This 9-day adventure was crafted to give you an authentic and lesser travelled journey through the Golden Triangle route; taste your way through the winding streets and listen to the soul-stirring music of local musicians in Old Delhi, wander the grounds of the great Taj Mahal in Agra and sip a cup of chai at a cafe that empowers women survivors of gender-based violence, spot tigers in Ranthambore National Park, and opt to float above Jaipur in a hot air balloon.
Plus, visiting India during Holi is an incredible opportunity to get a unique perspective into the country and its people. There's more to this time of year than just colour-throwing. You'll love every minute.
This is one of Origin's more fast-paced itineraries, but its only because there is so much good to see, so little time.
Holi is an agricultural festival in India celebrating the arrival of spring. We will be celebrating is the charming village of Mathura, one of India's most spiritual cities. We get to Mathura a day before the official celebration of Holi so that we can participate in a more relaxed celebration, and avoid the crazy crowds!See full photo gallery
DAY 1 | Airport Pickup + Hotel Check-In + Orientation at 6:00pm.
DAY 2 | DELHI | Morning walk and street food breakfast in Old Delhi + relax in the tranquil Lodhi gardens + group welcome dinner.
Day 3 | MATHURA | Drive to Mathura (3hr) + walk the winding streets of this village and develop a deeper understanding of Hindu culture and religion. Partake in friendly colour throwing in the streets! In the evening visit the impressive Mata Vaishno Devi Dham temple.
Day 4 | AGRA | Drive to Agra (1.5hr). Wander the great Agra Fort and catch a glimpse into the official royal residence of emperors of the Mughal Dynasty to the seventeenth century. Grab a mouth-watering lunch at Sheroes Hangout - a restaurant staffed by women who are survivors of acid attacks. Later tonight you'll wintess bonfires burning in the streets across Agra in celebration of good over evil for the the first official night of Holi - Holika Dahan.
Learn more about the Sheroe's Hangout organization here.
Day 5 | TAJ MAHAL + RANTHAMBORE National Park | Visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise and enjoy a guided tour of the historic grounds. Hop in the van and begin your long (approx 5.5 hrs) but scenic drive into the Indian jungle, arriving in Ranthambore NP. Upon arrival, check in and take the night off to relax and recharge. (PST, theres a pool!)
Day 6 | RANTHAMBORE National Park | Sit back, relax and enjoy a safari through one of the largest National Parks in India. Here wild boar, sambar, sloth bear and deers can be easily spotted - and if you are lucky, you will spot one of the park's 67 tigers. It is a home to wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles, as well as one of the largest banyan trees in India. + Return to the hotel for one more night to relax and recharge.
Day 7 | JAIPUR | Rise early to salute the sun on the hotel grounds taught by a local instructor before continuing to Jaipur. Take the afternoon to relax by the hotel pool or start exploring this city on foot.
Day 8 | JAIPUR | Opt to watch the sun rise from a hot air balloon ride above the pink city. Spend the afternoon touring its enchanting markets and streets.
Day 9 | DELHI | Checkout and drive to the airport for your onward flight back home. Arriving in Delhi by 1pm.
. . .Important itinerary details (PDF)
Arrival and Departure airport transfer
8 Breakfasts | 1 Lunch | 2 Dinners
- 8 nights accommodations in clean, comfortable hotels (double-share)
- Morning walk through Old Delhi + street food breakfast
- Experience the festival of Holi in Mathura
- Taj Mahal visit
- Visit to Sheroes Hangout - a restaurant committed to supporting the victim of acid attacks
- Safari through Ranthambore NP
- Traditional Rajasthani dinner
- Explore the Pink City
- Free time to explore
Hot Air Balloon Ride Over the Pink City, Jaipur (1 hr): The Lonely Planet dubs Jaipur as India's most flamboyant states. Float above its colourful streets, or surrounding villages, depending on what the wind direction has in store! (+$165 USD/$220 CAD)
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