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The Colours of India – Holi Festival Tour

The Colours of India – Holi Festival Tour 2018-12-20T07:41:39+00:00

Holi – India’s most dazzling festival. Join us, and millions of people across the country, in this joyous spring celebration of color and the victory of good over evil.

Celebrated by throwing magnificently colored powders on family, friends, and for the mischievous at heart, strangers;  Holi, the festival of colours, is one of India’s most adored festivals. Our Colours of India Tour highlights the best of India’s inspirational places to visit including Mumbai – Jodhpur – Jaisalmer – Delhi and optional Varanasi with the opportunity to also add our Marigold Adventure featuring Delhi – Agra – Japiur – Udaipur – Kemphur making this into an Indian extravaganza!

The enchanting northern province of Rajasthan is awash with all the colours of India. Consisting of the vast Thar Desert and one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, the Aravallis. The Rajput heritage is apparent in the forts, temples and palaces established by the Rajput Kings. On our adventure we discover the history of these massive forts and the opulence and splendour of Maharajahs’ palaces. Rajasthan has been described as an open air museum. We will travel through the chaos of Mumbai to the serenity of Jaisalmer, from the architectural wonder of Jodphur and the awe-inspiring Mehrangarh Fort, with time to enjoy the celebration of Holi with its colour and smiles. This is truly the essence of India.

Tammie Day is the founder of Vibrant Women, a retreat and travel company. Tammie spends her days creating inspirational journeys so you can travel in the security of a small group, whilst enjoying another culture. We like to base our trips around the three F’s, yes! Fun, Food and Friendship 🙂 Tammie’s role is to ensure you feel well taken care of throughout your trip. 

Vikas Kumar is a local guide who comes from Naddi – a small, picturesque village above Dharamsala. He is passionate about the area and the Himalayas and has worked as a trekking guide since leaving school. In that time he has introduced many international visitors to the wonders of the India and the Himalayas. Vikas now leads women’s and mixed groups around the Rajasthan areas as well to other locations.

Tour Highlights:

♦ Mumbai – City of Dreams

♦ Jodhpur – The Blue City

♦ Jaisalmer – The Golden City

♦ Holi Festival a celebration of colour

♦ Magnificent Mehrangarh Fort

♦ Camel safari and camping under the stars in the Thar desert

HOLI FESTIVAL

When you see colored powder flying and people laughing hysterically as they are covered in vibrant blue, green, pink, and purple powder, then you know it’s Holi. Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors is an auspicious occasion in the Hindu calendar. It is widely celebrated by millions of people as a harvest festival across India and around the world. It also ushers in the spring, a time for fertility, love, and a new season of prosperity.

The festivities can include people smearing colored powder called “gulal” or colored water on each other, and drenching one another with squirt pistols and water balloons. Everyone is considered fair game, old and young, friend and stranger, rich and poor alike. It is a raucous and joyful celebration. 

Holi lasts for a night and a day and starts on the evening of the full moon (Purnima) in the month of Phalgun in the Hindu calendar. During the month of Phalgun, India ushers in spring when seeds sprout, flowers bloom, and the country rises from winter’s slumber. 

The first evening is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the following day as HoliRangwali Holi, or Phagwah. On the evening of the first day, wood and dung pyres are burned to symbolize the triumph of good over evil. The second day is when people start throwing fistfuls of powder for the carnival of colors. 

You can read an article HERE on the Meaning Behind the Colours of Holi

*NB – We will provide you with white pajamas or cloth to wrap about yourself for the festivities.

Itinerary

Pre-Itinerary

Please arrive a day early so you are ready to depart for our Mumbai day tour tomorrow at 10am. On arrival our driver will be waiting at the airport for you to take you to our hotel the Mumbai Grand Hotel. Extra nights accommodation before or after the trip cost $165AUD. If you are staying longer than 1 night before or after the trip, or prefer to arrange your own accommodation please let us know your hotel details and we will collect you from your hotel the morning of the start day. If you are arriving before 2pm on arrival day or are leaving after 12pm on departure day please consider what you will do with this time. *Please remember your arrival city is Mumbai, your departure city is Delhi for your flights. 

