Vibrant India


Explore the colourful and lively Rajasthan state; from the big cities to the small, remote villages. Your imagination will be captured with the sights and sounds and engage with the people that make this such a magical region of India.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Delhi (3N) - Udaipur (2N) - Sardargarh (2N) - Jodhpur (1N) - Khejarla (1N) - Bijaynagar (2N) - Jaipur (2N) - Agra (1N) - New Zealand

Days 1-2: New Zealand to Delhi
Fly overnight with Singapore Airlines to Delhi for an overnight stay. The city is split into two areas; Old Delhi and New Delhi. In Old Delhi you will find the old city wall and amaze of small alleyways lined with legendary bazaars whose goods spill out onto the pavements. New Delhi is characterised by the grandeur of 19th century buildings and wide, tree-lined boulevards.
Days 1-2: New Zealand to Delhi
Day 3: Delhi to Udaipur
Fly to Udaipur, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon enjoy a gentle cycling tour through the back streets of the old city. Ride through Jagdish Chowk, visit Jagdish Temple and head toward the Clock Tower riding through Bada Bazaar. Cycle on the banks of the Lake Pichola through the narrow streets of the old city and finally end the tour at the Tripolia Gate of the City Palace, where you will board your boat for a sunset cruise on Lake Pichola, including a visit to the 17th-century built Jagmandir island, also known as the Lake Garden Palace.
Day 3: Delhi to Udaipur
Day 4: Udaipur
See the sights of Udaipur on a tour including the City Palace, which houses the Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal and the Palace of Lord Krishna all of which are ornately decorated. This afternoon, drive around the Fateh Sagar Lake. Later, journey to Shilpgram, a small rural art and crafts village set amid picturesque natural surroundings.
Day 4: Udaipur
Day 5: Udaipur to Sardargarh
Drive to Sardargarh, visiting the Jain temples of Ranakpur en route. These temples form one of the major pilgrimages followers of the Jain religion.
Day 5: Udaipur to Sardargarh
Day 6: Sardargarh
This morning take a short cycling tour. Explore the historic fort for which Sardargarh is most famous. In the afternoon travel by jeep to remote villages near Sardargarh, where you will meet the local villagers, including a Sadhu. Stop by a weaving and marble block workshop to learn about the local handicrafts. End the day while viewing the spectacular sunset against the fort.
Day 6: Sardargarh
Day 7: Sardargarh to Jodhpur
Travel by road to Jodhpur. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore or relax.
Day 7: Sardargarh to Jodhpur
Day 8: Jodhpur to Khejarla
After breakfast visit the formidable Mehrangarh Fort, situated high on a hill overlooking the ‘blue city’, and home to some magnificent palaces. Explore Jaswant Thada – a cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in 1899. in the afternoon drive to Khejarla Fort, a stunning 400-year-old red sandstone monument in a rural setting.
Day 8: Jodhpur to Khejarla
Day 9: Khejarla to Bijaynagar
Discover vibrant and colourful Rajasthan on a jeep safari. This area, famous for its exotic desert and village landscapes is also known for the warmth and hospitality of the Marwari people. Continue your drive this afternoon to Bijaynagar for an overnight stay near a historic palace.
Day 9: Khejarla to Bijaynagar
Day 10: Bijaynagar
This morning explore rural Rajasthan by bullock cart before an afternoon at leisure. in the evening, take a cycle trip and witness a stunning sunset over the lake as you partake in high tea.
Day 10: Bijaynagar
Day 11: Bijaynagar to Jaipur
Travel to Jaipur by road then enjoy a free afternoon.
Day 11: Bijaynagar to Jaipur
Day 12: Jaipur
Discover romantic Amer Fort on a half day tour by jeep, stopping en route for a photo at Hawa Mahal - the Palace of Winds. In the afternoon visit Maharaja’s City Palace, still used in part today by Jaipur’s royal family.
Day 12: Jaipur
Day 13: Jaipur to Agra
After breakfast drive to Agra, stopping on the way at Fatehpur Sikri. Take an auto-rickshaw tour of the city, including old bazaars, Jama Masjid and the spice and Ayurveda market.
Day 13: Jaipur to Agra
Day 14: Agra to Delhi
Gaze in wonder at the monument to love, the Taj Mahal. No other symbol epitomises India as much as the Taj Mahal. It is a love poem in marble by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal. It is made from white marble and its walls are decorated with exquisite stone inlay work. It is said that different types of precious and semi-precious stones were used in the intricate inlay work done on the interiors. Return to Delhi in the afternoon.
Day 14:  Agra to Delhi
Day 15: Delhi
Discover Old and New Delhi on a full day city tour. This city bursting with energy and colour will enliven your senses as you take a rickshaw ride through narrow lanes, visit the largest mosque in India, Jama Masjid, plus the Jain Temple before savouring lunch at Chor Bazaar. Continue your tour with a visit to the Qutab Minar Complex, Parliament House, india Gate, and Humayun’s Tomb.
Day 15: Delhi
Day 16: Depart Delhi
The day is at your leisure before you are transferred to Delhi airport for your overnight flight to New Zealand.
Day 16: Depart Delhi
Day 17: Arrive New Zealand
Arrive home today.

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:

Single Hotel room Option from $1,245
Land Only (Delhi to Delhi), 15 days from $5,591 per person twin share
Additional charges: Tipping - US$85 per person (subject to change) payable on arrival.
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call New Zealand – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 64, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in India and you will find high quality coverage. India has active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and India is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
 
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over India where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
 
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
 
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades from Varanasi in the north or Kanchipuram in the south, tie-dyed cottons from all over Rajasthan, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets from Darjeeling or Dharamshala, or the woollen shawls pashminas of Kashmir and Ladakh.
 
There is also the heavy and elaborate silverwork of Rajasthan, “spring picked” tea from the hill stations, and the spices, wooden carvings or facemasks of Kerala.
 
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in India. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes a combination of western and local dishes. As traditional in this region, lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group.
 
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big. In tourist centres, some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars and tea/coffee from home.
 
Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.
 
Tea is very popular and Indians simply love visiting the many street stalls which brew chai (also known as masala), a sweet, spiced tea brewed with boiling milk. Hotels will usually serve tea and instant coffee at breakfast or other meals – you can usually request the chai or masala style tea as well.
Packed meals: On some days, your National Escort/Guide may arrange for a simple, packed meal for your group. It may be a matter of schedule (on long driving days), hygiene (on train journeys), or your location (in remote areas) and we ask you to bear this in mind. Although this is not a full meal, most of our passengers seem to enjoy this change from the large portions and more elaborate banquets enjoyed most days.


Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable for those who have a suitable amount of time available in India and who are looking for a more active paced tour. This tour will visit the Golden Triangle highlights and will take in some off the beaten track destinations.

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