Itinerary

If you’re a Beatles fan and you’ve ever dreamed of visiting India, this is the magical Beatles-inspired journey you will love, the ultimate pilgrimage: Featuring 5-star, exclusive luxury accommodations throughout, with other unique stays allowing enjoyment of nature and simple pleasures as the Beatles would have experienced during their time studying in Rishikesh. Meals included with top culinary experiences in world-class destinations and settings. Fully hosted and accompanied throughout with our founder and Beatles authority, Sherry Heard, plus our team of English-speaking expert destination guides and presenters from India.

FULL ITINERARY

February 17 Day One

Today you will arrive in Delhi from international destinations. Overnight is in the luxurious modern palace, The Leela. Enjoy exotic, opulent decor, sculpted grounds, a soothing spa,  and world-class dining as you unwind from your long flight.

The Leela Palace, New Delhi

February 18 Day Two

This morning our adventure begins. We will travel by car on the road to Rishikesh arriving by late afternoon. Experience a cultural odyssey that will awaken your deepest senses and delight the depths of your imagination. Check in to the incomparable Ananda in the Himalayas and relax, enjoy a spa treatment, or simply roam the grounds of this heavenly place and feel the energy of the mountains. Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner on the terrace high above the magical Rishikesh Valley overlooking the Ganges.

Breakfast, Lunch and Welcome Dinner  • Ananda, Rishikesh

February 19 Day Three

Early morning is free to discover new horizons – meditate with a guru, stretch with a yogi, swim or simply relax – it’s up to you. Late morning check out, then descend into the valley and wind along the Ganges route to our Himalayan hideaway – Shiva on the Ganges, Shivpuri. Here in a peaceful setting right on the river, we will stay for three nights in the midst of nature, serenity, and simplicity. Lunch is served on the pristine shores of the Ganges with the foothills of the mountains framing our view. Later, in the spirit of our pilgrimage we will discuss Rishikesh, its importance, why the Beatles came here and what they studied. Late afternoon, we will depart mere kilometers for Rishikesh to enjoy the world famous Parmarth Niketan Aarti Ceremony at sunset – a spiritual tradition set on the shores of the Ganges. Following dinner in town, we will head back to our simple, rustic quarters.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner • Shiva on The Ganges, Shivpuri

February 20 Day Four

Today marks 50 years on the same day, a Tuesday, when Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr arrived at the Maharishi’s Ashram to join their band mates John Lennon and George Harrison who arrived two days prior from London. We begin our day with optional yoga along the river at our resort. Following breakfast, we set out on the backroads of the mountains and wind our way to the exotic jungle setting of this spiritual center where the Beatles spent some of the most creative time of their careers.  The decaying buildings and forested overgrowth still conjure up memories of time past when the Beatles brought Eastern culture to the West. Murals and art cover the remaining structures creating a new energy, a different world. But as we tour the grounds, there are places you’ll remember from famous photographs, magazine stories, news footage – even lyrics from the “White Album”. We will spend the time here exploring, making pictures, and taking in nature’s splendor in this deserted camp, now recognized as a wildlife sanctuary. A spiritual guru will guide our group in a meditation session on the very rooftop where the Beatles sat for hours studying with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. We will allow ample time to experience our pilgrimage to one of the most important and revered sites in Beatles history. Late afternoon, we depart for our resort. There will be time to relax before our dinner which will be served on the enchanting outside terrace overlooking the Ganges. Just as there were evening discussions at the ashram for the Beatles, we will enjoy a casual talk on Indian religion and culture after our meal.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner • Shiva on The Ganges, Shivpuri

 

February 21 Day Five

Awaken to nature and set off for a tranquil hike on seldom-traveled trails high above the Ganges Valley.  Birdsong and green expanses will delight your senses here as you journey through terraced farmland with villages, and temples of the foothills. Our expert guides will explain flora and fauna, and you’ll probably encounter a monkey or two along the way. Now you’ll discover the origins of Paul McCartney’s “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road?” Returning to the resort, our afternoon is free to enjoy outdoor activities including optional white water rafting on the Ganges, zip lining or even bungy jumping! Perhaps you prefer to spend an afternoon in Rishikesh again exploring or shopping. Maybe you simply want to relax and enjoy this beautiful setting. The choice is yours. Tonight, we will gather on the white sandy shores of the River Ganges and celebrate our time here with a traditional bonfire and Beatles songfest before our early morning departure tomorrow.

