India on cue

IF YOU'RE searching for a display of dizzying colour, hustle and bustle, rocking along upon a rickety rickshaw, seeing an elephant casually meandering by the road's shoulder you had better head off to India because no place in the world offers such an adventurous atmosphere, as seen in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Now, thanks to Travel Managers, you can be transported back to the magic of the movie, even staying in the real-life hotel, which is in fact in Ravla Khempur, one hour outside the city of Udaipur.

It's a charming rural palace that was once the residence of a tribal chieftain but is now an equestrian hotel, which offers a much more comfortable hotel experience than the "Marigold".

The 12-day private journey also features overnight stops at other hotels used in the film, and instantly recognisable sights for any fan.

The tour also takes in other not-to-be-missed Indian destinations, including the Taj Mahal, Delhi's Red Fort and India Gate, and the sprawling lake of Udaipur.

Staying in a choice of four- or five-star comfort throughout, the Best Marigold adventure begins in Delhi with an exploration of all the city's famous sites.

Travel on to Agra and enjoy tasty Indian cuisine while watching the sun set over the majestic marble of the Taj Mahal, the world's most famous ode to love.

Next, move onto Jaipur — the location for much of the filming of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and stroll through the bustling bazaars of Old Jaipur, and watch expert craftsmen create beautiful silver jewellery.

And then wander over to the Marigold flower market and take in the burnt orange and yellow buds piled up everywhere, and stall holders carrying an impossible number of flower-strung garlands, almost like wearing a thousand necklaces.

From Jaipur, explore the famous mystical camel town of Pushkar, followed by a two-night stay reliving favourite moments of the movie.

Then, gallop along on a horse safari, with some free time to explore the surrounding rural towns.

The adventure concludes with a visit to Udaipur — said to be the most beautiful city in Rajasthan, with its grand, imposing colonial-style buildings overlooking the seemingly endless lake.

This is just one of many highlights on this blend of mainstream and off-the-beaten-track tour, especially designed for Travel Managers.

■ Details: Cost from $2020 each, twin share, for deluxe (four star), and from $2127 each, twin share, in luxury (five star). Price includes all accommodation, daily buffet breakfast and dinner, travel and transfer by private airconditioned car with driver, sightseeing and entrance fees, elephant ride, rickshaw ride, and all applicable taxes. These prices exclude airfares.

■ For more information and bookings, find a personal travel manager at

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