Essence of India
Begin your visit to India in Mumbai, the financial and entertainment capital of India. Then visit two iconic cities in Rajasthan-Udaipur and Jaipur; Agra, the city of the Taj and capital of the Mughal empire; Panna, a wildlife reserve; Varanasi, one of the most sacred cities for Hindus, and Delhi, the political capital of India. This is a well-balanced introduction to India and its many delights-the golden triangle, a walk in the wilderness, an introduction to spirituality and a glimpse of the beauties of the desert, all in a fortnight.

  • Code: Bespoke
  • Duration: 14 Nights
  • Destinations: Mumbai (2), Udaipur (2), Jaipur (2), Agra (2) Panna (2), Varanasi (2) Delhi (2)
  • Theme: A perfect blend!!
  • Experience Highlights:
    1. Visit several UNESCO world heritage sites—Elephanta; Humayun’s Tomb; the Khajuraho temples; the Taj Mahal.
    2. Enjoy rickshaw rides through the narrow lanes of Varanasi and Delhi’s Chandni Chowk.
    3. Visit several temples, a mosque and a Gurdwara.
    4. Enjoy meeting like-minded people at a Gay Home dinner.
    5. Enjoy a musical theatre performance in Agra.
    6. Visit the palaces and forts in Rajasthan.
    7. Enjoy a boat cruise in Udaipur.
    8. Relaxing massages by Gay Massage therapists.
    9. Enjoy a hot air balloon ride over Jaipur and an elephant ride to Amber Fort.
    10. Go on an elephant and jeep safari in Panna National Park.
    11. Take boat rides on the Ganges in the morning and evening, to observe the devout at prayer and to view the Ganga Aarti.
  • Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…
Day 1: Arrive Mumbai, India 
Arrive at Mumbai International Airport.

Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, is the commercial capital of India. Mumbai is a lively city, its people constantly on the move. It is home to millions of people from the country and the world, who come here as tourists, workers, students, businesspersons or actors. It has been heavily influenced by the liberalization of the economy.

Upon clearing Customs and Immigration, a representative from pinkEscapes will meet, greet and welcome you, with a welcome pack and the necessary documents for the journey. The representative will also assist you with checking into the hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

 
 
Day 2: Mumbai 
After breakfast, go sightseeing in Mumbai with your guide. Visit the Gateway of India, located on the waterfront in the Apollo Bunder area of South Mumbai, which was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay, prior to the Delhi Durbar, in December 1911. Later, take a short ferry ride to the island of Elephanta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its rock-cut caves which display remarkable craftsmanship by artists of the late 5th to the late 8th century. Explore the island’s world renowned temples, which are carved directly out of the basalt rock and filled with ornamental statues, pillars and friezes dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Enjoy lunch at a city café / restaurant to experience the pulsating street life of Mumbai.

Continue your tour with the Dhobi Ghat, the largest open-air laundry in the world, where sheets and garments from Mumbai's hotels, hospitals and other establishments are hand-washed. Visit Mani Bhavan, where Mahatma Gandhi often stayed on his visits to Mumbai and initiated the Non-Cooperation Movement, maintained as a memorial since 1955. Drive to the Fort area to view colonial architecture.

This evening, a smart Gay Host joins you and takes you for dinner at an Indian restaurant.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 3: Mumbai - Udaipur 
Enjoy an hour-long, relaxing in-room massage by a pleasant Gay massage therapist to rejuvenate you.

After breakfast, enjoy a leisurely morning. Later this afternoon, fly to Udaipur (enjoy a snack lunch on board) and check in to your hotel. After settling in, take in the magnificent views of the City from the hotel’s many balconies or stroll its interior courtyards.

Udaipur is a city of manmade lakes and palaces located in the Aravali range. Founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559 and fondly referred to as Rajasthan’s most romantic city, its rich history is matched by its picturesque setting.

