Celebrate exuberant festival of Holi with tour of the famous Golden Triangle.
Tour cost USD 624 per person
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Holi – India’s most dazzling celebration, when streets throughout the country are transformed into a kaleidoscope of colour.
Holi celebrations – Celebrate the arrival of spring and take part in the traditional throwing of coloured water and powders upon family and friendsThe Pink City of Jaipur – the lofty Amber Fort, the regal City Palace and the ancient observatory of Jantar MantarBharatpur – 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 Rickshaw ride around Keoladeo Ghana National Park – a UNESCO Heritage site famous for its amazing array of birdlife. Fatehpur Sikri – an ancient abandoned Mughal cityAgra – the beautiful Agra Fort
TRIP TYPE: Festival Tours
HOTEL RATING:3 – 4 star & heritage hotels
TOUR GUIDE: Yes – escorted by a tour guide
MEALS: Breakfast: 7, Dinner: 2
VISITING: Delhi, Old Delhi, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Agra
Day 1- Delhi
Welcome to India and the start of your holiday! 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: Delhi
Day 2- Old & 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: Delhi | Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3- Jaipur – the Pink City!
Delhi – 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: Jaipur | Breakfast
Day 4- The lofty Amber Fort
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: Jaipur | Breakfast
Day 5 India celebrates Holi
Jaipur – Bharatpur. Friday 02 March 2018. 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: Bharatpur | Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6- Taj Mahal
Bharatpur – Agra. En route to Agra, we visit Fatehpur Sikri, former imperial capital of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Built between 1569 and 1585, it has been deserted for more than four centuries, by all accounts abandoned in 1600 due to a meagre supply of water. In Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort before touring 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. Overnight: Agra | Breakfast
Days 7-8 Onward to Delhi
Agra – Delhi. After breakfast, we 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, Monday 5 March 2018, our tour concludes after breakfast. Goodbye India! We transfer you to the airport for your onward international flight. Breakfast x 2
Holi essentials ie kurta pyjamas – they must be white, colours, water pistols etc7 nights 3-4 star and heritage hotels Rickshaw ride in Delhi and travel by jeep to the Amber Fort in JaipurEscorted by an English-speaking Indian tour guide All relevant transfers and transportation in private air-conditioned vehicles.
7 breakfasts, 2 dinnersTouring of Delhi, Jaipur, Bharatpur and AgraAirport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 8 Services of English-speaking Indian specialist guides at some sights
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
The Piccadily, Delhi
Our Category: Superior | Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel
The grand lobby of the Piccadily is a perfect introduction to this elegant luxury property. Rooms are bright, airy and furnished in a sophisticated and contemporary fashion. Staff are helpful, attentive and go above and beyond to make sure your stay is a memorable and happy one. Dining at popular Zune and contemporary Twenty-9 is highly recommended. Located in the west of town, close to the airport. Access to the rest of the city is very simple with the Janakpuri West Metro station just next door.
Mandawa Haveli, Jaipur
Our Category: Standard | Regional Category: Standard Heritage
The beautiful heritage style Mandawa Haveli is a fine example of typical Rajasthan architecture – set in terraced gardens with pretty courtyards. All rooms are well appointed with intricately carved wooden beds and king-size royal portraits. An evening spent enjoying a lavish Rajasthani dinner in front of a traditional folk dance is highly recommended. Well located in the heart of Jaipur city on Sansar Chandra Road, just a few minute’s drive from the Palace of the Winds.
Udai Vilas Palace, Bharatpur
Our Category: Standard | Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel
Set amongst 2 acres of landscaped gardens, the Udai Vilas Palace is a traditional hotel taking guests back to a bygone era. Guest rooms are spacious and well equipped with comfortable beds and large windows. The hotel is famous for its barbecue nights and Rajasthani Folklore evenings. On an evening why not grab a nice cold beer and sit by the pool – a great way to end the day! Well located near the Bharatpur Bird sanctuary – great for keen twichers!
Seven Hills Tower, Agra
Our Category: Superior | Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel
The modern and stylish Seven Hills Tower hotel boasts a range of facilities and services designed to ensure the quality of each traveller’s stay. Guests can enjoy a dip in the rooftop pool or laze on the sun loungers before heading to the equally lofty restaurant for some mouth-watering Mughlai cuisine. The spacious guestrooms are elegantly decorated with neutral colours and fabrics covered with traditional patterns and all have excellent ensuite facilities. Why not head to the rooftop pool and al fresco dining area for beautiul views of the Taj – perfect for a sunset drink.
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