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19 Days of Contrast in India

For the luxe traveler looking for a spiritual adventure, this India itinerary is a direct reflection of the country of contrasts. Courtney Beaver has you trekking through mountains to reach an unforgettable sunrise, private meals under the stars, tiger spotting and intimate prayer rituals.

TRIP NOTES:

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

01. The infamous Shiva Shrine Walk where you’ll come across locals taking supplies to and from their villages
02. A night under the stars after completing your trek to Nanda Devi
03. A cooking lesson with a former Buddhist Monk
04. An evening safari in Bandhavgarh National Park
05. Have your own sculpture made by the leading Sculptor in the city.

Lodhi
Lodhi

19 Days Itinerary:

Day 1 Arriving into Delhi :

Arrive in Delhi with your VIP meet and greet waiting to get you transferred to your hotel, Lodhi, where you’re booked into the Premier Suite.

Day 2 Delhi:

Start your morning with a 90 minute complimentary couples massage. Your afternoon will be spent taking in the sights, including a tour of the city with a leading tour guide.

Day 3 Chopper from Delhi and Journey to Leti:

This morning you will leave Delhi via chopper. It’s only an hour and 45 minutes before you arrive at Kapkot. You’ll be staying at Shakti 360 this evening so when you land you’ll be met by a member of the Shakti team and driven 2 hours to the property.
On arrival at the road head in Leti you’ll walk to the resort, which usually takes around an hour along a dramatic mountain trail.

Lunch will be ready on your arrival, after which you may spend the rest of the day at leisure, or exploring the property and its surroundings with your guide.
Tonight you will enjoy your drinks, while star gazing, followed by a private dinner.

Day 4 Leti:

This morning after a leisurely breakfast, your guide will take you for a 3 hour walk known as the Shiva Shrine Walk. En-route you will come across the local people taking supplies to and from the furthest villages of Gogina and Namik, giving you an insight into the tough lifestyle in the mountains. Enjoy some drinks and cookies or a picnic lunch at this beautiful location and walk back to the camp.

After lunch and some afternoon relaxation you will have an hour and thirty minutes of yoga and meditation with a private instructor.

Day 5, Leti Under the Stars:

Today after breakfast you’ll begin your journey to Bunga. A steep walk up from the campsite, through a narrow path or “pag dandi” which brings you to a flat piece of pastureland. One can see this land from the campsite and it offers a fabulous sense of achievement to reach this area. The views of the mountain peaks from here are majestic and include Nanda Devi (7816m or 25,623ft), the highest mountain solely within India. Please note however, that this walk is very challenging and most people turn back before reaching the end and thus do not see Nanda Devi, though they do see some other impressive peaks.

Your campsite is a little further ahead from this point. Enjoy drinks and dinner before falling asleep under the stars. Dinner will be prepared by your Shakti chef this evening and you’ll feast next to the fire under the most amazing blanket of stars over head.

Day 6 Leti:

Wake up early this morning and enjoy the gorgeous sunrise from this point. After your morning tea and breakfast you will begin your walk back to Leti.

The afternoon is for your own leisure.

After lunch take your cooking lesson with Shakti’s head chef Yeshi Lama. Yeshi Lama is a former Budhhist monk. Today he will teach your two dishes; Momo’s which is a type of dumpling that is native to Tibet and a Lamb Biriyani.

Tonight you’ll have another yoga and meditation lesson with your personal instructor.

Day 7 Delhi:

After breakfast this morning you will bid farewell to the Shakti team. Your guide will accompany you to Kapkot which entails a walk down to the road head (approximately 1 hour) and then a 2 hour drive to Kapkot. From there, you’ll take a chopper from Kapkot and it’ll take one and a half hours to reach Delhi. Once you’re in Delhi, you’ll make your way to tonight’s accommodations at Lodhi, you’ll be in the Premier Suite.

Day 8 Bandhavgarh National Park:

In the morning you will take a private charter directly to Bandhavgarh National Park, arriving at Umeria landing strip, just 30 minutes from the park. You will arrive in time for an evening safari to the park.

Tonight, your hotel is Mahua Kothi Kutiyas.

