India – 10 nights/ 11 days

20 March – 01 April 2020 (10 nights/ 11 days)
COST: R 53,500 per person sharing – including flights ex- Johannesburg

“A PASSAGE TO INDIA”

with Marita Van Der Vyver

“India, is not a country, but a continent. Stretching from the frozen summits of the Himalayas to the tropical greenery of Kerala, its expansive borders encompass an incomparable range of landscapes, cultures and people. Walk the streets of any city when you visit India and you’ll rub shoulders with representatives of several of the world’s great faiths, encounter temple rituals performed since the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs, onion-domed mosques erected centuries before the Taj Mahal, and quirky echoes of the British era on virtually every corner.

Many first-time visitors find themselves unable to see past such glaring disparities. Others come expecting a timeless ascetic wonderland and are surprised to encounter one of the most materialistic societies on the planet. But for all it’s jarring juxtapositions, paradoxes and frustrations, India remains an utterly compelling destination. Intricate and worn, its distinctive timelessness – the stream of life in its crowded bazaars, the ubiquitous filmi music, the pungent melange of diesel fumes, cooking spices, dust and dung smoke – casts a spell that few forget from the moment they step off a plane. Love it or hate it – and most travellers oscillate between the two – India will shift the way you see the world. “

“A PASSAGE TO INDIA” – ITINERARY

Day1. FRI 20 Mar JOHANNESBURG – DUBAI
Check in at O. R Tambo airport Johannesburg at 18h30
Meet in the Bidvest VIP lounge at 19h00
Depart Johannesburg on EK 766 at 22h20

Day 2. SAT 21 Mar: DUBAI – DELHI D
Arrive Dubai at 08h20
Depart Dubai on EK516 at 10h00
Arrive Delhi at 14h45

Arrive Delhi international airport, met and transfer you to the hotel. Later in the evening, visit the Dilli Haat in South Delhi where the artists and artisans, from different parts of the country, display and sell their handicrafts and artifacts of historical and cultural interest.
Also savour the inimitable flavors of the delightful local foods from the various regions of India
Evening: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Transfer to ITC Maurya hotel for dinner at one of the best North Indian restaurants in Delhi

Overnight in Delhi : Haveli Dharampura (B&B)

Day 3. SUN 22 Mar: DELHI B
Breakfast at hotel
Start your day with the guided walking tour of Shahjahanabad visiting Sheeshganj Gurudwara and driving past the amazing Red Fort. Experience awholesale spice market cycle rickshaw ride through the narrow alleys of
Chandni Chowk to reach “Khari Baoli” Asia’s largest wholesale market
Later visit Humayun’s Tomb (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE) Evening at leisure.
Overnight in Delhi : Haveli Dharampura (B&B)
Delhi the capital of India is a fascinating city with complexities and contradictions, rich in the architecture beauty and of its dynamism, where the past co-exist. Many dynasties ruled from here and the city is rich in monuments. Delhi is not only the present metropolis of India but also a necropolis..
Old Delhi, was founded as Shahjahanabad by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in 1739 AD. It was once filled with mansions of nobles and members of the royal court, along with elegant mosques and gardens. Today, despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, it still serves as the symbolic heart of metropolitan Delhi.
Jama Masjid – this exquisite red-sandstone and Marble mosque where thousands pray daily was built between 1744 and 1758 by 5,000 labourers. It’s design prefigures that of the Taj Mahal. The onion-shaped dome and tapering minarets are traditional Mughal elements. Tomb of Humayun. Visit the Tomb of Humayun, the second Mughal
Emperor. This is a magnificent structure in red sandstone and white Marble is one of the finest examples of the garden tomb. Architecturally, it is a precursor of the Taj Mahal.
Evening at leisure
Overnight in Delhi: Haveli Dharampura (B&B)

Day 4. MON 23 MAR: TRAIN TO AGRA B / D
Early morning breakfast at hotel
After breakfast drive to Delhi Railway station to board your train to Agra
(0810-0950 hrs)
Check in at the hotel in Agra
Later proceed to witness the spectacular Agra Fort
In the evening, proceed for Agra Food Walk
Return to hotel for overnight stay
Overnight in Agra: Crystal Sarovar Premier
Agra: It is famous as the home to one of the Seven Wonders of the modern World – the Taj Mahal. This city having been the capital of the Mughal dynasty for over hundred years till 1750 there are many Mughal monuments of repute.
Agra Fort: An era marked by invasions and fortifications, where power was symbolized by grand palaces and grander forts during this time THE AGRA FORT was built. The Agra Fort, also known as the “Lal –Qila”, “Fort Rouge” or “Qila-i-Akbari”, is the highlight of the city of Agra, then capital of the Mughal Sultanate. A symbol of power, strength and resilience, as it stands today in full glory.
Agra Food Walk: A visit is incomplete without tasting its delightful local cuisine. This food tour of Agra will help you taste delicious street food dishes of varied Indian cuisine available from some of the oldest and most reputed food joints in the city. All the food items have been personally tested and are as safe as possible. It is a walking tour of Agra city in which you will walk around some non-touristy markets of Agra city and taste some of the best local food dishes
Overnight in Agra: Crystal Sarovar Premier (B&B)

