India's largest state by area, Rajasthan literally means the land of Maharajas. With each visitor, Rajasthan is never tired of reciting a tale of its long-gone era of amazing legends of heroism and romance that still resound from its equally amazing architecture. The stories about their courage and bravery, the heroism and rivalry, timeless romances, the queens and concubines are still told and as fresh. Home to the very gracious Rajputs and its battle-scarred heritage has given legacies of pride and tradition, village life in Rajasthan remains sharp in tradition along with the ever-growing pace of change. There are still turbaned men with long mustaches and decorated camels and women draped in colorful sarees. The mystic of Rajasthan is matchless for its heritage, culture, safaris, sand dunes and lush green forests filled with wildlife. The landscapes in Rajasthan vary from green rolling hills to infertile deserts. Rajasthan is often described as a huge open-air museum with relics, so well preserved for the future generations of its people and its visitors. Its palaces, havelis, forts, temples, handicrafts, vibrant market, arts - everything here comes alive. Besides, all through the year, Rajasthan has an endless cycle of fairs and festivals and possibly are the most vibrant and amazing in the whole of India.
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Assistance upon arrival at New Delhi International airport and transfer to the hotel.
Day 02: Delhi - Mandawa (265 kms/6 hrs)
This morning after the breakfast, visit Old Delhi, covering Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat, Red Fort (outside) and Chandni Chowk. Later in the afternoon, depart for Mandawa. Upon arrival, check-in at the hotel. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 03: Mandawa – Bikaner (190 kms/4 hrs)
Today, sightseeing tour of Mandawa City, in the semi-desert Shekhawati region, which lies in the triangular area between Delhi, Jaipur, and Bikaner. Starting around the 14th century, a number of Muslim clans moved into the area and the towns which developed in the region became important trading posts on the caravan routes emanating from the ports of Gujarat. The town has still not lost its charm, which lies in the beautiful Havelis (mansions) constructed by the merchants of the region. Most of the buildings date from the 18th century to early 20th century, and the entire area has been dubbed by some as the “open-air gallery of Rajasthan”. Mandawa also offers a few forts, a couple of minor castles, baolis (stepwells), chhatries (Cenotaphs), and a handful of mosques. After the sightseeing of Mandawa leave for Bikaner. Late evening arrives at Bikaner and transfers to the hotel.
Day 04: Bikaner – Jaisalmer (325 kms/6 hrs)
Breakfast at the hotel, followed by a sightseeing tour of Bikaner. This town in the north of the state was founded in 1488 by Rao Bika, a descendant of Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur. The old city is surrounded by a high crenelated wall and, like Jaisalmer, it was once an important staging post on the great caravan trade routes. The old city is encircled by a 7 km long city wall with five entrance gates, constructed in the 18th century. Bikaner is famous for Junagarh Fort. Late morning leave for Jaisalmer. Arrive Jaisalmer and transfer to the hotel.
Day 05: Jaisalmer
Morning half-day sightseeing tour of Jaisalmer Fort which is the most alive of any museums, forts or palaces that you’re likely to visit in India. There are homes and hotels hidden in the laneways with shops and stalls swaddled in the kaleidoscopic mirrors and embroideries of brilliant Rajasthani cloth. This Fort was built in 1156 by the Rajput ruler Jaisal. Reinforced by subsequent rulers, the fort crowns the 80m-high Trikuta Hill. Continue your sightseeing tour visiting Patwon Ki Haveli. This most elaborate and magnificent of all Jaisalmer Havelis stands in a narrow lane. It is divided into 6 apartments. There are remnants of paintings on some the inside walls as well as some mirror work. Continue on to Gadi Sagar – this tank south of the city walls was once, the water supply of the city and there are many small temples and shrines around it. After that a short visit to the Chhatries (Cenotaphs). Afternoon free, at leisure. Late in the afternoon visit to Sam Sand Dunes where you can also enjoy a Camel Ride. Evening witness the Sunset at the Dunes. Late in the evening return to your hotel.
Day 06: Jaisalmer – Jodhpur (290 kms/6 hrs)
This morning after breakfast drive to Jodhpur. Upon arrival in Jodhpur check-in at the Hotel. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Jodhpur. Jodhpur stands on a range of sandstone hills surrounded by a strong wall nearly 10 km (6 miles) in length, with seven gates. Dominating the city is an eminence surmounted by a massive fortress. In olden days, the fortress must have been impregnable, because of the rocky base on which it is built. Within the walls are Royal Palaces of old, with priceless jewels and a striking collection of arms. Sightseeing tour of Jodhpur includes a visit to Mehrangarh Fort, Palaces, Armoury, and Jaswant Thada.
