  • All entrance fees to monuments as listed in itinerary

  • Guided nature walk and rickshaw ride through Keoladeo

  • English speaking local guide for all sightseeing

  • 12 nights single accommodations

  • 12 breakfasts

  • Street Food walk - Delhi

  • Rickshaw ride Chandni Chowk

  • Dinner - Agra

  • Dinner - Peacock Restaurant, Jaipur

  • Dinner - Bell Pepper, Jaipur

  • Dinner - Iora Guest House, Bharatpur

  • Dinner - Mystic Lotus - Pushkar

  • Dinner - Chhotaram Pratap, Jodhpur

  • Dinner - Pal Haveli, Jodhpur                                                

  • Vegan, Gluten free and Vegetarian options available

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:

  • International airfare

  • Trip insurance

  • Meals other than specified

  • Any expense of personal nature - laundry, telephone SIM, alcohol

  • Any camera charges at monuments (still or video)

  • Tipping for guides/driver



 

NOTES:

Checked in baggage allowance is 15kg/person plus hand baggage at 7kgs/person

Bring comfortable walking shoes and light jacket.

Pack light with layers - carryon if possible

Maximum 6 guests

 

 

TERMS:

Deposit due upon booking - 800 USD

Balance due 90 days before travel - 2380 USD

 

Cancellation up to 90 days before travel - 50% refund

Cancellation up to 30 days before travel - credit only for future excursions. After 30 days, no refund.

 

You must carry trip insurance (with evacuation) in case of accident or injury!

DATES:     October 22nd - November 3rd, 2024

PRICING:  3180 USD  Single

    

BOOKING: Click here

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What our guests say:

Had an amazing time in India thanks to both owners Louise and Ashfaq! Louise is a sweet Canadian lady who gave us a chance to

eat great homemade Indian food and her partner Ashfaq was very professional at guiding us throughout our trip. I would not

have been able to experience what I experienced in India if it weren’t for them. All in all a great tour and I'm looking forward to

my next trip to India! - Niyabae 2018

   

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