Set out on a journey to the most colorful region in India ~ Rajasthan ~ exhibiting splendor and royalty in every walk of life. The land of valor and chivalry is dotted with invincible forts, majestic palaces, simmering sand dunes and tranquil lakes. Experience the rich diversity, truly represented by its affable people, motley costumes, age-old enchanting customs and traditions, amazing cuisine and rustic music. The tour introduces you to the Royal Splendors through an entire gamut of Forts, Palaces and Havelis and other Heritage sites combined with the thrill of Camel Safaris to the simmering Sand Dunes of Jaisalmer.
Major Attractions India is a land of contrasts on one hand apparently it is marching ahead with modernity in the 21st century and yet on the other it still clings on dearly to its age old customs and traditions. These traditions of the yore are splendidly displayed in the Desert Sate of Rajasthan with its Maharajas, forts, palaces, turbans, saris, bustling bazaars and world famous ethnic cuisines.
Forts & Palaces of Rajasthan This trip will brings you these in a comprehensive and comfortable introduction to the land of the Maharajas and amazing people. The erstwhile warrior ruling clans called the Rajputs have from centuries shaped the history of not only of this region but also the Imperial empires ruling fro Delhi. Their history and culture is put on display in their imposing forts and palaces at Amber Fort near Jaipur, Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur and the ornate City Palace complex in Udaipur. Their love for
Colors of life: The people have offset the bland and harsh life of the desert with their wonderful havelis ornate carvings and frescoes, we witness amazing open art gallery in the Mandawa & Vibrant colors at the site of the world’s largest animal fair and pilgrim centre the famous Pushkar. There is the cosmopolitan exuberance of the cities of Delhi and Jaipur, quaint rural countryside, desert landscape and the friendly people with their age old beliefs and customs of Bikaner, Jodhpur & Jaisalmer.
UNESCO World Heritage Monuments of Delhi, Agra & Jaipur. Imperial Opulence of the majestic buildings at Agra and Delhi showcase the might of the Mughals with monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and the Jamia Masjid. Then there are great buildings from the British Raj; the seat of government in Delhi and the famous India Gate from where tree lined avenues radiate and are a reminder of how important Delhi was to the British. Unique short Rural Train Ride: Meet the local friendly and shy people on the last remnant meter gauge British Raj Train System in the biodiversity sanctuary of Todgarh Raoli. The 22-km Ghat section, considered to be the highest rail track in Rajasthan, starts from Kamlighat and touches Goram Ghat, inside the 495 sq km Todgarh Raoli sanctuary, to reach Phulad after passing through picturesque locations and rich flora and fauna terrain in the lap of the Aravalli Mountains. The ride is in non air conditioned standard coaches which offers beautiful views of the sparsely populated bio-diverse zone. Bewitching Taj Mahal at Sunrise: This is the most awe inspiring highlight of the tour.
Tour at a Glance DAY 1 Arrive Delhi DAY 2 Delhi DAY 3 Delhi - Mandawa DAY 4 Mandawa - Bikaner DAY 5 Bikaner - Jaisalmer DAY 6 Jaisalmer DAY 7 Jaisalmer - Jodhpur DAY 8 Jodhpur - Udaipur DAY 9 Udaipur DAY 10 Udaipur - Deogarh DAY 11 Deogarh - Pushkar DAY 12 Pushkar DAY 13 Pushkar - Jaipur DAY 14 Jaipur DAY 15 Jaipur - Agra DAY 16 Agra - Delhi DAY 17 Depart Delhi
What to Expect? This holiday is designed so that the travelers can see some of the best parts of Northern Indian states. The programme is scheduled to offer much without being too hectic. Travel in India is an experience in itself. The din, smell and colors could be a bit of a cultural shock to the westerners. There could be delays and rough roads in between but this is what India is loved for. A patient observance of the rituals of daily life makes the journey a cherishing experience. The trip also offers some beautiful moments of calm and tranquility in the rustic settings of the colorful Rajasthan. This trip is designed as a more comfortable itinerary with good air conditioned transportation & deluxe accommodation.
Arrive late evening at the New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport. You will be met by our representative outside the customs gate and escorted to your hotel. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
The city consists of two parts - Old and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of Muslim India between the 17th and 19th century and has many mosques, monuments and forts.
Begin your day with an exploration starting in Old Delhi. Visit Jama Masjid, the Royal Mosque which was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1656. Enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes followed by a short walk on the main street of Old Delhi - the colorful shopping bazaar known as Chandni Chowk. Drive past the Red Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Continue to Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.
