We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

Which Jaipur hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
New York City, New...
posts: 111
reviews: 10
Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

hello...

I need an assist. I'm planning a trip for myself and a large group of women to travel to the holi festival in March 2014. I've been working on the itinerary and need a couple of questions answered to finalize the details. This is what I have so far:

(0) Depart for Delhi; Overnight flight

(1) Arrive in Delhi; Flight to Jaipur; Rest

(2) {Jaipur} Free Day - Optional tour of Jaipur, Old City and City Palace

(3) {Jaipur} Festival of Jaipur/Elephant festival

(4) {Jaipur} Celebrate Holi!

(5) {Jaipur} Free Day - Shopping; Depart Jaipur after midnight to Agra

(6) {Agra} Watch the sun rise over the Taj Mahal; Spend day in Agra at Taj Mahal

(7) {Jaipur/Delhi} Depart Jaipur by train to Delhi; Free day

(8) {Delhi} Free Day - Tour of Old and New Delhi

(9) {Delhi} Depart Delhi to home

Now for my questions:

1. Can anyone tell me what they know about the festival of Jaipur/ Elephant festival?

2. Where is the best place to participate in Holi? I've read that staying in Jaipur is best, but then, recently, I read something about Bharatpur. Can someone shed some light for me, please?

3. I planned to travel from Jaipur to Agra via private transfer (van or something like it). how do buggy rides fit into the scheme of things when visiting the Taj Mahal?

4. Can someone recommend high-quality hotel accommodations in Jaipur and Delhi? I've been looking at the Marriott, but was thinking something a little less Western might be better.

5. What are must see/do/have experiences in Jaipur and/or Delhi?

6. Any recommendations for tour guides in Delhi or Jaipur would be pretty great, too.

I hope you can help. I have never planned a trip so varied as this one. If there is anything I have overlooked or anything that could make the trip better, please let me know. If there is anything I need to know about Holi, I'll take it. Any information you have to add would be great! Thank you. : )

Winnipeg, Canada
posts: 1,838
reviews: 181
1. Re: Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

Hi Danielle,

I spent this past Holi in Jaipur and had an absolute blast and i can give you a lot of information. I travelled in India on my second trip for 10 weeks as a lone female and just returned last week.

I spend 2 days actually celebrating Holi in Jaipur, the day of the actual festival, which was supposed to be the "elephant festival" but at the last minute was changed to the "holi festival" due to animal rights activists protesting. Things were quickly switched around and from what I understand not as many people attended and it wasnt as good as usual, but it was my first time and I had a lot of fun!

The festival was held on the grounds of the polo club and there were many fun activities and musical and cultural acts being performed. In the crowds, many people locals and tourists wandered and many had powdered colours and if you chose you could throw colours and get messy! i did this and it was a blast! there was a lot of media there interviewing the crowd. Now next year, the elephant festival may again be cancelled and again may become a last minute - Holi festival without elephants, so be warned....

the next day, the actual day of holi, i spent with my friends who are local people, which was the best of all, going from house to house, in different area of Jaipur and visiting, throwing colours, visiting, drinking tea and just enjoying. you only get this experience from knowing someone local or having a tour operator that can arrange this for you. i had both :)

i really recommend hiring a local indian based tour operator that can arrange your transportation and recommend your hotels for you, there are some super nice hotels in Delhi and Jaipur....the Trident is really nice, but for something smaller you might want to go for the Khandela Haveli....or you might want to splurge and go for the Oberoi Rajvilas.....but all can be customized and arranged for you by a tour operator and so much more...such as expert guides...

must do/not miss things? that is such a personal question - but in Jaipur i wouldnt miss the Amber Fort or City Palace, hawa Mahal or the Galta Temple (monkey temple) and in Delhi, i loved the Salaam Balaak Trust Walk, Gandhi Smriti, Qutab Minar and chandi Chowk.

if you have any further questions, just ask, hope that helps!

Jo

New York City, New...
posts: 111
reviews: 10
2. Re: Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

That was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you, Jo. Can you recommend a tour operator? That would be extraordinarily helpful, especially if you had one or two you enjoyed.

Last question, did you get to the Taj Mahal? If so, how did you travel? And how did you travel from Jaipur to Delhi?

Thank you more than you know. Much appreciated!

Danielle

Mysore, India
Destination Expert
for Mysore
posts: 1,131
reviews: 108
3. Re: Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

While endorsing the views expressed by Salsajo, you could consider staying at the Rambagh Palace or the smaller Taj SMS hotel next door as it would be more convenient for the festival. The City Palace, the Royal Observatory next door and the Hawa Mahal and the excursion to Amber Fort are usually must dos and Galta would be a great addition. The other option would be the paper making and block printing units around Sanganer or Bagru. You could also see what activities are on at Jawahar Kendra. There are also Heritage Walks of the old city. Among places to shop you could include Anokhi, Kripal Singh Shekhavat's Blue Pottery studio, Tie and Dye Textiles. If you intend to look for Jewellerey do use a reputed shop as scams are common elsewhere.

