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Rajasthan - The Ultimate

Description

The royal state of Rajasthan popularly known as “The Land of the Kings” is a place where one can travel back in time. The magnificent forts and palaces have tales of heroism, chivalry and romance to tell. One of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world it is a delight for shoppers, history buffs, wanderers and the cultural enthusiasts. The Aravali mountain range, the Thar Desert, the wild life sanctuaries, the magnificent palaces and forts, the puppet dances, the fairs and festivals lure crowds from the across the world. This tour takes you on a journey which covers the major highlights of Rajasthan which are must-see for any avid traveler.

Program

Duration: 16 nights/17 days

Destinations: Delhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Ghanerao - Udaipur - Bassi - Pushkar - Jaipur - Ranthambore - Agra - Delhi

Day 1

Arrive Delhi

On arrival at the airport our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

Delhi

After breakfast proceed for a sight seeing tour of Old and New Delhi - the melting point of Indian politics and a potpourri of several cultures. And famous for its ancient monuments, narrow streets and the bustling bazaars. Drive past the Red Fort- the magical fort built in red sandstone, the Jama Masjid – the largest mosque in Asia, both built by Shah Jahan, the mughal emperor and have a peek into the Chandni Chowlk Bazars. Then proceed to Rajghat – a memoir of the Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi , built in black marble platform on the banks of the Yamuna River, where his mortal remains were cremated. Then onto New Delhi driving past the Government Buildings of the British era designed by Lutyens, including the India Gate – a cenotaph of the martyres, the Parliament House and the President’s Palace. Visit the Humayun’s Tomb and finally the Qutub Minar. Return to Hotel and Overnight.

Day 3

Delhi- Mandawa ( 240 kms, 5 hours)

After breakfast proceed to Mandawa Known as an open art Gallery of the State - it is famous for its unique Hawelis and vibrant fresco art paintings. On arrival check into your hotel. Later proceed for sight seeing tour covering Mandawa Fort which dominates the town with a painted arched gateway adorned with Lord Krishna and his cows, Thakurji Temple, and Royal Hawelis like Binsidhar Newatia Haweli, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, Murmuria Haveli and Jhunjhunwala Haveli that have lavishly painted walls. Evening you are free to explore more on your own. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 4

Mandawa – Bikaner ( 190 Km, 4 hours)

After Breakfast proceed to Bikaner by road. On arrival check into your hotel. Later you will be taken for sight seeing tour …first visiting the stunning Junagarh Fort (Old Fort) boasting of splendid illustrative interiors. Despite multiple invasion attempts, the Fort built in 1588 till today remains unconquered – you will admire the architectural marvel. A part of the Fort is converted to a museum where ancient artifacts have been well preserved. Also visit the Lalgarh Palace built in red sandstone which is stupendous work of architectural brilliance – blend of European and Rajput architecture. There are massive lawns and a library, cards room and billiards room among many other rooms. You will get a chance to see the peacocks dance. Most of the palace, now converted to a hotel is inaccessible except the museum. Visit the Laxminath temple one of the oldest temples built in white marble and red sandstone dedicated to Lord Vishnu. And the Jain Temple – a unique and intricately designed temple, sculpted pillars, mirror work and frescoes and the gold leaf which inspire all visitors. Built in Red sandstone and white marble this three storied temple stands unique and commands admiration. Other places of interest are Karni Mata Temple and some museums. Later you will be taken to the Sand Dunes, in the centre of which lies the Camel Breeding farm, You will spot herds of camels returning after grazing. Then See the spectacular sunset in the desert and the sand dunes, and enjoy every moment. Return to the hotel and overnight.

Day 5

Bikaner- Jaisalmer (320 Km, 7 hours)

Today after your breakfast you will get ready to proceed to Jaisalmer known as the “Golden city of Rajasthan” On your way you will get a glimpse of the rustic villages located amidst the Thar desert. You will be amazed by the beauty of the barren desert landscape You will also come across gypsy caravans and wild camels along the desert road. On arrival in Jaisalmer check into your hotel. Explore the surrounding on your own and overnight at the Hotel.

Day 6

Jaisalmer – Sand Dunes Camp (40 Kms)

After breakfast get ready for a sight seeing tour. First you will explore the old Jaisalmer comprising of the bustling narrow streets dotted with heritage Havelis. Then visit the Jaisalmer Fort, one of the world’s largest fortification built on a height of 80m. Built by Raja Rawal Jaisal in 1156 this massive castle made of sandstone is popularly known as “Sonar Quila” . Then visit the Jain temples with strikingly beautiful carvings built between the 12th and 15th century. Then visit the Patwon ki Haweli, Jaisalmer’s first Haweli built by Guman Chand Patwa. Later you will be taken to the Sand dunes which are 40km away. This thrilling experience will certainly be memorable for you. You will stop at Sand Dunes Camp site and check into your camp and relax for a while. The night will be very exciting – as you enjoy the bonfire and the lip smacking Indian and International cuisine on the dunes you will watch the Kabelia dance and other cultural activities. Overnight at the camp.

