India and the Magical Diwali Festival | Sisterhood Womens Travel

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India and the Magical Diwali Festival

21 Days  |  Departing Saturday 19th October 2024 and returning Friday 8th November 2024

Prices & Options

Choose your Room:

$2800 deposit payable $3600 deposit payable $ deposit payable $ deposit payable
Prices are subject to change due to airfare increases and surcharges may apply. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Progress Payment: $ 3900 5000 by 22 Jun 2024
Final Payment: $ 4299 5599 by 22 Jul 2024
Pay by direct deposit or credit card.

Highlights

Experience Mumbai at the flower and fish market
Half-day sightseeing tour of Mumbai
Udaipur city tour and Lake Pichola Boat Ride 
Enjoy a private Mehndi (henna hand-painting) session
Search for leopards at Jawai Bandh Leopard Conservation Reserve
Jodhpur sightseeing - including Mehrangarh Fort and Museum
Visit the Amber Fort in Jaipur
Experience a Bollywood dance workshop
Visit to Fatehpur Sikri 
Experience the vibrant Diwali Festival (also known as the Festival of Lights)
Marvel at the Taj Mahal
Visit the Agra Fort

Inclusions

Fully escorted by a Sisterhood Womens Travel Tour Hostess who is on hand to assist with making your holiday a memorable one
Return economy airfares departing Melbourne ** (other departure cities available on request Business Class upgrade available on request)
English-speaking specialist tour guide
All transportation as per itinerary
Meals as per itinerary (B, L, D) = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Quality accommodation with private facilities
All sightseeing as per itinerary 
Tipping for driver, guide and destination representatives
Willing to share option (subject to availability)
Zoom Meet and greet before departure 

Estimated tipping (outside of included tipping above) is USD50 to cover rickshaw rides, safari guides etc.  Please have this money available to tip individually.

Notice

Moderate Fitness Rating - A moderate level of fitness will be required for these tours due to the length and/or overall physicality of our tour itinerary. You can expect to walk more than 10,000 steps daily on more challenging terrain and longer periods. You must be capable of boarding and disembarking coaches, trains and boats unaided and at times handle your luggage. For more information on our physical ratings please click here

Please be aware that the roads in India are sometimes very bad and travelling between places by mini bus can be bumpy and uncomfortable. Ample time to travel between different places has been taken into account, and travellers are reminded that they need to be understanding and patient.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday 19 October 2024

Melbourne to Mumbai (in-flight meals)

Welcome to Sisterhood Womens Travel. 

Meet your tour Hostess and fellow travellers at the Melbourne Airport for our overnight flight to India. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy the inflight entertainment of the airlines as we head towards Delhi.

Day 2 - Sunday 20 October 2024

Welcome to Mumbai! (D)

Welcome to India!

Upon arrival in Mumbai mid-morning, we'll be met on arrival and transferred to our hotel for check-in. 

We have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure, then regroup for dinner at the hotel.

Overnight - Hotel Trident Nariman Point, Mumbai (or similar)

Day 3 - Monday 21 October 2024

Mumbai (B)

Early this morning, we'll enjoy a tour of the famous flower market and fish market. Rise with the sun! Want to experience the sights and sounds of Mumbai before the rest of the city awakes? This tour has your name on it. Follow your guide through the colourful mazes of the bazaars as you test your bartering skills and hear the stories of the tradesmen who work there. Next, we'll head to the Sassoon docks to watch the fishermen sell their catch of the day as the sun bathes the city in its first light.

Later in the day, we'll enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of Mumbai, starting with the Gateway of India – the grand ceremonial arch built to commemorate the visit of King George V in 1911. Continue to Marine Drive, one of Mumbai’s most popular promenades and then on to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (the Prince of Wales Museum). Adorned with a beautiful white Mughal dome and surrounded by neat gardens, this splendid building is home to what many consider the best museum in the country.

Afterward climb up Malabar Hill to the Hanging Gardens, renowned for their views over the Arabian Sea and numerous animal-shaped hedges before finishing with a visit to Chhatrapati Shivaji station (Victoria Terminus), one of the city's largest and most magnificent colonial-era buildings.

Evening at leisure.

Overnight - Hotel Trident Nariman Point, Mumbai (or similar)

Day 4 - Tuesday 22 October 2024

Mumbai - Udaipur (B, D)

This morning after breakfast and check-out, we'll transfer to Mumbai airport in time to board our flight for Udaipur.

We'll be met on arrival at Udaipur airport and transferred to the hotel for check-in.

The remainder of the afternoon is free.

This evening we'll enjoy a private mehndi session. Mehndi, or henna, is a traditional and temporary art applied to the hands, feet and body. Made from the dried leaves of the henna plant, mehndi is generally applied during weddings, festivals, and special occasions.  The Mehndi artist will come to our hotel to apply Mehndi designs on our hands or feet.

Overnight - Fateh Garh Hotel, Udaipur (or similar)

Day 5 - Wednesday 23 October 2024

Udaipur (B)

After breakfast, we embark on a half-day sightseeing tour of Udaipur which includes a visit to the City Palace which looms over the lake and is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum with a large and varied collection of glass, porcelain figures and miniature paintings.

