$6495.00

RATING:

FROM: $6495 USD

UPCOMING: Feb. 29, 2020

India: Holi Festival Foray

A Royal Journey Through Rajasthan with the Gay Travel Experts at Out Adventures

DESCRIPTION

India – and especially the province of Rajasthan – is chaotic and colourful. While the country is laden with lavishness, it can also exasperate and confound the unprepared traveller. This gay tour fills a decadent 12 days with a 7th Wonder of the World, the Pink City of Jaipur and huge clouds of colour that define the world-famous Holi Festival. Please stand by for fiery feasts, local accommodations and a truly unique culture.

QUICK FACTS

Duration: 12 Days/11 Nights
Starts In: Delhi
Ends In: Udaipur
Group Size: Min 4, Max 16
Deposit: $750 USD
Accommodation: 4-Star Hotels (4 nights), 5-Star Hotels (6 nights)
Physical Rating: 1/5
Prices: Based on double occupancy

DEPARTURES & PRICES:

Feb. 29, 2020 to March 11, 2020 - 6495.00 USD

HIGHLIGHTS

• Celebrate Holi, the Festival of Colour...and highlight of our journey!
• Witness the lighting of the Holika (huge bonfire) on the eve of Holi at Udaipur’s City Palace
• Marvel at (and photograph) the Taj Mahal twice: in the afternoon and again at sunrise
• Appreciate India’s glorious architecture including India Gate, Agra Fort, Chand Baori and Mehrangarh Fort
• Discover the madness of India's famous bazaars
• Learn about Rajasthan’s sweeping history during walking tours of Delhi, Jaipur and Jodhpur
• Enjoy a slew of Indian and Rajasthani dinners
• Learn about, and visit with, the region’s nomadic Bishnoi tribes

AREA MAP

ITINERARY:

Namaste, and welcome to Delhi. Rebuilt seven times over the centuries, today Delhi marries modern hustle with historic highlights. After clearing customs and immigration at DEL Airport, an Out Adventures rep will transport you to our hotel, where a traditional Indian welcome awaits. We’ll have a kickoff meeting this evening, followed by a decadent welcome dinner.

Our day begins in Old Delhi with a visit to Jama Mosque. One of the world’s most beautiful Muslim temples, it was built by Shah Jahan in 1656. We'll enjoy a walking tour as well as briefly drive past Red Fort. With our appetites revved up, a traditional Kashmiri lunch awaits, then we’ll hit up Humayun's Tomb in New Delhi before enjoying another walking tour. We'll be sure to swubg by Presidential Palace (Rashtrapati Bhawan) and India Gate (this war memorial honours 90,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives in WWI). This evening we meet with a prominent journalist and LGBT activist at the hotel, then he joins us for an optional dinner.

Our day begins with a 4.5-hour drive to Agra, the second capital of the Mughal Empire. After checking-in and grabbing a bite, we’re off to Agra Fort, an imposing structure nearly two miles long. Featuring palaces, audience halls and mosques within, it flaunts both Islamic and Hindu architecture. Today’s final stop is the world’s ultimate tribute to love. Lacy white and mesmerizing, the Taj Mahal was built by the Shah Jahan for Mumtaz Mahal, his favourite wife. Tonight we head out for an included Indian dinner!

So magical is the Taj Mahal we’ll return to view it this morning as the sun rises. After breakfast and checking out, we’ll drive to Jaipur stopping along the way for lunch and an incredible photo opportunity at Chand Baori, the largest stepwell in the world. It was originally built in honour of the Goddess of Joy and Happiness. This evening we'll enjoy a group dinner at the hotel followed by free time to explore.

Enjoy a full day in the Pink City of Jaipur (the rosy glow arose thanks to a visit from King Edward VII in 1876 – almost all of the city was freshened up with a coat of paint). We'll take a guided tour this morning, visiting City Palace where we'll even get to enter the royal family's private chambers. Other stops can include the city's Observatory as well as Hawa Maha. In the afternoon we'll visit the market in the old city including Johari Bazar together before some free time. Dinner will be at the hotel.

