Splendors of India and Holi Celebration

Colorful, outrageous, romantic and wild, India is a beautiful enigma, delivering spectacular natural beauty in every shape and form.  Its vibrancy will astound you, as will the warmth of its people.  On this extraordinary journey through India, you’ll experience ancient and modern wonders, enchanting Rajasthan, and the magic of India’s colorful Holi Festival.

Begin in Delhi, the bustling capital of India. After touring the colorful bazaars and ancient UNESCO sites of Old Delhi, continue to Agra for sunset and sunrise visits of the timeless Taj Mahal, the world’s greatest monument to love.  Best of all, you’ll be staying at the lavish Oberoi Amarvilas, with uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal from your room.

Your journey through India’s golden triangle is teaming with historical splendor and jewel-like palaces.  In the pink sandstone City of Jaipur, India will be at it’s most colorful with the Holi Festival.  This vibrant, joyous Festival is famously marked with the throwing of brilliant colors and is held on the last full moon of winter.   You’ll also explore the rich architectural legacy of Jaipur’s merchants and maharajas as well as it’s architectural masterpiece, the Palace of the Winds.  There are hill forts, palaces, gardens & temples.  Visit medieval backstreets and browse bazaars with textiles, leatherwork, woodblock prints and Jaipur’s traditional blue pottery.

From Jaipur, you’ll fly to Udaipur, which is know as the Venice of the East.  Udaipur is one of India’s most picturesque and romantic cities.  You’ll cruise on tranquil Lake Pichola, while marveling at the white palaces dotting the shore and rising in the water.

Then, fly to ‘the Mother of Cities’, Mumbai (Bombay).  Mumbai is India’s economic capital and home of the Bollywood film industry.   Stay in the heart of the City at the famous Taj, near the Gates of India and tour the city’s cultural attractions, bazaars and most interesting neighborhoods.

Throughout this private escorted journey of India,  Source Events private guides will bring India’s ancient civilization and its many layers to life.  You’ll be staying in some of India’s finest luxury hotels throughout this journey, including Oberoi, Taj, and the Leela Palace.

2 Night Optional Extension to Varanasi

Varanasi is the India of your imagination.  Immerse yourself in the charms of India’s spiritual capitol and experience the soul of one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities. Pilgrims come to the ghats lining the Ganges to wash away sins in the sacred waters or to cremate their loved ones. It’s a particularly auspicious place to die, since expiring here offers moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth).  The steps down to the river used by the pilgrims are known as ghats and many have a deep spiritual significance.

Most visitors agree Varanasi is magical – but not for the faint-hearted. Intimate rituals of life and death take place in public, and the sights, sounds and smells.  Walking the ghats and alleyways or watching sunrise from a boat can be unforgettable.   Tour Varanasi with us and we’ll show you the soul of a city which is both sacred and spectacular.

ITINERARY FOR SOURCE EVENTS SPLENDORS OF INDIA & HOLI CELEBRATION

10 NIGHTS / 11 DAYS

MARCH 16, 2019 – SATURDAY – ARRIVAL IN DELHI

Arrive into New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal.

Our representative will meet you upon exiting the plane and then provide VIP assistance to you to clear through the immigration, collect baggage from the baggage belt and then guide you through the Green Channel gate of Indian Customs. As you step into the “Meet & Greet Hall”,  our concierge will escort you to your chauffeur driven vehicle and escort you to the Oberoi Hotel.

New Delhi is an evocative blend of old and new.  Nowhere are India’s rich cultural contrasts brought more sharply into focus than in this bustling city.  And there’s no better way of exploring this vibrant destination and its wonderful contradiction than on Source Events Delhi tour.

Overnight at Oberoi Hotel New Delhi


MARCH 17, 2019 – SUNDAY – DELHI

DELHI SIGHTSEEING:  Delhi’s culture has been influenced by its historic association as the capital of India, and what better way to explore it than with a walking tour through the labrinthine street of Old Delhi.   Once filled with mansions of nobles and members of the royal court, Old Delhi still serves as the symbolic heart of the modern metropolis.  Here you’ll see the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, and the Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built all out of red stone in 1638, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan started the construction of this massive fort, when he decided to shift the capital from Agra to Delhi. then hop on rickshaws (pedi-cabs) to ride around the old Chawri Bazaar and savor the ambience of an Oriental and Indian marketplace.

