Destination Covered: Delhi – Jhunjhunun – Bikaner – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Pushkar – Jaipur – Agra – Delhi.
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
you arrive in Delhi, the capital city of India. After completing formalities with customs and immigration, you will be received by our representative with Traditional Indian Welcome (with garlands).
Delhi is the capital of India since old times. Delhi's history dates back to the first millenium BC, when it was known as Indraprastha. The Tomar Rajputs built Lal Kot, the core of the first of Delhi's seven cities. It is the epicenter of the nation's politics, economy and culture. History is alive and throbbing in Delhi, the capital of India. Afterwards transfer to your hotel for the overnight stay.
Day 2: Delhi- Jhunjhunun (Approx 250 Kms/06 Hours)
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast drive from Delhi to Jhunjhunun. On arrival in Jhunjhunun the guest’s checks in to the Hotel. In the evening the guest can take the walking tour of the town. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Jhunjhunun – Bikaner (Approx 200 Kms/05 Hours)
Breakfast at hotel
The semi arid Thar Desert region of Shekhawati combines together numerous small and medium sized towns and villages that were once inhabited by people who loved to paint events and scenes on walls. Today, the Shekhawati region encompasses within its boundaries some extremely valuable cultural and historical heritage that should be visited before it gets lost in the dust of time. Below are mentioned some of these places - some will sound familiar while others alien. Yet, do not make any judgement based on 'familiarity' since even the remotest of the Shekhawati destination might spring up a surprise not seen elsewhere in the region.
Mandawa: Today you explore the Mandawa Fort located in the very heart of Mandawa. & a classic example of the famed Rajput style of architecture. It houses many beautiful paintings & frescoes that dazzle the eyes & now been converted into a heritage hotel.
Gulab Rai Haveli built in the year 1870 that has some of the best murals in Shekhawati on both the exterior & interior walls with elephants & camels on its façade.
Goenka Double Haveli built in the year 1890, with monumental frescoes of elephants & horses decorating its façade.
Bansidhar Newatia Haveli built in the year 1921 combine’s traditional frescoes of horses & elephants with those depicting a young boy using a phone plus opulent touring cars & the Wright Brothers' plane. If time permits we may visit more Havelis of the region & observe the colourful village life in Rajasthan.
Later we drive to the princely state of Bikaner, founded by Rao Bikaji (1465-1504 AD) in the year 1488 AD. He was a Rajput prince, descendent of the founder of neighboring Jodhpur. It lies in the north-western part of Rajasthan & has a stark beauty of the desert landscape with wide-spread sand dunes & thorny shrubs growing around. It is a royal city surrounded by a mammoth fortification wall, more than 5 km in circumference & about 5 to 9m high. Fort, Palaces & people with colourful traditional costumes are the chief attractions of the city. The Camel Breeding Farm in Bikaner is only one of its kinds in the whole Asia & so is the illustrious Camel Festival. On arrival in Bikaner you check in at the hotel. Rest of the evening free at leisure. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 04: Bikaner- Jaislamer (Approx 340 Kms/06 Hours)
Breakfast at Hotel.
Today in Bikaner you visit.
Junagarh Fort built in the year 1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh (1571-1612 AD), the 6th ruler of Bikaner. The Fort is a formidable structure & largely remained unconquered during its eventful history. It houses number of beautiful Palaces, Temples & Pavilions, which are richly decorated The beautifully maintained rooms of Anup Mahal now display the treasures of the Royal family. The Fort Museum has an extensive collection of illuminated manuscripts, jewellery, jars, carpets, weapons, treaties, decorations & Farmans (King's Orders).
Later we drive to Jaisalmer, founded in the year 1156 by Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal. Often described as Golden City & rising from the heart of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage the commanding Fort etched in yellow sandstone, dominates the amber-hued city with its entire awesome splendour. Because of its strategic location it was an important ancient trading centre & camel caravans laden with precious spices & silk crossed the territory en-route India, Sindh, and Arabia & Europe. The merchants of the 19th century built Havelis (Mansions) that are exquisitely carved from golden-yellow sandstone & are still in a beautiful condition. The life within the Fortified town conjures up images of medieval majesty visible in its narrow lanes strewn with magnificent palace, havelis, temples, & of course skilled artisans & ubiquitous camels.
