Holi Festival and Varanasi

24 March - 03 April '21

10 Nights / 11 Days

Partake in the Holi festival where the streets, clothes, and faces of people are brightened with brilliant colors as they celebrate the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil. Then visit Varanasi, one of the world's oldest continually inhabited cities, and one of the holiest in Hinduism

Tour highlights

  • Welcome dinner at a local restaurant in Delhi

  • Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi and Jaipur market area

  • Walking tour in Agra, highlighting the culture and heritage of the city

  • Jeep ride at Amber Fort, Jaipur

  • Play with colors, enjoy sweets and music during the Holi celebration in Jaipur. We will provide a Kurta to wear for the festival

  • A meditation session in Varanasi

  • Morning and evening boat ride on the River Ganges in Varanasi

  • The last day in Varanasi is free to explore the magnificent destination on your own

Sadhu, Varanasi

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: 24 March '21 - Arrive Delhi by international flight 

On arrival at Delhi International airport and after clearing immigration formalities, you will meet our representative in the arrival hall. He will further assist you in your vehicle and then hotel check-in formalities. (Standard check-in time is 1200 hours)

 

The rest of the day will be at leisure to relax. (No meals included on this day)

 

Overnight stay at hotel

Day 2: 25 March '21 - Delhi

Breakfast at the hotel

 

After breakfast, you will participate in a combined full day city tour of Old and New Delhi.

We start the tour from Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk this part of Delhi will take you in Old Mughal era while walking through old lanes you can see big wooden carved antique doors, big Havelis (mansion), narrow lanes and busy bustling life.

You must taste lip-smacking street food in Old Delhi market area. Then you will visit India’s largest Mosque “Jama Masjid” where at a time 25,000 can be accommodated. 

After lunch visits to New Delhi, beautifully designed by “Sir Edwin Lutyens”, drive past India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan and Connaught Place.

Later continue the sightseeing by visiting, Humayun Tomb, the tomb was built in 1570 and was the first garden-tomb made by Humayun’s son Akbar. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.

 

Conclude the sightseeing with the visit of “Qutub Minar”, the stunning red stone tower is 72.5 m high with 2.75m in diameter. It is also a UNESCO site.

 

Evening welcome dinner will be at a local restaurant.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel

Connaught Place, New Delhi

Day 3: 26 March '21 - Delhi - Agra (approx.. 203 Kms / 4 hours) 

Breakfast at the hotel, thereafter take a drive to Agra. The land of the Taj is not only famous for the biggest allure “Taj Mahal” but also the legacy of Mughals which they had left behind. Their legacy can be seen in mausoleums, tombs, and magnificent forts. 

 

On arrival check-in at the hotel. Afternoon rest at the hotel.

In the evening enjoy a walking tour discovering Oriental Agra program which is conducted by using Eco-friendly Battery operated Rickshaws. In this tour Tourists get to see Dara Shikoh's library, Mirza Ghalib's birthplace, the headquarters of the Radhasoami faith, the ancient Manka Meshwar temple, the Jama Masjid, and churches of different Christian sects, St. Patrick's Junior College - Asia's oldest convent and the Akbar Church. On the way, they will see the early morning bustle at the shoe mandi in Johri Bazar, the only street of Ayurvedic doctors, the paan and the petha mandi and the food street of Seth Gali. This tour is a very interactive tour and includes both walking and rid.ing

The evening will be at leisure to relax or to pursue independent activities.

 

Overnight stay hotel.

Day 4: 27 March '21 - Agra

Early morning at the Taj Mahal

Early morning visit beautiful Taj Mahal, during sunrise the sun rays have a magical effect with marble surface. It changes its color which creates eternal beauty (Closed on Friday). After visiting the Taj Mahal return to the hotel for breakfast.

 

Later visit Agra Fort. Red Fort, is a UNESCO heritage site. It is a major tourist attraction from all over the world. The fort is built in red stone to make it the main residence of Mughals.

 

Lunch at Shereos Hangout restaurant run by acid attack victims on a direct payment basis.

 

Later afternoon arrive at Mehtab Bagh so that guests can enjoy the sunset there. Mehtab Bagh is located on the left bank of the Yamuna River opposite the Taj Mahal. The garden complex is approximately 300 square meters and is in straight alignment with the Taj Mahal. The excavation has revealed a huge octagonal tank on the southern periphery; Baradaris or pavilion on the East and West; a small octagonal tank at the center and a gateway at the Northern wall.

 

The evening will be at leisure.

