India: Splendid Rajasthan Tour
Our Itineraries are provided as a preview of what to expect on our tours. Please, note, that itineraries are subject to change.
Upon arrival in Delhi, you will be met by one of our representatives to be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is open at leisure.
Following breakfast, you will go on a combined sightseeing tour of Delhi. The tour will be commencing in Old Delhi before driving to a photo stop at Red Fort, a huge settlement that contains within it some very beautiful palaces and public buildings. You will visit Jamma Masjid, one of the largest mosques that are still a house of worship for devout Muslims. The tour continues onto Raj Ghat, Shanti Vana – the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru our first Prime Minister of India. You will proceed your day with a New Delhi tour riding past the India Gate, a memorial raised in honor of the Indian soldiers who were martyred during the Afghan War. Rashtrapati Bhawan, once the imperial residence of the British Viceroys, it is now the official residence of the President of India Parliament House, a circular building that is a symbol of Indian democracy. You will also visit Qutub Minar, the 11th-century victory tower, which is the tallest stone tower in India.
After breakfast, you will be taken to Agra. Upon arrival, you will check in for your stay. Agra - Once a small village on the banks of the Yamuna, it was transformed by two great Mughal monarchs, Akbar and his grandson, Shah Jehan, into the second capital of the Mughal Empire – Dar-ul-Khilafat, during the 16th and 17th centuries. A world of contrasting edifices of red sandstone and white marble, narrow galleys, bustling streets, and small buggies, Agra retains the irresistible charm that made this the favorite city of the Mughals. In the afternoon, take a guided tour of Agra Fort - the seat and the stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. Approachable by two imposing gates and constructed of red sandstone, the citadel was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar from 1565 to 1573. Encircled by a moat, this dramatic city within a city was the palace of three emperors, Akbar, Shah Jehan, and Aurangzeb, each of whom made significant contributions to the wonderful architecture of the inner buildings – a combination of Persian (Islamic) and local Hindu styles. Later, you will visit the magnificent Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays). It is fitting to see this extraordinary monument by the first light of day as its exemplary beauty is awe-inspiring and will create an unforgettable memory. Said to be one of the most elegant and harmonious buildings in the world, Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in 1630 A.D. to enshrine the mortal remains of his beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal manifests the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in architecture and garden design, painting, and calligraphy. The 144-foot double dome of the Taj is capped with a finial and the four minarets each 131 ft. high and crowned by an open octagonal pavilion highlight the perfect symmetry of the tomb.
Begin your morning with breakfast at your hotel before heading to Ranthambore. On the way, you will visit Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri is a fort palace that was once the capital of the Mughal Empire and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. The deserted red sandstone city, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture was built by the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the late 16th century and abandoned after 15 years due to the scarcity of water. Continue riding to Ranthambore. Once arriving in Ranthambore, you will check-in into your hotel. The rest of your evening will be at leisure.
Early in the morning, you will enjoy a game drive in the park. Ranthambore is considered by many to be one of India’s most beautiful national parks. Encircled by a series of high escarpments, the forests, lakes, and dry scrub that make up the park are dotted with old forts and temples, creating a wonderful atmosphere for both bird and mammal viewing amongst a landscape oozing with ancient Rajput history and Rajasthani culture. Ranthambore is perhaps most famous for being one of the original “Project Tiger” reserves and it still is one of the best opportunities anywhere in India of seeing a tiger. With the recent escalation in poaching right across the sub-continent, there has been a worrying decline in both numbers and sightings of this magnificent animal. Today, tiger sightings in the park are increasing and even though the animal itself is still under serious threat, you will have a good chance of spotting one. After driving around the park for a few hours, you will return to the resort for a late breakfast. Whether or not you see the tigers, you cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer variety of other mammals and birds that make the park their home. Gray langurs are abundant, as well as chitals and Sambar deer. The latter often feed so far out into the lakes that only their heads show above the water. Nilgai (the largest of India's antelopes) are also fairly common and Barking deer do appear, although they are somewhat harder to find. In the afternoon, you will go on a game drive in the park to explore the wildlife.
Following breakfast, you will head to Bundi. Upon arrival, you will check in for your stay. Bundi was the capital of a major Rajput princely state. Today, it is a picturesque little town whose medieval atmosphere remains. The town’s legacy is well preserved in the shape of the massive Taragarh Fort, which broods over the town in the narrow valley below, and the huge palace beneath it. In the afternoon, you will head on a guided tour of Taragarh Fort. Taragarh Fort stands in somber contrast to the town and lakes below. Inside are huge reservoirs carved from solid rock and famous cannon. You will then visit the palace complex below, with its spy-holes, secret trapdoors, and underground passages. In the Chitrashala, you can see the famous Bundi murals depicting scenes from the life of Lord Krishna. You will also see the ingenious water supply system based on step wells and tanks.
Following breakfast, you will take a tour of the city visiting the City Palace, which stands on the crest of a ridge overlooking Lake Pichola. The largest palace in Rajasthan, it was built at various periods but still preserves the harmony of design, enhanced by massive octagonal towers surmounted by cupolas. Now a museum, it is a labyrinth of courtyards richly decorated with inlaid mirror-work, galleries covered with frescos, temples and roof gardens, which afford a wide panorama below. Later, you will visit Jagdish Temple in the old town, famous for the remarkable bronze statue of Garuda, the mythical bird, facing his revered master Lord Vishnu. You will continue the visit to the Sahelion-ki-Bari (Garden of the Handmaidens), a good example of the Hindu art of landscape gardening on a princely scale. Ornamental pools with finely sculptured cenotaphs of soft black stone are surrounded by a profusion of fountains. Towards the evening, enjoy a motor launch cruise on the placid waters of Lake Pichola. The beautiful Lake Pichola was enlarged by MaharanaUdai Singh after he founded the city. The city palace extends a considerable distance along the east bank of the lake. From the boat, you will be able to view the city of Udaipur as it rises majestically above the lake in the middle of the Rajasthan desert. You will also visit the Jag Mandir Palace - a lovely island palace in the middle of the lake.
