• The Best Exotic India
  • The Best Exotic India
  • The Best Exotic India

“Can there be anywhere else in the world that is such an assault on the senses? Those who know the country of old just go about their business. But nothing can prepare the uninitiated for this riot of noise and colour. For the heat, the motion; the perpetual teeming crowds.” Evelyn (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)

We’ve put together a special itinerary to whet your appetite for travel in this fascinating part of the world. Join us to discover the colour, sounds and flavour of the Best Exotic India and stay at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel! We start in Delhi, the capital of India, where the hustle and bustle of modern India contrasts with the old world of Mughal temples, forts and gardens. Then we travel to Agra where no visit to India is complete without a sunrise visit to the world’s grandest monument to love – the Taj Mahal. Journey through Rajasthan, the Land of Great Kingdoms, to explore the palaces of the Maharajas in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur and of course, spend three nights at the Most Exotic Marigold Hotel in Khempur. We finish in Delhi.

For travellers, India is more than a country filled with travel marvels; it is a marvel.

Overview

We start in Mumbai, the city of contrasts, where the hustle and bustle of modern India contrasts with the teeming masses of the shadow city which is Mumbai’s slums. Then fly to Rajasthan, the Land of Great Kingdoms to visit the palaces of the Maharajas in Udaipur and Jaipur. Spend two nights at the Most Exotic Marigold Hotel in Khempur, take a cooking class in Jodhpur, and of course, no visit to India is complete without a sunrise visit to the world’s grandest monument to love; the Taj Mahal. We finish in Delhi for a day of sightseeing with shopping before heading home.

India mesmerises, astounds and bewilders. It shocks and delights; soothes and excites. India is a land of extreme contrasts… poverty alongside wealth; vibrant one moment, tranquil the next; the ancient and the modern.

For travellers, India is more than a country filled with travel marvels; it is a marvel.

 Your Tour Leaders:

sharon-thrupp-best-exotic-indiaSHARON THRUPP has lived and worked in Dharamsala, India for the past 13 years. Sharon is passionate about India and the Himalaya region and has trekked and travelled extensively. She is also involved in an Indian NGO which provides education and mentoring to underprivileged and marginalised school girls through the Indian Himalayan region.

She considers Australia as her home by birth but India as her home by heart.  In her spare time, she does yoga and meditation on her roof top with the Himalayas as a backdrop and wanders the back roads of her home near Dharamsala with her dog Billy.


VIKAS KUMAR
is our local Tour Manager who comes from Naddi – a small, picturesque village above Dharamsala in the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh. He is passionate about the area and the Himalaya. Since leaving school he worked as a porter then as a trekking guide from Dharamsala to Ladakh, in the remote Himalayas. Vikas completed his tertiary education part-time whilst working as a guide; since then he has taken groups throughout India and Nepal. Vikas’ gentle nature, passion for history and the culture of India, combined with his local networks, makes him the perfect guide to ensure the safety and well-being of his tour groups.

 

Costs & dates


TRIP DURATION 15 days from Delhi

COST^ & DATES
  • 13 October–27 October 2017
  • 20 February – 6 March 2018*
  • Land only from Mumbai $3740
  • Single supplement $1120
  • Contact us for the BEST FLIGHT DEALS to India

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
  • Wonders of Delhi
  • Colorful bazaars in Jaipur
  • Jodhpur – The Blue City
  • Celebrate Diwali at Khempur
  •  Magnificent Taj Mahal
  • Visit to Amber Fort
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Udaipur – Venice of the East

*  The 2018  adventure offers the same itinerary and attractions as the 2017 trip except, instead of celebrating the Diwali festival in Jaipur, we immerse ourselves in the colourful Holi festivities in Khempur.
Cost from Delhi includes:  
  • Pickup and drop off at Delhi Airport
  • 14 nights’ accommodation – twin share
  • Complimentary breakfast at the hotels
  • Flight from Udaipur to Delhi
  • Private taxi for all transfers and sightseeing and points
  • Private vehicle tour of Rajasthan
  • Sultanate Walking Tour of Delhi
  • Desert walk in Khempur
  • Boat Ride in Udaipur
  • 5 Dinners included – Welcome buffet dinner on Delhi; 2017 Diwali dinner – Jaipur; (2018 Holi dinner – Khempur); 2 Dinners Khempur
    and Farewell dinner
  • All charges related to transport such as toll, parking, fuel etc.
  • Entrance fee to all the monuments mentioned in the plan
  • Services of local English Tour Guide throughout tour and local guides x 4.
 Not included: 
  • Airfares and visas to India – please contact Back Track Adventures for best available airfares
  • Optional extras as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenditure such as drinks, laundry service and souvenirs
  • Meals except breakfasts where stipulated
  • Cooking class at Jodhpur
  • T ipping expenses
  • Compulsory insurance of any kind
  • Camera and video entry charges local sightseeing

