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Ampersand's Unusual Escorted Journey to Punjab & Kashmir, Holi 2019

11 days from £4,450 per person

16th – 26th March 2019

Hop on a magic carpet ride through India’s colourful festival of spring, Holi. Ampersand’s Unusual Escorted Journey to Punjab & Kashmir offers a privileged and bespoke glimpse into hidden treasures of the Subcontinent. The tour will be guided by author of Glorious Hotels of India, Cosmo Brockway, who has lived and worked in India for 20 years. You will meet some of India’s most interesting and charming personalities, from Maharajas to artisans, with extraordinary private access using Cosmo’s and Ampersand’s wide range of contacts, to ensure a truly memorable and unique journey.

From the modernist city of Chandigarh, with its Le Corbusier-designed architecture, to the flamboyant princely creations of Kapurthala, the spirituality of the Golden Temple, and the ceremonial spectacle of the Pakistan border ceremony, the highlights of Punjab are explored in an unforgettable away. The festival of Holi will be spent enveloped in a shroud of exuberant celebrations, with drums, flower petals and coloured powders galore!

The final stop is Srinagar, renowned for its natural beauty, gardens, placid waterfronts and colourful array houseboats. Here, at the fascinating summer capital of Kashmir, you will visit the floating flower and vegetable market on Dal Lake, the beautifully preserved Mughal gardens around the lake’s eastern shore, and the atmospheric old city with its intriguing wooden mosques and authentic bazaars.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

* Lunch with the Maharaja of Kapurthala at his private residence
* Celebrate Holi, the festival of colours, like a local
* Private tour of Amritsar and the Partition Museum
* Night visit to the Golden Temple, the holiest site for the Sikh religion
* Exclusive visit to the rose-pink Jagatjit Palace, modelled on Versailles
* Take in a military ceremony at the India/Pakistan border
* Le Corbusier-designed Capitol Complex in Chandigarh
* Dine on a traditional Kashmiri feast, the Wazwan
* Meet local artisans working with the traditional crafts of Kashmir
* Experience Srinagar’s unique wooden mosques with their rich interiors
* Shop in the bazaars of the Old City of Srinagar, untouched by time
* Explore Dal Lake by shikara boat, the floating market and Mughal flower garden

The tour is subject to minor changes to ensure the smooth running of the tour, and due to the schedules of the private individuals hosting the group. Not included in the rate: Alcoholic beverages other than when provided, meals at leisure or those indicated as independent, personal expenses, trip insurance, Tourist Visas.


Itinerary details

11 days from £4,450 per person

  • Day 1 - In transit.
    Fly London Heathrow to Delhi.
  • Day 2 - Vivanta by Taj Chandigarh - Chandigarh
    Arrive at Delhi and catch connecting flight to Chandigarh. On arrival transfer to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
  • Day 3 - Vivanta by Taj Chandigarh - Chandigarh
    Morning visit to the Rock Garden. Afternoon visit to the Capitol Complex, followed by evening dinner at Dastaan Restaurant.
  • Day 4 - Taj Swarna - Amritsar
    Morning drive to Kapurthala and visit the Sainak School. After lunch at Villa Buona Vista drive onwards to Amritsar.
  • Day 5 - Taj Swarna - Amritsar
    Morning visit to the Golden Temple & Partition museum. Lunch at Bharawan da Dhaba followed by an afternoon visit to Wagah for the border ceremony display.
  • Day 6 - Taj Swarna - Amritsar
    **Holi Festival** - Morning Holi celebrations at Ranjit Svaasa, followed by lunch in the gardens. Afternoon at leisure followed by late evening Palki ceremony at the Golden Temple.
  • Day 7 - The Lalit Grand Palace - Srinagar
    Morning transfer to Amritsar airport & fly to Srinagar. Afternoon visit to an artisan studio followed by dinner at Rose Garden.
  • Day 8 - The Lalit Grand Palace - Srinagar
    Early morning sunrise tour of the Dal Lake floating market auction. Late morning visit the Mughal gardens. Afternoon visit the Shah Hamdan Mosque and have a walking tour of the old city.
  • Day 9 - The Lalit Grand Palace - Srinagar
    Morning visit heritage haveli followed by lunch with a local family. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 10 - Taj Mahal Hotel - Delhi
    Morning transfer Srinagar airport for onward flight to Delhi. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Day 11 - In transit.
    Fly from Delhi to London Heathrow.
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There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
We have been on expensive and luxurious holidays in the past, but the service and communication Ampersand has provided has far exceeded those offered by other agencies.
- Susan Ford, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India

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