Women’s Holi India Small Group Tour
Join the Women’s Holi India Tour in 2023 to not only see India but to also celebrate the “Festival of Colors”. Celebrate Holi in both Jodhpur, a city, and Narlai, a village. In addition, visit monuments, temples, markets, eat delicious food, enjoy a cooking lesson, a block printing workshop, and much more. Meet interesting people and be immersed into the culture.<!–– start itin loop ––>
Namaste and welcome to India!
Arrive in Delhi, and after immigration, baggage, and customs, exit the arrival halls. A Geringer Global Travel representative will greet you with a placard bearing your name. Transfer to the hotel.
After breakfast, explore Old and New Delhi. While Old Delhi speaks volumes about India’s history, culture and traditions, New Delhi exhibits the picture of modern India.
Join a local expert for the Old Delhi tour on specially customized cycle rickshaws. This tour is an extensive tour that covers 20 main sites that include palaces, mansions, elegant shrines, and colorful bazaars.
After the tour, drive past India Gate, the 42 m high War Memorial Arch, the Parliament House, the Secretariat Buildings, and the Vice Regal Palace, now the official residence of the President of India.
Lunch is at Olive Bar and Kitchen Restaurant.
After lunch, visit two of the important UNESCO World Heritage Sites of New Delhi. The first stop is Qutub Minar, the second tallest minaret in India. It is made of red stone and marble and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the Qur’an. Afterwards, visit the 16th century Humayun’s Tomb, the first garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent, an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style and a precursor of the Taj Mahal.
Welcome dinner is at Indian Accent known for its contemporary twist on Indian cuisine.
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Agra (approx. 4 hours). On arrival in Agra, check into the hotel.
Enjoy your lunch at D’Delicia Restaurant.
After lunch, visit the massive Agra Fort, the formal imperial residence of the Mughal Dynasty.
Discover Kacchpura Heritage Trail, a community-based program, that brings you some amazing scenes of life and times behind the Taj Mahal. This visit offers you an opportunity to view the Taj Mahal from a different vantage point from across the Yamuna River. The proceeds from this walk go directly into funding various welfare work such as upgrading schools, building toilets, and creating sustainable livelihoods.
Return to the hotel.
Dinner is at Peshawri Restaurant. Enjoy a lavish spread of delicious kebabs, tasty Indian breads, and the inimitable Dal Bukhara.
Visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise. The Taj Mahal was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 15th century as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is an architectural masterpiece of exquisite craftsmanship and perfect proportions.
Return to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, visit the Baby Taj. This is the first building to be constructed of pure marble in Mughal India. This two-story mausoleum is small but perfectly executed with translucent stones etched into its walls.
Lunch is at the hotel.
After lunch, take the Colonial Walk of Agra with a local guide. This colonial walk aims to highlight the lesser-known monuments and buildings by the British, which are often overlooked by tourists.
Dinner is at Paatra, a signature Indian restaurant, at the Jaypee Palace Hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Jaipur. En route, visit Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted red sandstone city, built by Emperor Akbar as his capital. Ponder the mysterious desertion of this capital city that was dramatically abandoned a few years after it was built. It was a veritable fairy tale city and its ‘ruins’ are still in pristine condition.
Stop for lunch at The Bagh, in Bharatpur.
After lunch, continue driving to Jaipur with a stop at Abhaneri Village to see Chand Baori Stepwell, one of the oldest surviving stepwells in Rajasthan. Continue to Jaipur and on arrival, check into the hotel.
The evening is reserved for a special cooking lesson/dinner with Thakur Durga Singh, the current custodian of Dera Mandawa. He who is a keen observer of history, culture, religion, and current affairs.
After breakfast, take an excursion to Bagru, renowned for its unique art of block printing. Visit the artists and observe the various stages of the block printing process. Create your own piece of block printing to take home.
Lunch is at Jaipur Modern Kitchen which specializes in a global menu with farm-fresh produce sourced directly from the local farmers in and around Rajasthan.
After lunch, explore the main highlights of the city. Jaipur’s distinctive appeal lies in its historical buildings, bustling bazaars, and its multi-colored turbaned locals. Visit the City Palace, a complex of exquisite palaces, gardens, courtyards, and decorative art. Walk to the adjacent Jantar Mantar Observatory. The observatory was designed by the Maharaja of Jaipur in the 18th century and is one of the five such astronomical wonders built by Sawai Jai Singh. It makes accurate predictions even to this day. Finally, have a photo stop at Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, which was used by women to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen.
Dinner is at Samode Haveli, a former residence of the rulers of Samode.
After breakfast, visit Amer Fort with its amazing architecture that combines Mughal and Hindu styles. Explore its high ramparts, many gates, cobbled paths, and splendid views.
Lunch is at Cafe Palladio, which boasts tasteful Italian and middle eastern delicacies.
Take a walking tour of the old city with a local expert to explore the vibrant bazaars. It’s a great way to explore Jaipur to learn about the rich artistic traditions of this fascinating city.
Dinner is at Dragon House known for its delicious Chinese and Thai food.
After breakfast, drive to the Jodhpur referred to as the Blue City (approx. 6 hours).
