Duration : 11 Nights / 12 Days
Loction : : North India, Amritsar and the Foothills of Himalayas
Best Season : Every Year March
Category : Cultural, Heritage, Nature and India Festival Tour
Covering : Delhi > Amritsar > Dharamshala > Exotic Marigold Home Stay Jawalamukhi > Shimla
You can take it : As a private, personalised tour (tour dates would be of your choice)
Special About Tour :
A hassle free India festival tour is specially designed for the people who wants to enjoy and experience the most popular and famous Festivals of India. Holi the Festival of Colors India Tour provides you a chance not only to see but to participate with the locals during the Indian Festival Tour. Festival of colors tour India is also highly recommended for first time visitor to India, where you visit the major Kaleidoscopic sights along with some of the beautiful villages and rural destinations of India in the Foothills of Himalayas. One can include the Taj Mahal at Agra and the Pink city of India Jaipur as a Pre or Post Festival of Colors Extension tour India.
HOLI the Festival of Colors India Tour starts from New Delhi and we continue to the beautiful Golden Temple of Amritsar; the famous Sikh Shrine gilded with Gold including a memorable visit to India-Pakistan border at Wagha. While exploring the towns and villages of lower Himalayas we visit Dharamshala (Mcleodganj) famous as the home to Dalai Lama Ji; who is the religious head of Buddhist’s, the Colonial heritage hill station town of Shimla famous for the heritage buildings related to British Raj, where you will also ride the famous UNSECO World Heritage Kalka Shimla Mountain Railways of India— the toy train a journey of discovery.
In Kangra valley near Dharamshala you will be provided with a taste of rural India and you will spend a couple of nights in some of the villages that we visit, in Exotic Marigold Home Stay, with your hosts being an incredibly friendly and hospitable Indian family. Here you will be participating in the Festival of Colors India with the locals which are also the part of our community based tours. HOLI The Festival of Colors Tour India provides you the experience of the local Festival, culture, food and the insight to the day to day life of the Indians from very closely and on the other hand it benefits the locals directly.
Visiting local school, interaction with locals, Cooking classes with a local family, visit the less explores non tourist places in the foothills of Himalayas, indulge in artistic culture of rangoli making, henna designing and photography in local attire are just a few, among the top highlights of the tour. Your knowledgeable English speaking guide and driver is with you throughout the trip to all the famous sights and makes history and culture come alive through the stories that unfold throughout the journey; this is what will make your Holi Festival of Colors tour India a very special holiday experience.
Treat the below HOLI the Festival of Colors India just as inspiration, as each trip is created uniquely for you, around your interest and requirements. Summit Safari India will make your tour a memorable and extra ordinary travel experience to cherish forever….!
Brief Itinerary : New Delhi (1 Night on arrival ) > Amritsar ( 2 Nights) > Dharamshala ( 1 Night) > Exotic Marigold Home Stay - Jawalamukhi ( 3 Nights) > Shimla ( 3 Nights) and back to New Delhi ( 1 Night at the end)
Today to start with Holi The Festival of Colors Tour India, you will be met from your flight to New Delhi International Airport by Summit Safari’s representative and driver, and we will transfer you to your hotel in New Delhi. Rest of the day is free at leisure to relax after the flight.
Meals Plan: Dinner is included.
Please Note: You can also choose to start your tour from Amritsar international airport or can fly from New Delhi to Amritsar also. It is an international airport in Punjab state of India, having flights from London, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. This all we’ll discuss with you while planning your holiday tour.
Today make an easy start after the breakfast and check out from the hotel at 9:30 A.M and we will take you for the private guided tour of Delhi to view some of the famous sights of the old and new parts of the city. Your excursions include the Gandhi Smriti, also known as the Birla house where –Mahatma Gandhi had lived the last 144 days of his life from 9 September 1947 to 30 January 1948 when he was assassinated in 78th year of life. We’ll also visit the India gate and the Parliament House of India from Outside . We will have a walking tour with your guide in the heart of old Delhi and covering the Chandni Chowk bazaar with the interesting lanes of Old Delhi. We will also take a walking tour through Khari Baoli – Asia’s largest Spice market in Old Delhi. Today the part of our tour also includes a bicycle rickshaw ride in old Delhi or a Tuk Tuk ( Three wheeler ) ride in New Delhi for you.
