October 10-22, 2017
The Women's Travel Group's India is a must. Our trip includes Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama and his wife Sita to their kingdom, the triumph of good over evil. It is a festival filled with joy and happiness. Lamps are lit before the houses and there are fireworks. Jaipur markets are decorated and lit for festival shopping.
Your tour will mean so much more with a visit to a private home for a Diwali festivaldinner, 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 plenty of time to learn and love the magic of India.
Day 1 - Oct 10, 2017 (Tue) - Depart USA/ Delhi
Depart US today on your overnight fight to Delhi.
Day 2 - Oct 11, 2017 (Wed) Arrive Delhi
Arrive 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 12, 2017 (Thu) Delhi
This morning your attention focuses on Old Delhi, the 17th century walled city of royal Shahjehanabad. The great Red Fort was the opulent residence of Shah Jehan, builder of the Taj Mahal and the magnificent Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), which dominates the skyline. Also, visit the Raj Ghat - cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi, Ashoka Pillar and later walk through ChandiChowk, the old marketplace of Shahajahanabad, now a picturesque bazaar.
After lunch at a local restaurant tour New Delhi, visiting the QutabMinar - a soaring stone tower, 236 feet high, built in 1193. Continue to Humayun's Tomb- an elegant example of early Mughal architecture. En route to the hotel we make photo stops at RashtrapatiBhawan (Presidential Palace) and India Gate - a war memorial. This evening, a Welcome dinner is held in your honor at Bukhara, famed for its Northwestern Indian cuisine. (BLD)
Day 4 - Oct 13, 2017 (Fri) Delhi / Varanasi
Today fly to Varanasi (India's holiest city), located on the sacred Ganges River. Upon arrival, you are met andtransferred 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). (BD)
Day 5 - Oct 14, 2017 (Sat) Varanasi-Sarnath
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 DurgaSaraswati Kala Sanstha, a school that teaches traditional Indian dance. (BD)
Day 6 - Oct 15, 2017 (Sun) - Varanasi / Khajuraho
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 Eastern group of temples, which reflect the simplicity inherent in Jainism. In the evening sound and light show at the temples. RADISSON (Deluxe Room). (BD)
Day 7 - Oct 16, 2017 (Mon) Khajuraho / Agra
Early morning attend yoga classes. After breakfast, drive to Jhansi to board the train to Agra (2 hours 15 minutes), en route visiting Orcha, a medieval city frozen in time and space. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to the hotel. ITC MUGHAL (Mughal Chambers). (B)
Day 8 - Oct 17, 2017 (Tue) -Agra
Visit the TajMahal early this morning as the rays of the rising sun bathe the marble with a divine glow. The morningis free for shopping. In the afternoon explore Agra Fort, seat of the Mughal dynasty in the 16th century. Finally, we visit the incredible TajMahal to witness this flawless monument bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun, the incredible lacy white grandeur built by Emperor ShahJehan 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. (BLD)
Day 9 - Oct 18 2017 (Wed)Agra / FatehpurSikri / Abheneri / Jaipur
After breakfast depart for Jaipur. Enroute, visit the abandoned and nearly intact Mughal city of FatehpurSikri, 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 with a stop at Abhaneri a small village located 95km (57 mi.) from Jaipur. The village is renowned for its monuments, Chand Baori and Harshat Mata temple. Chand Baori is fortified on all sides and is one of the largest step wells in India. After sightseeing of the step well continue to Jaipur. Check in upon arrival at the hotel.
Tonight we’ll visit the Jaipur markets fully illuminated for Diwali. It’s a dazzling display of colorful lamps and lights.
ITC RAJPUTANA (Executive Club Room). (BD)
Day 10 - Oct 19, 2017 (Thu) - Amber Fort Excursion & Jaipur Sightseeing
This morning visit the mountain fortress of Amber, riding royally atop regally painted and decorated elephants. (There is alternate transport for those that wish) 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 festive home hosted dinner celebrating Diwali. (BLD)
Day 11 - Oct 20, 2017 (Fri) - JaipurSanganer Excursion
Sanganer is a village near Jaipur known for its wood block printing.Dates back to 17th century and popular in Europe. Particularly Calico printing. Saris, table linens and bed covers in abundance.
Day 12 - Oct 21, 2017 (Sat) - Jaipur / Delhi / Depart
This morning is at leisure to pursue independent activities. This afternoon drive back to Delhi where you have rooms to rest and change for a 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. (BD)