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  • Departing from?Dublin + 3
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  • When?March 2015
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Explore India’s Golden Triangle & the Holi Festival
from Per person

Explore India’s Golden Triangle & the Holi Festival

  • 9 Night Holiday
  • B&B
View Dates & Prices

This small group tour around India’s Golden Triangle is designed to give you a unique holiday experience that will take you off the beaten track, allowing you to unlock the authentic essence of Indian culture.

Mingle with the local people as you explore the backstreets and hidden corners of India’s popular tourist trail by bicycle, tuk tuk and by foot!

All the iconic sights are included, such as the Humayun’s Tomb, the Taj Mahal* and Amber Fort, but you will also enjoy a Bollywood movie screening, spend time at the Shereos Hangout Community Café and celebrate Holi, the festival of colours, with a local Indian family in Jaipur.

Wonderfully different, a feast of sounds, smells and colour, there is nothing quite like India!

*In order to preserve the beauty and integrity of the iconic monument, the Taj Mahal, restoration work is ongoing at this site.  Some phases of the restoration require scaffolding to encircle parts of the monument, thus a clear view of the entire monument may not be possible. 

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Rupee
Local Time
GMT + 5.5 hours. India does not observe daylight saving time (DST).
Passport
Irish and UK citizens require a visa to enter India. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months. Click here for information on visas for India. 
Dress Code
Compared with certain parts of Asia, India has a very relaxed dress code. However, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing, which may be considered revealing, especially when visiting religious sites.
Climate

Varied continental climate. Spring occurs from March to April, summer from May to October, and winter from November to February. Tropical monsoon occurs from June to August, and post-monsoon or northeast monsoon season (Oct-Dec).

Food & Drink

There is a wide variety of food available in India but curry is of course a very popular dish! Vegetable, chicken or lamb dishes are common, but you will see little to no pork or beef in the north of India. Tandoori chicken, lamb rogan josh and other instantly recognisable dishes are widely available as well as European favourites.

Vaccinations
Vaccinations may be required before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau.
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: 74.00Rs
  • Beer: 75.00Rs
  • Glass of wine: 100.00Rs
  • Meal: 200.00Rs
  • Soft Drink: 21.00Rs
  • Bottled Water: 22.00Rs
(80 Rupees - €1.00)
Packing List

We advise you to bring:

  • Your valid passport
  • A 220v plug adaptor
  • Sun cream and sun hat
  • Shawl – useful to cover shoulders when visiting religious sites
  • A small backpack
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

The White Tiger by Arivand Adiga

A Passage to India by E. M. Forester

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Holiday highlights

Delhi

Delhi has experienced so many invasions and absorbed so many cultures that it captures the essence of India. Exploring New Delhi, you will see the Lutyens designed parliament building, drive past India Gate and along the tree lined boulevards of the diplomatic quarter. The Red Fort dominates Old Delhi, with walls and watchtowers towering over the nearby streets and alleys.

Fatehpur Sikri

A quiet town west of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri was used in the 16th century for twenty years as the court of the Emperor Akbar. The city was then abruptly abandoned and left to the elements. Highlights include the Royal Palace and Audience Hall, both of which give an insight into the courtly life of Mughal royalty.

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful monuments in the world and was built by Shah Jehan as a memorial to his favourite wife. The brilliance and symmetry of this delicate marble structure, inlaid with semi-precious stones and reflected in cool, clear pools, cannot fail to take your breath away. 

Jaipur

Known as the Pink City because of its painted stone buildings, Jaipur is a lively and bustling place and is the capital of Rajasthan. Today, visitors can explore the lavish architectural projects sponsored by the royal family, including the Jantar Mantar observatory and the “Palace of Winds”. Outside the city the magnificent Amber Palace, decorated with marble, mirror work and mosaics, lies on top of a hill overlooking the city.

Holi the festival of Colours

Holi, the festival of colours, is an important date in the Hindu calendar. This ancient religious festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring and for many a day to forgive and make new beginnings. Locals usually kick start the celebrations with a Holika bonfire, followed by a carnival where water balloons and water guns spread colour and cheer to the beat of Indian drums. The spirit of India truly comes alive, and there is no better way to fully immerse yourself in the traditions and culture of local life than spending some time on the streets during this vibrant festival.