In the afternoon visit New Delhi - the imperial city created by the British as the capital of India. In 1911, Edwin Lutyens, the most renowned English architect of the day, was chosen to design New Delhi. Drive through the majestic boulevards - the Rashtrapati Bhawan is where the Viceroy once lived and is now the official residence of the President of India. View India Gate, a war memorial arch built in honor of 90,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. Visit Humayun’s Tomb (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the first great example of Mughal architecture in India. The day’s tour ends at Qutab Minar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) - a soaring tower of victory which is 72.5 meters high and has five distinct stories. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
This morning drive to Mandawa. The town was founded and inhabited by Shekhawati Rajputs in the 18th century and is popularly known as the open art gallery of Rajasthan due to magnificent murals and frescoes from mythology.
Arrive Mandawa and check-in at your hotel.
Late afternoon explore the beautiful town of Mandawa. See the hand painted havelis that are some of the splendid examples depicting the regional folklore. Walk and maze through the streets, bazaars and observe colorfully dressed local people and their day to day activities. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
This morning drive to Bikaner which exists in magnificent isolation in the northern Rajasthan desert, a fortified town founded by Bika, son of the Rathore king Rao Jodha (who built Jodhpur), in the late 15th century as a stop on the trading route between the Punjab and the plains.
On arrival, check-in at your hotel.
Afternoon enjoy a city orientation tour of Bikaner.
Visit Junagarh Fort, one of the most interesting forts in Rajasthan. With its sumptuously decorated interiors, the fort was built in 1588 by Raja Rai Singh. Also visit the National Research Centre on Camels located about 10 kilometers from Bikaner. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
This morning drive to Jaisalmer. There is something magical about Jaisalmer, a city which rears out of the inhospitable. Once a staging post on the trading routes west, it is a walled citadel, formidably fortified, in a sandy color that turns golden in the setting sun. It also contains a complex fort surrounded by palaces and temples.
Arrive in Jaisalmer this afternoon and check-in at your hotel.
Remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
Visit Jaisalmer Fort, the main attraction of this picturesque desert city. Built in 1156, it is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan. Visit the intricately carved havelis or mansions Salim Singh ki Haveli and Patwon ki Haveli.
Late afternoon, drive to the sand dunes. The ripples on the wind-caressed dunes creating an enchanting mirage are surely a delight. Enjoy a camel safari on the dunes. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
This morning drive to Jodhpur, once the capital of the former princely state of Marwar. It was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha and is now the second largest city of Rajasthan. The graceful palaces, forts and temples bring alive the historic grandeur, while the exquisite handicrafts, folk dances, music and the brightly attired people lend a romantic aura to the city.
Arrive in Jodhpur and check-in at your hotel.
Late afternoon, enjoy a short orientation tour of Jodhpur city. Visit magnificent Mehrangarh, one of Rajasthan&39s finest forts. This 5,000 meter long fort is an impressive and formidable structure. There are seven gates that lead into the fort, inside a series of courtyards and palaces to be found. Make a brief stop at Jaswant Thada, located a short distance from the fort, which is a white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.
Later, enjoy a walking tour through the ancient blue town where there will be opportunity to explore the narrow winding lanes, ending at the Old Clock Tower vegetable and spice market. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
This morning drive to Udaipur. En route visit Ranakpur. Ranakpur boasts some of the most exquisite Jain temples in the country, famous for their intricate friezes and sculptures, and is one of the holiest Jain sites in India.
Arrive Udaipur late afternoon and check-in at your hotel. Stay over night in your hotel.[B]
Udaipur combines real beauty with a great and glorious past. It stands in a valley, amidst green hills on the banks of the wide, steel blue Lake Pichola. Visit City Palace, a conglomeration of buildings added by various Maharanas. Despite this the palace manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design. Also visit the Crystal Gallery located at the City Palace which has a rare collection of Osler&39s crystal ordered from England by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1877.
Return to hotel. Afternoon will be at leisure.
In the evening enjoy a boat cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. From the boat view the city of Udaipur rise majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. Also visit the Jag Mandir Palace, an unforgettable sight on an island in Lake Pichola, built by Maharana Karan Singhji in 1622 as a pleasure palace for royal parties and functions. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
This morning drive to Deogarh, enroute visit Eklinji and Nagda Temples, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Arrive in Deogarh and check-in at your hotel.