Day 7

Jaiselmer-Jodhpur (6 hrs 320 kms)

Today after your breakfast you will get ready for drive to Jodhpur known as the “Blue City” or “Sun City” of Rajasthan. The city was founded in 1459 and Named after its founder Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan. En route you will arrive at Osian, a Temple city, now in ruins. The city is popular for its old temples with marvelous architecture and carvings such as Jain temples, Sachiya Mata Temple, Surya Temple, Shiv Mandir and Vishnu Temple. Explore these temples and then enjoy your lunch. You will arrive Jodhpur late afternoon and check into your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 8

Jodhpur-Ghanerao (160 kms. 4 hours)

Today after breakfast proceed for a sight seeing tour and then further on to Ghanerao. Start your tour by first visiting the Mehrangarh Fort , one of the largest Forts in India built around 1460 by Rao Jodha, the chief of the Rathore Clan. The fort is situated at 410 feet above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. You have to cross 7 gates to arrive at the fort. Built with Red sandstone the Fort has a strange haunting beauty and the view from the top of the Fort is splendid. Next visit the popular site Jaswant Thada known as the Taj Mahal of Jodhpur – built in white marble this memorial was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh in 1899 in memory of his father Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Then visit the Umaid Bhawan Palace and Museum, a part of this building is a heritage hotel now. The Museum has a lot of belongings of Maharaja Umaid Singh and the royal family members on display like weapons, crockery, stuffed leopards, trophies and antiques. Then on your way to Ghanerao stop at the popular Bullet Baba Temple where a Bullet and his dead rider Om Banna is worshipped and listen to the interesting story behind the construction of the temple. Later proceed to the hotel at Ghanerao and check in. Overnight at the Hotel.

Day 9

Ghanerao – Udaipur ( 4 hours, 130 kms)

This morning after your breakfast proceed to the “City of Lake” – Udaipur, boasting of a scenic charm the city is dotted with several architectural marvels and placid Lake Pichola. Often referred to as the “Venice of the East” Udaipur is one of the most romantic destinations of India. On reaching Udaipur check into your hotel and relax. Thereafter proceed for sight seeing first visiting the marvelous City Palace Complex, situated on the eastern Banks of the Lake. The many structures in the palace were constructed in a span of 400 years by different rulers who reigned from time to time. During sunset enjoy the boat ride on the Lake admiring the splendid views of the temples, palaces, Aravali range and the bathing ghats. In the evening enjoy your shopping in the local bazaars. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10

Udaipur – Bassi via Chittorgarh ( 190 kms, 4 hours)

After breakfast proceed to Bassi, enroute stopping at the mighty Chittorgarh Fort to admire its beauty. The fort covers a area of 700 acres and is a mark of the bravery and gallantry of the Rajputs. The fort’s rulers were defeated thrice between 15th and 16th century and the women in the fort had to commit “Jauhar” an act where women collectively sacrifice their lives in fire. Though the fort is in ruins, yet its grandeur remains intact even to this day. After your lunch proceed to Hotel at Bassi and complete your check in formalities. After relaxing for some time Then visit the Bassi Fort Palace, surrounded by hills which was a home to the 16th century Mewar dynasty, now turned into a heritage hotel. Return to the Hotel and overnight.

Day 11

Bassi – Pushkar ( 5 hours, 210 kms)

Today early morning after your breakfast drive to Pushkar a spiritual city known for its temples, including the famours Brahma Temple, sand dunes, Fair, bazaar and the ghats. With The three hills on one side and the deep Lake on the other make Pushkar a unique and beautiful city. On arrival check into your hotel. Now its time to begin your sight seeing tour of Pushkar first visiting the famous Pushkar Lake, which is considered to be a Holy Lake. It is believed that having a holy dip in this lake is equivalent to doing meditation and prayers for a hundred years. Surrounded by 400 temples and 52 palaces, the lake looks calm and serene. Enjoy your boat ride and Then Visit the Brahma temple, the only one in India. This magnificent temple is dedicated to Lord Brahma, who by Hindus is believed to be the creator. The structure is built in marble and has unique surroundings. Though Pushkar has many temples, the Brahma temple stands apart in beauty and grandeur. Then visit the Savitri Temple, that is perched on Ratnagiri Hill behind the Brahma temple that is dedicated to Goddess Savitri, first wife of Lord Brahma. A Half an hour trek would take you to this temple and offer some spectacular views of the city. Then Right next to the Brahma temple inside a cave is the Apteshwar Temple believed to be built by Lord Brahma to appease Lord Shiva, The temple is a famous pilgrimage site for the devotees of Shiva. In the evening walk in the vibrant bazaars and lay your hands on beautiful tie and dye fabric, precious stones, paintings, handicrafts, artifacts and many more. Overnight at the hotel

