Rajasthan Heritage - Independent Tour

Delhi – Mandawa – Bikaner – Gajner – Jaisalmer – Khajrala – Jodhpur – Luni – Udaipur – Deogarh – Pushkar – Jaipur – Agra – Delhi

This trip takes you to see the royal heritage of Rajasthan, which has still been very keenly preserved by the erstwhile Rulers, who converted their private palaces, forts and castles into Hotels. This is royal Rajasthan at its best. From the timeless city of Delhi with its centuries old monuments and colonial touch of New Delhi, the castles & palaces of Mandawa, Gajner, Luni, Deogarh and Khejarla, admire the most photographed building in the world – words cannot describe the beauty of Taj Mahal, visit the colourful and royal cities of Jaipur and Jodhpur with their magnificent forts and Udaipur – undoubtedly the most romantic city in India. Excellent program, wonderful sights, world famous culinary delicacies and loads of opportunities for bargain hunters – get ready for a journey into a royal past.

 

 

Itinerary

Day 01: Delhi

Arrive at Delhi, the capital city of India and after completing customs and immigration formalities you will be met & assisted by our representative for your arrival transfer to the hotel.

Day 02: Delhi (B)

After breakfast, we cross the city into the walled gates of Old Delhi. Our tour includes a visit to the “Jama Mosque” (1650) and drive through the fabled area of “Chandni Chowk”. Then we drive past the Red Fort (1639-1648) built by Shahjehan, the builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Later visit Raj Ghat to pay homage to Father of the Indian Nation – Mahatma Gandhi.

In the afternoon, we proceed on a tour of New Delhi visiting the Qutub Minar. Drive through the Embassy area, Connaught Place, the heart and main shopping district of the capital. Continue to Humayun’s tomb, also known as the forerunner to the Taj Mahal.

Day 3: Delhi-Mandawa (B)

After breakfast drive to Mandawa, upon arrival check-in at hotel. Late afternoon visit the Shekhawati region. Walk through the Shekhawati region, which was the stronghold of Kayamkhani Nawabs till 1730. Besides the cenotaphs, wells, forts and temples the majority of frescoes are painted on the walls and gateways of Havelis. The Havelis are mansion of a unique residential architectural style that evolved around courtyards to serve the purpose of family security, privacy for the women as also protecting the inhabitants from the long, harsh summers. The enormous Havelis with fascinating murals were built by the wealthy Rajasthani merchants (Marwaris) in the 19th century.

Day 4: Mandawa-Bikaner-Gajner (B)

After breakfast drive to Bikaner. Upon arrival in Bikaner, proceed for a city tour of this desert town in the north of the state, founded in 1488 by Roa Bikaji, a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur, Jodhaji. Visit the Junagarh Fort constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Jai Singh, a general in the Moghul Emperor Akbar’s army. After sightseeing, continue your drive to the hotel.

Rest of the afternoon to explore the village of Gajner on your own

Day 5: Gajner-Jaisalmer (B)

After breakfast drive to Jaisalmer, upon arrival check-in at hotel.

Jaisalmer – is India’s most exotic and unusual town – a medieval looking place, straight out of the ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’. This beautiful city is situated inside a huge mud fort and grew as a result of its strategic position on the trading route between India and Central Asia bringing great wealth to the city. It is a tiny jewel in the heart of the Thar Desert – once the capital of the Bhatti Rajputs. Jaisalmer started as an important caravan centre and remnants of caravan sarais still exist.

Late in the evening, an optional visit to the Sam dunes where you can witness sunset while enjoying the camel ride.

Day 6: Jaisalmer (B)

After breakfast, visit this perfect Rajput walled desert city which is like a golden jewel shimmering above the hard sand. Visit the palaces, the Jain temples and the magnificent Havelis or merchant’s houses, each richly decorated and carved from golden yellow sandstone – Patwon-ki-haveli (House of the Brocade Merchants) is the largest and most elaborate of the famous havelis of Jaisalmer. The Nathmalji-ki-haveli (The Mansion of Nathmalji), the last of the great havelis was built in the late 19th century. End the morning with a visit to Gadisar Lake – the large natural oasis that attracted Rawal Jaisal to this site.

