A Taste of India & Pushkar Camel Fair

Delhi, then Pushkar for the world's largest camel fair; plus the pink city of Jaipur, Agra & the Taj Mahal

Overview

This package is currently unavailable.
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 24 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Group Size 24 travelers max
Themes History & CultureFestivals
Activity Level Moderate
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking, and reaches high altitudes requiring that you be in good physical condition to fully enjoy the trip. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops.
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India, one of the world's hottest destinations for savvy travelers, entices all the senses with exotic sights, sounds, colors and fragrances. Temples, tradition and colorful festivals dominate the landscape. This special tour transports you to the famed Pushkar Camel Fair, a spectacle attracting thousands of people and lavishly bedecked camels. Explore the "Golden Triangle" of India—from fascinating and exotic Delhi, to Agra and the Taj Mahal, the world's most famous and lovely monument, to Jaipur, the "pink city," full of lavish mansions and palaces.

At this price, you can't afford to miss the chance to see India for yourself!

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round-trip airfare from New York JFK including fuel surcharges and taxes and fess
  • Intra-India ground transportation
  • 8 nights in superior hotels and luxury tent with private bath
  • 13 meals: 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Comprehensive guided touring program including all entrance fees to places visited
  • Participation in the Pushkar Camel Fair
  • Special opportunity to meet an Indian family and enjoy High Tea together
  • Experienced, English-speaking tour director

Optional add-ons

  • Nepal post-tour optional extension

Why you'll love it

  • Each November, during the Kartik Purnima full moon, thousands gather to participate in camel trading and religious traditions at the Pushkar Camel Fair. Spend two days indulging in the colors, traditions, and culture of this extraordinary carnival!
  • Visit one of the first major Hindu places of worship open to the lower caste Harijans, the Laxmi Narayan Temple, also known as the Birla Temple.
  • Tour Pushkar, a small town full of thousands of people, lavishly decorated camels and bazaars selling their specialty goods during the festival.
  • Walk through the streets and bazaars of the 'Pink City' of Jaipur.
  • Rise early in the morning to see the Taj Mahal and its surrounding gardens.
  • Experience High Tea with an Indian family, a special treat where you engage with locals and gain and insider-look into life in India.

Detailed Itinerary

Notice Notice: The Taj Mahal is currently undergoing renovations. Some scaffolding has been erected on sections of the building and some of its surrounding spires.

Day 1 Depart USA

  • Your exotic journey to India begins today as you depart the USA

Day 2 Arrive Delhi

  • Arrive in Delhi, India's capital. Following customs and immigration formalities, meet our representative and transfer to your hotel.

Shangri-La Eros Hotel or similar

Day 3 Old & New Delhi

  • Full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi
  • Ride by bicycle rickshaw to Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque

Shangri-La Eros Hotel or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Rickshaw driver, old Delhi

After buffet breakfast at the hotel, board your coach to explore Old and New Delhi. Sprawling on the banks of the river Yamuna, bustling Delhi typifies the soul of India, where many layers of civilizations have flourished for more than 3,000 years. Begin at the modern Laxmi Narayan Temple, built in honor of the Hindu goddess of wealth, Laxmi, and of her consort, Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu Trinity. Popularly known as the Birla Temple for the noted industrialist family which built it, Laxmi Naryan Temple was one of the first major Hindu places of worship open to the lower caste Harijans (untouchables).

Continue to Raj Ghat, the memorial to Gandhi, built at the site of his cremation on the banks of the Yamuna River. Drive past the magnificent Red Fort, built in 1648 as a symbol of Mughal's power.

Later, ride by bicycle rickshaw to Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Completed in 1656 after six years of work by 5,000 laborers, the red sandstone and marble mosque is considered one of the loveliest houses of worship in the world.

Next, you'll marvel at the Qutab Minar, the world's tallest free standing minaret at 72.5 m (238 ft), and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you'll also find the Iron Pillar, a curiosity thought to date from 5th century A.D., which has never rusted.

Sightseeing continues in New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. Drive past the India Gate, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The 42 meter high structure is a war memorial for the Indian soldiers who died in World War I and the Afghan Wars. Burning in a shrine under the arch is the Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of the immortal warrior), which marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Proceed to the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence.