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Rupee
Local Time
GMT + 5.5 hours. India does not observe daylight saving time (DST).
Passport
Irish and UK citizens require a visa to enter India. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months. Click here for information on visas for India. 
Dress Code
Compared with certain parts of Asia, India has a very relaxed dress code. However, care should be taken not to give offence by wearing clothing, which may be considered revealing, especially when visiting religious sites.
Climate

Varied continental climate. Spring occurs from March to April, summer from May to October, and winter from November to February. Tropical monsoon occurs from June to August, and post-monsoon or northeast monsoon season (Oct-Dec).

Food & Drink

There is a wide variety of food available in India but curry is of course a very popular dish! Vegetable, chicken or lamb dishes are common, but you will see little to no pork or beef in the north of India. Tandoori chicken, lamb rogan josh and other instantly recognisable dishes are widely available as well as European favourites.

Vaccinations
Vaccinations may be required before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau.
Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: 74.00Rs
  • Beer: 75.00Rs
  • Glass of wine: 100.00Rs
  • Meal: 200.00Rs
  • Soft Drink: 21.00Rs
  • Bottled Water: 22.00Rs
(80 Rupees - €1.00)
Packing List

We advise you to bring:

  • Your valid passport
  • A 220v plug adaptor
  • Sun cream and sun hat
  • Shawl – useful to cover shoulders when visiting religious sites
  • A small backpack
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

The White Tiger by Arivand Adiga

A Passage to India by E. M. Forester

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 – Depart Dublin

Morning

Depart Dublin

Depart Dublin on your overnight flight to Delhi.

Day 2 – Explore New Delhi

Early Morning

Transfer to your Hotel

Upon your early morning arrival in Delhi you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Your room will be ready for immediate check in so you can catch up on some sleep! You will have the rest of the morning at leisure to settle in to your hotel.

Afternoon/Evening

Explore New Delhi

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. In the evening, there will be the opportunity to get to know your fellow group members better during a welcome dinner at your hotel. The remainder of the evening will be free to spend as you wish.

Overnight

Accommodation

3 star hotel in Delhi (2 nights)

Day 3 – Explore Old Delhi

Morning

Old Delhi by Bicycle

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 nearby restaurant with the locals.

Afternoon

Delhi’s Iconic Sights

In the afternoon enjoy a guided tour of Delhi’s iconic sights. 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. Spend some time at Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple, known for its community kitchen which offers food to thousands of people every day irrespective of their faith & religion, before finishing the day at Qutub Minar, the tallest brick minaret in India.

Evening

At Leisure

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 local expert guide will be happy to suggest somewhere to suit your taste!

Day 4 – Delhi to Agra

Morning

Delhi to Agra

This morning you will depart Delhi for Agra. It is always rush hour in India, but with such a large population this is to be expected! Observing cars, rickshaws, tuk tuks, motorbikes, bicycles, trucks, and even cows trying to negotiate the busy streets all to a chorus of horns certainly provides for entertainment en route. Once you are out of the city you will be able to admire the changing landscapes of Northern India before arriving in to Agra in the afternoon.

Afternoon/Evening

Agra Fort & Sheroes Hangout

After checking in at your hotel you will 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. 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. Dinner at your hotel will be included tonight.

Overnight

Accommodation

3 star hotel in Agra (1 night)

Day 5 – Agra to Jaipur

Early Morning

Sunrise at the Taj Mahal

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. Definitely one to tick off the bucket list!

Morning/Afternoon

Fatephur Sikri & Chand Baori Step Well

Return to your hotel for breakfast before leaving Agra for Jaipur, with visits to Fatephur Sikri and Chand Baori Step Well included en route. Fatehpur Sikri is a red sandstone palace complex that was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and was occupied as capital of the Mughal Empire for 14 years but it eventually became deserted and is known today as a “Ghost City”. 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, with 3,500 narrow steps arranged in perfect symmetry, descending 20m over 13 floors to the bottom of the well. Once you arrive in Jaipur you will kick off the Holi celebrations at a Holika bonfire and a welcome dinner at your homestay.