Afternoon visit the Royal Cenotaphs of the Rawals in Barra bagh; where the rural were cremated. This is also the best place from which to watch the spectacular desert sunset, and photograph the fort

Day 7: Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Khajrala (B)

After breakfast drive to Khejarla. Upon arrival check- in at the hotel, Khejarla seems to rise out of the Narwar plains like a sentinel. A sturdy fort, it is quite simple and uses very little ornamentation to break the almost forbidding exterior. The interiors too are simple and neat where the guests can look forward to genuine Rajput hospitality. In the surrounding area has several interesting temples, cenotaphs and stepwells and for the more adventurous – camels are available to explore the countryside and visit Raika and Bisnoi villages.

Rest of the afternoon at leisure

Day 8: Khajrala-Luni (B)

After early breakfast, drive to Luni enroute visiting Jodhpur city, the largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur. Jodhpur stands at the edge of the Thar Desert. It was founded by Rao Jodha, chief of the Rajput clan known as Rathores and the Rathore kingdom was once known as Marwar – the Land of Death. The tour includes Meherangarh Fort – one of the most impressive & formidable in the whole of fort-studded Rajasthan is situated on a high natural rock bluff and from which you can look down on the wonderful panorama of the bustling city below, Jaswant Thada – the Royal Cenotaphs.

After sightseeing, continue your drive to Luni. Rest of the afternoon free to explore this little village on your own.

Day 9: Luni-Ranakpur-Udaipur (B)

After breakfast drive to Udaipur enroute visiting Ranakpur Temples. Renowned for marvellously carved “Ranakpur Jain temples” in amber stone. It is one of the five holy places of the Jain community. These temples were created in the 15th century AD during the reign of Rana Kumbha and are enclosed within a wall. The central Chaumukha or four faced temple is dedicated to the venerated Tirthankara Rishabhji. Open on all four sides, it enshrines the four faced image of Adinath. Sprawling over 48,000 feet, the temple is an astounding creation with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars, all distinctly carved. After sightseeing, break for lunch at Ranakpur. Resume drive to Udaipur (approximately 03 hrs).

On arrival at Udaipur, check-in at the hotel and afternoon at leisure to explore this beautiful garden city on your own.

Day 10: Udaipur (B)

In the morning, proceed on a city tour of Udaipur visiting city Palace, Jagdish Mandir and Sahelion ki Bari. A fusion of Medieval European and Chinese architecture “City Palace” which was built by Maharaja Udai Singh. This marble monument is situated on the eastern banks of Lake Pichola. Numerous balconies, towers and cupolas of the palace provide a marvellous view of the lake and the city below. Maharana Jagat Singh I built the “Jagdish temple”, dedicated to Lord Vishnu in 1651. It houses an image of Lord Vishnu in black stone, along with a brass image of Garuda, his carrier. Covering the exterior and the plinth are base relief of alligators, elephants, horsemen and celestial musicians rising in rows. It is the largest temple in Udaipur. Also visit “Sahelion ki Bari”, the garden of maidens was built by Maharana Sangram Singh in the mid-18th century.

Afternoon at leisure or for an optional boat ride on Lake Pichola.

Day 11: Udaipur-Deogarh (B)

Leave the Hotel at leisure and proceed to Deogarh. Upon arrival in Deogarh check-in at hotel – built in 1670 A.D, the Mahal stands at a height of 2100 ft. above sea level with its bold battlements, domed turrets and balconies offering a commanding view of the surrounding Aravali Mountains and its rugged rock-strewn countryside dotted by a number of lakes.

Rest of the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the facilities of this fort.

Day 12: Deogarh-Pushkar (B)

After breakfast drive to Pushkar enroute visiting the Dargah at Ajmer, the most sacred of all Muslim places of pilgrimage in India. Ajmer is a green oasis on the shore of Ana Sagar Lake, hemmed in by barren hills. Historically, It was founded in 7th century by Ajaipal Chauhan. He named it Ajaimeru the ‘invincible hill’. The Persian saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti who came with Muhammad Ghori from Persia in 1192 settled here. Thus the place where he was buried is today known as the Dargah Sharif. Construction of the shrine was completed by Humayun and the gates were added by the Nizam of Hyderabad. Later Shahjehan constructed a mosque of white marble, it has 11 arches and a Persian inscription running the full length of the building.

