Meaningful India

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5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: Array Full on
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
12 days
From: $ 2,395 $ 200 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • 11 night’s hotel accommodation
  • A guided tour of Old Delhi visiting iconic streets like Chandni Chowk, historical sites and colorful bazaars
  • Hop on to a cycle rickshaw and ride through the rugged-rustic lanes of Old Delhi
  • Visit the Taj Mahal in its full glory along with Agra Fort
  • A visit to Mukti Ashram, India’s first center caring for rescued child laborers providing housing, education and life skills
  • Tour of Barefoot College that works towards elevating and improving the lives of the rural community
  • A peek in to the lives of the Bisnois (world’s first environmentalists), who are known for their conservation and preservation of the environment among many others
  • Soak in the old town of Udaipur and admire the artists painting the famous miniatures depicting the Mughal glory on a walking tour
  • Visit to Sadhna, an NGO established in 1988 to provide alternative incomes for women in Udaipur’s rural, tribal and urban centers
  • Learn the Indian art tradition of Rangoli in which patterns are created on the floor or the ground using materials such as colored rice, dry flour,sand or flower petals.
  • Explore the pink city of Jaipur in the colorful state of Rajasthan
  • Participate in cooking demo followed by dinner with a renowned Indian family
  • Experience 4×4 exhilaration first hand as you power and navigate your way – observe various species of birds and some antelope like black buck in their natural habitat
  • Services of local English-speaking guides
  • Daily breakfast

Short Description

Sky Vacations is proud to introduce its flagship program ‘Meaningful India’, the first in a series of culturally immersive experiences.  The program combines traditional sightseeing highlights such as the Taj Mahal, colorful bazaars of Old Delhi and Hawa Mahal in Jaipur with special moments that bring travelers up close and personal to aspects of Indian life and culture. Ideal for many types of travelers including families, the essence of ‘Meaningful India’ gently leads one to self-discovery while traveling, offering new insights in to the local culture at a grassroots level.

Style Private guided tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Delhi
End City Delhi

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Delhi

Upon arrival at Delhi airport, you will be met by your Sky Vacations ambassador who will assist with with your transfer to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore, unwind and rejuvenate.

Day 2: Delhi

This morning after breakfast proceed for a guided tour of Old Delhi. Hop on to a cycle rickshaw and ride through the rugged-rustic lanes of Old Delhi. The tours take you through some iconic streets like Chandni Chowk and other important landmarks of Old Delhi including mansions and colourful bazaars. During the tour you will be savouring some hot Jalebi’s a traditional Indian sweet and Samosa at a nearly 200-year-old sweet shop. Drive past the Red Fort made of Red sandstone built by Emperor Shahjahan. Drive around Lutyens Delhi which was also designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Drive past India Gate which was built to commemorate the undivided British Indian Army who died in World War I (1914-21). A stone’s throw away from India Gate lies the Rashtrapati Bhavan or Presidential Palace built between 1919 to 1925.

Post Lunch visit Mukti Ashram Founded in 1991 by Nobel Peace Laureate Mr. Kailash Satyarthi and managed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Mukti Ashram was formed as the first centre in India for rescued child laborers. It is a transit center where children stay for a short period of time till their repatriation. The transit rehabilitation center provides a holistic support for rebuilding lives of these children. The ashram receives custody of rescued child laborers on the order of Child Welfare Committee (CWC). In addition to care and protection, the centre also caters to medical, psychological, recreational, social and learning needs of Children.

Day 3: Delhi/Agra

After breakfast its time to head to the medieval city of Agra located on the banks of the Yamuna River, founded by Sultan Sikandar Lodi in 1506. During the Mughal reign, began the golden age in Agra. It remained the capital of the Mughal Empire under Emperor Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Check in and have lunch.

Following lunch proceed to visit the Agra Fort. The Fort was built by Akbar in 1565 and further developed by successive generations. This well-preserved fortress built of red-sandstone is a UNESCO site and dominates a bend of the river Yamuna- with a magnificent view of the Taj. The interior boasts of many grand buildings which include the Royal Pavilions, the Diwan-e-Am (hall of public audience) and Diwan-e-khas (hall of private audience) usually reserved for other kings and dignitaries.

