Giving to
Bryn Mawr

Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center

MYSTICAL INDIA

November 28 - December 15, 2013

Mystical and spiritual, chaotic and confounding, India overflows with riches. While staying at wonderful hotels – almost all are Taj properties –we travel the classic Golden Triangle: bustling Delhi; Agra, home of the sublime Taj Mahal; and Jaipur, great city of the Rajput. In addition, we will search for the elusive Bengals and Ranthambore Tiger Preserve; admire Khajuroho’s ancient temples and absorb the holiness of Varanasi.

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Preliminary Itinerary
(please click on location to reveal details)

FULL ITINERARY

DAY 1: Depart U.S. for Delhi, India

Traveling to Delhi, India

DAY 2: Arrive Delhi

We spend today en route to Delhi, India’s capital and third largest city. Arriving late this evening, we transfer directly to our hotel.

Accommodations: Taj Palace Hotel

DAY 3: New Delhi

This morning we meet our tour director for a briefing on the journey ahead. Delhi is one of the best examples in the world where old meets new. After lunch on your own we begin our touring of New Delhi by visiting the 16th-century Tomb of Humayun, the second Mughal Emperor whose resting place is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its groundbreaking Mughal architecture. We continue on to see Qutab Minar, one of Delhi’s most visited and striking monuments. King Qutubuddin Aiback laid the foundation for the monument after defeating the last Hindu Kingdom in 1199. With a height of 239 feet, this red stone tower ranks as the highest in India. Next we pass by India Gate, the majestic 137-feet high arch that stands over an eternal flame to honor the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died fighting alongside the British during World War I and the Afghan wars. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel.

Accommodations: Taj Palace Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4: Old and New Delhi

This morning we encounter Old Delhi, capital of Muslim India between the 12th and 19th centuries. We stop first at the Gandhi Memorial, the simple black marble slab honoring India’s beloved Mahatma Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of India’s independence movement renowned for his advocacy of civil disobedience as a form of nonviolent resistance. Next we stop for a photo opportunity at Lal Qila, the Red Fort complex of palaces considered the greatest of all Delhi’s earlier cities and today a UNESCO World Heritage site. From here we visit India’s largest mosque, the red sandstone and marble Jama Masjid, completed in 1656 as the last monument commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal. Our tour continues with a rickshaw ride through bustling and colorful Chandi Chowk market, one of Delhi’s oldest and busiest, and where Moghul emperors once shopped. Then we return to the New Delhi district to visit a Sikh temple (gurdwara).

Following lunch on your own we visit the National Museum, housing a superb collection of Indian and international art and artifacts, some two million pieces covering 5,000 years of cultural heritage. Tonight we enjoy a tour highlight as we break into smaller groups of six to eight and dine in the homes of local urban Indian families.

Accommodations: Taj Palace Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5: Delhi/Jaipur

We leave this morning by motorcoach for the day-long journey to Jaipur, one of the great cities of the Rajput. En route to Jaipur we visit the village of Neemrana, where we eat lunch at Neemrana Palace, a restored heritage hotel dating to the 15th century. Late this afternoon we reach Jaipur and our hotel, where we dine together tonight.

Accommodations: Jai Mahal Palace
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: Jaipur

This was the home of India’s legendary Hindu warriors, whose historic forts, palaces, and gardens lend a timeless quality to this storied region. Called the “pink city” for its buildings of rose-hued sandstone, Jaipur today retains the exquisite symmetry of its original construction, as well as the eight historic gates that protected the city centuries ago. We stop first today at Hawa Mahal, the elaborately carved “Palace of the Winds,” whose pink sandstone façade allowed the ladies of the court to view the streets of the city from behind its 953 small windows – that also allowed for cooling breezes inside. We continue on to Amber Fort, built by the Kachhawah Rajputs as their capital from 1037 to 1728 and considered the pinnacle of Rajput architecture. We tour the unoccupied citadel this morning, approaching by jeep to admire the fresco-covered portal, the impressive room of mirrors, walls of jewel-encrusted marble, and the royal apartments offering beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding valleys.

