Magical India & The Holi Festival | Sisterhood Womens Travel

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Magical India & The Holi Festival

19 Days  |  Departing Thursday 21st March 2024 and returning Monday 8th April 2024

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FROM $10199 pp twin share
FROM $12799 pp single

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Join us and celebrate the colourful Holi Festival


Visit to Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh temple with its exquisite architecture
Salam Balak Trust Walk in Delhi supporting street children
Sightseeing Old and New Delhi including Jama Masjid India's largets mosque
Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the colour bazaars and narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk
Visit to Humayun's Tomb set in a wonderful garden
Visit to Qutub Minar built in 1199AD
Lac bangle making and hand dyeing workshop in Jaipur
Celebrate the "Holi" Festival staying at beautiful Shahpura House in Jaipur
Enjoy a Bollywood Movie
Sightseeing tour of Jaipur including Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds)
Visit impressive Amber Fort with it's impressive Rajput architecture
Sightseeing tour of the ancient capital Fatehpur Sikri, built in the 16th century
Foodie Exploration of Agra visiting some of the oldest and most popular food joints
Sightseeing tour of the iconic Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
River safari cruise in teh National Chambal Sanctuary
Visit to Bateshwar Temples with over 40 temples in differing architectural styles
Holipura Heritage Walk showasing the many beautiful havelis and rural Indian life
Heritage Walk of Lucknow - the "city of many splendours"
Lucknow's Evening Food Tour through the streets of Lucknow
Sightseeing tour of Lucknow including Bara Imambara, Chota Imambara and Roomi Gate
Unique excursion to Kannauj to experience a heritage perfume workshop including lunch
Visit to the archaelogical museum housing artefacts and sculptures dating back to 1500BC
Death & Rebirthing Walking Tour (may be confronting)
Dawn boat ride on the holy river Ganges to witness the thousands of devotees worshipping the Sun God
Sightseeing tour of Varanasi including a visit to Asi Ghat
Sightseeing tour of Sarnath the most important pilgrimage site for Buddhist worshippers
Weavers District Tour of Varanasi



Fully escorted by a Sisterhood Womens Travel Tour Hostess who is on hand to ensure your holiday is a memorable one
Return economy airfares from Melbourne to Delhi including taxes (other departure cities available on request / business class upgrade available on request)
Internal Flight from Varanasi to Delhi inc luggage and taxes
Professional English speaking guide 
Unique Accommodation including Havelis
All transportation as per itinerary
Meals as per itinerary
All sightseeing as per itinerary including all entrance fees
Willing to share option (subject to availability)
Meet and Greet prior to departure via Zoom


Australian passport holders require a visa to enter India.  We recommend CIBT Visas to assist with the application process to ensure accuracy. Please CLICK HERE for more information.

Vie Itinerary Map here :


Day 1 - Thursday 21 March 2024

Melbourne - Singapore - Delhi (Meals Inflight)

Welcome to Sisterhood Womens Travel.  Meet your Sisterhood Tour Hostess and fellow travellers at the Melbourne Airport for our flight to Delhi.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the inflight entertainment of the airlines as we head towards India.

Day 2 - Friday 22 March 2024

Welcome to Delhi, India (D)

Welcome to India!  On arrival we'll be met and transferred to our hotel for check in.  

Later, 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 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.

In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner in the beautiful settings with mouth-watering delicacies of India.

Overnight - Haveli Dharampura (or similar)

Day 3 - Saturday 23 March 2024

Delhi Sightseeing (B,D)

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

Overnight - Haveli Dharampura (or similar)

Day 4 - Sunday 24 March 2024

Delhi - Jaipur (B,D)

After breakfast at the hotel, we begin our journey to Jaipur; the capital of Rajasthan and known as the “Pink City” because of the pink tinted constructions in the old city. It is situated on a dry lakebed, bordered by barren hills vanquished by forts and broken walls. The city was found in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, who wanted to be in the good books of the then ruling Mughals. He positioned the city with rectangular blocks according to early Hindu architecture. It is a great city for shopping.

Upon arrival to our Jaipur hotel, we'll check in before continuing on to enjoy two of the most immersive experiences Jaipur has to offer - Lac Bangle Making and a Hand Dyeing Workshop. Rajasthan is particularly known for its tie-and-dye clothing, with many of the local communities still preferring this style for their day-to-day wear. The process of dyeing includes adding colour to a textile or fabric and then strategically dipping the cloth in a solution of water and dyes. This method has, over the years, become synonymous with Rajasthani attire and clothing, be it in the Sarees and Chunnis adorned by local women or in the Safas worn as headgear by noblemen and villagers.In this workshop Kartika Singh, an expert at dyeing techniques, will guide guests on the art of making and designing their own piece of fabric using the traditional Ombre dyeing method or Shibori technique. Unfolding a dyed piece of fabric is an art unto itself, where the results are always varied and show the hand of the maker. Its imperfections and unique characteristics are what makes the cloth a one-off a kind and even more special.

