Romance of Rajasthan Tour
For many, Rajasthan is the essence of India, with crenelated forts and impregnable palaces that rise like a giant fairy tale sets above dusty sun-scorched plains and shimmering lakes. India’s Second Largest state (Similar in size to France), has the only desert of India.
Rajasthan – THE LAND OF PRINCES, will dazzle you with remarkable architecture, Forts, Palaces, Cuisine which is unmatched in the world and the tradition in its every act like the Houses, Language, Breath taking dances, Folk Music.
Delhi – Mandawa – Bikaner – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Jaipur – Agra – Delhi
Romance of Rajasthan Tour Itinerary
- Day 01: Delhi by: International Flight
You will arrive at New Delhi’s International Airport. Following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, our representative will meet you as you EXIT the ARRIVALS TERMINAL building after which you would be transferred to your hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, you will be accorded with a Traditional Welcome. Welcoming guest is an age-old tradition. ‘Atithi Devobhava’ - treat your guest as if he were God. Indian hospitality can be savored immediately as one arrives at the hotel. The guest’s forehead is anointed with the traditional red ‘tika’ which is considered auspicious along with garlanding. Relax with a non-alcoholic welcome drink following which proceed to check in at your hotel.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 02: Delhi - Mandawa
After leisurely buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will proceed for a half day combined city tour of Old & New Delhi.
You will first visit Old Delhi. The tour will begin with a visit to Raj Ghat, a simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi; drive past the Red Fort continuing to the Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques and which is viewed from the outside. People stream in and out of the mosque continuously and the presence of a nearby bazaar means that the area is rarely quiet.
After visiting Old Delhi, you will be driven to New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. The division between New and Old Delhi is the division between the capitals of the British and the Mughals respectively. The division in the walled city and New Delhi also marks the division in the life-styles. The walled city is all tradition where one will be able to glean a past life-style in all its facets, colours and spells. New Delhi in contrast, is a city trying to live up to the best of 21st century standards.
The tour to Imperial Delhi will include a visit to the Qutub Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. Qutub-ud-din Aibak started it in 1199. Pulling down 27 Hindu and Jain temples and using their columns erected the attached Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque also built by him. Then visit Humayun’s tomb, built by the widow of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun, it is an outstanding monument in the Indo-Persian style, a precursor of the Taj Mahal. The tour also includes a drive past the imposing India Gate, the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President’s residence.
After lunch you will be driven from Delhi to Mandawa (280 KMS / 7 Hours), a remote feudal principality in the centre of Shekhawati region. Upon arrival, proceed to check-in at your hotel.
The Rajput ruler of Mandawa built a fort in 1755 to protect this trading outpost that fell in the ancient caravan routes from China and Middle East. The township that grew around the fort attracted a lar ge community of traders, who settled here. When the caravan traffic ceased in the late 18th century, the traders created business empires in other parts of the country, but returned to Mandawa build palatial mansions in their hometown.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 03: Mandawa - Bikaner
After buffet breakfast you will explore this storybook town of Mandawa known for its colourful frescoes on a wide variety of subjects ranging from religious to the erotic; from copies of popular English prints to witty social satire rendered in the inimitable style of local artist. Every home here is adorned with gaily-painted murals that illuminate the arid landscape.
Afternoon you will be driven from Mandawa to Bikaner (200 KMS / 4 Hours). Upon arrival check-in at hotel.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 04: Bikaner - Jaisalmer
Morning you will proceed for a sightseeing tour of Bikaner. Visit Junagarh Fort, one of the most interesting forts in Rajasthan, with its sumptuously decorated interiors. Built in 1588 by Raja Rai Singh it is unusual in the sense that it was one of the few major forts of Rajasthan that was not built on a hilltop. Instead, it was built on the desert plains; its rugged sandstone bastions and graceful pavilions and balconies are silhouetted against the sky.
Also visit the National Camel Breeding Farm and see the incredible sight of a herd of camels returning back after grazing, with the spectacular desert sunset in the background. Set amid rolling sand dunes, this farm is set up to produce superior strains of camels both for domestic haulage as well as, even today, for military use.