You will have lunch in a local restaurant in Delhi and later you will be transferred to New Delhi railway station to board the super fast Shatabdi express train leaving New Delhi railway station at 4:30 P.M. arriving Amritsar railway station at 10:30 P.M. Evening tea / coffee and Dinner will be served to you on this super fast Shatabdi express train. You will reach Amritsar at night where you will be met by your driver and will be transfer to your hotel in Amritsar for 2 nights.
Meals Plan: Breakfast + Dinner are included.
Please Note: You'd be assisted onto the train and met at the other end by Summit Safari’s representative or your driver.
Please Note: You can also choose to start your tour from Amritsar international airport or can fly from New Delhi to Amritsar. It is an international airport in Punjab state of India, having flights from London, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. This all we’ll discuss with you while planning your holiday tour.
After breakfast at your hotel, around 09:30 A.M we will leave for sightseeing covering Golden Temple (the biggest and holiest Sikh shrine in the world – gilded with gold.),Jallianwala Bagh-the historic site where hundreds of innocent Indian men, women and children were massacred by British General Michael Dyer on April 13, 1919. A memorial and Garden have been created here as a national monument.
Return back to your hotel by afternoon and after lunch at 03:00 P.M. we will be driving you to Indo-Pak Border to watch retreat ceremony-30 KM on the road to Lahore is India-Pakistan Border ( Atari Wagha Boarder). A visit to the border is an interesting experience especially at Sunset, when the retreat ceremony takes place with the Border Security Force on the Indian Side and the Sutlej Rangers on the Pakistan side putting up a well coordinated and spectacular display. The sound from the Bugles blown together from both sides paints past on the canvas when India and Pakistan were one, simultaneously Flags of the two nations are ceremoniously retrieved and lights are switched on marking the end of the day. Return to hotel in the evening, second night in the same hotel at Amritsar.
Meals Plan: Breakfast + Dinner are included.
Please Note: Kindly carry your passports with you while going for the Retreat Ceremony at Atari Wagha Border at Amritsar. The Golden temple has its own charm visiting it at the night time, if interested we will take you to visit it at the night time also.
Today morning after breakfast at 08: 00 A.M we will drive to Dharamshala (220 kms / 5 hrs). Enroute stop for comfort break. We will arrive Dharamshala by afternoon where on arrival check in to the hotel. Originally home of the semi-nomadic Gaddi tribe, Mcleodganj is today the residence of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
Later around 03:00 P.M if interested, we could take you for a nice nature walk in the mountains to Galu village near Mcleodganj ( 2-3 hr ) and to view the beautiful water fall near the Bagsu Nag Temple. Evening would be free to explore in the local market in Mcleodganj and today in dinner you can taste the authentic Tibetan food at a local restaurant in Mcleodganj. Overnight stay in hotel in Dharamshala for 1 night.
Please Note: Today you have a choice to have dinner outside in the market, in a local restaurant in Mcleodganj and enjoy the Tibetan food.
Meals Plan: Breakfast + Dinner are included.
Today after breakfast we will leave for the sightseeing tour around Dharamshala visiting the St. John church, situated in the wilderness, the Buddhist monastery and residence of his Holiness the Dalai Lama ji.
We will also visit the Norbulingka Institute at a place known as Sidhbari, an institute working for the preservation of traditional Tibetan arts and crafts including Thanka painting, tailoring, metal sculpture and wood crafts. There is a doll museum a monastery and a popular restaurant inside the Norbulingka institute where you can have your tea/ coffee.
Later we will leave for Bankhandi village where we will meet the village postman’s family here and have lunch with them. We will walk around this village which will provide us a chance to meet the local people and to know about their life and traditions.
Today our female travellers can have Henna design on their hands with this family. By evening we will leave this village and will drive you further to Basdi village near Jawalamukhi (45 minutes) to experience the Exotic Marigold Home Stay for 3 nights.
Today we will also visit the famous Hindu Temple of Flames at Jawalamukhi--where the eternal fire flames continue to burn out of the temple walls. It is believed that at Jawala ji Sati’s tongue fell. Guide will be glad to provide you with the story of the temple and Sati.
Meals Plans-: Breakfast + Dinner + Lunch + evening tea and coffee with snacks on arrival at the village Home stay.
