Magical India and the Holi Festival | Sisterhood Womens Travel

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Magical India and the Holi Festival

17 Days  |  Departing Sunday 1st March 2020 and returning Tuesday 17th March 2020

Prices & Options

Choose your Room:

$2100 deposit payable $2590 deposit payable $ deposit payable $ deposit payable

Progress Payment: $ 2940 3620 by 12 Nov 2019
Final Payment: $ 3359 4139 by 12 Dec 2019
Pay by direct deposit, credit card or cheque.

One willing to share place available!

Highlights

  • Full Day Sightseeing Tour of Old & New Delhi
  • Dawn Boat Ride on the Holy River Ganges
  • Visit to the Ghats of Varanasi
  • Visit to 'Sheroes' Cafe in Varanasi
  • Visit to Sari Maker
  • Half Day Sightseeing Tour of Agra and Agra Fort
  • Visit to the Taj Mahal
  • Tiger Spotting in Ranthambore National Park
  • Leopard Spotting in Narlai
  • Holi Celebrations at Shahpura House in Jaipur- (Outfits provided)
  • Full Day Sightseeing Tour of Jaipur and Amber Fort
  • Half Day Sightseeing Tour of Jodhpur
  • Half Day Sightseeing Tour of Udaipur 
  • Boat Ride on Lake Pichola
  • Dinner at Masala House in Delhi
  • Visit to Elefantastic
  • High Tea at the Rambagh Palace
  • Beautiful Unique Accommodation
  • Free Day in Udaipur to Explore at Leisure

Inclusions

  • Fully Escorted Tour - Your Sisterhood Tour Hostess is on hand to assist with making your holiday a memorable one
  • Return Airfares ex Melbourne to India including taxes and baggage with Singapore Airlines (other cities upon request)
  • Beautiful 5 Star Accommodation Throughout including Luxury Heritage Hotels
  • Internal Domestic Flights in India
  • Private Transportation Throughout
  • All meals as described in Itinerary
  • All sightseeing as described in Itinerary
  • Tipping included for Driver, Guide & Porterage
  • Indian Visa Processing for Australia Passport Holders
  • Willing to Share Option
  • Document Distribution Day Subject to Minimum Numbers


 

Notice

To get an idea about what the annual Holi Festival is all about - CLICK HERE

Itinerary

Day 1 - Sunday 1 March 2020

Melbourne - Singapore - New Delhi (Meals Inflight)

Welcome to Sisterhood Womens Travel.  Meet your fellow travellers and tour hostess at the Melbourne Airport for your flight to India.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the airline inflight entertainment as we head towards New Delhi.  Arriving in mid evening to be transferred to our hotel. Welcome to to India - Vast, diverse, deeply spiritual and utterly unforgettable, India is unlike anywhere else on earth – a melting pot of ethnicities and religions, a treasure trove of history and culture, and a curious mixture of chaos and serenity. Stretching across more than three million square kilometres, it encompasses a staggering array of landscapes, vistas and environs, and offers unparalled travel experiences – from the beautiful beaches of Goa, to the compelling craziness of Kolkata, the sacred Ganges river banks of Varanasi, the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas in Kashmir and the ancient, exquisitely crafted temples dotted across the entire country. Not to mention the vibrant, friendly people, and the incredible cuisine. 

Overnight - The Lalit New Delhi Hotel (or similar)

Day 2 - Monday 2 March 2020

New Delhi (B,D)

This morning after breakfast, we'll enjoy a guided tour of both Old and New Delhi. Our tour includes visits to the Red Fort (photo stop only), Jama Masjid - one of the country’s largest mosques, Chandni Chowk (Silver Street) – famous for its colourful bazaars including Rickshaw Ride , Ghandi Smriti, Birla Mandir  - Hindu Temple, India Gate - a 42 meter high war memorial, Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House), Humayun’s Tomb and the Qutub Minar – a 73 m high victory tower. Tonight we'll enjoy dinner at Masala House.  