 

Overnight stay at hotel

View of the Taj Mahal from the Metab Bagh

Day 5: 28 March '21 - Agra – Jaipur (approx. 260 Kms / 5-6 hours) 

Breakfast at the hotel

 

Post breakfast drive to Jaipur en-route visit Fatehpur Sikri. The short-lived capital of Mughal emperor Akbar “Fatehpur Sikri “is 40 km away from Agra. Sufi Saint Salim Chisti from Sikri village predicted the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne. Akbar then built this beautiful monument which blends of Mughal and Persian art.

 

Continue drive to Jaipur. Jaipur is also is known as the pink city because of its wall color which is exclusively painted in pink color. This colorful city has chaotic streets, colorful auto-rickshaw, and lively culture. It is the gateway to Rajasthan vacation, here you can still see royal life, forts, and Palaces reflecting glorious past.

 

On arrival check-in at the hotel. The evening will be at leisure to relax or to pursue independent activities.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Life around the communal Ghat at Fatehpur Sikri

Day 6: 29 March '21 - Jaipur 

Breakfast at the hotel

 

Enjoy Holi on this day with an Indian family or at a hotel (this will be confirmed)

 

Celebrate your HOLI Rajasthani style.

Play with Organic Colors 

With lots of Music and Dance 

Followed by Home Made Sumptuous Lunch and Indian Sweets (Gujiya)

Note – No non Vegetarian food will be served on this day, however, beer will be served.

Each guest will be given a colorful dupatta (scarf) to take back home.

Return to the hotel for rest. The evening will be at leisure.

Overnight stay at hotel

Day 7: 30 March '21 - Jaipur 

 

Breakfast at the hotel.

After early breakfast proceed to visit Amber Fort en route stop at Hawa Mahal for clicking some pictures, it is a stunning 5 story building. It was built to enable royal ladies to see the daily lives of the city or some function or procession as those days ladies had to cover their faces. At the entrance gate of Amber Fort, you will be provided jeep to visit Amber Fort. Later visit Anokhi Museum.

After visiting Anokhi proceed toward a small coffee house near Hawa Mahal and enjoy a short coffee break along with click some amazing pictures of colorful surrounding areas.

Later visit City Palace (Royal residence). City Palace has several courtyard, gardens and buildings. the City Palace was the ceremonial and administrative seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The Palace was also the location of religious and cultural events, as well as a patron of arts, commerce, and industry. It now houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, and continues to be the home of the Jaipur royal family. 

 

Evening will be at leisure to relax.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

 

Palace of Winds

 

Ambert Fort

Day 8: 31 March '21 - Jaipur – Varanasi by flight 6E-913 Departure 13:40 / 15:15 hrs 

Breakfast at the hotel

 

After breakfast assisted transfer to airport to board the flight for Varanasi.

 

Varanasi is one of the oldest Hindu city also known as Kashi. People come here from all over India to take a holy dip and wash away their sins. People wish to die here and getting rid of the cycle of life and death. The city is also famous for fine Banarasi Silk, beetle leaf, and Banaras Hindu University.

 

Meeting and assistance on arrival at Varanasi airport and transfer to the hotel. 

 

Evening have a meditation session at the ghat. Later enjoy a boat ride with Ganga aarti (Hindu ritual).

 

Overnight stay at hotel

Day 9: 01 April '21 - Varanasi

Early morning you will be picked up from your hotel for a boat ride and ghat visit. 

 

Boat Ride covers: Starts from Assi Ghat to Manikarnika Ghat and finishes at Dashaswemedh Ghat.

The best time to start morning boat ride in Varanasi depends on the season. 5.15 am is best for summers and 6 am for winters.

After boat ride enjoy 45 minutes walking tour through narrow lanes of Old Kashi popularly known as Banaras or Varanasi. Walk-in a five feet wide alley which used to be the widest road of Varanasi in ancient time is our walk 5. Walking in the oldest markets, narrow and puzzled alleys of Varanasi will take you to an entirely different world. Seeing a 400-year-old saree market, the spice and grains market, a magnificent mosque built by the Mughals along the river and the temple of Lord Kaal Bhairao, known as the Kotwal or the Police Chief of Varanasi will give you a real sense of the old city "Kashi".

 

Later return to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast and some rest proceed to visit Sarnath. It is the place where Buddha came after achieved enlightenment at Bodhgaya. Later he gave his first famous sermon at deer park here. In the 3rd Century, BC Emperor Ashoka constructed magnificent stupa and monasteries here.

