Colorful Rajasthan

Colorful Rajasthan

Delhi - Mandawa - Bikaner - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Udaipur - Pushkar - Jaipur - Agra - Delhi

Rajasthan, is well known for its splendid palaces, folk and classical dances with multicolored attires, camel & elephant rides and sadhus with lengthy disheveled hair taking a bathe in a sacred lake in one of its pilgrimage places. Rajasthan cultural Tours itineraries take you to the top ten attractions of Rajasthan, a land of monuments which includes Fresco Paintings-Shekhawati, Ethnic village tour, Heritage Hotels, Camping on Sand Dunes and exciting camel safaris-Bikaner & Jaisalmer, Pushkar Fair-Pushkar, Ranthambore National Park, Ranakpur Jain Temples-Udaipur, Fort Chanwa-Luni, City Palace and Palace on wheels – Udaipur

Rajasthan, being land of many legends, fiction of bravery and sacrifices; attracts the largest number of tourists in India. Rajasthan Tour itineraries take you to explore its magnificent monuments. This package of Rajasthan Tour lets you know about vivacious and splendid past of this imperial state by visiting its timeless monuments.

Day 01: Flight to Delhi

Arrive Delhi. On arrival, you will be greeted and assisted by our representative and transferred to the hotel.

Delhi. It is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. In contrast, the imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi has been the seat of power for several rulers and many empires for about a millennium. Many a times the city was built, destroyed and then rebuilt here. Interestingly, a number of Delhi's rulers played a dual role, first as destroyers and then as creatorsOn arrival, you will be greeted and assisted by our representative and transferred to the hotel.It is a city that bridges two different worlds. Old Delhi, once the capital of Islamic India, is a labyrinth of narrow lanes lined with crumbling havelis and formidable mosques. In contrast, the imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi has been the seat of power for several rulers and many empires for about a millennium. Many a times the city was built, destroyed and then rebuilt here. Interestingly, a number of Delhi's rulers played a dual role, first as destroyers and then as creators.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 02: Delhi

After breakfast, enjoy full day visit of Delhi including following

Drive Past the Red Fort The Red Fort, Shah Jahan's elegant citadel in red sandstone, was built on the western bank of the river Yamuna. Shahjahan, started the construction of this massive fort in 1638, when he shifted the capital from Agra to Delhi. The Red sandstone walls of the massive Red Fort rise 33-m above the clamor of Old Delhi as a reminder of the magnificent power and pomp of the Mughals. Inside is a veritable treasure trove of buildings, including the Drum House, the Hall of Public and Private Audiences, the Pearl Mosque, Royal Baths and Palace of Color. (It remains closed on Mondays).

Jama Masjid This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The interior of the prayer hall is divided into aisles by arches. The walls and floors are of marble inlay panels.

India Gate At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triumph" like archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919. Under the arch, the Amar Jawan Jyoti commemorating Indian armed forces' losses in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971.

Govt. Buildings New Delhi houses several government buildings and official residences reminiscent of the British colonial architecture. Today we will drive past few of them, like The Parliament House, designed by Baker is 173m in diameter, the Rashtrapati Bhawan once the Viceroy's residence is now the official residence of the President of India. Designed by Lutyens, it combines western and eastern styles.

Raj Ghat Raj Ghat is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. It is a black marble platform that marks the spot of Mahatma Gandhi's cremation, on 31 January 1948, a day after his assassination. It is left open to the sky while an eternal flame burns perpetually at one end. It is located on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi on Ring Road officially known as Mahatma Gandhi Road. A stone footpath flanked by lawns leads to the walled enclosure that houses the memorial.

Humayun Tomb Humayun's Tomb is probably one of the most innovative and experimental monuments of its time, incorporating within it Indo-Islamic architectural styles. This magnificent garden tomb is the first substantial example of Mughal architecture in India. It was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (Charbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome.

Qutub Minar Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque.

It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled.

Day 03: Delhi - Mandawa

(By Surface 270 kms /6 hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Mandawa.

MANDAWA It is a small town located in the Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan. This region derives its name from Maha Rao Shekha, its former ruler.

Shekhawati is also known as the "Open art gallery of Rajasthan", the region is famous for its amazing havelis and forts richly painted and decorated. The havelis of Shekhawati were built by the erstwhile rulers and wealthy merchants of the past. They served as a measure of prosperity and success of the merchants. The grander the haveli, the more prosperous the merchant was believed to be. The Havelis are full of beautiful fresco paintings. Most of the buildings are dated from 18th century to early 20th century.

On arrival in Mandawa, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 04: Mandawa – Bikaner

(by surface - 188 kms / 4 hrs)

After breakfast, enjoy visit to the Havelis of Mandawa:

Haveli's In the heart of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, lies the beautiful small town Mandawa, known throughout the state for its forts and Havelis. 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. Today you will have the opportunity to visit few of the famous havelis of this region.