At sunset visit the Taj Mahal (closed on Friday) – Situated on the banks of the River Yamuna, a monument of love built by the Mughal Emperor Shāh Jahān in memory of his beloved wife, Arjumand Bano Begum, also known as Mumtāz Mahal. It took 22 years to build. The white marble came from Makrana in Rajasthan and the red sandstone from Fatehpur Sikri. Precious stones like jade, crystal, turquoise, lapis lazuli, sapphire, jade, coral and diamonds were brought from far-flung places in Tibet, China, Sri Lanka, Persia and Afghanistan. It is believed that a fleet of 1000 elephants was used to transport the material. Post the tour return to the hotel. Stay overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Agra/Fatehpur Sikri/Abhaneri/Jaipur

Post breakfast check out and proceed to Jaipur. Enroute, stop at Fatehpur Sikri – the Ghost Capital of the Mughal Emperor Akbar.  The fortress is a UNESCO world heritage site and built entirely of red sandstone, except the tomb of the Saint Salim Chisti, which in stunning contrast, is made of pristine white marble. 

Post lunch continue to Jaipur , stop at Abhaneri village and visit Chand Baori the oldest surviving step well in Rajasthan and the most photogenic step well in India. It was built by the King named Chanda or Chandra of the Nikhumbha dynasty and therefore named after the King. The time of the stepwell is 8-9th CE making it 1200-1300 years old. Yes, it is older than Taj Mahal. The city back in the days was called Abha Nagri. When you stand next to this 13 story deep step well with 35,000 symmetric triangular steps leading to the water at the bottom, you cannot but be mesmerized.  After the visit continue to Jaipur.

Day 5: Jaipur

After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing tour of Jaipur, Stop for a photo visit of the honeycomb designed Hawa Mahal also known as the “Palace of Winds”. Built in 1799, by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, this is one of the major landmarks of Jaipur. It is an integral part of the City Palace, an extension of the Zenana (women’s chambers) from where the royal ladies, who lived in seclusion, observed life on the outside without showing themselves.

Continue your tour and visit the Amber Fort – where you ascend the hill “Maharaja-style” on Elephant back. The Fort is known for its exquisite mirrored halls and lofty ramparts and is a superb example of Rajput architecture. It is strategically located on a hilltop overlooking the lake. This magnificent fort has recently been wonderfully restored bringing back some of its past glory. During return, Continue and enjoy a photo-stop at Jal Mahal Palace.

Post lunch proceed for shopping. At around 5 pm proceed to Dera Mandawa where we shall arrange for Rangoli  an art form, originating in the Indian subcontinent, in which patterns are created on the floor or the ground using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals. It is usually made during Diwali, Onam, Pongal and other Hindu festivals in the Indian subcontinent. Designs are passed from one generation to the next, keeping both the art form and the tradition alive.

Later participate in cooking demo followed by dinner with a respected Indian family.After dinner return to the hotel. Stay overnight at the hotel.

Day 6: Jaipur/Rohet

This morning after breakfast at your hotel, its time to head to Rohetgarh, enroute visit Tilonia, a small village in the desert regions of Rajasthan, India, is home of the Barefoot College. Since 1972, the College has worked to improve the lives of the rural poor by addressing basic needs for water, electricity, housing, health, education and income. Tilonia helps these rural artisans to market their products in India and around the world. With new markets for their crafts, their livelihood is improved and the traditional crafts are continued. Nearly 400 artisans earn supplemental income through sewing, needlework, embroidery, tie-dying, block printing and weaving. Designs and production methods draw on Indian craft traditions that are centuries old – but create modern opportunities for these rural women and men.

Proceed to Rohet and remainder of the day is at leisure. 

Day 7: Rohet

After breakfast, it’s time to explore an unknown side of India by taking a rural day drive seeing the unspoilt, simple, and pure rural countryside in its full glory. You traverse barren landscapes and witness colourful communities with varied wildlife and avian life. You experience the simplicity and purity of the Indian village life that inexplicably will make you question the complexity of your own. This unique and authentic rural experience is complete with the opportunity to interact with different people from different communities first hand, visit their dwellings, understand their lives, sample rural cuisine and witness other aspects of their day.

