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2020 Tours Coming Up 
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INDIA 
The Mystical India - Overview
DATES & COST 

November 7 - 19, 2020
13 Days / 12 Nights

Tour starts and ends in Delhi

$5,760 per person / double occupancy
$1,620 optional single supplement
$300 additional night, including private airport transfer (single or double room)
Includes all fees and taxes

TOUR DIRECTOR 
TOUR MAP 

Click on the image to enlarge the map

India's effervescence surpasses the simple combination of the beauty of its landscape and the intricacy of its ancient architecture. Mystical and spiritual, India is a land of rich contrasts. Its complexity makes it indelibly spiritual at one moment, then architecturally glorious, then astonishingly natural, then culturally fascinating. A country by name but by its scope, it's a continent, incredibly diverse and enveloped in color, texture and scents woven into its mind-boggling richness. India's cultural tapestry unveils a country with many faces, each unraveling a feast of fresh experiences, infused with a kaleidoscopic blend of enchantment and sensual indulgence. From the clothing that pops with bright blues and yellows to the glowing pink architecture, and from the golden desert to the emerald jungle, India is all about color. And just when you think that the countryside or cityscape couldn’t get any more exciting, you’ll be presented with another captivating burst of life and color. Many see India as the blueprint of the world we live in, and having been ruled by hundreds of kings and emperors, its history reads like a vivid fairy tale, with some episodes straight from a horror novel. It is so wonderfully different, with no other place to compare it to, that it's hard to find words to describe it without resorting to the cliché "you have to see it to believe it". It's mesmerizing, exotic, exciting and mystical, but also frustrating, confusing and chaotic. No matter how much you've traveled, how many countries you've visited, when you first arrive in India, it will hit you like a gale force wind, a hurricane of sounds, smells, and color where nothing is as it seems.

The Mystical India tour covers the most iconic sights of Northern India, the classic Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) with the additions of the lakeside jewel city of Udaipur and India's spiritual capital of Varanasi, while offering experiences that go deeper and beyond the typical first-time India visit. The tour's carefully designed itinerary presents multiple aspects of India, a microcosm of cultures, combining its cinematic sights and landscapes, its forts, palaces and temples, as well as the eternal Taj Mahal, a kaleidoscopic culture, head-spinning history, and constant expressions of joie de vivre. In addition, the tour is timed to coincide with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights which symbolizes the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance" and we'll celebrate it with an Indian family.

  • While in Delhi, we'll delve into the complexities of Indian history and culture with private, in-depth tours of Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat (Mahatma Gandhi Memorial), Indira Gandhi Memorial, Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar. We'll explore both the spacious, gleaming New Delhi, built as the imperial capital of British India and the rambunctious Old Delhi, which was the capital of Islamic India. We'll see the Indian Parliament, India Gate and enjoy a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes and colorful bazaars of Old Delhi. We'll see a Bollywood inspired theater performance, soak up the energetic and festive atmosphere of the city and sample delicious Indian meals in sophisticated restaurants.
     
  • In Udaipur, we'll enjoy the elegant ambiance of the lake city, as we explore the City Palace to appreciate its artistry and its perfect location on Lake Pichola. We'll take a private boat for a lakeside view of the intricately designed mansions and palaces lining its shores, as we journey to the romantic Jagmandir Island Palace. We'll learn about the traditional arts of marble sculpting and miniature paintings, and we'll watch the Dharohar Dance Show in Bagore ki Haveli.
     
  • In Jaipur, we'll explore India's Pink City, admiring the Hindu style artistry of the Amber Fort and the City Palace, the accuracy of ancient astronomical instruments in Jantar Mantar, and wonder at the genius of architects who designed the perfect climate control system in Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds. There will also be time to relax in an Ayurvedic spa or indulge in some of the best artisinal shopping in India.
     
  • In Agra, we'll visit the Taj Mahal, a perfectly shaped immense mausoleum of white marble, then we'll tour the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, as we ponder the unpredictability of love and fortune and how they result in spellbinding works of art and architecture. We'll also visit an orphanage and spend an evening with a local family, as guests in their home, feasting and celebrating Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.
     
