19 Day North India & Holi Festival

Women Only

Max group 12

Lifetime Deposit

Solo traveller friendly

Currently 17 SPOTS LEFT 24 Spots

5 Good Reasons To Do This Trip!

CELEBRATE HOLI LIKE AN INSIDER!

A Patchie fave!! The Hindu Festival of Colours is pure JOY! Warm up in a local home before hitting the streets and get yourself ‘dyed’ from head to toe among the magical vibe of colour throwing, music and dance.

NOBODY DOES COLOUR LIKE INDIA:

Continuous shots of colour! Red Forts of New Delhi and Agra; Pink City of Jaipur and its Amber Fort; Blue City of Jodhpur; White City of Udaipur; and while not ‘official’, the yellow – or saffron – of Varanasi.

A VILLAGE EXPERIENCE?

Correct! A 50,000-small village in India. It might be all rural with old-school artisans and the speed set to slow, but you’ll get your (colourful) sari on and memorise some folk dance moves to try out later.

HANG OUT WITH LOCAL WOMEN:

Go beyond sightseeing and forge meaningful connections. Sure, you’ll still see the Taj Mahal, but on the flip side you’ll craft and cook alongside local Rajasthani women, and see Jaipur through the eyes of a female-driven rickshaw

NORTH INDIAN FOOD ADVENTURES:

What a spread! With heaps of colourific regional and sub-types of cuisine going on – rooftop feasts, cultural dinners, home-cooked meals, Indian-style high teas, street foods and more will linger on in your memory.

Hey culture lovers! Want a culture trip jam-packed with all the arts & crafts we could possibly squeeze in? Then you might love our India’s Rajasthan Culture version of this trip

Trip Details
Dates Price AUD
(per person twin share)
  • 2 Mar 2025
  • Ends: 20 Mar 2025
  • $6,856
  • Private supplement: $2,183 ⓘEven if you come solo, we will match you with a roomie. This Private Supplement is for those who would like to pay extra for their own private room.
  • 6 Mar 2025
  • Ends: 24 Mar 2025
  • $6,856
  • Private supplement: $2,183 ⓘEven if you come solo, we will match you with a roomie. This Private Supplement is for those who would like to pay extra for their own private room.
  • NEW DATE

Pricing Details

  • $1,650 AUD deposit per person.
  • 2-week cooling-off period applies.
  • Lifetime Deposit. If you need to cancel, your deposit is transferable to other trips.
  • Twin Share: we’ll match you with a roomie if you’re travelling solo.
  • Private supplement available (max 4 spots) for those who would like to pay extra for their own private room.
  • Tip Kitty: $200 AUD

Please refer to our payment terms in the FAQs.


 

Have a group? Contact us and we can arrange a private departure.


Trip length

19 days, 18 nights


Meeting point

The Suryaa Hotel, New Delhi


Ending point

Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi International Airport)


Group size

Maximum 12 — guaranteed departure


Participation requirements

Please see our “Is this trip right for you?” section to see the participation requirements.


Included

  • Meals: 17 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 high tea, 10 dinners
  • Boutique accommodation
  • Leader/guides: 1 top-rated English-speaking tour leader throughout, plus local tour guides where appropriate
  • Transport: air-conditioned small bus, 2x internal flights, 1x train
  • Entrance/admission: fees, where applicable with included activities

 


Not included

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Any visas required
  • Late check-out at hotels
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks with included lunches and dinners
  • Tip kitty. Note: as Aussies and Kiwis, we are not used to tipping! However, guide and driver tipping is customary for tours in India.
  • Personal expenditure
  • Optional extras

Our accommodation

India is a once in a lifetime experience, and we’re going for accommodation with comfort and character. A mix of 3-4 star hotels, with some highlights along the way.

What our India Patchies say






Why Choose This Tour?

The best way to live the true India. You won't just 'see India', you'll be shown around by an experienced female guide who will show you HER India. We'll be invited into a private home to share with a New Deli family and we'll celebrate the Holi festival with an extended family in Udaipur.