Day 5. TUE 24 Mar DRIVE TO JAIPUR (6 ½ hrs) B / D
Early morning visit to the Taj Mahal followed by Mehtab Bagh and Itmad Ud Daulah
Return to hotel for breakfast
After breakfast drive to Jaipur visiting the very amazing Fatehpur Sikri en route. Arrive Jaipur late afternoon.
Dinner: In the evening enjoy an amazing Cooking demonstration with the local family followed by the dinner.
Return to the hotel for overnight
Overnight in Jaipur. Alsisar Haveli (B&B)
Fatehpur Sikri: This magnificent fortified ancient city, 40 km west of Agra, was the short-lived capital of the Mughal empire between 1572 and 1585, during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Akbar built his new capital here, including a stunning mosque, still in use today, and three palaces, one for each of his favourite wives – one a Hindu, one a Muslim and one a Christian.
Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is colour washed pink – the colour associated with auspiciousness and Rajput hospitality. This Pink City of fairy tale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barren hills, and a city of broad avenues is picturesque. The first planned city of its time, Jaipur is encircled by a formidable wall.

Evening at leisure.
Overnight in Jaipur. Alsisar Haveli (B&B)

Day 6. WED 25 Mar: IN JAIPUR B

Breakfast at hotel
This morning after breakfast leave for the Amer Fort on a jeep safari. You will ascend and descend the fort by jeeps then have a guided sightseeing tour of the City Palace, Observatory and Hawa Mahal.
Return to the hotel for overnight stay
Overnight in Jaipur : Alsisar Haveli
The City Palace – the former royal residence built in a blend of the Rajasthani and Mughal styles. It now houses a museum with a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes, an armoury of the Mughals and Rajputs an art gallery with an excellent collection of miniature paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia and rare astronomical works in Arabic, Persian, Latin and Sanskrit.
The Jantar Mantar – an astrological and astronomical Observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh in 18th century, which is remarkablefor its accuracy of even in the present times. Drive past the Palace of Winds, known popularly as Hawa Mahal, which is just a facade built for the Ladies of the Royal household in the 19th century.
Hawa Mahal: Hawa Mahal or the ‘Palace Of The Winds’ located in the heart of the beautiful Pink City of Jaipur, is one of the most famous tourist attractions and a prominent landmark of the city that is renowned for its rich cultural and architectural history. Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh of the Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty, this beautiful structure is predominantly a high screen wall made of pink and red sandstone that facilitated royal women to get a view of the street festivals and busy city life while remaining out of the view of public. This five-storey building in the shape of a crown of Lord Krishna with 953 “jharokhas” or windows and a beautifully decorated façade resembling a honeycomb gives one a feel of the rich heritage of the Rajputs. .
Amber Fort, the capital of the erstwhile state of Jaipur until 1728 is perched on a hill. It has halls of Public and Private audience, a Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) various marble palaces which are marvelous examples of medieval Rajput architecture.
Evening at leisure
Overnight in Jaipur : Alsisar Haveli (B&B)

Day 7. THU 26 Mar: IN JAIPUR B / L /D
Today, arrive at an Elephant camp located at the foothills of the Aravali Range and surrounded by the wilderness of a reserved forest with no urban civilization in the vicinity, just a few hamlets housing the local villagers occupied by farming their fields bordering a pretty lake. Here, you will get a chance to meet and coax the Elephants that resides in these camps, take a brisk stroll with them along the foothills as well. We then travel to Dera Amer where lunch will be served at the venue that is prepared from freshly grown vegetable from local fields. Rest of afternoon at leisure
Dinner: In the evening, proceed to the Grand Palace to enjoy the “Royal” dinner with some of the most mouth-watering delicacies
Return to the hotel for overnight stay
Overnight in Jaipur : Alsisar Haveli (B&B)

Dera Amer, situated behind the hills of the famous Amer Fort is the ideal location for outdoor recreational and adventure activities in very close proximity to the city of Jaipur. The Camp is located at the foothills of the Aravali Range and surrounded by wilderness of a reserved forest with no urban civilization in the vicinity, just a few hamlets housing the local villagers occupied by farming and their fields bordering a pretty lake.

