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Holi & Hola Mohalla Tour

9 NIGHTS – 10 DAYS
Delhi – Vrindavan – Mathura – Agra – Amritsar – Anantpur Sahib – Chandigarh

This tour combines best of Holi festival, colorful festival celebrated in Braj region near Mathura – Birth place of Lord Krishna and Sikh festival of Hola Mohalla in Anandpur Sahib as Holi is known there in Punjab. The festivities at both places are enthralling but very different. Besides the spectacular events, the tour also gives you possibility to visit Historical city of Delhi, Amritsar – City of Golden Temple, Agra – City of “Taj Mahal” and Chandigarh – City of Le Corbusier, the world famous architect. This festival is truly a treat for those who have interest in photography.

Tour starts :18 March 2024 In Delhi
Tour ends :27 March 2024 In Delhi
Festival location :Vrindavan & Anandpur Sahib
Holi Festival :18 – 25 March 2024
Hola Mohalla :24 March – 26 March 2024
1
Day: Delhi – Vrindavan (160 Km /3 Hour) (Holi Celebration At Barsana): 18 March, 2024
Morning after breakfast transfer to Vrindavan, on arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon leave for Barsana to witness the most vibrant festival of Color. Thousands of people from all corners of India visit Mathura and Vrindavan especially on this occasion. The festivities begin with Lathmar Holi played in Barsana, a small village in Mathura. The Lathmar Holi usually begins around a week before the main Holi day. During the celebrations, women from Barsana village gather with wooden sticks in their hands to welcome men from Nandgaon. This is part of the tradition as Hindu Mythology says that Lord Krishna along with his friends visited Barsana, Radha’s village (Radha was Lord Krishna’s spiritual girlfriend), to tease her and other Gopis (girls) by throwing colored water on them. In retaliation, Radha and Gopis chased Krishna and his friends to beat them up with sticks. Even today, people from Nandgoan and Barsana follow the ritual. Men soaked in colored water arrive in Barsana and tease women by singing provocative songs. The women then beat them with sticks (Lathis) and men use shields to protect themselves. Later in the evening, return to hotel for overnight stay.
2
Day: Vrindavan (Holi Celebration At Nandgaon): 19 March, 2024
Morning breakfast at the hotel and then leave for Nandgaon as celebrations in Barsana is followed by similar celebrations in Nandgaon (Krishna’s village) on the very next day. It was at Nandgaon that Krishna spent his childhood. As the legend goes, Radha with her friends called Gopis would come to Nandgaon on this day to take revenge on Krishna and his friends by splashing color on them. Since the women do not go, men and trans-genders dressed as women from Barsana go to Nandgaon to celebrate Holi with the men there. They are welcomed with water and colour in the village. This is very unique as the menfolk play Holi with women in a way which is not sexual in its approach but it has the rustic element of wooing and teasing. The main celebrations are held in the courtyard of the temple at Nandgaon and soon the courtyard transforms itself into a visual delight of beautiful colour-explosion. People from both the villages sit across each other singing and dancing here. Overnight stay.
3
Day: Vrindavan (Mathura): 20 March, 2024
Today is big Holi day, the biggest event takes place at the historical Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura. On this day, there is tradition of making and drinking bhang which is an edible preparation of cannabis. We shall come to Vishramghat to catch the process of making bhang by the priests. You may also try a glass yourself. The temple opens at 10 o’clock in the morning and there is a big crowd outside the gates by then playing Holi and throwing color on anyone who comes there. The atmosphere inside the temple is really great. Priest play Dhols and everyone there is singing and dancing. You can also join and enjoy the celebration by being a part. Later return to hotel and it is time to relax after all these fun frolic activities. Overnight stay.
4
Day: Vrindavan (Holi Celebration At Banke Bihari Temple): 21 March, 2024
The Banke-Bihari Temple hosts a week long celebrations during Holi here. During the festivities, Bihariji (Krishna’s popular name in Braj area) is dressed up in white clothes. Go-Swamis (priests in the temple) sprinkle colours on everyone. The whole atmosphere is made even livelier with music (Bhajans) in the background and people dancing to the tunes. On this day of Ekadashi before Holi, there are special celebrations at famous BankeBihari Temple at Vrindavan in the afternoon after the Temple gate opens at about 4 pm and Holi is not celebrated with colour, but with flowers. That is why it is called Phoolonwali Holi. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight stay.
5
Day: Vrindavan – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra (115 Km/ 3 Hours) : 22 March, 2024
After breakfast, we shall leave for excursion to Fahehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri is located at the distance of 37 kms from Agra and served as the short term capital city of the Mughal Empire under the sovereignty of Akbar the Great. This place was founded in 1569. Akbar ordered for the construction of grand mosque as a token of gratitude to the saint who had predicted that he would be blessed with a son. When prediction of the saint came true, Akbar shifted his capital from Agra to Fatehpur Sikri. He even constructed three palaces for his favorite wives. The city was a perfect representation of Indo Islamic style. Also visit Fort and then Sikandara, where lies the Tomb of the Emperor “Akbar the Great. Overnight stay.
6
Day: Agra – Delhi (225 Km/ 4 Hours): 23 March, 2024
After breakfast, visit world famous “Taj Mahal” during sunrise, the monument of love immortalized in marble. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his Queen Mumtaj. Everyone has most likely seen a picture of Taj, but nothing really comes close to the real thing – the Taj Mahal looks a lot better in reality than in a picture. Later leave for Delhi. On arrival sight-seeing tour of New Delhi with wide tree lined avenues, parks and fountains surrounding the imposing Government and State Buildings. Afternoon, drive to Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated.

