Duration: 14 DaysCelebrate the triumph of light over dark, of good over evil on this colourful sojourn to Jaipur - the highlight of which will be the mesmerising Diwali festival shared with the locals in their home.
Colourful India – Celebrate Diwali
ARRIVE DELHI (3 NIGHTS)
India's vibrant capital extends a lively welcome, launching an unforgettable journey through northern India's most exquisite sights. On arrival in Delhi, you'll be transferred to your hotel where you'll meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception with drinks and local appetisers this evening.
Savour the scents of spice as you embark on an exhilarating rickshaw ride, navigating the busy streets of Old Delhi. See the Red Fort, a sandstone fortress which once housed the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for centuries, before riding through the colourful Chandni Chowk market. Watch it come to life as the day's trading begins amidst the sounds of enthusiastic salesmen and endless traffic. We'll visit Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India and admire its ornate façades before enjoying the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
We 'Dive Into Culture' this morning, embarking on a guided walking tour to discover the work done by the Salaam Baalak Trust. Your visit will 'Make A Difference' to this non-profit organisation which aims to provide a caring environment for street children. Later, we'll walk through the bazaar of Paharganj, rubbing shoulders with the locals who flock to the market to shop every day. Lunch is at a local restaurant, before we head to the district of New Delhi, designed and built by the British in the 1920s. Here we'll visit the UNESCO-listed Humayun's Tomb and Qutub Minar before driving past Parliament House and India Gate, commemorating the Indian soldiers who died during WWI.
DELHI - AGRA
Delve into the imperial history of the Mughal Empire as you explore the iconic, yet unexpected highlights of Agra. Visit the UNESCO-listed Agra Fort and stroll through the chambers of a royal residence that lay at the centre of the dynasty until the 17th century. As you drive through the city's crowded streets, connect with its vibrant spirit and raw energy.
AGRA - RANTHAMBORE (2 NIGHTS)
Gaze at the sun-kissed white marble of the Taj Mahal, arriving just before sunrise to see its elegant walls glow with rose and golden hues. Learn how this well-preserved landmark stands today as a monument of love, then return to your hotel for breakfast. Later today, travel to Ranthambore and upon arrival check into your hotel for dinner and your overnight stay.
RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK
You'll have a full day to connect with your beautiful natural surrounds as you explore all that Ranthambore has to offer. Start the day with an early morning visit to Ranthambore National Park, which was once the hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur. Keep your camera at the ready to hopefully snap a few photographs of the resident tigers. Afterwards return to your hotel for breakfast followed by some time to relax. After lunch venture out into the park for another visit and watch for glimpses of the various species of bird and wildlife which find sanctuary here and the ruins of a bygone era which are scattered through the park. Dinner is served this evening at your hotel.
RANTHAMBORE - JAIPUR (2 NIGHTS)
This morning travel to Jaipur, the Pink City and gateway to the colourful state of Rajasthan. After lunch visit the ornate City Palace and later learn about the tradition of hand block printing with a 'Local Specialist' and see how Jaipur's exquisitely patterned cottons have been made for centuries. Afterwards, it's time to prepare for the Diwali celebrations. Choose your traditional Indian dress to be worn the following evening - the more colourful, the better!
JAIPUR SIGHTSEEING AND CELEBRATE DIWALI
Depart for the UNESCO-listed Amber Fort and en-route make a stop to admire the red and pink ornate façades of the Palace of Winds, whose latticed windows once revealed the outside world to the sheltered ladies of the royal household. Later visit the UNESCO-listed Jantar Mantar Obeservatory, featuring the world's largest sundial and afterwards 'Dive Into Culture' and learn the art of turban tying and a favourite pastime in Jaipur, kite flying - giving you insights into the ancient customs and pastimes of the city. Later visit a local market and see the puja items which are used for the traditional worship of the deities as well as the lamps, flowers, fruits and sweets that the local people use in their celebrations. You'll have a front-row seat to the 'Festival of Lights', watching how devout locals light lamps, candles and beautifully decorated lanterns. 'Connect With Locals' as you join a local family in their home for the Diwali festivities and a 'Be My Guest' dinner. Learn about and take part in the puja sacred ritual and offering to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. The skyline of Jaipur lights up in a dazzling spectacle of fireworks as you return to your hotel.
JAIPUR - NARLAI (2 NIGHTS)
We journey to Narlai and check into Rawla Narlai, a beautifully maintained heritage resort, which was once one of the Jagir villages of Jodhpur's royal family. Experience royal Rajasthan within its lavishly decorated walls.
Join a Jeep safari into the nearby countryside and keep a keen eye open for deer and leopard in their natural habitat. Later, take a walk around Narlai village and gain insights into the traditional way of life of the villagers. During term-time, you'll also visit the village school. Later, meet one of the heads of a noble family who'll share interesting stories about the hotel and the local residents. This evening, your dinner is served in extraordinary surrounds. Descend into the 16th century baori (step-well) for a memorable meal featuring delicious Rajasthani flavours.
NARLAI - JODHPUR (2 NIGHTS)
Leave Narlai behind and travel to another of Rajasthan's colourful cities - Jodhpur. Your introduction to the Blue City begins with a visit to Mehrangarh Fort, whose glowing red sandstone façades stand imposingly several hundred feet above the city skyline atop a sheer cliff. From one exquisite monument to the next, you'll visit Jaswant Thada, walking up its red steps to the shimmering white marble façades that house a memorial built to honour the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II by his son in 1899. The mausoleum is still used by the Marwar Royal Family as its cremation grounds. After a busy day of sightseeing, get a taste of local culture during a visit to a market by tuk-tuk and plunge into its crowded alleys with shopfronts selling vegetables, spices, sweets, silver and handicrafts.
Leave the busy city streets behind and embark on a 4x4 drive through the Rajasthan countryside. Experience a different side of India as you visit a rural Bishnoi community village, a place that appears to be caught in a delightful time warp, where life still goes on like the days of the past. The villagers are all vegetarians and staunch worshippers of nature in all its forms, especially the sanctity of plant and animal life. You'll gain insights into the day-to-day experiences of the locals who live here and after the visit you'll have the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure or consider joining an Optional Experience for dinner.
JODHPUR - DELHI
We leave Jodhpur behind, flying back to Delhi this morning. Our memorable encounter with northern India at its end, we'll toast to shared memories over a delicious local Farewell Dinner.
Say a fond farewell to your travel companions and take a transfer to New Delhi International Airport for your onward flight.
- CITY TOUR of Delhi and Jaipur
- VISIT Jama Masjid, the Humayun's Tomb, the Qutub Minar in Delhi, the Agra Fort, the Taj Mahal in Agra, Ranthambore National Park, the City Palace and Amber Fort in Jaipur, Narlai, Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada in Jodhpur
- VIEW the Palace of Winds in Jaipur
- SEE the Red Fort, Parliament House and India Gate in Delhi
Start Date: 2020-11-07
End Date: 2020-11-20
Adult Price: $7550
Child Price: $7210
Adult Price: $7430
Child Price: $7090
Adult Price: $10270