Magical Rajasthan – Footloose among the royals

19 Night / 20 Day

NEXT TOUR: NOVEMBER/DECEMBER  2015

For the holiday of a lifetime, join me on a bewitching heritage tour of the famous desert state of North India, translated as “Land of Kings”!

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Upon your arrival at Delhi International Airport you will be met by my Rajasthan Tours specialist and myself and be provided with any assistance that you may require. Following airport clearance you will be transfered to your hotel where you can relax in clean and comfortable rooms and sleep off your jet lag if you choose or if that sounds too boring, you can always take your first plunge into the amazing river of humanity that is India in all Kjts glory.

Day 2

Mandawa haveliRight the adventure begins!

Morning briefing where i will answer any queries you may have and you will be introduced to your fellow group travellers. After breakfast, take a sightseeing tour of historic Old Delhi to see the magnificent

– Red Fort,
– Jama Masjid,
– Rajghat (memorial to Mahatma Gandhi),
– and take a rickshaw ride through the fascinating silver street of Chandani Chowk.

Later drive with us to New Delhi to view the famous Qutb Minar tower built by the Slave King Qutb-ud-din, wander through the tomb of Hamayun (listed under the world heritage monuments) visit the India Gate (war memorial arch raised in honour of the Indian soldiers martyed during the disasterous British Afghan wars.

Also drive past the Rashtrapati Bhawan (one time imperial residence of the British viceroys and presently housing the President of India) Parliament House and the famous Connought place. In the evening you can return to the Red Fort for the spectacular light and sound show. Return to hotel.

Day 3

Morning checkout and drive to Mandawa. Upon arrival transfer to hotel.

Later visit the famous Shekhawati villages, world famous for their beautiful frescoes, mansions and havelis. The entire area is like one huge art gallery. Later in the evening there is a special music and dance show performed by local traditional artists. Enjoy traditional Rajasthani cuisine. Overnight at mandawa.

Day 4

2 Junagarh FortMorning drive to Bikaner and transfer to hotel.

Afternoon tour of this beautiful desert city covering Junagarh Fort, constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Rajah Raj Singh. The Fort has a 986 metre long wall with 37 bastions and 2 entrances. Later visit the Bandh Sagar Temple – this 16th century Jain Temple is the most important in this complex.

Visit a camel breeding farm where you can ride a camel and if you feel up to it you can have your first taste of camel mare’s milk. Later in the evening take an excursion tour to the Deshnok Temple in a semi desert village. This village is famous for the Karni Mata Temple where you will see literally thousands of rats roaming in the temple complex. These creatures are held sacred and the sight of a white rat is believed to bring good fortune.

For those travellers with a phobia of rats it would be best to skip this temple and instead enjoy the desert sunset before return drive to hotel.

Day 5

Hotel checkout and drive to Jaiselmmer, enroute take off the beaten track to see the Gajnar lake and palace surrounded by the Gajnar Wild Life Sanctuary.

7 Sunset over Jaiselmer FortUpon arrival at Jaiselmer, transfer to hotel later visit the imposing Jaiselmer fort also known as the Golden Fort of 99 bastions. About 25% of the old city population still live within its walls wander through the bazaars with their shops overflowing with various Rajasthani handicrafts such as the embroidered fabrics in brilliant colours and with their distinctive mirrorwork.

Visit the Havelis (old mansions) dating from the 12th to the 15th century with exquisite carvings and filligreed work done on their walls. Return to hotel.

Day 6

Our camel safari will start from hotel after breakfast.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

First stop will be Badabagh (a fertile oasis in the desert with sculpted sandstone royal Chattries (sun shelters) proceed onto Ramkunda, packed lunch at Ramkunda, after lunch visit Roopsi village and then proceed onto to Luderwa and then head onto Indra Jee Ka Dhibba, camp here overnight in tents.

Day 7

Breakfast at camp.

After breakfast proceed onto Kahla village and then head for Amarsagar before returning to Jaiselmer. Lunch will be at resturant the trio on fixed menu basis. Later drive to Manvar and transfer to hotel. Overnight at Manvar.

Day 8

6 henna handpainting jodhpurMorning drive to Jodhpur and transfer to hotel.