After lunch at a local restaurant, we continue on to Jantar Mantar, the incredible open-air Royal Observatory (ca. 1728) housing oversized astronomical instruments; and City Palace, a museum built in the shape of the city itself that houses the magnificent art collections of the Maharajahs of Jaipur. Late this afternoon we return to our hotel; dinner tonight is on your own. The hotel houses several restaurants, and your tour director will be happy to offer further recommendations.

Accommodations: Jai Mahal Palace
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7: Jaipur/Sanganer

This morning we visit nearby Sanganer to watch villagers engage in traditional block printing and hand-made paper industries. Using centuries-old techniques artisans craft coveted hand-printed textiles and unique paper goods. Sanganer also is known for its distinctive blue pottery, which we see the craftspeople paint free-hand. Then we tour a local market before visiting Birla Mandir, the Hindu temple made of pure white marble that enshrines Lord Vishnu and counts as one of Delhi’s most popular attractions. After some time at leisure this afternoon, tonight we are dinner guests of a family in their haveli (a home built around a central courtyard, in the traditional Muslim architectural style). Not only does this provide a fascinating window on Indian life, but also offers the opportunity to witness up close India’s transition from a traditional society to the more urban lifestyle we observed at dinner with our host family in Delhi.

Accommodations: Jai Mahal Palace
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8: Jaipur/Ranthambore National Park

We leave Jaipur this morning for Ranthambore National Park, stopping along the way to visit with children at a roadside school. Bordering the outer fringes of the Thar Desert and the former hunting grounds of the Maharajah of Jaipur, Ranthambore is now a 512-square-mile natural preserve (one of India’s largest) that is home to diverse plant life; historic ruins; and hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, mammals, and of course, Bengal tigers.

Please note that road conditions in and around Ranthambore are poor; about two hours of our drive will be on bumpy or unpaved roads. This afternoon we take a game drive through the park, whose mission is to help preserve and protect the endangered Bengals. We dine tonight at our lodge.

Accommodations: Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: Ranthambore National Park

On today’s morning and afternoon game drives, we’re sure to see more game (though tiger and leopard sightings are not guaranteed). One of India’s best known national parks, Ranthambore belongs to India’s groundbreaking Project Tiger, dedicated to preserving and protecting the once plentiful Royal Bengal tigers that roamed the land here. Now threatened by poachers, illegal logging, and encroaching civilization, India’s tiger population has decreased precipitously; it is believed that just 34 tigers currently live in Ranthambore (which actually represents a net gain in the past decade or so). Nationally, Project Tiger has seen the Bengal population rise to about 4,000 from the 2,000 counted when the project launched in 1973. The park’s varied landscape of beautiful lakes, lush grasslands, deep ravines, wooded valleys, and open scrub also features picturesque ruins of old fortifications and the thousand-year-old Ranthambore Palace, which we stop to admire. We take all meals today at our lodge.

Accommodations: Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: Ranthambore/Kalakho

This morning we embark on the five-hour drive to Dera Village Retreat (formally Dera Lake View Retreat) in Kalakho, on the banks of Madhosager Lake (a seasonal "monsoon" lake). After lunch together here, we set out on a camel safari through the surrounding villages to meet the local Meena tribespeople who live in mud huts that they decorate inside with floral and animal designs. Largely an agricultural people, the Meena have maintained much of their traditional culture and customs, as we’ll see for ourselves up close. Late this afternoon we return to our lodging, where tonight we enjoy dinner accompanied by a local folk dance performance.

