Duration of Tour : 14 days
Destinations Covered : Delhi, Udaipur, Ranakpur, Kumbalgarh Sardargarh, Rohetgarh, Manvar, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra
Day 01: New Delhi
Late night arrive in New Delhi. Meeting and assistance upon arrival, our representative will transfers you to your hotel and hand over the travel documents to you.
Day 02: New Delhi
After a leisurely breakfast, we proceed on a guided tour of New Delhi, Visiting such sights as, Humayun’s Tomb (1586), the Qutab Minar 72 meters high and one of the most perfect towers in the Persian world. The Iron Pillar which has survived the vagaries of weather for over 1500 years. Continue with a drive through Embassy area, the Government buildings (1921-1930) and Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital. Later we cross the city and into the walled gates of the Old city with visits to the Jamma Mosque (1650) and drive through the fabled area of Chandni Chowk (aptly translates to Moonlight Square) where the throngs of shoppers and vendors meet in the oldest area of Delhi. Visit the Red Fort (1639-1648 built by Shah Jehan the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra) to view the inlaid and carved Royal Chambers, on to Raj Ghat and nearby ghats where the founder of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi and thereafter Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were cremated. The highlight of this tour would be a ride on cycle rickshaws. Now these are 3-wheel cycles with a sofa seat at the back. Evening, enjoy a fat dinner at your hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 03: Udaipur
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board your flight to Udaipur. Arrive Udaipur. Meeting and assistance upon arrival & transfer to a palace hotel. Udaipur “The City of sunrise”. Founded in 1567 by Maharana Udai Singh, from the lineage of the legendary Sisodias of Mewar - the decedents of the sun God. A city where the sun truly never set, where tradition and a strict code of heroism were happily united with a love of fine living. A city that has come to be an oasis of romance in the warrior state of Rajasthan.
Evening enjoy a boat cruise on the serene and beautiful Lake Pichola. The island palace on the Lake called Jagmandir Palace is quite fascinating. The Palace provided inspirations and ideas to the builder of the Taj Mahal. The banks of the lake provide interesting glimpses of the daily bathing and the laundry that takes place here. Looking across the lake, with the city and its great palace rising up behind the island palace, is a scene of rare beauty.
Day 04: Udaipur
Visit the City Palace, a marble complex of palaces and galleries that offers unforgettable views of the lake and its surroundings. Visit the Crystal Gallery in Fateh Prakesh Palace, and stroll through Sahelion Ki Bari (Garden of the Maids of Honor). Following an afternoon at leisure, enjoy a private cruise to Jag Mandir, a palace of splendidly carved marble on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola. Later, attend a candlelit performance of Indian folk dancing.
Day 05: Udaipur / Ranakpur / Kumbalgarh
Following breakfast drive to Kumbalgarh. Enroute we visit Ranakpur. The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built during the reign of the liberal and gifted monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The basement is of 48, 000 sq. feet area that covers the whole complex. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty-four pillared halls and eligibly domes supported by over four hundred columns. The total number of columns is 1,444 all of which are intricately carved with no two being alike. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an engrossing sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 kg whose sound echoes in the entire complex. The main temple is of Chaumukh or four-faces temple dedicated to Adinath. After the tour of Ranakpur Jain Temples we continue our ride to Kumbalgarh. We would have photo stop several times as we walk through the countryside as well as interact with primitive tribals. Upon arrival we check into the fine Aodhi Lodge - a property of the Royal family of Udaipur. Afternoon, we explore the beautifully preserved and one of the most majestic forts of India. 13 mountain peaks surround the impregnable fortress of Kumbalgarh (54 Kms) at a height of 3281 ft. Seven towering gateways pierce the massive walls of this prominent fortress of Mewar. The young Udai Singh founder of Udaipur took shelter here from his treacherous uncles. These impregnable walls dotted with cannonballs defeated Emperor Akbar.
