This tour showcases the vibrance of Rajasthan, India’s cultural capital. The vivacious people of Jaipur, the deserts of Jaisalmer, the architectural beauty of Jodhpur and the calm lake city of Udaipur are just a few highlights that Rajasthan has to offer for the real travel connoisseur. The tour proposes an immersion in Indian culture and history with the visit of Delhi, the buzzing capital of India; and Agra, the old Indian capital containing the symbol of eternal love, the Taj Mahal. Guests will have the opportunity to visit the Brahma Temple, visited by pilgrims, holy men and sages after a ceremonial sacred bath in the Pushkar lake. Don’t miss the Crystal gallery at the Fateh Prakash Palace Hotel and the Rickshaw ride in old Delhi. This classical program is truly a treat for the eyes as you drive through the myriad landscape of north India.
Meet and assistance on arrival and transfer to hotel. A morning visit to the 7th city of Delhi, Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi), built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan after he shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi. Then a visit to the 17th century imposing red fort, the Jama Masjid, made of red sandstone and white marble. It is India’s largest mosque where more than 20,000 people can kneel in prayer. Next a visit to Raj Ghat on the banks of the river Yamuna, to see Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial. In the afternoon there is a sightseeing tour of New Delhi. This tour includes a visit to the mausoleum of emperor Humayun, a drive past the India Gate (war memorial dedicated to the lives of laid down by the Indian soldiers), the president’s residence - formerly the Viceroy’s Palace, parliament House and the Secretariat buildings which are an interesting blend of Victorian and 20th century architecture.
Morning depart by motor coach for Mandawa on arrival check-in at hotel. The beautiful small town Mandawa, known throughout the state for its forts and havelis. Mandawa is situated in the north Indian state of Rajasthan around 190 km off Jaipur, the state capital. The compact and busy little market town of Mandawa was settled and fortified in the 18th century by the dominant merchant families of the region. The wealthy businessmen of the village constructed many havelis and baolis with coloured painting adorning their walls. Later on with the migration of the merchant families the old settlements remained in total obscurity with no one to look after them. Despite the neglect of the visual and architectural extravaganzas, their attraction did not fade and today they are the major attractions for the tourists visiting Rajasthan.
Breakfast at the hotel. Later drive by motor coach to Bikaner. On arrival in Bikaner check in at hotel. Afternoon sightseeing of Bikaner to see the imposing walls of the 16th century old palaces, temples and mosque. The tour will include a visit to see the two life-like effigies of elephants that flank the façade of the entrance to the fort and royal chapel in Har Mandir where royal weddings and births were once celebrated.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning departure by coach for Jaisalmer with an en-route visit to the Deshnoke Temple. The 600 year old temple is dedicated to Karni Mata. It plays host to thousands of rats. The rats are considered sacred and worshipped. The temple displays huge intricate carved silver gates donated by Maharaja Ganga Singh. The tour then continues to Jaisalmer. On arrival check-in at the hotel. The Jaisalmer visit is across the hot barren desert and the magical city shimmers like a mirage. The golden sandstone town walls and narrow streets lined with exquisitely carved buildings, through which camel carts trudge leisurely, has an extraordinarily medieval feel.
Breakfast at the hotel. A morning visit to the various havelis known for the silavats (Stone carvers) of Jaisalmer. Among the famous havelis is the Patwon ki haveli (House of the Brocade Merchants) Nathmalji ki haveli (The Mansion of Nathmalji), and the Salim Singh haveli. The tour continues through Jaisalmer’s narrow lanes to visit the small silversmith shops and the stalls selling leather craft goods. Then the tour continues up to the Citadel to witness the spell bounding experience of the desert sunset. After which the tour will continue on for a late afternoon visit to Khuri village to enjoy shifting sand dunes, beautiful sunsets and a camel ride in the desert.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning departure by coach to Jodhpur. Jodhpur is at the edge of the Thar desert and is the second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. Among Rajasthan’s many princely settlements, Jodhpur is one of the most distinctive. This five hundred year old settlement was the location of the Rathore Rajputs’ celebrations and their tales of daring. The visit will then proceed onwards to the Jaswant Thada, an imposing marble cenotaph built in 1899 for Maharajah Jaswant Singh II and smaller memorials to other Maharajahs of Jodhpur. On arrival in Jodhpur check in at hotel and an afternoon visit to the Mehrangarh Fort and Jaswant Thada.
Breakfast at the hotel. A morning start with a drive to Udaipur. The drive has an en-route visit to Ranakpur. The visit to Ranakpur includes the wonderful 3 temples of the Jain sect and the unforgettable main temple dedicated to Adinatha the first Tirthankar in 1439. It is one of the five holy Jain pilgrimage centres, and has one of the best temple complexes. On arrival in Udaipur, check in at the Hotel. Udaipur lies in the Girwa valley amidst the Aravali hills of south Rajasthan. It is considered a romantic city - with its lakes, gardens, temples and palaces - an Oasis in the Thar desert.
After breakfast a visit to the City Palace, once entirely the home of Mewar’s rulers, but now it is mostly a museum. The City Palace consists of four major and several minor palaces forming a single breathtaking facade overlooking the Pichola lake. The visit includes the Jagdish Mandir which is closed by the main gate of City Palace and dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Sahelion ki Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honor) and the Bharatiya lok kala Mandal. In the afternoon the tour takes a boat cruise on Lake Pichola. Lake Pichola is surrounded by splendid hills, palace temples, bathing ghats and embankments.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning departure by coach to Pushkar on arrival check-in at Hotel. Then a late afternoon visit to Pushkar town, the beautiful Pushkar Lake with many bathing ghats and Brahma Temple.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning drive to Jaipur on arrival check-in at the hotel. An afternoon tour of Jaipur begins. Visit the ancient colonial capital, with the pink washed walls, a traditional colour of welcome in 1853 in honour of the visit of Prince Albert. The visit also includes the City Palace that now houses the Royal residence and museums with collections of textiles, costumes, armoury, manuscripts and paintings. Free evening for leisure.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning excursion trip to Amber Fort by Jeep. En-route will be a photo stop at the Palace of Winds, the Hawa Mahal. The palace is a five-storey-building with 25cm thick facade from the 18th century with 953 windows so the ladies of royal family could see the processions and events in the city without being visible to the people. Arrival to Amber Fort for a day free for relaxation or independent activities.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning departure by coach to Agra. The tour stops en-route for a visit to Fatehpur Sikri. After visiting Fatehpur Sikri the tour continues onto Agra. On arrival, check-in at hotel. A visit to the Mughals, a building endowed with some of the loveliest buildings in the world. Later in the afternoon a visit to the Agra Fort, built alongside the Yamuna river stretching almost 2.5 km. The fort contains splendid palaces both in red sandstone and white marble built by two generations of prolific builders, Akbar and later on by Jahangir and Shahjahan.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning visit to the Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. Taj Mahal means “Crown Palace” and is in fact the most well preserved and architecturally beautiful tomb in the world. The dome is made of white marble and the majestic river plain’s reflection of colours that change the view of the Taj, the colours change at different hours of the day and during different seasons. Like a jewel, the Taj sparkles in moonlight when the semi-precious stones inlaid into the white marble on the main mausoleum catch the glow of the moon. The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These changes are said to depict the different moods of woman. Later after the tour, depart by coach for Delhi and upon arrival check-in at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel and then transfer to airport.