M A D T O U R
28 F E B - 11 M A R C H 2018
international yoga festival & holi
28 Feb - 11 Mar 2018 - India
Explore the diversity of Northern India, starting in Rishikesh at the foothills of the himalayas, where we will celebrate Holi - the festival of colours and join the International Yoga Festival. We will then travel down to Agra and the majestic Taj Mahal, followed by the vibrant desert city of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Come along with us and Make A Difference...
the important stuff
DATES: 28th February - 11th March 2018
DURATION: 12 days / 12 nights
START: 28th February, New Delhi, India
FINISH: 11th March, New Delhi, India
ROUTE: New Delhi > Rishikesh > Agra > Jaipur > New Delhi
GROUP SIZE: max 10 people
GUIDES: Radha Melis & Michelle Cassidy
TRANSPORT: by train, taxi and auto rickshaw
COST: AUD $3190 pp/twin share - single supplement unavailable
DEPOSIT: AUD $1500 non-refundable deposit to register you place
WHAT'S INCLUDED: all accommodation, daily yoga with Michelle Cassidy, 12 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinner, airport transfers, train tickets, taxis & auto rickshaws for all scheduled activities, fees & charges for all scheduled sights & activities including a day pass to the Rishikesh International Yoga Festival and donations for all charity organisations visited, 1 western guide and 1 western yoga teacher for duration of tour, local english speaking guides for sights and monuments.
WHAT'S NOT: airfares, indian visa, travel insurance, some meals & bottled water, shopping purchases.
DAY 1: Arrive in New Delhi, transfer to hotel, welcome/orientation dinner. Please ensure you arrive at the hotel by 3pm to settle into your room in time for the orientation dinner and yoga.
DAYS 2: We will travel by train and taxi to our hotel in Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh. In the afternoon we will explore local village area, followed by yoga and dinner.
DAY 3- 5: Over these three days we will discover the local holy village of Rishikesh, participate in "Holi" - the hindu celebration of colour throwing, attend the Rishikesh International Yoga Festival, visit Mother Miracle School for impoverished children and explore the local area, taking in the famed "Beatles Ashram" and a sunrise trek down from Kunja Puri Temple high in the mountains and do lots of yoga. Our exact itinerary for these few days will be dependant on the International Yoga Festival's itinerary, to be released towards the end of 2017.
DAY 6: We will travel by train to Agra, arriving at our homestay accommodation in the afternoon, followed by a delicious traditional dinner with our host family and an optional yoga class.
DAY 7: We will take an early morning stroll to the majestic Taj Mahal and watch as it is bathed in the morning light. We will enjoy a traditional breakfast at our homestay followed by a tour of the great Agra Fort and lunch at the Sheroes Hangout. Our afternoon will be reserved for relaxation, chai and yoga, followed by dinner.
DAY 8: An early morning train will have us arrive in Jaipur in time for lunch at our beautiful heritage style hotel. In the late afternoon we will visit Giltagi ("the monkey temple") and the Surya Devji (Sun God) Temple, from where we will watch the sun set over the city of Jaipur, followed by dinner before returning to our hotel.
DAY 9: After breakfast we will take a guided tour of the ancient Pink City, City Palace, Hawal Mahal and Janta Manta, followed by some shopping at local handicraft stores and lunch. We will then carry on to Ladli - educational training centre for women and children, followed by personal time or yoga and dinner at our hotel while we watch cultural dance performance on the beautiful rooftop.
DAY 10: Today we take in a guided tour of the awe-inspiring Amber Fort, followed by lunch at the Anokhi cafe and time to shop at the Anokhi emporium, where you will find exquisite cotton clothes and manchester printed using the traditional block print method and natural dyes. In the afternoon we will enjoy some fee time and yoga followed by dinner.
DAY 11: We end our tour of Jaipur with a visit to the Elephantastic elephant rescue centre, an afternoon yoga class and dinner and a cultural show at Chokhi Dhani.
DAY 12: We will travel back to Delhi this morning. In the afternoon we will explore some of the streets and sights of Old Delhi, followed by a farewell dinner on the roof top of our stunning traditional haveli Hotel. This is the last night of our tour and guest may leave the following day at leisure.
