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Pushkar Fair & the Treasures of India

26 October to 14 November 2019
Personally escorted by Jacquey Turner

WAITLISTED

  

A kaleidoscope of traditions, culture and vibrant geographies, India speaks for itself as a soul-stirring journey. India is a country of miscellaneous cultures. Like its diverse geography it has diverse cultures.

The marvellous architecture, monuments, vibrant festivals, vivacious cities, and spiritual sites are a mesmerizing experience. Walk down the lanes of history as you explore the remnants of glory standing against the ravages of time. Witness the traditions practiced in the temples. Numerous religions have originated and prospered here. The cultural exuberance of the country is an experience to cherish.

     

                   
Breakfast   Lunch     Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Itinerary

 

 


Saturday, 26 October: Australia – Mumbai, India      

We depart Gippsland and transfer to the Melbourne Airport by coach for our Singapore Airlines flight to Mumbai, via Singapore.  On arrival at Mumbai International airport in the late evening we will be met by an English-speaking tour escort who will escort us to our hotel, The Taj Mahal Palace, for a two-night stay.

At the hotel, we shall receive a traditional Indian welcome of aarti- tikka- garland before we check in to our Superior city view room.

The Taj Mahal Palace: It is an iconic hotel and is situated on the waterfront in downtown Mumbai, facing the Gateway of India and the Arabian Sea. Built in 1903, it is a Victorian extravaganza which has been sensitively refurbished to maintain its character as Mumbai’s 'grand dame.' The hotel has well-appointed rooms & suites, state-of-the-art meeting rooms, excellent restaurants, a choice of lively bars, an array of designer shops, etc. A new wing was added in the 1970s and has more functional, business type rooms.


Sunday, 27 October:  Mumbai      

After breakfast, we shall enjoy a sightseeing tour of Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, and the fastest moving, most affluent and industrialized city in India. Mumbai is part of India's beautiful west coast that runs down from Gujarat, through Mumbai to Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. The city has a natural harbor, which was developed by the British and is one of the busiest ports of India. It is home to people of all Indian creeds and cultures, a fascinating city, throbbing with life, and, for many people, the gateway to India.

We begin our exploration of Mumbai with a private boat ride from the Gateway of India to Elephanta Island. Located 10 km to the east of Mumbai, Elephanta caves are famous for the ancient sculptures and the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The caves are assumed to be dating back to somewhere between the 9th and 13th century AD. These caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are various rock-cut temples present in these caves. The temple design is based on the Hindu astrological knowledge base, clearly taking into account geometrical mandala and energy levels. The stupendous 20 feet high image of the three- headed Shiva, depicting three faces of Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara, is a marvellous attraction of the caves.

We shall stop for lunch at Mumbai’s famous Khyber restaurant – Northwest Frontier cuisine.

Later in the afternoon, we visit Dharavi, home to Asia’s largest slum and now best known as home to the hero of Slumdog Millionaire. The tour includes a glimpse into everyday life aiming to portray that the squalor for which it has become distinctive is only part of Dharavi story. It is also a hub of recycling and home to women’s co-op for pappadum-making. 

We return to the hotel for a Welcome dinner at the chic Indigo restaurant – multi cuisine.


Monday, 28 October:  Mumbai – Udaipur       

After breakfast, we will have a half day Bollywood tour. During the tour we will visit the Bollywood studio which will provide a holistic experience to any visitor coming in, right from the drive from the hotel, welcome at the studio, a completed guided tour of all the sets in the studio, a Bollywood dance performance, memorabilia store and a walk through the Bollywood photo gallery.

After lunch we transfer to Mumbai airport in time for our flight to Udaipur.  As we exit the airport, we will be met and escorted to our hotel, The Oberoi Udaivilas for a three-night stay in a Premier room.

Built on the shores of Lake Pichola overlooking the Lake Palace and the City Palace, this opulent and expansive hotel has been designed along the lines of a Merwari Palace. Endless domes, turrets, fountains and reflection pools feature regularly throughout the hotel and the beautiful bright and airy bedrooms and suites are amongst the most comfortable in the country.

Udaipur, the city 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, rising marble palaces of pure white that glistens like fairy castles. Crowning the ridge in which the city clusters, along the shore of the lake is the palace of the Maharana. Possibly no city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic as Udaipur and is replete with fantastic hill top fortresses, exotic fairy tale palaces and gripping legends of medieval chivalry and heroism


Tuesday, 29 October:  Udaipur           

After breakfast, we begin our tour of the historic city of Udaipur from the Royal City Palace – the main part of the palace is a museum displaying a large and diverse array of artefacts. There is also the armoury museum exhibiting a huge collection of protective gear, weapons including the lethal two-pronged sword.

