The Green Triangle – North India Adventure

August 25, 2015 by Elskamor

Culture, tradition, music, dance, customs, religion, history and great vegetarian and vegan food all come together on this exciting 8-day adventure in Northern India.
The Green Triangle – North India Adventure
• 20 – 27 September, 2015
• 13 – 20 December, 2015

Location: Delhi, Jaipur, Kishangarh, India
Explore North India’s captivating sights taking in the heritage of the capital city of Delhi, the history of the famous Pink City of Jaipur, the charm of the royal desert Kingdom of Kishangarh, the abundant wildlife around Bharatpur and the legacy of the old Mughal capital of Agra home to the Taj Mahal – all from a very personal perspective and all vegetarian style!

Types of activities offered:
• visit to Taj Mahal!
• yoga classes
• vegan cooking class
• daily language lessons
• live music and folk dances

Types of food:
Great mouthwatering vegan food . 21 meals (6 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 7 lunches, 7 dinners)

• visit to a local animal sanctuary
• visit to Amber Fort
• visit to Keoladeo Ghana National Park
• visit to Fatehpur Sikri
• visit to the birthplace of Lord Krishna
• visit and guests at local school
• dinners with local families

Price range:
$1395 USD for a 8 day adventure

Detailed retreat description:
Walk in the beautiful gardens of the Taj Mahal – possibly one of the most recognizable architectural wonders in the world, explore magnificent forts, relax in lavish palaces, learn how to cook a sumptuous vegetarian and vegan Indian dinner and discover the wildlife in the wilds of a UNESCO World Heritage listed National Park. Experience the timeless beauty and charm of princely Rajasthan where heritage, history and tradition still play a major role in the daily lives of the people. Discover the romance and mystery of the desert, the grandeur of centuries-old palaces and forts, the magnificent opulence of ancient temples and the charm, graciousness and hospitality of Rajasthani people.

What’s included:
• Taj Mahal entry fee
• all local guide fees
• airport arrival pick up *
• village visits
• guests at local schools
• exploring local bazaars
• visit to a local animal sanctuary
• Amber Fort entry fee
• dinner with a local family
• Keoladeo Ghana National Park entry fee
• Keoladeo Ghana National Park private naturalist guide fee
• Fatehpur Sikri entry fee
• visit to the birthplace of Lord Krishna and all other activities, entertainment and site entry fees as per the itinerary