Day 06: Sardargarh
After breakfast we will drive to Sardargarh. Upon arrival in Sardargarh, check in to Sardargarh heritage hotel, one of the magnificent forts of Rajasthan. It is an extravagant creation by men of a bygone era Situated amidst the mountains and deep forests of Chuppun, the 250 year old fortress can be seen from far as it dominates the landscape. The Mahal (Palace) of the Ravala (Fort) with 21 suites, are today part of the Sardargarh Heritage Hotel. Each suite here has its own ethnic decor. Though all modern comforts that discerning western tourists seek are provided, but, as far as possible, the authentic elements of the Fort have been retained in the Hotel, thus recreating the romance and nostalgia of the era when the powers of the maharaja were at its zenith. SUGGESTED OPTIONAL ACTIVITY Evening, Night Safari at Sardargarh.
Day 07: Sardargarh
Optional Yoga classes are available under trained instructors. This can be booked directly at the resort the previous day. The class would be for 1 hour and conducted on the terrace of the Fort’s ramparts with great views overlooking for miles the primitive countryside. Popular asanas (Yogic positions) would be taught. Following breakfast we embark upon a unique experience – a 44 km train ride between two villages. We will go native today, and travel with the villagers through exceedingly fascinating countryside and landscapes. The track passes through a breath taking scenery of Ravli Sanctuary, with 100 feet high bridges, two long tunnels, waterfalls, thick jungle, and above all an unchanged ambience of a bygone era. The track is cut on a cliff side and one comes down by almost one thousand feet. All along one can only appreciate the Herculean effort by the engineers in 1928. The safety devices are most amusing. At one place the driver has to get down physically to change the track (when gong down). We ride on a meter gauge local train, having wooden sleepers, accompanying villagers traveling to Marwar. One travels through a ghat section and descends 1200 feet to Phulad Railway Station. Enroute we stop at GoramGhat flag station where monkeys descend from nabouring scrub jungle to feed on articles given by the villages. Your car awaits you at Phulad 19 Km away that brings you back to Sardargarh. We do have a bit of a leisure time upon our return, but, this may not be so. For people with culinary inclination, special cooking classes can be arranged. Here, we would start from the basic and the experience would commence with your visiting the local bazaar to buy your green grocery, and the chicken (if you wish). Return back to the hotel for leasurly Rajasthani dinner - “Bon Appétit”. SUGGESTED OPTIONAL ACTIVITY Evening, village safari at Sardargarh.
Day 08: Rohetgarh
After breakfast drive to Rohet. Upon arrival check in to the Rohetgarh Fort. At Rohet, one is transported in to a world of the past, a world of honour and of chivalry, of glory and of pride; a world of vibrant colours and spectacular magnificence. Past centuries come to life at the historic boundary walls of Rohet- the 16th century fortified deserted home of a Rajput clan. Within the precincts of these time weathered walls is our hotel, the impressive Rohetgarh Fort- a bastion of proud Rajput traditions bathed in the ambience of unmistakable Rajasthani culture where one can, even today experience the famed warm and courteous Rajput hospitality. Frescoes on the tall gateway, brightly painted in the traditional style, using traditional motifs and colour schemes herald your entry to this charmed world the bygone era. The gateway leads to a compound where a profusion of flowers frame the archways in welcome. The portico is a warm and informal place decorated with the artifacts and trophies of many years. Exquisitely carved furniture, delicate hand block prints, original paintings and photographs decorate your rooms, which though redolent with the romance of a bygone era, provide all the modern amenities. Antique hunting riffles, shields & spearheads, daggers and original paintings form the backdrop of the dinning room. The swimming pool here is in beautiful settings and is an oasis in a dessert. The food at Rohetgarh is special; each recipe is both traditional and typical, handed down the generations and jealously guarded to retain its pristine flavours. You savour only the very best of Rajasthani cuisine’s, food favoured by the Royalty. The 16th century descendants of the Rathore ruling family still live here and host the guests. The members of the Royal family interact with the guests and interesting stories and anecdotes are narrated. This afternoon, we would explore Rohet, which is a fascinating small feudal town, which seems to be straight out of the Arabian Nights. There is no proper road here - only one main dusts trail. On either side are typical thatched houses and shops of all kinds - colourful bangles, silver jewellery, potters, fruit vendors on carts, dress shops, tailors etc. As evening descends upon our hotel, the darkness of the night is lit up by the flickering flames of fire around which the rhythmic movements of the folk dancers assumes shape in brilliant colours; truly an electrifying experience.