Post lunch proceed for a visit of New Delhi covering Humayun’s Tomb the first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent and the inspiration for several monuments including the Taj Mahal & the Qutub Minar, one of the finest Islamic structures ever raised in India. Explore the government buildings, the President’s house, the India Gate. From here you visit the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib (the temple of the followers of the Sikh religion).

Later enjoy an informal meeting with like-minded socialites of Delhi over a glass of wine.  This will be an opportunity for an interesting conversations on being gay in modern India.  Join us for a Welcome Dinner hosted by Source Events.

Overnight at the Oberoi Hotel New Delhi – Meals included: (B, L, D)


MARCH 18, 2019 – MONDAY – DELHI TO AGRA

DRIVE DELHI  to AGRA – Check-in to the lavish Oberoi Amarvilas, where every room has a direct view of the Taj Mahal.  Standing proud in the heart of Agra, the Taj Mahal is an incomparable testament to love.  Visit the Taj Mahal at sunset: The beauty of the Taj Mahal varies from dawn to dusk. You will enjoy the mesmerizing view of the Taj mahal at sunset. The Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan as an eternal symbol of his love for his favorite wife, whom he called Mumtaz Mahal (“Jewel of the Palace”). The monument has immortalized him forever as one of the great architectural patrons of the world. The structure took 20,000 laborers and 22 years to complete.

Overnight at The Oberoi Amarvilas – Meals included: (B)


MARCH 19, 2019 – TUESDAY – AGRA – ABHANERI – JAIPUR

For early risers, there is the option of visiting the Taj Mahal at sunrise.  After breakfast, you’ll visit the former imperial city of the Mughal rulers, the Agra Fort.  It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and within its red sandstone walls are a wealth of highly decorated palaces and ornate marble mosques for you to explore.  Construction of Agra Fort commenced in 1565 and was completed in 1571. Built with red sandstone, Agra Fort is a mixture of the Islamic and Hindu styles of architecture.

On the transfer from Agra to Jaipur, visit Abhaneri – the wonder of Wells.  The first visual effect on setting sight of the stunning architecture is that of jaw dropping awe – an Egyptian pyramid turned upside down! Chand Baoli is a stepped well built by Raja Chand in the 8th/ 9th century AD for harvesting rainwater. The steps surround the well on three sides, having 13 stories while the fourth side has set of pavilions built one on top of another. It is a 100 feet deep. Water was drawn by means of a Persian wheel rotated by an ox from within a pavilion

On arrival in Jaipur check in to the exquisite Taj Jai Mahal Palace, located in the heart of Jaipur.   Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan State and is also known as the Pink City.  Here, stunning hilltop forts and glorious palaces fit like footprints from a rich royal past, candy floss-bright turbans blaze a trail through brilliant bargain-filled bazaars, and fluttering saris catch the eye like butterflies.

Overnight at Taj Jai Mahal Palace Hotel – Meals included: (B, L)


MARCH 20, 2019 – WEDNESDAY – JAIPUR

With it’s rose-coloured buildings, Jaipur, or the Pink City as it’s known,  was the dream of the Rajput ruler Jai Singh.   After breakfast at visit the magnificent palace of Amber Fort. This is one of the most fascinating of the Indian forts comprising the Palace of Mirrors, Hall of Public Audience and the beautiful gardens, all of which give a glimpse into the majesty of days gone by. The fort can be reached by riding on an elephant’s back or by jeep.  Later we reach the city after taking a stop at Jal Mahal for a photographic opportunity followed by a visit to the observatory where you will understand the science of ancient astronomy, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

You’ll  visit the Maharaja’s City Palace, the former Royal residence, part of which is converted into a museum. A small portion is still used by the Royal family of Jaipur. Built in the style of a fortified campus, the palace covers almost one-seventh in area of the city. One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion known as Armoury. Museum houses an impressive array of weaponry-pistols, blunderbusses, flintlocks, swords, rifles and daggers. The royal families of Jaipur once used most of these weapons.

In the afternoon, you can either relax at the hotel or go on a shopping spree as Jaipur offers the best options to buy textiles, jewelry (Gold and precious & semi-precious stones) and handicrafts.

