(Delhi, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra)
Paint your elephant in pinks and greens and reds, and hide in ancient passageways of one of Rajasthan’s most majestic Haveli’s as vibrant hues of every color rain down on crowds in a celebration of hope and joy..
Holi is an ancient tradition that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and is an integral part of India’s cultural heritage. Behold dazzling displays of culture through dance performances, parades, fireworks and more as you participate in this once in a lifetime celebration in March, in Jaipur. Away from the festivities, enjoy a private guided tour of the Taj Mahal, Amber Fort, Observatory of Jaipur, artisanal workshops, traditional villages, holy temples, exotic textile shops, enjoy an evening boat ride, and explore countless palaces.
Stay at some of India's finest premium hotels that span modern architectural marvels to impeccably restored heritage hotels. And an army of expert local guides, private drivers and helpful assistants are ever-present to help you get the most out of this remarkable journey. Join Holi on March 17 & 18 2014, or on Mar 6 & 7 2015.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Relax and enjoy an airport transfer in a private vehicle, with driver, and English-speaking assistant.
One of New Delhi’s true five-star hotels, the Shangri-La's Eros Hotel, New Delhi offers travellers from around the world a relaxing, sedate place to rest, recharge, and conduct their affairs in total privacy. Guests find sanctuary in the 320 guest rooms and suites, each appointed with tasteful furnishings in a contemporary style inspired by India’s rich history and culture.
Spend the day on a privately guided full day tour of Old & New Delhi which boasts spectacular monuments and holy sites.
The city of New Delhi was designed in the typically British colonial style, with tree-lined avenues and colonial bungalows. Whilst on this tour you will see the Laxminarayan Temple, a modern Hindu temple, and Gate of India which is a 42 m high War Memorial Arch. On route you will drive past the Parliament House, the Secretariat buildings and the Vice Regal Palace, which is now the official residence of the President of India. Visit the Red Fort which was the palace for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's new capital, Shahjahanabad, when he moved his capital from Agra to bring prestige to his reign. Its wall is 1.5 miles long, and varies in height from 60-110 ft. At 72.5 meters, the Qutab Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world. Surrounding the building are many fine examples of Indian artwork dating back to 1193. Humayun's tomb is a complex of buildings of Mughal architecture dating to the Slave Dynasty (1268-1287 AD). The complex is a World Heritage Site and the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. This style of mausoleum is similar to the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Enjoy your flight from Delhi to Udaipur. The flight duration is approximately one hour forty five minutes
Airport transfer with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking assistant.
Private guided tour of Eklingji, located about twelve miles north of Udaipur, featuring a complex of 108 ancient temples, carved from sandstone and marble. The main temple was built in AD 734 to propagate the blessings of Lord Shiva. At Nagda there are some 10th century temples. The Jain temple of Adbudji is essentially ruined, but its architecture is interesting. About 500m away, the Sas Bahu temple has fine intricate carvings. There are also some small temples submerged in the nearby lake.
Private guided tour of the majestic white City Palace built in granite and marble. This largest palace complex in Rajasthan is surrounded by crenellated fort walls, and overlooks Pichola Lake. The Garden of the Maids of Honor is well laid out with extensive lawns and shady walks. Constructed for forty eight young ladies-in-waiting sent to the royal house as part of the dowry, the garden has many fountains in its four delightful pools, chiseled kiosks and marble elephants. Crystal Gallery in the Fateh Prakash Palace features a breath taking collection of crystals including tables, sofa sets, dining table, dressers, fountains, beds, and an exquisite jewel studded carpet, which is beyond description.
Fateh Garh belongs to the Heritage Renaissance School of building Heritage Renaissance - it is truly an innovative creative expression in the dynamic world of travel and tourism. Everything at Fateh Garh has been conceptualized, designed, and executed to revitalize the environmental - cultural - spiritual heritage of the past. Synchronize the orientation with a nature-loving 'green' awareness, and sophisticated interior and spaces. The Kelwa family, your hosts residing within the resort are deeply committed to an empowered and sustainable world; alongside offering charming and warm hospitality.
Located 28 km northeast of Udaipur, Devi Garh is a convenient and scenic 45 minute drive from the city. The fort, surrounded by lush green fields and mountains on three sides, overlooks the village of Delwara. Like the secret gateway to Narnia, and just as magical, this gloriously shabby 18th century fort-palace – still imposingly grand with its dusty rampart of domes, turrets and balconies – reveals an inverse interior that is gleaming, sleekly minimalist and quite breath-taking.
Enjoy an evening boat ride at Lake Pichola.
