Our "Incredible India" group journey will showcase the best of India's highlights, as well as exciting experiences and discoveries that will appeal to every traveller.
Arrive at Delhi International Airport. Please clear immigration & visa formalities, collect your baggage and proceed to the arrival lounge through the green channel if you do not have goods to be declared to customs. TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS Tour Manager will page you by your name. Thereafter you will be assisted with a transfer to the hotel for two nights stay.
After buffet breakfast and a short briefing by Tour Manager start your sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. Visit Qutab Minar, the 234-step tower dating to 1193; and India Gate, honouring the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died in World War I. Gandhi Memorial, the simple black marble slab honouring Mahatma Gandhi. Next, two renowned 17th-century landmarks: Lal Qila, the Red Fort palaces which we drive past; we will view the Jama Masjid meaning the Friday Mosque, India’s principal and biggest mosque. Chandni Chowk, Shahjahanabad’s Main Street in 1650, facing the majestic Red Fort. It originally had a central canal running down its full length, and when moonlight reflected off the water it got the name Chandni Chowk or ‘Avenue of Moonlight’. The canals have long since gone and it is now a chaotically bustling area, typical of real India, containing a mix of stalls, shops, food outlets and temples. Between the mosque and Chandni Chowk is a narrow shop-lined street along which you will be transported by cycle rickshaws on your most photogenic journey of the tour. The locals go shopping here like nowhere else.
After buffet breakfast at the hotel check out in time transfer to Delhi airport to board the flight for Varanasi. On arrival, you will be met at the airport by TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS executive assistance and you will be transferred to the hotel. Varanasi has been named after the two tributaries of the Ganges that flows through the city named Varuna and Assi rivers. It was later changed to Benares and re-christened Varanasi. Ghats of Varanasi is the natural supplement to the concept of divinity and is known as the city that liberates the soul from the human body to the ultimate. Varanasi abounds in the art of silk weaving, an exotic work of art which manifests itself in precious Banarasi silk saris and silk brocades which are cherished as collector’s items across the world, even today. The city is also renowned for its rich tapestry of music, arts, crafts, and education. Afternoon visit silk weaving village to witness remaining artesian making world-renowned Banarasi Silk and evening witness grand prayer ceremony on the Ghats of river Ganges. Stay two nights in Varanasi.
Start your day with a boat ride on river Ganges and witness the people of Hindu faith, ritually bathing in the river, for it is believed as per Hindu mythology that bathing in the holy river of Ganga causes the remission of sins and facilitates the attainment of nirvana. Return to hotel for breakfast followed by an excursion to Sarnath where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon at the deer park after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of the four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage. Sarnath is one of the richest in Buddhist antiquities ranging in date from the times of Ashoka down to the 12th century A.D Ashoka, who built here the Dharmarajika Stupa and near it erected a pillar surmounted by the magnificent capital of four adorned Lions, which today forms the national emblem of India. Late afternoon return to Varanasi and remaining day free to explore this spiritual town.
An early morning transfer to the railway station to board the train to Lucknow. Known as ’The City of Nawabs’ and is an intriguing blend of old-world charm, beautiful architecture, warm hospitality, and rich heritage. The city has carved a niche by attracting gastronomes, for the want of discovering and re-discovering the Awadhi Cuisine. This is the place that has a full colony of chefs called, ‘Bawarchi Tola’ and also the full street, where one can find the best from Lucknow’s very own traditional kitchens. In the evening enjoy a walking food tour which allows you to hop-in, hop-out of the world-famous traditional roadside eateries. Stay two nights.
Enjoy a city sightseeing tour and visit Bada Imambara, a famous monument of Lucknow, Government Museum. In the afternoon visit a chikan workshop that will mesmerise you as you watch skilled workers delicately working in unique styles and stitches on very light cotton cloths. Also, take a leisure walk in Hazrat Ganj and Aminabad local bazaar.
After breakfast travel to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal. The city is still associated with the Mughals who were great builders and you will witness this as you pass the architectural buildings. Afternoon visit Agra Fort and Itimadud-Daulah and conclude our day with a visit to the city’s marble carving industry. Stay overnight.
