August - March
Arrive Delhi by flight. Delhi is the capital of India and the third largest city of India. Delhi and Mumbai are the main cities used for international travel. You can even call Delhi twin cities-Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of India during the Muslim rule from the 12th to the 19th century. New Delhi was created later under the British imperial rule. But what a travel book cannot tell you is that Delhi is a kaleidoscope that promises everything for a tourist, historic sites, divine retreats, heritage, tourism, theme parks, museums, gardens, galleries, film festivals, great shopping and more. You will be met on arrival by our representative.
Welcome by fresh flower garlands at the airport. Leave straight from the airport for Mandawa by air-conditioned coach. En route you will make a stop at a Midway restaurant for Tea/Coffee etc. You can also use the wash room here. Mandawa. Spread over Jhunjhunu, Sikar and Churu districts in north western Rajasthan, Shekhawati region is known for its beautifully painted Haveli's (merchant's houses), found in nearly 20 towns and villages. Mandawa is one of them. Besides the cenotaphs, wells, forts and temples, the majority of frescoes are painted on the walls and gateways of Haveli's. The Shekhawati paintings mainly consisted of red, green, yellow, brown, blue and mushroom colors. Mandawa was founded in the early 18 th century, and is dominated by a rugged fort (now a hotel). Lunch in the midway restaurant. Arrive Mandawa and check in at HOTEL MANDAWA CASTLE Later you will visit the town and its painted Haveli's. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Leave Mandawa for Bikaner by air-conditioned coach or private A/C car. Bikaner was a bustling trade center in the yesteryears and figured on the caravan routes from Africa to Asia. The walled city of Bikaner stands on the northern tip of the desert triangle. It is situated on elevated ground, surrounded by a 7km long embattled high wall. Monuments here are chisled out of red and yellow sandstone and display some of the finest characteristics of the Rajput civilisation. Bikaner boasts a spectacular fort and an old city dotted with Haveli's, and colorful bazaars. Arrive Bikaner and check in at THE HERITAGE RESORT. This Afternoon you will be given the Sightseeing tour of Bikaner, with a visit to the 16th-century fort, a byzantine complex of palaces, pavilions, and temples connected by paved courtyards, narrow staircases, and terraces. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Camel breeding farm. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast leave Bikaner for Luni. Enroute you will be given the city tour of Jodhpur (245 Kms from Bikaner) Lunch at one of the hotels in Jodhpur. The Jodhpur city has a history of battles and royalty as is highly evident by the huge Meherangarh fort overlooking the city. There are some old monuments to see here and you can make a stop before heading to other places in Rajasthan. Did you know that the famous baggy/tight riding trousers called Jodhpuris take their name from this city. The city which stands at the edge of the Thar desert, was founded by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rajput clan known as Rathores in 1459 City tour of Jodhpur – 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.
The Jeeps will wait for you for a visit to Bisnoi Village. Visit the surrounding villages and witness their daily lifestyle of living. You will also be able to visit some of the houses and enjoy cup of tea / coffee with them. By the same Jeeps, you will proceed to Luni. The coach will reach Luni ahead of you. Luni – The village nestles in the shadow of the fort Chanwa walls. At night all is quiet in Luni village and the fort, with its huge gates and protective walls stands proud and strong under the spectacular canopy of stars. Peace spreads out across the desert past the near by Luni river bed and to the city of Jodhpur 35 kms away. Arrive Luni and check in at the HOTEL FORT CHANWA. Fort Chanwa of Luni is an exceptional example of Elegance and Symmetry in Indian architecture of the last century. The entire fortress is carved out of the famous red sandstone of Jodhpur and with its ornately carved lattice work friezes and intricate Jherokas it exquisitely captures the romance and grace of a bygone age. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Later leave Luni for Udaipur by air-conditioned coach. Udaipur is the most romantic of all the Rajasthan cities and one of the most exotic places in Asia. The city's palaces, havelis, temples sets it apart from the rest of the cities. It is also popular for its crafts, paintings and performing arts. The lake palace is the best example of the unique cultural explosion. Udaipur has rightly been called Venice of the east. You can see the city from the rooftop of palaces, the view is marvelous, it makes you forget the world. The smooth rolling hills that surround Udaipur are as overpowering as the city itself. Enroute visit Ranakpur temples. Cradled in a verdant valley in the valley in the Aravalli Hills, on the banks of the river Maghai, stands one of the five holiest places of the Jain faith, 15th century Ranakpur. Just 96 km from Udaipur, Ranakpur is renowned for its magnificent temples of dazzling white marble.