Late afternoon enjoy a Jeep safari to nearby villages. Drive into the rugged countryside and see a variety of exciting panoramas and the avian life. The drive through the countryside is bound with grazing cattles serenely and migratory birds dotting the lake. Visit the local weavers, potters and gypsy tribes in their local environment. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
This morning set out for the Train ride of the 22-km Ghat section which starts from Kamlighat and touches Goram Ghat, inside the 495 sq km Todgarh Raoli sanctuary, to reach Phulad after passing through picturesque locations and rich flora and fauna terrain in the lap of the Aravalli Mountains. In the afternoon leave for Pushkar, a sacred place for Hindus. The temple town is home to the 8th century Brahma temple dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. Surrounded by hills on three sides and sand dunes on the fourth, Pushkar forms a befitting backdrop for the annual religious and cattle fair. During the days of the fair, the otherwise tranquil lake is engulfed with religious fervor. Thousands of devotees collect to take a dip and pray for salvation to the sound of verses from the Holy Scriptures which fill the air. The actual fair is held in the vast stretching desert surrounding the town.
Probably the world’s largest camel fair, camels are painted, beautified and raced to attract the best buyers. The turbaned heads of men, and the colorful veils and skirts of the women, bring alive the arid desertscape.
Arrive Pushkar and check-in to your hotel. Remaining day will be at leisure. Explore the site at your own as you will have ample opportunities to take as many pictures as possible. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
This morning drive to Jaipur, named after the boy prince who commissioned it - Maharaja Jai Singh II. Jaipur today epitomizes the spirit of Rajputana. In spite of growing into a bustling metropolis, it still retains its character and history, a beautiful fusion of yesteryears and modernity. The massive forts, magnificent palaces, exquisite temples and lush gardens remind us about the glorious past of Jaipur.
Arrive Jaipur in the afternoon and check-in at your hotel.
Later enjoy an orientation tour of Jaipur. Visit City Palace and its museum which has a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes, and armory of Mughals and Rajputs including swords, antiques and artifacts. Proceed to Jantar Mantar (UNESCO World heritage monument), a stone astrological and astronomical observatory which was built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 18th century. Enjoy a cycle-rickshaw ride in the colorful bazaar of the old city. Also visit Hawa Mahal or the "Palace of the Winds." This beautiful façade is probably the most-photographed in Jaipur. Its ornately carved windows were designed so that the ladies of the palace could look out onto the streets unobserved. There is also time to shop for Jaipur blue pottery and block-printed cotton linens. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
This morning enjoy an excursion to the magnificent Amber Fort. The fortified palace was the capital of the state of Jaipur until 1728. The architecture is a blend of Mughal and Rajput styles. Tour the chambers and hallways of the palace, which are famous for the excellence of their design and decoration including the spectacular “Hall of Mirrors”.
Remainder of the day will be at leisure for independent activities. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
This morning drive to Agra. En route, stop at Fatehpur Sikri (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) - a deserted red sandstone city built by Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. Arrive Agra late afternoon and check-in at your hotel. Two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and Shah Jahan, transformed the little village of Agra into a befitting second capital of the Mughal Empire - giving it the name Dar-ul-Khilafat which means seat of the Emperor. Today, a visitor to Agra is caught up in a world of contrasting edifices whilst experiencing the irresistible charm that this favorite city of the Mughals. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
Early morning enjoy a sunrise visit to the mesmerizing Taj Mahal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
The 17th century Taj Mahal is often called a poem in stone. If so, the mausoleum is a love poem - created by Shah Jahan for his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. Please note: Taj Mahal remains closed on Fridays.
Return to hotel for breakfast before visiting Agra Fort (a UNESCO World Heritage site). The fort was built by the third Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Subsequent additions were made to the fort by his son Jahangir and grandson Shahjahan.
In the afternoon drive back to Delhi and transfer to International Airport for your flight to onward destination. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
Depart Delhi early hours of Day 17. Stay over night in your hotel. [B]
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Laxmi Niwas Palace
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Country Inn & Suites
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Delhi it is the capital of The Democratic Republic of India and boasts to be one of the oldest and largest cities in the world. Resting on the foundations of eight cities from the ancient times is now is a modern metropolis where you encounter antiquity at every bend. With a history spanning over 5000 years that saw several dynasties, invasions, migrations, destruction, construction and the Partition, Delhi is a cultural conundrum. The best way to relish New Delhi is not to try to unravel its idiosyncrasies but enjoy the cultural ensemble it offers.
Mandawa the ancient city of Mandawa once belonged to the rich and wealthy families who constructed beautiful havelis and palaces with beautiful wall paintings, for the purpose of their residence. Visit this 18th century city to explore the exquisite wall paintings, frescos of the Rajput merchants which in time, was colored into the hues of the British Raj. Visit the regal Mandawa Fort, now converted into a heritage hotel.