On arrival in Jaislamer you check in to your hotel. Rest of the evening free at leisure. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 05: In Jaisalmer
After a relaxed breakfast proceed for full day sightseeing tour of The Golden City - Jaisalmer. It is in the heart of the Great Indian Desert. Its temple, fort and palaces are all built of yellow stone. The city is a mass of intricately carved buildings, facades and elaborate balconies.
Visit the JAISALMER FORT – The oldest living Fort in the world. (This is the highlight of the tour)
The fort stands almost 30 metres over the city and houses an entire living area within huge ramparts. Walking through the narrow lanes is an experience worth savouring. It is approached through Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol, Bhoot Pol and Hawa Pol. Also, within it are many beautiful havelies and a group of Jain temples dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries. The golden - yellow sandstone of Jaisalmer Fort, over 800 years old, crowns the Trikuta Hill. Within its walls, defended by 99 turrets, lies the old city, nearly a quarter of modern Jaisalmer. Seen from outside, the sight must be almost identical to what was seen by merchants on their overland camel caravans to central Asia. Once this desert outpost was an important gate for the trade route, and Jaisalmer grew wealthy on the proceeds. But the advent of commercial shipping relegated the town to relative obscurity. Known as SONAR QUILA, rising from the sand, the mega structure merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience and the setting suns in its most colourful shades gives it a fairy tale look. Its simply a magic, the bastions envelops a whole townships that consist of palace complex various security sources and the havelis of rich merchants carved with an incredibly light touch, several temples and the residential complexes of the armies and traders placed strategically on the trade route, from where the ancient caravans passed.
Enjoy the sightseeing of the following places out of which the JAIN TEMPLES are inside the fort.
NATHMAL KI HAVELI: Two architect brothers built it in the 19th century. Interestingly, while one concentrated on the right, the other concentrated on the left and the result is a symphony epitomising the side by side symmetry during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolise the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the haveli.
SALIM SINGH KI HAVELI: This haveli was built about 300 years ago and a part of it is still occupied. Salim Singh was the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital of the princely state and his mansion has a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of Peacocks. The mansion is just below the hill and it is said that once it had two additional wooden storeys in an attempt to make it as high as the maharaja's palace, but the maharaja had the upper storey torn down.
PATWON JI KI HAVELI: This is one of the largest and most elaborate Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. It is five storeys high and is extensively carved. It is divided into six apartments, two owned by archaeological Survey of India, two by families who operate craft-shops and two private homes. There are remnants of paintings on some of the inside walls as well as some mirror work.
TAZIA TOWER: The delicate pagoda like Tazia Tower rises from Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace). Rising in its five-tiered splendor, with each storey graced by a delicately carved balcony, the tower is of historical significance. Muslim craftsmen built it in the shape of a Tazia and gifted it to their royal patron
GODI SAGAR LAKE: This tank, south of the city walls, once held the town water supply, and befitting its importance in providing precious water to the inhabitants of this arid city, it is surrounded by small temples and shrines. The beautiful yellow sandstone gateway arching across the road down to the tank is the Tilon-ki-Pol, and is said to have been built by a famous prostitute, Tilon. When she offered to pay to have this gateway constructed, the Maharaja refused permission under it to go down to the tank and he felt that this would be beneath his dignity. While he was away, she built the gate, adding a Krishna temple on top so that king could not tear it down.
JAIN TEMPLES: These fine Jain temples were built in the 12th to 15th century, within the Jaisalmer Fort. They are beautifully carved and dedicated to Rikhabdevji and Sambhavnathji. The Gyan Bhandar, a library containing some extremely old manuscripts, is within the temple complex.
In the afternoon, proceed to the SAM SAND DUNES for visiting the typical Rajasthani Desert Village. View the sunset from the dunes, as the sky is set on fire. Return to the village for dinner amidst Rajasthani musicians playing haunting tunes. Stay overnight at the Jaisalmer.