Day 9: Manvar
Early morning, enjoy jeep safaris to visit the heart of Rajasthan villages where tradition centuries old still permeate life styles. One can witness the ‘opium ceremony’ - a ritual by which guests are welcomed. Gaily attired men and women carry on their chores and one can catch a glimpse of their norms and customs. The smoothened mud floors of the village huts remind one of the simple and traditional living here. After breakfast drive to Manvar. Upon arrival, check into Manvar Camp, located right in the heart of the Great Indian Thar Desert. It is an unprecedented destination offering a rare opportunity to enjoy Rajasthan's desert life, culture, wildlife & beauty. The place provides every comfort the modern traveler could wish for; luxurious accommodation, mouth watering cuisine & an incredible Rajasthani hospitality. Built in the style of a traditional desert village, the resort complex is spread over 5 acres. Constructed using local materials & techniques. Manvar offer great outdoor adventure and a taste of the Thar Desert. We would enjoy jeep safaris and a camel safari today to the Mustard and Red Chili fields in the middle of the desert.. We would also witness traditional desert villages and lifestyles unchanged for centuries. Overnight at Manvar Camp
Day 10: Jodhpur
Early morning excursion to Khichan. The tiny village of Khichan has assumed a popular appeal with the bird watching community. The local people offer large amounts of grain to birds every morning and this has attracted large numbers of Demoiselle Cranes to usurp this food supply. It is great spectacle to watch these Cranes swoop down to a especially created rectangular enclosure, for their early breakfast. The feeding session lasts for an hour and a half, one group takes off as another settles. Their flight across the backdrop of the traditional mansions of the village, presents wonderful opportunities for photography, as do the feeding birds on the ground. We are very close by and can be offered vantage positions over the terraces, by the local people who feel proud of their visitors. Later drive to Jodhpur. Upon arrival, check into hotel Ratan Vilas. Built in 1920, by Maharaj Ratan Singhji of Raoti who was a keen horse lover and one of the greatest polo players of his time, Ratan Vilas with its imposing but delicately carved exterior and simple yet comfortable interiors, is a genuine heritage edifice in a sylvan setting. After rest and relaxation, proceed on a guided tour of Jodhpur. In olden days this must have been impregnable since its rocky base is scraped straight down making it nearly impossible to ascend. Once inside, royal palaces abound with fascinating history and priceless jewels, on to the armoury and Jaswant Tara - the Royal Crematorium. Evening, ride horse carriages to the Clock Tower Bazaar. This is one of India’s largest and most colourful wholesale markets especially with respect to clothes, fabrics, spices, vegetables etc. It is a fantastic experience to walk through the place observing and photographing this incredible spectacle of vibrant lifestyles and incredible colours.