 

Evening return to the hotel. The evening will be at leisure to relax or to pursue independent activities.

 

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 10: 02 April '21 - Varanasi

Breakfast at the hotel

 

This day will be at leisure to pursue independent activities in this ancient city or to meditate and relax.

 

(No services envisaged on this day)

.

  

Day 11: 03 April '21 - Varanasi - Delhi by flight 6E-2025 Departure 15:20 / 16:50 hrs

Breakfast at the hotel and then transfer to the airport to board the flight for Delhi and onward destination at Delhi Airport.

End of Tour

Accommodation

Delhi

Hotel Crown Plaza Today or similar - 02 nights

https://www.ihg.com/crowneplaza/hotels/us/en/new-delhi/ndeol/hoteldetail/photos-tours#scmisc=nav_photos-tours_cp

Agra

Hotel Radisson - 02 nights

https://www.radissonhotels.com/en-us/hotels/radisson-agra

Jaipur

Four Point by Sheraton or similar - 03 nights

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-rooms/jaifp-four-points-jaipur-city-square/

Varanasi

Rivatas by Ideal - 03 nights

Cost of Tour

Rate per person sharing:

USD1,500

Supplements:

Single: USD550

Half board (09 dinners): USD150

Payment Terms:

  • 50% of cost upon booking

  • 50% 45 days prior to arrival in India

Cancellation Terms:

  • 45 days prior to arrival in India: Nil, after deducting charges

  • 30 days prior to arrival in India: 50% of total billing

  • 20 days or less prior to arrival in India: No refund

Flight Ticket Cancellation:

  • 30 days prior to arrival in India: internal flights (if issued non-refundable ticket), will refund as per airline policy after deducting our handling charges.

Note:  Rate per person is based on a minimum of 10 persons in the group. 

If required please enquire for the rate if the number of persons is less than 6

Inclusions and Exclusions

Inclusions:

  • Accommodation for 10 nights based on the above-mentioned hotels on DOUBLE/TWIN sharing basis. 

  • Meals: On breakfast basis 

  • Holi celebration and lunch in Jaipur. 

  • 01 set of Kurta (Ethnic Indian ttire) in order to play Holi colors 

  • Arrival dinner in Delhi at a local restaurant on a  fixed menu basis 

  • All transportation i.e. airport transfers, sightseeing, and interstate drives will be done using the following vehicles: 

    • 02-03 pax-using air-conditioned large car

    • 04-06 pax using Tempo Traveller (mini-van)

    • 07-15 pax Mini Coach 

  • 07-15 pax accompanied by an English speaking local guide for Delhi to Jaipur.  During the stay in Varanasi, we will provide a local English speaking guide for the local sightseeing

  • Local English speaking guide services as per the itinerary for 02-96 pax during sightseeing

  • We have included a 01-time entrance fee as per the itinerary. 

  • Bottled water and wet tissue throughout the vehicle 

  • Internal flights airfare: Jaipur - Varanasi, Varanasi - Delhi

  • All currently applicable taxes. (5% Goods & Service Tax) 

Exclusions:

  • International airfare 

  • Visa charges

  • Any room service, telephone charges, mini bar, gratuities, tips.

  • Any expenses of personal nature & Insurance of any kind.

  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary. 

  • Any item not specified under ‘cost includes’

Special Notes

  • The flight timings and FARES are subject to change at the time of issuance. 

  • The check-in time at the hotel is 1400 hrs and check-out time is 1200 noon. In case if you have a flight arriving or departing at midnight, we suggest the book room for pre-night/late check-out to avoid any inconvenience.

  • The vehicle will be as per the itinerary only and not available during leisure time and strictly as per the itinerary.

  • The hotels mentioned are indicative and will be booked only once we get go-ahead from your end. The rooms will be subject to availability.

  • In case if any of the guest/s are allergic to any particular food or have any dietary restrictions, we request you to please advise in advance to update hotels/restaurants accordingly.

  • Incase any allergies to food, or any dietary restrictions, we request you to please advise in advance.

  

Mich Immelman

I am a specialist tour operator with Curious Journeys. We operate from South Africa. With the assistance of my partners in India and South East Asia, I offer fully inclusive group tours, private tours, and tailor-made services

My specialist destinations are: India, Nepal, Vietnam, and Myanmar

Whether it is a first visit to a region or a return visit to explore the area in greater depth, I will put together the perfect tour for the traveller

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