- Holi celebrations – Celebrate the arrival of spring and take part in the traditional throwing of coloured water and powders upon family and friends.
- The Pink City of Jaipur – the lofty Amber Fort, the regal City Palace and the ancient observatory of Jantar Mantar.
- Bharatpur – rural India at its friendliest.
- The spectacular Taj Mahal – India’s most famous monument in all its glory at sunset.
- Old and New Delhi – India’s largest mosque Jama Masjid, and Gandhi’s crematorium Raj Ghat. Take a Rickshaw ride through Delhi’s backstreets.
- Rickshaw ride around Keoladeo Ghana National Park – a UNESCO Heritage site famous for its amazing array of birdlife.
- Fatehpur Sikri – an ancient abandoned Mughal city.
- Agra – the beautiful Agra Fort.
Please see a detailed itinerary below:
- Sunday 17 March 2019 – Delhi. Upon arrival in Delhi an included transfer will take you to your hotel. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at your own leisure.
Overnight in Delhi.
- Monday 18 March 2019 – Old and New Delhi. This morning, our Welcome Meeting takes place. We then enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi, taking in the Jama Masjid – India’s oldest and largest mosque and Raj Ghat – the site of Gandhi’s cremation in Old Delhi, and the Rajpath and India Gate in New Delhi. Tonight, we enjoy a Namaste Dinner at a restaurant specialising in Indian cuisine.
Overnight in Delhi. Breakfast and Dinner included.
- Tuesday 19 March 2019 – Pink City of Jaipur. Today we drive to Jaipur. Affectionately known as the Pink City because Maharaja Ram Singh had the Old City painted a welcoming pink in 1876 to herald a visit by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), it is also the bustling capital of the state of Rajasthan. This afternoon we enjoy a tour of the City Palace and Jantar Mantar – an ancient yet cleverly designed space observatory. Watch out for snake charmers along the way. Overnight in Jaipur. Breakfast included.
- Wednesday 20 March 2019 – Amber Fort. Day 4. Early-risers can opt for a morning hot air balloon ride over Jaipur, and sail over hilltop forts, regal palaces, sleepy villages, and stone carved temples. Then we travel beyond Jaipur to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort – a sprawling Rajput construction, perched on a hillside overlooks the dusty plains below. Before returning to Jaipur we stop at a cotton weaving house to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing. Overnight in Jaipur. Breakfast included.
- Thursday 21 March 2019 – Holi, Festical of Colour. It’s an early start today as the festivities of Holi bring thousands of people out onto the streets in a dazzling display of colour and good cheer. Celebrated every year in February or March, the ancient Hindu festival of Holi originated as a celebration of the end of winter and beginning of spring in honour of Prahlada, who was protected from the flames by Vishnu when he was tricked to his near death by his father King Hiranyakashipu. Today Holi is a time when Indians across the nation gather together with family, friends and neighbours to throw powder bombs, fire water pistols and splash coloured water as they run through the streets. Shops and businesses close down for the day, and on the eve of the celebrations a bonfire is held to remember the story of Prahlada and Vishnu. While this is the most believed story, the myths and legends that surround Holi differ around the country, but the basic principle remains the same. Holi is meant to symbolise the triumph of good over evil, the importance of love and of happiness, and supports the formation of new friendships. Leaving our hotel, we’ll drive to Bharatpur. Upon arrival, we can watch from a safe distance or get involved with the Holi celebrations taking place on the hotel lawn. For those wanting to get involved we’ll be providing white kurta pyjamas for you to wear and organic colours for you to throw. In this game of cat and mouse, stealth and the art of surprise will serve you well. After a bombardment of powder bombs and shower of water in every imaginable colour, there is time for lunch before we head off to Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park. Overnight in Bharatpur. Breakfast and Dinner included.
- Friday 22 March 2019 – Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort. En route to Agra we visit Fatehpur Sikri, which was once a magnificent fortified city and the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 until 1585, until it was abandoned due to a lack of water. Fatehpur Sikri is well preserved and divided into four main parts: the women’s quarters; the emperor’s quarters; a quarter for princes and noblemen; and weapons housing. We see various temples, pavilions and public areas, gaining a fascinating insight into how life must have been for the inhabitants of this old city. Continuing to Agra, we embark on a short tour of the Agra Fort. Behind its colossal walls are some of the finest Mughal buildings in India. Construction of the fort was commenced during the reign of Emperor Akbar and additions were made until the rule of his grandson Shah Jahan. During Akbar’s time, it was primarily a military fort though later the focus shifted and it partially became a palace. Overnight in Agra. Breakfast included.
- Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March 2019 – Taj Mahal and Delhi. This morning we visit the legendary Taj Mahal. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, who tragically died in childbirth in 1631, the Taj Mahal is described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love and remains one of India’s most enduring symbols. We then return to Delhi, the latter part of the afternoon is free for you to relax or independently explore more of Delhi. Opt for a meal in the heart of the city or simply relax and chat with group members at the hotel. The following day, Sunday 24 March 2019, our tour concludes after breakfast. Goodbye India! We transfer you to the airport for your onward international flight. Breakfast x 2 included.