Another day in Jaipur, beginning with breakfast at the hotel before taking the morning to explore both Nahargarh Fort and Jaigarh Fort together. Afterwards you'll enjoy some free time to explore on your own before an early dinner. This evening we discover the city's main attraction: Amer Fort. Overlooking Maoto Lake, the fort is famed for its decorative Hindu style and immaculate landscaping. We'll arrive after sunset to ensure epic photos of the structure lit up. After we've explored the landmark, it's back to our hotel to relax.

Today we leave the Pink City en route to the Blue City (Jodhpur), about a 6-hour drive away. This gorgeous city is a maze of streets that are as confusing as they are dazzling. After checking in, you'll have some time to nap and freshen up before joining the group for an exclusive meal at the hotel.

A full day of sightseeing awaits, beginning with a visit to the royal cenotaphs (tombs) and Jaswant Thada, a memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, on the banks of a nearby lake. To wrap up the morning we visit the majestic Mehrangarh fort, filled with courtyards and palaces. After delving into the history of Mehrangarh fort, we'll enjoy lunch on site. This afternoon we drive to nearby Rohet where we’ll learn more about the Bishnoi tribes on a village safari, even visiting their homes and partaking in their customs. Dubbed the ‘Premier ecologists of the world’, the Bishnoi have protected nature for more than 500 years, and have ensured the survival of species like the Black Buck antelope. To wrap up our day we’ll venture into the heart of old Jodhpur, where you can check out the clock tower, narrow alleys and an array of wares for sale. We’ll enjoy an exclusive and private dinner tonight in the dunes, with local folklore to accompany the night’s sky.

After yesterday's jam packed day, we've left this morning wide open for you to either sleep in or enjoy free time to explore on your own. We'll convene in the afternoon to visit the city's old bazaar together, famous for its textiles and lace work. Dinner will be included back at the hotel.

Today we drive to Udaipur, with a visit to Ranakpur Jain Temple en route. This massive monument on the Magai River was built between the late-14th and mid-15th century AD. It has over 1444 marble pillars – carved in exquisite detail – with no two pillars the same. Once in Udaipur, we’ll check in to our hotel (a former palace!) then take in the fairy tale palaces that rise from the islands of steely blue Lake Pichola. Tonight we bear witness to the Holika Dahan, a bonfire ceremony that represents the triumph of good over evil. Dinner will follow tonight – at the palace, no less.

Today is the highlight of our holiday: Holi, the festival of colour! We'll celebrate the festival at a local Indian family's private home. Lunch will be served before we let loose – Holi is a free-for-all where participants run around and shower each other with coloured powders and water. After this unicorn of a battle is over, we’ll unwind poolside at the hotel before enjoying an incredible Farewell Dinner.

Today is our final day and we wish everyone safe travels home. From the whole Out Adventures team, we'd like to extend a royal thank you for joining us in India!

• Arrival & departure transfers to/from Out Adventures’ joining/finishing point hotel
• 4-Star Hotels (4 nights), 5-Star Hotels (6 nights)
• Breakfast daily, 5 Lunches and 10 Dinners
• Air-conditioned transportation
• Gratuities for tour leaders, drivers, hotel staff and included meals

• Village safari by jeep in Rohetgarh
• Entrance fees to monuments mentioned
• Holi Festival celebrations in Udaipur
• Bottled water, soft drinks and wet wipes on bus
• Basic porterage at hotels & airports

• International Airfare
• Meals & Activities not mentioned in itinerary
• Gratuities for Group Leader (Recommended: USD $5-$7 per person/per day)
• Travel insurance is mandatory for all travellers. Visit www.outadventures.com/insurance for more details.

• Alcoholic beverages during meals
• Camera/Video Fees at the monuments

RATING:

Steven C.

India: Holi Festival Foray

Well run trip that covered what I wanted to see in India with a great ending at the Holi Festival. Hotels were great.

ACCOMMODATION RATING: 5/5

TRANSPORTATION RATING: 4/5

MEALS RATING: 4/5

GUIDE RATING: 4/5

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