On this 14 day Rajasthan multi activity adventure holiday you will visit some of the most famous palaces and forts in India, as well as riding elephant back
On this 14 day Rajasthan multi activity adventure holiday you will visit some of the most famous palaces and forts in India, as well as riding elephant back.
Rajputana, the modern-day state of Rajasthan, has been the scene of some of India’s most famous battles and infamous court intrigues, and is home to its finest forts and palaces. The magnificent Jai Mahal Palace, the idyllic Lake Palace and the secluded Palace Hotels are just some of the regal settings in which you will be treated like a maharaja.
The forts at Jodhpur and Chittorgarh encapsulate the romance and chivalry of India’s powerful Rajput Kings, while at the ancient capital of Amber an ascent on elephant-back recreates the majesty of a bygone era. Unique fresco styles and intricate miniature paintings adorn the Rajasthani palaces which were once inhabited by the most flamboyant ruling dynasties. While relaxing in the royal palaces, this tour rediscovers the majesty of this “Land of the Kings”.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi for the start of your Rajasthan multi activity adventure holiday.
At Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport. You are greeted and escorted by our company representative to your pre booked hotel. Overnight stay (Room check-in is 1400 hrs)
Day 2: Delhi
Morning after breakfast proceed for Half Day guided tour of New Delhi. The city designed by Sir Edward Lutyens and Herbert Baker, redefined the architecture and urban ism of Delhi in the process of addressing contemporary imperatives- are truly majestic. The Presidential Palace, Parliament House and India Gate are all reminiscent of the British “Raj”.
Drive through Delhi’s beautiful tree-lined avenues and the Diplomatic Enclave En route to the 12th century, 234-foot high fluted minaret of Qutab Minar (UNESCO World Heritage site) a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi's last Hindu kingdom. Your tour will terminate with a visit to Humayun’s Tomb (UNESCO World Heritage site). This was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome. Humayun was son of Babur and the second Mughal Emperor to rule India. Return back to hotel.
Afternoon is free to explore the exotic & colorful markets, handicraft & jewellers shops, clothes boutiques, museum and art galleries of Delhi (Vehicle and driver will be at disposal). Overnight stay (B)
Day 3: Delhi -Agra (202 Kms -2.5 – 3 hours)
Morning after breakfast, depart by surface for the Mughal splendor of Agra. On arrival, check into your pre booked hotel.
After fresh & change, proceed for guided sightseeing tour of Agra city & its surroundings. Begin your guided tour, visiting the mighty Agra Fort (UNESCO Heritage Site) which lies across River Yamuna. An era marked by invasions and fortifications, where power was symbolized by grand palaces and grander forts…..during such time was built this awesome Fort and It was here that Aurangzeb, the 3rd son of Shah Jahan (the then Mughal Emperor) kept his father under house arrest till his final demise. Return to your hotel.
Late afternoon, proceed on Tonga (Horse driven Chariot) with your guide, to visit the incomparable Taj Mahal. (UNESCO World Heritage site) to experience sunset. This monument a fine example of fusion of many architectural styles is one of the wonders of the modern world. Built in 1652 by Emperor Shah Jahan, it took 22 years and 20,000 skilled artisans to complete this poem in white marble. Take your time to marvel at this unfathomable beauty built by human hands and enjoy the changing colors of the “Taj” as the sun goes down. Return to hotel for overnight stay. (B)
Day 4: Agra – Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur (260 Kms -4.5 hrs)
Early Morning before sunrises at 0530 hrs proceed with your guide to Mehtab Bagh which is the best place to see Taj at sunrise. The garden complex is perfectly aligned with the Taj Mahal on the opposite bank. This was the last of eleven Mughal-built gardens along the Yamuna opposite the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort. (Subject to weather conditions)
On your return journey, visit Itmaudualla - a Mughal mausoleum, often described as a "jewel box", and sometimes called the "Baby Taj", the tomb is often regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal. The mausoleum was commissioned by Noor Jahan, wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyās Beg, originally a Persian Amir in exile who had been given the title of I'timād-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state). Noor Jahan was also responsible for the construction for the Tomb of Jahangir and her own at Lahore. Mirza Ghiyās Beg was also the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal (originally named Arjūmand Bāno, daughter of Asaf Khan), the wife of emperor Shah Jahan, responsible for the construction of the Taj Mahal. Return to hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast complete check –out formalities and depart by surface for the city of Forts & Palaces –Jaipur. An exuberance of color, dance & song with traditional arts and crafts. Known as the 'Pink City' it is one of India's most well planned cities with wide straight avenues, roads, streets and lanes in a grid system. A few hours’ drive gets you to this land of Maharaja's, forts & Palaces and diversity of heritage & culture that is unique to the State of Rajasthan.
