13 Days/12 Nights Delhi-Mandawa-Bikaner-Jaisalmer-Jodhpur-Udaipur-Jaipur-Agra-Delhi
DAY 1 – Arrive Delhi
On arrival we meet and transfer you to the hotel.(hotel check in time 1400-1500 hrs). Overnight at your selected hotel (2 nights)
DAY 2 – Delhi (B)
Today after breakfast at the hotel, we depart for guided tour of Old & New includes visiting Jama Masjid – the Great Mosque of Old Delhi was both the largest and the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan. Begun in 1644, the mosque was not completed until 1658. It has three gateways, four angle towers and two minarets standing 40m (133ft) high constructed of alternating vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard of the mosque can hold 25,000 people. Pass through Chandni Chowk market (closed on Sundays)-once the main street of the 7th city of Delhi: Shahjahanabad. Chandni Chowk was a social hub and fashionable shopping center in Emperor Shah Jahan’s time. The name Chandni Chowk (Silver or Moonlight Square) came from the silvery reflection of the moon in a pool built by Shah Jahan’s sister, Jahanara, about halfway down the street. Today Chandni Chowk is one of the most densely populated areas in the world with 90% of Delhi’s Muslims living there. Chandni Chowk is also a bustling commercial center, thronging with people and traffic. We will then drive pass Red Fort (stop for photo from outside)- The red sand stone walls of Lal Quila, the Red Fort extend for 2 km (1 mile) and vary in height from 18m (59 feet) on the river side to 33m (108 feet) on the city side. Shah Jahan started construction of the massive fort in 1638 and it was completed in 1648. The Red Fort dates from the peak of Mughal power. The Mughal reign from Delhi was a short one. Aurangzeb was the first and the last emperor to rule from here. Later visit Raj Ghat – the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, after his assassination in 1948.
Continue towards New Delhi visit Tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun. Built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum, the Persian-born senior wife of Humayun, the second Mughal emperor, this is a wonderful early example of Mughal architecture. The elements in its design – a squat building, high arched entrances that let in light, topped by a bulbous dome and surrounded by formal gardens – were to be refined over the years to the magnificence of the Taj Mahal in Agra. Drive past India Gate (War Memorial), President’s House, which was once the Viceroy’s Palace, Parliament House and Secretariat buildings; Qutab Minar – 234 feet high tower. The Qutab Minar itself is a soaring tower of victory that was started in 1193, immediately after the defeat of the last Hindu kingdom in Delhi. It is nearly 73m (243 feet) high and tapers from a 15m (50 feet) diameter base to just 2.5m (9 feet) at the top. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone, the fourth and the fifth of marble & sandstone.
DAY 3 – Delhi-Mandawa (B)
Today after breakfast at the hotel, we check out, meet our driver and depart by road to Mandawa and upon arrival, check in at our selected hotel (1 night).
Afternoon, we depart for guided sightseeing tour of city by visiting many Havelies/local market. Mandawa: In the heart of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan lies the beautiful small town Mandawa, known throughout the state for its forts and havelis. The structure of this place reminds one of the cultural and social hotspot this place used to be in the bygone era. The compact and busy little market town of Mandawa was settled and fortified in 18th century by the dominant merchant families of the region. The wealthy businessmen of the village constructed many havelis and baolis with colored painting adorning their walls. Later on, with the migration of these merchant families, their old settlements remained in total obscurity with no one to look after them. Despite the time lapse and ignorance about these visual and architectural extravaganzas, their attraction did not fade and today they are some of the major attractions for the tourists visiting Rajasthan. Founded in the 18th century, the medieval fort of Mandawa dominates the town with a painted arched gateway adorned with Lord Krishna and his cows. The Chokhani and Ladia havelis and the street with Saraf havelis are some of the splendid examples of this region’s havelis. The Binsidhar Newatia Haveli has some curious paintings on its outer eastern wall-a boy using a telephone, and a European woman in a car driven by a chauffeur. The Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli has some defaced erotic images.
DAY 4 – Mandawa-Bikaner (210 kms/4 hrs) (B)
After early breakfast at hotel, depart by road to Bikaner and upon arrival, check in at our selected hotel (1 night).
After check in, we depart with guided to visit Junagarh Fort was built between 1571 to 1611 AD. This fort was constructed of red sandstone and marble with kiosks and balconies embellishing the structure at intervals. This imposing Fort and its palaces will be an unforgettable experience for us.
DAY 5 – Bikaner-Jaisalmer (330 kms/6-7 hrs) (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, we check out and depart to visit Karni Mata Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Karni Mata at Deshnoke, 30km from Bikaner, in Rajasthan, India. It is also known as the Temple of Rats. Upon arrival in Jaisalmer, check in at our selected hotel.