DAY 06: JAISALMER / JODHPUR.
In the morning drive to Jodhpur, the Sun City. In the afternoon explore Jodhpur once the capital of Marwar, situated in the heart of the Thar Desert.
Visiting the Mehrangarh Fort (Majestic Fort), one of the most impressive & formidable structures anywhere in India. Built by Rao Jodha, this 5km long Fort is on a 125m high hill & has some magnificent palaces with marvellously carved panels latticed window. The Fort Museum houses an exquisite collection of palanquins, howdahs (Elephant Saddles), royal cradles, miniatures paintings, musical instruments, costumes and furnitures. You also visit Jaswant Thada, a cluster of royal cenotaphs in white marble built in the year 1899 AD in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Within the main cenotaph are the portraits of various Jodhpur rulers. It is an architectural landmark of Jodhpur. After completing the sightseeing of the city, you return back to the hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07: Jodhpur - Udaipur Via Ranakpur (Approx 340 Kms/07 Hrs)
Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast you drive to Udaipur and enroute visit the Ranakpur
Ranakpur: Renowned for some marvellously carved Jain temples in amber stone ranakpur is one of the five holy places of the jain community, 96km from Udaipur, these temples were created in the 15th century A.D. during the resin of Rana Kumbha and are enclosed within a wall. The central chaumukha or four faced temple is dedicated to the venerated trithankara Rishabhji. Open on all four sides it enshrines the four faced image of Adinath. Sprawling over 48,000 sq.feet the temple is an astounding creation with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars-all distinctly carved.
After completing the sightseeing of Ranakpur continue the drive to Udaipur.
Udaipur: was founded in the year 1568 by Maharana Dui Singh after his final unsuccessful attempt to defend the Mewar capital, Chittorgarh from the invading Mughals under Emperor Akbar. The Kingdom of Mewar was considered the most respectable among all Princely states in Rajasthan & still remembered for the courage to protect the Kingdom. The site for Udaipur was chosen for its natural beauty, abundant water & natural protection afforded by the surrounding forests & Aravali mountains. It is set on the edge of three lakes & also known as the "City of Lakes & Palaces". Undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in India, its beautiful Palaces are mirrored in the calm waters of Lake Pichola & the city is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces & temples. On arrival in Udaipur you check in to the hotel. Rest of the evening free at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08: In Udaipur
Breakfast at hotel. After breakfast you start the full day sightseeing of Udaipur City. Today you visit the
City Palace, an intriguing collection of buildings contributed by various Maharanas (Kings) after Udai Singh & built in the year 1725. The magnificence of the Palace starts right from its entrance at the northern Tripolia Gate that brings us to the central courtyard, the best place to view the facade of filigreed balconies & ornate cupola-topped towers.
Sahelion ki Bari (Garden of Maids of Honour) is an ornamental garden built by Maharana Sangram Singh for his daughter & the Ladies of the Queen's court. He built the garden with several fountains, pools & is decorated with chiselled pavilions & elephants. The fountains worked on the unique hydraulic technique devised in the year
1700 AD. Later you visit
Jagdish Temple, the Indo-Aryan temple, built in the year 1651 AD by Maharana Jagat Singh, and are the largest & the most beautiful temple of Udaipur with noteworthy sculpted images. You also enjoy boat ride on Lake Pichola, the beauty of the lake is enhanced by the surrounding hills, palaces, temples, bathing ghats & embankments. The Jag Niwas (Lake Palace) & Jag Mandir, the two island palaces on the lake look like pearls in the lake.
After completing the sightseeing of the city, you return back to the hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 09:- Udaipur -Pushkar (274 Kms & 6-7 hours)
Proceed for Pushkar after breakfast. Reach Pushkar by noon and relax. Check in at the hotel.