Day 8. FRI 27 Mar: DRIVE TO PUSHKAR (2½ hr) B / L
Breakfast at hotel
After breakfast, drive to the very beautiful Pushkar.
Lunch: Enjoy the exclusive lunch at Nimaj Kothi followed by the organic farm visit. Nimaj Kothi is a boutique private getaway located on a sand dune in Pushkar offering a stylish getaway and a thorough desert countryside experience. Return to Pushkar for overnight stay Later in the evening, stroll at leisure and explore the city.
Overnight in Pushkar: Pushkar Palace (B&B)

Pushkar is a town bordering the Thar Desert, in the north eastern Indian state of Rajasthan. Pushkar is a holy town and has the only Brahma temple in the world. As per Hindu mythology Brahma is the creator of the world. It’s set on Pushkar Lake, a sacred Hindu site with 52 ghats (stone staircases) where pilgrims bathe. The town has hundreds of temples, including 14th-century Jagatpita Brahma Mandir, dedicated to the god of creation, which has a distinctive red spire and walls inlaid with pilgrims’ silver coins.

Day 9. SAT 28 Mar DRIVE TO JODHPUR (4hrs) B/D
Breakfast at hotel
Arrive Jodhpur and check in at the hotel
Later leave for the guide tour of Mehrangarh fort and Jaswant Thada cenotaphs.
Evening. Dinner at the hotel
Overnight Jodhpur : Rohet Garh Resort B&B (classified Heritage Hotel)
Mehrangarh Fort, the pride of place in Jodhpur because of its splendid architecture and the diverse history. Considered as one of the most formidable and magnificent forts of Rajasthan, Mehrangarh fort was built by Rao Jodha in the year 1459.
Jaswant Thada – this white marbled architecture is a memorial site of a
Rajput clan. This cenotaph was built in the 19th century by
Maharaja Sardar Singh in the memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The architecture is made of white marbles which are so fine that the outer surface of the building emits a warm glow during sunlight.

Day 10. SUN 29 Mar FLY TO MUMBAI B
Breakfast at the hotel
Leave for Jodhpur Airport to catch your flight to Mumbai (1155-1335 hrs) Arrive Mumbai and transfer to hotel
Rest of the day at leisure or stroll down one of the most amazing cities of India on your own.

Mumbai: Most popularly known as the entertainment and financial centre of the country. Mumbai is also home to one of the biggest slum areas as well as home to the richest and thus it is only fair to describe Mumbai as a city for all.
Overnight in Mumbai Gordon House (B&B)

Day 11. MON 30 MAR MUMBAI B /D
Breakfast at the hotel
After breakfast, proceed for the city visits which includes – The Gateway of
India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus, Mani bhavan(Gandhi
Museum) ,Dhobi ghat and the hanging garden
Experience the Dabbawalas of Mumbai while they prepare to deliver the food to different parts of the city. Proceed to visit Babu Amichand Panalal Jain Temple followed by strolling down to the Crawford Market.
Return to your hotel after the visits.
Farewell dinner: Bombay Vintage restaurant
Overnight in Mumbai Gordon House (B&B)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus: Formerly known as the Victoria Terminus this is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture. The terminal was built over 10 years, starting in 1878. The station is the grand reminder of the British Raj pre-independence and is still one of the most historical landmarks.
Mani Bhavan. A modest two-storied building on the Laburnum Road in the comparatively quiet locality called Gamdevi, served as
Gandhi’s Bombay headquarters for about seventeen long and eventful years (1917-1934). It belonged to Shri Revashankar Jagjeevan Jhaveri, who was Gandhi’s friend and a host during that period.
Dhobi Ghat: The Dhobi Ghat is owned by the Mumbai Municipal Council and charges rent from the washermen. In March 2011, it appeared in the Guinness Book of Records for being the largest human powered washing machine of its kind, with approximately 496 people washing clothes at the same time in the same place.

Day 12: Mon 31 Mar Depart Mumbai B
Breakfast at the hotel
Day at leisure for last minute shopping
Late afternoon departure transfers to the Mumbai airport
Depart Mumbai on EK 503 at 19h20
Arrive in Dubai at 21h00
Depart Dubai on EK 767 at 23h50

DAY 13: Tue 01 April Johannesburg
Arrive in Johannesburg at 05h30

END OF RUFARO SERVICES

COST: R 53, 500 per person sharing
– Single supplement: R4,000
Maximum: 15 tour members
** Final cost subject to rate of exchange (R.O.E) at the time of final balance received.

Deposit: R15,000 – immediately with booking

Balance not later than 20 December 2019

Cost includes:
– Return Flights on Emirates in economy class from Johannesburg
– 4* accommodation based on traditional “havelis”* & Heritage hotels, including full buffet breakfast
* A haveli is a traditional townhouse or mansion usually one with historical and architectural significance.
– Luxury 19-seater mini coach & driver for all land transport
– English speaking guide
– Full day tours, and entrance fees as per itinerary.
– Meals and lunches as per itinerary: 6 dinners & 2 lunches (including drinks)

Cost excludes:
– Tours and sightseeing not mentioned above
– Meals & drinks not included above
– Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone etc
– Tips to driver and guide (£ 30 per person)
– Travel Insurance & Visa charges (contact us for assistance)