This morning you will be driven to Jodhpur covering distance of 270kms. Enroute you'll visit Ranakpur Jain temple. Ranakpur boasts some of the most exquisite Jain temples in the country famous for their intricate friezes and sculptures. It is one of the holiest Jain sites of India. Nestled on the banks of the river Maghai and sequestered by mountains, Ranakpur's beauty is accentuated by its seclusion. The main Chaumukha (four faced) temple was built in 1439 and is dedicated to the first Enlightened One, Adinatha Rishabdeva. An inscription in it traces its origin to the reign of Rana Kumbha. Erected on a raised platform, it is surrounded by 66 subsidiary shrines. It has 1444 beautifully carved pillars, of which no two are alike.
Continue your drive to Jodhpur. Jodhpur, also called the ‘Blue City’ was once the capital of the former princely state of Marwar. It was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha and is now the second largest city of Rajasthan. Flanked on its western side by the Mehrangarh Fort and on the eastern side by the stately sandstone Palace of Umaid Bhawan, the monuments temples and gardens of Jodhpur depict a multi-faceted grandeur. It is still a marvelously medieval city. While the graceful palaces, forts and temples bring alive the historic grandeur, exquisite handicrafts, folk dances, music and the brightly attired people lend a romantic aura to the city.
If you have a taste for the finer things in life, mind-blowing deals, interior design & fashion or even if you just love a good show, then you are in for a real treat. Visit an exotic textile themed Ali Baba’s cave of delights. This multiple level government approved showroom is literally awash in a rainbow of colors. Exquisite textiles, pashminas, silks, embroidery, bedcovers & the such are available at a variety of budget levels. Watch as the owners family & smiling sales staff roll out a never-ending kaleidoscope of dazzling designs. Each piece is truly a work of art as the shop works with a variety of the world’s most celebrated designers.Note: Be prepared to practice your bargaining – this spellbinding experience is not for those who dislike shopping or can’t say no to talented salesmen.
Spread over six acres of lush, landscaped gardens, Taj Hari Mahal Hotel Jodhpur is placed close to the city markets. With its Marwar style architecture and Moghul-inspired domes, enameled murals, slender columns and grand interiors, Taj Hari Mahal truly exudes an exquisite ambience of a prosperous palace. Guests can experience the grandeur and luxurious comfort of a bygone era, as they immerse themselves in any of the 93 guest rooms including suites. You can dine at any of the two restaurants that serve a wide variety of Chinese, Rajasthani and continental cuisine in a warm and pleasant atmosphere. The extensive recreational facilities at the hotel include a swimming pool, fitness centre and tennis court.
Private guided tour of the most magnificent building in Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort, constructed in 1459. The fort is situated on a lofty height, 400 feet above the city, and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Inside its territorial boundaries, there are several palaces, which are known for their intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards. Jaswant Thada lies to the left of the Mehrangarh fort complex. It is a royal cenotaph made up of white marble. It was built to commemorate Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Umaid Bhawan Palace is built of marble and pink sandstone. An excursion to Bishnoi Village, gives you a glimpse of village life in Rajasthan.
This tour will be by Jeeps to the Bishnoi community where you will visit traditional villages to see the local handicrafts such as shoe making, durries, pottery and hand weaving. You will also have an opportunity to interact with the villagers - men in their traditional attire, and women clad with ancestral jewelry. Enroute watch and photograph wildlife black buck, chinkaras, and peacocks freely moving in abundance protected by the 'Bishnois' - the protectors of wildlife and trees.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Jaipur.
From its creation in 1727, the royal families and nobles of Jaipur patronized the craftsmen and artisans of the city. These traditions continue to this day and as a result modern day Jaipur is considered by many as the craft capital of India. Traditional methods are still used to produce many valuable and highly prized items. Using skills passed down through generations, artisans and master craftsmen can be seen in the areas of Ghat Darwaza and Vishveshwar ji.
On this fascinating evening walk mingle and talk with the locals whilst sampling some of the region's culinary delights; try pakoras, aloo tiki, samosa and ladoo from some of the city’s most popular street food vendors. Observe local artisans in their workshops; jewelers and silversmiths, gold painters and tie dying experts. The iconic Hawa Mahal also called the Palace of the Winds is the meeting point at which this two and a half hour walk begins.
The Trident, Jaipur captures the romance and beauty of the fabled "Pink City" with its rose-colored facade reflecting traditional Rajasthani architecture. Situated en route to Jaipur's renowned Amber Fort, the hotel looks out onto the scenic Mansagar Lake and the picturesque Aravalli range. The hotel's135 rooms and 2 suites are a viewing gallery for all grandeur of the Pink City of Jaipur.The restaurant and bar at the Trident have been designed keeping in mind the international traveler while maintaining the elegance associated with Jaipur. The outdoor heated swimming pool offers a perfect ambience for guests to relax and unwind. A bonus is a view of the picturesque Aravali hills.