Overnight

Accomodation

Homestay in Jaipur (3 nights)

Day 6 – Celebrate Holi in Jaipur

Morning

Holi Carnival

Holi, the festival of colours, is an important date in the Hindu calendar. This ancient religious festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring and for many a day to forgive and make new beginnings. Watch the spirit of India come alive as you spend the morning at a carnival, where water balloons and water guns spread colour and cheer amongst the local people. There truly is no better way experience Indian culture than to spend time on the streets during this spectacular festival!

Afternoon

Holi Celebrations at your Homestay

Continue the Holi celebrations at your homestay where you will be hosted for lunch by a local Indian family. Dance to the rhythm of the music, indulge in a home cooked meal and experience first-hand the hospitality of the Indian people.

Evening

Bollywood movie at Rajmandir

And the entertainment does not stop there - this evening you will experience a Bollywood movie in a stunning location. Jaipur is home to Rajmandir, which is the most regal Single Screen Cinema Hall in India, known for its rich interiors. So sit back and relax with some popcorn and enjoy the movie!

Day 7 – Explore Jaipur

Morning

Amber Fort & Palace

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. Along with its large defensive walls, it is known for its’ artistic Hindu style elements, and series of gates and cobbled paths. Around the palace you will see carved panels and paintings on the walls depicting hunting and war scenes, as well as a stunning collection of glass tile in the famous Hall of Mirrors

Afternoon

Jaipur's Iconic Sights

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.

Evening

At Leisure

The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure to explore Jaipur at your own pace. The food in Rajasthan is as colourful as its culture, so if you are keen to experiment with the local cuisine, your guide will be happy to suggest somewhere to enjoy an authentic meal.

Day 8 – Jaipur to Delhi

Early Morning

Guided Trek from Amber Fort & Palace to Jaigarh Fort

In the early morning depart on a 5km guided trek from Amber Fort & Palace to Jaigarh Fort. The trek takes you through the Aravalli hills passing the walls of Amber and then on to Jaigarh. The trek 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. After the trek you will return to your homestay to enjoy a well-deserved breakfast before departing for Delhi.

Afternoon

At Leisure

You will arrive back in to Delhi in the late afternoon. A farewell dinner is included for the final night of your trip at your hotel. You will have the remainder of the evening at leisure to spend as you wish!

Overnight

Accommodation

3 star hotel in Delhi (1 night)

Day 9 – Depart Delhi

Morning

At Leisure

You will have today completely at your leisure so you can explore at your whim. Chat to your local guide the night before if you need any tips on how to spend your last day in India.

Afternoon

Return Home

In the late afternoon you will transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Day 10 – Arrive Home

Morning

Arrive Home

Arrive back in Dublin following your once in a life time trip to India.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Africa Avenue Anand Lok Hotel 3

Africa Avenue Anand Lok Hotel is located in the heart of South Delhi with nearby attractions including the Commercial centre in Nehru Place, Okhla Industrial area and M block market. ... read more read more read more

Africa Avenue Anand Lok Hotel is located in the heart of South Delhi with nearby attractions including the Commercial centre in Nehru Place, Okhla Industrial area and M block market. 

Hotel address
Africa Avenue Anand Lok Hotel
6 Anand Lok
New Delhi
110049
New Delhi
View available dates for this hotel

Royale Residency Hotel 3

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.... read more read more read more

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.

Hotel address
Royale Residency Hotel
Fatehabad Road
Agra-282 001

Agra
View available dates for this hotel

Ikaki Niwas Homestay

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. ... read more read more read more

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. 

Hotel address
Ikaki Niwas
5, Chha 2, Sector 5
Jawahar Nagar
Jaipur
View available dates for this hotel

*Some hotel facilities are seasonally operated and may not be available at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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Price, taxes, flight times & availability are subject to change. E&OE. Price based on per person, sharing. Single Supplement cost may apply.

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  • Baggage from €40.00
  • Insurance from €12.50
  • Single Supplement from €149.00

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