The most fun possible in 19 days in India. This trip is the product of a MIND-BOGGLING amount of hard work, research, location visits, emails and phone calls. The result is a perfectly balanced trip for you with regular free mornings and afternoons to enable you to take things at your own pace. You can't rush India! Your guide will always be available to point you around.

Comfy accommodation to top it off. Maintaining a cheery spirit is never easy coming off a bad night's sleep.

Click the tabs to find out more

Itinerary

DAY 1: NEW DELHI

Welcome to India! After receiving a warm welcome at the airport, we’ll gather in the evening and start our adventure straight away with a welcome dinner at one of favourites. You’ll see a lot on this trip, and this restaurant gives us the chance to ease in and get to know each other in a relaxed environment.

Accommodation: The Suryaa (or similar)
Included: Dinner

DAY 2: NEW DELHI

We’ll get right into it today with a visit to one of New Delhi’s most famous sights: Jama Masjid – India’s largest mosque.

Then the fun truly begins with a rickshaw ride to one of the oldest markets: Chandni Chowk. Chaotic & and authentic, the narrow lanes have kept the traditional workmanship alive which makes Delhi famous.

Later visit Khari Baoli – Asia’s largest wholesale spice market. It’s full of interesting smells and people.

You’ll finish the day with an Indian high tea.

Accommodation: The Suryaa (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and high tea

Day 3: AGRA

The adventure leaves Delhi today as you head towards Agra, home of the famous Taj Mahal. It is a 4-hour drive from your air-conditioned vehicle. Upon arrival, take the chance to explore before you reunite for a tour of Agra Fort and a sunset dinner on an open terrace. The Taj Mahal sits in the distance, expectant of your visit. Bask in the atmosphere as you eat.

You’ll retire to bed early today in preparation for tomorrow.

Accommodation: Grand Mercure Agra (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 4: TAJ MAHAL

You might have heard that the Taj Mahal can be overwhelmed with guests, which is why we’re going to do things differently in order to get you the best possible experience.

The absolute best time to see this magnificent building is sunrise. Even the night owls won’t regret getting up a bit earlier than normal to witness the Taj Mahal slowly reveal itself into the glimmering daylight.

This gives you the opportunity to breathe, enjoy yourself and take it all in. We say goodbye to Agra, but the adventure is just getting started as you spend the full afternoon driving to the Tigress Resort: can you guess what’s coming next?

Accommodation:  Ranthambore Heritage Haveli (or similar)
Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: RANTHAMBORE TIGER SAFARI

Enjoy a total change of pace today as you wake up in the heart of the Ranthambore National Park.

Ranthambore is famous for its wildlife and you’ll spend both the morning and afternoon in open-air jeeps on safari drives. Tigers are the main drawcard here.

Seeing a Tiger is likely, but not guaranteed, so let’s cross our fingers and pray to the gods!

A magical dining experience awaits you back at our lodging. Step back to the days of the Maharajahs for an open-air rooftop feast under the open sky.

Eat in ambience befitting royalty.

Accommodation: Ranthambore Heritage Haveli (or similar)
Included: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner

Day 6: RANTHAMBORE TO JAIPUR

Take the morning at your leisure and enjoy the surroundings. Ranthambore National Park offers more than just tigers!

Get ready to dive right into the heart of Rajasthani culture over the coming days.

One of Rajasthan’s most treasured cities is the next on your route. It will take around 4 hours to drive to Jaipur, home of the famous Amber Fort.

Take the evening off to explore the town if you’re in a curious mood. Your guide will be on hand to point you in the right direction.

Accommodation: Alsisar Haveli (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 7: JAIPUR

The Pink City Rickshaw Company is an initiative to open opportunities to 200 women from low-income households around Jaipur. This allows women to earn income as rickshaw drivers, something they were prevented from doing until only recently.

A group of Pink City Rickshaws piloted by smiling guides will be waiting for you at your hotel’s doorstep at lunchtime, but not before a morning visit to the City Palace. You’ll see Jaipur through their eyes and enjoy a food-tasting tour that is as unique as it gets.

Walk off those extra lunchtime kilos when you explore the Amber Fort this afternoon.

