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INDIA TOUR

19 – 28 November 2024

WOMEN ONLY

R10 000 non-refundable deposit to book your place

TOUR DESCRIPTION

Tales from the Taj: Unveiling the Magic of India

If you’ve been a little hesitant to explore India on your own, come with our adventurous over 50s group of ladies and we’ll unlock India’s secrets together. I’ll be with you every step of the way, leading this Indian adventure.

DELHI – TAJ MAHAL – TIGERS – PALACES OF THE RAJ – INDIAN CUISINE – JAIPUR PINK CITY – VARANASI

India is enchanting, vibrant, stimulating, and utterly beguiling, where life goes in in apparent chaos. It’s what makes our journey into this land of many cultures, colours and traditions, a great adventure. India will bombard you with new experiences on a daily basis and fill your senses with intoxicating sights, sounds, smells and colours.

In ten days, we may only sample a small part of India, but it’s more than enough to dip our toes into the delights of India. This tour offers a perfect blend of food, history, wildlife and cultural richness.

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Our Tour

ITINERARY

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DAY 1

Welcome to Delhi

Welcome to India! Delhi Is India’s capital city and seat of government and it appears that everyone is on the streets going somewhere in rather chaotic fashion. That’s Delhi for you!

Situated in a strategic position on the west bank of the Yamuna River, between the Himalayas and the Aravalli Hills, Delhi is the gateway to the rich alluvial soils of the Ganges plain and according to Indian folklore, has been occupied since 2500 BC.

Meet your fellow travelling companions at our welcome dinner in one of Delhi’s oldest and most iconic fine dining restaurants.

Accommodation: 5* hotel
Welcome dinner

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DAY 2

Taj Mahal - Agra

We won’t linger long in Delhi, because the magnificent Taj Mahal awaits us. Mughal emperors were the supreme rulers of the Indian subcontinent between 1526–1761, each trying to outdo the last with beautiful edifices. But none could surpass Emperor Shah Jahan’s enormous white marble mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631.

Taking 22 years to build, the Taj Mahal is considered one of the most beautiful buildings on earth. It’s still radiates a powerful energy almost 400 years later. You’ll understand why when you stand in front of it. We begin our fascinating Indian food journey in the evening, when we join a foodie expert on a street food tour away from the main tourist trail.

Accommodation: 5* hotel
Breakfast, dinner

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DAY 3 & 4

Tigers of Ranthambore

Before leaving Agra, we visit the impressive Agra Fort. It’s red sandstone walls and forbidding battlements hide several majestic Mughal palaces.

From Agra, we travel to the realm of the most exquisite animal – the Bengal tiger! We hope to see these great beasts of the jungle in Ranthambore National Park, during two game drives. As former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur, the loathing of man by Jungle Books’ tiger Shere Khan is understandable. There are only 3,167 tigers left on earth, and this sanctuary is one of India’s principal reserves, where daytime sightings are frequent. Nature has reclaimed this park and many of the ancient fortresses and temples that once stood here.

Our two-night stay is in a traditional elegant hotel, in keeping with the natural surroundings and Rajasthani culture.

Accommodation: 4* hotel
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

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DAY 5

The pink city - Jaipur

Jaipur is known for its centuries-old hill forts, ornate palaces and gardens and buildings painted pink. This colour, indicating hospitality, was used to honour Queen Victoria’s son Edward who visited in 1876 and the Old City has been pink ever since. Jaipur’s narrow streets are chaotic, with rickshaws, hooting scooters, bicycles and camel-driven carts, avoiding the monkeys and sacred cows roaming the streets.

After seeing some of the sites of this Rajasthani capital, we are invited into the home of a local family for a cooking class. Chat to your friendly hosts about their way of life and find out the mysteries of mixing Indian spices before sampling the delicious dishes.

Accommodation: 5* hotel
Breakfast, dinner

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DAY 6

Jaipur

Today we visit the Amber Fort, surrounded by impressive defensive fortifications. Built by Raja Man Singh in the early 17th century, it houses mighty gates, temples, huge decorative halls, palaces, pavilions, and gardens. The 10-minute walk through a series of five gates brings us to the Suraj Pol (Sun Gate), the main entry to the Palace.

The other most impressive building in Jaipur is the City Palace, occupying a massive one seventh of Jaipur’s Old City. It has a sequence of gardens, buildings and courtyards, temple, and museum that denote its royal importance.