Day 9 Bandhavgarh National Park:

Today you spend the whole day in the park, which will greatly enhance your chance of seeing the elusive tiger. This permission allows you to the whole park by jeep; unlike other jeeps who will be restricted to the particular route they have been allocated. You will enter the park 20 minutes before it opens to the public and exit 20 minutes after it closes. Lunch will be provided for you at the park or you have the option of returning to the resort for lunch.

Day 10 Varanasi & the “Aarti” Ceremony:

You will depart by private charter for Varanasi. This evening you will time your visit to the river with sunset. In contrast to the early mornings when the Ghats are a mass of people performing a wide variety of rituals, at sunset the main sounds are the temple bells as the priests start their preparations for the evening “aarti” ceremony. In the distance you will see the fires of the crematorium as the last of the cremations are performed before the sun goes down, and there are a few pilgrims taking a final dip in the river. Whilst the city is still busy, crowded and noisy, sunset slows and quietens life along the river.

You will arrive at main Ghat in time to watch the evening “aarti” ceremony, when priests perform a ritual to put the river gods to sleep and to ward off any evils. Before you watch the more public ceremony you have a small and exclusive “aarti” at a small temple.

You will disembark at Chet Singh Ghat. The entire Ghat is illuminated with lights and the pathways lit up with diyas (lamps) and flower decorations. You will be welcomed with a traditional “aarti” and “tikka” and nonalcoholic beverages are followed by a pure vegetarian “food fit for the God’s”. Tonight you’ll stay in the Royal Suite at Nadesar Palace.

Day 11 Agra:

Private charter to Agra. Watch sunset from your private balcony while sipping champagne. This evening you’ll be in the Oberoi Amarvilas Luxury Suite.

Day 12 Jaipur:

Private charter to Jaipur. You’ll receive a Royal welcome with an array of caparisoned elephants and camels. Later, you’ll have an afternoon champagne tour of the private and ceremonial rooms of the City palace. Tonight’s accommodations will be with Rambagh in the Grand Royal Suite.

Day 13 Jaipur:

This morning you will have your sculpture made by a leading sculptor in the city. Later, you’ll tour the Old City and Amber Fort, ending with a grand game of Camel Polo.

Day 14 Jaipur:

Helicopter to Aman bagh where a surprise lunch is laid out in a Chattri. After lunch you’ll take a helicopter back to Jaipur. Later, you’ll have a private dinner at the City Palace on the unique Laliq table (the only one of its kind in the world).

Day 15 Jodhpur:

Today you’ll charter to Jodhpur and transfer to the palace in a vintage car. This evening you will have a private curated tour of the magnificent Meherangarh Fort after it has closed its doors to the public and later have an elegant candle lit dinner on the ramparts.

Your hotel tonight will be the Umaid Bhavan Palace in the Grand Royal Suite.

Day 16 Jodhpur & the Old City:

Today you will explore the old city and watch a performance of desert minstrels. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the hotel.

Day 17 Udaipur:

Your last stop on this Rajasthan journey will be the romantic and beautiful city of Udaipur. On arrival you will drive to Lake Pichola and you will take a boat across to the fabulous Oberoi Udaivilas. For dinner you’ll dine under the marble pavilion by your private pool. The meal will be especially selected by the chef.

Day 18 Udaipur:

The tour today takes you to the interesting old city where you meet a priest in a tiny temple. He will demonstrate a rare and ephemeral ritual art – Jal Sanji – drawing iconic images on water. As you wander through the winding lanes of the old city you will chance upon an elegantly laid out table on the roof tops of one of the mansions that dot the old city. White glove waiters will serve you a delicious lunch while you take in the breathtaking views of the old city with the lake and palaces in the backdrop.

Tonight you bring the curtain down with a spectacular dinner in the fabulous peacock courtyard of the city palace. Surrounded by a priceless mosaic peacock, lit up from the flickering light of a 100 lamps, you will dine on a very special meal prepared by the royal kitchen.

Day 19 Delhi :

The morning is free to enjoy your suite and private pool. Late afternoon your private jet will be waiting to take you back to Delhi for your flight home.

Oberoi Udaivilas

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