You could also consider spending an evening at Choki Dani on Tonk Road.

The idea of driving at midnight to Agra around Holi is not wise and you should restrict your road travel to daylight hours. in Delhi you could consider The Imperial or The Manor for your stay. You could also look at the website of the Krishna Prerna Trust for the celebrations of Holi in places associated with Krishna ( Mathura.Brindavan, ).

At Delhi you could consider visiting Shanthushti Complex near Ashoka Hotel for shopping or include a look in at One Style Mile near Qutub Minar.

There celebrations of Holi over 4 days in the Bharatpur area but the Jaipur option would probably suit you better.

New York City, New...
posts: 111
reviews: 10
4. Re: Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

Thank you Prem! Okay, I would like to see the sun rise, but seeing it set works for me just as well. Would it work to go to Agra, arriving around 1 or 2, staying for a few hours and then having a driver bring us back? Or should we stay overnight (an option I really would prefer not to do)? Please advise. Thank you!

New York City, New...
posts: 111
reviews: 10
5. Re: Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

Also, Prem, you listed a lot of sights, but didn't tell me where any of them are. Are we talking about Delhi or Jaipur? India has so many layers. I'm just trying to sort it all out. Thank you. : )

New York City, New...
posts: 111
reviews: 10
6. Re: Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

Last thing before I go to bed, What's everyone's opinion on taking the train vs. the plane from Jaipur back to Delhi? We are taking a plane from Delhi to Jaipur when we arrive for expediency sake. We're getting a driver to Agra and back. Now, I don't mind the train to Delhi, thought it might be another "experience" to add to the trip, but I'd like to know what you think. Any thoughts?

Jaipur, Rajasthan
posts: 35
7. Re: Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

Hi,

The next Elephant Festival at Jaipur is scheduled to be held on 16th March 2014. The official Programme will be confirmed by Rajasthan Tourism Depatment (RTDC).

Regards,

Yogesh Gupta

Mysore, India
Destination Expert
for Mysore
posts: 1,131
reviews: 108
8. Re: Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

Hi Danielle,

Not sure why you are going all the way back to Jaipur from Agra to go to Delhi. An option you could consider is taking a coach early morning from Jaipur to Agra and stopping at any or all of of Abhaneri (a step well about 90 km from Jaipur), Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary,Fatehpur Sikri and then head for Agra to see the Taj. You could relax at the Oberoi Amar Vilas from where you can see the monument and take the Shatabdi train from Agra to Delhi leaving Agra late evening and arriving late night into Delhi..

For your Delhi Jaipur journey since you are arriving on a long haul flight into Delhi, probably taking a flight to Jaipur is a better option as the coach journey is likely to take about 4.5 hours.

In my earlier post the places listed in the first two paragraphs are for Jaipur. Krishna Prerna Trust has activities in Delhi though they are based out of Mathura ( near Agra).

For your guide services you could check with Nikhil Pandit ( destination expert npjai , who runs a inbound tourism enterprise). Alternatively you could use Rajasthan Tours. For Delhi you could consider Deepa Krishnan's Delhi Magic.

William Dalrypmle's City of Djinns and White Moghuls maybe a good read as also Dominique Lappierre's Freedom at Midnight. A Princess Remembers would give you some insight into Jaipur. The story of Durlabjee who deal in precious stones from Jaipur is also enthralling.

Prem

Winnipeg, Canada
posts: 1,838
reviews: 181
9. Re: Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

Hi again Danielle,

Yes i most certainly did get to the Taj Mahal, dont miss it! I got to Agra from driving from Jaipur with our private driver & car provided by our tour operator. We were taken to one of the gates, where we were met by our guide and then had a wonderful sunrise visit! unforgettable!!

as for travel between Delhi and Jaipur, my first trip was my car, but my recent trip i did 3 ways, as i made several trips back and forth. I flew...very quick, convienient and often quite cheap. My tour operator got my a very good deal and it was less expensive than driving and almost as cheap as the train! the train is great, not only between Delhi and jaipur, but anywhere in India. Many classes for travel to choose from...I have tried them all and suggest AC class if you are travelling in hot weather! by car - the most common way and the most entertaining it could be argued... this highway is famous for traffic jams at times....at other times it is freely moving and no trouble...so leave in good time if you are on a tight schedule.

Finally Danielle, you wanted my tour operator's name and details? I dealt with Sabu, he is the president of Icon India Tours - http://www.iconindiatours.com/index/ He can customize your entire tour for you, including your Holi plans, if you want....just tell him what you are looking for.

Best of luck and let me know if you have any more questions, Jo

Jaipur, India
Destination Expert
for Rajasthan, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore National Park, Jaipur
posts: 3,148
reviews: 23
10. Re: Jaipur for Holi: Itinerary Help and Quesitons

The Elephant Festival was cancelled this year due to objections by animal rights' groups. It is doubtful if the elephant festival will be held next year. Just plan for Holi.