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Colourful India

  • Delhi, both the old and new cities
  • The legendary Taj Mahal in Agra
  • The Pink City of Jaipur
  • Khajuraho and its incredible carved temples
  • Varanasi, on the banks of the holy Ganges

Overview

On this 13-day tour discover India's fascinating history, visit spectacular monuments and forts, see the tribute to love that is the majestic Taj Mahal, experience the hustle and bustle of iconic cities, spot the elusive tiger and witness the sunrise over the holy Ganges in Varanasi.

Join Dave Pepler and Live the Journey from 07 to 19 October 2017 and discover Colourful India!

Itinerary

Day 0: Johannesburg - Delhi

Your tour leader will meet you at the check-in counter at O.R. Tambo International Airport for check-in procedures. Evening departure from O.R. Tambo in Johannesburg to Dubai. Arrive in Dubai and connect with the flight to Delhi.

Day 1: Delhi

Namaste! Welcome to New Delhi, the capital city of India and the start of your eye-opening adventure! Our friendly team will be waiting in the arrivals hall to transfer you to your hotel where you can relax for the rest of the day.

Overnight at The Piccadilly or similar including dinner

Day 2: Delhi

Our full day guided sightseeing tour of Delhi today covers the colourful chaos of Old Delhi and the modern simplicity of New Delhi. This vibrant city is full of forts, monuments, temples, mosques and more. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Delhi was important centre of the Mughal dynasty and the British made it the capital city in 1911. We take in Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk, the bustling bazaar, as well as the Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana – the cremation sites of Mahatama Gandhi and Jawahar Lal Nehru. In New Delhi we visit India Gate, Rasthrapati Bhawan, Parliament House and Humayun’s Tomb.

Overnight at The Piccadilly or similar on a full board basis

Day 3: Delhi - Jaipur

This morning we drive to Jaipur, affectionately known as the Pink City as Maharaja Ram Singh had all of 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. We enjoy a tour of the City Palace and Jantar Mantar – an old yet cleverly designed space observatory.

Overnight at Lemon Tree Premier or similar on a full board basis

Day 4: Jaipur

This morning we visit the delicate pink, magnificent fort-palace of Amber - a wonderful example of Rajput architecture just north of Jaipur. Subject to Government regulations*, we will arrive in style on an elephant! The rest of the day is at leisure - why not do some shopping at the market for colourful papîer mache puppets and traditional jootis - the Rajasthani shoe of choice.

*The government protects these elephants and only allows them to do a certain number of rides per day. The alternative will be a jeep transfer up to the top should this be necessary or should you not wish to ride an elephant.

Overnight at Lemon Tree Premier or similar on a full board basis

Day 5: Jaipur - Bharatpur

Our first stop today is the stepwell at Chand Baori, dating back to the 9th century. We enjoy lunch at Hotel Udai Villas Palace at Bharatpur, and after hotel check-in, we visit Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we’ll enjoy a leisurely bicycle rickshaw ride through the park.

Overnight at a Superior Hotel or similar on a full board basis

Day 6: 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, abandoned in 1600 due to a meagre supply of water. In Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort. Later we enjoy a horse cart ride to the legendary Taj Mahal, the most extravagant monument ever built for love. Here you will have a guided explanation, then plenty of free time to enjoy the romantic sunset.

Overnight at Crystal Sarovar Premier or similar on a full board basis

Day 7: Agra - Orchha

Today, we travel by express train to Jhansi and drive onward to Orchha. Situated on the banks of the River Betwa, Orchha is set amongst a wonderful complex of well-preserved 16th century temples and palaces, that you will have plenty of time to explore at leisure this afternoon.
fascinating museum located in its interior. One of Orchha's most popular destinations if the Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary. Established in 1994, it stretches over a mere 46 sq km and yet it is home to a wonderful selection of animals including tigers, leopards, monkeys, sloths and jackals and it boasts over 200 different species birds.

Overnight at Hotel Raj Mahal or similar on a full board basis

Day 8: Orchha - Khajuraho

Travelling south-east, we arrive in Khajuraho - home of the resplendent Hindu temples which were built during the Chandela dynasty over a 100 year burst of creative genius from 950-1050 AD. Famed above all for their delicate sensuality, how and why they were built still remains a mystery. The incredible skill of the artisans is evident throughout.

Overnight at Hotel Chandela or similar on a full board basis

Day 9: Khajuraho - Varanasi

This morning we visit Panna National Park! Situated in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh at a distance of around 40 km from Khajuraho, Panna National Park is home to some of the best wildlife species in India. Offering a combination of teak and dry mixed forest interspersed with grassland areas, the park is renowned for its diverse wildlife including tigers (32 in total) leopards, deer, antelope, langur monkey and sambar. Enjoy a guided game drive here.

In the afternoon we bid farewell to Khajuraho and fly east to Varanasi. Perhaps the holiest city in India, Varanasi, also known as the city of Shiva, is also one of the oldest cities on earth, situated on the banks of the holy River Ganges.

Overnight at Rivatas by Ideal or similar on a full board basis

Day 10: Varanasi

This morning, we enjoy a sunrise boat ride on the holy Ganges where we’ll view the ancient religious tradition of ritual cleansing that takes place on the many riverbank ghats (riverside steps). Later, we embark on a tour of the city. At sunset consider re-visiting the ghats for the evening pilgrimage, remarkably different from the dawn ritual.

Overnight at Rivatas by Ideal or similar on a full board basis

Day 11: Varanasi - Delhi

Today, take the opportunity to further explore this vibrant city or just relax. Early evening, we return to Delhi by flight. Arriving into Delhi, we transfer to the hotel for our overnight stay.

Overnight at The Piccadilly or similar on a full board basis

Day 12: Delhi

Located in the heart of the old city is Asia’s largest Spice Market, called Khari Baoli and some fascinating perfume shops called itra shops. In the narrow alley of the spice market you will find thousands of shops dealing in local and exotic herbs and spices. Learn about the various spices, therapeutic values and their culinary use. This is one of the most vibrant and colourful markets in Delhi and is a photographer’s paradise. You will also have an opportunity to climb up 4 flight of stairs for a spectacular panorama of the old city. Inside the old itra or perfume shops in Delhi you will find fragrance of rose and jasmine as well some exotic varieties.

Overnight at The Piccadilly or similar on a full board basis

Day 13: Departure

Sadly, today marks the end of your incredible journey. After breakfast and hotel check-out we transfer to the airport for your onward departure journey and India bids you a fond farewell.

END OF SERVICE

Dates

07 to 19 October 2017

Rates

Land Package
Per person sharing: R 42,780.00
Single Supplement: R 11,550.00

Included

  • Meet and greet upon arrival 
  • Services of a qualified English speaking local guide
  • All transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • All accommodation and meals as specified 
  • All sightseeing and excursions as specified 
  • Express train tickets for journey between Agra and Jhansi on day 7, as specified

Excluded

  • All domestic and international flights and airport taxes (quoted separately)
  • Visa Fees, if applicable
  • Driver, guide and local escort gratuities 
  • Drinks and dining rooms tips, porterage, personal travel and baggage insurance 
  • Telephone bill, laundry and any items of a personal nature 
  • Medical, evacuation and travel insurance