Rajasthan - Land of the Maharajahs

Udaipur / Vic Johnson
Local children, Jodhpur / Kieran D. Murray
Sorting chillies
Rajasthani boy,Jodhpur / Kieran D. Murray
Sadhu, Jaisalmer / Kieran D. Murray
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates
  • Explore!

On this memorable journey we trace the old camel caravan routes through Rajasthan, discovering magnificent forts, ornate temples and market towns. We travel to the ancient 'Golden City' of Jaisalmer, visit the hilltop Amber Fort overlooking the 'Pink City' of Jaipur and watch the sunrise over the incredible Taj Mahal.

Highlights
Delhi - Take a rickshaw through the winding streets of Old Delhi
Agra - Visit the magnificent Taj Mahal at sunrise
Jaipur - Test the accuracy of the sun dials at the observatory
Bikaner - Explore the colourful bazaar in this ancient trade centre
Jodhpur -Discover the majestic Mehrangarh Fort
Udaipur - Relax in this historic city set on the banks of Lake Pichola.
Destinations
  • Red Fort
  • Asia
  • India
  • Delhi
  • Agra
  • Jaipur
  • Bikaner
  • Jaisalmer
  • Jodhpur
  • Udaipur
Tour Types
  • Adventure
  • Active
  • Small Group
  • Cultural
  • Scenic
  • History
Day 1: Join tour in Delhi. Explore New Delhi's Qutub Minar
On arrival in Delhi we check in to our hotel and have time to freshen up. This afternoon we go on a city tour and see the main sights of New Delhi, which include the President's Palace, Lok Sabha (Parliament), India Gate, Qutab Minar and Humayan's Tomb.

Day 2: Explore Old Delhi's narrow streets. Drive to Agra
This morning we explore the narrow streets of Old Delhi. We take to cycle rickshaws to explore the winding lanes of Chandni Chowk bazaar, a sprawling market where you can buy almost anything you need from household wares to souvenirs. We view the Red Fort from the outside before leaving the capital and driving to Agra. Our journey to Agra takes approximately 4 hours.

Day 3: Watch the sun rise over the beautiful Taj Mahal
An early start this morning to one of the world's most famous buildings, the magnificent Taj Mahal. Over 300 years have elapsed since its construction, yet it stands today unscarred by age, its beauty and symmetry seemingly beyond man, time and space. Created by Shah Jahan as a funerary monument to his favourite wife, Mumtaz, it took 22 years to build (1630-52). The Great Moghul lies beside his beloved under the white marble dome. Inlaid with precious gems, the building cost a fortune and later Shah Jahan moved his capital to Delhi before being overthrown by his son, Aurangzeb. Later in the day we visit Agra Fort, built by Akbar the Great, which contains the Moti Mosque, a beautiful building decorated with pearls and the Itimad-ud-daula, more commonly known as the Baby Taj.

Day 4: Visit deserted Fatehpur Sikri en route to Jaipur
After breakfast we leave Agra and begin our drive to Jaipur. Along the way we stop and visit the deserted city of Fatephur Sikri. Founded in 1569 and abandoned just 16 years later, it is a perfectly intact example of Akbar's imperial court. Among the many noteworthy buildings is the 5-storied Panch Mahal, probably a pleasure pavilion for the ladies of the harem. In the centre of the courtyard is the Pachisi Board where the emperor played a game of chess with dancing girls as pieces. Perhaps the finest structure of all is the lotus shaped carved central pillar of the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), its extraordinary capital supporting a vaulted roof. We continue on to Jaipur where we have time to relax on arrival.

Day 5: View the famous facade of the Palace of the Winds
Sometimes called the Pink City, Jaipur was first painted terracotta pink by Maharajab Sawai Ram Singh to celebrate the visit of Prince Albert in 1853. In the morning we head to the outskirts of the city and visit the dramatic Amber Fort, perched high on a hillside with impressive views back down to the city. We will make a stop on the journey to view the ornate facade of the Palace of the Winds, built to allow the ladies of the harem an opportunity to look out over the city. This afternoon we will visit the lavish and well preserved City Palace with its fine collection of textiles, costumes and armoury. Jai Singh, the great Maharajah-astronomer, built his extraordinary (and very accurate) star gazing observatory (Jantra) here. We will get an opportunity to visit the observatory and also the Old City with its fine gates set in to the pink walls.

Day 6: Travel to Bikaner and visit Junagarh Fort
This morning we leave Jaipur and drive to the desert city of Bikaner. Situated directly on the ancient camel caravan routes that came from Africa and West Asia, Bikaner was once a great trading centre. Its colourful bazaars and buildings of reddish-pink sandstone still suggest its ancient wealth. we take a tour to the Junagarh Fort built by Raja Rai Singh (1571-1611) which is distinguished by its high defensive light red sandstone walls. The well preserved palaces within the fort area are noted for their fine stone carvings. Bikaner still remains a defensive town, and was the home of the famous Camel Corps. We will also take the opportunity to visit the Old town and Bhandasar Jain Temple.