Early morning, visit the Taj Mahal, the world’s greatest monument of love and devotion with its superb craftsmanship of semi-precious stones inlaid into the marble in beautiful patterns, a process known as pietra dura. After breakfast travel to Jaipur, en-route visit the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, a city of yesteryear, today lost in the midst of time. Evening free to stroll in the colourful bazaar and stay two nights in Jaipur.
The morning after an early breakfast proceeds to visit the Amber Fort, the ancient capital of Rajasthan and the majestic palace complex to witness a unique system of air-conditioning of the 17th century. A beautiful complex of Palaces, halls, pavilions, garden and temples built by Raja Mansingh, Mirza Raja Jaisingh and Sawai Jaisingh over a period of about two centuries, it still stands in the magnificent state. The red sandstone and white Marble palace have some very interesting apartments- Diwan-I-Am, Ganesh Pol, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas, Jai Mandir, Man Singh Palace and Shila Devi Temple. Afternoon city tour of Jaipur visiting City Palace Museum; boasts to have some of the priceless handwritten Hindu scriptures of the ancient past, miniature delicate paintings, preserved painted ceilings and the elephant saddles (haudas), and is registered in the Guinness Book of Records to contain the biggest silver objects in the world, Photo stop at Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace); built-in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh at a time when women of the royal family had to observe strict purdah, it is believed that this palace was built for them to take pleasure in the processions and various activities taking place in the streets below without showing themselves and thus enjoying a sense of freedom, Jantar Mantar; one of the famed observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh is a complex of astronomical instruments, chiselled out of stone which provides fairly accurate information to this day. In the evening return back to the hotel for overnight stay.
Today drive to Jodhpur, the bustling desert city the second-largest city in Rajasthan with a landscape dominated by the massive Mehrangarh Fort atop a sheer rocky ridge. Afternoon free to relax or explore the local bazaar. Stay two nights in Jodhpur.
Morning visit Mehrangarh Fort; one of the most impressive and formidable structures anywhere in India. And Jaswant Thada, a cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Afternoon, take a jeep ride to witness village life of Bishnoi tribe. Evening free to explore the local bazaar.
After buffet breakfast check out of the hotel and drive to Udaipur, en-route pass lush green valleys, streams, and heart capturing views before visiting Ranakpur. Renowned for its Jain temples with intricately carved marble Pillars and Domes, Ranakpur is amongst the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. It has a four-temple complex which is famous for its peaceful and harmonious surroundings. The temples are believed to have been built in 1439 A.D. They rest on 1444 elegantly carved pillars, with no two being identical and the realistic sculptures of celestial nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are a fascinating sight to see. The two huge bells weighing 108 kgs each, whose sound echoes in the entire complex, add to the temple’s allure. On arrival at Udaipur check-in at the hotel with the rest of the evening to relax. Two nights in Udaipur
After breakfast, proceed for a guided sightseeing tour and visit the City Palace. The City Palace boasts of the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture and has various towers, domes, and arches, which add to the flavour of the heritage site. Towering on the banks of Pichola Lake, City Palace is truly a feast to the eyes. City Palace is a marvellous assortment of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Encircled by fortifications, this imposing Palace is wholly built-in granite and marble. Also visit The City Palace Museum, the jewel in the crown of the Udaipur City Palace Complex. It is here that you can immerse yourself in the history of the Maharanas of Mewar and really get a feel for their culture and how royalty lived. Various Maharanas continued the work over four and a half centuries, in a number of phases, giving rise to the Mughal and British influences in the palace architecture. In the afternoon enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola, is an artificial freshwater lake, created in the year 1362 AD, named after the nearby Picholi village. It is one of the several contiguous lakes and developed over the last few centuries in and around the famous Udaipur city. Two islands, Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir are located within Pichola Lake and have been developed with several palaces to provide views of the lake. Rest of the evening exploring on your own visiting the numerous shops that dot the narrow windings streets of Udaipur for the souvenir to take back home. Overnight at the hotel.