After buffet breakfast, you will be driven from Bikaner to Jaisalmer (330 KMS / 7 Hours). Jaisalmer, the golden beauty etched in yellow sandstone, standing tall against miles of gleaming sand. Founded in 1156 AD by Maharawal Jaisal, Jaisalmer’s location kept it almost untouched by outside influences and even during the days of the Raj, Jaisalmer was the last to sign the Instrument of Agreement with the British. Upon arrival in Jaisalmer, proceed for check-in at your hotel following which remainder of the day will be at leisureOvernight at the hotel.
- Day 05: Jaisalmer
After buffet breakfast, proceed for a city tour of Jaisalmer. You will walk up to the Fort, which dominates the town. Built in 1156, it is one of the oldest forts in Rajasthan. About a quarter of the old city's population resides within the fort walls, which have 99 bastions around the circumference. Within the fort are a fine group of Jain temples built between the 12th and 15th centuries, many containing ancient manuscripts. Walk through Jaisalmer’s narrow streets dotted with ornately decorated Hindu and Jain temples.
Walk around this desert city, its fort emerging from the flat dry sands, bounding in ancient palaces, temples and delicately sculpted havelis - all witness to the emergence of this Rajput state into a market centre for traders.
Late afternoon drive to Khuri for a camelback ride into the desert to watch the sun set on this golden desert city, emitting a lustrous glow off the desert sand. Camel Safari is one of the unique ways to explore small villages in Rajasthan. Atop this ship of the desert embark on an exciting soft adventure. This safari is across India’s Thar Desert, one of the harshest environments in the world.
Board camels to discover the rich desert culture and meet the colourful tribal people. The capital of this exotic region is the golden city of Jaisalmer. Here we’ll explore palaces, local markets, and venture down the narrow alleys to visit with the inhabitants of the intricately carved sandstone buildings.Return to the hotel after your tour and Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 06: Jaisalmer - Jodhpur
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven from Jaisalmer to Jodhpur (333 KMS / 7 Hours).
Upon arrival in Jodhpur, proceed for check-in at your Hotel.
The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a wall 10km long, which was built about a century after the city was founded. From the fort you can clearly see where the old city ends and the new begins. The old city is fascinating jungle of winding streets of great interest to wander around. Eight gates lead out from the walled city. It’s one of the more interesting cities in India and those baggy-tight horse riding trousers, jodhpurs, took their name from this locale.
The Mehrangarh Fort is sprawled across a 125-meter high hill and is the most impressive and formidable fort in the fort-studded Rajasthan. On the wall adjacent to the Lahapol or “Iron Gate” are 15 handprints, the sati marks of the widows of Maharaja Man Singh who threw themselves upon his funeral pyre in 1843. Inside the fort, which is still run by the Maharaja of Jodhpur, there is a whole series of courtyards and palaces.
Afternoon visit Mehrangarh Fort (citadel of the Sun) that evokes the very spirit of the Rathores, the ruling local Rajput clan. Visit its various palaces with their delicate friezes and respective museums, displaying treasures of the royal family. Following visit of the fort, proceed on an exhilarating walk through the old city of Jodhpur. The walk will take you as far as the old market from which point you will be transported by Tongas, or horse-drawn carriages, back to the hotel.
North of Meherangarh Fort, and connected to it by road, Jaswant Thanda is a pillared marble memorial to the popular ruler Jaswant Singh II (1878-95), who purged Jodhpur of dacoits, initiated irrigation systems and boosted the economy. The cenotaphs of members of the royal family who have died since Jaswant are close by his memorial; those who preceded him are remembered by chhatris at Mandor. This south-facing spot is also the best place from which to photograph the fort, looming above the sheer rocky Meherangarh plateau.Return to the hotel after your tour. Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 07: Jodhpur - Ranakpur - Udaipur
After buffet breakfast, you will be driven from Jodhpur to Udaipur (164 KMS / 4 hours) en-route visiting Ranakpur Jain Temples, an exceptionally beautiful excursion through the rugged, wooded hills of Rajasthan to the Jain Temples of Ranakpur in the Aravalli Valley, to see one of the best complexes of Jain religion which is particularly noted for the grandiose scale of its architecture and the highly decorated ceilings, walls and 1444 different pillars. The priests of the temples did all the temple designing and their generations are still continuing the work.