PUSHKAR - Amongst the grandeur of Rajasthan, discover a unique gem - Pushkar. Lord Brahma - The creator of the world in a search for his abode on earth, performed the supremely spiritual VEDIC YAGNA at Pushkar. It is thus the site of the only Brahma Temple in the world. Blessed with cultural blends, it is the venue for the famous Pushkar Fair, with people coming from all over Asia to buy and sell cattle of breeds from across the world. The consecrated mausoleum of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer attracts pilgrims from all over the world. A city of Pilgrimage from time immemorial with over 500 temples and Ghats Pushkar begets a legacy of timeless architectural heritage. Pushkar radiates an ambience of peace and spirituality that casts a lure to visit again and again. The Pushkar fair is amongst the largest cattle fairs in the world and amongst the oldest cities in India, with references in mythology and the Mahabharat.
Day 10: Pushkar – Jaipur (Approx 150 Kms/05 Hrs)
After breakfast drive to beautiful Pink City – Jaipur.
Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. Proudly belonging to the KSHATRIYA warrior caste and fiercely independent, the Rajput princes made fearsome foes. However, many of them realized that to maintain their wealth and authority locally, it was expedient to proclaim allegiance to the central power. Thus, many enjoyed a privileged position under the Mughal emperors and also the British Raj that followed.
The bustling Rajasthan capital of Jaipur takes its name from its venerated founder Jai Singh II, who was given the title Sawai Maharaja by the Mughal. Literally translated this would mean ’one and a quarter’, suggesting that the Mughal thought this emperor to be more valuable than just ‘one’. Jaipur is known as the ’Pink City’ on account of the distinctive colour of its buildings. This did not, however, form part of the original plan, but dates back to 1856, when the city was given a wash of pink in honor of a State Visit from Prince Albert.
This evening, visit the Birla Temple to learn more about the fascinating religious life of Jaipur. The marble structure, built as recently as 1985, houses ornate statues including one of Lakshmi (goddess of Wealth and Beauty) and Narayan dressed in gaudy robes, representing a Hindu vision of heavenly luxury. Carvings in the temple and on pillars supporting the covered walkways include images of the Hindu pantheon, as well as Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Francis of Assisi. Your visit will coincide with the AARTI Ceremony, which involves oil lamps being lit and waved, in order to awake and invoke the deity. Enjoy the experience and spend night at Jaipur. Overnight will be in Jaipur.
Day 11:- In Jaipur
After break fast proceed for sightseeing of Jaipur. Morning excursion to Amber Fort. Elephant ride ascent to the fort.
AMBER FORT PALACE – Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression. At the foot of the hill you will mount your caparisoned elephant for the slow but steady climb up to the main gate, making your entrance in the time honoured fashion. The Fort, completed in the early 18th century, took over 100 years to build and now, although deserted, offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the Moghul ruling families.
CITY PALACE – A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
JANTAR MANTAR – This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
HAWA MAHAL – The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.
This afternoon is free for you to relax shop or explore independently. Shopping is superb in Jaipur, particularly for gold and silver jewellery, pottery, tie-dye materials, silk, saris, wooden handicrafts and carpets. Overnight will be at Jaipur.