Overnight - The Lalit New Delhi Hotel (or similar)

Day 3 - Tuesday 3 March 2010

New Delhi - Varanasi (B)

This morning after breakfast and check out of our hotel, we'll fly to Varanasi.  Upon arrival we'll be transferred to our hotel. Varanasi an ancient and deeply sacred city rests along the banks of the holy River Ganges and encompasses a wealth of beautiful riverside temples, stately old forts and vibrant markets. It’s considered the spiritual capital of Hinduism, and it’s widely believed that dying here will bring salvation. As a result, the city is home to a multitude of ghats – stone steps leading to the river – some of which are used for bathing rituals and others as cremation sites. 

We'll enjoy a guided tour of Varanasi including a visit to the Ghats and the Gyan Kupor.  We'll also visit a Sari making shop.

Every evening at sunset an elaborate ganga aarti (river worship) ceremony with fire and dance is staged at the Dasaswamedh Ghat and is best viewed from a boat on the river. Led by a group of young pandits (priests), the ceremony commences with the blowing of a conch shell, and continues with the waving of incense sticks and circling of large flaming lamps that stand out dramatically against the darkened sky.  Dinner at leisure tonight.  

Overnight - The Gateway Hotel Varanasi (or similar)

Day 4 - Wednesday 4 March 2020

Dawn Boat Ride on River Ganges - Agra (B)

Our day begins early with a Dawn Boat Ride on the holy river Ganges. The City and the river Ganges come alive at dawn, when hundreds and thousands of devotees come to the river to worship the Sun God.  At lunchtime we'll transfer to the Varanasi airport for our short flight to Agra.  After transferring and checking into our hotel we'll visit Sheroes Hangout which is a small cafe run by acid attack survivors who offer a "pay as you want" service, so there is no fixed price and customers can pay whatever they wish to pay.  Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight - Double Tree by Hilton Agra Hotel (or similar)

Day 5 - Thursday 5 March 2020

Agra - Taj Mahal (B)

Today we'll enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Agra including a visit to the famous Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world -- a monument of love created by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal and perhaps the most perfect architectural monument of the world.    Later we'll take a guided sightseeing tour of the Agra Fort - a testament to the rise and fall of the Mughal empire built by Emperor Akbar in red sand stone over 400 years ago.  An afternoon free to relax with dnner at leisure tonight.  

Overnight - Double Tree by Hilton Agra Hotel (or similar)

Day 6 - Friday 6 March 2020

Agra - Nahargarh Ranthambore National Park (B,D)

After breakfast at our hotel and check out we'll begin our drive to Ranthambore where upon arrival at our lodge the afternoon is free.  Ranthambore National Park is one of the largest national parks in northern India, celebrated for the superb sightings of Bengal tiger in its natural habitat. Formerly the hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur, the area boasts deciduous forests, stretching for over 1000 sq km and recognised as one of the last forest strongholds in arid northern India. Many other mammals, such as leopard, caracal, jungle cat, wild boar, sloth bears and jackals, can be found here too.  

Nahargarh is a luxurious hotel nestled in the foothills of the 'Aravali ranges' neighboring the Ranthambore National Park. Surrounded by a 16th-century style fortress, Nahargarh is built like a traditional Rajput hunting palace complete with a vast "Char Bagh" or formal Mughal garden. It is the perfect base to explore Ranthambore from the lap of luxury. Nahargarh is a complete habitat in itself as one can see several animals and birds performing their playful acts in the surrounding grasslands.  

Overnight - Nahargarh Ranthambhore

Day 7 - Saturday 7 March 2020

Nahargarh Ranthambore National Park (B,L,D)

Today we'll enjoy a morning game drive into the Ranthambore National Park accompanied by an English speaking Naturalist. Game drives in Ranthambore are conducted using 4WD vehicles and there is plenty of opportunity to see an array of animals.  With an afternoon free to enjoy the hotel facilities, there is a lovely pool and plenty of gardens to relax in and explore. Dinner tonight at the Lodge.  