Overnight at Taj Jai Mahal Palace Hotel – Meals Included (B, L)


MARCH 21, 2019 – THURSDAY – JAIPUR (Holi Celebration – Festival of Colors)

Experience India’s happiest and most colorful festival.  Holi Festival is always held on the last full moon of winter, welcoming spring’s arrival.  The entire country bursts out in a frenetic fervor, doused in a hearty splash of vibrant pigments.  Shades of pink gulaal, crimson abir, and canary yellow powder take over your imagination and turn cities and villages into a riotous rainbow.   These brilliant colours brighten up streets, clothes and faces for this sacred celebration, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil.  Each color represents deeply ingrained aspects of Indian culture.  Forgiving past bitterness and moving on with a heart full of hope remains the essence of the Indian festival of colors.   This spectacular celebration is sure to be one of the highlights of our Journey to India.  Get ready for  a private and unforgettable Holi celebration at the Diggi Palace in the pink city of Jaipur!

Overnight at Taj Jai Mahal Palace Hotel – Meals included: (B, L)


MARCH 22, 2019 – FRIDAY – JAIPUR – UDAIPUR

After an early breakfast transfer to airport to connect fight for Udaipur. Romantic Udaipur – City of lakes and gardens, water and white stone is known as the Venice of the East.  Its sensual heritage is manifested in two palaces that seem to float in the middle of Lake Pichola.  Explore the bustling by-lanes of Udaipur which have artisans practicing their traditional crafts handed down to them by their elders. Khari printers do decorative floral patterns in gold and silver on plain or printed fabric. Block printers print various designs and patterns in different colors with the help of wooden blocks. You’ll also find artisans carving furniture, making puppets and traditional wooden toys. Along with engraving and embossing on brass, silver, jewelry, copper and even pottery, Meenakari is a specialty of this region. Udaipur also specializes in stone carving, especially in marble and sandstone, with artisans working hard at chiseling their finest filigree work. Color as usual plays an important role in the life of Udaipur as in Rajasthan. It is wonderfully evident in ghagharas (long flowing skirts), cholis (blouses), and odhnis (long scarves) of the women as well as the turbans of the men. We will organize an opportunity for you to talk to these traditional businessmen and get an insight into their history and background as you admire the skill that they bring to their art.

Overnight at The Leela Hotel – Meals included (B, L)


MARCH 23, 2019 – SATURDAY – UDAIPUR

Udaipur sightseeing , after breakfast proceed for the city tour. Udaipur, a splash of color in Rajasthan that is brighter when tinged with the tones of local lore and legends. Visit the Jagdish Temple. This temple was built in 1651 and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the preserver in the Hindu Trinity of Gods. Later proceed to the City Palace, built in 1725, which houses the Dilkhush Mahal, Sheesh Mahal – studded with glittering Belgium Mirrors, Moti Mahal and the Palace of Lord Krishna all of which are ornately decorated. Visit to Crystal Museum at Darbar Hall (city Palace). Crystal Gallery is a sparkling paradise of overwhelming crystal collection which is around 129 years old but for almost a hundred years it was not open for public and drive around Fatehsagar Lake. Time permitting visit Bougainvillea – A contemporary Art Gallery and the Miniature School of Art & Painting which is unique to the region.

Late afternoon, enjoy a private boat ride on Lake Pichola.  Lake Pichola is one of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes of Rajasthan, India. Located in the heart of the city, Pichola Lake is the oldest and one of the largest lakes of Udaipur enveloped by lofty Palaces, temples, bathing ghats and elevated hills on all its sides.

Overnight at The Leela Hotel – Meals Included: (B, L)


MARCH 24, 2019 – SUNDAY – UDAIPUR TO MUMBAI

After an early breakfast, transfer to Udaipur airport for the flight for Mumbai.  Rudyard Kipling described Mumbai as the ‘Mother of Cities’ and the city’s history is the story of an incredible transformation from its foundation the present day.

Overnight at The Taj Mahal Hotel – Meals Included: (B)


MARCH 25, 2019 – MONDAY – MUMBAI

MUMBAI BY DAWN:  Mumbai by Dawn is a unique offering, where you see the bustling city of Mumbai wake up. You get a peek into the little seen activities of the city, and get insights into what makes this magnificent Industrial capital of India tick and function.

On this morning’s walk you see hundreds of newspaper vendors sort out newspapers of 7 different languages, experience one-of-its-kind, fish auction of 20 tonnes of fish, observe an ‘only green’ herb market get set up for business across a popular bridge, watch the milkmen drive past with filled canisters, enjoy the melee of color at the flower markets, and soak in the clamour and chaos of the arrival of over 100 tonnes of vegetables, fruits and meat –‘Mumbai by Dawn’ truly defines the mercurial character of Mumbai, like none other. What’s interesting is that when you walk the same lanes a few hours later, you won’t find any evidence of the morning’s hustle bustle.