Later continue your journey to Udaipur upon arrival, check-in at your hotel.
Set on the shores of Lake Pichola and surrounded by hills, Udaipur grew in complete contrast to the harsh deserts of the rest of Rajasthan. As capital of the old Mewar State it was the only Rajput stronghold to uphold its Hindu allegiance in the face of Muslim invasion. From the late 16th century, peace brought about an era of renaissance in the arts and encouraged the building of beautiful palaces around the lake, culminating in the City Palace, one of the largest palace complexes in the world. The lake itself is a romantic setting surrounding the gleaming white Lake Palace and the Jag Mandir, a refuge of the rebel Mughal prince, Shah Jahan, soon to be the creator of the incomparable Taj Mahal.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 08: Udaipur
After buffet breakfast, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Udaipur City, also known as the City of Sunrise.
First on your sightseeing tour you will proceed for a tour of the City Palace, which overlooks the Lake Pichola. The City Palace was built in 1725 of granite and marble with filigreed balconies, ornate windows and craftsmanship in glass. The royal palace walls stretch over a mile on the eastern side of the lake. Within the palace is a maze of courtyards, apartments and decorated halls. The rooms are covered with frescoes, displays of royal processions, stone and glass mosaics and ornamental doors and painted windows. The marble throne in the coronation rooms was last used during the time Maharana Sangram Singh II (1710-30) and nearby is the Sun Window installed by Maharaja Bhim Singh (1778-1828). This is the divine symbol of the house of Mewar, which traces its lineage to the Surya Vansha, descendants of the Sun. Each palace within is an outstanding creation of art. Visit the hall of public audiences, the private chambers of the royal ladies at the palace and Sahelion-ki-Badi.
In the afternoon, experience the hustle bustle of the old market at Udaipur. Walk past the spice shops, jewellery shops, utensil shops, jaggery shops, silver market, local meat and food shop. You shall walk through the areas where The Octopussy –James Bond film was shot. Later you will be taken on a boat-ride on the placid waters of Lake Pichola visiting the bathing ghats where you will have the opportunity to witness evening ritual ceremonies, the City Palace and the Jag Mandir.Return to your hotel after the sightseeing tour. Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 09: Udaipur - Pushkar
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven to Pushkar (235 KMS/5 Hours). Upon arrival in Pushkar, proceed for check-in at your Hotel.
PUSHKAR : The village of Pushkar lies on the edge of the desert. At its heart is one of India’s most sacred lakes. There are 52 ghats around the lake, and numerous temples. The Brahma temple, especially, attracts pilgrims all year round. Apart from its religious significance, Pushkar is known for its Cattle and Camel fair held every year in the month of Kartik (October/November), which attracts visitors in their thousands. You can also witness and participate in the evening prayer meetings in the temples. Being a religious town, alcohol and non-vegetarian food are taboo.Overnight at hotel.
- Day 10: Pushkar - Jaipur
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will explore the city mainly visiting the Pushkar Lake Ghats and the Bramha Temple, which is one of its kind left In India today.
Later your will be driven from Pushkar to Jaipur (170 Kms/04 Hours). Upon arrival proceed for check in at your hotel.
Rajasthan’s kingdoms are an enduring legacy to India’s history. A land endowed with invincible forts, magnificent palaces ad waves of sand dunes and serene lakes. No other region in the country assembles the many paradoxes of India, as does the desert land of Rajasthan. By far it is the most colourful region in India.
Jaipur's past is never too far from hand. The city of victory, Jaipur presides over the fascinating desert state and its people: surrounded by rugged hills, each crowned by a formidable fort; and beautiful palaces, mansions and gardens dotted throughout its precincts. The palaces and forts of yesteryear that were witness to royal processions and splendour are now living monuments, accepted quite naturally into the lifestyles of the people of the "pink city". Except for the busy traffic of bicycles, cars and buses, little seems to have changed. There is a timeless quality to Jaipur's bazaars and its people. With its historical past, Jaipur revives legends of the ancient Rajputs. The dresses of the women and the turbans of the men add colour to this fascinating city.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day: 11 Jaipur
After buffet breakfast, you will proceed for city of Jaipur.