Each quarter of the City Palace offers something different like the Manak Mahal which has a lovely collection of glass and mirror work, Krishna Vilas displays a rich collection of miniature paintings, the Moti Mahal has beautiful mirror work and the Chini Mahal has ornamental tiles all over. But the most noteworthy among these is the 129-year-old Crystal Gallery at the Fateh Prakash Palace. The gallery showcases some of the most lustrous, rare and precious crystal from the royal treasure. These precious crystals were ordered from the famous manufacturers F and C Osler Company around 1877 A.D. The City also has the most famous temple of the Udaipur the Jagdish Temple. The temple was built in 1651 with Indo-Aryan style architecture. This three-storey temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, has the most beautifully carved pillars, decorated ceilings, painted walls and lush halls.

After lunch at the Royal Repast Restaurant, we shall walk around the old city of Udaipur followed by a sunset boat cruise. Udaipur, also known as the ‘City of Lakes’ is like the oasis of the Thar Desert. The many lakes in the city have lent it the name of ‘Venice of the East’. And what better to admire the regal beauty of this historic city dotted with palaces than a boat cruise. We will then enjoy a boat ride at Lake Pichola with the setting sun making the experience ever so magical.  Dinner will be arranged at the hotel.


Wednesday, 30 October: Udaipur           

Our excursion this morning is to the Eklingji Temple & Nagda.

Eklingji Temple – The town has in all about 70 temples including the famous Eklingji Shiva temple. The original structure of the temple was built in 734 A.D. The temple has a beautiful rustic architecture with distinctly carved tower. The temple also has beautiful and heavy silver doors. On entering the main hall, you are greeted by a mesmerizing fragrance and a silver image of ‘Nandi’. Shiva is worshipped here in the form of a four faced black marble image.

Our next stop will be Nagda. This city founded in the 6th century has many small and big temples, but the main attraction is the 'Sas-Bahu' temple. The term 'Sas-Bahu' suggests 'Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law' respectively. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it is made in two structures.

Lunch today is at the Raas Devigarh hotel. The culinary arts are an integral element of the experience at Devi Garh. They aim to provide authentic home cooked flavours, using only the freshest ingredients available.   The rest of the afternoon will be at leisure to enjoy the palace facilities – spa, heated pools etc.  

This evening. we drive to Devra where you will learn the art of cooking with Jyoti Jasol followed by dinner at her beautiful private home. Jyoti belong to a traditional family of Rajasthan, and cooking has been passed on to her from generations, which she proudly shares on international television and in the form of food demonstrations at Devra.


Thursday, 31 October: Udaipur – Jodhpur       

After breakfast, we drive to Jodhpur.  Lunch will be arranged at The Mountbatten Lodge and we will stop enroute at Ranakpur for a visit to the Jain temple of Ranakpur.  Light coloured marble has been used for the construction of this grand temple. The temple, with its distinctive domes, shikhara, turrets and cupolas rise majestically from the slope of a hill. Over 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. The pillars are all differently carved and no two pillars are the same. It is also said that it is impossible to count the pillars.

We continue on to Jodhpur, on the edge of the Thar Desert.  Jodhpur is also known as the 'Blue City' and was once the chief settlement in Marwar, the largest princely state in Rajasthan. The city was established in the year 1459 by Rao Jodha, a Rajput king. In this royal paradise, we will find the most extraordinary houses on the street sides with exquisite stonework, traceries and carved latticed windows.

The panoramic view of the city in tones of blue appears like a painter’s masterstroke of indigo charm. We will witness the charisma of the regal legacy at Jodhpur, especially at the Mehrangarh Fort. This fort is one of the largest forts of India and still preserves the artefacts like royal cradles, palanquins, musical instrument of diverse backgrounds spread over centuries. Jodhpur is a centre for handicrafts and antiques (or more often reproductions) and ornate paintings on cloth.

On arrival in Jodhpur, we check-in at the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, for a two-night stay in a Palace room. With a commanding view of the 'Blue City', this Art Deco palace is still home to the Maharaja of Jodhpur.  It used to be one of the largest private residences in the world, but is now divided into the Maharaja's private residence, a beautiful museum and a luxury palace-hotel. Interiors are opulent, with gilded furniture and coloured murals.