Our “Golden Triangle - Himalayan Tour’ takes in 4 different culturally rich and diverse states of northern India; Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajastan.
day one to five
Our journey will begin in the hustle and bustle of the New Delhi markets, where beautiful artefacts and merchandise flood in from all over India. From there we will take a train journey to the lush foothills of the Himalayas, staying at a village near the holy city of Rishikesh, where we will settle into our hotel overlooking the Ganga and mountain range. Here, where the great spiritual figures of India’s mystical past once walked, people come from all over the world in search of the meaning of life, making it the modern “Yoga Capital of The world’! As such, each year Rishikesh hosts the renowned International Yoga Festival, drawing teachers, presenters and practitioners from around the globe and we will participate in selected sessions over our three days. While in Rishikesh we will also celebrate the Hindu spiritual festival Holi, also know as "the festival of colours", we will visit the “The Beatles Ashram”, where The Beatles themselves retreated in the late 60s in search of spiritual meaning and where they famously wrote “the white album”. We will watch the sun rise across the mountain peaks high from the high Kunjapuri Temple then hike back down the range to Rishikesh through the lush valley. We will do lots of yoga and most importantly, we will visit the first of our non-for-profit organisations: Mother Miracle - a school for impoverished children, working to break the cycle of poverty. Here, your included donations will collectively be used to sponsor a child’s education for a year. We will also join the students and staff for a full lunch sponsored by us.
day six to seven
We will then make our way from the Himalayan Foothills back down onto the desert plains of Mughal India, to Agra, home of one of the world’s greatest architectural treasures, the majestic Taj Mahal. This awe-inspiring white marble palace, built by the emperor Shah Jahan as an eternal symbol of love for his departed wife, sits alongside another of India’s sacred rivers, the beloved Yamuna. Here we will stay in a beautiful and vibrant bed & breakfast, hosted by a wonderful family. We will share our meals with our host family and relax and do yoga in their well established, tranquil garden. We will then visit the Sheroes Hangout - nestled right in the middle of the hubbub of Agra’s main street is this seriously awesome women’s empowerment project, designed to create awareness of acid attack crimes while providing solidarity, optimism and opportunities for victims. Here we will will get to meet some of the inspirational women behind this project while enjoying a delicious lunch from their “pay as you like” menu, all taken care of by your included donation.
day eight to twelve
Next stop will be the vibrant city of Jaipur, famous for its beautiful handicrafts, textiles, jewellery, gems, trinkets and antiques. After settling in to our beautiful Heritage hotel we will spend the next few days seeking out the cultural treasures of Rajasthan as we explore the historical landmarks, markets and temples scattered across the ‘Pink City’. Visiting the awe inspiring Amber Fort, City Palace and more, we will learn about the majestic history of this fabled capital of the Rajput kings. We will enjoy rooftop yoga and dinning and watch a Rajasthani cultural performance. While in Jaipur we will also visit Ladi, a vocational training centre for women and children. Here we will have the opportunity to meet some of the Ladli community, observe handicrafts being made and go shopping! Your included donation will used to select beautifully handcrafted gifts to take home. In this way you will be directly contributing to the continual development and success of the Ladli project. Then, before returning to Delhi, what better way to finish up than with a visit to the Elephantastic elephant rescue centre, where those up for the challenge will get a chance to bathe, feed and ride an Indian elephant! All while helping to support the ongoing care and rescue of elephants in need. For our last night in Jaipur we will explore the fascinating Chokhi Dhani cultural centre followed by a Rajasthani style dinner served on the traditional - and eco friendly - Indian leaf plate.
We will finish our tour in Delhi, staying at a historical and beautifully restored Haveli hotel in the heart of Old Delhi. We will spend the afternoon wondering the local lane ways and visiting some of Delhi's most historical monuments. We will take our last meal together on the rooftop of our hotel, overlooking the winding narrow alley and busy streets of Delhi while watching a traditional Katak dance performance.
Travelling by train, rickshaw and auto in true Indian style, visiting temples, sacred rivers and shrines, we will get to drink in the sights and sounds of a civilisation already ancient before Egypt existed; the fragrance of spice and incense, the colour, clammer and continuous rituals of a land where no clear distinction exists between the material and spiritual. We will get to sample the local delicacies, stimulating our taste buds with all manner of spices and culinary delights, while getting acquainted with the local mischievous monkeys and complacent cows as they live and wandering harmoniously amongst the people.
Whether you have been to India before or always longed to go, you will discover that Make a Difference Tours are not just different, they actually Make a Difference! Our tours are not about having an experience and taking away, but about having an experience and giving back. So, come with us and see India as it really is, in all its glory and with all its flaws. Come with us on a different kind of tour, come with us and Make a Difference!