Then visit Old Delhi that includes visit to Red Fort. Enjoy a rickshaw ride along the alleys of ancient bazaar of Chandni Chowk with stop at Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in Asia. Evening check in at the hotel for overnight stay.

7
Day: Delhi – Amritsar: 24 March, 2024 (By Day Train)
Early morning transfer to New Delhi Station to catch train for Amritsar. On arrival at Amritsar station, transfer to hotel. Later this afternoon we will visit Wagah Border, located on the India/Pakistan border, 28 km from Amritsar. A good number of visitors come to this place to witness the “Changing of the Guard” ceremony and the flag hoisting and lowering activities which are done with great skill and precision by the border security forces of both the countries, a sight you cannot afford to miss. Overnight stay at hotel.
8
Day: Amritsar– Anandpur Sahib (190 Km / 4 Hours): 25 March, 2024
 Early morning we go to Golden Temple for procession known as PrabhatPheri. There is a continuous singing of GurbaniKirtan, hymns from the opening of its portals (doors) to their closing. After the departure of the Palki Sahib (palanquin) carrying the sacred book – Sri Guru Granth Sahib to The Akal Takhat Sahib temple, the devotees, accompanied by the Gurdwara’s temple staff, clean the Sri Harimandir Sahib for one hour. At the completion of the Ardas (Sikh Prayer), Karah Prasad (holy offering) is distributed among the devotees. We will spend most of our morning at the Golden Temple, which offers great Photo opportunities. The Golden Temple is located in the heart of the city and characterized by its four entrance doors (called Deoris) in all four directions and the tastefully decorated shrines, Golden Temple welcomes everyone regardless of the religion or faith one follows. The stunning Sanctum, shimmering in the water of the holy tank, flanked by spotlessly clean marble walkways and pavements makes it breathtakingly beautiful. Afternoon drive to Anandpur Sahib and check in at camp. Overnight stay.
9
Day: Anandpur Sahib (Hola Mohalla): 26 March, 2024
 The HolaMohalla is an impressive traditional display of bravery and valor that is a must see. The ultimate display of machismo-HolaMohalla, an annual Sikh festival held a day after Holi, has the drama, the sweat and the incredible colour that Indian festivals are known for. With impressive displays of weaponry, archery and wrestling, there’s also music, poetry and prayers, singing and chanting. An important part of the festival is the Langar (community food) that is served to pilgrims irrespective of their religion or caste. One of the main attractions at the festival are the Nihangs — a prestigious armed sect of the Sikh who wear a striking blend of blue and orange, with thick twisted moustaches and overwhelmingly large and embellished turbans. They also demonstrate thrilling horse riding shows where the riders gallop bareback, performing tricks like riding astride two horses. It is estimated that over 100,000 Sikh devotees attend the festival. This is an amazing festival with great photo opportunities. Overnight stay at camp.
10
Day: Anandpur Sahib (Hola Mohalla) – Chandigarh (90 Km / 2 Hours): 27 March, 2024
 We will start early in the morning to witness and capture the various activities. Later drive to Chandigarh and upon arrival check in at hotel. If time permits, we shall go for tour of Chandigarh city which is known as Le Corbusier’s Indian masterpiece. Overnight stay.
11
Day: Chandigarh – Delhi Airport (250 Km / 7 Hours) Departure: 28 March, 2024
Morning drive to Delhi airport to catch flight for onwards destination. Depending on the departure flight time, you can spend some time for visiting more attractions of Delhi city before going to airport.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)

No, this is a private travel exclusively for you, your friends and family who may accompany you on the tour.

Yes, it is possible. But, the cost may be high in case of a single traveler. You may send us information in the form and we shall send you our best offer depending on number of persons in your group or for a single person.