Day 7: Drive to the golden city of Jaisalmer
Today we make our way to Jaisalmer. The city is set in the vast Thar Desert and today still retains much of the medieval atmosphere as camel carts pass through the narrow streets alongside rickshaws. The fort is a lively hub of activity, with shops and restaurants, and well worth a wander through. The city is famous for handicrafts in particular stone carvings, leather ware and brass items and the bazaars are packed with stalls offering almost everything you can imagine.

Day 8: Explore Jaisalmer's Fort and Jain Temple
After breakfast we will explore Jaisalmer on foot visiting the Gadi Sagar Tank, Jaisalmer Folklore Museum. We will also visit the fort and some of the many elaborately carved Jain Temples and havelis including the Patwon-ki Haveli considered to be the finest in Jaisalmer.

Day 9: Transfer To Jodphur
This morning we drive to Jodhpur, where the impregnable fortress commands a superb panorama of the surrounding countryside (approximately 6 hours). The city itself has a unique atmosphere, with many fine old buildings and temples. Jodhpurs, those trousers-cum- riding breeches, are named after the horsemen of this city. Arriving mid-afternoon, the rest of the day is free to wander the atmospheric streets of the Old City.

Day 10: Discover the dramatic Mehrangarh Fort
The majestic Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur is built across the top of a steep escarpment 125m above the plains below. It has a huge, sheer drop to the south where it overlooks the city. Our visit this morning affords wonderful views, not only across Jodhpur, but also way into the distance across the surrounding desert plains. The Rajput palace buildings within the fort are typically Mughal - very ornate and flamboyant, but also very practical and as always, built with defence in mind. This afternoon there is the chance to make an optional visit to some nearby Bishnoi villages. The Bishnoi are renowned for their protection of wild animals and trees.

Day 11: Visit Ranakpur Temple on the way to Ghanerao
Our morning's drive takes us on to the temple town of Ranakpur, one of Rajasthan's gems (approximately 4 hours). Little visited, it is home to some of the most beautifully sculpted Jain Temples in India. Situated in a wooded valley the temples date back to the 15th century with the carvings depicting scenes from the lives of the Jain Saints at that time. We visit the Adinath temple, which contains 1444 exquisitely carved pillars, with no two alike. Continuing we then drive to Ghanerao (approximately 1 hour) where we will spend the night.

Day 12: Explore Kumbhalgarh Fort en route to Udaipur
This morning we drive to visit Kumbhalgarh's imposing 15th century fort - one of the finest examples of defensive architecture in Rajasthan. Lying 1,100m above sea level, the fortified ramparts protected palaces, temples and even farms, ensuring that the complex was self contained and able to withstand a long siege. After lunch we drive to the beautiful lakeside city of Udaipur where we spend the next two nights. The city is dominated by Lake Pichola, its island palace (now a hotel) and Jag Mandir Island. Here the future Shah Jahan sought sanctuary from his father after he had been found guilty of plotting against him.

Day 13: Take a boat on peaceful Lake Pichola
Our first stop today is the City Palace, located next to the Lake this huge Palace offers an insight in to the opulent life of the Maharajahs. We will also visit the Jagdish Mandir, a large ornately carved Hindu Temple set in the middle of the old town. In the late afternoon we will take a sunset cruise on the lake. At some times of the year the level of the water in the lake may drop or even, after a poor monsoon, dry up completely.

Day 14: Tour ends in Udaipur
Our tour ends this morning after breakfast.

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
12-Oct-2019 for 13 Nights Visit Website
12-Oct-2019 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
19-Oct-2019 for 13 Nights Visit Website
19-Oct-2019 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
31-Oct-2019 for 15 Nights Visit Website
31-Oct-2019 for 15 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
14-Dec-2019 for 13 Nights Visit Website
14-Dec-2019 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
11-Jan-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
11-Jan-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
18-Jan-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
18-Jan-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
15-Feb-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
15-Feb-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
22-Feb-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
22-Feb-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
14-Mar-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
14-Mar-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
10-Oct-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
10-Oct-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
24-Oct-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
24-Oct-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
07-Nov-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
07-Nov-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
14-Nov-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
14-Nov-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
19-Nov-2020 for 15 Nights Visit Website
19-Nov-2020 for 15 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
28-Nov-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
28-Nov-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
20-Dec-2020 for 13 Nights Visit Website
20-Dec-2020 for 13 Nights Flight Included Visit Website

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Group Size:0 - 18
Suitable For: Adult
Accommodation:Premium
Difficulty:Full On
Meals:Breakfast: 13 Lunch: 4 Dinner: 5
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