Post visit, drive to Bikaner.

BIKANER The city gets its name from Rao Bika, a Rajput of the Rathor clan, who founded it in 1488 AD. From its small origins, today it has developed into the fourth largest city in Rajasthan. If ever beauty has bloomed in a desert, it has been at Bikaner. The imposing palaces, beautiful and richly sculptured temples of red and yellow sand stones display some of the finest creations of Rajput civilization. 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

On arrival in Bikaner, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 05: Bikaner – Jaisalmer

(Aprox 331 Kms / 06-07 hrs)

After breakfast, enjoy visit of Junagarh Fort:

Junagarh FortIt is an unassailable fortress, which has never been conquered. Built in 1593 A.D. by Raja Rai Singh, one of the most distinguished generals in the army of Emperor Akbar, the fort is a formidable structure encircled by a moat. It is one of the few major forts in Rajasthan which is not built on a hilltop. The modern city of Bikaner has developed around the fort. The main entrance to the fort is Karan Pol [gate] that is east facing. Next to it is the Suraj Pol meaning the Sun gate. The fort situates in it some very magnificent palaces like Anup Mahal, Ganga Niwas and Rang Mahal or palace of pleasure.

Post visit, drive to Jaisalmer.

JAISALMERJaisalmer is named after its founder Maharawal Jaisal Singh, a Rajput king.

Jaisalmer" means "the Hill Fort of Jaisal" and is sometimes called the "Golden City of India" because the yellow sandstone used in every architecture of the city gives a yellowish-golden tinge to the city and its surrounding area. Situated in the middle of the vast Thar Desert, it is crowned by a commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone, with all its awesome splendour, dominating the amber-hued city. The fort actually functions as intended and is still the site of an entire living area, home to a quarter of the city's population.

Jaisalmer still retains its medieval charm, which is evident in its colorful narrow streets, splendid forts and palaces, opulent havelis and bazaars. The beautiful havelis which were built by wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are yet another interesting aspect of the desert city.

On arrival in Jaisalmer, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 06: Jaisalmer

After breakfast, enjoy full day visit of Jaisalmer including following:

Jaisalmer FortIt is one of the largest forts in the world. It was built in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from where it derives its name. The fort stands proudly amidst the golden stretches of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill, and has been the scene of many battles. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion color during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert, therefore it is also known as the "Golden Fort". This fort, popularly known as the 'Sonar Quila' by the locals, is located in the very heart the city, and is one of the most breathtaking monuments in the locality.

Nathmalji Ki HaveliTwo architect brothers built it in the 19th century. Interestingly, while one concentrated on the right, the other concentrated on the left and the result is a symphony epitomizing the side-by-side symmetry during construction. Paintings in miniature style monopolize the walls in the interior. Mighty tuskers carved out of yellow sandstone stand guard to the haveli. It is a private property.

Patwon-Ki HaveliThe Patwon Ji ki Haveli is an interesting piece of Architecture and is the most important among the havelis in Jaisalmer. This is precisely because of two things, first that it was the first haveli erected in Jaisalmer and second, that it is not a single haveli but a cluster of 5 small havelis. The first among these havelis was commissioned and constructed in the year 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa and is the biggest and the most ostentatious. It is believed that Patwa was a rich man and was a renowned trader of his time. He could afford and thus ordered the construction of separate stories for each of his 5 sons.

Salim Singh Ki HaveliSalim Singh ki haveli has been built on the remains of an older haveli built in the late 17th century. The new building was built in the year 1815 and was occupied by the Mehta family of Jaisalmer. They were the most influential family of their time. This haveli was commissioned by Salim Singh, the then Prime Minister of the kingdom when Jaisalmer was the capital. The haveli has a distinct architecture. The roof has been constructed in the form of Peacock. The haveli is situated beside the hills near the Jaisalmer Fort.

Sam Sand Dunes with Camel Ride40 kms from Jaisalmer are the Silver Gold Sand Dunes of Sam. Explore the exotic sand dunes on a camel back to witness the spectacular Sunset behind the Golden desert.

Day 07: Jaisalmer – Jodhpur

(Approx. 295 Kms / 06 ½ Hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Jodhpur.

JODHPURThe 'Blue City', as it is known, was founded on the edges of Thar Desert in 1459 A.D by Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan of the Rajputs.

Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur, and is encircled by a high 10 km long wall. The historic grandeur, exquisite handicrafts, folk dances, music and the brightly attired people lend an aura of romance to the city.