Breakfast, Dinner • Shiva on The Ganges, Shivpuri

February 22 Day Six

Very early we depart from Rishikesh, setting off to Dehradun. There, we catch the express train to Delhi. Along the rail journey, we will see lovely scenic farmland and villages of the plains as we leave the Himalayan foothills and descend into Delhi. Upon arrival to this sprawling metropolis, we check in to the historic Imperial Hotel near Connaught Place. Afternoon we see some of the marvels of this exciting capital city – from India Gate and Humayun’s Tomb to Gurdwaras Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple and Gandhi’s Memorial. Back to the hotel, evening is enjoyed at the incomparable Spice Route restaurant.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner • The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi

February 23 Day seven

Adventure awaits this morning as we set off by rickshaw into the narrow passageways of Old Delhi. Winding through the tiny alleys among buildings seeped in antiquity, we pass shops filled with colorful sarees and handwork, while shopkeepers ply their wares and food merchants prepare exotic fare. We find our way to the Spice Market and learn about the many savory seasoning used in classic Indian cuisine. On tour today, we will see the largest mosque in India, Jama Masjid with its spectacular domes and minarets. Afternoon, we make a pilgrimage to Rikiram’s Musical Instrument Shop for a little known slice of Beatles history. In 1966, the Beatles fled from their tour fiasco in the Philippines to London via India. Overnight here in Delhi, the Fabs visited this historic establishment and purchased sitars and other Indian instruments. Later in the day, we will visit the Ravi Shankar Institute. Back to the Imperial, we enjoy High Tea in high style in the lovely surrounds of this legendary hotel. The evening is yours free to explore Delhi by night. Our experts can suggest your activities. Or you may prefer to enjoy the ambiance and restaurants of this living museum, The Imperial Hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea • The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi

 

February 24 Day eight

Departing Delhi mid-morning, we head south for an inspirational visit to meet rescued elephants. As a leading animal advocate, Paul McCartney has epitomized the good being done to help wildlife around the world – elephants have been part of his mission. At this sanctuary, expert guides will educate us about the plight of elephants in India and how rescuer efforts are making a difference in the ways tourists interact with these peaceful pachyderms. “Elephant love not elephant ride” is the mantra here. During our visit, we will have an opportunity to feed the elephants and walk with them along the trails of the reserve. Before arriving in Agra, our final destination today, time permitting we stop at the Sloth Bear Center and learn about these remarkable ursine friends. These charming bears have been saved from circuses and performance – their stories will no doubt touch your heart. Before sunset, we arrive at the magnificent Oberoi Amarvilas. Tonight we begin our remembrance of George Harrison to mark the occasion of his 75th Birthday, February 25th. Gala dinner festivities kick off the start of our 24-hour Party For George…they say it’s your Birthday, indeed, Quiet One.

Breakfast, Lunch, Gala Dinner • The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

February 25 Day Nine

Number 9, Number 9, Number 9 days into our journey, we experience the Taj Mahal at dawn. As this magical place emerges into the soft early daylight, we will remember George once again on this, his birthday. Yes, it’s truly a “Here Comes The Sun” moment. While in Agra, we will see skilled artisans craft marble works inlaid and adorned with semiprecious stones – the same work that embellishes the Taj Mahal itself. Or we may shop for exquisite Zardozi embroidery, a specialty of this region.  Afterwards,  it’s  departure to another World Heritage Site, Fatehpur Sikri, a Mughal masterpiece – the abandoned fort complex of Akbar the Great. At lunch, we dine today in a garden restaurant near this historic city. Afternoon, we journey onwards to our evening accommodation, a 19th Century fort high atop a hill in the heart of Rajasthan – Tijara Fort. As our 24-hour celebration for George winds down, we remember this day with a toast at sunset on the terraces of the magnificent fort overlooking the sweeping expanses of the Rajasthan plains. After dinner we will enjoy a performance by local musicians at the fort.

