North India Women-only Cultural Tour

   
 

North India Women-only Cultural Tour

BY WANDERTOURS
www.wandertours.com

UPDATED

1 month ago

DURATION

12 Days/11 Nights + Varanasi Add-On

SEASON

October 11 - 22, 2017

RATES

USD 4,450.00 per person

EXPIRES

Oct 10, 2017
North India Women-only Cultural Tour
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DESCRIPTION

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HIGHLIGHTS of the North India Tour for Women

* Visit the iconic Taj Mahal, a truly breathtaking experience

* Take part in cooking classes/demonstrations to learn about the intricacies of Indian cuisine

* Be welcomed for meals in the homes of several families

* Visit Sambhali Trust and know that part of your tour cost goes to helping Rajasthani women and girls

* Returning Wanderlusters receive a 5% discount on the land cost

Via the WanderWorld Foundation, a portion of your tour cost will go toward supporting the Sambhali Trust, a program in India that focuses on the development and empowerment of women and girls in India.

ADDITION RATE INFORMATION

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India Main Tour Costs:

...Land only: $4,450 (if 10 – 15 women) $4,750 (if 8 – 9 women)

...Single supplement: $950

...In-country flight: Approximately $160 (we book)

Varanasi Add-on Costs:

...Land only: $900

...Single supplement: $185

...In-country flights: Approximately $350 (we book)

- Requires an $800 deposit to secure your spot.

- Final payment due no later than August 11, 2017.

Tour price does not include: International flights to/from Delhi, India visa, evacuation insurance (highly recommended), some meals, souvenirs, personal purchases (such as books and snacks) and beverages other than water.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive In Delhi
Delhi, India
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Upon arrival at the airport (usually late evening), you will be met by a driver and transferred to the hotel.

Overnight in Delhi at The Park Hotel or similar.

Day 2: Delhi (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Delhi, India
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On this, our first full day in India, the group will tour both Old and New Delhi. We’ll start by visiting New Delhi with its wide tree-lined boulevards and upscale homes. We’ll see beautiful parks, the magnificent Parliament Building, Rashtrapati Bhavan (the official residence of the President of India) and India Gate. We’ll also see some of New Delhi’s more interesting sites, including Qutab Minar, the 72.5 meter tower that dates back to the 13th century, and Humayun?s Tomb (built in the 16th century).

After lunch at a South Indian restaurant, we’ll tour Old Delhi, which is filled with street markets and bazaars found among a maze of narrow lanes. We’ll visit the famous Red Fort, the Jama Masjid Mosque and bustling Chandni Chowk—an area known for its variety of street stalls and shops—and take a rickshaw ride through this area!

We’ll then take a walking tour and see Old Delhi from a completely different perspective. We’ll explore the gulies (streets) of Shahjahanabad and take a walk through a local bazaar with a chance to experience a variety of snacks (chaat) and see some of the oldest shops producing these world-famous treats.

After the walking tour, we’ll be welcomed into a traditional Hindu home, a haveli, for a demonstration and tasting of home-style Indian vegetarian cooking. This is not a cooking class, rather an opportunity to visit a family’s home and to see traditional Mughal architecture and get a glimpse of daily life in the city.

Overnight in Delhi at The Park Hotel or similar.

HIGHLIGHT! Today will be a fantastic introduction to not only the city of Delhi, but also to India itself as you’ll see a wide cross-section of life and culture.

Day 3: Delhi – Jodhpur (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Jodhpur, India
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After breakfast, we’ll depart for the airport for our flight to Jodhpur, where we’ll then check into our hotel and have lunch.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit Sambhali Trust.

NOTE – A portion of your tour cost will cover a donation made to Sambhali Trust. This organization provides underprivileged Rajasthani women and girls with educational, vocational and social opportunities to help them become confident and financially independent. They work specifically with Dalit (untouchable) women and girls, who usually have little or no access to education or basic health services.

Dinner and overnight in Jodhpur at Ratan Vilas or similar.

HIGHLIGHT! You’ll be deeply touched by the good work of the Sambhali Trust and you’ll get to learn about the confidence and skills the organization instills upon its beneficiaries.

