Exotic Marigold India
• Old Delhi • Taj Mahal • Cooking Class • Khempur and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel • Bollywood movie tickets
Just like a good film, there are some things that really inspire us to travel. Drawing on such inspirations we take you through a majestic journey as showcased in the popular movie Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Stay in charming heritage hotels dating back to 17th century and enjoy exciting tours with authentic modes of travel. Learn how to cook Indian meals, explore the rich heritage of Rajasthan with our guided city walking tours. Interact with vibrant village life and engage in negotiations during local shopping at bazaars. This is that ethnic Indian experience you have been waiting for!
Day 1: Arrive Delhi Upon arrival in Delhi you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel for check-in and your welcome ceremony.
Day 2: Delhi This morning enjoy a walking tour of Old and New Delhi visiting Humayuns Tomb, Qutab Minar (the red stoned fortress tower), India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan formerly known as Viceroys House and Bangla Sahib Gurudwara (this is the grandest shrine of the Sikhs) where you can participate in the holy rituals. Later this afternoon we head into Old Delhi. Our specialist Indian guide will take you on a heritage walking tour of Raj Ghat (the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi), Jama Masjid (grandest mosque in the city), and ending with a traditional rickshaw ride through the hustling bazaars and spice shops of Old Delhi.
Day 3: Delhi > Agra We leave Delhi this morning and head to Agra to check in to our hotel. In the afternoon visit Agra Fort to explore its royal courtyards, palaces and mosque. Later visit Mehtab Bagh (Moonlight Garden) to view the majestic sunset experience over the Taj Mahal. Here we serve traditional tea and cookies as you enjoy the perfect photographic moment of the sun, setting behind the Taj. Traditional Tonga (horse chariots) await to take you from Mehtab Bagh to your hotel in time for dinner. Enroute enjoy classic moments as you pass by the holy river Yamuna and local villages where you can see women collecting water, washing clothes or their buffaloes in the time honoured way.
Day 4: Agra > Kanota Early today we enjoy a sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal from inside. On the inner walls, jewel-like stones create beautiful designs in white marble. The Mughals perfected the art of embedding semi-precious stones into marble and the Taj is the finest example of this; it is a special process called Pietra Dura. Return to the hotel for breakfast and then leave for the deserted ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri ,the red sandstone city, built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. Explore its royal facets and princely history. In the afternoon we reach our hotel in the village of Kanota. Check-in to the Hotel Castle Kanota where you will be free to explore the site that was shot as the viceroy club in the movie Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The castle offers charming and relaxed ways to spend your evening.
Day 5: Kanota > Jaipur Set off for Jaipur and on arrival explore the city full of heritage buildings and ethnic bazaars for shopping. We have included a traditional cooking class with lunch at Surabhi Restaurant today. You will be able to explore its turban museum inside. Later visit the famed flower market of the city, renowned for its marigolds and this evening join a raucous local crowd at Raj Mandir cinema for the local experience of a Bollywood movie. Truly an exciting memory!!
Day 6: Jaipur At Amber Fort, overlooking the stunning Moata Lake, witness the beauty of royal India through fresco painted walls, courtyards and pavilions. See the Temple of Kali, the Hall of Victory (Jai Mahal) and Jagmandir. Witness the beauty of royal India through fresco painted walls, courtyards and pavilions. Here we also dress you Indian style with turbans and bindis. Continue to Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, famed as the city symbol constructed for royal ladies to witness royal processions. Our tour also includes the Maharajas City Palace, and its Museum inside imposing blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal art. Enjoy exploring the Maharaja's Observatory where you can see their saved ornaments, clothing and even weapons used during times of war. Next we visit the Jantar Mantar, an amazingly advanced observatory built in 1726 A.D. Later this afternoon we take a walking tour through the ethnic bazaars of Jaipur. If time permits, we visit a local artisans factory for gemstones and carpets since Jaipur is famed for its royal gems and textiles.
Day 7: Jaipur > Pushkar Drive to Pushkar via city of Ajmer to explore its massive fort, charming Gond Talav Lake and world famed sufi saint shrine of Dargah Sharif to witness the holy rituals. Ajmer is surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains. It is a pilgrimage centre for the shrine of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Pushkar, just 11kms away, is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage city, known for the temple of Brahma and of course the world famed desert festival in November.
Day 8: Pushkar > Khempur Visit the holy Brahma Temple and Pushkar Lake before departing mid morning for a drive through the countryside to Khempur and the site for Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie. We arrive at the real Best Exotic Marigold Hotel aka Ravla Khempur for check-in. This charming converted Palace is a wonderfully quirky property that takes you into the world that is portrayed in the film. Furthermore the Palace is also home to Royal Marwari horses and is surrounded by vibrant villages. This afternoon we take you for a local bullock cart ride to a suitable setting to enjoy sundowner with some traditional tea. Enjoy dinner in the hotel this evening with the owner of the Ravla Khempur who will discuss the impact of the film on his Hotel and village.
Day 9: Khempur At leisure today to enjoy this charming property and walk around the local village and school.
Day 10: Khempur > Udaipur Drive to the romantic and princely lake city of Udaipur also known as the Venice of the East. The rest of the day you are free to explore this vibrant city on your own as Udaipur is best enjoyed at your own pace. The old town is mixed with a maze of alleyways and passages and getting lost here is part of the fun!
Day 11: Udaipur Join the tour of Udaipur visiting the elusive City Palace and the Crystal Galley showcasing the largest private collection of crystals in the world belonging to Maharaja Saijan Singh. Next we take you to Sahelion Ki Badi (Courtyard of the Maids), Sajjan Niwas (the Royal Rose Garden) and spiritual Jagdish Temple. This evening join a traditional sunset exclusive boat-ride on Lake Pichola for panoramic views of Udaipur, its forts, palaces and temples by the lake. We end in style with a royal farewell ethnic dinner. Your boat will cruise to the centre of the lake to Jag Mandir. Here you will be taken for a royal dining experience at Darikhana Restaurant. The Darikhana restaurant is an exclusive venue for stylish dining. Its colonnaded restaurant offers international cuisine in a specially prepared four course dinner.
Day 12: Depart Udaipur Transfer to Udaipur Airport where arrangements conclude.
• Independent touring with English speaking local guides • 11 nights accommodation in Heritage hotels • Transfers by air-conditioned vehicle with driver • Sightseeing and entrance fees • Cooking class • Bollywood movie tickets • 11 Breakfasts, 1 lunch, 10 dinners
Pricing (per person) $NZD
Booking conditions Accommodation is based on 4 star heritage style hotels throughout or best available.
Accommodation is based on 4 star heritage style hotels throughout or best available.