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Irresistible India - 12 Days February March 2018 - ONE PLACE LEFT

Price A$5,245


Destination

DelhiVaranasiLucknowAgraJaipur


Category
Group Tours

Duration
12 days 11 nights
Tour Details

India: 21 February - 4 March 2018 A$5,425 plus airfares

If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting India and uncovering this diverse and spiritual land, then this tour is the one for you.

Offering an inspiring introduction to this colourful country, our 12 day solo tour combines visits to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi and Lucknow.

We start with two nights in the bustling metropolis of Delhi, where we’ll travel in time between old and new, discovering both parts of this fascinating city.

Next we head to Varanasi, for two nights in one of the oldest and holiest cities in India, where we’ll take a dawn boat ride on the Ganges River and discover the ‘Ghats’, where Hindu pilgrims come to cleanse their souls of sin in the waters.

On Day 5 we head to the charming city of Lucknow, for two days of sightseeing, with visits to a ‘Chikan’ embroidery workshop and a walking food tour of some of the world famous traditional roadside eateries.

Day 6 sees us heading to the alluring city of Agra and home of the Taj Mahal. Our dawn visit allows us to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site in its best light, before we head off on a sightseeing tour of Agra itself.

Next we head to flamboyant Jaipur, a treasure-trove of culture, art and history, famous for its colour, lifestyle and Rajasthani cuisine. Here we’ll take part in the ‘Festival of Colours - Holi’, celebrating the end of winter and the arrival of spring with live music, dance, drinks and delicacies along with the chance to take to the streets to throw colourful gulal (powder) over each other!

Our last full day includes a city tour of Jaipur itself with visits to the Amber Fort, the Hawa Mahal and the City Palace Museum.

That’s 12 days in a colourful, vibrant and spiritual land on an adventure you won’t forget.

Will you join us?

Don’t forget, if you fancy even more adventure, our India and Sri Lanka Tours can be booked as ‘back to back’ tours.

 ONE PLACE LEFT

Day 1 - Delhi

Welcome to India! Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be met by your Tour Guide and transferred to your hotel. Your Two’s a Crowd Tour Host will meet you at the hotel to assist with check-in, answer any questions you may have and confirm the time for our welcome breakfast and tour briefing on Day 2.Once checked in, there’ll be plenty of free time to exploreyour new surroundings and settle in.

Accommodation: ITC Welcom Dwarka (DeluxeRoom)

Day 2 - Old and New Delhi

Day 2 starts with a welcome breakfast and tour briefing and is followed by a guided sightseeing tour covering the highlights of the remarkable contrast between Mughal Old Delhi and Colonial New Delhi. We start in Old Delhi with a drive past the renowned 17th-century landmark Lal Qila (Red Fort) before we head to Jama Masjid. Built by Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1658, the Jama Masjid is one of India’s largest mosques, capable of holding up to 25,000 people. Next up is a colourful rickshaw ride through the busy lanes and bustling markets of Chandni Chowk. Our tour of New Delhi starts with a drive down the spectacular Rajpath, a vast parade linking India Gate to the offices of the India Government and known as the ‘Kingsway’. We also visit the President’s House, the Parliament House and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Qutub Minar, which boasts the tallest minaret in India and is a stunning example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel.

Accommodation: ITC Welcom Dwarka (Deluxe Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Delhi - Varanasi (Flight)

After breakfast, we transfer to Delhi airport and board a flight to Varanasi. One of the most colourful and fascinating places on Earth, Varanasi is one of the oldest and holiest cities. On arrival we’ll be met by our Tour Guide at the Airport and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the local markets for Banarasi silk, cherished as a collector’s item across the world. In the evening we’ll witness a grand prayer ceremony on the ghats of the river Ganges.

Accommodation: Hotel Ramada (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Varanasi

Today we begin with a magical dawn boat ride on the Ganges River, for an unparalleled view of the ghats and temples as we glide past the bathers and funeral pyres. ‘Ghats’ are giant steps leading down to the river, where Hindu pilgrims come to cleanse their souls of sin in the waters. At this time of day, the river is awash with early morning bathers, raising their faces to the rising sun and reciting the sacred mantra on the riverbanks to wash, socialise and worship. We’ll visit some of the ghats themselves before heading back to the hotel for breakfast. Next we take a trip to the BHU (Banaras Hindu University). Considered to be the biggest residential university in Asia, the BHU houses an Art Gallery and the Mosque of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Our final visit today is to Sarnath, where Buddha preached his first sermon and which is now one of the four key sites on the Buddhist circuit, attracting followers from around the world.

