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Royal Rajasthan

offered by supplier M20525 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 16 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 15 people
Destination(s): India  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   Sightseeing  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1667 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2237 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Dates:
- May, 13 - 28
- June, 10 - 25
- July, 14 - 29
- August 18 - September 02
- September, 15 - 30
- October, 13 - 28
- November, 3 - 18
- December, 8 - 23.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Delhi. We are warmly welcomed the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together. After immigration and custom formalities, we are transferred to our Hotel. Overnight: The Park.

Day 2: Delhi – Agra. The capital of India is a true reflection of the old and new of India. We start our morning tour with New Delhi and visit Birla House - The Former Residence of Mahatma Gandhi. Later we visit the famous India Gate followed by the Houses of Parliament, Connaught Place, Humayun's Tomb and the Qutub Minar - a perfect minaret towering 72.5 meters / 80.5 yards into the sky and there are 379 stairs inside the tower. New Delhi is a blend of Mughal India, Hindu India, and British India and certainly of modern independent India. Later we visit Old Delhi, starting with the famous Red Fort. Next we visit Mughal majesty, the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. After the tour we drive to Agra. Overnight: The Gateway Hotel. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 3: Agra. Today we visit one of the most well known wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. Next we visit Agra Fort, where Shah Jehan, in the later years of his life, was imprisoned by his son to prevent him from spending the family fortunes on a black echo of the Taj Mahal. Later we drive to Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful capital built in 1640 by the Mughal King, Akbar the Great. The city was later abandoned for lack of water. We also visit the artistically designed mausoleum of Salim Chisty who is reputed to have prayed for a son for Akbar leading to the birth of Salim Jehangir. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 4: Agra – Ranthambore. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Ranthambore, the former hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur, the Ranthambore National Park is situated in Eastern Rajasthan at the confluence of the Aravali hill ranges and the Vindhyan plateau. Two rivers flow through the Ranthambore National Park - the Chambal River in the South and the Banas River in the North. Six man-made lakes and many perennial streams pass through the entire national park. The Ranthambore National Park is nestled between the Aravali and Vindhya mountain ranges.

The rugged terrain and the dense deciduous forests are major features of this national park, which has among the largest and most diverse collection of wildlife species in India. On arrival in Ranthambore, we check in our Hotel. In the afternoon we take a jeep safari through the National Park. On our journey we will see various indigenous animals such as: Nilgai, Chausingha, Chital, Chinkara, wild Boar and tiger! Other habitants of the Park include the muntjac, jungle cat, Ratel, Hyena, porcupine, the Rhesus macaque and the black-faced Langur. About 150 species of bird are also found here including migratory birds, like the steppe eagle, that arrive in winter. Overnight: Tiger Moon Resort. Includes: (B), (L), (D).

Day 5: Ranthambore – Jaipur. Ranthambore is famous for the famous Royal Bengal Tigers and spotting the big cat in her natural habitat will be of great experience. Relying on our luck and how much lucky we are today, we take another jeep safari in morning through the National Park. If we are lucky enough we may be able to spot the BIG CAT in her natural environment. After morning safari, we drive to Jaipur, the rose pink capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur is filled with frenetic crowds; Rajasthan's chaotic, dusky - pink capital is a place of wild contrasts, bombarding the senses at every turn.

Jaipur’s old city, it's rich color deepening and fading according to the light, is lined with long, twinkling bazaars. Like Wacky Races on acid, vegetable - laden camel carts thread their way through streets jam-packed with cars, cows, rickshaws and bicycles. The city owes its name, foundation and careful planning to the great warrior -astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693 - 1743). In the evening we enjoy Dinner at Spice Court Restaurant with Rajasthan Cultural Dance performance. Overnight: Four Points by Sheraton. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 6: Jaipur. A royal experience awaits us as we take an elephant ride uphill to the intriguing Amber Palace, a distinguished example of 17th Century Rajput architecture. After the tour and enjoying a panoramic view, we return to Jaipur to visit the old astronomical observatory built by the founder of the city, Jai Singh. We also visit the majestic Palace, which houses a rare collection of Indian art, and the colorful bazaar. Jaipur is noted for its craftsmen, skilled in brass inlay, lacquer work and stone setting. One of the most beautiful building is Hawa Mahal, Palace of Winds. Evening is free to enjoy both shopping and a cultural experience in the bazaars of Jaipur. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 7: Jaipur – Pushkar. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Pushkar. Pushkar is bewitching but touristy little town, like a beautiful mirage on the edge of the desert, with temples, bathing Ghats, onion domes and chalk colored buildings clustering around its holy lake, which is said to have appeared when Brahma dropped a lotus flower. It's an important pilgrimage centre and you'll see plenty of Sadhus (Spiritual men), as well as countless chilled-out travelers experimenting variously with spirituality, Bhang and the facial hair. Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site, since many were desecrated by Aurangzeb and subsequently rebuilt.