  • In Varanasi, we'll take a boat ride along the famous Ghats of Varanasi to witness the Ganga Aarti and hear mythological stories associated with the holy river. We'll visit Sarnath, where Buddha delivered his first sermon and we'll practice the traditional Indian philosophy of yoga and meditation. Associated with mysticism, spiritualism, yoga, Sanskrit and Hindi languages, Varanasi is considered the spiritual capital of India, and to quote Mark Twain, "it is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together."
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE 
  • Luxurious 5 star hotels throughout the tour: 3 nights at an exclusive hotel in New Delhi2 nights at the exquisitely situated hotel in Udaipur, 2 nights in the elegant lakeside hotel in Jaipur, 2 nights in a modern hotel with a view of the Taj Mahal in Agra2 nights at the charming hotel in Varanasi, and 1 night at the modern hotel near Delhi Airport
     
  • Private airport transfers on arrival and on departure
     
  • Delicious meals throughout the tour: 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners, including drinks
     
  • Bottled mineral water throughout the tour
     
  • Professional private guides in Delhi, Udaipur, Jaipur, Agra, and Varanasi
     
  • Experienced Sights and Soul Travels' Tour Director, accompanying the group throughout the entire tour
     
  • Additional activities: rickshaw ride through the bazaars of Old Delhi, theatre performance in Delhi, private boat ride on Lake Pichola in Udaipur, Dharohar Dance Show in Udaipur, elephant ride at the Amber Fort in Jaipur, cooking, henna application, Saree draping and Diwali celebrations at a private home in Agra, a visit to a local orphanage in Agra, and a yoga and meditation session in Varanasi
     
  • All fees and admissions to activities and attractions mentioned in the itinerary
     
  • All transportation in India by an air-conditioned private bus
     
  • Domestic flights from Delhi to Udaipur, Delhi to Varanasi, and Varanasi to Delhi, including all airline fees and taxes
     
  • All guides', drivers' and restaurants' gratuities
NOT INCLUDED 

Additional costs may include: optional travel insurance, optional single supplement, passport fees and Indian visa fees, additional hotel accommodations, tour director's gratuities, additional personal expenses.

The tour cost does not include airfare.

HIGHLIGHTS 

Delhi

  • Humayun’s Tomb, Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat, India Gate, Indira Gandhi Memorial, Parliament, Qutub Minar
  • Rickshaw ride through the bazaars of Old Delhi
  • Bollywood inspired theatre performance

Udaipur

  • City Palace, Jagmandir, Bagore ki Haveli
  • Private boat ride on Lake Pichola
  • Dharohar Dance Show

Jaipur

  • Amber Fort, Jantar Mantar, City Palace, Palace of the Winds
  • Elephant ride at Amber Fort

Agra

  • Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri
  • Visit to a local orphanage 
  • Cooking presentation, henna painting and Saree draping demonstration
  • Diwali celebrations

Varanasi

  • Spiritual Varanasi and the holy Ganges River
  • Sarnath Buddhist holy site
  • Yoga and meditation session

What Makes This Trip Special 
  • Carefully designed itinerary, including the signature Northern India experiences
  • Exclusive experiences, not available to larger groups
  • Knowledgeable private guides in Delhi, Udaipur, Jaipur, Agra and Varanasi
  • Experienced Tour Director throughout the trip
  • Accommodations in luxurious, perfectly located hotels
  • Elegant meals, including drinks, throughout the tour
  • A small group of maximum 16 women
  • No forced shopping
Testimonials 

By far the best vacation I have ever taken. I loved, loved, loved the accommodations and the food was fantastic. All the local tour guides were excellent. – Linda from Massachusetts

This tour surpassed expectations. I really did not know what to expect but this tour was phenomenal. The whole group was like we had known each other for years. I have never had such an incredible experience. – Barbara from Oklahoma

India was a life changing experience – specifically Varanasi – Roxanne from Missouri

Loved it – a dream come true! The local tour guides were wonderful, so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. – Theresa from California

This was an excellent tour. Everything was first class from the accommodations to the activities. I was really happy with the value of the tour, because of all the included meals and activities. No surprises! – Madalyne from Texas

Meeting new people and learning about the different cultures were the best. This was a very well put together tour that had the right amount of free time. It covered a wide range of interests and I felt I had learned a great deal about the history of the areas we visited and the culture. – Renee from South Dakota

The India tour was interesting and enjoyable. We had a great tour director, great guides, great women and a great experience! – Joanne from Missouri

It was a fantastic experience, and I highly recommend it! The cities were all interesting and beautiful. Our guide was superb. This trip is very affordable as well. Thanks for your hard work! – Sharon from Illinois

I really enjoyed the tour. The activities were well planned. The tour guides were knowledgeable and added lots to the trip. It was everything I wanted it to be. – Liz from Texas

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Web Design: Kasia Slabosz

Why travel with other women?
Many women do not have families or compatible friends who wish to travel. When going on a main-stream tour, women often find that most activities are geared towards couples and quite often they feel left out. Singles' tours are not always what women are looking for. If you do not have a traveling companion, there is also the issue of the expensive "single supplement", sometimes as much as 50 or even 100 percent of the tour cost. By going on women-only tours, women can easily avoid paying for the single supplement by sharing a room with another woman traveler.
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