The Palm Court, with a soaring 105-foot cupola, stops many visitors in their tracks, as do the royal suites, the former residences of the Maharaja Umaid Singh. Don't miss the indoor swimming pool, the original mosaics are stunning, an outdoor pool has been added in recent years.


Friday, 1 November: Jodhpur          

After breakfast, we enjoy a Jeep safari to get more insights into the lifestyle in rural India. We will get an opportunity to visit the small villages where the dwellings are localised based on the occupations. We will thus pass a shepherd’s village, a potter’s village, a weaver’s village and so on.

We will also get a chance to be in a Bishnoi Village, the Bishnoi’s are sworn conservators and worshippers of natural elements and conservation of ecology and environment is followed as a religion in this community. We also witness a traditional Rajput opium ceremony in a Bishnoi ‘Dhani’ (Home).

Lunch at the charming Mihir Garh lodge in the village.  In the afternoon, we visit Mehrangarh Fort. Of all the many forts in Rajasthan, very few compare to majesty of the Mehrangarh Fort. Built on a high rocky cliff, the views from the fort stretch all across the plains as far as the Mewari fort at Kumbalgarh. Almost impregnable, the fort is entered through seven fortified gateways.

Beside the last gate, the 15th century Loha Pol, or Iron Gate are the handprints of 15 royal sati, Jodhpur queens who immolated themselves on the funeral pyres of their husbands. The fort is divided into three sections – the public areas, the Maharajas palaces, and the zenana, or queens’ palaces. Walking down from the fort, we stop at Jaswant Thada, the graceful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II (1873-95) and other Maharajas of Jodhpur.

Later will have time to visit the local markets travelling in a tuk-tuk.  Dinner tonight will be at the Raas Jodhpur hotel.


Saturday, 2 November:  Jodhpur – Pushkar             

After breakfast, we shall have a few hours’ drive to Pushkar with lunch served on the coach.

Pushkar is best known for its Brahma Temple built in the 14th century standing on a high platform near Pushkar Lake. This is the only temple in the world where Lord Brahma – Creator of the Universe, is worshipped. While Pushkar is a city of pilgrimage with over 500 temples and ghats, it is also famous for its annual Camel Fair, held during October/November. It is a city which devout Hindus aspire to visit at least once in their lifetime.

On arrival we will check-in at Mobile Tents for a two-night stay in air-conditioned mobile tents with private attached toilets with hot & cold running water.

  


Sunday, 3 November:  Pushkar        

We spend the day at Pushkar fair. Enjoy the wonder, absurdity, chaos and incredible photographic opportunities at this fascinating fair. This exuberant and boisterous festival runs for a week, the first part of which is largely for the trading of goods and livestock, notably camels. There is up to 20,000 camels, and other livestock traded here each year, and the festivities are kicked off with a lively camel race.

The 'second part' is much more religious, with many pilgrims and sadhus attending to cleanse their sins in the holy lake. The atmosphere is a riot of colour, extraordinary noise and activity: occasional events are staged in a central arena, a fun fair wheel tempts the daring and street upon street of stalls sell bright clothes, textiles, camel bells and street food.

Festivities include folk music, traditional dancing in colourful regional costumes, tug-of-war games, camel beauty pageants, and turban and moustache competitions. As an observer this is a truly fascinating event and you can spend days wandering around soaking up the sights and smells, stocking up on saris, woodcraft and jewellery, and rubbing shoulders with tribal artisans.

In more recent years there has even been a friendly match between the local cricket team and willing tourists, for those who really want to get involved in the action!

Breakfast lunch and dinner will be at the mobile tents.


Monday, 4 November: Pushkar – Jaipur       

After breakfast, we drive to Jaipur. The city was first intended to be called ‘Sawai Jaipur’, named after the boy Prince who commissioned it – Maharaja Jai Singh II – a warrior, astronomer and politician who reigned over the Mughals from 1699 to 1743. Today’s Jaipur is pink, visually described as the city shaded with the autumn colors of sunset.  

Although originally the walls were render set and pigmented the color of red sandstone, Jaipur's universal coat of pink only came in 1876 to coincide with the visit of the Prince of Wales (King Edward VII). Almost the entire city was given a coat of pink paint, thus giving it the name the ‘Pink City’.

