Lotus India Adventures
Lotus India Adventures is unlike other tour companies. We like to keep group sizes small, we prefer "off the beaten track" destinations and choose mostly family run, boutique, and wherever possible, eco hotels. Specialising for the last ten years only in India travel - we aim to give you an authentic 'hands-on' experience of India's extraordinary culture, spirituality, history and wildlife. We like to keep our tours as relaxed as possible and aim to give you the sense of adventure, freedom and wonder you would experience as an independent traveler. Perhaps this is why most of our travelers have come back with us a second time.
Hari and carrie who lead the journeys have been living, studying and working in India for many years. They are holistic therapists and also run The Lotus Retreat - a yoga centre and India boutique in Oxfordshire.
Lotus India Adventures is a subsidiary of the Glorious Adventure Company www.thegloriousadventurecompany.com
2ND - 15TH February 2020
February 2020’s Sacred Heart tour journeys through some of the most beautiful and lesser known parts of central India. Starting in Udaipur - city of lakes and Palaces - we will follow the opium belt eastwards to Castle Bijapur and onto the charming painted town of Bundi. From here we travel across the wild and beautiful plains of southern Rajasthan to the holy town of Orchha then up to the Unesco bird sanctuary of Bharatpur via the ancient city of Gwalior. Highlights include bird spotting on a bicycle safari through Bharatpur, absorbing the temples and palaces of the riverside town of Orchha, exploring the markets and palaces of Udaipur and Bundi and two nights at the stunning Usha Kiran Palace in Gwalior and Castle Bijapur - nestled amongst forests and remote villages. This tour will be lead by holistic therapist and India enthusiast Carrie Rossiter and yoga teacher Hari Lambani. All the accommodation we have chosen is boutique, heritage and full of charm. You will sleep in a charming 16th Century castle at Bijapur, the historical palaces of Usha Kiran and Laxmi Vilas, and several picturesque Haveli’s (traditional Rajasthani family mansions). The pace of the tour is slow - allowing you time to fully absorb each destination and we have included plenty of free time for you to follow your own interests whether that be cookery, Ayurvedic treatments, yoga or shopping. Your tour guides will always be on hand to help you make the most of your trip. Your trip ends with a night at The Claridges Hotel in Delhi where you have an afternoon to explore the markets and sights of India’s fascinating capital city.
highlights of our ITINERARY
Exploring the remote rural charm of Rajasthan’s opium belt.
Watching the sun set from the top of Orchha’s riverside Chattris.
Cycling at dusk through Bharatpur bird sanctuary.
Living like royalty at the stunning Usha Kiran Palace & Castle Bijapur.
Visiting the Taj Mahal - the world’s more exquisite monument of love
Wandering through Bundi’s ancient painted streets.
Shopping, sunset boating and lakeside dining in Udaipur.
cost and what's included
£1850 (flights not included)
Airport transfers in Udaipur & Delhi.
All transport between tour destinations.
All accommodation when in India.
All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 evening meals.
Guided tours of the Udaipur, Bundi and Orchha
Orchha river picnic and village charity visit.
Gwalior Fort guided tour.
day by day ITINERARY
DAYS ONE & TWO - UDAIPUR
Our journey begins in the romantic and historically fascinating city of Udaipur - a city of lakes, palaces and colourful bazaars - where we will have 2 night in the peaceful, family run Mahendra Prakash hotel. You will be greeted at Udaipur airport by Hari and Carrie and reach your hotel in time for an afternoon to relax by the pool or enjoy the Keralan Spa. Early evening we will take an orientation walk through the old town for evening puja at the Jadish Temple followed by dinner overlooking the lake at Rainbow restaurant.
Day two we will take rickshaws to the Monsoon Palace with it’s spectacular views of the city and the Aravelli hills. You will then have the option of an afternoon guided tour of the Summer Palace or some time at leisure to explore the old town or enjoy a boat ride on lake Pichola. The day will end with the chance to watch a classical music and dance concert in the old city followed by a candle-lit dinner at the lakeside “Ambrai” restaurant.
Accommodation: Mahenrda Prakash - a friendly, comfortable family-run boutique hotel with a pool, pretty heritage decor, a garden cafe and a small Keralan spa.
DAYS THREE & FOUR - CASTLE BIJAPUR
Day three we head east by minibus into the heart of rural Rajasthan for two nights at Castle Bijapur. We reach the Castle in time for an early lunch followed by a siesta or a swim in the pool. Mid-afternoon we head into the local countryside for a jeep & walking safari where we have a chance to absorb the slow charm of rural Rajasthani life and see the forested hills and sleepy villages of Rajasthan’s ‘Opium Belt’. Pre-dinner drinks are served in the courtyard where you will can chat with the Maharaja’s ancestor’s and listen to live traditional music.
