Experience the magic of Holi Festival on this captivating tour through colourful Rajasthan

We've taken our most popular trip to Rajasthan and one of the top selling trips in our entire range and added a royal celebration of one of the worlds most spectacular festivals. Celebrate the world-renowned Hindu ‘festival of colours’ on an enchanting adventure through the northern state of Rajasthan. Discover the fierce history of massive forts and the opulence and splendour of Maharajahs' palaces, search for the elusive Bengal tiger in the stunning surrounds of Ranthambhore National Park, watch the blazing Indian sun set over the remote village of Madhogarh from your heritage hotel and get among the colourful festivities in the beautiful town of Bundi. This is truly the essence of Rajasthan – magnified by the magic of Holi.


Start
Delhi, India
Finish
Delhi, India
Destination
India
Style
Original
Theme
Festivals and Events
Code
HHSH
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Experience the magic of Holi Festival with a royal family in Bundi – dance in clouds of coloured smoke and immerse yourself in the music and celebrations!

  • Explore northern India with the luxury of a local leader on hand to give you all the insider info and ensure that you have a memorable experience of this captivating, but sometimes challenging, country.

  • Watch the sunset from a rampart on Fort Madhogarh, one of our heritage hotels (and a former royal residence) that will be your accommodation while here.

  • Keep your adrenaline charged with an evening tiger-spotting safari among the lakes and jungles of one of India's well-known national parks – Ranthambhore.

  • Visit our local friends in their home on the border of sacred Pushkar Lake and the evocative Thar Desert. Share a meal together and gain insight into local life.

  • Could any visit to India be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal? Here's what you need to know about your visit: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/taj-mahal-travel-guide/

Is this trip right for you?

  • We include some key sights in each destination as well as aim to provide some free time for you to make your own discoveries. Past travellers have found that some research before they travel on what they are most interested in seeing and doing has allowed them to maximise their time in each place.

  • While there is no guarantee you will see a tiger during your safari in Ranthambhore, you may have a chance to see a variety of other wildlife, including hyenas, jackals, deer, langurs, marsh crocodiles, wild boars and bird life.

  • Make sure your luggage is light and compact enough to be able to carry it up and down multiple flights of stairs, for example: in train stations and hotels without elevators.

  • There are a number of long travel days on this trip. Some journeys take between 6 to 8 hours, but are a great opportunity to get to know locals, fellow travellers and the diverse scenery. We are covering a lot of this vast country during the trip, so the journey is all part of the India experience.

  • It’s important to prepare for hot sticky temperatures during the day and cooler climates in the evening, particularly in the desert. Layers are the one of the best ways to tackle this disparity in weather.

  • We visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and wear pants or skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

