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Fairs & Festival Tour in India


Best during Period :

Duration :
18 nights / 19 days

Cities covered :
Delhi - Jodhpur - Nagaur - Jodhpur - Jaipur - Agra - Delhi - Mumbai - Trivandrum - Kovalam - Kumarakom - Cochin - Mumbai.

Colorful festivals covered :
-  Surajkund Crafts Mela near New Delhi (1st - 15th Feb.'08)
-  Nagaur Cattle Fair - Nagaur (13th - 16th Feb.'08)
Taj Mahotsav - Agra (18th -  27th Feb.'08)
-  The Elephanta Festival - Mumbai (23rd - 24th Feb.'08)
 Nishagandhi Dance Festival -Trivandrum (21st - 27th Feb.'08)

Highlights : Sights of modern India and medieval Mughal and Rajput Forts, Palaces and Taj Mahal. Stay in one of the finest Heritage Palaces of India - Samode Palace, nestled picturesquely amidst rugged hills.
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[These Festival Tour Programs are best run with minimum 6 travelers to a group & more]

The romance and colour of India greets you as you disembark from your Jet in Delhi - India’s splendid capital. Founded on the sight of several cities it has been the seat of power for centuries. Today Old and New city combine to present a harmonious whole offering the traveler elegant shops, broad laburnum lines avenues, sun-warmed elegant forts and mosques that were once stronghold of Mughal powers and colorful bazaars. Our representative escorts you to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 2 – DELHI
This morning sightseeing of New Delhi - is well planned with wide tree lined avenues, fountains and parks. Colonial architecture dominates this part of the city, you will drive along the ceremonial avenues of Rajpath and view the splendid Presidential Palace, the circular Parliament House and impressive diplomatic enclave.
Afternoon you visit SURAJKUND CRAFT MELA.

Handicrafts had been a muted presence in Indian life for centuries, adding colour, beauty and utility to all homes alike. Now for the fifth time an effort is made to capture the dynamics of this great tradition through professionally organized crafts fairs.

About 8 km South of Delhi, in the sun drenched panoramic plains of Haryana, there lies the serene arc of a lake. Legend say, Raja Suraj Pal of the Tomar dynasty built the Lake and a Sun Temple is in ruins, but the lovely wooded landscape worships a different power - the craftsmanship of Indian artisans.

Master-craftsmen from all over the country come to display their skill and sell their exquisite products. Mahor crafts here on display are Kalamkari, Glass, Scroll, Madhubani and Phad - painting; Block tie and die printing; Handloom Textiles, Embroidery; Sandalwood, Rosewood Carving; various kinds of Terracotta and Pottery; Brass, Copper and Iron Metal Crafts; Stone Carvings and Sculptures; Cane and Grass Crafts; Paper Mache and Lacquer work, etc - a shopping bonanza by any standard.

The mela comes as a unique opportunity for crafts persons selected from all over the country. It provides the crafts person with an opportunity to mingle with each other and get an exposure to crafts trend as practiced throughout the country. The day performers and the cultural events at the Natyashala are yet another experience that the crafts personified of interest.

The Surajkund Crafts Mela is unique in one more aspect : It comes as an opportune event to witness some of the most fascinating aspect of folk theatre. All through the mela period, the day performers entertain the crowd with the Mela Grounds. Kutchi Ghori, puppet shows, magicians, natts, shenai players, Kala Jadu performers and Mehndiwali come to delight visitors.

Within the mela area, provision for food stalls is also made. Popular South Indian food, Punjabi food, Chinese and Puri Bhaji are available. Regional foods of the Theme State are also introduced to visitors.
Return to Delhi for overnight stay at hotel.

Day 3 – DELHI
Full day visit to SURAJKUND CRAFT MELA.
Explore the colorful activities at the Mela.
Evening return to Delhi for overnight stay at hotel.

This morning sightseeing tour of Old Delhi-An Aura of history is everywhere in Old Delhi. Red Fort with its majestic ramparts and Jamia Masjid one of the Asia’s Largest Mosques from the hub. Emperor Humayun’s Tomb and Qutub Minar Complex, daring back to the 12th century. You will also make a stop at Rajghat - Mahatma Gandhi’s final resting place.

Evening take a short flight for Jodhpur-a city founded in the 15th century by a chieftains of Rajput, natives of Rajasthan, this city stands at the edge of the Thar Desert.
Our representative escorts you to the hotel. Overnight at hotel.

This morning you visit the imposing Mehrangarh Fort and explore its many palaces where royal apartments had such evocative names as the Pearl Palace and the Pleasure Palace. Royal trappings adorn rooms painted and carved intricate patterns.

Afternoon depart for Nagaur by coach. The cattle fair of Nagaur, one of the largest in the country, makes this sleepy town suddenly bloom to life with a thousand colors. This is the time when people from all parts of the Rajasthan converge to partake in one of the most spectacular, colorful and exciting events of the state. It is a delight to see the varied tribal communities, traditionally attired.