Accommodation: Alsisar Haveli (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and tastings

Day 8: JAIPUR

Just outside Jaipur lies a small village where you’ll have the opportunity to meet local Rajasthani women who are dedicated to keeping traditional weaving techniques alive.

The setting is humble and welcoming – those looking for tourist traps won’t find one here! You’ll have ample time to meet the villagers and can have a go at weaving yourself. 

You can also buy a rug to take home to treasure this memory (recommended to bring $50-$150 AUD).

Tonight you’ll be rolling up your sleeves and getting some serious Rajasthani cooking done, before dining with your teacher-hosts in their tranquil yard.

Accommodation: Alsisar Haveli (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 9: JAIPUR TO JODHPUR

Optional: Float above the scenery in a hot air balloon experience like no other – $280 USD. You’ll spot villages, palaces and hidden forts hidden throughout the Aravalli ranges. No need to decide right away – your guide will arrange tickets while you’re on the trip. The flight is optional and weather-dependent, and you’ll pay on the spot.

Otherwise, you can relax and take it slowly this morning.

Our next stop is Jodhpur – a 5-hour drive away.

Upon arrival, we’ll have dinner together in a well-regarded local restaurant.

Accommodation: Ranbanka Palace (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 10: JODHPUR

Mehrangarh Fort is monumental in both size and impression. Perched on a hill with 36-metre-high walls, in the mid-15th century, this fort was the protection of the City of Jodhpur. Explore the series of palaces and ornamental courtyards on the inside.

Spend the evening at your own leisure – the pool at your hotel may be calling to you, but you may fancy a bit of shopping first – the Jodhpuri Juti is a famous regal slipper of the area – they’ll be the fanciest house shoes you’ll ever own!

Accommodation: Ranbanka Palace (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 11: JODHPUR TO DEOGARH

India may be famous for huge cities, but the original beating heart of this country will always be its villages.

This is why we’re going to drive 3 hours to Deogarh village – with a population of 50,000, this is very much the Indian definition of a “village”. You’ll enjoy a slow walk of the town in the afternoon and imbibe the local life.

Tonight is a bit of relaxed fun: dress up in saris – girls will be girls! We will watch a traditional local Tera Taal dance and eat a variety of delicious food. It’s a little bit touristy, but who cares?! It’s day 12 of our adventure – time to let our hair down and enjoy ourselves.

Accommodation: Deogarh Mahal (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 12: DEOGARH TO UDAIPUR

India is famous for its trains, and this morning you’ll enjoy a 2 hour historical scenic train journey through the Aravali Hills. Built by the British during the days of the Raj, this train is still used as a daily commuter by local villagers.

This is a noisy but real train experience as you mingle amongst the hustle and bustle.

From there, you’ll hop into a vehicle and head up to Udaipur, the perfect way to spend our last 3 nights in Rajasthan.

Udaipur is known as the ‘City of Lakes’. You’ll love the change of pace and you’ll enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere.

Dine at a local rooftop restaurant – nearly all of them have an incredible view of the lake and City Palace.

Accommodation: Aranya Vilas (or similar)
Included: Breakfast

Day 13: UDAIPUR – HOLI FESTIVAL

We’ll start with a toned-down version of the Holi Festival with a local family – this is a nice and courteous affair where you put colours around the cheeks of the family members, relatives and give sweets to each other while blowing colours into the air. We’ll dance to the music and interact with our hosts and enjoy the celebration.

Once you are covered in colours and festival spirit, happily exhausted, you can enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal prepared by your host, sit with the family and enjoy conversation.

Accommodation: Aranya Vilas (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and lunch

Day 14: UDAIPUR

Udaipur is a city worth seeing, so you’ll kick the morning off with a visit to the Regal City Palace. Towering over the lake, it’s a conglomeration of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Just nearby is the Jagdish Temple – in the main shrine stands a figurine of the four-armed Lord Vishnu carved out of a single block of black stone.

You’ll enjoy an evening boat ride on the lake and take in the views as the sun’s golden hues are replaced by an electric evening glow – lighting the lakeside promenade and the regal buildings behind.