Overnight - Nahargarh Ranthambhore

Day 8 - Sunday 8 March 2020

Jaipur - High Tea at Rambagh Palace (B,HT)

Our day begins with the opportunity to enjoy another game drive accompanied by an English speaking naturalist.  After a relaxing breakfast we farewell Ranthambore National Park and begin our drive to Jaipur.  Upon arrival, we'll check into our hotel and continue on to Rambagh Palace to enjoy a lovely high tea.  Jaipur, gateway to the state of Rajasthan, offers a heady mix of old and new India. Famously known as the “Pink City”, Jaipur’s nickname was coined in 1876 when a visit by the Prince of Wales prompted the government to paint the Old City terracotta pink, traditionally the colour of hospitality, to welcome the Royal. Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, a soldier, ruler, and scholar in mathematics and astronomy, after whom the city has been named.  Jaipur is home to splendid fortresses, majestic palaces, temples and a must-see medieval observatory.  Our beautiful acommodation derives it's name from the ruler of Shekhawat Maha Rao Shekhaji and the Manoharpur Shahpura family. The establishment is 200 years old and is set amidst green surroundings. All of the 38 guest rooms at Shahpura House are equipped with modern facilities to make a guest feel at home. Each room is embellished with marble and semi precious stones accompanying the marble bathrooms, private porches and lobbies.  

Overnight - Shahpura House

Day 9 - Monday 9 March 2020

Jaipur - Dera Amer (B,D)

Today after a relaxing breakfast, we'll enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Amber Fort including a photo stop at the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), the facade of which is all pink windows and filigree screens, City Palace, still the home of the former royalty. This Palace still has an extensive collection of art, carpets and old weapons, and the Jantar  Mantar (Observatory) – -- the largest and best preserved 18th century stone observatory.  Amber Fort located 11 kms away from Jaipur, Amber was once the ancient capital of Jaipur. The Fort is an excellent illustration of Rajput architecture, impressively situated on a hillside facing a lake, which reflects its walkways and walls. Here you take a jeep ride to get to the top of the Fort.

Later visit to Dera Amer :- We'll be greeted by the Elephants and upon arrival we will be allowed to make contact with these kind hearted giants by the way of feeding bananas.  Later on we'll be escorted to a small pond where we'll have the opportunity to help bathe the elephants with the help of the camp staff and mahout and spend as much time with the elephant family.  We will then have the chance to paint the Elephant with the natural colours which are gentle to their skin. From  here  we'll have the (option) to  experience  a  safari  with  the  same  Elephant  in  the reserved forest area passing by 300 years old Hindu temple.  We'll then enjoy dinner as our Elephant Safari comes to an end.  An amazing experience.  

Overnight - Shahpura House

Day 10 - Tuesday 10 March 2020

Holi Celebrations at the Shahpura Haveli (B,L)

Today we enjoy Holi Celebrations at the Shahpura Haveli. We will be picked up from Shahpura House and transferred to Shahpura Haveli (65 kms/ about 1½ hrs drive). All of our group will be given a pair of Kurta-Pyjama (Indian traditional dress), and the celebration will be held at the garden of Shahpura Haveli and it includes playing with Herbal colors, cultural event, Folk dance with “Chang” (beating of drums). Holi celebration takes place with a lot of joy and verve throughout the country. The enthusiasm of the people reaches its peak and matches with the nature which is in full bounty at the time of Holi.

Holi has been celebrated in India since time immemorial, but the popularity of Holi celebrations seems to be rising with every passing year and so is the level of hoo-ha. As no other festival gives so much liberty to the people to let their hair loose and enjoy their hidden crazy self. A fabulous way to mix with the locals and enjoy the fun atmosphere. Dinner at Leisure tonight.

Overnight - Shahpura House.

Day 11 - Wednesday 11 March 2020

Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur (B)

After a relaxed breakfast at our hotel, we'll begin our journey to the blue city Jodhpur.   Jodhpur is home to the impressive stone coloured Mehrangarh Fort and juxtaposing fine marble cenotaph of Jaswant Thada whic dominate the skyline of ancient Jodphur. Reminiscent of Chefchaouen, it’s blue counterpart in Morocco, this charming desert hub is fondly known as the Blue City because of the blue Brahmin houses dotted all over the walled city. Colourful bazaars and food stalls line the narrow lanes where daily life is abuzz in picturesque Indian busyness. The fort, home to the city’s maharajas since the 15th century, offers a sublime view of the city below. Jodhpur was voted one of the most extraordinary places to stay by Lonely Planet in 2014.  On arrival we'll check in with free time and dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight - Ajit Bhawan - a palace resort in Jodhpur. The hotel often plays host to royalty and artists. The accommodation structure comprises of an assortment of rooms and suites decorated with antiques and photographs. Recreational activities available at the Ajit Bhawan is the swimming pool, gym, spa, health center, village and desert safaris, shopping arcade as well as a variety of dining venues.