The men handsome and martial; and women ethnic and beautiful, with their chunky jewellery swirling ghagras (skirts) and odhnis (veils), with eager participation writ large on their faces wending their way about in the crowds.
Arrive and check in at Royal Camp. Overnight at camp.

Day 6 – NAGAUR
As the curtain rises for the fair, the people reach Nagaur with their crafts and cattle to strike lucrative bargains. All day long, while men tend to business, buying and selling Camels, Bullocks and Horses; the women after completing their household chores, sing and dance to charming folk tunes.

For the visitors, several entertainment programs are organized by Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation. The most popular are the Camel shows and races with the proud owners showing off the strength and swiftness of their Camels.

Besides the fair Nagaur, offers beautiful vestiges of its past glory. The town is surrounded by tall and thick walls with sturdy battlements and cluster of royal chhatries. Once the job of buying and selling is over, the assembled folk settle down for serious business of enjoying themselves. Overnight at camp.

Day 7 – NAGAUR
Full day visit to Nagaur Fair. Explore the colorful activities, an opportunity to buy handicraft items. Also visit the spice market of the unique site, trading is done of various spices of many varieties. Overnight at camp.

Morning depart for Jodhpur by Coach to board Jaipur-gateway to Rajasthan and a city ablaze with colour when latticed rose-pink monuments flight with brilliantly turbaned men and vividly costumed women for attention.
Arrive and check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 9 – JAIPUR
Your day starts with an excursion to Amber Fort, you ride up the ramp of this 11th century bastion atop a gaily decorated Elephant. Later, visit City Palace, a picturesque complex of palaces and courtyards famous for its collection of Rajput miniatures, carpets and manuscripts. You also visit the exquisite Palace of Winds with its honey combed facade and 18th century Observatory.

Later time free for shopping. Jaipur is a major gems and jewellery centre where one can find some of the finest jewellery besides woolen and carpets, hand block printed Sanganeri and Bagru cotton fabrics.


Day 10 – JAIPUR / AGRA
Morning depart for Agra-Synonymous with the timeless beauty of the Taj Mahal - radiant at noon & amber at dusk.
Arrive and check in at hotel.
Later in the afternoon you visit the Taj Mahotsav Festival.

Come February, the city of Agra gets transformed into a show case of India’s finest arts and crafts, fascinating culture and cuisine and centuries of history. Yes, it’s time for Taj Mahotsav, an annual event at Shilpgram, Agra.

The Taj Mahotsav, in the shadows of the inimitable Taj Mahal, is celebrated each year as a tribute to the master craftsmen whose skills have become legends even across the seas. A fitting tribute to those unknown hands that bring alive some truly exquisite masterpieces.

Taj Mahotsav is a celebration so magnificent it has to seen to be believed. It starts with a spectacular procession inspired by the Mughal splendor of yesteryears. Bedecked elephants and camels, drum beaters, folk artists and master craftsmen are all a part of this colorful event which heralds the beginning of 10 days of sheer magnificence. Mughal costumes help recreate the golden era of the Mughal Durbar.
Overnight at hotel.

This morning you visit the worlds greatest love tribute. The Taj Mahal built by Emperor Shahjahan for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal.

Mark Twain said of this monument “You cannot keep your emotions within bounds, when that soaring bubble of marble breaks upon your view”. Taj Mahal is like a silent rhapsody that you will carry in your heart. You will also visit Agra Fort, an impressive cluster of palaces, fortresses and mosques on the banks of river Yamuna across the Taj Mahal.

This afternoon you will again visit the Taj Mahotsav Festival :
The finest master craftsmen congregate in the shadows of the Taj Mahal, to breathe life into creations nothing short of the extraordinary. All across the 12 acres of Shilp Gram you will see golden hands weaving magic on pieces of marble, wood, stone and even yarn, transforming them into striking object's art. Pick them up and make them yours at the prices that are a real bargain.

At the Mahotsav, be sure to be a part of the Food Festival. Relish exotic cuisine and delicacies prepared by some of the oldest exponents. The art of cooking over a slow fire - the Dum Pukht - a legacy of the Nawabs to the world; the mughlai cuisine preferred by the royalty for centuries.

Evening visit Taj in one of the best moods. The white marble looks like gleaming silver in the moonlight. A sight which you will cherish and hold close to your hearts for the rest of your life. Overnight at hotel.

Morning depart for Delhi on arrival transfer to airport to board flight for Bombay-a metropolis of energy and vitality.
Our representative escorts you to the hotel.

Day 12 – BOMBAY
This morning you visit the ELEPHANTA FESTIVAL.

The gaiety starts right in Bombay, at the Gateway of India jetty. Colorful buntings and folk arts of Maharashtra adorn the area, Waghya Murli is performed under the majestic arch of the Gateway, with traditional shehnai welcoming the visitors.

