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HOLI TOUR – NORTH INDIA – 2020
Holi, the festival of colours, is the spring festival, announcing the end of the winters and beginning of the Indian spring-summer. It is a festival of great importance after Diwali, the festival of lights. It is celebrated all over the country and acts like bridging all social and cultural gaps. The festival gets utmost importance at places which are considered to be connected with Lord Krishna’s birth and life. These are known as Braj Regions – Mathura, Vrindavan, Gowardhan, Gokul, Nandgaon and Barsana. The Lathmar Holi of Barsana is world-famous
Holi signifies the victory of good over evil. It is also the arrival of spring and end of the winter season. For most of the people, it is a time to rejoice and a festive day to get together with family and friends. It also fills one’s life with Colours, energy and positivity.
The festival of Holi essentially lasts for two days starting on the Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Bikram Sambat Hindu Calendar month of Phalgun (which typically falls in between the end of February and the middle of March in the Gregorian calendar).
The first day is known as Holika Dahan, Chhoti Holi or Kama Dahan and the second as Rangwali Holi or Dhulandi .
Holi, the festival of colors marks the commencement of spring season in India after the winter season. It is celebrated with utmost joy throughout the country. Similar to many other festivals in India, this festival also symbolizes the victory of good over evil in India.
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Upon arrival at Delhi in the evening, you are met, greeted and escorted to the Hotel. You are welcomed in the hotel in a Traditional Indian style on arrival and check into the hotel for overnight.
After breakfast in the hotel, we leave for a city sightseeing tour of Old Delhi & New Delhi.
Old Delhi came into prominence when Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to Delhi. You visit 300 year old Chandni Chowk market. A maze of lanes crowded with shops selling an extraordinary variety of items and food, the noise and crowds are a quintessential part of any Indian market. From here you continue to the Jama Masjid or Friday Mosque. This is India’s largest mosque designed by Shah Jahan, and was his last architectural legacy. Originally it was called Masjid-I-Jahanuma, which means “mosque commanding a view of the world”. In complete contrast to the noise and crowds of Old Delhi, is Raj Ghat, a simple and stunning memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, the main architect of India’s independence.
You pass through the Red Fort that dominates this area is the landmark. Built in the mid 17th century by Shah Jahan, it was plundered by the marauding armies of Nadir Shah and later by British soldiers.
We return to the hotel for overnight stay
Delhi – Agra
Check out from the hotel after breakfast and drive to Agra. Upon arrival check in to the hotel.
In the Afternoon we leave to visit Agra Fort built by Emperor Akbar between 1565 & 1573, which reveals the Mughal talent for combining defensive architecture with beauty and design. This fort palace was begun by Akbar as a purely defensive citadel and was subsequently completed by two successive generations that added the delicate mosaic and magnificent marble palaces. The fort is the history of Mughal life in Agra and offers a magical view of the Taj Mahal.
At Sunset, we explore the world famous Taj Mahal (Closed on Friday), built by Shah Jahan in 1630 for his queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a perfectly proportioned masterpiece fashioned from white marble that stands testimony to the sill of 20,000 craftsmen brought together from Persia, Turkey, France and Italy and who took 17 year to complete this ‘Love Poem in Marble’. We return to hotel for overnight stay
Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Jaipur
Check out from the hotel after breakfast and drive to Jaipur. We stop en route to visit Fatehpur Sikri, located 40 Km from Agra, the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, in honour of the great Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti who blessed Akbar and prophesized the birth of three sons to the heirless Emperor.
Continue drive to Jaipur. Check-in at the hotel on arrival.
The evening is at leisure to explore the colourful markets of the pink city. Overnight is at hotel.
After breakfast we leave for excursion to Amber Fort . A major attraction at Amber is the Elephant Ride (subject to availability) all the way up to the Fort entrance. This journey on caparisoned elephants is bound to enrich your memories with the Royal lifestyle of the Maharajas and leave you with a truly unforgettable experience. Amber is a classic, romantic Rajasthani Fort Palace. The rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort may not look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is a virtual paradise. Miniatures painted on the walls depict hunting and war scenes, apart from festivals. Precious stones and mirrors are embedded into the plaster. Inside the Fort visit the Jag Mandir or the Hall of Victory. En route to Amber Fort from your hotel, you will have a brief photography stop at Hawa Mahal – the Palace of Winds
Jaipur - Chomu
After breakfast, we first visit Jantar Mantar (Observatory), which is the largest stone and marble crafted observatory in the world built by Jai Singh from 1728 to 1734. Situated near the gate of the city palace, the observatory has 17 large instruments, many of them still in working condition.
In the afternoon we drive to Chomu. upon arrival check in to hotel.
In the evening you participate in the Holika Dahan celebrations – great ritual of the Hindu religion while celebrating the Holi festival. It is a tradition festival which celebrates the Holika death and Prahlad safety by organizing the ceremony known as the Holika Dahan.
This ceremony held according to the Muhurt by Hindu calendar which specially falls during night or late evening. It is a religious ceremony during which people roast the “Jau” in the fire of Holika and bring them to their home for the goodness of the family members. They burn 5 “Upali” in the fire as well in the myth of burning their all problems. Some people burn the waste of massage by the “Sarson Ubtan” in the fire in the myth of burning their all body problems and get blessed by the good health by the Holika Mata.
