Holi in Rajasthan - Taj, Temples & Palaces - Awesome Experiences

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Holi in Rajasthan - Taj, Temples & PalacesIndia

From £2,097 per person for 6 nights (based on 2 adults sharing)*
Life experiences don’t come more colourful than Holi – the riotous, rainbow-hued Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of Spring. Join the festivities, on an adventure that also takes in tasty street food, ancient monuments and the endless buzz of city life, as it travels through Delhi and Jaipur.

Perfect for:

Unique Annual Events
Summary

India

The kaleidoscopic colours of India’s famous Holi festival are the backdrop to this action-packed experience, taking in the cultural highlights of the Golden Triangle and much more besides. From sunrise over the Taj Mahal to dinner in the jungle surrounded by elephants, this is a truly unforgettable adventure.

AWESOME ELEMENTS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE:

  • Join in the spectacular rainbow celebrations of Holi at the Udaipur City Palace for the Holika Dahan Ceremony
  • See the world famous Taj Mahal by the light of an Indian sunrise
  • Dine with elephants in the jungle near Jaipur
  • Sample sizzling street food on a rickshaw tour around the dizzying city of Delhi

You’ll arrive in Delhi to a traditional welcome of marigold garlands, before immersing yourself in this vibrant city. Zipping around by rickshaw, you’ll sample the city’s tastiest street food, meeting local chefs, bakers and families to get a real insider’s experience of the Delhi culinary scene and the people who make it so special. Then you’ll take the train to Agra, where the Taj Mahal sits — a staggering testament to Shah Jahan’s love for his third wife. You’ll witness a spine-tingling sunrise at this hallowed spot, then speed west across Rajasthan to Jaipur.

Time to admire this regal city’s exquisite architecture, then experience a magical evening at a camp in the foothills of the Aravalli mountains, where you’ll walk through the forest alongside majestic elephants and enjoy an al fresco dinner under the stars. Then its onwards to Udaipur, just as the Holi festival begins. You have an exclusive invite to the home of a local noble family for the famously colourful climax to the festival, when the powder paints and rainbow-hued water bombs begin to fly. After changing out of your paint-smeared outfit you’ll have time to visit the palaces, markets and bazaars of Udaipur, before rounding off your Indian adventure with a magical boat trip on Lake Pichola.


holi summary


Please click the Full Itinerary tab for the full daily itinerary, details of what's included and information about children and solo travellers.

Please note: Holi in India is an annual festival, therefore this experience is only bookable to start on 16th March 2019.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £600 per person and take approximately 8.5 hours outbound, 12 hours inbound depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. .

For this particular experience, the best option is normally to book a multi-stop flight from London - New Delhi - Udaipur - London.

Experience start point: New Delhi (DEL). Arrive by 11am on 16th March 2019.

End point: Udaipur (UDR). Suggested departure after 19.30.


All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Map
Full Itinerary

Itinerary

India

Day One: Welcome to India

Arrive at Delhi International Airport to a traditional greeting of marigold garlands, followed by a private transfer to your hotel. After check-in, your guide will meet you at 2pm to explore the city on a private tour, starting at the President's House. You'll travel by tuk-tuk down the grand boulevard of Rajpath (‘King’s Way’) to the imposing India Gate, before wandering frenetic Connaught Place. Here, washermen (dhobi walas) soak hotel sheets, restaurant tablecloths and myriad clothing in the old-fashioned outdoor laundries tucked between the buildings. Have a drink at the perfectly-preserved, turn-of-the-century United Coffee House; or make a quick visit to the Gandhi Smriti museum, where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last days of his life. At 4pm, it’s time for a culinary tour by rickshaw, tasting some of the city’s best street food and heading behind the scenes to meet the chefs, bakers and families who have been providing fabulous food here for generations.

Overnight in Delhi

Classic - The Suryaa

Premium - Le Meridien

Deluxe - Oberoi New Delhi

Meals included: None

Rickshaw


Day Two: Enchanting Agra

After an early breakfast, you’ll be picked up from your hotel at 6:45am and transferred to the station for the 8am Gatimaan Express train, scheduled to arrive in Agra at 9:30am. In the afternoon, it’s time to explore this buzzy city of monuments and markets, once the capital of the Mughal Empire. Make for its second most famous UNESCO World Heritage site first – Agra Fort. Originally built as a military defence in the 16th-century, this imposing, red-brick building was converted into a palace by Shah Jaden a century later. Admire the marble stonework and countless courtyards, then drive through the city, past bustling bazaars and through tuk-tuk traffic jams, to Itimad-ud-Daulah, an ancient tomb that’s often called the Baby Taj. Enjoy a free evening, before tomorrow’s early start.

Overnight in Agra

Classic - Double Tree by Hilton

Premium - ITC Mughal

Deluxe - Oberoi Amarvilas

Meals included: Breakfast

Agra Fort


Day Three: Marvel at the Taj Mahal

You’ll rise at 6am, to visit the Taj Mahal in the glorious Indian sunrise, when its marble exterior is at its most beautiful as it reflects the rose and golden tints of the sky. A monument to love built more than 350 years ago, the Taj was commissioned by Shah Jahan to commemorate his third wife, who died in childbirth. It took 20,000 craftsmen more than 18 years to complete. Return to the hotel for breakfast and check-out. You’ll be travelling 150 miles west to Jaipur. On the way, visit Fatehpur Sikri, the ghost-town capital of the Mughal dynasty, which was abandoned only a few years after it was built: the haunting 'ruins' are still in a pristine condition. You’ll arrive at your hotel in the early evening.

