Cultural Tour of Rajasthan

Duration : 15 Nights / 16 Days
Places to see : Delhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Kumbhalgarh - Udaipur - Kota - Bundi - Ranthambore - Jaipur - Agra - Delhi


Day 01: Home - Delhi
On arrival in Delhi, you will be welcomed by our executive and transferred to your hotel (Rooms will be booked from 1200 hrs to facilitate immediate check in).

New Delhi, the capital and the third largest city of India is a fusion of the ancient and the modern. Standing along the West End of Gangetic Plain, the capital city, Delhi, unwinds a picture rich with culture, architecture and human diversity, deep in history, monuments, museums, galleries, gardens and exotic shows. Comprising of two contrasting yet harmonious parts, the Old Delhi and New Delhi, the city is a travel hub of Northern India. Narrating the city's Mughal past, Old Delhi, takes you through the labyrinthine streets passing through formidable mosques, monuments and forts. The imperial city of New Delhi displays the finely curved architecture of British Raj.

Overnight in the Hotel.

Day 02: Delhi - Mandawa
The medieval Fort of Mandawa gradually rises on the horizon like a mirage. A breathtaking view of the town can be seen from the terrace of Castle Mandawa. Precious collection of arms with jade handles, traditional ceremonial costumes can be seen at the Museum at the Castle. The havelies worth a visit are Chokhani, Saraf, Goenka and Ladia in this town. Built in 1775 by Thakur Nawal Singh, descendant of Rao Shekhaji, who also founded the city of Nawalgarh. The Castle, now a 51 rooms hotel has no two rooms alike. It also houses an interesting collection of paintings, jade, costumes and antiques. The courtyard and the terrace come to live during evenings with candle-lit dinners and fire-dances during the season. A two hundred and forty year old fortess, that has been converted by the family into a fine example of traditional hospitality.

Reach and check in at hotel.

Take a walking tour of the painted 'havelis' of some of the leading business families of the country. Though they no longer live here, the local caretakers are happy to show the visitors around. Chowkhani Haveli, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, Lakshminarayan Ladia Haveli, Mohahanlal Saraf Haveli and Bhagchandika Haveli are of special interest. Spend the major part of the day looking into frescoes.

Relax for the evening. Overnight at Mandawa.

Day 03: Mandawa - Bikaner
Early morning view the sunrise at the Desert Resort at Mandawa and then proceed for Bikaner - Lying in the north of the desert state, the city is dotted with scores of sand dunes. Bikaner retains the medieval grandeur that permeates the city's lifestyle. More readily called the camel country; the city is distinguished for the best riding camels in the world and hence boasts of having one of the largest Camel Research and breeding farm in the world.

The history of Bikaner dates back to 1488 when a Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji (a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur, Rao Jodhaji), established his kingdom here. It has faced many foreign intrusions and fought a number of wars with the Mughals and the British.

On arrival in Bikaner, check in at the hotel.

Overnight in at the hotel.

Day 04: Bikaner
Breakfast at hotel. Proceed for sightseeing tour of Bikaner.

Visit Junagarh fort was built by a Mughal army general, Raja Rai Singh, in 1593. The courtyard of the fort along with the balcony, kiosks and windows are perfect examples of the artisanship of that time. The beautiful cutworks and dots on the red stones and the marbles are fascinating. The various part of the palace-the Dewan-i-khas, the Phool Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal and Anup Mahal-reflect the glorious architecture of Bikaner

Also visit Deshnok the Rat Temple. Karni Mata Temple, Deshnoke lying at the distance of 30km from Bikaner. Visit the 600 years ancient shrine of Goddess Karni. You will be astonished to see that besides the Goddess the other deity of the temple are rats. The people have a strong notion that these rodents will be reincarnated as divine human.

Overnight at Bikaner.

Day 05: Bikaner - Jaisalmer
After breakfast drive to Jaisalmer - induces a dramatic picture of utter magic and brilliance of the desert. The hostile terrain not with standing the warmth and color of people is simply over whelming. One of the main draws is the daunting 12th century Jaisalmer Fort and beautiful havelis which were built by wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are yet another interesting aspect of the you can let your eyes caress the sloppy sand dunes while you ramble your way in a camel safari. Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, after whom the city finds its name, founded Jaisalmer in 1156.

The drive passes by dry vegetation, with villages of colorfully dressed people. Plenty of camels and camel carts, sheep and goats pass you by.

On arrival in Jaisalmer, check in the Hotel.

Rest the day is free at leisure. Overnight in at the hotel.

Day 06: Jaisalmer
In the morning have half-day sightseeing tour of Jaisalmer.