Yes, since this is a private tour, you may decide the dates as per your choice. Only in case of certain tours, we have to check if there are any operational difficulties for organizing a tour of your choice. Certain tours are not possible for particular period which we shall let you know. Besides, the cost may vary depending on seasonality.

It is better if you could buy international tickets directly through your local agent or on internet. Although we can provide you international flight tickets, but you may a get a better deal locally.

No, you have to obtain visa on your own. The visa regulations will depend on your nationality. You may contact us for further details.

Yes, it is very much possible. You can extend your stay on arrival or departure or at any other place. You may also modify the tour. You may let us know your interest and we can send you modified tour itinerary with cost.

Our cost normally includes hotel accommodation with breakfast, private air-conditioned car with driver which includes fuel, parking and all taxes, entrance fee to monuments, train tickets if any, guided city tours in English or in other foreign languages, viz French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Russian or other foreign languages subject to availability which we can notify at the time of reservation request. Our cost also includes some other services viz Elephant ride at Amer fort in Jaipur, camel safari in Jaisalmer and boat tour in Varanasi. We shall send you all details at the time of sending you quotation.

We may also include other services viz lunches, dinners or other services if you wish. We may also exclude guide service and entrance fee to monuments if you so wish.

Train tickets are included in our cost. But, we give supplement cost for domestic flight tickets as these days, there are dynamic fares and these are not fixed. We send you indicative fare at the time of sending you quotation which is subject to change until issue of tickets with advance purchase for which we need payment from you to issue flight tickets. You may also purchase domestic flight tickets directly on your own if you prefer.

We provide minimum standard (3 star or similar), superior (4 star or similar), deluxe (5 star or similar) hotels and the cost will depend depending on category of hotels. We can send you quotation for the category that you are interested in. We usually provide heritage or palace hotels which fit in your category of hotels. We may also mix the hotel category if you prefer and can also provide you rates based on hotels of your liking in all places if you like.

We usually request 25% advance upon confirmation of our services unless otherwise informed at the time of sending you quotation. We shall send you all payment terms at the time of sending you our offer.I am interested.

Click here to send us information of your trip and we shall send you soonest possible.

Why StateExpress

Established in 1980, State Express has been providing most reliable services to travelers all over the world for last 35 years. We are renowned for our customer first approach and unobtrusive efficiency which ensures the highest levels of customer satisfaction. We have been awarded several times by State Government for being best Tour Operator. All aspects of our tours have been carefully researched and then designed to give ultimate experience to travelers. Let our travel knowledge help you to create a wonderful experience, whether on one of our tour itineraries or a tailor made tour itinerary made exclusively for you to give you an unforgettable holiday.

Our people make the difference

Our success has been possible because of our people who are our biggest asset. We have a team of highly dedicated, sincere, hardworking who work with integrity that has made State Express one of the leading and most reliable tour companies in India. They not only have expertise and experience to meet any requirement, they also speak foreign languages and trained to offer only the best and leave nothing to chance. We know that travel to Indian sub-continent is a dream of many of our guests and our team does everything possible to make their dream true and give them an experience of their lifetime.

Our infrastructure

We have complete infrastructure to provide you best rate and services to you. We are an IATA approved and authorized agents for all domestic airlines and Indian Railways. We have our own cars vans and coaches with experienced drivers. We have multi lingual staff to ensure that our guests do not face any language problem. We also have associate offices in all major tourist centers to provide assistance in shortest possible time.

Our fleet of vehicles & drivers

We undoubtedly have one of the best and most modern fleet of cars, vans, 4X4s and large coaches. Surface travel is a very important aspect in India as you spend lot of your time while travelling on the road and therefore given us an edge over other tour companies who have to rely on other transport companies to provide this service to their clients. We have our own garage and all our vehicles are well maintained to give you hassle free journey.

Besides having the best fleet, it is our drivers who truly make the difference as they play a crucial role in making a tour successful. Even if you stay in best of the hotels and travel in most comfortable and luxurious vehicles, if you do not have a good driver, it may spoil your experience. We have our team of drivers who are part of State Express and have been working with us for years and they are trained, dedicated and motivated to take care of our guests and make them comfortable. That is the reason that more than 90% of our guests thank us and appreciate them after returning to their home.

Our choice of hotels

We take utmost care in selection of hotels that we recommend to our clients and include in our list of suggested hotels. We inspect these hotels regularly to be sure of their quality of product and services. We give lot of emphasis on the location and the people who run those hotels. We want to give you clients an experience of heritage and palace hotels which are unique and not available in other part of the world.

