Trip to India
Sun, March 15, 2020 @ 12:00PM To Fri, March 27, 2020 @ 09:00AM
Dulles Internation Airport (IAD)
1 Saarinen Cir,
$400 - $5125
Mar. 16, MON: ARRIVE MUMBAI
Arrive in Mumbai, a cluster of seven islands derives its name from Mumba devi, the patron goddess of Koli fisher folk, the oldest habitants. Mee ting assistance and transfer to Hotel. Rest of the day is free.
Evening welcome dinner at roof top restaurant at Hotel near airport.
Mar. 17, TUE: MUMBAI – CITY TOUR – BL
Breakfast at Hotel. This morning embark on city tour of Mumbai visiting the British built Gateway of India, Bombay’s landmark constructed in 1927 to commemorate Emperor George V’s visit, the first State, ever to see India by a reigning monarch. Followed by a drive through the city to see the unique architecture, Mumbai University, Victoria Terminus, Marine Drive, Chowpatty Beach. Next stop at Hanging Gardens (now known as Sir K.P. Mehta Gardens), where the old English art of topiary is practiced. Continue to the Dhobi Ghat, an open-air laundry where washmen physically clean and iron hundreds of items of clothing, delivering them the next day. Next, visit Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (known as Victoria Terminus). Be sure to ask your guide about Mumbai’s unique Dabbawalla’s (lunch distribution system). Next, visit Mani Bhawan, a memorial dedicated to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. He used to stay at this house from time to time between 1917 and 1934. The building now contains a pictorial gallery, a 20,000-volume research library, a film and recording archive and a set of diorama on the Mahatma’s life.
Afternoon free to take optional tours- extra cost applies
- Embark on a walking tour of the ‘native’ bazaar areas of Bhuleshwar. You’ll be fascinated by the vibrant street markets, the colorful people, the multi-cultural mix of mosques, temples and derasars, the different cuisines, and the sheer throbbing energy of the place. The tour covers Crawford Market, Jama Masjid (meet India’s oldest Muslim community, who came here in the 6th Century), Mirchi Galli (spices market), Mangaldas Cloth Market, Zaveri Bazaar (where everyone’s crazy about gold), Phool Galli (Flower Street), Mumbadevi Temple (where the city gets its name from), and the quaint Madhav Baug. You’ll also get an inside look at the Jain community, visit a Panjra Pole (animal shelter) – and you’ll finally figure out what this ‘sacred cow’ thing is all about!
- Many people know Dharavi as the ‘largest slum in Asia’, but there is so much more to this historic area of Mumbai than poverty. Dharavi’s industries have an annual turnover of approximately US$ 665 million. Experience a wide range of these activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadom-making and many more. Most of these things are created in innovative ways and in very small spaces! When passing through the residential spaces, you will undoubtedly feel the sense of community spirit that exists in the area. People from all over India live in Dharavi, and this diversity is apparent in the temples, mosques and churches that stand side by side. A tour through Dharavi’s narrow alleys is quite an adventure, and you will leave with an enlightened sense of the purpose and determination that exists in the area.
- NIGHT TOUR of Mumbai city. Mumbai is a different city by night. As the oppressive heat of the day evaporates and gives way to cool evening breezes, teenagers, lovers, families and the elderly head out to enjoy the weather. Public sea faces like Marine Drive are crowded with Mumbaikars enjoying the rose-colored sunset. As some people head home to sleep, others carry out religious duties or work in the markets, factories or call centers. Traveling primarily by car, you will witness the calm of Banganga Tank and a Jain Temple, the chaos of CST station, and the eerie beauty and sadness of Mumbai’s famous red light district. Tour also includes a 30 minute horse carriage ride (belonging to erstwhile era of royalty), subject to availability and operations. OBEROI TRIDENT
Mar. 18, WED: MUMBAI – ELEPHANTA CAVES- BL
Breakfast at the hotel. Travel by boat to Elephanta Island, site of the magnificent Elephanta caves, containing beautiful carvings, sculpture and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Elephanta Island, a commercial, military and religious centre for centuries, has traces of early Buddhist culture. These caves are believed to date back to the Silhara kings belonging to the period between the 9th-12th centuries. Lunch at local Restaurant or buffet lunch at Hotel.
The afternoon is free to explore the city on own. HOTEL.OBEROI TRIDENT
Mar.19, THU: MUMBAI / VARANASI- BD
After Breakfast transfer to airport and fly to Varanasi. one of the oldest living cities in the world. Meeting assistance and transfer to Hotel. Later tour Sarnath, a place where Buddha preached his first lessons on Nirvana. Later visit the museum with its fine collection of Buddhist artifacts.
