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Explore India including Diwali Festival

India

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  • Discover authentic India on this 12-night guided holiday including Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
  • Celebrate Diwali with a local Indian family at your homestay in Jaipur.
  • Cycle through Old Delhi & take a walking tour of New Delhi with a local, expert guide.
  • Savour traditional flavours at an interactive cooking class hosted by a local chef.
  • Venture into a 1,000 year old stepwell & visit the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Experience rural Indian life on a trip to a traditional village outside of Dausa.
  • Witness the Hindu religious ritual of Aarti on the banks of the holy River Ganga.

Book Your Trip From 2029pp

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HOW MANY TRAVELLING?
2 Adults

Your Guided India and Diwali Lights Festival Holiday Overview

Join us on this 12-night small group tour for a unique holiday experience that will allow us to unlock the authentic essence of Indian culture. We’ll go off the beaten track, mingle with local people, and witness their rituals and customs first-hand. We’ll see iconic sights like the Humayun’s Tomb, the Taj Mahal and Amber Fort, and enjoy more uncommon excursions like a cycle through Delhi at sunrise, an authentic Bollywood movie screening, a Hindu aarti ceremony on the banks of Ganga River and a yoga session in the land where it was invented. During this holiday we’ll also have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, with a local Indian family while at a homestay in Jaipur. If you’re ready for adventure, look no further than India.

Please note that visas are required for travel on this tour. Please visit our visa information page for more information.

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Trip Itinerary

Challenging

Activity Level: Challenging

Day

Depart Dublin

Fly to Delhi

Historical architecture in India

Begin your adventure to India as you depart Dublin on your overnight flight to Delhi.

Historical architecture in India

New Delhi

Arrive in Delhi

Morning
Visit Delhi, the capital of India

Upon your morning arrival in Delhi you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. You will have the rest of the morning at leisure to settle in to your hotel.

Visit Delhi, the capital of India

Explore New Delhi

Afternoon
Explore the city of New Delhi in India

Embark on an orientation tour of Lutyen’s Delhi, an area of New Delhi named after the British architect Edwin Lutyen. During your panoramic tour you will see British era bungalows, government offices, the Presidential Palace and India Gate. Afterwards, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel with your group, before having the remainder of the evening at leisure to spend as you wish.

Explore the city of New Delhi in India

Accommodation

Overnight

3 star hotel in Delhi (2 nights)

Explore Old Delhi

Old Delhi by bicycle

Early morning
Rickshaw ride in Delhi India

Depart your hotel in the early morning for a cultural adventure around Old Delhi by bicycle. On this guided tour with a difference you will explore the nooks & crannies of this walled city as it slowly wakes up! Ride your bicycle through bazars and narrow lanes, bypass temples & places of worship, gaze upon old colonial buildings before enjoying a late breakfast in a local restaurant.

Rickshaw ride in Delhi India

Guided tour of Delhi

Afternoon
Guided group tour of Delhi city in India

In the afternoon enjoy a guided tour of Delhi. Visit Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi, where you can see an eternal flame burning at the spot of his cremation. From here you will move on to the Jama Masjid mosque which is home to the ancient Qur’an. You will also see Humayun’s Tomb, a beautiful 16th Century building and the tomb of the Emperor Humayun. You will finish the day at Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple, known for its community kitchen which offers food to thousands of people every day irrespective of their faith & religion.

Guided group tour of Delhi city in India

At leisure

Evening
Explore the markets of India

You will have a full evening at leisure to experience Delhi independently. Perhaps take a tuk tuk to try some authentic food at a local restaurant? Your guide will be happy to suggest somewhere to suit your taste!

Explore the markets of India

Delhi to Jaipur

Travel from Delhi to Jaipur

Full day
Visit Jaipur on a holiday in India

Today you will have the opportunity to witness the changing landscapes of Northern India as you transfer by coach with your local guide from Delhi to Jaipur. (Approximate distance: 271 km. Approximate duration: 6 hours). Upon arrival in Jaipur you will have a guided city tour of Jaipur, often referred to as the Pink City. You will visit City Palace Museum, to see the former seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, experience the awe-inspiring Jantar Mantar sundial, and finally have an opportunity for a photo outside the famous ‘Palace of Winds.’ Your tour will end with a thrilling tuk tuk ride from the old bazaar back to your homestay.