Visit Jaisalmer Fort, over the Trikuta hill, this fort is the biggest and the most beautiful landmark of the city. The fort is occupied by shops, stalls, and a number of other business concerns. It is also known as Sonar Quila or the Golden fort, rising from the sand, the mega structure merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience.

The Jain temple, situated inside the fort, made between 12th and 15th century, bears testimony to Rajasthan unique artistry

Visit the havelis; the mansions built by the wealthy merchants, which are still in very good condition. The intricate craftsmanship is beyond parallel. The havelis like the Patwon-ki-Haveli and Salim-Singh-ki-Haveli are remarkable for their exclusive cutwork, yellow and red stone treatment and the bracket-shaped decoration of peacocks.

The rich merchant inspired by the classic style of the royals, constructed huge mansions (havelis) adjacent to each other in the nature of medieval culture and profusely decorated walls and ceilings and intricately carved outdoors and interiors.
PM - an excursion to Sam sand dunes. No trip to Jaisalmer is complete without a sunset trip to the picturesque sand dunes of Sam and a camel safari. The ripples on the wind-caressed dunes; the numerous musicians and dancers are a photographer's delight.

Overnight in at the hotel.

Day 07: Jaisalmer - Jodhpur
After breakfast drive to Jodhpur - the second largest city of the state of Rajasthan, Jodhpur. The Rajput chief Rao Jodha founded the city of Jodhpur in 1459. Earlier, it was the capital of the Marwar state of Rajasthan. A 10-km-long wall made of stone surrounds the city.

Visit Mehrangarh Fort situated on a 125m-sandstone hill built by Rao Jodha in 1459. Situated at an altitude of about 125 meters, the Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur is spread over an area of 5 sq. km in the heart of the city of Jodhpur. Have a walk in the Fort Complex and in old city.

The Jaswant Thada is a white marble memorial built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant II in 1899.

Overnight in at the hotel.

Day 08: Jodhpur - Kumbhalgarh
After breakfast drive to Kumbalgarh - Cradled in the cluster of thirteen mountain peaks of the Aravalli ranges, the formidable medieval citadel- Kumbalgarh stands a wary sentinel to the past glory. Rising from a prominent ridge, 1914 metres high from the sea level, the fort was built in 15th century AD by Maharana Kumbha (1419-63 AD) and is the principal fortification after Chittaurgarh, lying 90 km north-west of Udaipur.

Afternoon visit Kumbhalgarh Fort - The massive fort, encompassed by a 36-km long wall, has seven majestic gates and seven ramparts, one within the other. Rounded bastions and high watchtowers strengthen the crenellated walls of the fort making it an impregnable structure.

Stay overnight at the Aodhi hotel of Kumbalgarh.

Day 09: Kumbhalgarh - Udaipur
After breakfast drive to Udaipur - - the lake city is an enthralling tourist destination in Rajasthan. It is an important city in Rajasthan today, attracting a large number of tourists. The medieval attractions of the city are its chief draw, but the scenic beauty of Udaipur and its surroundings is also a major attraction for the tourists. There are some beautiful lakes, man made as well as natural that give the city the sobriquet of 'the lake city'.

En-route, visit the Ranakpur Temples, 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. Includes visits to two more Jain temples and the Temple of the Sun God with its erotic sculptures.

Overnight in at the hotel.

Day 10: Udaipur
After breakfast visit the City Palace towering 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 entry to the Palace is from the Hati Pol, the Elephant gate. It was once a custom that the Maharana would weigh under this gate in gold and silver, which was distributed to the populace. It is also now the main ticket office. Balconies, cupolas and towers surmount the palace to give a wonderful view of the lake.

Visit the Jagdish Temple; built by Maharana Jagat Singh I in 1651, the temple enshrines a black stone image of Lard Vishnu. There is a brass image of Garuda the Lord Bird carrier. The exterior and the plinth are covered with base relief of alligators; elephants, horsemen and celestial musicians rise in tiers. Chanting, bells and music can be heard throughout the day. It is the largest and most splendid temple of Udaipur.

In the evening enjoy boat ride on the Lake Pichola. This picturesque lake encloses the Jag Niwas Island and the Jag Mandir. And, the City Palace extends along its eastern banks.

Return back to hotel for overnight.