Day four is a day at leisure. Birdwatching and wildlife treks are on offer as well as horse riding through the surrounding hills and villages and a yoga and meditation session can be arranged with Hari in the hotel gardens. Or perhaps you will choose to relax by the pool, enjoy the Ayurvedic spa or simply sit and watch the abundant wildlife from your verandah. Cookery classes are available in the Hotel’s kitchens.
Accommodation - Castle Bijapur. A charming, peaceful hotel lovingly run by the former Maharaja’s family who provide a very warm welcome and an insiders glimpse of Rajput history. The hotel has a lovely pool and spa, the elegantly decorated rooms are spacious, antique filled and many have balconies, private terraces and swing seats overlooking the Aravelli hills.
DAY FIVE - BUNDI
Day five we head further east for Bundi. This lakeside town - with its charming painted haveli’s and glorious hill-top palace - is one of Rajasthan’s undisputed ‘hidden gems’. We have a day here to visit the 15th century palace (Bundi Palace houses some of the best frescoed halls in Rajasthan), and wander through the old bazaar were we can see silk weaving and an abundance of curio shops. Our day ends with dinner at the hotel’s lovely rooftop restaurant.
Accommodation - Bundi Vilas. This small, heritage property is located in the heart of Bundi’s old town against the rampart walls. Breakfast and dinner can be enjoyed on the rooftop whilst taking in panoramic views.
DAY SIX - SHIVPURI
Day six we head across the remote plains of south-eastern Rajasthan and into Madhya Pradesh where we will stop for the night in the Shivpuri national Park. We arrive in time to visit the Chattris. These sacred mogul monuments surrounded by landscaped gardens are a regular venue for local musicians to gather and play devotional music.
Accommodation: Shivpuri Tourist Village. This simple government run lakeside hotel, has a swimming pool and pleasant gardens.
DAYS SEVEN & EIGHT - ORCHHA
Today we travel to the sacred river-side town of Orchha, famous for its16th century temples and majestic golden Palace. We take an afternoons guided tour of the town before watching sunset at the riverside Chattris. Day eight is yours to enjoy as you wish - Hari and carrie will lead a trek up to the pretty village of Ganj past the Laxshmi temple, to go river swimming, or perhaps you will hire bikes and cycle into the nearby nature reserve. Yoga and massage is available at the hotel.
Accommodation: Amar Mahal. The Amar Mahal is the perfect combination of heritage style and modern luxury. Set in pretty gardens with views of the nearby Chattris, there is a lovely pool and spa.
DAYS NINE & TEN - GWALIOR
Day nine we leave early by minibus for the ancient city of Gwalior where we stay for 2 nights of luxury at the stunning Usha Kiran Palace. After lunch we explore the famous Gwalior Fort and it’s bustling surrounding bazaar. Pre-dinner drinks will be served in the art-deco bar/billiard room followed by dinner in the courtyard restaurant. Day ten you have time to enjoy the hotel’s facilities and beautiful nine acre estate, or visit the nearby Jai Vilas Mahal Museum which houses a fascinating private collection of Maharajas curios. An yoga session will be arranged the afternoon.
Accommodation - Usha Kiran Palace. This elegant palace was built in 1880 by Maharaja Jayaji Rao. The Usha Kiran - part of the famous Taj chain - offers amazing hospitality, excellent cuisine, a stunning spa and pool and is overflowing with heritage charm.
DAYS ELEVEN & TWELVE - BHARATPUR (TAJ MAHAL)
Day eleven we depart for Bharatpur where we stay for 2 nights at the beautiful Laxmi Villas Palace, just a mile from the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary. Keoladeo is one of the most vibrant bird sanctuaries in the world - with over 300 nesting resident birds and thousands of visiting migratory birds who come to the park for winter breeding. One of our journey’s highlights will be our bicycle/cycle-rickshaw ride through this vast wetland area.
The Taj Mahal - often cited as the most beautiful building in the world - is just over an hour from Bharatpur. A day trip will be arranged on day 12, please mention on booking if you would like to join this excursion.
Accommodation: Laxmi Vilas Palace. This 18th century palace, has been lovingly converted into a luxury hotel, with the family of Raja Raghunath Singh still residing in the Palace. Amenities include pool, spa, courtyard bar, billiards and lush, well-tended gardens.
DAYS THIRTEEN & FOURTEEN
Day twelve we leave early for our final journey back to Delhi - India’s colourful, eclectic capital city. We stay in New Delhi’s leafy, colonial heart at The Claridges Hotel - a short rickshaw ride from Delhi’s finest museums, galleries, bazaars and parks. On our final night we enjoy drinks and food in Connaught Place - celebrating the end of our journey with a taste of modern bohemian India.
Day fourteen we get you safely to the airport for return flights back to the UK.
information & Booking
To book your space please contact
Carrie on 07940 542 181