ARRIVE IN INDIA!
Welcome to India, a country that requires little introduction. Unrivalled cultures awash throughout the huge sub-continent, giving rise to phenomenal food, warm people, incredible diversity and immersive architecture influenced by religion, pride, patriotism and history. Walking around the streets of India can feel like a trip through time, watching Brahmins wash in the rivers of the Ganges one morning and then glimpsing sun rays bounce off the glistening white marble walls of the Taj Mahal the next. This is India. Arrive any time throughout the day and meet your group leader in your hotel in the heart of New Delhi. Tonight we’ll venture out as a group for our welcome dinner and our first chance to sample that famous Indian Cuisine.
DELHI DAY TOUR TO BIKANER
After breakfast, we’ll head out with our local guide through the streets of Delhi and get our first real introduction into Indian life. Our first stop is a beautiful Sikh Temple, you’ll then step into the huge mass kitchen, where Sikh’s provide free meals daily to residents of the city. Watch how thousands of Chapatis are made and stir the giant curry pots yourself. After lunch, we’ll then head to the illustrious Lotus Temple. In the evening we’ll take an overnight train to the desert oasis of Bikaner.
BIKANER – SAFARI IN THE DUNES & CAMEL RESEARCH CENTRE
Once we arrive in Bikaner, we’ll check in to our fantastic accommodation and grab some breakfast before we head out for the day to explore Camel Country. Bikaner is home to some fantastic sand dunes, so we’ll venture out on a jeep safari for an incredible and bumpy ride you’ll never forget! Afterwards we’ll visit the Camel Research Centre, Bikaner is home to some of the world’s best riding camels and one of the world’s largest camel research and breeding farms. We’ll finish the day with a delicious dinner before getting some well deserved rest.
Today we take a train to the home of the blue city, Jodhpur. On arrival in the evening, we’ll transfer to our traditional Haveli accommodation. Our Haveli is situated in the middle of the blue city where the walls are painted blue throughout this labyrinth of buildings in the shadow of the ever imposing Mehrangarh Fort. After checking in, we’ll meet on the rooftop for dinner to catch our first glimpse of one of our favourite cities in Rajasthan.
JODHPUR – MEHRANGARH FORT & THE BLUE CITY
We’ll give you the morning free to relax after travelling yesterday. We’ll meet in the early afternoon and walk to the Mehrangarh fort together with our local guide. After, we’ll walk through the blue city and stop off at the Jodhpur stepwell, an impressive feat of ancient stone work before walking around the clock tower market to sample some famous Saffron Lassi and delicious samosas. We’ll then make our way back to our accommodation to finish the day.
TO UDAIPUR – SUNSET CRUISE ON LAKE PICHOLA
Today we’ll take a bus to Udaipur, the “White City” – also known as the city of lakes. It is also the location for filming the James Bond film, Octopussy! The lakes and architecture provide a perfect balance between the hectic and the tranquil and no better way to experience this is with a walk through the markets and old town and finishing with a private sunset cruise on the lake. Afterwards, we’ll then head to one of our favourite rooftop restaurants for dinner.
UDAIPUR – LOCAL VILLAGE & SCHOOL VISIT
An early start today as we head out of town to take a fantastic bike ride. Our guide is from the local village and so will introduce you to the ways the locals live, teach you about their culture and heritage as well as show us the local temples important to village life. We’ll also get to visit a local school during our time in this area. After, we’ll head back to town to check out and we’ll give you the rest of the day free to take one last trip around the markets or grab a beer on a rooftop.
TO PUSHKAR – BLESSING ON THE LAKE
After breakfast in the morning, we’ll take the train to Ajmer before transferring to Pushkar, known as one of the holiest towns in India. Pushkar is a backpacker’s paradise with amazing food, beautiful markets, rolling landscapes, hiking and unrivalled sunsets. Tonight we sleep in the desert on a gorgeous glamping site. In the afternoon, a local Brahmin will induct you to Pushkar properly with a blessing on the holy lake and we’ll then grab a drink at a lakeside cafe before heading back to camp to sleep under the stars.
PUSHKAR – LOCAL COOKING DEMONSTRATION
Take an optional sunrise hike to a temple for imperious views of the city and lake at sunrise or take up some yoga on the deck of the infinity pool, the morning is truly yours. Around noon, we’ll shuttle everyone into Pushkar for free time to explore the town at your leisure. Browse the markets, take a yoga class, or simply read a book on the steps by the lake. We’ll then head back to camp at sunset to work with some local villagers learning how to cook traditional Indian cuisine.
TO JAIPUR – BOLLYWOOD MOVIE
Today we grab breakfast and head to Jaipur to complete our visit to the Golden Triangle. On arrival to Jaipur we’ll make our way to our stunning traditional accommodation in the heart of the old town and then watch a Bollywood movie the way the director intended it to be watched, in one of the grandest theatres in the world.
JAIPUR – THE PINK CITY, HAWA MAHAL & COOKING DEMONSTRATION
After breakfast in the hotel, our guide will meet us to take us on an orientation walk of the old town. We’ll get to visit the local market, understand the origins of the “Pink City”, meet some locals and market traders, learn all about the spices that are synonymous to Indian cooking and view the excellent Palace of the Winds. We’ll then all jump in Tuk Tuks to visit Galta-Ji, or otherwise known as the Monkey Temple. A temple built into the hills that is the home to hundreds of grey long tailed Asian monkeys. We’ll then come back to Jaipur where we’ll enjoy a delicious cooking demonstration in the evening!