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Gay Group Trip: India Highlights

FROM £7099 PER PERSON
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TRIP SUMMARY

Septemeber 16th - September 28th 2016, September 15th - September 27th 2017 India's beauty and diversity will enrich you with her culture, stun you with her modernity, embrace you with her warmth, and overwhelm you with her hospitality. Our gay group trip to India the ultimate luxury with seamless exploration of one of the world's most fascinating countries. You will stay in the absolute best hotels and palaces in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur), including, among others the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, rated number 1 by TripAdvisor Of course one of your highlights will be visiting the Taj Mahal. For centuries, the Taj Mahal has inspired poets, painters and musicians to try and capture its elusive magic in word, color and song. Since the 17th century, travelers have crossed continents to come and see this ultimate memorial to love; few have been unmoved by its incomparable beauty.

time difference

TIME DIFFERENCE

4.5 hours ahead of the UK

flight time

FLIGHT TIME

8-9 hours direct from UK

Available Dates : 23rd September 2018

Days 1 and 2 - Mumbai

Arrive at Mumbai’s International Airport this evening. You will be met at the airport by our representative who will give you a warm welcome with fresh flower garlands, and transfer to our landmark hotel by air-conditioned vehicle. Your room is availabe for immediate checkin.

Day 2, after breakfast at the hotel we will see more of the "City of Gold". Mumbai (Bombay), is surrounded on three sides by the Arabian Sea. We explore this legendary city and visit the Gateway of India, the entrance to the port of Mumbai and then cruise towards Elephanta Island. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this island was originally known as Gharapurti and was renamed as Elephanta after the Portuguese found a carved elephant there. The main attraction of the island is the four rock cut cave temples dating back to 5th-8th century AD. Time permitting, we may also visit Dhobi Ghat, the city’s open-air municipal laundry where thousands wash clothes brought daily from around the city. Also see the memorial at Mani Bhawan, once the residence of Mahatma Gandhi.

Afternoon is free to either relax in the hotel or cover some more attractions of the city including the Prince Wales Museum, India's finest museum, housing treasures, artifacts, paintings and sculpture from the many periods covering India's history. The evening is yours to enjoy at your leisure.

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Day 3 - Varanasi

In the morning flight takes us to the oldest living city in the world, Varanasi – also said to be the India’s most sacred city situated on the western bank of the holy river Ganga. Varanasi cannot easily be described, only experienced.

Our evening will include a rickshaw (Tricycle with driver) ride passing through the busy streets and bazaars of Varanasi takes us to the holy river Ganges where we cruise to witness the ceremonies amidst hundreds of lighted candles and flower offerings. Evening introduction to Astrology by expert astrologer who will also read our palms, if we so desire. This evening you will see things you have never seen before.

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Day 4 - Delhi

We rise before dawn and step gingerly onto a rustic boat as the wizened boatman coasts off. We wait, still, for the daily miracle to unfold. Just then, as if having waited for the audience to settle reverently in their assigned places, the Sun God appears triumphantly over the horizon. The sound of conches and temple bells rent the delicate pink fabric of dawn. The formerly hushed murmuring of ancient Sanskrit Shlokas, now rises, in one voice, to a crescendo of unparalleled piety and joy. We tour Sarnath, an important pilgrimage center for Buddhists. This is where the Buddha preached his first sermon after achieving enlightenment. Sarnath's temples and Archaeological Museum are full of Buddhist art treasures.

In the afternoon we take flights to Delhi.

On the way to the Oberoi, we will visit Humayun’s Tomb, which is the first great example of Mughal architecture in India, developed to become the hallmark of the Mughal Dynasty. The squat building of white marble and red sandstone, with a dome and high arched entrances, surrounded by formal gardens, is generally regarded as a prototype of the famed Taj Mahal of Agra. Huyamun’s wife is buried in the red-and-white sandstone, black-and yellow marble tomb. Visiting Humayun’s Tomb will definitely aid in the appreciation of the Taj Mahal.

Evening at leisure for independent activities and to enjoy hotel facilities.

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Day 5 - Minar Tour

Today’s Delhi exploration includes the 11th century Qutab Minar Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by Qutub-ud-din Aibek of the Slave Dynasty, who took possession of Delhi in 1206. It is a red sandstone tower, standing tall at a height of 72.5 meters and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the holy Qur'an. National Museum, having the collection of 5000 year old relics of the Indus valley civilization, varied exotic paintings, old manuscripts and mural paintings from Buddhist shrines in Central Asia. Lunch at a stylish restaurant set in a historic mansion.

Afternoon: Other attractions include The India Gate, a memorial raised in honor of the Indian soldiers martyred during the Afghan war. We will drive past the grand government buildings, the President’s House and Parliament House all dating back to the time of British Raj. The grand Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, epitomizes 10,000 years of Indian culture in all its breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It brilliantly showcases the essence of India’s ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual messages. The Akshardham experience is an enlightening journey through India’s glorious art, values and contributions for the progress, happiness and harmony of mankind.