Day 4: Jodhpur (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)
Jodhpur, India
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After breakfast, we’ll tour Jodhpur, visiting Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada, a marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Some sections of the thin marble walls are translucent (often referred to as something of a miracle). We’ll also visit Umaid Bhawan Palace—the only Indian palace built in the mid-20th century and a good representation of Indo-colonial style.

For lunch, we’ll visit the home of a family! We’ll see a typical Rajasthani home, learn about the life of this local family and enjoy traditional dishes that are prepared in every Jodhpur home.

In the afternoon, we’ll have time to visit the market, which is quite a happening place. Here we’ll find vendors selling clothes, sweets, fruits, bangles, handicrafts and groceries.

Tonight dinner is on your own so as to provide an opportunity for variety and flexibility. Overnight in Jodhpur at Ratan Vilas or similar.

HIGHLIGHT! Jodhpur, the second largest city in Rajasthan, is also called the blue city, due to the many blue-painted homes. It’s a city of palaces, forts and temples, and the residents have become known for their handicrafts.

Day 5: Jodhpur – Ranakpur – Udaipur (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Udaipur, India
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After breakfast, we’ll make the drive to charming Udaipur. This will be a long drive (six hours total), but will be broken up with a visit to Ranakpur to see the spectacular Jain temples located there.

We’ll then continue the drive to Udaipur where we’ll check into our hotel.

In the late afternoon, we’ll enjoy a boat ride on the placid waters of Lake Pichola (subject to the water level in the lake). Afterward, we’ll have dinner at a fantastic lakeside restaurant with beautiful views of this small city and the palace.

Overnight in Udaipur at Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace or similar.

HIGHLIGHT! Ranakpur is home to spectacular Jain temples acclaimed for intricate carvings and considered the most important temples for Jain followers.

Day 6: Udaipur (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)
Udaipur, India
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After breakfast, we’ll go to Eklingji and Nagda temples. Located on Lake Bageela (about 15 miles from Udaipur), these are built from sandstone and marble and are a Hindu pilgrimage site.

After visiting the temples, we’ll be treated to a four-hour cooking class with Shashi. We’ll learn many new skills from this amazing woman, including how to make chai, chutneys, curries and Indian breads. Yum!

After enjoying a sumptuous lunch, we’ll take a sightseeing tour of Udaipur in the afternoon. This will include the Udaipur City Palace Complex, considered the largest palace complex in Rajasthan, Durbar Hall, the Crystal Gallery, Palace Museum and Jagdish Temple.

Dinner is on your own (if you’re still hungry after today’s cooking class!).

Overnight in Udaipur at Lalit Laxmi Vilas Palace or similar.

HIGHLIGHT! Udaipur is called The Venice of the East and you’ll soon see why. This enchanting city is surrounded by the Aravalli mountain range and is situated on the edge of three lakes.

Day 7: Udaipur – Deogarh (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Deogarh, India
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After breakfast, we’ll drive to Deogarh (about 3.5 hours away). We’ll stay at an incredible fortified palace from the 17th century. This luxury heritage hotel is surrounded by a small town on a hilltop in the heart of Rajasthan’s Aravalli Hills. We’ll have lunch and some time to relax at this beautiful hotel.

In the afternoon, we’ll take a Jeep safari to nearby villages. This will be a drive through natural surroundings where people can be seen tending their fields. We’ll visit a cave temple—a cavernous rock in which a shrine of Lord Shiva is ensconced. The top of this rock offers a panoramic view of black volcanic rocks. The drive then leads to a lake that attracts migratory birds. In the evening, we’ll be treated to a cooking demonstration that will include Rajasthani cuisine. This will consist of traditionally cooked food garnished with chilies and mustard oil. Delicacies include laal maas, safed maas, daal baati choorma, besan batta, ker sangri (vegetarian dishes) and more. Overnight in Deogarh at Deogarh Mahal or similar.

HIGHLIGHT! We’ll have another opportunity this evening to learn about preparing and cooking Indian cuisine. You’ll soon be an expert!

