Tours & Tailor-made Holidays To
India

Hola Mohalla

11 days  |  Starts/Ends: Delhi  |  from USD $2,949  |   Guaranteed Departure 

Witness the skill of Gatka (mock fighting), the thrill of bareback horse riding and the colour and splendour of Sikhism's famous annual Hola Mohalla Festival! Sikh's from all over the world make this pilgrimage every year and celebrate together. End the trip with a tour of the Golden Triangle taking in Delhi, Jaipur and the legendary Taj Mahal in Agra.

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Itinerary
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Inclusions
Day 1

Wednesday 23 March 2016. Welcome to India! Upon arrival in Delhi you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day can be spent at leisure exploring India's capital city.
Overnight: Delhi

Days 2-3

Delhi - Anandpur Sahib. After breakfast we take the Shatabdi Express train north to Chandigarh, travelling through the state of Haryana which is blessed with lush green scenery and beautiful lakes and rivers. Upon arrival in Chandigarh we drive to Anandpur Sahib, the local town that hosts the famous Hola Mohalla festival

Hola Mohalla is an annual 3 day festival which occurs during the first lunar month of Chet, which usually falls in March and generally follows a day after the Hindu Festival of Holi. We spend the remains of day 2 and all of day 3 at the Holla Mohalla Festival, where we’ll watch the colourful festivities which include dramatic mock martial arts battles (or Gatka as they are more commonly known), daring displays of weaponry, archery and wrestling. There's music, poetry and prayers, singing and chanting. While food is served to pilgrims from all castes and creeds by women from the neighbouring villages, who set up langars (community kitchens). There are also exciting horse riding displays from the Nahib Sikh Army where the riders gallop bareback, performing tricks like riding astride two horses. One of the main attractions at the festival are the Nehangs - a prestigious armed sikh order who wear a striking blend of blue and orange, with twisted moustaches and staggeringly giant embellished turbans. The festival is a Mecca for keen photographers with all the amazing sights and vibrant colours on show.
Overnight: Anandpur Sahib  |  Breakfast x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 4

Anandpur Sahib - Chandigarh - Delhi. Today we travel back to Chandigarh and explore its wonderful Rock Garden which has unique sculptures made entirely from industrial and urban waste. We'll be able to see sculptures made out of mudguards and marbles, broken bangles and brake pads or even handle bars and hubcaps! After Rock Garden we head over to Sukhna Lake. This picturesque man made lake is three kilometres in length and it's popular with watersports fans and is a great place to relax and unwind. Early this evening we take the Kalka Shatabdi Express train bound for Delhi.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast

Day 5

This morning, a Welcome Meeting takes place. We then enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi, taking in the Red Fort, Jama Masjid - India’s oldest and largest mosque and Raj Ghat - the site of Gandhi’s cremation in Old Delhi, and the Rajpath and India Gate in New Delhi. Tonight, we enjoy a group Namaste Dinner at a restaurant specialising in classic Indian cuisine.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Delhi - Agra. Departing Delhi, we make our way to Agra, the erstwhile capital of the Mughal empire. Our first stop here is the impressive Agra Fort, which boasts some of India's finest Mughal buildings behind its fortified walls. Later we travel on to the legendary Taj Mahal. Built by the order of Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century in affectionate memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, the Taj Mahal is perhaps one of the most extravagant monuments to love ever built and has no peers.
Overnight: Agra  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Agra - Jaipur. En route to Jaipur we visit the ghostly former Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, which has been deserted for over four centuries after it was allegedly abandoned due to a lack of water Thanks to the very durable red sandstone from which it was built, Fatehpur Sikri still remains well-preserved and is a fascinating place to explore. Later we drive to Jaipur, the bustling capital of the state of Rajasthan. The rest of the day is free for you to spend at your own leisure.
Overnight: Jaipur  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Very early this morning there is the opportunity to sail over the lofy hilltop forts and regal palaces of Jaipur in a hot air balloon, on our Balloon Over Jaipur Bolt-on. We then travel beyond Jaipur to the stunning 16th century Amber Fort where we enjoy a tour of the fort's well-preserved interior and grounds. Reaching the fort is an experience in itself, as we ride up the road in princely style aboard Indian elephants - subject to regulations and availability. Later we visit a cotton weaving house to see a demonstration of fabric dyeing and block printing before touring the City Palace and Jantar Mantar - an old yet cleverly designed space observatory.
Overnight: Jaipur  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Jaipur - Alsisar. Today we drive to the semi-desert Shekhawati region, which lies in a triangular area between Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner. The small towns in this region were once important trading posts, and today their legacy is carried on through the beautiful painted havelis that were constructed by wealthy merchants here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Later we enjoy a walk through a local village and time to relax.
Overnight: Alsisar  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10

