Experience India - Taj and beyond during group departure: March 3-13, 2019
Travel to India and beyond
ALL IN PRICE:
- Calgary from $2899 CAD per person, in double occupancy
- Vancouver/Winnipeg/Edmonton from $2999 CAD per person, in double occupancy
- Toronto/Ottawa from $3199 per person, in double occupancy
- St. John's NF/Halifax from $3399 per person, in double occupancy
- Return air transportation from mentioned cities on Air Canada (group air for Vancouver and Calgary departures)
- Airport taxes $650 CAD
- 8 nights + 2 day use rooms: accommodation in double occupancy
- 15 meals
- Airport transfers and ground transportation
- English speaking local guides
- Entrance fees to the sites included
- 2 safaris in shared open sided mini trucks
Prices shown are per person, in double occupancy, air taxes included, based on a March 03 and March 04 departure from Calgary or Vancouver on our airline group allotment; or from any other departure city on request according to availability upon reservation. Rates are available at press time on Aug.22, 2018. NOT INCLUDED: Visa for India, gratuities, other meals, excursions, travel insurance and all items not mentioned in our itinerary. Note: Seat selection is not permitted on our Group Air allotment however we try and have couples and friends sitting together. For a detailed itinerary and terms and conditions, contact us.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
Welcome to India! After immigration, you will be met and transferred to your hotel (the room is reserved from the night before for flight arriving in the early morning, so check-in is upon arrival). Rest of the day is at leisure. At 6pm, welcome briefing and introduction is scheduled for 6pm. Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: Delhi
Later in the morning, begin exploring Delhi, India’s capital city that sports a rich history spanning over 2,000 years. From the majestic Red Fort to the gold lined shops of Dariba Kalan, this tour allows you to savor a 350 year old culture up-close. Arrive Old Delhi and drive past Red Fort and Jama Masjid - the largest mosque in India built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in year 1650 AD. From here you board your cycle rickshaw and explore Chandni Chowk market. There is no better way to observe this bustling part of the city than on a cycle rickshaw. Meander through the narrow lanes and explore the little stalls teeming with food and other goods, experience the daily activities of the merchants, and observe the local population going about its day. While on the tour, stop at Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest wholesale spice market - operating since the 17th century. Learn about the spices on sale and smell their aromas. The street is congested with shops on both sides selling spices, nuts and herbs. The overall appearance seems to be very chaotic but in reality it is very well managed! There will be great photo opportunities here!!! Continue visit to the famous Sikh temple, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara where you will have the option to volunteer in the community kitchen to prepare and serve food to the visitors (the temple is visited by about a million every day) without distinction of religion, caste, gender, economic status or ethnicity. Enjoy a traditional lunch at the langar with the local community. Next drive along the impressive ceremonial avenue of Rajpath, punctuated by Mughal-style gardens, fountains and shallow pools, past the imposing India Gate and Parliament House, culminating at Gandhi Smiriti – a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. It is the location where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last 144 days of his life and was assassinated on January 30, 1948. End the day with a visit to the World Heritage site of Humayun’s tomb. It is the first garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent (“the predecessor of the Taj Mahal”). Built by the wife of Humayun, Haji Begum in the mid 16th century, this monument is a wonderful example of early Mughal architecture. Return to your hotel.
Day 3: Dehi - Agra
After breakfast drive to Agra - the city of Taj Mahal; an iconic city that has always inspired love. It may be clichéd but no Indian landmark embraces blue sky as enthusiastically as Taj Mahal, no matter which way the compass needle swings, you will find it striking from any and every angle. On arrival, check in for your stay. Agra - Once a small village on the banks of the Yamuna, it was transformed by two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and his grandson Shah Jehan into the second capital of the Mughal Empire – Dar-ulKhilafat, or ‘seat of the Emperor’ in the 16th & 17th century. A world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys, bustling streets and small buggies, Agra retains the irresistible charm that made this the favorite city of the Mughals. At sunset, visit the Taj Mahal. Said to be one of the most elegant and harmonious building in the world, Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in 1630 AD to enshrine the mortal remains of his beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal.
Day 4: Agra - Ranthambore
After breakfast drive to Ranthambhore – home to the elusive Bengal Tiger, stopping en-route to explore Abhaneri which is known for its 'Baori' or step well. The step well was invented by the natives to harvest rain water. The Baori was used as a cool place of retreat and as a water source/reservoir during parched times of the year. This baori is one of India's deepest and largest step wells.Continue to Ranthambore, reaching in the evening. This route takes you through the region’s typical villages, where you can appreciate various scenes of traditional life. On arrival, check-in for your stay. The Ranthambhore National Park was once the hunting ground of Maharaja of Jaipur. In 1955, it was declared a game sanctuary; in 1980, it became a national park. The tigers of Ranthambhore are among the best documented and most photographed and filmed of any in India.
Day 5: Ranthambore
Set off on canter safari (vehicle may be shared) to experience the first signs of wildlife awakening in the park, with a good chance to spot a tiger! Ranthambore is considered by many to be one of India’s most beautiful national parks because of the picturesque ruins that dot the wildlife park. Encircled by a series of high escarpments, the forests, lakes and dry scrub that make up the park are dotted with old forts and temples, creating a wonderful atmosphere for both bird and mammal viewing amongst a landscape oozing with ancient Rajput history and Rajasthani culture. Return to the hotel for a late breakfast and lunch. Afternoon take another round of canter safari (vehicle may be shared) with a naturalist exploring wildlife and biodiversity in the park. The local naturalist will introduce you to the flora and fauna of the park and also teach you to listen and distinguish between the different alarm calls of the main prey species of the park: the tiger.
Day 6: Ranthambore - Jaipur
Morning, drive to the picturesque capital of Rajasthan – the beautiful Jaipur, a city awash with pink, the colour of hospitality in Rajput culture. Jaipur is popularly known as the Pink City, thanks to the color of the buildings in the city. Arrive Jaipur and check in for your stay. Afternoon is at your leisure to explore on your own. Evening visit the ancient Hindu temple for Aarti (Prayer) ceremony which is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. Return to your hotel.
Day 7: Jaipur
Set off this morning to Amber Fort 17th century. The Fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moat Lake. You will ascend the hill leading to the fortress by open Jeep and then walk through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings, with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Later, embark on a city tour starting with Jantar Mantar, an observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh ll in the 18th century. One of the most remarkable sites in Jaipur, the Jantar Mantar has fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses and tracking stars and planets. Just next to the observatory is the City Palace. Built within the fortified area of the original city, it has one of the finest monumental entrances in India. The Palace is now principally a museum housing a collection of great treasures, including miniature paintings, carpets, royal garments and other interesting objects from Jaipur's intriguing past. The former royal family retains a part of the palace for their personal use. End the tour with a fascinating walk in the old city. Mingle and talk with the locals whilst observing some of the regions culinary delights. Observe local artisans in their workshops; jewelers and silversmiths, gold and silver foil makers. The iconic Hawa Mahal also called the Palace of the winds is the meeting - point at which this walk begins.
Day 8: Jaipur - Delhi
Morning drive back to Delhi. On the drive, you will see how industrialisation is expanding to the rural India. Along the way, you will cross Aravalli hills, agricultural fields and hamlets dotting the sky. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel where rooms have been booked till departure time. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 9: Delhi Departure
Pickup from the hotel at 01:30 AM (for those taking the DELHI-VANCOUVER flight) and transfer to the international airport for your departure. For those flying Delhi-Toronto, transfer to the airport will be late afternoon.