In the afternoon we visit the Meharangarh (Majestic) fort, stretched across a 125 metre high hill, this fort is easily Rajjasthans most impressive fort.

The Seven Gates to the fort bear testimony its history, somtimes bloody as the cannonball marks still scarring the second gate.

The Seventh Gate however reveals a past that is both tragic and incomprehensible to the modern mind as the numerous handprints beside it are the eternal signatures of the many Queens of the Maharajah Man Singh, all of whom having been widowed upon his death in 1843 threw themselves upon his funeral pyre in the horrific ritual prevalent at the time called Sati.

Also visit the splendid palaces (with names to match such as the Pearl Palace, Pleasure Palace, Flower Palace) all situated within the fort itself. Later view the white marble memorial built in 1899 to Maharajah Jaswant Singh, then head for the museum located in the umaid public gardens. Overnight in Jodhpur.

Day 9

Morning drive to Udaipur – rated as number one city in the world 2009 for tourism in a poll conducted by trave l+ leisure magazine of the US!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEnroute visit the 15th century Jain Temples of Ranakpur, 98km from Udaipur the main temple is the Chaumukha or Four Faced Temple dedicated to Adinath.

It has 29 halls and is supported by 1444 pillars, each one different to one next to it. The magic of light and shadow playing amongst these man made wonders are truely awe inspiring.

Other temples in the complex include the Sun Temple, arrive Udaipur and transfer to hotel.

Day 10

After breakfast take sightseeing tour of this magnificent city.

Visit the city palace Jagdish Temple, drive around the Fateh Sagar lake, Sahelion Ki Bari (Queens resort for her friends) and Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandir. Afternoon visit Eklinji Nagda Temples, built in white marble with a double storied porch on the bank of lake Bageela – 22km from Udaipur. Overnight in Udaipur.

Day 11

Morning drive to Deogarh.

Enroute visit the magnificent ruins at Chittaurgarh and aquaint yourself with the romance and tragedy of Rajput chivalry. Three times in its history, the fort fell to invading forces and each time its defenders chose death over dishonour. The men dressed in saffron robes launched one last suicidal charge at the invaders, while the women and children leapt into a huge funeral pyre. View

– Singh Palace,
– Padmini Palace,
 – the Towers of Victory and Peace,
 – Mirabai’s temple,

and hear the amazing stories associated with each of these landmarks. Lunch at Pratap Palace and proceed onto Deogarh. On arrival transfer to hotel Deogarh. Explore the town and experience its laidback charm.

Enjoy folk dancing and traditional music with your dinner. Overnight in Deogarh.

Day 12

Morning drive to Pushkar.

9 Sunset over PushkarCheck into hotel upon arrival. Later visit the Pushkar Lake, believed by Hindus to be as old as creation itself and has been a place of pilgrimage through the centuries. There are 52 bathing ghats built around the lake.

Also visit the only temple dedicated to Brahma in the entire subcontinent. Pushkar draws thousands of visitors each year from across the globe to witness the Pushkar Camel Fair in November.

In the evening relax and mingle among the many different nationalities that gather to watch the splendid sunset views from the lakeshore. Stroll through the bazaars where you can always road test your bargaining skills if you should choose to do so from the many shops selling Rajasthani handicrafts. Overnight in Pushkar.

Day 13

At sunrise you can visit the lakeshore to winess the Hindu devotees offering prayers to the Sun God.

Later drive to Jaipur and transfer to hotel upon arrival. Afternoon tour of the Pink City, built by Maharajah Jai Singh the Second (1693-1743) the notable warrior and astronomer, this city is 260 years old and is the present day capital of the State of Rajasthan.

Famously called the Pink City, it was painted this colour as a show of hospitality to welcome King Edward the Seventh in 1876. Visit the Maharajah’s city palace with the unique blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, the central museum, Jantar Mantar (the largest of the five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh. View the bewitching Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) constructed for the royal ladies to watch the street processions without themselves being seen.

Overnight in Jaipur.

Day 14

10 The Amber PalaceMorning visit to the magnificent fort-palace of Amber, the Ancient Capital of Jaipur State. Experience your first elephant ride of the tour.

Late afternoon is kept free to visit the famous Jaipur markets, wander through rows of stalls selling textiles,gems, carpets, handicrafts.