Accommodations: Dera Village Retreat (formally Dera Lake View Retreat)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: Kalakho/Fatehpur Sikri/Agra

Leaving Kalakho this morning we travel to Fatehpur Sikri, the elegant late 16th-century city of red sandstone built by the Emperor Akbar in a mixture of Hindu and Muslim styles, reflecting his desire to unify the two cultures. Built atop a rocky ridge, the city covered a circumference of seven miles and was surrounded by massive walls. Upon completion Fatephur Sikri rivaled London both in its population and its riches, yet the city was abandoned a mere 15 years later; it is believed that lack of fresh water doomed its survival. Today the city remains largely intact, though uninhabited, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Then we continue on to the ancient Mughal stronghold of Agra, arriving early this afternoon. After time at leisure, tonight we dine together at our hotel.

Accommodations: Taj Gateway Agra
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12: Agra

This morning we savor a travel highlight as we embark on a tour of the Taj Mahal, the magnificent tomb of white marble built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, who had implored her husband to build a monument symbolizing their undying love for each other. Some 20,000 laborers and artisans from around the world spent 17 years constructing what became Mumtaz’s mausoleum, which was begun in 1632. Along with its exquisite symmetry, the Taj features striking examples of pietra dura, a decorative art in which craftsmen embed precisely cut semi-precious stones in marble to form dazzling patterns.

After our visit, we savor a highlight of another sort: an Indian cuisine cooking lesson and lunch together. From here we proceed to the Itimad-ud-Daulah, the two-story marble mausoleum that inspired the Taj Mahal. Later today we visit the imposing Red Fort of Agra (also known as Agra Fort), comprising fairy tale palaces, two beautiful mosques, audience halls, pavilions, courtyards, and gardens all surrounded by a massive wall, a moat, and yet another wall. Our tour here features the Hall of Public Audience and the Royal Pavilions. A creative, architectural, and strategic masterpiece, the Fort is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In a cruel twist, Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal and whose grandfather built the original Fort and who also assumed the throne himself, was imprisoned here at the end of his life by his own son – in a room looking out on the Taj Mahal across the river. We return to our hotel following our visit to the Red Fort. Dinner tonight is on your own.

Accommodations:
Taj Gateway Agra
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13: Agra/Khajuraho

We travel by train this morning to Jhansi then continue by motorcoach to the village of Orchha for lunch. Next we travel by coach over rough rural roads (where a distance of 100 miles can take four to five hours) to Khajuraho, known the world over for its temples, architecture, and erotic sculpture. Today the city’s collection of 22 Hindu temples (out of 85 originally built here) dating to the 10th century is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We reach our hotel early this evening and dine there tonight.

Accommodations: Taj Chandela
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: Khajuraho

Built during the 500-year reign of the Chandela dynasty, the temples here represent a burst of creative and religious energy that faded as Islam gained influence and Hindu Khajuraho ultimately was abandoned. But because of its remote location, Khajuraho was out of harm’s way when Muslim invaders destroyed many relics of Hinduism throughout India – which ironically resulted in the well preserved temples that we explore today at the Chandela Temple Complex. Adorned with erotic sculptures (as a reminder that life should be enjoyed to the fullest), these temples represent the finest examples of temple architecture in northern India. Today’s touring includes the Kandariya Mahedeva, Chatrabhuj, Parswanath and Ghantai temple. This evening we enjoy a “Dances of India” performance followed by dinner at our hotel.

Accommodations: Taj Chandela
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 15: Khajuraho/Varanasi

Following a morning at leisure we fly early this afternoon to Varanasi, Hinduism’s holiest city and a center of learning, civilization, and religion since time immemorial. Lacking in important architecture, elaborate palaces, and ancient fortresses, Varanasi nonetheless exudes an allure and mystique unlike any other Indian city, thanks to its role as a sacred place of pilgrimage. After time to relax at our hotel, this evening we attend a traditional aarti offering ceremony (a twice-daily ritual performed to ward off evil) as we cruise along the Ganges. Tonight we enjoy dinner together at our hotel.