Next, we visit the Jagdish Temple which enshrines a black stone image of Lord Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the Universe. Finish the tour with a visit to beautiful Saheliyon Ki Bari, or Garden of the Maids of Honour, a delightful ornamental garden with fountains, stone elephants and a lotus pond.

Our afternoon is at leisure.

This evening we'll enjoy a boat trip on Lake Pichola and relax as we take in the stunning views of the surrounding hills, temples and palaces. We will be mesmerised as the most famous palace of all, Jag Niwas, or Lake Palace, seemingly floats on the glittering waters of the lake before our eyes. The boat ride is a perfect way to end your day in this romantic city.

Overnight - Fateh Garh Hotel, Udaipur (or similar)

Day 6 - Thursday 24 October 2024

Udaipur - Jawai (B, L, D)

After breakfast and check out, we'll head off to drive towards the Jawai Bandh Leopard Conservation Reserve.

Upon arrival, we'll check in at our hotel and then head back to the park for an afternoon wilderness drive in the surrounding area to see leopards.

Overnight - Godwad Safari Camp, Jawai (or similar)

Day 7 - Friday 25 October 2024

Jawai (B, L, D)

Today we'll enjoy morning and afternoon wilderness drives in the surrounding area to see leopards.

Overnight - Godwad Safari Camp, Jawai (or similar)

Day 8 - Saturday 26 October 2024

Jawai - Jodhpur (B, D)

After breakfast and check out, we'll drive to Jodhpur.

Upon arrival, we'll check in at the hotel and have the remainder of the day free.

Dinner at our hotel tonight.

Overnight - Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, Jodhpur (or similar)

Day 9 - Sunday 27 October 2024

Jodhpur (B)

Today, we'll discover the ‘Blue City’ with a half-day sightseeing tour which includes a visit to the impressive Mehrangarh Fort. Soaring above the city, it has several commemorative structures built to celebrate the Marwar rulers' victories over various enemies. The inside of the fort consists of a series of courtyards and palaces, as well as the Jodhpur Museum, which houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs, royal cradles, musical instruments, costumes and furniture. The ramparts of the fort are home to not only several excellently preserved old cannons but also offer breathtaking views over the city.

Then we'll continue on to visit the Jaswant Thaada, the white marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.

We return to hotel for a break and then later in the day enjoy a walking tour of Jodhpur's local bazaars.

Explore the vibrant colourful markets of Jodhpur with this fun tour of the city! Starting with the clock tower, the walk will include interactions with spice sellers, grocery shops, vendors manning local stalls specialising in milk and Indian cheese and shopkeepers hawking traditional tie & dye textiles. There are also jewellery shops, leather shops and bangle shops to indulge in a sensory journey through the market streets. This tour provides great opportunities for meeting local people dressed in colourful traditional clothes; their welcoming smiles and warm hospitality

Dinner at leisure tonight.  

Overnight - Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels, Jodhpur (or similar)

Day 10 - Monday 28 October 2024

Jodhpur - Khimsar (B, D)

After breakfast and check out, we drive to Khimsar.

Upon arrival,  we'll check in at the hotel with the remainder of the day free.

We'll regroup tonight for dinner.

Overnight - WelcomHotel Khimsar Fort & Dunes (or similar)

Day 11 - Tuesday 29 October 2024

Khimsar (B)

Today we have a day at leisure to relax and take advantage of the activities available (own expense) at our hotel.

In the afternoon, we'll go on a jeep safari with tea session (tea/coffee & biscuits) at Khimsar dunes village.

Dinner at leisure tonight. 

Overnight - WelcomHotel Khimsar Fort & Dunes (or similar)

Day 12 - Wednesday 30 October 2024

Khimsar - Jaipur (B, D)

This morning after check out, we'll depart for the drive to Jaipur.

Upon arrival, we'll check into our hotel and the remainder of the day is free.

We'll regroup tonight for dinner.

Overnight - ITC Rajputana, Jaipur (or similar)

Day 13 - Thursday 31 October 2024

Jaipur (B, D)

This morning, after breakfast we'll enjoy a tour of Amber Fort. 

Amber Fort, is stunningly situated on a hillside, overlooking a lake. Amber was the ancient capital of Jaipur state and the imposing fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture. This must-visit, 16th-Century Amer Fort, is also known as the Amber Palace. Going by the name Amber Palace, Amer Fort and sometimes Amber Fort, it was built by a trusted general of Akbar, Maan Singh. The area surrounding the fort, which is known today as the town of Amer, was ruled by Maan and known as the Amer state. Just a few kilometres outside the main city of Jaipur, the magnificent fort comprises of an extensive palace complex, built in iconic pink and honey-hued sandstone as well as white marble, all divided into four main sections complete with their own courtyard.

Later in the day, we'll transfer to a family home for a Bollywood Dance workshop. Bollywood dancing is the style of dancing used in Indian films and is now popular across the world. The use of vibrant colors and modern Indian music make these dances intoxicating. It is an opportunity to learn a new style of dance whilst having fun with your friends. This workshop is an exciting and colourful experience for all involved.