Jaipur an ideal place to pick up a bargain or two. Later if you still have the energy and appetite for more, you could follow the footpath up to Nahargarh fort (about 2km) and catch the beautiful views from the top at sunset. Overnight in jaipur.

Day 15

5 Tigers at Ranthambore

Early morning drive to Ranthambore National Park and transfer to hotel upon arrival. Covering 1334sq km, its thick forest is bordered by steep crags.

The park has the 10th century Ranthambore fort, ruins of ancient temples and mosques, green lakes with crocodiles lurking in them. Once a hunting preseve for the royals, it is now a prime example of project tiger’s consevation efforts in Rajasthan. This afternoon experience a jungle safari by open jeep or canter. Overnight in Ranthambore.

Day 16

Take another jungle safari tour into the sanctuary, one of the best places in india to see a tiger in the wild… If you are in luck. In the evening enjoy more of the sights through the awesome scenery. Overnight in Ranthambore.

Day 17

Early morning drive to Bharatpur and transfer to hotel upon arrival.

The small town has the world heritage listed Keoladeo National Park. One of the finest bird sanctuaries in the world with an incredible 364 species of birds recorded within the park’s 29sq km, it is among the world’s most important bird breeding areas and the winter home for a number of aquatic birds migrating from as far away as china and siberia.

Among others expect to view kingfishers, geese, egrets, herons, owls, sarus cranes (the largest bird in the sanctuary) also inhabiting the park are sambar, chital, nilgai (all species of deer) wild boar and even pythons.

Take a leisurely cycle rickshaw ride through the park (no motorised vehicles permitted within park). Overnight in Bharatpur.

Day 18

Morning drive to Agra, enroute visit the twin ghost cities of Mughal splendour, Fatehpur and Sikri. Built during the reign of Emperor Akbar (the most powerful monarch in the world at the time) it was the capital of the mughal empire between 1571 and 1585. However despite all its architectural brilliance, it had to be abandoned soon after his death due to the shortage of water. Admire the Jama Masjid, tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal and other palaces. Overnight in Agra.

Day 19

Experience the magic of the Taj Mahal at sunrise.

Taj Mahal in the sunsetIt is everything that you have seen in photgraphs and more. Acclaimed as the world’s most splendid monument ever built for love. Commisioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in memory of his Queen Mumtaz Mahal who died in childbirth in 1631 approximately 20,000 artisans (some brought in from as faraway as Europe) are believed to have laboured on the white marble mausoleum, under the head architect Isa Khan to create this masterpiece.

Later visit the Agra fort where you get the most moving view of the Taj from the small octagonal tower in the fort which lies across the river Jumna.

The Agra fort with its double walls 20m high and 2.5km in circumference contain several beautiful buildings, among them Moti Mahal (Pearl Mosque) Diwan-A-Am and Diwan-I-Khas (halls of public and private audiences for the Emperor Shah Jehan.

Later drive on to Delhi. Overnight in Delhi.

Day 20

In time transfer to airport to board flight for onward journey.

 

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PRICE

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The total, all inclusive price of the tour is only A$ 4000 per person!
(twin shared accommodation)

Price Includes The Following Services:

– Meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airport/hotel by our representative.

– Arrival/departure transfers, sightseeing excursions and surface travel.

– Accommodation for total of 19 nights on bed and breakfast basis.

– Accommodation at Manvar resort on full board basis including all meals.

– Accommodation at Ranthambore National Park is on full board basis.

– Elephant ride at Amer fort, Jaipur.

– Camel safari in Jaiselmer.

– Rickshaw ride at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.

– Jeep Safari at Ranthambore National Park.

– Local English speaking guides for each sightseeing tour.

– Monument entry fee as per the programme.

– All presently applicable taxes on hotel/transport including 2.60% service tax.

The Price Does NOT Include:

Any services other than the ones mentioned above or visa charges, airport taxes, international airfares, meals other than those mentioned above or any items of a personal nature like telephone calls, laundry, drinks, camera fees or tips etc.

How to book your place?

An AUS $500 deposit will reserve a place on the tour.

The balance of payment is due 6 WEEKS  prior to departure. You can deal through website payment facility. Incase of tour being cancelled due to insufficient numbers, your money will be fully refunded!

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