Flanked on its western side by the Meharangarh Fort, and on the eastern side by the stately sandstone Palace of Umaid Bhawan; the monuments, temples and gardens of Jodhpur depict a multi-faceted grandeur. The beauty and the imagination that have gone into the making of this monumental city proclaim the life-springs of creative genius that appear incongruent with harshness of this land and its climate.

On arrival, check in at the hotel.

Afternoon, enjoy half day visit of Jodhpur including following:

Mehrangarh FortIt is about 5km from Jodhpur Town. Guarding the city below, the fort was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 AD when he shifted his capital from Mandore. It overlooks the rugged and rocky terrain and houses a palace intricately adorned with long carved panels and latticed windows exquisitely wrought from red sandstone. The apartments within, have their own magic -the Moti mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), Daulat Khana with a rich varied collection of palanquins, howdas, royal cradles, miniature paintings of various schools etc.

Jasawant ThadaLocated adjacent to Mehrangarh Fort is Jaswant Thada, the graceful marble cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. His son Maharaja Sardar Singh built this monument known as the Taj Mahal of Marwar in the memory of Maharaj Jaswant Singh II of Jodhpur. The main memorial has been built like a temple with intricately carved marble stone. A visit to this structure is through the rocky hills giving it a secluded and a mystic aura.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 08: Jodhpur – Udaipur

(Approx. 265 Kms / 05 Hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Udaipur en-route visiting Ranakpur.

Ranakpur Beautifully sculptured Jain temples mark the glory of this renowned place. Considered as one of the five holy places for the Jain community, these were created in the 15th century during the reign of Rana Kumbha. These are enclosed within a wall. The central Chaumukha [four faced temple] is dedicated to Adinathji. The temple is an astounding creation of architectural splendor with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars all distinctly carved, no two pillars being alike.

Post visit, continue drive to Udaipur.

UDAIPUR The "City of Lakes" was founded in 1559 AD as capital town of the former Mewar state by Maharana Udai Singh on the eastern banks of the Lake Pichola.

The rich cultural, social and natural heritage, aesthetic beauty and ecological richness, so far preserved through the surrounding lakes, serene and opulent hilly range of the Aravalis and lush green vegetation and pleasant gardens and harmonious built forms present a unique condition of scenic beauty. The magical beauty of Lake Pichola allures the visitors again and again.

Its historical monuments in the forms of Palaces, Havelis & Temples surrounded by the hills and a pleasant bracing climate have favored its growth from a small princely town to an important tourist destination.

On arrival in Udaipur, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Udaipur

After breakfast, enjoy full day visit of Udaipur including following:

City PalaceLocated in the heart of the walled city, the City Palace Complex gives you an idea about the farsightedness of the founder of Jaipur Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. He left behind a legacy of some of the most imposing and magnificent architecture in the city. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh built many buildings but some of the structures were also built by later rulers. The palace is a blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture and the ex-royal family still lives in a part of the palace.

Jagdish TempleJagdish Temple is one of the famous temples of Udaipur. Located in the City Palace complex of Udaipur, this temple is made in the Indo-Aryan style of architecture. In 1651, Jagdish temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh, who ruled Udaipur during 1628-53. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Laxmi Narayan), the preserver of the Universe. It is celebrated for being the largest temple in the city of Udaipur. The gateway of this temple can be sited at a distance of 150 meters from the Bara Pol of the City Palace.

Sahelion ki bariMaharana Sangram Singh built this in the mid-18th century. The 'garden of the maidens' brings to mind the lifestyle of the ladies of the court. The delightful gardens reflect their discreet and impeccable taste. There are four pools with dainty kiosks. All around are flowerbeds, lawns, pools and fountains protected by a series of walls and shady trees. The fountains of the Sahelion ki bari function solely by water pressure and no pumps are used. The garden has a lotus pool and a sitting room decorated with paintings and glass mosaic.

Boat ride (Public)Evening boat ride on Lake Pichola. Lake Pichola: Fringed with hills, gardens, havelis, ghats and temples, Lake Pichola is the scenic focus of Udaipur. The picturesque boat ride on Lake Pichola not only provides the best scenic view of the lake and the mountains in the city, but also presents some of the most important historical monuments dotted along the lakeside or submerged within the lake.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 10:Udaipur – Pushkar

(By surface: aprox 270 Kms / 05 - 06 hrs)

After breakfast drive to Pushkar.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11: Pushkar – Jaipur

(By surface: aprox 145 Kms / 03 ½ hrs)

After breakfast enjoy visit of Pushkar including following:

Pushkar LakeThe pious Pushkar Lake is believed to have been created by the falling of a lotus from the hand of Lord Brahma. It is said to be as old as the creation itself. The lake is considered as one of the most sacred spots. The devotees believe that one dip in the waters of the lake on Kartika Poornima is equivalent to performing yagnas for several hundred years.

