09 Jan: Arrive Delhi - the historical capitol city of India. Depending on your time of arrival – a half-day guided city tour of New Delhi. Visit the Qutub Minar, India Gate, Humayun’s tomb, and drive past Parliament House. Delhi is an exciting mix of the old & the new. Overnight Delhi.
10 Jan: After breakfast, a full day guided tour of Old Delhi. Visit the oldest mosque – Jama Masjid, the bazaars of Chandni Chowk, indulge in shopping and see the Sound and Light show at the famous Red-Fort. Overnight Delhi.
11 Jan: After breakfast drive to Agra 204 km away. Check in at your hotel. Visit that exquisite paean to undying love – the Taj-Mahal. Overnight Agra.
12 Jan: After breakfast drive from Agra to Jaipur 237 km with a stop at the ancient Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri. Check into your hotel. Take a half-day city tour of this famous Pink City. Visit the Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, the City Palace. Have dinner at ‘Chokhi Dhani’ an open-air ethnic place with Rajasthani cuisine, folk musicians and dancers. Overnight Jaipur.
13 Jan: After breakfast visit the splendid Amber Fort and ride an elephant up to the fort. In the evening, a visit to the bazaars to get a first-hand experience of the excitement of Makar Sankranti eve! Overnight Jaipur.
14 Jan: Kite flying will start before the break of dawn. If you’re an early riser you will see the kites filling up the sky from your hotel. After breakfast we go to a residential roof-top where you can be a part of a local family. Kites, kite lines and, food await you. Our experts in the sport will guide you to fly your own kites and teach you the sport of Indian fighter kites. Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon as a participant and not a mere spectator. This will be an experience to remember. Overnight Jaipur.
If you wish to extend your Kite-Tour, once the festival is over:
15 Jan: Fly from Jaipur to Jodhpur. Check into your hotel. Visit the awesome Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada. Overnight Jodhpur.
16 Jan: Sightseeing / shopping – overnight Jodhpur.
You can fly back from Jodhpur to Delhi and connect with your International flight.
Many options are available for Post-Festival tours like Jaisalmer and Udaipur depending on availability of time.
The “Golden Triangle” of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur is one of the most popular tourist circuits in the country. Close to half the tourists that visit India pass this way, and for good reason – the beauty of the Taj, the heady mix of the new and old that’s Delhi and the impressive forts and palaces of the Pink City of Jaipur are a great introduction to India for the first time visitor.
The cities are well connected by road and rail and the best way to travel between them is by car – our vehicles are reliable and our drivers are good. The countryside is interesting and there’s much to do and see in each of these cities, having your own vehicle makes getting around a cinch.
The food’s great too! Delhi offers excellent international cuisine but it’s a great place for North Indian food from succulent kebabs to robust dals. The ‘dhabas’ or small restaurants on the highway between cities serve some terrific fresh food. The food’s safe since it’s always freshly cooked, but you better carry your own bottled water. Traditional Rajasthani food is a delight – both vegetarian and non vegetarian - and the sweets are something else. Do try the “gazak” made by pounding sesame seeds with molasses. It’s only available in the winter.
And shopping! You can easily spend a small fortune between Delhi and Jaipur. Agra has a lot of hustle, but shopkeepers in Jaipur seem to have all the time in the world and will happily pull out everything for you to touch and feel from carpets and textiles to the most exquisitely designed precious jewelry. Don’t forget to bargain – it’s expected!
Desert kite Festival
Taj kite View
Desert Kite Festival
There are only three kinds of persons who look up at the sky – children, madmen and kite flyers, and Makar Sankranti is the day when cities like Jaipur go “tako kichi” which means ‘kite madness.’ Everyone is up on the rooftops and if you’re driving you’d better watch the road because no one else is – everybody’s looking up at the sky!
Makar Sankranti is a truly Indian festival – almost everyone celebrates the joy of kites with no barriers of caste or creed. All Indian festivals follow the lunar calendar; Makar Sankranti is unique because it’s the only Indian festival to follow the sun and so falls on the same date every year – 14th January.
The Indian fighter kite is a simple, fragile creation – two strips of bamboo and some tissue paper, but it’s a masterpiece of design since form totally follows function; it’s an extremely maneuverable kite, responsive to the lightest touch and capable of moving at great speed in the hands of a skilful flyer. The Indian fighter kite is not a pretty object of play; it’s a bird of prey seeking to cut out every other kite out of the sky. Gangs of children roam the streets to capture a kite that’s been cut.
The kite bazaar on the 13th night is an incredible experience. Kites and lines worth a few million rupees are sold that night and the buzz on the street amazing as Mercedes owners rub shoulders with barefoot kids in the scramble to get the best kites and manjha.
Participating in a traditional festival is one of the best ways to enjoy a destination and our Kite Tour gives you ample opportunity to be in the thick of it, instead of a mere spectator. If you’re a kite flyer, Makar Sankranti is Kite Heaven; even if you’re not, it’s an unforgettable spectacle – you’ll never see a million kites in the sky at one time anywhere else.