Udaipur combines real beauty with a picturesque setting and associations with a great and glorious past. It stands in a valley, amidst green hills, on the banks of the wide, steel-blue Lake Pichola. Marble palaces rise from little islands in the lake. The Maharana’s palace crowns the ridge on which the city clusters. Udaipur is replete with fantastic hill top fortresses, exotic fairy tale palaces and gripping legends of medieval chivalry and heroism. Udaipur rivals any of the world's famous creations of the Mughals with the Rajput love of the whimsical and its superbly crafted elegance.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 4: Udaipur 
Visit City Palace, which is a conglomeration of buildings added by to various Maharanas; despite this, the palace manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design. The entrance is through Hathii Pol along the main street of the old city, past the Jagdish Temple. The paintings, mosaics, intricately carved chhatris and the architecturally brilliant facade all contribute to make a visit to the City Palace a truly memorable experience. Also visit the Crystal Gallery, located in the City Palace—it contains a rare collection of Osler's crystal ordered from England by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1877. Take a stroll through Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honor), following an afternoon at leisure.

In the evening enjoy a private cruise to Jag Mandir, a palace of splendidly carved marble on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola.

Meals :: B D
 
 
Day 5: Udaipur - Jaipur 
After breakfast, travel overland to Jaipur, known as the ‘Pink City’ for the abundance of pink plastered stone used to build its massive forts, magnificent palaces and exquisite temples. Arrive at your hotel, check in and spend leisure time.

Jaipur was named after Maharaja Jai Singh II, a warrior, astronomer and politician who served as a general and administrator under the Mughals from 1699 to 1743. Modern Jaipur is pink, to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII).

Later this afternoon, a romantic hot air balloon ride provides you with a breathtaking aerial view of the Pink City that would leave you spellbound. Spend some time shopping. Early this evening drive to the foothills of the Aravali Range. A local Rajput family, living in the area, organizes elephant, horse and camel safaris in the jungle, using their beautiful home and camp as base. You get an opportunity to interact with the local farmers in the village, so that you get to know the real India. Enjoy dinner around the bonfire savoring the most authentic Rajasthani delicacies in a personalized environment while the elaborate bar serves the most exotic cocktails in a rustic yet luxurious atmosphere.

Meals :: B D
 
 
Day 6: Jaipur 
Start off on an elephant ride to Amber Fort after an early breakfast at the hotel. Also visit Artchill, a gallery that displays Indian art. Return to Jaipur to visit the astronomical observatory built by the founder of the city, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and also view the royal treasures at the Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art. After lunch, continue sightseeing in the old city. Visit Hawa Mahal, where the ladies of the royal harem used to observe the goings-on in the city from behind the intricately carved facade. Stop at the Birla temple, dedicated to lord Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi, which features exquisite marble carvings. The tour ends at the Nahargarh Fort, where you enjoy sunset over a cup of tea.

Enjoy the services of a pleasant Gay massage therapist for an hour-long relaxing massage, either in your room or in the hotel spa.

Enjoy the rest of the evening and dinner at the hotel.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 7: Jaipur - Agra 
After breakfast, proceed by road to Agra. En route, visit Fatehpur Sikri which was the capital of India's Mughal Empire under Akbar's reign from 1571 till 1585 and regarded as the crowning glory of his architectural legacy.

Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel and spend some time at leisure.

Agra is known as the city of the Taj Mahal. But this royal Mughal city has, in addition to the legendary Taj, many monuments that epitomize the high point of Mughal architecture.

Visit the Taj Mahal in the early evening and stay till sunset, to observe how the last rays of the sun light up its opaque white dome. Drive to the west gate of the monument in a horse driven carriage.

Meals :: B D
 
 
Day 8: Agra 
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before you visit Mehtab Bagh, a garden located north of the Taj Mahal complex, and Agra Fort, which was originally built by Akbar and added to by his successors. Spend the afternoon at leisure and then visit Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s tomb, which is considered another precursor to the Taj and displays exquisite craftsmanship in stone, in the early evening. Enjoy the Saga of the Taj (a musical play) before returning to the hotel for dinner.

Meals :: B D
 
 
Day 9: Agra – Jhansi - Panna National Park 
You can choose to have an early breakfast in the hotel or on the Shatabdi express train, which you will board for Jhansi and then continue by car to visit Orchha, an amazing medieval fortress-city located on the bank of the Betwa River, with your guide. After lunching at a resort in Orchha, drive to the remote Panna National Park, checking in to your wilderness lodge.

