Rajasthan's unique culture is evident in everything - the way people dress up, their lifestyle, dance and music, art and architecture, and their religious beliefs. The painted Havelis in Shekhawati region are exemplary works of art and so are the deserts of Bikaner. The hefty turbans and big mustaches are badges of honor for males.
Deshnok Temple and its rats mystify foreign tourists and Sam sand dunes offer scenic views of Jaisalmer. As you ride on camels and explore Rajasthan, you will see women from rural areas sporting small waists but veiled faces carrying several pots of water at once with an effortless balance.
Meeting and greetings on arrival at Delhi’s Airport and proceed to the Hotel for overnight stay.
Delhi city tour - Morning after breakfast at the hotel commence combined sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi. Overnight stay at the Hotel.
Tour of Delhi : Red Fort - The red sand stone walls of Red Fort, the Red Fort extend for 2 km and vary in height from 18m on the river side to 33m 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. 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. Take a rickshaw ride to Chandni Chowk - the main street of Old Delhi - the colourful shopping bazaar just opposite the Red Fort and visit Raj Ghat - the cremation site of Mahatma Gandhi after his assassination in 1948.
Sightseeing tour of New Delhi visiting 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(243ft) high and tapers from a 15m(50ft) diameter base to just 2.5m(9ft) 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. Also visit the 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.
Evening Folk dances show followed by welcome dinner at local theater / restaurant.
Overnight at the hotel.
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel checkout and proceed to Mukundgarh by car Enroute visiting Mandawa and Dundlod,. Afternoon visit compact little town of Shekhavati region comprising of Forts and Havelis of beautiful frescoes. While touring this town a painted arched gateway adorned with Lord Krishna and his cows leads to the bustling bazaar. Overnight at the Fort hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel drive to Bikaner and check in at Hotel on arrival. Afternoon commence sight seeing tour of Bikaner covering Junagarh Fort – constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, Bandh Sagar Temple – The 16th century Jain temple, Camel Breeding Farm – a unique experience where you can ride on a camel & have perhaps the first taste of camel’s milk. Later in the evening take an excursion tour to Deshnok Temple situated in semi desert village at a distance of 30 kms, this place is famous for Karnimata Temple where you will see thousands of rats roaming freely in the temple complex and are held sacred.
Overnight at hotel
Afternoon breakfast at the hotel drive to Jaisalmer by car in around 6 hours and check in at the hotel. Rest of the evening is free to relax at the hotel. Overnight at Hotel.
After buffet breakfast at the hotel leave for Jaisalmer by car (6 hours). Morning sight seeing tour of Jaisalmer city visiting The Golden Fort of 99 Bastions, Manek Chowk, Patwon Ki Haveli and Salim Singh Haveli (the old Mansions with lattice work done on the walls).
Afternoon proceed to Sam Sand Dunes (1 hour drive). Check in at Swiss Cottage tented camp on arrival. Buffet lunch at the camp. Later commence Camel ride through the deserts and see beautiful Sunset view. Buffet dinner at the camp. Your evening will be entertained with folk dances, puppet show and music by the camp fire. Overnight at the camp.
Breakfast at the camp. Drive from Sam to Jodhpur (6 hours). On arrival check-in at hotel. Afternoon tour of Jodhpur which will include a visit to the Mehrangarh Fort set on the top of the hill, Jaswanth Thada and a visit to the local market. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning after breakfast drive to Udaipur enroute visit Jain Temple Complex at Ranakpur. Sprawling over 48,000 sq.feet, the temple is an astounding creation with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars - all distinctly carved. Continue on to Kumbhalgarh. Check in at Hotel on arrival.
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.
Morning tour of Udaipur city. The tour will cover the magnificent City Palace, the Jagdish temple, the pleasure gardens and a drive around the other nearby lakes. Afternoon explore this city of lakes on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Morning after buffet breakfast at the hotel proceed by car to Pushkar. Visit Brahma Temple (only temple being worshiped in India), Holy lake of Pushkar and the town. After your visit to this holy town continue on to Jaipur and check in at the hotel on arrival. Rest of the evening free to relax from long day’s drive.
Overnight at the hotel.
Morning excursion to Amber Fort where you will enjoy an Elephant ride.
Morning after breakfast at the hotel visit Amber Fort - the ancient capital of the state until 1728. The fort is a superb example of Rajput architecture, stunningly situated on a hillside and overlooking a lake, which reflects its terraces and ramparts. Visit the Jagmandir the Hall of Victory glittering with mirrors, Jal Mahal and the Temple of Kali. You ride up to the ramp of this 11th Century Bastion atop a gaily decorated elephant (Subject to operation).
City sightseeing tour includes Maharaja’s City Palace - which occupies a large area divided into a series of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The outer wall was built by Jai Singh, but other additions are much more recent, some dating from the start of this century. Today, the palace is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The palace now houses a museum containing rare manuscripts, fine specimens of Rajput and Mughal paintings and weapons. Also visit 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 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.
Overnight at the hotel.
Morning drive to Agra enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri 40 kms (25 miles) before Agra - a cultural and imperial capital conceived and built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and later abandoned due to scarcity of water. See the graceful buildings within the city including Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chisti and Panch Mahal.
Afternoon visit the world famous Taj Mahal (Taj Mahal is closed on Friday) built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, whose death in childbirth in 1631 left the Emperor so heartbroken that his hair is said to have turned gray overnight. Construction of the Taj, begun in the same year, was not completed until 1653. In total 20,000 people from India and Central Asia worked on the building. The Taj Mahal is like a silent rhapsody that you will carry in your heart. Also visit Agra Fort, constructed by Emperor Akbar in 1695 on the banks of the Yamuna River. Initially the fort was a military structure, but during Shah Jahan’s reign it had partially become a palace.
Late evening transfer to Tundla Railway Station to board 4006 Lichchavi Express train for Varanasi at 8.54 PM. Overnight on board.
Meeting on arrival at Varanasi Railway Station and transfer to Hotel. (Check in time 1200 hrs).
Afternoon Excursion to Sarnath. Sarnath is an important Buddhist sight. Lying at a distance of about 10 kms from the holy city of Varanasi, Sarnath is one of the four important geographical landmarks in the life of Buddha. After attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya, Buddha left for Sarnath where he first preached. Followers of Buddhism from all over the world look upon India as the land of their sacred lord and home to some of the blessed Buddhist destinations.
Evening visit River Ganges for boat ride and witness Evening Ganga Arati. Overnight at the hotel.
Early morning boat ride on the river Ganges, where you can see hundreds of devotees offering prayers to the sun god, and rinsing them selves of all their sins in this holy river. After breakfast, the morning is spent in looking around the city. Varanasi or Kashi as it was called in the 7th century B.C has been the religious capital of the Hindu faith since recorded time and is one of the oldest cities in the world and a hub of firmly rooted traditions. The old city of Varanasi is a maze of small streets and alleyways, hiding in disorderly array no less than 2000 temples and shrines. Domes, minarets, pinnacles and towers, and derelict 18th century palaces dominate the sacred left bank of the river Ganges.
Later tiem free in Varanasi. Afternoon transfer to the airport to board flight for Delhi. Meeting on arrival and transfer to the Hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Later in time transfer to the airport to board to your homebound flight.