After a leisurely breakfast we will walk around the Basdi village and will visit a local school, where we will meet the children and the teachers. We will also attend the morning school prayers. We will take fresh seasonable fruits with us to distribute among the school children ( summit safari will arrange for the seasonable fruits).
Later we will drive you to Nadaun (7 kms) where we take you for a row boat ride on river Beas which flows down the valley. If interested you can even enjoy a swim at river Beas. We will also visit the local village market. You will notice how local people are eager to talk and want to interact to you.
Today you can choose to enjoy Indian snacks like Samosa with chick peas in the lunch in a local food stall or in the comfort of your home stay. Return back to the village home stay by late afternoon and enjoy the evening tea and snacks with your host. Second night in the home stay in the village.
Meals Plans: Breakfast + Dinner + Lunch + evening tea and coffee with snacks at the village Home stay
Today morning after breakfast around 09:30 A.M you will get ready for the Festival of Colors “HOLI” celebrations. You will walk around the village and meet local people and will play the colors with them (2.30 hrs). Later by afternoon return back to the home stay and you will have shower to remove the Colors. Rest of the time is free to relax and walk around the village with your guide.
By evening you will join your host for cooking classes where our friendly host helps you in learning, preparing, tasting and enjoying the famous Indian authentic recipes including the Street food cooked in a safe, hygienic and homely, environment. Indulge in artistic culture of rangoli making, henna designing and photography in local attire during your culinary cooking and food tour part of Festival of Colors tour India. In the evening we will take you for a nature walk.
Enjoy self cooked meals in dinner. Third night in the same home stay.
Meals Plans-: Breakfast + Dinner + Lunch +evening tea and coffee with snacks at the village Home stay.
Please Note-: Today you can wear your old clothes, to enjoy the Festival of Colors ,as even after washing the clothes the colors might stay permanent on your clothes. You can use white or light color T shirts, to play colors today.
After Breakfast we will drive you to Shimla (180 kms /7 hrs), the former summer Capital of India during the Raj. Now Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh state. Enroute we will make a comfort break and lunch break with the local family in village Pangjain in Bilaspur village (3 hrs) and will have a walk around the fields. It would be a good chance to interact with another local joint family and know about the joint family system in India.
Later we continue our drive to Shimla (3 hrs). Reach Shimla by evening where you will stay 3 nights in a hotel or choose to stay in the Marigold Home Stay in Shimla.
Meals Plan-: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner are included.
Please Note: The Marigold Home Stay is Shimla, is about 5 minutes of walking from the car park with 50 steps to climb and is very comfortable and clean with modern bedrooms and attracted modern toilets and a great friendly host.
After breakfast we will take you for a sightseeing tour of Shimla town including the Shimla Heritage Walk that takes you in the footsteps of the Raj. Erstwhile Summer Capital During The British India “Simla" saw remarkable building activity during the colonial era, and some of the finest structures of that time still stand over its seven hills where life revolves around the famous Mall Road and the Scandal Point. There could not be a better way to explore experience and admire the British Himalayan heritage Town of Shimla, than to get on your feet and take the Shimla heritage walk- in the footsteps of the Raj through the Architectural heritage zone of Shimla.
We will visit the Viceroy’s house now known as the Indian institute of Advance studies where agreement of the partition of India as two nations India and Pakistan were worked out. It is still one of the most impressive buildings n Shimla with heritage and history of the era.
We continue on the Shimla heritage walk to the Scandal point of Shimla passing by Cecil Hotel, Kennedy cottage (sight of the first British house in Shimla), State Legislative building (Council chambers), Gorton Castle (accountant general's office), Railway Board Building, Grand hotel (Bentinck's Castel), ), Telegraph office, General Post office building (Connie Cottage), Indian Coffee house.
We will stop for the lunch in a local restaurant, which once used to be the band stand and after lunch we visit the Town hall, the Gaiety Theatre, The Ridge, Christ Church, Mall Road, Combermere bridge.
We do visit the local interesting bazaars and lanes of Shimla including the famous monkey temple of Shimla (dedicated to Lord Hanuman) on the top of Jakhoo hills- the highest point in the town. Second night in the same hotel / home Stay at Shimla.
Meals Plan-: Breakfast + Local lunch and dinner are included.