Panna National Park is located in the Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh with an area of 542.67 km2. After several efforts to curb poaching and revive the tiger population, it is estimated that five tigers and around 10 cubs of up to 2 years are settled in Panna Tiger Reserve at present and their progress is regularly monitored by the Forest Department. This augurs well for the national park and the future of tigers in the region. Spend the evening exploring your resort.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 10: Panna – Khajuraho - Panna 
Early this morning, enjoy an elephant safari in the park. The elephant ride takes you deep in the jungles, enabling you to spot various local flora and fauna. Return to the hotel for breakfast and spend the day at leisure.

Head overland to Khajuraho to view the splendid 10th century Chandela temples, known for their erotic sculptures. Here, life in all its aspects — joy, love, divinity, war — is depicted in exquisite detail on every inch of the 85 sandstone Hindu and Jain temples. After lunch return to Panna for an evening at leisure. You may choose to relax at the lodge or take a dip in the swimming pool overlooking a tranquil stream or just let the wilderness sink in.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 11: Khajuraho - Varanasi 
Take an early morning game drive on a four-wheel-drive vehicle over rocky terrain and through lush teak forests, perhaps spotting crocodiles along the Ken River or even the elusive Bengal tiger.

After breakfast, fly to Varanasi (enjoy a snack lunch on board), a city of more than a thousand Hindu and Buddhist temples and shrines, sacred to Hindus and Buddhists alike.

At dusk, make headway on rickshaw with your guide through the narrow streets of the city to arrive at the banks of the sacred Ganges River to witness the Aarti ceremony. Take in the sounds of chanted prayers and rhythmic drumming as you watch the Hindu priests — holding earthen lamps to keep the darkness at bay — bid the gods and goddesses a restful slumber. The music of the cymbals and the light of the oil lamps will leave you entranced. Return to the hotel for dinner after an uplifting experience.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 12: Varanasi 
This morning after breakfast, continue to tour Banaras Hindu University; the 18th-century Durga Temple; and Bharat Mata Temple, dedicated by Mahatma Gandhi to Mother India.

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon and lunch at the hotel.

Later in the afternoon, explore nearby Sarnath, a park where Gautama Buddha is said to have given his first sermon 25 centuries ago. Explore the monasteries and other Buddhist attractions before returning to the hotel.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 13: Varanasi - Delhi 
In the early morning, go for a boat cruise on the river Ganges, and observe the life of the city. Observe how those bathing in the river offer prayers to the rising sun. Visit the two cremation ghats, Manikarnika and Harishchandra, where funeral pyres burn day and night. Pious Hindus believe that dying in Kashi and being cremated on the banks of the Ganges will free them from the cycle of birth and death.

In the afternoon, fly to Delhi (enjoy a snack lunch on board), India’s capital. On arrival at the hotel a pleasant Gay massage therapist joins you for a relaxing in room massage (Up to one hour) to rejuvenate you.

This evening, visit a Gay Home as a dinner guest - this is an opportunity for you to meet like-minded people and hopefully make lasting friendships. After a memorable evening, retire to the comfort of your hotel.

Meals :: B L D
 
 
Day 14: Delhi 
After breakfast, go sightseeing in Old and New Delhi. Begin with Birla Mandir, a modern and colorful Hindu temple. Then visit Shajahanabad, the 17th-century city built by the fifth Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan. Admire the famous and opulent Red Fort, as you drive past; visit Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque; and take a short rickshaw ride through the colorful bazaars of Chandni Chowk. Stop at Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, was cremated. Enjoy lunch at one of the oldest restaurants in Delhi, which features interesting interiors and delectable cuisine.

A tour of New Delhi includes a drive down the spectacular Rajpath, a photo stop at the India Gate, and glimpses of Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament House. Visit the breathtaking Humayun's Tomb, considered a model for the Taj Mahal. Go on an early evening visit to Qila Rai Pithora, the first city of Delhi, which includes the Qutab Minar, the tallest minaret (72.5 meters) in India, built as part of a 12th century mosque. Proceed for a heritage walk in Hauz Khas Village and its surrounding boulevards.