^Though we are not expecting any price increases from our suppliers, airline prices and/or taxes could increase. These increases will be added to our quoted holiday costs.

 

 

Itinerary overview

Day 1 Arrive DELHI Transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 We explore DELHI with an introduction to the city including the bustling bazaars. Welcome dinner. BD
Day 3 We sightsee around DELHI – India Gate, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk and Raj Ghat. B
Day 4 Morning drive to AGRA, arriving with plenty of free
time to explore Agra including the Agra Fort.
B
Day 5 Sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal. Return to your hotel for breakfast and then travel by car to JAIPUR. Afternoon to explore Jaipur. BD
Day 6 JAIPUR: visit the magnificent Amber Fort. This evening we celebrate Diwali in the city for a special Diwali dinner. BD
Day 7 After breakfast travel to JODHPUR, arriving in the early afternoon (5 hours). Afternoon at leisure. B
Day 8 JODHPUR. A visit to the Mehrangarh Fort with sweeping view of the city. Late afternoon free or optional cooking class. B
Day 9 KHEMPUR. Your next destination is the Ravla Khempur Hotel or The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – famous for where the movie of the same name was shot on location. Free afternoon: check in and spend the late afternoon strolling through this small village and sampling some of local life.  Overnight Khempur. B
Day 10 A walk through the KHEMPUR desert and villages to our lunch spot beside a lake. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon of leisure. BL
Day 11 KHEMPUR. Free day to wander around the local village and relax at the hotel. B
Day 12 Short drive to UDAIPUR. Arrive for lunch and transfer by rickshaw to your hotel. Enjoy an orientation walk, then free afternoon and evening. B
Day 13 UDAIPUR: City Palace and boat ride on Lake Pichola. Afternoon visit to Bagore-ki-Haveli. Late afternoon free. Dinner at the Udaigarh Hotel. BD
Day 14 Transfer to the airport for your flight to DELHI. Rest of the day free. Farewell dinner. BD
Day 15 We bid our group farewell. B
Meals included as indicated: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – 13 Oct 17

You will be met by Back Track representative at the International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Delhi. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Delhi.

Day 2 – 14 Oct 17

We start our Delhi experience with Sultanate Delhi Tour – an introduction to the city, Quatab Minar and surrounds. Here we unearth layers of history and see and learn about architectural features of different time periods all in one place. Visit a country home of a British Viceroy and Mughal emperor and a Sufi Shrine in Mehrauli Village. We then take a stroll through the Archeological Park and enjoy a dazzling spectacle of multi-coloured birds and butterflies.

Rest of the day at one of the bustling bazaars of Delhi. Tonight, you will be our guest for our Welcome Dinner at a local Delhi Restaurant. Overnight Delhi

Day 3 – 15 Oct 17

Today we take a sightseeing visit around Delhi. Sights to be seen are India Gate, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk and Raj Ghat (the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi) and Rajpath. Overnight Delhi.

This vibrant city, the capital of the world’s second most populated country, has a long and colourful of history and enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a cultural hub.

Day 4 – 16 Oct 17 Agra

Morning drive to Agra, arriving with plenty of free time to explore Agra including the Agra Fort.

The Taj Mahal, is the worlds’ most grand monument to love, built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz. However, not all love stories have happy endings, Shah Jahan was imprisoned in Agra Fort by his son and where he spent his final years. Overnight Agra

Day 5 – 17 Oct 17 Agra/Jaipur

Sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal. Return to your hotel for breakfast and then travel by car to Jaipur, the Pink City and the capital of Rajasthan. Afternoon to explore Jaipur.