Day 11: Jaipur
Early morning transfer to train station to board your train to Jaipur. Meeting & assistance upon arrival in Jaipur & transfer you to Naila Bagh Palace. The Palace stands tall within a 21000 sq feet area; you will be welcomed within its folds by a serene and tranquil environment. The palace is surrounded by various courtyards and gardens on all sides where you may find beautiful peacock's walking about aimlessly or dancing. Walk through the beautiful Mahal (main hall) and get transported back to a time of beauty, history and opulence. Ornate frescos and majestic portraits of Maharajas and Princesses from the bygone era adorn the walls; colonial furniture surrounds you in majestic charm. After rest & relaxation, explore the unending shopping options of Jaipur along with our Guide. An essential starting point for Rajasthan craftwork is block making and block printing and we will be exploring the process from start to finish in some of the popular stores here. The opportunity also exists here to tailor make outfits to your design and size. explore one of the chief attractions of Jaipur - its jewellery, which offers a variety that ranges from chunky tribal jewellery to enameled gold to modern diamond jewellery. Kundan (art of stone setting) and enamel jewelry has been a specialty of Rajasthan, particularly that of Jaipur. The stones are embossed into decorative shapes & patterns and embellished with delicate enamel ornamentation in the champeve (raised field) technique. Jaipur is well known for its gold and silver enameling. Colorful bangles made of lac and set with semiprecious stones make an inexpensive buy. The craftsmen take great pains to embed the hundreds of stones into the lac. The skilled gem-cutters of Jaipur carve enchanting little animals and birds from rock, crystal, jade, smoky topaz and amethyst. Intaglio beads & buttons and crystal scent bottles are also available.
Day 12: Jaipur
Morning visit Amber Fort, the former capital of the royal Jaipur. Few fail to be moved by the dramatic Rajput grandeur of this hilltop fortress-palace 11 km north of Jaipur. Set on the dry wrinkled Aravali Hills, and surrounded by fortified battlements, the palace straddles two sepia-hued tundra hills overlooking Maota Lake, and its sprawling crenellated walls lattice the surrounding hills. Ride up to this hilltop palace on a caparisoned, painted elephant, passing through the ancient main gate where Maharajas of Jaipur have entered for four hundred years. Our guide will elaborate on the history of this architectural masterpiece with its mirror-studded alcoves, dazzling mosaics and water-cooled swings that delight today’s visitors as they did their former royal residents. Visit the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds, a five-storied structure of pink sandstone with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows overlooking the main street of the old city. It was built in 1799 so that veiled royal women could peer down unseen by the world through its 593 stone screens. Later in the afternoon, proceed on a tour Of the City Palace & Observatory. The City Palace in the heart of the old city is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The centre of the palace is a seven-storied building called Chandra Palace, with fine vies over the gardens and the city. The palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall has seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and animals that lived in jungles, which surrounded the wall that time. Next, we visit the Solar Observatory - an astronomical treasure house, with solar device that give accurate predictions till date.
Day 13: Fatehpur Sikri - Agra
After breakfast, drive to Agra, stopping at deserted Capital City of Fatehpur Sikri. This abandoned capital of the Mughals is a perfectly preserved city at the height of the empire’s splendour. The city divided into religious and secular parts has interesting well-sculpted buildings. From here we continue our ride to Agra. Upon arrival check into Hotel Radisson. Rest of the day is at leisure for your independent activities. Car & Driver will be at disposal for your local visits.
Day 14: New Delhi
Note: Taj Mahal is closed on Friday
Agra is the city of the Taj Mahal, perhaps the most photographed monument in the world. However, there is a degree of enigma about the Taj. No matter how many pictures you have seen or no matter how high your expectations are the Taj never lets you down. At sunrise visit one of the greatest sights of one’s lifetime - Taj Mahal. A dawn visit to the fabled Taj Mahal to witness the magical effects caused by the reflections of the changing colours of the rising Sun on this brilliant white marble building. Later return back to hotel for breakfast. After a leisurely breakfast, ride to the massive Agra Fort. The elegant buildings inside reflect an interesting synthesis of Hindu and Central Asian architectural styles. Built by Emperor Akbar, the maze of the courtyards, mosques & private chambers of the fort echo the story of the Mughal Empire. The Moti Masjid & other magnificent buildings reflect the skill of the ancient Indian architects. Later, drive to New Delhi along one of the India’s finest freeways. Upon arrival in New Delhi, we would visit an Indian family for an Indian home experience. The evening is designed to give you a ‘feel’ and insight into the Indian family life as well as to experience typical Indian hospitality and home made Indian food. After dinner, transfer to international airport to board your onward flight.