Breakfast, Lunch, Gala Dinner  • Tijara Fort, a Neemrana Hotel

February 26 Day Ten

Today we will be “Riding into Jaipur,” a journey immortalized in song by Paul McCartney. Arriving in the Pink City, we check into world-renown Rambagh Palace for two nights of royal rocking merriment and luxury beyond words. Afternoon we tour this bustling city which amazes with its handcrafts, markets, and history. Today we will see among other places City Palace, Albert Hall, Hawa Mahal while along the way we enjoy a rickshaw ride through the Old City for shopping for exotic gems or handcrafts. Late evening we visit an Indian home where we will enjoy a rooftop dinner prepared by a local family and our resident foodie, Jas Pratap. Join in the preparation while you learn to cook some Indian vegetarian family recipes.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner at a family home • Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

 

February 27 Day Eleven

Majestic Amber Fort is our destination this morning as we tour this awe-inspiring hilltop fortress known for its Hindu style. High atop a hill in the Aravalli Range, Amber Fort is an architectural marvel of red sandstone and marble which will astound. Later, we see Jaipur’s (me and my) “Monkey Temple” – a holy shrine overrun with many mischievous monkeys prancing amidst the grounds. Following our touring, we will have afternoon at to enjoy our palace hotel or venture out for shopping or an optional tour by bicycle. Tonight, we enjoy a Gala Dinner at Rambagh before our onward journeys.

Breakfast, Lunch, Gala Dinner • Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

EXTENDED ITINERARY Part 1

February 28 Day Twelve

For those homeward bound, departure is today. But for continuing adventures, we are off to Jodhpur, The Blue City.  Along route, we will stop for lunch before arriving in Jodhpur late afternoon. Our accommodation tonight, Umaid Bhawan Palace, has been recognized as TripAdvisor’s Best Hotel in the World 2016 and is the place Paul McCartney has stayed for his more recent visits to India – what else would you expect from a Beatle? For tonight, you too will enjoy the splendor of this magnificent palace, still home to the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Relax a short time, then we will tour this magical place and see an ethnic performance inside under the massive dome of the main palace. Later,  we will tour the Old City and enjoy cocktails in a romantic rooftop setting with a jaw-dropping view of the 15th Century Mehrangarh Fort illuminated above us.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner • Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

 

March 1 Day Thirteen

Morning is to enjoy among the lovely grounds, or take a swim, or do yoga in the pavilion. Experience a leisurely champagne breakfast on the breathtaking terrace overlooking the garden with the Blue City beyond. Later, we will tour the Mehrangarh Fort and Old City …finding a special place where even Paul McCartney shops – but don’t worry, the prices are not off the ground and you can take home treasures from there, too. Onwards we will travel toward our little jungle hideaway – cottage bungalows set inside a mango orchard belonging once again to the Maharaja of Jaipur. In the garden courtyard, we dine in this exotic setting by candlelight and lanterns as we enjoy casual talks on Indian culture and traditions.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner • Maharani Bagh Orchard, Ranakpur

 

March 2 Day Fourteen

After a relaxing morning, we visit the nearby Ranakpur Jain Temple…a white marble masterwork emerging from the dense jungle. Soon we journey on to Udaipur, one of the most romantic cities in the world, the city of lakes. Arriving at Lake Pichola, we cross the peaceful waters and enter into the modern palace, the Leela, our uber artsy Indian abode for two nights. Arrange a spa treatment, take a swim, or luxuriate in your palace room. Before sunset, we will take an enchanting boat ride around the lake while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and champagne. We dine out at a local restaurant lakeside with City Palace and the lights of Udaipur dancing on the waters.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner • The Leela Palace, Udaipur

 

March 3 Day Fifteen

Morning is for touring and we will see the City Palace and enjoy shopping along the back city corridors for handcrafts, miniature paintings, ethnic clothes, or perhaps a saree. Later we visit the Monsoon Palace, Sajjangarh Fort, perched on a hilltop overlooking Udaipur, for sweeping panoramic views of this magical city of lakes. Tonight, we experience the romance of this significant place with a Gala Dinner on the terrace of Leela Palace. You will be reminded of love songs by the Beatles in this perfect setting, one of the most beautiful and memorable in the world.