Accommodations: Taj Gateway Ganges
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16: Varanasi

Early this morning we return to the Ganges, where Hindu pilgrims perform their time-honored rites along the ghats (steps) leading to the sacred river. Hindus believe that bathing in the Ganges at least once in a lifetime is both a duty and a privilege; it can help lead to the forgiveness of sin and the attainment of salvation. We visit several of the important ghats by boat as we experience for ourselves the spiritual mystique of these hallowed waters. Next we walk through the old town and tour the New Vishwanath Temple (also known as Birla Temple), located on the premises of Banaras Hindu University. Unlike the original Vishwanath Temple, the newer white-marble temple welcomes visitors of all religions. And as we walk around inside, we see some of the many Hindu scriptures inscribed on the walls.

We return to our hotel for breakfast then visit Sarnath, birthplace of Buddhism. It was here in the sixth century BCE that Buddha delivered his first sermon, and Sarnath remains a major center of the practice today. Returning to the hotel for lunch on your own, you then have the afternoon free for independent exploration or to relax. Tonight we celebrate our journey at a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Accommodations: Taj Gateway Ganges
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 17: Varanasi/Delhi

After a morning at leisure we fly to Delhi and then transfer to our hotel which is conveniently located near the airport. Dinner tonight is on your own. Late this evening you’ll transfer to the airport for the return flight to the U.S.

Those embarking on the Nepal post-tour extension today will take an early morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Kathmandu.

Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Gurgaon
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 18: Return to U.S.

We arrive this morning in the U.S. and connect with our return flights home.

"NEPAL" OPTIONAL POST-TOUR EXTENSION

Post Tour DAY 17: Varanasi/Kathmandu

Late morning we fly to Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital and largest city, high in the storied Himalayas. Upon arrival we transfer to the hotel, where after check-in we will proceed for a visit to the Swayambhunath Temple, an ancient (ca. 250 BCE) and sacred Buddhist complex second in importance only to Boudhanath (which we visit on Day 19). This architectural treasure features a white dome that symbolizes Nirvana, a 13-tiered golden spire, and the all-seeing “eyes” of the Buddha on all four sides. Late this afternoon we return to our hotel, where we dine tonight.

Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Post Tour DAY 18: Kathmandu

This morning we enjoy a walking tour of Kathmandu City. Our walk takes us through Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO site of historic palaces, temples, and shrines. We also visit the house of the Kumari Devi, a tradition of worshipping young girls as a manifestation of the divine female energy.

After lunch on your own, we continue on to Patan, Nepal’s third largest city known for its rich culture and artistic tradition. Also known as Lalitpur (“City of Beauty”), Patan was constructed in the 3rd century in a circular manner that resembles the Buddhist Wheel of Religion. During our tour we see some of the city’s many Buddhist monuments and Hindu temples, along with bronze gateways and intricate wood carvings reflecting the time-honored artisan traditions still practiced here today. After returning to our hotel late this afternoon, we dine there together tonight.

Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Post Tour DAY 19: Kathmandu

Today we begin our discovery of Kathmandu Valley, whose three major cities (Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur) boast seven UNESCO World Heritage sites – the largest concentration of such riches in the world. Our first stop is outside the center of Kathmandu at ornate Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal’s oldest and holiest Hindu shrine. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the temple honors the manifestation of Lord Shiva, one of Hinduism’s three most important deities. Please note that as non-Hindus, we cannot enter the temple itself, but we can see the building and its compound from the riverbank on which it stands. From here we continue on to renowned 16th-century Boudhanath, the country’s oldest and largest Buddhist stupa (a monument containing Buddhist relics) that serves as the religious center for the many Tibetan immigrants who now live in Nepal. Dedicated to the teachings of the Buddha, this huge white dome-shaped monument boasts hundreds of colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind and draws millions of religious devotees, seekers, and tourists annually.