We then enjoy a Lac Bangle Making experience: Enter a tiny lane called Maniharon ka rasta in Jaipur and we are surrounded by shops and workshops of a small community that has transformed the craft of making objects out of the resin-deposit of the Lac insect, into a style of jewelry unique to Rajasthan. Ambling through this lane, we learn the history of this community and how they arrived in Jaipur in the 18th century. We step into one of these workshops to see craftsmen whose families have been working for as long as seven generations, in action, as resin blocks are gently heated, drawn, twisted and buffed into beautiful bangles. Lac is also used as a bhairav (filler) for gold and meenakari bangles. When Hindu women get married, they wear green and red Lac bangles. These are also worn to mark festivals like Teej and Gangaur. Lac is also used to make pen holders and other decorative items. Back in the days, these were used as gifts to the Kings.

We return to our hotel for dinner.

Overnight - Shahpura House (or similar)

Day 5 - Monday 25 March 2024

Jaipur - Holi Festival (B,L,D)

Today, we celebrate the much loved festival of India - Holi known as the festival of colors. Every year in the month of March, Holi is celebrated with fervor and excitement. Those who participate in this festival eagerly anticipate it each year so they can play with color and enjoy delicious food.  * We will be provided a pair of Kurta Pyjamas to play with colours. The experiences involve playing with herbal colours, water guns, music, and drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), followed by a festive lunch.

In the evening, enjoy a Bollywood movie show followed by dinner in a local restaurant. 

Overnight - Shahpura House (or similar)

PS. Shahpura House will provide us with Kurta Pyjamas to protect our clothing from all the colours.  This experience involves playing with the herbal colours, water guns, music and drinks followed by a festive lunch.

Day 6 - Tuesday 26 March 2024

Jaipur Sightseeing (B,D)

After breakfast, we will enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Jaipur and Amber. Sightseeing in Jaipur includes: Hawa Mahal (Palace of winds): Constructed by Maharaja Sawaj Pratap Singh in 1799, the Hawa Mahal is one of the Jaipur’s main landmarks; the front of the Mahal has pink windows and latticework screens. This Mahal was initially constructed for the ladies of the imperial household to watch the ordinary life and parades of the city. City Palace: The City Palace is still the dwelling of the former royalty H.H Bhawani Singh Ji of Jaipur. This Palace still has an extensive collection of art, carpets, and old weapons. Jantar Mantar (Observatory): It was built by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1728. Jantar Mantar appears to be an inquisitive collection of sculptures but in fact, each construction has a detailed purpose such as measuring the positions of stars, altitudes, and azimuths, and calculating eclipses. The most striking instrument is the sundial which is 27-meter-tall gnomon. The shadow this casts moves up to 4 meters an hour. Amber Fort: The Amber Fort is located 11 km 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 mount an Elephant (optional), or take a short walk to get to the top of the Fort.

Return to our hotel after sightseeing with dinner at our hotel.

Overnight - Shahpura House (or similar)

Day 7 - Wednesday 27 March 2024

Jaipur - Agra (B,D)

After breakfast we begin our journey to Agra, enroute stopping at Fatehpur Sikri, for a guided tour of this ancient capital 

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

We arrive into Agra situated on the bank of Yamuna River. It is the dwelling place to India’s famous monument, the Taj Mahal. Agra was the capital of Mughal Empire in the 16th & 17th centuries.  

This afternoon a foody exploration of Agra, meant for those who think from their stomach. In thi tour, we visit some of the oldest and most popular food joints for tasting of a variety of Indian cuisine and chaat and see a wholly different side of Agra. Places visited include the Rambabu Paratha Bhandar, famous for offering around 16 varieties of Parathas served with two types of curries, chutney and pickles since 1930, Mama Franky House, Chaat Gali, a lane famous for it’s Chaat (Indian spicy savoury), Deviram Restaurant , a 70 years old sweet shop and Panchi Petha, Agra’s most famous Indian sweet shop.

A special rooftop dinner at our hotel tonight.  With Indian classical music in the background, fragrance of fresh ittar (perfume) in the air and a feast fit for the kings made by our local maharaj (Chef), this will make for a special night. 

Overnight - ITC Mughal (or similar)

Day 8 - Thursday 28 March 2024

Agra Sightseeing (B,D)

This morning a magical sunrise visit to Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.  