Day 8: Deogarh – Jaipur (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Jaipur, India
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After breakfast, we’ll depart for Jaipur (about 5.5 hours away). Along the way, we’ll stop for lunch.

Jaipur is a wonderful city known for its shopping opportunities including fabrics, gems, jewelry and handicrafts.

Dinner and overnight in Jaipur at Shahpura House or similar.

Day 9: Jaipur - Diwali Festivities (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Jaipur, India
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Today, we’ll take a full-day tour of Jaipur, starting with the Amber Fort. You may ride an elephant or walk the short distance to the main palace. This is an extremely well-preserved building and is a delight to explore. We’ll have a chance to visit the Hall of Victory that glitters with mirrors, Jai Mahal and the Temple of Kali.

After lunch at a nearby restaurant, the city tour will continue with stops at the Jantar Mantar (the Astronomical Observatory) and the Maharaja’s City Palace.

In the evening, we’ll celebrate one of India’s biggest festivals, Diwali! We’ll have dinner with a local family and we’ll see homes decorated and illuminated with thousands of candles and lamps in honor of the goddess Lakshmi.

Overnight in Jaipur at Shahpura House or similar.

HIGHLIGHT! Today will be filled with many highlights, but celebrating Diwali will sure to be top of the list for this tour. This festival signifies goodwill and the victory of good over evil, light over darkness. Earthenware oil lamps are lit to guide Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, into people’s homes and answer their prayers for a successful year ahead. We’ll all end the day with much luck for the coming year!

Day 10: Jaipur – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Agra, India
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After breakfast, we’ll drive to Agra (approximately 4.5 hours), stopping at Fatehpur Sikri along the way. Also known as the Red Sandstone City, Emperor Akbar built his capital and palace here in the late 16th century.

We’ll stop for lunch along the way and then, upon arrival in Agra, we’ll check into the hotel and have a chance to rest before we head out again.

In the late afternoon, we’ll visit Agra Fort, a massive structure with 70-foot-high, 1.5-mile-long walls. The fort encompasses a collection of well-preserved buildings. Shah Jahan (who built the Taj Mahal) was deposed by his son and imprisoned in Agra Fort where he remained until his death. Sadly, he spent the rest of his life looking out along the river at the Taj, the final resting place for his wife.

Dinner and overnight in Agra at ITC Mughal Luxury Hotel or similar.

Day 11: Agra – Delhi (Meals: Breakfast, Lunchr)
Delhi, India
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Today we’ll rise early for coffee and then a visit to the legendary Taj Mahal for sunrise, the best time to photograph this mausoleum.

After returning to the hotel for a full breakfast, we’ll check out and then drive the four or so hours to Delhi.

Dinner is on your own and we’ll overnight, once again, at The Park Hotel or similar.

HIGHLIGHT! No visit to India is complete without seeing the Taj Mahal. Built in the mid-1600s, this ivory-marble marvel might literally take your breath away.

Day 12: Delhi (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch)
Delhi, India
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This will be the last full day in India for some of you.

This morning, we’ll take a tour with the Salaam Baalak Trust, an organization that helps knock down barriers for street children and other children marginalized by society. We’ll go on an hour-long guided walk led by a young person who knows the streets of Old Delhi first hand, and who has become a trained guide.

While this is a look at India’s sadder side, it will be an enlightening way to leave the country as you’ll have a better understanding of how people survive day by day. All proceeds go directly to helping the Trust that puts together this tour. (Note that this is not a slum tour, but a walk through the Paharganj neighborhood.)

We’ll have the rest of the day free for last-minute souvenir shopping, relaxing or a massage at the hotel. For those of you departing tonight, you’ll have access to your room until 6 p.m. while those going to Varanasi will spend one more night at this hotel.

If you are adding Varanasi on to your itinerary, the add-on includes this additional night in Delhi at The Park Hotel or similar, but does not include dinner.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

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  • 11 nights accommodation in lovely 3- to 5- star hotels
  • sightseeing entrance fees
  • 28 meals
  • English-speaking guides
  • tips for guides and drivers
  • bottled water during transport, sightseeing and at meals

NOTES

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This trip is limited to 15 women.

Minimum bookings required: 8 people


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