After lunch together we travel to Bhaktapur, the least developed of the valley’s three cities and a UNESCO World Heritage site commonly called the “City of Devotees.” Virtually a living open-air museum with its unspoiled ancient square and warrens of medieval streets, Bhaktapur is known for its fine artisans, abundant temples, colorful festivals, and traditional lifestyle, which we have the opportunity to see up close. Late this afternoon we return to the hotel; dinner tonight is on your own.

Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Post Tour DAY 20: Kathmandu

We begin today’s half-day sightseeing tour by traveling to Chovar and its vast gorge. Legend has it that the god Manjushree created this gorge so he could use it to drain the water from the Kathmandu Valley when it was still a lake. Standing here on the suspension bridge we have a panoramic view of the snow-capped Himalayas in the distance.

Later we visit the villages of Khokana and Bungmati where we walk the narrow lanes and gain insight into the traditional ways of Nepalese life. We are likely to see people bathing in communal waters, actively woodcarving, and participating in other hands-on trades. After this glimpse into rural Nepalese life, we then return to the hotel where you are free for lunch on your own and an afternoon at leisure. We enjoy a final dinner together this evening.

Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Kathmandu-Soaltee
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Post Tour DAY 21: Kathmandu/Delhi

This afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight to Delhi. After checking in at the hotel, the evening is at leisure with dinner tonight on your own.

Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Gurgaon
Meals: Breakfast

Post Tour DAY 22: Depart Delhi

Early this morning we transfer to the airport for our flights to the U.S. via Brussels.

An Important Note about Travel to Nepal

Please note that at this time the U.S. Department of State has an active travel warning for Nepal. However, the nature of this warning is different than other such advisories: rather than requesting that U.S. citizens "defer all non-essential travel" to Nepal, it “urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution during announced demonstrations” and to avoid large crowds and gatherings, as some political tensions remain despite the recent smooth transition of government.

Given that the situation largely deals with internal political affairs, we feel comfortable operating the tour as planned. Should the State Department change the warning to specifically ask prospective travelers to defer travel to Nepal, we would then evaluate the new circumstances and possibly cancel the tour

Your tour director for the base Mystical India tour will not accompany you on the optional Nepal extension. You instead will have two new tour directors on this portion of your tour: one while in Nepal and another during your return stay in Delhi.

We will do our best to adhere to our printed itinerary. Occasionally, though, unexpected obstacles, and opportunities, may arise that will force us to deviate from the itinerary as written. We would ask you to be open-minded and flexible should we vary the itinerary slightly. In addition, please note that airline schedules are subject to change. We will provide you with updated flight information closer to your departure.


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Cost and Program Inclusions

New YorkWashington, D.C.Land OnlySingle SupplementBusiness Class Upgrade
November, December, Late March$4,845* $5,145*$4,345 $1,895To be announced
* INCLUDES ROUNDTRIP AIRFARE

Included Features:

  • Exclusive departure for the Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Association;
  • Small group size limited to 24 guests;
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary;
  • 16 nights’ accommodations in listed properties;
  • 34 meals: 15 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 12 dinners;
  • Extensive sightseeing as described in day-by-day itinerary, including all entrance fees;
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director;
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout the tour;
  • Rail transportation Agra/Jhansi;
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person;
  • Gratuities for local guides (if applicable), dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers;

Not Included:

  • Airline taxes and departure fees (listed as separate item on invoice)
  • Gratuities for the Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director (left to individual discretion)
COST FOR EXTENSION TO NEPAL

Extension Price: $1,195
Single Supplement: $395

Notes: Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Prices from all U.S. cities are available upon request

Optional Post- Tour Extension: NEPAL (5 days/4 nights)
  • includes air transportation Varanasi/Kathmandu/Delhi;
  • 4 nights’ accommodations in Kathmandu at Crowne Plaza Soaltee (Superior First Class);
  • 1 night accommodations at Crowne Plaza Gurgaon (Deluxe), prior to international departure from Delhi;
  • 8 meals (4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners);
  • Extensive sightseeing, including Pashupatinath shrine (UNESCO site), Boudhanath monument, colorful Bhaktapur, “city of Devotees,” Swayambhunath Temple, royal city of Patan, and Kathmandu and environs;
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited representative;
  • Private motorcoach transportation;
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers.
PLEASE NOTE