Accommodation: Aranya Vilas (or similar)
Included: Breakfast

Day 15: UDAIPUR TO VARANASI

It’s our last morning in Rajasthan. Take the opportunity for a final stroll through the streets of Udaipur or relax.

In the afternoon, we fly to world famous Varanasi: described by Lonely Planet as ‘the India of your imagination’. Pilgrims come here to wash away their sins and to farewell their dead.

It’s confronting, hectic, noisy, colourful and intense, and our home for the last 2 nights of this trip. What better way to farewell India?

Let’s eat together and get an early night: tomorrow has a lot in store.

Accommodation: The Clarks (or similar)
Included: Breakfast

DAY 16: VARANASI

This morning starts with a sunrise boat ride along the Ganges. Watch as the world of ghats and temples is gradually illuminated. You will take a walking tour of the old city, through narrow laneways packed with stalls and shops, past the dhobi wallahs, burning ghats, and the endless temples that echo with bells and the aroma of incense.

Then, in the evening, you’re back in a boat and floating past the ghats as you witness the nightly Aarti ceremony with musicians on board and to experience the magic of Varanasi one more time. You’ll cap it all off over an incredibly memorable day with a Maharajah-style dinner.

Accommodation: The Clarks (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and dinner

DAY 17: VARANASI

It’s said that Buddha came to Sarnath and delivered his first sermon there after reaching enlightenment. You’ll stand before the layers of rediscovered ruins and the imposing Dhamek Stupa, and once again you’ll be amazed by the eclectic layers of faith and worship that intertwine the people of India.

In the afternoon, arrive back to Varanasi – there’ll be time enough to face the chaotic activity of the burning ghats once more!

Accommodation: The Clarks (or similar)
Included: Breakfast

DAY 18: BACK TO DELHI

This morning we fly back to Delhi. Your trip is winding up, so we’re going to have a bit of final shopping time to enable you to buy last gifts or mementoes in Connaught Place.

Your guide will be with you to point out the best places and help you with any needed negotiations.

A final dinner awaits for you all to reminisce together.

Accommodation: The Suryaa (or similar)
Included: Breakfast and dinner

DAY 19: FAREWELLS

And that’s it: the end of your unforgettable journey. Saying goodbye is the hardest part. Exchange emails and phone numbers and get ready for the next adventure!

Included: Breakfast

The Essential Info

India is a place everyone should visit, and this tour is the perfect introduction to this magical country. Experience the colours of Rajasthan, the street food of Delhi the Taj Mahal and more. Please know that we’ll do everything we can to provide an amazing trip, but if you’re
having issues of any sort, please let your group leader know as soon as possible.

VISAS

Australians need to apply online for an e-visa. This is not a complicated process!

Please follow the instructions at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html and complete the application for your eVT.

DRESS CODE

The weather varies significantly, but is generally quite warm and you should come prepared with loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. India is a conservative country, so dress conservatively and be ready to cover your shoulders and knees for temple visits.

You’re coming in the perfect season, so while you will get hot, it’s nothing outside the range of what is normal in an Australian summer. The reason we’ve got a couple of morning starts is to take advantage of the cooler air at this time and also the fact that the larger tourism groups tend to arrive later (another reason why travelling in small groups is the best!)

Pack a pair of easy-slip-off summer shoes. It’s culturally respectful and expected that everyone removes their shoes at religious sites (socks included). Buckles and laces quickly become a tedious obstacle as a result.

MONEY MATTERS

The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR). The best way to obtain local currency is via ATMs. India has widespread access to ATMs, but they are difficult to find in rural areas. It’s still worth bringing some cash. $600 – $700 AUD will be enough for most people at a squeeze, but we recommend bringing cards or additional cash as a back up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Prior to the payment of your full balance, the final price may change if there is significant variation in the AUD:INR exchange rate. Our trip pricing is determined by what the exchange rates are at the time of publishing the trip.

The pricing on these trips is based on the following exchange rates:

13 March 2024 departure: 1 AUD:54 INR

17 March 2024 departure: 1 AUD:54 INR

A deposit of $1,650 is required to hold your spot. Payment can be made by credit card (fees apply) or bank deposit.

There is a cooling-off period of 2 weeks. (Applicable to all bookings made 110 days in advance.)

