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THIS IS NOT THE FULL BROCHURE

We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.

Treasures of Northern India with Festival of Colours of "Holi"

March 20 - April 2, 2016 • 14 days

$4640 based on double occupancy from Delhi, India • International airfare additional

Optional Assam Extension click here

It is time to unwind your dreams that you have only thought of, so far. Now is the moment to get steady to explore the colours of Incredible India. Pack your bags and take off for a flight to gain an 'India Experience'. India's enriching flavours, sounds, sights & smells which are yet to be unravelled. Discover your passion, meet the people, get a sense of smells which will let your taste buds tingle and shop at local markets. It is one such journey of a lifetime covering the major Indian states of Delhi, the capital city of India, followed by Udaipur, the city of lakes, Deogarh, a rural experience, Jaipur, popularly known as Pink City, Agra, city of the Taj and Varanasi, the oldest living city. Following the trail, you will be gaining a lot many cherished moments you will love to take it with yourself.

Program Highlights

  • Stay at luxury properties throughout the tour
  • Cycle Rickshaw ride in Delhi
  • Lecture series in Udaipur & Agra by eminent scholars
  • Visit to the forts and palaces of Rajasthan
  • Train ride in Deogarh
  • Holi festival ritual in Udaipur with Royal family
  • Traditional Dress and organic colors for playing Holi.
  • Jeep ride in Deogarh
  • Elephant back ride to ascend Amer Fort
  • Cooking Demonstration on Rajasthani Traditional food followed by Dinner with local family.
  • Heritage walk in Pushkar & Varanasi
  • Boat ride in Varanasi

Accommodations

  • Two nights in Delhi, at Oberoi Maidens
  • Two nights in Udaipur, at Trident
  • Two nights in Deogarh at Deogarh Mahal
  • Two nights in Jaipur at Trident
  • Two nights in Agra at Trident
  • Two nights in Varanasi at Jukaso Ganges
  • Wash n Change room at Eaton Smart

Meals

  • Extensive buffet breakfast at the hotels with tea and coffee services
  • Attend an authentic Indian dinner with a local family

Transportation

  • All deluxe motor coach transfers and flights in the Land Program itinerary and baggage handling on these transfers are included

 

Preliminary Day by Day Itinerary
March 20 Arrive Delhi
Sunday 

Welcome to India!  Upon arrival we will be met, assisted and transferred to the hotel Oberoi Maidens. Delhi, the capital of India, is a fascinating city with complexities and contradictions, beauty and dynamism, where the past coexists with the present.  Many dynasties ruled from here and the city is rich in the architecture of its monuments.

Oberoi Maidens, Heritage Room

March 21 In Delhi
Monday

After breakfast, we will enjoy a full day guided city tour of Old and New Delhi.  Begin in Jama Masjid, the Friday Mosque. Built by Shah Jahan in 1656 AD, it is one of the largest mosques in India. See Raj Ghat, the memorial to “Mahatma Gandhi” the Father of the Nation. It is constructed in the shape of a large square platform laid with black marble and an eternal flame burning perpetually in one corner to symbolize the eternity of this great leader. It was built by the architect Vanu G Bhuta.  On to Chandni Chowk, known as “silver street” and built by Jahanra, daughter of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Take a cycle rickshaw ride through the lanes and bylanes of this famous bazaar (market).  Drive past the ramparts of Red Fort Shah Jahan’s elegant citadel in red sandstone, which was built as an octagon measuring 900m by 550m and surrounded by a 9 meter deep moat which was at its inception fed by the waters of the Yamuna River. It was built in 1648 AD when Shah Jahan shifted his capital to Delhi. 

Drive past India Gate, a war memorial of the First World War. Continue along the Rajpath towards the residence of the President of the Republic of India – the Rashtrapathi Bhawan (photo stop). It is flanked by the houses of Parliament and the Government Secretariat buildings.  Humayun's Tomb was built in 1565, the magnificent structure in red sand stone and white marble is one of the finest examples of the garden tomb, and a precursor of the Taj Mahal.  See Qutub Minar, a tower of Victory which was built in the 12th century by Qutabuddin Aibak. Within the spacious courtyard of the adjoining QuwwatulIslam Mosque stands the famous Iron Pillar, which dates back to the 4th century AD and bears a Sanskrit inscription.  (B,L,D)   Oberoi Maidens, Heritage Room

March 22   Delhi - Udaipur
Tuesday
After breakfast at the hotel, we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Udaipur via Spice Jet (1115/1235). Udaipur, the City of Dawn, is the Jewel of Mewar, a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia Dynasty for 1200 years. Its kaleidoscope of fairytale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavor of a heroic past, epitomizing valor and chivalry. The reflection of these buildings in the placid waters of the Lake Pichola is an enticing sight.