We will do our best to adhere to our printed itinerary. Occasionally, though, unexpected obstacles, and opportunities, may arise that will force us to deviate from the itinerary as written. We would ask you to be open-minded and flexible should we vary the itinerary slightly. In addition, please note that airline schedules are subject to change. We will provide you with updated flight information closer to your departure.

For Land Only Guests

When you purchase a tour as “land only,” airport transfers and luggage handling at the arrival and departure airports at the beginning and end of the tour are not included. However, should you be at the arrival airport concurrent with the group of arriving Odysseys Unlimited travelers and see the signs for our motorcoach transfer, you are welcome to transfer with the group at no charge, providing additional seating is available. However, please note that the motorcoach cannot wait for you; you must be aboard when the coach is leaving. Similarly, when departing from the last hotel for your flight home, you are also welcome to take advantage of the group transfer, provided there is room and you are on board when the coach is leaving.

It is important to note, however, that a motorcoach may not be used for transfers in all cases. Depending upon the number of guests arriving or departing, we may utilize taxis or smaller vans. At such times, space restrictions will preclude your joining the group transfer and you will be responsible for your own transportation to or from the airport.

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Faculty Study Leader

Kristin Kelly '74
Kristin Kelly

Kristin Kelly will be the Bryn Mawr study leader on our trip to India. Kris worked at the J. Paul Getty Trust for eighteen years before leaving in 2008 to pursue other projects and to travel. She spent nine years at the J. Paul Getty Museum as the Manager of Administration, and nine at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) in various positions responsible for public education about the conservation of cultural heritage. After leaving the Getty, Kris worked in Punjab State, India, as the chief consultant to a heritage center devoted to the history and culture of the Sikhs, which opened in late 2011 in the town of Anandpur Sahib. While she was in India, she had the opportunity to travel around much of the country and explore its amazing history, culture, architecture and art. Kris graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1974 and earned a Ph.D. in art history and archaeology from Columbia University. She believes that though India is not easy, it is the most extraordinary country on the planet.

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Accommodations

Taj Palace Hotel

Sardar Patel Marg
Diplomatic Enclave
New Delhi 110 021
India
Tel: 011-91-11-2611-0202
Fax: 011-91-11-2611-0808
www.tajhotels.com

Surrounded by six acres of lush greenery in Delhi’s Diplomatic Enclave, the Taj Palace Hotel features a contemporary décor accented by marble and brass. The 441-room hotel offers four restaurants, a bar, and a lounge; shopping arcade; fitness center with jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, and spa treatments; outdoor pool; beauty salon; Internet access; and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Taj Jai Mahal Palace

Jacob Road
Civil Lines
Jaipur – 302 006
Rajasthan, India
Phone: 011-91-141-222-3636
Fax: 011-91-141-222-0707
www.tajhotels.com

A certified environmentally-friendly hotel and the former home of maharajahs and the prime minister of Jaipur, the 266-year-old Jai Mahal Palace sits amidst 18 acres of beautifully landscaped Mughul gardens. The hotel has three restaurants, one bar, and two lounges; shopping arcade; barber shop; beauty salon; safe deposit boxes; Internet access; laundry service; fitness center; spa with massage treatments; badminton; croquet; and indoor swimming pool. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge

Ranthambore National Park Road
Sawai Madhopur – 322 001
Rajasthan, India
Phone: 011-91-7462-220-541
Fax: 011-91-7462-220-718
www.vivantabytaj.com