DAY 6 – Jaisalmer (B)
Today after breakfast, we depart with guide for full day tour of Jaisalmer to visit the Golden Fort & some of its magnificent Havelies and Gadi Sagar Lake. The Fort – The golden hued fort is a sentinel to the bleak desertscape from its 80 metre high perch on the hill, housing the entire township within its ramparts. Continue to visit Nathmalji-Ki-Haveli – The late 19th century haveli with intricate architecture a display of sheer craftsmanship, Patwon–ki-Haveli – The most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It has exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers, Salim Singh-ki-Haveli – This 300 year old haveli of Jaisalmer’s Prime Minister to Maharaja Rawal Gaj Singh – Salim Singh, has a beautiful blue cupola roof with superbly carved brackets in the form of peacocks. This extraordinary mansion in yellow stone is covered with intricate carvings and has an elaborate projecting balcony on the top storey; Gadi Sagar Lake-one of the most important tourist attractions in Jaisalmer. Its charm lies in the fact that it was the only source of water for the Jaisalmer city in the olden days. A manmade reservoir, the Gadi Sagar Lake in Jaisalmer, was constructed by Raja Rawal Jaisal, the first ruler of Jaisalmer. In the later years Maharaja Garisisar Singh rebuilt and revamped the lake. Evening visit Sam Sand Dunes to witness the magnificent sunset view over the sand dunes. Also enjoy camel ride on the dunes. Drive back to Jaisalmer.
DAY 7 – Jaisalmer-Jodhpur (260 kms/ 05-06 hrs) (B)
After breakfast at hotel, depart by road to Jodhpur and upon arrival, check in at our selected hotel (1 night). Jodhpur stands on a range of sandstone hills surrounded by a strong wall nearly 10 kms in length, with seven gates. Dominating the city is an eminence surmounted by a massive fortress. In olden days, the fortress must have been well nigh impregnable, for the rocky base on which it is built is scraped on every side. Within the walls are royal palaces with priceless jewels and a striking collection of arms. After check in, depart with guide for sightseeing tour of city visiting to visit The Mehrangarh Fort. In olden days, the fortress must have been well nigh impregnable, for the rocky base on which it is built is scraped on every side. Within the walls are royal palaces with priceless jewels and a striking collection of arms. Jaswant Thada, an imposing marble memorial built in 1899.
DAY 8 – Jodhpur-Ranakpur-Udaipur (290 kms/ 06-07 hrs) (B)
After breakfast at hotel, check out and depart by road to Udaipur enroute visiting Ranakpur Jain Temples, approx.90 kms before Udaipur, in a quiet isolated glen, is a remarkable complex of Jain Temples (1440 A.D.). Built during the reign of the liberal and gifted monarch Rana Kumbha, these temples, though belonging to a late period (15th century), when the peak of the classical age was already past, are a unique example of Jain ecclesiastical architecture. The entire enclosure is encircled by a wall. One temple consists of 29 halls and 426 pillars full of sculptural decoration. No two pillars are alike here. Upon arrival at Udaipur, check in at our selected hotel (2 nights). In Udaipur the visitor finds his dream of India come true for the city combines real beauty with picturesque associations of a great and glorious past. It stands in a valley, amid green hills on the banks of the wide, steel blue lake Pichola. On little islands in the lake, from the water’s edge, rise marble palaces of pure white that glisten like fairy castles. Crowning the ridge, in which the city clusters, along the shores of the lake is the palace of the Maharaja. Within the palace is all the magnificence of the East – peacocks in mosaic on the walls, floors inlaid with tiles of rare beauty, and roof gardens affording magnificent views of the panorama below.
DAY 9 – Udaipur (B)
After breakfast at hotel, depart for guide sightseeing tour of city to visit City Palace – City Palace towers over the Pichola Lake. Maharana Uday Singh initiated in the construction of the palace but succeeding Maharanas added several palaces and structures to the complex retained a surprising uniformity to the design. The palace started building in year 1543-44; visit Sahelion Ki Bari (Queen’s retreat for her friends) Or also known as Garden of Maidens, a drive around Fateh Sagar Lake-a man made lake, City Palace-one of the most important attraction in Udaipur, has several exotic palatial structures that enchant with their carved walls, fantastic walls, latticework, mirror work etc., Jagdish Temple- Located in the City Palace complex of Udaipur, this temple is made in the Indo-Aryan style of architecture in 1651 and explore the local market around the temple. Afternoon is free for independent activities. OPTIONAL: Evening boat ride by on Lake Pichola and visit the Jag Mandir Palace by motor launch. The palace, built of granite and marble, covers four acres and is built almost in the middle of the lake. Visit the Borra Mahal, Khas Mahal and the courts, gardens and fountains.
DAY 10 – Udaipur-Jaipur (415 kms/ 07-08 hrs) (B)
After early breakfast at hotel, check out and depart by road to Jaipur. Upon arrival, check in at our selected hotel (2 nights). Jaipur, The rose-pink capital of Rajasthan is surrounded on all sides by rugged hills, crowned with forts and enclosed by embattled walls. The Maharaja’s palace stands in the centre of the city amidst lovely gardens. Houses with latticed windows line the streets, their rose-pink colour lending enchantment to the scene which is almost magical at sunset. Jaipur is aptly called the ‘Pink City of India’. It takes its name from the famous Maharana Sawai Jai Singh, who founded the city in 1728.Jaipur is noted for its craft men skilled in the art of cutting precious stones and famed for its garnets and rubies. It is equally well known for brass inlay work, lacquer work and the printing of muslines. The City Palace which now houses a museum containing rate manuscripts, paintings and an armoury; the Observatory with a sundial 90 ft. high; the Museum amidst the Ram Niwas Palace Gardens founded in 1876 with a large collection of antiques; the Palace of Winds a landmark of Jaipur made of pink sand stone and of unique design. Rest of the evening free to relax/explore your hotel.