After leisurely breakfast transfer to the Udaipur airport to board a flight to Mumbai. Arrive at Mumbai Airport and proceed to the arrival lounge. TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS Executive will page you by your name. Thereafter you will be assisted with a transfer to the hotel, check-in at the hotel and stay three nights in Mumbai.
After breakfast proceed for a half-day tour of Mumbai visiting the Gateway of India, the most visible landmark of the British Raj built-in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V; Dhobi Ghat, the open-air laundry that promises to be a visual experience; Marine Drive; Hanging Gardens; the Gothic Victoria Terminus; and the stately Prince of Wales Museum. Later afternoon half-day tour of Dharavi Slum. On this tour, visitors will see why Dharavi is the heart of small-scale industry in Mumbai. Many people know Dharavi as the 'largest slum in Asia’, but there is much more to this historic area of Mumbai than poverty. Dharavi's industries have an annual turnover of approximately US$ 665 million. Through our tour, visitors experience a wide range of these activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadom-making and many more. Most of these things are created in innovative ways and in very small spaces! When passing through the residential spaces, you will undoubtedly feel the sense of community and spirit that exists in the area. People from all over India live in Dharavi, and this diversity is apparent in the temples, mosques, and churches that stand side by side. A tour through Dharavi's narrow alleys is quite an adventure, and you will leave with an enlightened sense of the purpose and determination that exists in the area. The major highlights here include the visit to the Recycling area where old computers and plastic parts are recycled, View of Mumbai from the rooftop a local factory, visit a biscuit bakery.
The morning after early breakfast, excursion to Elephanta caves. Hewn out of solid rock, the Elephanta Caves date back to 600 AD and is a cave complex housing a collection of shrines, courtyards, inner cells, grand halls and porticos arranged in the splendid symmetry of Indian rock-cut architecture and filled with exquisite stone sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The sheer labour which had gone into constructing these caves puts one in amazement, especially when realizes that it is without the use of any machines. It is situated on Gharapuri Island in Mumbai's harbour, about an hour's boat ride from the Gateway of India. The ferry ride to the island in itself is an experience. The island has two groups of caves in the rock-cut architectural style. On return enjoy shopping at various shopping malls or at Crawford Market Poised between what was once the British Fort and the local town. Crawford Market has elements of both. It's a blend of Flemish and Norman architecture with a bas-relief depicting Indian peasants in wheat fields. Just above the main entrance The frieze, incidentally, was designed by Lockyard Kipling, father of the famous Rudyard Kipling, and the Kipling’s' cottage still stands next to the JJ School of Art across the road. Crawford Market looks like something out of Victorian London, with its sweet smell of hay and 50 ft high skylight awning that bathes the entire place in natural sunlight. Mountains of fruit and fresh vegetables are sold here at wholesale rates. Next door there's also a meat and poultry section along with stalls selling smuggled cheese and chocolate. Enjoy farewell dinner before concluding your day.
After breakfast tour finishes with transfer to Mumbai airport where you board your onward flight.
Deluxe hotel accommodation with private facilities
Travel by chartered air-conditioned vehicle
Group assistance and transfers
All sightseeing as specified
Meals as specified (B=Breakfast, D=Dinner)
Local English speaking tour guide
THO Tour Manager (minimum 06 people)
Entry fee to the monuments
Jeep Ride at Jaipur
Rickshaw Ride in Delhi
Camel Ride at Jaisalmer
Incredible Rural Experience in Jodhpur
Boat Ride in Varanasi and Udaipur
Air-conditioned chair car train from Jhansi - Agra
Economy class airfare Delhi – Varanasi – Khajuraho and Udaipur – Mumbai
A bottled water while travelling
All assistance and transfers
All current taxes
Any International Airfare
Airport taxes and Visa fee
Early check in or late check out
Meals other than specified above
Tips & Gratuities
Travel & Medical Insurance
Camera and video permits
Expenses incurred due to flight / train cancellation or delay
Any expense of a personal nature, like drinks, laundry, telephone calls, mini bar, etc
Any optional excursion or tour
Any other expense not mentioned in the prices include column
Small Group Journeys
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