FESTIVAL OF HOLI with SAVVY JOURNEYS
MARCH 4 - 18, 2020
Celebrate the festival of Holi in India. 13 nights. Tour includes cities such as Delhi, Agra (Taj Majal), Jaipur (Festival of Holi), Jodphur, Udaipur, Varanasi (Dubai Stopover Optional)
Call for details and pricing
13 nights accommodation on Bed and Breakfast basis
Transfer, Tours and excursion by an Air-conditioned Toyota Innova
Service of English speaking local guide as per the itinerary
Elephant ride at Amber Fort Jaipur (Subject to availability).
Holi Celebration followed with Lunch at Jaipur.
Jeep safari to visit Bishnoi village at Jodhpur.
Boat ride at Lake Pichola Udaipur (subject to water level)
Entrance charges to monuments as specified in the itinerary.
Meet / assist by Savvy Journeys representative in all cities.
Current applicable Service Tax of 4.5%.
Space is limited
Roundtrip airfare from the US not included
Domestic Air $250.00 not included
Arrive in India. A representative of Savvy Journeys, holding a sign in your name, will meet you in the arrivals area upon exiting baggage claim and escort you to your hotel. THE LEELA (or similiar)
Delhi is one of India’s most vibrant cities today. It is not only a city that has played capital to various dynasties, but is also one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Today, apart from being at the political forefront, it also leads the country in terms of art, culture, culinary experiences, shopping, entertainment and overall standard of living. The city, like other ancient cities, is a beautiful homogeneous mix of the old and the contemporary. One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Delhi is a microcosm of all that is India.
Breakfast is at the hotel, followed by a full day of sightseeing. Start your tour with a visit to Jama Masjid, India’s largest and Delhi’s most spectacular mosque. Drive past the magnificent Red Fort (Closed on Monday) – a marvel in red sandstone, built on the banks of River Yamuna by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. This fort was built on the lines of the Agra Fort and has similar architectural marvels.
From here, board pedicabs to converse the busy and crowded streets of ‘Chandini Chowk’. Literally translates Chandini Chowk mean Golden Street and used to be the main royal market for the Mughal Empire; today, this is Delhi’s largest wholesale market and represents some of the most expensive real estate. The craziness of the market can be easily ignored as you become an onlooker of life in this huge bazaar. You traverse through two main streets Khari Baoli, the largest spice market and the jeweler row of Kinari Bazaar where in small cramped little shops significant trade of gold and silver is carried out. The pedi cabs drop you back at your vehicle and you are driven to Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial – Rajghat. Located in a huge open park this monument is as peaceful and tranquil as the man himself.
After this visit, you are driven through Lutyen’s Delhi where you drive past India Gate – the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, Rashtrapati Bhawan – the Presidential Palace, the Parliament House and other beautiful buildings built by the noted British architect. This entire area of Delhi is lush, with parks, wide roads and rambling beautiful houses. This afternoon, visit the Qutub Minar, the tallest minaret in India. Built in the 12th Century, this minaret is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is made of the traditional red sandstone and marble as also seen in later Mughal architecture. The complex also has an ancient iron pillar, which is 1600 years old. While the Qutub Minar is inscribed with Koranic verses for its entire length of 237 feet, the iron pillar in the same complex is inscribed with Brahmin poetry extolling the kings of the Gupta period.
Lastly visit, the mausoleum of Emperor Humayun. The monument was commissioned by Humayun’s wife, selected a Persian architect to build the tomb. He combined the best of Hindu and Persian architectural styles to create this fabulous monument, which went on to become the forerunner of the Mughal style of architecture in the country.
Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure. (B)
Delhi – Agra
By Surface (126 miles / 04 Hrs)
This morning, after breakfast, check out from the hotel and drive to Agra. OBEROI AMARVILAS
Agra was the erstwhile capital of the Mughal Empire. Located in central India, on the banks of the Yamuna River, this city has always been very important in the country’s history. Today, it is known around the world as the home of the Taj Mahal. Unlike most other Indian cities, Agra has not grown into a large metropolis, but maintains its small town status. It is replete with monuments and places of interest.
Check in to your hotel and in the afternoon, proceed for sightseeing. First visit the Agra Fort. This fort, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the best example of Mughal architecture in India. Spread over a mile and a half, along the banks of the Yamuna River, the fort houses various palaces, gardens and places of worship. Originally a Hindu red brick fort, this monument played home to various empires. It is under the reign of the greatest Mughal Emperor Akbar, that the fort was rebuilt with red sandstone and his grandson Shah Jahan is responsible for the look that can be seen today. The high red stone monument stretches for around one and a half miles. The palace is a notable for its smooth blending of Hindu and central Asian architectural styles. See the Diwan-i-Aam (hall of public audiences), Diwan-i-Khas (hall of private audiences), the Khas Palace, the Sheesh Mahal (palace of mirrors), the Shah Jahani Mahal (Shahjahan’s Palace), Jahangiri Mahal (Jahangir’s Palace) and the Akbari Mahal (Akbar’s palace) inside the fort. Also visit Itmad-ud-Daulah (also known as Baby Taj).
