Rajasthan is the essence of India: palaces where Mughals and Maharajas once resided, and charming towns that flicker like mirages in the desert. Experience these and other highlights in the "Land of Kings" as you gaze at the Taj Mahal, the Palace of Winds or the Red Fort, feeling the magic of ancient times. For many the most memorable encounters can be found in the countryside: herds of goats, a crowd of children gathering around laughing happily or the old man at the roadside greeting with a shy nod. On this journey you will be staying in authentical accommodation in restored palace hotels, colorfully painted Havelis or under the stars in a desert tent camp.
Day 01: Namaste & welcome in Old Delhi
Assistance upon arrival in Delhi and transfer to the hotel. Check in at the hotel. later visit Qutub Minar Complex (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the location of the highest sandstone minaret in India. The monumental buildings of Sir Edwin Lutyens' New Delhi take you back to the time of the British Raj in India.
Afternoon drive passes the Red Fort to India's largest mosque, the Jama Masjid. Then a cycle rickshaw will take you meandering past the fragrant spice merchants and colorful fabric shops in Old Delhi's narrow alleys.
Day 02: Delhi - Agra (233 kms/4 hrs)
Today drive to Agra, upon arrival check in at the hotel.
Later visit Itmad-ud-Dhaula, which is also fondly called the "Mini Taj Mahal." Following that, you'll visit the Red Fort, a UNESCO World HeritageSite, where you will learn about the fabulous architecture of the Mughal emperors. At sunset, you can enjoy the view of the "real" Taj Mahal from across the River Yamuna in Mehtab Garden.
Day 03: Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur (240 kms/4 hrs)
Early morning during sunrise visit Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; closed on Fridays.
After breakfast drive to Jaipur, you'll stop by the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the 1200-year-old stepwell of Abhaneri. With its seemingly endless labyrinth of staircases and steps. It used to provide the water supply to the local population in earlier days. Continue to drive to Jaipur, check in at hotel.
Day 04: Jaipur
This morning, climb on top of an elephant to ride up the slope to the Amber Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternatively, you can ascend by jeep, depending on availability of elephants. Outside Jaipur, the Amber Fort shines in the morning light while you roam its elegant rooms and get an insight into the everyday life of the royal Maharajas and Maharanis. The City Palace is the residence of the current Maharaja of Jaipur and houses beautiful courtyards. At Jantar Mantar Observatory, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will find a collection of stunningly precise instruments used in astronomy and astrology. You'll also stop at the Palace of Winds for an excellent photo opportunity. The processing of precious stones and hand-printing of fabrics have a long tradition in Jaipur. You can take a stroll through craft studios and see skilled artisans at work.
Day 05: Jaipur - Bundi (218 kms/3.5 hrs)
The morning after breakfast drives to Bundi.
Bundi town, which can easily be explored on foot. Life here is still laid-back and authentic, and while strolling through the streets, you will encounter the locals at their daily routine; scissor grinders, tobacco sellers, and colorfully-dressed women haggling with vegetable vendors. You'll also visit the imposing Bundi Palace, where you will see beautiful painted frescoes.
Day 06: Bundi - Chittorgarh - Udaipur (302 kms/5 hrs)
Today drive to Udaipur. Along the way, you'll visit the famous Chittorgarh Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Legend has it that this is the location of the ritual suicides by the proud Rajput warriors during several sieges by Islamic enemies. Framed by artificial lakes and the Aravali hills, the city of Udaipur is one of the most beautiful in the whole country.
Day 07: Udaipur
Today full day sightseeing at Udaipur. In the morning you will enjoy a scenic boat ride (depending on water level) on Lake Pichola. You'll be able to visit the City Palace, which is still inhabited by the Maharana of Udaipur with its lovely miniature paintings. Afterward, you'll take a walk through the bazaar located in the Old Town.
Day 08: Udaipur - Ranakpur - Khejarla (231 kms/5 hrs)
Morning drive to Khejarla en route visit to Jain famous temple at Ranakpur. One thousand, four hundred and forty-four snow-white marble columns are located in the Jain temple of Ranakpur and no two columns are alike. You'll visit the temple before continuing your journey through the rolling hills of the Aravali Mountains to the countryside north of Jodhpur. Tonight you'll stay in a 400-year-old fort with a rural atmosphere, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Day 09: Khejarla - Jodhpur (82 km/ 1.5 hrs)
This morning drive to Jodhpur where you will see the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, perched on a massive, 120 meter-high cliff. Afterward visit the tomb of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, where you'll learn about the traditions, rituals, and ceremonies of a Hindu funeral. For dinner, you will be invited to the home of an Indian family, where you can take part in a cooking demonstration. The ladies of the house will teach you how to use the various masalas to create the famous curries of the Indian cuisine, a useful skill that you can take back home with you to impress your friends and family.
Day 10: Jodhpur - Dechhu (124 km/ 2 hrs)
After breakfast, you'll drive to the Marwar Region. During the jeep safari through the Thar Desert, you'll see local artisans at their daily work before eventually arriving at your comfortable tented camp. A short camel ride takes you up on a dune, where you can enjoy the golden sunset over the desert sands. Tonight you'll take a seat near the bonfire and watch as the locals demonstrate the traditional dances before having dinner under the starry sky.
Day 11: Dechhu - Bikaner (206 kms/4 hrs)
This morning drive to Bikaner where you'll board an auto-rickshaw to visit the beautiful mansions of the old town and stop for a short bazaar walk. The Junagarh Fort has never been conquered by enemies and is one of the most well-preserved ancient forts in this part of the country. You'll get to know this location and more in the city of Bikaner.
Day 12: Bikaner - Mandawa (190 kms/3.5 hrs)
A little way outside the city of Bikaner you will reach Devi Kund Sagar, the crematorium of the local royal family. Go for a walk and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the complex with its numerous domed pavilions or "Chatteris." You'll continue your journey to the Shekhawati region in north-eastern Rajasthan, which is famous for its many colorfully painted Havelis. Even your hotel for tonight is a lovingly restored Haveli.
Day 13: Mandawa - Delhi (256 kms/5 hrs)
Today drive to Delhi en route visit to the countryside. Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Evening at leisure.
Day 14: Delhi - onward destination
This morning transfer to Delhi airport to board your flight back home.
For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.
Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.