Day 4 Delhi, Ajmer & Pushkar

  • Early this morning, transfer to the railway station to board the Shatabi train to Ajmer in Rajasthan
  • Upon arrival transfer to the luxury campsite in Pushkar, in time for a welcome reception
  • In the afternoon, enjoy a tour of the bustling town of Pushkar
  • Return to the camp, and enjoy an afternoon at leisure

AWX Luxury Camp or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Pushkar

Early this morning, transfer to the New Delhi Railway station to board the Shatabi train to Ajmer in Rajasthan. From there, a motor coach will take you to the luxury campsite in Pushkar, arriving in time for a welcome reception.

Each November during the Kartik Purnima full moon, The Pushkar Fair is a spectacle of color, tradition and theater. Spend two days experiencing this extraordinary carnival of camel trading and religious tradition. Marvel at lavishly bedecked camels and myriad bazaars selling everything from saddles to silver to adorn both humans and camels.

In the afternoon, enjoy a tour of the bustling town of Pushkar, a small, provincial town that swells to 200,000 people during the Pushkar Fair. Uniquely located on the edge of a desert but surrounded on three sides by verdant forest.

Return to the camp, and have an afternoon at leisure to enjoy the Pushkar celebrations. All meals are provided at the camp, and all food served is strictly vegetarian.

*Note celebrations in Pushkar during the Camel Fair can occur throughout the night. Light sleepers may want to consider bringing a pair of earplugs.

Day 5 Pushkar

  • Enjoy a full day to immerse yourself in the Pushkar Camel Fair
  • Visit the famous Brahma Temple and Pushkar Lake

AWX Luxury Camp or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Pushkar Camel Fair

After a traditional breakfast, visit the famous Brahma Temple, the only one in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma, creator of the universe and all beings, according to Hindu teaching. Climb the marble steps up the high platform and enter the marvelously ornate interior of carved marble, silver doors, and colorful peacocks, the vehicle of Lord Brahma’s consort Saraswati.

Visit to the holy Pushkar Lake, surrounded by more than 500 Hindu temples and 52 bathing ghats, where pilgrims throng. Hindu tradition holds that a dip in this lake, on Kartika Purnima, the New Moon Festival when the Pushkar Fair is typically held, cleanses the bather of sins and can even cure illness.

After lunch at the camp, visit the colorful and bustling bazaar. Numerous makeshift stalls sell adornment for both cattle and humans, from saddles to silver beads and ornate garments. After dinner, enjoy the Pushkar festivities.

Day 6 Pushkar & Jaipur

  • After breakfast, travel to Jaipur and check into your hotel
  • The balance of the day is at your leisure to rest or explore

ITC Rajputana or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Spice merchant, Jaipur

After breakfast, we’ll travel through the most colorful region of India, Rajasthan, a land endowed with invincible forts, magnificent palaces, waves of sand dunes and serene lakes. Arrive in the “pink city” of Jaipur and check into your hotel.

Jaipur is India's first and perhaps best-planned city, full of beauty and color, serene lakes and wide tree-lined streets. Surrounded by rugged hills topped with forts, magnificent palaces and gardens dot the countryside, all witness to royal processions and splendor in days gone by. Except for the busy traffic of bicycles, cars and buses, little seems to have changed since 1727, when Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II designed and built the city. The balance of the day is at your leisure to rest or explore. We recommend a stroll through the streets and bazaars, taking in the aromas of spices and displays of women's dresses and men’s turbans. Buy spices or barter for one of the beautiful, hand-woven wool carpets for which Jaipur is known. Jaipur is famous for silver jewelry, semi-precious stones, bangles and handicrafts. Ladies can have their hands painted with henna from roadside mehndiwala (henna painters).

Day 7 Jaipur

  • The morning's tour takes you to the imposing Amber Fort, ancient capital of Rajasthan
  • En-route to the Amber Fort, stop briefly to see the Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Winds"
  • In the afternoon, tour the city of Jaipur, including the City Palace

ITC Rajputana or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Amber Fort, Jaipur

After breakfast, the morning's tour takes you to the imposing Amber Fort, ancient capital of Rajasthan. Begun in the 17th century by Maharaja Mansingh, Emperor Akbar's most successful general, the fort is perched atop the Aravalli hills overlooking the Moat Lake. The fort's fortified battlements and crenellated walls spread over many acres.

Ascend to the fortress by jeep to view the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls, many of them hung with magnificent paintings and inlaid with precious stones. In the Sheesh Mahal—Hall of Mirrors—a single lamp reflects in a mosaic of thousands of mirror tiles, lighting the entire room.

En-route to the Amber Fort, take a brief photo stop and see the Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Winds." Its beehive-like structure is an interplay of red and pink sand stone, painstakingly outlined with white borders and motifs. Behind this elaborate latticed facade, the cloistered ladies of the court could watch the daily goings-on in the street below.