Visit Jaipur on a holiday in India

Bollywood movie screening

Evening
Experience Indian Cinema

Jaipur is home to Rajmandir, which is the most regal Single Screen Cinema Hall in India, known for its rich interiors. This evening you will experience a Bollywood movie screening in this stunning location. So sit back and relax with some popcorn and enjoy the movie with the locals!

Experience Indian Cinema

Accommodation

Overnight

Home stay in Jaipur (2 nights)

Celebrate Diwali the Festival of Lights in Jaipur

Amber Fort & Palace

Morning
Explore the historical Amber Palace in India

Discover Amber Fort & Palace during a guided excursion. Perched on a hill top, the rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort not only look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is also a visual paradise. Built in the early 1600s, Amber Fort & Palace is home to the stunning Hall of Mirrors. A beautiful collection of over one million pieces of glass mirror tiles as well as coloured glass adorn the walls and ceiling.

Explore the historical Amber Palace in India

Jaipur city tour

Afternoon
Explore the Pink city of Jaipur in India

Enjoy a guided city tour of Jaipur, often referred to as the Pink City. You will visit City Palace Museum, to see the former seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, experience the awe-inspiring Jantar Mantar sundial, and finally have an opportunity for a photo outside the famous ‘Palace of Winds.’ Your tour will end with a thrilling tuk tuk ride from the old bazaar back to your homestay.

Explore the Pink city of Jaipur in India

Celebrate Diwali the Festival of Lights

Evening
Experience the festival of Diwali in India

Diwali, the festival of light, is an important date in the Hindu calendar. This ancient religious festival signifies the victory of light over darkness. You will have the unique opportunity to celebrate Diwali with a local Indian family at your homestay. You will participate in a prayer ritual known as Pooja, a Hindu tradition which is practised to spiritually celebrate important events. Afterwards there will be live music and the exchange of gifts as well as the chance to sample some authentic Indian sweets. Learn about rangolis from your host family. This art form which sees patterns created on the floor using lights, coloured sand or flower petals is passed from generation to generation in Indian families. Aglow with lights, watch as the spirit of India comes alive in a blaze of illumination across the night sky. You will witness fireworks and can also join in with the lighting of firecrackers as the Diwali celebrations draw to a close. Sharing a traditional home cooked meal with your host family against the back drop of the Diwali lights is sure to be an experience you will never forget!

Experience the festival of Diwali in India

Jaipur to Dausa

Guided hike

Early morning
Guided hike on a holiday in India

In the early morning depart on a 3km guided hike from Amber Fort & Palace to Jaigarh Fort. The hike takes you through the Aravalli hills passing the walls of Amber and then on to Jaigarh. The hike is moderately paced across hilly terrain before a slightly steeper incline to Jaigarh Fort, from which you will have a stunning view of Jaipur city. This hike will last approximately 1 hour. After your hike return to your homestay for well earned breakfast.

Guided hike on a holiday in India

Explore Dausa

Afternoon
Different spices of India

In the afternoon you will transfer by coach with your guide to Dausa. (Approximate distance: 195 km. Approximate duration: 4 hours). Your time in Dausa will give you the opportunity to escape the busy city life and immerse yourself in rural India. In the evening there will be a walk organised through the farmyard of your hotel with a local chef. During the walk the chef will talk you through the different types of homegrown produce and help you select vegetables for an interactive group culinary workshop. Dinner tonight will be the outcome of your cooking efforts!

Different spices of India

Accommodation

Overnight

3 star hotel in Dausa (2 nights)

Explore Dausa

Yoga class

Early morning
Experience a yoga class in India

Kick start your day with an early morning yoga class on the lawns of your hotel. Yoga, a group of physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines originated in ancient India over 5,000 years ago and has become a popular form of exercise for both the body and the mind in the rest of the world over the last century. Whether yoga is already part of your usual routine or you are a complete beginner, this morning yoga flow will leave you refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on a full day of exploration!