Day 11: Udaipur - Kota
After breakfast drive to Kota - Rajasthan's largest industrial town situated on the banks of the river Chambal is well known for its Kota sarees and also for a miniature school of art which specialized in hunting scenes.

en route visit Chittaurgarh - The epitome of romance and valour - The pride and glory of Rajasthan, Chittaur echoes with the tales of romance and valor unique to the Rajput tradition. This is a ruined citadel, where the royal past lives in its imposing forts, graceful palaces and spectacular Chattris. This fortified settlement has been ravaged thrice and each time the outcome was 'Jauhar' -when women and children immolated themselves on a huge funeral pyre while men donned in saffron robes of martyrdom rode out of the fort towards a certain death.

Visit the City Palace and Fort in Kota - On the banks of the Chambal River close to the Kota Barrage is the fort and the city palace complex, which houses the Rao Madho Singh Museum containing the relics of the former rulers of Kota.

Jagmandir - in the island in Kishore Sagar Lake was built by one of the queens of Kota. You will take a paddleboat and roam around the same for a spiritual experience.

Also visit the Govt. Museum and the famous gardens of Chambal and Chatter Bilas.

Overnight at Kota.

Day 12: Kota - Bundi - Ranthambhore
Drive to Ranthambhore - Ranthambore National Park is one of the best preserved National Parks of India and one of the highest densities of the Tigers. The sightings are pretty often and one can do the safaris either in Jeeps or in open trucks called Canters.

En route visit Bundi - One of the unexplored cities with a rich historical wealth. Once a part of Kota, it was ruled by the Had Chauhans - an offshoot of the famous Chauhan clan who ruled Delhi and Ajmer. Bundi is surrounded by the Aravalli hills on the three sides and is circumscribed by a massive wall with four gateways. In 1193 AD when Prithvi Raj Chauhan was defeated by Sultan Mohammed Ghauri, some Chauhan nobles sleeked shelter in Mewar and became allies to the Rana while other young warriors moved towards the Chambal valley and overpowered the Meena and Bhil tribal thus establishing their own kingdom of Hadoti. Later, two branches of Hadas formed two separate states of Kota and Bundi, on either side of the River Chambal. Bundi is surrounded by the Aravalli hills on three sides and is circumscribed by a massive wall with four gateways.

Evening free at the resort and you can relax or watch some slides on the tiger.

Overnight will be at resort.

Day 13: Ranthambhore - Jaipur
Proceed for the morning Safari. After breakfast drive to Jaipur -was established by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743) and painted pink by Maharaja Man Singh II when Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited Jaipur in 1876. The Royal heritage of Jaipur lives in its architecture and culture. The city in pink is symbolic of the hospitality that reigned in the Rajput culture.

Overnight will be at hotel in Jaipur.

Day 14: Jaipur
After breakfast, have excursion trip to Amber Fort with Jeep / elephant ride.

En route, make a photo stop at the Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal). Hawa Mahal is a sample of the perfection of the architecture. Hawa Mahal was built with the pink & red sandstone, beautifully carved and outlined with white border and motif

Amber Fort is situated on the crest of a hill seven miles north of Jaipur is Amber, capital of the Kuchwaha Rajputs from 1037 to 1728. Man Singh I built it in a style to rival Mughal grandeur and opulence.

In afternoon visit City Palace, a combination of conventional Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. City Palace complex has more than a few palatial structures. City Palace is a huge complex, which houses many courtyards, gardens and buildings.

Also visit Jantar Mantar, built between 1716. It is located within the city palace. Jantar Mantar contains a collection of instruments for observing the movements of sun, moon, planets and stars. It was built to develop the interest of the people in Astronomy.

Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 15: Jaipur - Agra
After breakfast drive to Agra - The city of Mughals offers you an opportunity to explore the massive monuments, majestic buildings, and the popular arts and crafts. The architectural splendor of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid remainder of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is a vivid reminder of the capital in the capital in the 16th and early 17th centuries.

On the way visit Fatehpur Sikri. It is a beautiful and deserted medieval city built by Akbar the Great in the 16th century to serve as the capital of his vast empire. The Mughals later abandoned this city for lack of water. Fatehpur Sikri had a short life of splendor. Once Akbar left it in 1585, it never regained its lost importance and has remained the most magnificent and well-preserved ghost city of India.

Overnight will be at hotel in Agra.

Day 16 : Agra - Delhi
Morning city sightseeing tour including visit of Taj Mahal (Taj Mahal remains closed on Friday), a poem in white marble, built by Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaj Mahal. It took twenty-two years and hard toil of more than twenty thousand workers to construct Taj Mahal. The beauty of the Taj Mahal is enchanting and it reflects the marvelous beauty of architecture. Taj Mahal symbolize the richness of art and architecture of the Mughal period.

After Taj Mahal 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-metre high, 2.4-km outer walls contains a maze of buildings that form a small city within a city.

Afternoon drive back to Delhi for onward flight.

 
 
 
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