Lord Brahma TempleThis is the only existing temple dedicated to lord Brahma and was constructed in the 14th century, standing on a high plinth with marble steps leading up to it. A beautiful carved silver turtle sits on the floor facing the sanctum or Garbha Griha. The marble floor around the silver turtle is embedded with hundreds of silver coins, with donors' name engraved on them.

Post visit drive to Jaipur

JAIPURThe fascinating capital of the marvellous state of Rajasthan

Jaipur is popularly known as the Pink City, thanks to the colour of its buildings. It was built in 1727 A.D by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, followed a grid system, which made it the only planned city of its time. A young Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya designed the city in accordance with Shilp Shastra - an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. There are innumerable sagas and stories of culture, traditions, practices and valour. This diverse land of rich cultural heritage is a royal treat for tourists all over the world.

On arrival in Jaipur, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 12: Jaipur

After breakfast, enjoy full day visit of Jaipur including following:

Amber FortThe Amber Fort set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh, the fort was made in red sand stone and white marble. Amber is the classic and romantic fort-palace with a magnificent aura. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings. Built mainly for the warring enemies as a safe place, the heavily structured walls could defend the residents within the ramparts of the fort.

Elephant ride at Amber FortEnjoy Elephant ride up to the Amber Fort like the royalty of Rajasthan once did. Mount the animal from a raised platform and sit comfortably in a specially designed, secure seat as the majestic animal winds its way up the ramparts of the fort. The Elephants look beautiful as the mahouts (the person who drives the elephants) decorate them, especially the trunk, with floral and geometric patterns using coloured chalk and powders.

Hawa Mahal PalaceThe poet king Sawai Pratap Singh built this palace of winds. This is easily the most well-known landmarks of Jaipur and is also its icon. This five-storey building overlooking the busy bazaar street is a fascinating example of Rajput architecture and artistry with its delicately honeycombed 953 pink sandstone windows known as 'jharokhas'. It was originally built for the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday life and processions in the city from their veiled comfort.

City PalaceLocated in the heart of the walled city, the City Palace Complex gives you an idea about the farsightedness of the founder of Jaipur Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. He left behind a legacy of some of the most imposing and magnificent architecture in the city. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh built many buildings but some of the structures were also built by later rulers. The palace is a blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture and the ex-royal family still lives in a part of the palace.

Jantar MantarThe Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (King) Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734. It is modeled after the one that he had built for him at Delhi. He had constructed a total of five such facilities at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur. The Jaipur observatory is the largest and best preserved of these. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage List as "an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period".

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 13: Jaipur – Agra

(By Surface 237 Kms / 5 hrs)

After breakfast, drive to Agra.

AGRA The city of the inimitable "TAJ MAHAL"The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire. While its significance as a political center ended with the transfer of the capital to Delhi in 1634 by Shah Jahan, its architectural wealth has secured its place on the international map. A pleasant town with a comparatively slow pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendants of those who worked under the Mughals.

On arrival in Agra, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 14: Agra - Delhi

(Approx. – 205 Kms / 04 Hrs)

After breakfast, enjoy visit of Taj Mahal:

AGRA The city of the inimitable "TAJ MAHAL"The architectural splendour of the mausoleums, the fort and the palaces is vivid reminder of the opulence of the legendary Mughal Empire. While its significance as a political center ended with the transfer of the capital to Delhi in 1634 by Shah Jahan, its architectural wealth has secured its place on the international map. A pleasant town with a comparatively slow pace, Agra is known for its superb inlay work on marble and soapstone by craftsmen who are descendants of those who worked under the Mughals.

On arrival in Agra, check in at the hotel.

Overnight at the hotel.

Taj Mahal Taj Mahal or Crown of Palaces is a white marble mausoleum, built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. A world-renowned wonder, Taj Mahal looks the same from all the four sides and is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". The Taj Mahal is phenomenal not in the beauty alone but in the deep planning and design that went into its making. This enchanting mausoleum started in 1631 and it took 22 years to complete with the help of an estimated 20000 workers. (It remains closed on Fridays).

Agra FortThe great Mughal Emperor Akbar commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort in 1666, A.D. although additions were made till the time of his grandson Shahjahan. The forbidding exteriors of this fort hide an inner paradise. There are a number of exquisite buildings like Moti Masjid - a white marble mosque akin to a perfect pearl; Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-I-Khaas, Musamman Burj - where Shahjahan died in 1666 A.D. Jahangir's Palace; Khaas Mahal and Shish Mahal. The massive Agra fort is 2.5 km long and is considered as the predecessor of the Delhi Red fort.
Overnight at the hotel.

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