In the afternoon, tour the city of Jaipur, including the City Palace, an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens, courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways, View the rare manuscripts, armory, and miniature paintings at the palace museum.

Walk to the adjacent Jantar Mantar, the largest of five observatories founded by classical astronomer Sawai Jai Singh II nearly three centuries ago. Fourteen massive and extraordinarily precise masonry instruments were used for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars' location, and ascertaining the declinations of planets.

*Kindly note that you will see elephant rides offered around the Amber Fort. However, Friendly Planet Travel has made the compassionate decision to not include elephant rides in our itineraries, as they process to train these brilliant animals is not up to our ethical standards as it is painful and involves "breaking" so they don't pose a risk of attacking humans. In addition, elephant backbones are delicate and not meant to carry the weight of saddles and people. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Day 8 Jaipur, Abhaneri Village & Agra

  • Visit Abhaneri Village and see the Chand Baori stepwell
  • Learn the art of tying colorful turbans and odhanis/chunnis (long scarf that a woman wears around her head or shoulders)
  • Continue to ancient Agra, once the capital of a sprawling Mughal kingdom
  • Check into your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure

ITC Mughal or similar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary

After breakfast, depart for Abhaneri Village, a popular stop along the Agra-Jaipur road for the impressive Chand Baori stepwell and the Harshat Mata Temple. The Chand Baori is perhaps the region’s most visited stepwell and is one of the largest and deepest in all of India. These stepwells were created to harvest rain water and also provided the locals a place to cool off during the hottest summer months as the temperature is a few degrees cooler at the bottom of the well than at its surface. After some exploration, continue to a local restaurant for an included lunch. Afterwards, learn the art of tying colorful turbans and odhanis/chunnis, and receive insights regarding their importance.

We’ll continue to ancient Agra, once the capital of a sprawling Mughal kingdom covering much of Southeast Asia. Check-in at your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 9 Agra

  • Rise early for a morning tour of the Taj Mahal
  • After breakfast, visit the splendid Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • In the afternoon, you may visit the local marble and leather markets
  • This evening, enjoy High Tea, a special treat arranged exclusively for Friendly Planet

ITC Mughal or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Taj Mahal

Rise early for a breathtaking morning tour of the Taj Mahal, one of the true wonders of the world. Built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj took 22 years and 20,000 men to build. The white marble was quarried 200 miles away and transported to the site by a fleet of 1,000 elephants. Though the Taj is known for its stunning symmetry and balance, it is the close-up marble inlay work that is truly astounding. You'll have ample time to explore this outstanding piece of architecture, and to wander the pristine gardens that surround it. *Departure from the hotel may be as early as 5:30am. Visit time may change depending on weather conditions.

Afterwards, return to the hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast, visit the splendid Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by and inhabited by six successive generations of Mughal emperors—Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. Though often eclipsed by the Taj Mahal, this sprawling fortress, or more accurately a massive walled palatial city, is magnificent in its own right. It was here that Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb, and from the Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony, Jahan watched the continuing construction of his Taj Mahal until his death.

In the afternoon, you may visit the local marble and leather markets such as the Petra Dura Workshop, world renowned for its marble inlay tradition.

This evening, you are a guest for High Tea. This special treat, arranged exclusively for Friendly Planet travelers, provides an opportunity to meet and interact with an Indian family and get an insider’s glimpse into life in India.

Day 10 Agra & Depart Delhi

  • After breakfast, return to Delhi via motor-coach
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner, then board your return flight home
  • Your memorable journey ends tomorrow when you arrive in the USA

Breakfast & dinner

Nepal Extension

Take advantage of your already included airfare and add an optional extension to mysterious Nepal. The Nepal Extension includes 1 night in Delhi, round trip flights from Delhi to Kathmandu, 3 nights in Kathmandu with a full touring program, transfers, buffet breakfast daily and a farewell dinner and performance. Passengers taking the Nepal Extension will return to the U.S. 5 days later than the return dates shown.

Note: Due to the earthquake in April 2015, some of Nepal's stupas and other sites are under ongoing renovations.