In the evening, we celebrate the most loved festival of India – Diwali with a local family and participate in the rituals and festivities.

Overnight - ITC Rajputana, Jaipur (or similar)

Day 14 - Friday 1 November 2024

Jaipur (B)

This morning, we'll enjoy a half-day tour of Jaipur city -  we head into the centre of town for a stop outside the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), with its famous facade of pink windows and filigree screens, followed by a visit to the City Palace and Museum, still the home of the former Jaipur royal family, which houses an extensive collection of art and old weapons.  

We finish the tour by visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jantar Mantar. Built in 1728, this Royal Observatory was constructed for the observation of astronomical positions of the stars and planets.

The rest of the day and dinner are at leisure in Jaipur.

Overnight - ITC Rajputana, Jaipur (or similar)

Day 15 - Saturday 2 November 2024

Jaipur - Agra (B, D)

This morning, we'll drive to Agra.

En route, we stop at Fatehpur Sikri, for a guided tour of this ancient capital. The deserted capital of Emperor Akbar is roughly 35 km outside Agra. This city was built in the 16th century and was abandoned for 12 years due to the scarcity of water. The entire city is still intact, and the sight of this city is worth remembering. The Buland Darwaza is the main entrance to this city and is 54 m tall. This gate was constructed in honour of Akbar’s victory in Gujarat.

Later, we continue our journey towards Agra.

Upon arrival check in at hotel and then regroup for dinner.

Overnight - Taj View Hotel– IHCL SeleQtions, Agra (or similar)

Day 16 - Sunday 3 November 2024

Agra (B)

Our day begins early today, with a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal. Our guide and driver will pick us up from our hotel and will take us to the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal: Emperor Shah Jahan constructed the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaj Mahal who died during the birth of their child in 1631. The construction of this famous monument is said to have taken 22 years, starting from 1631. Over 20,000 artisans were working day and night for the construction of this landmark. Craftspersons and whizzes were brought from France and Italy and the chief architect was from Iran. Our visit to the Taj Mahal will long be remembered as the highlight of our Northern Highlights Tour. After, we return to the hotel for breakfast.

Later, we will be picked up again for the guided tour of Agra Fort.

Agra Fort: Emperor Akbar started the construction of this huge red sandstone Agra Fort on the bank of Yamuna River in 1565. It was mainly constructed for the soldiers until his grandson, Shah Jahan, added more opulent accommodations. There are several attractive buildings within its porches such as Samman Burj, where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Moti Masjid, a white marble mosque, Diwan–e–Am, Diwan–e–Khas, Jahangir’s Palace, Khaas Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.

The remainder of the day and dinner are at leisure.

Overnight - Taj View Hotel– IHCL SeleQtions, Agra (or similar)

Day 17 - Monday 4 November 2024

Agra - Delhi (B, D)

This morning we'll take a leisurely drive to Delhi. 

Upon arrival, we'll check in at the hotel with the remainder of the day free.

Tonight, we'll regroup for dinner together.

Overnight - Golden Haveli, Delhi (or similar)

Day 18 - Tuesday 5 November 2024

Delhi (B)

This morning after breakfast, visit Gurudwara Bangla Sahib – A Sikh Temple. Both the religious significance and the exquisite architecture of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib are well known. The enormous building was constructed using Sikh architecture. The white marble used throughout the entire structure is striking, but what makes it stand out is the prominent golden dome on top.

This afternoon we'll enjoy a city walk in the streets of Delhi with an NGO that provides support (repatriation, formal and informal education, full care facilities for the young, vocational training, job placement and counseling) for street and working children in the inner areas of New Delhi. The official guide for this walk would have been a street kid who is now being supported by this trust.

Return to our hotel and dinner tonight at leisure

Overnight - Golden Haveli, Delhi (or similar)

Day 19 - Wednesday 6 November 2024

Delhi (B, D)

Today we enjoy a full-day combined sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi which includes a photo stop at the Red Fort; and the Jama Masjid, which is the country’s largest mosque and also known as Friday Mosque; we'll enjoy a rickshaw ride through the colorful bazaars and narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk (Silver Street) and a photo stop at the India Gate - a 42 metre high, free-standing arch built as a war memorial. We'll also have a photo stop at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, which is the official residence of the President of India; a visit to Humayun’s Tomb - set in wonderful gardens built in the Mughal Emperors memory by his wife;  and avisit to Qutub Minar - a 72-metre-high tower built in 1199 A.D.

We return to our hotel after sightseeing for free time before regrouping for our farewell dinner.

Overnight - Golden Haveli, Delhi (or similar)

Day 20 - Thursday 7 November 2024

Delhi - Melbourne (B, in-flight meals)

Today we bid farewell to India and are transferred to Delhi airport in time to board our flight for Australia.

Day 21 - Friday 8 November 2024

Welcome home!

What a fantastic adventure we've enjoyed. 

Thank you for travelling with Sisterhood Womens Travel and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Welcome Home!

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