Departure October 28, 2019
The Women's Travel Group's India is a must. Your tour will mean so much more with a visit to a private home, a boat ride on the Ganges, a visit to a classical dance school, even a sample yoga lesson. We stay in fine hotels and you will be escorted throughout your tour. There is no time wasted in the guide's nephew's jewelry shop. There is plenty of time to learn and love the magic of India.
During our trip, we will also have a speaker at one dinner with a talk about women of India and one dinner will be held in a private home.
An extension to the famed Pushkar Fair is offered. We spend two nights in deluxe tents, where you will be very comfortable. The Fair is a riot of color with camel races, folk dancing, magic shows and musical concerts.
Day 1 Oct. 28, (Mon) - Depart New York (JFK) / Delhi
Depart New York this afternoon on board Air India for Delhi. Relax and enjoy the Maharajah's in-flight service as you wing your way to this ancient land. Add on fares available from other cities. AI 102 Y 02NOV JFKDEL 310P 350P+1
Day 2 Oct 29, (Tue) - Arrive Delhi (D)
Arrive today in India's capital city of Delhi. You are greeted with a traditional Indian welcome and escorted to the hotel to relax. ITC MAURYA (Executive Club Room) Rooms will be available from 1400hrs. early check-in is subject to availability.
Day 3 Oct.30, (Wed) - Delhi (BLD)
08:30 This morning your attention focuses on Old Delhi, the 17th century walled city of royal Shahjehanabad. Drive past the great Red Fort, the opulent residence of Shah Jehan, builder of the Taj Mahal and the magnificent Jama Masjid which dominates the skyline. The mosque is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture, commissioned by Shah Jehan. Walk through Chandi Chowk, the old marketplace of Shahajahanabad, now a picturesque bazaar.
After lunch at a local restaurant visit New Delhi, visiting the Qutab Minar - a soaring stone tower, 236 feet high, built in 1193. Continue on to Humayun's Tomb- an elegant example of early Mughal architecture. En route to the hotel we have photo stops at Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidential Palace) and India Gate - a war memorial. Return to the hotel by 5 pm. This evening, a Welcome dinner is held in your honor at Bukhara. (7:30 pm )
Day 4 Oct. 31, (Thu) - Delhi / Varanasi (BD)
Today fly to Varanasi (India's holiest city), located on the sacred Ganges River. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to the hotel. Tonight, visit the Ghats to see the evening aarti ceremony at the Ganges. Many religious and spiritual rituals infuse daily life in India. The Aarti Ceremony is a lamp lighting ritual that takes place every evening in the temple on the banks of the Ganges. Devotees are given small lightweight lamps made of tinfoil, which they float on the river with a silent prayer. THE GATEWAY VARANASI (Standard Room).
Day 5 Nov 1, (Fri) - Varanasi-Sarnath (BD)
Early this morning embark on a cruise on the Ganges. Witness a stunning sight as a multitude of devotees swarm the river and pay obeisance to the rising sun. Later continue on a walking tour of the historic city where spiritualism permeates the atmosphere. This afternoon visit the stupas, ruins and museum at Sarnath, scene of Buddha's first sermon. In the evening visit Durga Saraswati Kala Sanstha, a school that teaches traditional Indian dance.
Day 6 Nov 2, (Sat) - Varanasi / Khajuraho (BD)
Fly to Khajuraho, capital of the 9th to 13th century Chandela Dynasty. Upon arrival you are met and transferred to the hotel. This afternoon visit the principal Western group of temples, which reflect the simplicity inherent in Jainism. THE LALIT
Day 7 Nov 3, (Sun) - Khajuraho / Agra (B)
Early this morning attend yoga classes. After breakfast, drive to Jhansi to board the train to Agra (2 hours 15 minutes), Enroute visiting Orcha, a medieval city frozen in time and space. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to the hotel. ITC MUGHAL (Mughal Chambers).