Experience a yoga class in India

Local village visits

Morning
Visit the local villages of India

After breakfast embark on an exploration of the nearby local villages of Dausa by traditional jugaad, an open wooden carriage that is powered by a pump. A jugaad is still a very popular mode of transport in Northern India and is used to ferry not just people but often cattle and even furniture between villages. Today’s journey by jugaad will allow you a unique glimpse in to rural Indian lifestyle as you mingle with the locals along the way. A visit to a village primary school is included where you can meet some of the teachers and local school children.

Visit the local villages of India

Bollywood music

Afternoon
Colourful traditional turban clothing in India

In the afternoon you will continue immersing yourself in local life. There will be the opportunity to learn how to tie a traditional Rajasthani turban and how to drape the colourful sarees. The day will finish with some Bollywood music. Dancing is optional but highly recommended! Dinner is included at your hotel.

Colourful traditional turban clothing in India

Dausa to Agra

Chand Baori Step Well

Morning
See Chand Baori Step Well

Depart Dausa for Agra with visits to Chand Baori Step Well & Fatehpur Sikri en route. Chand Baori was built over a thousand years ago in the Abhaneri village of Rajasthan. It is one of the largest stepwells in the world and was constructed by local rulers to tackle the scarcity of water in the dry climate. It has 3,500 narrow steps arranged in perfect symmetry, which descend 20m over 13 floors to the bottom of the well.

See Chand Baori Step Well

Fatehpur Sikri

Afternoon
Visit Fatehpur Sikri in India

Fatehpur Sikri is located 40 Km before Agra. This red sandstone palace complex was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, in honour of the great saint Sheikh Asalim Christi who prophesied the heirless Akbar with the birth of three sons. Fatehpur Sikri was occupied as capital of the Mughal Empire for 14 years but it eventually became deserted and is known today as a “Ghost City”. After your visit you will continue to your hotel in Agra. On arrival in Agra, enjoy dinner at your hotel before having the remainder of the evening at leisure. (Approximate distance from Dausa to Agra excluding sightseeing stops: 172 km. Approximate duration: 3 hours)

Visit Fatehpur Sikri in India

Accommodation

Overnight

3 star hotel in Agra (2 nights)

Explore Agra

The Taj Mahal

Early morning
Witness the beauty of Taj Mahal on a Holiday in India

Experience sunrise at the famous Taj Mahal, built in 1560 by Shah Jahan in memory of his Queen, Mumtaz Mahal, to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a visual masterpiece and is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. Later in the morning explore Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest Mughal forts in India. Built in the 11th century, an era marked by invasions and battles, this red stone-fortified castle was the site of the India Rebellion of 1857.

Witness the beauty of Taj Mahal on a Holiday in India

Cycle the countryside

Late afternoon
Cycling through the countryside of India

In the late afternoon embark on a cycling tour of the Agra countryside with your local expert guide. Cycle through the nearby villages observing the placid country lifestyle. The cycle will pass by agricultural fields and pottery workshops with stops made along the way for you to interact with the locals over some tea and light snacks. The cycle will end with a view of the Taj Mahal. (Distance covered by bicycle: 11km / Duration spent cycling: 2 hours)

Cycling through the countryside of India

Sheroes Hangout

Evening
Souvenir shopping in India

This evening you will have the opportunity to spend time at Sheroes Hangout, a community hub located near the Taj Mahal. The women who work at Sheroes Hangout have lived through devastating acid assaults. Sheroes Hangout is designed to promote empowerment and to give these acid attack survivors the confidence to show their faces in public after being disfigured.

Souvenir shopping in India

Agra to Varanasi

Fly to Varanasi

Early morning
Visit Varnasi in India

Depart Agra by coach for Delhi airport to board your internal flight to Varanasi (Approximate distance: 230 km. Approximate duration: 5.5 hours). Varanasi is regarded as the spiritual capital of India. The city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganga River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites.

