Arrival in Delhi.
Arrival at New Delhi airport. Welcome and transfer to your hotel.
Welcome to Delhi, the capital of India!
First night in Delhi.
After breakfast at the hotel we will move on to the newer districts of New Delhi. Already from a distance you can see the India Gate, which reminds of the Arc de Triomph in Paris. This 42 meter high arch was built in memory of the Indian soldiers killed during the First World War. On days off or at weekends you will meet many locals who have picnics or play cricket on the lawns around the arch.
In the direct neighbourhood is Rashtrapati Bhawan, which today is the official residence of the Indian president and is used for the parliament. A unique round building with huge colonnades. The journey of discovery continues with a drive to the Qutab Minar. This striking monument is a 70 meter high minaret that is no longer in use and has been damaged several times, but has been rebuilt or restored again and again. In the evening light, a particularly soft light pours over the site due to the different types of sandstone used.
Birla House, the last place where Mahatma Gandhi lived, has meanwhile been converted into a museum. This house, which is situated in the middle of a beautiful property, is surrounded by well-tended gardens, which in the busy city of Delhi also offer a place of peace and quiet.
Overnight stay in Delhi.
After breakfast transfer to the airport and domestic flight to Varanasi with Air India (10.15/11.35).
Upon arrival in Varanasi you will be welcomed on site and we will drive to the hotel together.
Varanasi has a history of more than 3000 years and is considered the oldest city in the world. The Hindu religion says that the people who die in Varanasi reach Nirvana and are thus liberated from rebirth.
The afternoon is at your free disposal.
In the evening we take part in the Aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganges (Ghats). This evening prayer on the river Ganges offers one of the most spectacular and impressive experiences. At dusk, hundreds of lights illuminate the river and the whole city comes to a halt when the sound of chimes and dongs is heard in every single street.
Overnight stay in Varanasi.
Early in the morning, as the sun slowly rises over Varanasi, enjoy an idyllic boat trip on the river Ganges. The banks of the river are decorated with temples and more than 100 ghats. The best way to catch all of them at least with a quick glance and enjoy the beautiful scenery with the ghats bathed in purple light.
Return to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast sightseeing in Varanasi with the visit of the famous Banaras Hindu. A Durga temple from the 18th century dedicated to the goddess Durga. As well as the visit of the Tulsi Manas temple "Bharat Mata", which means Mother India. This beautiful temple was consecrated in 1936 by Mahatma Gandhi.
Then we visit Sarnath, ten kilometers away (about 25 minutes drive), where Buddha held his first religious ceremony. Explore the Dharmek Stupa and the Sarnath Museum as well as the Ashoka Column and various statues from the Gupta period. Marvel at the Mulagandhakuti vihar temple with its frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Buddha.
Overnight stay in Varanasi.
After breakfast we will visit Varanasi on foot to get to the centre. You will get an insight into the everyday life of the Indian population and thus get in contact with the locals.
After lunch transfer to the airport and flight with Indigo Flight to Jaipur (15.45/17.15)
After arrival at Jaipur airport transfer to the hotel.
Jaipur, also called the Pink City, is the capital of Rajasthan and was built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the early 18th century. Even today you can still see the city walls surrounding the busy streets where cyclists, rickshaw drivers, pedestrians, cars and now and then camels make their way through colorful archways. The heart of the city is the city palace, where descendants of the Majaraja family still live today.
After breakfast drive to the nearby Amber Fort. From afar you can admire this magnificent fortress of Jaipur, as it is enthroned on top of a range of hills. We enjoy the ascent by jeep, which takes us through the narrow, cobbled streets to the impressive entrance gates.
We spend the afternoon visiting the city palace. Not only worth seeing because of the different architectural styles, as you can clearly see the Rajput and Mughal architecture, but also because of the surroundings. A city within a city, which also includes the Govind Deo Temple and the Jantar Mantar, an old observatory which unfortunately is no longer functional today. At the edge of the palace, but also connected to each other, is the Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of Winds. An ornate pink sandstone façade, behind which the ladies of the court sat and watched the daily happenings on the streets below without being seen.