Start off-roading and begin with a thrilling dry riverbed drive. The dry riverbed drive is a unique signature experience of Overlander India. Experience 4×4 exhilaration first hand as you power and navigate your way through the cracked crevasses and uneven challenges of a dry riverbed. Various species of birds and some antelope like black buck can be observed as part of the natural habitat.  Visit to the Dhani of a family from the Bishnoi community, agricultural communities live in family hamlets of hutments in the midst of their lands. A visit to such communities including the Bishnois, who are known for their conservation and preservation of the environment, provides you with the rare inside into the lives of the world’s first environmentalists and the founders of the “Chipku” movement. Visit an elementary village school to see what the government does for children, we organize a stop at a rural elementary school. Here, a small rural school greet you with a cheerful “good morning” and a prayer as your host explains everything about educating village children. Visit to the Dhani of a family from the Pittal community. See a rural kitchen in action with bread making and sampling. Inspite of being a desert void of fresh produce, the Thar is known for its delicacies, flavours and spices. You get the privilege of seeing a functioning rural kitchen and sample freshly made local breads. Your lunch comprises of vegetables grown in an organic garden, but made in a “smoked” wood village stove. Learn how to craft and Indian “chapatti” with your hands and enjoy lunch in the pure village air. After a truly unforgettable experience you return to your hotel by sundown with memories of a rural visit completely off the beaten path unlike anything else you will experience during your visit to India. Stay overnight at your hotel.

Day 8: Rohet/Ranakpur Udaipur

This morning post breakfast check out from hotel and drive to Udaipur. Enroute visit Ranakpur, renowned for some marvellously carved Jain temples in marble, created in the 15th century AD during the reign of Rana Kumbha. Later we continue our drive to Udaipur. Arrive Udaipur and check in hotel. Udaipur is a city built around shimmering, clear blue-water lakes that reflect the green of the surrounding Aravalli hills. The famous Lake Palace, that seem to emerge from the peaceful Lake Pichola, whisper memories of tradition and glory.  The city of Udaipur is gathered around three lakes – Pichola, Fateh Sagar and Udai Sagar. Stay overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Udaipur

This day proceed for tour of Udaipur visiting City Palace, built in 1725, is actually a conglomerate of eleven palaces overlooking the sprawling Lake Pichola. Next visit The Crystal Gallery, one the most lustrous attractions for tourist showcasing the rare and precious crystal from the royal treasure. The gallery is nearly 129 years old (at the time of writing) with the magnificent collection of Oslers Crystals. These precious crystals were ordered by Maharana Sajjan Singh from the famous manufacturers F and C Osler Company, Birmingham, England around 1877 A.D. These treasured crystals are kept in the charismatic City Palace Complex.

Afternoon proceed for a walking tour of the old town where you can walk around and see the artists painting the famous miniatures depicting the glory of the Mughals.

Later in the evening you enjoy boat ride on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat you can see the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. During the boat ride you also visit Jag Mandir Palace. An unforgettable sight on Lake Pichola is the island of Jag Mandir. Maharana Karan Singhji built the palace in 1622 A.D, as a pleasure palace for royal parties and functions. This magnificent monument with its domes, marble pillars and fountains has a special approach of a row of marble elephants that seem to be guarding the island. . Post the ride return to the hotel.

Day 10: Udaipur

This morning we drive 30 mins to visit Sadhana. The three hour tour includes the Delwara Heritage and Community Walk and a visit to the Sadhna facility for a guided stitching and block printing workshop.

Sadhna was established in 1988 to provide alternative incomes for women in Udaipur’s rural, tribal and urban slum belts. As these communities were not dependent on agriculture, handicraft was chosen to be introduced to them. Sadhna taught Patchwork, Appliqué and Tanka embroidery skills to the women for them to earn a secure living. Today, Sadhna provides continuous training to women artisans to improve their skills, a support network to them in their villages and a respectable position in their family and society. Drive back, rest of the evening at leisure. Stay overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: Udaipur/Delhi

This morning it’s time for some fun in the old town with a short tuk tuk ride. Later you will be transferred to the airport to board flight to Delhi. On arrival at Delhi airport you will be met upon and transferred the hotel. Stay overnight at the hotel.

Day 12: Depart Delhi 

It’s time to say goodbye to India. Transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,395
Price Per Day: $ 200 per day

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7 Sky Vacations Travel Reviews & Ratings

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Meaningful India

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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Intimate Group - 12 max

Accommodations

4 Star Properties with the option to upgrade to 5 Star Properties

Trip ID#:

MeaIndSky

What's excluded

  • International airfare
  • Meals not included in itinerary and items of personal nature

Meals Included

11 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches & 2 Dinners

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