Holi and Hola Mohalla
Arrival at the airport in Delhi, meeting with our representative and transfer to the hotel. Overnight.
In the morning visit to the largest mosque in India, Jama Masjid, located in the heart of Old Delhi. Afterwards, visit the Raj Ghat Memorial, the place where Mahatma Gandhi's cremation took place. The day continues with a rickshaw ride in the old town. Afternoon dedicated to the visit of the imposing 72-meters high Minaret of Qutub and the Sikh temple. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast and departure for Jaipur, the "Pink City", built in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II. Visit the Galta Ji monkey temple dedicated to the god Sun and Hanuman. In the evening it will be possible to better understand the Indian religious life, attending the evening ceremony in the Birla temple. Dinner and overnight.
In the morning excursion to Amber Fort. The fortress consists of a set of buildings and pavilions, which is reflected in the waters of an artificial lake below the hill. In the afternoon city tour with visit to the exceptional Jantar Mantar, a magnificent observatory of stone built by Raja Jai Singh in 1728. Along the journey there will be a stop to take pictures (from the outside) of the Palace of Winds Hawa Mahal, one of the most iconic palaces of Jaipur.
The day continues with the visit to the Royal Palace or City Palace, the ancient royal residence. The architectural style is a combination of Rajasthani and Mughal styles; it houses sumptuous museums inside exhibiting an excellent collection of paintings in miniature, costumes and armor. Here you can buy a wide range of traditional Rajasthani products. Dinner and overnight in Jaipur.
After breakfast departure for Abhaneri, a small isolated village surrounded by undulating wheat fields. Here is one of the most evocative wells (Chand Baori) of Rajasthan. Continue to Fatehpur Sikri, a city built in red sandstone, between 1571 and 1585, by the Emperor Akbar and abandoned after only twelve years. Arrival in Agra. Dinner and overnight.
Breakfast and full day dedicated to the visit of Agra and its famous monuments, first of all the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, a white marble mausoleum built between 1631 and 1653 by Emperor Shah Jahan and dedicated to his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Its construction lasted 22 years and symbolizes the eternal love between the two. The day continues with a visit to the Agra Fort, home of the Mughal emperors, and Baby Taj (Tomb of Itimad-Ud-Daulah). Dinner and overnight in Agra.
In the morning you participate in the Holi festival of colors, one of the most colorful holidays in India. Colored powders are thrown into the streets and on people, The result is that at the end of the Holi everything appears multicolored. Later transfer to Delhi. Dinner and overnight.
Transfer to the train station to board the train to Chandigarh. Arrival and visit of the city of Chandigarh, famous for being designed by architect Le Corbusier. Transfer to Anandpur Sahib, the holiest site for Sikhs after the Golden Temple of Amritsar, which rises close to the Nana Devi Hills. In 1699 the tenth and last Guru Gobind Singh Ji founded the Khalsa brotherhood (made up of selected soldiers saints) that he would comply with strict codes of moral conduct and that would be committed in a crusade for righteousness. It was Gobind Singh himself to want the Holi festival, the “festival of the colors ”, generally celebrated throughout India with scattering of water and colored powders. It became an opportunity for a demonstration of the martial spirit of his people and he renamed it Holla Mohalla. Dinner and overnight.
Full day dedicated to the Hola Mohalla festival, the most important celebration of the Sikh religion. The undisputed protagonists of the party are the Nihang warriors, who wear the characteristic blue clothes paired with amazing colorful turbans.
The warriors challenge each other to a duel with long and sharp sabers, retracing the exploits of the fighters of the past. Thousands of pilgrims gather in Anandpur Sahib to attend the prayer ceremonies held in the sacred "gurdwara" (temple) of Keshgarh Sahib and to participate in the evocative procession winding through the narrow streets around the temple.
Absolutely not to be missed are the competitions on a horse that see the Nihangs challenge each other in crazy races, riding bareback or even standing upright with legs resting on two running horses side by side. Many Sikhs adopt the name "Singh", which means "Lion". Overnight in Anandpur Sahib.
Departure for Amritsar. Arrival and accommodation at the hotel. In the afternoon excursion to Attari / Wagah Border, the border with Pakistan, where you can attend the colorful and spectacular ceremony of the closure of the border. After dinner second visit to the Golden Temple to attend the suggestive Night Palki Ceremony, the closing ceremony of the “sacred book". Dinner and overnight in Amritsar.
Morning dedicated to a walking tour in the old city, up to the Golden Temple, the holiest place of worship for the Sikh religion. This gurdwara (temple) all in gold laminate shines in the center of the sacred lake, offering a spectacle which some visitors compare to the view of the Taj Mahal. The atmosphere is authentically spiritual.
Visit the Jaliawala Bagh, where the British killed about 1500 Indians who attended a rally in 1919. Dinner in a restaurant. No room available until departure. Transfer to the airport for Delhi and scheduled flight.