Day 6 - Agra

Our journey to the city of Taj, Agra takes us through the beautiful countryside. Upon arrival, visit the magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and surely the most extravagant expression of love ever created.

In the afternoon we will take a tour of the imposing Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5-km-long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; audience halls, such as the Diwan-i-Khas; and two very beautiful mosques.

Days 7 and 8 - Jaipur

Make sure you're up before as sunrise at the Taj Mahel is one of the most incredible experiences of a life time!

After breakfast at the hotel we will be passing through the images of rural India, a leisurely drive takes us to the royal city of Jaipur, also known as ‘The Pink City' due to the predominant color of its buildings. Jaipur is the throbbing, vibrant capital city of the colorful state of Rajasthan where the regal ambience of yesteryear is still felt throughout the city's numerous carved arches and once-bejewelled fortress walls.

Enroute visit to Keoladeo Ghana bird sanctuary,  a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is home to an astonishing range of flora and fauna. We will see an incredible variety of birds during the rickshaw (tricycle) ride into the bird Park.

Enroute we visit Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has been described as “the world’s most perfectly preserved ghost town”. Built by Akbar in the late 16th century, it was abandoned after only 14 years, and the elegant buildings of this superb walled city remain intact to this day. In the afternoon we have a unique experience of a Walking Tour in a Village, catch a peek at the rustic ways of life in the villages of India.

Day 8 of this gay group trip to India starts with a visit to the dramatic hilltop fortress at Amber – ascend the imposing fort on a decorated painted elephant. We wander among glittering inlays and the Hall of Mirrors. On the way back we stop to view the elegant Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds. This elaborate building, now little more than a façade, is encrusted with delicate screens and carved balconies from which the royal ladies, confined to their quarters, could sneak views of the outside world.Lunch is served al fresco in the beautiful country setting of the Aravali Forest.

Our afternoon visit includes the Maharajah’s City Palace, now partly a museum displaying a unique fusion of Mughal and Hindu architecture, and houses a rare collection of paintings, Rajput armoury and costumes. Explore the city on our own and indulge in shopping for gemstones, silver jewellery, paintings, blue pottery and hand printed textiles for which Jaipur is renowned.

Days 9 and 10 - Jodhpur

Day 9 we travel to Jodhpur. Also called the ‘Blue City’, Jodhpur 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. 

We then arrive at Jodhpur and check-in at UMAID BHAWAN PALACE hotel.Perched high above the desert capital of Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Palace is the last of the great palaces of India and one of the largest residences in the world, set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens.In the evening enjoy a heritage walk of the Palace and its museum.

On the morning of day 10 we enjoy an in-depth tour of Jodhpur city. we will visit the magnificent Mehrangarh fort which dominates the town ringed with its massive protective walls. There are seven gates that lead into the fort. Inside the fort is a series of courtyards and palaces. Continue your tour to Jaswant Thada, located a short distance from the fort, just off the fort road, which is a white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.

In the afternoon drive to Osian covering a distance of 65kms in approximately 1½ hours, where we will mount camels and head off for a short ride into the dunes and surrounding villages. Later enjoy sundowners at the dunes. After sunset return to the camel camp and enjoy the evening with folk entertainment followed by BBQ dinner. After dinner drive back to Umaid Bhawan Palace.

Days 11 and 12 - Udaipur

Udaipur combines real beauty with a picturesque association of a great and glorious past. It stands in a valley, amidst green hills on the banks of the wide, steel blue Lake Pichola. On little islands in the lake, from the water's edge, raise marble palaces of pure white that glisten like fairy castles. En-route we visit Ranakpur temples after lunch at a local restaurant then arrive at Udaipur and check-in at Oberoi Udaivillas. Then the rest of the day 11 is yours to enjoy at your own leisure.

On the morning of day 11 we let the glorious sunrise dazzle us at breakfast. Wander through the opulent City Palace grounds and the museum, which are the testament to the valour and chivalry of the Mewar rulers. Private tour of Crystal Gallery - probably the largest single private collection of crystal anywhere in the world. Visit Saheliyon ki Bari (the gardens the maids-of-honor), the Jagdish temple on the shores of Lake Pichola.

Today's lunch setting is in a luxuriously restored 18th century fort palace nestled in the Aravali Hills. Drive to Eklingji and Nagda Temple. Eklingji is believed to be the ruling deity of the once princely state of Mewar. The beautiful sculpted temple complex includes 108 religious structures dating back to the 15th century. We continue to the 11th century ruins of Magda. This evening enjoy a farewell cocktail reception and dinner in a regal setting.

Day 13 - Departure

The final day is yours toenjoy at your own leisure before departure.













Travel Info

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LGBT RIGHTS IN India The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth office provides information to LGBT travellers through its 'Travel Aware' campaign.

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