Alsisar - Delhi. This morning we make a quick visit to the children and teachers at a local school in Alsisar where we operate our ‘Change for Children’ programme, before returning to Delhi. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is free for you to further explore the city. Opt for a meal in the heart of the city or simply relax and chat with group members at the hotel.
Overnight: Delhi  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Saturday 02 Apr 2016. Touring arrangements come to an end after breakfast. Hotel check-out and included onward departure transfer to airport.
Breakfast

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Accommodation on Tour

For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.

Simple
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.

Standard
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.

Superior
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.

Deluxe
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.

Lavish
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!

Almondz Hotel, Delhi
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The modern and smart Almondz Hotel offers guests good sized well appointed rooms which all come with complimentary Wi-Fi. The in-house restaurant is highly recommended providing diners with delicious food and a friendly service. Please note that the majority of hotel rooms do not have windows.

Utkarsh Vilas, Agra
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Utkarsh Vilas is a simple, comfortable hotel with large rooms.

Mandawa Haveli, Jaipur
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

The beautiful heritage style Mandawa Haveli is a fine example of typical Rajasthan architecture - set in terraced gardens with pretty courtyards. All rooms are well appointed with intricately carved wooden beds and king-size royal portraits. An evening spent enjoying a lavish Rajasthani dinner in front of a traditional folk dance is highly recommended. Well located in the heart of Jaipur city on Sansar Chandra Road, just a few minute’s drive from the Palace of the Winds.

Indra Vilas, Alsisar
Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Heritage

Indra Vilas is a beautiful haveli with spacious rooms and set in 10 acres of land.

Trip Highlights

Chandigarh's annual Hola Mohalla Sikh Festival - sword fighting, bareback riding and warriors
The Pink City of Jaipur - The lofty Amber Fort, the very regal City Palace and the ancient observatory of Jantar Mantar
Abhaneri Step Well - Famous and iconic 9th century stepwell
Rickshaw ride around Keoladeo Ghana National Park - A UNESCO Heritage site famous for its amazing array of birdlife
Fatehpur Sikri - An ancient abandoned Mughal city
Chandigarh Rock Garden - Recycled waste sculptures & Sukhna Lake
Old and New Delhi - The magnificent Red Fort, India's largest mosque Jama Masjid, and Gandhi's crematorium Raj Ghat
An exotic elephant ride into Jaipur's Amber Fort
Perhasar village - Famed for friendly locals and charming havelis
The spectacular Taj Mahal - India's most famous monument in all its glory at sunset
Agra - The beautiful Agra Fort and the Mughal mausoleum known as Baby Taj

Included

10 breakfasts and 4 dinners (including Namaste Dinner in Delhi)
Elephant ride to Amber Fort - Jaipur
Touring of Anandpur Sahib, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Bharatpur region
Specialist local guides at some sights
Return train journey Delhi - Chandigarh on the Shatabdi Express
8 nights 3 - 4 star and heritage hotels, 2 nights guesthouse/Inn (equiv 2 star) at the festival
Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 11
English speaking Indian tour leader for groups of 6 or more
All relevant transfers and transportation
Entrance fees to Rock Garden & Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh

Not Included

International flights and visas
Laundry, drinks, items of a personal nature
Tipping Kitty: $20-30 USD
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow $3 - 7 USD per day per traveller. Tipping your tour guide is an entirely personal gesture
Entrance Fees: $70-80 USD

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who would like their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

2016
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $2949
USD $1159

Please note that hotel prices in Anandpur Sahib during the festival time of the year are unstable. Although we have already made reservations at an agreed price with our hotel of choice, the hotel room rate may change. Should there be an increase in the room rate we will notify you as soon as possible and a supplement will need to be paid by you upon arrival. We do not expect the increase be any more than USD$20 per night x 2 nights.

Tour Details
Starts
Delhi
Ends
Delhi
Departs
23 Mar 2016
Hotel Rating
3 - 4 star & heritage hotels
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 10, Dinner: 4
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Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.