Later, we’ll hop on a rickshaw and travel to a haveli. A grand old mansion, ornately decorated as a display of wealth, many of which remain across the city today. We’ll take a tour of the property, see fascinating photographs and stories of the ancestors who once ruled the nearby provinces.

Our lovely 5-star hotel is removed from the hustle and bustle and we dine on the rooftop, taking in sweeping views of Jaipur’s old walled city.

Accommodation: 5* hotel
Breakfast, dinner

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DAY 7

The Spiritual Heart of Varanasi

It’s a short flight from Jaipur to Varanasi – a place of incredible spiritual importance. Giving context that Varanasi is not just a Hindu holy place, we stop first at Sarnath, one of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites. It’s said to be where Buddha preached his first sermon after achieving enlightenment.

We continue on to the city of Varanasi, the spiritual capital of Hinduism, which is both a religion and a way of life. It is the ultimate destination for Hindu pilgrims who travel far to experience the city’s spirituality. Varanasi is a great place to barter for mementos like silk, muslin and incense.

Local cafes offer ‘bhang lassi’, a yogurt drink infused with cannabis leaves, said to improve mood, wellbeing and sleep – optional!

Accommodation: 5* hotel
No meals included

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DAY 8
Varanasi

Today starts early with a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges. Our Guide will explain the significance of India’s most sacred river and we will witness pilgrims purifying themselves in the water as we float past the temples and ghats – stairways down to the river.

A guided walk through the Old City helps to uncover its secrets and we stroll through narrow lanes packed with stalls and shops, past dhobi wallahs (street laundries), and endless temples that echo with bells and the pungent aroma of incense.

In the evening, return to the Ganges to see it from another perspective during a sunset boat ride. We’ll see ancient bathing rituals and ceremonies being performed on the riverbank as the sun sets over this sacred city. To add more magic to this evening, we are serenaded on board by local musicians, while watching a beautiful flower and candle ceremony that will become a lasting memory of India.

Accommodation: 5* hotel
Breakfast

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DAY 9

Final day in Delhi

Flight to Delhi. On arrival, venture out to Old Delhi. Wander through alleyways and experience a cycle rickshaw ride through chaotic streets, such as the famous Chandni Chowk busy shopping area with markets full of spices, dried fruit, silver jewellery and vivid saris, stationery and traditional sweets. Visit to Jama Masjid, Delhi’s oldest mosque and one of its most impressive buildings, followed by the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion.

In the evening, we meet for a final dinner in a beautiful haveli dating back to 1887. Enjoy a feast of Mughlai cuisine, street food dishes and kebabs in a stunning historical setting – a perfect finale to your Indian adventure.

Accommodation: 5* hotel
Breakfast, dinner

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DAY 10

Departure

It’s time to check in for the flight home and bid fond farewells to newfound Adventurous Ewes and travelling companions who have become firm friends. Until the next trip!

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Some meals – see itinerary
  • All personal drinks including any alcoholic beverages
  • Optional activities not part of the itinerary
  • Meal tips
TRAVELLER'S TIPS
  • Download the App Airalo for affordable local SIM cards www.airalo.com
  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Tip – avoid “Delhi belly” by having a mouth full of antiseptic mouthwash when you shower.
WEATHER

November is the beginning of winter. In northern India, November sees average highs of around 27-29°C in cities like Delhi, Jaipur and Varanasi. Early morning and evening can be cold.

MONEY - Indian Rupee (INR)

1 USD = 83.387706 INR
1 ZAR = 4.43417 INR

DRESS CODE

Baggage limit on local flights is 15kg checked luggage (1 piece) and 7kg cabin luggage.

  • Cover both shoulders and knees. In the big cities when you are not in the tourist hotels or shops, cover up.
  • Women must wear long skirts or pants and cover shoulders when visiting places of worship. You need to remove your footwear before entering any religious place.
  • Carry a light pashmina or scarf with you to cover your head for the sun and some religious places require you to cover your head.
  • Pack some warmer layers.
  • Closed shoes for walking around as it can be dusty.
  • Avoid high heels, flat sandals will do just fine.
OTHER ITEMS TO REMEMBER
  • Forex Indian Rupees, bank card
  • Pen and notebook
  • Cell phone chargers and powerbank
  • To use electrical gadgets you need a universal plug converter and be aware of the local voltage (230V)
  • Universal plug converter
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Earplugs
  • Medication
  • Sunscreen
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses and/or reading glasses
  • Handbag/backpack/shoulder sling bag
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