Day 12 - Thursday 12 March 2020

Rawla Narlai, Aravalli Mountain Range (B)

After breakfast, we'll enjoy a guidedesightseeing tour of Jodhpur. Our tour includes a visit to the Mehrangarh Fort - Of the seven huge gates to the fort, a few like Jayapol and Fatehpol were built to celebrate Marwar rulers' victories over countless enemies. Inside the fort is a series of courtyards and palaces, Jaswant Thaada - the white marble war memorial of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, is known as the Jaswant Thada. The best way to explore and experience the city of Jodhpur, is to take a fascinating walk around the colorful Sardar market and the Clock Tower.  After sightseeing we'll then begin our drive to Narlai and the Aravalli Mountain Range one of the oldest mountain ranges in India.  Check in and dinner at leisure.

Overnight - Rawla Narlai a 17th century villa situated in a Rajasthan village between Jodhpur and Udaipur.  From the hotel you can view the 350 feeet high rock featuring many caves and temples.

Day 13 - Friday 13 March 2020

Leopard Safari - Udaipur (B)

Today after breakfast, a special treat!  We'll enjoy a morning Leopard Safari,  The rugged countryside around Narlai suit the leopards and over a period the number has increased.  We'll ride customised jeeps for a our safari and it's no unusual to spot a leopard sunning itself on the rocks or resting under the shade of a tree.  After our game drive we'll continue on to Udaipur.  Dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’, the city of Udaipur is built around three interconnected lakes – Lake Pichhola, Fateh Sagar Lake and the smaller Swaroop Sagar Lake – and encircled by the hills of the Aravalli mountain range. It is home to an array of ancient temples and fairy-tale palaces (several of the latter have been converted into luxury heritage hotels) and is known as one of Rajasthan’s most beautiful and romantic cities. Must-see attractions include the City Palace, the Lake Palace (set on a small island in the middle of Lake Pichola) and the Udaipur Solar Observatory – Asia’s premier solar-gazing site.  

Overnight - Fateh Garh a fortress that has been turned into a beautiful hotel perched on a hill within the heart of Udaipur.  

Day 14 - Saturday 14 March 2020

Udaipur (B)

After a relaxing breakfast, we'll enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Udaipur. Tour includes a visit to the City Palace -  The major parts of the palace are now well-maintained as a museum with an enormous collection of glass, ceramic figures and small canvases, Jagdish Temple - This temple treasures a black stone image of Lord Vishnu as Jagannath, Lord of the universe. A brass image of Garuda the Hindu divinity is in a monument in front of the temple and Saheliyon Ki Bari: The Saheliyon ki Bari or the garden of the Maids of Honor is a small exquisite garden with fountains, stone elephants and a beautiful lotus pond and the Lake Pichola - This lake is fenced by hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats and ridges.  

An enchanting way to end our day in Udaipur is by taking a beautiful boat ride on Lake Pichola in the evening when the City palace in the background unites with the sparkling lake water.  

Overnight - Fateh Garh

Day 15 - Sunday 15 March 2020

Udaipur - Free Day to Explore (B,D)

Today is a day at leisure to explore.  Our guide will point us in the right direction for the best shopping or more sightseeing.  We'll enjoy a farewell dinner tonight to celebrate our Magical Indian tour.

Overnight - Fateh Garh

Day 16 - Monday 16 March 2020

Depart Udaipur (B)

After breakfast a free morning before checking out of our hotel to transfer to the airport for our flight to New Delhi then home.  Sit Back, relax and reminicse about great times shared with new friends.

Day 17 - Tuesday 17 March 2020

Welcome Home - (Meals Inflight)

Welcome Home! Thank you for joining us for your latest adventure and we look forward to welcoming you back.

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