In the afternoon enjoy a city tour of Udaipur. The City Palace is a majestic architectural marvel perched on a hill and towering over Lake Pichola. The Palace is a conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Each palace within is an outstanding creation of art. At Durbar Hall and Crystal Gallery we see that the gallery has a magnificent collection of Oslers Crystals. These precious crystals were ordered by Maharana Sajjan Singh around 1877 A.D. Although the Maharana could not see the most valuable crystals due to his premature death. These treasured crystals are kept in the charismatic City Palace Complex, overlooking the majestic and imperial Durbar Hall. Saheliyonki Bari (courtyard for maidens) is one of the most beautiful gardens below the embankment of Fateh Sagar Lake. It has beautiful lotus pools, marble pavilions and fountains. It also has a museum which exhibits collection of royal households, ancient pictures. You may get to see cobras and other animals which will add a tint of adventure to your visit. (B-L-D)

Trident, Garden View Room


March 23            In Udaipur
Wednesday

After breakfast at the hotel, we will enjoy a short lecture ”Festivals of India” followed by a boat ride on Lake Pichola.  This evening delight in the formal ceremony of 'Holika Dehan' at City Palace of Udaipur.  The Indian festival of spring and the new season, the Festival of Holi is ushered in with prayers and rituals. The custodian of the house of Mewar, Shriji Arvind Singhji Mewar, leads a royal procession to the prestigious Manek chowk, City Palace. The rituals are performed followed by the lighting of the Holika, representing the triumph of good over evil.  Folk songs and dances bring alive the rich heritage of Rajasthan.  (B-L-D)

Trident, Garden View Room

March 24 Udaipur – Ranakpur - Deogarh (181 Km)
Thursday 

This morning we celebrate Holi, wearing traditional dress as we play with organic colors and savor Indian sweets. There are various legends to explain the meaning of the word “Holi”, most prominent of all is the legend associated with demon king Hiranyakashyap.  Hiranyakashyap wanted everybody in his kingdom to worship only him but to his great disappointment, his son, Prahlad became an ardent devotee of Lord Naarayana. Hiaranyakashyap commanded his sister, Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap. Holika had a boon whereby she could enter fire without any damage on herself. However, she was not aware that the boon worked only when she enters the fire alone. As a result she paid a price for her sinister desires, while Prahlad was saved by the grace of the god for his extreme devotion. The festival, therefore, celebrates the victory of good over evil and also the triumph of devotion.  Legend of Lord Krishna is also associated with play with colors as the Lord started the tradition of play with colors by applying color on his beloved Radha and other gopis. Gradually, the play gained popularity with the people and became a tradition. 
Later we visit the temples at Ranakpur.  Although they are 500 years old, the temples are superbly preserved in near perfect condition. In the cente is the main Chaturmukha temples dedicated to Adinath. The most distinctive features are the 29 halls supported by 1444 pillars, of which no two are exactly alike (note: there are dress restrictions to visit the temples – they do not permit leather items like belts, wallets or purse. The dress should cover the body).  (B-L-D)    Deogarh Mahal, Deluxe Room
March 25            In Deogarh
Friday

After an early breakfast, we will be transferred to the quaint town of Phulad for an enchanting train ride to Khamil Ghat.  We will see stunning and very cinematic landscape. Transfer into jeeps for a drive back to the Deogarh Mahal Hotel through the rustic countryside.
(B-L-D)

Deogarh Mahal, Deluxe Room


March 26   Deogarh – Pushkar - Jaipur (300 Km/ approx 7 hrs)
Saturday

After breakfast we will be driven to Jaipur visiting Pushkar en route.  Take a heritage walk in Pushkar covering Pushkar Lake, Brahma Temple, and the local town. Continue on to Jaipur. Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is color washed pink – the color associated with auspiciousness and Rajput hospitality. This Pink City of fairy tale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barren hills, and a city of broad avenues is picturesque. The first planned city of its time, Jaipur is encircled by a formidable wall. (B-L-D)    Trident, Garden View Room

March 27            In Jaipur
Sunday 

After breakfast we will enjoy a full day sightseeing tour in Jaipur.  Amber Fort, the capital of the erstwhile State of Jaipur until 1728 is perched on a hill. It has halls of Public and Private Audience, a Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors), and various marble palaces which are marvelous examples of ancient Rajput architecture. The Temple of Amba (Mother Goddess), the patron deity of the Royal family is at the entrance to the palace.