We spend the evening at one of the Hindu temples to witness the Aarti prayer ceremony. These ceremonies take place at different times of the day, but the evening prayer with the lights and the setting sun offers an unforgettable atmosphere.
Overnight stay in Jaipur.
After breakfast at the hotel drive to Agra.
On the way there we visit Fatehpur Sikri. The long abandoned former capital, which was also built of red sandstone by the influential Grand Mogul Akbar, captivates with its many palaces, which are decorated with detailed handicraft.
We then continue on to Akbarabad, as Agra was called during the Mughal rule and is home to some of the most magnificent Mughal buildings. Situated on the banks of the Yamuna River, Agra has inspired countless people around the world and you will find no less than three UNESCO World Heritage Sites there.
In the late afternoon you visit Mehtab Bagh at sunset and enjoy a fascinating view of the Taj Mahal on the other side of the river.
Overnight stay in Agra.
After breakfast we visit the world famous Taj Mahal, which is surrounded by a beautiful garden and will take your breath away at first sight. This impressive mausoleum is the unique proof of love of a Mughal ruler to his favourite wife and shines with its marble facade on the banks of the Yamuna River.
Inspired by this beautiful monument, we continue on to Agra Fort, which is also located on the Yamuna River. This magnificent Akbars Fort, built of red sandstone, dominates the cityscape of Agra.
Our next item on the programme is said to have been the model for the Taj Mahal. That's why the Itmad-du-Daulah bears the name "Baby Taj" in addition to its official name and is only a few kilometres away from the Taj Mahal, on the other side of the river. This mausoleum captivates by its beautifully worked out marble facade, which offers a shimmering contrast in the connection with the red sandstone floor.
Overnight stay in Agra.
After breakfast we drive to Mathura, where the next two days are dedicated to the Holi colour festival.
Mathura is an important Hindu pilgrimage place and is considered the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Furthermore, this place impresses with several temples, of which the Dwarkadian shrine is the most impressive. On the way to Vrinadavan there is another important sight, the temple Gita Mandir, also dedicated to Lord Krishna. We spend this day visiting these temples.
We end the day with the preliminary celebrations for tomorrow's Holi Festival.
Overnight stay in Mathura.
Today is one of the most important holidays in India. It is part of the Festival of Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours. This festival is dedicated to Lord Krishna, which is why the festivities in Mathura and Vrindavan are particularly marked. Let yourself be carried away by this festival of joy and feel what this festival means for the Indian culture.
Overnight stay in Mathura.
After breakfast we will head back to Delhi, where you will have time to relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
Overnight stay in Delhi.
After breakfast we experience the bustling Old Delhi and visit the Red Fort, built of red sandstone and dating from 1648.
After these first impressions of Delhi, we visit the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque, which was also built in the middle of the 17th century from red sandstone and white marble.
When visiting Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk with its lively shops, various market stalls and silversmith's workshops, which we will explore by bicycle rickshaw, is not to be missed.
We will also visit Gurdwara Market and other sights we did not see on arrival in Delhi.
After a refreshment and some relaxation in your hotel room, which you can stay in until your departure, we will drive to Delhi airport at about 9 pm.
Day 13 (April 1)
Return flight to Switzerland at 2.05 am with Swiss. Arrival in Zurich in the morning at 6.25 am.
- International flight from Zurich - Delhi / Delhi - Zurich with Swiss (flight to be booked by you), basic fare of CHF 1'000 included in the offer price (price corresponds to Economy Class, subject to changes depending on flight load factor).
- 2 domestic flights from Delhi to Varanasi and from Varanasi to Jaipur, basic fare of CHF 290.- included in the offer price (price corresponds to Economy Class , subject to change depending on the flight load factor) Booked and invoiced by us.