Day:12 Jaipur - Agra (Approx 255 Kms/05½ Hrs)
Post breakfast drive to Agra (240 kms), en route visit Fatehpur Sikri.Fatehpur Sikri the deserted, red sandstone city that was built by Emperor Akbar as his capital and palace in the 16th century. Also visit the Bulund Darwaza the largest gateway in the world. After visiting Fatehpur Sikri we continue drive to Agra. AGRA: Agra has found its mention in the famous Hindu epic Mahabharat as the forest of Agraban close to Mathura. Badal Singh founded the city in 1475. Sikandar Lodhi made Agra his capital city. Later, Babur defeated the Loch’s to capture the city situated on the banks of River Yamuna and thus, the long association of Mughals with Agra started. The Mughal love of architecture translated into beautiful monuments such as Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Skirt and Sikandra. The glory of Agra was at its peak during the reign of Akbar, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. Akbar made it the center of art, culture, commerce and learning and Shah Jahan saw it in full bloom. In fact, it is said that it was Akbar who laid the foundation of the modern city that we see now in 1558 and was known as Akbarabad. Most of the buildings belong to the period between mid-16th century and 17th century and were of high quality. These monuments were built in the contemporary Mughal style. Mughlai cuisine and the skilled craftsmen can still be seen in the narrow lanes of the city as a reminiscent of the lost times. Upon arrival in Agra, We check in at hotel for Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13: Agra - Delhi (Approx 210 Kms/04 Hrs)
After break fast proceed to sightseeing tour of Agra, Enjoy battery van ride to the TAJ,
AGRA FORT: Ever since Babur defeated and killed Ibrahin Lodi at Panipat in 1526, Agra played an important center of Mughal Empire. Akbar chose this city on the bank of River Yamuna as his capital and proceeded to build a strong citadel for the purpose. It is said that he destroyed the damaged old fort of Agra for the purpose and raised this grand group of monuments instead in red sandstone. Started in 1565, it took eight years and thirty-five lakh rupees to complete its construction and is second only to Taj in Agra. Qasim Khan Mir Barr-u-Bahr supervised the construction of this building.
SIKANDRA – This beautifully maintained monument is where EMPEROR AKBAR was buried. It is a very low profile monument but it has one of the most awe – inspiring tombs. It is surreal how one of the greatest emperors has been put to rest. The manicured lawns has spotted and other varieties of deer roaming in them. Named after the Afghan ruler Sikander Lodi, Sikandra is the final resting place of Emperor Akbar. The Emperor began the construction of his own garden mausoleum during his lifetime. However, the construction was completed by his son Jahangir in 1613. An impressive marble – inlaid gateway leads to the spacious four – tiered monument which is crowned by a white marble cenotaph and screen. What is interesting is that the structure imbibes the best of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain motifs, signifying the new religion started by Akbar – the DEEN E ILAHI.
TAJ MAHAL: The epitome of love, the elegy in marble, Taj Mahal is one of the most graceful and extravagant monuments in India. The seventh wonder of the world, it attracts thousands of tourists every year. A symbol of endless love and devotion of Emperor Shah Jehan to his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj is a befitting tribute to so romantic-a-love story and so divine an emotion that binds two souls forever. A visit to Taj Mahal, the mausoleum of Mumtaz, is a rare experience. It has become a signature monument of Indian architecture and someone has rightly said that Taj jas been designed like a palace and finished like a jewel.
The pure white marble structure, Taj acquires different shades at different times of the day and with changing seasons. The soft pink color of the dawn and fiery shade that it acquires at dusk are all bewitching. Though, the light that presents it in the best possible manner is perhaps that of full moon, when it shines with pristine white and silver glory. Taj seems to be as fanciful as the love story it represents of an all-mighty prince and a simple girl hawking silk and glass beads in the market and their marriage that seems so much like a fairy tale. The faithful wife marched with the prince, who was later crowned the emperor, on his every expedition and bore him fourteen children. On her deathbed, she made the emperor to promise to make a lovely monument unlike any other in the world as the tribute to their loving moments that were a treasure for her. The emperor kept the promise faithfully and thus, Taj was conceived. After complete the sightseeing tour of Agra and drive to Delhi reach check in at hotel overnight stay in Delhi.
Day 14: Delhi - Departure
Breakfast at Hotel. Morning start the sightseeing of Old and New Delhi
New Delhi: The city designed and built by the British in the 1920’s- a city of wide boulevards impressive Government Buildings, green parks and gardens. First you will visit the two monuments from the Delhi’s past Humayun’s Tomb and Qutab Minar. Then your drive takes you along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the Imposing India Gate, Parliament House Birla Temple and lotus temple etc.
Old Delhi: An ancient walled city. Here you would see the Red Fort, the most opulent Fort and Palace of the Mughal Empire, Rajghat the Samadhi of our Father of Nation, Jama Masjid the largest mosque in India and Chandni Chowk the bustling and colourful market of the old city. After completing the sightseeing and proceed straight to the International airport to connect flight back home with sweet memory tour to Rajasthan.