Spend the day today in the company of a knowledgeable English speaking guide as you tour the Amber Fort and City Palace of Jaipur, the iconic Observatory and the Hawa Mahal.
The magnificent Amber Fort was established in 1592, and remained the citadel of the Kachhawaha rulers right until they moved their capital to Jaipur in 1727. Maharaja Man Singh I created this imposing monument on the remains of an ancient 11th century fort. Since the first half of the 18th century, the City Palace has been the abode to the rulers of Jaipur. The sprawling expanse of the breathtaking palace is a superb harmony of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Part of the palace has been converted into a museum, open to the public, while a section - Chandra Mahal - still remains the home of today’s maharaja.The Observatory of Jaipur is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period". Within it, the Jantar Mantar is a collection of massive astronomical instruments, built of local stone and marble. Each instrument carries an astronomical scale marked on the marble inner lining, and bronze tablets were also employed.
Built in 1799, the whimsical Hawa Mahal - Palace of Winds - which adjoins the Palace has become quite the city icon, with its ornate facade in pale pink, tiered baroque like build, projecting ‘jharokha’ windows and balconies with perforated screens. These were designed so that the mysterious veiled ladies of the harem could look down upon the colourful and bustling bazaars below, remaining hidden themselves. Overlooking busy streets, it offers great views of the city. We feel the Amber Fort is best reached by car, but an optional elephant ride is available should you prefer (cost not included).
Participate in a time honored tradition, an iconic part of India’s cultural identity, as you “play Holi” today amongst the elephants. Spend a half day at Elephant Village, a complex close to Amber Fort where about 14 Elephants reside. You will join up with other revelers, as you share an up close and personal encounter with these noble giants in a natural setting. Here you are assigned your very own Mahout, and can spend time painting and decorating your elephant in the traditional fashion. The Elephant Festival period is a highlight of any trip to Rajasthan, complete with beauty contests, parades, and fireworks. This is a festival like no other, and you will never forget your time spent with the elephants of Jaipur!
Shahpura Haveli is located about 1 hour by car from Jaipur. Head there today to participate in some colourful fun, as you celebrate Holi on the grounds of a true Indian Palace! Built more than 300 years ago, this Haveli will make you feel like you’ve stepped back into the time of the Maharajas. Frolic the manicured grounds, weaving in and out of bougainvillea covered courtyards, as you play holi with an array of herbal colours. Holi is an ancient tradition that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and is an integral part of India’s cultural heritage. Enjoy lunch, and a dance performance, on this unforgettable day out in Rajasthan.
Relax on your transfer from Jaipur to Agra in a private vehicle with driver. On the way, you will visit the ancient ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. This area was built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, and was known as the "City of Victory", and the capital of the Mughal Empire for 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples boasts uniform architectural style, which includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid.
The Trident, Agra, set amidst beautiful gardens, fountains, landscaped central courtyards, is built of red stone reminiscent of the Mughal era. The Hotel is a stone's throw away from one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. It has 138 elegantly furnished rooms and suites that offer a variety of modern amenities. Dining is a wonderful experience at Trident Hilton Agra with the hotel offering Indian and Continental cuisine. The hotel restaurant offers an option of a la carte and buffet spread, while Le Bar serves a choice of wines and cocktails. Trident Hilton Agra offers a number of fun and fitness options, with some of the facilities including the swimming pool, fitness center, beauty salon and gift shop.
Be amazed on a private guided tour of Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful monuments built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his dear wife and Queen, Mumtaz Mahal.
You'll also get to visit Agra Fort, built of red sandstone and marble. This great monument of red sandstone dominating a bend in the river Yamuna, 2km northwest of Taj Mahal was constructed by the Mughals during 1565-1571.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Delhi. (205 Kms/5 hrs)
India & Area
Alton J Hundley ,
March 14, 2011
"Our trip to India was a wonderful and magical event! We owe our gratitude to Kensington Tours for making the trip run so smoothly. The guides were exceptionally friendly and caring towards our four year old son and our driver was absolutely amazing!"