Just before sunset visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Taj Mahal. This monument is an amazing feat of human industry, a perfect example of beauty, symmetry and aesthetics. It is only once you enter the main gates and gaze upon the Taj, does the enormity of the task of building this mammoth structure impress. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjehan, this is a tribute of love for his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. As the rays of the sun hit the marble they make it glitter, and change color, reflecting stark white against a very blue sun. (B)
Agra – Jaipur
By surface (145 miles / 06 Hrs approx)
This morning after breakfast you will be driven to Jaipur.
Built by Maharaja Jai Singh II (after whom it was named), in 1727, it is the largest and fastest growing city in the state of Rajasthan. Jaipur today emulates Delhi with its contemporary lifestyle and mélange of art and cultural options. India’s first planned city, Jaipur was built on the classical architectural principals of VaastuShastra. The city was divided into blocks and for the first time there was a segregation of residential and commercial areas. The City Palace built at its heart covered almost a seventh of the area of the entire city. It is popularly known as Pink City, due the hue of the buildings across the old town.
You are assisted with checking in on arrival with the rest of the day at leisure. (B) OBEROI RAJVILAS
This morning the day is spent at Jaipur. Today is the festival of colours Holi that is celebrated with fervor across the state and people douse each other with colour and eat sweets to celebrate the victory of good over evil. The festival, a predominantly Hindu one has been adopted by various other religions as it celebrates the onset of summer.
This morning, celebrate the festival of Colours at NARAIN NIWAS After a morning of fun, enjoy a relaxed lunch. The afternoon is at leisure. (B.L)
An early breakfast is planned at the hotel, followed by sightseeing of Jaipur. The tour starts at Amber Fort with a stop at the Hawa Mahal for photographs. The Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds is a beautiful façade built for the ladies of the royal family. It is where they sat and watched the procession and festivals on the main avenue without being seen. Proceed to Amber Fort, located in Amber a town lying on the outskirts of Jaipur. This is where the Kushwaha Kings were based before moving to Jaipur to cater to the burgeoning population and scarcity of water. The Amber Fort is a classic example of Hindu and Rajput architectural styles. Its large ramparts lead up to a fort that is spread over four levels, each with large courtyards. The fort houses various palaces including the summer, winter and monsoon palace as well as temples. Each of these palaces was built to combat the extreme weather and even today one can see how effective they were. Built on a high hill, the fort can be seen for miles and has been recently renovated. The ascent up to the fort is on elephant back, in the style of the Maharajas.
After visiting Amber, return to Jaipur to see the City Palace. The City Palace is the residence of the erstwhile royal family but some parts including the museums are open to visitors. The palace contains various smaller palaces, which house the armory museum and the artists’ exhibition. The liveried palace staff can be seen going about their business. On display in the museum are clothes, pictures, and objects from everyday life, horse buggies and elephant Howdahs. The intricate styling of the city palace doors, the enormous silver urns, the beautiful frescos and the lovely palaces make this an enticing place to visit.
Lastly visit an observatory built by the astronomer king Jai Singh II - the Jantar Mantar. The collection included many architectural astronomical instruments that were used to measure time, predicting eclipses, and tracking stars, do astrological calculations & predictions and more. The fourteen large instruments are still in working condition.
Jaipur is one of the best places to shop, from bargains to high-end jewelry, carpets and objects d’art. Thus the evening could be spent shopping and strolling through the vibrant streets of this city.
Evening you will return to the hotel. (B)
Jaipur – Jodhpur
By surface (212 miles / 07Hrs approx)
This morning after breakfast you will be driven to Jodhpur.
Jodhpur - The second largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur has a long and valorous history involving severe hardships and battles. Founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha a Rajput King, Jodhpur became the capital of his kingdom Marwar. Located on the strategic Delhi – Gujarat road the town prospered as a trade route. The state has always been known as a seat for art and architecture, and has the monuments to prove it. Today, Jodhpur is on the international party circuit as also the fashion world.
You are assisted with checking in on arrival with the rest of the day at leisure. (B) AJIT BHAWAN HOTEL
After breakfast at hotel proceed for sightseeing tour of Jodhpur visiting Mehrangarh Fort to see this breathtaking edifice perched on a 37 mts high hill. Built by Rao Jodha, this fort is today one of the best museums in the country and has galleries that include Elephant howdahs, palanquins, paintings, woodcraft, textile and more. The base of the Mehrangarh hill, is surrounded by houses painted blue, to signify that Brahmins lived in them. These days even though not all houses are blue there are still a significant number and it is these that give the city its name – The Blue City of Jodhpur.