Meals :: B L
 
 
Day 15: Depart Delhi 
Spend the morning at leisure and enjoy breakfast at the hotel. This afternoon check out from the hotel, joined by your Guide for light sightseeing - visit Akshardham, the largest Hindu temple in the world; walk in the Lodhi Gardens; tour Bangla Sahib, the Sikh temple or spend time at modern day malls to soak in the city life.

In the evening, we take you to an authentic Indian restaurant for a farewell dinner before seeing you off to the airport in time for your flight back home.

Meals :: B D
 
 
Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…
Day City Luxury Deluxe Superior
1MumbaiTaj Mahal PalaceTrident Fariyas Hotel
2MumbaiTaj Mahal PalaceTrident Fariyas Hotel
3UdaipurLake PalaceTridentRamada
4UdaipurLake PalaceTridentRamada
5JaipurRambagh PalaceTridentRamada
6JaipurRambagh PalaceTridentRamada
7AgraOberoi AmarvilasRadisson BluRadisson Blu
8AgraOberoi AmarvilasRadisson BluRadisson Blu
9PannaPashan GarhKen River LodgeKen River Lodge
10PannaPashan GarhKen River LodgeKen River Lodge
11VaranasiNadesar Palace / The GatewayRadisson HotelSuryauday Haveli
12VaranasiNadesar Palace / The GatewayRadisson HotelSuryauday Haveli
13DelhiTaj Mahal Palace HotelRadisson BluTaj Vivanta
14DelhiTaj Mahal Palace HotelRadisson BluTaj Vivanta
15DelhiRadisson Blu (Wash & Change)Radisson Blu (Wash & Change)
Where the hotels are same, enjoy an upgraded room category or a Suite
Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…
:: Paradisiacal Kashmir

Enjoy the pristine beauty of this city with its lakes, mountains and several gardens. Take day excursions to enjoy adventure activities, enjoying skiing can add to enthusiasts’ Kashmir experience. It is said that if there is any heaven then it is in Kashmir.

Duration: 3 Nights

Destinations: Srinagar

Theme: Nature, Adventure & Wellness

:: Mystic Bhutan

View the gorgeous Himalayan vistas and revered temples in this country that was once hidden from the outside world, visiting Paro and Thimphu.

Duration: 4 Nights

Destinations: 1 Night Thimpu, 2 Nights Paro, 1 Night Delhi

Theme: Heritage

:: Scenic Nepal

The Kathmandu Valley is comprised of amazing medieval cities and a diverse culture. Enjoy a short flight to Mount Everest, an experience to remember (weather permitting). Continue to Chitwan National Park for a trek on elephant-back. Follow that with a game drive in search of the elusive Bengal tiger, the Asian one-horned rhino, gaur, sloth bear and leopard.

Duration: 4 Nights

Destinations: 2 Nights Kathmandu, 1 Night Chitwan, 1 Night Delhi

Theme: Heritage, Adventure & Wildlife

:: Paradisiacal Kashmir

Enjoy the pristine beauty of this city with its lakes, mountains and several gardens. Take day excursions to enjoy adventure activities, enjoying skiing can add to enthusiasts’ Kashmir experience. It is said that if there is any heaven then it is in Kashmir.

Duration: 3 Nights

Destinations: Srinagar

Theme: Nature, Adventure & Wellness

:: Mystic Bhutan

View the gorgeous Himalayan vistas and revered temples in this country that was once hidden from the outside world, visiting Paro and Thimphu.

Duration: 4 Nights

Destinations: 1 Night Thimpu, 2 Nights Paro, 1 Night Delhi

Theme: Heritage

:: Scenic Nepal

The Kathmandu Valley is comprised of amazing medieval cities and a diverse culture. Enjoy a short flight to Mount Everest, an experience to remember (weather permitting). Continue to Chitwan National Park for a trek on elephant-back. Follow that with a game drive in search of the elusive Bengal tiger, the Asian one-horned rhino, gaur, sloth bear and leopard.

Duration: 4 Nights

Destinations: 2 Nights Kathmandu, 1 Night Chitwan, 1 Night Delhi

Theme: Heritage, Adventure & Wildlife

Contact us for reservations & more details. All Experiences can be tailor-made to suit your interests and travel preferences…
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