In the morning, you will head to Jodhpur. On the way, you will visit the Ranakpur Temples. Ranakpur is one of the five important pilgrim centers for the Jain community. The whole, including the extraordinary array of 1,144 pillars each distinct in design, carved ceilings, and arches decorated with friezes depicting scenes from the lives of the Jain saints, is fascinating. Continue drive to Jodhpur and on arrival check in for your stay. Jodhpur looks out over the desert to the West and the massive fort, topping a sheer rocky hill, which rises right in the middle of the town, totally dominating the city. The old city of Jodhpur is surrounded by a wall 10kilometers 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 with a 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.
After breakfast, you will head for a guided city tour. You will visit the massive Mehrangarh Fort, the most impressive fortress in Rajasthan. The 5 kilometer long ramparts of the fort, perched on a 125-meter high rocky cliff in the middle of the city, has four gates which can be approached by a winding road. The fort offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Inside the fort, one can see magnificent palaces adorned with intricately carved panels and latticed windows. The palaces have evocative names, like Moti-Mahal, Phool-Mahal, Sheesh-Mahal, Sileh-Khana, and Daulat-Khana. To match their character, these palaces house a fabulous collection of trappings of Indian royalty - Palanquins, Elephant Howdahs, miniature paintings of various schools, music instruments, costumes, and furniture. Later on, you will visit the Jaswant Thada Memorial - this cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in 1899 A.D. in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and also houses the portraits of various kings who ruled Jodhpur in the past. In the evening, you will visit the Clock Tower Market. In the old city, the market is a prominent landmark. However, the main attraction is the Sadar Market. The market has kept alive the old 'haat bazaar' culture. Sadar Market is a lively, bustling, colorful market which runs from Sojati Gate to the Clock Tower (which is late 19th century). In the distance, you can see the vast bulk of the Meherangarh Fort which dominates the skyline for miles around. The colorful markets with tiny shops dotting the narrow lanes are situated in the heart of the city and are popular for a wide range of handicrafts, making them the favorite haunt of shoppers. Though Jodhpur continues to be a leading center of wool, cattle, camel, and salt, you will also find traditional jewelry, mojris slippers, famous riding breeches, and colorful hand-printed cotton fabrics that are the fame of Jodhpur. Pretty much anything can be bought in the Sadar Bazaar but the area around the clock tower specializes in spices.
Following breakfast, you will head to Udaipur. Upon arrival, you will check in at your hotel for your stay. Jaipur – the capital of Rajasthan province is known for its arts and crafts, jewelry, hand-painted fabrics, and stone sculptures; it is one of North India’s finest examples of a planned city embodying the best of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Your evening will be open at leisure.
After an early breakfast, you will start on an excursion to Amber Fort. Jaipur’s Maharaja Man Singh started constructing 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. Once you are on top, you will 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. Later, you will visit Jantar Mantar, an observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh ll in the 18th century. The Maharajah, a scientist as well as an astronomer, had the principles of Euclid translated into Sanskrit. One of the most remarkable sites in Jaipur, the Jantar Mantar has fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses and tracking stars and planets. You will continue to the City Palace built within the fortified area of the original city, with one of the finest monumental entrances in India. The palace is now principally a museum housing a collection of great treasures, including miniature paintings, carpets, royal garments and other interesting objects from Jaipur's intriguing past. The former royal family retains a part of the palace for their personal use. In the evening, you will experience the fantastic local market walk. On this walk, you will get the opportunity to mingle and talk with the locals whilst observing some of the regions culinary delights: pakoras, aloo tiki, samosa, and sweets from some of the city’s most popular street food vendors. Observe local artisans in their workshops, jewelers, and silversmiths, gold and silver foil makers. The iconic Hawa Mahal also called the Palace of the Winds is the meeting point at which this two and a half hour walk begins. Here, you also have the option of seeing and trying the art of Henna painting.
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to board flight for Delhi. When you arrive in the airport, you will head home for your connecting your onward flight for onward destination.
• Meet & greet at airport
• Arrival and departure transfers
• 2 nights in Delhi at Pride Plaza Aerocity Hotel or similar
• 1 night in Agra at Crystal Sarovar or similar
• 2 nights in Ranthambore at Ranthambore Regency or similar
• 1 night in Bundi at Hadoti Palace or similar
• 2 nights in Udaipur at Justa Rajputana Resort or similar
• 2 nights in Jodhpur at Ranbanka Palace or similar
• 2 nights in Jaipur at Holiday Inn City Center or similar
• 16 meals: 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners
• Rickshaw ride at Old Delhi
• Tonga ride in Agra
• Two jungle safaris to Ranthambore National park by shared canters
• Boat ride on Lake Pichola
• Elephant ride at Amber Fort
• Transportation services
• Services of English speaking local guides during sightseeing tours
• Entrance fees to the places of visit as per the itinerary
• Any room service, telephone charges, mini bar, gratuities, or tips
• Personal expenses
• Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Useful info about our trips