Emperor Shah Jahan constructed the Taj Mahal in the memory of his wife Mumtaz 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. Craftsperson and whizzes were brought from France and Italy. And the chief architect was from Iran. The visit to the Taj Mahal, will long be remembered by you as the highlight of your Agra tour.

Agra Fort: Emperor Akbar started 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, Jhangir's Palace, Khaas Mahal and Shish Mahal.

We return to our hotel with dinner included:

Overnight - ITC Mughal (or similar)

Day 9 - Friday 29 March 2024

Agra - Jarar - Chambal (B,D)

After breakfast we'll begin our journey to Chambal/Jarar.   A mere hour's drive from the Taj Mahal, in the heart of the Chambal Valley, lies an oasis of tranquility nestling in sprawling acres of reclaimed woodland - The National Chambal Sanctuary.  Here we'll enjoy a river safari.  Set against a stunning backdrop, framed by the ravines and sandbanks, the calm waters of the Chambal River are best explored on boats. The gentle pace of the River Safari is designed to provide spectacular sightings of the gharials, muggers and turtles basking in the sun; the many migratory and resident birds flying sorties; the occasional glimpses of the Gangetic river dolphins breaking surface.

Dinner tonight at our lodge.

Overnight - Chambal Safari Lodge (or similar)

Day 10 - Saturday 30 March 2024

Chambal / Jarar (B,D)

Today after breakfast, we explore Chambal/Jarar and visit the hidden gems this small town has to offer starting with the Bateshwar Temples. More than 40 temples dedicated to the glory of Shiva glisten pearly white along the ghats of the river. A multitude of architectural styles, time periods and historical events are reflected in these simple shrines. The ghats are evocative of Varanasi and the temples of Pushkar. A timeless landscape, an un-hurried pace and the calm, positive vibe of heartfelt prayer.

Then we'll enjoy the Holipura Heritage Walk. Holipura village, located at the edge of the Yamuna Ravines, near Bateshwar, is a stronghold of the Chaturvedi clan who claim descent from the Greek soldiers of Alexander’s army. Many of the clan rose to positions of great prominence and built substantial havelis (grand homes) to announce their arrival. Built over a period of time, with influences ranging from Mughal to Colonial and adapted to a rural scenario, the havelis have a unique architectural blend and are a beautiful synthesis of myriad traditions. Several are inhabited by the descendants of the original owners, retaining a certain character and charm. The village is a microcosm of rural Indian life with the symbiotic relationships of the inhabitants reflected in its layout. Our interactive walk through Holipura is conducted by a member of the village community, culminating in refreshments at his home.  A unique experience to enjoy.

Back to our lodge with dinner included tonight.

Overnight - Chambal Safari Lodge (or similar)

Day 11 - Sunday 31 March 2024

Chambal/Jarar - Lucknow (B,D)

After breakfast at the hotel, we head towards Lucknow - the hallmark of cultural extravaganza, known all over the world for its many splendours. A city that has a magical charm, a charm that’s forever and a charm that’s apart. Be it the cultural charm or the monumental one, all are well conserved here to make Lucknow “The city of many splendours”. We check into our hotel and in the evening we'll enjoy a Heritage Walk of Lucknow city.

Later, we experience  the Lucknow’s Evening Food Tour - Set our taste buds alight on this culinary adventure through the streets of Lucknow, a city famed throughout India for its outstanding food. Discover buzzing, authentic eateries with our expert guide as we dine alongside the locals at the most popular spots in town.  Savour a host of dishes including the famous melt in the mouth kebabs, which legend has it were created for a toothless ruling Nawab!

Overnight - Taj Mahal Lucknow (or similar)

Day 12 - Monday 1 April 2024

Lucknow Sightseeing (B,D)

Today we enjoy a guided city tour of Lucknow visiting Bara Imambara - Labyrinth - this magnificent monument recalls the glorious past of the nawabs and stands out for its in austerity in style, proportion, and symmetry along with daring techniques in architecture. Chota Imambara - this structure houses the tomb of Mohammed Ali Shah. Built between 1837 and 1842, it is approached though a fine garden, has white dome and numerous turrets and minarets. 

The rest of our day is free at leisure with dinner tonight at our hotel.

Overnight - Taj Mahal Lucknow (or similar)

Day 13 - Tuesday 2 April 2024

Day Trip to Kannauj (B,L,D)

Today, we'll head to Kannauj to experience a heritage perfumery workshop and lunch.

Upon arrival, we'll be welcomed with roses and fresh rose water followed by refreshments. During our visit, watch and understand the process of distilling the finest perfumery ingredient in the world. Kannauj practices the 3000 year old art of distillation using copper stills. Later, create our own signature rose fragrance, identify ingredients at the perfume bar while soaking in the fragrant history of our 8th generation perfume house. Afterwards, we'll experience a 5 course rose centric dining experience of delectable regional and local cuisine paired with an accompanying fragrance.