Bikaner&39s history dates back to 1486 A.D. when Rao Jodha challenged his son to establish his own kingdom. Rao Bika chose the barren wilderness for his dwelling and the city soon became a thriving trade centre because of its location on the caravan route. Forts, palaces, and elegantly carved havelis, are the highlight of the city. Junagarh Fort and Palace: unlike other Rajasthani forts built on a hilltop, this has been constructed on the sandy floor of the desert. The palace complex inside is lavishly decorated, with impressive stone work and carving details.
Jaisalmer is mysterious and magical historic town braving the ruggedness in the golden Thar Desert. The picturesque 800-year-old Jaisalmer Fort built in sandstone atop the Trikuta Hill dominates the town&39s landscape transporting you to an era of grandeur and regality. The undulating and striking Sam Sand Dunes are the highlight of every visit to Jaisalmer. Enjoy a camel safari through the endless stretches of golden sand.
Jodhpur is also known as the Gateway of Thar is set at the edge of the Thar Desert, this imperial city echoes with tales of the past. The palaces, forts, and temples spread throughout the city, bring alive the historic past of this city. Check out the beautiful handicraft, folk dances, folk music, and the brightly attired people. The colorful city revolves around the Rathore clan and is named after Rao Jodha, the chief of the Rathore clan. Jodhpur is a storehouse of culture and history. There are numerous forts, palaces, and beautiful lakes in the city. The Government Museum, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mehrangarh Fort, Balsamand Lake, and some ancient temples like Chamundaji temple, Rajranchodji temples are worth a visit.
Udaipur is set in the foot of the Aravallis mountain ranges which surround the city protectively and gifting it with breathtaking views of the hills that rise and fall. Evenings by the lake side is an amazing experience, which can also be enjoyed from the city&39s numerous rooftop restaurants. Udaipur has often been called the most romantic city in India. Udaipur is known for handicrafts like puppets, bandhini cloth, silver jewellery, hand made paper products, and miniature paintings made in the traditional Mewar style.
Pushkar a pilgrimage places for Hindus, boasts for the only Brahma Temple in the world, dedicated to Lord Brahma the creator of the Universe. Pushkar is a temple town with numerous ghats dotting the holy Pushkar Lake. The town has also found a place on the tourist map with foreigners flocking to seek spiritual bliss. Pushkar is most famous for the Pushkar Camel Festival, the largest camel trading fair. During this time, the desert town wears a festive look as locals and tourists alike partake in friendly competitions including camel races, moustache twirling and cricket matches.
Jaipur is a part of the famous Golden Triangle. From camel carts, multihued fabrics, antique cars, to traditional men sporting bright turbans, the city flaunts everything that is conventional. Walk through the city to explore markets thronging with local crowds dressed in vibrant bright colors, women wearing ornaments, and men wearing pagris (turbans). Jaipur is where you&39ll experience the local culture, yet find every comfort of the contemporary world that you&39re accustomed to.
Agra, the word conjures a romantic image of the Taj Mahal created by Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Agra is the epitome of a cultural city, with many historical relics beginning from the Persian to the Mughal era. Interwoven with tombs, a trip to Agra is a treat, not just to your eyes, but to your senses as well. But hidden behind these beautiful monuments is a thriving industrial city getting richer by the day. Agra could just as well be a Mecca for shopaholics with marble artifacts, leather goods and silk fabrics available at dearth cheap rates. Shopping: Marbles, leatherwork, crafts, Zardosi thread work, Panchi Petha and Dalmoth Visit local factories for excellent leather buys, wallets, shoes, jackets and belts and is a good place to shop for silk &39saris&39 and &39dupattas&39. The Taj Mahal remains closed on Fridays.
Price and Inclusions
Tour Cost for the programme: Per person tour cost on twin sharing basis : US$ 1665
Prices valid till 30th September, 2011.
Rates include following specific services
Rate does not include
Accommodation on Twin Occupancy basis along with the breakfast, inclusive of all presently applicable taxes that are subject to change. Check-in / checkout time is 1200 noon.
Transport using all transfers / sight seeing is envisaged using air-conditioned Medium Luxury Car along with transfer of baggage in same car.
Representative assistance for arrival / Departure at airport.
Guide: English – speaking local guides at all destinations as mentioned in the itinerary.
Entrances fees to the monuments as shown in the itinerary.
Traditional welcome on arrival with garlands of marigold flowers.
One bottle of Mineral water per person per day.
Any International or Domestic Airfare other than mentioned above.
Airport tax payable on final departure, which is mostly included in the International tickets.
Personal expenses such as room service/ laundry/ phone calls / mini bar and Porter charges. These are to be settled directly by the occupant of the room at the time of check-out. Also does not include table drinks, tips etc.
Room for immediate occupancy on the day of Arrival or late checkout on day of departure.