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The Golden Triangle is a great starting point for anyone visiting India for the first time. The journey is made up of three of the most visited cities in north India – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, offering a fantastic combination of history and culture.
Only after stepping foot in India will you realise that Indian cuisine, as you know it, just doesn’t exist. To paint both the delicate and punchy flavours of India with the same broad brushstroke overlooks the smorgasbord of dishes on offer from north to south. Tried and tested recipes balance coriander, cumin and cardamom with almost scientific precision, guaranteeing a culinary experience you will never forget.
Enjoy a sneak peek into daily life in India by staying at a haveli or in a homestay. If only for a few nights, you will be shoehorned into a family, enjoying traditional Indian hospitality, sampling home cooked food and exploring the path less travelled. Staying at one of these unique lodgings will give you an incredible insight into real India, and you will be welcomed with open arms by hosts whose wealth of local knowledge knows no bounds. Coming in all shapes and sizes, from plantation bungalows to historic houses, majestic forts and charming cottages, a short stay in one of these unique properties allows you to immerse yourself in India rather than simply visit it.
India is a magical country which welcomes travellers with a chaotic and colourful assault on the senses. Never is this more prominent than during one of the many festivals. Below we have listed the dates for the major festivals in India. Speak to one of our specialists about incorporating one of these into a tailor-made itinerary.
With millions of passengers on the move every day, travelling on some 71,000 miles of track, India's intricate network of railways are the arteries of the country, connecting its bustling cities with its sleepy villages and everywhere in between. The sprawling rail network reaches the nooks and crannies of India which are otherwise impossible to find. Amongst the country's miles of train tracks are some of the most picturesque rail journeys in the world, most notable of which are its famed toy trains. Whilst perhaps not the most efficient way of getting from A to B, the experience is an absolute must to add to your India itinerary.
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Best for: Culture History
Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Jaipur, Dera Mandawa provides the winning combination of staying in a beautiful boutique heritage hotel with a traditional homestay experience.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Built 125 years ago by Thakur Jait Singhji of Mandawa, Dera Mandawa is now home to his great grandson, who is a charming hotel owner full of fascinating stories and interesting information about the surrounding area. The eleven suites all come with spacious en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning and have their own lobby, study and bedroom, exquisitely decorated with traditional furniture. Breakfast options range from a sumptuous Rajasthani morning meal, to a continental choice of eggs, toast, fruit and fresh juices. With advance warning, Dera Mandawa will also be happy to organise lunch and dinner as well.
On special request Dera Mandawa will arrange a traditional gala evening introducing guests to local culture and traditions such as music, kite flying, henna art, and the tying of saris (wrap-around for ladies) and saafas (headgear for gentlemen). Nearby you can wander through colourfully chaotic markets, take a cycle rickshaw tour and explore the great Mughal architecture of this fascinating city.
When to go
December to March is the perfect time to visit Rajasthan and the North when rainfall is minimal and temperatures are pleasant during the day. It can get cold at night, so make sure to pack a few extra layers when visiting at this time. Summer starts mid-March and can get very hot getting into May and June. The monsoon period follows directly after from July to September, where humidity is high and the region receives the majority of its rainfall, although still very minimal amounts. The months of October and November after the monsoon season are also a great time to visit the region as it experiences warm and dry weather during the day with cooler temperatures at night.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Things to do
Jaipur Musical Demonstration
An instrumental and vocal performance at an Indian music learning centre.
Block Printing workshop
A late afternoon trip to Sanganer, the global centre of block printing, to take part in a workshop. You will make your own print which you can take home as a souvenir.
Cycling Tour of Jaipur Countryside and Picnic Lunch
A cycling tour of the countryside of Jaipur with the opportunity to meet and feed an elephant before heading off for a safari.
Evening Cooking Class
A wonderful experience to learn how to cook typical Rajasthani cuisine in a friendly local home. Your visit can also include a trip to the local market to purchase ingredients.
See a Bollywood movie at the iconic Rajmandir Cinema
Catch a Bollywood film at the Rajmandir Cinema in Jaipur – one of India’s oldest, most luxurious and iconic movie theatres; it is a true symbol of popular culture in the city.
Visit a Blue Pottery Workshop
Jaipur is famous worldwide for its beautiful blue pottery. This afternoon trip takes you to a blue pottery centre to learn about its history and how it is made.
Sunset Kite Flying with Local Professional
This is a truly unique experience to spend some time with a local kite flying expert, learning about the history and traditions of the sport and how to do it successfully.
Jaipur City Tour
Explore Jaipur, visiting the historic City Palace, the Jantar Mantar and the Hawa Mahal. The tour ends with a visit to the bazaars of the old city – a taste of vibrant and authentic Rajasthan.
Explore Amber Fort
Explore Jaipur’s spectacular Amber Fort, visiting the Palace of Mirrors and The Hall of Public Audience. Discover its cobbled streets, gateways and enormous ramparts and transport yourself to 16th century Jaipur.
Walk the Bazaars of Old Jaipur
Getting lost in any Indian Bazaar is one of our favourite things, and Jaipur's Old Town has a fantastic ones! A region famous for jewellery, gift lovers should head straight for the bangle and ring makers where expert craftsmen will be at work.
Miniature Painting workshop
A tour that takes you to visit a miniature painting artists and learn some of the techniques they use.
Meena Tribal Walk
Enjoy a guided walk to visit the settlement of the Meena Tribe and ascend the Aravalli hills on a historic path, enjoying breathtaking views of the Amber fort and surrounding landscape.
Street Food tour of Jaipiur
A tour of Jaipur’s street food hotspots. Your guide will lead you to various stalls and tell you about the history of each dish and how it is prepared.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Shahpura, Udaipur, Cochin, Munnar, Madurai, Thekkady and Periyar National Park, Backwaters, Marari
Discover beguiling India and all it has to offer on this 19 night itinerary, taking you from the glittering palaces and mighty forts of the north to the rolling hills, vibrant temples, and enchanting backwaters of the south.
Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Bundi, Udaipur, Chanoud, Jodhpur
This itinerary takes you on a two week journey to discover the beauty and history of north India, whilst staying at some of our favourite heritage properties and homestays along the way.
Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Nimaj, Jodhpur, Narlai, Udaipur
Discover India’s most enchanting state, exploring rural villages, colourful cities, mighty forts and glittering palaces on this two week trip through Rajasthan’s most iconic and memorable landmarks.
Delhi, Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Panna National Park, Khajuraho, Gwalior, Orchha, Chambal, Agra, Jaipur
Taking you through ancient towns and cities steeped in culture and history, alongside fantastic game viewing in some of India’s most renowned national parks, this itinerary is the ultimate combination of wildlife and culture.