Accommodation: Hotel Ramada (Superior Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Varanasi - Lucknow (Train)

This morning we take a packed breakfast with us as we transfer to the railway station and board our train to Lucknow. Known as ‘The City of Nawabs’ Lucknow is an intriguing blend of old world charm, beautiful architecture, courteous people, warm hospitality and rich heritage. On arrival we’ll meet our Tour Guide at the railway station and transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is yours at leisure to relax, unwind and explore.

Accommodation: Golden Tulip (Club Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Lucknow

Today we take a a sightseeing tour of Lucknow. After breakfast our first stop is Bara Imambara, an Islamic tomb which houses an array of sites to discover. Within the complex, we’ll visit the Asfi mosque, and the Bhul-Bhulayah, also known as the ‘labyrinth’, an enticing network of narrow passageways that winds its way inside the upper floors of the tomb’s structure. Next we head to the Government Museum, a must see, modern three-storied building situated within the Banarasi Bagh area of Lucknow.Lucknow is considered the heart of the ‘Chikan’ embroidery industry, renowned for its timeless grace and delicacy and dating back more than 2000 years. In the afternoon we’ll visit a Chikan workshop where you’ll get to see this beautiful craft being performed by skilled workers. In the evening we’ll enjoy a walking food tour* of Lucknow which allows us to hop in and out of some of the world famous traditional roadside eateries. Some of the eateries we visit include Mobeen’s Pasanda, Raheem’s Nihari Gosht, Bismillha’s or Idris’ Biryani and Tundey Kebab. Our evening will end with a fabulous Indian ice cream at Chanakya’s Kulf.*The ‘walking food tour’ (18:45 hrs) starts and ends at Akbari Gate. The total duration is about 1.5 hours.

Accommodation: Golden Tulip (Club Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Lucknow - Agra (train)

This morning is free for you to explore the local bazaar until midday. Then we’ll transfer to Lucknow railway station to board our train to Tundla. On arrival we’ll meet our Tour Guide and transfer to our hotel in magical Agra. Known primarily for being the home of the Taj Mahal, this alluring city has plenty to offer, not least the fascinating architecture left by the Mughal Empire, much of which you’ll see as we pass by.

Accommodation: Clarks Shiraz (Standard Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Agra

Day 8 begins with an early morning visit to see the sun rise over the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Taj Mahal. Undisputedly one of the world’s most beautiful buildings, in the soft morning light, as the mist rises from the Yamuna River, it seems to float like a mirage above the surrounding landscape. Built from dazzling marble, its colour changes from white to yellow, to cream, to almost orange. An exquisite image that you’ll remember forever. We return to our hotel for breakfast before we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Agra itself. Our tour begins with a visit to one of the finest Mughal forts in India, the Agra Fort. Built by Emperor Akbar between 1565 and 1571, this palatial red sandstone and marble fortress consists of a plethora of courtyards displaying a mixture of Islamic and Hindu styles of architecture. This wonderful day ends with a visit to Itimad-Ud-Daulah, nicknamed the ‘Baby Taj’, and another fine example of Mughal architecture.

Accommodation: Clarks Shiraz (Standard Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Agra - Jaipur

After a leisurely breakfast we head off to Abhaneri Stepwell, an ancient village in Rajasthan, renowned for its 10th-century monument Chand Baori, an incredible geometric wonder and one of the largest stepwells in India. Next we continue on to the enthralling city of Jaipur. A treasure-trove of culture, art and history, famous for its colour, life style and Rajasthani cuisine, this city exudes flamboyancy and extravagant richness, as well as being host to a multitude of historical temples and shrines.

Accommodation: Golden Tulip (Standard Room)

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - Jaipur - Holi Celebration

Day 10 - 2 March 2018

AGRA - JAIPUR (B,L,D)

Today we get the chance to take part in the colourful and vibrant festival of Holi at the Narain Niwas Palace*. The most boisterous of Hindu festivals, Holi is celebrated across all four corners of India and across the globe. Known as ‘The Festival of Colours’ the ‘Holi’ celebrates the end of winter and the arrival of Spring, a season of hope and joy. The morning is filled with live music, dance, drinks and mouth-watering delicacies, before both children and adults take to the streets to throw colourful gulal (powder) over each other. Dyed water is shot from pichkaries (water guns), thrown from buckets and poured into balloons, which are then tossed at people. After an exhilarating day of fun and frolics, we return to our hotel to clean up and relax! 