On arrival, we check-in at The Oberoi Rajvilas, for a two-night stay in a premier room.  Located 35-minutes from Jaipur city centre, the Oberoi Rajvilas was the first Oberoi Vilas property to be built and has been a popular retreat ever since.  Built in the style of a Rajput fort with a small 18th century Shiva temple in the garden, this luxury resort is steeped in the romance of Jaipur's opulent heritage and set in tranquil countryside location on 32 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. With incredible service and outstanding facilities, including a fully equipped spa and gym, the Oberoi Rajvilas offers the perfect environment to be completely indulged.

After lunch at Samode Haveli hotel, we visit the Jantar Mantar Observatory. Built in the 1700s but still appears to be futuristic. It houses unique instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens!

We continue our visit to City Palace to witness the Maharaja’s private collection of textiles and armory. We also visit the private palace of the Royal family of Jaipur on a specially curated tour.

Dinner tonight will be at city Palace Café.


Tuesday, 5 November:  Jaipur           

After breakfast, we begin our day with a photo stop at Hawa Mahal also known as the "Palace of the Winds". This beautiful façade is probably the most-photographed in Jaipur, with its ornately carved windows designed so the ladies of the palace could look out onto the streets unobserved. It is considered as the finest example of Rajput architecture whose lattice like exterior of sandstone and stained glass is one of the area’s most eye-catching icons.

We continue on to the 16th century Amber Fort and tour the chambers and hallways of the palace.  Amber Fort is famous for the excellence of its design and decoration. Within the complex is Ganesh Pol, an imposing gateway painted with the images of the elephant-headed god, Ganesh. The merging of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles is captured in the Sukh Niwas and Jas Mandir apartments, and the Charbagh garden with its perfectly proportioned landscaping.  Pierced screen windows offer views from different vantage points & shimmering mirrors encrust walls of Sheesh Mahal.

Lunch will be at the Dera Amer, a beautiful farm in the country side.  In the afternoon, we will have leisure time to enjoy the palace facilities – spa, heated pool etc. Alternatively, a shopping tour can be arranged.  Dinner will be arranged at the hotel.


Wednesday, 6 November:  Jaipur – Ranthambore      

After leisurely breakfast, we drive to Ranthambore.  En route we stop for lunch at Talabgaon Castle Resort.

On arrival, we check-in at The Oberoi Vanyavilas, for a two-night stay in a luxury tent.  Located only 10-minutes from the entrance to Ranthambore National Park, the Oberoi Vanyavilas is nestled in the natural beauty of the wilds surrounded by rolling hills.

Built to emulate the grandeur of the maharajas hunting camps, each of the luxury tents are vast and have finely embroidered canopies, luxurious bathrooms and private walled gardens whilst being spread across 20-acres of manicured gardens – the perfect contrast to the surrounding ruggedness of the jungle. Vibrant frescoes and richly detailed interiors of the main communal space create the ambience of a royal hunting palace which houses their restaurant and bar.

The restaurant serves an array of cuisine and has a charming courtyard lit with candles and entertainment from folk musicians. The resort setting is picture-perfect and is set off with a sun-trap swimming pool, a fantastic spa surrounded by an idyllic lily pond and a small fitness tent.

Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary, The Park is one of the prime examples of Project Tiger's conservation efforts in Rajasthan. It extends over an area of 392 sq kms of thick forests and abounds in scenic beauty, requisite refuge for both the carnivore and herbivore.  The numerous valleys and flat hilltops form picturesque surroundings of the 13th century historical Ranthambore Fort. The Tiger is the main predator found in this reserve. Hyena and Jackal are the scavengers; Sloth Bear and Wild Boar are the main carnivores. The main herbivores found in this park are Spotted Deer, Sambar, “Nilgai” (Blue Bull) Antelope, “Chinkara” (Indian gazelle) and the common Langur.

Rest of the afternoon will be at leisure to enjoy the palace facilities – spa, pool etc.  Dinner will be arranged at the hotel.


Thusday, 7 November:  Ranthambore        

Today we will have a morning and afternoon game drive – in search of the Royal Bengal tigers and other wildlife in Ranthambore National park, accompanied by an expert Naturalist.  We travel in 4X4 jeeps.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be arranged at the hotel.


Friday, 8 November:  Ranthambor – Agra      

After leisurely breakfast, we transfer to Sawai Madhopur railway station in time to board the Golden Temple Mail train for Bharatpur.  We will be met at the station for our drive to Agra.