Later check-in at the hotel in Pushkar. Pushkar is right on the edge of the desert and is only 11kms from Ajmer but separated from it by Nag Pahar, the snake mountain. This traveller-friendly town clings to the side of the small Pushkar Lake with its many bathing ghats and temples. For Hindus, Puhskar is a very important pilgrimage centre and you’ll see plenty of Sadhus (individuals on a spiritual search).

Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site. The most famous is the Brahma Temple, said to be one of the few temples in the world dedicated to this deity. It’s marked by red spire and over the entrance gateway is the hans or goose symbol of Brahma, who is said to have personally chosen Pushkar as its site

Day 13: Pushkar-Jaipur (B)

After breakfast drive to Jaipur. Afternoon tour of ‘Pink City’ – Surrounded on three sides by the rugged Aravali hills, Jaipur is the picturesque capital of Rajasthan. It takes its name from the prince, soldier and astronomer Jai Singh II who moved his capital here in 1727. Jaipur is notable for its distinctive pink-orange colouring. The whole of the old city, including many fine palaces and buildings was constructed from solid blocks of Sandstone or faced with the same stone. But it was only in 1853 that it gained its famous title, the ‘Pink City’- it was painted pink for the first time in honour of a visit from Prince Albert. You will visit the Hawa Mahal and the open air Jantar Mantar Observatory enjoy a through the colourful bazaar before returning to your hotel.

Day 14: Jaipur (B)

After breakfast visit ‘Amber fort’, including a Jeep ride. Perched on a hill 11km from Jaipur and nestling among the Aravali Hills is the historic fort-palace of Amber. Set in a picturesque background, the splendid Amber Fort (Jaigarh) was built in 1600 by Raja Man Singh, commander-in-chief of the Mughal army during Akbar’s reign and certainly one of the greatest general of medieval India.

Post lunch, visit to the main tourist attractions of the old city, the principle shopping centre is the Johari Bazaar (Jewellers Market). There is a timeless appeal to Jaipur’s colourful bazaars where one can shop for Rajasthani handlooms and trinkets

Day 15: Jaipur-Fatehpur Sikri-Agra (B)

After breakfast drive to Agra enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri, the impressive sandstone fortress was built in the 16th century and only occupied for a few years before being abandoned, leaving the buildings in virtually perfect conditions. Continue drive to Agra, upon arrival in Agra check-in at the hotel.

Thereafter, visit the Taj Mahal the guests will board the ‘decorated tongas’ (horse carriage) which will take them to Taj Mahal. Little needs to be said about this architectural wonder which is always the soul raison-de-etre for every tourist’s visit to Agra. Built by Shahjehan, the Taj is a white marble memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Day 16: Agra-Delhi (B)

After breakfast at hotel, visit the Agra Fort that lies on the bend of the river Yamuna, almost in the heart of the town. Akbar built it as his citadel over the years 1563-73 in the finest architectural style. It has imposing gates and walls of red sandstone and a moat.

Afternoon drive to Delhi to connect onward flight from Delhi Airport or for further arrangements in Delhi.

Please note: Prices quoted are valid from 01 October 2018 - 30 September 2019. Cost above is indicative, based on Low Season in NZ Dollars and subject to change due to fluctuation in exchange rates

The tour can be priced on 3 star or 5 star accommodation to suit your requirements.

Independent program can be modified or operated in reverse.

Excluded: International and domestic flights, Visa, insurance, airport taxes, meals not included above, beverages during meals included in program, gratuities and any expense of personal nature.

Travel Dates:
Specific travel dates apply

*per person share twin

16 days from

$4,572*

Includes

  • Accommodation in 4 star hotels
  • Breakfast daily
  • Transfers & sightseeing using air-conditioned private car & driver who will give insights into local customs and ensure flexibility to create your own unique experience
  • A local English speaking guide will escort you when you visit sights and attractions contributing historical knowledge with the personal touches only a local can provide
  • Entrance fees at monuments, current taxes, 24-hours local contact number for emergencies
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