Day 1: Arrive in Mumbai

Prior to the Colours of India Tour we are running our famous “Best Exotic Marigold Trip” 9 – 17 March 2019, or 26 Feb – 5 March 2020, so you can pop on over the webpage HERE and add that trip too if it takes your fancy, or click on the image at the bottom of the page. If you add this trip your accommodation in-between the two trips and your flight from Delhi to Mumbai with be complimentary. 

10am – depart for Dharavi the largest slum in Asia and see the way people have turned their difficulties into enterprises. Followed by a trip to he Elephanta Caves and an optional afternoon cruise around the Mumbai Harbour.

Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), is famous for its chaotic streets. For bargains and people-watching, outdoor bazaars top the list of attractions. Popular waterfront destinations are Marine Drive, where visitors go to watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea, and the carnival-like Juhu Beach. 

Overnight Mumbai – Grand Hotel Mumbai. Behind the magnificent stone facade lie luxuriously appointed rooms and suites, aesthetically designed conference halls, a gourmet restaurant, and a thirst quenching bar, amongst other conveniences. Each one is simply yet tastefully decorated. However, it is service more than architecture, which ensures that our customers always return with a smile. Grand Hotel offers various amenities like room service, quick check-outs and a central location. Ringed by the port and naval establishments on one side, the land fans out from here to encompass the city’s major government and civic centers. Railways, post & telegraphs, art galleries, the museum and other important establishments lie within close proximity of an arc of a mere kilometer of Ballard Estate. Grand Hotel is centrally located in the heart of Ballard Estate which is one of the commercial hubs of Mumbai.

Day 2: Mumbai 

After breakfast, you will start your tour in Mumbai. Mumbai is a city of contrasts—from glitzy Marine, the energy and liveliness here is undeniable. There’s plenty to discover in this metropolis, be it the rich colonial history, glamorous Bollywood, or the daily life of the incredibly diverse millions who call Mumbai home. Today we will explore Mumbai. Activities include visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus), High Court, Mumbai City Museum and the Gateway to India and one of the many ancient bazaars. For the 2019 tour on this afternoon join Tammie for a birthday celebration high tea at the famous Taj Hotel (Tammie’s Treat).

Overnight Mumbai – Grand Hotel Mumbai

Day 3: – Jodhpur

Fly from Mumbai to Jodhpur. Our flight departs at 9:45am for Jodhpur. We will arrive and check in to our accommodation before heading out to explore the city. Jodhpur is known as the “Blue City” owing to the many blue houses with the backdrop of the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest in India. Afternoon visit to Mehrangarh fort which will be specially decorated for the Holi festival. Head to Sadar Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in India, for handicrafts and antiques. The diversity of what’s on offer is impressive. 

Mighty Mehrangarh, the muscular fort that towers over the Blue City of Jodhpur, is a magnificent spectacle and an architectural masterpiece. Around Mehrangarh’s base, the old city, a jumble of Brahmin-blue cubes, stretches out to the 10km-long, 16th-century city wall. The Blue City really is blue! Inside is a tangle of winding, glittering, medieval streets, which never seem to lead where you expect them to, scented by incense, roses and sewers, with shops and bazaars selling everything from trumpets and temple decorations to snuff and saris.

Overnight Jodhpur – Hotel Haveli Inn Pal is an old haveli built in 18 century now converted into a heritage hotel by its owners Chamund Singh Pal and son Narpat Singh Pal . The hotel is in close vicinity of major tourists attractions of the city. The hotel offers world class hospitality and courteous staff to make your stay a comfortable one. The hotel has a traditional Rajasthani décor coupled with all modern necessities of modern life.

Day 4: – Jodhpur Holi Festival

Today get ready for playing Holi with our fellow travelers and local family (usually in the morning) – or find a roof top to see Holi calibration in the streets of blue city. Take one of the most colorful pictures ever. How you participate is up to you, just enjoy the fun and festivities this may also be an opportunity to usher in a new you. You can either have the late afternoon free or attend a cooking class at a local family’s house and sample your cooking with traditional Indian spices.