Day 6 – 18 Oct 17 Jaipur

Visit the magnificent Amber Fort. This evening we celebrate Diwali in the city for a special Diwali dinner.

 Day 7 – 19 Oct 17 Jodhpur

After breakfast travel to Jodhpur, arriving in the early afternoon (5 hours) and settling into your hotel.  Jodhpur is known as the “Blue City” owing to the many blue houses with the backdrop of the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest in India. Why not head to Sadar Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in India, for handicrafts and antiques. The diversity of what’s on offer is impressive. Overnight Jodhpur

Day 8 – 20 Oct 17 Jodhpur

Start the day off right with a delicious omelette and a famous Makhani lassi, one of many Indian delicacies that originated in Jodhpur before heading to the Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest in India, to take in the sweeping view of the city.

You can either have the late afternoon free or there’s an option to attend a cooking class at a local family’s house. You’ll cook with, and later sample, traditional Indian spices (taste the difference). Overnight Jodhpur.

Day 9 – 21 Oct 17 Khempur

Your next destination is Khempur and the Ravla Khempur Hotel or The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – famous for where the movie of the same name was shot on location. Free afternoon: check in and spend the late afternoon strolling through this small village and sampling some of local life.  Overnight Khempur.

Day 10 – 22 Oct 17 Khempur

Today we take a walk through the desert and villages to our lunch spot beside a lake in the middle of the desert. You will be fascinated by the villagers contented and laid back lifestyle, their mud houses and the communal way of living. After lunch, either stroll or ride a jeep back to the hotel.

Overnight Khempur

Day 11 – 23 Oct 17 Khempur

Free day to wander around the local village and relax at the hotel. Take the time to contemplate where Judi Dench and Maggie Smith might have enjoyed their ‘post lunch’ chai. Or simply take advantage of the time to indulge and have a massage. Overnight Khempur.

Day 12 – 24 Oct 17 Udaipur

After breakfast we will take a short drive to Udaipur. Arrive there in time for lunch and transfer by rickshaw along the narrow lanes to your hotel.

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is one of India’s most picturesque cities. Palaces surround the city, the most famous being The Lake Palace, which covers an entire island and was featured in the James Bond film ‘Octopussy‘. The city was founded in 1559 and was the capital of the Mewar Kingdom. There’s no doubt you’ll enjoy this picturesque city.

You be taken on an orientation walk of this beautiful city so you can get your bearings. The rest of the day and evening will be yours to relax and explore the city. Overnight Udaipur

Day 13 – 25 Oct 17 Udaipur

We visit the City Palace and enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola. Afternoon visit to Bagore-ki-Haveli. Late afternoon at leisure. Dinner at the Udaigarh Hotel which overlooks Lake Pichola and the City Palace.

Day 14 – 26 Oct 17

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. On arrival at Delhi transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is yours to pick up that bargain to take home, visit or revisit any of the sites that you are interested in. Our final night is our final farewell dinner. Overnight Delhi

Day 15 – 27 Oct 17

This morning our trip will sadly come to an end as a group before we bid our farewells.

 

Short stay add-ons

Amristar Short Stay – 3 days, 2 nights

Amritsar is home to Sikhism’s holiest temple, the stunning, Golden Temple.

DAY 1: Your train leaves New Delhi Station* at approximately 7am and will take you on a journey from the urban sprawl of Delhi through to the fertile plains of Haryana and the Punjab. Your Shatabdi Express train arrives at Amritsar Station early afternoon where you will be met by your local guide. Transfer to your Guest House for a short rest before your guide and taxi will collect you at 4pm and take you to the Wagah border to witness the ‘Closing of the Border’. This ceremony takes place every evening and involves a display of pomp and ceremony by the India and Pakistan border guards. Rest of the evening at leisure or take an evening stroll around the Golden Temple. Overnight Amritsar.

DAY 2: Amritsar sightseeing. Early morning walk to the Golden Temple to stroll around the temple area and visit the inside of the temple to listen to the priests chanting from the Holy Book. Visit the Jallianwala Bagh, the place of the British massacre in 1919. It is a peaceful garden today that you can stroll around and enjoy. This is followed by a visit to the Katra Jaimal Singh Bazaar, famous for its textiles and saris. Take an evening stroll around the Golden Temple once again to enjoy the night time magic. Overnight Amritsar.