We have implemented a ‘lifetime deposit’ guarantee. Deposits are not refundable, but they are transferable at any time, right up until the first day of the trip.

The final balance of the trip is required 95 days in advance of the departure date. Our suppliers require upfront payment well in advance to guarantee availability.

Please refer to the full terms and conditions for further information.

Most of our trips have a tip kitty because many cultures have interesting and diverse rules when it comes to tips. We’ve found it to be the easiest way to combat over-tipping, under-tipping or having the tip fall into the wrong hands. Our goal is for guests to relax and know that the complexities of tipping are taken care of, on their behalf.

For your Indian adventure, we ask your contribution be: 4,200 Indian Rupee (equivalent to $79 AUD) which is given to your guide on Day 1. The kitty will be managed by your guide and distributed along the way at restaurants for included meals, hotel staff, drivers and services.

What is not covered is a customary tip at the end of the trip for your guide. If they’ve ensured that your trip is memorable, we recommend the following guidelines:

8,000 to 9,000 per person (equivalent to $150 – $170)

(Exchange Rate used – $1AUD : 53.8 Rupee)

This is the most frequently asked question we get!

Nearly everyone is in their 50s and 60s, with some people above and below (but of course, everyone is welcome!)

Most Patchies come alone and are matched with a room-mate. Remember, you don’t need to pay for a single supplement if you come solo. We will place you with a similarly-aged roommate.

The typical Patchie has travelled a LOT, is a well-seasoned adventurer, and is not easily thrown by small things. However, many Patchies tell us that this is their first ever group tour. Many of our guests have avoided tours to this point as they’re not attracted to being herded around in large groups.

Oh, and one last thing:

Patchies are warm, generous, and kind. We knew it would be like this, but we weren’t expecting it to be *quite* like this. We’re so blessed as a business to have the customers we do; we consider ourselves to be some of the luckiest people in the world.

Try to arrive before midday on the start day, although earlier would be recommendable.

So long as you have a general level of fitness, you’ll be fine. We don’t have any exercise planned for this trip, but there will be afternoons where we’ll be spending a lot of time on our feet.

Food is everything in India. From street food to fine dining, you can find it all. Service in restaurants can be a bit slow, but the wait is worth it.

North India is a vegetarian and vegan paradise, and your guide will be able to point you towards restaurants with better hygiene.

Delhi Belly is a thing. It is common for tourists to get sick in India, as food tends to be on the heavy side. If you enjoy Indian food, you’re going to LOVE this trip. You’re going to discover all kinds of foods that you never even thought existed.

My best piece of advice is – avoid western food at all cost if you don’t want to get sick.
Please refer to your GP for information on vaccines, and I highly recommend taking probiotics to help your body fight illness.

Things to remember to try to avoid getting sick:

  • Often, Western-style food is not safe and should be treated with care.
  • Water is not safe to drink, not even to brush your teeth.
  • Skip the ice. It’s usually made from tap water.
  • Always choose the hot and fresh food options. Street food is delicious and should not be avoided, but always choose to go where there’s a lot of people.
  • Avoid buffets.
  • Avoid salads and cut fruit.
  • Take it slowly. Don’t overeat, specially when you arrive, as it might take your body a little while to get used to it.
  • Take probiotics and stay hydrated.

If you get sick, have some Imodium and drink plenty of water. If the problem persists, let your guide know.

Medical assistance is good in India, I tell you from personal experience. But don’t worry, the problem usually goes away in a day or two.

The most important thing to remember is, enjoy it, but don’t let your guard down. India is a food paradise, and you’ll most likely put on a few kilos.

Reserve your place at online or email contact@patchadventures.com.au! There is a maximum group size of 12.

In the unlikely event of a health or security related incident during a trip, we’ve engaged a local partner to assist. From our experience, there is not one framework that fits all, and every incident is unique and requires a different approach. With all trips, your guides are your day-to-day support. While behind the scenes, there is an active line of communication – between your guide, the on-ground support team, and Australian Ops.

Don’t See Your Question Here? Check Out Our FAQ Page!

Check Out Our Other Trips!