Mystical India

Mystical and spiritual, chaotic and confounding, India overflows with riches. Our air-inclusive program features visits to Delhi; Agra, home of the Taj Mahal; the Ranthambore Tiger Preserve; the legendary "pink city" of Jaipur; Khajuraho and its famous temples; and Varanasi, India's holiest city.

Mystical IndiaWe are delighted to announce a return to Mystical India from February 28 - March 16, 2019. This CAA travel adventure will feature visits to Delhi, the bustling capital; Agra, home of the exquisite Taj Mahal; a two-night stay at Ranthambore Tiger Preserve; the legendary "pink city" of Jaipur; Khajuraho and its famous temples; and Varanasi, India's holiest city.

The highlights of our program abound: Old Delhi with its crowded, colorful lanes, sleek New Delhi with its broad tree-lined boulevards, the magnificent Taj Mahal, built as a tomb and monument of eternal love, the "Pink City" and former Rajput capital of Jaipur, Ranthambore National Park, home of exotic flora and fauna, the outstanding Mughal architecture of Fatehpur Sikri (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and Jaipur’s opulent Amber Fort as approached on elephant-back. You may also extend your stay with an optional five-day tour to the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal.

Shared with alumni from Georgetown University, this air-inclusive program is limited to just 24 participants.

Dates & Prices

Trip Dates: February 28 - March 16, 2019

Price: Land/tour only from $4,195 per person based upon double occupancy

           International air-inclusive packages from $5,387 per person based upon double occupancy total price from New York, Boston & Washington, DC
           ($4,495 air & land inclusive plus $892 airline taxes and departure fees).

           Please see brochure or contact us for rates from other cities.

           Single travelers please add $1,495. Single space is limited. Please contact us to verify availability prior to forwarding your reservation and deposit.

(*Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees of $TBA, which are subject  to change until final payment is made.)


Itinerary:

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

Day 2: Arrive Delhi

We arrive in India’s hyperactive capital late evening and transfer to our hotel.

Day 3: Delhi

After a morning at leisure followed by a briefing about the journey ahead, we set out to discover Old Delhi. Our first stop is Qutb Minar, the 379-step tower dating to 1192. We continue on to Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to the Indian icon; and pass by India Gate, the majestic arch honoring the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died fighting alongside the British in World War I. Late this afternoon we return to our hotel, where tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner together. B,D

Day 4: Delhi

We encounter more of this pulsating city today, beginning at Raj Ghat, the simple black marble slab honoring Mahatma Gandhi. After stopping for photos at Lal Qila, the Red Fort complex of palaces, we visit a Sikh temple followed by lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon’s sights include the red sandstone and marble Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque; and the colorful Chandni Chowk market, where we ride rickshaws. Then the remainder of the day is free for further exploration and dinner on our own. B,L

Day 5: Delhi/Jaipur

Today we travel by coach to the “pink city” of Jaipur, one of the great cities of the Rajput, with historic forts, palaces, and gardens. We reach our hotel late afternoon. B,L,D

Day 6: Jaipur

Our first stop is the stunning Hawa Mahal, the elaborately carved pink sandstone “Palace of the Winds.” We continue on to Amber Fort, built by the Kachhawah Rajputs as their capital from 1037 to 1728; Jantar Mantar, the open-air observatory; and City Palace Museum, housing the magnificent art collections of the Maharajahs of Jaipur. B,L

Day 7: Jaipur/Sanganer

This morning we visit the village of Sanganer to see traditional block printing and handmade paper industries. Later we see local life up close as we explore an outdoor market. Tonight we are dinner guests in the home of a multi-generational Rajasthan family. B,D

Day 8: Jaipur/Ranthambore

We travel today to Ranthambore National Park, the former hunting ground of the Maharajah of Jaipur and now a 512-square-mile natural preserve that is home to hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, mammals, and of course, Bengal tigers. This afternoon we take our first game drive through the park. B,L,D

Day 9: Ranthambore

We take both morning and afternoon game drives today to see not only game (though tiger and leopard sightings are not guaranteed), but also picturesque ruins of forts and palaces. B,L,D

Day 10: Ranthambore/Kalakho

We depart early for Kalakho, where we set out on a village walk to meet local Meena tribespeople in their homes. Tonight we enjoy a traditional folk dance performance. B,L,D

Day 11: Kalakho/Agra

En route to Agra, we stop in the ancient village of Abhaneri to see the fortified Chand Baori step well (c. 800), whose 3,500 steps descend some 13 stories into the ground. Continuing on, we reach the ancient Mughal stronghold of Agra, where this afternoon we visit Itimad-ud-Daulah, the two-story marble “Baby Taj” that inspired the Taj Mahal. B,D

Day 12: Agra

This morning we visit the Taj Mahal, the magnificent tomb built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. Then we take an Indian cuisine cooking lesson and enjoy the results for lunch. Later: imposing Agra Fort. B,L

Day 13: Agra/Delhi/Varanasi

We depart by coach this morning for Delhi, where we board a late afternoon flight to Varanasi, Hinduism’s holiest city. B,L,D

Day 14: Varanasi/Sarnath

Before breakfast today, those who wish can join in a private yoga session. Then we visit nearby Sarnath, where the Buddha first taught after achieving enlightenment. One of Buddhism’s four holiest sites, Sarnath draws pilgrims from the world over. We see some of the temples and stupas then tour Sarnath Museum, housing a superb collection of Buddhist artifacts from excavations here. Late afternoon we attend a traditional aarti ceremony: as we cruise along the Ganges, we watch as devout Hindus offer their lit lamps to the deities. B,D

Day 15: Varanasi

Early this morning we return to the Ganges where Hindu pilgrims perform their rituals along the ghats (steps) leading to the river. We visit several ghats by boat as we experience for ourselves the spiritual aura of the hallowed Ganges waters. Then we return to our hotel with time to rest before this afternoon’s walking tour and private performance of classical sitar. Tonight we celebrate our journey at a farewell dinner at our hotel. B,D

Day 16: Varanasi/Delhi

We fly this afternoon to Delhi, where the evening is at leisure. B

Day 17: Return to U.S.

Very early this morning we transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S.

Included Meals: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking, as well as some lengthy coach rides. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.


Included Features:   

  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities for air-inclusive particpants
  • All flights within India
  • 15 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, First Class, and unrated hotels
  • 32 meals: 14 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of professional Tour Directors and local guides throughout
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Rail transportation Agra/Jhansi
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary


What’s not included:
Taxes; passport, visas and associated fees; personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; excess baggage charges on aircraft; transfers and baggage handling to/from hotel on day of arrival and/or departure if you have booked as a "land only" participant or if you are arriving earlier or later than and/or departing earlier or later than the scheduled group transfer(s); any overnight on land due to flight schedule(s); meals, alcoholic or other beverages and all other services not specifically mentioned in the “Included Features” section of the program brochure.


Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.