Day 10 Agra & Delhi

  • After breakfast, return to Delhi via motor-coach
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner, then check in to your hotel

Novotel New Delhi Aerocity or similar Breakfast & dinner

Day 11 Delhi & Kathmandu, Nepal

  • Transfer to the airport to take a short flight to Kathmandu, Nepal
  • You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel
  • Welcome drink will be served on arrival at your hotel
  • Later, visit Boudhanath, one of the world’s largest stupas

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Kathmandu at sunset

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. Having cleared immigration, collect your luggage and pass through customs. Upon exiting the terminal you will be met and transferred to your hotel and a welcome drink will be served upon arrival. After check-in, take a walk with your guide to Boudhanath which is possibly the world's largest Buddhist stupa. Around the stupa a number of monasteries have sprung up including one that houses an enormous seated statue of Maitreya Buddha splendidly adorned.

Day 12 Kathmandu, Patan City & Swoyambhunath

  • Optional morning flight over Mt. Everest
  • After breakfast, travel to Patan City south of Kathmandu
  • In the afternoon, visit the National Museum and Swoyambhunath, the ‘monkey temple’

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Swoyambhunath

This morning you will have an opportunity to experience an optional early morning scenic flight over Mt. Everest and the breathtaking Himalayas. After breakfast, visit Patan City located just south of Kathmandu in the Kathmandu Valley. The official name of the city is Lalitpur, meaning city of fine art. Walk from Kumaripati through the narrow streets, curios shops and bazaars. On the way, visit the Golden Temple and then go to Patan Durbar Square where you will see the sky piercing temple of Taleju.

In the afternoon, drive to Swoyambhunath. En route, make a stop at the National Museum to see a splendid collection of weapons and artifacts from ancient, medieval and modern Nepal. Continue to Swoyambhunath, also known as the "Monkey Temple" which is said to be over 2,000 years old and one of the world's most fabulous Buddhist temples. Situated on top of a high hill where legendary Manjushri discovered the lotus growing in the ancient Kathmandu Valley Lake, Swoyambhunath commands a superb view of the valley below.

Optional Excursion: Mt. Everest Flyover (purchased locally), +$205
Mt. Everest

Early this morning you will have an opportunity to experience an optional Mt. Everest scenic flight over the breathtaking Himalayas, weather permitting. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.

Day 13 Kathmandu & Bhaktapur

  • Enjoy a morning visit to Bhaktapur Durbar Square
  • This afternoon visit Kathmandu Durbar Square at the heart of the old city
  • In the evening, enjoy a Nepalese farewell dinner and performance

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Saddhus, Kathmandu Durbar Square

In the morning, drive to Bhaktapur Durbar Square, located in the center of Bhaktapur. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the valley and is home to some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. Here you’ll see the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate, Nyatapola Temple and statues of the kings of Nepal.

In the afternoon, drive back to Kathmandu and visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, located in the heart of the old city. Visit Kumari temple, Taleju temple, Shiv Parvati temple, and Kal Bhairav. On a walk through a local bazaar, you will discover the true heart of Kathmandu in the sights, sounds and smells. This evening, join your fellow travelers for Nepalese farewell dinner and dance performance.

Day 14 Kathmandu & Depart Delhi

  • Enjoy the morning at leisure in Kathmandu to shop and explore independently
  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi
  • Bid farewell to India & Nepal as you board your overnight return flight to the USA
  • Your memorable journey ends tomorrow when you arrive in the USA

Breakfast

Hotels

Shangri-La Eros Hotel

Shangri-La Eros Hotel
Deluxe

The deluxe Shangri-La Eros Hotel is centrally located amid landscaped gardens in New Delhi's historic government district. It is an elegant oasis nestled within the heart of bustling metropolis. Travelers around the world are offered a relaxing place to rest and recharge and a convenient base from which they can explore this fascinating city.

More information

AWX Luxury Camp

More information

ITC Rajputana

ITC Rajputana
Deluxe

ITC Rajputana is located less than a mile from the center of Jaipur. The regal-influenced design and gardens echo Jaipur’s history.

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ITC Mughal

ITC Mughal
Deluxe

Sprawled over 35 acres of lush gardens, the ITC Mughal is in close proximity to the Taj Mahal. This 5-star hotel is a fitting tribute to the great Mughal builders of the past.

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Novotel New Delhi Aerocity

Novotel New Delhi Aerocity
Deluxe

The Novotel New Delhi Aerocity is a five star rated hotel that is ideally located at Aerocity, just minutes away from the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and the Delhi Aerocity Metro Station. The Novotel New Delhi Aerocity provides guests in transit with an excellent option for a comfortable overnight stay with first class amenities.

More information

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Deluxe

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu is set on 37 acres, just a short ride from the center of Kathmandu. Its lavish regional architecture is a feast for the senses, with vibrant colors, serene walkways and luscious cuisine.

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In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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