Agra, two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire – giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat (seat of the Emperor). Today, a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow lanes and quaint buggies, and that irresistible charm that this favourite city of the Mughals still retains. It is not surprising, that modern Agra still reflects its Mughal heritage most conspicuously.

On arrival we visit Agra Fort. An imposing structure with walls of red sandstone, almost two miles long and contains palaces, audience halls and mosques. The fort presents a good sampling of Islamic and Hindu architectural styles. It was built by the third Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Subsequent additions were made to the fort by his son Jahangir and grandson Shahjahan.

Later we check-in at The Oberoi Amarvilas for an overnight stay, in a Premier room.. Situated only 600 metres from the Taj Mahal, Amarvilas is renowned for its luxury and style.

All bedrooms have uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal.  Traditional Persian and Moorish influences combine with modern Indian interior design. This fusion is exhibited to spectacular effect in the cobalt blue and gold domed entrance hall, whose windows frame an unforgettable view of the Taj Mahal. The stunning swimming pool and perfectly manicured gardens make this an ideal hotel to rest and relax at. 

Dinner will be arranged at the hotel.


Saturday, 9 November:  Agra – Varanashi       

At sunrise we visit the Taj Mahal. The 17th century Taj Mahal is often called a poem in stone. If so, the mausoleum is a love poem – created by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal.

It took 22 years to be completed and was designed and planned by a Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. 

We return to the hotel for breakfast, and later transfer to Agra airport in time for our Air India flight to Varanasi. On arrival, we shall be met and escorted to our hotel, The Gateway Hotel Ganges for a two-night stay in an Executive room. Nestled amidst 40 acres of lush gardens it is located just 6 km from the commercial hub of Varanasi, also known as The Chowk. The spacious rooms complemented by efficient service makes it one of the best hotels for business and leisure.

Dinner will be arranged at the hotel.

Varanasi stands on the banks of the holy river Ganges, a city of more than a thousand temples and shrines. It is here that millions of Hindus come to wash away their sins; where the great Gautam Buddha first preached 25 centuries ago; where Asia’s largest residential university was founded and is still a center for art and learning. Varanasi’s principle attraction is a long string of bathing Ghats which line the river. Pilgrims belonging to all religions/castes come to this sacred place to wash away their sins. Renowned for its silk saree and carpets, Varanasi draws huge crowds of people who throng the shops to buy the famous Benarasi sarees.


Sunday, 10 November:   Varanasi         

Our early morning boat ride on the Ganges will be an incredible sight, when thousands of pilgrims bathe in the spiritually cleansing waters. We have a walking tour of the old city, blessing ceremony at the ancient Shiva temple and then return to our hotel for breakfast.

Later we visit Sarnath, where Buddha delivered his first sermon which is now a spiritual place of mainly stupas, shrines and temples. Also visit Sarnath’s temple and Archeological Museum full of Buddha art treasures.  We return to the hotel for lunch.

We have an evening visit to the ghats (hundreds of stone steps flanking the riverbank) to witness a special Hindu prayer ceremony by the Ganges River. We will be escorted to Dashashwamedh Ghat from where we will witness the prayer ceremony. The river banks ‘ghats’ and temples are lit with oil-lamps and candles which create a magical effect. A specialist will give a spiritual discourse on Hindu religion and the significance of the Ganges River.

Dinner will be at the hotel.


Monday 11 November:  Varanasi – Delhi      

We have a morning at leisure and later transfer to Varanasi airport in time for our Vistara flight to Delhi.

On arrival we shall be met and escorted to our hotel, The Oberoi, for a two-night stay in a Premier room. Following extensive renovations, The Oberoi, New Delhi reopened its doors in January 2018, with its legendary hospitality, spacious accommodation and luxury interiors by New York designer, Adam Tihany. The newly refurbished hotel comprises 220 spacious rooms and suites, with interiors inspired by a contemporary interpretation of Sir Edwin Lutyens’ New Delhi architecture, adorned with teakwood floors, walk-in closets and luxurious Italian marble bathrooms. The large windows provide spectacular views of the Delhi Golf Course on one side and the historical World Heritage Site Humayun's Tomb on the other.

Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.


Tuesday, 12 November: Dehli       

After breakfast, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Old Delhi.  

Delhi consists of two parts – Old & New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of Muslim India between 17th and 19th century and has many mosques, monuments and forts.  