Built in the 1930s by Indian royalty, the Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge is located just a short distance from Ranthambore National Park. The rustic-style lodge offers a restaurant and bar, Internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, fitness center, badminton, and outdoor pool. Each of the 36 air-conditioned guest rooms has private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Dera Village Retreat (formerly Dera Lake View Retreat)

Kalakho, Tehsil: Sikrai
Dausa, Rajasthan
Phone: 011-91-1420-214340;
011-91-1420-214341

Off the beaten track of rural Rajasthan sits Dera Village Retreat (formally Dera Lake View Retreat), a rustic yet comfortable haven of guest cabins set amidst a series of traditional villages. Sitting on the banks of a seasonal “monsoon” lake, the camp offers a unique opportunity to witness how much of India lives, away from the cities. During our stay we visit a local school, take a camel safari, and meet local Meena tribespeople in their homes. Along with a restaurant, gardens and bonfires add to the retreat’s ambience. Air-conditioned guest cabins have private bath with hot and cold running water and hair dryer. This remote location has no telephone service.

Taj Gateway Hotel Agra (formerly Taj View)

Taj Ganj
Fatehabad Road
Agra – 282 001
Uttar Pradesh, India
Phone: 011-91-562-2232-400
Fax: 011-91-562-2232-420
www.thegatewayhotels.com

Nestled amid six acres of landscaped gardens close to the Taj Mahal, the 100-room Taj Gateway Hotel Agra offers two restaurants and a lounge; Internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; shopping arcade; fitness center; recreational facilities including badminton, gym with jogging track, tennis courts, and outdoor pool; spa with steam room and massage; and an in-house astrologer. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, coffee- and tea-making facilities, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Taj Hotel Chandela

Dist. Chhatarpur
Khajuraho – 471 606
Madhya Pradesh, India
Phone: 011-91-7686-272-355-64
Fax: 011-91-7686-272-365-66
www.tajhotels.com

This 94-room oasis of calm sits on 11 acres of landscaped gardens close to the city’s famed temples. Hotel facilities include several restaurants and a bar, an art gallery, shopping arcade, beauty parlor and barber shop, Internet access, laundry service, safe deposit boxes, fitness center, croquet, mini-golf, and outdoor pool. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Taj Gateway Hotel Ganges Varanasi (formerly Taj Ganges)

Nadesar Palace Grounds
Varanasi – 221 002
Uttar Pradesh, India
Phone: 011-91-542-666-0001
Fax: 011-91-542-250-1343
www.thegatewayhotels.com

Set amidst 40 acres of landscaped lawns, Taj Gateway Hotel Ganges offers a host of amenities including a restaurant, coffee shop, and bar; shopping arcade; Internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; astrologer; fitness center; outdoor pool; badminton; tennis court; yoga; beauty salon; and spa services. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, coffee- and tea-making facilities, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Crowne Plaza Hotel Gurgaon (also used for Optional Post-Tour Extension)

Site 2 Sector 29
Opposite Signature Tower
Gurgaon 12001, India
Phone: 011-91-124-453-4000
Fax: 011-91-124-430-4800
www.ichotelsgroup.com

The 234-room Crowne Plaza Hotel Gurgaon is conveniently located near the airport and the local business district. Hotel amenities include two restaurants and a bar, Internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, fitness center with spa, and outdoor swimming pool. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Nepal OPTIONAL POST-TOUR EXTENSION Accommodations

Crowne Plaza Hotel Kathmandu-Soaltee

P.O. Box 97
Tahachal Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: 011- 977-1-4273-999
Fax: 011- 977-1-4272-205
www.ichotelsgroup.com

The 282-room Crown Plaza Hotel Kathmandu-Soaltee stands amidst 12 acres of gardens in the shadow of the Himalayas. The hotel offers several restaurants, bar, and lounge; Internet access; safe-deposit boxes; gift shop; beauty salon; fitness center; spa with sauna and steam bath; outdoor pool; and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

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