What’s NOT included:
International airfare, airport departure transfer, visa for India, personal travel insurance, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Daily Schedule:
DAY 1 Arrival in Delhi / Gurgaon
Namaste! Welcome to Delhi! On arrival, we’ll meet you at the airport. A teaming metropolis rolling into the modern age with new highways and skyscrapers, Delhi still manages to retain much of its historical charm with its lively bazaars, captivating temples, and winding streets lined with shops and roadside vendors. A fusion of the old and new, Delhi’s streets are filled with cows, goats, bicycles and rickshaws that all share space with taxis, trucks, cars and the largest eco-friendly CNG bus network in the world. As we take in Delhi, remember its history doesn’t just date back centuries, but millenniums – the area originally being settled in the 6th century BC. Heading out into the historical streets of India’s vibrant, bustling and at times chaotic capital city, we’ll also include a visit to the Gandhi Smriti where Gandhiji spent his last days. In the evening, we’ll settle down for our orientation meeting where we’ll enjoy a dinner of tasty local treats while discussing the adventure ahead. (Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 2 Kishangarh
Today we journey to the romantic desert Kingdom of Kishangarh. Founded by a Jodhpur Prince in 1611, Kishangarh flourished with its military prowess and fortunes earned as a member of the Mughal court. The Maharajahs here were not only known for their successes on the battlefield, but also as patrons of the arts and the area’s paintings, many of which adorn the walls of their palaces including the one we’ll be staying in, are known throughout India. Our home for the next two nights – the Maharajah’s beautiful monsoon palace! Built in the 1870′s, the palace is located just outside Kishangarh Fort on the banks of the monsoon fed Gundalao Lake. During our stay, be on the lookout for peacocks, kites, herons and wild ducks that call the nearby fields and lake home. After freshening up, we’ll meet on the palace verandah for some chai (tea) and snacks before exploring the centuries-old village streets and colorful bazaar of this old princely state. As the sun sets over this charming historical kingdom, we’ll join a local family for a delicious vegetarian Rajasthani dinner! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 3 Kishangarh
Starting with yoga on the palace grounds, we’ll have a hearty breakfast and then begin today’s adventure! Rajasthan is famous for its marble – you’ll see it in temples, homes and palaces and this morning we’ll get a chance to find out how it comes to be – from the cutting factory to the final product. Then it’s off for lunch in the nearby village of Roopangarh where we’ll dine in a royal palace that dates back to 1648. After lunch, we’ll explore the centuries-old streets of this colorful medieval town before heading back to Kishangarh. We’ll also make a special visit to a local school where we’ll be guests of the students and teachers. At sunset, we’ll settle down with the lake at our front and the centuries-old fort at our back, enjoying refreshing drinks, snacks, a delicious vegetarian dinner and traditional folk music. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4 Jaipur
The capital of Rajasthan, the City of Victory, the Pink City – whatever name Jaipur is called, one thing is certain – it has seduced travelers, wanderers, caravans and the like throughout history. Enticed by the legends, wealth and history it holds within its walls – the kingdom has drawn people for centuries from the furthest points on the globe. The city you see today was founded in the 1700′s, though the history of settlements in the area dates back to the 12th century. Rich in history, arts and architecture; Jaipur’s unique design was built using Vastu Shastra – the Indian version of Feng Shui. The desert terrain around the city consists of the rugged hills of the Aravallis, the oldest mountain range in India – where rulers constructed gated passes, walls, palaces and forts in epic proportions. Today we’ll explore Jaipur giving you a real taste of the city. Speaking of taste, Indian vegetarian fare is truly a unique blend of fragrant spices, fresh veggies, flavorsome herbs and delectable breads and rice dishes. This being said, tonight we’ll meet up with a local chef who will teach us how to prepare a delicious full course Rajasthani vegetarian feast. So be prepared to roll up your sleeves as we begin our cooking class where we’ll not only learn, but also cook tonight’s meal! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5 Jaipur
After breakfast, we’ll jump into the streets of Jaipur exploring some of the historical capital’s most important landmarks. We’ll also spend time at a very special animal hospital that has been helping locally abused and neglected animals as well as standing up for our four legged friends without a voice for almost three decades. Some of the sights we’ll see today include the ancient seat of the present ruling Rajput clan of Jaipur before they moved their capital to its current location. Located 11 kilometers from the city center, the massive Amber Fort is a fusion of Hindu and Muslim architectural influences built from sandstone and marble. In the evening, we’ll join a local family for traditional warm Marwari hospitality, snacks and a delicious home-cooked Jaipuri-style vegetarian dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6 Bharatpur
Today we set back out on the desert roads for Bharatpur – home of the UNESCO World Heritage Keoladeo Ghana National Park. A haven of wetlands and forests, the national park is home to over 400 species of birds, including a selection of herons believed to be among the best in the world, as well as a wide variety of other wildlife. On the way to Bharatpur, we’ll stop in Abhaneri village to visit its epic Chand Baoli step-well. Said to be the largest step-well in India, its history dates back well over half a millennium. Arriving in Bharatpur, we’ll hop aboard bicycles or peddle rickshaws (your choice) and explore the national park traversing the back trails of the sanctuary with our naturalist guide. After sunset over the wetlands, we’ll return to our hotel for dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7 Bharatpur & Agra
Agra – home of the stunning Taj Mahal! A remarkable mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute to his favorite wife – Mumtaj Mahal, when one sees it in person the feeling is best summed up in the words of Tagore who described the tomb as “one tear drop…upon the cheek of time”. The Taj is also one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. After taking in the Taj, we’ll explore the well-preserved ruins of the ancient ghost town of Fatehpur Sikri. Built in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar combining both Islamic and Hindu elements, Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire between 1571 and 1585 AD before being deserted. Today it is a World Heritage site. In the evening, we return to Bharatpur for our farewell party! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8 Mathura / Delhi / Gurgaon
In the morning, we’ll visit the ancient holy city of Mathura whose Hindu and Buddhist rich history dates back over 2,500 years. Believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna, we’ll visit the spiritual town’s most sacred site – the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi. Then we’re off to Delhi where our adventure ends on arrival in Gurgaon. Bahut, bahut dhanyavaad (thank you very much)! (Brunch)

Amenities and accomodation:
7 nights accommodations (3 nights at hotels, 2 nights at a bed & breakfast and 2 nights at a charming old Maharajah’s palace)

Travel arrangements
• Start at 9:30 AM. Ends at 4:30 PM
• Airport arrival pick up
• Airport pick up is provided only if you arrive a day or two earlier than the tour date. If you would be arriving three days or more early, please arrange your own airport pick up.

About the teachers or hosts:
Long time vegetarians/vegans and avid travelers with almost twenty years experience living, working and organizing trips within Asia and unique “off-the-beaten-track” vegan adventures.

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