Ride an elephant to ascend the hill on which the Fort is situated.  Next visit Jantar Mantar, an astrological and astronomical Observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in 18th century, which is remarkable for its accuracy of the instruments even in the present times.  See the City Palace, the former royal residence built in a blend of the Rajasthani and Mughal styles. It now houses a museum with a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes, an armory of the Mughals and Rajputs with weapons of arms, an art gallery with an excellent collection of miniature paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia and rare astronomical works in Arabic, Persian, Latin and Sanskrit.  Drive past the Hawa Mahal or 'Palace on Winds'.
In the late afternoon we will visit the local markets- Johari Bazaar, flower and vegetable markets.  In the evening attend a cooking demonstration on Rajasthani cuisine, followed by dinner with a local family.
(B-L-D)

Trident, Garden View Room

March 28            Jaipur – Abhaneri - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra (259 Km/ approx 9 hrs including visits)
Monday 

Today we drive to Agra visiting Abhaneri en route to visit stepwells.  Abhaneri was originally named Abha Nagri, which means "City of Brightness”. The city is prominent for 'Baoris' stepwells to be used as cool places of retreat and as water reservoirs during parched times of the year. Chand Baori or the stepwells is the most popular of the wells in the region, and it is one of India's deepest and largest. It was built between 800 and 900 AD.  Next stop Fatehpur Sikri.  This exquisite city built by Akbar the Great in 1569, in red sandstone, with its forts, palaces and mosques was abandoned 14 years after its creation due to political reasons.  On to Agra, famous as the home to one of the Seven modern Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal.  This city, having been the capital of the Mughal dynasty for over hundred years until 1650, has many Mughal monuments of repute.  (B-L-D)

Trident, Garden View Room

March 29            In Agra
Tuesday

Today is a day to remember!  Early morning visit to the Taj Mahal.  The inimitable poem in white marble was built over a period of 22 years (1631-1653), using a workforce of 22,000 people, by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains.  Return to the hotel for a late breakfast. 

Later visit the Agra Fort.  Built by three Mughal emperors starting from Akbar the Great in 1565 AD, the fort is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite buildings including Jahangir’s Palace, DiwaniAm, DiwaniKhas and Musamman Burj the Octagonal Tower, where Emperor Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal was imprisoned by his son Aurangazeb for seven long years and died a prisoner.  The tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula was built by Empress Noor Jahan in memory of her father, Ghiasuddin beginning in 1622-25 AD. He was known as Itmad Ud– Daula. This ornate tomb is considered a precursor of the Taj Mahal.

In the late afternoon, we will take a heritage walk of Agra.  In Kachhpura Village, experience an authentic side of rural India, including a street play performed by the local youth. We will see a traditional art form of Sanjhipaper stencils drawn on the walls. Stroll in the Mehtab bagh and enjoy picturesque view of the Taj Mahal at sunset time from a tea terrace.
This evening, attend a lecture on “Pietra Dura”.  (B-L-D)   Trident, Garden View Room
March 30            Agra - Varanasi
Wednesday

After breakfast at the hotel, we are transferred to airport for our flight to Varanasi  [AI-406, 1405/ 1610 Hrs].  Varanasi is one of India’s most important pilgrimage sites and the holiest of holy cities for Hindus.  Known also as Kashi and Benaras, Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest living cities, and has been a center of learning and culture for well over 2000 years.  This evening attend Aarti at the Ghats of the River Ganges.  (B-L-D)

Jukaso Ganges, Deluxe Room

March 31            In Varanasi
Thursday

Wake up early for a morning boat ride on the River Ganges.  Sunrise at the holy river is a truly tranquil and breath taking sight with pilgrims standing waist deep in water, praying to the rising sun. Past these bathing ghats, see the "burning ghats” where the Hindus cremate their dead. This is done with great religious fervor which makes for a moving experience.

Breakfast will be at a restaurant on the ghats.  A heritage walk of Varanasi will show us the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.  It is located in Varanasi, the Holiest existing Place of Hindus, where at least once in life a Hindu is expected to visit.
In the late afternoon visit Sarnath and Dhamek stupa- epicenter of Buddhism in India.  Sarnath is located 13 kilometers northeast of Varanasi near the confluence of the Ganges and the Gomati rivers. The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha gave his first teaching after attaining enlightenment, in which he taught the four noble truths and the teachings associated with it. (B-L-D)

Jukaso Ganges, Deluxe Room

April 1       Varanasi - Delhi
Friday

After breakfast we visit the silk centers in Varanasi.  The rest of the morning is free at leisure.  Transfer to the airport for our flight to Delhi - Indigo [1450/ 1615].  Upon arrival, check in at the airport hotel.  (B-L-D)

Eaton Smart, Smart Room

April 2       Depart Delhi
Saturday

Bid farewell to your new friends and India.  Depart Delhi by your International flight (B)

Flight schedules always subject to change.