Afternoon proceed for the sightseeing tour of Mumbai visiting the Gateway of India, erected on the waterfront in 1924 to commemorate King George V’s visit to this colony in 1911. Drive past the Afghan Church, Secretariat of Maharashtra Government and along the Marine Drive which is fondly known as the ‘Queen’s Necklace’.  Visit Mani Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his visits to Mumbai. Drive past Haji Ali Mosque, a shrine in honor of a Muslim Saint on an island 500 m. out at sea and is linked by a causeway to the mainland. Continue to Prince of Wales Museum, considered to be one of the finest museums in the country housing rare artwork and archaeological finds.

Also stop at the ‘Dhobi Ghat’ (public laundries), where Mumbai’s ‘dirties’ are scrubbed, bashed, dyed, and hung out to dry. Watch as the local trains pass close by packed full of city commuters. (Photo stop only). Time permitting visit the Crawford Market which is extremely famous for its architecture as well as for its fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables. Also in the market, at the other end, there is a large pet animal market where dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, fish, parrots and songbirds are displayed and sold.

Overnight at The Taj Mahal Hotel – Meals Included: (B, L, D)


MARCH 26, 2019 – TUESDAY – MUMBAI/HOME OR VARANASI EXTENSION

Transfer to Mumbai International Airport Terminal 2 to board the flight for onward journey or continue to Varanasi extension

ACCOMMODATIONS ON SOURCE EVENTS GAY SPLENDORS OF INDIA JOURNEY

THE OBEROI, NEW DELHI

The Oberoi, New Delhi is an iconic luxury 5 star hotel in New Delhi. It is located in the centre of India’s cosmopolitan capital city. It is 30 minutes from the Domestic Airport and 45 minutes from the International Airport.

The interiors are a contemporary interpretation of Sir Edwin Lutyens’ New Delhi architecture. The hotel is also equipped with state of the art clean air technology which promises air quality on par with global standards.

The hotel has 220 rooms and suites inspired by Lutyens’ New Delhi design, with authentic furnishings and handpicked artwork. All feature large picture windows which frame unmatched views of Delhi Golf Course on one side and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Humayun’s Tomb on the other. All accommodation radiates luxury. From the rich polished teakwood floors to the spacious walk-in closets, magnificent Italian marble bathrooms and oak wood desks. Each room also has comfortable seating and complimentary high speed Internet. In case you hunger for a gourmet midnight snack, we offer 24 hour in room dining and have 24 hour butlers waiting to serve you. Premier Plus Rooms and all suites have complimentary access to the exclusive Resident’s Lounge.


THE OBEROI, AMARVILAS

The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra enjoys an unrivalled position amongst luxury hotels in Agra, being located just 600 metres from the iconic Taj Mahal. Each of our rooms affords uninterrupted views of this ancient monument to love, while elements of the layout and design pay homage to its Mughal splendour.

Our hotel is approached along a sweeping driveway, verdant with native trees and lit by flaming torches. Just inside, a Mughal style quadrant is ornamented with cascading fountains and framed by an arched passageway and gold leaf frescoes.

By day, guests can travel in our private golf buggies to the Taj Mahal. At night, they can savour a candlelit dinner beside its soft silhouette. We offer a range of specially curated Oberoi Experiences designed specifically for our luxury resort in Agra and this majestic Mughal city.

We offer all guests complimentary access to high speed Internet for up to four devices.  Relax with a loved one on a customized holiday or honeymoon. Enjoy a quick break and rejuvenate with a couples’ therapy in a private spa suite with Taj Mahal views.

Guests can stretch out with a swim in our magnificent pool before savoring fine international and speciality Indian cuisine in our luxury dining restaurants in Agra, or unwind with an Oberoi signature cocktail; ours is the only bar in the world with Taj Mahal views.


TAJ JAI MAHAL PALACE

Built in 1745, the Taj Jai Mahal Palace is a stunning piece of Rajasthan’s heritage, a great example of Indo-Saracenic architecture set amidst 18 acres of landscaped Mughal gardens. Taj Jai Mahal Palace has been the residence of three Prime Ministers of the princely state of Jaipur. Painstakingly restored and recently refurbished, it is now a luxury five-star Taj heritage hotel equipped with all modern-day comforts. The 94 rooms and six suites offer you unbeatable views of the city and palace gardens.