The four-temple complex, far away from any town or village, is completely in harmony with the ascetic ideology of Jainism. There are none of the irritants that abound near most pilgrimage centers: no jostling crowds, no congested bazaars, no aggressive vendors, no badgering guides, no beggars just peace and serenity that are very conducive to worship. Ranakpur temples: A visit to the famous Jain Temple, dating back to the 15th century. 200 pillars, none of which are alike, support its 29 halls. The Temple abounds with intricate friezes and sculptures. The tour also includes visits to two more Jain temples and the Temple of the Sun God with its erotic sculptures. Lunch at Maharani Bagh. After lunch continue your drive to Udaipur. Arrive Udaipur and check in at HOTEL PARAS MAHAL. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning, city tour of Udaipur – the romantic Lake City in Southern Rajasthan, famous for the stunning white marble Palace built on an island in the Lake Pichola. It was the former Palace of the Maharana and now converted to one of the most glamorous hotels in India. The tour will cover the magnificent City Palace, the Jagdish temple, the pleasure gardens and a drive around the other nearby lakes.
The magnificent City Palace, which is simply enormous – an assemblance of not one but four separate palaces covering some four acres of area and exceeding all other palaces for colossal grandeur. Here you will marvel at rooms with mirrored walls and ivory doors, colored glass windows and inlaid marble balconies; and the Peacock Courtyard. Lunch at the hotel. After lunch, continue your visit to Eklingji and Nagada temples. – Eklingji – The road from Udaipur to Eklingji is very beautiful. The undulating countryside, gentle hills and valleys carry the charm of the miniature paintings of this region. About thirty kilometers north of Udaipur is an ancient temple called Eklingji dedicated to Shiva. The temple was originally built by the founder of the Mewar family who came upon this site one day when he was herding his cattle. A holy sage he met there advised him to build this temple and the stone image, a linga of Shiva with four faces, became the patron deity of the royal family. Even today the Maharana worships here and he is considered the representative of Eklingji. The temple was rebuilt in the fourteenth century in granite and marble, and is still a celebrated pilgrimage site in Rajasthan (open alas to Hindus only). Nagada Temples – About four kilometers to the west of Eklingji are some interesting ruined eleventh century temples called Sas-Bahu (for some reason, the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law temples) with exquisite stone carvings. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Leave Udaipur for Ajmer by air-conditioned coach / private Car. Enroute visit Deogarh Palace. After early lunch at Deogarh Mahal, proceed for Ajmer. Ajmer, is 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, Ajmer has always had great strategic importance. It was founded in 7th century by Ajaipal Chauhan. He named it Ajaimeru the 'invincible hill'. The city's Muslim history began when Prithviraj Chau-han lost Ajmer to Sultan Muhammad Ghori in 1193 A.D. 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 Shah Jahan constructed a mosque of white marble, it has 11 arches and a Persian inscription running the full length of the building. Arrive Ajmer and check in at HOTEL MANSINGH In the evening you will be given the city tour of Ajmer. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Leave for a visit to Pushkar. Pushkar is a mellow, serene and bewitching little town which attracts those in search of some respite from the tumult of India. Pushkar is right on the edge of the desert and is only 11 kms from Ajmer but separated from it by Nag Pahar, the snake mountain This traveler-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, since many were deserted by Aurangzeb and subsequently rebuilt. 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. Lunch at the hotel.
Transfer to the railway station to connect train for Jaipur. (You can leave your luggage in the coach as the same coach will reach Jaipur to provide services from tomorrow. In Jaipur, upon your arrival by train, you will be provided transfer from railway station to the hotel. The coach will take about 4 hours to reach where as the train will reach in two hours. Hence please carry your hand luaage with important things which will be required for you before the coach arrives. Jaipur the `Pink City' as it is popularly known, is the bustling capital of Rajasthan. `Pink city' because most of the buildings are pink in colour in the old city. The city retains its old self, at the same time it is moving fast as a modern city. You can see extreme contrast on the streets of Jaipur. On one side you have cars, buses and motorbikes, on the other side you can see camel carts. On one side there are traditionally dressed men and women in their turbans and colorful long skirts and blouses. On the other hand you can see modernly dressed Indians and foreign tourists having a bite in their favorite American restaurants. Depart Ajmer by Shatabdi Express at 1550 hours. Arrive Jaipur at 1730hours. Meeting and assistance on arrival and transfer to hotel HOTEL HOLIDAY INN Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning you will be given an excursion to Amer Fort – At a short distance of 11 kms. from Jaipur, the Amer Fort complex stands amidst wooded hills overlooking the Delhi-Jaipur highway, with its forbidding ramparts reflected in the still waters of the Maota Lake below. At the foot of the hill you will mount your caparisoned elephant for the slow but steady climb up to the main gate. One of the finest examples of Rajput architecture, it was the ancient capital of the Kachhawah rulers. The original palace was built by Raja Man Singh and additions were made later by Sawai Jai Singh. Within the palace are the Diwan-e-Aam or the "Hall of Public Audience", the Diwan-e-Khas or the "Hall of Private Audience" and the Sukh Niws where a cool breeze blows across channels of water for the purpose of air-conditioning. Here are the private chambers of the queens with windows having latticed screens so that the ladies could watch the proceedings of the royal court inprivacy.