Visit Varnasi in India

At leisure

Evening
Explore the cities of India

Upon arrival at your hotel in the evening you will have the remainder of the day at leisure to get your bearings in your new surroundings. Your local expert guide will be happy to suggest places to eat and drink during your free time.

Explore the cities of India

Accommodation

Overnight

3 star hotel in Varanasi (2 nights)

Varanasi

Cruise on the Ganga River & Sarnath

Early morning
Visit the Ganges river

Experience an early morning cruise on the Ganga River. This is the perfect time to visit the holy Ganga as you will see the city waking up. As you sail past the different ghats you will learn the essence of Hinduism. You may also see people taking their morning exercise, washing their clothes or taking a holy dip in the river. Following your cruise you will explore the narrow lanes of the surrounding areas where you will see people coming out of the temples after their morning prayers.

Visit the Ganges river

Optional excursion: Saree weavers village visit

Afternoon

Benarasi Silk Sarees are among the finest sarees in India and are known for their gold and silver elaborate designs and opulent embroidery. The Benarasi Silk is still made by traditional handlooms in Varanasi and today you will have the opportunity to visit a local weavers village to see this ancient skill in action. Enjoy a guided walk through the village lanes, visit the weavers & their families at their homes and learn about the techniques involved with weaving these beautiful garments which are worn by Hindu families all over the country. Transfers and local guide included (From €19 per person. This excursion is subject to minimum numbers

Aarti Ceremony

Evening
Experience Aaarti Ceremony in India

You will have the unique opportunity to witness an aarti ceremony from the ghats on the banks of Holy River Ganga. Aarti is a Hindu religious ritual of worship and every evening hundreds of people gather to participate in this daily ritual. The ceremony is performed by seven priests standing on platforms with large oil lamps in both their hands. The worshippers also hold small earthen lamps which are then floated in the river after culmination of the aarti ceremony. Your busy day will end with a group farewell meal at your hotel.

Experience Aaarti Ceremony in India

At leisure & return home

Full Day
Indian People and Culture

Perhaps you would like to join an early morning Yoga session on the banks of the Ganga River? Or spend the morning at soaking up the atmosphere at a local market? Or maybe you would like to explore the narrow alley ways at your whim? The choice is yours! In the late afternoon transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Indian People and Culture

Arrive home

Experience Indian culture

Arrive home following your once in a lifetime adventure in India.

Experience Indian culture
* Please note that the order of your excusions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer Reviews

Hotels Available

Rajasthan,  India

Umaid Lake Palace

3
  • 10 Nov

Spread across 20 acres in the countryside near Dausa, Umaid Lake Palace is landscaped to capture the beauty of former Mughal palace gardens. Accommodation is simple but spacious, with traditional déco ...

Agra,  India

Royale Residency Hotel

3
  • 10 Nov

Hotel Royale Residency is situated in the city of Agra. Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and spa facilities. Nearby attractions include The Taj Mahal which is just a five minute drive away. *So ...

Delhi,  India

Rockland Hotel Chittaranjan Park

3
  • 10 Nov

Rockland Hotel Chittaranjan Park provides boutique accommodation in the heart of New Delhi. This hotel is a great choice for those interested in immersing themselves in the hustle and bustle of the ci ...

Rajasthan,  India

Ikaki Niwas

  • 10 Nov

Ikaki Niwas is a homestay in Jaipur city in Rajasthan, India. Guests can enjoy the small library, and the lounge areas on the patio and terrace as well as cooking demonstrations from the host family.  ...

Varansi,  India

The Amaya

3
  • 10 Nov

The Amayaa Hotel is located in the city of Varanasi. It features 2 dining options, an outdoor swimming pool and air-conditioned rooms. Nearby landmarks include Manikarnika Ghat, Dasaswamedh Ghat and H ...

Know before you go

Will I be met at the airport?

You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.

Do I need a Visa?

Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements

What if there is an emergency?

We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.

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