Taj, Tigers & Sufi Music Festival

Departures: India

Taj, Tigers & Sufi Music Festival

Begin your journey in New Delhi, the nation’s thriving capital and a microcosm for the rest of India. You’ll visit the Taj Mahal and the magical Land of Kings—Rajasthan, where you’ll attend the World Sufi Spirit Festival in Jodhpur. On safari in Rajasthan’s Ranthambore Tiger reserve, you may see sambar, chital, langur, wild boar, hyena, jackal and the big cats—tigers and leopards. Other highlights include Jaipur, Udaipur, Pushkar, and the forts, palaces and rural villages that make this land so intriguing.

Beneficiary

We believe that to travel responsibly, a portion of our tour cost should benefit the communities we visit. For this trip, we will donate to PATH, who has been working in India since 1978 with programs to improve health in the highest-need, hardest to reach areas.

Itinerary

February 4 – 22, 2018

From $3,790 per person, double occupancy

Day 1

Arrive Delhi

On arrival in Delhi you will be met and welcomed at Delhi International Airport and transferred to your boutique hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Your stay includes guided visits to some of the most fascinating monuments, temples and forts of both the old and new parts of the city.

Day 2

Delhi

After breakfast, depart on a morning sightseeing tour of Old Delhi, which includes a visit to Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, a rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk, and drive past the Red Fort, the place that marked the announcement of India’s freedom from the British Raj.

In the afternoon, explore New Delhi, which includes a visit to Qutab Minar, a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture and India’s tallest brick minaret; Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the largest Sikh temple of Delhi, India Gate, the war memorial arch; drive past the President’s House, Parliament and the most imposing features of Lutyen’s Delhi.

Day 3

Delhi — Agra

Depart Delhi for Agra in a private, air-conditioned car to Agra—world-heritage site of the Taj Mahal, a must-see for every visitor to India. After lunch and check in at your hotel, visit the splendid palaces of Agra Fort, built in red sandstone—where you’ll see our first view of the Taj Mahal across the river Yamuna.

Then experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the world’s most enduring monument to love—the Taj Mahal and stay to view the glistening white marble at sunset.

Day 4

Agra — Ranthambore

Depart Agra for Ranthambore National Park. Formerly the hunting grounds of Indian princes, the park is a conservation success story, and one of the best places in the world to view tigers in the wild. Visit Ranthambore Fort, and check into your Palace Hotel.

Day 5

Ranthambore

Journey into the park early this morning accompanied by a trained naturalist for a wildlife safari. Spread over an area of 392 sq. km, the park houses some of India’s most endangered species including the Bengal Tiger.

Popular wildlife to be seen include Sambar, chital, blue bull, chinkara, langur, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, tigers, leopards, and crocodiles around the lake. The lakes in the national park also attract a large number of migratory and local birds.

Return to your lodgings for a rest before venturing out again in the late afternoon on another jeep safari.

Day 6

Ranthambore—Jaipur

After breakfast, drive to Jaipur, land of the Rajputs. Known as the ‘Pink City’, for its colorful sandstone walls that surround the city, Jaipur is home to ancient forts and palaces. It’s also a great place to shop for fine gemstones, textiles, and all types of traditional crafts.

Check into your heritage homestay, where you will be warmly welcomed and enjoy dinner with your hosts on their family estate.

Day 7

Jaipur

This morning, visit the City Palace Complex with its various museums to view its fascinating collection of Mughal costumes, weapons and miniature paintings. Within the City Palace Complex, also visit Govind Dev Ji temple, the famous temple of Lord Krishna.

Adjacent to the City Palace is the ancient astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar, built by the Maharaja of Jaipur, which house the largest stone observatory in the world. Stop for photos at Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), a remarkable five-storied building along the main street of the old city with semi-octagonal and delicate honey-combed sandstone windows.

Day 8

Jaipur

After breakfast, visit the magnificent Amber Fort—built in the 16th century. This is one of the most beautiful examples of Rajput architecture, housing a complex of palaces and pavilions, gardens and temples. Ride a decorated elephant to this hilltop fort (subject to availability). Alternatively, you could choose to walk or drive up to the fort.

Afternoon at leisure, explore the market area or go shopping for gemstone jewelry, or woodblock-print textiles.

Day 9

Jaipur—Pushkar

After breakfast, embark on a drive amidst the arid Rajasthan desert to Pushkar, famous for the annual cattle fair in November. Pushkar is also one of the holiest cities of India, being one of the 5 sacred dhams (pilgrimage site) for Hindu devotees. Visit the ghats and the only temple to Lord Brahma in India.

Check into your accommodations—a homestay with a local family—a great way to learn about and discuss Indian customs, culture and history.

Day 10

Pushkar — Jodhpur

After breakfast, we drive to Jodhpur, the second largest city of Rajasthan, popularly known as the ‘blue’ city. The annual World Sufi Spirit Festival starts today in the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, and the grand palaces within the fort. You will have a pass to attend the performances of your choice.

Check in to your hotel, and later this evening attend your first musical performance.

Day 11

Village Safari & Sufi Music Festival

This morning experience the sights and sounds of village life on a village jeep safari. You’ll meet and view the traditional crafts of potters and weavers, and visit the Bishnoi farmers who are ardent environmentalists and vegetarians.

Return to Jodhpur mid-afternoon and attend your choice of musical performance at the Sufi Spirit Festival this evening.

Day 12

Sufi Music Festival

Enjoy a full day to attend the Sufi Festival at Mehrangarh Fort. Your driver will be available to transfer you back and forth to the festival, or anywhere else in the city you wish to explore.

Day 13

Jodhpur — Udaipur

After breakfast, drive to Udaipur. En route, stop to visit the stunning Jain temple of Ranakpur. Built in the 15th century, Ranakpur temple is one of the largest Jain temples in India and is renown for its exquisite sculptures.

The storybook setting of Udaipur, surrounded by blue hills invites you to relax at your hotel overlooking Lake Pichola.

Day 14

Udaipur

After breakfast, visit the 16th-century City Palace, one of the largest palace complexes in Rajasthan, where royal events take place even today. Also visit Jagdish Temple, the 17th century Indo Aryan temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu the preserver of the Universe.

Take an afternoon boat ride on Lake Pichola for a scenic view of the lake.

Day 15

Udaipur — Delhi

After breakfast, enjoy a morning at liesure to explore Udaipur. In the early afternoon you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Delhi, and transfer to your guesthouse in South Delhi.

Day 16

Delhi — Home

You’re day is free to enjoy the sights of Delhi, and you will have your car and driver at your disposal. You may wish to visit Lodi Gardens, take in a Bollywood musical performance, or for last-minute shopping, visit Dilli Haat, a colorful, enclosed outdoor market of artisans from throughout India.

Late evening transfer to the airport for departure flight home.

For pricing and hotel information, contact us at HOW TO BOOK. The specifics of this itinerary are subject to change based on local conditions at the discretion of Ponte Travels. This custom itinerary is designed for independent travelers, utilizing a private car and driver/guide and can be modified to suit your preferences.