We visit the most famous temple of Lord 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. Overnight: Hotel Pushkar Palace. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 8: Pushkar – Udaipur. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Udaipur. No city in Rajasthan is quite as romantic as Udaipur. Misty ochre-shadowed hills and pale, intricate buildings encircle the mirror glass of Lake Pichola. If Jaipur is a study in pink then Udaipur is a vision in white. The City of Dawn, surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains and set on the edge of three lakes, is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples. Eight marble porticos mark the spot where the Mewar sovereigns were weighed in gold, the equivalent value of which was then distributed to the poor.

Within the City Palace are several architectural and artistic highlights such as the MOR Chowk, known for its stunning peacock mosaics and the Bhim Vilas Palace with its series of lovely wall paintings. The most memorable parts of Udaipur are its lake palaces, shimmering like jewels on Lake Pichola. Jag Mandir, the other island palace with a marble dome, is a marvel in red sandstone. It was a refuge for the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan when he was in exile following a quarrel with his father, Emperor Jehangir. On arrival we check in our Hotel. Rest of the day is free. Overnight: Hotel Hilltop Palace. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 9: Udaipur. We start our experience of Udaipur by visiting the City Palace. The palace has several architectural and artistic highlights such as the Mor Chowk, known for its stunning peacock mosaics and the Bhim Vilas Palace with its series of lovely wall paintings. From City Palace we can see the most memorable part of Udaipur lake palace, shimmering like jewels on Lake Pichola. Later we visit Jagdish Temple, Fateh Sagar lake and Saheliyon Ki Bari or the Garden of Maids. We end our tour of Udaipur with a boat ride at Lake Pichola and visit Jag Mandir, the other island palace with a marble dome, is a marvel in red sandstone. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 10: Udaipur – Ranakpur. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Ranakpur. Ranakpur is named after Rana Kumbha whom Dharna Sah, a Jain businessman, approached when he had the vision of his great temple to ask for the land for its construction. Renowned for some marvelously carved Jain temples in amber stone, Ranakpur is amongst the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. We visit the famous Ranakpur temples, constructed in the AD 1439. The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built during the reign of the liberal and gifted monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. An enormous basement covers 48,000 sq. feet area.

There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty-four pillared halls and eligibly domes supported by over four hundred columns. The total number of columns is 1,444 all of which are intricately carved no two being alike. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an engrossing sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 Kilograms whose sound echoes in the entire complex. Overnight: Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 11: Ranakpur – Jodhpur. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Jodhpur. On arrival, we check in our Hotel. In the afternoon we visit Mehrangarh fort, built in 1459 AD by Rao Jodha, rises steeply from a rocky scrap winds Upto the massive gateway with immense portals and enter through the Gate of victory - Jai Pole and Loha Pole Marked with palm prints of 'Sati' (Rajput Ladies immolated themselves on funeral fire of their Husband). Inside the fort there is a series of courtyards and palaces, a deep-terracotta latticed network.