Our tour itineraries

All our tour itineraries are designed by experts to give you an opportunity to see most wonderful sites in number of days at your disposal at the same time giving you time to explore the places in your own way. We have a number of itineraries to choose from which covers all India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. We also include mode of travel and approximate time taken between places to ensure that you do not have any surprises during the tour. Our specialists will also work with you to create an itinerary of your choice either by modifying our readymade tour itineraries or prepare an exclusive tailor made tour for you based on your interest and liking keeping in mind local conditions.

24×7 assistance during the tour

We provide you clients real 24×7 assistance during the tour. This is not a marketing gimmick but we have someone in our office always to assist you in case of any emergency anytime. We also provide cell phone numbers of our executive who you may contact even during odd hours when you need them for anything urgent. We have associate offices in all major cities of India to provide you assistance in minimum possible time.

Response time

We know that response time is key to our success and we value it a lot. Even at initial stages before reservation, you will get replies from us in not more than 24 working hours. We shall always be there whenever you need us during the tour.

Personalised Service

Apart from professional service, we believe in emphasising on personalised service. That is to make our guests feel at home in a foreign country and also feel that they have friends here who they can trust for any need. Our customer executives remain in constant touch with our guests during the tour to give them comfort and trust that we are always with them.

Good value for money

We know that there are so many travel companies providing their services and unless we provide good value for money to our clients, they will not be satisfied. Our own fleet of cars, vans and coaches and best special discounted rates with hotels due to our volumes enables us to offer value for money.

What our clients say about us

Good Morning,

we are in Rome and none problem in the return trip; I send you an email to add comments and let you know our feedback in details; my wife and I are frequent travelers and have custom to evaluate our trips in all the aspects; so

. Booking process excellent (rapid, clear and exhaustive answers; we have appreciated the help to obtain the e-visa and the contacts during the tour to know possible problems;

. Driver excellent (polite, punctual and very expert in the drive), he gave us many suggestions and accompanied us directly to the coach in the Tundla station; the other driver in Varanasi good but should improve his english;

. Car good;

. Guide only in Jaisalmer good;

. Tour organization good for times and the included hotspots;

. Hotels: we evaluate the hotels for cleaning and comfort of the room and bathroom and for breakfast; we use a ranking from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent):

Iris Park 2; dirty bathroom with dirty towels, room dirty and uncomfortable (too small, difficult to move inside, put and open the suitcases; breakfast room trivial and food inadequate for european tourists;

Mandawa Palace 4 for all;

Lallgarl Palace 4 and no 5 for inadequate breakfast respect to the level of the hotel;

Mandar Palace 3-4 , room and bathroom no perfectly clean , breakfast inadequate for european tourist and internet didn’t work;

Krishna Prakas Havei unacceptable; room located in the roof without elevator and with dangerous stairs; room dirty with a door that didn’t close perfectly, bathroom dirty with dirty towels; breakfast room dirty with tablecloth dirty and broken, food trivial and inadequate also for amount;

Master Paradise 3, cold uncomfortable room without possibility to warm it; bathroom in the average and skinny breakfast;

Golden Tulip 5 and more, the best

Atulayaa Tay unacceptable, dirty and small room, dirty bathroom with microscopic sink an a glass wall between the bed, dirty towels, trivial breakfast;

Meradan Grand 4 for all

Last hotel in Dehli 4 for room and bathroom also here glass wall between bathroom and the bed but the light didn’t across;

we suggest, personal opinion, to cancel the hotel with a rank less than 3 and choose others of superior quality ( also if more expensive) because the hotel is important to rest in a daily tour step by step.

In summary we evaluate very good the experience of our first trip in India and surely we will recommend State Express to our friends.

Enzo Ferrante

27 January 2023 

Hi Rinki,

Just wanted to say thank you for all the organisation for our India trip. Everything went very smoothly. Our vehicles, drivers and accommodation were all faultless.

Look forward to our next trip now whenever that may be.

I’d like to just comment on one thing… please encourage clients to do Chittorgarh as a day trip. The accommodation there must’ve been really good at some point but is quite run down now. They were lovely and very obliging but when we compare the accommodations it wasn’t the best.

I know I’d said I wanted a night in Chittorgarh but I wasn’t as conversant with availability there as someone who knows the areas more.

Thank you once again from my mum, massi and I.

Best wishes and regards to your team,

Ps. Next visit we must meet!! 🙂

Priya

14 January 2023

Dear Sirs, namaste.
The journey of my group is over and we have returned to our homes.
I hope all of you are fine.
I wish to thank State Express for the usual good assistance. A special thank to Mr Mamlesh Sahu for following my trip through his frequent telephone calls.
I hope to have the chance to come again.