There are various mythological explanations which have been given in the historical books for the death of Holika and celebration of the Holi. Holika was burnt as Vishnu stepped in, She was booned the Brahma for never being harmed by the fire, she was just following order of her brother and knew everything, she had given her fire protective clothe to Prahlad and died herself, when it was firing Prahlad started praying Lord Vishnu then the fire protective shawl flown away to wrap the Prahlad from the Holika. Overnight is at hotel.
Chomu – Jodhpur
After breakfast, we celebrate & enjoy the Holi festival.
We prepare to celebrate the Festival of Colors “Holi”. We will use the Kurta pajamas (Indian attire) that have been provided to you and we will be ready to play Dhulandi with colored waters and Gulal (colored herb powder)You will participate and enjoy colorful folk dance and the accompaniment of drumming will be part of these celebrations. After the celebration, you will enjoy lunch.
Post lunch, we drive to Jodhpur, upon arrival check in to the hotel for overnight stay
After breakfast, we explore the city of Jodhpur. The tour starts with visit to the Mehrangarh Fort , an impregnable fortress towering above a 10km wall with soaring archways leading into the center. The fort has a series of spectacular palaces, each decorated with exquisite engravings, lattice and mirror work. The museum displays an unusual collection of miniature paintings, glided palanquins and solid silver “howdah” presented by a Mughal emperor to the Maharaja.
Next stop is Jaswant Thada – a cluster of royal cenotaphs in the white marble built in 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh-II. We finish our city tour with the stop at the Clock Tower and the nearby Sardar Market – a historical local trading market for Spices.
Overnight is at Hotel.
Jodhpur – Ranakpur – Udaipur
After breakfast in the hotel, we leave for Udaipur en-route visit Ranakpur Temples, built in the 15th century, situated in a valley on the western side of the Aravali Range. Ranakpur is amongst the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. Over 1444 marble pillars, each differently carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. It is also said that it is impossible to count the pillars. Not to be missed in this temple is one carving out of a single stone with 108 heads of snakes and numerous tails.
We continue our drive to Udaipur after the visit. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.
The evening is at leisure. Overnight is at the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, we tour the city of Udaipur. with its lakes and palaces, cradled in the hills of the Aravalli range is a very romantic city. The name itself “The City of sunrise” evokes a sense of romance. We first visit the City Palace – the focal point of the city and has several areas of interest like the Suraj Gokhada, Badi Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Mor Chowk (the peacock courtyard), and the Zenana Mahal. Next, we visit the Jagdish Temple, located close to the Palace with its imposing sculpted figures and heavily ornamented interiors. Finally, stop by to visit Sahelion ki bari Gardens or the ‘ Garden of maids’; built under the express guidance of Maharana Sangram Singh II, it is believed that the garden was constructed for 48 maids who accompanied the Maharana’s wife as dowry.
Late afternoon, we take a boat ride at Lake Pichola, 4-Km long and 3-Km broad, surrounded by splendid hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats, and embankments. Visit the island palace, Jag Mandir that is beautifully set in the lake. Overnight is at the hotel.
Udaipur – Mumbai
Check out from the hotel after breakfast. In time you will be escorted to the airport for your flight to Mumbai
You are met on arrival at Mumbai Airport and transferred to your Hotel.
The rest of the day is free. Overnight is at hotel
The morning after breakfast at the hotel, we leave our hotel after a relaxed breakfast with our guide to the harbor where we embark on the boat to go to Elephanta Caves at 10:00 AM . (Closed on Monday). We visit the 1200-year old Elephanta Caves housing some of the most beautiful rock-cuts of the period. The famous Trimurti sculpture of three-faced Shiva depicting his three aspects as Creator, Preserver and Destroyer is powerfully portrayed in the massive sculpture. We return to the mainland by boat.
Afternoon we start the tour of Mumbai city; first we visit Gateway of India, the landmark of Mumbai, which, was before the advent of air travel, the only gateway to India. It was built to commemorate the visit of King George and Queen Mary to India in 1911. You will be then driven along
Marine Drive, The Sea – Front Boulevard. It is also known as the Queen’s Necklace as in the evening, the breeze from the Arabian Sea comes over marine Drive and as the streetlights on this U – shaped road light up to, the view from south Mumbai’s sky scrapers or from the exclusive residential area, is that of a Queen’s Necklace. You will also visit Prince of Wales Museum (Closed on Monday) a mid-Victorian Gothic style building made of stone, surrounded by a beautiful garden. It is named after the Prince of Wales who came to India and laid the foundation for it in 1905. This grand structure houses a priceless collection of art, sculpture, china, a fine collection of miniature paintings and much more. Carefully preserved, the museum is a pleasure to visit, the gardens surrounding the building adding to its charm. Jahangir Art Gallery adjacent and within the compound of the Prince of Wales museum is Mumbai’s premier art gallery.
Later you will be driven along Malabar Hill via the tower of Silence -a round stone construction on which Parsis place their dead to be eaten by the vultures and Hanging Gardens which is built over Bombay’s reservoir. From here one can get a panoramic view of picturesque Marine Drive. You will be then driven along Crawford Market & Dhobi Ghat where Mumbai’s ‘dirties’ are scrubbed, bashed, dyed and hung out to dry. Watch the local train passing close by on which the city commuters ‘hang out like laundry’ – a nice photography stop. Overnight is at the hotel.
Mumbai – Home
Today you will be transferred to Delhi International airport to board your onward flight to home.