Overnight in Jaipur

Classic - Holiday Inn City Centre

Premium - ITC Rajputana

Deluxe - Rambagh Palace

Meals included: Breakfast

Taj Mahal


Day Four: Sunrise Streets and Evening Elephants

Capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is known as the Pink City thanks to its profusion of terracotta buildings. Rise at 6am, to cycle through its rose-tinted streets as they awaken. Grab a street-food snack (included) before watching a puja (Hindu prayer ritual) at one of Jaipur’s many temples. Afterwards, bargain for aubergine or okra at a vegetable market and breakfast at LMB, a restaurant famed for its sattvik (pure vegetarian) food. If you are still hungry, a buffet breakfast will be served at your hotel. Next, it’s time to head out of town to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Amber Fort and Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds). In the afternoon, visit Jaipur’s star attraction: the City Palace and its accompanying museum, which contains a compelling collection of Rajasthani and Mughal art. In the evening, there is a very special event: you’ll leave Jaipur in the late afternoon for the 30-minute drive to the foothills of the Aravalli​ mountains and at dusk, you’ll enter Dera Amer wilderness camp, to be greeted by elephants. A local tribal guide will then take you through the jungle to an unforgettable al fresco meal, surrounded by the empty countryside.          

Overnight in Jaipur

Classic - Holiday Inn City Centre

Premium - ITC Rajputana

Deluxe - Rambagh Palace

Meals included: Breakfast; dinner

Hawa Mahal


Day Five: Holi Sunset Celebrations

After breakfast and check-out at 8am, it’s time to travel the 250 miles to Udaipur, ready for the start of the Holi Festival. Arrive at your hotel with plenty of time to check-in and freshen up, then join the celebrations at Udaipur City Palace, where the Holika Dahan Ceremony depicts the story of good triumphing over the evil Holika (Devil). The ensuing parade is a captivating spectacle of marching soldiers, rhythmic music and elaborate horse processions. As twilight descends, watch the lighting of the sacred fire and the burning of Holika. The ceremony will conclude with a barbeque dinner. Your guide will escort you to the ceremony and meet you once it is over. You will be allocated a seated area from which to see the proceedings.

Overnight in Udaipur

Classic - Udai Kothi

Premium - Trident

Deluxe - Oberoi Udaivilas

Meals included: Breakfast; dinner

City Palace at Night


Day Six: A Riot of Colour

It’s time to get colourful. Breakfast before 8am, because we’ve got exclusive invites to a Holi ceremony followed by plenty of paint throwing, in the garden of a local noble family. The explosions of rainbow-hued water bombs and powder paints that blanket the streets earned Holi its moniker, Festival of Colour. You’ll soon discover that everyone is fair game: friend or stranger; man or woman; young, old; and, of course, you (we’ll provide disposable clothing so you can get involved without ruining yours). The action usually finishes around lunchtime, and the rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure, perhaps stocking up on souvenirs at the city’s excellent shops.

Overnight in Udaipur

Classic - Udai Kothi

Premium - Trident

Deluxe - Oberoi Udaivilas

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

Holi Collage


Day Seven: Temples & Palaces 

Take in the last of Udaipur’s sights on your final day. You’ll be collected from the hotel at 9am and start at the City Palace complex, a collection of several palaces overlooking the Pichola Lake, before exploring the city’s colourful markets and bazaars, as well as some of its ornate temples and serene gardens. You’ll bid goodbye to India with an afternoon boat trip on the calm waters of Lake Pichola, for photo-worthy views of the City Palace (boat trip dependant on the water level in the lake.) The tour concludes with a transfer to Udaipur airport. Please note: departure flight shouldn't be booked to depart Udaipur until after 19:30 on Day Seven.

Meals included: Breakfast

City Palace


Overall meals included: 6 Breakfasts; 1 lunch; 2 dinners


Accommodation

You will get a choice of hotel options for the duration of your experience:

Classic ★★★

Classic hotels provide mid-range accommodation (minimum three-star rated), with comfortable rooms and private facilities. We’ve selected these hotels based on positive client feedback.

Premium ★★★★

Premium hotels are typically upper mid range (usually four star), with more amenities than our classic choices. They all have comfortable rooms with private facilities and have received good client feedback.

Deluxe ★★★★★

Deluxe hotels are luxury hotels with excellent facilities and service, usually categorised as 4.5 or 5 star. Clients rate them extremely highly.

When booking an experience, please remember that the hotel category you select is for the whole tour. The table below displays the hotels listed for each category. Please note that the actual hotel selection will be driven by availability at time of booking.


What's included:

  • Private English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers and train tickets unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise
  • Culinary street food tour by rickshaw in Delhi
  • An evening with elephants
  • Attendance and participation in Holi celebrations

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from the start/end point of our experiences
  • Optional extras listed
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the tour
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry


For Home Office travel advice to this country, read more here

If you intend to travel solo, please click here

Note: The first three days of this experience follow the same route as our Diwali Festival of Light in Jaipur trip. If you’re interested in Diwali, please see that itinerary.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £600 per person and take approximately 8.5 hours outbound, 12 hours inbound depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. 

For this particular experience, the best option is normally to book a multi-stop flight from London - New Delhi - Udaipur - London.

Experience start point: New Delhi (DEL). Arrive by 11am on 16th March 2019.

End point: Udaipur (UDR). Suggested departure after 19.30.

All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

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