Time permitting, we will visit the archaeological museum housing artefacts and sculptures dating back to 1500BC.

Returning to our hotel with dinner included tonight.

Overnight - Taj Mahal Lucknow (or similar)

Day 14 - Wednesday 3 April 2024

Lucknow - Varanasi (B,D)

After breakfast, we begin our journey to Varanasi.  The ‘eternal city’ is one of the major pilgrimage spots in India. Also known as Benares or Kashi it is located on the banks of the sacred river Ganges. Over 2000 years Varanasi has been a center of learning. Apart from being a pilgrimage spot in India, Varanasi is also considered as an auspicious place to die, establishing an instant route to heaven. Varanasi is a special place for the Sanskrit scholars and students from all over India are seen here. The ancient city of Varanasi is located along the West bank of the river Ganges. This city extends back from the riverbank ghats in a twisted collection of passageways. These passageways are too cramped for anything but walking. The city extends from Raj Ghat, near the bridge to Asi Ghat near the University.

Upon our arrival into Varanasi we'll check in to our hotel and have some time to relax  before embarking on a unique Death & Rebirth Walking Tour by Varanasi Walks  Beginning with a fertility temple and ending with the cremation grounds, this tour takes many of the sites of other tours and strings them together in a garland of fantastic sites and experiences. Walk with us through the city and see Banaras as Mahashamstana, the great cremation ground.  We visit an ashram of a path of tantric non-dualism, well known for their black-clothed renunciants who meditate in the cremation grounds. We will get a taste of death & rebirth while discussing philosophy as we wander through Kali temple to chai shop, eventually reaching one of the cremation grounds. This may be a confronting experience so please be prepared.  After our walking tour we'll return to our hotel for dinner.

Overnight - Radisson Varanasi (or similar)

Day 15 - Thursday 4 April 2024

Varanasi Sightseeing (B,D)

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. The edge of the river looks amazing from a boat at sunrise and this sight is spiritually uplifting. Hinduism is deep and magical; it is everywhere, in the sight of a sparkling temple, in the sound of a sacred bell, in the prayer chants of the priests and in the smell of the flowers.  We return to our hotel for breakfast then continue on to our guided sightseeing tour of Varanasi. The tour includes a visit to Asi Ghat one of the five extraordinary ghats in India, where the pilgrims are supposed to bathe in all the ghats on the same day and in order. The order is Asi, Dasaswamedh, Barnasangam, Panchganga and finally Manikarnika.

Return to our hotel with dinner included.

Overnight - Radisson Varanasi (or similar)

Day 16 - Friday 5 April 2024

Varanasi Sightseeing (B,D)

Today we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Sarnath which is located 12 km from the holy city of Varanasi, Sarnath is the most important pilgrimage site for the Buddhist. Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon in Sarnath after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. Between the 3rd and 11th century AD several Buddhist structures were constructed in Sarnath that makes it the most expansive ruins amongst different places on the Buddhist trail. Some of the most eminent Buddhist monuments at Sarnath are the Dhamekha stupa and the Chaukhandi stupa.

Afterwards, we take a Weavers District Tour. Walk through the weaver’s district of Varanasi and learn about the life of the weavers and the process of hand weaving of the famous silk brocades and Banarasi sari. We will visit few private residences to visit some of the private residence of the weavers and learn the art. Banaras’s handloom weaving traditions have found mention in Vedic and Buddhist literature. The transition from cotton to silk occurred around the 14th century, with Persian inspired motifs, such as the paisley, jhallar and the namavali becoming staples in the weaves. One of the most sought-after luxuries, its lush saris have been desired by several generations. Today, the city’s weaving tradition is being threatened by counterfeit fabric, Chinese silks, modern power looms and changing fashion preferences.

This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner at The Great Kebab Factory.  Let's celebrate great times with friends for company!

Overnight - Radisson Varanasi (or similar)

Day 17 - Saturday 6 April 2024

Varanasi - Delhi (B,D)

Today we head back to Delhi with the remainder of the day at leisure.

Dinner tonight at our hotel.

Overnight - Haveli Dharampura (or similar)

Day 18 - Sunday 7 April 2024

Delhi - Singapore (B)

Today we have a day at leisure to do some last minute shopping and sightseeing.  An late afternoon transfer to the airport for our flight home.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the inflight entertainment of our airlines as we head home after an amazing adventure.

Day 19 - Monday 8 April 2024

Singapore - Melbourne (Meals Inflght)

Welcome Home!  We thank you for travelling with Sisterhood Womens Travel and look forward to welcoming you back for your next adventure.

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