DAY 11 – Jaipur (B)
After breakfast at hotel, depart with guide for sightseeing tour of city to visit AMBER: 10 kms from Jaipur lies Amber with an old palace overlooking the lake at the entrance to a rocky mountain grove. Built in the 17th century, the palace is a distinguished specimen of Rajput architecture. Enjoy an elephant ride (subject to availability) Or by jeep to reach the Fort on the top of the hill. Continue to visit Maharaja’s City Palace, which occupies a large area divided into a series of courtyards, gardens and buildings; Jantar Mantar (an Observatory), next to the entrance of the City palace, begun by Jai Singh in 1728. Jai Singh’s passion for astronomy was even more notable than his prowess as a warrior and, before commencing construction, he sent scholars abroad to study foreign observatories. Jantar Mantar appears to be just a curious collection of sculptures but in fact each construction has a specific purpose, such as measuring the positions of stars, altitudes and azimuths and calculating eclipses also visit Hawa Mahal, which was constructed in 1799, the Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds, is one of Jaipur’s major landmarks.
DAY 12 – Jaipur/Agra via Fatehpur Sikri (approx. 250 kms/5-6 hrs) (B)
After breakfast at hotel, check out and depart by road to Agra enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri – the ancient capital built by Mughal Emperor Akbar and whose palace is a fine example of Mughal architecture of the sixteenth century. These magnificent red sandstone ruins of the middle of the plain are the remains of one of the capitals Akbar. He founded in 1569 by expressing his gratitude for the birth of his son, Selim. The building principal is the great mosque, probably the best in India. The Palace of Jodha Bai, the wife Akbar’s Rajput, includes a courtyard surrounded by a gallery surmounted by buildings and covered with a glazed blue roof. Akbar’s private apartments and exquisite palace Sultan Turkey found in another court, then the Panch Mahal, or palace has five floors, which includes room hearings. Visit the palace and called Bulund Darwaza the largest gateway in the world. Continue to Agra and upon arrival, check in at our selected hotel (1 night).
Day 13 – Agra/Delhi (approx.205 kms/4 hrs)/Depart (B)
After breakfast at hotel, depart with guide for sightseeing tour of city to visit Agra Fort Or Red Fort, the most beautiful 17th century Mughal architecture. In 1565, Akbar began to build the Red Fort with its high red sandstone walls: inside, south, is the Jahangiri Mahal or Palace of Jahangir, built by Akbar to the north, the Pearl Mosque, built by Shah Jahan. The “Khas Mahal” which forms three pavilions, one discovers a beautiful view of the Yamuna and the Taj Mahal, continue to visit local market, shopping; Taj Mahal (remain closed on Fridays) – the world’s greatest love tribute: the Taj Mahal built by Emperor Shah Jehan for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal in 1565 on the bank of the Yamuna River. The exterior is decorated with arabesques and texts of the Koran inlaid with precious stones. The Tomb itself, while pure white marble, consists of an octagonal building with a terrace square, surmounted by a dome 26 meters high. Afternoon check out and depart by road to Delhi, where rooms are booked for wash & change (to be checked out by 2100 hrs). In time, transfer to airport to board flight for onward destination.
HOTELS USED (Or Similar) ON ROYAL RAJASTHAN TOUR:
Delhi: Holiday Inn Mayur Vihar
Mandawa: Castle Mandawa
Bikaner: Laxmi Niwas Palace
Jaisalmer: Fort Rajwada
Jodhpur: Fairfield by Marriott
Udaipur: Fateh Niwas
Jaipur: Holiday Inn City Centre
Agra: Four Points by Sheraton
Note: Driving distance/time are approximate, subject to road and traffic conditions.
Meet & greet service on arrival at Delhi Airport
Welcome document kit
Private round trip transfers airport/hotel as mentioned
Accommodations as described (or similar) on twin sharing basis
Buffet breakfast daily
Ground transportation as described by chauffeur-driven air-conditioned car/minivan
Sightseeing and excursions as described
Elephant or Jeep ride in Jaipur at the Amber Palace
Services of a licensed English speaking guide
All hotel taxes and service charges
Itineraries are intended to be suggestions only, completely customizable to meet the needs and tastes of the traveller in terms of type of accommodations, length of stay, additional destinations, experiences, and transfers.
Any domestic or international airfares and related taxes and fees, airport taxes, any city taxes if required to be paid locally, meals not mentioned in the itinerary, beverages, gratuities to your tour-guide and bus driver, any optional tours, items of a personal nature fees i.e., laundry, telephone calls, etc., and any other items not specifically listed as included.