Itinerary

Namaste! Welcome to India. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, there's plenty to do in this wonderfully chaotic city. Wander the streets, sip on your first chai or practice haggling in one of the many markets. If you prefer some structure, there's a variety of Urban Adventure day tours that offer a great first taste of Delhi. Find out more at urbandventures.com. After the meeting, head out for your first optional dinner together with your group.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Delhi - Qutub Minar - INR500
  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR500
  • Delhi - Culture Vulture Urban Adventure - INR2500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
In the morning, navigate the city’s metro system to discover Old Delhi on a walking tour. Hitch a ride on a traditional cycle rickshaw through a typical Indian traffic jam in the streets around Chandni Chowk marketplace. Visit Delhi’s oldest mosque of Jama Masjid, which is also India’s largest. Escape from the frenetic pace of the city streets by ducking into a Sikh temple, Sheeshganj Gurudwara, to observe the spiritual side of this bustling metropolis. The communal kitchen welcomes all, and there's a chance to have a simple meal here together. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the sights of Delhi. Many past travellers have recommended the Delhi Food Walk or Home Cooked Delhi tours with Urban Adventures as a great way to safely (and deliciously!) explore the tastes of India.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel to Agra by one of India's express air-conditioned trains (approximately 3 hours). Steeped in Mughal heritage, Agra has a wealth of gardens, temples and open rooftops. Visit the Taj Mahal and learn why Emperor Shah Jahan built it as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz. Buzz around Agra in a motorised rickshaw and explore inside the spectacular sandstone walls of the Red Fort, built to encompass the imperial city of the Mughal rulers in the 16th century. If you have time, move on to Akbar's Mausoleum to honour the great emperor. For a meal that makes a difference while in Agra, consider visiting Sheroes Hangout, a remarkable social enterprise that supports survivors of acid attacks.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Agra Fort
  • Agra - Red Fort guided tour
Optional Activities
  • Agra - Additional entries to Taj Mahal - INR1300
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Read more about Sheroes Hangout here: intrepidtravel.com/adventures/sheroes-hangout-india
Take a local bus to Bassi, a small town in the middle of rural Rajasthan (approximately 4 hours), then travel by private transport to your accommodation for the night (approximately 45 minutes) in Madhogarh. On a walk through the village, see craftspeople at work and meet some of our local friends. In the evening, stay in the beautiful heritage property of Fort Madhogarh, which has belonged to one of Rajasthan’s royal families for centuries. Dinner is included here tonight.
Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Madhogarh - Village walk
  • Madhogarh - Dinner at Fort Madhogarh
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Travel on by private vehicle to Jaipur (approximately 90 minutes). On arrival, take a walk around the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur. Get among the crowds of the city’s bazaars to shop for artisan goods and semi-precious stones. Set on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake, visit the Amber Fort, an excellent example of Rajput architecture. The Sheesh Mahal inside the fort is a must-see. As the walls are completely covered in little mirrors, the hall illuminates with the light of a single match. After the tour, you'll have further free time to spend as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - Walking & market tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a full free day that you can jam pack with experiences of your choice. This morning, you could take an optional hot air balloon ride. Floating across the skyline of Jaipur in a hot air balloon is a highlight of the trip for many travellers. Jump on a rickshaw to Hawa Mahal, also known as the 'Palace of the Winds’. Alternatively, head to Jaipur's Royal City Palace or the observatory of Jantar Mantar to see a collection of intriguing astronomical instruments. After a long day of exploration, perhaps head to the Raj Mandir Cinema to experience a Bollywood film.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Jaipur - City Palace - INR600
  • Jaipur - Jantar Mantar Observatory - INR200
  • Jaipur - Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema - INR400
  • Jaipur - Balloon Safari - USD260
  • Jaipur - Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind) - INR200
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
The balloon activity must be booked in advance. Please see Important Notes for more information.
Continuing on from Jaipur by private vehicle, head to Ranthambhore (approximately 5 hours). Ranthambhore National Park was once a famous hunting ground for the Maharajas of Jaipur and was one of the original Project Tiger reserves. Explore the ruins of the park’s 10th-century fort, and in the evening take a 4WD safari in search of tigers and other wildlife, such as hyenas, jackals, deer, langurs, marsh crocodiles, wild boars and birds.
Ranthambhore National Park is closed between 1 July and 30 September each year. On trips departing during this time, you'll visit nearby Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary is located approx. 16km from Ranthambhore and due to its hilly terrain isn't as affected by the monsoon. Tigers also inhabit this area and spottings are more favorable at this time of year as they move here away from flooded areas of Ranthambhore.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ranthambhore National Park - Evening wildlife safari
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
We require a scanned copy of your passport bio page at time of booking to secure a permit for your Ranthambhore National Park visit. Authorities at Ranthambhore National Park follow a strict booking process whereby permits are issued on a first come first serve basis. If we do not receive correct passport details in time, we cannot guarantee you will get a spot on the safari.

The safety of our travellers is our highest concern and your tour leader has the authority to cancel or reschedule the jeep safari if they believe the vehicles available do not meet our safety standards.
Next, travel to Bundi by private vehicle (approximately 4 hours). Navigate Bundi's narrow streets on an insightful walking tour, including wandering through the downtown market where you’ll be given organic colours and sweets, then stop in at Bundi's intriguing and intricate step wells (baori), an architectural marvel and once the source of water for the town. Check out the 16th-century Bundi Palace with its famous murals before checking into your next heritage stay. After lunch, prepare to get messy as you join the heritage property owners – one of the royal families of Bundi – for an incredible celebration of Holi Festival! Immerse yourself in the music and festivities as you gather with your travel companions in the courtyard and paint the air with brightly coloured powders to celebrate the arrival of spring. Hand out sweets and dance in the clouds of coloured smoke as you watch spontaneous rainbow eruptions, burst through the air – creating a magical atmosphere and a truly unforgettable experience.
Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bundi - Stepwell
  • Bundi - Palace
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Take off from Bundi and catch a local train to Bassi. Cross the Chittorgarh countryside to Paangarh Lake. Enjoy the view out to the 15th-century fort and unwind with a cup of chai while watching sunset over the lake. You'll spend tonight in a beautiful permanent tented camp, right on the lakeshore – a truly relaxing experience away from the chaos of India's cities.