Today morning after breakfast we will drive you to the countryside to visit Fagu valley. Enroute to Fagu we will stop to view the Shimla water catchment area, Yak point where you can have pictures with this beautiful animal from the Himalayas. We will visit the view point; from here we enjoy the magnificent views of the Himalayas with the villages,valleys and terrace farms.
Later drive back and take a nature walk through the woods (45 minutes) or even you can stop at the Oberio’s Wildflower hall to have a cup of tea/ coffee.
By 1:00 P.M join the local family where you can have some cooking lessons and lunch with the local Indian family in Shimla, which itself is a unique travel experience. After a short introduction to your host’s family, you will take a tour of their home and see how they live. Join the house lady for the cooking session and learn to cook 2-3 Indian Recipes, including vegetables, curries, Indian bread( roti) puffed Indian fried bread ( puri) and some delicious Indian snacks and street food at home.
It is going to be approximately 1.30 hrs cooking class where you are going to prepare the food with the house lady and later would be able to eat self cooked recipes.
Have your lunch around 2:30 P.M including some Indian street food snacks including Aloo Tikki and Pani Puri , which are made in home and are totally safe to eat.
Interact to the local family to know how they live, role of women in Indian Society, caste system of India and the arrange marriage system. Later enjoy your evening tea with the family and return back to the hotel by 4:30 P.M. third night in the same hotel/ home stay in Shimla.
Meals Plan: Breakfast + Lunch +Dinner are included
Today after breakfast we will drive you to Shimla railway station from where we will board the UNESCO World Heritage Kalka Shimla Mountain Railways the toy- a journey of discovery. Take a short tour of Shimla railway station and board the toy train leaving Shimla at 10: 40 A.M. to Solan railway station arriving at 1:10 P.M.
This train travels very slowly through the mountains providing you the views of the spectacular landscape of the foothills of Himalayas with the cool wind of the mountains, the villages where local farmers are working to get the best crops and the seasonable vegetables soon lush green valley embellished with pine and oak trees, the picturesque scenery along the railway line is simply astounding.
On arrival at Solan we will be met by our driver and he will drive us to Kalka from where we will board our evening superfast train back to New Delhi. Enroute stop at Barog for a lunch / tea break and later we continue our drive to Kalka.
In the evening board the Shatabdi Express train leaving Kalka at 5:45 P.M to New Delhi arriving at 9:50 P.M
On arrival at New Delhi railway station you will be met by our driver and transfer you to the hotel in New Delhi for 1 night.
Meals Plan-: Breakfast + Dinner are included.
Today morning after breakfast, check out from the hotel and as per your flight schedule we will transfer you to the international airport in New Delhi, from where you will board your flight back to home.
Meals Plan-: Breakfast is included.
End Of The tour and the services....!
This is the tour itinerary for the Holi Festival Of Colors Tour India which we run it regularly. The festival of Colors “ Holi” is celebrated in the month of March each year and the dates of the Festival changes every year due to Hindu Calendar. It can be altered & customized as we like to discuss plans with clients and can make suggestions about special places to visit depending on our clients’ interests, and available time. You can get an idea of your holidays from the mentioned tour. The itinerary is planned in such a way that while travelling you get a good time to experience India and see the real life of Indian people from much closer.
Whether you choose to be on a privately guided tour to India or set off on a more independent trip, with local guides available wherever required, you can travel reassured, knowing our vast experience and provide you with around-the-clock support to smooth out anything unexpected. The safety and well-being of our guests is paramount.
When Celebrated: “Holi” basically a Hindu Festival, popularly known as India’s Festival of Colors, is celebrated in all different parts of India in the Month of March every year. Holi is celebrated at the approach of the vernal equinox, on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon Day). The festival date varies every year, as per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March.
It is primarily observed in India, Nepal, and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindus or people of Indian origin. Mainly it is a one day festival celebration and from morning to late afternoon people play color to each another with dry colored powder, with some carrying water guns and colored water-filled balloons for their water fight. Anyone and everyone can be the part of the Holi Festival-- friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders.
This day people walk down the streets singing, dancing or may be gathered at a open place, or go from door to door, with dry colored powder in their hands and meeting the people, friends, strangers on the way and putting the colors on their faces, wishing them and saying HAPPY HOLI….!
You can choose the color of your choice to put on the face of other people. Mostly used colors during the festival are Red, Yellow, Green , Blue. Red is the most popular color to play Holi and means love and Warmth.