Breakfast, Lunch, Gala Dinner • The Leela Palace, Udaipur

EXTENDED ITINERARY Part 2

March 4 Day Sixteen

Today some may depart for home, but we go on for a world-class adventure – a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park. Arriving late afternoon, we enjoy the natural setting of our jungle home, the hand-crafted Juna Mahal, a boutique Haveli-style hotel. Here, with views of the Aravalli Range, we enjoy dinner and a toast in an enchanting courtyard.  Tonight we will learn about tiger conservation and tiger tracking in the wild – but absolutely no “Bungalow Bills” allowed here as tigers are now protected  in India. For each guest continuing through the full itinerary a Bengal tiger will be adopted from an Indian sanctuary.  A donation will be made in your name to provide food and care to a specified rescued tiger for one year.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner • Juna Mahal, Ranthambore

 

March 5 Day Seventeen

Before first light, we depart by open jeep in search of tigers in Ranthambore National Park. The majestic vistas and terrain will capture your heart as you look for tiger tracks, or “pugmarks,” along the trail. Our expert naturalists will guide us for an unforgettable safari in this pristine World Heritage area. Once back at our hotel, we will take time to relax. Perhaps you would enjoy another safari in the late afternoon- an option that can be arranged. Or maybe you would love a horse ride at twilight with the mountain range as backdrop to the setting sun. Regardless of your preference, you will never forget the exotic experiences in this faraway land. Tonight as we say “Goodnight”, we prepare for our homeward journeys tomorrow. Dream sweet dreams for you.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner • Juna Mahal, Ranthambore

March 6 Day Eighteen

Depart for home.

 

 

Pricing Per Person, Double Occupancy, Limited to Eight Passengers, Departure for two persons.

Gala Experience Itinerary Day One to Twelve:    From $8695 

Gala Extended Itinerary Day One to Sixteen:   From $10,795

Full Gala Extended Itinerary Day One to Eighteen:  From $11,995

Full payment in USD due at time of booking. Reservations close January 15, 2018 for travel February 17, 2018.

 

Inclusions:

  • 5* World-Renown Luxury Hotel Accommodations throughout plus Other Unique Lodging to re-create Beatles India experience of 1968
  • Transportation within India: airport transfers, touring, train, or other transport within itinerary
  • One Beatles-inspired Indian garment
  • Entry fees to sites visited on itinerary
  • Services of Instructors, Guides, Performers, or Drivers
  • Donation to Agra SOS Elephant and Bear Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Meals as outlined within itinerary at superior locations in world-class settings
  • Gala Dinners in Rishikesh, Agra, Tijara, and Jaipur, with Udaipur if continuing on Extended Itinerary Part 1
  • High Tea at The Imperial, New Delhi
  • Welcome toast and champagne toasts throughout
  • Rickshaw rides in Old Delhi and Jaipur
  • Guided nature hike in Rishikesh
  • Couples spa treatment in Udaipur – Extended Itinerary Part 1
  • Boat ride with hors d’oeuvres in Udaipur – Extended Itinerary Part 1
  • Tiger safari by jeep – Extended Itinerary Part 2
  • Adoption to care for a Bengal tiger in an Indian sanctuary for one year – Extended Itinerary Part 2

 

Exclusions:
  • International airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Indian Visa Fees
  • Spa Treatments throughout (One couples treatment in Udaipur is included, Extended Itinerary Part 1)
  • Any spa treatments, classes or activities at Ananda, Rishikesh requiring fees
  • White water rafting, zip lining or other adventure excursions in Rishikesh
  • Soft Drinks/Alcoholic Beverages
  • Tips/Gratuities for all service providers

 

 

Additional Pre and Post Itineraries can be customized to include exotic desert experiences: Sujan Leopard Camp -a tented luxury camp with leopard safari and Surygarh in Jaisalmer – a desert fort with sunset camel safari. Or experience a custom trek in Nepal. Contact us for details.

 

 

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