Overnight Jodhpur – Haveli Inn Pal

Day 5: – Jaisalmer

After breakfast we will drive to Jaisalmer (approx. 4.5 Hours) Passing through many desert villages of the Thar Desert. Upon your arrival to Desert Springs Resort you are welcomed in a typical Rajasthani manner. Then you are whisked away to watch the spectacular colours of the sunset sky on the camel back. After Camel Safari you can unwind in the late evening hours on maharaja style sitting arrangement whereby traditional musicians and dancers will enthrall you with their colourful and soulful Rajasthani folk music & Kalbelia dance. A sumptuous dinner follows and you can have a good night’s sleep under the quite starry sky. 

Overnight at Desert Springs Camp – Desert Springs is a colony of camps wherein you can have a feel of the community life in the nomadic desert. The Desert Comfort Tents are charming and elegant in decor. The interior lighting and furnishings have been tastefully done to create a serene and soothing atmosphere. The furniture’s are ethnic and handpicked consisting of a Queen sized bed,wooden wardrobe and a work desk. Attached bath comes with toiletries and separate shower. 24x 7 Room service, Air Conditioned, Clean Drinking Water, Telephone, Internet Connectivity and on demand video are the other facilities to be enjoyed.

Day 6: – Jaisalmer Desert camp

After breakfast we checkout from Desert Camp and explore Jaisalmer Fort, the Jain Temple and Patwa Haveli. In the evening we visit Gadisar Lake and Vyas Chhatri.

Jaisalmer, nicknamed “The Golden city”, is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, located 575 kilometres west of Jaipur. Once known as Jaisalmer state it is a World Heritage Site. The town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, and is crowned by the ancient Jaisalmer Fort. This fort contains a royal palace and several ornate Jain temples. Many of the houses and temples of both the fort, and of the town below, are
built of finely sculptured sandstone. The town lies in the heart of the Thar Desert (the Great Indian Desert).

Overnight Jaisalmer – Jasmin Homestay welcomes you to enjoy comfort in the desert. The hotel is a boutique hotel offering clean and spacious rooms compromising Eastern tradition style with Western standards. Jasmin Home has eight double deluxe bedrooms with en-suite, furnished with soft wooden furniture, thick soft mattresses and pillows. All rooms are air conditioned with a mounted 32 inch LCD televisions and free Wi-Fi . Enjoy the interior of the hotel which features Jaisalmeri sandstone detailed with Mughal carvings or spend time on our rooftop terrace which offers panoramic views overlooking the spectacular 1000 year old Golden Fort. Located on the rooftop, our restaurant serves a range of drinks, snacks and a fresh, tasty vegetarian a la carte menu. The rooftop restaurant provides a unique setting for candle-lit dinners, family meals or for you to just relax on and enjoy the view. Jasmin Home is a quiet retreat located around 10 minute walk outside of the Jaisalmer Fort. 

Day 7: – Jaisalmer to Delhi

After breakfast, checkout from hotel and transfer to Jodphur airport ( 4.5 hour drive, flight departure 2:55pm arrive Delhi 4.20pm). Arrive in Delhi, check into a hotel near the airport. Take this opportunity to repack and get ready for the next leg of your journey. Farewell dinner to take place for people not continuing on to Varanasi. If you are staying longer in Delhi we can recommend a local guide for you to do a day trip. 

Overnight Delhi – Lemon Tree Hotel is a convenient modern hotel situation close to Indira Ghandi airport.

Day 8: Delhi

After breakfast, check out from hotel and leave to the airport. Tour ends or your add on tour commences.

Day 8: – Varanasi

Early morning flight to Varanasi at 8.15am. On arrival at Varanasi airport, meet your local guide and driver to hotel for check in. Spend the rest of the afternoon sightseeing trip in Main Ghat area and Vishwanath Temple. Evening puja on the Ganges.

Overnight Varanasi Hotel Buddha – is a comfortable modern style hotel in the heart of Varanasi, an escape for the bustling crowds. 

Day 9: – Varanasi

Spend the day wandering along the Ghat area and visiting the old city with its’ meandering streets filled with sights, sounds and smells of daily life. 

Varanasi is the India of your imagination. One of the most colourful and fascinating places on earth, surprises abound around every corner. 

This is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities, and one of the holiest in Hinduism. Pilgrims come to the ghats lining the Ganges to wash away sins in the sacred waters or to cremate their loved ones. It’s a particularly auspicious place to die, since expiring here offers moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth).