Upon arrival in Jodhpur, enjoy lunch at Khaas Bagh, which serves delicious food prepared by secret recipes from the royal kitchens.
Late afternoon, explore Sadar Market, a lively, bustling, colorful market, that runs from Sojati Gate to the Clock Tower, which was built in the late 19th century. In the distance, you can see Meherangarh Fort which dominates the skyline for miles around. The colorful market with tiny shops dotting the narrow lanes is situated in the heart of the city and is popular for a wide range of handicrafts.
Later in the evening at the hotel, witness the Holika Dahan on the eve of Holi. On the full moon night of Phalguna, typically at or after sunset, a pyre is lit. On top of this annual bonfire is an effigy that signifies Holika, a demoness in Hindu Vedic scriptures, who was burnt to death with the help of God Vishnu. The story of Holika Dahan (Holika’s death) captures the triumph of good over evil. People sing and dance around the fire on this day.
Dinner is at the hotel.
Celebrate the festival of colors, Holi. Get covered in the sea of colors, move and shake with the traditional music and enjoy lunch.
In the afternoon, explore Mehrangarh Fort, which evokes the spirit of the Rathores, the ruling local Rajput clan. Visit its various palaces with their delicate friezes and respective museums, displaying the treasures of the royal family.
Dinner is at Baradari Restaurant, Raas Hotel, with magnificent views of Mehrangarh Fort.
After breakfast, drive to Narlai (approx. 2.5 hours). The impressive 17th-century Rawla Narlai Heritage Hotel was once the vacation home of the Maharaja of Jodhpur.
On arrival, check into the heritage hotel and enjoy lunch.
After lunch, join the post Holi celebration in the village. This is a highlight to see the villagers celebrating and is an amazing experience.
Dinner is at the hotel.
After breakfast, your guide will take you to the train station. He will purchase the tickets and help you board the train. It is a local train, and you are seated on wooden seats along with the locals who can be a wedding party, pilgrims, daily travelers, children, and sometimes even their cattle!
Disembark the train and visit a local school, interact with the students, and return to the hotel for lunch.
After lunch, take an excursion to Ranakpur Jain Temple (approx 1 hour each way). Ranakpur is the largest Jain temple complex in India and dates to the 15th century. The temples are noted for the grandiose scale of their architecture, the highly decorated ceilings and walls, and 1444 different pillars.
Return to your hotel.
Delight in a stunning evening dinner at the 16th-century stepwell, lit up by hundreds of lamps for a unique dining experience.
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to Jodhpur airport for the flight to Mumbai (approx. 2.5 hours).
On arrival in Mumbai, visit the Dharavi Slum with a local expert. Packed lunch will be provided in the vehicle from the airport to the slum. Dharavi is one of Asia’s largest slums but is also the most bustling and economically proficient part of Mumbai with thousands of small-scale industries thriving in the area.
After the tour, check into the hotel.
Dinner is at Trishna, known for its seafood cooked in South Indian coastal flavors.
After breakfast, explore the highlights of Mumbai with a local expert.
Lunch is at Copper Chimney Restaurant.
After lunch, attend the Warli Art Workshop. The Warlis or Varlis are indigenous tribes living in mountainous coastal areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Warli Art is the folk art of Maharashtra. It does not depict mythological characters or images of deities but shows community life.
Dinner is reserved at The Table restaurant with its globally inspired cuisine with produce from its own farm.
Enjoy Mumbai by Dawn where you see the bustling city of Mumbai wake up. Peek into the underbelly of the city and gain insights into what makes this magnificent city tick. From seeing hundreds of newspaper vendors sort out newspapers of 7 different languages, experiencing one of its kind fish auction of 20 tons of fish, to seeing an ‘only green’ herb market sprawled across a popular bridge, from watching the milkmen drive past with canisters, the melee of color at the flower markets to experiencing the clamor and chaos of the arrival of over 100 tons of vegetables, fruits and meat, Mumbai by Dawn truly defines the mercurial character of Mumbai like none other.
Afterwards, enjoy your breakfast at Ladoo Samart, a popular Maharashtrian snack joint in Dadar.
Return to the hotel.
Buffet lunch is at the hotel’s Frangipani Restaurant.
After lunch, visit Lalbagh spice market that sells different types of chilies: Guntur, Bedki, Reshampattior, and Kashmiri. Here, you can not only buy the spices but can also get them dry roasted and ground into the masala mix of your choice.
Dinner is at Bombay Canteen.
After breakfast, meet the lunch box men, the cool superheroes of the city, and live the life of a ‘Dabbawala’ in Mumbai. Get to know the intricate details of the wonderful tiffin service which has been in existence for almost 130 years!
Lunch is at Samrat, a restaurant, serving authentic, vegetarian local cuisine on a delectable Gujarati Thali.
Attend a Bollywood Dance Workshop. This workshop is an insight into how India celebrates. You’ll shake a leg with the instructor for one hour and fuse bhangra, hip hop, salsa, and many more dance styles creatively to some popular Bollywood songs.
Transfer to the hotel followed by a check out at 6 pm.
Enjoy your farewell dinner at Ziya, a modern Indian restaurant, with Michelin chef, Vineet Bhatia.
Post dinner, you will be transferred to Mumbai International Airport to connect for your flight home.