En route to Jaipur, we halt for an hour or so to visit Fatehpur Sikri (UNESCO World Heritage site) the ghost city located 37 Kms away from Agra. On arrival you will be met by your Guide. Founded in 1569 by the Mughal emperor Akbar, it served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. Built in red sandstone in honor of Saint Salim Chisti, who foretold the birth of 3 sons to Emperor Akbar, is an example of robust stability combined with originality. Each important edifice here represents a type by itself. Notable among them are the Diwane Khas, Punch Mahal, the Tomb of Salim Chisti, and the Buland Darwaza. Your Guide will help you in understanding the History of this magnificent palace.
Continue your drive to Jaipur and on arrival, check-in to your pre booked Hotel. Rest of the day is free to explore the exotic & colorful markets, handicraft & jewelers shops, clothes boutiques, museum and art galleries of Jaipur (Vehicle and driver will be at disposal). Overnight stay (B)
Day 5: Jaipur
Morning after breakfast proceed for half day guided excursion to see one of the most impressive forts of Rajasthan. Visit the impressive Amber Fort taking an elephant ride to the main entrance gate of the fort. (In case of non-availability Jeeps will be used) The fort is situated 11 Kms from Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa of Amber, before the capital was shifted to the plains, the present day Jaipur. It is set in picturesque and rugged hills and is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Mirza Raja Jai Singh the fort was made in red sand stone and white marble. Amber holds the history of a citadel, pulsating with a legendary past of 600 years & 28 kings of the Kachhawa dynasty. Return to hotel.
Afternoon is reserved for a guided city tour visiting the City Palace & its Museum situated in the heart of the old City occupying about one seventh of the old city area. (The present king still resides in this Palace) The palace is a blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The museum has a rich collection of costumes, textiles. Armory and weapons. Next visit Jantar Mantar (UNESCO World Heritage site) an observatory built in 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, where the huge masonry instruments were used to study the movement of constellations and stars in the sky. Stop by at Hawa Mahal (Palace of winds) built in 1799, by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, it is the most recognizable monument of Jaipur. The 5 storied stunning semi-octagonal monument having 152 windows with over hanging latticed balconies is a fine piece of Rajput architecture. Originally designed for the royal ladies to watch and enjoy the processions and other activities, on the street below it now houses a museum. Finish your tour visiting the Albert Hall Museum situated in the Ram Niwas Garden. This graceful building was founded in 1876 by Prince Albert and has a rare collection of archaeological and handicraft pieces. Return to hotel for Overnight stay in hotel (B)
Day 6: Jaipur –Ranthambor National Park (182 Kms - 3.5 hrs)
Morning after breakfast, drive to Ranthambor National Park. This exciting journey through the countryside takes you home to the nearly a thousand year old Ranthambor Fortress where countless battles have raged around its walls. The Great Mughal emperor Akbar laid siege here and built the Lake Palace, summer gardens, temples, mosques, tombs and hunting towers, all overrun now by grass & shrubs. Today Leopards & tigers prowl the ruins. On arrival, check in to RANTHAMBOR REGENCY Resort.
After Lunch proceed on a thrilling canter ride in search of wildlife. You sometimes chance upon this fleet - footed and silent creatures, the embodiment of grace. Other than the tiger, other predators found in are leopard, striped hyena, jackal, caracal and jungle cat. Also seen are sloth bear, sambars deer, chital (spotted) deer, nilgai (blue bull) antelope, wild boar, chinkara (Indian) gazelle, Indian hare, mongoose, common langur, palm civet, palm squirrel, porcupine and monitor lizard. Return to resort for dinner & overnight. (B, L & D)
Day 7: Ranthambor National Park –Bundi (125 Kms- 2.5 hrs)
Morning after breakfast, proceed for another thrilling canter ride in search of wildlife. Later explore the imposing Ranthambor Fort dating back to 10th century. Ranthambor covers an area about 400 square Kms and has beautiful scenery. This National Park is very special and unison area where a natural present meets an historical past. This park has up to 32 tigers and has a considerable population of birds. It is one of the few reserves where the camera - shy tigers may be seen in daylight. The forests of Ranthambor were hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. The park was declared a game sanctuary in 1955 & was given the position of a national park in 1980. The Park is famous for its tigers. One can often spot tigers in their normal pursuit during daytime.
