17 - 28 March 2019 - India
Explore the diversity of Northern India, starting at the foothills of the himalayas, 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: Monday 18th March - Friday 29th March 2019
DURATION: 12 days / 11 nights
START: 18th March, New Delhi, India
FINISH: 29th March, Jaipur, India
ROUTE: New Delhi > Rishikesh > Agra > Jaipur
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 option unavailable
DEPOSIT: AUD $1500 non-refundable deposit to register you place
WHAT'S INCLUDED: all accommodation, all breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners, airport transfers, train tickets, taxis & auto rickshaws for all scheduled activities, donations for all charity organisations visited, fees & charges for all scheduled sights & activities, 2 western guides 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.
HIGHLIGHTS: Daily yoga & meditation with Michelle Cassidy, Holi festival of colour throwing, Mother Miracle School, Beatles Ashram, Kunjapuri temple sunrise trek, Taj Mahal, Amber Fort, Elephant sanctuary
Our Make A Difference Tour takes in 4 different culturally rich and diverse states of northern India; Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. We will take in the colours and majesty of India, visit some very worthy not-for-profit organisations and practice daily yoga and meditation with Michelle Cassidy (excluding travel days).
day one to five
Our journey will begin in the hustle and bustle of the New Delhi, from here 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’! While in Rishikesh we will 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.
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, 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 get to meet some of the inspirational women behind this project while enjoying a delicious lunch from their “pay as you like” menu. Here, upon your behalf, we will give a generous donation as included in your tour cost. This donation will help to further the movements activism projects.
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. Then, before returning home, what better way to finish our tour than with a visit to the Elephantastic elephant rescue centre, where those up for the challenge will get a chance to bathe, feed and walk with an Indian elephant! All while helping to support the ongoing care and rescue of elephants in need. We will finish our tour here in Jaipur, with a rooftop farewell dinner.
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!