The Friendly Planet Newsletter

Published Nov 23, 2021
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"Watching the sunrise paint the Taj Mahal in a gentle glow" puts India on many travelers' bucket lists, but those who don't venture further miss the subcontinent's true allure. A country like no other, dramatic visuals and rainbow colors envelop your senses at every turn: the intense fragrance of spices and flowers; the sparkling of embroidered saris worn by local women; the myriad of rich flavors in a cup of sweet chai. Beyond the cacophony of India's urban epicenters stretch ancient jungles and mountains brimming with exotic wildlife. Our Best of India small group tour not only includes the must-see sites but also provides unique experiences to help you gain a true appreciation for India, its ancient traditions, and the friendly locals who call it home.
High Tea
Dive deep into the authentic Indian culture as you join an Indian family for High Tea, an intimate, social gathering that focuses on good food, great conversation, and, even better, the people. This special treat, arranged exclusively for Friendly Planet travelers, provides an opportunity to meet and interact with locals and learn more about their day-to-day lives.
Safari at Ranthambore National Park
Experience the wilds of Ranthambore, a former maharaja’s' hunting ground turned wild sanctuary of the jungle. Here you’ll find dramatic rocky outcrops which shelter a 10th-century fort, ruined temples and old hunting pavilions, overgrown tombs, and wildlife including crocodiles, pythons, monkeys, sloth bears, and more. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled—it's also one of the best places in India to see elusive tigers!
Ganges River boat ride
Participate in an unforgettable journey on a boat ride along the river Ganges, stopping at the most important of the bathing ghats. From your boat, you will witness the rituals of Hindu pilgrims, which follow centuries' old tradition and belief that those who die in Varanasi or whose mortal remains are immersed in the holy Ganges will be incarnated to human life in the next birth.
Aarti ceremony
Immerse yourself in the chanting mantras, fragrant incense, and glowing lights of a traditional Aarti ceremony. This spiritual and powerful ceremony, known as "the ceremony of lights," celebrates the religious significance and history of Varanasi, replete with tales of plunder and destruction by conquerors and religious zealots.
Best of India
Delhi, Agra & the Taj Mahal, the pink city of Jaipur, two jungle safaris in Ranthambore & Varanasi; optional extension to Nepal
per person, double occupancy, during sale*
* Advertised prices may include an "Instant Savings" discount and/or sale discount, available for a limited time. Prices reflect these discounts. Advertised prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional charge. Advertised prices are the best available based on the least expensive travel dates, departure city, and other options, and do not include optional excursions or other optional items. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, and other options you select during the booking process. For packages including flights, prices include Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee, but do not include excess baggage fees or advance seat reservations. Prices and availability subject to change. More about our prices.

† The Carefree Booking policy is not travel insurance. With our Carefree Booking policy, if you book one of our scheduled departures and decide later not to travel for any reason, you can transfer all payments you've made excluding the cost of any issued flight tickets, towards another available departure date or package, with no change fees or penalties. Alternately, you can choose to receive a future travel credit for all payments made, excluding the cost of any issued flight tickets; or you can choose to receive a refund for that same amount, minus a $99 per person future travel credit. You may use these credits anytime and they do not expire, but some restrictions apply. Travel protection premiums may be credited to your new tour provided: no claim is filed; (no vendor penalties such as Air, sea or rail etc have been incurred); and your new trip departs within 1 year of the cancellation of your original tour. Valid for bookings made on or after March 19, 2020. Offer may not be available on all packages, including private and custom group departures and Biblical Journeys. Changes or cancellations requested after final payment due date are subject to our regular change and cancellation fees & policies. For more information and some additional restrictions, see our terms & conditions.

†† $99 deposit available on select packages. Valid for new bookings only. Changes to your package, departure date, or flights may require an increased deposit. If you select our optional travel protection plan, the premium will be added to your deposit. See additional terms & conditions.

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