A$7,700 per person. Flights not included.
10-23 April 2019. Spaces limited. Contact India Unbound for more information, detailed itinerary or a booking form.
A group tour of India designed especially for solo women travellers.
10-23 April 2019
Insights of India is a 14-day journey that will introduce some of the sights, cities, people and history of this fascinating country. Discover Mumbai, visit the holy city of Varanasi and the sacred Ganges River, see first-hand the Taj Mahal and explore the pink city of Jaipur – plus Delhi, Agra and Ranthambhore. Featuring gentle guided walking tours, tiger safaris, boat ride on the Ganges, visits to bustling markets and bazaars, and contemporary dining at India’s top restaurant. This two-week tour has been crafted especially for solo women travellers wanting to experience India first-hand with the comfort and support of a group tour, and the company of like-minded travellers. Hosted by Melbourne-based Glenda McMillan-Andersson from destination specialists India Unbound.
* Explore Rajasthan’s famed pink city of Jaipur – visit the City Palace and Amber Fort
* Guided walk and market visit in Jaipur
* Stay at the beautiful Samode Haveli in Jaipur and enjoy a complimentary massage
* Search for tigers in Ranthambhore National Park during dusk and dawn safaris
* See the imperial city of Fatephur Sikri
* Visit the sublime Taj Mahal in Agra and take a guided tour of Agra Fort
* Delhi sightseeing including rickshaw ride in Old Delhi, Qutab Minar, Jama Masjid & Humayun’s Tomb
* Experience modern Indian dining at Indian Accent – voted India’s best restaurant
* Witness the powerful evening aarti ceremony in Varanasi and take a dusk boat ride on the Ganges
* Guided city walk in Varanasi and visit Sarnat
* Discover Mumbai – visit Dharavi and explore some of the areas of South Bombay
* Fully-escorted by an Australian host and national Indian guide
* Hosted by India Unbound’s Glenda McMillian-Andersson, whose travel experience spans decades
Insights of India runs for 14 days from 10-23 April 2019. Spaces limited.
Day 1 Mumbai
Arrive Mumbai – India’s commercial capital and a vibrant megacity. You will be met at the airport and transferred to South Mumbai and our hotel in the popular Colaba district of the city.
Set on a small peninsula of land, Mumbai is a bustling city where millions of people coexist side by side. Although steeped in tradition and a rich historical past, this is a city where modern India and traditional India can been seen flourishing side by side.
Day 2 Mumbai
Explore Mumbai today, starting with a visit to Dharavi – an immense community of people that’s also a thriving centre of small-scale industry worth US$665 million annually. Dharavi may be known to most as the largest slum in Asia, but this guided walking tour will reveal there’s much more to this community than poverty. We will travel by local trains and taxis to reach Dharavi – introducing you to the everyday life on Mumbai and some of its crucial transport network.
Afterwards, head to the arts precinct of Kala Ghoda with its galleries, modern cafes and boutiques. We will stop for a light lunch at one of our favourite cafes – where you can have sandwiches on freshly baked breads, real coffee and delicious cakes. Nearby there’s several galleries worth visiting, as well as some inviting boutiques and homeware stores. Spend some time exploring this popular area before we return to our hotel.
Day 3 Varanasi
This morning we will flly to Varanasi – also known as the City of Light – and the spiritual capital of India. Situated on the banks of the sacred Gnages River, Varanasi draws pilgrims from across the world who come to see and bath in the holy waters of the river. Along the river, ghats or steps, teem with daily life, temples and shrines and sacred ceremonies. The ghats stretch for 6km along the river. Our accommodation in Varanasi is centrally located on the ghats – allowing us to be surrounded by the sounds, energy and life at this most important location.
In the late afternoon, we will take a guided boat tour on the sacred Ganges River with a classical music performance and witness the Ganga Aarti– a powerful devotional ritual that uses fire as an offering. The aarti takes place on a stage facing the river and from our boat, we will have a birds eye view of the ceremony. This spectacular ceremony is a must see experience for travellers on a tour of North India.
Day 4 Varanasi
Delve deeper into Varanasi with a guided walking tour of its bazaars and hidden alleys. Varanasi is filled with temples and cultural life. This walking tour will reveal aspects of daily life few discover in Varanasi and take us through some of the numerous bazaars, temples, markets of the old city. Meet locals from shopkeepers to temple attendants and sample some local delicacies along the way.
In the afternoon, travel to Sarnath – a short distance from Varanasi – where Buddha gave his first sermon after gaining enlightenment, some 2,500 years ago. Sarnath, a renowned centre for Buddhist learning, still attracts Buddhist pilgrims from around the world.
Day 5 Delhi
Take a morning flight to Delhi and transfer to our hotel upon arrival.
In Delhi over the coming days, we will discover the two distinct parts of the city that exist – the old and new parts – each with its particular history and charm.
Tonight feast on a six-course degustation menu paired with wine at Indian Accent – India’s best restaurant and one of the Top 50 in Asia. Savour the best of contemporary Indian cuisine during this amazing dining experience in a refined and elegant setting. This is the place to go to experience the best of modern Indian cuisine and to witness the new, contemporary side of India.
Day 6 Delhi
Explore old and new Delhi today.
Starting in Old Delhi in the morning, visit Jama Masjid – the biggest mosque in India – and take a cycle rickshaw ride through the bazaars of Old Delhi, taking in the bustling lanes and small stores of Chandi Chowk, marvel at the main bridal street of Old Delhi and visit the spice market of Khari Baoli. In the afternoon discover New Delhi, with guided visits to Humayun’s Tomb, Qutab Minar and a drive through Lutyens’ Delhi which includes the buildings of parliament and the presidential house. Just some of the best things to see and do in Delhi during a tour of India.