New Delhi, the imperial city was created by the British as the capital of India.  In 1911, Edwin Lutyens, the most renowned English architect of the day, was chosen to design New Delhi which flaunts a surprising number of impressive monuments related to its conquests by the Mughals, Turks, Persians and ultimately the British.

We visit the Jama Masjid, the royal mosque built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in 1656. It is one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world and is constructed in red sandstone and white marble. The main prayer hall has a seating capacity of more than 20,000 worshippers.

We will enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride and Heritage walk with a historian through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, the spine of Old Delhi.  Jahanara Begum, the daughter of Shah Jahan designed this commercial place in 1648. Drive past Red Fort, built in red sandstone by Shah Jahan in 1648 – this magnificent monument is laid out along the river Yamuna as an irregular octagon. We visit Rajghat, the simple square platform of black marble marks the place where the father of the Nation, Mahatama Gandhi was cremated.

Today’s lunch will be at the Chor Bizzare featuring Indian cuisine.

Our afternoon drive will travel past India Gate, an arch of triumph that bears the names of 85,000 Indian Army soldiers who died in WW I.  

We culminate the tour at Humayun’s Tomb, the first great example of Mughal architecture in India, it was developed to become the hallmark of the Mughal Dynasty -UNESCO site. 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. Humayun’s wife is buried in the red-and-white sandstone, black-and yellow marble tomb.

Our time in India has come to an end and we tonight we will celebrate our Farewell dinner at The Oberoi’s threesixty restaurant.


Wednesday, 13 November: Depart Dehli      

This morning we have an early start to transfer to the International airport for our Singapore flight to Melbourne, via Singapore.


Thursday, 14 November:  Arrive Australia    (in-flight meals)

We arrive in Melbourne in the morning and after clearing customs we will be met and transferred by coach back to Gippsland.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Details

Pushkar is one of the sacred places like Varanasi, for Hindus. The temple town is home to 8th century Brahma Temple dedicated to Lord Brahma – the creator of the universe. Pushkar forms a fascinating location and a befitting backdrop for the annual religious and cattle fair. A quiet, secluded desert town for just a few days it becomes an incredible and authentic extravaganza during the annual Pushkar Fair. Drawing people from all around the globe, it is also quite possibly the largest camel and cattle- trading fair in the world.

YOUR TOUR LEADER

JACQUEY TURNER, your tour escort, has more than 30 years’ experience as a highly successful travel agent and tour guide.  Jacquey’s attention to detail and personal care ensures that everyone travelling in her group will have a most enjoyable holiday experience.

“I thoroughly enjoy escorting tour members to so many wonderful places in the world. The sights, sounds and history all contribute to a fabulous experience but most importantly it is the people that you meet and have the privilege of travelling with that has the most lasting impression. We always have lots of fun and continue to enjoy the memories for many years.”

 

 

 

 

 


TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tour of Bollywood studio in Mumbai; walking tour of Dharavi, Asia's largest slum.
  • Discover why the famous Mumbai Dabbawallahs have curious visitors like Prince Charles & Richard Branson among others.
  • Admire the Maharana’s exclusive collection of crystals in Udaipur.
  • Jeep safari to the Bishnoi villages, India's ecologists and arguably the first of the world.
  • Mingle with locals and enjoy a photo-tour of the colourful Pushkar fair. Individual meeting with an astrologer.
  • Private curated tour of the palace of the Royal family of Jaipur and access to some of the City Palace’s most exquisite secret rooms.
  • Go in search of Royal Bengal tigers & other wildlife on a safari with an expert Naturalist.
  • Marvel at the beauty of Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Blessing ceremony at the sacred Shiva temple in Varanasi and witness a grand Hindu prayer ceremony by the River Ganges.
  • Explore the old quarters of Delhi on a cycle rickshaw & on a Heritage walk with a historian.