There is also the Jai Mandir or the "Temple of Vicotry", with its famed Sheesh Mahal, the scintillating "Hall of Mirrors". Return to the hotel for Lunch. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Jaipur city visiting City Palace, Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar (Observatory). The City Palace is now converted into a museum, except a small portion that is still used by the royal family of Jaipur. Built in the fortified campus style, the palace covers almost one-seventh part of the city. One of the major attractions in the museum is the portion that is devoted to the arms and ammunition used by the royal family in the past. Other important attractions are the Textile and Costume Museum, Art Gallery, Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, and Diwan-i-Khas and Diwan-i-Am. Drive past Hawa Mahal – Strange though it may seem, this most famous landmark of Jaipur is not actually a palace but a series of sandstone screens. This pink structure was constructed so that the ladies of the palace could watch the royal processions without being seen by any outsider. This sandstone edifice was named Palace of Winds after the many brass wind vanes that adorned it until 1960s. Also visit Observatory Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we motor to Agra, with a visit en route to the ghost town of Fatehpur-Sikri, originally built by Mughal Empire Akbar but deserted due to lack of water. Continue your drive to Agra. Agra, the name brings to our mind superb monuments including the magnificent Taj which is one of the seven wonders of the world. Agra is the symbol of a bygone era. The era, when the Mughal ruled India. As a reminder of their glorious past they have left behind some beautiful monuments. The one and the only Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Jehangir's Palace. The list of the monuments is endless. If we could push these great monuments away from our minds, then Agra is just like any other city. Arrive Agra and check in at HOTEL HOLIDAY INN Lunch at the hotel. After lunch you will be given the city tour of Agra. Visit Agra Fort – Built by Emperor Akbar on the west bank of the river Yamuna and beautified with palaces and gardens by Jehangir, Agra Fort today dominates the centre of the city.
The crescent-shaped fort with its 20-meter high, 2.4-km outer walls contains a maze of buildings that form a small city within a city. One can enter the fort only through the Amar Singh Gate. The public access is limited to the southern part of the fort which includes nearly all the buildings of tourist interest. The Diwan-i-Aam (hall of public audience) and Diwan-i-Khas (hall of private audience) were built by Shahjahan for receiving audiences. Jehangir's palace built by Akbar was the largest private residence in the fort. Close to Diwan-i-Khas, stands an octagonal tower known as Musamman Burj. It was here that Shahjahan breathed his last after seven years of imprisonment. Other places to see within the fort include the Khas Mahal, Sheesh Mahal (the mirror palace) and the Anguri Bagh (the Grape Garden). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
The very best is kept for this day! we visit the Taj Mahal, unquestionably one of the most beautiful buildings in the entire world, Taj Mahal (closed on Fridays) built in 1630 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal to enshrine her mortal remains. The monument has been described as the most extravagant ever built for love, for the emperor was heart-broken when Mumtaz, to whom he had been married for 17 years, and who died in 1629 in childbirth soon after delivering her 14th child. Later. Return to the hotel for Breakfast. American Breakfast at the hotel. After Breakfast, you will leave Agra for Delhi by air conditioned coach. You will arrive at a Local restaurant in Delhi for Lunch. After lunch in the Restaurant proceed for the tour of Old and New Delhi.
Visit the former center of Mughal Power, Old Delhi offers ancient monuments, narrow streets and bustling bazaars. Visit the vast Red Fort, built in 1648, the Jama Masjid, the greatest mosque in India and completed in 1658 by Shah Jahan who also built the Taj Mahal, and the Raj Ghat, the simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. You will enjoy the Cycle Rickshaw Ride in the narrow lanes of Chandni Chok. Later visit New Delhi – drive past the stately government buildings of the British Era designed by Lutyens, including the India Gate & the Presidential Palace. Continue onto the beautiful Humayuns tomb of the Mughal era & predecessor of the world famous Taj Mahal. End the tour at the towering minaret of Qutab Minar. Check in at hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport in time to connect flight for your onward journey with sweet memories of cultural hub of north india's – Rajasthan.