India & Area
Fred and Sharon Tooley ,
November 11, 2010
"We've just returned from our second "once in a lifetime" trip with Kensington Tours. A year ago we went to Kenya and Tanzania and felt that no future trips could match that incredible benchmark. We were wrong! When we had the wonderful opportunity to travel to India and Nepal this year, we once again called Kensington. What an amazing, amazing adventure we had! The fact that we have had two "once in a lifetime" trips with Kensington, tells us that we may not know where our next adventure will take us but we do know that Kensington Tours will take us there. We send huge thanks to Brad Crockett who coordinated a trip that was like no other. We thank he and Karishma Kaul both for walking us through our concerns, dealt with via email, while in country regarding a tight flight/luggage transfer and to both of them for arranging the marvelous hotels, lodges and incomparable guides and drivers for us in both India and Nepal. We want to especially thank them for Ghanshyam, our driver for our entire stay in India. Without him, and our trusty "Tempo Traveller" we simply wouldn't have survived the traffic and hours of travel--he was not only a great driver, but a terrific guide during those long drives between cities. We will never forget the thrill of seeing Machali, the magnificent tiger known as "Lady of the Lake" at Ranthambore National Park in India. We will never forget the speechless first sight of the Taj Mahal--nor, we doubt, will we ever have an experience that will ever compare with seeing a tiger in Chitwan National Park, Nepal while on a late afternoon elephant back safari in dense jungle cover--the sights, the sounds of the elephants...words may fail, but the memories will never fade. Thank you, Kensington.
Fred & Sharon Tooley 2011"
India & Area
Glenn Dorfman ,
March 10, 2010
"Our two weeks in India and Nepal doing the Golden Triangle, Varanasi and the Ganges, and Kathmandu went precisely as planned. Airport greetings and transfers, the drivers and especially the guides were all just great; highly qualified, interesting and dedicated to see that you have an interesting and safe experience. I have many examples to share of this. The itinerary was perfect. We have no complaints at all. Would be glad to share more details with prospective travelers."
India & Area
Mohmud Kassam ,
February 24, 2010
"Very helpful from the beginning and helped us change our itinerary so many times until we got it right. We really appreciate your effort. All guides were somewhat knowledgeable. We found that they were not as forthcoming as we would have liked and therefore we had to ask many questions to get more out of them. They were however very pleasant and patient. Vehicles were excellent! We chose Kensington Tours because you gave us the option of a “private guided trip” which is exactly what we were looking for. We have been on many tours and did not want a tour package where we had to go with a big group. Overall our experience was very good. The trip was exactly what we were looking for. The accommodation, cars and guides and agent reps were all very good and helpful. India was incredible!"
India & Area
Claudia Pedreira ,
February 09, 2010
"Sorry for the late response, I've been meaning to write to you since we came back to thank you so much for your assistance with coordinating our trip. India was such an amazing experience and truly a fascinating country. We appreciate the upgrades and the travel by private car as it made a difference in our trip. All three hotels were excellent and we found the local tour service to be prompt and very accommodating. I will certainly be using Kensington Tours again for any future travel. Thanks again!"
India & Area
Joan and Sam Hubball ,
February 09, 2010
I am thinking about you and your wonderful plan and our amazing trip to India. I think the flexibility within the tour, the number of rich experiences due to the private nature of the trip, the mind,body, spirit connections of the country made this a true life experience, not a trip. I will write you a long letter with more specifics this week as I believe there are so many places and people who deserve acknowledgment and recognition for some of the most gracious and experienced tourism service. For now,Bindu, everyone should stay at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur and everyone must see Varanasi. We are so glad we chose the more aggressive approach...I cannot imagine our trip without any of the places we've seen!
Warmest regards, heartfelt thanks for the plan, and will be in touch soon, Joan Hubball
India & Area
Helmut and Helga Igel ,
December 14, 2009
"Hi Bindu. Everything worked out great. The hotels all where very good. What made the trip a real pleasure was our driver, Manohar Lal Thakur. He always went out his way to take care of any requests we had. The Indian people are the friendlest we have ever met! We will use Kensington again on one of our next trips.
India & Area
Illa Gandhi ,
January 07, 2010
"We had a great time in India. Karishma Kaul from Kensington tours did a tremendous job putting our trip together. The company did second to none job making us feel at home. It was because of them, it felt like a holiday. Thank you Karishma for a wonderful experience."
India & Area
Cheryl Smith ,
September 28, 2009
"My trip to India was incredible, and I want to thank you for organizing the tours. They took very good care of us. The hotels were nice, and we felt very safe. The guides and the driver were fantastic. The guides were very knowledgeable and patient in answering all of our questions and waiting for us when I know we extended our slotted time in some places (like shopping). For instance, I went to the airport to depart and expected only a driver. I was very surprised and grateful to have another person with the driver who helped me enter the airport, obtain my boarding pass, and showed me where to get to security. "
India & Area
Frank Walchak ,
September 28, 2009
"We just arrived this morning from Delhi. The hotels, tour and driver were all excellent. We certainly got our monies worth. Thank you again for setting up this great trip. Prior to the golden triangle, we operated on 93 children with burns, cleft lip and palate at a medical school outside of Bangalore. Frank and Carolyn Walchak
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