INCLUSIONS

  • Maximum group size will be 20 participants
  • Melbourne/Singapore/Mumbai and Delhi/Singapore/Melbourne economy airfares and taxes
  • Internal economy flights: Mumbai/Udaipur, Agra/Varanasi, Varanasi/Delhi
  • Coach transfers between Gippsland and Melbourne Airport
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers
  • Personally escorted throughout the entire tour
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach throughout tour
  • Excellent standard of hotels in great locations
  • Luxury tented accommodation in Pushkar and Ranthambore
  • Comprehensive sightseeing as per itinerary and admission fees where applicable
  • Experienced local driver & guides throughout tour
  • Bottled water/Pepsi/Coke/ hand sanitisers on coach throughout tour
  • Personal headsets for guided tours
  • 52 included meals as per itinerary – 18 Breakfasts (B), 17 Lunches (L), 17 Dinners (D)
  • Porterage (one suitcase per person)
  • ALL tipping of waiters/restaurant staff at included meals throughout the tour
  • ALL tipping of tour directors, drivers and local guides throughout the tour

EXCLUSIONS

  • Travel insurance (a surcharge may apply for passengers over 70 years or if there is a pre-existing medical condition)
  • Expenses of a personal nature like laundry, telephone/fax calls, alcoholic beverages, medical expenses
  • Any meals not included in the itinerary

TRAVEL INSURANCE

While travel insurance is not inclusive in the tour fee, it is mandatory for all our clients travelling on a Gippsland Travel Tour to obtain comprehensive travel insurance to cover you throughout the whole duration of the  tour to cover costs associated with illness, injury, death, loss of or damage to baggage and personal items, cancellations, loss of deposit, medical and hospitalization expenses, repatriation and curtailments expenses due to illness, the need to return home unexpectedly, evacuation expenses, and accidental death or disability. This should be taken out at time of booking.

SPECIAL NOTES

This tour will only operate if the minimum number of 15 passengers is reached.  If the tour does not operate, in this instance, a full refund of the deposit will apply.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Costs

 

$14,299 per person on a twin share

$ 7,227 Single supplement

  • Business class upgrades are available on application.
  • Should you wish to extend your travel arrangements after the tour, please contact me to discuss further options.
  • Should you select to travel on flights other than the included group flights, or upgrade to business/first class, payment for the air fares will be required at the time of booking the flights.
  • The tour will only operate subject to a minimum of 15 participants.  In the unlikely event that minimum numbers are not reached, a full refund of the deposit is applicable.

PAYMENT DETAILS

Initial deposit
on booking
$1000 per person

Second deposit 
due by 28 February 2019
$3000 per person

Balance of payment 
due by 17 July 2019


 

CANCELLATION FEES

Cancellations fees cannot be credited to another booking.  Notice of cancellation must be made in writing to Gippsland Travel Centre. For this tour the following fees apply:

Cancellation date:
16 December 18 to 28 February 19
Cancellation fee:
$1000

Cancellation date: 
1 March to 17 July 2019  
Cancellation fee:
$4000

Cancellation date: 
18 July to 26 October 2019
Cancellation fee:
100% of tour cost 

All costs are based on the exchange rate prevailing as at 5 December 2018 


TERMS & CONDITIONS

LATE BOOKINGS

Higher deposit payments are required for late bookings. A guarantee of full payment is required at the time of booking for all bookings received within 4 weeks of departure.

BOOKINGS SOLD ON A SHARE BASIS

Bookings may be accepted on a share room basis on the proviso that the person requesting the share reservation agrees that while every effort will be made to match suitability of the passengers there is no guarantee that a share room can be provided. If a share room is not available at the time of final payment, either the single room alternative, at an additional cost, or the cancellation conditions detailed in your itinerary will apply.

HEALTH & FITNESS

A minimum level of fitness is required to be able to participate on a Gippsland Travel Tour, you are required to at least:

  • Be able to walk at least 2 hours on uneven surfaces without the use of any walking aid
  • Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
  • Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
  • Carry your own hand luggage / handle your own suitcase when portage is not supplied eg. at airports.
  • Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats.  Assistance will be offered where necessary.

Passengers must inform us of any medical conditions which may affect your ability to participate in the tour.

At our discretion we can exclude you in a tour or in any activity if we consider that you are unable to safely participate in that tour or activity or if we consider your participation may place the safety of other guests at risk.

PASSPORT and VISA

A valid passport is required for all international travel.

If you do not hold an Australian passport, you may require a re-entry permit. 

Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia.

Gippsland Travel will advise you of all passport and visa requirements for this tour. 

UNUSED PORTION OF THIS TOUR

We regret refunds will not be given for any unused portions of this tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation or transfers.

ITINERARY CHANGES:

Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Gippsland Travel make it necessary to change airlines, hotels or amendments to daily activities.  We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.

GENERAL CONDUCT

Gippsland Travel reserves the right to remove a traveller from a tour if they are acting in a way that interferes with the general operation of the tour or compromises the general enjoyment of the tour by other travellers in any way.