DAY 3: Depart Amritsar by flight late morning. Tour arrangements end on arrival in Delhi.

*Back Track can arrange for you to be assisted with carriage location at New Delhi Station.


COST & DATES^ Select your preferred date

  • $610 per person twin share (min 2 people)
  • $120 per person single supplement (min 2 people)

INCLUSIONS Transfer from Amritsar Train Station/Airport; Executive Class train ticket to Amritsar, return flight from Amritsar; 2 nights’ accommodation and breakfasts; Car and driver for the return trip to the Wagah border/Golden Temple; English speaking guide for 2 days (including pickup at airport).

NOT INCLUDED Lunches and Dinners; Personal expenditure such as drinks, laundry service and souvenirs; Tipping expenses; Compulsory insurance of any kind; Camera and video entry charges at local sights

 

Varanasi Short Stay – 4 days, 3 Nights

DAY 1: Arrive Varanasi early afternoon. Transfer from the airport to your Guest House which is situated on Assi Ghat. Take a stroll around the area to soak up the atmosphere of the Ganges River and the glorious Varanasi. Overnight Varanasi.

DAY 2: Full day sightseeing in Varanasi. You will rise early morning, getting ready to experience one of the most memorable moments of your life, as you will be taken for a boat ride on the Ganges. It is at the Ganga Ghats of Varanasi where you get to see both life and death together. Walk along the ghats, where you will get a glimpse of the sacred life at the Ganga. Following this you will visit Godaulia, the old city and ancient riverside temples such as the Durga temple, Vishwanath temple, Sankat Mochan temple, Tulsi Manas temple and the Bharat Mata temple. During the evening you will visit the main ghat to watch the daily puja (offerings) made to the Ganges. Overnight Varanasi.

DAY 3: Your driver and car will collect you after breakfast and take you to Sarnath where you will visit Dhamekh Stupa, the ancient Buddhist ruins, Chaukhandi Stupa and Mulganda Kuti Vihar, followed by a visit to the Deer Park and Archaeological Museum. Rest of the afternoon at leisure. Overnight Varanasi.

DAY 4: Depart Varanasi. Transfer to airport for your flight to Delhi. Arrangement ends at Delhi Airport.


COST & DATES^ Select your preferred date

  • $1025 per person twin share (min 2 people)
  • $325 per person single supplement (min 2 people)

INCLUSIONS Return airfares Delhi – Varanasi – Delhi; transfers to from Airport to the hotel; 3 nights’ accommodation; 3 breakfasts; Car and driver to Sarnath and return; Sunrise boat ride on the Ganges; English speaking guide for 3 days (including pickup at airport)

NOT INCLUDED Lunch and dinner; Personal expenditure such as drinks, laundry service and souvenirs; Tipping; Camera and Video entry charges local sights; Compulsory insurance of any kind

^Though we are not expecting any price increases from our suppliers, airline prices and/or taxes could increase. These increases will be added to our quoted holiday costs.

 

Wellness breaks

AYURVEDA BREAKS, SOUTH INDIA

Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient system of health care that is native to the Indian subcontinent and is a complete way of life. It is not only about treating sickness – it is based on preventing disease and enhancing health, longevity and vitality. Ayurveda aims to achieve harmony and balance without drugs or invasive treatments. Diet, meditation, gentle exercise such as yoga, herbal medicines and physical therapies (such as massage) are
the main methods used. Kerala in south India is the home of Ayurveda. Choose from one of the centres for your relaxation or detox.