- Accommodation in double occupancy room according to the itinerary, in the above mentioned or similar hotels.
- Meal plan: as stated with the respective hotel
➢ Lunch in a local, sometimes simpler restaurant during the city tours
➢ Dinner in buffet form in the hotel restaurants or possibly in a local restaurant
- Transport services with an air-conditioned a minibus for 8 to 10 persons as follows:
1. transfer on arrival in Delhi
2. day trip in Delhi
3. transfer to Delhi airport for the flight to Varanasi
4. reception and transfer at Varanasi airport with a minibus
5. sightseeing in Varanasi with an Innova (3 to 4 people per vehicle)
6. transfer to Delhi airport for the flight to Jaipur
7. from Jaipur reception until transfer to Delhi airport
- Meeting and reception services in Delhi, Varanasi, Agra and Jaipur
- one entry to buildings and temples according to the program
- Velorichshaw ride in Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi
- Visit of the spice market in Old Delhi
- Accompanied by an English-French speaking tour guide and a female tour guide from Switzerland
- the services of a local English-speaking tour guide in Mathura for two days during the Holi festivities
- Exclusive boat trip in Varanasi
- Jeep ride during the visit of the Amber Fort
- all applicable taxes
- All services other than those mentioned above.
- The international flight ticket and surcharges (although a basic price of CHF 1'000 is included in the offer). However, the ticket for the international flight must be booked by you.
- All additional costs for domestic flights compared to the basic price of CHF 290 included in the offer. However, these may vary depending on the load factor of the flight. Domestic flights are booked and invoiced by us.
- All insurances in case of accident, illness, repatriation and cancellation of the trip.
- All visa fees, airport taxes, table drinks, telephone calls, tips for porters, drivers, tour guides and naturalists, camera fees, Ayurvedic massages or treatments, laundry service etc. or other personal expenses.
- All other costs/changes due to unforeseen events during the stay in India.
- Anything else that is not mentioned in the program or in the "Included in the offer" section.
Good to know
We recommend you to read the general travel conditions mentioned on the website of India & You: https://india-and-you.com/en/This travel offer is valid until 1 December 2021at the latest (accoding to Covid Situation, awaiting confirmation)
, on which date the number of travellers will be reported. The minimum number of participants is 8 persons (in addition to the accompanying person from Switzerland and the guide in India).
If the registered number of participants is not at least 8 persons, the trip will not take place. Depending on the number of confirmed travellers and in agreement with them, this tour can still take place with a new price calculation and with the acceptance of this new price by all travellers.
With the confirmation of the execution of the journey, the international flight must be booked by you and 40% of the total cost of the journey (including domestic flights) must be paid to the account of the Banque Cantonale Neuchâteloise with the following bank details
Name of the beneficiary: Travel & You Sàrl, chemin de la Cascade 1, 2024 St-Aubin-Sauges
Account number: 103431971 CHF
Name of the bank: Banque Cantonale Neuchâteloise
Bank address: Place Pury 4, 2001 Neuchâtel
Bank Swift code: BCNNCH22
IBAN number: CH1000766000103431971
The balance shall be paid 30 days before the trip.
Furthermore, we would like to point out that it is important that you take out insurance for illness, accident, repatriation and cancellation.
For your visa application, your passport must be valid for up to 6 months after your return home. You can apply for an e-visa at the following official address: www.indianvisaonline.gov.in (indicative price: 25 USD for 30 days).
Some useful information:
Money and credit cards:
For 1 CHF you will receive 70 Indian Rupees (INR). We recommend to have 21'000 INR with you upon arrival in India (equivalent of CHF 300.-). It is always practical to have some cash on hand, especially for paying for drinks not included in the programme and for tips (which are an integral part of the remuneration system in India and allow a margin of personal appreciation based on satisfaction with the service provided - porters, tip box at the hotel reception, guide, driver, etc.).