Accommodation
  • Permanent Tent (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, drive in an open-top jeep out into the countryside past tranquil villages. You might be lucky enough to spot some native wildlife as we drive through the region. Meet some villagers and maybe even get a henna tattoo – a temporary but very traditional souvenir. Arrive at our next heritage stay and enjoy a meal of authentic local specialties.


Accommodation
  • Heritage Property (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bijaipur - Village tour
Optional Activities
  • Bijaipur - Henna tattoo - INR150
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Depart the heritage stay and begin your next journey by private vehicle which takes you to Udaipur (approximately 4 hours). Take in the city’s hills, lakes and white marble palaces, or delve into its twisting alleys and bazaars filled with silver, leather goods and miniature paintings. A popular centre for artists, dancers and musicians, there’s plenty to entertain you here. After a city walk with your leader, the rest of your day is free.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Udaipur - City walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Visit Udaipur's City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India. Some suggestions for your free time after the tour include an optional boat ride on the picturesque Lake Pichola (seasonal) to marvel at the island palaces off Jag Nivas and Jag Mandir and seeing a cultural performance that combines seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Udaipur - City Palace
Optional Activities
  • Udaipur - Cultural performance - INR120
  • Udaipur - Lake boat ride - INR400
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take a 6-hour air-conditioned train to Ajmer followed by a private vehicle to your hotel in Pushkar, a place synonymous with Rajasthan. Enjoy a walking tour to visit the bustling Ghats and temples around Pushkar Lake and watch as the devout worship by the holy waters and at the Brahma Temple. At lunchtime, share a meal with a local family and learn about their life living in this desert city. The rest of the day is free for you to explore further.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pushkar - Walking tour
  • Pushkar - Home-cooked lunch
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Special Information
Please note that due to animal welfare concerns, we will not be including a camel ride in Pushkar on this trip.
Early risers can hike up to the Savitri Temple for amazing sunrise views over the town this morning. Board the Shatabdi Express train, departing Ajmer around 2 pm for the trip back to Delhi, arriving at around 10:40 pm. Transfer to the hotel on arrival for your final night of the trip.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Pushkar - Savitri Temple - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Auto rickshaw, Bus, Cycle rickshaw, Jeep, Metro, Private vehicle, Shuttle Bus, Taxi, Train, Van

Accommodation

Permanent tent (1 night), heritage property (3 nights), Hotel (10 nights)

Included activities

  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking & rickshaw tour
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Agra Fort
  • Agra - Red Fort guided tour
  • Madhogarh - Village walk
  • Madhogarh - Dinner at Fort Madhogarh
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - Walking & market tour
  • Ranthambhore National Park - Evening wildlife safari
  • Bundi - Stepwell
  • Bundi - Palace
  • Bijaipur - Village tour
  • Udaipur - City walk
  • Udaipur - City Palace
  • Pushkar - Walking tour
  • Pushkar - Home-cooked lunch

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Intrepid requires a scanned copy of your passport bio page at time of booking to secure a permit for your Ranthambhore National Park visit. Authorities at Ranthambhore NP follow a strict booking process whereby permits are issued on a first come first serve basis. If we do not receive correct passport details in time we cannot guarantee you on the tiger safari.
2. This trip travels back to Delhi on the afternoon of day 14 arriving into the capital around 11pm. Please do not book departure flights out until at least 4am on day 15 to allow for delays
3. A Single Supplement is available on this trip and covers all nights.
4. The Pushkar Camel Fair is held in late Oct early November, please see the climate and seasonal information in these Trip Notes for more detail.
5. Hot air balloon flights are operated by Sky Waltz in Jaipur. Flights operate from September 1st to April 31st and last approximately 60 mins. Return transfers, tea and coffee plus light refreshments and a certificate of flight are included in the cost. You can register your interest and pay your tour leader at your joining meeting on day 1 of your trip. Payment must be made by cash in either INR/AUD/USD/GBP only and is USD$260pp (subject to change). Flights are subject to availability and weather conditions (tickets are fully refundable in case of bad weather).
6. Due to animal welfare concerns we no longer include camel riding on this itinerary.

Essential trip information

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