Day 12

Pushkar – Jaipur ( 4 hours, 130 kms)

This morning after your breakfast proceed to Jaipur known as the “Pink City” of Rajasthan, one of India’s most important heritage cities dotted by majestic palaces, heritage museums, vibrant and bustling bazaars and many architectural marvels. On arrival at Jaipur check into your hotel. After relaxing for a while get ready for an excursion to Amber Fort which is 11 kms away from Jaipur which is the most important attraction. Built in the year 1592 by Raja Man Singh on a hill, this fort complex has several structures with a fusion of Hindu and Muslim style architecture which you will admire. The carvings on the wall and ceilings are the extraordinary features of this fort. The fort has a series of gates, each with a different architecture. Hop on to an elephant’s back to get a ride upto the fort’s entrance.

Day 13

Jaipur – Ranthambore ( 190 kms 4.5 hours)

Today after breakfast get ready to drive to Ranthambore. Proceed on to Sawai Madhopur to arrive at Ranthambore National Park, which used to be the hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur. On arrival at Ranthambore, check into your hotel. After relaxation for a while proceed for a sight seeing tour visit the Ranthambore Fort which was built in the 10th century. The entrance has a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Huge stone walls form the boundaries of the fort and it comprises of a no. of structures temples, cenotaphs, house , step wells, palaces, etc. Even today one can see the Phansi Ghar, Hammir’s Court, Dhula Mahal and Badal Mahal. Later on embark on a nature walk enjoying the greenery and serenity. Return to your hotel. Overnight at the hotel

Day 14

Ranthambore

Have your breakfast and be ready for an exciting day as you will experience two jungle safaris today accompanied by a naturalist – one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The Ranthambore National Park is situated at the meeting of the Vindhya and Aravali ranges and is rich in flora and fauna. The Park houses varied species like leopards, striped Hyaenas, Tiger, Sambhar Deer, Nilgai, Chital, mugger crocodile and many more. The park’s deciduous forests are characteristic examples of jungles found in Central India. The sanctuary also comprises variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles as well as one of the largest Banyan trees in India. The safari is a treat for the natural wild life lovers. The time spent in watching tigers roaming here and there, a gamut of other species of chirpy birds, verdant greenery, and animals is priceless that is worth enough to be seen at least once in a lifetime. Naturalists researching about the fauna of Ranthambore National Park have listed over 30 species of mammals and more than 300 species of birds as occupant species. Spot colourful birds like bulbul, falcons, mynas, great crested grebe, herons, kingfishers, gulls and more. Later return to the resort and overnight.

Day 15

Ranthambore – Bharatpur (4.5 hours, 220 kms)

After your breakfast begin your drive to the Bharatpur Sanctuary - Now known as Keoladeo National park, it is a famous Avifauna sanctuary of India that hosts thousands of birds especially during the winter season. Over 230 species of birds are found here. In addition you can find the Basking Python, painted storks, deer, Nilgai and more. This World Heritage site was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971. It is also known as the breeding ground for the rare and elusive Siberian crane.It originated as a royal hunting reserve for the Maharajas and the British.

On arrival check into your resort. After refreshing yourselves up, proceed for an exciting bird safari. As no vehicles are allowed in the Park, you will need to do bird watching either by walking or taking a ride in a cycle rickshaw that ply inside the park. Return to the resort and overnight.

Day 16

Bharatpur – Agra ( 70 kms, 1.5 hours)

This morning after breakfast you will proceed to Agra – The Mughal city. On arrival check into your hotel. Then proceed for sight seeing tour of Agra Fort -A symbol of power, strength and glory The Agra Fort is the highlight of the city of Agra, the main residence of the Mughal King till 1638, after which the capital was shifted to Delhi. The fort comprises of splendid palaces in both red sandstone and marble built by two generations of prolific builders Akbar and later Jehangir and ShahJahan. The fort comprises of exquisite structures like the Sheesh Mahal (Glass Palace), Diwane Aam ( A common hall which once housed the Peacock Throne), Diwane Khas – Hall for special audience, Khas Maha- an immaculate marble palace, Mina Masjid – Heavenly mosque, Mussamman Burj – An octagonal tower facing the Taj Mahal and many more. Rest of the day free. Overnight at hotel.

Day 17

Agra – Delhi (210 kms, 4 hours)

Today early morning visit the Taj Mahal an epitome of love, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal from 1628 - 1658 The sunrise view of the monument in white marble is a spectacular sight which one treasures in memories. The tomb is the centerpiece of a 17 hectare complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house and is set in formal gardens bounded on 3 sides by crenellated walls. Return to your hotel and have breakfast. Thereafter check out and get ready for your drive back to Delhi. On arrival at Delhi you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight or return home with happy memories.

The above is only a suggestive itinerary. The duration of the tour can be modified to suit your specific requirements.

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