Afternoon depart by surface for the historical city of Bundi which is of great architectural importance. Dotted with palaces, forts and step wells, Bundi's charm lies in its location, surrounded by orchards of orange, guava, pomegranate and mango trees, flanked by the Aravalli range and rivers and lined by fields of cotton, barley and wheat. Situated far from the crowds, it is the simple rural folk that lend Bundi its allure. Later on arrival, check into your pre booked hotel. Overnight stay. (B)
Day 8: Bundi -Chittorgarh Fort (192 Kms/3.5 hrs)-Udaipur (115 Kms-/2 hrs)
Today is a long day. Morning after breakfast, proceed for Half day guided city sightseeing tour of this magnificent city. Bundi also called the city of step wells was once ruled by the Hada Chauhans and was the capital of the great Hadoti Kingdom, renowned for its art and sculpture. Visit Sukh Mahal, a small, two-storied palace which was a summer retreat of past rulers. Today, it is quite famous for being the place where Kipling wrote ‘Kim’.
Other places of interest you will visit are Kishar Bagh which houses the memorial cenotaphs of the royal family of the Bundi state, Rani ji ki Baori, also known as 'Queen's Step well', a famous step well built in 1699 by Rani Nathavati Ji, the younger queen of the ruling king Rao Raja Anirudh Singh of Bundi, Dabhai Kund shaped like an inverted pyramid is the largest of its kind in Bundi. The fantastic carvings on the steps that lead to the water alone are reason enough to warrant a visit. Taragarh Fort, built in 1345, it is one of the most impressive structures in Bundi, Lake Jait Sagar Located close to the Taragarh Fort, is a picturesque lake surrounded by hills and covered with pretty lotus flowers that bloom during winter and monsoon. Finish your tour visiting The 84 Pillared Cenotaph is a structure supported by 84 columns decorated with carvings of deer, elephants and apsaras (heavenly maidens). Return to hotel to complete check out facilities.
Afternoon depart by surface for the historical city of Udaipur, en route halting to visit the impressive and historically important Chittorgarh Fort. It is one of the largest forts in India and is a World Heritage Site. The fort, popularly known as Chittor, was the capital of Mewar. It was initially ruled by Guhilot and later by Sisodias, the Suryavanshi clans of Chattari Rajputs, from the 7th century, until it was finally abandoned in 1568 after the siege by Emperor Akbar in 1567. It sprawls majestically over a hill 180 m in height spread over an area of 691.9 acres above the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River. The fort precinct with an evocative history is studded with a series of historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemoration towers. Inside the fort -you have to enter through 7 gates to get into the main fort.
Visit Queen Padmani's Mahal surrounded by water, the Sat Bis Deuri (Jain ornamented temple adorned with Hindu God's & Goddesses) the Tower of fame & the Victory tower erected by one of the greatest Rajput warrior kings, Maharana Rana Kumbha in the year 1440 to commemorate his victory over Sultan Khilji of Malwa. Also see the 8th century Chitoreswari, Khumbshamji & Krishna temple, Rana Kumbha's Palace & Babur's (First Mughal Emperor of India) cannon before continuing your drive to Udaipur known as the city of Lakes, and famous for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces. It was voted as the best city in the world in 2009 by the Travel + Leisure magazine. Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia clan of Rajput founded the city in 1553 and shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh to Udaipur. Later on arrival check into your pre booked hotel for overnight (B)
Day 9: Udaipur
Morning breakfast proceed for a full day guided excursion to Haldighati, 40 Km from Udaipur a site of immense historic interests as the memorable battle between Maharana Pratap & Mughal Emperor Akbar was fought here in 1576 AD. The Rana was badly wounded and defeated while his faithful horse Chetek died while crossing the moat. A memorial pillar has been set up here to honor the Royal horse.
Next visit the ancient temples of Eklingji, built in 734 AD a complex of 108 temples enclosed by high walls devoted to Eklingji - the Deity of the Maharanas of Mewar, followed by a visit to Nagda, the first capital of Bappa Rawal. See the magnificent Tirana exquisitely carved with graceful Asparas and the Sas- Bahu Temple sphere built in 10th century AD.
We finish our morning tour with a visit to the temple shrine of Nathdwara built in 17th century AD dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is one of the most celebrated of the Vaishnavas shrines. Return to hotel.
Afternoon is reserved for half day guided city sightseeing tour visiting the City Palace. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies and the Peacock Courtyard. Visit the 300-year-old Jagdish Temple and the Royal Cenotaphs of the Rajput kings followed by Sahelion- ki-Bagh, Fathesagar Lake, Pratap Samarak & the Sajjan Niwas Gardens before returning to hotel.