Dhanyavad.

Alfredo Sermasi

12 December 2022

Good Morning,

we are in Rome and none problem in the return trip; I send you an email to add comments and let you know our feedback in details; my wife and I are frequent travelers and have custom to evaluate our trips in all the aspects; so
  • Booking process excellent (rapid, clear and exhaustive answers; we have appreciated the help to obtain the e-visa and the contacts during the tour to know possible problems;
  • Driver excellent (polite, punctual and very expert in the drive), he gave us many suggestions and accompanied us directly to the coach in the Tundla station; the other driver in Varanasi good but should improve his english;
  • Car good;
  • Guide only in Jaisalmer good
  • . Tour organization good for times and the included hotspots; . Hotels: we evaluate the hotels for cleaning and comfort of the room and bathroom and for breakfast;
we use a ranking from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent): Iris Park 2; dirty bathroom with dirty towels, room dirty and uncomfortable (too small, difficult to move inside, put and open the suitcases; breakfast room trivial and food inadequate for european tourists; Mandawa Palace 4 for all; Lallgarl Palace 4 and no 5 for inadequate breakfast respect to the level of the hotel; Mandar Palace 3-4 , room and bathroom no perfectly clean , breakfast inadequate for european tourist and internet didn’t work; Krishna Prakas Havei unacceptable; room located in the roof without elevator and with dangerous stairs; room dirty with a door that didn’t close perfectly, bathroom dirty with dirty towels; breakfast room dirty with tablecloth dirty and broken, food trivial and inadequate also for amount; Master Paradise 3, cold uncomfortable room without possibility to warm it; bathroom in the average and skinny breakfast; Golden Tulip 5 and more, the best Atulayaa Tay unacceptable, dirty and small room, dirty bathroom with microscopic sink an a glass wall between the bed, dirty towels, trivial breakfast; Meradan Grand 4 for all Last hotel in Dehli 4 for room and bathroom also here glass wall between bathroom and the bed but the light didn’t across; we suggest, personal opinion, to cancel the hotel with a rank less than 3 and choose others of superior quality ( also if more expensive) because the hotel is important to rest in a daily tour step by step. In summary we evaluate very good the experience of our first trip in India and surely we will recommend State Express to our friends. Kindly Regards, Enzo Ferrante
David & Emily
8 March 2020
Good morning Rinki,
Emily and I are home now, and we would like to thank you for organising what turned out to be a wonderful trip. We enjoyed visiting all the various places, and the hotels were comfortable. People were very friendly and helpful. The pace of the trip was perfect, travelling but not exhausting. The driver Chandra was very good and I would have no issue with recommending him as a driver. He was very polite, punctual, and courteous. We felt he was a very safe driver, and would like to extend our thanks to him as well. With the benefit of hindsight, I would have stayed an extra day or two in Verkala rather than the extra days in Mumbai, but that is as I say with the benefit of hindsight. Once again, thank you so very much for all your help in organising this trip for us, which we will remember fondly for many years to come.
David & Emily
8 March 2020
Dear StateExpress
To whom it may concern, we are writing you regarding the package booked with andanitravel for the India golden triangle from the 01/03/2020 to the 11/03/2020. On the 4th of March ’20 the staff from the Sher Gary Resort in Road Village Sherpur, Khilchipur, Rajasthan 322001, Ranthanbore, following the Advise from the Government of Rajasthan, invited us to leave the resort and the State of India as soon as possible due to our Italian Nationality. Immediately we contacted the DCM Italy of Rajasthan, Mr Carini, who told us there was a mistake and the Advise number 27 of the 4th of March 2020 was withdrawn with immediate effect. Although we informed on a timely manner the resort staff, we have been asked to leave anyhow. Only after the DCM Italy informed the resort about the mistake, we have been given the opportunity to leave the resort the following morning. All these difficulties, the constant hostility by the people in India despite the advise number 28, the decision made by the State Express emergency contact( Harish Bhatt) to interrupt our trip and the news regarding the spread of COVID-19 in India, induced us to arrange autonomously for a flight back home as soon as possible. At least but not last we kindly ask you to let us know of any official way to provide a positive feedback to the great support, empathy, help, kindness, professionalism, flexibility and special assistant given by the driver Mr Ashok Yadav in the sphere of his competences.
Anna Caputo, Antonio Caputo, Maria Napolitano, Guida Villani
7 March 2020

Hi, Rinki

Thank you for the trip arrangement. We have enjoyed very much.
Looking forward to our next trip in India next year and will get in touch with you again.
Once again, thank you very much for your excellent service.

Chua Boon Hua

09 October 2018