Perfectly located downtown in the heart of the Pink City in Civil Lines, you are close to the main shopping areas and prime historical sites such as Amber Fort, HawaMahal and City Palace. The Jaipur International Airport is a mere 30 minutes away.

While the palace hotel gives you a taste of the best of Rajasthani heritage and culture, you also savour the best flavours in the city at our two specialty restaurants. Cinnamon serves the most authentic Royal Indian cuisines from four princely states, while Giardino is Jaipur’s finest and only contemporary al fresco Italian restaurant. Both please the palate of true food and wine connoisseurs from the world over. Our popular all-day-dining multi-cuisine restaurant Marble Arch offers a medley of flavours; and the fashionable and trendy Marigold Bar houses a selection of single malts and cigars alongside innovative cocktails.

Nestled within the luxurious ambience of the palace are several signature experiences aimed at pampering you. Enjoy Bajot Private Dining, a truly regal and romantic dinner. Unwind with rejuvenating treatments and therapies at our spa, or centre mind and body with yoga and meditation.

Explore the palace history and its landscaped gardens to host fairy tale wedding celebrations for up to 2,500 guests at the Palace Lawns. Entertain business clients and hold important meetings at the palace boardrooms, Silver Oak and Sterling, and banquet hall, Hendley’s. Our concierge would be happy to arrange a city tour for your group, and all else your heart desires.

Come, live like royalty at this heritage hotel.


LEELA PALACE HOTEL – UDAIPUR

Awarded as the Best Luxury Hotel of the Year, The Leela Palace Udaipur is the only modern palace hotel on the banks of Lake Pichola. It offers offers 80 lake view rooms and suites, on-site dining, spa and much more.

Nestled at the edge of Lake Pichola in the heart of Udaipur — a tourist-friendly town known for famed palaces and sparkling lakes. From your grand entrance featuring a showering of rose petals to the romantic sea-meets-mountain views from your room’s private balcony


TAJ MAHAL TOWER – MUMBAI 

Designed by American architect Melton Bekker, this luxury hotel opened its door to guests in 1973, instantly carving an identity into the cityscape.  Bekker incorporated Indian design elements like Tanjore pillars from the south and arched balconies from 14th century imperial Rajasthan into the distinctive tower which is crowned with a jagged diadem. Four decades since, our hotel in Colaba continues to dazzle patrons with luxurious suites, iconic restaurants and sublime views of the city’s famed seafront.

As a guest at the Taj Mahal Tower, you’re privy to world-class sophistication and impeccable service underscored by Mumbai’s warmth and vigour. Our location in the heritage district of Colaba keeps you at the city’s nerve centre of art, culture and glamour. Whether relaxing in your well-appointed room, luxuriating at the spa or exploring Mumbai’s many alternative lives by the docks, the Taj hospitality assures you have a splendid time.

PRICING ON SOURCE EVENTS GAY TRAVEL ADVENTURE TO INDIA

March 16 – 26, 2019 – 10 Nights / 11 Days

$7,899 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement $3,500 – Limited Availability

Inclusions:

  • 10 Nights hotel Accommodations at 5 star luxury hotels
  • VIP Meet and Greet at airport on first arrival
  • Source Events Escort
  • Private transfers and tours in modern, A/C vehicles with professional guides.
  • Services of English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees at monuments and places of visit (one time only)
  • Porterage at airports and hotels
  • Rickshaw ride in Old Delhi
  • Exclusive boat ride on Lake Pichola
  • Elephant Ride (uphill) and Jeep Ride (downhill) at Amber Fort in Jaipur
  • Mumbai by Dawn Tour
  • Still Camera fees to the places of visit
  • Daily Breakfasts
  • Special Private Holi celebration followed by Lunch
  • 6 Lunches, Welcome Dinner in Delhi, Celebration dinner in Udaipur, Farewell Dinner in Mumbai

Exclusions

  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Meals not listed in itinerary
  • International Airfare
  • Domestic Airfares – Jaipur – Udaipur – Mumbai – $250 (Economy Class)
  • Video camera fees to the places of visit
  • India Visa Fee
  • 2 Night Varanasi Optional Extension – March 26 – 28, 2019 – $699 per person. Hotel Accommodations: The Gateway Ganges.

Valid Passports Required. Passports must be valid for six months beyond the return date. India visa required. Arrival Airport: Delhi International Airport (DEL). Departure Airport: Mumbai (BOM)