Day 8 Nov 4, (Mon) - Agra (BLD)
Visit the Taj Mahal early this morning as the rays of the rising sun bathe the marble with a divine glow. The morning is free for shopping. In the afternoon explore Agra Fort, seat of the Mughal dynasty in the 16th century. Finally, we visit the incredible Taj Mahal to witness this flawless monument bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun, the incredible lacy white grandeur built by Emperor Shah Jehan in memory of his loving wife Mumtaz Mahal, the "lady of the Taj". It has been described as the most extravagant monument ever built for love. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
Day 9 Nov 5, (Tue) - Agra / FatehpurSikri / Jaipur (6 hours) (BD)
After breakfast depart for Jaipur. Enroute, visit the abandoned and nearly intact Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, once ruled by emperor Akbar. This ghost town is remarkably well preserved and presents a perfect synthesis of Muslim, Hindu and Jain architecture. The sculptured columns bear mute testimony to this gallant experiment to unite Hindus and Muslims. Continue to Jaipur. Check in upon arrival at the hotel. ITC RAJPUTANA (Executive Club Room).
Day 10 Nov 6, (Wed) - Amber Fort Excursion & Jaipur Sightseeing . (BLD)
This morning visit the mountain fortress of Amber. Later, enjoy a tour of Jaipur City, visiting HawaMahal or the "Palace of Winds", City Palace and the ancient observatory. Afternoon is free for shopping. In the evening, enjoy a home hosted dinner
Day 11 Nov 7, (Thu) - Jaipur-Sanganer Excursion'(BD)
Sanganer is a village near Jaipur known for its wood block printing that dates back to 17th century and is popular in Europe. There are Saris, table linens and bedcovers in abundance. Farewell dinner
Day 12 Nov 8, (Fri) - Jaipur / Delhi / Depart (B)
This morning is at leisure to pursue independent activities. This afternoon drive back to Delhi where you have rooms for wash and change for few hours at RADISSON BLU PLAZA. Late in the evening you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight home filled with colorful memories of India. Note: Nov. 9 Air India flight 101 departs at 01:35 and arrives JFK at 06:35, the same day.
Day 12 Nov 8, (Fri): Jaipur / Pushkar (3 hours) (BLD)
Note: Vegetarian meals are served in Pushkar
This morning drive to Pushkar. Among the many festivals & fairs for which India is renowned, the most spectacular one takes place every November, in a sleepy Rajasthani village called Pushkar. The Pushkar camel fair, as an event, goes beyond merely trading to include social and religious activities. The bustling marketplace set up for just this occasion is a magnet for all the villages in this region. The colorfully attired women use this opportunity to catch up with distant family, negotiate marriage contracts and stock up on clothes, jewelry, food and household goods, while the flamboyantly dressed menfolk barter camels, horses and cattle. Of the two temples in India, dedicated to Lord Brahma, one of the principal divinities of the Hindu trinity, one is to be found in Pushkar. Men & women bathe in the waters of the lake nestled at the base of the temple, as it is considered auspicious. The temple Ghats are a riot of color and truly an amazing spectacle to behold. Besides the religious activity, the fair sponsors many social and sporting events as well, such as folk dancing, magic shows and musical concerts.
Our accommodations are set up at Exotic Camp in DELUXE TENTS, with en suite bathrooms and running hot and cold water. Security guards keep watch on our tents.
Day 13 Nov 09, (Sat): Pushkar (BLD)
The entire day is dedicated to witnessing and participating in many of the social and cultural activities that are a highlight of the fair.
Day 14 Nov 10, (Sun): Pushkar / Jaipur / Depart (B)
After breakfast drive to Jaipur airport for your flight to Delhi. On your arrival in Delhi you will be met and transferred to RADISSON BLU PLAZA where you will have rooms to freshen up and rest for a few hours. Late in the evening you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight home filled with colorful memories of India.
Note: Nov. 11 Air India flight 101 departs at 01:35 and arrives JFK at 06:35, the same day.