9 days, 8 nights
Duration

Twisting bazaars filled with spices and fabric; the early morning sun glistening off the spectacular white marble of the Taj Mahal; the twinkling lights of Diwali adorning the narrow streets and wide boulevards. Diwali is truly a magical time to explore North India. Come with Ekno and explore sights of India’s Golden Triangle, taking in Rajasthani Forts, Mughal ruins, and medieval spice markets.

We’ll celebrate Diwali at a famous temple in Jaipur, as we participate in the festivities with residents from across the city. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a special Diwali feast to ring in the occasion. Diwali is considered one of the most important festivals in Hinduism but has become popular across India for its association with firecrackers, sweets, and joyous festivities.

 

 

TOUR DATES

2 – 10 November 2018

TOUR COST

A$2190 per person twin share

Single Supplement A$790

* Fixed departure – price based on minimum 6 people
Independent Travels – Price on Application

DURATION

09 Days, 08 Nights

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Golden Temple, Amritsar
  • Colorful bazaars in Jaipur
  • Visits to Amber Forts
  • Diwali celebration
  • Magnificent Taj Mahal

TOUR ROUTE

Delhi – Amritsar – Wagah border crossing – Jaipur – Agra

MAP

Diwali-The Festival of Lights

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Day 1

2 Nov 2018

Arrive in Delhi

Welcome to incredible India! An Ekno representative will meet you and escort you to our hotel upon your arrival at the airport in Delhi. After checking into the hotel, spend the rest of your day at your leisure exploring the local area and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere. Our friendly guide and hotel staff will be on hand should you need restaurant recommendations or general provisions.

Overnight: Hotel, Delhi

Day 2

3 Nov 2018

Delhi

After breakfast we will head to the iconic and bustling area of Old Delhi. We’ll admire the magnificent Jama Masjid (India’s largest mosque) before enjoying a rickshaw tour through the ancient alley ways of Chandni Chowk bazaar. We’ll pass by the fantastic Red Fort, constructed in 1638; and visit Raj Ghat, the sombre cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi. As we continue to weave our way to New Delhi, we will pass famous British era landmarks such as India Gate, the President’s House, Parliament House & the Government Secretariat Buildings. Our final stop for the day is the Laxmi Narayan Hindu Temple.

Overnight: Hotel, Delhi

Day 3

4 Nov 2018

Delhi – Amritsar, Wagah border crossing

After checking out of our hotel, we’ll board the world famous Indian Railways, which serves 13 million passengers every day. We’ll take the Shatabdi Express to Amritsar (6 hours), a journey that passes through the fertile farming area known as ‘India’s breadbasket’. Train travel is an essential Indian experience so sit back, relax and enjoy taking in the many sights.

Upon arrival in Amritsar, we will transfer to our hotel and settle in before heading to the Wagah border, a land crossing between India and Pakistan. Every day since 1959 the security forces on both sides of the border have participated in a “lowering of the flags” ceremony. This is conducted with much pomp and ceremony and the atmosphere is similar to what you might expect to find at a sporting match. Once the ceremony is complete, we will head back to Amritsar. The rest of the evening is free to spend exploring the bustling surrounds or to enjoy some delicious Punjabi cuisine.

Overnight: Hotel, Amritsar

Day 4

5 Nov 2018

Amritsar

In the morning we will pay our respects at the magnificent Golden Temple, considered to be one of the most sacred Sikh sites in the world. The temple is a deeply spiritual sanctuary, beautifully plated in radiant gold. After visiting the inner sanctum, we’ll head to the community kitchen where up to 100,000 pilgrims are fed for free every day by volunteers. You can try your hand at rolling rotis (flat breads) or peeling garlic. After the Golden Temple, we will visit Jallianwala Bagh, a moving garden memorial for those killed by the British in the 1919 massacre. We’ll end our day at the beautiful Ram Bagh Gardens, a former summer palace of the Raja of Punjab.

Overnight: Hotel: Amritsar

Day 5

6 Nov 2018

Amritsar – Jaipur

We’ll check out of our hotel in time for our morning flight to Jaipur. Upon arrival we will be escorted to our hotel. You have the afternoon free to spend at your leisure, getting to know and explore the local surrounds. In the late afternoon we’ll head to the colourful old bazaars of the famed pink city. Along the way we’ll admire the twinkling lights adorning the city as its inhabitants prepare for Diwali.

Overnight: Hotel: Jaipur

Day 6

7 Nov 2018

Jaipur

After breakfast we will visit Amber Fort, the ancient hillside capital of Rajasthan. You can choose to walk, take a jeep, or ride an elephant up to the fort’s entrance. The ascent to the fort, no matter your mode of transportation, is full of unbeatable views. Once inside the fort, wander the palace corridors; including the spectacular Sheesh Mahal (palace of mirrors) and white marble pavilion, Jai Mandir.

After visiting the fort we will head back to Jaipur for a tour of the city’s iconic landmarks. We’ll visit the gorgeous Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and the City Palace Museum. The museum is filled with a rich collection of Rajasthani costumes and medieval armoury.

In the evening we will celebrate Diwali at the Birla Temple, located at the foot of the Moti Doongri fortress. During Diwali the gardens surrounding the temple are decorated with handmade tea candles, marigold garlands, and vivid flower arrangements. Join in as the  residents from across Jaipur flock to the temple to give their offerings to the deities. Later we will make our way back to the city for a special Diwali feast. Happy Diwali!

Overnight: Hotel, Jaipur

Day 7

8 Nov 2018

Jaipur – Agra

After breakfast we will begin our drive to Agra, home of the world famous Taj Mahal. On the way we will stop and explore the Abhaneri Stepwell. We’ll have a delicious Indian lunch after visiting Abhaneri Stepwell and then proceed to Agra.

Upon arrival in Agra, the rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure, soaking up the atmosphere of this ancient city. Many roof top restaurants boast magnificent views of the Taj Mahal and you may wish to dine out in one of these as the sun sets on Agra and its most famous monument to love.

Overnight: Hotel, Agra

Day 8

9 Nov 2018

Agra – Delhi

Rise and shine early to witness a once in a lifetime event, a spectacular sunrise visit to the magnificent Taj Mahal. This grand mausoleum of white marble and precious gem inlay was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz, who died in childbirth. The Taj is also one of the most-photographed monuments in the world, and as we explore its surrounds you will surely see why.

We will return to our hotel for breakfast and then begin our drive to Delhi, arriving by early evening. This evening is at your leisure to relax in the hotel or on one of Delhi’s many roof top restaurants, which provide a great view of the bustling streets below.

Overnight: Hotel: Delhi

Day 9

10 Nov 2018

Departure day

We will bid farewell to India today. Check out from hotel in Delhi. We’ll drop you at the airport for your return flight. We look forward to seeing you on another Ekno Travels experience soon.

Tour ends

INCLUDES

Met at Delhi Airport by an Ekno representative
8 nights accommodation with breakfast
First class air conditioned train from Delhi to Amritsar
Domestic flight from Amritsar to Jaipur
All internal transfers by car as specified in the itinerary
Diwali celebration dinner in Jaipur
Entrance fees to all sights and monuments
Local guides in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra
Services of an English speaking guide throughout the duration of the tour

EXCLUDES

Return airfares to India
Cost of Indian tourist visa (on arrival)
Lunch and dinner (unless otherwise specified)
Personal expenditure such as drinks (including bottled water), laundry service and souvenirs
Tipping
Camera and video entry charges at local sights and monuments
Compulsory insurance of any kind

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