This evening witness and photograph the special evening prayer ceremony at banks of Ganges, photograph the river & the temples by sunset. Dinner at the Hotel. HOTEL TAJ GATEWAY
Mar. 20, FRI: VARANASI / JAIPUR- BD
Early morning boat ride on the holy river Ganges to see the devout praying and bathing on the Ghats (Banks), with funeral pyres burning in the distance. Walk through the narrow lanes of old city to
observe the daily life and also to visit the Golden Temple. Return back to Hotel to freshen up & breakfast. Transfer to airport for flight to Jaipur, owing its name, foundations and careful planning to the great warrior, astronomer, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Upon arrival check in at the Hotel. HOTEL RAJ PALACE
Evening Walking Tour– Jaipur offers a dazzling immersion into the riches of traditional India. Since its foundation in 1727, royal family and nobles of Jaipur had been patronizing various craftsmen and artisans in Pink City. Many of these traditions continue to this day, making the modern-day Jaipur a favorable destination to witness India’s rich Arts & Crafts. Traditional methods are still used to produce valuable and highly prized items. On this fascinating evening walking tour mingle and talk with locals whilst sampling some of the regions culinary delights (optional) try Samosa, Kachori, Kulfi and Lassi. Sample sweets from some of the city’s most popular Mithaiwala’s (Indian sweet makers). Observe local artisans like Silversmiths, Bangle makers at work. Meet a local family and experience Indian hospitality. It’s a great way to explore Jaipur like locals do and learn about rich art traditions of this fascinating city.
Dinner at local restaurant with Rajasthani music and dances.
Mar. 21, SAT: JAIPUR- Amber fort & City tour – BL
Breakfast at the Hotel. visit the ancient capital of Amber, ascending the Palace Fortress on the back of a gaily caparisoned elephant. Tour the intricate chambers and hallways of the palace. En route to Amber, photograph the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) built in 1799 AD. Lunch at Maharaja Haveli. Afternoon tour the City Palace, once the formal residence of the royal family, built in a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Visit the many palace museums depicting personal collections of royal family. Continue to Jantar Mantar, the largest of Jai Singh’s remarkable observatories. Its complex instruments, whose setting and shapes are scientifically designed, represent the high points of medieval Indian astronomy. HOTEL RAJ PALACE
Mar. 22, SUN: JAIPUR / ABHANERI /FATEHPUR SIKRI / AGRA – BL
After breakfast, you will travel overland to Agra. Stop enroute at Abhaneri, an ancient village in Rajasthan, famous for its post Gupta or early medieval monuments, intricately carved sculptures and temples. The Harshat Mata temple reflects the fine 8th century example of architectural excellence. Visit the water tank or step wells an ancient way of storing rain water. The tank’s staircase is a stunning design that a coin once dropped is impossible to retrieve.
Stop for lunch at Bharatpur. Next stop at Fatehpur Sikri, a deserted capital city, built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned 15 years later due to severe water shortage. Within the city, you will tour the Diwan-I-Aam or Hall of Public Audiences. Diwan-I-Khaas or the Hall of Private Audience is a two storied building. Panch Mahal or Five Story Palace is a five storied building and the architecture is Persian in style like a Buddhist monastery. Palace of Jodha Bai is named after Jehangir’s wife Jodha Bai. This palace is a fine blend of Hindu columns and Muslim Cupolas. Palace of the Winds where the walls are entirely made of stone lattice work. Birbal Palace, Miriam’s House. Ankh Michauli is where the emperor played hide and seek with the ladies of the harem and was probably used for storing records. Sheikh Salim Chisti Dargah is the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, originally built of red sandstone but was later rebuilt in white marble by Jehangir. Continue to Agra and check in at your Hotel. To the lover of art and the traveler seeking the wonders of India, Agra is the sublime destination. Emperor Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan lavished on this fabled city their love and riches immeasurable, to transform this land into one of the greatest centers of art, culture, learning and commerce. HOTEL SAROVAR CRYSTAL
Mar. 23, MON: AGRA/ DELHI – BL
Rise early this morning to visit Taj by sunrise. Sunrise is the best time to visit Taj when it is less crowded and also to photograph in changing morning lights. Return to Hotel for Breakfast. Later visit the Agra Fort built by three of the greatest Mughal emperors. Stop at the Taj Museum of Agra for a close look at the original pieces of drawings of this wonderful marble monument. A look at the drawings reveals the level of accuracy and precision that has gone in planning the structure of the Taj Mahal. The architect had also guessed that the construction would be done in 22 years. Drawings of the interiors show the position of the graves in such precision that the foot of the graves faces the viewer from any angle. Many more such breathtaking collections include royal ornaments, wonderful paintings, portraits of Mughal emperors etc. Continue to the Taj Mahal constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan between 1631-52, as a tomb and memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel of the Palace). Enjoy