They house a museum, with a splendid collection of the trappings of Indian royalty, including some amazing elephants howdahs (essential for glittering processions), miniature paintings and the inevitable Rajput armory and ephemera from ivory inlaid ladies dumbbells to camel bone carpet weights. Later we visit Jaswant Thada, this milky - white marble memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II is a peaceful array of whimsical domes, about 1 km from the fort. The royal crematorium and three other cenotaphs that stand nearby followed the Cenotaph, built in 1899. Next we visit the museum at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, now a luxury hotel. Overnight: The Gateway Hotel. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 12: Jodhpur – Jaisalmer. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Jaisalmer. On arrival, we check in our Hotel. Rest of the day is free. Overnight: The Gateway Hotel Rawal Kot. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 13: Jaisalmer. We start our city tour of Jaisalmer visiting the fort built by Maharawal (Maharaja) Jaisal in 1156 AD - one of the 2nd oldest in Rajasthan situated on triangular Mound 76 meters above ground level. Like a giant sandcastle, the golden fort thrusts skywards out of the surrounding barren landscape. Dubbed the "Golden City" because of its honey color, it is the place that should exist only in the imagination. For years Jaisalmer remained untouched by the outside influences. The rise of shipping trade and the port of Mumbai saw the decline of Jaisalmer.

The setting sun turning Jaisalmer into a beautiful golden brown is a spectacular sight. We also visit the Jain temple of the 11th century BC, Gadisar Tank - A scenic rainwater lake with numerous beautiful shrines around and a spectacular avian variety. The lake is an idyllic spot for outings. Folk Museum, Patwan Ki Haveli the most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It has exquisitely carved pillars and extensive corridors and chambers. One of the apartments of this five storey high haveli is painted with beautiful murals, Badal Vilas Palace. In the evening we take an excursion tour of Sam and Sand Dunes. Enjoy the sun set with changing colors in desert. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 14: Jaisalmer – Bikaner. In the morning after breakfast we drive to Bikaner. Bikaner city is bolstered by imposing walls and has a 16th century fort housing old palaces, temples and a mosque. Founded by Rao Bika, the fort is distinguished by its long range of 37 pavilions, a line of balconies and windows of varying designs. An enormous arched doorway leads to the Jaramal Temple. The royal chapel is Har Mandir where royal weddings and births were once celebrated. This sprawling desert town has a fort with some of the finest interiors in India, and a bustling old walled city encompassing darkred sandstone havelis and exquisitely painted Jain temples.

The area is famous for the intricate rich gold painting work by Muslim Usta artisans. On arrival in Bikaner we check in our hotel. In the afternoon we tour Bikaner by visiting the Junagadh fort, constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh-A general in the army of the Mughal emperor, Akbar. Then Lalgarh palace, this red stone palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881-1942) in memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh. It is an imposing building, with overhanging balconies and delicate latticework. Later we visit camel breeding farm set within the sand Dunes, the only farm of its kind in whole of Asia. Overnight: Lallgarh Palace. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 15: Bikaner – Mandawa. In the morning after breakfast we leave for Mandawa enroute visiting the famous Rat Temple dedicated to the Goddess Karni Mata. It may sound like a nightmare from the New York City subway to some, but in India's small northwestern city of Deshnoke, this is a place of worship: Rajastan's famous Karni Mata Temple. This ornate, isolated Hindu temple was constructed by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the early 1900s as a tribute to the rat goddess, Karni Mata. Intricate marble panels line the entrance and the floors, and silver and gold decorations are found throughout. But by far the most intriguing aspect of the interior is the 20,000-odd rats that call this temple home.

Later we continue our drive to Mandawa. Mandawa is an excellent base for exploring the region. It was settled in the 18th century and fulfilled by the dominant merchant families. Mandawa one of the finest of the small towns in the Shekhawati region has royal castle and innumerable Havelis where the painted facades offer a great variety of surprises. Later in the noon we explore Mandawa by visiting the famous "The Open Air Art Gallery of Rajasthan" known for the plethora of plain red havelis, and this rich artistic region known as Shekhawati. The havelis, painted predominantly in blue, maroon, yellow green and indigo have beautiful wall paintings that adorn there walls. Overnight: Castle Mandawa. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 16: Mandawa – Delhi – Departure. Today we drive to Delhi. On arrival, we are hosted a farewell dinner before we are transferred to airport for our flight to onward destination. Includes: (B), (D).

Member discount:
10% discount for InfoHub customer.  Request a free gift certificate.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Supplier Information
Location: India
Joined InfoHub: Sep 2010
Client Request Served: 6

Started with a small idea of gathering together people form different parts of the world who come from diverse cultural backgrounds and are open to meet new people on tour and want to travel as a group without paying huge amount of money, we thought of building a platform from where we can approach people around the...

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