Evening enjoy a common boat ride on lake Pichola visiting Gangaur Ghat, small islands inhabited by migratory birds, and the Jag Mandir Palace, where Shah Jahan (Mughal Emperor who built the Taj Mahal) stayed for a while during his exile. Enjoy sunset before returning back to hotel for overnight stay (B)
Day 10: Udaipur –Ranakpur-(91 Kms -1.5 hrs) - Jodhpur (162 Kms-3 hrs)
Morning after breakfast, depart by surface for Jodhpur "The Sun City" founded by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, in 1459 lies on the southern edge of the Thar Desert.
En route visit the temples of Ranakpur, set in a remote valley in the Aravalli range it showcases some of the finest stone carvings and sculptures in this 15th century Jain temple complex. The temples with its 29 halls & 1444 beautifully carved marble pillars are believed to have been built around 1439 A.D. The temple is dedicated to Tirthankar Adinath. Local legend has it that Dharma Shah, a local Jain business-man, started construction of the temple in the 15th century following a divine vision.
The town of Ranakpur and the temple are named after the provincial ruler monarch, Rana Kumbha who supported the construction of the temple. Also visit the Sun Temple and Chaumukha – finest examples of Jain ecclesiastical architecture. After enjoying your unique experience at these temples, head towards Jodhpur. Later on arrival in the blue city, check-in to your pre booked hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure. Stay overnight at the hotel (B)
Day 11: Jodhpur
Morning after breakfast proceed for half day guided sightseeing city tour of Jodhpur, also called the Blue City, due to most of the houses painted blue in the old city. You get a magnificent bird’s eye view of the city from top of the hill on which the majestic Mehrangarh Fort stands. Visit Jaswant Thada the white marble cenotaphs of Maharana Jaswant Singh surrounded by 4 other of later rulers.
Next visit Mehrangarh fort situated on a 150 m high hill is one of the largest forts in Rajasthan. Seven gates have to be crossed to reach the fort. The gates still bear the marks of the various battles fought in the bygone era. Its second gate still stands witness to canon ball hits by attacking armies of Jaipur during wars.
Other attractions include several palaces inside the fort, with their sprawling and huge courtyards. One of the fort's palaces, The Moti Mahal or the Pearl Palace, has the royal throne of Jodhpur, the Sringar Chowki. The fort also has galleries, temples, etc. Marvel at the exquisite carvings and lattice works on the sandstone walls of the fort. Visit the armoury and the museum located inside the fort premises .On your return journey walk thru Sojati gate to Sadar Bazaar with its ornate & ancient clock tower.
Afternoon embark on a thrilling village jeep safari. The safari gives you an opportunity to meet the Bishnoi a native tribe and learn the skills of indigenous artists. The scenic beauty of the village marked with khejri trees, natural lake and deer makes your village safari even more adventurous and exciting.Return to your hotel for overnight stay (B)
Day 12: Jodhpur –Delhi (flight)
Morning after breakfast is at leisure. Later in time transfer to domestic airport to board your afternoon flight to Delhi. On arrival meeting, assistance and transfer to your pre booked hotel. Overnight at hotel (B)
Day 13: Delhi
Morning after breakfast; proceed for half day guided city tour of Old Delhi. Visit the magnificent Red Fort, built at the zenith of the Mughal Empire in India. The centuries- old international market- place that sprawls at its feet is still one of Delhi’s most important commercial hubs: Chandni Chowk, or “Moonlight Square”. Walk or take a rickshaw ride (optional) through the bustling silver market and the wholesale spice market. The sounds, smells and colors of the bazaar, and the throngs of people who animate it make this an unforgettable spectacle. Visit Jumma Masjid. This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. Finish your tour visiting “Raj Ghat” – where lies buried Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes in his final resting place, before returning to hotel.
Afternoon is reserved for a guided visit to the National Museum displaying a wide range of masterpieces of sculptural art in such medium: stone, terracotta, stucco, bronze, gold, silver, ivory, bone… spanning a period of over two millenniums, from the 3rd century BC to the 19th century AD, one of the longest in the history of world’s art-heritage. Return to hotel for overnight stay. (Please Note -The Museum is closed on Monday and Government holidays) (B)
Day 14: Depart Delhi
On time departure transfer to Indira Gandhi International airport (India) –Terminal 3 to connect your outbound flight for onward destination (B) (Room Check-out 12 Noon)
END OF OUR SERVICES - We sincerely hope that you had an “incredible” experience while in India and take this opportunity to wish you a happy & memorable journey back home.