Most visitors agree Varanasi is magical – but not for the faint-hearted. Intimate rituals of life and death take place in public, and the sights, sounds and smells on the ghats – not to mention almost constant attention from touts – can be intense. Still, the so-called City of Light may turn out to be your favourite stop of all. Walking the ghats and alleyways or watching sunrise from a boat can be unforgettable.

Overnight Varanasi – Buddha Hotel


Day 10: – Tour ends

After breakfast check out from hotel and transfer to Varanasi airport. Arrive in Delhi and catch your international flight feeling blessed by India.

Inclusions

All transfers by private vehicles as follows: Pickup and drop off at Delhi airport
Pickup and drop off at Varanasi airport Sightseeing in Varanasi
2 Domestic Flights Delhi to Varanasi Varanasi to Delhi
2 nights’ accommodation with breakfast
Boat ride in Varanasi
Local guide in Varanasi for 2 days

Exclusions

Airfares to and from India 
Indian visas
Travel Insurance (compulsory)
Lunch and Dinner
Occasional optional items not identified in itinerary description
Tipping and personal expenses
Bottled water and other beverages not included with meals

Price $AUS

Twin pp – $600 

Single $800

Tour Dates: (7N/8D)

18-25 March 2019 (FULLY BOOKED)

Add on tour: 25-27 March 2019

6-13 March 2020 

Add on tour: 13-15 March 2020

Tour Route: Holi Tour: Mumbai – Jodhpur – Jaisalmer – Delhi
Add on tour: Delhi – Varanasi – Delhi

*Tour starts in Mumbai and ends in Delhi

Inclusions

2 Domestic Flights – Mumbai to Jodhpur – Jaisalmer to Delhi

Airport Transfers

Private transport throughout

6 nights’ accommodation with breakfast

1 night accommodation in Desert Camp

Entrance fees to sights

Camel ride in Thar desert

Local guides in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer

Services of an English speaking guide throughout the Tour

Exclusions

Airfares to and from India

Indian visas

Travel Insurance (compulsory)

Cooking class in Jodhpur

Lunch and Dinner

Occasional optional items not identified in itinerary description

Tipping and personal expenses

Bottled water and other beverages not included with meals

Requirements

This sightseeing tour has several walking tours and many stairs, you require a moderate level of fitness to attend. 

Price $AUD:

18-25 March 2019

Twin pp – $2490

Single $2990 

6-13 March 2020

Twin pp – $2590

Single $3090 

Deposits & Payment Plans

You have two payment options for this retreat. To pay a $500 deposit and the remainder two months prior to the start of the retreat or to organise a payment plan. Once you have completed your reservation form deposit details will be forwarded to you. Once you have paid your deposit trip notes will be sent to you with all the details you need to plan your great adventure.

Payment Plans are divided into even monthly payments and calculated in AUD. Payment plans are programmed to complete two months prior to the start of the retreat. Incurs a $50 admin fee calculated into the price.

Cancellation Policy

An initial $500 non-refundable deposit is applicable for this retreat up to 60 days out from the commencement of the retreat, then full payment less your deposit will be due. For bookings less than 60 days full payment will be due at the time of booking.

For cancellations between 60-30 days $1000 per person twin share, and $1350 per single (includes your deposit) will be retained.

For between 30 days and the commencement day and in the case of no shows $1950 for a twin share and $2600 per single room (includes your deposit) will be retained. If we are able to refill your spot on short notice less than 60 days only the $500 non-refundable deposit will be retained.

As this is peak season in India we need to book your domestic flights and accommodation well in advance. Cancellation penalties are high this time of year. This is also why travel insurance is compulsory to protect you against any loss in the event that you need to cancel your trip. 

You can visit the Payment Page here

You might also like to view our Terms and Conditions.

In recognition of the plight of vulnerable children in India for each booking for our Colours of India Trip in 2019 and 2020 Vibrant Women will donate $25AUD per booking to children in need, the charity will be decided amongst us during our trip. We want you to know you are making a difference through your booking, so Thank You!

Weather in Rajasthan

Rajasthan During March. March marks the ending of winter season and starting of summer one. Rajasthan climate is slight hot but not humid at day time and cold at night in march. Its day temperature reaches up to 38ºC maximum and 7ºC minimum at night.