Accommodation: Golden Tulip (Standard Room)

*The Narain Niwas Celebration includes:

  • Welcome Drink (Non-Alcoholic Beverages)
  • Herbal colours + Water Guns + Water Balloons
  • Indian Snacks (2 veg+ 2 non-veg + Mineral Water)
  • Lunch
  • Live traditional Music
  • Kurta Pyjama (For both men and women)
  • Traditional Turbans
  • Changing room facility
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 - Jaipur

Our last full day on tour begins with a guided visit to Amber Fort, with a photo stop en-route at the Hawa Mahal, also known as the ‘Palace of Winds’. The Amber Fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture, comprising an extensive complex, built from pale yellow and pink sandstone and white marble. Next we enjoy a guided tour of Jaipur itself, starting with the City Palace Museum. Boasting priceless, handwritten Hindu scriptures, miniature delicate paintings and preserved painted ceilings, the museum is registered in the Guinness Book of Records for containing the biggest silver objects in the world. Our sightseeing tour ends with a visit to Jantar Mantar, one of the famed observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh. Built for measuring the heavens, in 2010 it was added to India’s list of Unesco World Heritage Sites. We then return to the hotel with time to get ready for our farewell dinner.

Accommodation: Golden Tulip (Standard Room)

Optional Tour: Hot Air Balloon Ride over Jaipur AU$340.00 per person 

One of the best ways to see Jaipur is from up high and this optional Hot Air Balloon Safari will allow you to do just that. Enjoy the peace and serenity as you behold the breathtaking sights of this spectacular region. This one-hour flight over India’s pink city provides an exhilarating experience as you drift over the mountains, traditional villages, rural fields, palaces and the spectacular Amber Fort. 

The flights are operated early in the morning and late afternoon and your experience will start with pick-up from your Jaipur hotel and transfer to launch site, where you will receive hot tea and other refreshments. Listen to a briefing and watch with awe as the Hot Air Balloon inflates while the ground crew prepare for your flight. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 - Jaipur - Delhi Departure

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for your flight home or onto further adventures. 

Meals : Breakfast

ITC Welcom DwarkaConveniently located in Asia’s largest sub-city Dwarka, WelcomHotel Dwarka features contemporary design and offers a range of accommodation across its 322 elegant, well equipped rooms and suites. Restaurants include Indian, Pavilion 75, the all day dining restaurant and Shanghai Club - a signature restaurant serving authentic Chinese cuisine. The rooms are spacious and comfortable with large well equipped bathrooms and ample space for work or relaxation. They offer a refined luxury with warm and efficient services along with state-of-the-art amenities as you'd expect from a 5 star hotel.

Hotel RamadaThis hotel is 5.5 km from the steps leading to the Ganges river at Dashashwamed Ghat and 5.7 km from Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Contemporary rooms have free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, minifridges, and tea and coffee making facilities. Suites add separate living areas and wet bars. Amenities include 3 restaurants serving Indian, Thai and international cuisine, as well as 2 bars. There's also an outdoor pool, a spa and a fitness centre, as well as a business centre and 4 meeting rooms.

Golden TulipThis modern, city centre hotel is 2.4 km from Lucknow Zoo and the cricket matches at K. D. Singh Babu Stadium, as well as 6 km from the Ambedkar Memorial Park. The cosy, contemporary rooms come with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. They also have tea and coffee making facilities, minibars and desks, plus city views. Suites add separate living rooms. Turndown service is available as is 24/7 room service.There's a contemporary, multi-cuisine restaurant/bar. Other amenities include a spa, a coffee shop, a fitness room and an outdoor pool. A business centre and several event rooms are on offer. 

Clarks ShirazThe relaxed rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars (fee), plus tea and coffee making facilities. Upgraded rooms have views of the Taj Mahal; suites add sitting areas. Room service is available. A breakfast buffet and parking are included. There are 3 restaurants (1 with rooftop dining), a cafe and a bar. Other amenities include a spa with steam rooms, a game room, a business centre and an exercise room, plus an outdoor pool.