The Festival of Colors is played in the open streets, open parks, outside temples, outside buildings and outside houses. Many times groups carry drums and other musical instruments with them and go from place to place ( street to street), singing and dancing. People visit family, friends and play dry colour powders with each another. People, eat , drink, play colors and enjoy, it continues from Morning till late afternoon.
The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships, and is also celebrated as a beginning of a good spring harvest.
Why Celebrated: There is a symbolic legend to explain why Holi is celebrated as a festival of colors. The word "Holi" originates from the word "Holika", she was the evil sister of the demon king Hiranyakashiyap. King Hiranyakashiyap, according to legend, was the King of modern days Multan ( now in Pakistan) and had earned a boon that made him virtually indestructible. He grew arrogant and thought he is a God, and demanded that everyone should worship only him.
Hiranyakashiyap’s own son, Prahlada, however disagreed, to the opinion of his father the King. He was and remained devoted to Lord Vishnu (The preserver of the Universe in Hindu religion).
This infuriated Hiranyakashiyap, subjected Prahlada to cruel punishments, none of which affected the boy or his resolve to do what he thought was right. Finally, Holika - Prahlada's evil aunt - tricked him into sitting on a pyre with her. Holika was blessed and immune to injury from fire, while Prahlada was not. As the fire flames took over Holika and Prahlada, by the good will of Prahlada and the blessings of Lord Vishnu on him, the Holika burned and Prahlada survived.
Seeing this, Hiranyakashiyap, unable to control his anger, smashed a pillar with his mace. There was a tumultuous sound, and Lord Vishnu appeared as Lord Narasimha ( half men and half Lion) and killed Hiranyakashiyap. The bonfire is a reminder of the symbolic victory of good over evil, of Prahlada over Hiranyakashiyap, and of the fire that burned Holika.
The next day when the fire cooled down, people applied ash to their foreheads, a practice still observed by many people. Eventually, colored powder came to be used to celebrate Holi.
Still traditionally Holi celebrations start on the night before the main festival Holi with a Holika bonfire where people gather, they pray and bonfire as a symbol of the victory of good over bad.
Holi is celebrated at the approach of the vernal equinox, on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon Day). The festival date varies every year, as per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March. Below are the tentative dates of the Festival of Colors, please re-confirm them with us, before booking your tour.
|2021:||Monday, 29 March|
|2023:||Wednesday, 08 March|
|2024:||Monday, 25 March|
|2025:||Friday, 14 March|
You will follow the itinerary as a private tour, accompanied by one of our excellent Guides/ tour escorts through out the trip. Internal travel chauffeur-driven luxury jeep / car.
The destinations like Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Amritsar are the most sought-after tourist destinations of India. Every year which greet thousands of people from across the globe. To serve the best, there is no problem regarding accommodation on the tour. These places have plenty of hotels which are well equipped with all modern amenities and comprises variety of luxury, deluxe, heritage and budget hotels. One can choose the place of accommodation according to one's requirement and budget.
The rural parts of your tour like Kangra valley and Dharamshala also have Heritage and A class deluxe Indian hotels.
You stay in comfortable mid range Indian Hotels or A class star category luxury hotels which offer immaculate hospitality to guests, all as preferred by you. In Kangra valley you will stay three nights in a Indian himalayan villages that we visit, with your hosts who are incredibly friendly and hospitable Indian family. Your living arrangements are not going to be 5 star in this local house, but we do believe that we cater to people requiring different levels of comfort, and most importantly where you stay is CLEAN. We would like to discuss and make suggestions about accommodation at the time of planning your holidays with us.
Meal plans:Bed and breakfast only + all meals included during the home stay.
Cloths:Cottons with warm woolens for the hill stations.
The Cost would be provided on Request
Please Note: The Cost of our each tour is based as per individual requirements, interests and budget of the client. The tour cost depending on the hotel accommodations you choose, food plan, mode of transportation you choose, whether you choose to include Escorted guide throughout the tour or set off on a more independent trip, with local guides available wherever required during the tour. This all we discuss with you while planning your tour and work out the best cost for your tour, accordingly.
We'll work with you until you’re satisfied with every detail of your India Holiday Tour. We'll then manage all your reservations and logistics, so that you’re taken care of from the moment you start your tour until your return back. The safety and well-being of our guests is paramount.