Jaswant Thada, this is an architectural landmark located in Jodhpur. It is a white marble memorial built by Sardar Singh in 1899 in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The Jaswant Thada is a traditional cremation ground of Jodhpur rulers. Late afternoon jeeps will be at the lobby to take you on an exciting adventure in to the villages surrounding Jodhpur. Jodhpur is located in one of the most infertile regions of Rajasthan. This area is home to a lot of tribes who live in peace and harmony with nature. Amongst these are the Bishnoi people, who are known across the world as conservationists. They don’t believe in killing any animals and survive on what they can grow in this harsh environment. You get the opportunity to talk to the villagers and understand how through their tireless efforts life has come back to this arid region of the country. (B)
Jodhpur – Udaipur via Ranakpur
By surface (153 miles / 07) including visit to Ranakpur
Check out after early breakfast and begin your drive to Udaipur. The landscape changes with each passing mile, with arid desert giving way to undulating green hills. In the midst of these hill lies the little town of Ranakpur, made famous by its amazing Jain Temple. The beautifully carved temple has 1444 unique pillars and 29 halls. All the relief work is done in beautiful ivory marble.
After visit you will continue your drive to Udaipur, where you are met on arrival and assisted with checking in.
Not only one of the most romantic places in India, Udaipur is today considered one of the most romantic places in the world. Studded with lakes, amidst rolling hills is located this gem of a destination. Founded in 1559 by Mahrana Udai Singh II, Udaipur was the final capital of the state of Mewar. Here the king was designated caretaker and not ruler in the name of the Lord Shiva. Thus the title given to the kings here was Maharana and the current Maharana is the 76th descendent of the family. Due to its strong location, Udaipur was never conquered either by the British or the Mughal Empire, thus leaving it bereft of their influence. (B) THE LEELA
After breakfast, visit the City Palace Complex – built along the banks of the Lake Pichola, this is a series of Palaces that have been built since 1559. The maintenance and building of the palace continues to this date. Inside the palace you visit the museum with its collections from the Royal wardrobe, paintings, carriages, armory and more. After this, visit the silver gallery – one of the newest additions to the palace to see the fantastic collection of silver of the House of Mewar. Walk out of the Palace Complex and through the quaint streets outside to visit the imposing Jagdish Temple. Unlike the temples at Ranakpur, the Jagdish Temple has intricate carvings right around it. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu (The Preserver in the Hindu trinity of Gods), the temple was built in 1651 by the then Maharana – Jagat Singh. The rest of the day is at leisure.
This evening a boat ride on Lake Pichola is planned so that you can enjoy watching the sun settle over the horizon from your unique vantage point. (B)
This morning you are escorted to the airport to board your flight to Varanasi. On arrival, you will be met and escorted to your hotel to check in and relax. VIVANTA BY TAJ GANGES
This Evening proceed to the Ganges to witness the Aarti (prayer) ceremony. You are taken on a boat on the river from where you can watch masses come to the Ghats to offer prayers and float tiny oil lamps on the river. Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure.
Varanasi also known as Kashi and Benares and is situated on the north bank of Ganga in the state of Uttar Pradesh in North India It’s one of the oldest living cities of the world with its history dating back to about 3500 hundred years. Numbered amongst the holiest of cities for Hindus, this place is on the top of the Hindu pilgrimage sites. Yoga was born here and perfected by meditating Sadhus, who used concentration, breathing and exercise to keep their body in perfect fitness condition. This city is also famous for Kushti or India wrestling, and also for intricately embroidered and woven silks. (B)
Early this morning, enjoy a boat ride on river Ganges and get a glimpse of this city at sunrise. Later visit the shore temples including the famous Kashi Vishvanath temple. Kashi Vishvanath Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple has earned the name of Golden Temple due to the gold plating done using one ton of gold donated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh on its 15.5-m high spire. Invaders destroyed the original temple and Rani Ahilyabai of Indore rebuilt it only in 1776. Again, the fanatic Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the Vishvanath temple to replace it with the Gyanvapi Mosque. However, one can still see the remnants of the temple in the intricate and fine artwork of the western wall of the mosque. Today, the Kashi Vishvanath Temple and the Gyanvapi mosque lie adjacent to each other.
Return to your hotel for breakfast.
Late this afternoon, visit Sarnath, where Buddha first preached. This is basically a deer park and has the Dhamekh Stupa, which houses a museum on Buddha, his life and religion. (Closed on Friday)
The evening is free at your leisure. (B)
Varanasi – Delhi
The morning is at your leisure. This afternoon you are escorted to airport to board flight to Delhi.
On arrival at Delhi airport, you are met assisted & checking in to your airport hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. (B) OBEROI GURGAON
Delhi – Depart India
Our representative will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport to board your flight back home.
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