Tour route: Kerala / Tour highlights: Ayurveda Treatments

NIKKI’S NEST AYURVEDA CLINIC

This is is a middle-size property located at the end of the very large Chowara Beach. It is 20 kilometres from the International airport at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. Nikki’s Nest is an award winning centre and has the privacy of a secluded crescent-shaped beach. The experience is truly sublime. It has comfortable villas which are scattered in a gentle slope facing the sea. As an alternative, it is possible to combine your stay with their other property, DUKE’S FOREST LODGE, 40 kilometres away, in a rubber plantation at the foot of the mountains. Chefs, therapists, doctors, and staff use their skills to provide heartfelt care. Visit: http://nikkisnest.com/ayurveda.php

Includes:

Standard A/c room Consultations with doctor
Breakfast, lunch and dinner Herbal juice and herbal tea
Ayurveda treatment Yoga classes
Vegetarian diet

 

KADAPPURAM BEACH RESORT

KADAPPURAM BEACH RESORT is tucked away at Nattika Beach in the north of the state. You get to stay in simple, clean, traditional ecofriendly
cottages with attached bathroom. You will be served organic food from their garden and treated in the classical Ayurveda way. The Ayurveda Centre is surrounded by palm trees and a lovely creek runs through the property. As a bonus, you get to watch the sunset over the Malabar Coast.
Visit: http://www.kadappurambeachresorts.com/

Includes:

Standard A/c room Ayurveda treatments
Three meals a day A yoga session

Alternatively, a range of packages are available including a seven night rejuvenation package. This is fully inclusive of accommodation, food, doctor’s consultation, treatments, and yoga.

 

THE KAIRALIAYURVEDI HEALTH RESORT

The KAIRALI AYURVEDIC HEALTH RESORT luxury complex is located near Palakkad in north Kerala and is a landscaped property of twenty hectares. Accommodation is in individual cottages with expansive lawns, a swimming pool and surrounded by palm trees. Only organic
vegetarian food is served, and no alcohol. Guests are also encouraged to participate in early morning meditation and yoga sessions. Packages
are available for numerous health concerns ranging from diabetes to detox and rejuvenation.

Standard A/c bungalow One doctor consultation
Breakfast, lunch and dinner Herbal juice and herbal tea
1 x Ayurveda herbal oil massage per person Yoga

DATES: Select your preferred date (except July and August). Choose between 3, 7, 14 or 21 days
COSTS:  Please contact us for pricing based on your preferences
*All prices are subject to change based on exchange rate fluctuations.

 

Festivals

HEMIS FESTIVAL & LADAKH

The spectacular mountain geography of this remote Indian province is a stronghold of Tibetan Buddhism. Monasteries adorned with the iconic blue,
red, and yellow prayer flags dot the steep mountain slopes, and crystal clear rivers flow from glaciers, cascading into the mighty Indus river.
Join us on this journey into the mountains of Ladakh as we explore the Hemis Festival, dedicated to Lord Padmasambhava, or Guru Rinpoche, an
8th century Buddhist master.

This festival of dance and theater is enacted with elaborate masks, costumes, and adornment. The glorious finale, in a cacophony of instruments, chants, and sounds, ends in unveiling of the monasteries giant Thankga (Tibetan Buddhist painting). A moment of pure magic. India’s northernmost province, Ladakh, is spread over a mountainous terrain at an average altitude of 3500m above sea level. A part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, it was opened to tourists in the mid-70s and since then, thousands of people from around the world have thronged to this bastion of Himalayan Buddhism.

DATE 2 – 7 July 2017
COSTS  $1120 Single supplement $355
*All prices are subject to change based on exchange rate fluctuations.
TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
-Hemis Festival -The Ancient City & Monasteries of Leh
-Ancient wonders of Lamayuru & Alchi -Lunar landscapes of Ladakh

 

PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR

Travel India’s famed Golden Triangle and participate in the colourful festivities of the Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan. The Pushkar Camel Fair brings together 50,000 camels and 200,000 people on the dunes surrounding the city. Camel races, beauty pageants, Rajasthani folk dancing,
mustache competitions, and crafts are the backdrop to your wanderings in this Hindu holy city. When you want a break from the festival head to Pushkar Lake where thousands of devotees are completing pilgrimages to the Brahma temple, the only one in India. Our Golden Triangle and Pushkar Camel Fair brings together some of the most culturally significant sites in India for a spectacular experience. For those eager to explore North India’s diverse heritage and culture, this adventure is for you.

 

DATE 21 – 29 October 2017
COSTS  $1230 Single supplement $595
*All prices are subject to change based on exchange rate fluctuations.
TRIP HIGHLIGHTS
Wonders of Delhi Ajmer – Sufi Saint Moinuddin Christi
Pushkar Camel Fair Visits to Amber Forts
Magnificent Taj Mahal

 

 

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