Day 07: Jodhpur - Ranakpur – Udaipur (270 kms/6 hrs)
The morning after breakfast for Udaipur. En-route visit Ranakpur. The exceptionally beautiful Ranakpur complex, 60 km north of Udaipur, is one of the largest and most important Jain temples in India. It is tucked away in a remote valley of the Aravali range and is certainly worth seeing. The main temple is the Chaumukha Temple, or the Four Faced Temple, dedicated to Adinath. Built in 1439, this huge, superbly crafted and well-kept marble temple has 29 halls supported by 1444 pillars, no two alike. After sightseeing of Ranakpur leave for Udaipur. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel.
Day 08: Udaipur
Today, full day sightseeing tour of Udaipur. Possibly no city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic as Udaipur. Founded in 1568 by Maharana Udai Singh II following the final sacking of Chittorgarh by the Mughal emperor, Akbar, Udaipur rivals any of the world famous creations of the Mughals with its Rajput love of the whimsical and its superbly crafted elegance. Morning: Sightseeing tour, visiting Saheliyon ki Bari, or Garden of the Maids of Honour. This small ornamental garden, with its fountains, kiosks, marble elephants and delightful lotus pool, lies in the north of the city. City Place: The imposing City Palace, towering over the lake, is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. This Fort Palace was started by Maharana Udai Singh II, the city’s founder. The palace is surmounted by balconies, towers, and cupolas and there are fine views over the lake and the city from the upper terraces. Late in the afternoon enjoy a Boat ride on Lake Pichola. These boat rides, which regularly leave from the City Palace jetty (known as Bansi Ghat) are very popular. During the Boat ride, you will also visit Jagmandir Island which was commenced by Maharana Karan Singh, but takes its name from Maharana Jagat Singh (1628-52) who made a number of additions to it. It is said that the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, derived some of his inspiration for the Taj Mahal from this palace after staying here in 1623-24 while leading a revolt against his father, Jehangir.
Day 09: Udaipur – Pushkar (303 kms/7 hrs)
Today drive to Pushkar. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel.
Pushkar which is a bewitching little town. It is right on the edge of the desert and is only 11 km from Ajmer, but separated from it by Nag Pahar, the Snake Mountain. Pushkar is also best known for its Camel Fair which takes place here each October/November.
Day 10: Pushkar – Jaipur (180 kms/3 hrs)
Breakfast in the hotel and visit to the sacred Pushkar City, which is also very famous for its Brahma Temple. In the afternoon drive to Jaipur by surface. Upon arrival check-in the hotel.
Day 11: Jaipur
Today full-day sightseeing tour of Jaipur. In the morning, visit Amber Fort which lies 12 km (7 miles) from Jaipur, and has an old palace overlooking the lake at the entrance to a rocky mountain grove. Built in the 17th century, the palace is a distinguished specimen of Rajput architecture. Take a joy ride on elephant back to Amber Fort. Afternoon: City sightseeing, visiting the City Palace which now houses a museum containing rare manuscripts, paintings, and an armory; the Observatory - built in the 17th century by Jai Singh - with a sundial 90 ft. high; the Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal), a landmark of Jaipur made of pink sandstone and unique design.
Day 12: Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra (260 kms/6 hrs)
This Morning drive to Agra, en-route visits Fatehpur Sikri: “The City of Victory". The audience halls, palaces, and the mosques are still in a state of perfection, as are the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti, Panchmahal and the Buland Darwaza.
Day 13: Agra
Morning during sightseeing visiting Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal (Closed on Friday) stands serene and awesome, on a raised marble platform, by the banks of the Yamuna, testifying to the timelessness of art and love. Its pure white marble shimmers silver in the soft moonlight, exudes a shell - pink glow at dawn, and at the close of the day, takes on the tawny, fiery hue of the majestic sun. Shahjahan built the monument in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the 'lady of the Taj'. It has been called the most extravagant monument ever built for the sake of love. The construction of the Taj commenced in 1631 and was completed in 1653. Workers were gathered from all over the country and from Central Asia, and about 20,000 people were recruited to translate this wild dream into a reality.
After breakfast returns back to the hotel and takes breakfast. Later visit Agra Fort.
Agra Fort, built by three of the greatest Mughal emperors. The construction of this massive structure began in 1565, under Akbar, and continued till the time of his grandson, Shahjahan. Armed with massive double walls, punctuated by four gateways, the fort houses palaces, courts, mosques, baths, gardens and gracious pavilions within its premises. Among the fascinating structures that are to be found within the fort is the red sandstone Jehangiri Mahal built by Akbar for his Hindu queen, Jodhabai, was one of the earliest constructions illustrating the fort's change from a military structure to a palace.
Day 14: Agra – Delhi (210 kms/4 hrs)
This morning after breakfast drive to Delhi. Upon arrival visit the most important monuments of New Delhi including Qutab Minar, Humayun's Tomb (1565 A.D., aptly called the predecessor of the Taj Mahal), and Sikh Temple. Later in the evening, transfer to the New Delhi International Airport to take flight for onward destination.