B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner

Preliminary Day by Day Itinerary

Day 00: (Fri, 1 Apr'16) In DELHI
Overnight in Delhi

Day 01: (Sat, 2 Apr'16) DEPART DELHI/ ARRIVE DIBRUGARH
Depart from capital city Delhi, boarding an internal flight to Dibrugarh, tea city of India
Flight: Indigo departing at 1050 hrs, arriving Dibrugarh at 1320 hrs
On arrival in Dibrugarh, you will be transferred to your hotel. Late afternoon, visit the sprawling Tea Gardens, producing the finest tea in the world, offering an opportunity to experience a life in tea estates

Overnight in Dibrugarh

Day 02 (Sun, 3 Apr'16) DAY EXCURSION TO DIGBOI
Excursion: Today take an excursion to Digboi to visit the Oil Museum, Commonwealth War Cemetery, Ledo (Stilwell) road and air strip at Ledo, which were used during the World War II.

Overnight in Dibrugarh

Day 03 (Mon, 4 Apr'16) DIBRUGARH / SIBSAGAR / JORHAT
Excursion: Today start for a drive to Jorhat visiting Sibsagar en route, known for Ahom palaces and monuments. Ahoms, ruled Assam for centuries.

Sibsagar, a hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Visit the temples of Sivadol, Vishnudol & Devidol.
Further proceed to Jorhat, gateway to Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage Site.
Overnight in Jorhat

Day 04 (Tue, 5 Apr'16) JORHAT / MAJULI ISLAND
After breakfast, we will take you to Nimati ghat to board a ferry to Majuli. It will take you about an hour to ferry through the largest riverine Island in the world to reach Majuli.

Excursion: An excursion Majuli a quaint river island, the largest in the world. It is struck by natural beauty over the sky and land both. It is a perfect blend of art and craftsmanship.

You can explore local craftsmenship of villagers making masks, pottery, boat making, handloom items of cloth of silk and cotton which is available only in Assam. Majuli has a cultural significance of revered god Krishna and the concept of 'Satras'.
Overnight in Majuli Island

A Journey through Roads Less Travelled...
The North Eastern India

DAY 05 (Wed, 6 Apr'16) MAJULI ISLAND/ KAZIRANGA
After breakfast, proceed to Kaziranga National Park (123 Km/ approx 4 hrs of drive), a World Heritage Site, known for Great One horned Rhinoceroses.

Excursion: Afternoon Safari: At about 1400 hrs, proceed for a game drive to the national park (by Jeep).
Kaziranga National Park is a World Heritage Site with a high density of tigers and home two thirds of World's total one horned Rhinoceroses. It is also known for the “Big Five” the elephants, one horned rhinoceros, tiger, wild water buffalo and swamp deer.
Overnight in Kaziranga

Day 06: (Thu, 7 Apr'16) A DAY IN KAZIRANGA
Excursion: Morning Safari in the park. Return to the hotel for late breakfast.
Afternoon Safari: At about 1400 hrs, proceed for a game drive to the national park (by Jeep).
Overnight in Kaziranga

Day 07 : (Fri, 8 Apr'16) DRIVE TO GUWAHATI
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to Guwahati.
On your arrival in Guwahati, visit the major Hindu temples of navgraha, Kamakhya and Umananda temples. Later, check in at the hotel.
Overnight in Guwahati

Day 08 : (Sat, 9 Apr'16) DEPART DELHI
Flight: Air Asia departing at 1325, arriving Delhi at 1545 hrs
Transfer to airport hotel. Stay at the hotel to relax for few hours before proceeding to take flight to the US, your destination. (Max usage of 6 Hrs from the time of checkin).

Suggested Flight: United Airways departing at 2235 hrs
Note: Itinerary sequence and/or schedule events may change. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking.

THIS IS NOT THE FULL BROCHURE

We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.

© 2015 Travel Concepts International, Inc. CST 2005743-40

Travel Concepts International, Inc.
Cultural Tours to Better Understand the World and Its People

5500 Bucks Bar Road • Placerville, CA 95667 U.S.A. • Voicemail/Telephone/Fax 1-530-621-3007
Voicemail/Tollfree in U.S.A. 1-800-762-4216
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wen@SeriousTraveler.com • Web site www.tci-travel.comor www.SeriousTraveler.com