Lunch at Rio Restaurant. & travel to Delhi. This evening arrive in Delhi on the banks of the River Yamuna, the capital of India, typifies the soul of the country. The legacy of that past survives in the many monuments left behind by the regents, each a chronicle of the glory of its time and an imprint of each ruler’s character. The division between New and Old Delhi is the segregation between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively Upon arrival check in at the HOTEL LE MERIDIAN
Mar. 24, TUE: DELHI- OLD & NEW DELHI TOUR- BL (lunch at Pindi Restaurant)
Breakfast at the Hotel. Morning tour of Old Delhi. Your first stop is Mahatma Gandhi Memorial at Raj Ghat; the Ashoka Pillar & the famous Chandni Chowk bazaars, once the shopping arcade of Mughal royalty. Take a Rickshaw ride through the narrow and colorful lanes of old market. Finally visit marble domes and slender minarets of the Jama Masjid. Enjoy Lunch at Pindi Restaurant. Your sightseeing tour of New Delhi this afternoon includes a drive along Rajpath to photograph the Parliament House, President’s Palace and India Gate, a memorial to India’s soldiers. Continue to Humayun’s tomb, forerunner to Taj Mahal. Your final stop is at the Qutab Minar and ruins of Hindu temples destroyed during the Qutabshahi period.. Tour of New Delhi this afternoon includes a drive along Rajpath to photograph the Parliament House, President’s Palace and India Gate, a memorial to India’s soldiers. Continue to Humayun’s tomb, forerunner to Taj Mahal. Also visit the Baha’i Lotus Temple. Your final stop is at the Qutab Minar and ruins of Hindu temples destroyed during the Qutabshahi period. Overnight at Hotel. HOTEL LE MERIDIAN
Mar. 24, TUE: MUGHAL HISTORIC HERITAGE WALK- BD
After Breakfast, experience the newest Delhi attraction- metro train to Chawri Bazaar in old Delhi. Before the British destroyed the Havelis here after the mutinee of 1857, it was a charming place, famous for its dancing girls. Board tricycle rickshaw to Khari Baoli (spice market), which is situated close to the Fatehpuri Mosque built by Fatehpuri Begum (one of the wives of Shah Jahan). The market has been operating since 17th century. Begin walking towards Chandni Chowk area, first stopping at the Town Hall, built in 1865, though the construction began five years earlier, when Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah was still in the Red Fort. The solid looking building looks quite British even today, though the statue of Queen Victoria outside has been replaced. Along with the clock tower that collapsed in 1952, the Town Hall was and still is one of the biggest landmarks in the Walled City of Delhi. The place where it stands once formed part of the gardens laid by Shah Jehan’s daughter, Jehanara. Visit Gurudwara Shishganj Sahib: where the 9th Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded during Aurangzeb’s reign. On to Ballimaran and walk past Mirza Ghalib’s Haveli (Museum) at Gali Qasim Jaan. Ghalib was the greatest poet of India who wrote in Urdu and Persian. A writer so prolific that one can quote Ghalib describing almost every possible situation or mood, from mundane to esoteric. All this while you pass by many narrow streets full of shops doing brisk business. Watch how a particular kind of merchandise is sold only in Specific Street as the Indian merchants have long practiced guild trading. Walk past Jogiwara which connects to Kinari Bazaar, the street gets its name from `gota’ and ‘kinari’ which are used to adorn exquisite women’s garments. Visit Parathe wali Gali famous for succulent ‘parathas’. Next visit the Dariban Kalan which is the famous silver market. Next walk to visit marble domes and slender minarets of the Jama Masjid where our historic walking tour will terminate. The afternoon is at leisure.
Enjoy farewell dinner this evening with presentation of Indian music & dances. HOTEL LE MERIDIAN (for Washington participants only). Los Angeles participants will check out of rooms today.
Mar. 26, THU: DEPART DELHI- B
Breakfast at Hotel & enjoy free day or visit nearby state emporia complex on own. After Hotel check out store luggage at Hotel and time free until evening transfer for flight departing at 9.25 PM. Arrive WAS- IAD on Mar. 27 at 9 AM
* Round trip air from Dules to Mumbai and Delhi back
to Dulles on Emirates Airline
- Breakfast daily. 6 Lunches and 4 dinners as listed each day including special welcome & farewell dinners
- All transfers and sightseeing tours by AC bus as per itinerary above
- Assistance at airports and Hotels by A Classic Tours Collection representative
- Services of local English-speaking guide during sightseeing tour
- Entrance fees to monuments, guide fees, driver fees, parking etc. as of May. 30, 2019
- All applicable taxes on Hotels and transport as of May 30, 2019.
- Two domestic flights – Mumbai/Varanasi and Varanasi Jaipur
*India Visa Fee – $63
15MAR depart Dulles #232 11:10 am arrive Dubai 8:40 am 16 MAR
16MAR depart Dubai #506 9:30 am arrive Mumbai 2:00 pm
26MAR depart Delhi #515 9:25 pm arrive Dubai 11:55 pm
27MAR depart Dubai#231 2:35 am arrive Dulles 9:00 am
Indian government has started giving visa approval and processing on line. E. Tourist visa can be applied on line by visiting following link–
note: Apply for E – Tourist visa- Click on icon on visa page (left side) or use Link given below: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
DO NOTE VISA CAN ONLY BE APPLIED WITHIN 120 DAYS OF YOUR TRAVEL TO INDIA or 4 days minimum prior to arrival.
*Any increase in airline or hotel taxes
Dulles Internation Airport (IAD)
1 Saarinen Cir,
Dulles , Virginia