||Delhi | Udaipur | Jodhpur | Jaipur | Agra | Varanasi|
Upon arriving in Delhi our representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. On the way he will explain to you basic local etiquette and provide you with an insight into India’s musical traditions, along with some cultural and social practices.
The day begins with a flower tour in the older parts of Delhi. Then we’ll visit Jama Masjid and take a rickshaw ride through the alleys of Chandni Chowk. Later in the day we’ll wander through the massive precincts of Humayun’s tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then in the evening, surrender your soul to the spiritual Sufi Qawwali at Nizamuddin Dargah. As the beat booms and the high pitched voice of the lead singer croons over it, his tale of the individual soul’s yearning to merge with the one universal soul will leave you mesmerized.
Early in the morning visit the grand Qutub Minar and take a walk around some of the city’s oldest monuments. Later, as the sun begins to set, join the devout Sikhs in their symphonic prayers at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. It is a soft soulful recitation of the sacred hymns from Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of the Sikhs. After your trip to the Gurudwara visit Ms. Geeta Bhatia, who is an active member of the Capital City Minstrels Choir Group. Discuss the nuances of India’s esoteric musical traditions with her over tea and coffee.
Fly to Udaipur, the City of Lakes and gaze upon its natural beauty from the sky. Upon landing we’ll visit the old city, and then take a boat ride on Lake Pichola, a man made fresh water lake.
Experience local life in the thriving bazaars, and afterwards visit the Sahelyon ki Bari gardens and Jagdish Temple. In the evening we’ll study the secrets of Indian cooking with a local family, and then sit down for a sumptuous dinner with them.
Udaipur – Jodhpur
We’ll travel by car to Jodhpur, through the scenic Aravalli Hills. It’s a drive that evokes memories of a distant past. Your guide will regale you with local tales of love, surrender, spirituality and war. En-route we’ll visit Ranakpur, a place renown for its intricately carved Jain temples.
Nourish your mind, body and soul for two days at the World Sacred Spirit Festival. Listen to delicate verses of Persian poetry mingle with soulful Sufi instruments. And then rejoice in the captivating earthiness of folk songs from all over the world at the sprawling Rajputana Fort.
Leave for the pink city of Jaipur. The capital of the state of Rajasthan it has a tumultuous past and is known for its many impressive monuments, such as its forts, palaces, observatories, and cenotaphs. An evening walk through the old bazaar highlights the city’s talented cooks and skilled jewellers.
Move on to a guided tour of Jaipur, which starts in the magnificent Amber Fort. Later on discover the bygone charm of the City Palace and gaze upon the stars in the Astronomical Observatory. Enjoy a groovy evening of singing and dancing in the city’s famous music school, the Jaipur Gharana.
Leave by road for Agra. On the way visit Fatepur Sikri (a UNESCO Heritage site), a city destined to be the capital and planned on a grand scale, but abandoned shortly afterwards due to a lack of water. End the day with a romantic sunset view of the Taj Mahal from across the Yamuna River at Mehtab Bagh.
Fly to Varanasi after a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal. Enjoy a leisurely boat ride in the evening in the holy Ganges River. Afterwards listen to thousand year old Vedic chants at the Ganga Aarti to honour the Goddess River. The divine incantations have enchanted countless souls over the centuries.
Early morning is one of the best times to observe life along the river. Cruise down the Ganges and observe India’s diverse range of spiritual practices. After we’ll wander through the labyrinthine alleys of the old city, indulging in the scents, sounds and tastes of one of the country’s most colorful cities. In the afternoon we’ll visit the deer park of Sarnath, where Buddha preached his first sermon. Return to the city in the evening for a private music session with members of the respected Benaras Gharana musical heritage.
The bittersweet day you’ll leave India. From Varanasi we’ll take a flight to Delhi, where you’ll catch your flight home. With the soulful music of the country still reverberating in your heart, you’ll reminisce on the wondrous mysteries you unravelled over the past two weeks.