Day 7 Agra
Board a train bound for Agra. India’s rail network is one of the largest in the world and a crucial part of the country’s infrastructure – an experience not to be missed. This comfortable local train ride will not only be a memorable experience, but it will remove several hours of driving. We will be met upon arrival at Agra train station and transferred to our hotel.
After checking in, a guided tour will showcase the impressive Agra Fort. A powerful red sandstone fort with walls that cover 2.5 kilometres. Inside is the imperial city of the Mughal rulers.
The day ends with a visit to the iconic Taj Mahal – the world’s greatest monument to love – and a sight that many dream their whole life of visiting and seeing first-hand. Marvel at the beauty of this icon, counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Spend some time studying the Taj from its various angles and take plenty of photographs to carry home with you.
Day 8 Ranthambhore
Drive to Ranthambhore today, stopping en route to visit the 16thcentury imperial city of Fatephur Siri, seen here. Constructed in 1571 by the Akbar, the great Mughal emperor, Fatepur city was abandoned shortly after its completion. Today, much of this fascinating imperial city is still intact, though it resembles a ghost town.
After touring Fatephur Siri, continue on to Ranthambhore. For the next 3 nights stay at Fateh’s Retreat – a newly built bed and breakfast run by a local family renowned for conservation and community work. This small guest house features warm and welcoming hosts, with a long history and knowledge of the area and the conservation work that has occurred in the park, as well as comfortable new rooms with all modern amenities, a picturesque infinity swimming pool that directly overlooks the national park and an immaculate lawn and garden. A wonderful place to stay and discover the national park and surrounding area and community.
Day 9 Ranthambhore
Rise early for a tiger safari in Ranthambhore National Park. At this time of year there’s an improved chance of tiger sightings as the hot, dry weather has stripped the leaves from the trees, the ground is barren of any cover and the animals are lured out in search of waterholes to drink from. As well as tigers, the park is home to numerous animals including nilgai, sloth bear and jackals.
There will be time today to relax after the safari. Spend some time in the lovely garden of our accommodation, or relax by the inviting swimming pool. At dusk, join an expert local naturalist for a gentle bird walk before dinner.
Day 10 Ranthambhore
Morning at leisure, or visit the local village school and hospital run by our hosts the Rathore Family. You’ll be amazed by the facilities at both the school and hospital. In the afternoon return to the park for a second tiger safari. What are the chances of seeing a tiger at Ranthambhore National Park? From our experience, at this time of the year there’s a very good chance to see a tiger. The park is very dry, the trees are bare and the ground dry, so it’s easier to spot the animals as there’s less coverage for them to hide. Animals are also moving around looking for waterholes to drink from, so your safari will stop at a number of these drinking spots as you look for tigers.
Day 11 Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur – the pink city of Rajasthan.
For the next three nights stay at the stunning heritage hotel Samode Haveli and luxuriate at this urban oasis in the historic city of Jaipur. Samode is a traditional Indian mansion set in a lush garden with apartments or rooms set around a series of intimate courtyards. The hotel boasts a large, central pool that’s extremely inviting with its sunbeds and spacious shaded lounges. There’s also a pretty poolside bar, gym, spa and fabulous restaurant. Each room is unique and has its own distinctive character. Samode Haveli is one of the best hotels in Jaipur and an India Unbound favourite. This three night stay will surely be a highlight of your group tour of India designed for solo women travellers.
Check-in upon arrival and take some time to be comfortable. In the afternoon, a guided walking tour will reveal some of the ancient crafts and merchants of Jaipur’s vibrant city bazaar and introduce you to some of the best local snacks.
Day 12 Jaipur
Visit Amber Fort – ascending the steep fort road by jeep and marvel at the fort’s Palace of Mirrors and Elephant Gate. Amber Fort is a highlight of any tour to Jaipur and one of the biggest and most impressive forts in Rajasthan. Your guide will reveal some of the city’s ruthless and intriguing past during your visit to Amber Fort.
In the afternoon, relax and enjoy the beautiful hotel facilities at Samode Haveli, with a massage at the hotel spa included. Enjoy your spa treatment, relax by the pool, or soak up the luxury and comfort of your room.
Day 13 Jaipur
Explore Jaipur’s magnificent City Palace – home to the city’s rulers since 1727. In the afternoon, explore the city’s modern boutiques and stores, with the vehicle at our disposal for those interested in shopping. Our city guide and tips for places to shop in Jaipur will surely be handy for those looking for some souvenirs to take home. Jaipur is also home to several modern cafes where we can stop for lunch or coffee and cake this afternoon.
Day 14 Delhi
Depart Jaipur and drive to Delhi Airport for connecting international flights. Farewell India and the cherish the insights of this incredible country that you have gained.
Meet your host of Insights of India – Glenda McMillan-Andersson from Melbourne-based India Unbound, a destination specialist and expert tour planner for custom made itineraries to India.
A passionate traveller with a love of discovering new places, Glenda McMillan-Andersson is a seasoned travel professional – having dedicated her life to working in travel and visiting new destinations. Her personal travels have taken her from central and Latin America to Mediterranean Europe, Cuba, Tibet, Sri Lanka and India, and many places in between. Glenda loves the spontaneity of travel – destinations with passionate local people and places bursting with energy, where as visitors you can be enveloped by the local enthusiasm for life and the destination. “It gives you a deeper travel experience and a more exciting holiday,’’ she says. As host of Insights of India, Glenda’s personal and professional travel experience will mean you are in steady hands. Together with an English-speaking national guide, Glenda will show you some of India’s best sights and destinations, and share with you some of her favourite parts of India, discovering the key attractions and the everyday life of this incredible destination. Join Glenda for Insights of Indiain April 2019 and enjoy the company of like-minded female travellers as you experience India together.
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