Discover Colorful India during the Diwali Festival
Besides the highlights of India's Golden Triangle, you will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience celebrating the Diwali festival. Dress up in new clothes, light up lamps, play with fireworks, and enjoy sweets and traditional dishes.
Oct. to Mar.
We have just returned from an amazing trip to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Our travel adviser Albee Ning prepared a wonderful itinerary taking us to great locations with creative activities highlighting local culture.
We traveled with Asia Highlights (Lissie was our agent) several years ago when we went to Saigon, and the experience was so positive, we automatically went to Asia Highlights again for an extensive trip to Southeast Asia.
The itinerary below is only one possibility. Tips to tailor-make your trip are offered as inspiration. Send us details of your preferences and our travel experts will customize this trip to suit your interests, tastes, and budget.
Upon arrival, your guide and driver will be waiting for you at the arrival hall with your name sign. They will be happy to assist with hotel check-in. Have a good rest and adjust to the jet lag!
Maidens Hotel (4-star)
The Claridges (5-star)
breakfast & lunch
Passing by the Red Fort, you will visit the largest mosque in India, Jama Masjid. This Islamic monument was built using red sandstone and white marble. Then, a rickshaw ride inside Chandni Chowk market will introduce you to the local lifestyle.
After lunch, admire the spectacular Qutub Minar, the highest brick minaret in the world. Afterward, step into the beautiful tomb of Humayun, which was the first garden tomb in India. It’s said that the Taj Mahal was inspired by it. Follow your guide, explore the peaceful Mughal buildings, and enjoy the exquisite artifacts and vivid stories.
breakfast & lunch
After breakfast, you will leave for Agra by a private car, which will take about 4–5 hours.
Upon arrival, check in and freshen up at your hotel. You will explore Mehtab Bagh, the best place to view the Taj Mahal. Sitting across the river from the Taj, you can see the Taj Mahal changing colors during sunset.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Agra (4-star)
ITC Mughal, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Agra (5-star)
breakfast & lunch
Start your tour with the Taj Mahal. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a symbol of his love for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Known as one of the world’s greatest architectural masterpieces, the Taj Mahal reflects different colors of light at different times of day — pinkish in the morning, milky white in the afternoon, and golden in the evening. When you get close, your guide will show you more secrets about it.
Then move to Itmad-ud-Daula's tomb. Named as the Baby Taj, it dazzles with marble lattice screens and fine carvings. It is an incredible structure that inspired many other marble buildings, like the Taj Mahal.
Finally, pay a visit to Agra Fort. The imposing red sandstone walls have guarded the royal palaces within over centuries. Walking through courtyards after courtyards, you will learn the story of the considerable changes in its appearance and enjoy the lovely views of the Taj Mahal.
breakfast & lunch
Departing from Agra, you will take a 5-hour car ride to Jaipur.
Your first stop will be Fatehpur Sikri. Featuring Indo-Islamic buildings, this ancient town is testament to its glories once as the capital of the Mughals. After lunch, you will drive to Chand Baori, a stepwell that is over 1,000 years old. This unique well in India is no longer in use, but its exquisite design is attractive.
Alsisar Haveli (4-star)
Fairmont Jaipur (5-star)
breakfast & lunch
After breakfast, visit the stunning Amber Fort. Specially built from pale yellow and pink yellow sandstone, it looks like a magic castle in a fairyland. The Sheesh Mahal (the Palace of Mirrors) is a beautiful palace that you must not miss. The panoramic views from atop the palace are breathtaking.
After lunch, take a tuk-tuk ride to Diwali market. You can do your festival shopping in this bustling market. You will see people buying gold, silver, traditional foods, etc.
Then knock on the door of a local family and prepare an authentic dinner with them. The host will introduce you to the ingredients of the dinner. You will also learn to cook local cuisines and traditional foods for the Diwali festival. Finally, taste your food and enjoy your time with this local family.
Radisson Blu Kochi (4-star)
Kochi Marriott Hotel (5-star)
breakfast, lunch and dinner
In the morning, you will explore Nahargarh Fort, one of the magnificent forts in Jaipur. Originally built for defense purposes, it was never attacked by enemies. Popular as a film shooting location, it is a feast for the eyes to visit this majestic palace which overlooks the city of Jaipur.
Afterward, step into City Palace, admire the elegant decorations, and listen to stories of a glorious era full of richness, aura, and wonder. In the late afternoon, go to Jantar Mantar. Gain insight into the practice of astronomy in ancient India. The set of 14 astronomical instruments are testaments of ancient Indian brilliance in architecture as well.
In the evening, you can join the celebration of Diwali festival in Diggi Palace. It is specially celebrated by the Diggi family, who once were nobility. After being welcomed by a traditional ritual, you will celebrate Lakshmi Puja at Durbar Mahal with the Diggi family. A display of fireworks and sparklers is the highlight. Enjoy a candle-lit dinner and listen to live music.
After breakfast, your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel lobby and transfer you back to Delhi. They will see you off at the airport. We wish you a great trip!
Price from: $1,669 (Tour code: gh-ah-in-81)
About the Date of the Diwali Festival in 2020
The date of the Diwali Festival in 2020 will be 14th Nov. And normally Diwali takes place over a period of 5 days. Booking your hotel will be very tight for the dates of the festival. An early booking will be appreciated so that we can hold the recommended hotel for you.
About the Car Transfers Between Cities
We will arrange private car transfers from Delhi to Agra and from Agra to Jaipur. Your guide will not be with you during the transfers. You will have different guides in different cities. Your driver will be able to speak basic English so there will be no problems with basic conversation during the transfers.
About the Meals
Many hotels offer buffets with a variety of cuisines from Indian to Italian and Asian. People who are looking to taste authentic local cuisine can try the restaurants specializing in barbecued tandoori kebabs and Indian naan bread. We also recommend trying out one of the many great restaurants that serve modern Indian fusion food. Let us know your food preferences and we'll take care of the rest. Make sure to inform us of any allergies or dietary requirements in advance.