Golden Tulip JaipurSet in the city center, this upscale hotel is 1.8 km from Jaipur Junction railway station and 2.7 km from Jantar Mantar, an 18th-century park and heritage site. Elegant rooms feature Wi-Fi (fee), flat-screen TVs and minibars, as well as tea and coffee making facilities, and marble bathrooms. Suites add living rooms, dining areas and panoramic city views. Butler service is available on request, and room service is offered 24/7. Free breakfast is provided in a contemporary restaurant. There's a stylish lounge bar and a 24-hour coffee shop. Other amenities include a round rooftop pool, a gym, and a spa with a sauna, a steam room and hot tubs.

Weather

Winters in the north are cold but days in the plains are sometimes sunny. Carry a combination of heavy woollens and light jumpers. It’s coldest from mid-December to mid-January. Get yourself an umbrella or raincoat. It’s always raining some region or another. In the summer be armed with sun protection: sunglasses, cap/hat, cream with a minimum SPF of 20.

Money

The National Currency of India is the Indian rupee, which is available in denominations of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1000. There are coins for Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5 and Rs 10.

Banking in India has become quite easy now. ATMs are found in many cities in India except for the very small towns. Major international credit cards are widely accepted in the cities.

Changing money in India especially in bigger metros is quite simple as there are many accredited money changers and most banks too change money. Moneychangers are open 24 hours at the airports and in hotels.

Electricity

Carry a combination plug that will feed into a round-pin socket: across the subcontinent plug point sockets are round rather than flat

Visas

All visitors are required to carry a passport valid at least for the next 6 months. Visa exemptions include:

1. Bhutanese and Nepalese visitors who are staying for less than 3 months.

2. Nationals from the Maldives, if they are staying for a maximum of 90 days (this includes any periods they may have spent in India up to 6 months prior to the visit in question).

3. Transit passengers who have a follow-on ticket within 72 hours of arrival as long as they are not going to leave the airport.

Special restrictions apply to Pakistani and Afghan nationals. Its always wise to check updated visa requirements prior to travel.

Let us handle your travel arrangements

Remember we are a full service travel company. We can provide a competitive quote and book  your airfare no matter where you are from. Just leave it to us.

Tour inclusions:

  • Transport as described in the itinerary(fully insured vehicle with heating and airconditioning and professional driver).

  • 14 nights quality hotel accommodation in yourown room — always!

  • English speaking Tour Guide throughoutcomplemented by local English speakingguides.

  • Entrance fees to the attractions as peritinerary. We include general admission tickets(there might be some optional paying zonesinside some of the attractions, not included).

  • Cycle rickshaw ride in Old Delhi.

  • Domestic Flight from Delhi – Varanasi inEconomy Class.

  • Viewing of Grand Prayer Ceremony inVaranasi.

  • Sunrise boat ride (shared boat) on riverGanges.

  • Culinary Walking Food Tour in Lucknow.

  • Train Fare for Varanasi – Lucknow & Lucknow–Agra sectors in A/c Chair Car Cabin.

  • Morning visit to Taj Mahal.

  • A group photograph clicked in front of themonument of love “Taj Mahal”.

  • Holi Festival Celebration in Jaipur.

  • Jeep ride (shared Jeep) at Amber Fort inJaipur.

  • All the transfers hotel/airport are with tour guide assistance.§Meals as per itinerary: 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 10 dinners.§One bottle of mineral water per person per day (during drives and sightseeing only).§All applicable and current taxes.§Two’s a Crowd tour host from Australia.§Standard CHI Travel Insurance Policy. Additional premium may be payable if over 59 years, have an existing medial condition or wish to extend your travelling dates (Underwritten by Allianz). 

Tour exclusions:

  • Meals not specifed in the itinerary.

  • Items of a personal nature.

  • International airfares (we can arrange flights onyour behalf).

  • Tips for guides, drivers and porters (suggestedtips are US$8 for guide and US$4 for driverper day). Tips can be offered to guides/drivers at your discretion, but they are notcompulsory.

  • logo1 Proud winner of the 3AW Small Business Success Award in 2016
  • logo3 We are 100% Australian owned and operated
  • logo4 Our group tours include travel insurance. See tour brochures for more info.
  • logo 6 Fully ATAS accredited. A national scheme which accredits only those travel businesses who have met strict financial and customer service criteria.
  • logo 7 Full member of Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), the peak body for Australia's travel businesses
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