Credit cards can be used anywhere in India (sometimes even in local markets!). We also recommend that you bring a Travel Cash or other debit card that can be used to withdraw money from ATMs in India (with a lower commission than a credit card). ATM withdrawals are often limited to INR 5,000 or INR 10,000.
If you want to take foreign currency with you, it is preferable to take Euros or USD.
Tipping is always appreciated in India and is also part of the remuneration system. Wages are very low in most sectors of the economy and especially in the tourism sector. However, tipping remains optional and, above all, allows a "margin of manoeuvre" that you can give a little more or less depending on your satisfaction with your service. For your orientation: luggage racks in hotels are given between 50 and 100 INR, 20 INR when using the toilets, 500 INR in so-called "tip boxes" at the reception of hotels, 300 INR/day for the driver, 200 INR/day for the driver's assistant (if available), 600 INR/day for the guide.
Applying for an e-visa is convenient (online application), less expensive than a conventional application (visa application office in Geneva or Bern for Swiss citizens) and allows you to pass through the entry control on arrival in Delhi more quickly. The link is: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in (only 25 USD for 30 days!)
As already mentioned several times, travel insurance must be taken out prior to departure to cover illness, accident, repatriation and cancellation of travel.
Security in India:
Contrary to the information often given in the media, India is a safe country (calculated in relation to the number of inhabitants!). However, it is important to respect local customs (take off your shoes in front of the temple and cover your body - in most cases) and behave respectfully towards the inhabitants. In general, Indians are very hospitable and often helpful. However, stress is more pronounced in the big cities (Delhi with 23 million inhabitants) and of course, as everywhere, there are undoubtedly some neighbourhoods that should be avoided during the night!
It is important to us to travel in good general health.
Otherwise it is always useful to have anti-inflammatory medication, painkillers, Imodium, disinfectants and bandages for minor injuries.
No special vaccinations are recommended for India.
Food in India:
The food is very tasty and often predominantly vegetarian. However, there are also non-vegetarian dishes that taste just as good. As a western tourist it is better to be careful with spices! Depending on the region the dishes are more or less spicy! In northern India (Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan) the food is not too spicy.
The magic formula is to eat cooked food and not drink water that is not bottled. It is also important to avoid raw food and fruit that is not peeled.
Copy of your travel documents:
We recommend you bring a copy of your passport, visa, credit cards and insurance cards. It is always helpful to have these in case of loss or theft.
Clothing and shoes for your journey:
Bring comfortable clothes (as well as shoes). Even if we don't do big hikes, we will always walk a bit. So bring comfortable shoes as well.
We also recommend wearing light clothes, as the temperatures are pleasant in March. However, bring a sweater for the evening, as the evenings can be cool! It would also be nice to have some more elegant but still loose clothing, especially for Delhi.
Permitted weight of your luggage:
7 kg hand luggage and 23 kg for checked luggage.
We usually carry a small device with us that allows us to connect (almost) anywhere during our trip. However, as everywhere, it is possible that the network is weak or in some places not accessible at all. Also in most hotels we have a wlan connection, which is often quite good.
Small gifts for children:
If you wish, you can bring sweets, pens and small pads to give to the children during the trip. Because it is not unusual for children to come to us. Even small gifts always bring joy. ☺
A few words about begging:
In India you will see many beggars. Sometimes you feel uncomfortable and do not know exactly how to react. First of all we would like to stress that it is important to look at the people and to greet them. The hello, which can be short and often very welcome, can help to make this perhaps unpleasant situation a little easier. In general, it is better not to give money and especially not to give money to children, especially those caught in trafficking. Knowing that everyone does what they can and what they feel. Sometimes we will be emotionally touched and still give something small. In general we tend to encourage the purchase of items from young street vendors. But don't forget to negotiate, as this is the custom in India!
And please note that by choosing a trip with India & You, an amount of CHF 50 will be donated to a social and humanitarian institution in India, per participant and for each organized trip.