Morning you will be driven just outside Jaipur to the ancient capital of Amber to see the fabulous Amber Fort. Maharaja Mansingh, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s most successful General, started the construction of Amber Fort in the 17th century. Before the City Palace was constructed in Jaipur, Amber was the seat of power. The fort is surrounded by fortified battlements and overlooks the Moat Lake. Ruins and remains are spread over the Aravalli hills and sprawling crenulated walls lattice the surrounding area.
An elephant will spare you the trouble of reaching up to the fortress. Once on top, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls. Many of the rooms have delightful wall paintings, with precious stones and mirrors inlaid in the walls. Most fascinating, perhaps, is the Sheesh Mahal (hall of mirrors) where a single lamplight is reflected in the many mirrors, lighting up the room. En-route to Amber you will stop and see the `Palace of Winds’, otherwise known as Hawa Mahal. It is really an elaborate facade behind which the ladies of the court used to watch the daily goings on in the street below. It is extremely intricate in its pink sandstone carving. The cool wind blows through its facade of windows and latticed screens through which the queens of the court once viewed the streets of the city.
Afternoon proceed to visit the City Palace, which is an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways. The palace museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armoury, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings.
Jaipur's Jantar Mantar is the most famous of five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh in India. Jai Singh was a great admirer of progresses and research made in the fields of science and technology, but he was passionate about astronomy. There is a very interesting story behind the construction of this observatory, considered as the largest stone observatory in the world. Sawai Jai Singh sent his emissaries to all parts of the world before commencing the construction of this observatory. The emissaries returned with many manuals on astronomy containing cutting-edge technological information. One of these manuals was a copy of La Hire's "Tables". The king ordered the observatory to be built according to the details contained in this manual. When the construction ended, for the astonishment of the king and others, the observatory was 20 seconds more accurate than the one mentioned in "Table.Return to your hotel after the sightseeing tour. Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 12: Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra
After buffet breakfast at the hotel, you will be driven from Jaipur to Agra (240 KMS / 7 hours) en-route visiting Fatehpur Sikri, the deserted red sandstone city, built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century. It was abandoned soon after it was built when the local wells went dry and it remains today in much the Same condition that it was over 300 years ago. It is complete with palaces and mosques and used to be a town larger than London when it was originally constructed. Now it is an extraordinary place to wander around with its buildings in near perfect condition.
After your visit, continue your drive to Agra and upon arrival, proceed for check-in at your hotel.
Agra in terms of ambiance is still associated with its Mughal period. The Mughals besides being great rulers were also great builders and they preserved their best architectural wonders for Agra & its neighbourhood. It has many wonderful monuments and the Taj Mahal, the greatest of them all, is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture at its best. The massive but elegant Agra Fort, the delicate artistry of Itimad-ud-daulah’s tomb, the magnificent Taj and Akbar’s deserted capital, Fatehpur Sikri, are each unique and outstanding. Their architectural genius can also be seen in the forts, palaces and aesthetically laid out gardens - each one a silent witness to a grand style of a golden era.Overnight at the hotel.
- Day 13: Agra - Delhi
Today early in the morning you will proceed for a sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays). Midway Tonga’s “horse carriages” would be waiting for you and will drop you at the gates of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is everything that has been said about it and more. Taking 22 years and 20,000 men to build, the white marble was quarried 200 miles away and was transported to the site by a fleet of 1000 elephants. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, in mid 17th century, the Taj Mahal is truly one of the wonders of the world. Though the Taj appears to be amazingly perfect from almost any angle, it is the close-up marble inlay work, which is really astounding. You will have ample time to view and be mesmerized by this outstanding piece of architecture.
Come back to your hotel after your visit for buffet breakfast.
After buffet breakfast in the hotel you will visit the Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture. Agra Fort - the seat and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. This was the seat of Mughal rule and administration and the present structure owes its origins to Akbar who erected the walls and gates and the first buildings on the eastern banks of Yamuna River. Shah Jehan added the impressive quarters and the mosque while Aurangzeb added the outer ramparts. Visit its Hall of Public Audience and its Royal Pavilions.
Afternoon you will be driven to Delhi (204 KMS / 4.30 Hours).Upon arrival proceed to international airport to board FLIGHT for onward destination.
- Day 14: Depart Delhi