February sees an explosion of dance and music on the island when the Elephanta Festival is staged. Eminent artists dances and musicians perform under the stars outside the caves special launch services take you to the island and catering arrangements add to your comfort.

Once a year, the exclusive community of classical musicians and dancers of India seek the blessings of Lord Shiva, the Natrajan, who is also the patron deity of all dancers. Artists perform at the classical dance and music festival.
Return to Bombay for overnight stay at hotel.

Day 13 – BOMBAY
Full day at ELEPHANTA FESTIVAL. Explore the colorful activities of the festival.
The pathway from ELEPHANTA FESTIVAL. Explore the colorful activities of the festival.

The pathway from Elephanta jetty to the caves is lit up with colorful lights. The village folk greet the visitors with traditional koli folk dance.

Against the backdrop of the magnificent rock cut caves the vibrant performances of classical dance unfurl. The melodious classical compositions to the accompaniment of a variety of musical instruments are rendered with flawless precision.
Return to Bombay for overnight stay at hotel.

This morning transfer to airport to board flight for Trivandrum.
Our representative escorts you to Kovalam, the delightful beach resort, is a must on very tourist itinerary. This sheltered natural bay is an exquisite white-sanded are deepening to a dazzling blue on one side and palm-fringed green on the other. The tumultuous attack and retreat of the surfrimmed waves is strangely quieting in its constancy. The azure blue waters of the bay form a sea-pool, free from high waves and surges, that is considered safe for swimming.

Arrive and check in at hotel.
Afternoon depart for Trivandrum to witness THE NISHANGANDHI DANCE FESTIVAL-held at the open air auditorium inside the famed Kanakakunnu Palace in Trivandrum. The festival is a week long event from 21st to 27th February staging India’s leading exponents of almost all classical dance forms including Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Mohini Yattam and Kathak. Return to Kovalam for overnight stay.

Day 15 – KOVALAM
Full day relax by the picturesque surroundings of Kovlam. Overnight at hotel.

Day 16 – KOVALAM
Full day relax on beach side. Overnight at hotel.

Morning depart for Kumarakom-bound by the Vembanad Lake on two sides, the swaying paddy fields on one side and a bird sanctuary on the other.
Arrive and check in at hotel. Relax in the quiet atmosphere of the Kumarakom amidst picturesque surroundings. Evening Sunset cruise on a traditional Rice Boat.

Thereafter the traditional “Theyyam” dancers will enchant you with their rhythmic chanting. And the spectacle of the “Kalari” martial art specialists gliding silently in from Vembanad Lake, with torches blazing in the silent night, will linger forever in your memory. Followed by these events a sumptuous Sea Food Barbeque Dinner awaits you. The dinner will be served by the poolside. Overnight at hotel.

This morning depart for Cochin one of Kerala' s most interesting experiences. This is a natural harbor created by the famed underwater Malabar mud banks whose unique quality ensures that the rougher the seas outside, the calmer the waters within the harbor.

Here at dusk, the dim silhouettes of the huge merchant ships can be seen, patiently awaiting their turn for a berth in the docks. Centuries ago, tales of this exotic coastal strip had crossed the vast ocean & attracted an answering gleam in a Portuguese eye. Vasco da Gama arrived, to place Cochin on the world map.

Cochin has a delightfully cosmopolitan look. A Jewish Synagogue, Portuguese Churches, Mosques & Hindu Temples co-exist amicably in a typical example of Indian secularism. Arrive and check in at hotel. This afternoon you visit the sights of Cochin.

It’s easy to be memorized by the magic of Cochin. Stroll around the lanes of Old Portuguese, Dutch & British merchant houses. Take a peek at Vasco da Gama’s church. Glimpse the Chinese fishing nets silhouetted against an amber sunset. Or take a trip into history, to the four hundred year old Jewish Synagogue.

Evening witness the Kathakali Dance Performance. The famous dance drama of Kerala. The duration of the performance is one hour and the guests can also witness the artist putting on the elaborate makeup, half an hour before the performance.
Overnight at Hotel.

Early morning Boat cruise on the enchanting backwaters through the coconut groves and quiet lagoons. Watching the sunrise in a symphony of colors is an unforgettable experience. A few minutes after you move out of the old fashioned dock, you will find yourself surrounded by lush palm groves and lovely stretches of paddy fields.

The swaying coconut palms almost dip into the waters, and on chunks of land that nudge the backwaters are little children playing in the sun.

You might see housewives cleaning rice for the day’s meal, or pounding coconut husk for coir fibre or sweeping the Muttom (front yard), completely oblivious of the regular, ferry & cargo boat traffic that ply to & fro across these waters from dawn to dusk.
This afternoon transfer to airport to board flight for Bombay.

Your India experience comes to an end as you are transferred to International airport to board your homeward bound flight.

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